Commercial Benefits Outweigh Sporting Integrity – Official!

Michael Johnston, the boy who supported Rangers but grew up to be the chairman of Kilmarnock F.C., has told the BBC,
“Members (of the SPL) see the commercial benefits of having Rangers, even as a newco.  The clubs are mindful of a sporting integrity aspect but the commercial benefits may outweigh that.”
BBC website

In a few words, Mr. Johnston has now admitted a scandalous state of affairs which has been apparent for decades to anyone who chose not to ignore it.  It is a poor consolation for those of us who have routinely been accused of paranoia that an insider has finally confirmed for us that the principle of rigging football matches and tournaments for commercial benefit™ would be accepted as decent business policy.
This should not come as the slightest surprise to anyone who has watched professional football objectively for any length of time.  But it does rather let the cat out of the bag with regard to many of the stock replies to criticisms levelled against referees, to take but one example.
“Nobody should be questioning the integrity of the officials,” we are regularly told.
Why not?
We now know from an official source, that commercial benefits™ can outweigh the integrity so why should we have any doubt that a controversial penalty could just as easily have been awarded for commercial reasons as for any sporting ones.  If referees (or their bosses) believe that there will be more commercial benefit™ for the game – or themselves – if Rangers win the league rather than Aberdeen, it follows that Mark Hately won’t be penalised for fouling the Aberdeen goalkeeper to score in a game which Rangers absolutely need to win.

If the entire staff of (say) Kilmarnock F.C. are instructed by their chairman that their team must, yet again, lie down and accept a hammering in their upcoming fixture against (say) Rangers, it would be entirely reasonable for each of them to reap some commercial benefit™ by betting as much money as they could raise on a bet with a bookmaker.  Sporting integrity probably wouldn’t make them nearly as much money as throwing the game, would it?  And since we have their chairman’s own word for it that commercial benefits™ can take precedence, then it is entirely fair to suspect that this scenario is by no means unlikely.  Indeed, is there any reason for the two teams not to collude in the process for even greater, mutual commercial benefit™?  If you’re going to throw the game, why not get a better price from the bookies for a correct score?  Why not identify the first scorer as well?  And the half-time score.  In effect, it’s free money.

Why not, Mr. Johnston?

There would be far greater commercial benefits™ all round in those circumstances and the only argument against it is that it would compromise sporting integrity.  That’s no longer any argument at all when it has been openly conceded to be a secondary consideration to commercial benefits™.  So why not go the whole hog?  Why not rig every single game which is capable of being influenced by people who share Mr. Johnston’s priorities?

It’s easy!  In fact, it’s much easier than running an honest game in which financial considerations don’t rule out the possibility of a smaller team vanquishing one with more money riding on a victory.  An economic catastrophe such as an early European exit to Kaunus or Maribor or Malmo or AEK Athens is a huge blow to a club which has already seriously over-extended its credit with its bank.  If that bank is not in control of the credit lines of the club’s opponents, then catastrophes such as the loss of Champions League money are very real dangers.  It is less of a danger if the opponents are dependent upon the goodwill and understanding of the same bank and might be in danger of losing that goodwill if they perform in such a way that the prize money ends up going to one of the few clubs which has a different banker.
Sporting integrity might have excluded that possibility in the old days but now that commercial benefits™ hold sway, it would be naive to suggest that it could not happen.  It would be just as naive to believe that it has not happened or that it does not happen regularly.

Most of those whose integrity cannot be compromised by commercial inducements will soon be squeezed out of the picture.
Is there an honest, ambitious manager who won’t follow the script?  He can’t force players to play well if they are serving another master.  There is also a limit to the number of bad refereeing performances which any manager can overcome.  When he can’t get satisfactory results it won’t be long until he joins the countless others who are no longer involved in the game.

What of a player who infuriatingly insists on trying to give his all and is doggedly immune to any suggestions that he ought to “modify” his performance in certain circumstances?  He has to get into the team first.  Even if he is selected, he also needs his team-mates to give him the right ball or make themselves available for a pass or make the right runs to draw opponents out of position.  Players are the easiest figures of all to marginalise.  No player can win a game unaided or even force his way into the team if the manager dictates that he isn’t “worthy” of a place.

Ah!  But they’d never get away with it, would they?  The inherent corruption would soon be exposed by the press.  What a scoop!  Most pundits and commentators, having been involved in the game themselves, would instantly recognise the signs of . . .  oh, dear.
Hold on, there could be a problem here.

Football referees have more discretion than the umpires in almost any other sport and their decisions can not be challenged by any appeal to technological assistance.  If Andy Murray’s forehand is called long, he can ask to see the proof.  A cricketer can question a run-out or an LBW decision and call for the evidence to be displayed.  Rugby, American football, ice hockey, athletics, even horse-racing – horse-racing! –  routinely use video technology to ensure that the correct decision is not only made but, even more importantly, it is seen to be made.  Not so with football.  If Dougie McDonald says it’s a penalty, it’s a penalty.  If he says it’s not a penalty, it’s not a penalty.  He can even employ the doublethink motif from Orwell’s 1984 and make both decisions for the same incident!  History can be rewritten later as,  “This is not a penalty. This has always not been a penalty.”

In any case, decisions on penalties and marginal offsides are not necessarily the most influential ones. A football referee, acting in the interests of the greatest commercial benefit™ as opposed to the principles of sporting integrity, has endless opportunities in the course of the match to swing the result one way rather than the other.  His discretion constantly allows him to rule that a crude tackle from behind is a foul when one team does it but not a foul when it’s committed by the other team.  One team’s defenders can hold on to their opponents without fear of conceding a penalty while the other one dare not give the ref a chance to point to the spot.  One challenge merits a yellow or red card while another one isn’t even a foul, despite the fact that they appear to be identical incidents.  This is ball-to-hand but that is hand-to ball.  And so on.
By the time Robbie Keane has been kicked up in the air for the fifth or sixth time by his opponent, he won’t be capable of trapping a bag of cement even when he’s no longer being fouled.  No defender was ever allowed to mete out the same treatment to a Rangers player such as Kris Boyd.  In the course of a match between two teams which are relatively closely matched, this kind of refereeing is enough to frustrate one team while boosting the other.  If  commercial benefit™  is a consideration, then it’s precisely what we can expect to see.  It’s precisely what we do see.  Often.

All that then remains is for the media to defend the referee’s performance with the standard-issue platitudes with which we are all too familiar – “The refs have a difficult job; he got most of the big decisions right; he might be a bit disappointed with himself when he sees that one again; I’m sure he calls it as he sees it; he’s depending on his linesman on that one; it was a mistake but it was an honest mistake; nobody should question the referee’s integrity. . . blah, blah, blah.”
Job done, off to the bookies to cash in the bonus.

