Saturday, September 18, 2021

Here we go again

I think everyone on SFM knew that when the new club won its first trophy, whatever that trophy was, the old “same club” mantra would surface. Over the years, and since the nature of the debate is in the “santa exists” ballpark, we have largely discouraged discussion of it.

On the “old club” side, that reluctance to debate is largely because there is little value in arguing the toss with someone who either ;

  • knows the idea is preposterous, but won’t admit it for whatever reason; or
  • has been lied to by the person at (a) above and can’t be bothered to look at the facts for themselves.

On the “new club” side, the discouragement to discuss is mainly because we are in the main already equipped with the facts, and there seems little need to go over them again and again.

So why republish stevensanph’s blog and Hirsute Pursuit’s response from almost a decade ago?

Well firstly because it is an excellent piece of forensic scrutiny cutting through the fog which had begun to be induced by the MSM merely weeks after they had unanimously heralded the death of the old club.

Secondly because it was written as a response to the (at the time very unpopular) decision we made on SFM to close down the debate on the subject (for the reason stated above.

And lastly because the course of the truth – even if it is only shifted by a few degrees – can get completely lost as time goes by. Consequently, there are possibly many who take sides because of a leap of faith. This is a course-correction that demonstrates the absence of any need to do so.

So here then is a reprise of stevensanph’s remarks from 2013, on his own blog.


The Newco/Oldco debate has been ended over on TSFM, with the deletion of the excellent post from HirsutePursuit marking the end.  While some think we need to keep reinforcing the message that its a totally new club, others are bored of the subject, so I can’t blame TSFM for wanting to move on.

Personally – I have read all the arguments – I am yet to be shown any factual proof that Green’s Gers are the old club.  People will, and can believe whatever they want.  For Rangers fans who want to believe its the same club, then, as long as they are happy, then fine.  However, on paper, and in law, its a  new club, and thats all that I care about!

TSFM posters wanting to continue the debate can do so below following on from HP’s excellent deleted post!

TSFM

This blog, as far as I have been concerned, is widely regarded as a forum for people who wish to highlight the inequalities and skewed reporting of the issues within the Scottish football arena. If it is not, perhaps you can make it clear what you see as its purpose.

Perhaps the biggest ever story within the Scottish game has been the circumstances surrounding the demise of Rangers Football Club. It is a multi-layered story and one that that is still moving. In many ways, it may be a story that is only just beginning.

Central to the debate (that should be completely on-topic) for this blog, is whether or not the authorities (at all levels) have acted in an equitable manner and whether or not the “free press” have given life to events in a truthful and balanced way.

With absolute regard to these matters, there is a fundamental issue surrounding the status of the club incorporated in 2012 and currently playing in the 3rd division of the Scottish Football League.

If you genuinely believe that the club incorporated in 2012 are the same club as was founded in 1872/1873 then you have every right to be outraged at the behaviour of the footballing authorities. You will probably accept that UEFA were right to “ban” the club from European competitions because of its holding company’s insolvency event; but feel completely persecuted by your fellow Scottish clubs who demoted your team to the arse-end of the game. You will see this “demotion” as a punishment far too severe for the actions of the rogue ex-owner of the club’s former “holding company”. To compound matters, you will see the LNS enquiry as just another opportunity for the clubs who have already revelled in meting out a severe punishment, to have another fly-kick. You would, no doubt, believe that whatever the previous owner of the club’s “holding company” did in terms of player payments, the trophies were won fairly by the club on the field of play and can never be taken away. You will be – in the main – satisfied with the narrative of the “free press” in referring to your club as the same entity as played in the SPL.

All of the attitudes and beliefs rely 100% on the tenet of a “club” existing as a separate entity from the legal entity (“company”) responsible for a football team.

