Bad Money?

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It’s now seven years since the festering sore on the skin of Scottish Football became fully septic, causing the liquidation of Rangers Football Club. Many of us at that time felt that the environment which had enabled the systematic, industrial scale cheating by that club, having now been exposed as unfit to fulfil its purpose, would be dismantled and replaced by something more accountable, more transparent, more honest.

Many more of us thought that other clubs who were the victims of the cheating that had gone on would be seeking a clear-out and a rewrite of the rule book, if for no other purpose than to ensure that a repeat was not possible.

We were all mistaken.

Let’s be honest about this. Football, whether it is played in Scotland or Argentina, at the Maracana Stadium or at Fleshers Haugh, is a rules-based endeavour. The rules of the game – both on the field and in its administration – are there to ensure as level a playing field as possible, to ensure that the constraints put on one club are the same for the rest.

Referees are in place to ensure the rules are complied with on the pitch, albeit with varying degrees of success. No matter what you might think of the guys in black, their craft is carried out in full public gaze, and consequently they are accountable to public opinion.

Off the field though, things are rather more opaque. Without the revelations of Charlotte Fakes for instance, we would never have known that a club had applied for a licence with false information, to a committee partly comprised of two folk who were employees of that club, and by extension part of the deception. Nor would we have known that the Chief Executive of the SFA had written to the club in question looking for approval on how the controversy surrounding the issue of the licence could be managed in the media.

The detail of the crimes of the people in charge of our game are the domain of those who have relentlessly pursued the truth of these matters. The devil is always in the detail, and the real devil is concealed in the fact that many of us are forced to switch off when confronted by the daunting prospect of having to follow that multi-threaded narrative.

In that regard, we owe much to the likes of Auldheid and EasyJambo (and many others) who unravel those threads for us and present the facts in a way most of us can follow. By doing so, they have allowed us to keep our eye on the ball.

Despairingly though, the upshot is that no matter what the facts tell us, Scottish football, at boardroom level, aided and abetted by the mainstream media, has no interest in seeking justice, or more importantly, clearing house.

The sins of the past will be the sins of the future, because the authorities have learned no lessons in the wake of Rangers’ liquidation, and in fact have now enshrined Doublespeak as the official language of the game.
No sporting advantage is a curious phrase used to describe sporting advantage
Imperfectly registered in lieu of not registered
Same for Different

I could go on, but the sins of one club, whilst fundamentally undermining the integrity of the sport in this country, are not the real problem. The authorities who set out to distort, bend, break, and tear up the rule-book are.

So too are the clubs who have refused to back their fans’ demand for proper oversight of the game, who have stood back and said nothing (except: “nothing to do with us guv!”) whilst their Patsies at Hampden do their dirty work, refusing to engage with or explain themselves to fans. These are the real culprits, they who have betrayed the trust of their own supporters. And if we are looking for a reason, look no further than their bank balances.

The recent scandal where the SPFL shared the outcome of its Unacceptable Behaviour report with the Scottish Government on the basis that it would not be made public shines a harsh spotlight on this.

The football authorities currently receive public funds from government, but in a “have your cake and eat it” scenario, they are accountable to no-one but themselves – and that’s how they want to keep it.

Publication of the SPFL report would put them at risk of having the accountability that they fear thrust on them. No-one in football wants the sectarian blight on our game to be cast under the glare of public focus. Especially if it becomes apparent that the game itself is the medium in which sectarianism thrives best.

And they know that it does exactly that. The trouble is that the societal divisions caused by sectarianism is a money maker. The old adage sectarianism sells has never been truer. The divide and rule model of empire applied to football. It is good box office.

But making football accountable could force measures to be put in place to cut out sectarian behaviour – and the clubs do not want that. It’s not the fear of being held responsible for their own fans’ behaviour under Strict Liability that worries the CFOs of our clubs – it’s the fear of losing the hatred which sees the money – bad money if you will – roll in.

Why did the cover up take place? Because losing Rangers was just not acceptable to football. Removing one of the vital protagonists in a money making cartel that thrives on hatred was a greater fear than any altruistic notion of sporting integrity (also now Doublespeak for “lack of integrity”).

Who could have foreseen that amidst the chaos surrounding Rangers demise, that they were only a symptom of the greed and couldn’t care less attitude of the money-men in football, and that our eyes would eventually be opened to the possibility that the football industry in Scotland is itself the enemy of public harmony?

Ironic perhaps, that the beautiful game, born out of the sense of community felt by the founding fathers of all our clubs, would emerge as a major malign influence in those communities.

There is no doubt that football is not prepared to cede any of its sovereignty to its customer base. They will go on – as long as we continue to bankroll them – in exactly the same way, like their bedfellows in the media a self-regulating industry with little or no regard for the public.

I am a supporter of Strict Liability, and we have already had discussions on the pros and cons of such an intervention. It is also clear that there is no SFM consensus on that. I want to leave that aside for the moment, because we do have a consensus surrounding our desire to see greater accountability in the game, and it is clear that fans’ voices, however temperately and eloquently articulated, are falling on deaf ears at Hampden.

The women’s game at the World Cup has recently provided us a window into the past, of the origins of the sport in Scotland. That which is a celebration of each others endeavour, skill, excellence and culture. The spirit of our game nowadays is a million miles away from that, because the market has taken over. 

Taming the wild excesses of the market is the responsibility of government. It’s about time the Scottish Government did just that. It is certainly clear that the SFA or the SPFL have zero interest in reining themselves in.

We have suggestions if anyone is listening.

