Rangers broke the rules but get to keep the trophies – Scottish football needs a revolution

Published on 28 February 2013

 

February 28 will be remembered as a day of glee and disbelief for Scottish football fans.

Rangers Football Club, which was liquidated in 2012 after running up 276 bills it couldn’t pay, was deemed guilty of breaching SPL player registration rules by Lord Nimmo Smith’s independent commission.

However, that breach – which referred to the club’s unwillingness to declare ‘side letters’ relating to payments to players – was declared not to have given the club an unfair competitive advantage. Therefore, punishment was set at a £250,000 fine. The club will not be stripped of the titles it won while failing to properly register players.

The £250,000 fine won’t be paid, it’s purely symbolic. Why? Because Rangers went out of business.

The club that now plays at Ibrox and calls itself Rangers chose to pay a few of the old club’s footballing debts in a deal with the Scottish Football Association which saw the old club’s share transferred to the new club. Charles Green’s Sevco also agreed to inherit a one-year transfer embargo imposed on the old club during final owner Craig Whyte’s tenure.

A very tiny sacrifice was made by Charles Green’s Sevco consortium – when the size of the old club’s multimillion pound debt is considered – to be able to lay a claim to the old club’s trophies and history.

For Scottish football fans this says two things: 1. The old club was able to breach player registration rules and continue to win titles while all other Scottish clubs played by the rules, and 2. Charles Green’s new Rangers, founded in 2012 and without debt, has been enabled by Scottish football’s governing body to claim he owns the trophies won by Rangers during its 140 year history.

For Rangers fans, the Third Division now doesn’t look like such a bad deal; they have an (almost) debt-free club they can claim is still Rangers which will not pay any real consequence for breaching fundamental competition rules.

The outcome of Rangers’ big tax case is still to come, a case related to the subject of Lord Nimmo Smith’s enquiry. Indeed, that is where it all started. The dubious EBT payments were not only – eventually – questioned by the SPL, but have been subject to an ongoing battle with HMRC, who claim they are owed millions of pounds in tax from the scheme which enabled Rangers to bring in massive names to the club without paying full tax.

Rangers, owned by Sir David Murray during the contested period, were said by judges in the first-tier tribunal judgement to have “withheld or actively concealed” documents relating to the case. Lord Nimmo Smith’s enquiry has ruled that the club withheld documentation from the footballing authorities. And yet, Scottish football fans are told that none of this led to an unfair competitive advantage.

The SFA and SPL have blundered through the crisis, apparently unsure of their own rules and, occasionally, appearing to make them up – the temporary membership granted to Charles Green’s new club to guarantee its entry into Scottish football this season, a type of membership previously unheard of, for example.

A restructuring of the existing set-up will make no difference to the farce that has unfolded in Scottish football over several years. The damage has been done and new Rangers will likely work their way through the leagues into the Premier over the next few years, with even Charles Green wondering how he managed to pull it off.

It’s difficult to see how anything short of a sporting revolution will now see Scottish football become a thrilling, competitive, trustworthy game. The fans feel cheated – player registration rules were trampled over by Rangers and there seems to be no facility to do very much about it.

The titles won during the EBT period, we are told, now belong to new Rangers, a club which does not have to pay the £250,000 fine or any of the 276 creditors left behind by Rangers.

Scottish football fans have been left stunned and in disbelief. Rangers fans feel victorious and vindicated. Both ends are at their extremes and it’s difficult to imagine how, if, the game can ever move forward.

36 thoughts on “Rangers broke the rules but get to keep the trophies – Scottish football needs a revolution

  1. Paul Gormley February 28, 2013 at 9:24 pm Reply

    Well said Angela. This decision and the MSM’s response has been a huge slap in the face to every single fair minded football fan in Scotland. I live in England now and I am forever championing Scottish football to my friends. But now, I don’t think I can do that any more. I’m just so apathetic now, not to mention being filled with the feeling i’ve been cheated.

  2. David Duffy February 28, 2013 at 10:01 pm Reply

    Thought you’d chucked it Paul.

