Category: Politics

1FC Köln & The Great Arsenal Stadium Mystery

Finsbury Park has seldom , if ever, seen anything like it before. More than twenty thousand supporters of 1FC Köln descended on North London for their match against Arsenal determined to have a party last night, and there was little that anybody was going to do to get in their way. Having raucously celebrated a return to European football after a quarter of a century away, the German supporters arrived at The Emirates Stadium last night to take it over, and take it over they did. Kick-off was delayed by an hour in order to try and bring some semblance...

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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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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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Stephen Caulker, Craig King & Football’s Mental Health Issue

It required a strong constitution to read Dominic Fifield’s interview with Stephen Caulker earlier this week. For anybody that has ever struggled with depression or anxiety, the language was all too familiar. The flirtations with self-destructive behaviour patterns. The feelings of worthlessness. The belief that, for all the evidence before one’s very eyes, that one is somehow “winging it”. It wouldn’t be suprising if a large part of the outpouring of sympathy for Caulker this week came about because so much of what he said rang so true for so many people. Mental illness of any sort remains one...

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