Dear Mr Bankier

559
91440

Readers may be aware that the group Fans Without Scarves have written to Celtic urging them to seek a review of Scottish football (See here)
On the back of that laudible effort, I have been persuaded to publish a letter I sent to that same board over a week ago (on 8 November)
At the time of publication, I have received no acknowledgment.  Some organisations are like that, of course. (I put it down to the inferior quality of the social upbringing of their boards rather than concern for their postage bill)

The following is the text of that communication;

Mr I Bankier,
Chairman,
Celtic Football Club plc
Celtic Park, Glasgow G40 3RE

08/11/2018

Dear Mr Bankier,

“Resolution 12”

You will, of course, recall as clearly as I that, at the Celtic plc AGM in 2013, the Resolution bearing number 12 on the agenda was not formally debated and voted upon, but was adjourned indefinitely.

I understand that over the intervening years (!) a number of conversations and discussions have taken place between the Board and the immediate proposers of Resolution 12 (among whom, I should perhaps say, I was not numbered in 2013 and am not now numbered).

As an eventual outcome of those discussions and conversations, as again you will recall, Celtic plc in September 2017, shortly before that year’s AGM, entrusted to the Scottish Football Association [SFA] the task of undertaking a thorough investigation into the circumstances under which the Union of European Football Associations [UEFA] granted a UEFA-competitions licence to the then Rangers Football Club in 2011.

Unfathomably, it was not until May of this year that the Compliance Officer of the SFA referred the matter to the Judicial Panel Disciplinary Tribunal [JPDT]

In that same month of May 2018, evidence emerged that appeared to cast serious doubts on the legitimacy of the award of the UEFA licence to Rangers Football Club in 2011.

In late June 2018, and following careful consideration of that evidence, the legal representative of what is known as the ‘Res.12 Group’ informed both the SFA and Celtic plc of these doubts, passing to those bodies copies of the evidence which gave rise to those doubts.

In July 2018, The Rangers Football Club Ltd challenged the reference to the JPDT, arguing that the appropriate authority to which any such reference ought to have been made is the Court of Arbitration for Sport [CAS]

This challenge has apparently and inexplicably frozen all action by the JPDT.

To my eye, as a small shareholder, it appears that the Board of Celtic plc have been and continue to be at the very least dilatory and lukewarm if not yet totally remiss in looking after the interests of their shareholders.

It is now November: the reference by Celtic plc to the SFA was made over one year ago. Even by reference to the civil Courts let alone to the internal disciplinary body of a not very large sports governance body such as the SFA, that is an unconscionably long time for a reference not to have been acted upon. I now feel obliged to ask the following questions:

  1. Have the Celtic Board pressed the SFA to say what action they have taken vis-vis the challengemade to the legal powers of the JPDT to investigate the circumstances surrounding the award of the licence ?
  2. If they have not done so, would they care to give their reasons why not?
  3. If the response from the SFA was that the matter of the jurisdiction of the JPDT has been referred elsewhere (to UEFA or to the CAS), are the Celtic Board content with that response and prepared to take such subsequent monitoring action as may be necessary?
  4. If the SFA have not referred the question of jurisdiction elsewhere, have the Celtic Board ascertained at what stage the JPDT’s investigation is at, or even whether it has yet begun?
  5. If the Board have been told that the JPDT has stalled, perhaps indefinitely, what does the Celtic Board propose doing to ensure that the investigation that they were assured would be undertaken will indeed be undertaken by the JPDT as a matter of priority, with a timetable for completion?
  6. Does the Celtic Board actually trust the SFA/JPDT to investigate thoroughly, honestly and deliver true judgement? Is it not time that a vote was taken to pass ‘Res 12’, based on what is now known by Celtic plc, and the matter formally referred by Celtic plc to UEFA to investigate as thoroughly as was done in the recently reported cases of the Albanian, Serbian and Kazakhstan national associations?

The Celtic Board must keep in mind their obligations to shareholders. This would be especially so where there may be grounds for suspecting chicanery on the part of others, in consequence of which Celtic plc might have been denied an actual, defined sum of money and the opportunity potentially to compete for much more in ‘prize’ money.

In such circumstances it would not be at all for the Board on its own authority simply to ignore the possibility of chicanery and dismiss the matter.

