Mint Sauce, Anyone?

CTVB8dXWsAIvifN“All the titles and silverware from all the years Rangers cheated at football, as they cheated at tax, must be null and void and wiped from the record.” Oh dear, who is this vile Celtic bigot parading their hatred for all to see? Oh. It’s Channel 4 News’s award-winning journalist Alex Thomson. Thomson today writes on what he calls “the biggest organised cheating scandal in the history of Scottish football – probably British football and possibly in British sport” in pretty unambiguous terms.

Of course Scottish journalists have already dealt with the issue. Last night BBC Scotland’s ‘flagship’ (sic) sports programme devoted just under two minutes to the issue, asking the expert impartial pairing of former Rangers player Steven Thompson and ex-Rangers manager Stuart McCall (pictured) all about it. McCall’s view: “Not at all”.  View it here [from 48.43].

You might be forgiven for thinking that “the biggest organised cheating scandal in British sporting history” might deserve a more in-depth treatment. But you’d be wrong.

Talk Talk

Rangers today issued a statement quite breathtaking in its arrogance. Read it here.

They avoid any of the substantial issues and play straight to the gallery. It’s all about the money: “Our game has to become more attractive to potential sponsors and partners if the finance levels required are to be generated but this can only be done if we present a coherent and united strategy.”

This is playing to the fears of cash-strapped clubs up and down the land. But these clubs may be doing a different sort of maths after this week’s revelations, calculating the benefits of a more competitive league and more open cup competitions if a giant dysnfunctional cuckoo isn’t given a permanent free ride.

They continue pleading national unity: “a line must be drawn now if we are all to prosper”, a variant of “we’re all in this together”.

Then they conclude: “Rangers cannot countenance or accept any talk, attempts or actions designed to undermine what this Club has achieved throughout its long history.” This is basically saying: you may not talk about this. I’m not entirely sure how this chimes with the notion of unity and collective prosperity?

Introducing Mr Black

The Rangers Tax was held in secret because many of those under HMRC scrutiny wanted it that way. So it all got a bit cloak and dagger. Individuals were referred to as Mr Black, Mr Yellow etc.

No Mr Whyte, yet.

Thompson clearly believes that “Mr Black” was Knight Batchelor David Murray, because the tax tribunal describes him thus: “While Mr Black had been involved in ‘signing and selling’ 350-400 players in 20 years of involvement at Rangers, he had not, and could not, because of all his commitments, devote any real time to detailed contractual negotiations. At the start of each football season he would meet with his manager to decide on which players might be possible recruits.”

Thompson writes: “Rangers – obstructive, unhelpful and evasive, according to the Tax Tribunals – are now found to be tax cheats on an industrial scale by the Law Lords. Which is why “Mr Black’s” candid admission – Rangers did it to again sporting advantage – now matters so much. His evidence could not be clearer.”

Now you’d expect the pliant, underfunded and rankly useless BBC Sport Scotland to roll over, but why such silence from other clubs?

The Scottish football authorities may be docile and witless, but the fans aren’t, so, as Thomson concludes:”It is time the SPFL members came out from Glasgow, Edinburgh, Dundee, Aberdeen and beyond to denounce cheating as cheating and take action as fans from Kelso to Thurso are begging them to do.”


Comments (74)

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  1. Bryan Weir says:

    ”It is time the SPFL members came out from Glasgow, Edinburgh, Dundee, Aberdeen and beyond to denounce cheating as cheating and take action as fans from Kelso to Thurso are begging them to do.”

    What action are fans begging them to take?

    1. GUNN says:

      Stripping the titles they cheated for is what we want

      1. tartanfever says:


    2. C Rober says:

      Rangers new co have no titles to speak of , has no one actually noticed this?

      When Rangers ceased to be , and became the new co , so did the titles.

      This is why Rangers New CO had to start in the bottom tiers , but should have been down in the very bottom , if you ask those teams was it fair they will tell you ….. regardless.

      The branding was purchased , the logo , stadium and so on by the new co which proves this , but the titles could not be purchased , they were not considered legally to be assets in that they could not be transferred.

      It has been brought up many times in pubs since the stars appeared over the logo on the tops , you cant have it both ways , either Rangers ceased to exist and was a new co , or it hasnt and has simply cheated creditors .

  2. Scott young says:

    This whole rangers thing is old news. Who really cares anymore.
    Rangers and celtic only survive as a home for middle age bigots.
    I really thought Bella was above all this nonsense.

    1. Happyhoopybhoy says:

      Why bother about anything then, according to you. Cheat now and don’t worry about getting caught in the future cos apathetics like Mr young will make sure you’ll get off Scot free and don’t have to pay the consequences of your illegal actions. On you go Scotty. A wee bit of thieving. You know you want to. No reprisals. Just make sure you don’t inadvertently steal from a friend or family member.