If you genuinely believe that the club incorporated in 2012 are a different club as was founded in 1872/1873 then you will still have every right to be outraged at the behaviour of the footballing authorities. UEFA would rightly refuse European Club Licence for the new club – if one was applied for – as the new club do not meet the criteria; but you will feel completely let down by the self-serving nature of the SPL and the weakness shown by the SFA in attempting to place the new club in the top tier of Scottish football. You will see the new club’s fast-track acceptance into the SFL as without precedent and their award of full member status (of the SFA) as against existing rules. You will wonder how – when the members of the SFL voted to give them associate membership as new club – the SFL executive list them on their website as the old club. As the old club had ceased footballing activities in June, there should have been no SFA membership or SPL share to transfer in August. Since the old club is no more, you will not recognise any punishment for the actions of the rogue ex-owner of the club. You will see the LNS enquiry as an opportunity for some sort of justice in relation to years of outrageous cheating by the now dead club. You will think that trophies and prize-money were stolen from clubs who played by the rules. You will think that a correction of results is simply a consequence of the old club being found guilty of cheating. You will probably think that the LNS enquiry has nothing to do with the new club; but may wonder if the enquiry orders the repayment of the old club’s prize-money, would this create a new “football debt” that has to be repaid by the new club to continue using the old club’s SFA membership? You will be aghast at the apparent repeated mis-reporting of the situation by the “free press”.

All of the attitudes and beliefs rely 100% on the tenet of a “club” being the legal entity (“company”) responsible for a football team.

You may feel that these positions are “just a matter of opinion” and do not ultimately matter.

I disagree. The indeterminate status of the club incorporated in 2012 is a huge sore in the Scottish football landscape. This is the biggest story that just cannot go away. If the schism created by this sense of injustice is not resolved, Scottish football will implode. Attitudes may already be too entrenched; but that should not stop us trying to find a way forward.

The principal difficulty (again totally on topic) is that it appears – from both sides of the debate) -that people in positions of power within the game have made decisions that cannot be justified by their rules and articles of association.

We can – as you wish us to – stop talking about the status of the club incorporated in 2012, or we can continue to argue our respective positions as a crucial factor in this controversy.

In my view we can only hold the SFA, SPL and SFL to account if we insist that a definitive answer to all of the important questions are given.

The status of the club incorporated in 2012 is – in my view – a simple matter of fact. It is only because it is being considered to be a matter of opinion that we are where we are.

The Origins of the concept of  a football club having an owner from whom it can be separated and its subsequent misuse by the SPL/SFA in 2012.

The following are taken from a well informed contributor to SFM who points out that pre 2005 no such concept existed in SPL rules and the meaning subsequently applied by LNS and The 5 Way Agreement is a danger  to the fundamental integrity of the Scottish football industry and its member clubs.


The very short version of what follows is this:



The SPL articles state that its definitions and expressions need to be given the meanings as described in the Companies Act 2006.

The Companies Act 2006 says that an “undertaking” is “a body corporate” i.e. a company.

Lord Nimmo Smith has ignored this definition and instead accepted (or created) an alternative meaning for “undertaking” (as used in Article 2) which is fundamental to the concept of being able to separate Club from Company.

The principle of Club and company being distinct entities was expressly stated in the commissions terms of reference.

Lord Nimmo Smith has accepted the terms of reference as “facts”.

The SPL articles and rules apply to Clubs and to their “owners & operators”.

LNS asserts that the Club “Rangers FC” was owned & operated by Rangers Football Club plc.

He asserts that the Club “Rangers FC” transferred from Rangers Football Club plc to Sevco Scotland Ltd.

The Club (if found guilty) is still liable for the alleged breaches of SPL rules, even though the Club is no longer a member of the SPL.

He asserts that Sevco Scotland Ltd – as the new owner & operator of the Club – have a material interest in his commissions findings.

However…

Instead of his accepting LNS logic that allows the ethereal Club to be transferred between companies, the truth is – read in conjunction with the Companies Act 2006 – Article 2 really says that the Club is the “body corporate”. The Club is the Company.

The Club is Rangers Football Club plc. That Club is in liquidation.

Since Sevco Scotland Ltd did not purchase Rangers Football Club plc, Sevco Scotland did not buy the Club.

*On the simple basis of Sevco Scotland’s purchase of Rangers FC’s assets, the Commission cannot legally apply sanctions that would fall to Sevco Scotland for remedy.

This issue should have been fairly straightforward. We need to understand why it is not.

It is surprising to me that an experienced high court judge accepted the commission’s terms of reference without first checking its validity. It would be interesting to understand if the statement of reasons was really his own thoughts or a re-hash of the SPL legal advice that framed the commissions work.

