A Lie for a Lie


The “Lawwell Letter” is trending everywhere this week. To elucidate, it is email sent to (among others) Peter Lawwell and Eric Riley of Celtic on 26 July 2012 by SPL CEO Neil Doncaster.

The email came with an attached copy of the Five Way Agreement (hereafter “5WA”, the deal between Sevco, Rangers, the SFA, the SPL and the SFL). Now that it has been made public, it seems safe to speak openly about what it all means for us as folk who believe in sporting integrity.

I would preface my comments with a caveat though. On the face of it, the Celtic Chief Executive appears to have misled the gathering at the recent Celtic AGM. He was asked by a shareholder if Celtic were involved in the Five Way Agreement. Lawwell replied, “No”, and gave same “No” response to the follow up question, “have you seen it?”

Given that a copy of that email was in the possession of a few folk before that AGM, I have to admit to being surprised by that answer – although even more surprised at the apparent lack of due diligence implied by the lack of knowledge of its content.

We have attempted to contact Mr Lawwell to ask him if he would like to comment on the apparent discrepancy between the evidence and his answer (and I am sure we are not the only ones to have done so). To date, we have received no response. Given the complete lack of acknowledgement of the existence of this anomaly in the MSM, we should perhaps assume that none will be forthcoming.

Perhaps there is an explanation (yes I know), but Celtic should know, like Rangers old and new have come to realise, that silence on these matters breeds deep suspicion and distrust.

Assuming for the minute that Occam’s Razor applies here, there may be an uncomfortable truth emerging for Celtic fans – that Rangers (old and new) do not have a monopoly on dishonesty. There is also an uncomfortable truth that should emerge for Rangers fans too – that as we have said all along, this has never been about just Rangers, but about the governance of the game.

If the Celtic CEO did lie to the AGM a few weeks ago what are the consequences? He broke no laws as far as I can see. One insider I spoke to said simply this,

“So he lied. So what? What happens now? It’s irrelevant”

That is of course absolutely true. As long as controlling shareholders are happy that Resolution 12 is buried, and that no deep inquiry into governance is held into the workings of the game in Scotland, the lie is nonpunishable, though it would be a mistake to believe that accountability is confined only to the corporate rules governing Boards and shareholders; the corporate veil of “I was only following company policy” can be readily challenged in the court of public opinion, which has no statute of limitations.

What all this demonstrates of course is that Celtic have been saying one thing to their fans and shareholders, nodding agreement in private meetings about how appalling Rangers behaviour was, tut-tutting over how amateurish the authorities were, and wringing their hands in frustration at what a sham the LNS inquiry turned out to be.

At the same time, they have done nothing, allowed small shareholders to spend not inconsiderable suns progressing the matter, and quietly hoped that the “appetite” for justice would diminish so they could get back to whatever it is they and the rest do when subject to little or no scrutiny.

Whilst ten in a row is on the table of course, they can get away with it. To Celtic fans right now, understandably, nothing else matters. But what if TIAR is derailed? Not a stretch to imagine that the Parkhead kitchen could get uncontrollably hot in that circumstance. And when the TIAR squirrel finally ends its scurry, in either success or failure, where will the fans attention be diverted?

Perhaps the arrogance that permits making (allegedly) false statements to a general meeting, and (allegedly) misleading shareholders over Res 12 is borne of the knowledge that the parachutes are ready to be deployed when either of the above scenarios come to pass? If TIAR is achieved or goes south, are they already prepared for an emergency exit?

Celtic have two major shareholders whose combined holding is over 50% of the club’s shares. Dermot Desmond and Nick Train. Desmond is now in his eighth decade and Train is reportedly having some business difficulties. Both may well be moved to get out anyway, but fan unrest would make their decision a whole lot easier.

And Lawwell himself is – if you believe the MSM – on the wanted list of nearly as many top clubs as Alfredo Morelos.

The foregoing of course is extremely “Old Firm” centric, and as the two biggest clubs in the country they certainly have the biggest impact on the game, culturally, socially and financially. However there is no get-out clause here for others.

We KNOW there is evidence of fraud surrounding the licencing issue in 2012. We KNOW there is evidence of a cover up over that, and the EBT-related registration issues for Old Rangers. We KNOW that the Five Way Agreement was signed by football authorities in the knowledge that it would rob their own rules of judicial authority with regard to compliance by RFC prior to 2012.

We also know that NOT ONE club has taken a meaningful stand against any of it.