There are sufficient grounds for me to believe that the award of a UEFA licence to the then Rangers Football Club in 2011 may have been made in the knowledge that that club was absolutely not entitled to that award.

In my opinion, the granting of a UEFA licence to the then Rangers FC in 2011 is not merely a ‘sporting’ matter, but one which might conceivably, in the absence of acceptable responses from the SFA/JPDT, require reference to the Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal Service.

The failure to date of Celtic plc to insist that the SFA take urgent action to fulfil the commitment they made that a thorough, independent investigation would be undertaken urges me to make such reference on my own initiative as a citizen who suspects that a crime may have been committed.

However, before taking such a step, I think I will await your replies to the questions above if you would be good enough to provide such.

Yours sincerely,

name and address

559 COMMENTS


  1. Ex Ludo 7th December 2018 at 14:22

    Tongue in cheek perhaps but maybe worth pursuing.

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

    That'll be kicked into the long grass!

     

    View Comment

  2. 'upthehoops 6th December 2018 at 20:09

     

    Does anyone know the answers to the following in terms of the rules:

    1. Whether players playing for Scottish clubs can be wholly or partly owned by a third party?

    2. Whether players playing for Scottish clubs can have their wages paid in part or in full by a third party?

    3. Whether a third party can benefit financially from the sale of players playing for a Scottish club?

    Asking for a friend!'

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

     

    Let's consult the SFA Handbook 2018-19, shall we, particularly the part dealing with Registration Procedures? You're looking for Section 20, which starts on page 176.

     

    https://www.scottishfa.co.uk/media/3998/scottish-fa-handbook-18_19.pdf

     

    I'd cut & paste it, but it won't format correctly.

     

    My interpretation is that the answer to Q1 & 2 would be 'No'. Re Q3: there is provision within the regulations for a third party to benefit from a transfer, but only if it's a previous club receiving due payment from a sell-on clause  (but I don't think that's why you're asking!).

     

    So come on, spill the beans 

     

     

     

    View Comment

  3. Jingso.Jimsie 7th December 2018 at 15:47

    I'd cut & paste it, but it won't format correctly.

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

    20. Third Party Influence/Ownership

    20.1 No Club shall enter into a contract which enables any other party to that contract and/or any other third party to acquire the ability to influence in employment and transfer-related matters its independence, its policies or the performance of its teams.

    20.2 Clubs that do not observe the obligations set out in this Rule 20 may be liable to sanctions and disciplinary measures in accordance with the Judicial Panel Protocol and/or the FIFA Regulations, as appropriate.

    20.3 No club or player shall enter into an agreement with a third party whereby a third party is being entitled to participate, either in full or in part, in compensation payable in relation to the future transfer of a player from one club to another, or is being assigned any rights in relation to a future transfer or transfer compensation.

    20.3.1 The interdiction as per Rule 20.3 came into force on 1 May 2015.

    20.3.2 Agreements covered by Rule 20.3 which predate 1 May 2015 may continue to be in place until their contractual expiration. However, their duration may not be extended.

    20.3.3 The validity of any agreement covered by Rule 20.3 signed between 1 January 2015 and 30 April 2015 may not have a contractual duration of more than one year beyond the effective date.

    20.3.4 For the purpose of these regulations a “third party” is defined as any party other than the two clubs transferring a player from one to another, or any previous club, with which the player has been registered and the player.

    View Comment

  4. BT Sport offer free VAR for live games.

    SPFL has stated that the use of VAR would be too costly for the scottish game with spending priorities elsewhere..

    ……………….

    Go on give it a free go, try before you buy kind of a thing. You never know. 

    View Comment

  5. Ex Ludo 7th December 2018 at 14:22
    5 1 Rate This

    https://twitter.com/stvsport/status/1070998186909671424?s=21

    Tongue in cheek perhaps but maybe worth pursuing.
    …………………
    “Maybe the Old Firm will give up their European money to put VAR in for everybody.”
    …………….
    Maybe if there was such a thing as an old firm they may have given up their european money to put VAR in for everybody. But i think BDO would have first dib’s on any money coming out of ibrox.