    2. Bryan Weir says:

      The ed’s on a bit of a crusade.

    3. Caledonian says:

      Who cares about the old rangers titles , everyone knows murray cheated the taxman with his dodgy scheme, when are the tax authorities going to go after Butcher and his pals for unpaid taxes, if it was the normal man in the street it would be a different story alltogether

  3. Douglas Robertson says:

    I have no real interest in football, but decades ago I did once support Dundee FC. I have had no real interest in Rangers, but did try to ensure one of my sons was exposed more to Dundee not Rangers when growing up in Glasgow.

    That said, the Bella coverage of this corruption scandal greatly interests me now, given it exposes much of what is normally hidden. Corruption and tax avoidance are endemic, and the problem is the guilty just move on to the next corporate board room, dinner table or executive box, leaving everyone else to consider the complete illusion of one clubs sporting prowess. It was a sham, a sham correograhped by powerful, but applauded and appreciated by those who happily relished overt cheating, and refuse to condone their powerful people. So it says so much about contemporary Scotland, hence its interest to Bella.

    1. Michael Reilly says:

      Excellent points Douglas, this case isn’t actually about football, and in fact totally transcends it, it exposes the cancer of our age, which is the endemic corruption and cronyism of privilege.
      The money gambled and lost (other people’s) played with by a few well connected individuals, managing to bring down massive Scottish Institutions, Bank of Scotland, Rangers, and big business notably Murray International, is quite rightly what Alex Thompson says an absolutely almighty scandal, that for reasons unknown the Fourth Estate in Scotland would rather not shine any light on.
      The Tax Payer has been left on the hook for hundreds of millions of pounds, of which Rangers is only a small part, and these individuals think they can use that as a smokescreen to walk away (pardon the pun) Scot free, it is a national embarrassment.

      1. Thanks Michael/Douglas. Precisely this is about protected privilege and power and media collusion. It’s about the very thin line between business practice and criminality.

  4. Douglas says:

    Rangers should – if they had any sense of honour – willingly offer to relinquish all of the trophies they won during the period where they were using the illegal tax scheme, and the trophies involved be declared null and void for each season in question. Anything less than that is an injustice and an affront to Scottish football fans, and if I was a Rangers fan, I would be openly arguing for the same. It´s about ethics, not sporting rivalry. Think of the giants of the past like Bill Struth. What would Bill Struth have done? What would he have said about this? Rangers fans are not to blame for the shenanigans of their corrupt, cynical and money obsessed boards of the past, but they do bear some responsibility in the right way.

    Rangers, but also to some extent Celtic, are the biggest single problem Scottish football faces. The dramatic decline of our game – one of the sports we always overperformed at, which gave joy to millions and millions of us for decades – basically started when Souness turned up and David Murray got out the chequebook. Then, the magic conveyor-belt of Scottish talent suddenly switched off. Even today, Celtic go and buy Scott Allan, just so Rangers can´t get him, and Hibs, the third or fourth biggest team are robbed of a key player….how many games has he had at Celtic?

    We need a complete rethink of Scottish football. It is irrelevant, completely irrelevant internationally these days and, frankly, a joke and an embarrassment. As a Spanish friend asked me the other day, “Do Scotland still play fitba?”…it was a serious question. Celtic, for their part, get GUBBED home and away by the champions of NORWAY….Celtic who used to cause teams to quake the length and breadth of Europe, without exception….

    You need a scheme like in North American football – as I understand it – the profits of the whole league are put onto one pot and then divided out among the teams. Surely Celtic fans and Rangers fans want them to compete in Europe like they used to? And Hibs fans, Dundee Utd fans and Aberdeen fans too….you need to do something radical.

    But we get this glib, outrageous, thoroughly obnoxious statement from Rangers today, and you just shrug your shoulders…nothing will change, because the people who run Scottish football are thick as mince….they have no vision, cannot see beyond the next game, and ultimately, don´t care about the overall state of the national game….

    1. h_j says:

      Douglas, go and have a lie down somewhere. If it wasn’t for Celtic, no Scottish club would have the European cup in their trophy room. Your Spanish friend obviously knows nothing about football, since Celtic beat Barcelona only 3 years ago and Scotland ran Spain very close at Hampden.

      Celtic did not just buy Scott Allan to stop Rangers either, Rangers never even made a bid.

      Stop posting your mince and have a wee break eh?

      1. Douglas says:

        The mighty Celtic GUBBED home and away by a team of glorified fisherman….you could drive a double decker bus through the Celtic defence…HA HA HA!!! I´m still laughing a week later…

        “Houston, I´d say we have a problem…”

        My Spanish mate was referring to the national team….

      2. Douglas says:

        By the way, Aberdeen won the Cup Winners Cup and the Rangers – Old, New, Corrupt and Blue – also, after which they wrecked Barcelona. And Dundee Utd were so close, as were Dundee in the 60´s.

