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.

2251 COMMENTS


  1. Timtim 28th March 2020 at 20:22

    '… One thing that the sfa cannot do is pay their bills and that's where it all falls apart for them .'

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

    Of course, Timtim, the refusal by the SFA to have the 'Res 12' matter fully and openly investigated leaves us free to suspect that the SFA would, if they could conceivably could, slide monies on any pretext or none, in the direction of Ibrox!

    (That's the damage that the SFA  on itself  a decade ago-refusal to have what was done a decade ago subjected to legitimate scrutiny. What's there to hide, if all was above board? );

    and to suspect that if they can't find a way to subvent TRFC in cash, they will try to find any way to accommodate them in the present covid-19 chaos.


  2. Collectively, if the Internet Bampots have a conscience we should organise Crowdfunding for the bete noire of Scottish football.

    Without the Ibrox entertainment what would we do?

    Every day is Karma for the club pretending to be a dead, corrupt football club, as it inches ever closer to its own death.

    And its presence is a daily reminder that Scottish football is governed by corrupt governing bodies – and supported implicitly / explicitly by ALL the other, 41 senior clubs. 

    …and at a time of crisis to help focus your priorities, it does make you wonder why any consumer would buy into this continuing BS… 


  3. So who is telling the truth?  Investments plans are ‘on hold’ – Dave King,  or the contradiction by the board shortly afterwards, that investment plans are ‘well advanced’?


  4. jimbo 29th March 2020 at 09:10

    So who is telling the truth? Investments plans are on hold – Dave King, or the contradiction by the board shortly afterwards, that investment plans are well advanced?

    ______________________

    Both could be correct, Jimbo. The investment plans made at the time of the last AGM may well be advanced to the point of being put on hold.

    One thing to be taken into consideration, though, is that while it's in the interest of the remaining board members to gild the lily, King has nothing to gain by making things sound worse than they actually are. In fact, it's so very unlike King to not gild his own lily by claiming some dubious achievement. It's notable, too, that the club statement does not, in any way, refute what the departing (holding company) chairman said.


  5. Fair enough AJ,  although I never thought I would read you posting that DK & the Ibrox board could both be 'correct'!   cool


  6. A wee thought.

    Neither statement wished the other party future success, and I'd have thought the first statement from RIFC/TRFC should have been to announce the outgoing chairman's departure rather than to just mention it in the passing. After all, the chairman would have to resign/retire first before being replaced and it would be good manners, if nothing else, to 'regretfully' announce his departure before trumpeting his replacement.

    Suggests one of two scenarios to me, the new PR man is woefully out of his depth, or there is bad blood between the two parties. Wouldn't surprise me in the least if both scenarios were correct.


  7. jimbo 29th March 2020 at 09:48

    Fair enough AJ, although I never thought I would read you posting that DK & the Ibrox board could both be 'correct'!

    _______

    Thanks for pointing that out smiley, Jimbo, but in my defence, I was being more than a little sarcastic when suggesting both could be correct mail and I'd suggest that, for possibly the first time, King was being fairly honest with the bears, while, not for the first time, a TRFC/RIFC statement was, at best, gilding the lily.


  8. I vaguely remember once DK spoke with some honesty when he acknowledged the old club were in the liquidation process and that he would like to have bought them out of that (by paying off the debts?).  Or maybe I mis read it!  


  9. jimbo 29th March 2020 at 09:10

    To be fair plans can be both "well advanced" and "on hold" at the same time.

     


  10. jimbo 29th March 2020 at 10:09

    “I vaguely remember once DK spoke with some honesty when he acknowledged the old club were in the liquidation process and that he would like to have bought them out of that (by paying off the debts?).  Or maybe I mis read it! ”

    You have heaped coals of fire on my head, jimbo! 

    Before I got diverted by posting about the ‘statement’ I had been about to respond to another post, and I was about to mention that King had one plus point to his credit-that he acknowledged that the restoration of RFC of 1872 was entirely possible, if someone could pay all its debts etc and thus bring it out out of Liquidation.

    I think he must then have realised what a problem that would cause because ,of course, RIFC plc does not own RFC of 1872, which , via the Liquidators, would return to whoever owned it when it went into Administration!

    A whole.dirty, feckin mess created originally by the deceit by SDM, compounded by the little turd, and aggravated by a succession of greedy individuals trying to make money from an untruth.

