Monday, April 19, 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!


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.


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:

[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:

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?

Previous articleA Level Playing Field?
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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  1. Upthehoops 9th April 2021 At 18:14
    ” ..I read on social media that Carlos Pena won an unfair dismissal claim against them”
    Sadly, UTH, I don’t see any record of such a case on BAILLI (British and Irish Legal Information Institute)
    which publishes even Employment Tribunal stuff.
    I think TRFC referred in its statement at the time that Pena’s contract was terminated by’ mutual consent,’ which probably means that Pena did not do too badly out of it, or at least well enough to prevent him taking an unfair dismissal action.
    (But perhaps BAILLII is not quite up to date-Pena left only in Feb 2019……..and BAILLII may not yet have got round to reporting. Unlikely, I’d say, with regret!)

  2. Upthehoops 9th April 2021 At 19:44
    ‘But an insufficient youth system and lack of published accounts could bar the club from Uefa competition’
    Apologies, but for some reason I’ve only just seen this post of yours, UTH.
    Oh, I love it!
    What do we have?
    A serious, very serious matter!
    ‘Lack of published accounts’, eh, what?
    What in heaven’s name would UEFA make of

    -FALSE statements about social taxes indebtedness made by a club

    -the uncritical ENDORSEMENT of those false statements by the licensing committee of the National Football Association of which that club has not been a very long member

    Have there been allegations that such things might have happened?

    If so, have those allegations been independently investigated?

    In respect of one national association , I understand, the answer to question one is ‘YES’
    and to question two, a not unpredictable ‘NO’

    Honest to God!

  3. And can I just say that the death of HRH Prince Philip is of infinitely less emotional significance to me than were the deaths of my mum and dad.
    But obviously I understand that his widow and children and wider family may be affected as we all are at the death of a loved one or close relative.
    I sympathise and condole with them as I do with any family that suffers a bereavement

    Senior judge Lord Mulholland gives evidence in Rangers damages case
    A senior judge has been giving evidence in the £7m damages case brought by business expert David Grier over his prosecution in the Rangers fraud probe.

    Lord Mulholland, who is now a High Court judge, was the head of Scotland’s prosecution service at the time Mr Grier was charged in 2014.

    The former lord advocate denied having his “hand on the tiller” of the doomed Rangers investigation.

    He said other Crown lawyers made the key decisions in the investigation.

  5. Ally McCoist is right when he states the Covid 5 situation is not John Kennedy’s concern. It’s the concern of any club who has played the Rangers since the incident first surfaced more than two months ago, and it should be the concern of the clubs who will have to play following the split in league games. There is a lot at stake for a number of these clubs including the potential of European football next season. These clubs should follow the lead set by Rangers and swamp the SFA with letters demanding answers NOW, not two months or longer later. What took so long from the initial reporting of the incident until where we are today. As Bomber Brown claimed long ago “show me the deeds”, the clubs should be demanding “show me the paper trail.” Would it not be sweet justice if the undefeated season fell during the games following the split, and, for a double dose of sweetness, elimination from the Scottish Cup.

  6. Hats off to Graham Spiers in his column today:

    “…I commend Rangers FC, the club I supported passionately as a kid but have been extremely critical of in my working life, for their anti-racism stand in the wake of the Glen Kamara outrage. The rise of racism in our society is worrying — fuelled by social media — and football can play its part. But I do just want to check: Rangers FC are just as animated and passionate, aren’t they, about fighting anti-Catholic and anti-Irish bigotry, which have been blights around the club for decades? They are, aren’t they?”

    Rangers of course are right to be angry about the alleged racism towards Kamara, but Spiers aside they are getting a very easy ride from the media. They are being portrayed as some kind of saint like trailblazers in the fight against racism, when the fact is if fans were currently attending games, the huge issue they still have among a section of their support would be laid bare.

    I have completely given up on any hope of the vast majority of the Scottish media growing a set and actually doing their job. I actually gave up a long time ago, but it just gets worse by the week. They should be truly ashamed, but instead continue to act like a huge collective positive PR outlet for Rangers.

  7. Reading the report on the conclusions reached by La Liga on the alleged racist abuse by Juan Cala I find it difficult to see UEFA reaching anything but the same conclusion re the Kamara case. To be followed by howls of indignation from “the pundits”.

    With regard to the COVID 5, John Kennedy has every right to comment as the team which employs him is directly impacted. McCoist of course has the same right as you or I to comment as bystanders. Whilst TRFC may be playing the system would it be too much to ask that the grounds of the appeal are made public? Without further details one assumes appealing on grounds of a technicality rather than substance of the charges.

  8. I suspect that TRFC’s appeal may be based on ‘disproportionate punishment’; commonly called ‘whitabootery’.

    This may reference the refereeing team who went to Greece, didn’t obey protocols & weren’t cited, or even other teams that may or may not have played fast’n’loose with the rules & escaped the beady eye of the Compliance Officer (HAFC buses, CFC in Dubai etc etc. ad nauseam.).

  9. Wokingcelt 10th April 2021 At 11:53

    I believe in the case of Kamara another Rangers player claims to have heard what was said. Not sure if that makes a difference to how UEFA will deal with it.

    As for McCoist I am sure he knows fine well Gerrard had nothing to comment on regarding Celtic breaches as none of his players had at that point been treated differently. Celtic have every right to ask why what appears at face value to be favourable treatment is being given to Rangers players in this case. I don’t believe they will get an answer though. Rangers and ergo the media are quite happy with the way it is panning out so the SFA are on safe ground.

  10. I am not a lawyer but my understanding (delighted to be educated😊) is that when you appeal a decision you have to give a reason/rational that supports the appeal. And the court grants leave to appeal based on the reason/rational given or not as the case may be. Surely a professional sport with multi millions at stake would have robust protocols in place to maintain (or should that be regain?) the integrity of the game…

  11. Hearts are now promoted after one season spent in the Championship in the most acrimonious of circumstances. The top league will be far better for their presence. It would be good if the excellent Hearts contributors who used to post on here would consider coming back to the forum.

