A Lie for a Lie

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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.

2230 COMMENTS


  1. A perfect storm….

    SPFL sponsor finishes at end of 19/20 as does Scottish Cup. Can’t see when Betfred ends in league cup. 
     

    what’s the likelihood of getting new sponsors in on improved terms given current circumstances?


  2. Big Pink 20th March 2020 at 12:25

    It's a bit of a no-brainer for me.

    How does a company get cash.

    Normal sales

    Disposal of assets

    Share issues

    Loans

    If three of those are impossible, or extremely difficult, and the other one is currently banned. Lift the ban, at least until things get back to approaching normality.

    Allowing clubs the chance to survive surely outweighs the reasons for the transfer windows in the first place. Particularly as no-one is going to be playing football for the foreseeable future anyway.

    Its a simple way for the game to support it's own clubs. 


  3. ‘Allyjambo 20th March 2020 at 12:22

    On this appointment of a rookie PR man, whose only previous experience in football is as a bigoted ‘Rangers’ supporter, could one possibly ask for greater evidence that any semblance of integrity, if it ever existed, has now escaped the Blue Room at Ibrox? They’re not even trying to pretend anymore…’

    #########################

    I can’t have been alone in wondering why a former TRFC director (and DCK ally), known for being a true-blue RRM & liking a ‘certain’ type of sing-song was being paraded in the SMSM last week…

    …then David Graham is appointed & it all becomes clear. They’ve been caught ‘red-handed’: going forward, Ibrox is going to be (even-more) ‘Ulsterised’! 

    (I wonder if anyone with a BT postcode joining Club1872 will receive a discount of £1.82 on the regular subscription?) 


  4. I see Alex Salmonds lawyer has introduced a new version of legal process.  In Eck's defence he has proclaimed "I cant prove something's going on here but I'm sure I can smell it"

    Oh if only that worked! (in legal terms at least)


  5. https://za.investing.com/equities/micromega-holdings-ltd-chart

    Exactly 1 month ago today the price was R250 today it is R125. King has lost 50% of his wealth in just 4 weeks and the price had been falling since 2015 when it was a heady R1550. Since he ascended the marble staircase he is down 90% , his Gerrard gamble has slipped at the final furlong and he is staring at an impecunious future. His shares in RIFC are worthless and unsellable and his £5m loan has no chance of being repaid. If he attempted to call it in it tips RIFC over the edge as they have no funds to settle and very few assets to sell . Any assets they do have are hawked to Close Leasing. I do wonder if he has a claim on the stadium that John "Whurz ra Deeds" Brown played at .I think JC questioned whether the Japan based investor who was involved in commercial property was more than a coincidence.

    I agree that opening the transfer market may help but most clubs are in the same position in that there will be many wanting to sell to cut costs but only a handful that will be cash rich enough to buy. They know that there is more chance of players being freed and available for nothing in the weeks and months ahead and are more likely to wait. The velocity of currency has hit a brick wall , nobody is spending , people and business' are nervous of the future and hoarding cash rather than spending it will be the order of the day. 


  6. Timtim 20th March 2020 at 17:03

    https://za.investing.com/equities/micromega-holdings-ltd-chart

    =================================

    Thanks for keeping track on this.  The fall in the share price in "Sebata Holdings" (formerly Micromega) has devastated King's "wealth" retained within South Africa.  The value of his stake at today's exchange rate (20.39 ZAR to the £1) is now only £4.46m.

    I suspect that if he has provided a £5m loan facility to RIFC, then he will be wanting (perhaps needing) to call in the loan soon, if he hasn't asked for it already. 


  7. @EJ , I read that the loan is not due to be repaid til 2021 so it may be the case that he can't even ask for it yet. I cannot see them continuing beyond the end of this month (unless everyone takes a 100% pay cut) . King is a busted flush , it's all over bar the shouting .


  8. If TRFC run out of money then how can an administration be paid for? Will it not simply pass into receivership with Close Bros holding valid security over certain assets. It must be a choice this month of pay salaries or enter admin unless further donations can be squeezed out of interested parties. 


  9. gunnerb 20th March 2020 at 18:51

    If TRFC run out of money then how can an administration be paid for? Will it not simply pass into receivership with Close Bros holding valid security over certain assets. It must be a choice this month of pay salaries or enter admin unless further donations can be squeezed out of interested parties. 

    =======================================

    It is within the power of the SFA and SPFL to set aside their insolvency rules and player registration restrictions (transfer window) for at least a temporary period. 

    For some clubs it may be prudent to go down the insolvency route in order to be able to stop trading and release high earners until such time as normal trading can be resumed. 