    View Comment

  6. paddy malarkey 7th December 2018 at 17:47 

    https://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/football/46489104

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

    "The position of the Scottish FA on the subject of Team GB is well-documented and our preference remains that all organised international football involving Scottish players should be played under the Scotland banner."

    Mibbees 30 years ago I would agree wholeheartedly with this SFA stance – absolutely.

    But, today? No chance.

    Having a combined TeamGB, could logically lead to a combined GB FA, [I know…]

    But, it could be one way to effectively address the parochialism, incompetence, bias and corruption deeply ingrained within OUR own SFA.

    And the recent, long list of call offs for the national games must in some part be how players – and managers – regard the Hampden blazers, IMO.

    Go GB FA!

    crying

     

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  7. Whilst others are happy to chase down player ownership. A Celtic Squirell if ever there was one.

    I note that Kilmarnock are the new force in Scottish football. Even going so far as to top the table and if ClydeSuperscroteBoard stats are to be believed their form over the last thirty eight games would leave them a mere 2 points behind Celtic in some made up football world. But of course they are ahead of them in reality. Congratulations to them.

    They are one of the few teams (certainly not Rangers) who haven't lost to Celtic in their last 4 games. Keep it up Killie.

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  8. Stevie BC

    Haven't a clue how to copy and paste on a phone  ,but that would be turkeys voting for Christmas .  I've heard rumours that , even as a brother , Maxwell  was gobsmacked initially then told to take his place .(if you know yer knots ) .

    View Comment

  9. StevieBC 7th December 2018 at 22:14

    '…..But, it could be one way to effectively address the parochialism, incompetence, bias and corruption deeply ingrained within OUR own SFA.'

    __________________________

    StevieBC, with the greatest respect (of course!) I take a different view.

    Scottish Football is our football, not England's, or the 'UK's'. 

    The fact that it has been temporarily hijacked by prejudiced officers, some of whom may have been guilty of crime a decade ago, and all of whom are certainly guilty of manufacturing an appalling sporting untruth in 2012, is not a reason to risk Scotland losing its identity as one of the members of the IFAB (which other countries devoutly desire, because they consider the UK to be just one entity ).

    We ourselves alone have to sort out the evil in our midst, and return Scottish Football administration to Integrity.

    Lying  b.stards  simply cannot, for all our sakes, get away with ruining our Sport.

    They have to be identified and dealt with.

    And that will be done sooner or later, no question.

     

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  10. The TOP disclosure table has been updated in recent days to reflect the enlarged share base of 144,625,338 shares.

    http://www.thetakeoverpanel.org.uk/disclosure/disclosure-table

    Previously King needed acceptances from holders of 13m shares, now it's 23m, to reach the 50% mark to make an offer unconditional. It's still possible, but needs all the non Kingalings to accept.  That means virtually all of BPH, Margarita (ATP), Putney, Norne Ansalt, Beaufort, Easdales, River & Mercantile and Glenmuir would have to accept.

    The purchase of 23m shares would cost King £4.6m, so that would be the minimum outlay if the offer goes unconditional.  The maximum would probably not be much higher than £5m.

    View Comment

  11. redetin 8th December 2018 at 14:22

    Cheers, I remember the gist of that. I was just startled to find the smsm suddenly taking an interest in King's observation under oath that he believed some of the RIFC shareholders were involved in money laundering, and was curious to see the angle they would take. We'll see if they run with it, and if so in which direction.

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  12. easyJambo 8th December 2018 at 13:35

    —————

    Which means, if I understand you correctly, that with shares allocated in the recent issue to the non concert party holders in the Far East, it is now more difficult for small shareholders like BPH etc., to realise 20p per share for their holdings, should they wish to sell. If this is the case, do they not have every right to feel let down by the TOP?

    View Comment

  13. macfurgly 8th December 2018 at 14:50

    easyJambo 8th December 2018 at 13:35

    —————

    Which means, if I understand you correctly, that with shares allocated in the recent issue to the non concert party holders in the Far East, it is now more difficult for small shareholders like BPH etc., to realise 20p per share for their holdings, should they wish to sell. If this is the case, do they not have every right to feel let down by the TOP?

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

    That was the point I made to a couple of TOP guys at the Court of Session a week ago. They acknowledged that was the potential outcome because of the dilution of some holdings, but said that they couldn't do anything about it within the provisions of the Takeover Code.