  12. Upthehoops 10th April 2021 At 12:21
    I think it is the media who are saying that another Rangers player heard the alleged racist abuse , and Stevie G is happy to go along with that . It seemed to me that the other Rangers playewr reacted to what Kamara was shouting as he chased Kudela . The UEFA investigation should clear it all up .

  13. @Paddy M – that was certainly my impression (and I would stress impression) watching the TV pictures, that Kamara told a colleague what was said. It doesn’t change what may have happened but it does change the quality of the evidence if no one else heard first hand. Separately we await the judgment on the tunnel shenanigans; if as serious as reported then I wouldn’t be rushing into the transfer market on the back of CL millions this time next year Rodney…

  14. Upthehoops 10th April 2021 At 22:06
    ‘..It would be good if the excellent Hearts contributors who used to post on here would consider coming back to the forum.’
    I agree.
    And I confess to having been too preoccupied [who said ‘obsessed?!] with what I considered(and still consider) to have been the DELIBERATE and calculated wrongdoing of our Football Authorities in the Rangers liquidation matter and the false claims of TRFC , to get too involved in a matter ,occasioned by Nature rather human badness, but which exposed our Football Governance people as being hopelessly blinkered!

    A once-in-a-lifetime event that was no-one’s fault could surely have been dealt with in a way that did not punish any members of the business groupings that made up the membership of the SFA.

    And I regret that I didn’t focus my SFM blog attention on that issue in support of the clubs that suffered.

    I was very happy today that ( whatever other internal problems!) Hearts got over the line early , and will be back in the SPL.

  15. I have just read this:
    “The Guardian
    “Cameron ‘lobbied senior Downing St aide and Matt Hancock’ to help Greensill”
    Kalyeena Makortoff, Michael Savage and Ben Butler 14 mins ago”

    ‘The Observer can reveal that Cameron was in line to profit from a $30m (£21.8m) employee benefit trust registered in Jersey thanks to his role with the collapsed Greensill Capital.’
    Good old EBTs, eh, what?
    Honest to God: greedy, grasping, lying bast.rds!
    In SDM’s/RFC of 1872’s case the EBT scheme was not licit.
    Cameron’s EBT scheme was probably licit ( else he would have been a stupider Etonite ‘fag’ ( allegedly)of Boris than I think!), but the lobbying, the tapping-in to people in positions of influence (some of whom might owe their present jobs to him ?) reeks of that disgusting moral corruption at public expense so familiar to us in the humbler sphere of Scottish Football.

  16. John Clark 10th April 2021 At 23:08

    The former Hearts posters were good at keeping me in line…well if not quite in line, certainly good at presenting an alternative view on certain issues which made me stop and think. In terms of the league, Hearts are one of Scotland’s biggest clubs and the top league can only be better by their presence.

  17. Paddy Malarkey 10th April 2021 At 22:46
    ‘..The UEFA investigation should clear it all up .’
    I’ve been trying to find on the UEFA website what the ‘standard of proof’ is that they use.
    They have already made a preliminary ‘judgment !
    ” In accordance with Article 49 DR, the CEDB today decided to provisionally suspend Mr. Ondřej Kúdela for the next (1) UEFA club competition match for which he would otherwise be eligible for the prima facie violation of Article 15(1)(a)(iv) DR, without prejudice to any ruling that the CEDB may subsequently make on the alleged violation of Article 14(1) DR.
    Further information about this case will be made available once the CEDB has taken a decision in due course.”

    Your man has already been tried and convicted by BBC Sportsound etc ( I could not believe my ears that BBC people would not automatically use words like ‘alleged’-Kenny at his partisanship worst, I think, not checked by the producer)
    We simply do not know for a fact what was said to Kamara. We have what he said was said to him. But that is uncorroborated by anyone except by hearsay from the victim.
    I’ve tried to find from the UEFA website what is the ‘standard of proof’ they use in their disciplinary cases. I can’t find any reference to it.
    So I can’t say whether they operate on the basis of ‘balance of probabilities’ or actual proven evidence ‘beyond reasonable doubt’.
    Having myself been a ‘victim’ of racism, I am instinctively on the side of any other victim.
    But allegations are allegations- not necessarily well-founded.
    And allegations by a suspect football club itself founded on a lie are, perhaps, to be treated with caution.

  18. Does Kris Boyd not understand the meaning of the word irony. He is quite willing to flap his gums on Leeds being successful due to the fact they spent a lot of money ( and I believe it was their own money). Does his memory bank not go back to the years when money was poured onto the Rangers in some what dubious ways allowing for their success.

    Steve Evans now claiming Gerrard could be the next Sir Alex Ferguson. Where to start on that one. He wins one title and all of a sudden the world is his oyster. Can we give it a few years before going off the deep end with silly comparisons.

    And, finally, SG says he is the only one who knows the details in regard to the Covid 5, If that is the case would that information not have been put forward to the SFA to alleviate all the aggravation that has arisen in the last two months. Of course SG knowledge of the details would have been completely unbiased. Should the SFA be asking for said information if it hasn’t already been presented. Where is the media following up on details.

  19. Daryl Broadfoot really toiling desperately to explain the delay in the COVID-5 with a non-explanation.

  20. John Clark 12th April 2021 At 18:07

    Daryl Broadfoot really toiling desperately to explain the delay in the COVID-5 with a non-explanation.


    He’ll be fine though, because ultimately it benefits Rangers and there will be no massive media backlash for that reason.

  21. My post of 18.07 above refers: apologies for not saying what I was listening to at the time: the laptop had to come off the kitchen table or I! would have got my dinner o’er ma heid!
    I was listening to Daryl on ‘Sportsound’

  22. Wokingcelt 12th April 2021 At 22:38
    ‘@ John Clark – guess that might have been heid bangers and mash then…sorry!’
    I was certainly bangin’ my heid when Daryl (or is it Darryl?) came out with the ’55’ assertion, and Collins hadn’t any more guts than English( who of course long ago bought into the lie that TRFC are continuity ‘Rangers of 1872’)to contradict him!

    When one thinks of the really quite brave journalists who exposed David Cameron as a wee chancer , smoothly oiling his way out of trouble as easily as he might use vaseline, one can have only contempt for our wee pretendy ‘journalists’ in the SMSM.