It does not surprise me that the SPL have framed the commission in the way that they have. The “transferable Club” logic was first used to unsuccessfully argue that Newco should have Oldco’s share in the SPL. They are acting in their own commercial interest. Sporting Integrity has never been high on their agenda. We know what they are about.

It is hugely disappointing – but perhaps not surprising – that the SFA have not stepped in to clarify matters. Conflicted and/or incompetent probably best sums up its contribution.

Longer version.

The SPL – essentially as a trade association – will correctly do what they can to maximise revenue for their members. It falls to the SFA – as the game’s regulators – to ensure that the SPL’s existing procedures, articles and rules are adhered to.

It is almost without dispute that the SPL have not functioned well in following protocol. The SFA have been incredibly weak in insisting that they do so. In fact the SFA – by being party to the 5-way agreement – are themselves seemingly complicit in going off-plan. Again, regardless of your own beliefs and agenda, the SPL (by their actions) and the SFA (by their inactions) are not TRUSTED to act as fair brokers.

Lord Nimmo Smith is due to reconvene his enquiry in just over a week’s time. When writing my previous (and quickly deleted) post earlier in the week, my mind was already moving towards (what I consider to be) the insurmountable difficulty the retired High Court judge will face in steering his commission to a logical conclusion.

In football parlance, I fear that the SPL have given him a “hospital pass” that will eventually leave him just as damaged as the game. I had already prepared an outline of why I think his enquiry will ultimately flounder; but, wonder if this topic too will fall foul of the new censorship policy on this blog.

As I think Lord Nimmo Smith’s remit is an important point that needs discussion – and out of respect to those people who have supported this blog as the spiritual successor of RTC – I will attempt to post my thoughts here first. If this post gets removed or doesn’t get past moderation, I’ll do as TSFM (Big Pink?) suggested earlier and find another, more open, forum to engage in.

I apologise in advance for the length of this post; but the points, I think, are fairly straightforward. Please do bear with me.

We should probably start at the SPL Press Release of 12th September 2012:

Independent Commission Preliminary Hearing
The Commission has considered all the preliminary issues raised in the list submitted by Newco and points raised in letters from solicitors acting for Newco and for Oldco. It has decided:

1. The Commission will proceed with its inquiry in the terms of the Notice of Commission and will now set a date for a hearing and give directions.

2. Oldco and Rangers FC, who are named in the Issues contained in the Notice of Commission and alleged to have been in breach of SPL rules, will continue to have the right to appear and be represented at all hearings of the Commission and to make such submissions as they think fit.

3. Newco, as the current owner and operator of Rangers FC, although not alleged by the SPL to have committed any breach of SPL Rules, will also have the right to appear and be represented at all hearings of the Commission and to make such submissions as it thinks fit.

4. Written reasons for this decision will be made available in due course.

Further to the decision made today the Commission make the following procedural orders:

1. We set a date for a hearing to commence on Tuesday 13 November 2012 with continuations from day to day as may be required until Friday 16 November 2012. We will also allocate Tuesday 20 and Wednesday 21 November 2012 as additional dates should any further continuation be required.

2. We direct that the solicitors for The Scottish Premier League Limited lodge any documents, additional to those already lodged, together with an outline argument and a list of witnesses by 4 pm on Friday 19 October 2012.

3. We direct that Oldco, Newco or any other person claiming an interest and wishing to appear and be represented at the hearing give intimation to that effect and lodge any documents together with an outline argument and a list of witnesses, all by 4 pm on Thursday 1 November 2012.

4. We direct that intimation of the aforesaid decision and of these directions be made to the solicitors for Oldco and Newco.

No further comment will be made.

Couple of points worth noting:
1. The Commission will proceed with its inquiry in the terms of the Notice of Commission and will now set a date for a hearing and give directions.

2. Oldco and Rangers FC, who are named in the Issues contained in the Notice of Commission and alleged to have been in breach of SPL rules

So it is clear here that Oldco and Rangers FC have, in the terms of the Notice of Commission, been described as separate entities. It is important to realise that this distinction is made before the commission has had any opportunity to consider the circumstances.

This is a non-negotiable “fact” – as supplied by the SPL – that LNS either accepts or stands aside. He has chosen to accept it.