    The only other possibility would be if those accepting the offer numbered something between 13m and 23m and they took out a class action either against King or TOP for failing to protect their interests.

    View Comment

  14. macfurgly 8th December 2018 at 14:50

     

    I am of the opinion that the recent RIFC share issue shows exactly why the TOP was set up – to prevent the railroading of smaller shareholders by unscrupulous directors. We can see how King has initially taken control then used his influence over the less astute (and in this case, emotionally attached) shareholders to take control of the business and sideline shareholders who do not want the company to be run by King.

     

    Like most, I am baffled by the leniency being shown to King, for he has used his delaying tactics to secure a situation that might well enable him to achieve the end he has sought, at the expense of those who would have taken up the offer. These people will have lost out on (in some cases) a substantial amount of money while seeing their already diminished in value shareholdings become virtually worthless.  It seems incredible that the courts would allow someone to abuse the system in this way.

     

    I do, though, have a wee thought (hope, actually) that this might well backfire on RIFC/TRFC and that, having been denied what King was legally ordered to offer them, the shareholders sue the company (RIFC) for having acted in a way that denied them the opportunity to recoup part of their investment that is now diminished further. I suspect, though, that, should this be possible, they would have to be able to show (by way of the level of uptake of King's offer) that the share issue has directly prevented King reaching the required 50% before they can proceed.

    View Comment

  15. easyJambo 8th December 2018 at 18:00

    Allyjambo 8th December 2018 at 18:18

    ————————-

    What strikes me about this is that it has taken so long for this apparent loophole in the Takeover Code to be exploited. We have been following the RIFC saga, but as far as I can make out, the Takeover Code has been regulating the whole of UK business since 1968 and with Statutory Powers since 2006. Has no-one tried this dodge before? King seems to have successfully undermined the fundamental principle of the Code, to protect the interests of small shareholders, simply by ignoring it completely until it suited him to comply. Every day is a school day right enough. I wonder how many other regulations governing the UK economy are being undermined as easily.

    I'm no lawyer, but if what King has done is OK by the TOP, then I can't see where the small shareholders could get a foothold in law to challenge it.

     

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  16. Billydug 8th December 2018 at 23:16

    BDO creditors update https://t.co/NywPrll5Nu?amp=1

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

    HMRC's Big Tax Case claim significantly reduced, and potentially could fall further.

    A significant proportion of the Big Tax Claim of c£74m related to interest and penalties (c£36m). The penalty element of the claim was c£23.9m and was levied at a particularly high rate. The Joint Liquidators, on behalf of the Company, disputed both the quantum, and the principle, of the penalties applied by HMRC.

    Following discussions and meetings with HMRC, we submitted an appeal to the HMRC Penalty Review Consistency Panel (“the Panel”). This set out the reasons why the Joint Liquidators considered the penalties to be incorrectly levied. We are pleased to advise that the Panel has recently agreed with our submission in its entirety, and the element of HMRC’s claim pertaining to penalties has now been withdrawn in full.

    HMRC also acknowledged that a further small element of their claim had been overstated and it has now submitted a revised claim of £68.3m (ie a reduction of c£26m in total).

    HMRC has calculated the principal element of its claim in respect of the Big Tax Case on a “grossing up” basis. This element remains under review with further representations to be made to HMRC following discussions with the Joint Liquidators’ tax advisors.

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  17. The dividends paid to date amount to £9,265.47 for preferential creditors and £4,620,599.40  to unsecured creditors.

    There is only £7,757,414.44 left in the pot.

    Needless to say, BDO (£4,414,671.13 plus outlays of £58,679.66) and their legal fees (circa £10.5m) have consumed the majority of the cash. (remember £24m was received from Collyer Bristow's insurers).

    The Oldco still has a claim of £28m against Duff & Phelps outstanding, although there is a claim of £18m against the Oldco, on behalf of Wavetower, still on the go too.

    View Comment

  18. easyJambo 9th December 2018 at 00:00

    '…although there is a claim of £18m against the Oldco, on behalf of Wavetower, still on the go too.'

    _________________________

    Interesting that BDO are prepared to discuss a settlement with Henderson and Jones. Does this mean that they think H&J might conceivably have a winnable Court claim and BDO do not want to risk a full court action?