    • Paul Gormley February 28, 2013 at 10:13 pm Reply

      I did David. Deleted my twitter account and with 1 hour I was back! Just weak willed, that’s all 🙂

  3. David McCabe February 28, 2013 at 10:03 pm Reply

    Again, well said Angela considering the spew that will likely come your way. You’re spot on in saying that the fans feel cheated because we have been.
    I’m gobsmacked that given the facts of their investigation the LNS tribunal still managed to conclude that there was no unfair advanage gained in the activities that the Oldco engaged in for all those years.
    There’s nowhere left to go with logic like that accepted as a reasonable decision, bar a full scale revolution as you suggest; but if, as it seems, Rangers are still the powerful body, how is that going to happen? and who will be powerful and brave enough to take the leading role?

  4. The Octagon February 28, 2013 at 10:10 pm Reply

    Angela – as a Celtic fan I, for probably the first time, have to ask what my club are going to do about what has happened. While it can be said that ‘saying nothing’ is itself a subtle message I do feel we are now at a position where we need to be seen to be contibuting something to the wider public debate. I appreciate the sensitivities around CFC becoming too visibly involved but I have to ask now – where else do ‘Tic fans turn ?

  5. Gordon scott March 1, 2013 at 12:34 am Reply

    You seem confused Angela. The outcome of the “big tax case ” was decided in Rangers favour. LNS’ verdict cleared Rangers of gaining any sporting advantage and decreed that all players were registered properly. It seems that your team will have to win their titles on the pitch – as Rangers did!

    • Angela Haggerty March 1, 2013 at 12:37 am Reply

      Lord Nimmo Smith ruled that players were improperly registered, that’s why he imposed a £250,000 fine. The first-tier tribunal of the big tax case ruled in favour of Rangers in a number of cases, but not all. HMRC is appealing that judgement, the case is set to go on for months to come. You have some reading to do.

    • Paul Gormley March 1, 2013 at 1:06 am Reply

      Well pointed out Angela. Gordon seems to be the one that’s confused now. The entire world knows that being ‘cleared’ of gaining a sporting advantage was down to SPL rules not allowing LNS to ‘prove’ it. This is all LNS could work with. He was not applying common scots law in this case. Everyone knows that ‘secret, tax-free, loans’ to players provided RFC with an advantage in the transfer market and thus an advantage on the pitch. 53 players in total, whose side letters were ‘deliberately’ not disclosed in an effort of concealment. £250k fine to RFC for DELIBERATELY not registering players correctly doesn’t give sporting advantage? Nonsense.

  6. Gordon scott March 1, 2013 at 1:07 am Reply

    No Angie baby – you have some reading to do. LNS ruled that players were properly registered. I think it was in para 6 where it stated that Rangers gained no sporting advantage and that players registered were not ineligible. Read the judgement and get back to me. The outcome of the “big tax case ” WAS determined in Rangers favour. The fact that it is now subject to appeal does not in any way alter this fact until the appeal is won. Which is extremely unlikely.

    • Angela Haggerty March 1, 2013 at 1:13 am Reply

      Rangers themselves accepted they were liable to pay tax on five cases in the big tax case. HMRC is appealing the judgement on the remaining cases. Lord Nimmo Smith declared Rangers did not lodge all of the paperwork required – therefore players were improperly registered – but Lord Nimmo Smith did not deem this to have given the club an unfair advantage. However, as a result, the club was fined £250,000.

  7. Gordon scott March 1, 2013 at 1:30 am Reply

    Well you are twisting the facts of both cases to suit your opinion. LNS stated categorically thet no players were ineligible. You dispute this . Would you have disputed LNS’ judgement had titles been stripped? Are you objective? Or have you pre judged and passed sentence like so many others?

  8. Euan HFC March 1, 2013 at 9:37 am Reply

    Angela, Though it gives me the boak – Rangers have been found guilty on nearly all counts. Unfortunately they have escaped major punishment on a technicality – That is, players cannot be deemed to have been improperly registered retrospectively. This is due to a failure of the SPL/ SFA nothing more. However, they have not been exonerated. You are right that Scottish Football needs a revolution but not to become a witch hunt. The governing bodies of our game need a complete overhaul and if anything good is to come of this, they need to be ousted from the cozy boys club and real football people with integrity need to govern our game.
    It is time to let The Rangers be and focus our attentions where they are required so this shambles cant happen again.

  9. AyrshireScot March 1, 2013 at 1:04 pm Reply

    You obviously didn’t read the full report before you posted this Angela and you can just feel the bitterness dripping off your fingers when you typed this ! Anyway lets get on to some facts that can’t be argued with because they are printed in black and white for all to see……….