738 COMMENTS

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  1. So SD have a claim to many millions in compensation plus legal costs , Close are owed at least £4m possibly more , Elite and Hummel may now also seek compensation , Candeas fee dropped from 800k to 300k when it became apparent it was a distressed sale and Park Snr in financial trouble according to local gossip. Now is the time to strike if anyone is seeking payment as the Metro account is bulging with ST sales and the season not yet started. I imagine SD may get to ring fence whatever amount seems reasonable , while Close will send in the bailiffs to collect the security their loan was secured on. With the open secret that they are skint there will be no multi million pound bids from Beijing and even the 3m that was hinted at for Morelos would be seriously reduced . An administration event would seem likely with massive cost cutting and selling anything of value to keep the "company" on life support , of course high earners like the management team may be the first casualty and the likeable Mr Murty looking out his brogues for round 3 . Will the loyal still turn up to watch schoolboys ? Can they avoid relegation starting the season on -15 points and a threadbare squad? Can Mr Custard step in with a funding plan ? Even the Bears are beginning to smell the covfefe but where does it go from here ? The real Rangers* men turned up to save them from Green . Who is now going to turn up to save them from the real Rangers* men ? It's not looking good is it ? 

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  2. Anyone waiting on the SMSM discussing the latest Court development for TRFC will have a long wait. I listened to most of the truncated ClydeSSB this evening and it was full of nothing but positive comments re Rangers and how exciting the coming season is going to be. 

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  3. We have seen and heard all of this before Timtim! I feel an appeal coming on (assuming that is possible but I've no idea) with mounting legal bills but same old same old limping on?, As you say lots of cash about at the moment.

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  4. bordersdon 22nd July 2019 at 20:15

    The previous club limped on and limped on. Administration could never happen, liquidation could never happen. They were too big and a fundamental part of the fabric of Scottish society, which would decline into civil unrest if anything bad happened to them.

    How did that work out. 

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  5. Ex Ludo 22nd July 2019 at 20:08 Anyone waiting on the SMSM discussing the latest Court development for TRFC will have a long wait. I listened to most of the truncated ClydeSSB this evening and it was full of nothing but positive comments re Rangers and how exciting the coming season is going to be.

    ________________

    Well this season's court cases have certainly got of to an exciting start!

    To go back to another court case, one I believe the club has dropped. The one v Charles Green over the bad deal he'd set up with SDI. I've read that the current case of TRFC v SDI has forced their hand on this as it shows King & Co were unable, with all their much vaunted expertise, to create a better merchandising deal with the same company. But I wonder if there was another cause for TRFC's decision not to pursue the case further (if I am correct that it's been dropped)?

    Now if I was Charles Green's counsel, I'd have included in my submissions (perhaps after my case fees had ramped up a bit) that in my client's defence the point would be made that it was the best deal a new club could expect to get. It wouldn't need to swing the case Green's way (though it might), it's just that I very much doubt TRFC would want the 'new club' matter raised in court…again!

    Only way to stop the two words all 'Rangers' people hate more than the words 'In Liquidation' is/was to drop the case. A shame really. mail

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  6. I've just read through the published judgement. Both the SDI and Rangers/Elite folk come in for slagging.

    Mr Blair's actions and (conflict of interest?) roles are embarrassingly highlighted. Will he be considering his position? Is he still a solicitor? Are there consequences to come for him from this judgement?

    Throughout, Rangers are shown to have been economical with the truth at best and downright liars on a number of occasions. Their default position seems to have been 'WATP' and the agreement means what we want it to mean.

    Hopefully Elite/Hummel are not owed money by Rangers for activities to date and their likely claims will be for future lost profits. The fact that Elite were formally indemnified by Rangers probably makes their claim a slam dunk. Are Hummel in the same position? Would not surprise me.

    And apart from those sums how will Rangers fund SDI's multi-million claim that is now on the way? 

    Unsure if Rangers can appeal this judgement. Is there benefit from kicking the can down the road?

    After such a crushing judgement would they be able to convince a judge that there were grounds for appeal?

    Scottish Football needs a strong Arbroath.

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  7. redlichtie 22nd July 2019 at 20:39
    And apart from those sums how will Rangers fund SDI’s multi-million claim that is now on the way?

    Unsure if Rangers can appeal this judgement. Is there benefit from kicking the can down the road?
    …………….

    James Doleman
    @jamesdoleman

    For those asking the judgment today in Sports Direct V Rangers Football club is a “declaratory judgment.” That hands it back to the parties to come to an agreement, the court will only get involved if this cannot be done.
    ………………..
    The last agreement cost the club £3 mill to renegotiate this deal that they then wanted out of.
    Only a PR exercise got the fans to buy unsold stock that saved the club paying an unsold stock bill.
    How do king and co bluff any new agreement to the fans without king and co becoming a laughing stock with their past bluster.

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  8. I think the Memorial Walls case was dropped about 2 weeks ago and will now not proceed . They may have a few £££s at the moment but that has to last all season and will need group stage participation in Europa and even then they are looking at a loss , that's before taking SD, Close and possible Elite and Hummel action into account. Directors have also made it clear no more soft loans are available , barring silly money bids for players they have little hope of avoiding the inevitable. If you were a face painter would you extend them a line of credit?

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  9. Auldheid 22nd July 2019 at 16:47

    '…A wee bit of pedantry on my part …'

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

    Not  pedantry at all, Auldheid: rather a vital and sharp eye for correct reporting of important facts. I'm grateful to you for picking up my carelessness.laugh

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  10. Timtim 22nd July 2019 at 21:14
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    I think the Memorial Walls case was dropped about 2 weeks ago and will now not proceed .
    ………………
    I can’t recall if it was dropped. This from 31 May 2019.
    “Memorial Walls have been advised by their legal team that Rangers have no defence to the breach of contract claim and Rangers have not settled Memorial Walls claim for costs incurred and damages prior to proceedings being lodged.

    “Memorial Walls are making no further statement at this time.”
    ……………….

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  11. Allyjambo 22nd July 2019 at 20:29

    "……To go back to another court case, one I believe the club has dropped. The one v Charles Green over the bad deal he'd set up with SDI………."

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

    I posted this at the time, Aj, and haven't seen anything since  to suggest that the 'motions' were related to  the case being  dropped.

    I don't know enough about Court procedure to say whether a litigant has to enrol a motion asking  the court's permission  before he is allowed to drop his claim, but maybe he can, if he has agreed to meet all expenses without arguing the toss?

