In Whose Interests

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Any organisation’s plan for a top-down review of development would ordinarily be welcome news. Self evaluation, or even better independent evaluation is an ongoing process amongst professionals, individually and collectively alike. In the case of the SFA however a healthy scepticism is required. We are after all dealing with people who are the poster boys for self-interest and short-termism.

The SFA had previously commissioned a thorough review of the game (decades ago) by Rinus Michels, the inventor of “Total Football” and his report was largely ignored, partly because it implied criticism of the then current regime, and partly because it would cost money. A “Total Shambles”.

Henry McLeish also famously recommended (again after being commissioned to do so by the SFA) a more balanced approach to governance between the SFA and SPFL. This would have required a blazer or two having less say in the running of the game – and was therefore ignored.

Mark Wotte, the prominent Dutch coach hired as performance director at Hampden also suggested during his tenure that, in order to improve technique, more ball time should be provided for players in games.

He recommended seven a side competitions as the norm for u-15s (less players – more participation).

To accommodate this, club infrastructures would have required expensive upgrading, and coaches in clubs, not responsive to new ideas lobbied hard for the status quo.

The upshot is that we carried on with the same eleven-a-side games where many players hardly got a kick.
And in this classic Einsteinean definition of insanity, no overall improvements were to be found in the national team’s fortunes.

No wonder Wotte fled the scene in 2014 after three years.

Of course the details are debatable and subjective, but experience tells us;
Anything that
a) costs money or
b) upsets old boys’ networks
has a tendency to be hidden out of sight.

The recent “announcement” is merely a reaction to a couple of poor results, caused in part by inaction in the wake of previous reports’ recommendations.

An increasing number of observers of our game refer to an inferior mindset amongst players in Scotland, that we accept losing as the norm.

Hardly surprising that such a mindset is prevalent amongst professionals.
They must despair at the chronic self-interest, ineptitude and fecklessness of the “leaders” of our sport – an organisation that appointed Gordon Smith as CE (think about that for a minute) based on who his pals were, where McGregor and Petrie can become senior officers – “because it’s his turn!” – despite being unqualified squares in a round ball game, and where fairy-tales take precedence over reality.

As long as the blazers have a seat on the SFA bus, nothing will change.

980 COMMENTS

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  1. I think I can state, quite certain that I won't be proved wrong, that the SFA will treat Dave King in whatever way they, the SFA, consider to be in the best interest of TRFC, without a single serious thought as to how it leaves the rest of Scottish football.

    I think that whatever way the wind blows from Hampden will give us a clue as to the chances of there being an internal Ibrox coup or if it is the case that Dave King is going to continue as defacto chairman for the forseeable future.

    I'd suggest that severe criticism and/or actual action will be a clear indication that the RIFC board want rid of King, while a fudge will mean the plan is to continue in the same vein with King at the helm.

    The SFA will, of course, already be taking advice…from Ibrox.

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  2. upthehoops 

    13th October 2019 at 11:14

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

    I will be surprised if there isn't a going concern warning in the accounts. As far as I can see they are still spending more than they are earning. Given that they have done that for every year of their existence and have been surviving on loans and share issues it seems unlikely there won't be.

    I would imagine there will be a comment along the lines that the directors and shareholders have committed to cover any losses. I don't think King personally being "cold shouldered" will change that.

    My personal feeling is that the other shareholders are probably in too deep to back out now. Particularly as the team are competing at both domestic and European level, with a real prospect of winning a proper domestic trophy for the first time in their history.

    If the other shareholders / directors really do want rid of King, and I have my doubts about that, then they will do it in a stage managed way. He will want to be there to pick up at least one trophy with him as chairman of the holding company and de facto chairman of the club. 

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  3. Homunculus 12th October 2019 at 23:39 

    The SFA Handbook

    https://www.scottishfa.co.uk/media/3998/scottish-fa-handbook-18_19.pdf 10.9 In the event that the Board considers that a person is not fit and proper to hold a relevant position within Association Football, the Board shall determine (in its sole discretion) what, if any, actions/consequences will apply in such circumstances.

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

        (my bold Homunculus)  What kind of tin-pot association can "Find", someone to be not fit and proper, to be involved in our game……….and then reserve the tight to do bugger a' about it.

        So much so, that they've made it an effin' rule. 

        An honest association would not seek, or even think up such a clause. 

        Fit and proper?…..Yir in.!   Not fit and proper?….Yir oot. !. ……Black & white.

       There is no need to colour it grey…..At their discretion. 

