By a Newsnet reporter

Rangers Football Club has announced it will boycott an SPL Commission set up to look at accusations the club broke football rules when using EBTs to pay former players.

New owner Charles Green has insisted that the SPL has no legal power over the club and as such, the club does not recognise SPL authority.

In a statement released on Monday evening, Green said: “The club ceased to be subject to the SPL’s rules when it was ejected from its league,”

The SPL set up the commission to investigate whether the old Rangers FC broke rules over payments to players between 2000 and 2011.  Meetings, chaired by Lord Nimmo Smith, have been scheduled for Tuesday and Wednesday, however no-one from Rangers will be in attendance.

If guilty, the SPL are expected to punish the new club and sanctions could include the stripping of titles won during the years in question.

Charles Green added: “The Rangers Football Club Limited will not attend tomorrow’s hearing of the SPL-appointed commission investigating the circumstances surrounding the use of Employee Benefit Trusts by previous owners of the club.

“The club cannot continue to participate in an SPL process that we believe is fundamentally misconceived.

“Neither the SPL, nor its commission, has any legal power or authority over the club because it is not in the SPL.

“For that reason, it has no legal basis on which to appoint its commission.

“Our lawyers have made that point repeatedly to the SPL in correspondence and yet our requests for an explanation from the SPL have been completely ignored.

“The SPL’s silence on these issues is deafening.  The outcome of the SPL’s process will have no legal effect.

“To make it crystal clear, the new owners purchased all the business and assets of Rangers, including titles and trophies,”

He continued: “Any attempt to undermine or diminish the value of those assets will be met with the stiffest resistance, including legal recourse.”


2012-09-11 00:35

I’m not a lawyer, but the Rangers argument seems odd.

Granted that the new company isn’t in the SPL, but the company from whom they “purchased” those titles was is in the SPL when they were won. If the SPL subsequently determines that the company that won those titles did so unfairly, and consequently reallocate the titles elsewhere, then the current Rangers company bought something which didn’t exist.

If they don’t agree, then I have a bridge in San Francisco that I’d be happy to sell them!
2012-09-11 07:01

Listen to yourself.
Mad Jock McMad
2012-09-11 08:23

The SFA are already in the FIFA bad books over Ranger’s court appearance, the SPL investigation is a fudge to get FIFA off of the SFA’s back on this whole issue of old Ranger’s alleged fiscal malfeasance, if newco Rangers are not careful they could find the ‘SFA rule book’ looked at anew and their membership of the SFL revoked.

They are taking the chance the SFA would not take this action because they are ‘Rangers’ and no doubt the usual media culprits will be attacking the SFA on Rangers behalf.

Problem: so far the world has not disappeared up its own backside with Rangers in Div3. Would it cease to exist if Rangers did?

Compared to the real problems facing Scotland, the fate of Rangers is not rating high in terms of real need time to stop wasting ink on them.
Old Smokey
2012-09-11 08:46

Charles Green should come clean and be clear what Rangers he has.
Green keeps insisting its the same Rangers that won the plaudits and silverware OR is the Rangers he is in charge of brand new and nothing to do with the Old Rangers?
He cant have it both ways
The SPL commission are investigating the ‘Old’ Rangers, the same ‘Old’ Rangers that Green insists that he is charge off. If Green came clean and clearly stated that the ‘New’ Rangers have nothing to do with the ‘Old’ and that includes the titles it won, then the SPL will not be able to pursue Green
Its perhaps semantics, but its imoprtant in the clarity of things to define who the SPL are investigating and who Green actually owns
John Lyons
2012-09-11 12:03

Well said. Rules are being bent to breaking point left right and centre to kee a big glasgow team that plays in blue involved in Scottish football. If Mr Green wants to use those three years of previous accounts to play senior football he needs to accept that some of the content of those accounts is unsavoury and HE has to deal with it.

If not, away you go and become a junior team.

Also of great interest is there is no denial of wrong-doing. The line is the “SPL has no juristriction”, not “We are innocent.”

I would suggest the SPL will complete it’s investigation of a club that was a member at the time the alledged breach of the rules took place. As that club is no longer a member the SPL will be unable to do anything about it other than hand over their findings to the SFA. Rangers ARE members of the SFA and if they want to remain so they’d probably be better off preparing to take what’s coming to them rather than wriggling and squirming and pissing people off because of technicallities  .

