Where To Begin?

Rangers haven’t even begun to taste proper punishment.

At least ten years of cheating cannot be atoned for by anything less than expulsion. I, like tens of thousands of other Scottish football supporters, spent years paying to see what was advertised as a sporting competition but was in reality a fix. Looking only at ten years of buying two season tickets in the first decade of this century and ignoring for the moment the likelihood of previous fraudulent activities perpetrated by the same Rangers organisation, I personally have been defrauded to the tune of well over £12,000.
I am by no means alone or even exceptional in that respect.  Many, many others have been cheated.

Taking Celtic alone (but also recognising that supporters of every other club were cheated, particularly the supporters of every SPL club which suffered the relegation which should, by rights, have been the fate of the club which lost every match 0-3) and looking only at the seasons in which Celtic were cheated into 2nd place instead of 1st — that gives us five seasons. 2003, 2005, 2009, 2010 and 2011.
Hugely simplifying the numbers to a low-end, estimated annual average of ~40,000 tickets @ c.£500 each, we get a ball park figure of £20,000,000 worth of mis-sold tickets.

Twenty million pounds minimum.

Without counting millions of pounds of extra prize money.
Without counting millions of pounds of extra revenues from Europe.
Without counting enhanced reputation and consequent sponsorship potential worth millions of pounds.
Without counting potential for merchandising based on 12 In A Row and related achievements.

Twenty million pounds is the tip of the iceberg of the damage and disruption for which RFC were responsible.

Not to mention that tens of millions of pounds more would have been paid into the national tax coffers if Celtic and other clubs had been receiving the prize money which was due to them.

Yet we are currently hearing Rangers apologists telling us that Rangers “have already been punished heavily” or even, “have already been punished enough!”  A fine of £200,000 for doing at least £20,000,000 worth of damage to a single set of supporters?  A three year exclusion from Europe as a punishment for ten years of European participation?  A ten point deduction after stealing five championship titles?

Proper punishment hasn’t even come into the frame yet.


Posted on June 16, 2012, in Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 18 Comments.

  1. Met a friend outside CP before last game of the season. I mentioned prize money and titles we had lost. He recounted though the emotional lows he had been wrongly subjected to because of the cheating of RFC.

    If you lose the league on helicopter Sunday in a fair fight it’s a sore one for sure but when you then add the bitter taste of having experienced those emotions as a result of basic cheating it really is a source of anger and resentment which isn’t what a sport is supposed to be about. I’ve thought of his comments on a few occasions since then. The strength of his feelings has stayed with me and I’m sure is shared by many of us.

    • I totally agree.
      In this post, I wanted to simply home in on a single aspect of the results of Rangers’ wrongdoing.

      • Understood fully. I wanted to share my tale to reinforce your central point about the level of punishment due. Both the scale and duration of wrong doing are breathtaking. Against all fans – not just CFC’s.

  2. It is morally inconceivable that this sham of a club should even be asking for it’s current structure to get back into the top flight. The only thing which matches it’s years of cheating is the artificially inflated sense of entitlement by their fans. They have to be taught a lesson in sporting intregrity but this is meaningless if the vast majority show absolutely no humility or contrition for past misdemeanours.

    • Completely agree. Utterly pointless to brush everything under the carpet and pretend that it has been dealt with. Nothing short of a full, independent inquiry into every aspect of this scandal is required. That inquiry should embrace the entirety of the David Murray ownership Rangers and the club’s relationships with MIM, the Bank of Scotland, the SFA, the SPL, the SFL and the media just for starters.

  3. Time for a class action against the SPL / SFA by all scottish season ticket holders through this period. I’ve been a season ticket holder since the Hampden season.

  4. buckfastswallier

    Class action, if possible, the way to go. Need to be together on this one.

  5. Valid points mate the one point I would disagree with as someone has written elsewhere (can’t remember where lol) being excluded from Europe is NOT a punishment for anything, it’s simply a pre-requisite of Any NEW club that is formed, new clubs must have played in there national association for at least 3 years before they are allowed european participation TRFC* clearly have not so let’s try and nip that myth in the bud!!

    Hail hail

    • You are, of course, absolutely correct, Mr Happy, but it’s being quoted by Hun apologists as if it’s part of their package of punishments. Even their new chairman, Sir Les Patterson, mentioned it on television yesterday.
      It’s the equivalent of a man who has been charged with murdering his parents asking for pity because he is an orphan.

      But even if we ignore that for the moment, and address it in their own chosen context, it’s still pitifully short of even atoning for their ineligibility, far less involving a punitive element.

  6. tainted orange

    I’m very much in the thinking that had a proper administrator been appointed then liquidation would have immediately have been undertaken. RFC(ia) were in debt approaching £1bn, no reasonable investor is going to take that on especially with the well know BTC hanging over.

    Had they been liquidated at Feb/Mar then the Administrators fees would have been minimal, selling the players would have raised and est £32M, murray park is on green belt land but I think a cash strapped East Dunbartonshire council would have given permission for homes to be build on it knowing it creates Jobs in construction, sought after homes which would sell and would generate income for them in the form of a high rate council tax on each home. The land would have gone for the market value maybe more for murray park.

    Its fair to say liquidating and selling all their assets individually would raise more p/£ for the creditors, instead of the 0 that they are now facing.

    If these cheats, thieves and fraudsters are allowed to continue running their illegal operation in the SPL with no or minimal sanctions then I for one will stop following and I suspect I’m definitely not alone in this thinking.