    Have you seen or heard anything that I might have missed?  If not, then the  'unopposed' motions' may have related to merely procedural matters, a suggestion by one side that was agreed by the other, without needing to involve the judge.

    "The following motions were granted, unopposed, on Tuesday 9th July

    A97/18 Rangers International Football Club Plc v Charles Green        Anderson Strathern LLP "

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  12. John Clark 22nd July 2019 at 22:09
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    redlichtie 22nd July 2019 at 20:39

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

    Could you post a link to that judgment today, please, redlichtie?
    ……………….
    For some reason i can’t get the judgment to open.

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  13. Timtim 22nd July 2019 at 21:14

    '..I think the Memorial Walls case was dropped about 2 weeks ago and will now not proceed .'

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

    At the Hearing of this case on 19th June, Lord Bannatyne decided thus:"

    "……Otherwise, I grant periods of adjustment 3weeks, 3 weeks and 2 weeks, .and fix a date some 8 weeks from now, and give one week for caution arrangements to be made."

    So Counsel for both Parties were setting their diaries for further action then. 

    But Mem.Walls had only one week to get the money needed for 'caution', or at least to secure an indemnity from a related company.[from my report: 

    "…First, the question of caution [ pronounced kayshon, of course!]  It has been proposed that rather than the Pursuer putting up caution, some indemnity be provided by a related company.. We are approaching the stage where expenditure will increase, and we haven't yet seen a draft indemnity. I think it is appropriate that a diet be fixed?"

    It could be that the Pursuer (Memorial Walls)  were unable to do this, and had therefore to abandon their action.

    Have you a reliable source for the 'dropping'?

     

     

     

     

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  14. Allyjambo 22nd July 2019 at 20:29 "……To go back to another court case, one I believe the club has dropped. The one v Charles Green over the bad deal he'd set up with SDI………." +++++++++++++++ I posted this at the time, Aj, and haven't seen anything since to suggest that the 'motions' were related to the case being dropped. I don't know enough about Court procedure to say whether a litigant has to enrol a motion asking the court's permission before he is allowed to drop his claim, but maybe he can, if he has agreed to meet all expenses without arguing the toss? Have you seen or heard anything that I might have missed? If not, then the 'unopposed' motions' may have related to merely procedural matters, a suggestion by one side that was agreed by the other, without needing to involve the judge. "The following motions were granted, unopposed, on Tuesday 9th July A97/18 Rangers International Football Club Plc v Charles Green Anderson Strathern LLP "

    ___________________

    Your reference might well be what gave me the impression the case had been dropped, and I have no further information on it I'm afraid. I can't imagine, though, that TRFC's counsel will see much point in continuing with the case in light of the mess King & Co have made of their current merchandising deal with SDI, which, even if they'd honoured it, doesn't appear to be any better than the one Green negotiated.

    If the case is continuing then I do hope that what I suggest might be raised, even if only for the devilmentblush It could very well end the big lie if it had to be argued out in court as an acceptable defence for Green, but only if he can show that they are a new club, which they are.

    But could you imagine the panic at Ibrox if Green's counsel did put this forward as a defence, even before the trial stage?

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  15. spikeyheid 22nd July 2019 at 22:32

    '…Here you go JC….'

    +++++++++++

    Many thanks, spikeyheid. 

    I shall get on to the High Court of Chancery and ask why I wasn't emailed a copy of the judgment!broken heart

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  16. Anent the 'judgment':

    Lionel Persey QC (sitting as a Judge of the High Court) has, of course, got it wrong, in his Para 18.

    "The company that owned the Club was placed into interim liquidation in 2012", he says. 

    I think it was Homunculus who reminded us all that 'the company that owned the club' was Wavetower/The Rangers FC  Group, which is , according to Companies House, very much alive and kicking!

    I would ask his Lordship, what entity was it that was put into 'interim' liquidation? (and what can that be? Administration? which it was not bought out of?)

    What entity could it have been but The Rangers Football Club of 1872? 

    "The assets and business of the Club were purchased by Rangers on 14 June 2012 ", he says.

    No,with the greatest respect, they were not 'purchased by the same 'Rangers' that was 'put into interim liquidation'.

    The assets and business of what had been a football club founded in 1872 were purchased by a newly set up company, which was not ( obviously!) the football club that already owned them!

    This company begged and threatened the Scottish Football Authorities to admit their newly set up football club into Scottish professional football.

    Mr Persey QC seems to have fallen into the same trap as others, in believing that somehow all that had happened at Ibrox was that a historic football club had merely changed hands, because the key word 'Rangers' is used indiscriminately to relate ( very cunningly -old CG knew what he was about) to both the 'good old original Rangers' of my grandfather's days and the ugly ,deceitful creation of 2012 vintage.

    [I'll check out whether it might be some kind of criminal offence to write to a judge to correct his error, before I do so.]

    But his judgment in the actual matter before him is not affected at all by his mistaken view that the 'Rangers' in the case is the 'Rangers' of 1872.

    And what a belting J D Blair and Robertson got! 

    I for one would not consider using Anderson Strathearn LLP, if they were to continue using his services as a consultant.!

    And Robertson- a 'mere mouthpiece' , rather than a Managing Director! One would curl up and die to be so described.

    What fun, though, the whole thing is. Keeps the old brain cells working, apart from anything else. 

     

     

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  17.    Para 18,

         "Rangers undertook to transfer all of its IP rights to RRL."…..

    So "Rangers", IP is owned by Rngers Retail?….Is that right?…..

    Which in turn has Mick Ashley as high heid yin, via his, "My shares are worth two of your diddy-shares", routine.

        Surely no?.

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  18. Timtim 22nd July 2019 at 19:51

    '…..It's not looking good is it ? '

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

    The very second that the SFA publicly apologises for the Big Lie, and agree to deny TRFC any claim to the honours and titles of RFC of 1872, and record in the official record of Scottish Football the horrendous cheating of SDM's Rangers and the blight that that odious person inflicted on Scottish Football- that will be the very second when I would be ready to wish TRFC well( well, if King were removed)

    I simply could not be arsed with another sodding Administration, Liquidation, 5-feckin-way agreement and continuing rottenness in Scottish Football.