    In their approach to ‘sporting integrity’ they are pretty much in the mould of those who work as ‘journalists’ for governments who subsidise the doping of their athletes.

    That is, they are as dishonest and dishonourable as can be: and in the relatively trivial matter of sport!

    It’s been a while since we heard the words ‘succulent lamb’.

    But I think it is very likely that many of our SMSM people are still getting the odd wee bit of lamb tossed to them , with a draught of Rhenish, which ,as the tossers they are, they greedily swally with relish!

    Where would they be, if they were required to lie about more fundamental matters?
    Yep, you got it in one!

    Jawohl , with knobs on!

    Honest to God!

  23. I’ll need to listen again to the latest podcast, and David Low’s ramblings.
    The Celtic Trust seems to me to be kind of equivalent to Club 1872 in that it seems, to me at least, to be a tool of the Celtic plc board ,just as Club 1872 is a tool of TRFC. It is basically controlled by the Celtic Board as much as Club 1872 is by the TRFC/RIFC boards .
    Am I wrong?
    Answers, please, in a word.

  24. Stopped listening to all the Scottish broadcasts, Clyde and Sportsound and TBH I am better off and more informed than i was when i used to listen to them. They talk utter sh*te and are made up of either huns or soup takers amd liars.
    There was no escape out of Admin and no route out of liquidation, to pretend that a business is the same and was allowed to wipe off it’s creditors debts when it’s creditors agreed to have them wound them up is not just a lie, it is a fraud to the public who may in the future believe they are buying into something claimed to be an original when in fact it is not possible for it to be, every merchandise, media print that sells based on the lie is committing fraud and carrying it out in the knowledge they know it to be a lie and fraud.
    The goods sold, are goods not as described, as they cannot be associated, for example there has been no 55 titles won, with an association to the club proclaiming to have won them, how could there be the club is only 10 years young.

  25. Angel Gabriel 13th April 2021 At 06:37

    Celtic did not break any rules by going to Dubai. They had the permission of both the SFA and the Scottish Government to go. I know for a fact that they spoke once again to the Scottish Government only three days before travelling and they still had no objections. The point Broadfoot made was they broke no social distancing rules of the country they were in.

    He completely tied himself in knots on that programme. He tried to justify everything, including in his words that social distancing rules are broken almost every week at many clubs but everything has to be taken in context. He very cleverly slipped in at that point that included Rangers celebrations when they won the league.

    He was clearly speaking for the SFA though (he still does work for them), and the real point of alarm for me was that it seems the SFA, despite the fact that the Rangers Covid-5 were fined by Police, allowed Rangers a lengthy period to allegedly carry out their own investigation. He tried to say it was not an open and shut case, despite the fact they broke the law and were fined by Police. This, along with Rangers making an appeal based on the grounds that a player can’t be banned if he is a good prospect. has led to the whole thing being a farce, and Rangers are hugely benefitting from it by being able to play a player who is their cover for a key player injury. 66 days have now come and gone since those players broke the law, and still they remain unpunished.

    As for Broadfoot and his 55 titles statement, it was just a case of a Rangers fan (which he is for a fact) using his paid position on BBC to gloat. Humility is certainly not their strong point.

  26. UTH 13th April 08.33.

    Having not yet had the opportunity to listen to the episode of Sportsound in question i won’t comment.

    On the subject of the Rangers appeal, do you honestly believe that it is based on SGs comments regarding Nathan Patterson?. According to the manager himself the quotes were taken out of context ,which isn’t surprising given the quality or lack of in journalism at present.

  27. I see where the SFA are apparently calling two managers on to the carpet for recent remarks regarding officials> The SFA operating at almost warp speed to get this down. It appears that if you have an assistant manager you can get caught in their crosshairs, but, if you have a back up for an injured player, and, that player finds himself facing suspension the wheels will turn ever so slowly an almost glacial like pace. Gerrard has had a fair number of goes at the game, officials, etc and I don’t recall him being brought to task.

  28. @Albertz11 – on what other basis are we to surmise an appeal has been made? All 5 players broke the law of the country. All 5 players were excluded from training/squad bubbles which suggests that TRFC acknowledged that COVID regulations within football were breached (I may have missed TRFC claiming this was done in error).
    Simple fact is we lack consistent and robust application of what should be a straightforward set of rules. And we lack a media willing to hold these authorities to account on a without fear or favour basis. And if SG has been taken out of context – well it took a while for him to realise.
    For me TRFC are shamelessly playing the system – they may benefit from this but do you consider such behaviour worthy of your support?

  29. Albertz11 —– Gerrard has had a lot to say since coming to Rangers regarding officials, attitude of fans toward then, etc. Despite all the past comments we are led to believe his comments on Patterson were the first and only to be taken out of context. He is good with the media, maybe even slippery when he wants to make a point,
    but to fall back on the old crutch, “taken out of context”, by the Ranger loving media is hard to swallow

  30. Albertz11 13th April 2021 At 16:39

    At the time of the press conference, which some media outlets played back in full, Gerrard’s comments about Patterson were the only justification he gave for an appeal. I am sure even some Rangers fans inwardly thought how good a prospect your manager thinks you are is stretching it to say the least as a basis for an appeal. It was at a following PC he claimed they were taken out of context. These players broke the law and accepted their fines. An appeal looks frivolous to say the least. However as others have pointed out Rangers are simply using the system. The SFA should have been swift and firm with them from the outset instead of letting them control all the timing. It doesn’t really take a genius to suspect it’s all about the fact the regular right back got injured around the same time and Patterson was the only right back cover. Even if their appeal fails, Rangers have got what they wanted. Plus ca change!

  31. And propaganda meister Halliday continues the work of untruth:
    Here he is in today’s ‘The Scotsman’ : ” .the most coveted win in their 149- year history” and ” the figure of 55 which has been notched up this season in their record collection of league titles”

    What kind of diabolically perverted journalism stands facts absolutely on their head and comes out with untrue nonsense?
    The very worst and most untrustworthy and self-seeking kind, of course.

