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. Allyjambo 22nd March 2020 at 19:50

    To the best of my knowledge any outstanding court awards would just be added to the list of creditors. I know of no way that SDI or Hummel/Elite or Memorial Walls can insulate themselves from an insolvency event at TRFC. If TRFC haven’t succumbed to an insolvency event when they are awarded damages etc then they can try to ring fence the monies due to them. However, as far as I’m aware, you can only ring fence cash and bank accounts, not assets. I doubt there will be all that much cash in that event.

    There is a presumption on the part of some people that Mr King will be the largest creditor due to his £5m loan and will therefore be able to control any administration event, as Mr Whyte initially tried to do.  With the Close Leasing  charges and the sums being speculated for SDI I’m not convinced he will be the largest creditor let alone overcome the Close Leasing legal position.

    ——

    adam812 22nd March 2020 at 20:07

    I’m fairly confident that Close Brothers will order their appointed administrator/receiver to hold a “fire sale” if necessary to recover their funds. As I said, with no regard to the fate of any football club.

     


  2. Just something i forgot to ask.

    With most folk asked to stay indoors, how much is this effecting the print media? even a few thousand unsold copies each day will hit Then lots of people may just get use to reading online and just stop buying their Daily newspaper.


  3. Giovanni/Allyjambo,

    Is there any chance of Mike Ashley and Close cooperating in some way?

    A coordinated approach to the RIFC/TRFC admin event could be to mutual benefit.

    Scottish Football needs a strong Arbroath.

     


  4. Giovanni 22nd March 2020 at 19:18

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    Rate This

    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.
    ………………….
    Why would they do that when all the signs coming out of ibrox see them bring in a new PR guy they also have a new partmership with Orange county and we are told there are investors waiting in the wings.And Ashley will owe them millions.
    Or am i reading to many of the wrong sites.


  5. I listened with interest earlier today to the BBC Radio programme 'Profile'

    I've just listened to it again  on this link

    https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/m000gksd

    It's of about 14 mins duration ( parents, school, uni degrees, hobbies and interests all discussed by former teachers and friends) but if you jump to 09.22 mins you'll hear some critical comments.

    The subject being 'profiled' was Andrew Bailey, formerly CEO of the Financial Conduct Authority,('FCA') who took over last Monday as Governor of the Bank of England. 

    I listened with particular care, for , as I have posted on this blog, I suggested to the FCA back in June/July that they had in 2012 been in breach of their statutory duties  when they authorised the Prospectus issued for the RIFC plc float. 

    Bailey is described as ' a nodding dog(to the Financial services industry), skilful at not answering questions, a 'yes man': and Gina Miller, the Financier and activist wrote to the Chancellor of the Exchequer seeking an independent review into his appointment as Governor of the B of E.( but this bloody virus thingy has probably ruled out any such review! ).

    In my simple way, I reckon that if complaints against operators in the Financial Industries sector were not enthusiastically taken on board on Bailey's watch  there is every likelihood that  a complaint made by an individual 'nobody '( like me, not an industrialist or Chairman of  company or such) against the FCA itself would have been binned early doors.

    The most recent email I received from the FCA was received on 20 February.

    To protect my position as still wanting to pursue my complaint, I shall send off an email tomorrow asking how the investigation is going.

     


  6. Cluster One 22nd March 2020 at 20:07

    1. Wait – Complete the season when it is safe to resume.
    ………………….
    Would problems not arise.

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

    There are all sorts of contractual issues with waiting.

    ————————————

    Many politicians, businesses, financial services repeatedly said during the brexit saga that it was uncertainty that inhibits investment and planning for the future.  (can we please go back in time to go through brexit again rather than have to deal with covid).

    Football is no different. Uncertainty helps no-one, which is why a decision should be made sooner rather than later. We already know that there is a 12 week lockdown on many individuals' freedoms. Do the football authorities really believe that is will be possible to resume and conclude the leagues before the end of June?  They are living in cloud cuckoo land.