        So, not true either about us all being beholden to Celtic….

    2. Caledonian says:

      Scottish football is not irrelevant, there are lots of supporters who still go to see their clubs play, its not all about money you know, we can’t all be barcelona supporters , some of us where actually born in scotland

    3. Caledonian says:

      What kind of world do you live in Douglas, you see in the real world television now has control of football, i remember a few years ago, Manchester United had one hundred million quid more than celtic every single season, remember they bought rooney from everton for 30 million quid, that money came from the mugs that pay for sky tv, btw, i have never been one of those mugs, why should a Manchester City fan pay sky tv, and then sky tv give Manchester United One hundred million a year, just as well city got the oil rich arab in to help them out, remember city got relegated at one time and where out of the big money, even the likes of Southampton got about 30 million just for avoiding relegation, and if you did get relegated they got a parachute payment of 30 million, Manchester United owe about one billion to the institutions, the americans bought them with their own money, is that not the biggest con ever on any football club
      At least scotland is quite pure in its football dealings in the most part, and as for your spanish friend, tell him that football games dont just happen in his little world in Barcelona, there is nothing for any scottish club to be ashamed of, after all its just a game where 22 grown men kick a bag o wind about for 90 minutes, and then we all go home to the real world

      1. Brochan says:

        You guys do realise that this thread is over a year old?

  5. Douglas says:

    Scottish fitba produced not just great players, great teams and great managers, but great human beings: Jock Stein, Matt Busby, Bill Shankly….absolute giants, these men worse their ethics on their sleeve, their teams played ethical football…they weren´t in the business of winning at all costs, they played the beautiful game.

    What has Scottish fitba lost? In one word? Its ethics….or if you like, its soul….

    The money men have come in and taken over and corrupted and destroyed one of the best things about Scotland – the national game. How good were we? So good that a player like John McGovern, who lifted the European Cup twice for Nottingham Forest as captain, couldn´t even get in the national squad….an embarrassment of riches….

    The Rangers tax case should be a turning point. For that to happen, Rangers fans need to put pressure on the board to hand back in the silverware the seasons where they were cheating the tax man.

    And the people who administer Scottish football should be run out of town, as should 80% of the moronic journalists and pundits who write or talk about Scottish football….they are complicit in the cover up and just go along with anything for a cheque….

    We need a fan revolution in Scottish fitba…

  6. Bryan Weir says:

    A club being forced to go to the wall for their sins was hardly a cover up. They were pursued relentlessly by the press and the BBC until they were forced to pay the penalty. That was hardly a cover up. They are still being pursued by people like the Bella editor and other journalists whose allegiances clearly lie elsewhere. That is hardly a cover up.

    They are not pursuing them because they are righteous. If we are honest these people would have little to say about this if it was Inverness Caley or Greenock Morton who were in the dock.

    Rangers paid the penalty and for the good of Scottish Football I actually do think it is time to move on. Those who are without sin should cast the first stone but let’s face it, there is hardly a professional player in Scotland or indeed the UK who has not at some point received some sort of back of the book, undeclared payment. Smaller scale but same principle applies. Time to put your agendas away boys. ;o)

    1. Douglas says:

      The word “fan” is short for “fanatic”, clearly your case Brian. Rangers cheated. There should be no question. about them being stripped of their titles

      “For the good of Scottish football” Brian…what does that mean exactly? Since when did Rangers become the arbiters of the national sport?

      Rangers and Celtic are an irrelevance these days, outside of Scotland. When I was growing up, they were a force to be reckoned with. That doesn´t tell you something?

      Scottish football is corrupt…Rangers are the most obvious symptom of that, but it is corrupt and complacent and stupid in all kinds of ways.

      It gars me greet that Scottish bairns are growing up who never saw a single Scottish football player who was worth paying the price of a ticket just to see him play. Davie Cooper? Charlie Nicholas for a few years? Kenny Dalglish? Strachan….there is a long list….I can´t think of a single Scottish player of their standing today.

      …Scottish football these days is PISH….Rangers fans should be worried….keep the titles…or maybe sell them Brian, cause it´s all about the money, eh?

      “We are Rangers, no-one likes us, we don´t care…” EXACTLY……nobody likes you, and you really don´t care….maybe go and play in England? Aye, but they would never have you either….

      …and the BBC are running the story today, not just Bella Caledonia…

      1. Bryan Weir says:

        I think you have mistaken me for a Rangers supporter.

        1. tartanfever says:

          ‘I think you have mistaken me for a Rangers supporter.’

          It would certainly explain the rank comment you posted.

          1. Bryan Weir says:

            At least I had something to say.