    1.You say that Rangers FC (the club) was liquidated

    This is false or as I should actually describe it,a lie ! As the legal report confirms,Rangers FC was an asset of Rangers Football Club PLC which was the owner/operator of the football club.Which was then sold on as a ‘continuing entity’ to a new owner/operator.I will also point out that the three legal experts – Lord Nimmo Smith, Nicholas Stewart QC and Charles Flint QC have well over 100 years of legal experience between them and I find it quite arrogant on your part,that you think you know more about the legalities of this situation than these three learned gentleman !

    And I quote from the legal document to prove this….

    (1) Between the years 2000 and 2011 The Rangers Football Club Plc (now known as RFC2012 Plc (in liquidation) and referred to in the decision as “Oldco”), was the owner and operator of Rangers Football Club (“Rangers FC”).

    [7] On 14 June 2012 a newly incorporated company, Sevco Scotland Limited, purchased substantially all the business and assets of Oldco, including Rangers FC, by entering into an asset sale and purchase agreement with the joint administrators.

    2. You said “The old club was able to breach player registration rules and continue to win titles while all other Scottish clubs played by the rules”

    This again is false as the report clearly states that the company is at fault not the club and I quote….

    [109] It is the board of directors of Oldco as a company, as distinct from the football management or players of Rangers FC as a club, which appears to us to bear the responsibility for the breaches of the relevant rules. All the breaches which we have found were therefore clearly committed by Oldco. We see no room or need for separate findings of breaches by Rangers FC

    Now the next part I’ll explain in laymans terms.Because it’s quite lengthy and complicated to just quote,but this is where the SPL basically fucked up on the matter of player registrations….

    Players are registered with the SFA and the SFA are the only ones who can register a player or revoke his registration.All players that oldco registered with the SFA were fully registered and able to play in games officially.

    The non-disclosure of payments from the EBT scheme broke a SPL rule and the celtic/SPL lawyer Rod McKenzie,wrongly assumed that if SPL rules were broken the players in question were then not officially registered ! The commission after hearing evidence from the Head of Registrations from the SFA,had to explain to poor Rod that the SPL does not register or revoke registrations,only the SFA can do that.So all players were registered properly and were eligible to play in all games but oldco were guilty of non-disclosure of payments under SPL rules and that’s why they got the biggest fine in Scottish footballing history of £250,000 !

    There’s a few other things I could point out about the blog above but I’m bursting for a jobby.So don’t have the time to type it out,might do it later 😉

    Lots of love from your biggest fan,AyrshireScot xxxx

    • Angela Haggerty March 1, 2013 at 8:41 pm Reply

      The imaginary distinction between club and company only emerged when Rangers was liquidated. The company was the legal entity with which the club ran its business. When the club ran up 276 bills it couldn’t pay, the club/company was liquidated. Talk of the club being an asset of the company is just nonsense – the club existed before the company – when the club was incorporated, it simply took on its new legal status and had a company number. The club and company are one and the same.

      That’s what happened, and yesterday’s ruling proved Rangers spent the final years breaking the rules. I understand it’s not good news for Rangers fans, but that is a matter for the club’s former owners to answer.

    • Kev July 22, 2013 at 1:54 am Reply

      [7] On 14 June 2012 a newly incorporated company, Sevco Scotland Limited, purchased substantially all the business and assets of Oldco, including Rangers FC, by entering into an asset sale and purchase agreement with the joint administrators.

      Nowhere on the Sale and Assets purchase sheet was there a “Rangers FC” or a “Club” listed. So can you or Lord Nimmo Smith explain why the omission? Legal documentation for such a sale are usually thorough and detailed.

  10. Vinnie. March 2, 2013 at 12:23 pm Reply

    It’s not only Scottish football that needs a “revolution”, Angela. The whole stinking, putrid system needs a revolution. Justice has been abandoned at the expense of ‘the law’, a cleverly constructed camouflage that protects the wealthy and powerful from their actions.
    Sevco is just another minor example.
    Look at banking if you want, and its toxic effect on the majority of society while the filthy few involved continue to gain at the expense of the disenfranchised many.
    Let them have their day, who really cares now anyway ? The decent amongst their ranks, and there are many, know they’ve cheated and the knuckledraggers will continue with their vitriol and bile.
    Decent people should be looking at the ‘bigger picture’ and unite in putting an end to the establishment’s corruption for the good of all.