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  19. 18.Rangers and SDIR did not have an easy relationship. Sports Direct’s involvement with the Club had its origin in the financial difficulties faced by the Club in 2012. The company that owned the Club was placed into interim liquidation in 2012. The assets and business of the Club were purchased by Rangers on 14 June 2012 following which the parties concluded a shareholders’agreement pursuant to which Rangers undertook to transfer all of its IP rights to RRL. At about the same time, Mr Mike Ashley, Sports Direct’s Chief Executive, subscribed for shares in Rangers in the name of his holding company and took a minority shareholding in the Club

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

    Cannot believe a learned judge would get this so wrong.

    "Rangers" or the "Club", are both defined earlier in the agreement as  "The Rangers Football Club Ltd".

    In what way is it possible for the same legal entity to sell assets and the business to itself if it is in liquidation? Mental.

     

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  20. Bogs Dollox 23rd July 2019 at 00:20

    '…In what way is it possible for the same legal entity to sell assets and the business to itself if it is in liquidation? Mental.'

    ++++++++++

    Ha ha, BD: two minds with but a single thought!broken heart

     

     

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  21. I would also add that

    "At about the same time, Mr Mike Ashley, Sports Direct’s Chief Executive, subscribed for shares in Rangers in the name of his holding company and took a minority shareholding in the Club "

    When? FFS! On what date?

    In what way can an individual subscribe for shares in the name of his holding company? The holding company subscribed for shares not Ashley. They are seperate legal entities. It isn't even his personal holding company if its quoted.

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  22. Bogs Dollox 23rd July 2019 at 00:20
    14 1 Rate This

    18.Rangers and SDIR did not have an easy relationship. Sports Direct’s involvement with the Club had its origin in the financial difficulties faced by the Club in 2012. The company that owned the Club was placed into interim liquidation in 2012. The assets and business of the Club were purchased by Rangers on 14 June 2012
    ………………….
    A club that went bust owning millions had money to buy the assets and business. Very good i believe we can file that one with Trying so hard to make it look as if rangers lived but making an absolute ass of it.

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  23. This 'declaratory' judgement in favour of Sports Direct surely gives King the chance to kick the can down the road again. In my view it is almost certain he will not settle with S.D and it will have to go back to court to conclude. 

    On another note there is an element of history repeating itself in my view. 'Rangers' have a damaging bill to settle, they need the income from European group games, and are probably going to need to borrow again this season anyway. Meanwhile the media sit with their eyes closed and their fingers in their ears, just like when unpaid tax bills were a figment of a paranoid bloggers imagination. Maybe I am just misreading the whole thing, but right now it has a bad look about it all to a mere layman like myself. 

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  24. No fool Mr Ashley.  Having seen the “company that owned the club……which sold its business and assets to “Rangers”” Mr Ashley’s holding company didn’t buy shares in “the company that owns the club,” they didn’t buy shares in “Rangers” (who apparently now own the business and assets whatever they may be) they cut to the chase and bought a minority shareholding in “the Club.”

     

    its like Saying if you look at this square through a prism it’s really a circle.  Or to quote a film about the worlds largest financial swindle…2 + 2 = fish.

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  25. I was amused to refer to some of the witnesses as a "mouthpiece" re-SDIR Judgement – on closer inspection it seems that is an old legal slang term for lawyer.

     

     

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  26. The Rangers Football Club story since the decline and fall of the Murray empire and everything that has happened since is not a football story.

     

    It is a business and cultural story.

     

    It is all about power and money and is an insight into a small country and how it deals with a rogue business, the inherent corruption that pervades and surrounds it, the complicit authorities and clubs and a  main stream media who simply want to fill their allocated pages with club produced ephemera to try to hold on to their fast declining audiences.

     

    And all this set against a political backdrop where the various people who could do something about it all have decided that it is a lose -lose process and it is easier and wiser to stay well away and avoid upsetting potential voters.

     

    Yesterday the English judge issued a long and detailed report into one particular piece of what is admittedly a complicated jigsaw but I'm sitting here and listening to BBC Radio Shortbread but you wouldn't know that anything had happened.

     

    Radio silence when  there is a real story on a plate about how a company, whose reach pervades the very heartland of our wee country, has been taken to court and lost with the damages likely to be millions.

    Millions.

    And this particular company has been losing millions since it was allowed to reconvene after a very messy and costly insolvency.

     

    Donalda Mackinnon, I don't know you and you keep a low profile but I think you should be asking your real journalists, good people like Douglas Fraser to start looking at the business ramifications of the judges decisions.

    You might even look deeper into how this particular business is run with its colourful short history and equally colourful ex-pat holding company chairman.

    At the same time you might ask your sports editors what the imminent loss of millions is likely to mean for the club in footballing terms.

     

    Maybe even put a mixed team on it and make it a football and business and cultural story.

    Given that there is previous and given that the previous collapse in 2011 – 2012 was a huge story your team should  maybe  be in fact all over it because it looks like all the elements for another slow motion train disaster are starting to line up.

     

    Donalda your historic and current BBC silence is deafening and inexcusable. 

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  27. I'm guessing that now might be an opportune time for Petrie, Maxwell, King and Robertson…

    to book a discreet meal at Malmaison Hotel in Glasgow…

    to agree to a highly significant – and highly discreet – contingency plan.

     

    Starting to feel like deja vu… all over again!  crying

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  28. Finloch 23rd July 2019 at 08:55

    "…..Donalda your historic and current BBC silence is deafening and inexcusable"

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

    Finloch, absolutely true!

    Donalda  may have used up all her business skills ,intellectual powers , diplomatic and personal gifts in breaking through the 'glass ceiling ' and has opted for the quiet life.

    Or maybe she is as unfit for the job as her predecessor in office and  as our SFA Board members are for their jobs, and simply does what she's telt by those she's afraid to face up to. 