     


  11. Homunculus 29th March 2020 at 10:18

    jimbo 29th March 2020 at 09:10

    To be fair plans can be both "well advanced" and "on hold" at the same time.

    ____________________

    Yup, in the same way, I could have a long conversation with my bank manager over a loan I need, letting him know how much I need, what I intend to spend it on etc, at which point it could be said the talks are well advanced, then the bank manager asks for evidence that I will be able to repay the loan. Talks are then put on hold. Indefinitely! In the meantime I'm a little taken aback because the bank have stated previously that they support businesses like mine which leaves me confused over why they should ask to see my accounts, my cash flow projections and my business plan. Surely true supporters don't require such things before throwing their money at…sorry, investing their money in, a business they support. So basically my funding plans have advanced to the point where my bank manager isn't as blinded by his support as I thought he would be!


  12. Allyjambo 29th March 2020 at 12:27

    What is your credit rating and do you have anything you can secure the loan against, unencumbered of course. Oh and what do you want the loan for.

    If you are a cash only operator, with little security to use, and you want the loan for normal operating costs as opposed to developing your business you are onto plums mate. 


  13. I caved in and put Sportsound on at noon.  That’s how desperate I am to hear something about Scottish football!

     

    Anyhow, I have heard quite a few opinions on Dave King the past 2 days.  They try not to be gushing in praise to be honest, but it’s mostly good.  Mainly questioned on the likes of Warburton & Pedro appointments.   Has done much much better than Green,  the Easdales, Ashley etc.    Timing of departure.

    One thing  that no one has mentioned.    He is cold shouldered!   Is that of no importance?  Or did I just imagine that? 

    Nor his dodgy history in SA.   They are still spending more than their income.  Anyone with half a brain would say good riddance!


  14. jimbo 29th March 2020 at 13:43

    The ongoing litigation with SDI and the Memorial Wall people is probably also worth a mention. As are the huge amounts of money they have had to pay in costs.

    As is him asking supporters not to buy season tickets, Disrupting the PLCs activities and allowing his concert party to take a controlling share.

    Did they also mention that he now holds just over 25% of the shares himself. Meaning that the PLC cannot pass a special resolution without his agreement. So he still has a lot of control there.

    A convicted fraudster, who has lied giving evidence, and seems not to be able to do straightforward business with anyone. Just what football needs. 


  15. Homunculus 29th March 2020 at 13:24

    Allyjambo 29th March 2020 at 12:27

    What is your credit rating and do you have anything you can secure the loan against, unencumbered of course. Oh and what do you want the loan for. If you are a cash only operator, with little security to use, and you want the loan for normal operating costs as opposed to developing your business you are onto plums mate.

    ___________

    You're my bloody bank manager, aren't you! How else would you know all these details? No chance of me ever buying you a pint down the Ludge again. How am I meant to keep my business going? Everyone loves RTFC Ltd, the Root Toot Flute Company Limited, that is. It's not my fault I bought a whole load of duff flutes with other peoples' money. Well the social disorder will be on your head when those lovely lads can't go marching this summer, but I suppose I could just blame this virus that's got everyone's knickers in a twist (read that somewhere). Still, I could always try that pre-pack wheeze you told me about, and if it works I'll buy you a pint after all.

    What's that? Stick my flute where?


  16. Exactly Homunculus.   There should be street parties on this announcement.  However we have this lockdown!  


  17. 'jimbo 29th March 2020 at 13:43

    …One thing  that no one has mentioned.    He is cold shouldered!   Is that of no importance?  Or did I just imagine that?'

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

    DCK stated, with some hubris, that being cold-shouldered as an individual was of little importance.

    The then Group Chairman (who holds approx. 25% of the issued shares) of RIFC explained further that, as he conducted no business in the UK, it wouldn't affect him materially. He was allowed to skate on that one by everybody; from the SFA to the SMSM.

    I do wonder if certain high-net-worth (HNW)  individuals, who may have the odd 8-digit sum to 'invest', lay more store in DCK's cold-shouldering than he himself does? 


  18. We have just observed a previously unknown ‘investor’ – a Stuart Gibson based in Japan – do walking away, after helpfully raising his business profile exponentially for hee haw…

    Today, we have Jim McColl all over the SMSM, quoted making strange/positive comments about TRFC.