     

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  4. What if the SFA do nothing, which is very likely. All member clubs will have no faith in Scottish Football Governance (no  laughing at the back). The fans of this new club are beyond gullible thanks to SFA, smsm and pundits. Imaging Mr Lawwell got the cold shoulder, coverage from press may have been different.  No investor out with Ibrox will touch this toxic brand. How do their fans think this is going to end. I know they have a siege mentality but ffs to trust King any more. As mentioned their next accounts will be interesting.. When do SFA (insert Benny Hill tune) sit on this matter.

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  5. valentinesclown 13th October 2019 at 11:45
    The fans of this new club are beyond gullible thanks to SFA, smsm and pundits. Imaging Mr Lawwell got the cold shoulder, coverage from press may have been different.
    ………………
    Looking at today’s Sunday papers i half expected David Provan to have something to say on Mr kings cold shoulder, he has championed enough for king in the past. Sadly not a word. Maybe he had too much to say about scotland and all his thoughts on king will be in next weeks issue.

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  6. Corrupt official 13th October 2019 at 11:42

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

    It really is a bizarre situation.

    If we decide that you are not a person who is fit to have any role in our sport then we will decide if we are going to do anything about it.

    No-one else will have a say, just us. There will be no fixed penalty, we will decide if we are doing anything, at the time.

    What sort of organisation has rules like that. 

    You can't help but wonder, if Craig Whyte was not "fit and proper" and he wasn't, then why does Dave King not fall into the same category.

    King was actually convicted of his frauds, in fact if memory serves he pled guilty. So we are looking at this latest sanction, on top of that. To say nothing of his other actions, like trying to get the support to give him their season ticket money, in order to destabilise a Scottish football club. Or him breaching contracts with kit suppliers etc.

    What does this man have to do to fail the "fit and proper" test. 

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  7. Now that the spotlight is focused squarely on King,

     

    it's interesting to see stories in the SMSM today 'linking' Gerrard to Beskitas.

    And just last week it was also 'revealed' he was / is being considered for the Leeds job.

     

    Hmmm…

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  8. Sorry guys I just don’t get it. 
     

    The entity that is Rangers football thingy has made significant losses since its founding. 
     

    the company (which ever one it is) is also subject to significant commercial litigation and penalties. 
     

    the current directors are in the hole for a lot of money. Money they are unlikely to ever realise. 
     

    so what is it that any “investor” gets out of this clusterburoch?

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  9. Scottish sport sinks below the horizon in the land of the rising sun. It feels a bit weird though when 14 of the players lining up at the start of that rugby match “qualify” to play because of the residency rules. 

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  10. Homunculus 13th October 2019 at 12:40 

    Corrupt official 13th October 2019 at 11:4

     It really is a bizarre situation.

       ======================

        It's beyond bizarre H. It is a carte blanche invitation to every spiv, racketeer, and conman that they can do "business". in our country…..So long as they, the rule-makers,  are kept sweet.

          The court verdicts have already proved that law-breaking is not a hindrance to entry, so what is?

          It is a rule demanding to be corrupted by loofah swapping officials and crooks alike, and it has been drafted in a way to make it possible……That is the polar opposite of what a "rule", is supposed to be for. 

        I'm not a fan of uncle Mick, (who is not exactly high on the F&P tables) but if his tank gunners are short of targets and high on ammo, I will happily supply them with coordinates. 

       I cant help but feel that if Ashley was not limited originally to a 10% share uptake, he would have had no need to protect his investment via the onerous retail contracts. and would have been stuck with the more traditional route to profit, via his share-price values……..

        But allowing him a higher share threshold would have made the RRM coup for the brothers, virtually impossible without coughing up loadsa……..Cant have that old boy. !

    . Campbell Ogilvie, and Park D'Bus amongst other individuals, have shown that having shares in multiple clubs can be "overlooked", when required…Just ask Mr Redbull if you don't believe me Companies can do it too. 

         If Ashley was "allowed" a higher percentage for supplying the seed money, he would still have control. He would have no need, or desire,  to screw his own club. Sevco would probably be half decent run and out of danger by now……….Seven years later, they are not !…….

        But they do have the RRM back…..So that's good. mail

         

         

        

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  11. Re : Fit & Proper

    Can you imagine how the English FA would treat someone from overseas with 80+ convictions for tax fraud trying to buy control of an English club – he would be told to gtf pretty swiftly , in fact did they not rule out an Italian gentleman from buying an interest in Leeds/Watford ? because he had an outstanding charge levied against him in Italy over VAT due on a purchase of a speedboat from memory .

    Basically , the SFA is a racket & corrupt to the core – they'll probably have Andrew Dickson on the committee reviewing King's position .