  11. AyrshireScot March 2, 2013 at 2:32 pm Reply

    Imaginary,only emerged when Oldco went into administration ? I don’t think so

    Maybe you should read the SPL rules which were written before Oldco went into admin.They clearly state because the SPL is actually a business and they issue one share to each member,but because football clubs themselves are not a business the SPL rules requires that the owner/operator of said football club hold the share for them !

    That’s rule A4 ‘membership of the company’ in the SPL rules and regulations….

    Something I’ll also bring up and it’;s about why the non-disclosure didn’t give a sporting advantage…..

    There is a basic misunderstanding in this question in that it assumes that the the Commission was looking at the payments and their nature/legality. It wasn’t! The Commission was looking to see if the registration rules of the SFA had been met.

    The use of EBTs/side letters under SFA/SPL rules at the time,were allowed but it was decided by the commission that these were ‘payments’ and should have been disclosed and for this Oldco were fined.

    Now why doesn’t this give an unfair advantage,well for the simple fact that because it’s within the rules to use EBT’s,there was nothing stopping other teams from using schemes or similar schemes like that.That they weren’t disclosed doesn’t change that fact,hence no advantage as it was open to everyone in the SPL to do it !

    • Angela Haggerty March 2, 2013 at 3:01 pm Reply

      Yes, the club needs a legal entity in order to run its business, that’s the function of the company. They are the same thing. I completely understand if you are a Rangers fan you won’t accept another view on that. However, I’d advise you find a way to accept that many Scottish football fans see things very differently from you, and they have very good reason to. I can put myself in your shoes and understand where you’re coming from, try to do the same with others.

  12. Paul Gormley March 2, 2013 at 4:18 pm Reply

    The bottom line is. The SPL/SFA failed to provide rules that protected it’s clubs from another member’s dodgy dealings. This member even knew this and it completely explains why they ‘actively concealed’ the existance of the ‘side letters’.

    Sevco fans will never EVER accept that their club died as it doesn’t suit them to do so. Thats life i’m afraid. But every non Sevco fan in Scotland knows otherwise. There is even one bloke above that insists that RFC ARE NOT IN LIQUIDATION, and, it is all ‘a lie’. I know!! Somebody better tell BDO sharpish!

    They even think Charles Green saved the club. The very same Charles Green that said on record that if the CVA fails the club will die and the history will ‘disappear’ with it.

    Funny how a few rabble rousing sessions by Gladys Bighands about it being ‘business as usual’ and everyone else being ‘bigoted’ (lol, I know!!) has not only managed to comfort them in their bereavement but it has also helped perpetuate the illusion that their history didn’t come to an end. We all know the truth!

    Anyway, There is still more to come because Oldco will probably lose the UTTT (this is where Charles Green reverts back to the ‘that was the old club and nothing to do with us line. Which kind of scuppers his ‘same club’ deception’).

    And, what will happen when BDO crunch the numbers and discover that Duff&Duffer sold a multi million pound stadium, car park and training facilty for a palty £5.5m? Surely that wasn’t working ‘in the best interest of creditors’? Which is in any administrators primary remit.

    So, time for a final thought……just imagine, they would’ve been out of ‘the incubator’ by now.

  13. AyrshireScot March 2, 2013 at 5:10 pm Reply

    I fully acknowledge and fully respect that you and other people have a different opinion what I don’t agree with is peoples refusal to accept the legal realities that the club is a continuing entity that has been sold on to another company.

    The desperation and determination of people like yourself to totally refuse this comes across(rightly or wrongly) like it’s driven by hatred of the club.I can’t see any other logical reason why this would even matter to a non Rangers fan !

    I mean we’ve had a Judge of the Supreme court of Scotland say it’s legally the same club.

    We’ve had two QC’s say it’s legally the same club.

    We’ve had a judge earlier on this year in a legal case against the SFA say it’s legally the same club.

    We’ve had SFA say it’s the same club.

    We’ve had the SPL say it’s the same club(confirmed as recently as today when their accounts were published),

    We’ve had the ECA say they’re the same club……..

    What’s it gonna take for you to accept the truth ?