    It’s known that the ‘ex-billionaire / ex-multimillionaire’ had his own financial challenges even before the Corona crisis.

    Is McColl just trying to get some free PR?

    Or, is the latest Ibrox ‘PR expert’ trying to hoodwink the bears by circulating copy/paste content that the ‘billionaire sugar daddy’ has finally been confirmed?  indecision


  19. Just before I went up the road to ASDA at my 'click and collect' appointed time , I heard Chick say in reference to the difficulties getting football interviews and such, " Oh for the days when journalists could go to a club and speak to people and ask questions, and report the facts!"

    I don't think Chick does irony!

    I also heard the underlying querulously fearful tone in MacIntyr'es irritatingly aggressive voice when asking if there was (in Tom English's view) a possibility that the season could be ended short, with title being awarded to the club on highest points!

     

     


  20. StevieBC 29th March 2020 at 14:14
    Today, we have Jim McColl all over the SMSM, quoted making strange/positive comments about TRFC.
    …………………….
    Yesterday it was Souness. We are back in 2012 territory again, comfort blankets all round, things must be bad down ibrox way. If we get a Walter or anything from past ibrox (Legends)tomorrow they are in deep deep trouble.


  21. Homunculus 29th March 2020 at 13:51 jimbo 29th March 2020 at 13:43

    The ongoing litigation with SDI and the Memorial Wall people is probably also worth a mention. As are the huge amounts of money they have had to pay in costs. As is him asking supporters not to buy season tickets, Disrupting the PLCs activities and allowing his concert party to take a controlling share. Did they also mention that he now holds just over 25% of the shares himself. Meaning that the PLC cannot pass a special resolution without his agreement. So he still has a lot of control there. A convicted fraudster, who has lied giving evidence, and seems not to be able to do straightforward business with anyone. Just what football needs.

    ______________________-

    And they owe him £5m for his loan. And a man who has given up the chairmanship of a company to take care of his collapsing empire in another country is most likely to be wanting that loan repaid at the earliest opportunity as well as expecting to be paid as much as he can get for his 25%+ shareholding.

    And still they couldn't find anything nice to say about him as he left Ibrox for the last time. Maybe they already realised that there was little point in soft soaping him as he's made his intentions for his shareholding and loan clear. Maybe, of course, that is, for I/we don't know how thing stand between King and the remaining directors so it's just guesswork. But wouldn't you think that if King departed having assured them that he will do everything to help the club survive that they'd have been full of praise for him in their statement? I know I would have in such circumstances.

    Two statements; one from the club saying thank you to the departing chairman in the coolest possible way with the other from the departing chairman letting supporters know he's got his own money problems ahead. I do wonder if there's anything in the terms of the King loan that we don't know about?


  22. Oops, just came to me, King certainly won't be doing a debt for equity swop for his loan, whenever it's due for repayment – or rolling it over!


  23. Allyjambo 29th March 2020 at 14:55

    Or …

    Laird Investments promised to make good anything they couldn't raise towards the predicted £10m shortfall. I think it's in the accounts.

    And …

    He has his own money problems.


  24. Well, with a new 'Executive' Chairman during a period of crisis, you would expect him to make an immediate impact?

    It's not as though Park has been hired externally: he knows the full picture at Ibrox only too well.

    So, IMO, there is no time to waste, and it's for Park to display leadership, whether he wants to or not.

    Can we expect some tough decisions being announced tomorrow from Ibrox?


  25. Homunculus 29th March 2020 at 15:29

    Allyjambo 29th March 2020 at 14:55

    Or … Laird Investments promised to make good anything they couldn't raise towards the predicted £10m shortfall. I think it's in the accounts.

    And … He has his own money problems.

    ________________

    And as he tends to do when the occasion demands, he's made his 'impecuniosity' very public!

    While I'm sure King has money most of us would consider he has to burn, I am sure he will have a figure of £X millions that he would consider himself to be broke with. At the moment he will be getting closer and closer to that figure. I'm sure there will come a point when getting maybe £1m back of his £5m loan will appeal to him more than leaving it with the club and risking losing it all. We also know, for he has previous, if he thinks he'd get more money out of liquidation of his club than from an administration, he'd go for it.

    RIFC/TRFC might well have just got themselves another enemy. They are not in short supply.


