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. What are we to make of the reported attack on James Traynor?

    https://www.heraldscotland.com/news/18237937.police-probe-attack-rangers-media-boss-jim-traynor/

    Do I believe any such thing happened? 

    Do I believe anything that  Traynor ever utters?

    He has blown his 'professional' credibility sky-(Ha!)high and every word he now utters has to be taken with a handful of salt.

    Having said that, I would take no pleasure or enjoyment if on this occasion the man might be telling the truth, and would hope that the assailants were caught and dealt with appropriately.

    I would take a great deal of pleasure, however,  if it were to be  discovered that the story is fake news.


  2. Ex Ludo – well whatever happens post-Brexit we're going to get 'rag dolled' by the Yanks in any trade deal.

    To state the bleedin' obvious.  wink


  3. Corrupt official 

    could it be the reason celtic where reported to be hoarding money?compensation for victims of child abuse?


  4. StevieBC@09.57

    The “rag-dolling” has already started in European airports as the British are being directed to the non EU gates. It’ll get really interesting when holiday flights from Glasgow, Manchester and Luton arrive in places like Paphos and Alicante within a 30 minute time slot.


  5. John Clark 14th February 2020 at 23:52

    The argument would be that  Elite owed it to itself, never mind anyone else, to ensure that TRFC were legally free to switch suppliers. They must be expected to have known that TRFC was in contract with SDIR, and should therefore have ensured that TRFC was legally free to end that contract , or depart from its terms, and offer them a contract.

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

    Mark Underwood is the MD of Elite.  I'm not sure what "All" in his tweet means though.

     

    Image


  6. Tony

    Thats the first thing I thought on too but if I remember correctly ,Im sure someone pointed out thet the Celtic Boys club were in fact a totally separate club/entity and not officially part of Celtic FC. If that was the case then would it not be them who are liable for any compensation towards their victims ? Maybe Celtic are doing the right thing and taking on the responsibility ? Really dont know, just guessing here . Dont see it being anything about Sky gate . Thomsons a big hitter , dont think he would be interested in that ?


  7. Ex Ludo 15th February 2020 at 11:00

    Easyjambo@10.55

    The “all” is quite ominous. It’s not like he would normally respond to a random tweet like that.

    ———————————————————————————————————-

    Isn't it just! Most unusual for an MD to comment in such terms in a public forum about a commercial agreement and related court proceedings.

    Where's the popcorn?

    Scottish Football needs a strong Arbroath.


  8. roddybhoy 

    yes they where a different entity,just guessing on my part,if it is to do with child abuse then i think thompson has went about it badly,all very tacky,gimme likes and faves


  9. tony 15th February 2020 at 10:40

    1

    3

    Rate This

    Corrupt official

    could it be
    A Takeover?
    A massive kit deal?
    Movement of the SFA on the granting of a european licence to rangers?
    skygate?
    There are a whole host of reasons for the tweet but for some reason victims of child abuse? is first off the mark.
    Read earlier that Thompson has advised FF that they’re “wide of the mark” ref their glee about the boys club stuff..


  10. Early quotes from “Into The Bearpit” :

    On administration as a legitimate business tool :

    “I saw how things could be done and how ailing businesses could be restructured. The lesson was not to get too attached to one legal entity. ……Yes there were creditors who didn’t get paid, but equally there were debtors who didn’t pay me. It’s a risk you take if you extend credit to someone.”

     “You take a firm through the insolvency process and sometimes creditors get left behind.”

    On disqualification as a director :

    “Banning problem directors doesn’t curb their activities. Anyone with half a brain can get around it…..It didn’t affect me one iota.”

    On tax :

    “I didn’t like paying tax – I still don’t…”

    “My view on tax is that transactions between people should be voluntary, and that goes for the government as well. Tax havens are completely moral as they stop governments from stealing your money. Governments are basically shakedown organisations, like the mafia, but with better manners. They are parasites with no morals whatsoever.”

    A case of it takes one to know one?

    Scottish Football needs a strong Arbroath.


  11. Re JabbaGate.

    I'm pretty sure that just because you've been, or used, an Attack Dog for years without any blowback it ill behoves you to complain when you meet a Guard Dog.

