Scottish Football: An Honest Game, Honestly Governed?

A Guest Blog by Auldheid for TSFM

Honesty requires both transparency and accountability. In pursuit of honest, transparent and accountable governance of Scottish football, and only that objective, the following letter, with attachments, has been sent to SPFL lawyers, CEO and SPFL Board Members.

An honest game free from deception is what football supporters of all clubs want. It is the action the letter and attachments prompt that will tell us if there is any intention of providing it.

It is a response on behalf of readers here on TSFM, but the sentiment which underpins it is almost universally held amongst fans of all clubs.  Importantly it is a response directly to all clubs, especially those with a SPFL Board member, that will make the clubs and the football authorities aware just how seriously supporters take the restoration of trust in an honest game, honestly governed.

The annexes to the letter contain information which may be published at a later date. We thought it appropriate to first await any response from any of the recipients.

Please also draw this to the attention of friends who are not internet using supporters and love their football and their club.

Auldheid

__________________________________________________________________

Harper MacLeod
The Ca’d’oro
45 Gordon Street
Glasgow
G1 3PE
19 Feb 2014
Copy sent to SPFL CEO and Board Members *
Dear Mr McKenzie
We the contributors to The Scottish Football Monitoring web site write to you in your capacity as the legal adviser employed by Harper MacLeod to assist the Scottish Premier League (now the Scottish Professional Football League) to gather evidence and investigate the matter of incorrect player registrations involving concealed side letters and employee benefit trusts as defined in the eventual Lord Nimmo Smith Commission.
We note from the then SPL announcement that set up an enquiry that the initial date range to be covered was from the inception of the SPL in July 1998, but that was changed to 23 November 2000 because, according to our understanding, that is the date of the first side letter supplied by Rangers Administrators Duff and Phelps. It is also our understanding that the SPL asked for all documentation relating to side letters as well as the letters themselves.
It is a matter of public record that Rangers Administrators failed to supply the SPL all relevant documentation. Indeed the seriousness of not complying with SPL requests was the subject of an admonition of Rangers/Duff and Phelps from Lord Nimmo Smith under Issue 4 of his Commission.
Quite how serious that failure to comply or concealment was in terms of misleading the Commission and so Lord Nimmo Smith can now be assessed from the information contained at Annexes 1 to 10 attached.
We think that as legal advisers to the SPL (now the SPFL) you have a responsibility to make them aware that their Commission was misled by the concealment of documents starting on 3 September 1999, and signed by current SFA President Campbell Ogilvie, whose silence on the ebt matters referred to in the attached annexes* is questionable at the very least.
This letter but not attachments is being posted on The Scottish Football Monitor web site as this is matter for all of Scottish football and support for the issue being pursued to establish the truth can be gauged by responses from supporters from all Scottish clubs once the letter has been published there.
A copy of this letter with Annexes has also been sent to the SPFL CEO and members of the SPFL Board.
Acknowledgement of receipt and reply can be sent by e mail to:
(Address supplied)
Yours in sport

On behalf of The Scottish Football Monitor contributors and readers. http://www.tsfm.org.uk/
Addressees copied in
Neil Doncaster CEO
The Scottish Professional Football League
Hampden Park
Glasgow G42 9DE
Eric Riley (Celtic),
The Celtic Football Club
Celtic Park
Glasgow G40 3RE

Stephen Thompson (Dundee United),
Tannadice Park,
Tannadice Street,
Dundee, DD3 7JW
Duncan Fraser (Aberdeen);
Aberdeen Football Club plc
Pittodrie Stadium
Pittodrie Street
Aberdeen AB24 5QH
Les Gray (Hamilton),
Hamilton Academical FC
New Douglas Park
Hamilton
ML3 0FT
Mike Mulraney (Alloa)
Alloa Athletic FC
Clackmannan Road
Recreation Park
Alloa FK10 1RY
Bill Darroch (Stenhousemuir).
Stenhousemuir F.C.
Ochilview Park
Gladstone Road
Stenhousemuir
Falkirk
FK5 4QL

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About SFM
The Scottish Football Monitor is following the lead of RangersTaxCase in an attempt to hold the Scottish mainstream media to account and to question. If they do not ask the difficult questions, we will.