  26.        I doubt The Lying King will be too bothered about his £5m loan. He knows, and Sevco know, he will have no hesitation in applying for a winding up order. 

         With that, and his 25%, there is still merriment mileage in the crooked crusader yet.


  27. StevieBC 29th March 2020 at 15:51

    I have a feeling that as soon as the future of this season has been decided, TRFC's players will be getting a different message than the SMSM seem to believe is possible of their beloved club. That is, should it be confirmed that there will be no more games to be played, then TRFC will decide they have no need to be paying very expensive salaries to self-isolating players. I'm assuming, of course, that nothing happens to force the club's hand before any decision is made by the game's governors.


  28. Corrupt official 29th March 2020 at 16:01

    I doubt The Lying King will be too bothered about his £5m loan. He knows, and Sevco know, he will have no hesitation in applying for a winding up order. With that, and his 25%, there is still merriment mileage in the crooked crusader yet.

    ___________

    I think we have to remember that King knows exactly what's going on under the bonnet at Ibrox, he has, of course, caused most of the problems himself. He also has the complete financial picture right up to the moment of his resignation. He will probably have a pretty good idea of how much of his £5m he's likely to see at this moment in time should he demand it back or take even graver action and how much it would be after another month, then the next month and so on.

    As they say, keep your friends close, and your enemies closer. And King is in South Africa with no intention of coming any closer to Ibrox anytime soon!


  29. I think we are headed for a DCK hand-wringing request to Rangers* for his money back to feed his starving workers and weans.

    "Time for other RRM/directors to step up as I did in Rangers* last hour of need….".

    Scottish Football needs a strong Arbroath.


  30. If Mr Park can end his period as Interim Chairman within 4 months the likelihood is that he could be the first chairman, of all clubs purporting to be a version of Rangers, to have an undefeated team.

    Given all that is being suggested regarding his clubs financial position he might not even have to wait 4 months to become that record holder! 


  31. redlichtie 29th March 2020 at 16:33

    I think we are headed for a DCK hand-wringing request to Rangers* for his money back to feed his starving workers and weans.

    "Time for other RRM/directors to step up as I did in Rangers* last hour of need….".

    Scottish Football needs a strong Arbroath.

    __________

    You know, that would be very 'Dave King'! In fact, I will be very surprised if we don't read a similar quote from the man, himself, some time soon.


  32. Homunculus 29th March 2020 at 15:29

    Laird Investments promised to make good anything they couldn't raise towards the predicted £10m shortfall. I think it's in the accounts.

    ooooo

    He's been so unlucky with that. First he got his laptops and phone nicked so he couldn't make the money transfer, and now the coronavirus has him in isolation in SA fully occupied with the financial wellbeing of his employees. The best laid plans …sigh.


  33. Craig Whyte promised that if he emerges from administration still in control of Rangers FC that he will give immediate consideration to gifting the majority of his shares to a supporters’ foundation.
    STATEMENT ISSUED ON BEHALF OF CRAIG WHYTE – TUESDAY, FREBRUARY [sic] 21, 2012
    …………..
    Can’t see king even suggesting such a thing.
    ………………
    Allyjambo 29th March 2020 at 15:04

    Oops, just came to me, King certainly won’t be doing a debt for equity swop for his loan, whenever it’s due for repayment – or rolling it over!
    ………
    No point in that share issue that king promised, the rest of the board may have thought kings loan would have become confetti.
    ………………………………….
    StevieBC 29th March 2020 at 15:51
    Well, with a new ‘Executive’ Chairman during a period of crisis, you would expect him to make an immediate impact?

    It’s not as though Park has been hired externally: he knows the full picture at Ibrox only too well.
    …….
    And i can’t see Ashley doing any deals with Park, not when he was so close to king.
    ………………..
    redlichtie 29th March 2020 at 16:33

    I think we are headed for a DCK hand-wringing request to Rangers* for his money back to feed his starving workers and weans.
    ……
    But he would see his grandchildren go without shoes to help the rangers (or something like that, will need to remind myself that one)
    ……………………………
    adam812 29th March 2020 at 16:42
    If Mr Park can end his period as Interim Chairman within 4 months the likelihood is that he could be the first chairman, of all clubs purporting to be a version of Rangers, to have an undefeated team.
    ……
    Did one of the interim managers not go undefeated at one point (another i will have to remind myself of)


  34. Depending on the actual terms of the loan facility, King may well have his £5m committed until October 2021.

    From the RIFC accounts

    The Board of Directors have discussed the Club’s forecast cash flow shortfall and have reached agreement with Laird Investments (Pty) Limited whereby it will provide additional loan facilities as necessary to meet shortfalls to the above requirements and any further amounts that may be required a result of variances to forecast cash flows. Further to this, Laird Investments (Pty) Limited have agreed to provide a £5m facility to October 2021.


