And get away with it.
This week the Craig Whyte fraud trial has brought back into focus the Biggest Scandal in British Sporting History.
While the case itself is to determine if ‘Motherwell Billionaire’ Whyte gained ownership of Rangers Football Club (IL) fraudulently, the evidence from witnesses Walter Smith, Ally McCoist, Donald McIntyre and David Murray has given us an insight into the workings at Ibrox.
Although all the witnesses at one time or another have claimed to had lapses in memory, defence QC Donald Findlay has managed to jog their respective memories with some hard evidence. In the form of emails, phone call transcripts and texts.
Snippets include the admission by Walter Smith that he was ‘sacked twice’ even though Dignity FC claim never to sack their managers. The loyal cardigan also told the court he didn’t know the mechanisms of running a football club, yet still blamed the bank for the club’s demise.
Super salary’s evidence was, well pretty farcical to say the least. A bit like his managerial career.
However, things really started to hot up when former Finance Director Donald McIntyre took the stand.
Now we all know about the two tax cases, the Wee One and the Big One. To distinguish the two, the first was the Discounted Option Scheme (DOS) operated by Rangers (IL), the second was the Employee Benefit Scheme (EBT’s).
BOTH involved dual contracts or ‘side letters’ as they are known, therefore EVERY player in receipt of either DOS or EBT would be illegally registered. The consequence, as Legia Warsaw found out for this offence is the result of EVERY game where the illegally registered players participated now shows a 0-3 result.
Other clubs in Scotland have suffered this punishment, before and after Rangers (IL) decided to choose to bypass the football rules in this country.
David Murray and Rangers (IL), knew the punishments, but still admitted liability in the Wee tax case. Donald McIntyre said so, in a court of law.
So, I’d like know, what made David Murray and Rangers (IL) think they could cheat the rest of Scottish Football and get away with it?
Might be a question Donald Findlay could ask….
*we’ve only scratched the surface here, there’s plenty more to come from this court case. Keep looking in…
Celtic development team, the under 20’s lifted the Youth Cup for the third season in a row tonight, after thumping Sevco 3-0 at Hampden Park.
Goals from captain Sam Wardrop, Calvin Miller and left back Aiden McIlduff, meant there would be green and white ribbons on the cup for the fifteenth time.
The victory was all the sweeter when you consider this bunch of players are the best produced by the Ibrox side in 20 years, according to their chairman Dave King.
It was also Celtic’s third win in a week against a team from Govan.
Last Thursday night, our under 17’s, with a couple of players included tonight, secured a 2-1 win at Firhill in the Glasgow Cup final, the goals coming from Liam Henderson’s young brother Ewan, and young Jack Aitchison,
The win, was the Hoops fourth success in a row.
Completing the hat-trick of wins was Sunday’s 2-0 stroll in the park, in the Scottish Cup semi-final by Brendan Rodgers men.
When the gaffer arrived at Celtic Park in May, he told the faithful his immediate aim was to continue our domestic domination.
Eleven months on and the club ARE dominating, not only at first team level, but also at the levels below.
It’s not only Glasgow that’s green and white….it’s Scotland!
It’s the stuff of dreams. Former Rangers (IL) vice-chairman Donald Findlay, defending former club owner Craig Whyte in a Scottish court, over the proposed fraudulent takeover of the now liquidated club.
Findlay will know all about the people he’s putting in the dock, having served on the Ibrox board until 1999, when he was unceremoniously forced to resign after being caught on camera singing The Sash.
The bold Donald does have a history of an anti-Catholic rhetoric, along with his vocal disappointment at being born on March 17th, St Partick’s Day!
He is however, regarded as one of the best QC’s in the country, with an ‘inside knowledge’ of the workings at the Govan club.
Having already put the loyal cardigan Walter Smith and his former jovial sidekick, Ally ‘who are these people’ McCoist on the stand, Findlay is just getting warmed up. A web of lies has already unraveled, with more to come no doubt.
To emphasise the point, Findlay told the court, “this is not a public inquiry, it is a trial”, clearly referring the withholding of information that took place in the sham Lord Nimmo Smith inquiry.
As the day proceeded, the cross examination of former finance director Donald McIntyre revealed all sorts of information, that had previously been hidden from public consumption or overlooked by various parties that had something to hide.
In particular, a letter dated 26th November 2010 confirming Rangers (IL) accepted liability for the £2.238m due to HMRC for the Discounted Option Scheme operated by the club, for payments to Ronald De Boer, Craig Moore and Tore Andre Flo. McIntyre confirmed a ‘side letter’ was used.
This Bhoys and Ghirls is only the tip of the iceberg.
So far the case has brought us more questions than answers. Certainly where David Murray, Campbell Ogilvie and the part played by Stewart Regan of the SFA is concerned.
I’d stock up on jelly, ice cream, popcorn and whatever else takes your fancy, because this is dynamite.
*Credit to @jamesdoleman for his excellent court coverage.
Here’s a few facts about the horror tackle dished out by Sevco’s Andy Halliday on Paddy Roberts at the start of yesterday’s Scottish Cup semi-final at Hampden.
Let’s begin with the starting place of Halliday. He was around ten yards away from Paddy as he ran at left back Beerman.