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  29. And just like Minty / Whyte in the previous incarnation of the Ibrox club…

     

    King will certainly NOT be taking any blame for the escalating shambles at RIFC / TRFC.

    Looks like James Blair could soon be offered up to the rather unhappy bears – as the source of all TRFC's financial woes.

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  30. Re Candeias & his move to Turkey:

    I note that (according to Wikipedia) he was on 97 first team appearances at TRFC.

    That looks like a timely move to avoid any appearance add-ons that may have been due to Benfica (or to the player himself!) under the terms of his transfer or contract. I thought he was one of the club's better players, as well.

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  31. Bogs Dollox 23rd July 2019 at 00:20 18.Rangers and SDIR did not have an easy relationship. Sports Direct’s involvement with the Club had its origin in the financial difficulties faced by the Club in 2012. The company that owned the Club was placed into interim liquidation in 2012. The assets and business of the Club were purchased by Rangers on 14 June 2012 following which the parties concluded a shareholders’agreement pursuant to which Rangers undertook to transfer all of its IP rights to RRL. At about the same time, Mr Mike Ashley, Sports Direct’s Chief Executive, subscribed for shares in Rangers in the name of his holding company and took a minority shareholding in the Club ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++ Cannot believe a learned judge would get this so wrong. "Rangers" or the "Club", are both defined earlier in the agreement as "The Rangers Football Club Ltd". In what way is it possible for the same legal entity to sell assets and the business to itself if it is in liquidation? Mental.

    ________

    I think we have to remember that this paragraph is not part of the judgement or anything that formed the basis of the judgement, it is mere background to the dispute. It would be in neither party's interest to dispute what has been put to the judge in this way as both have a commercial interest in the continuance of the big lie. If, say, SDI saw an advantage in correcting this error, then it would have been argued out in court and formed a part of the judgement and lent weight to the argument one way or the other.

    In defence of his lordship, he can only include in his judgement that which has been put before him and has no interest in correcting anything, accepted by both sides, that does not affect the legal arguments of the case, however much we might wish for him to do so.

    The only way we will ever see a definitive judgement in court is if the true identity of the football club is germane to the case, in a way similar to my somewhat tongue in cheek suggestion yesterday that Charles Green might use in his case v TRFC. That is, the deal he struck with SDI was the best a new club might expect.

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  32. As at the time stamp, the latest court loss to Ashley doesn't seem to have registered on The ET online.

     

    Just the usual, all positive headlines about TRFC.

     

    That Chris Jack should have a word with his tardy, lardy, "unnamed freelancer".

    enlightened 

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  33. StevieBC

    As at the time stamp, the latest court loss to Ashley doesn't seem to have registered on The ET online.

    ————————————————————————————————

    The DR has a feature on it though! Link available from BBC football "gossip".

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  34. There is some discussion on whether or not the £1m cap on damages still applies. For what it's worth, I see nothing in the judgement that has removed it. As I read it, the reference to the cap was in part of the justification for injunctive relief.

    That is not to say that the cap will not be lifted; but at this point, I think it's still in play.

    However, I thought it was significant that Mr Persey felt moved to say:

     

    Mr Friar was somewhat defensive in his evidence and appeared reluctant to answer some quite straightforward questions, simply saying that he did not remember. I found some of his answers to be unconvincing. He was, for example, reluctant to accept that Elite appreciated that there was a risk that SDIR would make a claim against Elite if it entered into an agreement with Rangers. The documents showed that Elite was aware that there was such a risk.

     

    Presumably the risk involved SDIR claiming damages from Elite beyond the amount they are able to achieve – because of the contractual cap – directly from Rangers (sic).

    There is no cap on any damages SDIR could claim from Elite. As I understand it Rangers (sic) have indemnified Elite against any damages claims arising from their contract.

    It would be interesting to know if the contract between Rangers (sic) and Elite also has a damages cap.

     

     

    View Comment

  35. Having become innured to what is reported, or not, in Court judgments in numerous cases involving The Rangers Football Club Limited; local, National, International, Galactic, Cosmic, Wheeltappers and Shunters I now skim through the almost inevitable exocetting of the defences put up by the World's Most Successful Club (not counting Court cases. Or games. Or veracity. Or trophies. Or anger management. Cont.P94)

    From the heady days of March 2017 the Saviours of King and Murray were described as "cynical and disingenuous"; "adopting a posture" and that "their positions as Directors of the Company were hopelessly conflicted". Messrs James Blair and Stewart Robertson did not emerge from the decision with any glory either.

    Fast forward to the most recent decision and The Rangers kept up their record by losing again on every aspect of the case.

    In so doing they attracted a number of observations rarely seen in the genteel world of Court Reporting.

    Page 1 starts "The parties to this dispute are well-known-not only in the wider sporting world but also to this Court."

    Translation:-"Not you two again? Surely SD are not going to wipe the floor with TRFC again? If so do TRFC might think thy're not really cut out for this litigation malarky?"

    8. With the notable exception of Mr Underwood (Elite CEO) I found much of the witness evidence to be unhelpful and unsatisfactory.

    Mr Barnes of Sports Direct was descibed as "a mouthpiece" as was Mr Robertson of The Rangers.

    The number of mouths utilised by Mr James Blair requires a bit more arithmetic.

    Mr Blair is Rangers Company Secretary so there's one mouthpiece.

    Mr Blair was a Partner is now a Consultant with Anderson Strathearn , Solicitors to Rangers, and his DNA is all over every correspondence, missive and contract from Sports Direct to the Pub PortaCabin and all points inbetween.

    Who knows how many different mouthpieces were encountered by Sports Direct, Puma, 32 Red, Hummell, Elite, Utilita, online websites, shops in Glasgow and Belfast and a container on Copland Road? Truly a man for all seasons. Especially the marching one.

    Now I know nothing about the retail business but if even a tithe of what I've read about Mike Ashley's contract is true it looks like a lot of effort has been put in running websites, shops, containers etc. which can only result in unhappy staunchers realising that what they thought had been rendered to The Rangers will actually have to be rendered to The MASH.