  7. john young says:

    Not going to happen Douglas “cheating” sits easily on most be it Rangers/sport anything really,I am a Celtic supporter my son-in-law and family are staunch Rangers supporters and a finer more honest and upstanding people you won,t meet but when it comes to addressing the problem of cheating they deny any complicity/gain,it bewilders/frustrates me in equal measure,I just cannot get my head round it cheating is cheating no ifs buts maybes,if you seek to win whilst cheating then everything else is immatreacle.

    1. Douglas says:

      A plague on both your houses….the Old Firm are the problem….how many games has Scott Allan played this season?

      1. John says:

        Scott hasn’t played much due to injuries, no other reason Douglas.

        1. Douglas says:

          Just like Deek Riordan then, eh?

    2. Douglas says:

      Celtic and Rangers have been poaching every single decent Hibs player since 1888, usually to leave them on the bench…and then you get HUMPED by the Norwegians, truly HUMPED, HUMPED home and away…by the champions of friggin Norway…well HA HA HA… HILARIOUS…

      …you need a competitive league…anybody who ever played football knows that if the team you were playing were crap, you just went through the motions…that´s what Celtic are doing almost every week. Each time you wise guys come and steal another Hibs player – I could name you a whole team – you reduce your chances of ever doing anything in Europe….and reduce the chance of the Scottish national team ever doing anything either…

      It´s so obvious, but the people who run Scottish football Are complete MORONS, and almost invariably Celtic or Rangers FANATICS, which comes to the same thing….

  8. Douglas says:

    I once knew a pianist, a professional pianist though, eh? She played for a national orchestra. I can´t remember which one. She told me one day, that if she didn´t practice for even one day, she could notice the difference in terms of her skill at playing the piano. One day and she played worse. Football players are not so different.

    How many minutes of competitive football do Celtic play a season in a typical Scottish league? Maybe 20% of the time they are on the park? Or 10% even. Usually, they win just by turning up or by half-time…

    So the overriding question is: how do you make the Scottish premier league competitive? They keep changing the number of teams in the league, while the pundits – I can´t listen to them any more, even the pundits are worse than they were 20 years ago – talk about a winter break. Pat Nevin mentions diet. Facilities are often mentioned too.

    But ultimately the problem is the gap in income between the Old Firm and the rest of the teams in the league, a gap which became a chasm when the TV money arrived with Souness. What will a year on the bench do to Scott Allan? We don´t know. What did it do to Riordan? It basically finished his career. There are numerous examples like that.

    We need to retrace our steps and see where we took a wrong turning. Some statistician should work out the difference between Rangers and Celtic and the rest in the 60´s and 70´s, and the difference today. Maybe it was 3-1 and now it is 20-1… And with that figure in hand, go back and come up with a plan to redistribute wealth around the top division so that it is like it was 30 years ago.

    Celtic fans will obviously be happy with that because Celtic are a “socialist” club, right? Correct? Always on the side of the underdog they say? So, the underdog here is everybody else in Scottish fitba except for the filthy, cheating carpet-bagging criminal gang of thieves known as Rangers…

    Let´s see that socialism in action, bhoys….

    1. Paul says:

      That’s a curious analogy – a pianist practicing : footballer playing.

      Surely a more accurate one would be either:
      pianist playing in concert : footballer playing
      pianist practicing : footballer training.

      I thought Riordan was an excellent player, but also thought he was of no use by half-time if he ever started a match.

      I always wondered if he had fitness issues. I wondered this about several players who rocked up to Celtic Park round about that time, most notably one that came from Real Madrid with a vastly superior footballing CV to Riordan’s, who also struggled to get a game. I think Strachan was a bit of a stickler for fitness and work-rate.

      Alas for Riordan, one of the most ‘natural’ goalscorers I’ve seen, whatever happened with him is a great loss to, and perhaps a sad indictment of, the state of the Scottish game.

      1. Douglas says:

        Fair enough Paul…

        …but the point I am trying to make is that the so-called experts – expert only at repeating the same tired old mantra when analysing the problems with our game: facilities, the weather, our diet, the structure of the league – almost never mention the massive differential between the Old Firm and the rest of the teams in the league in terms of income. Until you tackle that, nothing will change.

        Hibs had a great team in the 70´s, we would almost certainly have won the league if we weren´t faced with Stein´s Celtic. Sometimes we would lose players, but mainly to English teams. Brownlie and Blackley both went to Newcastle. Marinello went to Arsenal. Des Bremner went to Aston Villa. Cropley went to.. where? I canny mind….the only player I can think of who went to the Old Firm was Pat Stanton who signed for Celtic near the end of his career, and there was an outcry by the fans about that. But these days, the Old Firm just sign anybody that looks remotely good and park them on the bench….

        …the wage disparity is enormous, the income disparity is enormous between the Old Firm and the rest. Unless you lay the foundations for a competitive league, Scottish fitba is doomed. And the tradition is slipping away. Scottish children are probably more likely to support English teams these days, and who can blame them?