    • Angela Haggerty March 2, 2013 at 5:54 pm Reply

      You mention the same SFA and SPL Rangers fans claim is unfit for purpose and unable to properly administer the game, EXCEPT when they create rules to transfer a membership to a new entity and fast track it into the SFL. You pick and choose which bits suit the argument, what you leave behind is basic common sense. The club owed millions to 276 creditors – the club went out of business.

      The very last resort is to bring the words ‘bitterness’ and ‘hatred’ into it. Try making ‘justice’ a little more prominent.

  14. AyrshireScot March 2, 2013 at 6:51 pm Reply

    See this is exactly what I’m talking about,you say new rules were created to help Rangers the club.This is a total lie that has been bounded about on the internet for ages,what’s shocking is you’re always going on about how bad the media is because it doesn’t investigate properly,so here’s your chance to investigate………

    Lets do something simple,both the SFA and SFL rules are in the public domain and easy to access.Any changes to rules are recorded and noted down when they’re changed.If what you say is true then it’ a simple case of pasting and copying the ‘new’ rules you say were created and when they were created.

    Oh and you won’t be able to do it and why,that’s right because it never happened !

    The only organisation to change rules were the SPL and they did that after the company went into administration.The rules were deliberately changed so they could punish the club further then their old rules allowed.

    The SPL had various meetings after Rangers PLC went into administration and the new rule made up was that there would be no automatic sanctions regime when a SPL club’s parent company enters administration or if they had a NEWCO.Instead punishments would be done on a case by case basis,where the actual clubs come together in a meeting and decide what any punishments are instead of the SPL board.

    When Rangers (the club) were sold on from Rangers plc (the corporate entity) to SEVCO as a going concern,the actual league share was held by Rangers PLC (the corporate entity) and not Rangers (the club).So when the club applied to transfer their league share from one parent company to another the other,clubs had to have a meeting and decided if the transfer would be acceptable or if the club should be further punished and rejected.They obviously choose to punish the club further and rejected the transfer on grounds of ‘sporting integrity’.

    To quote the SPL….

    “With the change in rules meaning that any application for a share transfer would now be considered by the clubs in a general meeting rather than the board, a fixed penalty punishment is not appropriate,” SPL chief executive Neil Doncaster.

    A last point I’l ask are you really suggesting the only way you think justice is done is by destroying a club ?

    • Angela Haggerty March 2, 2013 at 7:06 pm Reply

      The club was destroyed from within. There’s a book about it (I edited it), I suggest you read it, which documents the whole affair in detail – and clarifies exactly why it’s a new club and the role of the governing bodies. It’s called Downfall: How Rangers FC Self Destructed, by Phil Mac Giolla Bhain.

  15. Debra Fergus March 6, 2013 at 1:14 am Reply

    Angela is talking nonsense,from the official SPL accounts: “Following the end of season 2011/12 Rangers Football Club was sold by the Rangers Football Club Plc (in administration) to Sevco Scotland Ltd” . From the SFA. “We are pleased to confirm that agreement has been reached on all outstanding points relating to the transfer of the Scottish FA membership between Rangers FC (In Administration), and Sevco Scotland Ltd, who will be the new owners of The Rangers Football Club. There were a number of complex and challenging issues involved but, primarily, the Scottish FA had to be satisfied that the new owners of Rangers would operate in the best interests of the club, its fans and Scottish football in general.”
    http://www.scottishfa.co.uk/scottish_fa_news.cfm?page=1961&newsCategoryID=3&newsID=10252
    From the SFL founded 1872 all honours listed
    http://www.scottishfootballleague.com/club/rangers/
    From the European Club Assoc. “Rangers are permitted to hold associate membership, which holds no voting rights, as they are one of the founder members of the ECA. The organisation considers the club’s history to be continuous regardless of the change of company.” Founder members in 2008..pretty good going for a club formed in 2012.
    Lord Smith,who i think i would listen to before someone who is obviously hurting,also stated Rangers Football Club was purchased by the Green consortium..Rangers were never dissolved,which is actually what has to happen for a club to,to coin the favourite phrase of celtic fans,”die”…in fact even HMRC and BDO made this point. “Malcolm Cohen and James Stephen from financial company BDO have been appointed as Joint Liquidators. “It’s important to understand that the appointment of liquidators will not mean the end of football at Ibrox – only the end of the company that ran the club,” said Cohen. HMRC “”A liquidation provides the best opportunity to protect taxpayers, by allowing the potential investigation and pursuit of possible claims against those responsible for the company’s financial affairs in recent years. A CVA would restrict the scope of such action. Moreover the liquidation route does not prejudice the proposed sale of the club. This sale can take place either through a CVA or a liquidation.” Indeed the very day HMRC announced they would be rejecting the CVA Rangers administrators made it entirely clear that the club would be sold well before the liquidators ever stepped foot in Ibrox,which of course has now been confirmed by various bodies such as the SPL and Lord Smith etc.
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/0/scotland/18417312
    Unfortunately no one who actually matters listens to Celtic fans when they repeat this nonsense about new clubs..many clubs have changed ownership and remained the same entity. ” Yet many clubs have changed ownership and ownership structure during their histories, and have remained the same entity. Once the Scottish Football Association transferred Rangers’ original licence to Green’s consortium, it was recognised by the governing body, UEFA, and more recently the European Club Association, as the same Rangers: 140 years old.”
    http://www.heraldscotland.com/news/home-news/2012-review-rangers.19790197
    Rangers recieved a transfer of membership also..not a brand new one…bottom line is people like Angela can keep repeating this nonsense until they are,pardon the pun,blue in the face..but no onw who matters is listening to them. I’m glad to say.