    There would also be risks with that approach as any insolvency practitioner appointed could, in theory, sell all the assets for a fraction of their value, rather than keep the company in a dormant status for a period. There could be issues about how a club could emerge from administration after the crisis. Could it restart its operations without going through a CVA? Could it re-engage players on different contracts? I don’t know  


  10. Billionaire Buddies from Japan and Hong Kong Phooey fantasies aside…

    to get through the Corona crisis – and beyond – the necessary funds will have to be self-generated at Ibrox.

    The Directors and/or the fans will simply have to stump up the cash.

    It's been suggested that the Directors are all tapped out – which could very well be the case, and understandably so.

    Which leaves the bears…

    Will we see the launch of a major, emotional blackmail campaign to demand that the fans save TRFC and help with  'going for 55'.  indecision

    Such a fund raiser would be much more effective if it was co-ordinated with a circling-of-the-wagons and loud pointing of fingers at all the 'Rangers haters' for inflicting perceived, (dreamt up),  injustices or some such BS.

    I think we've seen this Ibrox movie before… and a few sequels too!


  11. How much money does Club 1872 have just now.

    I'm sure just giving that to the club could be branded "a project".


  12. Homunculus 20th March 2020 at 20:38

    How much money does Club 1872 have just now.

    I'm sure just giving that to the club could be branded "a project".

    ——————————————————————————

    I would be very interested to see a formal justification for such a project or 'investment' as these folks all seem to call it.

    A risk assessment would probably be too hot to touch!

    They would be better advised to hoard their funds for the creation of Sevco #2.

    Scottish Football needs a strong Arbroath.


  13. I think club 1872 had their pockets picked not so long ago and the amount they have built up since then will not make a great deal of difference (rough liberal est 500k) . The problem with raising capital from Directors and fans is the Directors are "tapped out" , they know it's a bottomless pit and they have their own business concerns at the moment , fans likewise. The season is effectively over with zero income on the horizon for at least 4 months , any ST money they can bring in for next season is held in escrow and released on game by game basis. They owe £9.6m in transfer fees due in June plus the Close loan , there is a further 12m in transfer fees to be paid at a later date and of course Kings 5m then there's all the court cases. There comes a time when you must realise that you cannot square the circle , that there is no point spending 4m in March just to get to April then another 4m just to get to May then another 4m to get to June when you have to pay 10m . If they do manage to wiggle out of this then it will be an act Houdini would be proud of  


  14. Homunculus 20th March 2020 at 20:38

    How much money does Club 1872 have just now.

    I'm sure just giving that to the club could be branded "a project".

    ================================

    Their last "investment" was £500k in November 2019. Prior to that it was £1m in September 2018. 

    If they only took in £500k between those two dates then they won't have much more than enough for a couple of good nights in Glasgow (sic. Chick Young – and that's with pubs and clubs shut).


  15. Timtim 20th March 2020 at 21:12

    "…… any ST money they can bring in for next season is held in escrow and released on game by game basis."

    ——————————————————————————————–

    That's an interesting thought. Have the season ticket holders any right of refund if fixtures are not played?

    Are Rangers* better off having a quick ending of the season so that they can access this cash rather than waiting to whenever the games actually get played?

    How much is actually effectively sitting in escrow?

    Scottish Football needs a strong Arbroath.

     


  16. easyJambo 20th March 2020 at 21:13

    ================================

    LOL indeed.

    I believe a decent night out runs to about £95,000 or thereabouts.

    Well it did back in the day.

     


  17. I imagine fans would be entitled to a refund for any games not played or any games played behind closed doors, normally fans may waive their right to a refund when things are tight for their club but things are going to be equally difficult for them as well. As for the amount  I could only hazard a guess at approx 1m per home game that's left (that's £30 minus vat x 45k ) knowing the way admin works it will end up in the administrators pocket rather than any creditor.


  18. IIRC, £95K was "not just for any good night out in Glasgow"…

     

    but for "a Campbell Ogilvie good night out in Glasgow".

     

    Does anyone know what that dodgy, slippery character is up to these days?

    (Hopefully retired and nowhere near football in any capacity?)


  19. Smugas 20th March 2020 at 15:57

    I see Alex Salmonds lawyer has introduced a new version of legal process.  In Eck’s defence he has proclaimed “I cant prove something’s going on here but I’m sure I can smell it”

    Oh if only that worked! (in legal terms at least)

    Something stinks. Reading the MSM against Doleman and Craig Murray (banned from the court on a “possible contempt”) its like a different world and that reporting is meant to be restricted.

    The front page of todays DR is contempt. In my view.

     


  20. John Clark 20th March 2020 at 10:34

    And also in the 'Scotsman' today we have Halliday's report on Doncaster's 'Price of Football' podcast recorded shortly before the 'pandemic' broke out. 