Fortunately, Michael Johnston has now cleared up the confusion which used to surround these apparent anomalies.  The sacrifice of sporting integrity before the supreme consideration of commercial benefit™ explains it all.  Nothing can be considered fair while people like Mr. Johnston and those who speak well of him are involved in running the game.  Every match, every cup, every relegation and every championship title must be suspected of being no more than a meaningless, empty pretence which has been planned, scripted and presented by the game’s controllers for the commercial benefit™ of the self-selecting cheats who are in on the scam.
I’ve reckoned as much for years.

At least it’s now official.


Posted on May 6, 2012, in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink. 84 Comments.

  1. Excellent piece Henry, found it via Phil’s twitter link.

    Certainly puts the term “honest mistakes” in perspective as well

  2. deludedCFCfan

    great first article, it leads me to ask the question though, and maybe unfairly so before all this so called mess was out in the public due to some other great blogs/freelance journalists, that already it was known within the “chairman” circles of rangers impending doom – I refer back to the SPL season of 2008/2009. When Rangers won the league on the very last day of the season with an easy 3-0 Victory against Dundee UTD and celtic could only draw against Hearts.

    My point being – it was not in a commercial sense beneficial for RFC to lose that year as financially that would be crippling then as they had already suffered financially from the past 3 seasons with celtic dominating in the league.(even taken into consideration there runner up form of 2007) The Automatic group stage money was needed.

    With the celtics boards continued silence on the matter *which i am not saying is wrong only frustrating* it leads me to ask questions. Especially considering was it not only in January that Mr Lawwell came out and said that Celtic are independent of Rangers and was so convincing to say we didnt need them.

    What i am trying to get across which may come over as being delusional is that i would not be surprised if the game was edged towards rangers winning that league because if it didnt the whole charade would have came to ahead sooner before Murray could get a buyer for Rangers!!

    Was this not the same season (i could be wrong) that we failed to sign Fletcher in January instead only opting for Mr Willo Flood? where it was seen his goal prowess could have killed off rangers hopes. Our board didn’t stump up the money.

    I commend celtics board on the stability that they have deployed to keeping celtics debts low whilst still investing in the team, but i think its now time to either take a stand or show our hand as i fear we are just going to tow in line and be the cause of death to scottish football in 2012/2013

    • I share your suspicions about how poorly Celtic appeared to play a strong hand at the time of the now notorious “Willo Flood transfer window.” I still haven’t formed a conclusive opinion on why the board appeared to drop the ball at that time. It may just have been a reluctance to gamble the club’s financial model on a signing which might or might not have been a success. The players who were already on the books should have been able to retain the title comfortably from the position that they held with only four games to go.

      On the one hand, it’s been a long standing tradition for Celtic boards to resist giving an incumbent manager the funds he has asked for at crucial points of a closely fought campaign. On the rare occasions when the gamble has been taken, it hasn’t necessarily worked (Bellamy and Keane, for example).

      On the other hand, Celtic aren’t in administration!

    • the good and the great

      The very season I gave up my season ticket – I had to watch my team constantly keep possession in our own half before a goal had been scored. Strachan went from hero to zero. I think someone on the Kerrydale Street Forum (not sure if that is where I read it) said at the time there had been rumours of a midnight meeting at Hampden of all the SPL Chairmen(Rangers were about 80M in debt at that point) and he was laughed at as a paranoid Celtic Fan – after reading the article nothing would surprise me!

      • That’s interesting. I didn’t hear that rumour at the time but I had the same suspicion that the fix was in that season. It was reinforced when it became common knowledge that Strachan was going to move on at the end of the season. I felt that it was not out of the question that he may have handed in his notice when he was made aware of what was deemed necessary “for the good of Scottish football.”

        • the good and the great

          Henry – it is also interesting (and you can correct me if I am wrong) that Rangerstaxcase (RTC) said at the beginning of his/her blog that RFC(IA) were only a “side show”?

          • That’s correct, TGATG. I’m fairly certain that Alex Thomson is also looking at it that way.
            In my opinion, the ramifications of this sordid scandal have barely been touched upon.
            This is a much bigger story than the downfall of a rotten, corrupt football club.

            • the good and the great

              Henry – WOW – will we see sporting integrity win the day? – surely too many people (internet bampots) are now watching and commenting to allow this to be swept under the carpet? Oh wait, the cynic in me says this is Scottish Football and the great “”establishment” will have too much clout to facilitate deceit again?

            • I think it’s too early to say if sporting integrity will win the day. It must at least survive this crisis and live to fight another day in better shape and on higher ground. At the same time, integrity could lose the day through spineless cowardice and that it the first and most pressing danger to avoid in the immediate present.
              To win the long term battle it will be essential to come to terms with exactly what has gone wrong and how it happened. All of this will have to be examined and analysed in minute detail and in great depth. That’s the point when entire new dimensions will reveal themselves.

        • the good and the great

          And in addition to my previous – I think the poster who rumoured about the SPL Chairmen said that John Reid was collecting a “dossier” and again I think he was laughed at because certain factions believed he was a “war criminal”). Not a fan of twitter/facebook but perhaps someone should contact Alex Thomson to interview John Reid to see it the rumours were true?

  3. vandalgrease1

    An interesting read that will no doubt have our trusty media scrambling for the paranoia tag as opposed to actually addressing the issue. However, with the revelation that at least one SPL chairman prioritizes short-term financial gain before the integrity and spirit of sport- the legitimate questions raised in this article must be asked.

    We already know that one team can commit the kind of sustained and systemic cheating- coupled with the blatant shafting of hundreds of creditors from small business’ to HMRC- that would make you shake your head in disbelief, and yet be rewarded for doing so; by the “coincidental” invention of new rules which allow that club to continue as normal, relatively unscathed, even if they decide to form a new company in order to relieve itself of some. unwanted debt.

    So where does it end?

    At what point does this reliance on a “Strong Rangers” outweigh the need for a sport to actually be, yes, sporting?

    Sporting integrity should be a given in any sportanywhere around the world. Otherwise it isn’t a sport.

    Is it now too late to reintroduce the concept of fairness and integrity to Scottish Football?

    Worryingly, it appears that way.

    RIP Scottish Football.


  4. Excellent, essay, Henry.

    Where does the game in Scotland go from here I honesty do not know, but if Celtic plc do not involve UEFA at a high level or do not put up any legal challenge to a decision to admit Newco then I really fear for the future of our club.

    At the very least we put an interdict or legal block on signing any new TV deal, one thing the SPL/Oldco/Newco don’t have is time.