    • Angela Haggerty March 6, 2013 at 1:19 am Reply

      If it’s the same club, pay the 276 outstanding creditors. It’s that simple.

  16. Debra Fergus March 6, 2013 at 1:32 am Reply

    There is no need,it has already been confirmed as the same club,indeed,i have asked many friends who support Celtic to show me one official website that states Rangers FC Founded 2012 club honours none..they cannot..why..because no such official site exists..Rangers do not need to pay debts to prove we are the same club,we have all the confirmation we need,from the SPL,SFA,SFL,ECA,and distinguished people such as Lord Smith,as i said,many clubs have changed ownership,many clubs have left debts,unfortunately that has no bearing on the matter of a club’s status..look up a Third Lanark,a Gretna or an Airdrionians and you will see a word that was never associated with Rangers…dissolved..Rangers fans don’t need convinced on this matter,we have all the evidence on our side,the problem for a great many Celtic fans is that,while yes they may keep repeating the new club fiction,in blogs or internet forums,at the end of the day it matters not..the people who matter,the governing bodies etc,High Court Judges,disagree with them,and it’s their opinion that holds sway.

  17. debra fergus March 6, 2013 at 1:44 am Reply

    When i go to Ibrox i am happy in the knowledge that the club i support is the same club that was formed 140 years ago..not because they play in blue,not because they are called Rangers,and not because they play in Govan..but because the governing bodies say they are. What is said on Internet forums or such like is of no importance,and btw..i think Charles Green is doing a great job.

    • Angela Haggerty March 6, 2013 at 9:13 am Reply

      All that matters for you is that you believe it’s the same club. Others don’t, you should learn to accept that. Rangers were liquidated in 2012 owing millions to 276 creditors. They went out of business.

  18. Paul Gormley March 6, 2013 at 2:58 am Reply

    ‘Company that runs the club’

    Have you ever hard such nonsense?

    If they were always going to be the same club after liquidation, shouldn’t they be worshipping craig whyte for not only getting them debt free but for SAVING them by withholding tax and paye to allow them to make it through to the end of the season?

    TRFC FAN:

    ‘Hi guys, now that we have liquidated, you won’t be getting your money back. But we are still the same club, ok?’

    ‘Oh, by the way, 54 and counting. We are the people’

  19. AyrshireScot March 6, 2013 at 4:29 pm Reply

    Yes I have heard it before Paul it’s in the SPL rules…….

    Membership of the Company
    A4 THE OWNER AND OPERATOR OF A CLUB participating in the League shall become a member of the Company by acquiring one Ordinary Share therein at par for cash, such Ordinary Share to be acquired, through the Secretary, in accordance with the provisions of the Articles of Association. The owner and operator of a Club ceasing to be entitled to play in the League shall cease to be a member of the Company and shall relinquish its Ordinary Share at the end of the relevant Season in accordance with the Articles of Association.