Clubs are saying one thing to supporters and doing their best to derail those supporters’ efforts on the other. We can also infer (not unreasonably) that the folk who run the clubs think that we as fans have no right to interfere in how they run their operations.

As I said earlier, Celtic can do what they like whilst TIAR is live, but afterwards, however it ends, the fans and shareholders involved in Res 12 will still be asking questions. Celtic in particular know how fatal it can be to alienate their own fan base – a fan base that has flexed its muscles with devastating effect for the boardroom in the past. And it is the wrath of the fans of all clubs that will eventually see the charlatans get their just desserts.

Our job as fans is to continue to hold those who care little for the honour and beauty of football to account, to continue to press them on their refusal to deal with arguably the biggest sporting scandal in Scottish history.

The bottom line (which is of course what the folk in boardrooms care about) is this. They need us far more than we need them. As fans of different clubs, the sensibility of those of us at SFM recognises that the real battle, the real war, is not between rival fans or rival clubs, but between the arrogant, self-entitled clique who run our game; who lie for fun, who cheat and belittle the sport; and the good folk who make it possible for the game to prosper.

Resolution 12 is not just about Rangers – nor is it just about Celtic. It deserves to be embraced by every true football fan in the country. The Res 12 franchise needs to widened

Sooner or later the fans will demonstrate their unhappiness with the money men. They did it in 2012, and they will inevitably do so again.


  1. Timtim 5th April 2020 at 21:17
    This time it will probably be the football debts that will fail any deal
    With many clubs not receiving any gate income and every penny is a prisioner,i would imagine any club not receiving money due for transfers would be making enquiries as to when they will get their money.
    Can’t remember off the top of my head when transfer instalments have to be paid.

  2. Smugas 5th April 2020 at 22:16

    I mean how on earth could THEY afford him?”

    Never mind irony, if naivety could be bottled. He knows Dundee, and he knows who was in charge at Dens at the time.

    Some things are best not said Neil.

  3. Smugas 5th April 2020 at 22:16

    '..if irony could be bottled, Neil would clearly need a warehouse'


    Oh that English had come back with a comment like 'especially since not even SDM's Rangers could afford it without cheating the taxman to pay someone like you half a million, Neil!'

    But the gombeen man has never had the guts even before he was being paid by the BBC to raise the whole sordid issue.

  4.      As things stand UEFA appear to be sticking with their stated schedule re Euro fitba', so the assumption must be that financial reportage/application dates remain unchanged. Sevco, currently sitting 2nd would be entitled to a merited spot, so again the assumption must be that the information required should have been submitted. ……Unless of course the finances are in such poor nick that it would be a waste of paper, (even with association assistance, who themselves must be fearful of scrutiny coming their way). 


        A "restructuring", of the Sevco brand is in the offing and a 3 year Euro exclusion is heading their way anyway. Either way its a tricky wan for the SFA who must be in the know.

         Ergo, the SPFL, and through the grapevine, clubs themselves.

         The bottom line being that if Sevco, for whatever reason fail to make the cut, the clubs immediately below are looking at an upgrade, which would be a great wee thing to show to the bank manager. 

        That would involve Motherwell, Aberdeen, and Livingstone.





         Just saying.

  5. Homunculus
    5th April 2020 at 22:05
     5 1 Rate This

    Timtim 5th April 2020 at 21:17


    Can anyone confirm that a businesses tax affairs have to be up to date in order to apply for Job Retention Scheme payments, I haven't actually seen that anywhere.

    I know for example that HMRC are allowing deferment of VAT payments which are due and are pretty much guaranteeing time to pay if people really need it. Well that's the impression I am getting. I think they see getting people paid as the priority just now and will deal with anything else later.

    I'm not saying the tax thing isn't right I just haven't seen it anywhere.


    I suspect – but don't know – that money paid through the job retention scheme will be paid as a 'refund' via the PAYE system. 

    If that is correct, I'd assume that any outstanding PAYE (owed by the company) would be deducted from the amount paid over by HMRC.

    It is possible that a company which owes PAYE can technically join the scheme; but in practice, wouldn't actually receive any payment from HMRC to pass on to its employees.

    A company already in that position may think there is little point in joining such a scheme.

    No particular insight on this, just thinking out loud.

  6. JC at 22.29


    i wonder why the guidance doesn’t lay out what happens on sale of “the business” (the the business? mail) under conditions of liquidation.  I mean, that happens too doesn’t it?