    I'm also pretty sure that one's date of birth or weight play no part in mitigating your behaviour, in words or deeds, which were described, accurately as it transpires, by Michael Stewart. "Bully":- cf Statements ad nauseam. "Dangerous character":- cf any number of incendiary machinations; although it's the sign of a Mindermast when you create danger for yourself.

    I've tried viewing JabbaGate (assuming it's true and given the subject that's not a given) with sympathy and/or empathy but that's not going to happen.

    Sympathy would involve misfortune and there's no fortune about it. It's cold, calculated, deliberate behaviour by Jabba and any reaction is down to Jabba. Arsonists should not get a karaoke prize for singing Smoke Gets In Your Eyes.

    Empathy would involve putting yourself in Jabba's place. No thank you. I couldn't do it and if I could I would worry.

    Desperate times require desperate squirrels.

    Meanwhile in South Africa:-

    Man who has made a career out of ripping people off is mugged and has his house burgled.

    Or maybe not.


  12. Cluster One 15th February 2020 at 11:39

    My own automatic thoughts were that it's to do with the Sky fallout. Hopefully something that throws more light, particularly down south, on the ludicrous succulence that still emanates from within the SMSM. Oh, and also throws that same light on the recent outbreak of 'assaults' against a couple of top drawer Ibrox based liars, both north and south of the Limpopo.


  13. LUGOSI 15th February 2020 at 11:48

    I've a feeling that if Jabbagate has some substance, it'll turn out to be a bit like Busgate, where Celtic supporters were initially blamed, but ended up without any such connection.


  14. I would love it to be something about Jabba  or Sky  or both  but would Thomson be interested in something like that ?? Really no idea whats going on.  He had a potential HUGE story that involved fraud , EBTs, the SFA ,a bank and a knight of the realm  . He skirted round the edges and never really got into it and gave me impression the story was nt big enough for him so Im baffled. Takeover ( though thats not as big a story as the EBTs etc surely ) , maybe . Would explain Celtics sudden action after years of inaction regards skygate…….protect the brand and all that !


  15. redlichtie 15th February 2020 at 11:40

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

    To be fair on Craig he clearly never uses roads, hospitals, education, the Police service etc so why should he pay tax.


  16. tony 15th February 2020 at 10:40 

    Corrupt official could it be the reason

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

        Dunno Tony as it could be any number of things, but I wouldn't expect Tommo to inject a teaser this way heralding bad news. …..Don't quote me on that tho'. 


  17. I’ll have to listen to the “Off The Ball” podcast later (unless it is pulled by the BBC for some reason) blush. Craig Whyte was on the show promoting his book.

    One of the questions apparently asked was: 

    Stuart Cosgrove:  Are Rangers a new club?

    Craig Whyte: Yes, obviously they are.

    I think I can hear the clatter of multiple keyboards as emails are sent to the BBC Complaints department. 


  18. Corrupt official 

    true,and i also wouldn't think he would be there to tell us we've signed up to adidas,think we have narrowed it down to sky mail


  19. easyjambo – Off The Ball is live on the BBC site at the moment. I'm rewinding to the start to hopefully listen to the CW segment.

    Scottish Football needs a strong Arbroath.


  20. Looks like Alex Thomson tweet is indeed about historical child abuse re Celtic. Perhaps it will put an end to the point scoring. Aye right.


  21. Re what Alex Thomson's tweet is hinting about, I see there's a new piece today on Celtic Quick News stating that he has been in Glasgow this past week "working on a piece about historic child abuse". If his tweet relates to that, as seems likely, his cavalier clickbait approach to it is rather unseemly for a normally serious journalist.


  22. Thomson appears to be inviting speculation. 

    His tweet of 9 February states "Today it is Keith, Tarves, Braemar, Perth and back to Glasgow."

    He recently tweeted something about Aviemore.

    I thought White's Grantown -on-Spey pile had been repossessed?

    What might any of this have to do with Celtic??


  23. Didn't realise that the TRFC v. Livi game had been postponed…

    and just heard it is now scheduled for TOMORROW.

    I've never known a postponement to be played so quickly, (European games excepted).


  24. bordersdon 15th February 2020 at 16:36

    Transcript of interview. 

    https://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/football/51515862

    Cosgrove and his pal long ago decided (under instruction??) not to go anywhere near the OC/NC issue.

    ———————————————————————————

    Q: One emotionally very, very divisive issue, which to this day divides Scottish football, and that is are Rangers a new club? What's your view?