  32. Paddy Malarkey 14th April 15.46

    A 10 game ban is the minimum punishment UEFA could have imposed for Kudela.

    As Aamer Anwar has said it’s “making a mockery of UEFA’s claim on taking racism seriously”.
    Glen Kamara was originally banned for 5 games before being reduced to 3 on appeal.
    Disgusted but not surprised.

  33. Albertz11 14th April 2021 At 16:19
    My opinion is that Kamara was racially abused and Kudela should have been banned for at least a year . Unfortunately , it appears to be one players word against anothers’ . Stevie G stated that “Other players around it heard it. I will stand toe-to-toe with Glen Kamara.” , so I would imagine these players will be front and centre in the proposed appeal , or are Rangers only contesting the sanctions on their players ? In the midst of all this , it’s easy to forget that Rangers were sanctioned by UEFA in 2019 for their fans “racist behaviour” .

  34. “How on earth do we rid football of this cancer?” screams Kenny Mac about the curse of racism.
    And quite rightly.
    I agree with him wholeheartedly and with all who condemn racism in whatever circumstances.

    But where is the cry for restoration of truth in SCOTTISH football, which has been living an absurd lie since 2012 in accommodating the fantasy that TRFC (of special admission into football as a new club in 2012 ) is somehow 149 years old and entitled to claim honours and titles for football achievements that they were not in existence even to participate in?
    Racism is unquestionably a far more horrendous matter with far more serious social consequences than any stupid lying by a Sports governance body or by any football club.

    Nevertheless, such lying is scarcely acceptable just because it’s of lesser global consequence.

    Untruth is untruth.
    And folk who promote untruth are pernicious liars who must be called out.

  35. Paddy Malarkey 14th April 16.19

    I agree with regards to your proposed punishment for Kudela.

    If UEFA are serious about eradicating racism from the game then the punishment must fit the crime and 10 matches is obviously insufficient. As SRTRC tweeted today ” Players can wear respect on their arms, but without zero tolerance of racist abuse, it stands as an empty gesture”.

  36. I listened in to this morning’s session in the Grier damages case. The cross-examination of Det Superintendent Robertson continued.
    I could only listen to the morning session, having other things to do in the afternoon.
    The questioning seemed to be trying to establish whether ,once the English Court had issued an injunction forbidding access to and use of ‘Legal and Professional Privilege’ wrongly seized from solicitors in London and Manchester (I think) , the Scottish police had breached that injunction even though they ad apparently been told to stop any further investigation at that time.
    That was about as far as proceedings got to by lunch.

    Also on today was
    Wednesday 14th April
    CA71/20 Duff & Phelps Ltd AG The Lord Advocate
    which, of course, I missed!

  37. Again we have McCoist clogging up the media with the telling of a story how he negotiated with David Murray over bottles of wine and always seem to come out second best. If they had indulged in that much wine did he ever read the contract, or, have the ability to read it. As you will remember when his contact as manager of Rangers came to light he famously claimed he just signed the papers and didn’t read them. Poor Ally must have been hard done by during his playing time at Rangers if that’s how he really negotiated his contract.

  38. The 10 game ban was the maximum allowed not the minimum , Kudela I imagine denied he said this and there were no Independent witnesses to the allegation. I have little doubt he did use this language but we need more than one person to verify it and a team mate is not Independent. We can have a situation now where people can make false allegations in order to benefit from them . Players are quite happy to dive and fake injury in order to seek an advantage on the pitch or have a player sent off , what’s to stop them claiming racial abuse for the same purpose ? If we are punishing people without evidence then this will end up being abused .
    If the club from Ibrox were serious about standing up to racism then they should immediately ditch their “mandarin” top . Every man and his dog knows exactly what it represents and the type of bigot they are playing to . When they are happy to profit from racism then they can hardly complain when they come in contact with racism themselves.

  39. Paddy Malarkey 14th April 2021 At 18:37

    I have always been of the view Kamara was definitely racially abused. People can say what they want about proof but his reaction and statements following it make it pretty much a slam dunker for me.

    While Rangers were absolutely right to demand appropriate action the absoute moral high ground they and their fans are taking over racism does not sit well at all with me. There is a significant problem with racism and sectarianism among a section of their support and this will become evident again when fans are allowed back in. It will also attract the attention of UEFA. They are not the only club with problems but they should have eased up on the holier than thou stance they are taking. It would be harder for them to be like that if more in the SMSM pointed this out to them, but so far only Graham Spiers has, who is of course banned from Ibrox. On another note I am hearing Michael Stewart is also banned now for having an opinion.

  40. Timtim 15th April 13.17.

    According to Article 14 Racism and other discriminatory conduct.

    Any person under the scope of Article 3 who insults the human dignity of a person or group of persons on whatever grounds, including skin colour, race, religion, ethnic origin, gender of sexual orientation, incurs a suspension lasting at LEAST ten matches or a specified period of time, or any other appropriate sanction.

  41. A superb tour de force by Marvin Bartley of Livingston FC on Sportsound!
    What a powerful, passionate speaker on a matter that is of supremely greater importance than mere football.
    But it was amusing to hear Chick say how good it was that Marvin had this opportunity on the BBC to express himself!
    Not making any equation between the Big Lie and the evil of racism, I wonder at the perversity of the BBC in refusing discussion ,even ,of the Big lie never mind giving permission to anyone to argue for the Truth-that RFC of 1872 was liquidated, cease to exist as a football club, and that TRFC is not, could not possibly be, RFC of 1872.
    Some people are very selective about the truth, and such people have a bloody cheek to try to speak as honest people.

  42. I managed to catch the beginning of the cross-examination of the lady Det. Inspector in the Grier damages action.
    Kick-off was delayed until 10.30, and she was sworn in then.
    The questioning was about the disks , which were in envelopes, that had been part of the material seized from the offices of HFW/DFW.
    Further questions related to conversations between Det SUP Robertson and the witness, and communications with Crown office , and more senior police officers, an interview with Phil Betts at a time when he was regarded as a suspect, and a formal statement from Betts later when he was interviewed formally as a witness.
    And so on, until Lunch.
    I took some notes, of course, and could put down some more questions and answers. However, a condition of getting telephone access to the Hearings is that any reporting has to avoid being in any way prejudicial to the Hearing or any participants.
    I’m afraid that I have no sure way of knowing where the line may be! And I don’t want to face a Contempt of court charge if I made a mistake in my notes!
    Besides, I didn’t hear any more testimony from the Det Inspector because I didn’t tune in after lunch.