  9. bill fraser says:

    It is time fans from all over Scotland started paying bit more attention to the neglected sides and realized they are all in it together to promote SCOTTISH FOOTBALL

  10. Clydebuilt says:

    For me the SPFL is about every team bar Celtic or Rangers, the competition that counts is between Aberdeen, Hearts Etc , once you move your attention away from Celtic and Rangers it’s a very competitive league.
    Would be good to see an award to the winner of the real league.

  11. punklin says:

    Please forgive the nit-picking nature of this comment but it’s my job to teach a class its grammar.

    The possessive version of the pronoun “it” is: “its”, not “it’s”.

    There is never an apostrophe here. For example: “The statement is breathtaking in its arrogance.” not: “The statement is breathtaking in it’s arrogance.”

    I know this is counter intuitive – it’s correct to write: “The statement’s arrogance is breathtaking.” but when using a pronoun (I/you/he, she or it/we/they) in the possessive form there’s no apostrophe (my/your/his, her or its/our/their).

    “it’s” is used only with a verb – the apostrophe shortens “it is” or “it has”to “it’s”.

    So in this extract from the article the first “it’s” should be “its”; the second one is correct:

    ‘…it’s arrogance. Read it here.
    They avoid any of the substantial issues and play straight to the gallery. It’s all about the money.’

    English (!) grammar: it’s not logical with its daft rules.

    1. Bryan Weir says:

      Its not that important.

    2. geeze peece says:

      omg the grammar police are everywhere, all that wasted effort and who reely kares lol

  12. Peter Barjonas says:

    As Rangers FC were only established in 2012 prior trophies are not theirs to give up.

  13. sid says:

    A sad time for fans of Rangers. Titles and cups have to be voided- otherwise all opponents (and fans?) will quite possibly have grounds for legal recourse. This is of course provided Rangers don’t have the ‘cheating’ verdict overturned. No awards should be re- assigned to teams who effectively did not ‘win’ them. It appears that the BBC will try to rely on the ‘won the cups on the field’, argument on behalf of RFC. I watched Polish team Legia Warsaw destroy Celtic over 2 matches recently only for CFC to be told they had won! The rules of the game said Legia had fielded players who were ineligible but I’m sure, like Chris Sutton, not many players from Glasgow’s ‘other’ team would have been happy to be awarded the win when they had clearly lost the battle with Legia. I’m sure in the cold light of day, for Rangers dignity, its better to have an asterisk beside those trophies than trying to keep them if the verdict stands, it would take away a large part of the stain, otherwise they would be giving a lifetime of bragging rights to all other Scottish clubs.

    1. Douglas says:

      “the dignity of Rangers” is surely an oxymoron…

  14. Socrates MacSporran says:

    In my 40-years plus in sports-writing, I first became acquainted with Sir David Murray’s methods of managing a sports team when he ran the Murray International Metals basketball team, well before he ever bought Rangers.

    Back then, he imported a better class of American playing or coaching talent than his rival Scottish basketball clubs could afford. He found ways round the rules to do this, and got away with it. He also bought the best native talent from other clubs.

    He used that same formula at Rangers.

    As regards the cheating accusations which are now surrounding the use of EBTs. When Murray first introduced these, they were not illegal. I have seen it said they are still not illegal, although, the way the Murray group managed the EBTs was probably wrong, and that is what has caught him out.

    However, to say Ragnrs cheated is an opinion, not absolutely backed-up in fact.

    The case of Lance Armstrong and his seven now cancelled-out Tour de France victories is often raised in discussion on the Rangers’ case. The difference is: Armstrong used illegal performance-enhancing drugs, which gave him an advantage he would not otherwise have had. Therefore, it is right to strip him of the titles.

    Can those who want Rangers stripped of their titles won during the EBT years say, beyond reasonable doubt, the club would not have been able to recruit some of the players they did without the “illegal” EBTs? I think not.

    Rangers might, had they managed them differently, been able to offer recruits EBTs. Had they been told at the time: “You cannot manage and use an EBT as you wish to”, they probably would have found another way of paying their expensive recruits”.

    If it can be proved, the players would not have come without the offer of illegal EBTs, then there is a case for stripping Rangers of the titles won.

    If this cannot be proved, and I feel it would be all but impossible to do this, then, they should keep the titles.

    I know, personally, a couple of the players who have EBTs. Both insist, Rangers fans from the cradle, EBT or no EBT, they would have signed for the club. I do not think they are alone in this.

    Also, given some proven cart-horses were given EBTs, it could be argued, that by signing these players who were not Rangers class, Rangers were giving the other Scottish clubs a chance to catch them.

    By the way, did Phil Mac Giolla Bhain write the original post – it reads like something of his?

