Dear Mr Bankier

630
162509

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

630 COMMENTS


  1. Court reconvened at 2.10 pm.

    Mr M: my Lady, we have had constructive discussions.(he handed up a document to be lodged in process)

    It is initialled on the second page, and it is appropriate, not least in the public interest, that it be read in  Court.  

    I ask that the diet of Proof be discharged , and I require to renew my sanction..

    The final paragraph provides that a public announcement be made no later than 3 December and published on the Rangers web site. 

    [ he read the document in full, but since it is to be published, I did not take special interest in trying to record it]

    It relates to what has been undertaken by parties:

    1.all [ed: reasonable?] steps to be taken to instruct a Third party 'cash confirmer' to be confirmed by 14 December 2018

    2.do all such things as are required consistent with Laird making full offer as agreed by the Takeover panel and Cash Confirmer

    3.take all steps as are required in South Africa to transfer such funds as are necessary  by 3 January 2019

    4.to instruct Cash Confirmer to provide advice to King/Laird to consult with the Panel

    1. to ensure that Laird makes an offer for Rangers [ ed. yes, those were the very words used, on my oath!]by  pm on 25 January 2019
    2. to appoint by 14 December 2018 a fresh legal adviser conversant with  Takeover Code matters to advise ..

    6.not to raise any objections to any enquiries  by the Lord Advocate

    7, by no later than 5.30 pm on3 December 2018 publish the contents of this document

     

    (Mr Mitchell then suggested that 12 December  is too early a date [for whatever was pencilled in for that date] and proposed that it be left to Parties to decide before my lady, and the sanction to remain on Mr King to consult as if NOT a witness, with the Panel as required.

    Lady W: Mr Johnstone?

    Mr J: I have no objection.

    Lady Wolffe: I AM NOT GOING TO ACCEDE to the request to discharge the Proof, but continue to  4 February 2019

    Mr King is ordained to appear. 

    There will be a  'By Order' on 29 January 2019  for [ didn't catch that] 

    Lady W consults with her Clerk of Court: and says that Counsel will update the Court by 28 January, before the 'by order' hearing on 29 January.

    Lady Wolffe then addressed Mr King: Mr King you are free to discuss matters with the Panel and your advisers.But you must understand that you are required to appear in person on 4 February. This is a peremptory order, and is mandatory and there  [can be  serious consequences if you do not appear.]

    Proof hearing is continued

    Immediately after the judge left the bench, eJ and I, sitting immediately behind Mr Jillings and Mr Evans of the TOP, engaged them in conversation.

    eJ stunned them with his understanding of the arithmetic of the shareholding percentages and the overall effect of the 'share issue', and they agreed his understanding.

    I rather less impressed them with a query about whether anyone was thinking of amending Section 955 of the Companies Act 2006- the section that had given Lord Bannatyne some difficulty about judicial discretionary powers/options. They answered that the use of 'may' in a piece of legislation is pretty normal, and was not really a problem.

    But they were extremely pleasant and open, and I think, pleasantly surprised at our interest and apparent familiarity with the case.

     

     

     

     

    View Comment

  2. It seems Lady W is fully aware of King's glib and shameless personality and has headed him off at the pass. It seems that extradition would also be possible if King decided not to return to face the music. His final hope must be that SARS deny him the right to move the money out of the country but that seems unlikely. It really would be karma if those who have given verbal assurances not to sell did just that once the opportunity presents itself. They must realise by now that King is bad bad news to be associated with (any) company and this will be a last opportunity to realise any value for what are rapidly depreciating shares in a near bankrupt organisation. King promised last year to fund any shortfall but failed to do so hence the expensive loan from Close. The same promises have been made this year when he has all this extra demand for his finance , only a fool would trust him to deliver . King of course will use the extra funding demanded by TOP to excuse himself from his shortfall commitments leaving the other Directors to step up or seek out another loan shark arrangement. The sensible option would be to offload any player of value in January, return expensive loan players and live within their means until things stabilise. Will they ? Not a chance.

    View Comment

  3. John big thanks again to you and EJ for an incredible stream of primary information and real insight that none of the other journos and hacks seem to be capable of.