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  12. The Scottish FA does not administer a fit and proper person test but does follow illustrative guidelines against which potential office bearers are measured.10 October 2013

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  13. Allyjambo 13th October 2019 at 11:30

    I think I can state, quite certain that I won't be proved wrong, that the SFA will treat Dave King in whatever way they, the SFA, consider to be in the best interest of TRFC, without a single serious thought as to how it leaves the rest of Scottish football.

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

    I think you are spot on. Let's not forget how accommodating the SFA were in letting convicted tax criminal King into Scottish football in the first place, and all to help get rid of Ashley who ironically is still very much on the scene. So if the rest of the Rangers board now want rid of King, the SFA will do all they can to help. Rules won't matter, and will be bent, broken, or made up to ensure the best possible outcome for Rangers. There is already evidence that they are willing to do that, and the media will ensure a very smooth passage for whatever happens. 

     

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  14. gunnerb 12th October 2019 at 00:27

    ——————————————–

    From what I can find it seems that the Dutch and the French have followed two different models of youth development. The French seem to have opted for the 'elite' method alluded to in my earlier post re: FA school at Lilleshall. The French are based at Clairfontaine and the results of their approach are not to be sniffed at. The Dutch have allowed the clubs to progress youth development by advocating "Jong" or colt teams from the professional clubs to compete in pro football beneath the top tier. I'm not sure about either system to be honest but the SFA have not to my knowledge tried either at any time.

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  15. upthehoops 13th October 2019 at 17:18

    Rules won't matter, and will be bent, broken, or made up to ensure the best possible outcome for Rangers.

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

    What the people running Rangers want, and what is the best possible outcome for Rangers are not always the same thing.

    The same is as true for this club is it was the last.

    Letting them do what they want, break as many rules as they want, overspend as much as they want etc is not always the best way. 

    Hearts are still here, in spite of all of the hard times and austerity the club has had to go through. Maybe Rangers would be as well if things had been done properly. 

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  16. Homunculus 13th October 2019 at 21:31

    '.. Maybe Rangers would be as well if things had been done properly.

    —————————–

    Yes.

    All legal truth and sporting truth and practical reality and Liquidation-precedent were on the side of the Governance body.  RFC of 1872 had died, as other football clubs had done, but rather more shamefully and in disgrace.

    But it's certain that few 'old Rangers' fans would have been permanently lost if the SFA had insisted that CG's new creation could not be allowed to make the ridiculous claim that it was the 'old Rangers'.

    There was undoubtedly a partisan desire on the part of the SFA Board strong enough to make it prepared to throw out sporting integrity, truth and common sense and create a monstrous lie under the specious pretence of the  supposed commercial interests of the game!

    The questions raised by the Res12 issue and the refusal to have that thoroughly and independently investigated reinforce the suspicion that the SFA was not only corrupt in the matter of the Liquidation and its consequences, but had already been corrupted by sliding monies to the ailing RFC of 1872, monies to which it was in no way entitled, some time before.

    It is now simply the case that the Governance body simply cannot get itself out of the mess its cowardice and partisanship created.

    It must come clean and face up to the truth openly and honestly, come what may.

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  17. Well, I don't know what all the fuss was about on SFM recently.

     

    If you got all your news from the SMSM, it would appear that King's extraordinary 'Cold Shoulder' was simply a source of mild embarrassment at Ibrox on Friday.

    So far today, there's not a peep online about it: it's history.

     

    Whereas the Internet Bampots have 1,001 follow up questions about the immediate and longer-term repercussions for;

     

    – King himself, his Chairmanship and his ability to provide future finance to TRFC

     

    – RIFC going concerns and the risks to the 'Rangers' brand and business partnering opportunities in future

     

    – the SFA and the responsibilities of its relatively new senior post holders Maxwell and Petrie WRT governance

     

    – the Scottish game as a whole, and the negativity this City decision has brought with regards to 'bringing the game into disrepute'.

    etc…

     

    Even if King is only the 4th person in the last 50 years – from across the whole of UK business – to receive the 'Cold Shoulder'…it's no biggie for the obedient SMSM!

    smiley

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  18. How to put kids off football – Part 1.

    Here is yesterday's doozy from the lower leagues of  kids football.

    Ref comes into the changing room to inspect the players, boots etc.

    Says two of the lads need to remove their base-layer as about an inch of black is showing at the neck above the lighter coloured strip. 

    The boys are of course at an age where the player size to strip can vary and often be baggy.

    Does this mean kids teams now have to fork out even more money ensuring base-layers match exactly to the club colours. (Or everyone just plays in black!!!) 