    1. Paul says:

      Hiya Level5PR

      **waves to James Traynor**

    2. Cú Chullain says:

      Really? It can’t be proved? I beg to differ. It has been proved. David Murray admitted in his testimony to the FTT that the scheme was not a tax-dodge per se but a mechanism to allow Rangers to sign a better class of player than the club could otherwise have afforded. It’s known as cheating by people with standards.

      Add to that the concealment of remuneration, the denial of the existence of side letters, shredded documentation and downright lying to the SFA over the club’s tax status in its application for a CL place in 2011, and it’s clear that Rangers knew exactly what it was doing and was relying on its friends in high places to cover it up. The case against the dead club is water-tight.

      And by the way, Rangers had already admitted guilt over its first wheeze to pay players illegally – the rarely mentioned Discount Options Scheme known as the Wee Tax Case, which ran from 1999 to 2001 – so all trophies won since 1999 should be stripped if and when BDO decides not to appeal.

    3. Bryan Weir says:

      “By the way, did Phil Mac Giolla Bhain write the original post – it reads like something of his?”

      Yes, with its tone it could have been him but despite its reverence to journalist Alex Thomson I think probably not.

      For those not familiar with Phil Mac Giolla Bhain, he is an Irish Journalist who is happy to declare that he hates Rangers FC. He even wrote a book about this. He seems to be on a crusade to destroy Rangers FC. According to Wikipedia, from 1999 to 2006 he was a staff journalist with “An Phoblacht” a newspaper published by Sinn Féin, which may give an indication of the roots of his hatred.

      1. Bryan Weir says:

        Oh and I forgot to mention. journalist Alex Thompson wrote the foreword to Phil Mac Giolla Bhain’s book. ;o)

      2. No. I wrote it. Not sure what this has got to do with Phil Mac Giolla Bhain? Sounds like an attempt to divert attention to what’s being discussed.

    4. Paul says:

      Nobody needs to ‘prove’ anything with regards what Rangers could or could not have done if they hadn’t used EBTs.

      The fact remains that they did use them and anything else is deflection.

      Can you imagine a defence lawyer, in mitigation or summation, using such in court:
      Unless you can prove my client could not have obtained those goods by honest means [like working for the money to purchase them], you must find him not guilty.

      They’d be laughed at and rightly so.

    5. Andy M says:

      Rangers players had side letters RE EBT’s. All player contracts have to be registered with the league to make the players registration valid. As the side letters were not disclosed this means that under SPL rules the players wee not properly registered to play in the league. Hence any trophies won during this Period should be voided from the record books. Doping is doping, be it chemical or financial, it rules out fair play and without doubt gives a sporting advantage.

    6. Taxman says:

      They are all guilty of tax avoidance, using there little tricks does not alter that fact, lots of hardworking people have to pay their taxes, people who avoid paying their dues are and should be classed as criminals, the rangers thing just highlights how greedy and mercenary all the people who do it are

  15. John says:

    Socrates I think you’ll find Mr Black (D Murray) has already admitted that Rangers would not have been able to recruit the players they did if not for the use of EBT’s.
    ergo sporting advantage through illegal means i.e cheating.

    Let the history books show that the titles where won while using illegal payment methods. a big fat * beside each one.

    1. Bryan Weir says:

      For my part, I would have no problem with the asterisks. Would anyone?

      1. Sorry, the response to “the biggest organised cheating scandal in the history of Scottish football – probably British football and possibly in British sport” is … an asterisk?! That would certainly be a deterrent for anyone in the future. How about a stiffly-worded email using italics for emphasis in addition, just to make sure?

        1. Bryan Weir says:

          Just to clarify just what punishment are you seeking? What would make you happy?

          1. I’m not sure. I’d like the authorities to have some authority and to have some credibility.

            I think for example there is a serious possibility that RFC goes down again. I am actually more concerned about SFA / SPFL incompetence and uselessness than I am about ‘punishment’. It’s not so much stripping of titles as it is about making some kind of sign that there is a body that works for the whole of the game, has a strategy and has some integrity. None of that seems apparent just now.

    2. Paul says:

      I think a big * beside each year the title was withdrawn would be appropriate, yes.

      1. Bryan Weir says:

        “I think for example there is a serious possibility that RFC goes down again.”

        But this situation had nothing to do with the current RFC. Why would you want them to go down again?

      2. Michael says:

        *The stripping of titles should only be a starter..

        The new club, quite frankly should be expelled. It’s that simple!

        If the new club insist they are one & the same as the old club (il) with the same history, trophy count etc.. Then the new club (Wavetower/Sevco5088/SevcoScotland/RIFC) should be expelled from the senior professional game, once the case has run its course through the law courts.

        And that only begins to cover the sporting penalty side of things..