    As an almost unconnected observation, I read a week or so ago an article by the Dean of Faculty in which, although he was all for streamlining Court procedures and was appreciative of the great boon it was that modern comms enabled virtual hearings to take place to let important matters be dealt with, he expressed the view that there is nothing to bet live, open court, face-to-face justice, even in civil matters.
    I think I agree with him!

  43. John Clark 15th April 2021 At 18:39

    Another thing I am becoming increasingly frustrated with is the huge push within the Scottish Media for racism punishments to be increased after this particular incident. Racism is horrible – all right minded people agree on that, but discrimination and hate filled abuse has been around Scottish football for a long time, and the same media are often apologists for it. You don’t have to be a person of colour to be racially abused, and abuse based on a person’s religion is every bit as bad. Let’s see if that continues to be swept under the carpet when crowds return. I suspect it will be.

  44. Upthehoops 15th April 2021 At 20:36
    ‘..You don’t have to be a person of colour to be racially abused,.’
    Conversely, uth there is no Constitutional bar on persons of colour INHERITING THE CROWN on grounds merely of their ethnic origins or skin colour.
    Whereas there is an ABSOLUTE legal bar on RCs becoming King/Queen!

    Under the laws of the UK ,these days a person of colour who is transgender/homosexual/bisexual/ lesbian and of the religious faith of Islamism/ Hinduism/ Taoism/ Buddhism/’atheism’, or whatever, who may happen to be the heir to the Throne is not , right from the off, debarred by Law from being crowned as Monarch.

    Whereas his/her parallel ( except in not being a person of colour ] , but who is Roman Catholic IS absolutely barred!

    That the Act of Settlement of 1701 is still on the Statute book is a piece of nonsense: and a pernicious piece of nonsense in that it betokens AN ATTITUDE OF MIND that has resisted change in ONE aspect of civic society when every other aspect of former discrimination has, thankfully , been removed by statute.

  45. Upthehoops 15th April 2021 At 14:04
    ‘..On another note I am hearing Michael Stewart is also banned now for having an opinion.’
    I thought I had heard that too, on BBC radio Scotland?
    And I thought , how come?
    Stewart did not express an opinion.
    The very opposite, in fact.
    He said what I myself said at the time: we do not know what was said.
    It could have been any kind of ‘noise-up’ abusive, insulting terms.
    I myself can think of plenty of ways to insult and verbally ‘abuse’ a TRFC player, that would have nothing to do with racism!
    In fact, by declaring that TRFC is a cheating club, claiming to be 149 years old, I am, albeit indirectly, ‘abusing’ the entire playing squad and management of the cheating club by implying that they personally ,wittingly or unwittingly, have bought into a lie!

    But of course, I speak not ‘opinion’, but objective truth,… and not abuse.

    And even UEFA would have to acknowledge that TRFC did not exist prior to 2012!

    Honest to God!
    That the lie should have continued for so long…..
    And that so many journalists , print and radio, should be so thirled to the lie !
    God help them square their consciences before the ‘Eye’
    Pitiful, weak-minded, sheep-like sort of disgrace to ‘journalism’ that they are!

  46. On Marvin Bartley, I think I heard that he had the support of big-name English premiership players ‘of colour’ to take direct action by walking off the field sometime soon in whatever match they were playing in to force their own clubs and the FA and UEFA to get to grips with racism in a meaningful way.
    That would really get minds focussed!
    More power to his elbow!

  47. John Clark 16th April 2021 At 00:00

    When Celtic last visited Ibrox the players were subjected to significant sectarian abuse when they exited the team bus, The police stood by and watched. The video is available on social media. They arrested one man some days later rather than deal with multi-offenders at the time. I do hope that now Rangers have come out firmly against all types of discrimination and prejudice that they will have worked with police to ensure no bigots are allowed near the front door on Sunday. Then again reading social media all of their fans don’t have a racist or bigoted bone in them, such is the anti-racism stance they have all taken these past few weeks. So there shouldn’t be an issue.

  48. A sense of whataboutery on some of the recent posts. I think most would agree that Kamara was racially abused based on immediate reaction and that likely there were no witnesses. UEFA appear to have acted on basis of balance of probabilities rather than reasonable doubt, presumably based on their rule book.
    Based on press reports (in England) the Slavia player made a singular racist comment. Given its singularity and no witnesses I understand why UEFA may have felt that going beyond the minimum sanction not appropriate otherwise it begs the question what would attract the minimum sanction. I am not justifying the level of sanction, just noting what is currently available per their rule book.
    Let’s hold each other to account for our casual ‘isms each of which can be just as toxic and destructive.
    And if not too sanctimonious maybe question why we want to hold on to our history if not to learn from it and disown it at the same time.

  49. UTH 15th April 20.36

    All types of discrimination, be it Racist, Sectarian, Homophobic etc should be highlighted by all sections of the media without fear or favour and then dealt with in a appropriate manner. If this should result in players/clubs being banned or stadiums being closed then so be it.
    To be discussing this in 2021 is depressing.
    Enough is enough.

    On a personal level the look of disbelief, hurt & anger on the faces of Glen Kamara, Bongani Zungu & Connor Goldson will live long in the memory, as will the images of Glen being consoled by Steven Gerrard post match.

  50. Just to say I accessed the virtual hearing in the Grier action this morning at about 10.50 ( presumably it had begun at the scheduled time of 10.00
    When I tuned in, I heard the witness , a police officer, being asked whether he knew anything about Wavetower? Anything about Merchant Turnaround? Had he dealt with Mr Ross Bryant? Did he know anything about ‘the letter of comfort’?

    Did he read any statement by Mr Betts? Did he have unrestricted access to the documentation in the whole case? How often was he briefed?

