Comment on Accountability via Transparency. by easyJambo.

    John Clark 20th May 2019 at 22:58

    I am curious about the practicalities of 'bona vacantia'


    I have come across it before and it makes for an interesting personal story.

    I had occasion to look into the term a couple of years ago.  It involved a company called "Heart of Midlothian 2005"  It held 6.5m shares (just over 4%) in Hearts (Heart of Midlothian plc), but had just been dissolved.

    I already knew that HoM 2005 was the company that Romanov had used to acquire control of the club in 2005, although its holding had been diluted in the intervening years by a couple of debt for equity swaps involving Romanov's bank, Ukio Bankas and his holding company UBIG. HoM 2005 also ended up as a subsidiary of UBIG.

    I was curious about what happened to the shares HoM 2005 held in the club, as they hadn’t been accounted for in the documented share transfers at the time of the takeover. I found out that they would now be classed as "Bona Vacantia" and under the control of the "Queen's and Lord Treasurer's Remembrancer" (QLTR). I actually considered making an offer to the QLTR for the shares, if I could get them at the same price as Ann Budge had paid for the Ukio Bankas and UBIG shares.  It would only have cost around £4,500, which I thought was a good deal to own over 4% of the club.

    With hindsight, I made a mistake shortly afterwards by submitting a question about the status of the shares to the Hearts AGM. A couple of days after the AGM I received confirmation from the club's financial director that the shares were held "bona vacantia" (which I already knew).

    My thoughts of owning a small but not insignificant part of the club were dashed a few weeks later when an unopposed petition was submitted to the Court of Session, on behalf of Ann Budge, seeking ownership of the HoM 2005 shares under the control of the QLTR.  

    I guess that she did have every right to take ownership of them as she had acquired the rest of the UBIG shares as part of the CVA that took the club out of administration. HoM 2005 being a subsidiary of UBIG may well have meant that she should have acquired their shares at the time of the CVA, depending on the terms of the offer made to UBIG. 

    However, when I look back, I wonder if it was me contacting the club that prompted Ann Budge to contact the QLTR in the first place.


    easyJambo Also Commented

    Accountability via Transparency.
    Confirmation that Andrew Dallas is to step down as a FIFA ref.


    He cites personal/work reasons, although others have suggested it was because he was going to be demoted in any event.

    Accountability via Transparency.
    Not a huge amount to report on the Grier v Police Scotland case at the CoS this morning.

    Both parties and Lord Bannatyne were content to have the case heard at the CoS. It was previously being heard at Glasgow Sheriff Court.

    There appeared to be some confusion about how the parties wished to proceed, to a procedural hearing, then a summary decree motion, debate or a proof before answer. We didn't get a decision other than a procedural hearing will be scheduled on 12 July, for which both parties were asked to provide notes on the issues they wished to pursue in advance.

    What did come out was that DCI Robertson (remember him) has apparently, as recently as February this year, admitted that errors were made in bringing the fraud / conspiracy case forward against Grier. For their part, Grier's team is still waiting for disclosure of documents requested many months ago.

    As I suggested in a post a week or so ago, Grier, Whitehouse and Clark are all seeking to show malice and lack of probable cause when they were arrested, detained and charged. Reading between the lines it appears that Robertson has acknowledged in the last few months that didn't have an evidential basis for the arrests. I don't know how Police Scotland will seek to defend those "errors" other than they were made in good faith and not malice. The alternative would be to seek immunity from prosecution on the basis that they were acting on the instruction of the Lord Advocate. 

    Police Scotand's QC seemed somewhat put out by something that Grier's team had submitted to the Court about the former Lord Advocate, Frank (now Lord) Mulholland, describing a misrepresentation of Police Scotland's position as "outrageous".

    I'm sure that JC will be along later with his verbatim account of proceedings.


    Accountability via Transparency.
    Yes  …. I mean no …… well maybe yes

    Sky Sports Scotland‏Verified account @ScotlandSky 

    BREAKING NEWS: Celtic are set to sign David Turnbull despite it looking like the deal had fallen through earlier this week. The midfielder had visited Norwich in the last few days but is expected to sign for the Scottish Champions tomorrow.