    " So [says Doncaster]cross-border leagues are, I think, coming down the track.Ultimately,any party you need an invitation to.It may be some sort of economic or political shock,or technology shock,which unsettles the environment and makes cross-border leagues more likely.But I do think that at some point in the future we will see cross-border leagues and who knows where that might take us."

    ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

    So if i've got this right the SPFL (no doubt in close collusion with the SFA) let loose the Covid-19 just to get cross border football for the Old Firm. I'm paranoid enough to believe that.


  21. Timtim 20th March 2020 at 21:12

     

    I think club 1872 had their pockets picked not so long ago and the amount they have built up since then will not make a great deal of difference (rough liberal est 500k) . The problem with raising capital from Directors and fans is the Directors are "tapped out" , they know it's a bottomless pit and they have their own business concerns at the moment , fans likewise. The season is effectively over with zero income on the horizon for at least 4 months , any ST money they can bring in for next season is held in escrow and released on game by game basis. They owe £9.6m in transfer fees due in June plus the Close loan , there is a further 12m in transfer fees to be paid at a later date and of course Kings 5m then there's all the court cases. There comes a time when you must realise that you cannot square the circle , that there is no point spending 4m in March just to get to April then another 4m just to get to May then another 4m to get to June when you have to pay 10m . If they do manage to wiggle out of this then it will be an act Houdini would be proud of  

    ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

    It's not a matter of squaring the cirlcle for some of the Directors when trading when insolvent.

    There are some Directors with other interests to protect and the consequences of being found guilty of that are not worth thinking about.


  22. Timtim 20th March 2020 at 21:12
    They owe £9.6m in transfer fees due in June plus the Close loan , there is a further 12m in transfer fees to be paid at a later date and of course Kings 5m then there’s all the court cases.
    ………………
    Off the top of my head i can’t remember when the Close Brothers loan is due to be paid back. Any information?


  23. redlichtie 20th March 2020 at 21:00

    '…I would be very interested to see a formal justification for such a project or 'investment' as these folks all seem to call it.'

    …………

    My own feeling is that there is a very loose interpretation of what the word 'community' means as used in Section 35(5) of The Company's(Audit) Investigation and Community Enterprise )Act 2004!

    Can the supporters and shareholders of a football club really be considered a community in the way that , say, the population Castlemilk or Aviemore or Leith or Dumfries is a civic 'community', with common interests?

    I myself do not think so. 

    Anyway, this is from the Articles of Association of Club 1872 Shares Community Interest Company, company number 476150

    “Article 5.1 The objects of the Company are to carry on activities which benefit the community and in particular (without limitation) to acquire a shareholding in the controlling entity of The Rangers Football Club('the Club') and to utilise this shareholding to repair,improve and enhance the engagement between the owners and the followers and supporters of the club and otherwise to support and enhance the aspirations of Rangers supporters and followers for the well-being of the club and its footballing success. …

    …..

    6.1. The Company may do all such lawful things as may further the Company's objects and, in particular, but without limitation, may borrow or raise and secure the payment of money for any purpose including for the purposes of investment or of raising funds . [ note: but isn't allowed to grant security over its assets unless this approved by Special Resolution] "

    I think that supports my view that to describe the supporters of a football club as constituting a 'community' ( for tax relief purposes and such) is stretching things a bit, in the circumstances where any particular football club (or clubs!) appear to foster ill-will and the very opposite of  civic 'community' and civic unity.broken heart

     

     

     


  24. Homunculus 20th March 2020 at 21:37

    '..I believe a decent night out runs to about £95,000 or thereabouts.

    Well it did back in the day.'

    ………………………….

    That made me smile when I saw it earlier.

    I would nearly say 'poor Chick!' except that he contributed to the minimising of the possible involvement of CO in the whole dirty saga of untruth and cheating.

    He allowed his partisanship to direct his 'journalism'. 

    As so many of the SMSM have done-to their eternal discredit!

     


  25. All very depressing stuff at the moment , no footie no pubs no jigging no pasta no eggs and no toilet roll !! Club allegiancies aside for a moment and the scary scenario football wise is , what is the football landscape gonna look like once we get through the other side of this ?