     

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  19. easyJambo 9th December 2018 at 00:00
    The Oldco still has a claim of £28m against Duff & Phelps outstanding, although there is a claim of £18m against the Oldco, on behalf of Wavetower, still on the go too.
    ………………..
    A long way for this still to run then.
    Thinking of the loved ones now gone who stood beside me all those years, the tears of hurt watching a defeat not knowing they were watching something not honest.
    Living just long enough to see the cheating being found out, but not long enough to see justice prevail.
    As i stood watching a great game of football yesterday a wry smile and a silent nod of the head and solemn thoughts to myself,memories of loved ones gone. The tears of hurt would now be of joy, a twinkle in their eye and a look of… you will see this through and at it’s end there will be no more tears of hurt from days gone by, we will smile together once more. Through your eyes we will both see it to it’s end.

    Later that afternoon i wandered round the ground looking for that small token of a name on a wall, and in the rain and the dark i found it.
    although my heart was heavy my smile was of happiness.

    View Comment

  20. I was at my work day out yesterday so just catching up.

    I see the Daily Record are running a story about 'Blue Pitch Holdings' denying they are involved in any criminality following Dave King's recent court statement. However the bit that gets to me is this 'The Record understands King’s regime have serious concerns about a lack of transparency over a number of shadowy shareholders'. King himself is a major tax cheat which led to him becoming a convicted criminal, and was shown to have lied in court, yet the Record have the audacity to print this crap. Incredible. 

    I honestly believe people involved with Rangers can do or say anything they like, and will still be regarded as socially and morally superior to all others by the Scottish Media. It's pathetic. 

    View Comment

  21. Morning all.

    Just a thought wrt the new shares issued by RIFC.

    If I was a director/creditor who'd been shafted by King & his false promises,what's to stop me taking up his mandatory offer of 20p per share?.

    The club gets some debt written off & I get my cash back.What's not to like?.

    If a couple of creditors who converted debt to equity took up the offer,King might not be as secure as he thinks he is wrt the 50% threshhold.

     

     

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  22. macfurgly 8th December 2018 at 18:41 15 0 Rate This easyJambo 8th December 2018 at 18:00 Allyjambo 8th December 2018 at 18:18 ————————- What strikes me about this is that it has taken so long for this apparent loophole in the Takeover Code to be exploited. We have been following the RIFC saga, but as far as I can make out, the Takeover Code has been regulating the whole of UK business since 1968 and with Statutory Powers since 2006. Has no-one tried this dodge before? King seems to have successfully undermined the fundamental principle of the Code, to protect the interests of small shareholders, simply by ignoring it completely until it suited him to comply. Every day is a school day right enough. I wonder how many other regulations governing the UK economy are being undermined as easily. I'm no lawyer, but if what King has done is OK by the TOP, then I can't see where the small shareholders could get a foothold in law to challenge it.

    ______________________________

     

    Still no more than my opinion, and an uneducated one at that, but I believe the directors of all companies have a duty to preserve the rights of all shareholders and not to take actions that might, in any way, remove the rights, or diminish the share value, of all shareholders.

     

    The RIFC plc directors were all fully aware of King's protracted losing battle with the TOP and the law of the land, yet they proceeded with a policy that might well protect the company chairman from his duty under the law while knowingly taking action that would very likely end in them depriving shareholders of their rights under the law – rights that were currently being protected in the courts.

     

    I'd be very surprised if those small shareholders don't have some grounds to sue RIFC, or maybe the individual directors, but would imagine that that would depend on the outcome of the offer and whether or not there is a take-up that would have taken King over the 50% prior to the rights issue.

     

    Wouldn't it be so Kingesq if this did result in King passing the cost of his misdeed to the club or his fellow directors? And I wouldn't be surprised if he knew/thought it might be the case from the very beginning.

     

     

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  23. upthehoops 9th December 2018 at 09:44

    I honestly believe people involved with Rangers can do or say anything they like, and will still be regarded as socially and morally superior to all others by the Scottish Media. It's pathetic.