    Or allowed to do maybe?

     

    You deserve an upgrade on your Oz-bound flights, safe journey and look forward to you being a foreign correspondent for  while.

    EJ you (we) deserve a goal or two starting today.

    View Comment

  4. Lady W: Mr Mitchell, the witness is still under oath and the contempt case is ongoing . There is a limit to what you discuss. It’s an unusual case, so I will let parties have discussion.
    ……….
    Thanks again JC and safe journey.
    ………………
    eJ stunned them with his understanding of the arithmetic of the shareholding percentages and the overall effect of the ‘share issue’, and they agreed his understanding.
    …………..
    Brilliant.

    View Comment

  5. Cluster One 1st December 2018 at 21:32

    Does anyone believe Dave king will comply?
    I think he could do a Reginald Perrin and the SMSM would be happy to go along with it, no questions asked

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

    According to this, there is no extradition arrangement in any form between South Africa and the U.K. Just saying…

    http://www.justice.gov.za/ilr/mla.html

    I have to say I am utterly disgusted the Scottish media are not all over King's court statement that shareholders in Rangers have links to organised crime. This must surely pose the question whether all funding they currently receive is clean. I can't accuse anyone of anything without evidence, but it is a significant statement to make under oath in a court, and one any self respecting media should be going after big style. 

     

    View Comment

  6. One piece of irony from the CoS hearing. When asked about his options for seeking an "authorised dealer" to arrange exchange control clearance, Investec was the first choice (subject to their fees being reasonable), but King was considering using SARS as an agent.

    I don't know the ins and outs of SA Exchange controls, but I had a little chuckle to myself at the thought of SARS actually helping King to get funds out the country.

    View Comment

  7. Although no extradition arrangement currently exist between the UK and SA it doesn't mean they would refuse to extradite him. King though as we have seen is expert at dragging procedures out and could choose to dig his heels in . That would mean the end of his involvement in the company and a real possibility of administration.

    It becomes an almost impossible task to 2nd guess this man and his intentions , if it comes down to cost then what he would lose by walking away against what he would lose by complying is simple enough but with King nothing seems to be that simple. With an admin event comes a 15pt penalty and an exodus of the overpaid which would include Gerrard . Mr Murty and a collection of youth will not have the turnstiles clicking for long and the rot then sets in again. If King stays and doesn't fund Gerrard then Murty may be back anyway. 

    View Comment

  8. I think we can confidently look forward to unexpected and unfortunate third party issues further delaying King's devout intent to make an offer under the timetable just agreed with Lady Wolffe & the TOP.

    All outwith Mr King's control of course.

    Scottish Football has a strong Arbroath.

    View Comment

  9. Can I add my thanks to our intrepid court reporters for the fantastic job they are doing. The detail and analysis they are providing puts our so-called professional journalists to shame.

    While I'm here, it's half-time at Tynecastle and the facsimile club have taken the lead by virtue of an offside goal. I'm sure that Jim Traynor is currently compiling an official complaint to the SFA about the standard of decisions made in this match. indecision

    View Comment

  10. Might the Dave King shenanigans be a cunning plan to get £19m out of South Africa? He gets his money out because a court has ordered him to make this sum available, but swears that hell only be spending a million, if that. He buys from the Easdales etc and the rest of the money disappears to the British Virgin Islands.

    View Comment

  11. ulyanova 2nd December 2018 at 16:13

    Might the Dave King shenanigans be a cunning plan to get £19m out of South Africa?

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

    Highly unlikely. There was some discussion in court about the conditions that the exchange control dealer might put on the arrangement, e.g. that any used funds would have to be repatriated.

    View Comment

  12. easyJambo 30th November 2018 at 14:31
    38 0 Rate This

    Following the break King has provided the court with an undertaking which will be published on the RFC website by 3rd Dec.
    ……………….
    All eyes on TRFC web site tomorrow then.
    Let us hope it does not get any technical issues that stops Mr kings undertakings being published.

    View Comment

  13. Hard fought final.CFC deserved to win overall but the Dons made it difficult.If they play the rest of the season the way they played today it won't be long before they're in the league position that most of us expected them to be in.

