Historical background for context from July 2012 to June 2019.
26 July 2012 The CEO to the SPL Board sent an e mail to the CEO of Celtic in an unknown capacity and to another Celtic Director who at the time was a member of the SPL Board with a final version of The 5 Way Agreement attached . This e mail * contradicts the answer from the Celtic CEO as does additional documentation in relation to the knowledge of the Celtic Director on the e mail list later in February 2013.
(* full e mail addresses have been anonymised to preserve e mail privacy of addressees and their inboxes being flooded).
28 February 2013. These SPL Board Minutes suggests that Celtic’s response of being surprised at Lord Nimmo Smith’s Decision , only happened because their representative on the then SPL Board, was abroad and incommunicado when the LNS Decision was finally accepted a week after elements of it had been questioned.
28 October 2013 Further knowledge of 5 Way Agreement at Celtic can be found in the Minutes of SPL Board Meeting chaired by a Celtic Director show that just before the Celtic AGM in November 2013 he heard the SPL Lawyer rehearse the background to the 5 Way Agreement including parties involved and provisions therein to provide instruction for the lawyer to collect from The Rangers FC Limited the £250k fine imposed by the Lord Nimmo Smith Commission in February 2013. The possibility of The Rangers FC Ltd appealing any decision to pursue payment of £250k fine to Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) – was mentioned. An important aspect of the need to refer to the Court of Arbitration on Sport surfaces later in the time line.
19 February 2014 A group of contributors to The Scottish Football Monitor blog sent this letter and attachment to Neil Doncaster CEO of SPFL and Board members including the Celtic Director on the SPL Board. They set out how HMRC correspondence relating to unlawful DOS EBTS and side letters that Rangers FC denied existed in 2005 (at the same time as they already had 29 side letters relating to the big tax case EBTS on file) was not provided by Duff and Phelps Rangers (Oldco) liquidators to then SPL Lawyers Harper MacLeod who were conducting a preliminary investigation into Rangers PLC (Oldco) use of EBTs with side letters from 1999.
After further exchanges between The Scottish Football Monitor and the SPL that can be followed from this link the SPL passed the matter to the SFA for consideration.
18 August 2017.Three years later following the ending of the Craig Whyte trial there was an exchange of letters between the SFA and Celtic which can be read here and in his letter to Celtic of August 18th the SFA CEO Stuart Regan stated that “ Lord Nimmo Smith found that Rangers (Oldco) had not achieved a sporting advantage by utilising the EBT scheme.” Regan then suggested that “ The report of evidence given by Sir David Murray at the Craig Whyte trial appears to contradict that finding and it might be appropriate for the SPFL to contact Lord Nimmo Smith to ascertain if he considers this development undermines his findings in any way. That is of course a matter for the SPFL”
• 7 Sept 2017. It is reported in the Times that Celtic first raised the same issues relating to EBTs and player registration in May 2012. (if you are not a Times subscriber the letter can be read from the Sun link that follows).
• This was copied to UEFA according to The Sun ( but for those who prefer not to visit that site a clear copy can be read here ) which begs the question what was UEFA’s response/position? Did it influence Celtic’s subsequent response to Resolution 12?
• 9 September 2017. BBC report that SFA are rejecting request for a wide ranging enquiry but said this on the UEFA licence issue:
“ “Upon considering the action taken in the past six years by all football bodies, and mindful of the ongoing nature of [the Compliance Officer looking at the granting of the UEFA licence in April 2011], the Board of the Scottish FA agreed at its meeting on 10 August 2017 that a further independent review will serve no meaningful purpose and, indeed, could negatively impact upon the ongoing investigations [by the Compliance Officer].” see this BBC Report
It is not known If the SPFL ever did contact Lord Nimmo Smith following Regan’s suggestion on 18th August 2017 but why wouldn’t they given it was the SPFL/Celtic who clearly wanted a review of process relating to ebts and the Lord Nimmo Smith Commission to “establish facts and learn lessons”
9 January 2018. Following up Regan’s suggestion to approach Lord Nimmo Smith this e mail was sent to Celtic CEO suggesting that in addition to drawing the attention of Lord Nimmo Smith to the short testimony of Sir David Murray at Craig Whyte’s trial he also includes the HMRC correspondence of February and May 2011 that accused Rangers (Oldco) of deliberate negligent or fraudulent behaviour. The court testimony points clearly to Rangers motivations, i.e football success in their use of ebts and the HMRC correspondence challenges his Lordship view that there was no question of dishonesty in not revealing the existence of side letters to the SFA when their existence had deliberately been concealed Page 11 of HMRC Document chain at a time that admitting them in 2005 could have alerted the SFA thereafter to Ranger’s dubious use of ebts with side letters as result of the questions from HMRC.
In view of the apparent keenness to have a review it is inexplicable why Sir David Murray’s court testimony and his even clearer testimony to the First Tier Tribunal in October 2010 was not also brought to Lord Nimmo Smith’s attention in January 2018 or more strangely still by the SPL lawyer himself when the SPL Board were deciding to appeal the Commission’s Decision on 28 February 2013 (see above date)
(Of more relevance to Resolution 12 and status of the wee tax case payment to HMRC this Tweet based testimony from the Craig Whyte trial by Sir David Murray and other witness speaks of an organisation in financial disarray on the matter of paying what HMRC were owed from October 2010).
4 Jan 2019. Following a meeting with Celtic it was agreed shareholders lawyer should provide a note of assistance to the Compliance Officer, who in September 2018 replaced the previous Compliance Officer responsible for the noncompliance charges of 15 May 2018 relating to June and September 2011 only which excluded the licence granting period of end of March/mid-April 2011 from Judicial Panel Disciplinary Tribunal (JPDT) scrutiny with no justifying reason. All the information necessary in the shape of the HMRC Minutes of 21st March 2011 had already been drawn to the previous Compliance Officer’s attention on 25th June 2018 by the Resolution 12 lawyer and copied to Celtic, who however at the January meeting, signalled they would not use the HMRC Minutes, which had been lawfully obtained, to themselves press the SFA. Not interfering in the process with new information being the excuse.
29 March 2019. Doubts about the usefulness of such a letter of assistance to the Compliance Officer led to delaying any approach whilst advice was sought from an experienced criminal lawyer in relation to March 2011 that subsequently changed the nature of the approach in the letter to SFA.
29 May 2019. After extensive discussion this letter was delivered to the SFA by post seeking answers to questions posed in June 2018 , asking for confirmation that the basis on which the JPDT decided the matter had to be referred to the Court of Arbitration on Sport (CAS) was contained in the 5 Way Agreement, asking if any progress had been made since October 2018 with the CAS referral and pointing to a precedent case that CAS had to be made aware of in any referral that challenged the SFA decision in March 2018 to drop the end of March 2011 licensing period from JPDT scrutiny.
20 June 2019. Reminder letter sent to SFA
28 June 2019. SFA reply saying matter is receiving attention and Compliance Officer is awaiting internal instructions and will revert in due course.