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Campbell Ogilvie, the SFA and the Huns

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Why is this guy not suspended until they investigate him?




Campbell Ogilvie is already a man of quite some distinction.  However, his list of accomplishments might be about to become a bit longer.  It appears that he has sat on the board of directors of not just one SPL club entangled in highly dubious tax schemes, but two.  Heart of Midlothian FC look likely to be the next shoe to drop as football’s culture of thinking that it is above paying taxes starts to unwind.


Ogilvie, the current SFA Vice-President and heir apparent to George Peat’s job of President, is going to have quite the CV by the time he hangs up his pinstripes.  Not only was he a director of Rangers FC when the EBT scheme was first introduced, but he was also the company secretary.  This latter role gave him additional responsibility for ensuring statutory compliance for The Rangers Football Club plc. So while some Rangers directors, like John Greig, might have a claim that their position was symbolic, and they did not understand what was happening or what their responsibilities as a director are, it will be difficult for Mr. Ogilvie to do likewise.  As a man with substantial experience and training, he will find it difficult to claim that he did not know or understand what was happening.  (He may try anyway).


However, Ogilvie seems likely to find himself in the unique position of being at the center of yet another tax avoidance/evasion storm.  On leaving Rangers in 2005, Ogilvie joined the board of Heart of Midlothian FC, and in 2008 became managing director of the Edinburgh club.  A source has contacted me with the story that the Scottish Professional Footballers Association (SPFA) has made a complaint about employment practices at Hearts. This came to light when a Hearts player applied for a mortgage.  When presenting his salary advice, it was clear that he was on a rate close to the UK minimum wage. The player naively explained that he had lots of money, but that it was all paid overseas.  The SPFA would obviously have concerns that Scottish players will appear expensive in an era of 50% marginal tax rates compared to low-tax (or no-tax?) foreign players.  This raises a few questions: How many players are involved? How long have such practices been in effect? Are there players who have not been registered for tax at all in the UK? The scale of the Hearts problem is not yet fully known.  If this has been standard practice over an extended number of years, then the bills, interest, and penalties could also be of a magnitude that could put the existence of Hearts at risk unless Mr. Romanov decides to dig deep into his personal reserves.


Once could be just a mistake.  Twice looks very careless.

Scottish football supporters, as well as SFA member clubs, have a right to know “what did Campbell Ogilvie know, and when did he know it?”


It appears that one of two situations must exist: either Campbell Ogilvie knew of, and approved of, two high-risk / illegal tax strategies or he has failed in his responsibilities as a company director at two major Scottish football clubs. Does Mr. Ogilvie have a casual disregard for the law or is he just an ignorant puppet dancing on the strings of charismatic impresarios?  Either way, it would be a matter of major concern to all those with an interest in Scottish football if either is true.  If there is another explanation for why he has had such a knack of being on the wrong boards at the wrong times, then Scottish football supporters need to be told.


Did Ogilvie bring dubious practices to Hearts from Rangers or was he an innocent bystander at both clubs?

Did Rangers register all of their overseas players for UK tax?


In light of his unique experience with two of the three largest football clubs in Scotland sliding to the edge of darkness, perhaps Celtic supporters should not be so concerned about Ogilvie inheriting the job of SFA President.  Given recent statements about the need to ‘pull down the walls’ and to rebuild the SFA from the ground up, who would be better qualified to at least bring about the first part?

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hmm so the Secretary of Rangers FC didn't have anything to do with contracts or wages? Really?



'Ogilvie wasn't involved in paying people'


Published on 14 March 2012


Darrell King


CAMPBELL OGILVIE, the Scottish Football Association president, was last night cleared by Sir David Murray of any involvement in the payment or administering of the controversial Employment Benefit Trust scheme used by Rangers for a decade.


Ogilvie, the former Rangers secretary, has been thrust into the spotlight since one of his former colleagues at Ibrox, ex-director Hugh Adam, made allegations of "under- the-table payments" stretching back into the 1990s and also claimed that double-contract agreements were regularly in place for players at the club.