    Glad to hear that GMS seems to be OK.A players health is always more important than the result.Commented to my mate at the time that if this had been Rugby,Boyata would not have returned.FWIW.I think rugby has it right.

    As an aside,

    The court has laid out a timetable that King must adhere to.The 1st order is that King will make a statement wrt the courts instructions 0n the RIFC website tomorrow.I don't think the Court will pay much attention if he misses by a day or two.

    However,if he doesn't have a cash confirmer(Investec?) by the close of business on 14th December,then all bets are off.

    Are Investec? willing to put their name on the line if they don't have Daves cash?.

    View Comment

  14. Have to commend EJ & JC for their court coverage last week. Apart from their careful attention to detail, presentation of facts and explanatory narrative, they have emerged as THE authority and go-to guys for info and background on these matters. Quite the Twitter following too.
    Thanks guys 👏👏👏👏

    View Comment

  15. Has anyone put together a compilation of the various SMSM in-depth reports on their investigations into DCK's claim of criminal involvement and money laundering at RIFC?

    What an amazing story for the press to get their teeth into!

    SFNASA

     

     

    View Comment

  16. redlichtie 

    3rd December 2018 at 10:55

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

    Its quite extraordinary.

    The chairman of a PLC which is 100% owner of a Scottish institution (sic) declares in open Court, presumably under oath, that the PLC is partly owned by organised crime groups. 

    Which means that the institution was built at least in part using the proceeds of crime ( the share issue funded the club being built).

    Where is the outcry in the media. Where are the calls for enquiries, for Police involvement. 

    I'm not seeing it. 

    Its particularly ironic that the same man, a convicted criminal, made these declarations at a hearing relating to his own alleged contempt of Court. 

    View Comment

  17. Homunculus @11.50

    You couldn’t make this up. Any chance there’s an  MSP or MP who follows this blog who who has the integrity to raise this in either Parliament?

    View Comment

  18. Homunculus 3rd December 2018 at 11:50

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

    The cultural power of Rangers in Scotland is quite incredible. Surely with King having made the statement about organised crime under oath in a court then the Police must be duty bound to follow up on it?

    View Comment

  19. I remember from a good number of years ago that BBC Scotland sent a news team to Lithuania to investigate Romanov, on what was then no more than rumours/a hunch. They ended up showing a half-hour program of not very much. Now, on their very doorstep, with clear allegations (from a man in a position to know) in court that criminal money was used by one of our football clubs (regardless of it's age) not one member of our media is showing the least bit of interest.

     

    It's not even worth asking why that might be.

     

    Shameful.

    View Comment

  20. There was a lot of football played yesterday and although I sat through the Sportscene Twilight edition I’m fairly sure there was no footage (not even the usual 5 minute highlights) shown of the League Cup Final. Did I miss it while making a cup of tea?

    View Comment

  21. Ex Ludo 15.31

    Despite only watching the Rangers & Kilmarnock v Hibernian highlights i am pretty sure that there would be none shown as BT Sports own the rights to the competition.

    Speedy recovery to GMS.

     

    View Comment

  22. Allyjambo 3rd December 2018 at 14:29

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

    Perhaps it's something e.g Alex Thomson of Channel 4 might be interested in. The chances of any Scottish news outlet going after it are zero.

    View Comment

  23. I see BBC have wheeled out a former Ref (Steve Conroy) to criticise Craig Levein for his comments about Bobby Madden yesterday. Maybe I missed it but I don't recall them doing the same when Rangers savaged Willie Collum more than once recently. 

    A Referee's job is obviously difficult but the media don't help with their selective outrage, which seems to depend on who has benefited and who has lost out with the incorrect decision. 

    View Comment

  24. Ex Ludo 17.52

    Would have thought a highlights package of the secondary cup competition might have been within their budget.

    They can't compete for the live coverage of the Premier League or Internationals but a deal similar to that of the Scottish cup would have sufficed.

    View Comment

  25. Ex Ludo 3rd December 2018 at 15:40
    8 0 Rate This

    OttoKaiser@15.23

    Paragraph 2 is interesting. “ Consents and approvals” required of the South African authorities. Anyone see a problem there?
    ………………
    The South African authorities will know king well.
    Could they scupper this deal? And if they do what then for king?
    If king can’t move his money, that is not the UK courts problem.