  7. Being  in the age-related 'risk' category vis-vis covid-19 I did our weekly shop at Sainsbury's this morning during the prescribed hour (8 a.m -9.00 am on Mondays). [ and it was extremely well organised, I must say]

    I took advantage of the opportunity to buy a copy of 'The Scotsman'.(Mrs C 's orders- she misses the word puzzle stuff and I haven't the heart /courage to refuse her!)

    I have previously used the expression" truth is indivisible".

    The editorial is little more than a begging plea to Government to help the newspaper industry.Not just a plea, but a demand!

    The editorial has the following

    " The government's offer to pay the 80 per cent of the salaries of furloughed workers will help many businesses to weather the storm.But this is no solution for struggling newspapers.

    Journalists have been rightly identified as 'key workers' during the pandemic.It would be perverse if many were instead to spend it idling at home, having been laid off or placed on paid leave"

    Applying the maxim that 'truth is indivisible', it would in my opinion be rather more perverse to fund the continued employment of 'journalists' who help to propagate untruth, whether explicitly or by silence, and the continuance of any  newspaper that permits them to do so. That applies to sports journalists in the SMSM.

    By the their refusal to tell the truth about the Big Lie, the SMSM  have demonstrated that they are not particularly worthy or deserving of our trust any more than is the SFA.

  8. Corrupt official 6th April 2020 at 09:48

    From a financial standpoint Celtic cannot afford the risk of no European football next season. Celtic need it to try to balance the books. Or make a profit by getting into the CL group stages. 

    I'm not sure if UEFA would or could go ahead with their threat, however it would be an enormous risk to take.

    I am absolutely convinced that Celtic and the Celtic support really want the season to be finished, however that can be achieved. I certainly do.

  9. Homunculus 6th April 2020 at 10:47 

    Corrupt official 6th April 2020 at 09:48 From a financial standpoint Celtic cannot afford the risk of no European football next season. Celtic need it to try to balance the books. Or make a profit by getting into the CL group stages.


        Couldn't agree more H. In fact I think ALL fans wish this damned virus never appeared, and everything was being played out as per the norm. 

        But it isn't…… It is now down to how it is dealt with. 

        Kicking decisions down the road now means clubs have to find another month's payroll, in some cases from thin air. For some clubs that isn't a king's ransom, for others it is. (see what I did there).

         Very few players are on mega-bucks in Scotland, and even part-timers may have lost their main source of income. Clubs can't plan within unknown parameters and time-frames.

         Some "tide-over" money for them would help more than it would hinder. The only way to do that is declare the league done. 

        It has just struck me that front-ending the fixture list for next season (should it be on schedule), would also help. The larger clubs, taking their larger support away, to the smaller clubs would be a bonus.  An early home gate with the biggees would be a godsend. Some good news to take to the bank manager……

        In this instance fiddling with the wonky selection computor's output wouldn't be cheating, but merely common sense….The same with opening cup rounds. 

        It's hard not to appear like being a self-serving Celtic man through-out this, but honestly, we have won it, and will eventually win it.     I think it was you who made the point the other day, "What if clubs go bust in the meantime"…..An excellent point.

        That is why I am suggesting declare it now…….Or at least before any damage is done.

  10. To be honest I have switched off a bit re the goings on in Planet Fitba and just dipping in an out as it suits me.

    However note that Uefa appear to be insisting leagues are resolved for this season so they can run their competitions once football resumes.

    Given the number of CL places given to the top leagues, Uefa doesn't actually give a hoot with regards to who wins a domestic league. They are happy with any old crap as long as they can get enough of the bigger and richer teams from the big 5 leagues into the latter stages of the competition. And if some of those clubs fail they then get a further parachute into the EL.

    I don't see why Uefa just don't come out and use the current crisis as opportunity to set up the European Football League as a franchise system and be done with it.

  11. Wottpi, agree with that.

    If UEFA was not involved at all / making threats, then FA's could have decided what was best for their league, before now and 'try to manage' the uncertainty.

    And it does raise a further question: what's the worst that could happen if 'smaller' leagues chose NOT to participate in any UEFA competition?

    If there was a non-UEFA European tournament – excluding the top 5 leagues – where ONLY each league champions played – with no qualifying rounds, and it was knock-out format from start to finish…

    That would provide much interest, better games – and it would show up the CL for the borefest it has become.

    And what about a version of the Cup Winners Cup too ?

    Do the diddy leagues really need UEFA…?

  12. StevieBC 6th April 2020 at 12:55

    The answer is of course that diddy leagues do not need Uefa.

    In fact the vast majority of diddy football teams don't need it either.