2012-09-11 10:14

So they don’t recognise the SPL commission. Would they recognise it if they qualify for admission to the SPL or are they content in the lower divisions?
2012-09-11 18:52

The SPL wont exist in three years time.

2012-09-11 10:35

i have been paying only scant attention to the goings on at Scottish football and Glasgow Rangers, so this question may already have been considered and resolved in debate.

Why do the SFA require to know the earnings of a club’s employees?
Shouldn’t that be confidential between employer, employee, and the Inland Revenue? Has the Inland Revenue determined whether these EBTs(?) are allowable or not? Do other organisations and industries operate them?

“A director’s duty is to the shareholders”
Fine words. How many of you know of the share option facility available to incoming directors of a company. The mechanics of offshore accounts, non-doms etc . And we want to see a business with 45000 clients punished for what? Paying their employees what they considered their worth and as the Ranger’s management believed, within the allowable chicanery of UK financial “rules”.
Currently Rangers away games attendance – 3 to 5000. Home games 45000.
Some way for the SFA/SPL to run an entertainments business.
2012-09-11 12:41

Why do the SFA require to know the earnings of a club’s employees?

The authorities aren’t worried about the amount of the players earnings, but how those earnings were paid out. In order to find out whether dual contracts were being used, it’s obviously necessary to look at the players earnings as they make up the accounts of the club.

The Inland Revenue haven’t come out with their decision yet ( I know, what’s taking them so long ?) EBT’s are perfectly legitimate financial tools, but they operate similar to offshore pension scheme in that as soon as any payments are made to players, then they are liable to taxation. That tax has not been paid.

The question with Rangers is were those EBT’s being used as a tax avoidance scheme to pay the players salaries ? If this is the case, then the club will be fined. It is not only illegal in terms of HMRC and financial laws of the country, it is also illegal in the world of football and both FIFA and UEFA have punished clubs for operating in this manner.

Hope this makes it clearer, it’s not about the amount the players earned, it’s about the mechanics of how they were paid.
2012-09-11 12:49

It’s not about whether or not Dead Parrot Rangers broke any UK tax laws – the point at issue is whether or not they broke any rules laid down by the football authorities, such as having dual contracts.
2012-09-11 12:58

Thats not true alibi – it is illegal under UK financial law to use these schemes for salary payment. These schemes, like pension schemes, are run by a set of trustees. If the trustees are found to have sanctioned payments to the players from the scheme, then they can be prosecuted and given a jail term.

2012-09-11 12:50

“Why do the SFA require to know the earnings of a club’s employees?”

It’s not a requirement on the club’s employees, it’s the players only. Why? Because if payments to players were not completely transparent various parties might pay players to throw the match. Perish the thought!
John Lyons
2012-09-11 13:09

I think it’s either the bringing the game into disrepute, the idea that illegal activities make Scottish football look bad and gets us a bad press that the authorities are more interested in. Or possibly tey’ll get into trouble themselves if it goes on, they know about it and they do nothing. I don’t know where the SFA or SPL would stand if there was illegal activity going on at a member club and they did nothing about it. The current Juventus manager is serving a lengthy ban because he knew match fixing was going on at his previous club and he didn’t report it. He did not fix any matches and he did not recieve any money but he was still banned.

Also Heart hammer, I hadn’t thought of that. Maybe they SPL will hold on until Rangers are due to be promoted back into the SPL and then will deliver an ultimatum accept these Sanctions or you don’t get in….

2012-09-11 11:30

The SFA won’t be happy until Green & Co turn up in sackcloth & ashes. They’re flogging a dead horse. I have never heard such nonsense as all this rabbiting over titles.
The turkeys have voted for an early Xmas and their turnstiles won’t need oiling for some time as a result
The wee clubs are enjoying an unexpected windfall, it’s an “ill wind” as they say.
Time to get over it! Rangers has!
2012-09-11 12:12

Well said. Rangers have been prepared to put all their tax fiddles, rule breaking and shoddy treatment of other teams behind them and forgive themselves. Time for the rest of Scottish football to do the same and accept that Rangers are a law unto themselves.