    View Comment

  26. In December 2016, as part of discussions on processing Res12 ,Celtic were told that they were dealing with a criminal organisation at Ibrox and needed to up their game.

    If they have, it is not evident, having been given more than enough information to do so.

    View Comment

  27. Important Announcement :

    It has come to my attention that Arbroath FC has been living off the proceeds of crime. Apparently some of the members of the club are criminals and have been using the club as a money laundering operation. One of them has been caught by the FBI in the USA engaging in various illegal activities.

    This has been reported to the SFA and the local police. The SFA have suspended the club and barred the Board from any involvement in football. UEFA/FIFA have sent forensic football experts to assist the SFA in sorting out this blight on Scottish Football.

    The police have called on Scotland Yard and Interpol and a major investigation is under way. Tomorrow's Courier and other SMSM will all carry four page exposes of the scandal.

    Scottish Football needs a clean Arbroath.

    View Comment

  28. I am forced to wonder.

    What do the Rangers' supporters think of the Chairman of the PLC making these revelations re the owners / funding.

    Are you comfortable with this, do you think action should be taken. If so what. 

    View Comment

  29. FWIW,I'd like to believe that highly paid,so called experts,will already know whether it's possible for King to get this money out of S.A.  in the timescale allowed.

    This doesn't of course mean that Glibby won't try & stall any such action.

    View Comment

  30. You would imagine that the financial affairs of ALL investors and contributors at Ibrox will be forensically investigated after Mr King's revelation of the possibility of money laundering . I'd be affronted if I was included , but maybe they're made of stauncher stuff .

    View Comment

  31. Homunculus 3rd December 2018 at 20:04

    I am forced to wonder.

    What do the Rangers' supporters think of the Chairman of the PLC making these revelations re the owners / funding.

    Are you comfortable with this, do you think action should be taken. If so what. 

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

    It appears to me, perhaps wrongly, that a succession of people since 2012 have convinced most Rangers fans that their club are nothing other than victims of vindictive haters. King has not only continued that, he has probably taken it to a new level. Therefore I don't think they will have paid much attention at all to King's statement. After all he has worked hard to convince them he himself is a victim of a vindictive Takeover Panel. 

    View Comment

  32. From what i can gather

     The ibrox club are looking for a few million to see out the season.

    Last year they got a loan from Close Brothers.

    TRIFC had a share issue to help pay back this loan.

     

     

    DCK's claim of criminal involvement and money laundering at RIFC?

    Who would now give them a loan if there is 

    criminal involvement and money laundering at RIFC?
    Has king passed the buck onto fellow Directors to come up with the cash.
    Ie. No one will give us a loan, it is now on you my fellow Directors to come up with the cash to keep the lights on.

    View Comment

  33. Cluster One

     

    I follow your logic, but i don’t think that having organised criminals as shareholders would of itself be a disqualifying criteria for a bank loan. 

    I would imaging many of the worlds biggest companies have shareholders who are organised criminals. After all those types of individuals need somewhere to wash their money , and property now is coming under more scrutiny 

    The problem would be if any organised criminal was a person of  significant control ( a PSC ) then bank funding wouldn’t be possible .

     

    The bigger obstacle to a bank loan is the disastrous trading record and the fact that business is effectively insolvent if not for the revaluation of assets , which is what Murray kept on doing to enable him borrow even more . 

     

    Revaluing assets such as the value of the brand and property assets based on rebuild cost rather than market value is allowable , but any credit lending officer of any substance ignores it when the company concerned are running up huge losses and are cash paupers. 

     

    The question of how will you pay me back when asked by a financial institution isn’t going to be satisfied by “ Champions League money “ .

    It isn’t going to be satisfied by offering assets as security at their claimed balance sheet value.

    It isn’t going to be satisfied by trading losses year after year.

