Comment on Dear Mr Bankier by easyJambo.

    gunnerb 13th December 2018 at 21:59

    easyJambo 13th December 2018 at 12:36

    Thanks for the update to this EJ. Can you say if the cash confirmer identity is something that will be announced publicly or are we to assume compliance ?


    I'd hope that it would be announced on the website. I seen to recall a statement coming out from the RIFC independent directors (in early April) saying how the offer would be funded, although raising doubts about the funding as it was dependent on a special dividend being paid by Micromega. Perhaps the RIFC directors will provide an update.

    The likeliest candidate will be Investec, going by what was said in court, as they have a presence in London and they have sufficient profile to keep the TOP onside.

    easyJambo Also Commented

    Dear Mr Bankier
    Allyjambo 17th December 2018 at 18:30

    I'd suggest that if King has complied then we will hear nothing until the next deadline when Laird have to make the offer ie 11 January 2019, and that if he hasn't complied, it'll all depend on how quickly the court care to deal with the announcement which might be delayed by the court breaking up for Xmas holidays.


    The 14 December date only related to the appointments of a legal advisor and a cash confirmer. The 11 January date is only for having the transfer of funds cleared by SA exchange control.  The public cash confirmation statement should come shortly after that happens.

    King is not required to make an offer until 25 January, and it will be up to four weeks after that before we find out if the offer is unconditional (hits the 50% threshold).

    You are correct about the potential for delays in the court processes (if required) over Christmas and New Year.

    Dear Mr Bankier
    Following me looking up the shareholdings in the club regarding the required TOP offer, I happened to look at the latest share price of Sebata Holdings (the new name of Micromega).

    The company had been trading at around 10 Rand a share about a year ago. It then dropped following the special dividend that was paid after the NOSA subsidiary was sold off, but has continued to fall in value since then.  The latest share price quoted for Sebata Holdings was 3.5 Rand. At that level King's (family trust's) 63% investment in the company has dropped by almost two thirds in the last 12 months, leaving the value of his investment as just £14m at the current exchange rates.

    I'm sure that he still has a fair amount of cash stashed away in offshore trusts, but his primary (only?) SA investment has plummeted in value.

    He may have earned around £13m from his dividend back in April, but his wealth will have been reduced significantly with the latest share movements, which would put his ability to fund future investment in TRFC, and funding of the TOP offer, in jeopardy.  

    Dear Mr Bankier
    There is still no new notice on the RIFC website as to whether or not King has appointed a "cash confirmer" and a "legal advisor".  We may not be advised in any event.

    I did have a look at the latest shareholding disclosures though. One that caught my eye was that of River & Mercantile.  When the offer was first announced, their disclosure on 14 March 2017 indicated that they  held 3,523,059 shares (4.32%)

    They have subsequently posted two new disclosures dated 5 December 2018 which showed that they had sold 700,000 on 27 November 2018 and 400,000 on 4 December 2018 and that their holding was now down to 2,123,059 (1.47% following the share placing).  The difference from 2017 is 1,400,000, so I assume that the other missing 300,000 were sold at an earlier date. The sales were at 19.5p.

    I then had a look at the JP Jenkins site which showed a number of trades all at 20p (no dates or other info given)

    (400,000, 400,000),   (700,000, 700,000),   106,222,   62,222,   100,000,  200,000

    The bracketed pairs looked like the matched bargains for the two notified R&M sales. The next two also appear to be linked with the "222" figure. The other 100,000 and 200,000 could be the "missing" R&M 300,000.

    Why would R&M sell now.  Perhaps they think that King has gerrymandered a situation where he won't need to finalise the offer, because the 50% threshold won't be met. However, it seems they still wanted out so were prepared to sell at 19.5p a share.  That would need a matched buyer, so who has bought their shares. There may be a new disclosure issued. If so, then we may find out if it is Club 1872 or one of the other placees.


    Recent Comments by easyJambo

    In Whose Interests
    LUGOSI 16th September 2019 at 22:31

    John Clark and EasyJambo can only dream of being supplied with background papers like this.


    I've already read it. The submissions seem to jump from the Inner House decision and its validity to a fairly substantial discussion on Scotland's constitutional history and back again to the current case. 

    However you are right, it would be great if we could see all the papers in advance of a hearing. That way we would at least have an idea about what the QCs are talking about.