    One of the many times in the rules that shows a distinction from company and club.But I’ll give a few more examples of the multitude that are available…

    Lord Glennie in a resent case between Rangers PLC and the SFA ‘This is a petition for judicial review by the Rangers PLC, a company presently in administration.That company presently owns and operates Rangers FC to whom I will refer to as Rangers’

    The liquidators BDO ‘It is important to understand that the appointment of liquidators will not mean an end to football at Ibrox only an end to the company that ran the club’

    Quote from legal document during administration….

    4.1 THE CLUB continued to trade under the control of the Joint Administrators up to the date of the sale of the business and assets of the Company to Sevco on 14 June 2012. During this period, the Club was able to complete all of its remaining SPL fixtures and achieved second place in the final SPL standings for the 2011/2012 season.

    4.5 THE CORPORATE ENTITY which remains under the control of the Joint Administrators i.e. THE COMPANY , will be placed into CVL once all outstanding issues have been attended to. It is likely to be several weeks before this occurs.

    10.9 The history and spirit of THE CLUB have been preserved by the sale which completed on 14 June 2012 and it is now the responsibility of the new owners to secure its future.

  20. Paul Gormley March 7, 2013 at 1:54 am Reply

    The ‘club’ is a concept. This club can be attached to a company, as much as it can be seen as an autonomous, self-supporting entity.

    The is absolutely ZERO EVIDENCE that Rangers Football ‘Club’ was an autonomous, independent club in its own right, which was supported by a company.

    The more that ‘those in power’ say ‘the company that runs the club’; the more they infer that there is a strong link between the two. Moreover, the link between the two becomes substantially stronger when that ‘club’ which the company is claiming it ‘runs’, benefits enormously from relationship between the two.

    In simpler terms. Celtic fans and most neutrals will argue that the link between the two was so strong that they are clearly one entity. As every success the ‘company’ had: the ‘club’ enjoyed the same. Company Successful = Club successful. And most Rangers fans CELEBRATED this ‘holistic’ relationship. Fair play to them!

    But, and it’s a big BUT. What REALLY annoys most ‘fair minded’ people in Scotland is, that when the going got tough for RFC, such as administration and liquidation. They were so very quick to wash their hands of ‘the company that ran the club’ and, they still can’t stress often enough that the company and the club are separate, in a ‘big boy did it and ran away’ type fashion. The serious ‘face-saving’ exercise had kicked in!

    This makes every Neutral or Celtic fan, or whatever, sit up and say ‘wait a minute, never once in their 140 year history has anyone EVER alluded to the fact that their club is seperate form their company… never once’. Even on ‘red card to liquidation day’ they paraded banners saying ‘our history is our heartbeat- NO to liquidation’.

    You have to ask, WHY, was there was NOT ONE reassurance from the MANY RFC supporters clubs that liquidation was indeed NOT the end of the road, and that it would only mean liquidation for the company and NOT THE CLUB.

    I’ll tell you exactly why this wasn’t mentioned. It is because there is indeed NO separation between club and company. Because if there was, be sure at least one person would have mentioned it to the many distraught fans who were in desperate need of some comforting!

    Rangers fans don’t want their old club associated with debt and non-fair play. Of course they don’t! Especially when they are not happy because their new club has to start in DIV 3.

    All of a sudden, out of the blue (LOL) someone mentions ‘company that runs the club’ and there they have it. Who on earth would’ve thought it! The get-out clause. The excuse to say ‘it wasn’t anything to do with us, it was ‘the companies’ fault. ‘We support the club not the company’, and ‘sorry creditors that you didn’t get your money back, but it wasn’t us, it was the company than ran the club that did it’. (claiming premature victory in the big tax case was quite funny because all of a sudden they wanted to be associated with the previous ‘company’, but when it came to paying the 276 creditors, they wanted nothing to do with the previous company, another Charles Green-ism!)

    I’m not really concerned what certain ‘people in power’ say. So far as I am concerned. A club and company are one and the same. The enjoy success as one. They suffer failure as one.

    The positive correlation between a successful club and a successful company are far too strong for any dichotomy to be drawn. They are inextricably linked and depend upon each other for their success (or failure).

    So in any kind of Sporting context. It is imperative that any club which is ran by any company be thought of as one entity. There is never any ‘innocent bystander’ when it come to success or failure. If one goes down, the other goes down. And visa-versa.

    A club, is a club, is a club. There is no hiding behind some false dichotomy. For the sake of fairness in our game.