    It isn’t going to be satisfied without a copper bottomed business plan showing trading profits with positive cash flow and even then any lender ,other than a lender of last resort , will want to see evidence in terms of actual results rather than forecasts 

     

    and even with all of that ,

     

    a lender of last resort , is likely to run a mile when the guy providing the loans currently is constantly in court for refusing to abide by instruction from the Financial Conduct Authority which is the effective enforcement arm of the Takeover Panel

     

    And as an uncomfortable little aside . The UK doesn’t have an extradition treaty with South Africa

     

    View Comment

  34. Barcabhoy 3rd December 2018 at 23:17

    I follow your logic, but i don’t think that having organised criminals as shareholders would of itself be a disqualifying criteria for a bank loan. 

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

    I beg to differ, of course it would. 

    Are you seriously suggesting that a bank would knowingly provide loans to organised crime groups. 

    View Comment

  35. Homunculus

     

    I’d wager BP , Coca Cola, Apple and Microsoft are shares owned by the Russian Mafia.

     

    The key isn’t whether a company has criminal shareholders but whether those shareholders have influence or can make decisions. 

     

    Rangers have 10,000 plus shareholders. Having 4 who control less than 10% wouldn’t automatically result in an underwriter refusing credit . 

     

    Especially when those shares were purchased when Rangers were a listed plc 

    View Comment

  36. Ex Ludo 3rd December 2018 at 22:47 ………… See you on the other side.no

    ………………………………………

    Barcabhoy 3rd December 2018 at 23:17 12 1 Rate This Cluster One I follow your logic, but i don’t think that having organised criminals as shareholders would of itself be a disqualifying criteria for a bank loan.

    … and even with all of that , a lender of last resort , is likely to run a mile when the guy providing the loans currently is constantly in court for refusing to abide by instruction from the Financial Conduct Authority which is the effective enforcement arm of the Takeover Panel.

    …………………….

    Thanks for reply.

    That was more my point that you put across much better than me.

    Even after all that, and with kings claim. All they have left from ibrox are lenders of last resort. Even a lender of last resort, may after reading kings claims, may not want to have their name linked with such an ibrox organisation, and if they do they now have an even more better barganing chip when dealing with an ibrox organisation.

    The terms of their loan by the lender of last resort could way heavy in their favour. Much more than usual

     

     

     

     

     

    View Comment

  37. Time will probably tell exactly why Mr King put on record that there is dirty money behind the team playing out of Ibrox.

    The only thing we can be sure is that it was not a chance remark made off the cuff.

    It was done for a specific reason by a particular individual with much more experience in courts of law than your average, football club holding, company chairman.

     

     

    View Comment

  38. I see in an explanation to a parliament select committee yesterday that Mike Ashley (discussing his recent HoF purchase explaining why cash negative stores couldn’t sustain the high street as is) exclaimed “who could keep 59 stores open and pay for it?  Only God himself.”

     

    Why does he have to bring Dave King into everything!  Mans obsessed.

    View Comment

  39. Following on from Barcabhoy 3rd December 2018 at 23:17 

    We are back in the situation of many hoping for a catastrophic event that will end the new club.

    However, it will not be one event that does it but, as Barcabhoy implies, a series of events coming together over time that just makes the business model financially unsustainable.

    It has been said many times before that nobody knows what King’s plan is or if he has some form of ulterior motive.

    We know how the SA courts viewed the man, we know he likes to kick cans down the road and seems to like a costly day (or many) in court.

    However, at the end of the day he has channelled some millions into the new club and somehow convinced others to do the same.

    Maybe he genuinely is happy to put some of his cash into the club but clearly only on his terms. After all he didn’t gain his millions from splashing cash willy-nilly.

     

    The problem for T’Rangers fans, is that while they currently sit top of the league, are still in Europe and have the Scottish Cup to come, the recent accounts show things aren’t getting any better behind the scenes.

     

    I know in posts with Easyjambo, he thought things might improve with increased revenue and this season euro income from gates and prize money may help towards sustainability. However, every time you think a sustainable operation may be achievable there appears to be additional outgoings that just increase the losses year on year.

    The recent statements following the AGM appear to show no change in the business model of living on borrowed cash and time.

    Like the oldco, like the sugar daddy model run by Gretna and like the long term debt being carried by Hearts under Robertson and then Vlad, if serious attention isn’t taken to turning things round we all know how it ends up. It really is just a matter of time.