    Clubs are gonna go bust , not just here in Scotland but everywhere . What ever is left of Scottish football once we get by this , it should be a time for ALL the clubs to come together and choose to put in place proffesional people with a genuine love of our game . Clubs need to realise that for the good of the game the SFA must be cleansed once and for all. I would even take the SFA out of Glasgow . Aberdeen , Dundee  or Perth for me  . Sort the feking rule book out once and for all and the people in charge earn their corn by deciding any controversial issues of the day themselves instead of involving lawyers and the crazy finanacial fees that go with it . FFP should be the first thing that should be brought in . That we dont already have it  ( and we all know why )   is reason enough to kick the corrupt imcompetents out of office . Rangers in whatever form must be stood up to by every club if Scottish football is ever to thrive . When you think over the years the amount of time and effort the SFA must have taken up ducking and diving to appease Rangers it is absoloutely crazy. We need an SFA fit for purpose who will treat every club equally and not be afraid to make decisions . I would go further and say that a decent percentage of any Champs league money should be distributed to the clubs in the league but ONLY if the above was in place . I know some fellow Celtic fans may not agree with that but we need a proper competitive league . Oh and all teams in the top division must have a grass park !  I know Im way ahead of myself but woke up a bit depressed with all things football just now and trying to stay positive . Whilst things are black at the moment , if we get through this it could be a genuine opportunity to fix a broken system here in Scotland . Anyhoo Im gonna get up and have breakfast…………anyone got any spare eggs ?


  26. My question of the other day is partly answered! Iain McMenemy, chairman of Stenhousemuir tells us that his club's share of the £1.5 million is £,8000!


  27. Come to think of it, re: completing the current season's fixtures, or not…

    Whilst the social distancing continues, all players will be losing their match fitness – regardless of how much training they can do themselves.

    It looks like there could be many more weeks, (months ?), to go before public events are allowed again.

    If fixtures are initiated ASAP, there could be a higher risk that players could sustain injuries due to their – relatively -impaired physical state.

    I.e. the longer the break, the greater the need for a 'pre-season' training period?

    Ergo, it could be another reason not to complete this season's league games – with possibly a question mark over the remaining SC games rolling over to the beginning of next season… whenever that will be.

     


  28. One thing that really annoys me in all this is the fact that UEFA are dictating that June the 30th is the cut off date to finish all our current domestic leagues . Why ? So that  the big fat gravy train can roll again and make more money thats why. Imo UEFA should do one , domestic leagues are more important at the moment than their crazy money pot competition . The Champs League, Europa cup etc  should be scrapped until normality is up and running in all domestic competitions . As StevieBC says above players need to get back up to speed . It looks at the moment as we aint gonna see football anytime soon , players will be out of contract, many clubs might not be here any more  etc but all they give a shit about is their competition. Without the domestic leagues properly up and running again how can you have a proper Champs league or Europa cup competition. Its all self interest on their part , the football world might never be the same again , its time they realised that and start thinking about what role they should be playing in helping domestic football back on its feet


  29. Here’s my tuppence worth.

    I think it’s safe to say that this season is done and everybody involved in the game should plan to start again in August.

    What is currently missing is leadership from someone with authority in the game to say it out loud. Motherwell fans have already responded and if season tickets for next season are sold then that will help to partially offset the current cash crisis. 

    In other news I heard anecdotally that subscribers were deserting SkySports and this is now being accelerated by pubs being shut. 

    Stay safe.


  30. I read this elsewhere, so hope it's correct:

    Sky is offering the facility to temporarily suspend sports packages.

    If you go to the 'My Sky' app, there's (apparently) a button which allows you to 'pause' Sky Sports (and the charges incurred) during the current public health emergency. You'll be automatically reconnected when sport recommences. I'm told that the channels may still be watched when you do this.

    BT Sport appears to be allowing immediate cancellation: that is, you do not need to give one month's notice.


  31. Jingso.Jimsie 21st March 2020 at 14:39

    Have just been onto Sky and used the pause facility, pretty easy though you may have to wait to be connected due to volume of users also pausing. In saying that I've had nothing yet to confirm that my Sky Sports package has been paused. 

    Pretty good thinking on their part as it'll keep hold of customers who might otherwise cancel altogether and not re-subscribe later or immediately the crisis is over.


  32. Allyjambo 21st March 2020 at 15:16

    Jingso.Jimsie 21st March 2020 at 14:39

    Have just been onto Sky and used the pause facility, pretty easy though you may have to wait to be connected due to volume of users also pausing. In saying that I've had nothing yet to confirm that my Sky Sports package has been paused. 

    Pretty good thinking on their part as it'll keep hold of customers who might otherwise cancel altogether and not re-subscribe later or immediately the crisis is over.

    ====================================

    I have a prepaid subscription to NowTV for their Sky Sports "season ticket" package which has the best part of three months to run.

    At the moment they are not offering a "pause" facility while there is little in the way of live sports.  Their best offer is a "one month" Sky Sports pass which can be started at some point in the next year. No refunds are on offer.

    Apart from being a crap offer, NowTV is part of Sky, so it's treating customers differently based on which service(s) they use. I will keep at them though in the hope that they will eventually see sense.  I know from forums that that I'm certainly not the only one who has made a similar complaint.