  35. It's a game of Russian roulette , King is owed 5m but can't call it in as it would tip them into administration and he would be lucky to see 10% after it's all done and dusted . The Board need him gone as his cold shoulder is infecting their ability to raise funds in normal times never mind today's Covid restricted operation. To buy him out will cost over 12m which they don't have , if he agrees to a lower price than 20p then that affects the overall value of the company and would probably inhibit any auditor from signing off future accounts. King tho as has been pointed out has them by the baws by owning more than 25% which restricts the boards ability to pass special resolutions , a fact that shouldn't have by passed any future investor . The players are similarly caught in limbo , those who refuse to a wage cut will be informed that it risks the existence of the club* . Usually they wouldn't care as it makes them a free agent with the chance to sign for another club transfer fee free but how many other clubs are looking to sign more players at this time . They could end up with no wage instead of half a wage and even the least smart of them can work out what's the best option. In the meantime someone has to continue writing cheques , the only alternative is call in the administrators . If they choose option 1 then they have to be prepared to do that for the long term and it's 20 – 30m  without a return . If they choose option 2 then the sooner the better .


  36. If RIFC is intent on removing King's 25% veto over major decisions, then at a minimum they need to issue just over 6m new shares (£1.2m @ 20p a share) to dilute King's holding below 25%.

    Unfortunately it's not that simple for a couple of reasons. Firstly there are 8.5m shares without a vote, so King's 25% -1, or whatever he ends up with could still represent more than 25% of the voting shares. The second point is that not everyone votes at AGMs or EGMs, which again means that King's block vote could still represent more than 25%, e.g. if King held 20%, but only 80% of shares participate in a vote, then the 20% would represent 25% of the votes cast.


  37. Timtim 29th March 2020 at 18:41
    Option 3.
    The bears don’t care as Ashley owes them millions and they have a debt free stadium and un-named trainning complex, and if it does go to the wall Jim McColl and souness are ready with the capes;-)


  38. I see some chat about BBC Sportsound on here. In my view years ago it was a quality programme compared to commercial stations. Now there is little to choose. Mr MacIntyre who presents more often than not, and whoever is above him have reduced it to a publicly funded Rangers podcast. Billy Dodds is guaranteed work any time he fails as a Manager, as is Neil McCann. Add to that Derek Ferguson, Chick Young, and appallingly sometimes Gordon Smith, and you get the picture. Pat Bonner is the token ex-Celtic player, who like many ex-Celts who work in the media is generally very negative about the club. Aberdeen and Hearts are fairly well represented by Richard Gordon, Willie Miller, Alan Preston and Michael Stewart, but the highest representation is towards Rangers. That simply can't be a co-incidence. We deserve better for our licence fee, but it's just the way Scotland is. 


  39. I reckon that we're not far away from UEFA making a decision on their competitions for both this year and next . They will have to have lists of clubs who will make up CL and EL entrants (leagues or not) . I don't think there will be time to complete domestic leagues , so they will have to provide the formula for qualification and participation . I would imagine that international travel may be minimised and we may have more regionalised competition . Then there is the dilemma of having fans at games or not . I think that the only football we may see for the remainder of this season is the denouement of cup competitions , as they have some impact on the qualification process .


  40. upthehoops 29th March 2020 at 19:41 I see some chat about BBC Sportsound on here. In my view years ago it was a quality programme compared to commercial stations. Now there is little to choose. Mr MacIntyre who presents more often than not, and whoever is above him have reduced it to a publicly funded Rangers podcast. Billy Dodds is guaranteed work any time he fails as a Manager, as is Neil McCann. Add to that Derek Ferguson, Chick Young, and appallingly sometimes Gordon Smith, and you get the picture. Pat Bonner is the token ex-Celtic player, who like many ex-Celts who work in the media is generally very negative about the club. Aberdeen and Hearts are fairly well represented by Richard Gordon, Willie Miller, Alan Preston and Michael Stewart, but the highest representation is towards Rangers. That simply can't be a co-incidence. We deserve better for our licence fee, but it's just the way Scotland is.