     

    While clearly there are some budget buys and loan players as opposed to instead of big money signings down Govan way,  King’s rhetoric and hubris doesn’t seem to be different from that of the oldco and we know that even when they were ‘at the top’ they still buggered it up.

    View Comment

  40. Billydug 4th December 2018 at 14:36

    So they were . From Wikipedia .

     

     

    For the 1878−2002 club, see Airdrieonians F.C. (1878).

    Airdrieonians

    Airdrieonians FC logo.pngFull nameAirdrieonians Football ClubNickname(s)The DiamondsFounded2002; 16 years ago (As Airdrie United FC)GroundExcelsior Stadium,
    Airdrie, North LanarkshireCapacity10,101[1]ChairmanBobby WatsonManagerIan MurrayLeagueScottish League One2017–18Scottish League One, 7th of 10WebsiteClub website

    Home colours

    Away colours

    Airdrieonians Football Club are a Scottish semi-professional football team based in Airdrie who are members of the Scottish Professional Football League (SPFL) and play in the SPFL Scottish League One. They were formed in 2002 as Airdrie United Football Club following the liquidation of the original club. The club's official name was changed in 2013 with the approval of the SFAto the traditional name of Airdrieonians. As with the earlier team of the same name, this is often colloquially shortened to simply "Airdrie".

    View Comment

  41. From a personal viewpoint, I believe the reactions to King's comments on criminality and money laundering have been taken a bit out of context.

    King was being taken through the RIFC shareholder list by his QC, who noted that there were a few marked with a status of "restricted" He explained that the RIFC Board had taken decisions for two different groups and reasons.

    Firstly the frozen shares held by BPH, Margarita, Norne Ansalt and Putney. That was due to the non disclosure of the beneficial owners of these shares, and a belief that there may be links to money laundering. The restriction was renewed at every RIFC Board Meeting.

    The second restriction applied to Beaufort Nominees Limited (BNL), who had effectively been put into administration by the FBI on suspicion of criminal activity. When King mentioned that those shares were restricted for criminal reasons, it was not down to RIFC's decision, it was the FBI.

    The administrators (PWC) subsequently put restrictions on trading in the shares they held on behalf of their clients, pending further investigations.  You have to remember that BNL's primary function is to act as a nominee share and asset holder for multiple clients. They seldom have investments of their own.  In their latest statement, PWC advised that 85% of the investments previously held by BNL had been returned to the individual clients, or to another nominee company.

    I don't know if the RIFC shares held by BNL are part of the 85% or the 15% that remain restricted. It may be that the FBI has identified specific shareholdings held by BNL that are suspect and there is a possibility that they would fall into the same category as the frozen shares above.

    King believed that he wouldn't have to buy any of those restricted shares and could thus exclude them from any offer.  Lady Wolffe quickly knocked back that notion saying that he would have to make the offer to all shareholders, and that it would be the "third party" that held the cash who would be handing over the cash, so such a decision would not be King's.

    I don't know what would happen if the third party chose not to pay out.

    Edit: I can’t recall precisely what was said about the size of the BNL shareholding, although I think it was stated to be either 8% or alternatively 8M shares. Either way, it is a significant block, for which Sandy Easdale held a proxy for voting purposes. I’m sure I heard King intimate that their shares hadn’t been voted at the last AGM (for the first time ever).

    View Comment

  42. EasyJambo

     

    Thank you for the explanation. I think that's consistent with my comments on organised crime shareholders 

     

    King is a convicted criminal. It's not surprising other criminals were also attracted to becoming Rangers shareholders 

     

    The reality is that lending institutions don't go through a shareholders register before making underwriting decisions. They do receive Intel from financial bodies and if they have flagged up concerns over ownership , that would factor in lending decisions 

     

    However the fundamentals at Rangers are so bad that they wouldn't even look at Shareholders before Red flagging any application 

     

    Personal guarantees from credible stakeholders would be the only way that a loan of any substance would be approved on normal terms 

     

    If a loan was sought for say £1M and security was offered that was genuinely worth far more , a lender of last resort might take a punt on penal terms , but security of that nature is limited, does not include the Stadium, and is a real desperate measure 

    View Comment

  43. easyJambo 4th December 2018 at 18:18
    ………………..
    On thinking about this share offering by king, will there be a prospectus?
    If so that will cost a few quid, and when would it have to be put out? i don’t believe he has time for one.
    Or in this strange case, does he need one?
    A prospectus would shine a light in a dark corner, then who knows who would want to sell.