        They had side letters, they created dual contracts. They mis-registered every single player who was granted an ebt. They purposely hid these dual contracts from the game’s administrators for years. LNS was on the basis of their ebt use being lawful. We now know that’s not the case. Isn’t that right Mr Ogilvy?

        They hid those dual contracts from HMRC. They stuffed the tax payer, add in the old clubs additional £50M debt underwritten by Murrays company, syphoned off the old clubs books before being liquidated itself shows their relationship with BOS in a certain light, doesn’t it Mr Masterson?

        That BOS became HBOS, the landscape changed.. That HBOS collapsed, was then swallowed by Lloyds, or rather the tax payer, means even more of their debt is being picked up by you and me!

        Fire in another £40 odd million or so to the old clubs (il) creditors, and its obscene! Small Scottish businesses left hung out to dry..

        The biggest scandal in British sport didn’t begin to cover it.. It’s a national scandal of epic proportion, it is bigger than sport!

        There is a large rotting core at the very heart of our Caledonia, including big business, government, fourth estate, banking, the national games administrators and even our own justice system..

        If nothing else, the truth will out, it always does, there are no exceptions to this rule, and only time is the arbiter.

        However without the will and desire of its people, sadly there will be little meaningful change!

        1. Bryan Weir says:

          “The new club, quite frankly should be expelled. It’s that simple! …
          … It’s a national scandal of epic proportion!”

          I think you need to get out a bit more. Sorry, but the only people who are remotely interested in this are those with agendas that have nothing to do with with right or wrong. These agendas are not very well concealed amongst some of the comments I have read here.

          The sad thing is that Bella Caledonia chooses to become involved in it. We have much more important and epic issues to deal with.

  16. Sid. says:

    Strange thing here,I noticed Martin O’Neill,Chris Sutton,Stan Petrov,Murdo McLeoud and a few other and a few other ex Celtic players mention that they don’t want Rangers to lose their trophies,I’m pretty damned certain if it was Hibs who were involved in the cheating and ex Jambo players came out with ‘Aye,we don’t mind them cheating,let them keep their trophies,’ all hell would break loose with Hearts fans.
    What on earth the ex Celts are thinking about I will never know,they are giving Rangers the go ahead to cheat and cheat again,barmy.

    1. Deeks j says:

      Really it shouldn’t be the opinion of Ex Players that should be considered,they were still paid (in some cases handsomely).

      Its the ordinary Joe,tof ALL teams affected that spent their hard earned cash following their clubs throughout this period who’s views should be vondidered.Remember it’s not just about Celtic,teams such as Q.O.S. and Clyde were arguably robbed of rare trophy success.

  17. Socrates MacSporran says:

    I still maintain – there is no way of proving Rangers would not have won these titles without the use of EBTs. Therefore, you cannot void the titles won.

    As regards my comment re PMGB – this was not an attempt at diversion, merely an observation.

    As for the decision to admit the “Newco” into the fourth tier of Scottish senior football. Here I must say, this was wrong.

    If the Scottish football authorities had really accepted the argument – the company died, the club survived; then “Newco Rangers” should have been left where they were – in the Premier Division.

    If, on the other hand, they had accepted the argument – company AND club died, then “Newco Rangers” should have had to apply for senior status like everyone else new. I understand, they could not have met the strict criteria for admission of a new club, and would have to have started off at a lower level – my own choice would have been Central League, Division Two of the West of Scotland Junior League, or maybe the Lowland League.

    Actually, if Charlie Green had been at all clever, he would have bought Portsmouth, which was up for sale at the time, amalgamated that club with Rangers and played their home games at Ibrox. That would have been the smart option. It would have involved some legal challenges, but, I reckon it was workable.

    Any way, it might all be academic. PMGB reckons the Newco is likely to follow the Oldco down the stank – and, to be fair to him, he has been more on the ball in matters concerning “Rangers” than the mainstream media.

    I can accept his belief that Liquidation ” is on its way.

    1. This is my point Socrates, the lack of oversight and the inability of the PFl and SFA to exert authority is a serious risk to the other clubs and the leagues survival.

    2. Sid. says:

      Absolutely barmy idea,Portsmouth 500 miles away officially playing up here,lol.
      So that will make their fans cheer out loud,eh!!!
      Look,Rangers cheated the same way as Regan/Doncaster cheated in getting a crook a licence for owning a Scottish club,it was all underhand with a wee brown envelope probably given to both of them.

    3. Andy M says:

      Its not about whether or not if they would or would not have won those trophies, they did win them. And as they won them with improperly registered players the history books should show that they were won unfairly and the trophies voided. As per the 5 way agreement!