    The big clubs in the top 5 do and those like Celtic, Ajax, Benfica etc, who all aspire to be at the top table, do. 

    As reminded on the Lisobon Lions documentary the other night the days of Celtic and Rangers both being in the major cup finals and Killie in the semi's of the Fairs Cup in the same year are long gone.

    As the chances of getting to the CL are limited then I'd suggest fans of Hearts, Aberdeen Hibs, etc would be happy with a shot at non-Uefa tournies as you suggest.

    It would be no better or worse than the current situation of going out in the qualifiers for the EL.


  13. Don't have access to the main body of the article.To be fair John the headline does read 54th and last title.(ebt aside it is an accurate headline)It references Rangers and not TRFC.

  14. FOLLOWING the serious misrepresentation of Celtic FC, The Herald newspaper today made the following apology to the Club.

    “On our front page promotion for a column on Saturday, we stated ‘Celtic cutting non-playing staff’s money shows how far football has lost its soul’.

    “We are happy to clarify that Celtic have not cut any non-playing staff’s money. All staff on the Government’s job retention scheme are having their salaries paid in full by Celtic. We apologise to Celtic for our error.”
    Wonder if someone will get his ass kicked or a slap on the back. Big headline celtic bad, small apology paper bad.

  15. Corrupt official 6th April 2020 at 09:48

    Over to you Sevco……….mail



    So Celtic can probably ride out what is in front of Scottish football – quite a bit of pain but they will survive. Many others are not in such a healthy financial position.

    Wouldn't it be a huge irony if it was the folks from Ibrokes who ended up calling for Celtic to be anointed as Champions so that they could get their hands on desperately needed cash?

    Scottish Football needs a new Declaration of Arbroath to declare independence from UEFA decision-making.



  16. Cluster One 6th April 2020 at 14:51

    “We are happy to clarify that Celtic have not cut any non-playing staff’s money. All staff on the Government’s job retention scheme are having their salaries paid in full by Celtic. We apologise to Celtic for our error.”


    I'm a bit confused by the apology above. If Celtic was paying staff their salaries "in full", then there would be no need for it utilise the Government's scheme.

    I suspect that Celtic is only topping up the salaries beyond the Government's scheme payments to the level they were at before being furloughed, i.e. Celtic will be contributing as little as 20% to some of those salaries.  


    I appreciate that we are in uncharted waters with the furlough scheme, but I do think some employers (in general terms) are using the scheme simply to reduce their day to day operating costs, rather than through necessity.

    It might have been worthwhile for the Government to insert something in the furlough legislation that prevented companies who use the scheme from paying dividends to shareholders or bonuses to employees for at least the next couple of years. It could be have accompanied by a windfall tax of 100% for companies who wished to continue to pay bonuses, similar to that which followed the banking crisis. 

    On the question of highly paid footballers and other high earners, their dilemma about accepting cuts, deferrals, contributing to charitable causes etc., might be eased if the Government implemented a temporary "super tax" of 20% on everyone earning more than say £500k a year. The new tax year starts today, so there's no time like the present.  Oh I forgot, we've got a Tory government.


  17. redlichtie 6th April 2020 at 15:10 

    Corrupt official 6th April 2020 at 09:48

    Over to you Sevco……….

    mail https://www.dailyrecord.co.uk/sport/football/football-news/celtic-push-against-title-declaration-21817984


          Wouldn't it be a huge irony if it was the folks from Ibrokes who ended up calling for Celtic to be anointed as Champions so that they could get their hands on desperately needed cash?


        Indeed Red!…….But a quick glance through Sevco forums will show Sevco to be in an impossible position. Gate receipts, like most, are their most lucrative income stream, and comments of, "Surrender an' Ah'll no be back!", are all the rage. (that's the polite ones). 

        I'm afraid they are stuck with sabre rattlin' and kiddy-onny threats to sue. 

         It's quite ironic as it is, because Sevvies themselves surrendered already after the pumping by Hearts weeks ago, and Gerrard had a "Not wanted, Deid or alive", bounty on him……….

         I suppose there is every chance they might have their minds changed for them again. mail…..They just need to find somebody to blame and it's game on…… I think the Chinese will be prime candidates for "starting", the virus, not buying Alfie, and forgetting to pop the fried rice in the delivery bag.

        Aye, they will be totally rational. 


  18. easyJambo 6th April 2020 at 15:23
    I’m a bit confused by the apology above. If Celtic was paying staff their salaries “in full”, then there would be no need for it utilise the Government’s scheme.