This “fact” was later given reasoning by way of the Commission’s Statement of Reasons and carried the names of the Commission members:

History
[3] Rangers Football Club was founded in 1872 as an association football club. It was incorporated in 1899 as The Rangers Football Club Limited. In recent years the company’s name was changed to The Rangers Football Club Plc, and it is now called RFC 2012 Plc (in administration). In line with the terminology used in the correspondence between the parties, we shall refer to this company as “Oldco”.


[4] The SPL was incorporated in 1998. Its share capital consists of sixteen shares of £1 each, of which twelve have been issued. Oldco was one of the founding members of the SPL, and remained a member until 3 August 2012 when the members of the SPL approved the registration of a transfer of its share in the SPL to The Dundee Football Club Limited. Each of the twelve members owns and operates an association football club which plays in the Scottish Premier League (“the League”). The club owned and operated by Oldco played in the League from 1998 until 2012 under the name of Rangers Football Club (“Rangers FC”).

[33] It is now necessary to quote some of the provisions of the Articles of the SPL. Article 2 contains definitions which, so far as relevant are:
“Club means the undertaking of an association football club which is, for the time being, entitled, in accordance with the Rules, to participate in the League

Company means The Scottish Premier League Limited

League means the combination of Clubs known as the Scottish Premier League operated by the Company in accordance with the Rules

Rules mean the Rules for the time being of the League

Share means a share of the Company and Share Capital and Shareholding”.

[37] It is also necessary to quote certain of the Rules. Rule I1 provides definitions of various terms in the Rules. Of these, we refer to the following:
Club means an association football club, other than a Candidate Club, which is, for the time being, eligible to participate in the League and, except where the context otherwise requires, includes the owner and operator of such club

[46] It will be recalled that in Article 2 “Club” is defined in terms of “the undertaking of an association football club”, and in Rule I1 it is defined in terms of an association football club which is, for the time being, eligible to participate in the League, and includes the owner and operator of such Club. Taking these definitions together, the SPL and its members have provided, by contract, that a Club is an undertaking which is capable of being owned and operated. While it no doubt depends on individual circumstances what exactly is comprised in the undertaking of any particular Club, it would at the least comprise its name, the contracts with its players, its manager and other staff, and its ground, even though these may change from time to time. In common speech a Club is treated as a recognisable entity which is capable of being owned and operated, and which continues in existence despite its transfer to another owner and operator. In legal terms, it appears to us to be no different from any other undertaking which is capable of being carried on, bought and sold. This is not to say that a Club has legal personality, separate from and additional to the legal personality of its owner and operator. We are satisfied that it does not, and Mr McKenzie did not seek to argue otherwise. So a Club cannot, lacking legal personality, enter into a contract by itself. But it can be affected by the contractual obligations of its owner and operator. It is the Club, not its owner and operator, which plays in the League. Under Rule A7.1.1 the Club is bound to comply with all relevant rules. The Rules clearly contemplate the imposition of sanctions upon a Club, in distinction to a sanction imposed upon the owner or operator. That power must continue to apply even if the owner and operator at the time of breach of the Rules has ceased to be a member of the SPL and its undertaking has been transferred to another owner and operator. While there can be no question of subjecting the new owner and operator to sanctions, there are sanctions which could be imposed in terms of the Rules which are capable of affecting the Club as a continuing entity (even though not an entity with legal personality), and which thus might affect the interest of the new owner and operator in it. For these reasons we reject the arguments advanced in paragraphs 2 and 6 of the list of preliminary issues.

Here we were introduced to a few new ideas:
1. That SPL members “own and operate” association football clubs
2. That “Rangers Football Club” was “owned and operated” by Oldco (Rangers Football Club plc).
3. Club means the undertaking of an association football club
4. An “undertaking” is “a recognisable entity which is capable of being owned and operated, and which continues in existence despite its transfer to another owner and operator. “
5. “A Club cannot, lacking legal personality, enter into a contract by itself. “
6. “A Club is an undertaking which is capable of being owned and operated.”

So, the principle, by which Lord Nimmo Smith, purports to connect Oldco and Newco is by the alleged transference of a non-corporate entity between the two owners and operators of the “Club”. The Club is the non-corporate entity he identified as the “undertaking” referred to in Article 2.

However, this is where he gets into some very serious difficulty. It is very strange that – when quoting the relevant articles – the retired High Court Judge did not notice or think the following did not have a part to play.