2012-09-11 14:51

As Mr Green said this morning when he deflated Gary Robertson, he bought Rangers, lock stock & barrel. It’s a new outfit, the SPL have chucked them out and any fiddling allegations should be addressed to the previous owner/owners.
If a sweetie shop changes hands, the new confectioners are nor responsible for the previous sweetie-wife’s short measuring of the Dolly Mixtures. Neither are they parting with the silver cup in the window, awarded for Soor Plooms.
2012-09-11 16:08

You’re either the new Rangers with no history and no titles, or you’re the old Rangers with all the history. All the history. Not just the good bits of the history. Not just the titles. If you want the titles, you have to accept the consequences that went with gaining them (illegitimately  ).

To claim that you’ve “bought the titles” and so they can’t be taken away from you is nonsense. The old Rangers bought the titles, which is where the problems arise. You don’t get to own stolen property just because you bought it in good faith. It gets returned to its rightful owner.

2012-09-11 17:39

Boy, my post got a response.
tartanfever; What is wrong with dual contracts, and why have them? Refer above to accomodating schemes for non-doms etc. in the UK. Money talks, and big boys bully.

farrochie: i doubt that any payment for throwing a match would be by cheque.

In rugby at the last World Cup England were caught switching the ball so that their role model player Johnnie could have a better attempt at kicking over a penalty with the ball he preferred. were England thrown out of the World Cup? No commercial interests prevailed. Why? Because England is a “big boy” in the rugby world.
In tennis the technos are playing around with racquet string tensions.coatings etc to provide more swerve potential on the ball. The authorities have yet to catch up.
A Formula 1 team was found holding the design plans of a rival. Were they banned? No Commercial interests prevailed.
I couldn’t care less about Rangers but My view is that Scottish football is foolishly punishing itself by consigning a club of such financial potential contribution to the sport to Div3 doldrums.
2012-09-11 19:10

Err Velofello – dual contracts, didn’t you read my post ?

Being a UK resident and moving money offshore into a fund is simply not the same as being classed as a non-dom – you’re trying to put them in the same tax category.

As for whats wrong with dual contracts and why they’re illegal – well think about it. If they were legal we would all be saying to our employers, ‘you know what, pay me 10% of my salary as normal every month into my bank account and put the rest offshore into this ‘fund’ I have in Jersey, and I won’t have to pay any tax’

This is what the investigation is about and it is what Rangers are accused of doing – salaries, like yours and mine are liable for tax. It seems that these EBT’s were set up as part of the Rangers salary payment scheme as a way of tax avoidance – that is illegal.

2012-09-11 18:01

When England switched balls, what rule were they breaking and what was the proscribed penalty for that breach? What rule is broken by improving tennis racquets? Is banning an entire team a legitimate sanction in F1 for receiving an opponent’s plans?

Rangers went bust. They ceased to exist as a going concern. That wasn’t a punishment from the SPL or SFA, that was bad business by its owners and administrators.

A new Rangers bought the assets of the old Rangers. The new Rangers didn’t get punished by the SPL or SFA. Quite the reverse: it got special privileges.

No one is punishing Rangers or Scottish football except the previous and present owners of Rangers, by cheating, failing to pay their way, breaching the rules of the football authorities, stirring up dissent and potentially violence, making inflammatory comments, demanding special treatment and effectively proclaiming themselves above the rules. Money talks and big boys bully, but sometimes the bullies get caught out…and boy do they whine when that happens.
2012-09-11 19:08

The new Rangers didn’t get punished by the SPL or SFA. Quite the reverse: it got special privileges.

Special privileges? ………if you’re going to set out your stall don’t do it with rotten fruit.

Being demoted from the SPL down to Division Three, fined 160k, an illegal embargo imposed, banned from Europe for three years including losing a potential place in the CL worth 10 million is ‘special privileges’

Then the purloining of money owed to the creditors of the oldco and distributed to SPL Clubs illegally.

Your post is laughable.
2012-09-11 20:11

The new Rangers didn’t get demoted. The old Rangers didn’t get demoted. No one got demoted. The old Rangers ceased to exist, the new Rangers got the special privilege of coming straight into the Third Division without the normal three years of audited football.