This has already been denied by two of the leading players at the club in the 90s, Brian Laudrup and Jorg Albertz.


"Campbell Ogilvie wasn't involved in paying people," said Murray.


When then asked if his position at the SFA was in any way conflicted because of the use of EBTs he added: "No. In no way, whatsoever."


This two-contract claim attached to EBTs, also rubbished by Murray, has prompted a Scottish Premier League investigation as, if this was proved to be true, it would be a direct breach of registration rules that state all contractual payments for playing activities must be declared to the governing body.


To date, neither the SPL chief executive Neil Doncaster, or Stewart Regan, his counterpart at the SFA, have made any contact with Murray to try and establish if there is any case to answer, although that may still happen in due course.


The former Rangers owner and chairman said that paperwork that had appeared recently in a Sunday newspaper, which appeared to outline payment terms to players into a trust, were no more than letters of intent. They were never binding contracts, he said.


Murray said that, by definition, payments into EBTs had to be discretionary and they always were. If two contracts had been in place, he said, then the club would have been unable to mount any defence in the case brought by Her Majesty's Revenue and Customs against Rangers' use of them.


The outcome of Rangers' appeal to a First Tier Tribunal over the bill served on them by HMRC, which could potentially rise to £49m if they are found liable, should be known inside the next four weeks.


Murray's finance director, Mike McGill, who was present yesterday at a press briefing at Charlotte Square in Edinburgh, said it was important to clarify what HMRC's case was. "It has to be made clear that the use of EBTs was in no way illegal," he said. Both Murray and McGill stressed that, even if the tribunal finds against Rangers, it is wrong to suggest that is proof of "illegal payments" to players.


HMRC have contested that Rangers have not paid enough tax on the money paid into the EBTs. The club's defence is that they have.


When asked if he was still of the mind that Rangers would get a favourable outcome, based on the assessments given to him by the Murray Groups legal counsel Andrew Thornhill QC, Murray said: "We're confident that we have a strong case. I think that's been well documented."


Murray then spoke of his sympathy for Ally McCoist, who has had to endure the season from hell in his first campaign as Rangers manager in his own right.


McCoist has emerged as a strong figure in the club's darkest hour after they were plunged into administration on February 14.


Murray added: "I really feel sorry for Alistair McCoist. In the past at the club there was always a spine of people like myself, Martin Bain, Walter Smith, Richard Gough, David Weir . . . I think it always gave a solidity at Rangers, and there was always a confidentiality there. Nobody leaked anything. Unfortunately, that's not there just now. It's like a rudderless ship. And as soon as somebody, whether that be Paul Murray, gets their hands on the tiller and gives it solidity again – I hope that happens sooner rather than later."

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Well, literally, no. Didn't come oot his pocket I assume, is what murray means?


But he did "know" all about it, or was shite at his job?


I think it could even be said he was responsible for ensuring that the payments were reported correctly to the governing bodies and as secretary did he not have compliance responsibilities?

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hmmmmmm, so filing the players registration with the SPL/SFA didn't involve checking the contracts and EBT payments?


Rangers: SFA president Campbell Ogilvie clarifies previous role


Scottish FA president Campbell Ogilvie has issued a statement in response to "ongoing speculation" over his role and his previous employment at Rangers.


Rangers, currently in administration, are awaiting the outcome of a tax tribunal relating to the use of Employee Benefits Trusts.


Ogilvie has admitted to being a member of the EBT scheme.


But he insists he was never involved in negotiating, drafting or administering player contracts.


Ogilvie released his statement following comments by former Rangers owner Sir David Murray, who has denied that there were ever any "double contracts" for players during his time at Ibrox.

Continue reading the main story


    “I am proud and privileged to be president of the Scottish FA during an exciting period in its history”


Campbell Ogilvie SFA president


"In light of comments by Sir David Murray, and the ongoing speculation surrounding my role as president of the Scottish FA and my previous employment as a director of Rangers FC, I would like to take this opportunity to clarify the following points," said Ogilvie.