    I would rather see £2m spent on legal challenges than on a new player this summer.
    Doing nothing is simply not an option.

    • I totally agree that active resistance is absolutely essential at this point. It’s clear that the pro-cheating faction are determined to build up their momentum as the day of reckoning begins to dawn.

      They must not be allowed to succeed through the inertia of the anti-cheating majority.

  5. Brilliant piece Henry. Puts everything into context. I am going to Tannadice today,but this could be the last time this Coatbridge Bhoy attends an away match. HH Coogy

  6. A decent read although if I dare say it a little paranoid (oh no he said the “P” word).
    As much as MJ’s comments anger and frustrate the majority of football fans the reality is that the likes of Lawell and Desmond will be thinking the exact same ! Regardless of what he may say to the press, etc PL would rather “they” ,in whatever form they come out of this, are still in the SPL.
    We should look to win the battles that can influence the form this newco takes through the punishments, embargos and financial penalties that can be handed to them.
    Personally, I want the bastards wiped from history, all titles and trophies won during the dual contracts era to be stripped ! I want a 2 year transfer embargo. I want them financially crippled to the point they are just alive and able to field some kind of team. Hell you could even stick them in the 3rd div. And see if Traynor’s plan for them to be like Barca in 3 years would work !?
    I want the newco to be an ACTUAL newco! Line drawn, dead and buried. Call themselves what they like, but don’t EVER let them forget what they are and how they came to be. Lying,cheating scum who would sell their collective grannies for 3 points!
    Sadly they WILL be an SPL team, we must accept that and fight to have the toughest sanctions imposed on them. The silence over dual contracts is deafening, this is where I believe rangers (ia) will be hurt the most in the long run.

    • Mick Na Gopaleen.

      Surely a chairman of a football club who holds commercial interests above sporting integrity should be found not to be “fit and proper” by the guardians if the game.

    • Thanks for your comment, Andrew.
      I don’t believe that there is anything inevitable about the inclusion in next season’s SPL of a brand new club which doesn’t even exist at the moment. That battle has still to be fought and I’m not prepared to concede it at this early stage.
      Notwithstanding the shameless tripe that is being spouted by some of the most unfit persons ever to hold prominent positions in Scottish soccerball, the pro-cheating lobby still face plenty of enormous obstacles in their way. It will only take one insurmountable one to thwart their dishonourable intentions.

  7. Brilliant piece Henryc,

    Said for a good few months now that Celtic are at serious risk here. I firmly believe the Celtic board have been holding their counsel for a good few months whilst applying pressure in the right areas to ensure that the appropriate punishments are meted out in relation to the tax evasion, tax avoidance, failure to register dozens of players appropriately, failure to pay for players signed etc etc etc.

    Now that we have a situation where Uefa seem content to let the SFA (and SPL) deal with the situation, Celtic need to, through the board and fans spokesmen, lay down the gauntlet to the governing bodies of football in our country and beyond as well as launching a legal and PR campaign to expose the truths about the Rangers (in administration) situation. They’re getting a relatively easy ride from the media (@alextomo notwithstanding) with the whole these being “we know they did wrong, we know they deserve to be punished for those wrongs but we think those punishments should neither be fitting nor in any way meaningful) and they’re getting a free pass from people and groups within Scottish Football who have only short-term, vested interests to cater for.

    The baw is very nearly burst. This will be an incredibly interesting week.



    • Thanks WV.

      I am not totally convinced that the Celtic board is sufficiently determined yet to ensure that the principles of sporting integrity dominate the issue. I have no great criticism of how they have been handling this up until now provided that they have been simply biding their time before landing the knock-out punch. If they have been playing the long game, well and good.

      I do still have a worry that they – and the chairmen of other SPL clubs – suspect that the anger of the supporters will die down eventually after everyone gets used to the idea of a Newco in the SPL.

      Only the supporters themselves can force them to recognise what an enormous blunder that would be.

      • I don’t disagree. If the board can get the outcome that is necessary without being seen to have pulled the trigger or having been involved in the deliberations, they’d gladly take it – we’ve seen that it would be best to not invite the ire of the rangers supporting public.

        That being said, the board cannot be ignorant of the strength of feeling within the support. It’s a difficult position for sure. Do something and attract the blame for everything that goes awry for the next few years (falling gates, tv deal reduction) from everyone who will choose to believe Celtic are only interested in romping the league for the next decade (that’s how it is being spun already). Do nothing and receive the mother of all backlashes from the Celtic support.

        I don’t want rangers to die by the way. I want them beaten on the pitch because they are our rivals. I want them punished because they’ve cheated. I want them to pay their dues because they’re owed. All the rangers supporting public seem to want is a slap on the wrist and to carry on regardless!

  8. buckfastswallier

    Great stuff Henry.

  9. Am I the only person who thought of Jim Gannon while reading the part about Managers who won’t “play ball”?

    • I’ll bet you’re not!

      In other news, Mike Newell appears to have been entirely lost to the game ever since he tried to blow the whistle about other aspects of football corruption with regard to transfer scams, dodgy agents, bungs and more. Despite being one of the more articulate, intelligent football men, he can’t even get a gig as a pundit now.

  10. My goodness. It reads as if you were reading my mind. I agree with every single word.

    It also explains why Kilmarnock, whilst losing, were time wasting against Celtic when goal difference decided the league (and Dunfermline lay down to Rangers, Chris Sutton) in 2003.

  11. BiggusMannus

    When Celtic do speak out I hope that it comes from the top. By that I mean Dermot Desmond or Peter Lawell as I would not want the words coming from Neil Lennon for obvious reasons. Also he was on the receiving end of losses to Rangers during his playing career which might well be overturned and it may come across as ‘personal’. Black Sunday will then be known as Green Day.

    • Peter Lawwell, as the CEO, is the correct man to speak for the club so that there is no doubt about the official position.

      If Dermot also wants to say a few words about the realities of the financial situation, I’m sure many of us would be grateful.
      After all, the considered opinions of a genuine billionaire carry far more authority than the ravings of a chairman who thinks Scottish football depends upon the continued existence of a club which can’t or won’t pay its taxes, bank loans, transfer fees, electricity bills or local newsagent.

  12. TheBlackKnight TBK

    Henry, a well written and thought provoking piece.
    It certainly raises some very serious and interesting questions.

    It raises many issues we as Celtic supporters, but perhaps more so for those who follow the so called lesser teams, have had in the back of our minds. Is it a “commercial benefit” to have Rangers and Celtic in the top 6 to satisfy a television contract? Is it a “commercial benefit” to have Rangers win the title, particularly in light of the past 3 seasons and their financially stricken position?