The new Rangers weren’t fined 160k. The old Rangers were fined and the new company chose to bear that fine as part of the deal which allowed them the special privilege of entry into the Third Division.

An embargo was imposed on the old Rangers – quite fairly, despite the old Rangers choosing to break FIFA rules and take the matter to court – which was a let-off considering the harsher penalties which could have been imposed. The new Rangers chose to bear that embargo as part of the deal which allowed them the special privilege of entry into the Third Division.

The old Rangers aren’t eligible for Europe because they don’t exist. Only actual football clubs can compete in Europe. The new Rangers aren’t eligible for Europe because they’re new. No one has been ‘banned’ from Europe; the normal rules have been applied and the failure to grant the new Rangers special privileges in this regard is taken by some as a ‘punishment’.

The old Rangers was treated fairly after it fiddled the tax man, left other clubs unpaid, broke SPL and SFA rules and went bust owing tens of millions.

The new Rangers was given the special privilege of moving straight from formation to Third Division, ahead of existing clubs.

It’s your insistence that the old Rangers and the new Rangers are the same thing, but they can pick and choose which bits of the old are carried into the new, which is laughable, as is your notion that new Rangers have been punished by not getting more special privileges. You may well choose to support the new Rangers as though they were the old Rangers, but you’re only fooling yourself. The law, the SPL, the SFA and FIFA all recognise that new Rangers is a new club. A new club that has been given special privileges.
2012-09-11 23:54

I dare anyone to pick fault with anything in the above post.

2012-09-11 20:34

Hi Briggs …

Rangers got special privileges for joining the Third Division. SFL rules state that a club wishing to join the SFL have to produce three years of accounts since their formation and be a member of the SFA. Newco Rangers only came in existence this summer and therefore, to the detriment of other clubs such as Cove Rangers and Spartans, were allowed a special pass into the Third Division. If the SFL clubs didn’t vote for Rangers into the Third Division ignoring their own rules, then Newco Rangers would either cease to exist today or will now be playing in the junior leagues.

Newco Rangers were not demoted from the SPL. They did not hold a place in the SPL to be demoted from. Glasgow Rangers held that position until they were liquidated. Newco Rangers applied to replace Glasgow Rangers and were refused, instead promoting Dundee to fill the vacant position.

The £160k fine and the three-year ban from Europe is an enactment of the rules, written down in black and white. The £160k fine from the SFA was for Craig Whyte lying about his directorial history and he was still owner of the club when this fine was charged. The European ban comes from UEFA themselves for Glasgow Rangers not leaving administration in time to be granted a new licence for playing in Europe for the 2012/13 season.

The SFA handed out a one-year transfer ban knowing that FIFA would enact a much worse punishment (possible expulsion from football altogether) if the SFA sat back and did nothing. If you want proof then check out the cases relating to Sion FC and Derry City.

Personally I see: 1 David Murray as a demagog who didn’t know when to quit; 2 Craig Whyte as a venture capitalist who would sell his own granny and her wee dug to make a quick pound; 3 The Administrators as Laurel and Hardy trying to move house; 4 Charles Green (see no.2).

But really, to continue to exist in the Third Division (after years of wanting to go to England) and spouting on gleefully about the ruination of Scottish football with no humility whatsoever about the chaos caused recently, the fans should be happy and mightily relieved that Ibrox did not end up like Cathkin Park. But then I don’t think we’ve heard the last of this story by far.
2012-09-11 20:49

I know where you’re coming from Dcanmore

The ‘sporting integrity’ wing of Scottish football no doubt.

Bitter in deed thought and action, filled with terminal jealousy and envy for the biggest most successful Club in Scotland.

What did Rangers Fans do that they should show humility?

Support a Club that wins to much for your liking I expect?

The Rangers support wouldn’t let their Club die and that’s what sticks in your craw.

No I don’t think we have seen the last of this story if only the Scottish media would shine a light into far darker recesses of the Scottish game.
2012-09-11 21:57

Quoting Briggs:

Support a Club that wins to much for your liking I expect?

Persecuted much?