    View Comment

  44. Barcabhoy 4th December 2018 at 00:47

    Homunculus

     

    I’d wager BP , Coca Cola, Apple and Microsoft are shares owned by the Russian Mafia.

    The key isn’t whether a company has criminal shareholders but whether those shareholders have influence or can make decisions. 

    Rangers have 10,000 plus shareholders. Having 4 who control less than 10% wouldn’t automatically result in an underwriter refusing credit . 

    Especially when those shares were purchased when Rangers were a listed plc 

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

    Wager what you want, the point is the the Chairman of the PLC, and largest shareholder, has said that he and the board suspect specific shareholders of being involved in organised crime. It follows that if they used the funds to buy shares in the PLC (during a share issue as opposed to private trades) then the PLC is at least partly funded by the proceeds of crime.

    Any bank, or institution knowing this and then still doing business, for example providing loans, is leaving themselves open to accusations of money laundering. Particularly if there is any possibility of a future dividend, share purchase, or anything else which leads to these people receiving money from the PLC. Their criminal property will have been converted to what at first appear to be legitimate funds. 

    The point is not whether they exist, the point is that Dave King has said that they do, in Court, under oath. He has provided the PLC, and by extension anyone they do business with it the requisite knowledge (or suspicion) with regards these people. Bearing in mind that money laundering offences are based on " … know or suspects …" rather the person having to have specific knowledge. 

    You can find the interpretations of "criminal conduct", "criminal property, " etc here

    https://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/2002/29/section/340

    As I said earlier Dave King has potentially thrown the PLC under a bus to serve his own purposes.

    View Comment

  45. easyJambo 

    4th December 2018 at 18:18

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

    Just a couple of points, forgive me if I get them wrong.

    Was it not Beaufort Securities who were placed into administration.

    Did Beaufort Nominees not sell a load of shares to one of the fan groups. 

    View Comment

  46. Mibbees King's disclosure in court could also be viewed as an advert to any dodgy person who wishes to 'invest' some of their cash through RIFC/TRFC?

    I know, but anything is possible at Ibrox.

    I still think that whilst RIFC/TRFC are posting significant losses 'at the front door', someone or some people are carting off cash, or cleaning cash, through the back door.

    Allegedly.

    Speculation aside, the only certainty, IMO, is that King will most certainly NOT be transferring £19M to the UK.

    [Well, certainly not his own money that is.]

     

    View Comment

  47. Homunculus 

    That’s not the way lending institutions operate. They aren’t sensitive to local chitter chatter, in most cases they aren’t aware of it . The authorities only take action if organised crime is affecting or controlling the activities of the business. The business’ themselves have obligations not to facilitate money laundering if they suspect their shares are held by organised crime groups 

     

    You are ignoring reality if you think this isn’t widespread. The attached report details the extent of infiltration of business by organised crime

     

    http://www.transcrime.it/wp-content/uploads/2015/11/Project-ARIEL_Final-report.pdf

    In the UK 5% of all business’ infiltrated by organised crime were plc’s

    In parts of Scotland greater than 14% of all business’ have been infiltrated by organised crime. I’d attach images to back this up if I knew how to 

    View Comment

  48. Barcabhoy 

    4th December 2018 at 23:29

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

    The chairman of a PLC giving evidence under oath in the highest civil Court in Scotland is not "…local chitter chatter…" I don't really know where you are coming from with that one. 

    "The authorities only take action if organised crime is affecting or controlling the activities of the business."  … which particular "authorities" are you talking about because that makes no sense to me whatsoever. 

    "You are ignoring reality if you think this isn’t widespread." totally misses the point.

    It's not about how widespread it is, its about how often the Chairman of a PLC says it. I would venture that is very much the exception. 