    I suspect that Celtic is only topping up the salaries beyond the Government’s scheme payments to the level they were at before being furloughed, i.e. Celtic will be contributing as little as 20% to some of those salaries.
    Someone posted a link to the article the other day, I think the headline was misleading that staff would have their wages cut (ie, taking home less pay)
    If celtic are using the goverment scheme, as is their prerogative and they are topping up the staff wages, then the staff are not having their wages cut, they are taking home their full pay.
    That is my take.

  19. Corrupt official 6th April 2020 at 15:41
    If it was a game of chess, i believe celtic have just played the best move.
    As you say, Over to you Sevco……….
    We assumed that the ibrox club for all their sabre rattlin’ and kiddy-onny threats to sue. would have behind closed doors be happy for celtic to be awarded the title (much needed income now and another injustice, gets the Season tickets flowing)
    I expect behind close doors they are now sweating. Will they start to make noise give celtic the title so we can get on with preparing for next season quotes, obviously from an ibrox source as no one will want to put their name to it.

  20. Corrupt official 6th April 2020 at 15:41

    I think the Chinese will be prime candidates for “starting”, the virus, not buying Alfie, and forgetting to pop the fried rice in the delivery bag.


    Speaking of such things…..

    There’s going to be a round of applause for couriers and delivery drivers.
    It will be some time between 9am and 5pm tomorrow. 🙂

    Scottish Football needs a strong Arbroath.

  21. The Government pays the money to the employer 80% of salary up to a maximum of £2,500 per month.

    The employer then pays the employee if they choose to they can obviously pay the full salary, but some may just pay the 80%.

    The employee has to agree to the arrangement in writing. They must also refrain from doing any work for the employer.

    My understanding is that Celtic are putting workers who cannot work from home on furlough, using the scheme and paying 100% of salary.

    If that is accurate, then they are paying 20% of the salary, or possibly more, depending on what people were earning.

  22. Re footballers pay – there is of course a great difference between the high rollers in the EPL and the jobbing pros trying to make a living in the lower leagues.

    Similarly there is a difference between the high paid footballers and other millionaire sports stars. The footballers are paid by the club/company (lets not go there) whereas individual sports people in sports like tennis, golf, boxing, etc are more like self employed workers. While they may have their money coming in via a company and have back up money from sponsorship etc but currently their ability to win prize money and even appearance fees is totally shot.

    Then in those sports the touring pro's and run of the mill fighters are totally screwed.

    As someone said on social media elsewhere guys like Harry Kane (just picked his name at random) on a supposed £10m a year probably isn't going to miss, say, £500,000 that would keep  a decent number of backroom staff on full wages over this difficult time.

    In fact he could give £500k to his own and another £500k to charity and still be paying a decent amount of tax to Hector and not be feeling any pinch whatsoever. 


  23. Ex Ludo 6th April 2020 at 18:53


    I think I’m right in saying the monies from the Govt scheme have to be paid back at some point in the future?


    My understanding is that the furlough payments are viewed as a "grant", therefore don't have to be repaid.

  24. gunnerb 6th April 2020 at 14:03

    "Don't have access to the main body of the article.To be fair John the headline does read 54th and last title.(ebt aside it is an accurate headline)It references Rangers and not TRFC."


    In fairness, I can see your point, and would not have wanted to misrepresent what Sked wrote.

    Nevertheless , I think I can safely infer from the piece ,and the caption to the photo ,that in referring to " their last major trophy.." Sked does not mean the last one they could ever win, but just the 'most recent' one, leaving room to imagine that he thinks that any TRFC league title win can be added to the '54', thus continuing to propagate the untruth that somehow the liquidated Rangers are still participating in Scottish Football!

  25. Ex Ludo 6th April 2020 at 18:53

    No, as EJ said it's a grant, not a loan.

    I think there are other loans available to people but the Job Retention Scheme for PAYE is not repayable. 


  26. Easyjambo@19.02

    Thanks for that. I had a quick look through what’s available on line re these grants. Looks like individual tax liabilities will remain so I suppose a percentage is going back to HMRC.

  27. Ex Ludo 6th April 2020 at 18:53

    '..monies from the Govt scheme have to be paid back at some point in the future?