    Dismissed and derided as being paranoid, conditioned into believing “these thing even themselves out”. Well do they?

    Do the comments of Mr Johnston that “commercial benefit” outweigh sporting integrity have a direct effect on the playing field, and by association the officials, then yes, it appears so!

  13. These are indeed the questions, TBK. Sadly, I think we all know the answers.
    I think it’s vital that Celtic supporters recognise the importance of the questions for all of the other clubs. This is a season in which the three major trophies are going to three different trophy rooms. Every club in Scotland should have the right to expect that to be the norm rather than the exception.
    I’d argue that no club has suffered more from the lack of sporting integrity than Aberdeen. Cheating the Dons out of titles denied them a well-deserved and hard-earned chance to consolidate their position as one of Scotland’s major powers.

  14. You’ve just exposed the poverty of the utilitarian mentality. Great stuff!

    Let justice be done though the heavens fall.

  15. We all know that 3 in a row HAD to happen, there were officials refs and linesmen who made sure The Rangers would not lose games and make sure we lost points and thus helped them win 3 Leagues. This led to CL money and prolonged the events which are now happening, if they had not been helped along the way then all of this would have kicked in 3 years ago. Sutton was not wrong!

    • Thanks for commenting, Frank.
      Since it’s now official that financial considerations may trump sporting integrity, there is no question that your points are valid interpretations of what we witnessed.

  16. How could Scottish football be called a “sport” after this? It will be on a par with WWF. I am absolutely disgusted that a sport I have followed for 25 years is now openly fixed, that a team I have supported for 25 years may become meaningless because they are no longer involved in “competition” but a farce of a “league”. Sickening for decent football fans.

    • It’s like the moment when we realise there’s no Santa. It was great when we could believe that there really was some magic, philanthropic dude who flew around the world dispensing gifts.
      It’s an illusion that has to be jettisoned, however much it hurts, before we can make progress the real world.

  17. Good article again but I’ve known within my own mind that ALL the chairmen of the SPL will choose which is the best commercial decision, however the fans of the other clubs can choose to boycott away games to start with showing them it’s the FANS who hold the power here.

    Unhappy with the SFA? Boycott the Scottish Cup! SPL? Boycott the League Cup too!

    • It’s up to the fans, as you say, to impress upon chairmen who don’t care much for sporting integrity that the worst possible commercial decision would be to drive the vast majority of the current fanbase away from the game altogether.

  18. Do you not think the silence from Celtic (and other clubs, except Dunfermline) mean they also agree, but don’t want to say? While I find this whole situation disgusting, I don’t think it would be fair for the clubs to put their future’s on the line, because the governing body is too scared to tackle the situation.

    The individual chairmen have a huge decision to make – let Rangers in, and they could face repercussions, refuse entry and they could lose TV money and away money.

    In an ideal world, money wouldn’t matter. But Scottish football isn’t an ideal world. Business, unfortunately, comes before sports in modern football. The clubs will make the decision that benefits them, not for the good of the game.

    It’s quite a leap (and libellous to the other teams) to assume match fixing played a part. Had they not won the title that season, they would have faced severe cutbacks, but they would still be there – even if they entered admin. Any accusations of match fixing is paranoid drivel, and wont help the cause.

    Celtic have also played a part in this situation, where money trumps fairness. Successive boards have shaped the league to a point where only two teams can ever dream of winning it – do you not think us “diddy” fans think that is unfair? The desire to be “moral guardians” of the league is rather ironic, all considering.

    I also do not buy in to this “EBT = Cheating” stuff. EBTs were legal at the time, so it was perfectly reasonable for any team to use them. However, if there was a second contract, that is cheating.

    I also disagree with any boycotts. Who will you harm by boycotting away grounds? Innocent people. Peter Houston estimated Dundee Utd would lose £600k alone from Rangers fans boycotting – if other teams do it, could they survive? Remember – without the small clubs, the SPL is nothing.

    Scottish football is at a cross-roads, but rash decisions must not be made. Clubs must balance their future security with the need for fairness.

    A “Diddy Club” supporter.

    • TheBlackKnight TBK

      Callum, from a fan of a club that has done nothing wrong to a fan of a club that has done nothing wrong, I do not believe it fair to punish other clubs for the misdemeanour of another.

      That said however, if the Celtic support choose to bhoycott other clubs (including their own) what will be the result? Celtic have the largest travelling support. It would be more damaging to the SPL than any threatened action by the Rangers support. Add to this the general feelling that if the rules are changed to allow Rangers off scot free or allow a Newco direct entry to the league, the game is up!

      Is that of “commercial benefit”?

      I do not see any supporters of other clubs coming to the side of Rangers. There is no recognisable amount of fans from other clubs that suggest they will boycott games if Rangers are not allowed back in. The reverse however is measurable and it is considerable.

      The key to this is the TV contract. If clubs could live within their means and a fairer distribution of TV money, whatever that turns out to be, is the way forward. 3pm kick offs, and fairer pricing structure would encourage local fans to come out and support their teams. Greater competition as we have seen this season and a chance for clubs outside of the top 2 to win something.

      The demise of Rangers could be HHS best opportunity to ‘fix’ the game, not fix the game!

      • Most teams within the SPL have budgeted for both the TV contract (which requires both Old Firm teams) and the visits of both teams. Many teams could not afford to lose this money, no matter what way the vote goes.

        A compromise is in order. Rangers must be punished, but it must not punish the other teams. We lose out on their revenue, we will downsize. We lose out on your away fans, we will downsize. With some teams having enormous debt for their size (Kilmarnock and Hearts in particular), losing say £1m could be catastrophic.

        We also need to look at how the sanctions (if any) would benefit the rest of the league:
        – a points deduction isn’t going to help any team bar Celtic, to be brutally honest. Rangers will be banned from Europe, so 3rd place next season is already essentially 2nd.
        – relegation will cause the league’s TV deal with Sky to collapse, lose a few thousand supporters once or twice per year, for each team and could cause players to look over the SPL
        – a financial penalty makes the most sense, but they will not exactly be flush with cash – and many fans won’t support it.

        Us fans tend to have a differing outlook on football than those in charge. Most of us only care about success on the pitch, so seeing Rangers in the league would anger many.

        I’d support letting newco Rangers in the league, if they were faced with a financial penalty, which would be distributed to the various clubs. I’d also hope Celtic fans wouldn’t punish the other clubs by boycotting, and would prefer to get their revenge over Rangers on the pitch.


        • TheBlackKnight TBK

          So, if proven, cheats must be maintained at all costs to prop up other clubs? Expulsion or even relegation can never happen.

          Not in my name!