  7. easyJambo 22nd March 2020 at 20:46
    There are all sorts of contractual issues with waiting.
    ……………..
    Agreed. That is why i can’t see any kind of pause restart happening, as it won’t be a pause, restart more a pause, reboot or even a pause slightly different restart. If nothing can’t be done soon (and it looks as if it won’t) then i just can’t see any restart, there are to many issues that would need resolved.


  8. redlichtie 22nd March 2020 at 20:31

    Is there any chance of Mike Ashley and Close cooperating in some way?

    ——

    I’m sorry but I fail to see what is in any such arrangement for Close Brothers. They are a secured creditor with not just security on the Albion Car Park and Edmiston House but anything else apart from the Auchenhowie training centre until they get all their funds. Current speculation seems to put the monies due to them at £4m by the end of this month but I’ve no idea whether that is correct. They get paid before SDI or any other creditor. Also from previous estimates the Albion Car Park and Edmiston House are not worth £4m.

     

     


  9. BBC Sport Scotland

    The current SPFL season must be played to a finish with anything else nothing more than a “fudge”, says former Scottish FA chief executive Stewart Regan.
    ………………….
    Some people have no self- awareness.


  10. Giovanni 22nd March 2020 at 21:31
    Also from previous estimates the Albion Car Park and Edmiston House are not worth £4m.
    ………………
    If i remember correctly the ibrox club needs the Albion car park for access to the club deck, no car park no club deck, hence i believe it’s value is worth more than can be seen.
    Always happy to be corrected if wrong.


  11. Giovanni 22nd March 2020 at 20:21 Allyjambo 22nd March 2020 at 19:50 To the best of my knowledge any outstanding court awards would just be added to the list of creditors. I know of no way that SDI or Hummel/Elite or Memorial Walls can insulate themselves from an insolvency event at TRFC. If TRFC haven’t succumbed to an insolvency event when they are awarded damages etc then they can try to ring fence the monies due to them. However, as far as I’m aware, you can only ring fence cash and bank accounts, not assets. I doubt there will be all that much cash in that event. There is a presumption on the part of some people that Mr King will be the largest creditor due to his £5m loan and will therefore be able to control any administration event, as Mr Whyte initially tried to do. With the Close Leasing charges and the sums being speculated for SDI I’m not convinced he will be the largest creditor let alone overcome the Close Leasing legal position.

    _______________

    Though I fear you may be correct, I just wonder if an ongoing case could be added to the creditor pile – but if it could, surely SDI could act in a similar way to HMRC and apply for a winding up order in time to scotch a pre-pack admin. I would have to imagine that the law is not so much of an ass that it would allow such underhand pre-pack tactics to subvert the due process of the law and court system. It would surely be a charter for charlatans and all sorts of conmen. Still, as I alluded to earlier, the clubs and lawbreakers of Ibrox do have a knack of getting away with all sorts of dirty tricks.

    PS Pre-pack admin, or not, not only would TRFC face a points deduction that would hand Celtic the league with no questions asked, and prevent any future deriding of the victory/9 in a row, they would still have to pay all of the rather onerous outstanding football debts regardless of how clever they might think themselves – and start next season, whenever that might take place, minus 5 points that would create some difficulty in convincing the more sentient bear to buy an ST as stopping 10 would become even more unlikely than stopping 9 was.

    PPS Again, I have no real knowledge of the legal implications, but not only do the onerous conditions attached to the Close security you refer to provide a complication for any sort of clean (as in nice and easy) administration, I'd imagine having any sort of significant charge over fixed assets causes all sorts of problems should any insolvent company look to attempt a pre-pack.


  12. Cluster One 22nd March 2020 at 21:46  Giovanni 22nd March 2020 at 21:31 Also from previous estimates the Albion Car Park and Edmiston House are not worth £4m. ……………… If i remember correctly the ibrox club needs the Albion car park for access to the club deck, no car park no club deck, hence i believe it’s value is worth more than can be seen. Always happy to be corrected if wrong.