    You might find this link helpful, Ex Ludo


    "Rules as outlined in official statements released as at 26 March 2020

    1. Furloughed members of staff must not work for the employer during the period of furlough.
    2. Furlough is from 1 March 2020, so is to be backdated. It will last for at least 3 months and will be extended if necessary. Note that while the scheme is backdated to the beginning of March as it is intended to support all those employed then, a firm will only be eligible to claim the grant once they have agreed the furlough with their staff and staff have stopped working for the employer. This will of course be subject to employment law in the usual way.
    3. The scheme is available for employees on the payroll at 28 February 2020.
    4. All UK businesses are eligible, ‘any employer on the country, small or large, charitable or non-profit’ to use the Chancellor’s words.
    5. The scheme pays a grant (not a loan) to the employer…."


  28. "Rangers boss Steven Gerrard, first team players, coaches and Executive Directors have volunteered to defer their wages for the next 3 months"


    I'm not sure if Mr Gerrard is aware he has volunteered ………..

    However this isn't a pay cut it's merely stockpiling more debt in the hope that a fire sale can repay this and much more at a later date.

  29. Timtim 6th April 2020 at 19:39

    “Rangers boss Steven Gerrard, first team players, coaches and Executive Directors have volunteered to defer their wages for the next 3 months”


    I’m not sure if Mr Gerrard is aware he has volunteered ………..

    However this isn’t a pay cut it’s merely stockpiling more debt in the hope that a fire sale can repay this and much more at a later date.


    All or a proportion?  If it’s all, then they won’t have any problems paying their PAYE and NICs.

    The latest Club statement doesn’t state the scale of the deferral.

  30. I imagine the discussion went something like 

    " Youse have a choice , we can either go into liquidation and youse get heehaw or youse can defer wages til the transfer windae opens and get a %age of whatever we can con outta some mug for Alfie the Grump and Kamara . Parky is on the phone tae Juve right noo." 

  31. I'm sorry. Seems no different from the Celtic position to me (which I am not knocking)? They may, or not, be about to implode but who knows. Why would they not take advantage of the Government scheme? It's available to protect employees who would otherwise be made redundant (or put on no pay). Tories acting like socialists! Unprecedented times indeed!!

  32.    Regardless of the ifs and buts surrounding the wages deferments over Govan way, its still a decent thing to do. Like most clubs, businesses etc, payback can be argued about at a later date. For now its a positive step.

  33. bordersdon 6th April 2020 at 20:17


    I'm not sure why you started that with "I'm sorry".

    I can't imagine why anyone would disagree with you.

    If they are putting staff who can't work for them on furlough and paying them their full salary good on them. It helps normal working people at a very difficult time and they are doing more than they have to.

    This also assists with the social distancing policy so will help save lives as well.

    No need to be sorry about saying that as far as I am concerned. 

  34. bordersdon 6th April 2020 at 20:17
    I’m sorry. Seems no different from the Celtic position.
    Celtic get a big bad headline and the ibrox club don’t;-)

  35. I picked up on something different with the tweet announcing tonight’s wage deferral, which linked to the Club’s website.

    Rangers Football Club@RangersFC2h
    The Rangers Football Club Limited: Update

    It’s the first time I’ve seen the club referred to as “The Rangers Football Club Limited” on such communications.

    For comparison, the last statement simply referred to it as a “Club statement”

    Rangers Football Club@RangersFC Mar 27
    Club Statement: https://rng.rs/2Jl4Rce

    It’s probably something and nothing, but odd all the same.


  36. We should eventually find out the quantum of any deferrals (for all clubs) assuming that they remain in place until the end of June, as they should show as a current liability in their accounts at the end of the financial year.  

  37. From James Tavernier's statement , I take the view that there wasn't enough money to pay 100% of the next three months' wages and make up the 20% to furloughed staff and keep the show on the road . I don't see why they are bumming it up , especially when you see what Liverpool did . July 1st wage round could be fun – season book money taking a hammering or blue knight bitcoin billionaire to the rescue ?

  38. Not surprised at the 50% figure , it would be unrealistic to expect a 100% deferment . It isn't a pay cut though is it . The other staff taking advantage of the Govt scheme does however shoot down the suggestion that it was unavailable to them due to a failure to meet taxes due. Even with a 50% cut the wages due in April for 1st team squad and management staff  will still be close to 1 million (possibly more) and that will be  for the Board to fund (again). So at a minimum they have to pay out 2m over the next 3 months just to stay operational


    Phil now suggesting the pot is sweetened by allowing players to move for reduced fees which helps in the short term  but in the future this was a source of potential income they were relying on. 