    • I have been convinced for a long time now that an organisation that was so arrogant and corrupt that would try and screw HMRC and the othrrt 11 teams, and still leave a paper trail did not have another avenue or SLUSH FUND financed via their cash resources, catering, merchandising and turnstiles. HMRC forensic could find. Anybody agree.

      • I’m not sure that I quite understand the question, Macca.
        Are you asking if Rangers have been part of an international money-laundering operation? If so, my answer is that I will be very surprised if BDO don’t thoroughly investigate that possibility.

  7. This cheating garbage of a club should never be allowed to get anywhere near a Scottish League before it has served a REAL punishment…Div Three…AT THE VERY LEAST!

    • It’s a remarkable sight to see, even now, such a large section of the football industry expending so much energy in trying to think up ways to get these cheats off the hook. They’re even considering totally redesigning the entire structure of the game so that they can avoid doing what they should have done already.
      The charges against Rangers FC (deceased) must still be followed through and punishment must be placed on the record.
      If expulsion is not formally recorded at the end of the process, I would suggest that Scottish football itself should be charged with bringing the game into disrepute.

  8. I agree with Mrhappy, but it goes further. Yes, the three year european ban is a regulatory consequence of not having met the requirements, not a punishment.

    But the 10 point deduction, along with £50k of the fine, was punishment specifically for going into administration. It had nothing to do with “stealing five championship titles”.

    The rest of the fines were punishments for breach of rules and bringing the game into disrepute. The Appellation Tribunal has yet to re-convene, and will presumably pronounce their revised sanctions as soon as the 21 day appeal period expires. But all of this covers the Craig Whyte era only. It does not deal with the Murray years.

    The SPL’s investigation into 10 years of alleged double contracts and/or undeclared payments has been suspended because we are told that “Scotland’s top flight is seeking clarity over the new company’s responsibilities for previous misdemeanours “ . I don’t understand why the SPL considers that to be an issue at this stage. The investigation is into the behaviour of the oldco, and Rangers have not yet been liquidated. This cannot happen until the liquidators have completed their investigations and decided what they need to do. I expect that the liquidators will already be making preliminary inquiries, but they do not officially take over until the administration process is complete and D&P have said that this will take another 8 to 10 weeks. The SPL have several months yet in which they can continue investigating oldco Rangers.

    • Yep.
      In my eyes, the biggest problem is the SPL’s blatant reluctance to grasp the nettle. They have dragged their heels at every opportunity and bent over backwards to avoid imposing the punishments which Rangers deserve. The allegations from the Craig Whyte period which were found to be proven were, of themselves, enough to merit suspension from the SPL but an effort was made to invent a new punishment which would spare them this richly deserved fate.

      The “sneaky pay” issue has set off alarm bells but the SPL has done everything in its power to avoid taking timely action. All Scottish clubs were asked by the SFA to confirm that they had no case to answer in the matter of “dual contracts”/ “unregistered payments”/”improperly registered players”/whatever you want to call it. Compliance with that SFA request would be the work of a few minutes for any club with nothing to hide. Rangers obviously aren’t in that category and delayed for weeks before finally submitting relevant documents. We’re now at the stage where it’s practically inconceivable that the club was not guilty of fielding unregistered players and I can see no reason why the club should not have been suspended immediately while the investigation proceeds. There are enough unanswered questions, serious allegations and proven instances of disreputable conduct already in the public domain and on the record to make it reasonable to shift the responsibility on to Rangers to have to prove that they are fit and proper.

      I do not doubt for a moment that special treatment is being given to Rangers which would not have been given to Dundee United, Livingston, Spartans, Partick Thistle or any other senior club in Scotland.

      Rangers have already been found guilty of bringing the game into disrepute. But, because of further breaches of FIFA, UEFA and SFA conditions of membership, they still await their punishment which could be as severe as expulsion from the game; yet in the interim they are allowed a share in the SPL. And with that share, they still have a vote in some of the most important discussions which the Scottish game has ever faced to deal with a crisis which has been brought about entirely because of their disgraceful and irresponsible conduct.

      I draw a parallel with cases where a professional such as a GP is facing so many complaints of negligence or worse that the BMA decides to issue a suspension while it investigates the allegations. It does not need to come to its final conclusions on every single case before it can do this; nor is there any justification in keeping that GP on the register if even a single case of gross professional conduct is investigated and confirmed before the complete, general inquiry is complete. The public rightly expects to be protected from abuse by professionals and is not prepared to tolerate the risk of further abuse while a serious complaint is being investigated. Therefore, immediate suspension is the appropriate course of action where the public has reasonable grounds to declare no confidence in the professional integrity of the accused.

      Who can seriously argue that Rangers would survive a vote of confidence in their sporting integrity if the mass of Scottish football supporters could have a say? For this reason alone, every possible step should already have been taken to remove their say in how Scottish football copes with the havoc which they have wreaked and continue to wreak.

    • My apologies to the SPL. Yesterday’s announcement that Rangers have a prima facie case to answer shows that I have maligned them. I now assume that when the SPL say “Disciplinary charges will be brought when the future status of Rangers FC is clarified and prior to the start of season 2012/13” they mean that they are considering compulsory relegation as a possible outcome, something that obviously wouldn’t be meaningful if Rangers are restarting in the third division or have been suspended from football by the SFA appellate tribunal.

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