    _________________________

    Worth more than can be seen to TRFC, yes, but perhaps not to others, such as Close Bros.


  13.    Boom!…..Liquidated….It happens. It will happen to many companies. 

    Whatever plans Sevco did have in place, (If any), have been usurped without warning. 

      When Rangers(I.L.), turned their toes skywards, it was planned, and no real surprise. Time was available, and preparations were made. A shareholders meeting took place to change the name, freeing up the old name for Charlie's lip-sticked pig to use. Individuals saw a way to coin a few dollars by doing so……..

       No noo!…..No this time. 

       Project Charlotte never saw this one coming.


  14. It seems that Reagan's armageddon has turned into coronageddon.

    Don't forget that there is two companies we are talking about. RIFC and TRFC.

    I suspect (as Big Pink did) that Stuart Gibson was serious about investing in Sevco. However, as I have said on here before, I think that he wanted to buy TRFC from RIFC. There was no 'investment' coming.

    Why?
    RIFC is a dead duck. All past investment was in RIFC not TRFC. That investment was converted into shares. TRFC owe RIFC nothing.
    Shareholders of RIFC would have at least received some recompense for their stupidity. They needed a sale.
    A good businessman could have done a deal with Ashley negating the legal charges.
    Ashley would probably been taken on board the good ship Sevco in one form or another.
    The other sportswear legal cases would then have been dropped. One is a nickel and dime company and the other would be more than glad to have been taken under SD's umbrella.
    If Sevco was run under good financial management, it would have been a good business to have and develop.
    As an aside, the last person you would want to sell a football club in dire financial straights to would be a property developer! Think of the property development going on on the South side of the river by Barclays at Buchanan Wharf. You can never underestimate the earning potential of a shopping centre with good transport links and a car park.

    Now? Well everyone is screwed. Ashley won't get a penny. LBJ, Hummel? Forget it. Football debts? I can't even think of an answer for that one. Close Brothers? What are they going to do with some big tellies and some pots and pans?

    And there's our impecunious Davie. Hanging around the back of the queue hoping micromega doesn't turn into picomega. I have no idea whether he loaned his £5 million to TRFC or RIFC or if the loan was secured. Either way, he's fecked. Even if he has a secured loan on TRFC we know that it's nothing to do with Ibrox and Close brother have the kitchen sinks tied up.

    It's ironic that British football is living in 'interesting times' given where the virus allegedly originated from. The whole fabric of the football environment has changed. To misquote Darwin, it will be the 'survival of the fittest'.


  15. finnmccool 23rd March 2020 at 02:14

    RIFC is a dead duck. All past investment was in RIFC not TRFC. That investment was converted into shares. TRFC owe RIFC nothing

    ___________

    Not so sure about that, Fin. TRFC is RIFC's only real asset and owes RIFC every penny the parent company has passed it's way, as shown in the accounts of both companies. If RIFC goes into administration, so does TRFC though it could be sold as a going concern by the administrators of RIFC in the same way any other asset could be sold.

    It's really no different than if the club was owned in it's entirety by an individual. If the individual runs out of money and becomes bankrupt then the club is an asset to be sold and the proceeds added to the creditor pot. If there is no buyer for the club then it's assets will be sold off to add to the bankrupt individual's creditor pot. The club would then be wound up or liquidated.

    The only way that TRFC could possibly not owe RIFC lots of money would be if the RIFC shareholders* voted in favour of writing off the debt and the holding company, itself, has no creditors looking to be paid what they are owed.

    *Not sure of the percentage required to vote it through but expect it would be 75% at least.

     

     


  16. finnmccool 23rd March 2020 at 02:14
    Don’t forget that there is two companies we are talking about. RIFC and TRFC.

    I suspect (as Big Pink did) that Stuart Gibson was serious about investing in Sevco. However, as I have said on here before, I think that he wanted to buy TRFC from RIFC. There was no ‘investment’ coming.