Rangers were the architect of their own destruction. They tried to live beyond their means and eventually – inevitably – they were found out. When they were found out, they were given special favours that lesser clubs – who win less often – wouldn’t have got. The new Rangers have been given special favours that smaller clubs, who aren’t the biggest and most spectacularly unsuccessful club in Scotland, wouldn’t get. Smaller clubs have seen the new Rangers jump the queue, because it’s well supported. Smaller clubs have seen old and new Rangers given all sorts of breaks so that that support could continue. But still, it seems, some Rangers fans regard their club(s) as more important than the rules, financial probity, fair play and the game as a whole. A significant and vocal section of those fans seem determined to re-imagine all the favours their clubs have been given as punishments and persecution.

You don’t have to have ‘done’ anything to show humility. Perhaps you’re confusing it with ‘remorse’, which is what the previous owners of old Rangers should be showing. Humility is just a generally desirable quality, and one which is far more attractive than an over-whelming sense of entitlement and a persecution complex.

Rangers have been given a break. Rangers’ fans don’t seem grateful for this. They seem like spoiled children who’ve been given cake and whine about how unfair it is that they haven’t been given cream to go with it. That’s where the humility comes in: appreciating what you’ve been given, rather than complaining that you haven’t been given enough.

2012-09-11 22:45

If you have something constructive to say in response to my post, then say it. But it looks like you won’t because you can’t argue with the facts.

You see Briggs, this is what happens when Rangers fans are faced with the truth and facts, they default into ‘everybody is against us it’s no fair, nobody likes us, we don’t care’ attitude. It doesn’t look like it’s me that’s bitter. Do you think for a second that any SPL club other than Celtic or Rangers would have been thrown a lifeline to remain in the game if they faced the same situation? Of course not.

I support one of the wee clubs all of my life. My club voted to allow yours to exist in a competitive senior league. I’ve really no interest in the SPL clubs and I only have a passing interest on who has qualified for Europe. I much prefer the Scottish and League Cups as a competition.

Yes I believe in sporting integrity from the actions and the history of my club which has been in impeccable existence long before yours old or new. And you know what? Those teams you play against in the Third Division are full of sporting integrity too. I am not jealous nor bitter for a club that has absolutely nothing to do with me, you might as well be Hearts or Aberdeen for all I care. I supported Rangers (and all Scottish clubs) when they played in Europe and wanted them to win the UEFA Cup because they represented Scotland and Scottish football and that is important to me.

But I am disgusted at the way that club was ran and the Rangers fans should be too since they invested in it. They saw that investment disappear into an array of dodgy dealings. The writing was on the wall for Rangers as far back as 2006, but nobody protested, nobody investigated, blind faith was the order of the day.

Shine a light into the far darker recesses of the Scottish game? Isn’t that what the EBT investigation is about? Be careful what you wish for! I for one wish this whole mess didn’t happen at all and for Murray to have sold the club five or six years ago.

As for Newco Rangers, I wish the club and the fans would just get on with it quite frankly.
2012-09-12 00:14

Quoting Briggs:

No I don’t think we have seen the last of this story if only the Scottish media would shine a light into far darker recesses of the Scottish game.

I would agree that we haven’t seen the last of this story. Not by a long way.

Ref the Scottish media shining a light into dark recesses – no chance. Too many cosy vested interests between them, SFA hierarchy, ‘Dog Whistle’ McCoist and the illusion that is currently ‘Rangers’.

If you question the claim of illusion see if you can find Rangers (other than the ladies team) on the UEFA website…/index.html.

Happy hunting.


2012-09-11 21:36

Quoting Dcanmore:

But really, to continue to exist in the Third Division (after years of wanting to go to England) and spouting on gleefully about the ruination of Scottish football with no humility whatsoever about the chaos caused recently, the fans should be happy and mightily relieved that Ibrox did not end up like Cathkin Park. But then I don’t think we’ve heard the last of this story by far.

That about sums it up and Rangers have to come to terms that the CLUB dug their own hole, and is FINISHED.
Its not jealousy from other fans, I personally would like to see a successful Rangers, but this time without the sectarianism, same applies to the other part of the auld firm.

2012-09-12 08:02

[Online Editor – We see no hating of Rangers fans here. Please resist the urge to misrepresent posts from other people. We will allow this comment to remain but note that any future posts of this sort may well be removed.]

You must be logged-in in order to post a comment.