Bear With Me
20/04/2012 4,279 Comments
Once again I have to apologise for being a terrible host. The number of unmoderated replies piles up, readers become frustrated at the lack of updates, and I have started receiving complaints saying that I am letting people down with teasing with promises of exposés that are always in the future.
On the moderation issue, I put my hands up. Between real life and researching materials for this project, it leaves me with little time to participate in discussions let alone referee them. All I can say just now is ‘sorry’, but there is not a lot I can do in the short-term. If someone wants to start a messageboard to allow the various discussion topics from here to be handled by a larger number of people, we can talk about how we could manage this technically. If seriously interested, let me know. However, I can see this presenting difficulties and distracting from the blog itself- which (no surprise) is the bit I like most, but this project has grown to become something in which many people have an emotional claim. So I am open to ideas from anyone who thinks they can solve the concurrent problems of my penchant for privacy, the need to have several people act as moderators, and maintaining a sense of togetherness for both blog and replies.
On the charge that I am not delivering on the teasers that I throw out, I have always said that most information will be withheld until after the FTT findings are published. Nothing has changed. Do not expect a deluge of information in FTT+1. There is value in timing the release of information to apply pressure on those who would rather that this story not be told.
Be assured that there is a lot of information to come out. Some will come out in the mainstream press, some on here and other blogs, and other details will be best explained in a book. Just be patient. Pulling a lot of disparate threads apart to understand what has happened at Rangers over the last decade has been exhausting. The hit-and-run nature of Twitter has made it easier to try to communicate while doing several different things at once- and I did throw out some new information about the extent of Rangers’ use of the EBT scheme- How many players in the Rangers squad (1st team and subs) that won the SPL title on the last day of the season on 22 May 2005 had an EBT? That is correct- every single one of them.
Most commentators on this saga believe that Rangers will be found to have acted illegally and were breaking UK tax law in their implementation of the EBT scheme. If / when this is formalised, the SFA & SPL face an issue which cannot be parried away without causing permanent damage to the Scottish game. The widespread use of the EBTs at Ibrox means that there cannot be any serious debate that Rangers fielded players who they could not afford during this period. Using illegal means to fund their playing staff was cheating. It is that simple. If by some miracle a CVA happens and Rangers survive intact or if the SFA/SPL allow Rangers’ membership share to be transferred to a newco, then punishment must be meted out. That punishment must be proportional to the fact that other clubs suffered huge financial losses as a result of that cheating. The punishment must also include consideration of the damage to the reputation of the Scottish game as well. Anything less and there will be little point in watching Scottish football. Anything less and it will be clear that it is a rigged game with a tilted table and loaded dice- all for the benefit of just a single club.