    More unhappiness will ensue when MASH sends the legal expenses bill and it will come to light just how much the Masterminds in the Blue Room have spent in being so spectacularly inept.

    View Comment

  36. Today’s CQN blog is an informative one on DK and SDI/MA judgement and what it tells us.

    There is however a bigger picture in which all of this operates as I’ve set out in this response.

    Paul67

    Whilst I appreciate the sentiment of keeping a fool in charge of Rangers I cannot reconcile that with keeping fools and liars in positions to cause widespread damage to society.

    These are the people ok, People of the Lie (read M Scott Pecks book of that title).

    Plausible physcopaths who live in an unreal world that they think they can make real.

    At a Res12 meeting two Christmas’s back I said Celtic were dealing with a criminal organisation and if that reality hasn’t dawned on Celtic by now (and other clubs who have turned a blind eye) then the game, like the wider UK society under Boris and his gang, are heading for hell in the same hand cart as Trump.

    Where is domestic fair play? Where are the stiffer rules on independent licence policing? Res12 was intended to provide leverage to make that happen. A Dougie , Dougie moment writ large. Why wasnt the lever pulled?

    What if Rangers Ltd go bust again? Will it be rinse and repeat and will those responsible for protecting the name of Scottish football repeat the insanity of the 5 Way Agreement in the hope doing the same thing will produce a different result?

    View Comment

  37. Allyjambo 23rd July 2019 at 13:14

    '…Isn't that the usual function of an SFA official?'

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

    And provided to TRFC Ltd free!!

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  38. Anyone able to explain "injunctive relief"? I get that SDI has won the case and are therefore entitled to receive what they would have earned had they been allowed to match Elite and earn the income Elite did (and will) thanks to TRFC's breach of the SDI agreement. I understand too that the damages cap is still in play at the moment though that might be ruled out because the judge recognised that capping damages at £1m is not enough to cover the amount SDI lost out on. I believe that either the £1m cap will be removed OR that will remain and SDI will be granted "injunctive relief" to make up their shortfall rather than actual damages.

    From a quick google, it appears that it "is not a judgement for money". Does this mean that TRFC might not have to pay out SDI's full loss in cash and so are less likely to run into real financial problems? The judgement already instructs them to cease the Elite/Hummel arrangement, so I don't think "injunctive relief" relates to stopping that.

    Does it mean that SDI is allowed to sue Elite for SDI's lost income, if the cap is upheld? If that were the case, Elite would presumably sue TRFC in turn?

    Any knowledgeable steer would be welcome, please.

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  39. nawlite 23rd July 2019 at 14:53

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

    My understanding is that injunctive relief is simply the consequence or effect of an injunction, i.e. SDI will benefit (gain relief) from the injunction imposed on TRFC.

    The judgement also involved declaratory relief being granted to SDI. That was Justice Pesey's ruling (declaratory judgement or declaration) on how the law would be interpreted in the dispute between the parties, i.e. in favour of SDI.

    It is now for the parties to come to a damages settlement or, failing that, to come back to the court and have it decide on the amount. I don't think TRFC will want to run the risk of having the court decide, when it has already recognised that SDI's losses will be many millions. The £3m paid on termination of the previous agreement is an example of TRFC paying up to avoid the court deciding for them.

    I'm less certain how this will play out with regard to Hummel and Elite. They were awarded contracts covering three seasons, this season is the second of the three, although elsewhere in the document it appears to indicate just a two year deal for some elements.

    Justice Persey said:

    Elite and Hummel have until now performed and enjoyed the benefit of the Elite/Hummel agreement. The 2018/2019 season has been completed and, as the evidence before me showed, preparations for the 2019/2020 season were well underway by the time of the hearing. Had the rights been offered to SDIR then SDIR would have found itself in the shoes of Elite and would have been in a position to make the sales and profits that Elite has made. Mr Sa’ad Hossain QC, who appeared on behalf of SDIR, acknowledged that as matters now stand SDIR is reduced to a damages claim in respect of the 2018/2019 and 2019/2020 seasons. 

    My reading of the injunction granted is that TRFC has been ordered to stop providing any support immediately to both Hummel and Elite, although the club will be able to wear the new kit for this season.

    As the injunction is against TRFC and not Hummel and Elite, I think that Hummel and Elite can continue to sell this season's home, away and third kits, but TRFC cannot be seen to be assisting them.  

    I believe that Elite and Hummel could both sue TRFC for loss of potential earnings for part of this season and for the whole of next season, in addition to SDI's claim for two seasons losses.

    Next season, TRFC looks as if it will be back to square one with SDI operating the retail operations, or being in a position to match any third party offer.

    View Comment

  40. Thanks EJ. I just can't understand how SDI benefit from the injunction if, as you describe, it's just that TRFC can't perform the Elite/Hummel agreement. I accept it gives them back the deal/matching rights from 2021, but that doesn't compensate them for loss of income in the preceding seasons.

    You don't mention the currently existing damages cap of £1m, which is for the moment still in place. If TRFC won't negotiate beyond that and SDI won't accept less than what they've lost out on, they have to go back to court for a decision, yes? At that point, would the judge have to remove the cap to allow SDI to get the right amount of damages from TRFC (multi-millions as he has said)? If the damages cap remains, how would SDI get what it is due?

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  41. Also, the fact that Elite/Hummel can still sell kit this and next season only makes it worse for TRFC because it only increases the amount that SDI will have lost out on!! As a result, much debate on FF and the Bears Den as to whether or not they should be buying any kit at the moment. As ever, they are waiting to be told by the club or Club 1872 what they should do. Even after a lying f-up of this size, they still want King and/or Blair to tell them what to do!!!!!

    View Comment

  42. nawlite 23rd July 2019 at 16:15

    Thanks EJ. I just can't understand how SDI benefit from the injunction if, as you describe, it's just that TRFC can't perform the Elite/Hummel agreement. I accept it gives them back the deal/matching rights from 2021, but that doesn't compensate them for loss of income in the preceding seasons.