    CW: Yes, obviously they are.

    Scottish Football needs a strong Arbroath.


  25. If Elite are holding onto about £2.5m and not paying it over to Rangers one has to suspect that there are serious cash flow issues at the club just now. 

    They are already predicting a £10m shortfall in the accounts this year which clearly has a huge effect on turnover / losses, but cash flow problems will cause a more immediate impact.

    Anyway, the game at Ibrox postponed today is apparently being played tomorrow, that seems quite quick. 


  26. Last week I was joking about whether King had cut costs at Ibrox – by getting rid of the ground staff – because the Ibrox pitch looked so terrible against Hibs.

     

    There’s been a fair amount of rain today indecision : will be interesting to see how the pitch looks tomorrow for the rapidly rearranged game…

    [Edit]
    CO, I wonder if they have the same hybrid pitch that CFC got a couple of years ago: it was really poor in Nov/Dec ’18 and I think it was repaired / replaced?


  27. StevieBC 15th February 2020 at 20:32
    There’s been a fair amount of rain today
    ……………….
    Rain due this evening and tomorrow. if it is not playable today? how can it go ahead tomorrow?
    ……………….
    wonder if they have the same hybrid pitch that CFC got a couple of years ago:
    ……………….
    Was looking for that, to see if it was a pitch problem or weather problem or both, we may get more information tomorrow


  28. Homunculus 15th February 2020 at 19:56

    '….Anyway, the game at Ibrox postponed today is apparently being played tomorrow, that seems quite quick.'

    ________________

    Yes, turnstile cash must be urgently required to keep the lights on!

    Is there any way [ in terms of time sequence] that the broadcasting by Cosgrove and Cowan of CW's bold assertion of what we know to be the actual factual truth was deliberately done as a diversionary tactic to channel the rage (that will be generated if TRFC enters Administration this week) away from the Board?

    As others have already said: how in heaven's name is the Ibrox pitch , with continuing heavy rain forecast, 'guaranteed' to be more playable on tomorrow than today.? 

    Why the urgency that requires that the game must be played tomorrow, if it be unrelated to the need for instant cash?

    One wonders, while, actually, not 'wondering 'at all!

    As for CW, I have dredged up from a very old memory a phrase that I then had to look up :

    "Though your sins are as scarlet, They will be as white as snow;"

    Whatever untruths CW may have told to SDM and others of the same kind of character as he is, I'm happy to apply that phrase to him, for his bold assertion of the actual factual truth that TRFC is a new football club! broken heart

     

     


  29. Probably stating the bleedin' obvious here…

    It may have happened in the past – but I'm not aware of any weather-postponed Scottish league match being rearranged for the next day.

    Logistics alone (policing, security and catering staffing, etc) would suggest a date several days ahead would be needed.

    The inconvenience to the fans would be considerable.

    It would likely take a monumental effort to organise the management of a major sporting event (with up to 50,000 attendees) in the 2 hours that it took today.

    Policing and staff costs for today will need to be paid… and again tomorrow, whether or not it goes ahead. But, is there any greater likelihood of a match being played tomorrow? It's possible, but the forecast is not particularly favourable.

    Why take the chance when the weather for Monday is forecast to begin to ease off?

    Why take this Hail Mary of trying to get the game played tomorrow?

    Is it to do with TRFC's deal with its season ticket finance company- I think, "Premier Credit"?

    If the ST money is only released on a game-by-game basis, a home match is likely to bring in around £1m to the Ibrox club. It makes no difference (to the release of the ST monies) whether the fans turn up or not.

    Assuming I am right, why would one day make a difference?

    What needs to be paid on Monday that is so pressing that  it dictates that they must try to play the game tomorrow?

    Interesting times…

     


  30. … just to add.

    If I am right, today says that the spfl are "in the loop" wrt TRFC's apparently dire financial constraints.


  31. How much turnstile cash do they take in at an avg game ? I think they sold 47k STs so minus the 800 spaces for away fans and the seats taken up through segregation there must be less than 2k seats available for sale which equates to less than Jermaine Defoes weekly pay packet. Not sure how the rest of the income is accounted for ,catering , programme sales , advertising etc or what the profit margins are on them but every game also has associated costs ,policing,stewarding, turnstile operators and other game day employee wages so the amount of extra cash generated will be negligible . Of course playing the game will release the ST funds that are being held and released on a game to game basis . I believe they will be struggling to pay this months wage bill especially if Close have called in their loan as is being suggested elsewhere . 