        • TheBlackKnight TBK

          can you weigh up the benefit to 1st, 2nd and 3rd division clubs that would no doubt prosper from an, albeit reduced but faithful, ‘true’ Rangers (football) support?

    • Thanks for commenting, Calum.
      You make a number of points but one that I won’t accept is your claim that “any accusations of match fixing is paranoid drivel.”

      I trust I do not have to list instances of match-fixing which have been proven at every level of the game from the European club championship down to the lowest of non-league divisions. Nor should it be necessary to me to name the football club directors who have received lifelong bans from the game or even jail sentences. I’d certainly not like to think that you are unaware of professional referees who have been given prison terms, fines and life bans.
      I’ll take the understanding that match-fixing exists as a given and move on.

      Integrity is either non-negotiable or non-existent. There is no such thing as integrity with a price-tag on it.
      It is neither drivel nor paranoia to consider the possibility of irregularities, including match-fixing, in a league in which a club chairman openly announces that his integrity can be bought.
      Let there be no misunderstanding about the importance of that. Mr Johnston has stated unequivocally that his integrity has its price and it can be shunted to one side if the commercial benefits are substantial enough to outweigh whatever scruples he has.

      In the absence of integrity, the way is clear for match-fixing. It is not libellous or paranoid or drivel to make that logical deduction from the known facts.

    • EBT’s were legal if used properly. Rangers were advised on their proper use but decided to ignore the advice.

      EBT’s were designed to provide loans for a company’s employees and families.

      Rangers used them to pay players wages which then made the payments liable for PAYE and NI.

      Needless to say Rangers did not pay the tax man.

      This effectively meant Rangers had a financial advantage over every other SPL club including Celtic.

      That, my friend, is cheating.

    • Callum, thanks for taking the time to put your thoughts across.
      (1) I agree with your view that there are no clubs whose directors are relishing this situation and I don’t think any of them are in a great rush to make the decisions which are going to be of gigantic significance to Scottish football. I sense that almost every one of them would be delighted if some other party – HMRC, Duff & Phelps, the FTT(T), the Police, anyone at all – made a move which would take the situation out of the SPL’s hands altogether. I suspect that there is a certain degree of procrastination going on here in the hope that other events will make the SPL’s responsibilities irrelevant.
      But in the end, it’s their duty to make tough decisions. If they can’t stand the heat, they should never have gone into the kitchen. But now that they actually are in the kitchen, they’d better learn very quickly what the difference is between a decent, square meal and a cup of poison. If they think that what you say is true – i.e. that business comes before fair play – then they will be poisoning the game. That will definitely not be in their best interests in the long term and probably not in the short term either. Unless the sport is fair, there is no product. And if there’s no product, there’s no business.
      It’s really as straightforward as that.

    • (2) I totally fail to see how Celtic are to be blamed for “playing a part in this situation.”
      Why? For being wealthier now than they used to be?
      Because the club’s own supporters put in enough of their own money to turn the club around from the brink of administration and build it up into what it is today?
      Why on earth is that a fault?
      I frequently hear this unreasonable criticism of Celtic’s relative wealth coming from supporters of clubs outwith the traditional big two.
      But not once in fifty years of following football have I ever heard Dundee or Dundee Utd supporters bewailing the malign influence of their clubs on poor old Tayport FC.
      The next Aberdeen supporter who mourns because Cove Rangers can’t seriously compete with the mighty Dons will be the first.
      I don’t suppose Kilmarnock have ever plundered the Junior leagues in Ayrshire and offered talented youngsters the chance to play at a higher level?
      I certainly remember Motherwell and Clyde and Partick Thistle doing just that.
      As for the fans of Inverness Caley Thistle and Ross County who never miss a chance to sneer at the latest rumour about Celtic and Rangers investigating the possibility of playing in a bigger league — would those be the same fans who couldn’t get out of the Highland League fast enough as soon as the chance came along? Could they be the same ones who had loftier aspirations and felt they were too good to slum it with the likes of Clachnacuddin and Nairn County?
      Aye, I thought so.
      So it’s not really a valid basis for criticism, is it?

      I actually have the greatest respect for clubs such as ICT and Ross County. I lived in the Highlands until recently and I regularly watched both clubs. I remember watching Caledonian (as they then were) knocking Airdrieonians out of the Scottish Cup in 1990 after extra time and penalties – the coldest I have ever been at any match! I watched Caley and County rise through the SFL divisions and I’ve seen each of them win the Challenge Cup in Perth.
      I am delighted to see both of them now in the SPL.
      They richly deserve to be there because both clubs have built themselves up by their own efforts in association with their supporters.
      They didn’t dodge tens of millions of pound of taxes to do it.
      They didn’t build their success on bank loans of hundreds of millions of pounds of zombie money which was never to be repaid.

      They are where they are now because they’ve earned it and each club is an excellent model of how to run a professional football club properly in Scotland.
      That also goes for Celtic.

    • (3) “EBTs were legal at the time,” you say. Yes, but that doesn’t mean that it was lawful to use them for paying wages.
      That is not what they were designed for. It’s the unlawful abuse of EBTs by Rangers which HMRC have objected to.
      In much the same way that a car is legal but that doesn’t mean that you can lawfully drive through a pedestrian precinct at 70 mph, so Rangers have been pulled up for using EBTs in an unlawful manner.
      Apart from their troubles with the tax authorities, Rangers also seem to have concealed relevant and required paperwork from the football authorities which means that their players were not properly registered to play for them. The cheating part comes in because they fielded those players even though they knew that they had not been properly registered. That concealment stemmed from their EBT tax dodging scheme which, understandably, they wanted to keep very quiet about.

      Finally – boycotts. You pays your money and you takes your choice.
      You might call it choosing not to buy a load of rubbish. Or consumer choice. Or a boycott. The name doesn’t matter.
      But nobody is obliged to support any football club.
      And no club has a right to expect supporters to buy tickets.
      Everyone is perfectly entitled to decide against spending their own money on a product which they don’t think is good value.
      If that means tough times for football clubs whose chairmen think commercial benefit overrides sporting integrity, then more fool them for not anticipating a backlash from honest customers.
      And shame on them too for assuming that most of their customers have no principles.
      Of course the reverse also applies – chairmen who are brave enough under pressure to do the right thing deserve to stay in business.
      They will be supported by fans who value fair play.
      If those clubs are in the majority then there is hope for Scottish football’s future.
      If not, it’s doomed.