    Why?
    RIFC is a dead duck.
    ……………..
    At last year AGM king stated.
    A consideration of our more devolved decision making has made me reconsider the question as to whether there continues to be benefit in a holding company for The Rangers Football Club versus the more traditional model of a single operating entity with a board that comprises executive and non-executive directors. I have therefore asked the company secretary to investigate the possibility of dismantling the holding company and issuing shareholders with the equivalent shares directly into the football operating company, The Rangers Football Club Limited. I would certainly rather own my shares directly in the football club. Further announcements will be made in due course if this proves to be viable and desirable.
    ………………….
    Looks like king wants rid of the holding company, and in the same breath killed all the ibrox deniers that it was a holding company that died in 2012.


  17. Allyjambo 23rd March 2020 at 10:00

    finnmccool 23rd March 2020 at 02:14

    RIFC is a dead duck. All past investment was in RIFC not TRFC. That investment was converted into shares. TRFC owe RIFC nothing

    __________

    Not so sure about that, Fin. TRFC is RIFC's only real asset and owes RIFC every penny the parent company has passed it's way, as shown in the accounts of both companies. If RIFC goes into administration, so does TRFC though it could be sold as a going concern by the administrators of RIFC in the same way any other asset could be sold.

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

    In the RIFC accounts for 2016, £21.85m of "amounts due from subsidiaries" was reclassified as "investments in subsidiaries". It was referenced as follows:

    1) Reclassify the line items in Amounts due from subsidiary undertakings in Current Assets to Investment in subsidiaries within Non-Current Assets. In the opinion of the Board, this is a more appropriate reflection of the substance of the arrangements between the company and its subsidiaries. 

    From that point onwards, further "lending" has been been added to the "investments in subsidiaries" figure which now sits at £60.7m. That is broken down with £13.3m relating to the share swap that was done between TRFC and RIFC at the time of the IPO, and £47.4m flowing from the taps of the shareholder investors over several years.

    The bottom line is that TRFC no longer "owes" that cash to RIFC.  

    There is one exception, the latest £5m from Laird, which is mentioned in the TRFC accounts as a loan in the post balance sheet events. 


  18. The main difference between the situation today and what it was previously is that it would be fairly straightforward to strip the club (TRFC) from the holding company (RIFC). 

    However if it was done in the way any "investor" would want it would mean that every investor in RIFC would lose everything they have put in. The major shareholders, Club 1872, the supporters, absolutely everyone.

    I don't imagine Close would be that concerned though as the assets they have security over are owned by the subsidiary anyway. 

     


  19. I think the phrase we are all searching for with regard to RIFC/TRFC is that they are Donald Ducked.

    They have somehow survived all past predictions of upcoming mortality but surely there is no escape this time?

    Will directors take fright over what appears to be trading whilst insolvent? What are the auditors saying? Are these companies really going concerns or even likely to be in the foreseeable future? Just how Close are they to having the rug pulled out from under them? When will the amount of damages payable to SDI be quantified? Will Big Mike come to the rescue?

    This is going to be tough for all clubs but I can see some schadenfreudian comfort being taken.

    Scottish Football needs a strong (your club).


  20. SFA CEO Maxwell, quoted in the GT today;

    "…Everyone wants to get the games played, the guys who get the winner’s medals at the end of the season want to know they’ve played every match and no-one can come back and say they didn’t deserve it in any way…"

    =====

    First part is correct: of course, all footy fans would want all games played – if it is at all possible.

    However, the second part is a pointless / inflammatory (?) comment, and Maxwell stopped just short of saying "tainted".

    Jeezo.

    Stick him back in the bunker…  smiley


  21.  the guys who get the winner’s medals at the end of the season want to know they’ve played every match

    Eh , they might possibly just want to know that they've played in enough games to merit the award of a medal . I couldn't find the number required in a quick glance through SPFL Rules and Regs but I think it used to be ten .

     

     


  22. Anybody else catch Nookie Bear on TV just now? I reckon he was auditioning for the job of rebuilding Scottish football and has modelled himself on all those who have done such an inspiring job previously. On the other hand, maybe he could take over at Celtic and rebuild our game that way…we'd all catch up with him at the helm and have the most competitive league in the world in no time.