2. In these Articles:-
2006 Act means the Companies Act 2006 including any statutory modification or re-enactments thereof for the time being in force;

4. Unless the context otherwise requires, words or expressions contained in these Articles bear the same meaning as in the 2006 Act but excluding any statutory modification thereof not in force when these Articles or the relevant parts thereof are adopted.

The SPL articles make specific reference to the Companies Act 2006. Specifically “words or expressions contained in these Articles bear the same meaning as in the 2006 Act”
So when the articles refer to “undertaking” we must refer to the 2006 Act to check what meaning we should apply. If we do so, we find:

http://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/2006/46/section/1161

1161Meaning of “undertaking” and related expressions

(1)In the Companies Acts “undertaking” means—
__(a)a body corporate or partnership, or
__(b)an unincorporated association carrying on a trade or business, with or without a view to profit.

(2)In the Companies Acts references to shares—
__(a)in relation to an undertaking with capital but no share capital, are to rights to share in the capital of the undertaking; and
__(b)in relation to an undertaking without capital, are to interests—
____(i)conferring any right to share in the profits or liability to contribute to the losses of the undertaking, or
____(ii)giving rise to an obligation to contribute to the debts or expenses of the undertaking in the event of a winding up.

(3)Other expressions appropriate to companies shall be construed, in relation to an undertaking which is not a company, as references to the corresponding persons, officers, documents or organs, as the case may be, appropriate to undertakings of that description.

This is subject to provision in any specific context providing for the translation of such expressions.

(4)References in the Companies Acts to “fellow subsidiary undertakings” are to undertakings which are subsidiary undertakings of the same parent undertaking but are not parent undertakings or subsidiary undertakings of each other.

(5)In the Companies Acts “group undertaking”, in relation to an undertaking, means an undertaking which is—
__(a)a parent undertaking or subsidiary undertaking of that undertaking, or
__(b)a subsidiary undertaking of any parent undertaking of that undertaking.

Everything that LNS uses to connect Newco to Oldco relies on a Club being a non-corporate entity. Without that interpretation, his original acceptance of the commissions remit would look very foolish. In my opinion, the commission’s statement of Reasons were always poorly framed

Using the 2006 Act – as it appears it is bound to do – I cannot see how any interpretation of “undertaking” can be used in the context of the SPL articles, other than “a body corporate”.

If I am correct and the correct interpretation of an undertaking in this context is “body corporate”, SPL Article 2, specifically (and quite clearly) states that a Club is the company. Since the Club that played in the SPL is in liquidation and the current version of Rangers has never been a member of the SPL, any attempt to sanction the new club for the sins of the old will be laughed out of court.

The real question – for me at least – is why has this ridiculous proposition has been put forward in the first place? Perhaps we can assume that the SPL chose to frame the commission’s remit in this way for purely commercial reasons; but, more worryingly, why have the SFA allowed it to progress?

Trisidium
Trisidium is a Dunblane businessman with a keen interest in Scottish Football. He is a Celtic fan, although the demands of modern-day parenting have seen him less at games and more as a taxi service for his kids.

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1142 COMMENTS


  1. SPFL asks SFA to intervene in sponsorship row with Rangers.
    In an email breaking the news chairman Murdoch MacLennan told member clubs: ‘The one SPFL club that has failed to deliver club inventory for cinch is also hampering the SPFL from promoting the SPFL’s relationship with cinch by, for example, refusing to permit cinch-branded interview backboards to be delivered to, or used at, its home ground and to be used for broadcast partner interviews with club representatives at away matches.

    ‘At their opening league match, none of that club’s players wore the cinch branded sleeve patch; there were no LED advertising or static advertising boards with cinch branding allowed in the stadium; and the club concerned also refused to allow the use of the standard SPFL broadcast partner interview backdrop board displaying cinch branding.

    ‘Over several weeks now, your board has sought to engage with the club concerned to find a way through this very serious impasse.

    ‘However, we have been met with a refusal to give the board sight of any pre-existing third-party contract that would prevent the club from providing inventory for cinch.

    ‘The refusal by one of our clubs to provide inventory for cinch presents a real and substantial commercial risk to the SPFL – and one which materially threatens the SPFL’s fee payments to all 42 SPFL clubs.