  21. Davy March 17, 2013 at 10:42 pm Reply

    We can go on n on about the rights n wrongs about what happened in the case of rangers but hopefully celtic fans can now move on from this knowing that the only things rangers were actually guilty of was failing to send side letters to the spl and failing to pay the taxes under Craig whytes regime, now lets face facts other clubs in scotland actually owed more than that to the taxman. The taxman tried rangers and failed proving that the use of EBT’s was never in fact illegal as all the haters of rangers would have had us believe. Lord nimmo tried rangers and the only thing they could come up with was the use of side letters, which they stated did not affect the outcome of football matters.

    Lets get this straight, rangers have been found not guilty on all the important cheating charges. Moving on to the cva, rangers offered all creditors pay-offs, which nearly all accepted, but hmrc were the ones who rejected the cva, it was in fact them and not rangers who made those companies lose out on their money.

    I’m glad Angela is now acknowledging the fact that rangers are in fact still the same club and that the titles and trophies still actually belong to the rangers of today. Thank you for that angela. The vendetta against rangers should now stop and we should now be allowed to move on in peace to get back to where we rIghtfully belong which is the top of Scottish football. We welcome the chase 140 years and counting

    • Angela Haggerty March 17, 2013 at 10:58 pm Reply

      Lord Nimmo Smith found Rangers guilty but could not deem the players ineligible because of evidence submitted by the SFA’s Sandy Bryson on player registration rules. The SFA’s inability to enforce its own rules is clearer than ever.

      On EBTs – Murray accepted tax liability in five cases before the HMRC tribunal even began. On the cases found in Rangers’ favour, HMRC has been granted leave to appeal those decisions. There was another tax case covering a period before the big tax case era, under David Murray, in which he again accepted the club had not paid millions in taxes. Those taxes were never paid, that debt to HMRC went with the liquidated club. The club also failed to pay taxes under Craig Whyte, as you correctly point out, meaning that even if the tax tribunal decision is not overturned, Rangers went out of business owing tens of millions of pounds in tax.

      Both Lord Nimmo Smith and the first-tier tribunal over EBTs noted the deliberate concealment of paperwork relating to payments made to Rangers staff over more than a decade.

      I have not acknowledged that the two clubs involved are the same club. If anything, Lord Nimmo Smith’s decision to fine the old club only further shows that two clubs are involved. New Rangers is not liable because New Rangers was formed in 2012.

  22. Davy March 18, 2013 at 1:15 am Reply

    For Scottish football fans this says two things: 1. The old club was able to breach player registration rules and continue to win titles while all other Scottish clubs played by the rules, and 2. Charles Green’s new Rangers, founded in 2012 and without debt, has been enabled by Scottish football’s governing body to claim he owns the trophies won by Rangers during its 140 year history.

    For Rangers fans, the Third Division now doesn’t look like such a bad deal; they have an (almost) debt-free club they can claim is still Rangers

    (These are your quotes)

    On the EBT’S situation HMRC were chasing rangers for the illegal use of EBT’S but if these loans were illegal rangers would have been found guilty in all cases, not just some, instead they were found not guilty. The question was never “did rangers use EBT’s”, it was common knowledge, the question was always “were rangers breaking any laws” using this method. Again I’d say the not guilty verdict is pretty clear. So now u will clutch at straws by saying that even if HMRC’s appeal fails, rangers will still have been in the wrong b’cos of Craig whyte. No rangers were not in the wrong, Craig whyte the swindler gained out of that not rangers so to tar the club with that is pretty unfair

    • Angela Haggerty March 18, 2013 at 2:24 am Reply

      Yes, I said Charles Green and Rangers fans claim it is the same club – this isn’t news. We know they claim it is the same club – that doesn’t mean it is.

      • Walter Gallacher April 2, 2013 at 1:39 pm

        It’s strange. I would have expected the ’emotion’ to come from the Rangers fans given the recent history of the club and given there was so much at stake for their fans and the ‘facts’ about the club not existing to have been supported by legal or ‘quasi-legal’ reference such as footballing statutes and for proponents of that argument to provide facts. All the evidence either legal, footie governing bodies or quotes from BDO or HMRC is coming from Rangers fans and the ’emotion’ is coming from Angela and Paul. I don’t see how justice can be served by emotion. It is also a horrible irony that those who express pity for the creditors who suffered are often those who wished Rangers to ‘die’.

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