    The only problem is, if he does get one of those jobs, one of the idiots who voted him in as leader of the Con Party will be the next Prime Minister…


  23. I think the PM just ruled out any behind closed door sport with his announcement about restricted gatherings. 

    In fact we have, in practical terms, reached the end of the season methinks.

    So … back to null and void  (which I certainly don't favour) or carry over to next season – with a whole host of unresolved issues (club survival, contracts, season ticket sales, other financial implication such as TV money etc etc!!!).

    Although that is still a nightmare scenario for our trusted (?) football authorities, I think the latest social restrictions have removed at least one obstacle.


  24. ulyanova 23rd March 2020 at 22:05

     

    Another liquidation denier . The club found itself dead . And that’s just the first two sentences .


  25. ulyanova 23rd March 2020 at 22:05

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

    Can be summarised quite simply. He would like the league to be played to a finish, then adapt the 2020/21 season accordingly.

    He references Scottish Football’s ability to find reasons for not doing something, but counters that with its ability to adapt and survive regardless of the obstacles it faces.  


  26. ulyanova 23rd March 2020 at 22:05

    '..I don't have a clue what Ewan Murray is trying to say here.  '

    …………………

    What a hopelessly unstructured , all over the place, inconsequential piece of writing!

    I'd be ashamed to put my name to that, whatever points he was trying to make!

    He writes like one of those hypothetical monkeys sitting at a typewriter clattering the keys ,in an experiment to see whether by pure chance it might write a 'Hamlet' or 'War and Peace'. 

    Absolutely appalling, definitely bottom of the class and an insult to any reader! 


  27. ulyanova 23rd March 2020 at 22:05

    Comes over as a CFC hater as well . Why should they shoulder the burden of the other clubs' shortfall . It would just as easily given TRFC the unassailable high ground if  Stewart Robertson , after his sound-bite about integrity (quiet at the back) , had offered help to the toiling opposition .

    It's a piss-poor article .


  28. For those of you looking to pass away a few lockdown hours could I recommend The English Game on Netflix.

    Based on fact but with a lot of artistic licence it tells the story of the development of professional football and the roll two Scottish players in particular had in changing what was The Brutal Game into The Beautiful Game.

    Lucy Mangan in the Guardian gave it 1 star out of 5 but don't let that put you off as she only gave Chernobyl 3 out of 5!

    It may not be to everyone's taste and some may be annoyed at the introduction of an alcoholic scottish character but for me it has been a welcome escape in difficult times! 


  29. Ex Ludo 24th March 2020 at 10:00

    Apparently Ashley, who pays peanuts to workers on zero hours contracts, is so kind hearted he considers the nation's health paramount but has now had a change of heart and has decided to close his 'vital to the nation' stores. Not that profit was a consideration in his original plan to stay open. No, not with Big Mike.

    Maybe, like the owners of some small breweries and distilleries who've turned to producing alcohol based hand wash, he might now start producing, free of charge to the NHS, carers etc, some Personal Protective Equipment. (I do realise that PPE will probably have to be produced by licensed suppliers, but there's nothing to stop the Big Mikes of this world/country sticking some of their less than morally earned megabucks into financing the production of whatever the NHS is currently crying out for.) In the end, the lives they help save and the goodwill they foster might just produce profit for them in the future (whatever that may hold).


  30. AJ,   During WW2  a huge amount of manufacturing companies had to change their output to suit the war effort.  So some companies stepping up to produce PPE etc. is not without merit or precedence.   

    btw,  a lot of firms still made a fortune during the war!


  31. Jimbo@11.56

    Elon Musk has apparently given ventilators to California and there’s a specialist car engine tuning company in Oxfordshire switching production and re-tooling to produce medical equipment. All sorts of 3D printing going on and the workshops look like operating theatres, only cleaner.