    ______________________

    And as was demonstrated with Michael Stewart, there's a line they must not cross if they want to continue to earn what, compared to real jobs, is very easy money. On one side of that line, of course, are two football clubs that are always confused as one by the pundits' paymasters.


  41. Paddymalarkey@19.40

    “I think that the only football we may see for the remainder of this season is the denouement of cup competitions”

    I would agree with you that we may get some football before the summer and since it would only mean playing 3 cup games to a finish then that could be achieved in 5/6 days. A summer cup final at the end of June would be something to look forward to. 🤞


  42. easyJambo 29th March 2020 at 19:21

    Would they not need 75% to remove pre-emptive rights anyway, and he can guarantee that failing if he chooses to. I believe it requires a special resolution.

    So he would be entitled to buy enough shares to maintain his holding, again if he chose to. 

    He currently cannot be diluted if he doesn’t want to as I understand it, but I am far from an expert so could be off the mark. 


  43. upthehoops 29th March 2020 at 19:41

    We deserve better for our licence fee, but it's just the way Scotland is.

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

        I've never had a license UTH, and never will….. All perfectly legal. 


  44. If the SPFL decide to finish the league now and finalise current placings , where would that leave the nice Mr Robertson of TRFC , who has a seat on the board . (the same applies to Les Gray of Hamilton).


  45. Homunculus 29th March 2020 at 20:56

    easyJambo 29th March 2020 at 19:21

    Would they not need 75% to remove pre-emptive rights anyway, and he can guarantee that failing if he chooses to. I believe it requires a special resolution.

    So he would be entitled to buy enough shares to maintain his holding, again if he chose to. 

    He currently cannot be diluted if he doesn’t want to as I understand it, but I am far from an expert so could be off the mark. 

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

    The last RIFC AGM passed a motion to disapply pre-emptive rights, so the Board already has the authority to issue up to 100m new shares to anyone they want (would raise up to £20m at 20p a share). The authority expires on the date of the next AGM. 


  46. Homunculus 29th March 2020 at 20:56

    ‘..Would they not need 75% to remove pre-emptive rights anyway, .

    ……………..
    The special resolution removing pre-emptive rights remains in force until the 2020 AGM, I think. If so, then the Board can offer shares to whoever wishes to buy, subject to a maximum ( as I think eJ explained) of 150 people.

    The questions would be a) would King make an offer to try to maintain the power of his holding?

    b) could the Board in their discretion refuse to sell to him?

    edit: while editing this, I have just seen eJ’s post on the point.


  47. easyJambo 29th March 2020 at 21:19

     

    Good point, thanks for that.

    I know there was a bit of debt for equity swap within this financial year, was that from that AGM or the previous one.


  48. paddy malarkey 29th March 2020 at 21:09

    '..where would that leave the nice Mr Robertson of TRFC , who has a seat on the board…'

    ++++++++++

    Trying to convince the TRFC support that he was in a minority when the votes were cast, I would imagine!

     


  49. Homunculus 29th March 2020 at 21:28

    easyJambo 29th March 2020 at 21:19

    Good point, thanks for that.

    I know there was a bit of debt for equity swap within this financial year, was that from that AGM or the previous one.

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

    Yes. Those issues (Sep and Nov) were authorised by the previous AGM.


  50. Allyjambo 29th March 2020 at 20:44

    ‘..there’s a line they must not cross’

    Unquestionably, Aj,the BBC in Scotland has entirely blocked freedom of expression of fact while itself propagating untruth as fact, in the matter of the death of RFC of 1872.

    It is not an ‘opinion’ that TRFC is not RFC of 1872. It’s absolutely a matter of fact. 

    For the BBC to deny people the right while on air to assert that fact  and to demonstrate that it is a fact, while they (the BBC) allow all manner of folk to propagate and bolster an actual untruth, is to people of my generation a betrayal of trust of incalculable proportions.

    As said before, the BBC fought hard in wartime (!) to insist that telling the truth  against  propaganda was the better policy.