When Beerman was tackling Roberts, Halliday started his run. At this point Beerman managed to foul the Celtic winger but somehow Paddy managed to stay on his feet.
Now traveling at speed, Halliday decided he wanted to ‘clean Paddy Roberts out’, which he did, knocking the Bhoy flying through the air. Everyone in the ground could see the tackle was a potential leg breaker, except referee Wilie Collum.
To begin with the whistler made the right decision, and waved play on as Celtic had an advantage. But once the move ended, Collum should have brandished the red card.
The ‘tackle’ for want of a better word, was made to maim. Make n mistake, Halliday set out to injure Paddy Roberts. And it doesn’t matter if it occurs in the first or the last minute, the offence is the same. A straight red card.
Yet Willie Collum decide a yellow suffice. Just like the game last month at Celtic Park, Sevco were allowed to kick anything in green and white without fear of reprisal.
By only showing a yellow card, the thug can’t be punished further, but I do hope whoever represents captain Scott Brown at his hearing for last week’s farcical sending-off, uses a video of teh incident to compare tackles. And punishments.
But let’s be honest here. Halliday made the challenge to prove he’s one of them. A fan who plays for the club. A Govan boy.
And that’s exactly all he is.
Brother Pedro could easily have picked one of the Gullibears from the crowd to do the same job. His notoriety was always going to be about trying to hurt a Celtic player, because he doesn’t have the ability to make anyone sit up and take notice. Like his team, he’s just not very good.
Celtic turned in a performance that was more like the team that has gone 41 domestic games without defeat, in the Scottish Cup semi-final at Hampden yesterday.
The 2-0 scoreline flatters the new club, because in reality it could have been more, much more.
An excellent goal from Callum McGregor after 11 minutes, when he coolly side footed the ball past Fotheringham from 18 yards was just reward for the Bhoys, after dominating the early proceedings.
The Hoops were so much on top, the half-time stats showed Celtic didn’t commit a single foul in the first 45, while Sevco didn’t have a single shot on target during the same period. One way traffic from the champions.
With Moussa Dembele pulling a hamstring towards the end of the first half, Brendan put on a more than able replacement in Leigh Griffiths.
And it was Leigh who made the second goal, sprinting on to Paddy Roberts through ball, only to be cleaned out by Sevco full back Tavernier inside the box, for a stonewall penalty.
Scott Sinclair duly dispatched the ball behind Fotheringham to make it 2-0 and end the score for the day, and with it the dreams of those Sevconians who thought lightning might strike twice.
That was NEVER going to happen
So what can we take out of Sunday’s game. Here’s seven things that I took away from it…
- You have to hit a Celtic player with a hatchet to stand any chance of being sent-off. Halliday’s assault on Paddy Roberts would have got him a weekender if he did that on the street.
- Paddy Roberts has matured so much, and has the natural ability to rip defences to pieces.
- Callum McGregor is in Brendan Rodgers’ starting team on merit. His composure for the first goal was Messi like.
- Scott Brown is an outstanding leader of the team, on and off the park.
- Jozo and Dedryck are without doubt our best central defensive pairing. What a difference a year has made to big Boyata!
- Stuart Armstrong still has nice hair.
- The gap is as wide as we want it to be, on and off the park. Celtic strolled around the Hampden pitch bossing the game and upping the tempo when needed. If we keep our concentration and the officials don’t over com-bust, we’ll finish the season not only as Treble winners, but Invincibles.
Within 14 seconds of today’s Scottish Cup semi-final, holders Hibs found themselves a goal down to Aberdeen, after a serious of slack passes left Adam Rooney with only the goalkeeper to beat.
A total lack of concentration gave Neil Lennon’s men a mountain to climb.
How a team can start so lackadaisical is beyond me, especially with so much at stake. If anything, you’d expect the Hibs players to be extra focused.
To make matters worse, their goalkeeper managed to lose a second after half an hour, when Celtic’s Ryan Christie curled a free-kick at his near post.
Two goals behind, Lenny made a substitution that paid dividends immediately, when Grant Holt scored with almost his first touch with a header from Martin Boyle’s excellent cross.
That goal galvanised the holders, and they took the game to Aberdeen from the start of the second half. And their efforts were rewarded when ex-Celt Dylan McGeoch equalised with a shot that went through Joe Lewis in the Dons goal.
Unfortunately, Hibs’ comeback was all in vain when, with six minutes to go, Johnny Hayes’ shot cannoned off Hibs defender McGregor to wrong foot the keeper and give the Sheep a 3-2 victory.
Celtic will look at today’s game and see the first 14 seconds as a timely reminder of how NOT to start a game. When the Bhoys take to the field for tomorrow’s Scottish Cup semi-final, concentration is paramount, we cannot be slack in any aspect of the game.
We have to be 100% on the ball, right from the off.
If we do, then I can see us progressing to take on an Aberdeen side, that despite all the plaudits, find it hard keeping a clean sheet when teams go at them.
*A side note. Both Hibs goals were straight at Joe Lewis. I wonder if the pundits will claim he should have saved them, the same as they did with Scott Fox at Paddy Roberts goal last week?