162 Responses to Scottish Football: An Honest Game, Honestly Governed?

  1. allyjambo says:

    fara1968 says:

    Saturday, March 1, 2014 at 09:49

    And at the end of the 120 day review, he’ll announce to the public, ‘here you are, here’s what went wrong, there was some naughty people running the club – before us!’ while he’s already completed his proper task of providing his bosses/paymasters with a plan to maximise their profit/minimise their loss. It might take a month or so to turn over every stone, in any messed up company the size of RIFC/TRFC, to find all the wastage that exists, but only a few days, at most, to discover the major problem areas. It’s sorting them that’s the problem. There is no need to identify every minute problem before starting to fix the major ones, if fixing them is the intention, and so far there’s not much fixing going on. Put another way, if your ship is holed below the waterline, you put all your effort into repairing the hole before asking the passengers to fill in a survey about how they’d like the ship to look. Of course, it has been known for ships to sink, or at least to disappear, and their owners to get richer at the same time!

  2. john clarke says:

    I am not sure that the UTTT judge himself can call witnesses to be re-examined. I think he can relate only to the transcript of the original hearing, and to the arguments advanced at the appeal hearing that he presides over.
    He has only two options: either to make, on the paper evidence, additional findings of fact that the First Tier did not and then decide, again on the basis of the paper evidence and counsels’ arguments, whether the First Tier erred in law in any of the possible ways, OR remit to a freshly constituted Tribunal which CAN re-examine the witnesses etc etc.

    Not being sure about any of this, I googled around for a bit, and came across the link below, which is quite useful guidance and explanations , written for the lay person.

    http://www.cara-online.org/AppealingtotheUpperTribunalagainstaFirstTierTribunaldecision.html

  3. 100bjd says:

    Dogs,

    No the date is correct definitely……….any way I suspect that Deloittes are not going to sing them off triggering Laxeys plan b, which I touched on last week, of being the major secured (by way of the charged property) creditors which they will utilise will to start and control the prepack administration.

  4. john clarke says:

    100bjd says:
    Saturday, March 1, 2014 at 11:29
    ‘….any way I suspect that Deloittes are not going to sing them off triggering Laxeys plan b, …’
    —————-
    Nice wee typo there, 100bjd: conjures up images of a barber shop quartet at the top of the marble staircase!
    Like you, I think Laxey , if not already in the driving seat, are doing a lot of back seat driving to steer the vehicle into a car crash. That appears to be the way they operate,whatever the nature of the businesses that they buy into. Where there are assets that make it worth the effort, force the ‘underperforming’ company out of business to get at those assets.
    CW could take lessons from them.Maybe he did!

  5. Lord Wobbly says:

    TW (@tartanwulver) says:
    Saturday, March 1, 2014 at 09:16
    Long Time Lurker says:
    Saturday, March 1, 2014 at 08:09
    Why then has the media vanished into the wind?
    I cannot understand the lack of interest, where is our forth estate?
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    All at sea?

  6. 100bjd says:

    John….sorry about that it was not meant to be freudian although I see your point! Congratulations on all your sterling work by the way…excelent stuff. Laxeys are not spivs in my opinion, they simply behave like aggressive hedge funds and make money for their shareholders. Capitalism they call it!
    Green, Whyte, Ahmad, Mather etc were undoubtedly spivs and I do think there is a difference. Wallace, as I have written before, looks like a man out of his depth. The big CV at City , as mentioned by someone earlier, simply meant spending lots of money and not having to reconstruct an unreconstructable business.