    Next witness was a much more senior police officer.
    He was asked to identify ( on a screen that only he and the legal chaps could see] 3 documents. These were from what he referred to as the Policy Management File, The first was signed by the witness himself and another officer(A DCI, not Robertson)
    The second was again signed by that same DCI and had the words” decision taken in consultation with [the witness]
    The third document was signed by the same DCI.
    I’ve no note about anything the witness may have said, other than to confirm the document was from the Policy Management File. All I have is the QC saying “we see DCI Z’s name Would we be better asking him ..?
    That was Mr Duncan’s last question to the witness.
    Lord Tyre: Mr Smith?
    Mr Smith QC: Thank you, m’Lord. Mr Y, I represent David Grier. First, can I ask whether you were watching evidence given by others?
    W: No. The person assisting me has only just connected me. [ I presume that witnesses are assisted by a techy/ court official/ polis who makes sure that witnesses cannot access the proceedings until they themselves have to take the stand? I wonder how they prevent witnesses accessing on the phone right from day one, using a friend’s phone?]
    QC: Look again at the document. Is it a notebook with details?
    W: No.. (???)
    QC: Reason ‘ due to ‘potential public interest and response by supporters of Rangers’… Do you remember that meeting?
    W: No.
    QC: About anticipating of potential response, the nature of it?
    W: Well, it would have been about public order, and the safety of individuals.
    QC: There could be trouble, verbal and physical abuse?
    W: Yes.
    Qc: You are an extremely senior officer-what did you think was the worst case scenario?
    W: An assault on the Duff and Phelps administrators.
    QC: You would ensure their safety. How many officers did you direct?
    W: I didn’t. The officer responsible did.
    QC What resource would have been reasonable?
    W: I would ask those on the spot.
    QC: Let’s speak hypothetically: I’m a police officer and I come to you…situation of high tension. how should I manage?
    W: well, I would take advice from the people who run the Court. ..
    QC: But it’s a matter of public safety.. it’s for the Police?
    W: In partnership with Court officials.
    QC: Did you ask for a formal risk assessment ?
    W: I reassured myself that the people in charge had enough resources.
    QC: But how and when did you reassure yourself? When did you satisfy yourself?
    W: prior to the individuals’ appearance in court.
    QC: But now you know that wouldn’t it be reasonable to take positive steps?
    W: Yes, but it’s what I did do.
    QC: Shouldn’t that be in the Policy Management Manual?
    W: No.
    QC: Where would we find that?
    W: The Policy Management file was DCI Z’s.
    QC: Did you make sure that DCI Z was in charge?
    W Yes.
    QC: When? at that time, how many police officers?
    W: I can’t say.
    QC :How many people might have turned up?
    W: Maybe none, maybe many.
    QC: I would expect something in writing: where will I find it?
    [If there was a reply, I missed it! The QC, Mr Smith, suggested to the judge that since he had more questions this might be a good time to take a break.
    So there was a break from 11.30 to 11.50.
    And I will give you all a break as well, and resume again tomorrow.
    [ I’m a one-finger typist, and can hardly read my own scribbled notes. I would have done this earlier today, but the boss said: Nicola says we can leave our own council area today, it’s a beautiful day, so get in the car and take me to Peebles!
    Nice wee town, Peebles. ]

  51. Ranger fans, players and management continue to drone on regarding their alleged 55th league title and that theme has been fairly consistent for many years. With a QF game in the Scottish Cup on the horizon you hardly here any mention of Celtic being on the road to their 40th Scottish Cup. Surely if the shoe were on the other foot the Scottish media and Rangers fans, players, management would be advising all and sundry of the next feat in their somewhat spotty history, and, possibly another world record.

  52. I cannot imagine how I missed the announcement in February 2021 of the appointment of a new Editor for ‘The Scotsman’.
    The appointment was announced on 21 February and I’ve just become aware of it.
    “A senior BBC executive has been appointed editor of a flagship daily newspaper in the first major editorial appointment by its new owners.”

    And he introduces himself on page 2 of today’s edition.
    In his message he mentions “that it was impossible to resist the opportunity to ensure The Scotsman pursues vigorously its 204 -year-old mission..”

    Will his feeing for true history prompt him to face up to the fact that the newspaper of which he is now the Editor deliberately fosters and promotes the ridiculous untruth that a football club that was newly admitted into Scottish Football in 2012 is 149 years old? And restore some notion of journalistic and sporting integrity?

    Or will he happily lie along with BBC Scotland in continuing to promote the untruth that RFC of 1872 did not die, and that a 12-year-old football cub has 149 years worth of sporting achievement?

    I think I can answer that question in a word of two letters..

  53. Vernallen 17th April 2021 At 01:59

    Vernallen, I commented on this ‘shouting’ about 55 a little while back, convinced as I am that TRFC and their fans (including those in the broadcast and written media) are ONLY proclaiming it so loudly (and, sadly, visibly too in the case of their fans with ’55’ flags and t-shirts!) because they are trying DESPERATELY to drown out the original voice in their head reminding them how they felt when the club was liquidated and they read the papers, watched the news etc.

    I have family on my wife’s side who are Rangers/TRFC fans. They have bought ’55’ t-shirts for themselves and friends. I wind them up by asking “Have you still got your ’45’ t-shirts that you presumably bought when the old club reached that milestone?” They’re not happy, but then I guess any club that claims to be the world’s most successful when they can see the likes of Real with their Decimo, other Euro trophies and loads of higher standard league titles; Bayern with their domestic record in a much higher standard league as well as CL wins etc would have no problem celebrating a ridiculous number like ’55’.

    I find it laughable! I can’t think of any other club who would celebrate a ‘-5′ honour in such a way, but that just convinces me that the ONLY reason for the hyperbole over ’55’ is to shout over that wee, horrible voice in their head saying ‘it’s not really the same club, but okay….’ It’s the exact same, of course, as the 140th anniversary celebrations soon after liquidation. It’s actually quite embarrassing, but cognitive dissonance will do that to you, I guess.