    You don't mention the currently existing damages cap of £1m, which is for the moment still in place. If TRFC won't negotiate beyond that and SDI won't accept less than what they've lost out on, they have to go back to court for a decision, yes? At that point, would the judge have to remove the cap to allow SDI to get the right amount of damages from TRFC (multi-millions as he has said)? If the damages cap remains, how would SDI get what it is due?

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

    You have answered your own questions. The £1m cap is still there. However Justices Persey and Teare have both come down on the side of SDI in accepting that the capped amount is insufficient. see Paras 92  & 93.  TRFC may offer £1m, but SDI may say no and the parties end up back in court. 

    There could be some horse trading to be had on a future deal between TRFC and SDI that could limit TRFC's payment to the capped amount. Should that happen, then SDI may seek additional recompense from Elite and/or Hummel.

    I take a fairly simplistic view that the judgement confirms that SDI is due damages from TRFC for the  breach of contract, the amount or form of which remains to be agreed by the parties, or failing that by the court.

    Your subsequent post is also a fair representation of the current dilemma facing all the parties and the fans.

    View Comment

  43. easyJambo 23rd July 2019 at 17:03

    There could be some horse trading to be had on a future deal between TRFC and SDI that could limit TRFC's payment to the capped amount. Should that happen, then SDI may seek additional recompense from Elite and/or Hummel.

    ———————————————————————————————-

    That is an interesting position as there has been reference to Elite being indemnified by TRFC in their contract – almost as if they knew they were sailing close to the wind! 🙂

    I wouldn't be surprised if Hummel have a similar indemnity or a written statement from Mr Blair that TRFC were free to engage with them without impediment.

    If the above is correct then any SDI claim against Elite/Hummel will bounce back in the direction of Ibrokes. That's on the basis of course that they have the wherewithal to cover such claims….

    Scottish Football needs a strong Arbroath.

    View Comment

  44. Some hopefully relevant extracts from the judgement – I’m not a lawyer so any comments I have made are not be relied on by third parties, especially in court! Highlighting in bold is mine.

    “29. The Elite Non-Exclusive Rights Agreement (referred to by Teare J as the “Elite Agreement” in the October 2018 Judgment) granted Elite worldwide non-exclusive rights from 15 September 2018 to the end of the 2019/2020 Football Season to (1) distribute, market, advertise, promote, offer for sale and/or sell products bearing any Rangers brands or Rangers related brands and replica kit; (2) manufacture and/or have manufactured products bearing any Rangers brands or Rangers related brands; and (3) the non-exclusive right to use the Rangers brands and Rangers intellectual property in connection with the exercise of these rights. In Clause 11 of the Elite Agreement Rangers warranted that it had all of the necessary rights to grant to Elite the rights set out in the agreement and agreed to indemnify Elite against all costs incurred in defending any proceedings against it.”

    Comment : I interpret this as confirming that  Elite are protected from any SDI claim by an indemnity from Rangers.

    “68. In conclusion, I consider that the Elite/Hummel Agreement did involve the grant to Elite/Hummel of Offered Rights. It follows from this that Rangers was obliged to provide SDIR with a Notice of Offer in relation to the terms of Elite/Hummel’s Third Party Offer, together with any connected commercial arrangements. Rangers did not do so and was therefore in breach of the Matching Right provisions in Schedule 3, paragraph 5 of the Agreement.

    1. Rangers accepts it is liable for damages in the event that it is in breach but argues that it is not appropriate for the Court to give injunctive relief.”

    Comment : Rangers broke the SDI agreement with regard to both Elite & Hummel – they accept liability if that is the case.

    And again……

    “77. In conclusion, I find that Rangers was obliged to set out the terms of the connected commercial arrangements offered to Elite/Hummel (the manufacturing rights and the appointment as a Technical Brand) in a Notice of Offer. It was in breach of its obligations under Schedule 3, paragraph 5 in failing to do so. I am satisfied that SDIR would have matched those arrangements had it been given the opportunity to do so.”

    “93. Rangers has placed considerable reliance upon the losses that Elite will suffer if injunctive relief is granted. These are the same arguments that were run before Teare J in relation to the Elite Agreement. Teare J rejected them. Although I have had more evidence about the potential losses that Elite would suffer in the event that I were to grant the injunction this does not alter the fact that the Elite/Hummel Agreement was entered into in breach of the Agreement. As Teare J said at [60] of the October 2018 Judgment:- “… There is a risk that damages may not be an adequate remedy having regard to the cap on damages and the exclusion of consequential losses. But more significantly, in my judgment, this is not a case where it can be said that the grant would be out of all proportion to the requirements of the case or that the order would operate with extreme (or any) harshness on Rangers. It will be exposed to a claim by Elite but that is because of action taken by Rangers with its eyes open to the risk, as the indemnity provisions of the Elite Agreement make clear …” Similar considerations apply in the present case.

    Comment : The judges do not believe that the damages cap should apply. If this comes back to the court for a decision then the £1M cap is not going to apply.

    “94. Rangers assert that an injunction should not be granted because:-

    (1) It will lose significant revenues and will be exposed to claims for damages from Elite.

    (2) The club, players and fans will be unable secure kit and other products; and

    (3) Rangers’ ability to function as a football club will be impaired.

    1. As to the first point, I am not satisfied that Rangers will lose significant revenues. It has already received the revenues due in respect of the 2018/2019 season and, given the limited nature of the injunctive relief now sought, will likely receive those due from Elite in the 2019/2020 season. It will also be entitled to receive revenues from SDIR in respect of the 2020/2021 season. In any event the potential loss of revenues and exposure to claims from Elite are both ordinary and natural consequences of Rangers’ breaches of the Agreement. As to the second point, the limited nature of the injunctive relief now sought means the supply of kit and other products will not be interrupted for the forthcoming season. There is in my judgment no sensible risk that fans will be deprived of the opportunity to spend their hard-earned money on purchasing the forthcoming season’s kit. Nor do I consider that there is any risk that Rangers’ ability to function as a football club will be impaired.”