    Today, , in the matter of sport, the utterly unworthy successors of those who worked under Lord Reith, i.e. those despicable  folk in charge presently in Pacific Quay, countenance the brazen propagation of untruth while suppressing and silencing those who would tell the simple, factual, truth;

    not for the safety of the nation against the military might of a crazed dictator, but to appease the fans of a defunct football club!

    It is an unbelievable situation.

     


  51. Ex Ludo 29th March 2020 at 23:14

    https://twitter.com/rpmcomo/status/1244369003621109761?s=21

    Well, that’s one option. 

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

    I've said previously on the blog that the SFA/SPFL should set aside their rules and sanctions on insolvency.

    However, insolvency still means that administrators will have to try to keep the business going and look after the interests of creditors. That will still mean a combination of cutting costs, staff and the disposal of assets. It would also open the way for an opportunist such as a Japanese based investor buying a club at a distressed price. The tweet doesn't reference that status of football creditors though.


  52. Ex Ludo 29th March 2020 at 23:14

    '..Well, that’s one option.'

    %%%%%%%

    Ha ha.What fun!

    Let me refer to me masel:

    "John Clark 28th March 2020 at 22:33

     if they can't find a way to subvent TRFC in cash, they will try to find any way to accommodate them in the present covid-19 chaos."

    Not that I take anything that Mitchell says as anything other than his own perhaps not specially well-informed hopes/aspirations.

    But of course every effort will be made to ensure that one particular seven year old club is kept alive.


  53. Easyjambo@23.24 et JohnClark@23.39

    Given the depths the Scottish football authorities stooped to in 2012 and every day since to ensure a Rangers* survived then I suppose it makes sense, from the authorities point of view, to engineer a compromise whereby CFC are awarded the title now and Rangers * survive to fight another day. Another 5 way agreement if you will.

    An extended spring/summer break will allow extra time for the cunning plan to be put in place.

    As well as low profile ex pat businessmen based in the Far East  I’ve noted on a few internet sites speculation that a certain knight of the realm based in the east of Scotland is considering a return. The humble JJ himself has floated the idea of such a comeback. Who knows?

    In the meantime stay safe.


  54. For the avoidance of doubt when I referred to the Scottish football authorities I am really referring to the Clubs which comprise Scottish football.


  55. From the Irish Times online.

    “Belarus plough ahead

    Belarus, you might have heard, is the only one of the 55 Uefa member countries that has carried on merrily playing football through the pandemic, the head of their football federation, Vladimir Bazanov, at a loss to understand why their season should be postponed.

    For what reason should we not start it,” he asked Reuters when he spoke to them. “There is no critical situation. So we decided that we are starting the championship in a timely manner.”’

    Is this herd immunity via football matches I wonder?


  56. John Clark 29th March 2020 at 21:43

    16

    2

    Rate This

    paddy malarkey 29th March 2020 at 21:09

    ‘..where would that leave the nice Mr Robertson of TRFC , who has a seat on the board…’

    ++++++++++

    Trying to convince the TRFC support that he was in a minority when the votes were cast, I would imagine!
    ……………………..
    Well after all his Bluster in the SMSM he would have to.And he could resign from the SPFL board to add a bit of authenticity to proceedings, and get a bit of rabble rousing going down ibrox way.


  57. Ex Ludo 30th March 2020 at 08:17
    a certain knight of the realm based in the east of Scotland is considering a return.
    ……………
    would that be a certain knight who is if i remember correctly the SFA banned from taking part in scottish football ever again


  58. I believe some dim-witted writer at the Sunday Mail (from various mentions by bampots) has written that Jim McColl is in the picture to be the next big 'investor' at RIFC/TRFC. It amazes me how often the same names get dragged out whenever even the SMSM can't ignore the latest/continuous financial crisis at Ibrox, the same names that never end up investing any 'real' money; but even assuming it's true in this case, the question has to be asked – what's happened to last week's saviour, Gibson? Would be nice if the media tackled that question before introducing a new, old, name to the bingo card, if for no other reason than to give the impression, at least, that they've done some proper journalistic work before publishing their made up stories.

    But really, it's ridiculous the way the sports hacks continually introduce so many 'latest saviours' without completing the story on the one from the week before first. I suppose, though, that it's as close as we are going to get to a 'Gibson's Gone' headline, or even a hint that he's lost whatever interest he actually had.