  54. For anyone who may be interested
    The David Grier action : my notes of the Hearing on Friday morning 16 April 2021 continued.:

    Court resumed at 11.50

    QC: [ instructs the ‘operator’ controlling the showing of documents on screen to show 6485 of Bundle 3.] Mr Y, who is that in the photograph.. the lady in black holding back a Rangers fan? We can’t tell she is a police officer. There’s another image at the bottom- car keys in her right hand.No indication that she is a police officer.
    Not really a police presence?
    W: Agreed. But the assessment would be made at the time, and resources could be provided very quickly by radio.
    QC: But if there was a riot…you would expect to be able to say that risks had been properly assessed..?
    W: Yes.

    QC: There is a document about that?
    W: There is a ‘strategic intention’… [ ed:I think this is a paper outlining the strategy that the responsible officer proposes to adopt]
    QC: If we turn now to page 1054….. [silence while the operator gets it on screen]
    . ’14 November 2014- intelligence received Whitehouse ‘flying to Portugal’. You knew Whitehouse had house in Portugal?
    W: Yes. The SIO wanted all to be detained at the same time. If someone left the country that
    wouldn’t happen .. and there might have been difficulties.
    QC: But at that time European Arrest Warrants were available whatever the present position is, after Brexit.. Did he have a return ticket?
    W: I don’t know.
    QC: In 6839, 6803 [ of the witness’s statement] you can see “ I knew JR by name … met him once or twice….. I wasn’t aware of anyone raising questions about JR’s conduct or JO’N.
    Is that so?
    W: Yes
    QC: “ if there had been any concerns about them it would have been noticed.No possibility of a ‘rogue cop’. It can be reasonable for officers to be robust in questioning..”
    Let’s suppose that a colleague had broken rules like opening an envelope when the question of LPP had not been resolved…and Jo’N knew that the envelope ought not to have been opened.
    What would you expect?
    W: to report it to her supervisor or another senior officer if her supervisor was the person..
    QC: She did give evidence that she reported to AB. What would you expect to happen?
    W: An enquiry.
    QC: A serious official matter?
    W: Yes.
    QC: Maybe even disciplinary ?
    W: At least reported to the PF.
    QC: And if AB ignored the report, it would be terrible?
    W: Yes
    QC: Even you would expect to be told?
    W: Most important that the PF be told.
    QC: How would something as serious as this not reach you?
    W: I don’t know why that is.
    QC: I’m interested in whether you would wish to amend your statement where you say “ at no stage has anyone ever highlighted any concern”.. the report would have gone up the chain of command from AB up to Superintendent T, then to C. and then to you?
    W: Yes.
    QC: Was there a question of taking JR off the enquiry?
    W: that would be an option.
    QC: This would all be in writing?
    W: Yes.
    QC What do you understand that police officers are obliged to tell the Crown?
    W: the evidence they have obtained..
    QC: It’s all covered by the Act? [ ed: The Police and Criminal Evidence Act 1984] It’s not up to the Police to decide what to tell? Is that right?
    W: Yes.
    QC: Philip Betts during 2013 ,originally a suspect ,was interviewed for about an hour in the middle of March 2013 at Stanstead airport. That should have been disclosed.?
    W: Yes.
    QC: Mr Betts was a Director of Wavetower. He persuaded Mr Patel to change a name on the spreadsheet that was presented to MIH. Looks like afraud?
    W: Yes
    QC: It’s hard to see how Mr Betts could move from being a suspect to being a witness?
    W: Well, it depends ..
    QC: The Crown took JR’s word that there was no criminality in Mr Betts!
    W: I’m surprised that the Crown simply accepted the word of JR
    QC: You would have expected the Crown to ask questions about it?
    W: Yes.
    QC; It’s all right for police officers to be robust in questioning.But there are allegations that JR was inappropriately aggressive?
    W: Mmnn, yes.
    QC: In your statement you imply that a PC can’t be a snowflake when interviewing?
    W: Yes.

    QC: if we look in Bundle 5,page 3 paras 3,4 and 5. In context , this relates to the statement of Philip Duffy, managing director of Duff and Phelps, where he says “arrest was based on Panorama programme”
    and that JR said “ you had better make sure it’s true’ and allegedly chanted Rangers songs and made remarks like ‘don’t get smart with me, sonny’ woudn’t that be considered as [inappropriately aggressive]?
    QC: There’s another example at p.4, from Mr Paul Smith’s statement[ed:I missed that quoted extract and the quote from a Mr Chalmers, solicitor ]
    the QC continued: these interviews took place after the indictments were served on people in Duff and Phelps along with others..a Crown witness is being interviewed!
    There is more of that kind of stuff in Paul Smith. And Mr Raynford – solicitor in criminal law for nearly 40 years and a part-time judge recorded (on page 55)
    “ What I recall we were all very close together to make written witness statements…..JR was ‘coming after us!”This was a complete shock. He was very aggressive , saying ‘I’m going to take you up to Scotland today’.”
    Wouldn’t you say that that was completely unacceptable?
    W: I agree.
    QC: Andrew Gregory, solicitor for Duff and Phelps? If Mr XX believd that Gregory could not be trusted, you’d expect him to mention that fact?
    W: Yes.
    QC: In the matter of returning the D &P stuff ,was that a fairly low level task?
    W: Not necessarily.
    [There followed a brief discussion about why senior officers rather than junior officers took the bxes of dcuments that had been seized. The witness sad that it was a matter of balancing costs of taking officers off other duties against the convenience of using officers familiar with the investigatin.
    QC: Document 35, statement of Andrew Gregory, solicitor of 37 years standing.Para 23: on page 39
    “10 12 2014
    DCI JR addressed me” He asserts that JR said to him “I don’t want to be locking you up”.
    W: If that is true, his attitude is appalling.
    QC: no further questions, m’Lord.

    Lord Tyre: Mr Moynihan have you any question?
    Mr Moynihan: No,m’Lord.

    Lord Tyre: Mr Duncan.?