  33. Re sports channel subscriptions. Cancelled my BT Sports (£10/mth) today. No problems and no questions asked. Would be interesting to know how much it is costing Sky worldwide?


  34. Jeezo just read Chris Boyds  attack on Hearts …that guy is just an idiot with no self awareness. Think that might come back to bite you sunshine . If you take the Corona virus out the equation Im sure Hearts would'nt be going down that road………….Over at Ibrox when the enevitable happens you cant bet your boots that that Boydy will disappear or he will be shouting from the rooftops " The Rangerz were in good financial health it was the Corona Virus wot did it ".


  35. easyJambo 21st March 2020 at 17:25

    The Highland League has made a decision to end the season and declare Brora champions.

    ========================

    Going over old ground but this surely has to be one option the SPFL will have to consider. Not the only option, but it surely can’t be dismissed either. There still seems to be a quiet campaign to seize the moment and go for null and void and nothing else. Graham Spiers was at it again in his Times column this morning, amidst a prediction that Celtic fans will claim a conspiracy. Does he have inside knowledge or is he simply pushing for what many of his fellow Rangers fans are pushing for? As a Celtic fan I am demanding nothing other than all options be considered in a fair and reasonable way, and that a democratic decision is made. This is a worldwide crisis, and people who are trying to use it in an attempt to influence their own desired outcome for Scottish football are pretty pathetic in my view. 


  36. Timtim 20th March 2020 at 21:52
    normally fans may waive their right to a refund when things are tight for their club but things are going to be equally difficult for them as well.
    ……………..
    Bogs Dollox 20th March 2020 at 22:09
    ……
    Timtim 20th March 2020 at 21:12
    ….
    I think club 1872 had their pockets picked not so long ago and the amount they have built up since then will not make a great deal of difference (rough liberal est 500k)
    ………………….
    In these pressing times club 1872 donations could be the first to take a hit from any ibrox fan.
    Any share issue, club 72 have been at the forefront to dilute their shares (madness i know)
    This share issue if it ever happens, i don’t believe 72 will make much of a dent in anything.
    There were times the ibrox boards could rely on a cash pot from 72, that well may be just about to dry up.

    I think club 1872 had their pockets picked not so long ago and the amount they have built up since then will not make a great deal of difference (rough liberal est 500k)


  37. Just waiting for (S*)DM venturing that any decision on league placings must meet his famed "smell test".

    It's actually true though – if whatever decision made does not stack up against the reasonable expectations Scottish Football fans have of a fair resolution then there may not be many fans returning after the enforced break.

    Scottish Football needs to take guidance from the Highland League.


  38. Redlichtie

    And also from the Euro Club Index Football Ranking (using the relative strengths of teams and 100,000 simulations) which has provided a scientific prediction of 98.87% that CFC would win the SPFL?

    Liverpool (who are not mathematically assured of winning the English Premiership) are rated at 100% 

    Over to you Operation Null and Void for discussion.

    Scottish Football needs a strong St Anthony's.

     


  39. I missed the wee spat atween Michael Stewart and Fraser Wishart on 'Sportsound' today:  it must have come on while we had the radio off during a Skype from Pennsylvania.

    I've just read a wee bit about it  in the 'Sunday Mail online' but it's not clear to me what Stewart was trying to establish , that caused Wishart to be annoyed at being asked the same question three times about membership of the PFA.

    Anybody?


  40. Tne current season losers and winners should not be declared until all scheduled games are complete and if that means a shortened season 20/21, then so be it. 

    Life in WUHAN looks like it is starting to normalize. Here in Scotland we are on the edge of the storm but we are starting to feel it's force however it should be over by Christmas.

     

    In the name of integrity with so many points to play for it makes sense to me.

     

     


  41. Martin C
    Taken in isolation I would agree. Trouble is that complications linked to external factors like UEFA competitions, players’ contracts, not to mention the virus itself are also significant.
    Shortening next season would diminish the competition as much as shortening this season too, although the latter is laden with less complications for the external factors.
    If June can’t be achieved, I don’t see that it is possible to avoid the award/void decision beyond the end of that month.
    Reality is that everyone knows June is not achievable, and all the talk about difficult decisions is just that. Talk. Celtic will be awarded the title, there will be no relegation, and a reorganised 14 team top division will emerge.
    One idea being talked about, supported by SKY, is for top league to play home and away, then split 7-7, with 6 home and 6 away matches.
    Exactly the same number of games as currently.


  42. John Clark 21st March 2020 at 11:37

    My question of the other day is partly answered! Iain McMenemy, chairman of Stenhousemuir tells us that his club's share of the £1.5 million is £,8000!