    ‘This is the first time in the history of the SPFL, or the SPL before that, where a club has not provided agreed inventory to the League for use in fulfilling a commercial Contract.

    ‘Your board considers it has been left with no realistic option, in compliance with Scottish FA articles, other than to refer this dispute to Scottish FA arbitration. Your Board has reached this conclusion with great reluctance.

    ‘However, your board believes that it has a clear obligation to embark upon this course of action to protect and advance the interests of the SPFL and all of its member clubs.’

    A couple of questions.
    Have the SPFL signed a deal knowing that a member club had a conflict of interest that could affect the deal?
    Have the “one club” adhered to the SPFL rules or not?
    Shouldn’t be too difficult for them to answer.


  2. Keith Jackson raises a valid point in today’s column in regards to covid impacting Rangers pre season training. Where was the media when John Lundstram raised this issue earlier. Did they not want to spend the $25,000 Rangers are apparently looking for in line with media access. Is there a much deeper issue with covid they want to hide. Wasn’t it just last year they played fast and loose in regards to results from covid test prior to a pre-season game.
    Are the rumors of earth tremors in certain areas of Glasgow or is it just a case of Rangers fans falling off the bandwagon. Could be full blown earthquake if they lose tomorrow night.


  3. Albertz11 9th August 2021 At 16:25

    A couple of questions.
    Have the SPFL signed a deal knowing that a member club had a conflict of interest that could affect the deal?
    Have the “one club” adhered to the SPFL rules or not?
    Shouldn’t be too difficult for them to answer.

    +++++++++++++++++++++=

    There will be lawyers involved in the arbitration process so it’s up them to successfully argue their case. The SPFL claim that despite repeated requests Rangers have not produced any evidence of contractual obligations which conflict with the deal. Rangers of course promised Scottish Football evidence of corruption within the SPFL last summer, and failed to do so. Lets see how this pans out.


  4. Mibbes the problem is that the Parks , father and son , are board members of RIFC Plc , which has nothing to do with SPFL and not TRFC Ltd , which is in dispute with SPFL . It should be easy to find the provision of services from one to the other in both sets of accounts , especially as tax is due for any private use of vehicles supplied and used . I can’t find any businesses that would be in conflict among this lot
    Stewart Robertson – Managing Director

    Andrew Dickson – Director of Finance and Football Administration

    Ross Wilson – Sporting Director

    James Blair – Company Secretary

    James Bisgrove – Director of Commerical and Marketing


  5. On the subject of Parks Motor Group I stood and watched the Celtic squad and management team arrive on four Parks buses yesterday. Dundee arrived on two (not Parks). A chap in the vicinity claimed there is a decades long agreement that Parks do not charge Celtic or Rangers for the buses. Perhaps Big Pink, who once worked at Celtic, can shed some light on whether or not that is the case.


  6. As I understand matters, if the SFA-arranged Arbitration panel (if things come to that point] is told by both TRFC and the other party to the contract that TRFC says it has with it, that there was/is a verbal contract between them that pre-dated the SPFL’s contract with cinch, then the SPFL are up the creek without a paddle!

    I mean, if you and I tell the rest of the world that we have a contract and that we both are happy with the terms of that contract, then it’s no one else’s business.
    How would anyone be able to prove that we had not or don’t now have, such a contract, even in the form of an unwritten gentleman’s agreement? [ except, perhaps, that a contract to do or bring about something illegal probably wouldn’t have any validity!]

    If TRFC have any proof ,written or oral, that they can put before the SPFL that they have a prior contract which legally prevents them from complying with the SPFL’s contract with cinch, why don’t they simply do that, in the knowledge that the SPFL board would be bound by commercial confidentiality to keep the details secret?
    Have they any questionable ‘contract’ to hide, any commercial arrangement that they do not wish the SPFL to know about?
    We know that there have been cases in the past of clubs keeping secrets from the ‘governance’ bodies to which they they belong.
    Surely to goodness no club today would be so crass as to do that? I’m sure the present set of circumstances is more simply explained by administrative muddle, bureaucratic incompetence, on one side or the other, or, more likely, both.
    The really interesting questions for me are :what if any Arbitration Panel actually found in favour of TRFC? Where would that leave cinch? And what would they do?
    Alternatively, if the Panel were to find in favour of the SPFL, where would that leave TRFC in relation to their ‘prior’ contract with whomever?
    Oh what fun!