    Can see the point for senior games etc but low tier division in kids regional league – have a word FFS.

     

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  19. I see a new Director of football has been added to the payroll with the appointment of Ross Wilson . Everything in the garden must be rosy , of course those with long memories will recall the original Ibrox club were still attempting to sign players the day before they announced they were being placed into administration. Part of Wilsons' job is to sell players , I'm sure he will be thumbing through the Beijing phonebook before very long. Meanwhile our MSM are saying very little about cold shoulders , does that indicate the other Directors are adopting a head in the sand stance ? I'm sure that behind close doors the negotiations are reaching fever pitch . If King stays his presence almost ensures disaster, if he goes the resulting payoff almost ensures disaster , it's only a matter of time before King joins Craig Whyte in having his own Celtic Supporters club named after him.

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  20. This is not a rhetorical question, I would appreciate it if someone knew the answer.

    Is the issuing of new shares by an existing PLC covered by the Takeover Code.

    If so would the chairman and largest individual shareholder (albeit through trusts) having been "cold shouldered" by the Takeover Panel cause any problems with further issues to raise funds.

    I suspect the answer is no to both but that's just a guess.

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  21. From reading the judgement from the TOP I think it only becomes an issue if it gives King total control so no I don't think there is a problem with people investing money in a company whose chairman has been labelled as a man who shouldn't be trusted. Apart from the obvious………

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  22. Despite the SMSM's disinterest, I'll make a stab at the practical implications of King's 'Cold Shoulder'.

    [Disclaimer: I last worked in Financial Services about 9 years ago, so anyone with current input please feel free to correct / add.]

     

    1) Impact on King.

    Whilst being an SA resident, King jets into the UK frequently, so I'm assuming that King will 'probably' retain some personal and/or business bank accounts in the UK.  He may have e.g. UK credit cards, insurances, property, and he may have an accountancy or legal practice he uses for his personal and business needs in the UK.

     

    All those current UK services he receives as a customer of an FCA registered organisation are now obligated to take note of the Cold Shoulder decision – and take any appropriate action.

     

    In stark contrast to the SMSM: the Cold Shoulder is indeed a biggie for any/all FCA registered businesses.  They cannot ignore it as that would mean they are not compliant with regulations and that their internal controls are deficient – and that would probably result in a painful and costly FCA investigation and hefty fine.

     

    As King is only the 4th recipient in 50 years, FCA companies won't have a dedicated reporting system for 'Cold Shouldering'.  I would expect that King could be flagged up on the IT systems of ALL his current FCA regulated, UK service providers as a Politically Exposed Person, [PEP].

     

    To manage Anti Money Laundering, [AML], legislation, PEP's are identified typically as someone who maybe holds a senior government position in an overseas country – and could be the recipient of monies from dubious sources for dubious reasons.  A PEP is potentially high risk, and is monitored.

     

    So, for example, if King has a personal RBS account and he walked into a branch in the near future, to ask for a new service like a mortgage, loan, credit card limit increase, etc., I expect he will be declined, as "the computer says no".  His account at the bank will already be red flagged to deny any new business.

    Separately, RBS and ALL his FCA regulated service providers will have to make a decision: to maintain or close his accounts.

    It would seem though that the Cold Shoulder detail is fairly explicit: they have to reject his business.  Practically, I would guess he would be given a reasonable notice period to take his business elsewhere.

     

    When King then walks into e.g. a Barclays bank branch to open a new bank account to receive his rejected RBS business, the bank is obliged to complete their due diligence, [Know Your Customer, KYC], to comply with AML legislation.  King will be later informed by Barclays that "the computer says no" – and his application to open an account was denied.

     

    This process will be repeated with any bank, insurance company, and probably with his preferred accountants or lawyers.

    He could have difficulties if he wanted to buy or sell a UK residential property, UK listed shares, etc.

    For the next 4 years he will have a major problem operating in the UK.  And after his 4 years are up? Why would any FCA business take the risk of accepting King as a new customer?

     

    Effectively for King, the 4 years ban could become a lifetime ban in the UK, IMO.

     

    2) Impact on RIFC/TRFC.

     

    I believe Metro Bank is the only bank RIFC/TRFC has business with.  I'm assuming that as King lives in SA he is not a regular bank signatory for signing off cheques, payment runs, bank instructions, etc.  However, as he operates at Ibrox effectively as an Executive  Chairman he might be registered as a signatory with Metro Bank.  At the least, Metro will have some initial documentation with King acting as 'Authoriser' on behalf of RIFC / TRFC.

