Doncaster Dooms SPL

Neil Doncaster’s intelligence-insulting interview on SSN this week places another few pieces of the jigsaw together as to how plans are shaping up to deal with Rangers’ corporate failure. Other blogs have already dissected this interview very well, so I will not dwell on the details. Instead, we will look at what is shaping up as the plan “to fix” Scottish football.

As we have discussed for several weeks, Doncaster wants Rangers in the SPL regardless of how much they owe HMRC or other football clubs. He wants them in the SPL regardless of whether cheating on a massive scale has occurred or not. Doncaster’s attempt to bluster his way to getting acceptance for the idea that a CVA and a newco-Rangers are the same thing is just stunning in its gall.

Doncaster is a key player in this dance. Therefore, I assume that he has been made aware of the Duff & Phelps plan. His interview this week was simply a crude attempt to blunt the impact of any accusations that might be contained within the BBC Scotland documentary to be aired on Wednesday night at 8pm. Either through an incredible degree of cynicism or playing the role of useful idiot, Doncaster’s cheer leading is key to a plan that will do more to destroy the Scottish Premier League than any loss of income from the temporary absence of a Rangers-type club could ever do.

One must assume that Doncaster is actively delaying the report on the dual contracts. It would take less than twenty minutes for any lawyer to see that there is a prima facie case against Rangers FC. Demonstrating a prima facie does not require looking at every piece of evidence or even getting close to providing proof. It is literally a check that “on the face of it” there appears to be something behind the allegations. Doncaster denies that there is a “go slow” instruction on this investigation. In the fullness of time, it will become clear that something is amiss.

The law firm of Harper McLeod have been hired by the SPL to investigate if a prima facie case against Rangers on the dual contract issue exists. Let me help Harper McLeod out a little.

On 28 July 2001, Rangers played Aberdeen at Pittodrie. Rangers won the game 3-0. Making his league debut that day was a German who would later go on to become General Manager of Bayern Munich, Christian Nerlinger. He also scored one of the goals. That game against Aberdeen marked the first game where the EBT scheme that is the subject of the ‘Big Tax Case’ interfered with the Scottish Premier League.

Harper McLeod should take a look at Nerlinger’s contract filed with the SFA. Next they should obtain Nerlinger’s contract documents and payment history from Rangers FC (IA)’s administrators. Comparing the contract to the payment history alone will expose payments of well in excess of £1 million that are not listed on his SFA-registered contract. There is your prima facie case, Mr. Doncaster. There is no need to investigate any further to demonstrate that Rangers have a case to answer and that an independent inquiry is required.

It seems clear that Doncaster just does not care about the rules. He just wants a Rangers in the SPL next season. My thoughts on how this will most likely end are laid out below.

Talk of a CVA is just window dressing to appease the less realistic element of the Rangers support. Whyte can pledge his shares in the club for £2 safe in the knowledge that a CVA is not going to happen. (Strictly speaking, Whyte himself can always scupper a CVA).

We are heading for a newco of some description. The key point, Mr. Doncaster, is whether Craig Whyte’s floating charge is still meaningful. If it is (and people with more advanced legal training than me cannot find a consensus on whether it will be) Whyte will be content to let this drama unfold. His friends at Duff & Phelps will continue to potter about while reality continues to sink in with the wider Rangers support. In the end, Whyte will play his trump card and call in a receiver who will sell all of Rangers’ assets to a newco for a sum that will go entirely to Whyte- stuffing all of the other creditors. A plan to achieve this outcome would explain a lot of Duff & Phelps’ actions over the last few months.

If Whyte’s floating charge does not support a legitimate debt (and I expect some court drama over this point), then Rangers’ assets will be sold to a newco and the proceeds divided among the creditors. They will be lucky to receive 5p/£ even in this path, but they would not get more in a CVA anyway.

A newco of some form is inevitable. The liquidation of The Rangers Football Club plc is also inevitable. The debate is not over whether the newco will enter Scottish football, but over how. If Doncaster’s dream comes true, and newco-RFC just start playing in the SPL next season without any penalties, then Scottish football is dead.