    +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

    Come on JC. Two Glasgow " Clubs"  ruined  Scottish football  a long time ago.


  43. John Clark 21st March 2020 at 22:08

    ooooo

    M.Stewart was trying to establish whether Wishart was distinguishing between members and non-members of his Union, or talking to / offering advice to everyone. He suggested that offering advice to Union members only would encourage non-members to join. This is a basic point of Union practice – if Unions offered advice to non-members, no-one would join and pay their subs. Wishart not only seemed to miss the point, which is extraordinary in itself, but repeatedly laughed and mocked Stewart, who rightly said he found that offensive. PFA members would have every right to be concerned about the leadership of their Union and the service being offered them.


  44. Bogs Dollox 22nd March 2020 at 01:00

     

    Come on JC. Two Glasgow " Clubs"  ruined  Scottish football  a long time ago.

    ====================================

    Which two and how did they ruin Scottish football.


  45. Homunculus 22nd March 2020 at 11:17

    Bogs Dollox 22nd March 2020 at 01:00

    Come on JC. Two Glasgow " Clubs"  ruined  Scottish football  a long time ago.

    ====================================

    Which two and how did they ruin Scottish football.

    —————————————————————–

    Sir, sir I know this one!

    One was R* and the other C.

    R* spent money they didn't have and cheated the tax man (and Her Majesty, it is HMRC) to ignite a football arms race where every other club was financially disadvantaged.

    The other (C) turned a blind eye to ensuring justice was done when it all went to pot and actually assisted a new R* get into the Scottish football leagues – clearly for selfish commercial reasons.

    Do I get high marks for this?

    Looking at where we may be heading I see that in the USA Boeing, after scandalous behaviour that has led to many deaths (ref 737 MAX) are now seeking a government bailout due, of course, to COVID-19. 

    Let's not shame Scottish Football further by allowing R* to escape the just desserts of their financial recklessness since they were formed in 2012. 

    Scottish Football needs C to step up to the plate this time.

     


  46. Alex Rae (leading light in the Null and Void ‘campaign’) said:-

    “On reflection, bearing in mind Peter Lawell’s wish for a fair settlement, coupled with the fact that there is a 98.87% chance of Celtic winning the SPFL anyway, I think they should be declared Champions ”

    Then I woke up!


  47. There are a number of options available to the SPFL with regard to ending the league. Within each option I've suggested, there will still be variations of how things like promotions, relegations and prize money could be handled.

    1. Wait – Complete the season when it is safe to resume. Current positions would dictate entry to UEFA competitions should they start a new competition before the "season" is ended. Scale back season 2020/21 depending on when the season can start (if at all).

    2. Null and void –  Current positions or last season's positions would dictate entry to UEFA competitions should they start a new competition in season 2020/21. No promotions or relegations. Scale back season 2020/21 depending on when the season can start (if at all).

    3. End the season now – Award titles. Current positions would dictate entry to UEFA competitions when they resume. Automatic promotions/relegations take place but with no play offs. Scale back season 2020/21 depending on when the season can start (if at all).

    4. Reconstruction 14 x 14 x 14 – End the season now, Award titles. Current positions would dictate entry to UEFA competitions when they resume. No clubs disadvantaged in terms of promotion, other than those in the HL/LL. Scale back season 2020/21 depending on when the season can start (if at all).

    5. Reconstruction 14 x 10 x 10 x 10 – End the season now, Award titles. Current positions would dictate entry to UEFA competitions when they resume. No relegation. Top two in each league promoted, plus HL and LL winners. Scale back season 2020/21 depending on when the season can start (if at all).

    There are advantages and disadvantages with each option before self interest comes into it.

    My own preference would be to end the season now, but to take the opportunity go further on the reconstruction path, so that we end up with two leagues of 16, filled predominately with full time clubs. They would play a reduced programme of 30 games a season, (it would be possible to add mini splits if the no of games was an issue, e.g. 4 groups of 4 playing home and away). Below those two leagues the pyramid would be regionalised with all the clubs being part time. 

     


  48. Here's a graph from Kieran Maguire (Price of Football) showing the the cash burn rate of the advance payments and grants given to EFL Championship clubs. It's a similar sort of thing to that produced by Barcabhoy last week.

    Image 


  49. redlichtie 22nd March 2020 at 11:55

    ==============================

    If that's what he meant, and it would have been easier to just say it, I have one question.

    Why would any one club be more culpable than any other club in turning a blind eye to what was going on.

    The only club which stood out in the sequence of events was Kilmarnock, when they abstained when the vote was taken on whether or not to let a new club into the top league (as was).