  7. If Rangers have a contract with someone which is in conflict with cinch, what are they supplying the contracted party with. They don’t appear to have any markings on jerseys, field board advertising, or any visible signage in the stadium. Surely a company contracting with one of the “largest” and “most successful clubs” in world football would want something indicating they are/were a sponsor. If it a verbal contract the waters get quite muddy, when did it begin, who was involved, etc. Also with the track record in some of their past dealings wouldn’t you want the “i’s” dotted and “t’s” crossed.


  8. John Clark 9th August 2021 At 22:19

    As others have said there does not appear to be any sponsor or partner listed anywhere on Rangers website or elsewhere that might have a conflict with Cinch. The Rangers Chairman does of course own a car dealership but is that a reason alone to say they refuse to comply? I can’t help thinking this is all about Rangers having another fight with the SPFL, after spectacularly failing to prove corruption in the summer of 2020. This arbitration will be interesting, particularly as BBC revealed last night on Sportsound that the losing side must pick up the legal bill. Before any side can lose both have to agree on the arbitration in the first place. What if Rangers just refuse?


  9. Of course they will refuse to comply with arbitration. No one! can challenge The Rangers. Even in the slight chance of agreeing to arbitration, they will only comply with the outcome if it is in their favour. Anyone doubting this has not been paying attention for the last few decades.

    They will simply say the have a confidential verbal agreement which they will refuse to divulge. They already say they told the SPFL of this before the Cinch deal was agreed. Unless they have a “gentleman’s agreement” including a third knuckle handshake from SFA, that they will be assured of success in arbitration, they will not comply. Simples as they say…..


  10. Charles Green content, apparently, to accept£6,393,046.00 plus legal costs. Lord Tyre has been asked for decree in that sum.


  11. Normanbatesmumfc 10th August 2021 At 10:48

    I think the SPFL rules do require you to produce evidence of a pre-existing Contractual agreement, so even though it may be a verbal agreement they will still have to evidence this to the arbitration panel in some way. I am guessing by confirming the terms of it in writing as you would imagine the panel require written submissions in some form.

    You would also imagine you’d need sworn affidavits from the parties to the verbal agreement to support that one exists (3rd party verification helps) and then a confirmation that the terms of that agreement were then followed i.e. did the parties subsequently do what they say the agreement confirms.

    Interesting quirk of Scots Law is that you don’t require “consideration” (usually money) to form a Contract – what then is your loss if it is a non-financial agreement…..


  12. OttoKaiser
    “I think the SPFL rules do require you to produce evidence of a pre-existing Contractual agreement”

    Yes yes yes but when did rules ever apply to the Govan mob???

    Let’s assume The Rangers refuse to make any other comment other than referring to their earlier one and stick two fingers up to the “offer” of arbitration. What do you think will happen then???


  13. OttoKaiser 10th August 12.21

    Can you tell me where in the SPFL rulebook it states that a member club must divulge evidence of a pre-existing contractual agreement. when requested?.
    Would Murdoch MacLennan not have mentioned that Rangers had breached rule whatever in his e-mail to member clubs if this was indeed the case.?.
    Rangers through SR have made their position clear and need not comment further.


  14. John Clark 10th August 2021 At 11:10

    Charles Green content, apparently, to accept£6,393,046.00 plus legal costs. Lord Tyre has been asked for decree in that sum.

    ++++++++++++++++++++++=

    How much in total are taxpayers now out of pocket for all these malicious prosecutions? Surely this is a massive scandal deserving of widespread media coverage, yet all we get are media reports telling us how much more public money is being paid out in compensation.

    I believe there is to be a public inquiry into this. Right now though anyone could be forgiven for thinking that persons within the establishment set out to prove Rangers were victims of a fraud, and spectacularly failed to do so costing honest taxpayers an awful lot of money. The very fact the Crown Office themselves have admitted the prosecutions were malicious is quite incredible, and it worries me that whatever football club is involved may actually have a bearing on justice. How can we ever trust them to be impartial?