  32. As far as I know the Close loan is secured  so failure to pay it may not trigger administration as Close would initially take the assets in lieu of payment, it would however alert all other creditors to the situation and certainly restrict their ability to raise funding . It may lead to an attempt to ring fence any cash which would if granted tip the scales towards administration. The problem this time is that a large chunk of the money owed are footballing debts that would have to be honoured in full . Is a Third Rangers* even viable ? Are there any Real Rangers* men left , would the fans have the stomach to fund it all over again , would Murray be interested , would he be allowed , would the rest of Scottish football tolerate another 5 way fix ? Fool me once as the saying goes. We live in interesting times.


  33. We've beeb at this a while of course, but Tartan lal-La-Land has seldom seen as bizarre a fortnight as the last one.

    Morelos, PIs, suspicious wives, Kenny McIntyre and Darryl B having a stroke on-air, BBC making up new broadcasting standards rules (taking their lead from the SFA no doubt).

    Traynor being mugged by muggers who apparently read out a statement before the mugging to considerately appraise the muggee of why the mugging is taking place. Traynor sustaining an injury and no photo in the tabloids? Aye right.

    So I'm thinking Jabbagate is maximum acid flashback, but wait, here comes the SPFL in LiviGate.

    Its like the genie is now out of the bottle wrt how twisted and corrupt everything surrounding our game is. Consequently they no longer require their actions to be plausible. Full ahead maximum Tonto.

    How blessed we are to live in these times. How fortunate that the authorities and the media are run by serious professionals.


  34. Timtim 16th February 2020 at 00:43

     

    As far as I know the Close loan is secured  so failure to pay it may not trigger administration as Close would initially take the assets in lieu of payment, it would however alert all other creditors to the situation and certainly restrict their ability to raise funding . It may lead to an attempt to ring fence any cash which would if granted tip the scales towards administration.

    I suspect ALL of the creditors are on high alert. As well as the SFA & SPFL.

     

    The problem this time is that a large chunk of the money owed are footballing debts that would have to be honoured in full . Is a Third Rangers* even viable ?

    ££££££££££££££££££££££££££££££££££££££££££££££££££££££££££££££££££££

    This is crucial. Last time round the entry of Sevco 5088 Ltd and, by way of a waiver Sevco Scotland Ltd, into the SFL was only allowed if it took on the football debts of Rangers FC (of the 1872 variety).

    They were not significant in terms of the cash raised in the AIM Listing soon afterwards.

    As far as it can be ascertained those football debts are around £25M. To retain league status would those debts not have to honoured post Admin? I say Admin I mean liquidation and starting again.

    If TRFC were to be purchased by an Oligarch/Billionaire or similar they would need to invest £98M in year 1.

    £25m to clear the football stuff, £20m to sort SDI/Hummel/Elite, Est £10m to get rid of other debt, £25m to get the ground up to standard and increase capacity by 15k to increae income streams and future viability, £20m to sign some quality players, £5m to improve scouting and youth system because at present it produces nothing, £3.5m to take the best players from the likes of Motherwell, Kilmarnock, Aberdeen, Hibs but probably not Hearts to prevent points leakage.

     

     


  35. I’ve now finished reading Craig Whyte’s book.  I didn’t think there were any new or startling revelations in it.

    Obviously, it portrays a picture of Whyte himself being the fall guy for all that happened to the club. Whyte does believe that it was ultimately SDM who was responsible for the financial collapse of the club, primarily because of the EBT schemes.

    The bits that I found most interesting were the early chapters about how money could be made by restructuring companies in distress and the latter chapters about his arrest, trial and the epilogue. There wasn’t very much about his time in charge of the club.

    He is scathing about a whole host of people including SDM, the Oldco Board, the Police, the media, the Crown Office, Duff and Phelps, Charles Green and HMRC. I won’t offer any opinions about what he says about the conduct of the Police and D&P because of ongoing court cases.

    There are inaccuracies and contradictory statements in the book, but having been so close to the story I did find it a worthwhile read over the last couple of days.

     


  36. easyJambo 16th February 2020 at 02:05

     

    I’ve now finished reading Craig Whyte’s book.  I didn’t think there were any new or startling revelations in it.