  19. Brilliant article, every day that passes its being proven that TIMMY isn’t paranoid afterall, im hoping to get out ov my padded cell any time soon, i cannot think ov any league in Europe/world thats Football authoritys would not jump at the chance to finaly clean up and restructure what has knowingly been corrupt and biased for years, no only in Scotland would u see an F.A. buckle at the first hirdle and do even more to appease the guilty corrupt villain, like just about any walk ov life when you put money before integrity then u know deep down yon are at rock bottom and sitting at the devils table ( prob eating succulent lamb) the SFA/SPL may be just about to take the biggest gamble in Scottish history, the gamble that every other Scottish fan will not turn there back altogether on the game, both at club and international level, BIG CALL… anyway well done Celtic and neil Francis Lennon, hail hail, GOD BLESS IE CELTIC+

  20. God Almighty you are totally delusional my friends, everything that Mr Johnston has said about Rangers being good for Scottish Football could equally said about Celtic. For the smaller clubs its all about hanging on the coat tails of the two big clubs to survive. If there was integrity in the Scottish game then Kilmarnock would not have allowed so many of your fans into the game where you clinched the title. They made more money than if they had any integrity and said “No! you’re just getting your normal allocation”

    You could say “Hey what about when we almost went out of business why wasn’t there the same outcry”. Well there wasn’t the same lead up to it as there is with Rangers, They been expecting the tax case to fall on them for quite some time. Even then the smaller clubs would not have bitten the hand that feeds then and a new co Celtic would definitely been allowed back into the league as they not as stupid as to realise although if one of the Old Firm was missing they might win more trophies but that Dundee or Morton etc don’t bring in excess of 5,000 fans to their ground along with the TV cameras. That, my friend, brings around £250,000 into the coffers. This could mean 3 or 4 reasonable players for our squads, twice a season it keeps our bank managers happy. Sporting integrity comes a poor second to fiscal security in every professional league in the world.

    Basically the reason they have won three titles in a row is not down solely to bad refereeing decisions as the same referees were present both this season and also largely during your three in a row. As the SFA and the SPL are run for the clubs by the clubs and we can all think of decisions that have gone in favour of the Old Firm when we play them that seems unfair. This happens in England Spain Italy Germany etc. Big clubs get decision in their favour the world over. This something we have to get used we don’t like but we can’t change it . Celtic get their their fair share of dodgy decisions ask any Hibs or Hearts fan who infest my working environment the Monday after they’ve played the Old Firm.

    It was due to few things, that your board made some bad decisions thinking Rangers were going to crumble due to their small squad so that investing in more players weren’t going to really be needed and when they realised that investment was required Neil Lennon had to bring in a lot of players and it has taken them some time to gel as a team . The second reason and the even more unpalatable for Celtic fans is that the Rangers team have found strength in adversity and seem to pull together more than expected. What finally has killed off their title aspirations this season more than the loss of 10 points was the loss of Naismith which harmed their momentum and the sale of Jelavic, Also that this season Celtic have managed to get a long winning run together.

    As an outsider it is entertaining to watch the paranoid reactions of both halves of the Old Firm when things are not going for you. So apart from the finance that you both bring to the party we would all miss this. As it always appears that if you’re not winning on the pitch then its because someone is out to get you. I sincerely hope that both of you remain in the Scottish game although you do win the lion’s share of the trophies, you do both produce teams which on their day can be good to watch, but watching the reactions of your fans when things aren’t going for you is hilarious. The day you realise what the rest of us know that sometimes things don’t go your way it will be a sad for the rest of us who enjoy laughing at the soap opera is the Old Firm

  21. Noddy's car mechanic

    For anyone who wanted to see it? See what? That the colour of the sky on the planet you live on is emerald green?
    Everyone is somehow working for Rangers and due to a compliant media no one has let the cat out of the bag? For how long now?
    So what exactly has Alex Thompson discovered? Has he even mentioned this…anywhere?
    Someone mentions the final play-offs at Kilmarnock and at Ibrox as proof later on.
    The same day Celtic missed a penalty? (was he involved in this commercial benefit) The same day Dunfermline scored while Killie did not. The same day only a world class save from Kloshad the title going to Ibrox.(I do so hope the Pars player who scored was given a right dressing down by the “organisation” later.
    UEFA are not involved in looking into this. Maybe because what you are alluding to is absolute drivel…and make no mistake you would not have been the only paranoid zoomer to have been bleating to UEFA about this already.

    Never defeated only cheated since 1888.
    jeez move over Barca and Rea;l if only the great conspiracy had been uncovered all those years ago when..hey wait a minute Celtic were the top dogs for so long. So good then they could beat the great conspiracy then.

    hail, hail indeed.

    • Thank you for your erudite contribution. Now that you’ve got that off your chest, I don’t suppose you could turn your forensic analytical skills onto the actual contents of the blog post?

      Or have you now got your tongue stuck to a window again?

  22. Oh my good Lord ! There are people in this country who actually believe this drivel, things are worse than I thought!

    Please, please, lease take the tinfoil from your heads and just face facts.

    There has not, is not nor ever will be a conspiracy to keep RFC top of the pile or in business.

    Why are you obsessed with RFC ?

    Why can you never lose a game through your own or others efforts ?

    Why can you not see the irony of your club officials and supporters using the phrase ‘sporting integrity’?

    The EBT’s were transparent and are now being dealt with retrospectively, despite the fact HMRC were well aware of them at the time and found no cause to investigate the matter whilst they were in use.

    The alleged double contracts were the ramblings of an octagenerian, who has had a running feud with Sir David Flim Flam for the best part of 20 years and should be viewed with a good deal of suspicion, but hey ho it’s another chance to have a dig at RFC, without the main tenet of law; proof.

    RFC have already been punished this season, remember the 10 point deduction ?

    I see transfer embargo mentioned, fact is it is a player registration embargo, so it is effectively a far more prohibitive punishment that on face value. Since you seem to be the font of all knowledge can I ask you to provide the precedent for this punishment.

    The non payment of PAYE and VAT was the decision of one individual and one individual alone and supporters of RFC would be delighted to see the Crown Office instigate an enquiry into said individual’s activities.

    Enjoy this situation while it lasts and be careful what you wish for. Every club in professional football has its secrets and be assured these will come out at some time.

    Most of the vitriol towards RFC comes from the short sighted, self righteous and down right jealous who really just want a team of 17 and 18 year olds on the pitch so that the records show the mighty Celtc or whoever gave the ‘Gers a right royal (pardon the pun) pumping and allow the hoops to win the next 9 league championships in a row.

    One upmanship is all it is !

    • No, those were the decisions of an individual acting in the interest of Rangers Football Club. There is no separation of those entities.

      • Absolute tosh, Whyte did this to force administration on RFC as part of his plans, which if you took the time and effort to study you will see are to enable him to make some profit from the whole sorry episode!

        As the owner of the club he did this, not RFC whose staff, M. Bain for one, obviously did not wish to follow his course of action.