"I was aware of the EBT scheme in operation at Rangers during my time at the club and, indeed, was a member. The existence of the scheme was published in Rangers' annual accounts.


"My role at Rangers, until the mid-90s, included finalising the paperwork for player registrations.


"As confirmed by Sir David Murray , it was never my role to negotiate contracts during my time at Rangers. It is also worth noting that, since the mid-90s, I was not responsible for the drafting or administering of player contracts.


"I ceased being company secretary in 2002 and became general secretary responsible for football strategy, in effect becoming the main point of contact between the club and the respective league and governing bodies."


Rangers have been the subject of independent investigation by the SFA and Ogilvie confirmed he asked to be excluded from the process.


"In the interests of good governance it was absolutely right that this was the case," he added.


"I am proud and privileged to be president of the Scottish FA during an exciting period in its history. I have an excellent relationship with our chief executive, Stewart Regan, and the board of directors.


"I would like to thank them for their support throughout this process and look forward to new and exciting challenges ahead at the Scottish FA."


Meanwhile, the Scottish Premier League has asked for documentation from Rangers' administrators regarding players contracts and registrations.


As part of their enquiry into whether the Ibrox club broke SPL rules regarding the improper registration of players, the SPL have asked for all relevant documents to be sent to them.


Those are expected to be delivered in the next few days.


The SPL solicitors are currently investigating claims of double contracts being issued to players which would be a breach of the league's rules.


If Rangers are found to have broken the rules then either the SPL board or an independent commission would deal with the matter.

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EXCLUSIVE: You're wrong! Adam hits out at Sir David’s EBTs defence


By John Mcgarry


PUBLISHED: 22:49, 14 March 2012 | UPDATED: 00:07, 15 March 2012


    Comments (7)



Hugh Adam has railed against Sir David Murray’s defence of Employee Benefit Trusts (EBTs), claiming they were simply part of the Ibrox stars’ salaries.


Murray broke his silence on Tuesday to confirm the two main allegations Adam made in Sportsmail last month.


The man who created Rangers Pools claimed EBTs had been used in the 1990s and that they had been excluded from player contracts registered with the SFA and SPL.

Excuses won't wash: David Murray attempted to defend his use of EBTs


Excuses won't wash: David Murray attempted to defend his use of EBTs



If true, the second allegation would be in direct contravention of both bodies’ rules on player registration, which demand full disclosure of all remuneration.


Having seen both bodies launch investigations in the past week, Murray defended the use of EBTs by insisting there was no obligation to detail them in contracts as there was ‘no contractual entitlement on the part of the players’.


Adam, however, responded by insisting that, far from being discretionary, the money paid via EBTs was, in effect, wages.


‘It was effectively salary and should have been included in the players’ wage slips,’ he said. ‘It was a way of attracting players into the club. I think he (Murray) was aware that if he did that, the players would be quite happy and would stay with Rangers. If someone can give you an extra twenty grand a year that you don’t have to account for, then you’d jump at it.


‘I don’t see how you can have that kind of contract and just take a bit out of it as you go along.

Duped: Murray claimed he was taken in by Rangers owner Craig Whyte


Duped: Murray claimed he was taken in by Rangers owner Craig Whyte


‘If you were trying to attract players, you had to get money from all sources. He probably wouldn’t have been paying them enough in the ordinary way.’


Although Murray has denied the existence of a ‘second contract’ containing EBT payments, employment lawyers who examined a ‘back letter’ given to an unnamed player detailing bonuses believed it to be a de facto contract.


Adam maintains that whatever shape it is in, there exist written agreements detailing remuneration which were not lodged with the authorities.


‘I always said there were separate contracts. I said that quite deliberately,’ he added. ‘If there hadn’t been, they would have been in the main books. It wasn’t included in the standard contract. That’s a certainty.’


On the day that SFA president Campbell Ogilvie admitted having an EBT, but stressed that since the mid-1990s he’d had no part in administrating contracts, Adam concurred, saying: ‘Campbell would only have been a nominal general secretary. David (Murray) was secretive and kept these things to himself.’


Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sport/football/article-2115140/Rangers-crisis-David-Murray-wrong--Hugh-Adam.html#ixzz1pBHeozZ6

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Alex Thomson on twitter:


#c4news EXCLUSIVE fmr RFC dir Hugh Adam say extra payments weren't notified to SFA/SPL


#c4news So is it cheating? I ask. "It is. It is." Says fmr RFC director Hugh Adam


#c4news EXCLUSIVE fmr RFC director says RFC directors weren't interested in directing. SFA/SPL not interested in governing.


So are we to believe that one director knew all about he EBTs, dual contracts and how they were against the rules (Adam) while another director was kept in the dark and knew nothing of any potential wrongdoing (Ogilvie).


The sooner UEFA and/or FIFA become involved the better.

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Mr Regan suggested they had all followed the rules to the letter, I suggest this was running away from governance rather than showing governance and leadership. Again the rule book was quoted back at me. We had a debate about whether or not the SFA and SPL need a new rule book at this point.


It squarely suggests that the cosy old world of SFA SPL and the big two Glasgow clubs may have changed to some extent – but as Henry McLeish says, still has a long, long way to go and is badly in need of a new rule book.


Can you imagine anyone from the Scottish sports "media" even suggesting such a thing as a cosy relationship between the powers that be and the OF.  I mean it is stating the bleeding obvious but it must be the first time I have read it from a journalist.  You would hope some folk would be embarrassed that Alex Thomson looks to be more in touch with the reality of the situation after one week than these guys in decades of "journalism"

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I presume we will soon all be recieving letters from the cops asking is if we have ever broken the law with a strict warning at the bottom that we will be fined, tagged, stuck in jail etc if we have.


SFA so out of ideas they are now using a useless head teachers policy of 'if the person who did this doesnt come forward then the whole school will be punished'  :thumbsup:

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Is it also a desperate hope to get somebody else to own up to something so they can then say; "och look loads of folk were at it, you're all very naughty boys aren't you?. Well we'll let you off this time but believe us when we say if we catch you doing it again there will be trouble"?

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Is it also a desperate hope to get somebody else to own up to something so they can then say; "och look loads of folk were at it, you're all very naughty boys aren't you?. Well we'll let you off this time but believe us when we say if we catch you doing it again there will be trouble"?


Seems likely to me that Rangers have used their usual defence policy of "but others were doing it too, we're not as bad as them!" without any basis.

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Apologies about the length of this copy and paste but some interesting points. From: http://scotslawthoughts.wordpress.com/


Responsibilities of the Scottish Football Association – And Other Myths – Questions For Mr Regan


I wrote recently about Stewart Regan’s remarkable admission that the “fit and proper” person test as regards football officials was a “myth”. This was because checking the bona fides of new directors and officials would take a “cast of thousands”. Therefore the SFA relied upon the member clubs and the officials themselves to confirm whether or not they were “fit and proper”. This is taking self-regulation to the extreme.


It reminds me of the questions asked on immigration cards when visiting the USA which, from memory, include asking of you are coming to the USA to overthrow the government or engage in terrorist activities. I do not think many people say yes!


The latest news from the SFA, although not accompanied, as of last night, by a statement from Mr Regan on the SFA website, is that the SFA has written to member clubs asking them to state if they have made payments outwith contracts to players in the last 10 years.


This has provoked a range of responses. Some view this as proof that the whole of football in Scotland was rife with what Rangers have been accused of, and this is the SFA catching everyone in the net. Others have seen this as a prime example of “whataboutery” ie an effort to catch others in the same net as, allegedly, Rangers, even if the scale is very different.


It is viewed by some as the SFA doing its job, and by others as a further abdication of responsibility.


After all, if the policing of the “fit and proper” rue would require a “cast of thousands” then how many, on Mr Regan’s argument, would be needed to oversee and review the financial information which football clubs are required to submit to the football authorities? Do the SFA, SPL and SFL employ a phalanx of accountants and lawyers to pore over the accounts lodged by member clubs? Or do they receive them in the post, and drop them into a secure filing cabinet, never again to see the light of day?