  32. Ex Ludo, yes I just read that after I had posted!   It's the right thing to do.  I hope the scientists and pharmaceutical companies are working overtime on a vaccine.


  33. jimbo 24th March 2020 at 11:56

    Yes, and as was seen with 'Red' Clyde in WW1, not only were they not satisfied with making profit from the ships they built, but when that profit was threatened by reduced payments for ships they dropped wages and upped the rents and shop prices for the workers to (for some) starvation levels.

    While the smaller manufacturers may do their bit for the nation, the megabucks ones will require government intervention (if ever it comes) before they do anything for the benefit of the many.

    Anyway, Jimbo, take care and stay safe. And the same for everyone on SFM and your families and friends. 


  34. It looks like peace has finally broken out between the Lowland League and the West Region Juniors in their pyramid discussions.  Following a video conference yesterday, it was agreed that the LL will run the new WoSFL next season and is currently accepting applications, the deadline for which has been extended to 7 April.

    I'd expect that most of the West Region Juniors will now apply to join the new league, as one of the signatories to the statement was the WRJ representative.

    Eight of the remaining East Region Junior clubs (mainly from Fife) have already applied to join the EoSFL for next season.

    If, as expected at a meeting next month, the North Region Juniors decide to join the pyramid below the Highland League, then it will probably be the death knell for Junior football in Scotland.

    The only question would be about the future of the two remaining groups of junior clubs in Tayside and West Lothian, who either have no natural geographic league to join, or have previously rejected the opportunity to join the senior leagues.

    http://slfl.co.uk/west-of-scotland-league-update-2/


  35. With all the uncertainty, it’s difficult to state today what the ‘best’ answer is WRT league games outstanding.

    But, what is certain: we are all in lockdown for at least 3 weeks.

    To enable clubs/fans etc. to plan ahead, the SFA & SPFL could be communicating their decisions ASAP.

    And it’s inevitable that some will be unhappy with whatever decisions are made.

    Why wait? 

    Remove the uncertainty around this season now – and start planning now for the various scenarios around next season.


  36. "Never let a crisis go to waste" or words to that effect have been said more than once throughout history . In times of crisis peoples true colours are often revealed . The Branson's, Bezos' and Ashley Billionaire club are clearly more concerned with wealth than humanity (anyone surprised?) While people are concerned with societal collapse those with most to lose are trying to ensure they lose as little as possible . Today I learnt this 

    https://www.trouw.nl/economie/klanten-van-abn-amro-moeten-hun-goud-verkopen~b668b850/?referer=https%3A%2F%2Ft.co%2FawCSfpQuuj%3Famp%3D1&utm_campaign=shared_earned&utm_medium=social&utm_source=twitter

    In short ABN Amro bank is forcing its clients to sell their holdings in gold,silver and platinum stored at the bank . It was exactly for situations such as this that they invested in precious metals in the first place . With the Fed Reserve stating they will create as much currency as it takes to get through this crisis, thoughts of Venezuela,Zimbabwe,Hungary,Weimar and hundreds of other examples of hyperinflation should register . ABN Amro along with all the other bullion banks have been playing a game in the bullion market for a very long time now . For every real 1 oz of gold that exists in its vaults there are over 100 paper certificates with a claim on that gold . A reminder that the last full audit of Fort Knox was in the 1950s and the suspension of the gold backing of the $ by Nixon in 1971 was stated to be a temporary measure to stabilise the market is still with us today. I fully expect a flood of "cash for gold" adverts to start appearing on tv , most of them are rip off merchants feeding off peoples desperation and if possible avoid them like the plague . I have in the recent past worked with a bullion company , I have never seen the shelves as empty as they are today . What coins are still for sale have a high premium on the spot price seen on the charts . Our financial system is broken and has been for many years , QE and zero interest rates have been a temporary elastoplast on a bullet wound .

