Author: Mark

Scottish Football Goes Nuts

Football’s genuine status as “only a game” was perfectly demonstrated by comparing Scottish football’s descent into madness last week with the parallel fall and fall further into the arena of the psychologically unwell of US president Donald bloody Trump. Trump’s week of false equivalence, ignorance of history and resultant encouragement to American neo-Nazis and white supremacists has been well-documented, by far better documenters than me. Suffice to say that the clownish rhetoric, schoolboy politicking and rank-rotten refereeing which pock-marked Scottish club football’s week was many times… MANY TIMES less dangerous. For some observers, part of Scottish club football “tradition”...

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Clearing The Summer Hangover

My team, Bostik League Premier Division Kingstonian (Bostik? Evo-Stik? Rhyming adhesives and non-league football… er… league sponsorships, eh?) began their 2017/2018 season this Saturday. But I wasn’t interested. They did so at Billericay Town, tabloid press darlings, sure-to-be-wisely-gargantuan spenders and inevitable title favourites among football bookies who probably couldn’t name any non-tabloid star ‘Ricay players, let alone rationally analyse their promotion prospects. Paul Konchesky. Jamie O’Hara. Jeez, Jermaine Pennant. Players that football fans have heard of. In the Isthmian League. £35,000 weekly wage bill. In the Isthmian League. But I wasn’t interested. They did so under the management of...

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Rangers: And This Is Where The Story Really Begins

On Wednesday, the Scottish Professional Football League (SPFL) Board announced, undercover of “legal advice from eminent Senior Counsel Gerry Moynihan,” that Rangers would get away with their unlawful use of “EBTs (Employee Benefit Trusts) and other schemes.” Which had been confirmed three weeks earlier by the UK Supreme Court (SC). The SPFL had said they would “take time to examine the SC ‎judgement in detail and consider any implications for the SPFL.” But Moynihan’s advice was twenty months old, given in response to the November 2015 Court of Session ruling upheld by the SC. So, clearly (and wisely), the...

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The Rangers Tax Case: Then, Now & Forever

Between 2001 and 2010, Rangers FC participated in an Employee Benefit Trust (EBT) scheme, the “Murray Group Management Remuneration Trust (MGMRT). “So far as Rangers were concerned,” this scheme “enabled the Club to attract players who would not otherwise have been obtainable,” the “Murray” of the Murray Group, Rangers ex-chairman David, admitted to a “First-Tier Tax Tribunal” (FTT). On Wednesday, the Supreme Court declared that scheme unlawful. In February 2013, Lord William Nimmo-Smith reported on his Scottish Premier League (SPL)-commissioned investigation into Rangers’ alleged breaching of league rules in the operation of the now-unlawful scheme. The good Lord noted...

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FIFA’s Garcia Report: Reaction & Ridicule

So, disgraced Fifa ex-president Sepp Blatter is NOT a woman trapped in a man’s body. Prince William did NOT try to sell his place in-line to the UK throne to Qatar. And the repugnant Jack Warner is NOT one of the most repulsive human beings on the planet never to have committed murder. No, wait, that last one IS true. What Fifa call the “Report on the Inquiry into the 2018/2022 FIFA World Cup Bidding Process (the so-called “Garcia Report”),” named after its primary author, the Fifa Ethics Committee (EthCo) Investigatory Chamber’s then “independent” chair, United States ex-attorney Michael...

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