    Recent Comments by easyJambo

    Bad Money?
    John Clark 15th July 2019 at 20:46

    BL-2018-002250 DESMOND v Whyte and another "

    Please someone tell me that these are not Dermot Desmond , majority shareholder and Board member of Celtic ,  and Craig Whyte last owner of the original Rangers Football Club of 1872?

    That really would be a coincidence!


    RES 12 finally sees some real action 

    If only. blushsurpriseangel

    Bad Money?
    It was remiss of me to forget to keep an eye on the latest BDO Report to Ceditors for RFC 2012 plc (IL). The document was published just over a month ago, and covers the period up to the end of April 2019.


    There isn't much new information to be had. BDO continue to rack up their own and their lawyers fees, although no further dividends have been paid to creditors.

    However, there is an update on the litigation with HJL on behalf of Wavetower (TRFCG) which may be of interest to JC and others.

    The previous reports dated 5 December 2017, 8 June 2018 and 7 December 2018 set out the circumstances under which various claims have been submitted by Wavetower, and how on each occasion these had been rejected by the Joint Liquidators, most recently a revised claim of £2.8m. In September 2018, HJL had intimated that Wavetower would seek to increase its claim to £18m and consider appointing receivers over the Company. The Joint Liquidators took steps to avoid such an eventuality and obtained an interim interdict in favour of the Company which precluded Wavetower from making a receivership appointment.

    This matter remained a focus of the Joint Liquidators’ attention during the course of the period, and it has continued to progress in accordance with the Court procedure.

    In parallel with the Court procedure, and in order to attempt to reach a consensual resolution of the dispute without further recourse to the Court, the Joint Liquidators agreed to a mediation which took place on 12 November 2018. The mediation occurred following it being agreed between the parties that the proceedings in Scotland, in respect of Wavetower’s appeal of the Joint Liquidators’ decision to reject its claim, would be sisted for a period of 3 months, such period to expire on 13 November 2018 (the day after the mediation date).

    Whilst the mediation did not result in an agreement being reached between the parties, it was agreed that the discussions would continue outside of the formal mediation process, and the parties agreed to continue to sist the Court process. As at the date of this report, the discussions are ongoing, but the Joint Liquidators hope to be able to provide a substantive update in the next report to creditors.

    …. and

    All creditors should note that the quantum and timing of future dividends is unknown and will be dependent on the outcome of the Wavetower claim. Once this is resolved, it would be the intention of the Joint Liquidators to pay a further dividend as soon as possible. 

    Bad Money?
    Rather than let a full day pass without a post, I'll put out the possibility of a "new club" participating in the Lowland, South of Scotland and U20 leagues this season.

    The club will be known by an americanised title of "Caledonian Braves", not that they are American influenced. It is proposed to be the new name for teams that previously played under the banner of Edusport Academy, which predominately featured French students.

    Apparently they have already asked the SFA to allow the name change some months ago.

    However, I will be interested to see how the SFA handle this change. I say that because a new company was incorporated on 8 July 2019, called Caledonian Braves Ltd, according to Companies House.  

    A google search on "Caledonian Braves" offers an interesting insight.

    Caledonian Braves FC est.2019

    Is Edusport seeking to transfer its SFA membership to a new club/company? Will the SFA authorise the transfer of assets to the newco, and/or seek financial assurances from the newco?  Going by the above link, is Caledonian Braves seeking to lose any history and links to Edusport?


    Bad Money?
    Ex Ludo 13th June 2019 at 17:12

    An SFA tweet appeared this afternoon suggesting a new definition of a club viz  “an entity that can command an audience “ The tweet has since been deleted. Anyone had sight of this?


    Going back to your question from the previous blog, the changes to the SFA's Articles have now been lodged with Companies House.

    There are changes to the definition and rights of an "associate member", (tier 6 or below), but nothing about the definition of a club.  It's an issue for the newly licensed clubs, who would appear to have only been granted "associate member" status although, ironically, Bonnyrigg will be deemed a full member with voting rights because they are now in the Lowland League (tier 5).


    Check the resolutions document for the changes. 

    Bad Money?
    John Clark 12th July 2019 at 17:15


    Thanks for the update JC. I think I've just about followed what you heard / didn't hear.

    The Summary Decree hearing should be much more interesting, as we will get to the gist of what the Lord Advocate and Police Scotland are alleged to have done or not done.