Tag: Rangers

The Blue Corner Vs The Red Corner In The Battle Over Financial Fair Play

UEFA’s Financial Fair Play regulations are coming, and those of us of the opinion that these regulations would come into force without some sort of noisy, braying argument will have been unsurprised to have seen the first significant broadsides against it fired from the Premier League’s mouthpiece of choice, the Daily Mail, this morning. In a breathless piece written by Martin Samuel, there is a florid description of a meeting of the twenty clubs last month at which a letter, produced on the headed paper of Arsenal Football Club, but also signed by Manchester United, Liverpool and Tottenham Hotspur, was produced a desire on the part of these clubs to follow the FFP rules to the letter. That these four clubs should have been behind such a proposal should be no great surprise. These four clubs have amongst the greatest financial clout of any under the existing status quo, and each might well find that positions at or near the top of the Premier League table would be cemented by having rules in place which prevented individuals from coming in and throwing money at other clubs in order to be able to challenge near the top of the table. It’s a familiar back and forth story, and with most other stories in football whether you are in favour of FFP or against it can usually be defined by which...

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Rangers: Jim Traynor Remembers “Sporting Integrity”

Many years ago, a Rangers-supporting friend, who also followed Kingstonian, said to me: “They do things differently in Glasgow.” At the time, this reminded me of an exchange which had just been reported in the diary section of When Saturday Comes magazine. Dutch superstar Ruud Gullit had expressed indignant surprise as the very physical nature of the English club game to which he had just signed up, having been upended by a typical Vinny Jones tackle, i.e. a foul (if memory serves, Gullit’s head flew back on impact very like a typical Didier Drogba dive, only Gullit genuinely was ‘taken aback’ by the impact). “We do things differently over here,” an unrepentant Jones was quoted as saying in response to Gullit’s reaction to the tackle from behind. “But that, surely, was Gullit’s point,” noted WSC, taking the future ex-Chelsea manager’s side. They still do things differently in Glasgow, which doesn’t make those ‘things’ any more acceptable than a Jones tackle from behind. For instance, as regular readers of this site may know, any criticism of the Rangers is automatically labelled by many Rangers fans as the result of a twisted, bigoted, occasionally Fenian Rangers-hating agenda. Bloggers who simply regard Rangers recent financial history as one of financial mismanagement and wouldn’t even know what a Fenian was, let alone follow one’s “hate-filled” agenda, have been ludicrously and laughably lumped into...

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Charles Green: TUPE Or Not TUPE – Is That Still The Question?

An unforeseen side-effect of the Rangers International Football Club share issue was the regurgitation of the “TUPE” issue surrounding the transfer of old Rangers players to Charles Green’s new Rangers on June 14th. The share prospectus, issued on December 5th, referenced an Employment Tribunal claim against Rangers Football Club Limited “on behalf of 67 un-named players.” Caught unawares by this ‘revelation,’ sections of the Scottish press splashed with what they thought was a new legal nightmare for Rangers. However, it wasn’t ‘new’ at all. Green’s  half-successful share issue campaign – institutional investors over-subscribing in search of early profits, supporters excusably under-subscribing in tough economic times – has commanded most of his oratorical energies recently. Previously, he devoted much of them to Rangers players who “objected” to their transfer of employers from old to new Rangers, after Rangers’ CVA failed. Green appeared not to expect any such objections and made every effort to appear affronted by them. Without claiming deep expertise, I have knowledge and personal experience of TUPE, or ‘Transfer of Undertaking (Protection of Employment)’ legislation, having been ‘TUPE-transferred’ myself and been a union representative of other transferees. The legislation prevents employment conditions being altered detrimentally as a direct result of a transfer. It also allows employees to ‘object’ to it, the issue to which TUPE has applied most contentiously to Rangers. Rangers players were represented by agents and...

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The Rangers Big Tax Case: Over & Out

So, farewell then, to the Rangers Tax Case (Big); unless HMRC appeals the impressively-detailed decision published last Tuesday. In which case, we’ll be here for years. The First Tier Tribunal (Tax) decision was a victory for Murray Group Holdings. The ‘oldCo’ Rangers parent company accepted there was a tax liability attached to a minority of its measures to avoid such tax and appealed successfully against all the assessments by HM Customs and Excise (HMRC) they disputed. As a result, those assessments “fall to be reduced substantially.” How “substantially”  was not specified. But it will be “substantially” less than the £24m (plus interest and any penalties for late payment) most commonly estimated as the underpayment of tax since the ‘Employee Benefit Trust’ story first broke in the Scottish Herald newspaper in April 2010. File me under ‘nerd’ if required, but I find publication of detailed legal judgments, combined with a will to penetrate the legalese in which they are written, worthwhile exercises – especially in cases, such as this, where my opinion was wrong. I’ve found myself more conversant in legalese than I was before reading the judgment… as demonstrated by my use of “more conversant” at the start of this sentence. I hope to be at least partly out of this habit by the end of the article. Sorry, in the meantime. The concept of a “majority” decision, when...

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Mal From Ayr, Kilmarnock Fan Extraordinaire

Since the full extent of Rangers’ financial troubles was exposed in 2010, their fans have almost totally refused to accept that their club is to blame for anything at all ever. One manifestation of this is the accusation that any critic of the Rangers must be a bigot, an obsessive, a Celtic fan, or all three. Anyone claiming support for, say, Albion Rovers, or Kingstonian, is almost automatically branded a liar. For years, Celtic fans have seen Rangers fans throughout the media like some sort of bastardised “sixth sense” (“I see blue-nosed people”). So this isn’t a one-way or new phenomenon within the confines of Glasgow football fandom. But sometimes, when it looks like a Rangers/Celtic fan and sounds like a Rangers/Celtic fan, it IS a Rangers/Celtic fan, as was exposed for the nation to hear last Saturday evening, on BBC Radio 5 Live’s famous “6-0-6” phone-in programme. A “Kilmarnock fan,” Mal, from Ayr, phoned in to complain about the Scottish media’s obsession with Celtic’s 2-1 Champions League defeat of Barcelona at Celtic Park. There has been something of a Celtic love-fest in the Anglocentric national media. And some could argue that there is a brush of double standard about lauding Celtic for the method of their victory, while bemoaning Chelsea for their method of becoming European Champions last spring. But Celtic’s win over a Barcelona side of such...

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