    King has done it in open Court, that is a total game changer, for everyone involved. They now "know or suspect" that people are using the PLC to launder criminal property. I am surprised that you dismiss this so readily.  

     

    View Comment

  49. Homunculus

    I don’t know what background you have in underwriting . I have long experience of working with financial institutions, including underwriting my own clients when providing financial agreements dor them 

    I’m telling you for an absolute fact that lending institutions DO NOT underwrite based on the background of minor shareholders who have no control or influence

     

    Easy Jambo explained the circumstances of the suspected organised crime shareholders . They are not controlling shareholders and don’t have influence. They don’t tell Douglas Park or the Morgan Stanley partner what to do 

     

    Kicking Rangers just because it’s Rangers isn’t credible , especially when the real reason that Rangers are not creditworthy is much more significant . King stating it in open court has to be put into the context of why the question was asked and  the explanation provided

     

    The law may be interested in what happens to the proceeds of any shares sold , but that is an entirely different matter .  A business with 4 non controlling, non influential shareholders who potentially are organised criminals out of a shareholder base of 12,000 isn’t setting any alarms off . 

    Kings’s cold shouldering if he doesn’t comply , or if he gets found guilty of contempt , those are matters that have significant implications for Rangers   

    View Comment

  50. I note that Barcabhoy and Homunculus are locking horns over Organised Crimegate.

    The matter may be resolved, up to a point, if the restricted shareholders, who may or may not be crims, sell to Mr King.

    That way the Authorities would only have to deal with one crim, with the bonus that they know who he is, they know where he lives and all relevant information about him is easily found in the many glowing reports about him in South African court decisions.

    My reading of GASH's evidence was he was saying that because RIFC had decided to shut down the voting rights etc. of a number of shareholders they didn't feature in any calculation because either the Offer to Buy wouldn't be made to them or an acceptance by them would be rejected.

    I think Lady Wolffe shot this bit of wishful thinking down by pointing out this would be beyond GASH's control.

    This is all subject to the timetabling laid out being kept to. Stranger things have happened but not many

    View Comment

  51. Not wanting to stir it up by I agree with Barcabhoy when he say that , I quote, "Kicking Rangers just because it’s Rangers isn’t credible , especially when the real reason that Rangers are not creditworthy is much more significant". It is wishful thinking that we in SFM often indulge in to dive in looking for scandal when it comes to TRFC.  HOWEVER (apologies for shouting) the SMSM also dive in looking for scandal on regular basis so I also agree with Homunculus (I think it was him) when he postulated the outcome if some other chairman had said similar. I remember a BBC crew chasing after a Celtic bloke (?) because a company he was associated with was in the Panama papers for example?

     

     

    View Comment

  52. I couldn’t provide the link but the online version of the Scotsman showing TRFC on top of another” league”. The stadium has been filled to 97% so far this season.  Reasons to be cheerful I suppose.

    View Comment

  53. Barcabhoy

    5th December 2018 at 03:27

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

    I do not even really know what underwriting means, so I think that probably gives you an idea what my background is.

    However that is not my point. My point is that the Chairman of a PLC admitting what King has admitted, under oath is a significant event (whether you describe it as "local chitter chatter" or not).

    I would suggets it is also a very rare event and that banks and institutions will factor it into any decision they make, to protect themselves. Bearing in mind main street banks and institution are hardly flocking to provide loans anyway. Do you really think the shareholders and their friends are putting in millions, maybe even tens of millions because they fancy it. 

    My point is not about the influence or otherwise of fairly minor shareholders. It is purely about what King has said. It is significant because of the peculiarities of money laundering offences, which I have gone into before. He has provided knowledge or suspicion that the PLC is partly funded and owned by organised criminals. I genuinely find it astonishing that so many people are playing this down.

    Anyway, I think we are at or fast approaching the circular argument point, so I will leave it.

    View Comment

  54. BREAKING: Rangers charged by UEFA for pitch invasion and the throwing of objects during their Europa League tie with Villarreal Case will be heard on 13th of December.
    ………………..
    Not Breaking.
    The Rangers charged by SFA for pitch invasion and the throwing of objects during their Home game at ibrox against Celtic last season.Case will be heard on ??????

    View Comment

Comments are closed.