There are many other possible formulae for a fair outcome. Many Rangers fans want the newco to start in SFL division 3 and play their way to their place in the SPL like anyone else. It is also possible to have the newco pay an “entry fee” over a number of years that would serve as a deterrent to others. It would also serve, to a degree, as compensation for the carnage wrought on the Scottish game by Rangers during the years of Murray’s excesses. There are lots of ways to arrive at a fair outcome. However, the money-men who might own newco-Rangers will not want that and Neil Doncaster has their interests at heart. Sport? Fans? Mere irritations.

About rangerstaxcase
I have information on Rangers' tax case, and I will use this blog to provide the details of what Rangers FC have done, why it was illegal, and what the implications for what was (updated) one of the largest football clubs in Britain.

1,293 Responses to Doncaster Dooms SPL

  1. D&P have no chance of suing the BBC. The documentary showed the emails and it showed their excuse – that Grier was aware of discussions of short-term funding only.

    The viewer is left to make their own mind up. Perhaps some journalist should ask Craig Whyte, he seems quite forthcoming these days.

  2. paulmac says:

    easyJambo says:
    23/05/2012 at 11:09 pm

    I fully agree EJ…I was just confirming that their response is to be expected…the alternative is to step down…remaining silent wasn’t an option..this could have serious commercial implications for Dick and Dob…so appearing to throw up a robust defence is the first step…to buy some time..

  3. mrgrumpy says:

    I have taken another look at the emails concerning the Ticketus deal which the BBC have published at

    The first one, dated 19th April, sent by Gary Withey to Craig Whyte, David Grier and a.n.other sets-out the mechanism for completion of the deal and refers to the Ticketus agreements becoming unconditional when all the other steps have been carried-out. Given the only other reference to money is to the equity element (which is the £1 for the shares) how could Grier suppose the £18M to pay-off Lloyds was coming from anyone other than Ticketus?

    There is plenty of spin in their rebuttal statement bit the above does look like the smoking gun…

  4. DeidOrNoDeid says:

    RTC, congratulations on the Orwell award; ‘to make political writing into an art’, and to be recognized as the best in doing this, is a worthy achievement; well done

  5. Lucculent Sam says:

    VertWolf says: 23/05/2012 at 7:11 pm

    It seems very possible the delay has arisen because several clubs came back to the SPL with an admission of having double contracts/EBT

    Nope. Please read the Q&A at The BBC asked the other SPL clubs if they ever operated an EBT scheme. They all said no. Except Celtic who had one for Juninho in 2004/5. Celtic said they didn’t disclose the trust payments to the SPL or SFA but paid the tax that was due in 2008.

    As for the delay in the SPL investigation, my guess is they are playing for time. Like just about everyone else involved, it would suit them for RFC(IA) to run out of money and die of natural causes. This will be far safer for all concerned. Hordes of angry bears will have no obvious target for their protest (except Minty and the MBB) if the Daily Ranger’s unable to tell them it was HMRC or the SPL or … Lee Harvey Oswald who killed their club.

  6. Ground Zero says:

    In relation to the undisclosed money evidently transferred by RFC to a team manager of another club in another football jurisdiction, is it likely that a specific investigation will be launched by 1) Blackburn Rovers, 2) EPL, 3) FA?

    How embarrassing for SPL and SFA if they were not seen to take the lead and investigate this payment. Would English authorities investigate with a predetermined mindset to not appear to punish RFC (IA)?

  7. jheelyeater says:

    Excellent work by RTC and Mark Daly and the timing of RTC’s award is so appropriate.

    Watching BBC’s Newsnight Scotland programme, one is instantly reminded, however, of the continued need for vigilance in getting this story out. Who would you expect in a BBC show to analyse the breathtaking Mark Daly programme and its consequences for RFC(IA)?…some insolvency expert and/or lawyer…no, we had Paul Murray, fresh from being serenaded by the Green Brigade on the train back from Norwich, and Graham Spiers. What did they add to our understanding?…that’s right…nothing!…although they, with the awkward guidance of the presenter, skilfully managed to play down the significance of SDM’s tax scam. Hats off to RTC, Mark Daly and Tommo but there’s still an uphill battle to be fought.