    Obviously, it portrays a picture of Whyte himself being the fall guy for all that happened to the club. Whyte does believe that it was ultimately SDM who was responsible for the financial collapse of the club, primarily because of the EBT schemes.

    The bits that I found most interesting were the early chapters about how money could be made by restructuring companies in distress and the latter chapters about his arrest, trial and the epilogue. There wasn’t very much about his time in charge of the club.

    He is scathing about a whole host of people including SDM, the Oldco Board, the Police, the media, the Crown Office, Duff and Phelps, Charles Green and HMRC. I won’t offer any opinions about what he says about the conduct of the Police and D&P because of ongoing court cases.

    There are inaccuracies and contradictory statements in the book, but having been so close to the story I did find it a worthwhile read over the last couple of days.

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

    Are there any personal insights?

    Like if he was to find himself in the same position today. Would he do anything different? Anything at all.

    What about the Switcheroo from Sevco 5088 Ltd to Sevco Scotland Ltd which cut him right out of the riches he had planned? Anything?

    It's not all come out yet. Has it?


  37. easyJambo 16th February 2020 at 02:05

    I’ve now finished reading Craig Whyte’s book.

    I didn’t think there were any new or startling revelations in it. Obviously, it portrays a picture of Whyte himself…

    ========

    Well done eJ… and I won’t have to buy his book now!

    IF Traynor was to write a book too, I think it would be similar: containing nothing significant that the Internet Bampots didn’t know already – and portraying Jabba as an effective PR ‘expert’, and/or ‘victim’ of some sort.

    And as BP mentions above, it’s getting a bit mental with all the PR generate nonsense stories, and I’m starting to lose track – as each story is overshadowed by the next, crazy story!

    If Jabba had any PR awareness, then – absolutely! – a photo of a sad looking Traynor – with a visible injury – would have written 1,000 words: job done.  It might have even elicited some sympathy?

    But he didn’t, because it’s just more of his [alleged] PR p!sh, fake news. He’s just not trying these days…  enlightened


  38. Do I detect some scepticism or cynicism anent the gravity of JabbaGate?

    Surely any of us having sustained the reported vicious assault (bigoted seemedly) would respond in the manner reported?

    When lying in extremis what need have ye of a Physician or a Man of the Cloth or your Nearest and Dearest? No, the most pressing thing is to have a chat with Gary Ralston of the Daily Record so he can get it out there. Time was it would have been Keef but those days have gone never to return (unless it suits one/other/both).

    I thought the quickest way to get up to speed would be to consult the staunchest of staunch sites; FollowFollow but when I did it looked like there had been a Stalinist rewriting/deletion of history. Not so; JabbaGate has slipped to the third page of long lists of subjects close to their black hearts. You know you're not very good at this PR malarky when you can't even get a story about yourself front and centre. Still, I did learn the rain and the wind is controlled by the Vatican.

    I await a Statement: On the basis that he who is without sin may cast the first stone Jabba would have to wait an eternity before he became eligible to cast his stone. Held to different standards…Up with this we shall not put…Take heed and take notice…Auntie Mary Had A Canary…


  39. Going by the BBC (I know) weather app the Weather Gods have not smiled on Rangers* today. There is a 60% chance of rain and winds predicted in excess of 50 mph in Glasgow between 12.00 and 17.00 hours today. The sun will be shining over Pittodrie but there are winds predicted of over 50 mph for the duration of the game. I think there could be an argument for a winter break for Scottish football. 😎


  40. Bogs Dollox 16th February 2020 at 02:50

    Are there any personal insights?

    Like if he was to find himself in the same position today. Would he do anything different? Anything at all.

    What about the Switcheroo from Sevco 5088 Ltd to Sevco Scotland Ltd which cut him right out of the riches he had planned? Anything?

    It’s not all come out yet. Has it?

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

    I found his pre Rangers life story more interesting than the period thereafter, as most of what happened once he got involved with Rangers is well documented, and pretty accurate.

    He does admit that with hindsight he should have put the club into administration the day he took over and done a pre-pack to rid themselves of the debts, tax liabilities and onerous contracts.

    The switcheroo was a case of Green shafting Whyte, but it seems to read that Green probably did have the power as sole director of Sevco 5088 to do what he did.  Whyte asked for £1m and 25% of Green’s and Ahmad’s shares to go away, but was only offered £500k, which he turned down.