        Therefore this, and his Ticketus deal, should imho be investigated without RFC being tainted ( oops ) by his patent underhand and unscrupulous actions.

        But then again I am not a supporter of the morally superior and blemish free club that is Celtc!

        • TheBlackKnight TBK

          Nor would you be welcomed 😉

        • Martin Bain? That’s a laugh!

          He was an individual who was illegally paid £200,000 through an EBT.

          Dignity rules!

          • Archie Meadies

            I’m not sure if Bain’s EBT payments actually were unlawful. It’s possible that they were carried out properly if they weren’t contractual payments.
            But what they do signify though is that he was perfectly familiar with the use of EBTs in the Ibrox finances and that he was wary of leaving a paper trail (hence his instruction to shred the letter containing his request for payments). That takes away the possibility of him denying any knowledge of EBT use when he was on the board of directors.

            • It doesn’t only take away the possibility of him denying any knowledge of EBT use when he was on the board of directors, the request to have his email shredded also points to him being aware that Rangers EBT scheme was not being operated legally.

              He knew it was improper tax evasion, and was covering his tracks, but not cleverly enough. Ten years of this scam being undetected led him to become careless.

    • Fantastic post, Muzza.
      That is, fantastic in the sense of coming from the deepest realms of fantasy.

    • Not really obsessed with Rangers, just pointing out the unattractive facts of what they have done, and what they have done is astonishing.

      On the other hand Rangers fans attempts at murder(failed) and assault on Neil Lennon truly is obsessional.

  23. Congratulations on a good article, Henry :thumbsup:

  24. What an absolute load of crap. Remember the 2008 season when Celtic could not agree to extend the season because of a ” Japan tour “….the tour that never happened, integrity dont make me laugh. Remember the years before season tickets when Celtic produced the old ” 35,000 attendence” when in fact there were 50,000 in the ground….what tax? Integrity. Oh and of course remember how Celtic FC bottled it against ICT in the league, bottled it against Ross County in the cup? And of course integrity caused them to lose out in Europe this past season , three times, of those nasty foreign ref`s.

    Integrity my ****. Celtic don’t know the meaning of the word.

  25. I seem to remember the refs giving a couple of dodgy decisions in favour of Rangers during the Tennants 6’s at the SECC back in 1989. Chris Woods breached the ‘6 second handling rule’ a number of times during the semi-final with Celtic. Moreover, I clearly recall a determined Martin Hayes rifling in a thunderous 5-yard shot, which Woods clutched and head onto for 7.9 seconds. The referee wilfully ignored this blatant cheating of the 6-second rule. I’d like to see Rangers punished for this blatant piece of cheating and be stripped of their 1989 Tennants 6’s title.

    Great article, though.

  26. Aye, it is.

    Wish I could say the same for yours.

    • So really at the end of the day when you strip all the bluster away………..Scottish Football is run to benefit Rangers and all games are fixed to help them as much as possible??
      Are we really to believe that Chairmen, Directors, Players, Referees etc are all in on this and everyone has managed to keep schtum??
      Well that cclears everything up then and explains everything…….I suppose I should have known I mean how else can all these dodgy decsions be explained and to think in some small way I’ve been a part of it all

      • Thanks for commenting, FB.
        Your summary is a slight exaggeration.
        But only very slightly.

      • Are we really to believe that Chairmen, Directors, Players, Referees etc are all in on this and everyone has managed to keep schtum?


        • Wow…….I cannae believe it…… the conspiracy theorists have been right all along…….NURSE!!! NURSE!!!!!

          • Of course you can’t believe it, Fieldyblue.
            You just believe whatever moonbeams you want to believe and filter out every piece of evidence which conflicts with your pre-conceptions.

            Rangers aren’t in deep trouble with the taxman.
            Craig Whyte is going to save Rangers.
            Bill Miller is going to save Rangers
            Scottish football will die without Rangers.

            Oh, wait.
            You still buy that last one, don’t you?

            • Eh No!……..and as for filtering out every piece of evidence……etc etc……I don’t have the monopoly on that as can be seen from some of your responses above.
              Fact is the “for examples” you quote have never crossed my mind as being pre-conceptions as you put it and I accept that things are never going to be the same again………what I cant stand though is the grabbing of the moral high ground by the supporters of a club who seem to be the victims of everything but who are to blame for nothing. Humility and Integrity seem to be the current buzzwords eminating from your side……have a look at your clubs, ahem history before you claim morality over anothers………….and another thing perhaps you can answer do you really believe that it is all a big conspiracy to do down Cel*ic………seriously???

            • Fieldyblue –
              1). Whether or not you can stand other people grabbing the high ground is your problem.
              You should bear in mind that Rangers have sunk to such depths that everybody else is automatically on higher moral ground.
              No-one needs to “claim” the moral high ground over a club which is plummeting faster into the abyss every moment.
              The position of everybody who hasn’t been routinely ripping off the tax authorities to an obscene degree or spending hundreds of millions of pounds of money which they never had is clearly, by default, the higher ground. No claim necessary.
              Everyone else is on higher ground because your club chose to dig itself into the deepest hole in the history of British sport. Bad luck, there.

              2) If you were one of the very, very, very few Rangers supporters who didn’t fall for the “for examples”, then good for you. Unfortunately for you and your club, your voice of reason was drowned out by the tens of thousands of your fellow supporters who bellowed their disdain for any one who dared to dispute the official Rangers line that everything was under control and would be taken care of.

              3). “Do you really believe that it is all a big conspiracy to do down Celtic?”
              But I firmly believe that many people have conspired to give Rangers an unfair and unsporting advantage, to put it mildly.
              The victims of that conspiracy include Celtic because Celtic are usually the team most likely to foil Rangers on the football field. They also include Aberdeen, Dundee United (as Craig Levein memorably pointed out), Hearts, Motherwell and every other club in Scotland. They include the shareholders and customers and redundant former employees of the ruined Bank of Scotland who have all been stiffed by Rangers. Most of all they include the British taxpayers who have to shoulder the burden of the Rangers’ irresponsible approach to their own tax liabilities.
              Rangers have got away with this for far too long and it is inconceivable that it was only by sheer good fortune that they constantly evaded being held to account for their sins. They can only have had help from other well-placed parties who were disposed towards them so favourably that they used their position and influence to maintain the illusion of Strong Rangers.

              Believe it or not, conspiracies are a fact of life.

  27. DeludedCFCFan

    if anyone took 2 hours out to watch Zeitgeist on youtube!! you wouldnt be so quick to judge

  28. hi there henry brilliant article totally agree with you mate after all where was the sporting integrity when jim farry and the cadete transfere saga was unfolding?