  8. paulmac says:

    So few willing to be interviewed on record…..wonder why…no Mr. ego where’s the cameras hod me back SDM…no GEF Craig…no Dick and Dob…

    And another thing…Daffy and Dilbert have a PR man? called Ramsey?

  9. tigertim says:

    Macfurgly says:
    23/05/2012 at 11:14 pm

    What exactly has happened in the last 6 weeks?
    Why a statement this evening?
    Why not just check your own records of contractual details submitted by RFC now against the BBC website?
    If you remember this was the same people who had asked Craigy Bhoy to explain why he had not notified them he had been disqualified after Mark Daly previous programme in October.
    On February 15th, when RFC entered administration, they admitted that they were still waiting for answers.
    This enquiry has now went from “as long as it takes” to “as long as we want”.
    The MSM now really need to jump up and down on the SPL now that the dual contract details have been made public. That is their remit for next week, they now have a chance to jump on the bandwagon or stand by while losing any journalistic integrity which remained.

    Graham, Daryl, Jim, Bill, get onto Doncaster, get an interim report, demand answers, find the culprit for the delay, out them, you have the power. Next years Orwell prize is up for grabs.

  10. Stephen says:

    Hugh McEwan says:
    23/05/2012 at 9:33 pm
    Brilliant Mate, cheers for that!

  11. TerryONeill says:

    Well done RTC on the Orwell prize award.

    Well done doesnt do justice to the entertainment and education this fine creation of yours has provided me.

    Gustav Flaubert puts it better than me

    “human language is like a cracked kettle on which we beat out tunes for bears to dance to when all the time we long to move the stars to pity.”

    On Celtic’s non disclosure to. SFA the human torpedo from Celtic Wiki has opined….

    According to BBC Celtic established EBT scheme for Juninho in April 2005. He left club on April 5th 2005. Possibly part of his pay-off.

  12. Macfurgly says:

    paulmac says:
    23/05/2012 at 11:22 pm
    It’s an old Westminster trick…when a big story hits the front pages…slip out as many other notable details as possible so they slip by without discussion..
    We will have to watch for a few of them in the coming days and weeks.
    The SPL statement this evening looked to me like a desperate attempt at a “spoiler” by a suddenly nervous CEO.

  13. shiltrum says:

    So wee Craig went whyte at the thought of HMRC appointing their own administrators WELL he’s not there now get on with it . This site and others made the connection beetween D&P and CW when they were appointed. Now if the internet bampots could connect the dots you would think HMRC would have. I dont understand why they let this happen in the first place stinks to the heavens.

  14. Ragers Against The Machine says:

    Who’d have thought that Prince Albert would be connected to a bellend?

  15. slimshady61 says:

    re howard says:
    23/05/2012 at 10:48 pm
    BBC ‘s EBT table names 72 people at rfc(ia) who had an ebt. The ”Murray Payments” page states that bbc has seen evidence that 87 people at rfc(ia) had ebts. Who are the other 15?
    “Read the roll of honour!”

    1) Walter Smith
    2) Alistair McCoist
    3) Sandy Jardine
    4) Jimmy Bell
    5) Ian Durranty Durrant
    6) Michael Johnston
    7) Gordon Smith
    8) Mr Bluenose
    9) Hugh Dallas
    10) Andy Davies
    11) Mike McCurry
    12) Dougie MacDonald
    13) Darryl Rightfoot
    14) Jennifer Saunders
    15) The Chairman of the FTT

    54 (EBT beneficiaries) to 0

  16. Lucculent Sam says:

    23/05/2012 at 11:39 pm

    Interesting comment about CFC paying Juninho through an EBT. While CFC may have repaid the tax, is there any evidence that Juninho had a side contract? Because if that was the case, then CFC lost every game Juninho played in by 3-0.