    I had hoped that more would have come out abut the wee tax case, but there is little reference to it, with a contradiction of having accepted the liability but still disputing it when the club went into administration.   


  41. easyJambo 16th February 2020 at 10:17

    Thanks for the not unexpected update that there was nothing much new in Whyte's book, saves me buying it now, though I was never going to buy it anyway

    While it may be nothing new for us, though, it does put it's content out there in the mainstream of published works and has already created an awakening amongst some journalists of the events surrounding the cheating and eventual demise of Rangers.

    Personally, I've never liked biographies/autobiographies as they can only ever be one man's version of events and will always be weighted one way or the other, regardless of the subject matter, and I am certain CW will have omitted much that might paint him in as bad a light as his detractors would like to paint him themaselves. There will also be somethings, I am sure, that he will have omitted about others involved in the scandal because that too might make him look bad.


  42. StevieBC 16th February 2020 at 07:48
    If Jabba had any PR awareness, then – absolutely! – a photo of a sad looking Traynor – with a visible injury – would have written 1,000 words: job done. It might have even elicited some sympathy?
    ……………..
    Jim White was not available for a bedside interview.


  43. Big Pink 16th February 2020 at 01:31

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

    No way do I want to minimise racism, but isn't it strange how we are now being asked to believe Morelos is being racially abused at every game? No hard evidence is ever offered, but the media always scream about a 'Police investigation'. Opposition Managers and players are then asked about it, condemn all racism, then more headlines are generated about something we don't even know actually happened. 

    I have no doubt at all that Morelos, along with every black player playing in Scotland, has had racial abuse shouted at him at some point. In my view Scotland is far from the welcoming Nirvana of tolerance the Scottish Government claim it to be. Probably best summarised by my Kilmarnock supporting friend who pointed out that his club's support are being deemed as racist by some fans who spent Wednesday night belting out several racist and sectarian chants of their own, with hard evidence to prove it. Therein lies the problem though. Anti-Catholic sectarianism and ant-Irish racism is okay in Scotland. Well it must be, because the media constantly ignore it, but are happy to create banner headlines about alleged racism against one player where no evidence exists. The Police never investigate it either. 

    One Scotland, many cultures – don't make me laugh! 

     


  44. easyJambo 16th February 2020 at 10:17

     

    He does admit that with hindsight he should have put the club into administration the day he took over and done a pre-pack to rid themselves of the debts, tax liabilities and onerous contracts.

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

    Is that even possible.

    If it is why would anyone ever pay debts, including but not limited to tax.

    In a pre-pack don't the business and assets have to be sold to a new owner. 


  45. Homunculus 16th February 2020 at 11:36

    Is that even possible.

    If it is why would anyone ever pay debts, including but not limited to tax.

    In a pre-pack don't the business and assets have to be sold to a new owner. 

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

    It is possible.

    Most pre packs involve a sale to an existing director who thinks he/she can run a company on their own, or a major creditor who will take ownership of the company's assets in return for a complete write off or partial write down of a debt.

    What he didn't say was how the football authorities would act should he have gone down that road.  The book tells us that he spoke to Neil Doncaster about administration in October 2011 and Stewart Regan a couple of months later.

     


  46. easyJambo 16th February 2020 at 11:56

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

    Yes but even if the limited company buying the assets had a common director it would be a new legal entity.

    I believe the business and assets also have to be sold at "fair value", not like paying £1 to buy existing shares. That money being used to satisfy debts, at least in part.

    In addition the prospective purchaser has to be able to demonstrate that the business will be viable when they take over.

    I just don't wear this idea that people can sell their business to themselves for a nominal sum and the existing creditors can just whistle for their money. 


  47. Homunculus 16th February 2020 at 12:58

    I just don't wear this idea that people can sell their business to themselves for a nominal sum and the existing creditors can just whistle for their money. 

    ——————————————————————–

    Whyte's rationalisation for this is that he kept people in jobs rather than everyone losing out. He doesn't however mention the implicit financial benefit to himself from the use of this tactic.

    Scottish Football needs a strong Arbroath.


  48. Sometimes Peter Lawwell & Dermot Desmond annoy me with their priorities but when I compare them to the Ibrox supremos Murray, Whyte, Green and King, I feel blessed!