Mr Regan commented that the SFA had to rely on a PLC like Rangers fulfilling its legal obligations, which are wider than simply football-related rules. However only a handful of SFA members are PLC’s. Most are private limited companies, whose rules are much less strict than those for PLC’s.


Mr Regan’s “myth” comment therefore appeared to confirm that SFA, and by extension SPL and SFL regulation is “more honoured in the breach than the observance”.


What it does show is, in my view, proof that the SFA’s “governance” of Scottish football has been a “myth” and for many years has worked on the basis that, to quote the great philosopher, Terry from Fawlty Towers, “What the eye doesn’t see, the chef gets away with”.


I thought a look at the SFA’s own rules might be of interest. All can be found online here as part of the SFA Handbook.


The Memorandum of Association of the SFA states, inter alia, the “objects for which the Association is established”.


Article 3 (2) states “…to take all such steps as may be deemed necessary or advisable for preventing infringements of the rules of the game, or other improper methods or practices in the game, and for protecting it from abuses.”


The Articles of Association, being the revised version adopted in 2011 have further details of note. The Articles to which I refer have however been of long standing, and are not last year’s innovations.


Article 3 states that “The Scottish FA is a member of FIFA and UEFA. Accordingly it is itself obliged to:- (a) observe the principle of loyalty, integrity and sportsmanship in accordance with the principles of fair play; (b) comply with the statutes, regulations, directives, codes and decisions … of FIFA, UEFA, and the Court of Arbitration for Sport, and the Laws of the Game…”


Article 10 deals with the Official Return. Article 10.1 provides that by 1st June each year each member of the SFA must lodge this with the Secretary of the SFA. Any changes must be notified “without delay”.


Each member must “procure” that all relevant club officials confirm in writing to the SFA that they are “a fit and proper person to hold such position within Association Football.”


Article 10.2 contains the mythical “fit and proper” test. As I mentioned before, and inconveniently for Mr Regan, it states that “the Board (ie the SFA) must be satisfied that any such person is “fit and proper to hold such position within Association Football”.


This is a positive obligation on the SFA. It does not create the default position, which Mr Regan has admitted exists, that anyone who states they are “fit and proper” is so.


Article 12 relates to Financial Records. Article 12.2 states that “the Board may arrange for an inspection of, and may require the relevant club … to provide copies of all … books, records and details for any purpose, including, but not limited to Club Licensing.


Article 12.3 states “Furthermore, all payments, whether made by the club or otherwise, which are to be made to a player solely relating to his playing activities must be fully recorded within the relevant written agreement with the player prior to submission to the Scottish FA…”


Has the SFA, at any time since the EBT issues surrounding Rangers become public knowledge, approached Rangers to ask to see its books? Has it used its powers to conduct an inspection of the books?


On the basis that the EBT case is to determine if the HMRC view that the Trust payments to the players were “contractual” and therefore taxable, surely that raised a question in the SFA that Article 12.3 might have been breached?


If there were criminal proceedings ongoing then one could forgive the regulatory body taking a step back to so as not to prejudice such inquiries. However the Tax Tribunal is a civil matter, which was being heard, at the request of the appellants, in private. No question of “prejudice” would arise.


What, if anything, has the SFA done to investigate this matter?


As regards the SFA request to clubs to declare what they have been doing, this may be an effort to “trap” them into a mistake which puts errant clubs into the SFA’s clutches.


After all, the SPL took disciplinary action against Hearts in relation to repeated delayed payments to players, not because of the delays in paying them, but because the SPL considered Hearts had broken an agreement with the SPL.


The breaking of the “promise” to the SPL was viewed as an offence whilst repeated failures to pay staff on time was not?


Does Mr Regan hope (a) that a club will make a mistake in the declaration, and be dealt with as in breach of good faith with the SFA, or (b) that no payments are revealed, in which case he can say that the Board is “satisfied” that there is not a problem?


As the focus shifts of public debate shifts on to football governance, it would be helpful if Mr Regan, whether on Twitter or more formally, could answer the above questions.

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