    They won't let this health crisis go to waste , the finger of blame is already being pointed at the Chinese by the powers that be as well as the ignorant and uninformed and when the inevitable happens at Ibrox it won't be King's gross mismanagement to blame but Covid 19 . I hope when this is all over we remember what is of real value , our tireless medical staff and those essential workers that trudged into the factories and supermarkets  for a pittance because they cared and we don't forget those who tried to exploit us and/or hid in their Castles and Stately homes and said nothing. Stay safe, stay healthy and don't let the bastards grind you down 


  37. Timtim, I thought it was only China and Russia that had the physical gold reserves these days…?  

    And as for ABN Amro: it might be carved into ‘Mr.’ Goodwin’s gravestone.  His crazy, final acquisition which quickly caught up with the megalomaniac and RBS…

    and we, the taxpayers, still own over 60% of RBS 12 years later.


  38. I see that Ross McCrorie (on loan to Portsmouth from TRFC) has been confirmed as having the Coronavirus (he’s Pompey’s fifth player to contract it).


  39. Cluster One 24th March 2020 at 18:36

    "..I take it there was no court today for the court guys"

    ……………..

    As expected, Cluster One, 

    "Courts have already ceased all jury trials, adjourned all but essential summary criminal trials, adjourned all civil hearings involving witnesses and Tribunals will only proceed with essential hearings by audio conference. We have also backed this up with strong advice to the public not to attend our buildings….


  40. John Clark 24th March 2020 at 19:20
    As you know the courts take a long time to do anything, this lockdown will kick everything down the road.
    ……………….
    Timtim
    Bad word

    the H word has a different meaning there
    ……….
    I thought it was the B word;-)


  41. Ment to add.
    As you know the courts take a long time to do anything, this lockdown will kick everything down the road.
    This won’t do the ibrox club any good at trying to get a new kit deal for the start of next season. But on the plus side. if it is a pause/start the ibrox club could always get away with playing in last seasons kit.


  42. Timtim 24th March 2020 at 18:31

    '…I fully expect a flood of "cash for gold" adverts to start appearing on tv , most of them are rip off merchants feeding off people…'……………………………………………..I

    ' Interestingly enough, Timtim,  there was a little piece by Emma Newlands in 'The Scotsman' this morning  from which I extract this:

    " The Pure God Company has revealed that it has seen a 980 ( nine hunerr and eighty!!) percent increase in British people panic-buying gold bars and coins over the past week as compared to the weekly average over the last year. ….[driven by] " acute fear and uncertainty about the trajectory of the corona virus….."

    CEO Josh Saul said " Our clients are not purchasing gold to make money. It's not really about growth but about wealth protection in an asset class that offers a degree of immunity from the fallout of the coronavirus"

    There's this world, and the next world….. and the world of those who buy gold! 

     

     


  43. Cluster One 24th March 2020 at 18:36

    John Clark 24th March 2020 at 19:20

    Cluster One 24th March 2020 at 19:58

    Ment to add.
    As you know the courts take a long time to do anything, this lockdown will kick everything down the road.

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

    SCTS Supreme Courts@SCTSSupremeCrts 52m

    Only essential business is now being dealt with in the Court of Session. ‘Essential’ is: child abduction petitions, interim interdicts and other urgent matters on cause shown.

    Delays are an inevitable consequence of the current situation.

    PriceOfFootball@KieranMaguire54m
    Due to Coronavirus Macclesfield Town winding up order due tomorrow pushed back to 17 June and Oldham Athletic 1 July #MTFC #OAFC


  44. If this guy was in charge we'd be back playing in weeks. The Daily Updates at the end of the article is where the most interesting stuff is
    Don't shoot the messenger, I've been working my way through all the links trying to see if he's misrepresenting or falsifying or just using unreliable sources, but what I can understand language wise it's all seeming legit so far
    It's given me food for thought today anyway
    https://swprs.org/a-swiss-doctor-on-covid-19/


  45. gogs 24th March 2020 at 22:28

    ‘…Don’t shoot the messenger,…’

    ……………….

    Wouldn’t dream of shooting you, gogs! ( having as you do a blog name that a classmate of mine sixty-odd years ago had as a nickname)

    I am no scientist or medical researcher or even statistician.