    • Thank you, pepperami.
      The really interesting aspect of the Farry scandal is the number of people in the SFA, the media and elsewhere who were doggedly determined to cover Farry’s back right up until the very moment when he himself had to fall on his sword after being given a torrid cross-examination on the first day of the independent tribunal.
      It was only Fergus McCann’s tenacious determination to pursue the issue to extraordinary lengths – and at potentially enormous financial risk to himself – which eventually ensured that Celtic were vindicated in their objections to Farry’s gross misconduct. Justice would never have been done otherwise and accusations that Celtic were not being treated fairly would have continued to be dismissed as paranoid drivel by media commentators and their gullible followers.

  29. Rangers have got the rest of Scottish football dangling on a string!! What a stinking lot they are!! Wont pay tax wont pay debts steal PAYE money keep £3500 belonging to Nicola Young who runs a charity the helps children all over the world!!

    Stinking Stinking LOT!!!!

  30. Fieldyblue –
    1). Whether or not you can stand other people grabbing the high ground is your problem.

    I don’t have a problem I just think that mostly everyone has skeleton’s in the cupboard and that they should all think very carefully before criticising others…….no?

    You should bear in mind that Rangers have sunk to such depths that everybody else is automatically on higher moral ground.

    Yes Rangers have sunk to a pretty deep place but whether everyone else is on higher moral ground I would say is questionable.

    No-one needs to “claim” the moral high ground over a club which is plummeting faster into the abyss every moment.
    Correct…..but they are. I agree that Rangers are……can I say “floundering” , abyss seems so final don’t you think. But hey is that any reason for everyone else to have their two bob’s worth. Better to look like a fool and say nothing than to open their mouth and prove it. The forums, blogs etc have been full of barrack room lawyers, tax experts et al since this happened dishing out summary justice in respect of all the misdemeanors by Murray, Whyte etc why can’t people just give it a rest and see what comes out of it all……and for the record I do believe that punishment is correct and that the people who made the decisions, gained the financial benefit and did not pay the tax should be held culpable…..not just the football club.

    The position of everybody who hasn’t been routinely ripping off the tax authorities to an obscene degree or spending hundreds of millions of pounds of money which they never had is clearly, by default, the higher ground. No claim necessary.

    Where do you stand then with other major UK companies who routinely avoid tax on a much larger scale or HMRC itself who wrote off over a billion, yes a billion, last year. “Ripping off” – as far as I’m aware the EBT tax case has yet to be decided and said EBT’s were shown in audited accounts so why no outcry till now…..genuine question??

    Everyone else is on higher ground because your club chose to dig itself into the deepest hole in the history of British sport. Bad luck, there.

    Noted…..agree we are in a deep one can’t argue with that……whether our critics are morally higher is still contentious

    2) If you were one of the very, very, very few Rangers supporters who didn’t fall for the “for examples”, then good for you. Unfortunately for you and your club, your voice of reason was drowned out by the tens of thousands of your fellow supporters who bellowed their disdain for any one who dared to dispute the official Rangers line that everything was under control and would be taken care of.

    Thanks. It was difficult in the early years not to be swayed by the Murray spin but gradually the luster wore off. There were some good times though and as a fan that is what football is all about. Very few, probably with a few exceptions, will ever scrutinise the accounts when their team are performing on the park

    3). “Do you really believe that it is all a big conspiracy to do down Celtic?”

    Not even just a wee bit……c’mon you can tell me….

    But I firmly believe that many people have conspired to give Rangers an unfair and unsporting advantage, to put it mildly.

    Ok…… name names then and please do not come back with Jim Farry re Cadete . If there are that many of them it should not be a problem for you

    The victims of that conspiracy include Celtic because Celtic are usually the team most likely to foil Rangers on the football field. They also include Aberdeen, Dundee United (as Craig Levein memorably pointed out), Hearts, Motherwell and every other club in Scotland.

    Not sure I do the conspiracy thing but then I don’t have a victim mentality unlike some in our society who positively thrive on it.

    They include the shareholders and customers and redundant former employees of the ruined Bank of Scotland who have all been stiffed by Rangers.

    Not having that….sorry!! The banks, plural, “conspired” to create their own downfall based on greed, primarily in the US sub-prime housing market which had the square root of hee-haw to do with Scottish fitba’. I’m sure there are plenty of teams down south with o/drafts bigger than that which existed at Rangers which, as you should know, was being reduced year on year till a certain Donald Muir brought Mr. Whyte to the table and insisted that Mr. Murray sell.

    Most of all they include the British taxpayers who have to shoulder the burden of the Rangers’ irresponsible approach to their own tax liabilities.

    See comment about other, BIGGER UK Companies above. As for shouldering the burden wrt Rangers case……Tax owed shared among taxpayers is relatively small beer and before you jump down my throat I’m not saying it is correct just pointing out a simple arithmetic calc. Don’t get me started on having to “Shoulder” costs. As a, BRITISH, taxpayer, PAYE if you’re interested, I know how much I “shoulder” each month so a couple of quid either way makes no difference.

    Rangers have got away with this for far too long and it is inconceivable that it was only by sheer good fortune that they constantly evaded being held to account for their sins.

    This is, as far as I know, is the first year the accounts were not audited therefore previously they got away with nothing as it was all subject to due process via the audit. It’s when you do not file accounts that the tax man starts digging. Who failed in this regard……Mr. Whyte…….maybe it’s a conspiracy that he and his takeover is not the subject of a criminal investigation re fraud.

    They can only have had help from other well-placed parties who were disposed towards them so favourably that they used their position and influence to maintain the illusion of Strong Rangers.

    So it has been the Masons all along then……..??

    Believe it or not, conspiracies are a fact of life.

    In some areas yes. Politics being a quick example. Football and more particularly, Scottish Football……I don’t think so!!
    Final question…..Have Cel*ic EVER legitimately lost a fitba’ match? Have they ever been outplayed and genuinely beaten? Have the team EVER been the architects of their own downfall OR is everyone out to get them??

    Format edited for clarity by Henry Clarson

    • Cheers for the reformat “H”……still getting the hang of this computer lark!!

      • You’re very welcome, Fieldy.

        The codes for italics and bold, etc., are a bit unusual on this format.
        For italics the code is em (for emphasis) before the italic passage and /em at its end.
        They go between a pair of less-than and greater-than signs.
        Unfortunately, if I actually type them out properly here, they’ll not show up – they’ll just turn everything between them into italics!
        So I’ll use square brackets instead for the example.
        Replace > for ] and < for [ when you do it.

        [em]This is in italics.[/em]
        [strong]This is in bold.[/strong]
        [strong][em]This is in bold italic.[/em][/strong]


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