  59. To late to edit.
    the SFA’s Judicial Panel Disciplinary report, released May 11, 2012.
    …….
    DAVID Murray sacrificed Rangers to save his business empire after bankers held a £700million gun to his head, it was revealed yesterday.

    An SFA panel’s damning report also lays bare how close Rangers came to being kicked out of the association because of Craig Whyte’s disastrous stewardship of the club.

    And despite Murray’s later claims of being duped by Whyte, the panel concluded he was well aware of the shady businessman’s failings.


  60. Allyjambo 30th March 2020 at 11:01
    ……………..
    Comfort Blanket. As i posted earlier i expect a walter or ex ibrox (Legend) in the next day or so.
    ….
    But really, it’s ridiculous the way the sports hacks continually introduce so many ‘latest saviours’

    …And we have seen this movie before in 2012.


  61. It’s all go for the new Lowland League run West of Scotland Football League next season. Applications to join are open until 7 April, but already more than half the West Region Junior clubs have publicly stated that they have applied, with probably a few more who haven’t gone public as yet.

    Auchinleck Talbot is one of the latest clubs to make an announcement and I fully expect that all 63 WRJFA clubs will now join the new league. One amateur side, Drumchapel Utd has also applied, so it will be interesting to see if 1) they are accepted and 2) their standard relative to the ex Juniors.

    It looks as if all the clubs will be split over 4 or more conferences at Tier 6 of the pyramid, with play-offs to determine the champions, who will then have the chance of progressing to the Lowland League, subject to being licensed. 

    The ex-Juniors have been offered the opportunity to retain their membership of the SJFA and play in the Junior Cup next season, which I would expect most of them to do, but the Junior Cup will no longer have priority in terms of fixture scheduling in the WoSFL.


  62. Allyjambo 30th March 2020 at 11:01

    I believe some dim-witted writer at the Sunday Mail (from various mentions by bampots) has written that Jim McColl is in the picture to be the next big 'investor' at RIFC/TRFC.

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

    I read the report on Jim McColl and 'Moneyball' in the Sunday Herald. I'm sure we all know that was about an unfashionable US Baseball team gaining success by using data analysis to sign cheaper players who were used in a system to often do the right thing at the right time (i.e get to 1st base), rather than going for the big hitter occasional home run grand slammers who cost a fortune. It worked, then others cottoned onto it. Baseball is not football however.

    To use Liverpool as an example of this in football (as McColl did) is hilarious. Aside from Andy Robertson, the outlay on Klopp's team has been huge in terms of fees and salaries, as it was for his several predecessors.

    The whole thing seems designed to somehow portray Rangers as once again being hugely significant and innovative. Yet Celtic have several examples of buying small and selling big. I guess in the great scheme of Rangers having to be seen as being better and more significant all the time that can easily be ignored though.

    To conclude, if McColl would be happy to see Rangers being 22 points ahead of Celtic with the Moneyball approach as he states, then why doesn't he go for it. What is there to lose?

     


  63. Dont quite understand why people are ignoring the most important bit.

     

    McColl saying "not that I would ever do it"


  64. French clubs could be taking an unexpected hit.

    From a journalist that covers French football:

    French professional football will not receive TV rights for matches which no longer take place. Canal + and BeIn Sport will no longer pay the professional football league (LFP) the € 152,000,000 they would have paid on April 5, 2020.

    Clubs, including PSG, have chosen to take advantage of the French government's widened social measures. They have placed all of their employees on partial or technical unemployment. Each club will pay 70% base salary to its employees, and receives a reimbursement from the State.


  65. easyJambo 30th March 2020 at 11:48

    It’s all go for the new Lowland League run West of Scotland Football League next season…

    =======

    As this SFM site is focused on discussing points/questions ignored by the SMSM, the SFA, SPFL and the clubs,

    it's still a good place to learn about the Scottish football set up.

    I have easily learned more about the Juniors, the Lowland and Highland leagues, and the pyramid system, etc. from eJ's posts – than I have ever read in the SMSM, (if ever?).

    And its worthwhile to be reminded that Scottish football is not just about the SPL clubs – or just about the senior clubs.

    And when the governing bodies cock up – as they do – there could be eventual ramifications affecting a lot more clubs/people than the 42 senior clubs.

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