    I know I’m going to be heavily thumbed down for this, but we have to be consistent. I would find it hard to believe that any player who was to be paid via an EBT would not want something in writing to guarantee the payments, thereby rendering the payments as contractual rather than discretionary.

  17. Ground Zero says:

    Lucculent Sam on 23/05/2012 at 11:39 pm said:

    So the fact that juninho was paid, at least in part, by an EBT has been established, has it been determined if he had documented side letters/ secondary contract/ written payment guarantee? If so then 3-0 reverse would logically follow. If not there may still be some ambiguity.

  18. Andy Fitzpatrick says:

    Another one of murrays women tells of there night of passion.

  19. Private Land says:

    Lucculent Sam says:

    23/05/2012 at 11:39 pm

    If (and it is still a pretty big if) Celtic did not disclose payments to the SPL made to a player until the request for info by the BBC, then there must be a case for them to answer. Given the publicity surrounding EBTs since HMRC descended upon Rangers, it would also be a mighty stupid omission. One would have expected them to make a clean breast of it when the controversy became apparent.

    No doubt any guilt on Celtic’s part will be used to mitigate punishment meted out to RFC.

  20. tigertim says:

    slimshady61 says:
    23/05/2012 at 11:53 pm


    Joanna Lumley No1 surely

  21. paulmac says:

    I was hoping the Paul Murray interview on newsnight might have gone along the lines of…

    “a just want to save the club…and avoid 300 hvnner cellic fans taken the right c**t oot a me on the train”

  22. VertWolf says:

    Lucculent Sam says:
    23/05/2012 at 11:39 pm

    Yes, thanks – I saw the BBC link although not sure who the source of this information was – it does blow a hole in my speculative theory

    I agree it could simply be that the leaders of the SPL don’t want to be seen to be the ones who pulled the trigger

  23. Ground Zero says:
    23/05/2012 at 11:54 pm
    0 0 Rate This
    Lucculent Sam on 23/05/2012 at 11:39 pm said:

    So the fact that juninho was paid, at least in part, by an EBT has been established, has it been determined if he had documented side letters/ secondary contract/ written payment guarantee? If so then 3-0 reverse would logically follow. If not there may still be some ambiguity.

    erm, did we no lose every game juninho played in 3-0 anyway??

  24. scapa says:

    Rob Noxious (@NoxRob) says:

    23/05/2012 at 11:54 pm

    Thumbs up from me and a few others so far. If CFC did not follow the rules, then I’m afraid the clubs and us fans have to accept the consequences. One rule for everyone, without fear or favour, demands no less

  25. Fergusdaddy says:

    Well deserved congratulations!

    You continue to be head, shoulders, torso, legs, feet, and several more feet above every so called “journalist” in the country!

    We will probably never know who you are, probably best for your own safety, but what a legacy you have gained, in little over a year, surpassing 20 years of so called journalism in effortless style!

    Where did Mr Daly get his EBT information? He wasn’t for saying, but I thought, only one person is this well informed – has been sitting onthis information for a while, and still remains unknown, maybe when the rest of KDS sobers up the penny will drop, but I immediately thought that only RTC could have that kind of info to hand!

    Your trophy will go unclaimed no doubt, but will forever be the least tainted title of all time!

  26. tullythedhog says:

    The full text of the “Ticketus Emails” makes interesting reading:

    Some snippets:

    1st email from Gary Withey (19 April, about two and a bit weeks before completion) draws clear distinction between “equity element of the deal” and “Ticketus agreements” but clearly all are part of the “proposal”.

    2nd email from Octupus to Phil Betts and David Grier (24th May, about two and a bit weeks after the enail) asks when they might procure the “invoices” (plural); also makes reference to “this first season’s tickets” with clear inference that this is a wider deal.

    3rd email exchange dated June 23 / 24 and seeking back-dated invoice to May 9. We are now 1.5 months following takeover. David Grier agrees to arrange “the invoice” to be issued; No sense whatsoever about any dubiety as to the value of this invoice which there would be if any of them were unclear about the nature of that deal..