    Admin2 is going to be interesting. I think there was a lack of interest by The Bears big hitters before because they could not be involved in an administration or worse a liquidation. That was clearly Whytes job with him getting paid off and the real Bears appearing later as saviours (There always has to be a saviour!). However Imran and Chico through the famous Sevco 5088 novation to Sevco Scotland scuppered that particular plan and the new game will be played.and we bampots will be watching………..

    I am glad this is not happening to my beloved club….although nobody in fairness would really be that interested!

  7. allyjambo says:

    john clarke says:

    Saturday, March 1, 2014 at 11:43

    100bjd says:
    Saturday, March 1, 2014 at 11:29
    ‘….any way I suspect that Deloittes are not going to sing them off triggering Laxeys plan b, …’
    —————-
    Nice wee typo there, 100bjd: conjures up images of a barber shop quartet at the top of the marble staircase!
    ______________________________________

    Could be the Spivs’ anthem 😉

    Altogether now, one, two, three:

    “The accountant’s not going to sign the accounts,
    pull the trigger, pull the trigger…
    We leave by the back door with large amounts,
    pull the trigger, pull the trigger.
    The authorities sometimes slap our wrist,
    We go to the pub and just get pist,
    We know every loophole in the book there is,
    We know when to pull the trigger…”

    OK,OK, I’ve still not found my medication!

  8. 100bjd says:

    allyjambo says:

    Saturday, March 1, 2014 at 12:04

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    john clarke says:

    Saturday, March 1, 2014 at 11:43

    100bjd says:
    Saturday, March 1, 2014 at 11:29
    ‘….any way I suspect that Deloittes are not going to sing them off triggering Laxeys plan b, …’
    —————-
    Nice wee typo there, 100bjd: conjures up images of a barber shop quartet at the top of the marble staircase!
    ______________________________________

    Could be the Spivs’ anthem 😉

    Altogether now, one, two, three:

    “The accountant’s not going to sign the accounts,
    pull the trigger, pull the trigger…
    We leave by the back door with large amounts,
    pull the trigger, pull the trigger.
    The authorities sometimes slap our wrist,
    We go to the pub and just get pist,
    We know every loophole in the book there is,
    We know when to pull the trigger…”

    OK,OK, I’ve still not found my medication

    ———————————————————————————————————————–

    Ally you will have to keep looking!!

  9. john clarke says: Saturday, March 1, 2014 at 11:18

    John, I agree with your anaysis.

    The parameters for the UTT were set by the following decision of Judge Colin Bishop on 17 july 2013 which were published on 9 August 2013.

    http://www.tribunals.gov.uk/financeandtax/Documents/decisions/HMRC-v-Murray-Group.pdf

    As the Decision is only 10 pages long (Or is that “short” for a Judge!?) it’s best read in it’s entirety to understand Lord Bishop’s analysis and suggested resolutions.

    If Lord Doherty diverged from Judge Bishop’s decision then I think he would have to set out in detail why in his own decision, whatever that might be.

  10. slimshady61 says:

    redlichtie says:
    Saturday, March 1, 2014 at 01:00
    ——————————————–
    Read my lips from 4 weeks ago, no TRFC accounts is THE story, not the Spivs, not the securitised Wonga loans, not the King over the watter – no accounts is the story. Accounts are the key to the licence to play football and, in time, the key to European football of any sort.

    No reputable firm of auditors can put their name to TRFC’s June 13 accounts because of the evident going concern issues. There will never be a set of TRFC accounts filed because they would detail who took what out of the business, out of the IPO monies etc.

    There are vested interests at play who will make it their business that these accounts never see the light of day.

    As for administration, everyone swallowed the “120 day” review story unquestioningly. But I ask you, 120 days? That is 4 months – even multi-billion pound banks get their accounts sorted within 6 weeks of the year end – it should not have required Wallace more than 30 days at most, but even allowing for the fact he was newly in the door we could have stretched it to 60. But if anyone needs 120 days to see if a company is doing well or not, the answer is in the question.