    Comment : Elite indemnity effectively confirmed and any cost arising is solely down to Rangers breaking their agreement with SDI.

    Scottish Football needs a strong Arbroath.

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  45. For those in positions of power /  influence across Scottish football and the SMSM – who turned a blind eye to the impending administration looming at Ibrox in 2012 – and then turned a blind eye to the rule bending to benefit TRFC…

     

    are these same people – including Lawwell – now compelled to repeat their cowardly ways IF the same favours are required for the next version of a 'Rangers'?

     

    You can see it coming – and being repeated.

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  46. Bruce Taylor: I think it needs to be clear that Rangers fans investing through Club 1872 are not like any other investor. They are committed in a way that they can’t actually withdraw, so they can only go forward and commit more money, they can’t take the money they have put in back out again.
    Laura Fawkes; We had between 700-1000 new members in the week or two after the Mike Ashley share purchase and I think because it removed his influence from the club, you can’t underestimate or underplay the significance of the purchase, not just for Club 1872 because it saw us become the second largest shareholder, but for Rangers as well.
    ……………….
    I wonder how many new members have come on board at club 1872 after the latest crisis?
    Judge Persey
    Mr Blair was also a director of Club 1872 Ltd., a group of Rangers supporters’ groups. Club 1872 issued statements that supported the fan boycott, although Mr Blair sought to distance himself from this by saying that the statements were in fact issued on behalf of another supporters’ group called Supporters Voice Limited (of whom he was also a director).

    “The evidence strongly suggests that the fan boycott was not merely being tolerated by Rangers and Mr King in particular but was actively approved of and promoted by it and him. I consider it probable that Mr Blair played at least some part in this.”
    ……………….
    I wonder how many club 1872 members are thinking “what the feck am i a member of here”
    ….
    BT: I think it needs to be clear that Rangers fans investing through Club 1872 are not like any other investor. They are committed in a way that they can’t actually withdraw, so they can only go forward and commit more money, they can’t take the money they have put in back out again.

    We are a different type of investor and that is why we need a strong Club 1872 to protect their interest and represent their interest properly and form a real relationship with the club.
    ………..
    Taken from Q&A: Club 1872 26th January 2018

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  47. Ex Ludo 23rd July 2019 at 19:13
    6 0 Rate This

    I was wrong about the Scottish media not running with this latest Rangers debacle. It must really be serious this time.
    ……………..
    Just how many woke to the headlines rangers must pay Ashley millions. And had a step back in shock?
    But, but i thought we got rid of Ashley they will say.
    How did this happen?
    I never heard anything that this was going to happen.
    Has king released a statement yet?
    How did we fans not know?
    ………..
    If some of the smsm are now running with it,
    It must really be serious this time.

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  48. Ps. has king released a statement yet?

    He is often quick off the mark with a statement any other time.

    The smsm articles are running with. Rangers were contacted. And that is it.

    No rangers were contacted and no comment or rangers were contacted and everyone was away on holiday

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  49. "I think it is fair to say we are pretty much done, but you will always be looking to fine-tune and we will take it to the wire."

    Statement via the BBC from Mark Allen. “pretty much done” sums up their current plight although he was only speaking about the transfer window.

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  50. https://rangers.co.uk/news/headlines/message-to-supporters/

    RANGERS would like to reassure supporters that matters concerning the litigation currently being brought against it by SDI Retail Services Limited are not as reported.

    Rangers was disappointed by the terms of the recent court Judgment but respects the decision of the court and will meet any financial award made by the court.

    No such award has yet been decided and at this stage Rangers does not even know how much will be sought. Contrary to some reports, the Judge has not determined that the contractual cap on damages will not apply.

    Rangers would also like to reassure supporters that no steps have been taken to stop supporters being able to buy this Season’s Replica Kits.

                  • +

    So there we have it. Nothing to see here, nothing to worry about, just keep doing what you are doing.

    Some reassurance that they can pay £1m though.

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  51. RANGERS would like to reassure supporters that matters concerning the litigation currently being brought against it by SDI Retail Services Limited are not as reported.

    Rangers was disappointed by the terms of the recent court Judgment but respects the decision of the court and will meet any financial award made by the court.

    No such award has yet been decided and at this stage Rangers does not even know how much will be sought. Contrary to some reports, the Judge has not determined that the contractual cap on damages will not apply.

    Rangers would also like to reassure supporters that no steps have been taken to stop supporters being able to buy this Season’s Replica Kits.

     

    Wow, how many crayons did they break writing this.

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  52. easyJambo 23rd July 2019 at 21:23
    Rangers was disappointed by the terms of the recent court Judgment but respects the decision of the court and will meet any financial award made by the court.
    No such award has yet been decided and at this stage Rangers does not even know how much will be sought.
    ……………….
    If you don’t know how much will be sought, how do you know you can meet any award that is made?

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  53. Leaving aside the particulars of the case , what is one to make of the criticisms of the legal teams, other than that as lawyers they seem to fall far short of acceptable standard in allowing their witnesses to waffle into discussing what the parties had intended their contracts to mean, when ,it seems that any first year law student by opening a text book could find that it is accepted law that “… The law excludes from the admissible background the previous negotiations of the parties and their declarations of subjective intent …”  

    from the 'judgment' of Mr Persey QC:

    "46. I have already referred to the extensive references to the parties’ subjective intentions and arguments on construction in the witness statements.   The witnesses should not have entered into the arena in this way.  Nor should their legal teams have allowed them to do so.  Much of the argument in Rangers’ skeleton argument refers to and relies upon this inadmissible evidence and argument.  "

    So not only was there one lawyer who actually lied, there were others whose knowledge of Contract Law seems to be not much more extensive than yours or mine! Or lawyers who do not adequately master their briefs and bone up on ALL  the relevant, established law. 

    A poor reflection on the English legal profession.

     

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