    ========

    And whilst we watch the slow moving car crash which is TRFC disappearing into a financial black hole…

    Regardless of which iteration of 'Rangers' operates from Ibrox, and regardless of its financial position at any given time since the 19th century and into the future…

    The club/team operating out of Ibrox has been – and always will be – morally bankrupt.

    IMO.

    View Comment

  24. "Following consultation with their legal advisors and the Committee, the Joint Liquidators on behalf of the Company sought leave to appeal the Court of Session’s decision. The application was lodged on 27 November 2015 and leave to appeal was granted at a hearing on 8 March 2016. The Notice of Appeal to the Supreme Court was filed in April 2016.

    The appeal was heard at the Supreme Court on 15 and 16 March 2017. Following two days of argument, on 5 July 2017 the Supreme Court ruled in favour of HMRC and the Company’s appeal was dismissed."

    I wonder who was on the Committee, I believe it is the major creditors.

    Wait, does that mean HMRC wanted the Court of Session ruling confirmed in the Supreme Court. Leading to all disguised remuneration being ruled in the highest Court in the UK as taxable.

    I also see that the tax involved (including interest but with no penalties) was £68m. Putting an end to any claim that the amount owed to HMRC wasn't that high in the first place. It was fecking enormous. 

    View Comment

  25. StevieBC 9th December 2018 at 11:26

    '…The club/team operating out of Ibrox has been – and always will be – morally bankrupt…'

    _____________________

    To be absolutely and resolutely fair-minded, StevieBC, however 'morally bankrupt'  the Boards of Rangers 1872 to 1988 may have been, they never cheated in such a way as to bring about actual financial bankruptcy!

    That was left to a man even more despicable than King, a knight of the realm no less ( I expectorate in sheer disgust that such a man should ever had any part in Scottish Football)

    But even more despicable than that knight are those in our Football governance who  made such complicit ars.s of themselves by the farrago of lying bullshit they dreamt up about a newly created club being one and the same as a club which, under their own rules, had lost any and all entitlement to exist as a football club ,and had died the death of Liquidation.

    It is absolutely necessary that such a monstrous piece of nonsense be dealt with, by getting the lying sods out of office, and getting decent, honest folk into office, to muck out the Mt Florida byre, and get the truth out there where we can all can see it.

    At bottom, this is not about a particular club and its disgusting chancers: but about the even more disgusting sods who did not deal with that particular (now dead) club, and who continue to shield and protect their new creation by trying to deny that it is a new creation!

    How they (and, of course, they know who they are) can live with themselves is a bit of a wonder. Each of them knows that the others, like himself,  is untrustworthy and ready to sell his soul

    And knows that the rest of us would not trust them ever again  to act with integrity .

     

     

     

    View Comment

  26. Homunculus 9th December 2018 at 11:41

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

    I have a fairly simplistic view of HMRC's acquiescence on the "penalty" amount.  They are satisfied that they have the Supreme Court judgement in their back pocket. That will allow them to recoup much more of a return from companies and individuals, rather than concern themselves about a few pence in the pound dividend from a liquidated company.

    View Comment

  27. easyJambo 

    9th December 2018 at 15:44

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

    That's pretty much how I see it, they have what they wanted out of the situation.

     

    View Comment

  28. Portbhoy,

         "I'm more surprised than frustrated" (40 secs).

         It's very very frustrating, at the moment, (1:20)

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

         Bugger me that must have been some surprise then !   angry

    View Comment

  29. Graham Spiers is giving it the old nod and a wink that the BBC and Rangers are about to patch up their differences.  This raises serious questions for me in that for any dispute in any walk of life to be resolved there has to be a bit of come and go from both sides. What are the BBC offering Rangers, which is fair to assume is not on offer to any other club? Whatever you think of Dave King he has shown himself to be an intransigent man who is willing to dour out situations for the long haul, and in my view there would be no patch up without concessions being secured. It's one to watch out for, although at times it's hard to wonder how much more sycophantic BBC could be towards them anyway. It's as if they are almost begging for Rangers to love them. 

    View Comment

  30. UptheHoops@07.24

    Chris McLaughlin about to get promoted and thereby clearing the way for the national broadcasters return? 

    I’d like to think that if the BBC return, Michael Stewart would be allowed to comment on the sectarian singing which is still evident among the supporters. 

    View Comment

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