    Re the lower league (as was) they democratically voted to let the new club into their league, in the bottom division.

    So I am still at a loss to understand which two Glasgow clubs ruined Scottish football and how they ruined it. If it is ruined everyone was involved. 


  50. easyJambo 22nd March 2020 at 12:47

    There are a number of options available to the SPFL with regard to ending the league…

    ========

    It was roddybhoy who posted an interesting point yesterday, that in effect UEFA should not be dictating to the domestic leagues.

    Whilst UEFA can probably dictate, as per the rules that the leagues have signed up to, roddybhoy's post highlights the perceived disparities in objectives / influence between European 'superclubs' and the other 99% of clubs across Europe.

     

    IMO, any Scottish decision should simply ignore UEFA in the first instance: sort out domestic requirements first and foremost.  Only after that has been sorted, then look at UEFA requirements.

     

    Let's face it, there are only 2 Scottish clubs – out of the 42 senior clubs – who benefit significantly from UEFA participation.

     

    The immediate focus should be on the greater good for the whole Scottish senior set up: all the way from CFC down to Brechin.

    That's it, IMO.

    Worst case: what would happen if no Scottish clubs were involved in the CL or EL at all next season?

    UEFA demands should be kicked into the long grass for now.

    …but that would probably require strong leadership from the SFA…


  51. All SPFL clubs received a considerable cash windfall (£250,000 each) when Celtic qualifier for CL…..No?


  52. Homunculus 22nd March 2020 at 12:58

    redlichtie 22nd March 2020 at 11:55

    ==============================

    If that's what he meant, and it would have been easier to just say it, I have one question.

    Why would any one club be more culpable than any other club in turning a blind eye to what was going on…..If it is ruined everyone was involved. 

    =============================================

    I would not disagree with you in the main thrust of your argument Homunculus. My view though is that the two clubs identified have a greater responsibility – one (R*)  through their behaviour in ways noted earlier and C as the other major Scottish club who because of that position of strength should have ensured matters were handled correctly by the authorities. Other clubs were on far weaker ground financially and in terms of size of support/clout with the authorities. C as far as I can see did not do the right thing for the greater good of Scottish Football and we are still paying the price.

    Scottish Football needs a strong Arbroath.


  53. Bawsman 22nd March 2020 at 13:37

    All SPFL clubs received a considerable cash windfall (£250,000 each) when Celtic qualifier for CL…..No?

    ===============================

    Clubs receive solidarity payments from UEFA in any event. However the amount increases (doubles?) if a club from an association reaches the group stages of the CL.

    Let's say the increase was £250k per club. I'm sure that all the Premiership clubs would welcome that boost to their coffers, but it's nowhere near the welcome that Celtic would give to receiving £25m extra income from CL group participation.


  54. redlichtie 22nd March 2020 at 14:00

    ==============================

    The same argument has been used all along and I still don't think it is valid.

    Every club had 1 share in the SPL (as was). Every club had an equal say on what happened.

    Celtic had no more say, or power than anyone else, and it would have been arrogant to have behaved otherwise.


  55. As an aside I see the Highland league have declared  game over with the runaway leaders Brora Rangers announced Champions.  The Lowland league has yet to make a similar decision.  EJ might know more.


  56. I respect your view Homunculus but to take an example of what grates with me about C is what I for one perceive as their duplicitous behaviour over Resolution 12. This seems to support my view that C are not motivated to pursue justice even when given cause/evidence to so do.

    With that delay and inaction they effectively and in general endorsed the decisions and accommodations made by the football authorities. I may be wrong but from what I can see this seems to have been on the basis of C's own commercial interest.

    They may be Champions but they are not Champions of Scottish Football Integrity.

    Scottish Football needs a strong Arbroath.

     


  57. redlichtie 22nd March 2020 at 15:27

    So tell me, what actions have the other top division clubs taken.

    Who would you say are the "Champions of Scottish Football Integrity".

    What makes Celtic worse than every other club.

    They must be if they are in your opinion one of the two Glasgow clubs who ruined Scottish football. 


  58. IMO, any Scottish decision should simply ignore UEFA in the first instance: sort out domestic requirements first and foremost.  Only after that has been sorted, then look at UEFA requirements.

    I think it right that UEFA should make a recommendation for all European leagues. Can you imagine the uproar if Scotland declared the season nul and void while England gave out trophies on current table, or vice versa?


  59. Homunculus 22nd March 2020 at 16:17

    redlichtie 22nd March 2020 at 15:27

    So tell me, what actions have the other top division clubs taken.

    Who would you say are the "Champions of Scottish Football Integrity".

    What makes Celtic worse than every other club.

    They must be if they are in your opinion one of the two Glasgow clubs who ruined Scottish football. 