  39. Just wondering how many season books can be sold. I am sure I read somewhere over the last few day that even after it becomes possible to play football again the social distancing rule will still be in play for at least another 6 to 12 months which would have a huge impact on crowd sizes for the bigger clubs. It was probably in an article about Celtic as I am sure the example was the rail seating area seats are 500 mm so you would lose 4 seats between fans can't see how you can sell 60,000 season books but may only be allowed say 10,000 fans due to social distancing.Anyone read this or did I imagine reading this.

  40. Sorry it was yesterday from video celts not sure if this is correct or not copied it as link won't post.



    Celtic could be forced to play matches in front of a greatly reduced capacity next season.

    A report in The Sun carries a headline about half-empty grounds but the reality of applying the 2 metre rule could see grounds 90% empty.

    According to an article by Ferco who were involved with installing RailSeats at Celtic Park each seat in 500mm wide meaning that only one in every fourth seat could be occupied. If that is also applied to rows the 60,000 capacity would be decimated.

    Covering the development, The Sun reports:

    One SPFL insider said: “It’s a major quandary – how you get people back into grounds when the restrictions are lifted. As things stand, the days of crowds of 50,000 at Ibrox and 60,000 at Celtic Park aren’t going to happen.



    “From what the government are saying, we could have social distancing for another 6-12 months, which would mean people sitting three or four seats apart next season to adhere to the two-metre rule.

    “There are a host of things to consider for when we are up and running again. What about turnstile queues? What about stewards doing body searches? With all due respect to them, it’ll be okay at Elgin and Albion Rovers.



    “Even a club like Hamilton Accies, with 1500 fans in a 6000- capacity stadium, will be less affected by this than many.”

    The 2-metre ruling could be reduced but a restriction on capacity is just the latest issue that football clubs will have to deal with in these unprecedented times.

    UEFA seem to be insisting that the 2019/20 season is completed but under the current circumstances matches would have to be played in empty or near empty stadiums.

    Lifting the Saturday 3pm ban on live telly matches would go some way towards giving fans access but the home crowd is one of the main attractions of Celtic Park matches. Watching games played out in front of 10,000 carefully spaced fans around the ground would be a very different experience

  41. Shug
    By the current space standards employed in football stadia I make that 1 in 4 occupancy in seats and 1 in 3 in rows. That would give Celtic Park for example around 5000, Ibrox 4000 , Easter Rd & Tynecastle 1700.
    Serious problems ahead particularly with Scots clubs’( and companies’) heavy dependency on gates.
    Very worrying

  42. Even if we can space supporters out in stadiums we will have to consider the problem caused by people going to buy a half-time pie or those with weak bladders. If you are in the middle of a row how do you shuffle past others without breaching social distancing guidelines?

    There are other questions and comments to consider in respect of player safety. For example how players can practice social distancing on the field of play? There is a clear protocol for dealing with blood injuries as you can't hide a cut but it's not so easy with an invisible virus! Will goalies have to have handsanitiser to use after touching the ball? Overkill some will say but who hasn't seen a player clear his throat or expelled (sorry) nasal secretions? Masks for players might offer some protection but playing wearing one is unlikely to be easy! 

    History allows us to see numerous examples where ignorance of risk or, and perhaps more often, individual or corporate greed has led to death or disability. 

    Whilst it might be easy to say that I'm over-thinking the risks the developing story involving poor Boris suggests otherwise. 


  43. Worse than I thought then could this be the death knell for football worldwide?

    adam812 7th April 2020 at 04:09

    Not sure that you are overthinking it.

  44. Cluster One 6th April 2020 at 21:41

    bordersdon 6th April 2020 at 20:17
    I’m sorry. Seems no different from the Celtic position.
    Celtic get a big bad headline and the ibrox club don’t;-)


    So what else is new? I am also sure that Anne Budge hasn’t missed that it is already being portrayed as an altruistic approach at Ibrox, but then again Rangers ALWAYS do the right thing. They even managed to introduce a dignified approach to illegal tax evasion.  

    On another note we have the Right Worshipful Alastair Johnston in today’s Times saying an asterix should be put against Celtic title this season should the season be ended and the title awarded. Yes, THAT Alastair Johnston. I don’t think I need to say any more.

  45. Just so long as an Asterix is placed alongside all the titles won using EBTs.  Although my own preference would be for those titles to be stripped.

    That fine with you Mr Johnston? Fair’s fair.

  46. And today we read that the great work done by the US Attorney General's office in the FIFA corruption scandal continues:

    "Former Fifa executives accused of bribes over World Cup bidding "


    "The profiteering and bribery in international soccer have been deep-seated and commonly known practices for decades," said FBI assistant director-in-charge William Sweeney.