  49. redlichtie 16th February 2020 at 14:50

    I presume he doesn’t mention, either, the people who lose their jobs as a result of the non-payment of the debts that took his various distressed companies into administration in the first place.

    I think, though, that we can take it as a certainty that Craig Whyte, and his ilk, never give one tiny thought to the jobs he is either destroying, or, by an unintended occurrence, saving.

    And, of course, with a pre-pack administration the creditors have no say in what happens to the debt, and it will, almost in every case, receive closer to a zero dividend than to something that they might have considered acceptable for a CVA.

    I do wonder, though, if going down the administration route, whether pre-pack or not, whether they’d escape any financial penalties meted out at a later date from an ongoing court case(s). For one thing, I doubt the lawyers would be very happy to see their costs go down the swanny! And if there is a real danger of losing out on monies due to them as the result of a pre-pack admin, then surely MA/SDI would be taking action to snuff it out*. 

    *Edit. Of course, for all I know, they may have already done so.


  50. redlichtie 16th February 2020 at 14:50

    Whyte's rationalisation for this is that he kept people in jobs rather than everyone losing out. He doesn't however mention the implicit financial benefit to himself from the use of this tactic.

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

    I take it he is ignoring the tens of millions that other people lost when he makes this ridiculous claim.

    Including the entire country with the unpaid tax … after he had taken over. Remember it's the tax Whyte himself didn't pay which contributed massively to the club going into administration. It's also that debt which allowed HMRC to block a CVA and led to the club being placed into liquidation. 


  51. Allyjambo/Homunculus. 

    I've never been comfortable with pre-packs. Smacks too much of insider dealing for me with those who have got a company into trouble often the ones who manage to protect themselves and come out smelling of roses.

    Whyte's character is clear from the book – he has no regard for any interest apart from his own. What attracted and continues to attract such people to Rangers*?

    Scottish Football needs a strong Arbroath.


  52. easyJambo 16th February 2020 at 10:17

    '….I found his pre Rangers life story more interesting than the period thereafter.'

    ____________

    Has it ever been explained how it came about that Whyte even thought of 'buying' RFC ? 

    Did SDM know him via the 'used metal' business that Whyte's old man was involved in?

    Whyte was so small-time an operator that I find it hard to believe that he could have (despite our Keef's assessment!) even thought in terms of raising the readies that SDM was looking for, without having some 'introduction' as a potential purchaser, from some reasonably heavy-weight backer?

    Did SDM really believe that a wee tyke like Whyte had the readies? Was SDM so feckin stupid as not to learn in 5 minutes what Whyte's business record was?

    I feel there must have been some kind of back-story.

     


  53. Not one for doing much online research I was intrigued enough by claims that the Dave King 'robbery' was only covered by the SMSM to do a search on Bing and, lo and behold, the only non-SMSM references I found were from the Times, MSN and a site called The World News. The Times claim it as their own report, though remarkably worded like all the others, while the other two credit the DR.

    I even tried using ZA to see if that would bring up better results, and it did! It brought up a few results about Dave King, but not that he'd been the victim of a crime; oh no, it was various versions of that old story where he was the criminal found guilty of mugging a whole country for a lot more than he had in his walletmail


  54. Dave has been particularly unlucky on the laptop front.

    The men who held a gun to his head stole his laptop, the men who broke into his house less than a week later stole another laptop.

    It's so bad that he has had to borrow one – "I'm having to borrow a laptop from a friend just to see my emails twice a day."

    Don't they have Curry's in South Africa, I reckon I could replace a laptop in an hour or so. 


  55. John Clark 16th February 2020 at 17:35

    Has it ever been explained how it came about that Whyte even thought of ‘buying’ RFC ? 

    Did SDM know him via the ‘used metal’ business that Whyte’s old man was involved in?

    Whyte was so small-time an operator that I find it hard to believe that he could have (despite our Keef’s assessment!) even thought in terms of raising the readies that SDM was looking for, without having some ‘introduction’ as a potential purchaser, from some reasonably heavy-weight backer?

    Did SDM really believe that a wee tyke like Whyte had the readies? Was SDM so feckin stupid as not to learn in 5 minutes what Whyte’s business record was?

    I feel there must have been some kind of back-story.

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

    There is no suggestion that the Whyte family had any prior business arrangements with SDM.