    In Whose Interests
    There's a decent article by Gordon Waddell in today's Sunday Mail which relates to the subject of this blog.


    I agree with some parts of the article and disagree with others, but there is certainly a debate to be had.

    In Whose Interests
    nawlite 12th September 2019 at 21:58


    I think the Belgian model was based on a 4-3-3 which was adapted to a 4-5-1 when a more defensive shape was required. I believe that all clubs and national sides agreed to play that way. It may have changed to cope with individual circumstances, but I believe that the basic model has been maintained.

    Players based outside Belgium (most of their squad) will obviously play in the style of their home clubs, but they know what formation they will be asked to play if selected for their national team.

    Obviously not all teams will play identically on a player v player basis. Each team will have its own more or less skilful players, those with and without pace, dominant defenders etc., so each game will play out and look different, but the basic system will be maintained, e.g. a dominant 4-3-3 formation may find its opposition adopting a more defensive 4-5-1 shape.

    The benefit is viewed as having their home developed players always knowing what is expected of them when they play a particular role and also what they can expect from their team mates, no matter what age group they play in, or on progression to their first team or into the international sphere.  

    In Whose Interests
    John Clark 12th September 2019 at 20:52

    Am I being received? If my machine continues to behave itself  I'll try to get my Court report done tomorrow.

    There was a nice little jest from Lord Carloway today. When Mr Dunlop QC was discussing 'malicious prosecution' he referred to to a situation in which someone might be bringing a prosecution against someone out of a deep loathing for that person.

    Lord Carloway suggested that it would be all right to prosecute someone for whom one felt a deep loathing as long as it wasn't done out of malice. [Chuckles all round]

    Hope this post gets 'posted'


    He also made a quip about a "minister of state lying" as an example of breaching Article 8 when Fairlie was taking about the Georgian case.

    I was pretty sure that he was thinking of someone nearer to home with his example.

    In Whose Interests
    BP – A very topical blog and valid questions about the ability of the SFA to govern the development of the game.

    As someone who watches pro-youth football from U11 upwards almost every weekend, I don't believe that there are any significant problems with the coaching and development of kids up to U16 as Scotland is pretty competitive with other countries in those age groups given the size of our gene pool. 

    We used to play 7 a side at U11 and U12 then jump straight to 11 a side. Now it progresses through 7, 8 and 9 before going to 11 a side, each step with commensurate increases in goal and pitch dimensions.  I think that is the right approach in adapting to the youngsters' physical and mental development.

    I don't believe that the SFA's performance schools or indeed the bigger clubs' own performance schools really add much to the outcomes (preparing players for first team football) though.

    The biggest problem is translating success at the younger age groups into comparable success at the top tier clubs and international football. I therefore believe that the problem lies more in the coaching and development of players in the 16-19 age brackets

    We are all aware of strategies developed in other countries, e.g. Netherlands, Germany and most recently Belgium.  The common element in the strategies of those countries is the willingness of all  clubs and the national team to adopt the same systems and styles of play.

    Scotland has a multitude of approaches, mainly as a result of the disparity in the wealth between clubs and access to recruitment and other resources. I can't see either Celtic or Rangers agreeing to adopt a common strategy for the common good anytime soon. That is illustrated by the recent decisions of some of the bigger clubs to withdraw from the Development and Reserve Leagues. There is far too much self interest.  There is also evidence of the bigger clubs stockpiling youth players to the detriment of other clubs.  

    Going back to the coaching aspects, I recently spoke to a former Hearts youth coach who had attended sessions with one of the Belgian coaches who had helped implement their new strategy. The Belgian had watched a number of pro youth games in preparation for the event.  His main point was on the need to adopt common systems of play at all levels. However, and perhaps more pointedly, he was critical of the in game communication between coaches and players, sometimes with two coaches giving different messages. He thought that all it did was confuse players and stop them playing their natural game and using their own intelligence, press, squeeze, first ball, second ball, hold, time, turn, one-on-one et al ……… and that's before the parents offered their advice. 

    That said, I know that Hearts youth coaches are encouraged not to coach excessively during play, to enable the players to think and learn for themselves. The coaching is done during the week and adjustments during games are only made at natural breaks and at half time.  That is most definitely not the case with most of the other pro youth clubs.

    I don't have a ready made solution to Scotland's ills but, based on the experience of other countries, we ware unlikely to progress as a small country without a common strategy across all clubs.