    Thus, D and P are essentially suggesting that all along they were talking about a short-term financing arrangement when this catalogue of emails would seem to some to suggest a longer term arrangement. They also stress in their statement tonight that they did not know that the Ticketus monies would be used to purchase the club (which, of course, they were not – that was Craigie Bhoy’s own quid); this was exactly what Whyte himself said when first accused of using Ticketus monies to fund the acqquisition.

    Don’t expect the libel lawyers to be overly troubled with this one.

  27. Miggins says:

    Noted on the NBC pages that Celtic had juhnino on bet and later paid taxman in full, but they didn’t disclose this payment to sfa in contract. That would mean a 3-0 defeat for every game he played( not many) but would they still be due extra punishment by spl. Celtic fan by the way but fair is fair.

  28. TheTimWaddell says:

    Oh what a night…….

  29. Buddy Morrisey says:

    Congratulations to RTC on the Orwell prize and congratulations to me and you for contributing.

  30. Andy Fitzpatrick says:

    I thought Brian Quinn sorted this juninho thing out and payed the tax

  31. scapa says:

    Rob Noxious (@NoxRob) says:

    23/05/2012 at 11:54 pm

    The tax was paid, but there is some question as to whether the football authorities were informed, thus throwing the player’s registration into doubt.

  32. Private Land says:

    Good spot by Terry O’N on Juninho. If the EBT was a pay off, then he would not have been involved in any matches during the currency of the EBT.

    In any event, if the EBT was established in April 2005, Juninho’s last match for Celtic was on 27 Feb 2005 against Clyde in the SC at Broadwood (Celtic won 5-0).

    That would be no 0-3 scorelines then 🙂

  33. Miggins says:

    Quinn did sort it and paid tax but it wasn’t disclosed to sfa which is exactly what they are looking at rangers for

  34. Private Land says:

    Should have added that if the dates on the BBC website are correct, then whatever Celtic gave Juninho an EBT for, it wasn’t for playing football. Therefore there would be no case to answer in terms of registration irregularities.

  35. longtimelurker says:

    Michael says:
    24/05/2012 at 12:14 am
    0 0 Rate This
    You can congratulate RTC by giving her a thumbs-up here:



  36. slimshady61 says:

    One thing is crystal clear after the documentary tonight.

    There is no place on sports programmes for those who received EBT payments, that includes

    Billy Dodds who stated categorically on radio on 2nd March that he got paid normally but other players might have been in EBTs,

    Graeme Souness who took £30K of David Murray’s money shortly before he engineered the transfer from Ranger of a player to Blackburn (the FA will be looking closely into that without delay)

    Neil McCann who sits there cool as you like, when he trousered £500K via this unauthorised route, and pontificates on the rights and wrongs of players and managers

    These individuals have lost all moral authority and what we need now is (a) the names of the 15 “disappeared” to make sure there are no others propping up the sofas of the BBC and Sky, and (b) strong responses from the BBC, Sky Sports and any other media organisation which has employed anyone deriving benefit from these tax schemes.

    Get them out now, and clean up our game.

  37. Thornlyboy says:

    As I said, severe slap on the wrist; but if this was paid after he had effectively left the club and no longer played for them hard to argue there was any benefit. If there was a side letter, then take the medicine.

  38. reilly1926 says:

    craig78 says:

    23/05/2012 at 11:03 pm

    Was just waiting for the tacit admission of guilt:

    “The allegations made in tonight’s programme against Duff and Phelps are untrue, a distortion of the facts and highly defamatory. Discussions are already underway with our solicitors with a view to bringing legal proceedings against the BBC.”

    And there it is.


    Their statement was a bit like putting sandbags at the front door to stop a tsunami. They’re dead dog pie.

  39. Lucculent Sam says:

    Exiled in Deepest Kent (@ExiledinKent) says: 23/05/2012 at 11:26 pm

    The silence from SDM is strangely deafening!