    Mr D: Thank you, m’LordI
    If we go back to the ‘spreadsheet’ and ‘fraud’ ,doesn’t that question have to be seen in the whole context, for example, what reliance the Murray Group placed on the change?
    W: yes
    Mr D: And on the matter of reporting the allegedly wrongfully accessing of material, that was in October 2017. When did you retire?
    W: October 2016.
    Mr D: 17 November 2014, did you know that Duff and Phelps had arranged private security for their people?
    W: Yes.

    Lord Tyre: Mr Duncan have you more questions?
    MrD: Yes, my Lord. I’m conscious that we lost some time earlier, so perhaps ..
    Lord Tyre: Yes, but I think we might stop for lunch now.
    Court rose at 1.07 pm.

  55. So Barry Ferguson sees a Ranger’s win tomorrow creating space in the Celtic trophy room. Well that maybe true there is still a lot of room to fill in the Ranger’s trophy room. This year’s league title, the pre-season thing from France, and the outstanding Challenge Cup from early on in the journey. With the amount of column inches he garners weekly, how does he cope with managing a football team.

  56. Vernallen 17th April 2021 At 18:58

    Do ex-players such as Barry Ferguson actually write their columns, or are they ghost written by Journalists?

  57. Nawlite 17th April 2021 At 18:51
    ‘..Very interesting indeed, JC.’
    I just wish I had ‘Pitman’ shorthand skills!
    However, I don’t think I have in the least misrepresented anything that was said by any of the ‘legals’ or witnesses.
    I write what I hear, and if I haven’t heard, I make that fact plain .
    And, of course, I carefully avoid comment of my own .

  58. UTH 17th April 2021 21:30
    No matter who writes them they aren’t exactly cutting edge pieces of journalism. The extra few bob a week must feel like receiving an EBT for non performance.

  59. John Clark 17th April 2021 At 22:36
    0 0 Rate This

    Nawlite 17th April 2021 At 18:51
    ‘..Very interesting indeed, JC.’
    I just wish I had ‘Pitman’ shorthand skills!
    However, I don’t think I have in the least misrepresented anything that was said by any of the ‘legals’ or witnesses.
    I write what I hear, and if I haven’t heard, I make that fact plain .
    And, of course, I carefully avoid comment of my own .


    JC, I admire your note taking skills. I remember the good old days when people with shorthand skills would take notes at meetings and draft the minutes. Then when there was money to be saved it morphed into sometimes having to take your own notes and draft your own minutes. I retired late last year and by then meeting minutes (for some meetings) had become a lot less formal and detailed than they once were. To be honest a lot of it was long overdue.

  60. The latest news about a possible breakaway by Europe’s top clubs isn’t really a surprise, nor is it a surprise that there has been widespread opposition to the proposals.

    However, if I was to play devil’s advocate, what is the difference in what is proposed in Europe with what happened in England in 1992 and in Scotland in 1998 when the EPL and SPL were formed? Both leagues had the same desire to break away from their existing league structures and for the biggest teams to benefit financially from the move.

    The EPL and SPL relented to some extent by allowing promotion/relegation in order to maintain their dominance, control and status at home and with UEFA. However, both leagues are now the dominant voices in domestic football, along with their broadcasting partners, not the FA or SFA.

    It would not surprise me if the super league came up with some compromise arrangement that would see the CL winners play off against the super league’s bottom side, in order to gain acceptance.

    The super league is so far removed from Scottish Football that it should make no difference whatsoever here. In any event there appears to be a growing desire that Scottish football itself needs restructured again, to focus on the full time professional clubs and reduce the influence of the part time clubs. Colt or B team proposals are just another manifestation of that. Again the primary drivers are financial and self interest reasons.

  61. Paddy Malarkey 18th April 2021 At 18:39

    Lurkio 18th April 2021 At 18:49
    I’ve just read the Joint Statement, from which I lift this little gem:
    “In a separate statement, the Premier League said it condemned the proposal as it “attacks the principles of open competition and sporting merit which are at the heart” of domestic and European football.”

    Maybe at the heart of football in England perhaps, but certainly not in Scotland where the SFA created and continues to promote the biggest Sports lie in sporting history, and point-blank refused to have an independent investigation into a potential crime which may, allegedly, have involved officials in the SFA and/or officials of a football club .
    No notion of sporting merit here, chaps!

  62. The latest announcements regarding a European super league suggest to me that those clubs see the Harlem Globetrotters approach as the way to go – fully fledged entertainment business and to hang with the pesky sporting considerations.
    It amazes me that so few in “big business “ (whatever that is) seem never to have heard of the story of the goose that laid golden eggs. Their greed will consume anything and everything it touches. Football as a closed shop with pseudo competition – not for me, it would make Giant Haystacks v Big Daddy look Olympian by comparison!

  63. Wokingcelt 18th April 2021 At 23:01
    ‘.Football as a closed shop with pseudo competition – not for me’
    Eh, even pseudo competition is a tad more acceptable than no competition whatsoever being required in order to gain sports titles and honours!

    There’s TRFC being allowed ,by our ‘men of integrity in sport’ , our sport’s governance bodies, to claim honours etc won in competitions which they did not exist to be able even to take part in !

    We must not be suckered by the passage of time to forget that rot at the heart of our ‘sport’

    With that untruth at the very centre, who can trust that anything is honest?

    Are games rigged? Are ‘draws’ rigged? Are ‘own goals’ or ‘penalties’ rigged by arrangement between clubs?

    Am I paranoid, or was RFC of 1872 liquidated and TRFC founded in 2012?
    I am not paranoid. RFC of 1872 died, and TRFC was born in 2012.
    And we do have a very suspect governance body.
    And every man jack on that governance body knows that.

  64. SG moaning about the penalty awarded today. So would that be another record down the drain, a full season of Scottish football without a penalty being awarded against Rangers.
    Can someone supply the editors of scottish papers with the definition of liquidation. Again we have reference to the potential of Rangers possibly achieving their first double since 2009. Since the club/company/engine room was placed in liquidation in 2012 would this not be there first double ever. Only if someone had the internal fortitude to report in the truthful manner.
    Can we expect a press release in the near future about Rangers being invited to enter the proposed new Super League.

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SFM is a community of football fans who want to see the game in Scotland run fairly and in a manner that befits true sporting endeavour