    Whyte became aware that Rangers was for sale around October 2009 when Rangers notified the stock exchange of a potential sale. He was also aware from that announcement that Andrew Ellis was interested. One of those involved in setting up the Ellis deal was George Cadbury (part of the chocolate family).  At the time Whyte was involved in a separate deal with Cadbury, who first mentioned it to him. Whyte had said that if he needed any help then come back to him.

    Cadbury did come back a few weeks later after the Ellis financing had fallen through. Whyte then got involved with Ellis.   

    Interestingly, Ellis was alerted to the Rangers situation by a David Gilmour who was based in Guernsey and helped administer Rangers EBT scheme. The message was that SDM was desperate to sell.

    Whyte said that his wealth was in eight figures at the time, so couldn’t finance a £30m quoted price on his own so would have to raise funds elsewhere.  Phil Betts, who worked closely with Whyte, was asked to see how much he could raise. Betts used one of his contacts called Nigel Farr who put them in touch with Octopus (Ticketus).  Whyte was already aware of Octopus’ connection with Rangers, as Rangers had previously disclosed their involvement with Ticketus as part of their dealings with Ellis and Gilmour. 

    Whyte actually knew about Octopus as a source of funding having met one of their reps a year or so earlier, with the indication that Octopus was always looking for good investment opportunities.

    SDM was so desperate for a sale that he wasn’t interested in where the money came from. (as was later made clear about his deal with Lloyds to salvage his metals business)

    And so a deal was born.

    That’s why I said earlier that I found Whyte’s life story pre takeover more interesting than his time following the takeover, which most of us are all too familiar with.  

    I was interested in how he started in business, how he made his money, how such deals are structured, where the profit comes from. 


  56. easyJambo 16th February 2020 at 18:30

    I take it this is Whyte's version of events, or is it something you have pieced together yourself. 


  57. Homunculus 16th February 2020 at 20:23

    easyJambo 16th February 2020 at 18:30

    I take it this is Whyte’s version of events, or is it something you have pieced together yourself. 

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

    Yes, that’s taken from the book.  I wasn’t overly familiar with the pre takover wheeling and dealing.

    Whyte could of course have dressed some of it up, but I don’t see the benefit of him doing so. However, I can see the benefit to him in mis-representing what happened post takeover.


  58. easyJambo 16th February 2020 at 18:30

    '…There is no suggestion that the Whyte family had any prior business arrangements with SDM.'

    Homunculus 16th February 2020 at 20:23

    'I take it this is Whyte’s version of events,'

    _____________

    Thank you, eJ, or that information. 

     I vaguely think I remember reading somewhere something that suggested to me that SDM via Octopus was a shareholder in  a  Venture Capital Trust which had connections with Ticketus. 

    And lurking in my perhaps 'overly suspicious in ignorance' mind was a half-idea that conceivably the Ticketus wheeze might have been a suggestion emanating from someone in the metals industry who knew about Ticketus first hand. 

    I have not been able to trace my suspicions to their origin. Perhaps the wish was father to the thought!

    That was years ago, before I even knew that such a thing as Companies House even existed!broken heart

     

     

     


  59. easyJambo 16th February 2020 at 20:57

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

    Well he's a lying fantasist who has a history of fraud, asset stripping, gratuitous alienation, being banned as a director and pretty much every other version of corporate cheating that it is possible to imagine.

    So I would take anything he says with a hefty pinch of salt. 


  60. easyJambo 16th February 2020 at 20:57

    "Yes, that’s taken from the book.  I wasn’t overly familiar with the pre takover wheeling and dealing."

    ————–

    A formative Charlotte Fakeovers tweet credited Andrew Ellis and Chris Akers with orchestration of the Rangers shenanigans.


  61. Castofthousands 17th February 2020 at 00:37

    A formative Charlotte Fakeovers tweet credited Andrew Ellis and Chris Akers with orchestration of the Rangers shenanigans.

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

    I wish I had retained a copy of all the documents posted by Charlotte Fakes. I did keep a few that I thought might be important down the line, but it’s an incomplete record of events.

    Whyte claims in the book that William Stevenson (Charlotte Fakes) tried to blackmail him if he didn’t provide him with a copy of the final version of the 5 Way Agreement. That was before an intermediary acting on behalf of Dave King paid him £20k for the hacked documents (that was also disclosed in court some time later).

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