    I can ask questions, though.

    And the first question is: are the stats quoted by the Swiss doctor accepted generally by the ‘world’?

    The second question is, if what he says are actual facts and are accepted as actual facts, how do we account for the very different interpretations of the ‘facts’? Is it a world-shattering pandemic that justifies the unprecedented , worldwide response that we have seen? 

    Not to trivialise, of course, but is what we are seeing in reaction to Covid-19 no more justified than was the response by our football authorities to  the hysterical  cry of ‘Armageddon!’ for  Scottish football on the death ( caused by underlying corrupting disease!) of RFC of 1872? broken heart

     

     

     


  46.  JC

    “And the first question is: are the stats quoted by the Swiss doctor accepted generally by the ‘world’?

    The second question is, if what he says are actual facts and are accepted as actual facts, how do we account for the very different interpretations of the ‘facts’? Is it a world-shattering pandemic that justifies the unprecedented , worldwide response that we have seen? ”

    And these are the exact questions that I’ve been playing around with since reading this.
    As I say, the Daily Updates have plenty of links, they (the ones in English anyway) seem to be reputable sources, not some manufactured tinpot conspiracy sites.
    Only time will tell if decisions made by Governments worked but we’ll never know if they were correct or wrong as they will just be what happened, anything else will be supposition.
    What we do know is that there will be many premature deaths from the lockdown, whether it’s from people not getting medical treatment they need, mental health support missing, a general drop in living standards due to poverty brought on, many things.
    I’m reminded of Fukushima where I think around 10 people actually died from radiation poisoning, but over 1500 from reasons associated with the evacuation. But no one would argue that evacuation was the wrong call.
    I just hope this upheaval is actually worth it
    But, on the positive, if the guy is right then the numbers of people who will die prematurely from this will actually be a lot lower than projected.
    And 40 years of UK public spending cuts will have been rolled back in one fell swoop
    We’ll see……..


  47. I see so far only Hearts and Aberdeen have spoken publicly about the financial impact the current crisis is having on their clubs. Both people who have spoken are successful business people and will be sure of their facts. There will of course be a huge impact on every club including Celtic, depending on how long football remains in limbo. The media are being very general in their forecasts of doom but in my view the obvious elephant in the room they won't mention is Rangers, who have huge operating costs, and have themselves stated in audited accounts many millions will be needed to see out this season, and that was with every game being played.

    Football is way down the current priority list, but it will be of great interest to see how events unfold. It might not just be Rangers who face financial Armageddon, but if rules are bent, broken or made up again to protect them or indeed any club, then surely Financial Fair Play in Scotland becomes a must from that point on.

     


  48. “Football is way down the current priority list, but it will be of great interest to see how events unfold. It might not just be Rangers who face financial Armageddon, but if rules are bent, broken or made up again to protect them or indeed any club, then surely Financial Fair Play in Scotland becomes a must from that point on.”

    (UTH 7.06am)

     

    You would think so wouldn’t you?
    But rules being bent & broken and made up is second nature to the people of influence. It’s in their DNA. Will they change? I very much doubt it sorry to say.

    We need a new set up with different people.


  49. jimbo, we shouldn't really have to worry about how this crisis impacts Scottish football.

    We have the experienced Rod Petrie running the show now, who did such a sterling job – being fair and honest – when sorting out the last crisis in 2012.

    A safe pair of hands.

    'Respected and Trusted to Lead' and all that…

    enlightened


  50. gogs

    You may be interested to know that as of March 19th The Advisory Committee on Dangerous Pathogens (ACDP) has posted online their EXPERT opinion that COVID-19 should no longer be classified as an HCID.

    That means the UK government has downgraded the status of the disease. It is no longer considered a High Consequence Infectious Disease. They state quite clearly, that mortality rates are low overall.

    Odd that this was announced nearly a week ago but has not been mentioned in the MS media.

    https://www.gov.uk/guidance/high-consequence-infectious-diseases-hcid

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