    The Bears will take their 15 point/ 28 point (pay your money take your choice) deduction before the end of this season; the Spivs will make it clear to the King supporters (a) that he has not so far put up 1 penny in financial support and (b) if the fans follow his advice and withhold season book monies, the club will in addition face a 15 point deduction at the start of next season for still being in administration.

    So if they want the club in the Premiership in 15/16, the fans need to pony up now, in full” will be the message, loud & clear.

  11. slimshady61 says:

    Sorry, Auldheid, meant to say very good post and very best of luck with it.

    But many fans on here will be totally in the dark as to what you are getting at since, to paraphrase Jock Stein, “football enquiries, without attachments, mean nothing.”

    I strongly suspect your letter will simply go into administrative filing and never be heard of again. It’s the Scottish football way….

  12. allyjambo says:

    100bjd says:

    Saturday, March 1, 2014 at 12:12

    Ally you will have to keep looking!!
    ___________________________

    I am, I am, believe me! If I don’t find them soon I’m going to turn into a right bampot, or is that a tea-pot?

  13. Yesterday was also the “statutory filing date” deadline for TRFC Ltd to submit their fully completed Corporation tax return, and itemised Accounts etc to HMRC. So any failure to do so will incur another £100 of expenditure that could have been avoided by Mr Wallace and the TRFC Ltd and RIFC plc Boards.

    http://www.hmrc.gov.uk/ct/getting-started/deadlines.htm#4

    Deadlines for filing your Company Tax Return

    You must normally file your company or organisation’s Company Tax Return – which includes a Company Tax Return form and other supporting documentation – within 12 months of the end of your company or organisation’s Corporation Tax accounting period. Your Company Tax Return filing deadline is known as your ‘statutory filing date’.

    If you file your return late your company or organisation will be charged an automatic penalty, even if it does not owe any Corporation Tax.

    Virtually all companies and organisations must submit their Company Tax Returns online. Additionally your tax computations and, with very few exceptions, the accounts that form part of your Company Tax Return, must be submitted in Inline eXtensible Business Reporting Language (iXBRL) format.

    More about preparing to file your Company Tax Return

    Find out more about HMRC Corporation Tax accounting periods

    Corporation Tax penalties

    What counts as a reasonable excuse for filing your online return late

  14. ecobhoy says:

    slimshady61 says:
    Saturday, March 1, 2014 at 12:15

    the Spivs will make it clear to the King supporters (a) that he has not so far put up 1 penny in financial support and (b) if the fans follow his advice and withhold season book monies, the club will in addition face a 15 point deduction at the start of next season for still being in administration.

    So if they want the club in the Premiership in 15/16, the fans need to pony up now, in full” will be the message, loud & clear.
    ================================================
    Clever thinking – I hadn’t tought about the continuing admin situation and further points penalty. Och I’m sure a new rulle can be rustled up if need be. I mean haven’t they suffered enough so it seems fair if they are still in admin at the start of next season that they should be awarded 15 bonus points.

    Even if they get the little ‘helping hand’ they might not win promotion of course 🙂

  15. brycecurdy says:

    slimshady61 12:15 am – unfortunately I think you are spot on. The idea of a club who enter administration being promoted makes my skin crawl. I know there are many on this site who are disgusted that Sevco were fast tracked to the 4th tier, and in many ways I am too but at the same time I think I’m realistic enough to recognise that starting up in an even lower league was just never going to happen. The calculated points deduction for me will trump everything that has gone before, and our utterly cretinous MSM will not even question the ethics.

  16. brycecurdy says:

    PS – I think the 120 days thing is to finesse whether to take the lower or higher points deduction, with the former obviously being an admission of new club but posing no realistic risk to promotion.