    ============================================================

    Again, Homunculus, I don't think we are really far apart in our views. I struggle to name any one person or club that has shown real integrity apart from the late Turnbull Hutton. He was the lone Champion to my mind.

    What makes C worse is that they were a direct party to what was concocted and let self-interest rule.

    Further they were given evidence and a route to at least make some amends by the Resolution 12 team and as far as I can see elected to sit on their hands.

    Taken together C's behaviour saddens me immensely.

    Scottish Football needs a strong Arbroath.

     


  60. Smugas 22nd March 2020 at 15:21

    As an aside I see the Highland league have declared  game over with the runaway leaders Brora Rangers announced Champions.  The Lowland league has yet to make a similar decision.  EJ might know more.

    ==================================

    It was mentioned on Sportsound yesterday that the LL don't intend to make a decision for two weeks. They have cancelled their League Cup though. They are not currently minded to follow the HL at this time.

    The EoS apparently met on Friday, but only decided to cancel all their cups. I suspect that whatever they do will be in conjunction with LL to ensure that their intentions with regard to promotion / relegation can be put into effect.

    There is also a meeting of a sub group of the SFA's Pyramid Working Group tomorrow (by video conference I assume) in relation to the startup of a WoSFL next season. It will probably confirm the level of involvement, if any, of the West Region Junior FA in the new setup.  Four West Junior clubs, Clydebank, Kilwinning, Rutherglen Glencairn and Bellshill have already publicly announced that they have applied to join a LL run WoSFL next season, although I've seen suggestions that as many 20 clubs may already have done so.

    The current deadline for applications is 31 March.  I would expect that to be extended by up to a month to allow other clubs to consider their positions in light of the initial applicants, e.g. if Auchinleck and the other bigger clubs have applied, or if their local neighbour has applied.  Some clubs will probably have to consult with their members, depending on their constitutions, but the current restrictions on gatherings may make it a difficult process for some, if they have to rely on electronic means of communication.  


  61. I am repeatedly reading, on a variety of social media sites, that TRFC will somehow achieve a pre-pack administration and will emerge debt free and in a better financial state than they are now.

    Not unless they manage to pay off Close Brothers first. A rather large sum is involved I believe.

    According to Companies House there are three* charges registered against TRFC, two from 2019 and one from 2018, all from Close Leasing. Furthermore two are floating charges.

    Now I’m no expert on these matters but from my reading they are the very definition of the word onerous. If any financial insolvency event occurs at TRFC then Close Leasing will appoint the administrator/receiver, TRFC will pick up all of the Close Leasing costs, oh and by the way Close Leasing have power of attorney over TRFC.

    This does not read to me that TRFC will somehow achieve a pre-pack “and with one bound they will be free”. Close Leasing will get its pound of flesh no matter the consequences to TRFC or Scottish football.

    * There are actually five charges outstanding but two are historic from Sports Scotland and are over the training ground at Auchenhowie, or whatever it is called now. These are positively tame in comparison to those from Close Brothers.

     


  62. Giovanni 22nd March 2020 at 19:18

    I wonder what the position would be with an ongoing damages claim currently lost but awaiting a decision on the extent of the damages!

    As the company/club would still remain the same company/club after a pre-pack administration, or one in which a CVA has been achieved, would the damages basically disappear or would the company/club still have that, and other cases, to face?

    I've been unable to find out if an ongoing case, such as the one involving SDI/MA, would simply disappear or if would it carry on and leave the company/club to face the consequences! Anyone got any ideas to the likely outcome of this should RIFC/TRFC succeed with a pre-pack administration?

    I tend to think that with SDI's lawyers being rather clever chaps that they'd have this possibility covered to ensure their client (and themselves) doesn't end up with egg on his/their chin, but all the Ibrox clubs and attached lawbreakers seem very adept at confounding what most people would see as justice.


  63. easyJambo 22nd March 2020 at 12:47

    1. Wait – Complete the season when it is safe to resume.
      ………………….
      Would problems not arise.
      Clubs having a depleted squad, with loan players going back to their parent clubs.
      Would clubs be able to strengthen, and maybe able to get that higher place in the league,they otherwise may not have gotten.
      Could clubs overspend just to try and win the league or get a european spot.
      If this is prolonged could cash strapped cubs have to let players go?
      Does anyone know the situation regarding squad players from now to then?
      What if a club brings in a new player and his goal is the one that wins a vital game, some may look on that as unfair.

  64. Giovannio your info is really interesting.

    Whilst I probably shouldn't be trying to jump the gun I wonder what options would be available to ensure Close Brothers got their money back? 

    Another football club?

    A logistics warehouse?

    Housing?

    A memorial park? 

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