    "The FBI… are investigating the illicit handshakes and backroom deals hidden in the infrastructure of soccer events, venues and marketing contracts."

    Isn't it great to see investigation into alleged  cheating in the matter of choice of World Cup venues? Wouldn't it be great to see investigation into licence awards and secret agreements between a governance body and  particular clubs? 

    Oh, for an Elliot Ness in Glasgow!

  47. upthehoops 7th April 2020 at 07:03

    I am also sure that Anne Budge hasn’t missed that it is already being portrayed as an altruistic approach at Ibrox, but then again Rangers ALWAYS do the right thing. They even managed to introduce a dignified approach to illegal tax evasion.  

    UTH I am sure Ms Budge has noticed the difference but she will be far to busy looking at ways to keep Hearts on the go as a viable proposition to be involved in hubris and grandstanding.

    That pragmatism is why, as the song says, " the Hearts survived and (the head in the sand) Rangers died". 

    Sevco will need to tread very carefully if they are to see this particular storm out.

  48. The msm obviously have information regarding sevco's wage deferment,  that wasn't inclued in the official statement. They stress a 50% payment, whilst the official statement doesn't say that. PR spin or blatant misreporting?

  49. https://rangers.co.uk/news/headlines/the-rangers-football-club-limited-update/

    Having read the TRFC statement there appears to be some ambiguity contained within.

    ‘Rangers can confirm that First Team players, Manager, coaches and Executive Directors have volunteered to take a salary deferral for the next three months…’

    It’s unclear from that part of the statement whether the unspecified deferrals will exist for 3 months, or whether 3 salary payments will be deferred.

    TRFC, in line with many other clubs, don’t pay playing staff in June (something discussed on here at length in the past). Annual salaries are paid over an agreed number of 4-week periods or calendar months, leaving June free, as there is no, or very little, club football. 

    Is the deferral for April & May’s salaries to be repaid in July, or is it April, May & July’s salaries that will be deferred for payment in August?

  50. I would be surprised if there is any competitive professional football played in Europe this year, the overriding priority must be to get rid of this terrible virus, 

    Watching the press conference yesterday and reporters wanting to know what the exit strategy from lockdown would be, and repeatedly being told – We don't know. In my opinion people are not getting it this is a pandemic, people have died and more are going to die our priority must be to reduce that number by as much as possible.

    Everything else is low priority, we can't bring people back to life we can rebuild economies

  51. Big Pink 7th April 2020 at 11:09

    '.I knew you reminded me of someone. Robert Stack!.'


    Ha, ha! I was just ruminating on the causes of change in the obliquity of the ecliptic, and that made me laugh! 

    [Incidentally, Stack was in my opinion a far better 'Elliot Ness' in the tv serial 'The Untouchables' than Costner was in the film of the same name]


  52. upthehoops 7th April 2020 at 07:03
    Alastair Johnston
    I think the Alastair Johnston story is just a deflection from the wage cut story coming from ibrox.

  53. Regardless of whether it's a 50% or 100% salary deferral…

    it might not be such a big problem if there is squad unity and solidarity.

    But, before the shutdown everybody could see that the TRFC  squad was in a shambles.

    The run of poor results was an extreme dip in form following the winter break.

    There were also rumours of a player bust up in Dubai.

    Then their star player was dropped for his late return to Scotland – again.

    And to top it all: the manager is rumoured to have offered his resignation.


    That was all BEFORE the shutdown.

    Now, this disharmonious group at TRFC has been volunteered to take a pay deferral.

    They won't be happy down Govan way.


  54. JohnClark@11.49

    Re Robert Stack v Kevin Costner. Was the TV series not better because it was in black and white and more evocative of the 1930’s and ‘40’s gangster movies? From memory it was shown late on Sunday evenings therefore a school night and I didn’t get to watch it on a regular basis. 

    Scottish football needs stylish fedoras. 

  55. Johnston said:

    "I don't want to be frivolous about it but a lot of Rangers fans have reached out to me and basically said,

    'Mr Johnston, if Celtic are designated as the winners of the league, does it mean they have won eight-and-a-half in a row?'

    "That's not something you want —- that asterisk.

    "So ideally I can't imagine that anybody really wants to have their efforts undermined or compromised or not appreciated."


    I used to think that Johnston was just an arrogant tw@t.

    Now I know.

  56. StevieBC 7th April 2020 at 14:31

         Johnston said………………………………


       A fraudster who can't get past a F&P test that even the Big Liar and Potless Paul skated, …….But still a mister?……

    That's not what I would call him. 

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