  17. 100bjd says:

    slimshady61 says:

    Saturday, March 1, 2014 at 12:15

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    redlichtie says:
    Saturday, March 1, 2014 at 01:00
    ——————————————–
    Read my lips from 4 weeks ago, no TRFC accounts is THE story, not the Spivs, not the securitised Wonga loans, not the King over the watter – no accounts is the story. Accounts are the key to the licence to play football and, in time, the key to European football of any sort.
    —————————————————————————————————————————

    Completely agree with this… the accounts will never be seen…..thank god or The Bears will have some new targets!

  18. easyJambo says:

    I may be wrong, but I’m not convinced that the lack of separate accounts for TRFC is an issue, at least in footballing terms. I’m not in a position to look up the regulations just now, but I think I’ve read something in relation to group companies that accounts could be consolidated for an appropriate group structure i.e. RIFC does little else than run TRFC, therefore the consolidated RIFC accounts may be sufficient for SFA/SPFL purposes.

  19. ecobhoy says:

    100bjd says:
    Saturday, March 1, 2014 at 12:53
    slimshady61 says:
    Saturday, March 1, 2014 at 12:15
    redlichtie says:
    Saturday, March 1, 2014 at 01:00
    ——————————————–
    Read my lips from 4 weeks ago, no TRFC accounts is THE story, not the Spivs, not the securitised Wonga loans, not the King over the watter – no accounts is the story. Accounts are the key to the licence to play football and, in time, the key to European football of any sort.
    —————————————————————————————————————————
    Completely agree with this… the accounts will never be seen…..thank god or The Bears will have some new targets
    ====================================
    So in the event of another admin and no audited accounts being filed does that set the clock back to 3 years audited accounts being required before european eligibility gained – putting aside for the moment the pesky little problem of qualifying of course 🙂

  20. allyjambo says:

    easyJambo says:

    Saturday, March 1, 2014 at 13:24

    I suspect you are right, though there is probably nothing in the appropriate rules that covers this scenario, just that it is left to the governing body’s discretion.

    On the other hand:

    ecobhoy says:

    Saturday, March 1, 2014 at 13:29

    Ecobhoy’s point might have more chance of having the effect of accountability, as it is out of the hands of TRFC’s supporters at Hampden; and should they try to circumvent the awkward truth, some other club would be losing out of a place in Europe, and I doubt we’re going to let them forget it!

  21. tykebhoy says:

    easyJambo says:
    Saturday, March 1, 2014 at 13:24
    1 0 Rate This
    ==============
    Group or not the accounts to last June of RIFC will not be sufficient if the SFA stick to the rules (I know I know). A wholly owned subsidiary of a publically listed company must prepare full audited accounts (TRFC’s were due yesterday) but even if the SFA accept RIFC accounts it would have to be audited interims. There is at least one former accountant that believes both companies are going concerns but I don’t know if he is an auditor. You will know him as Old Gold/ExpatBhoy/Steerpike and any other names the Troll may have used. Hello Niall I know you read this because you keep quoting it on Continung Random Thoughts http://continuingrandomthoughts.wordpress.com/

  22. TSFM says:

    Suspending posts for half a hour whilst I try to get us back home.

    There is a new address – http://www.tsfm.net
    The site looks a bit different, although not as different as it would have been had we not been forced into this situation.

    The PM messages have all been reset – although I will try to get those back.
    The archive is curtailed somewhat as well, but one of the ongoing tasks we have undertaken is to make sensible arrangements for the archive and that will be a work in progress, but not on the back burner 🙂

    The usual membership rules apply when logging into the new site, but you may find that although everyone’s usernames are preserved, some passwords no longer work. This is due to the encryption keys moving from one installation to the next have changed. A simple password reset will fix that.

    There will probably be some problems in the first few days which we will try to sort out as we go along. Please bear with us in the meantime.

    I aim to get the site at http://www.tsfm.net up and running before 1430hrs today (Sat).

    Any unforeseen problems, I will notify here asap.

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