    He was duped. Somebody told him River City was on BBC1 at 8pm last night. 🙂

  40. Smartie1947 says:

    Slimshady61 @11.53 re howard @10.48

    Might have picked this up incorrectly, but I think the missing 15 were in fact in-house Murray Group staff.
    Worth it for the Jennifer Saunders crack however Slimshady. Am I allowed to use such an expression.

  41. Rangers Nil? Who Missed the Penalty? says:

    I’m all for equitability.

    I’ll concede that a 3-0 reversal should be applied to the 22 games Juninho played in, provided that a 3-0 reversal be applied to the 178 games that Nacho Novo played in, or the 182 that Fernando Ricksen played in, or the 200+ that Stefan Klos played in, or the………………………..

    Fair’s fair, after all.

  42. EKBhoy says:


    Do Duff £ Phelps and David Grier have Amy involvement in raising the Clipart Ticketus invoice which was evidenced in th SFA last week?

    If so then off to court, just wondering if they ate that arrogant to get involved on VAT fraud

  43. Private Land says:

    For info purposes, had Juninho been in receipt of EBT from arrival at CP, then he took part in 14 SPL matches, 12 wins 1 loss and a draw accounting for 37 points.

    He also took part in two Scottish Cup wins and a defeat to Rangers in the League Cup

  44. Macfurgly says:

    Consequences of the whole affair going mainstream this evening are:

    ND’s delaying tactics are now so transparent to all his position is rapidly becoming untenable.

    Club chairmen about to vote on SPL share, entry of New Club, sanctions etc can no longer simply say, “We need the money”. The contrary position, sporting integrity, is now fully in the public domain, and overwhelming.

  45. WOTTPI says:

    From the Scotsman

    “The programme will raise fresh questions over the SPL’s 11-week investigation into possible non-disclosure of payments by Rangers between 1998 and 2010, conducted by legal firm Harper Macleod. The SPL issued a statement hours before the programme aired, which appeared to suggest that the assistance they require from Rangers to conduct their inquiry – which will lead to an independent commission determining sanctions if it is determined the Ibrox club has a case to answer – had not been forthcoming.

    “The investigation into the EBT payments made by Rangers FC is being actively pursued on behalf of the SPL,” said the SPL statement. “All relevant documents, materials and information have been sought from Rangers FC and we look forward to receiving full cooperation from the club and its administrators in providing everything that it and they have access to and which is required for the investigation to be completed.”

    So the SPL inquiry has been going on for weeks but it seems they are still looking forward to full co-operation. If Duff & Duffer weren’t going off on wild goose chases on court actions and CVAs then maybe they could have found the time to pass on the information the SPL requested.

    Why is Doncaster and anyone else wasting time on this dysfunctional mess of a club.

    Lets just dump the dirty cheating so and sos NOW.

  46. Derek says:

    shiltrum says:
    23/05/2012 at 11:52 pm
    So wee Craig went whyte at the thought of HMRC appointing their own administrators WELL he’s not there now get on with it . This site and others made the connection beetween D&P and CW when they were appointed. Now if the internet bampots could connect the dots you would think HMRC would have. I dont understand why they let this happen in the first place stinks to the heavens.
    You appear to doing HMRC a disservice here. In reality they have been very good at connecting the dots in this case – they have been doing so for years. And as for letting this happen in the first place – well if a company and a creditor both move to appoint Administrators at the same time then the company petition always takes preference. Not much more HMRC could realistically have done in the last 4 months or so.

  47. DelegateZero says:

    BBC say the Juninho payment was made in April 05–the same month he left (remember his contract was cut short)
    It could not therefore have been lodged with the SFA when he was getting registered.If he had stayed, we would presumably have paid him exactly the amount stated in his contract.
    In any case it would be irrelevant HOW we paid him as there is no suggestion there were any payments outwith his contract

  48. Rangers Nil? Who Missed the Penalty? says:

    Derek says:
    24/05/2012 at 12:38 am

    I always suspected that HMRC stood back and allowed Daffy & Duck to take the Administation reins in the knowledge that, given enough rope, they would probably hang themselves.

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