      See section EBT Sanctions:

    4. Taxman says:

      Listen, the english teams where put out of europe for 6 years because of what happened in that final with liverpool and the italians, that was a big part of the reason so many english internationalists came to scotland, out of europe lower wages and no european football for 6 years, long time in a football career, and of course rangers offered them good money, would they have come to scotland if that disaster had not happened, i do not think so, the whole thing stinks and its all down to David Murray and the others running ibrox at that time, to say you dont know if rangers would have won those titles without the englishmen is just being downright silly and you know it

      1. Bryan Weir says:

        Are you saying categorically that they would not have won them? Statistics would show that the RFC was no stranger to winning titles before this happened and since.

  18. Michael Reilly says:

    As was stated previously involves football but is not limited to and transcends hence it’s interest to Bella!

    So, the real question is, what is the liability of those who thought up this arrangement and said that it would work to Rangers, its fans and Scottish football? And what penalties should apply to them? That’s the really interesting question, because the social cost of their actions has been enormous and I think those who created them should be accountable for those consequences. – See more at:

    1. Bryan Weir says:

      Social costs enormous? Gimme a break!

      1. Michael Reilly says:

        So you don’t think there are any social costs to the tax payer being on the hook for tens possibly hundred odd million pounds, that’s just irrelevant is it? This goes beyond Rangers, as previously stated but regardless at any level tax evasion is a crime and it should never go unpunished, it doesn’t for the average working man, why should these shysters be any different!

  19. johnny come lately says:

    I had to stop reading the comments about a third of the way down. What a bunch of turd eating hypocrites Bella has as readers.
    Rangers taxdodging/evasion is not really the issue here. The issue here is taxdodging/evasion full stop.
    Every single club in Scotland takes part in taxdodging/evasion. This fact allows monies to be spent elswhere eg. new players, better facilities and so on. Outside of this issue is the subject of taxdodging/evasion in private buisiness.
    what is the difference between rangers and every single other club in Scotland. The difference is that Rangers actions were ruled to be illegal. So here we have all Clubs in Scotland commiting the same act but are somehow white as snow.
    Personaly i don’t give a rats arse about Rangers or indeed football for the matter, but please spare me the self rightous hypocrisy.

    1. Are you saying that tax-dodging is a moral issue not just a legal issue johnny?

      1. johnny come lately says:

        I’m saying that people with glass houses shouldn’t throw stones, and yes tax evasion/dodging is both a moral and legal issue.
        Why should companies make use of the infrastructue provided at the taxpayers expense to enrich themslves, yet at the same time dodge their responsabilities towards the society which is enriching them. Glass houses, stones, baaa it’s all getting too much for me, I’m away to bed.

  20. William Davidson says:

    I don’t believe there’s any chance that the titles Rangers won between 2001 and 2010 will be stripped from them, simply because it will be impossible to prove that they “cheated”. Cheating to me implies that you take measures to alter the outcome of games by bribing either officials, or members of the opposing team : that clearly didn’t happen. Murrray overspent in the Advocaat years and his use of E.B.T.s, which were legal then, as now, was a desperate attempt to try to compete with their chief rivals, an attempt which failed as Celtic won more titles during this period and would have won even more if they hadn’t tripped over their own feet in the run-in on a couple of occasions. In one of these seasons Rangers even finished third behind Hearts. In head-to-head Old Firm matches between ’01 and ’10 Celtic won 29 to Rangers 19, which would suggest to me that they were the better team, with better players. So the use of E.B.T.s clearly didn’t result in Rangers being superior to Celtic during these years, they were inferior.
    Murray (and thousands of other companies) took a huge gamble in using tax avoidance vehicles which were open to ambiguity and difference of interpretation, we’ve seen this in the legal judgements and the latest one may yet be overturned. What we can be sure of is that his gamble led to the old company which ran Rangers going into administration, being liquidated, to the team losing all its best players, to the club being relegated by other S.P.L. clubs to the fourth division of Scottish football and ultimately falling prey to a group of people who may, or may not, be ultimately proven to be a bunch of shysters. Yet, the thirst for further punishment and revenge is obviously still there, but it seems to be based more on hatred of Rangers and their fans, than focusing on the man ultimately responsible for this mess, or on any desire to have a wider debate on the proliferation and continued use of tax avoidance schemes.
    The ultimate moral of the story is, either don’t use these instruments, or if you do make sure the one you choose is completely watertight. Perhaps Sir David should have had a word with Celtic’s majority shareholder, who appears to be better advised and a more adept practitioner in the world of tax avoidance.

    1. Scotty McClue says:

      Rangers won the titles full stop, the problem I have with the whole sorry business is this, the players did not pay tax on the earnings offshore, it was done to avoid paying tax, anyone who pays taxes on all their earnings is entitled to feel aggrieved at any employer allowing this to happen, a lot of the people who went to see Rangers at that time will have been paying tax on all their earnings from their employers, all these loopholes should not be allowed, and it says a lot about any employer that takes part in these schemes to enable them to recruit people who would not accept the job, only for this perk

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