  15. Upthehoops 10th August 2021 At 16:23
    ‘… though anyone could be forgiven for thinking that persons within the establishment set out to prove Rangers were victims of a fraud, ..
    %%%%%%%%%%
    The whole mucky mess opens the door to a barra-load of conspiracy theories!
    IF some in the establishment wanted to portray SDM’s/CW’s Rangers as being an innocent victim of a conspiracy, another theory would have to be developed as to how other ,perhaps more powerful, people in the establishment managed [ as conspiracy theorists might contend] to sabotage the prosecution of any alleged conspirators?

    I haven’t yet seen that such Inquiry as is to be held will be a full Public Inquiry, judge led.

    But given that any inquiry will have to more than touch on the involvement of ,on the one hand,
    a senior police officer ,whom one would reasonably expect to be aware of the consequences for any proposed prosecution, of police wrongdoing in the matter of collection of material that was under legal and professional privilege,
    and on the other hand, a Lord Advocate ( now a Senator of the College of Justice], apparently in contradictory directions ( one apparently aiming at prosecution , the other apparently taking actions that would make prosecution impossible, and cause proceedings to collapse..].
    doesn’t one wonder what the hell may have been going on?
    I ‘m beginning to think that the Rangers saga has thrown up serious questions that may go beyond the Scottish Judiciary’s capacity to deal with.
    We will await developments.


  16. Re SPFL Rules to produce documentation

    The Article of Association for the SPFL (No. 103 and it’s iterations) the powers of the board are fairly broad but basically they can determine whatever necessary to ensure the correct running of the company (SPFL).

    Within the Rules and Regulations themselves though :

    Power of Inquiry and Determination
    J4 The Board and, where appointed by the Board, a Commission, shall have the power
    of inquiry into all financial, contractual and other arrangements within, between
    and/or amongst Clubs and Players and into all matters constituting or pertaining to
    any suspected or alleged breach of or failure to fulfil the Rules or Regulations by any
    Club, Official and/or Player or any matter considered by the Board or, where
    appointed by the Board, a Commission, to be relevant to an Adjudication or an
    Appeal and every Club and Official and Player shall be liable to and shall afford every
    assistance to the Board or, as the case may be Commission, as may be requested or
    required of it or him.

    To a lesser extent E30 gives SPFL board powers of inspection where E30.1.1 being the trigger and E30 2&3 providing the power of inspection of not only financial records but also to include other records/and or information.

    Essentially an open book policy but to ensure that:
    B1 In all matters and transactions relating to the League and Company each Club shall
    behave towards each other Club and the Company with the utmost good faith.


  17. OttoKaiser 10th August 2021 At 20:09

    ‘… In all matters and transactions relating to the League and Company each Club shall
    behave towards each other Club and the Company with the utmost good faith.’
    %%%%%%%%%%%%
    ‘With the utmost good faith’ :

    Sadly, RFC of 1872 (now, of course, RFC 2012 plc in Liquidation] and the SFA and SPL/SFL boards of 2012 all acted with anything but ‘the utmost good faith’ in relation to football in Scotland as an HONEST sport, in creating and propagating the myth that TRFC is Rangers of 1872.

    And see where that has left Scottish Football and the wider Scottish society now!
    No club, no fan, no potential sponsor or actual sponsor of clubs or Scottish Football can put ANY faith whatsoever in anything that comes either from Ibrox or Hampden Park( and some would say Celtic Park as well, if the old ‘Res 12’ matter is raised] and perhaps our very legal system with questions of its own to ask itself.

    A little bit of truth from SDM a decade or so ago probably would have prevented the desperate need, occasioned by his overweening arrogance and boastfulness ,for him to sell liability for huge debts to any charlatan who , when sensible, successful business consortia walked away , was happy to cobble up a nice wee arrangement that gave him ownership, and provided [ due process of law] a number of other folk with the opportunity of obtaining millions of pounds.

    SDM has never had a fraction of the opprobrium that was heaped on CW and others associated with CW.
    And he STILL swans about as ‘Sir’ David , tax and football cheating and [ by any ordinary reckoning] the blood of the dead Rangers on his hands.


  18. What was that loud thud near Ibrox earlier this evening. Was that the rest of the fanbase falling off the band wagon. Are the phone lines buzzing with out going calls looking to raise the missed 30 million. Can SG now cast his eyes at other oportunities. So many questions, so few answers. As they say in Malmo, how swede it is.

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