    So, Metro Bank would also be obliged to record on their IT system / Risk controls that their Ibrox business customer is controlled – and Chaired – by a high risk, 'PEP-type' individual.

    Again, Metro Bank would have to make a decision.  Again, I would expect the Bank to notify RIFC that banking facilities could be withdrawn, e.g. within X months.

    The wiggle room could be that IF King steps down as Chairman AND sells down his controlling stake, Metro might retain the account.  But this seems unlikely, IMO, as King would be expected to do this within a very short timeframe – and in good faith.

     

    If King hangs about Ibrox like a bad smell…

    He 'may' eventually step down as Chairman in the short-term but he'll probably still hold his controlling share stake for longer.

    I would suggest that if King remains the largest shareholder, Metro would have no choice but to close RIFC/TRFC accounts.

    Subsequently, RIFC/TRFC could have exactly the same problems King would encounter when trying to open a new bank account with ANY other UK bank.  A lack of banking facilities could be an insurmountable risk to RIFC/TRFC.

     

    …and perhaps that could be King's leverage, and his own nuclear option: pay me off or I'll take you all down with me?

     

    Whatever is really going on behind the scenes at Ibrox, time is of the essence.

    …and they STILL have the 2018/19 accounts to publish!

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  23. StevieBC 14th October 2019 at 13:08

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

    I wonder if it's as wide ranging a sanction as that.

    Is it not restricted to Stock Exchange/AIM related transactions?

    I could be wrong as my track record testifies.

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  24. StevieBC 14th October 2019 at 13:08
    ………
    Thanks for that good post.
    One or two questions if i may?
    …….
    1) Impact on King.

    Whilst being an SA resident, King jets into the UK frequently, so I’m assuming that King will ‘probably’ retain some personal and/or business bank accounts in the UK.
    ……………
    How does he jet out, would a travel agency deal with king and his bank account, a bank account that may wish to cut ties with king, or is cash his only option?

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  25. It's been mentioned on here a few times about the SMSM being in three wise monkey mode over King's sanction by the Takeover Panel. Is this really a shock? They have given their blessing to illegal tax evasion on a huge scale from Ibrox. They could not care less that King was a convicted tax evading criminal when he arrived in the first place. They could not care less that it was admitted in a court of law that Rangers acceptance of the wee tax bill was on a date before the date they told the SFA in order to gain a European Licence in 2011. That is only some of the things they don't care less about, and they also couldn't care less that the SFA are willing to go along with it all.

    That's why it makes me laugh when they hold themselves up as guardians of the truth. Imagine being willing to overlook such large scale wrongdoing just for one 'club'. What is the point in having a media at all?

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  26. Bogs Dollox 14th October 2019 at 14:28
    I wonder if it’s as wide ranging a sanction as that.

    Is it not restricted to Stock Exchange/AIM related transactions?

    I could be wrong as my track record testifies.
    ……………………..
    Even if the sanctions are only restricted to Stock Exchange/AIM related transactions? (And the media have been very quite to let the ibrox fans and the fans of scottish football know just how much the cold shoulder will or could effect king and the ibrox brand. No in-depth analysis from any journalists)
    If you had a Business would you deal with Mr king? A man who had 41 convictions, a man branded in SA as a glib and shameless liar? A man the Takeover Panel refer to as someone not to be trusted.A man who has lost a court battle with Ashley and told to pay all legal costs A man who joins only a handful of people given the cold shoulder in the UK.
    Would you deal with this man?
    If the answer is No? Why would you expect any reputable business to.

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  27. Cluster One14th October 2019 at 21:19

    _______________________________________

    I get all that. Some people may choose not to deal with him or the companies he is involved in and rightly so. But that doesn't answer my question.

    Does anyone know how far reaching the could shoulder sanctions are?

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  28. Bogs Dollox 14th October 2019 at 21:52
    Does anyone know how far reaching the could shoulder sanctions are?
    ……………..
    (And the media have been very quite to let the ibrox fans and the fans of scottish football know just how much the cold shoulder will or could effect king and the ibrox brand. No in-depth analysis from any journalists)
    I wonder why.

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  29. I notice Ross Wilson ,the new Director of football at Ibrox who was contacted 2 years ago claimed it just wasn't the right time to return but now considers the circumstances correct to sign up. Did Ross actually conclude the deal before the announcement of Kings punishment ? Did he fail to read about it ? Does he not realise the implications ? Did he speak to Mark Allen beforehand to test the bathwater before plunging in? I would think most people would think very carefully before joining a company whose CEO has just been publicly blackballed . Strange decision imo.

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  30. Bogs Dollox 14th October 2019 at 21:52

    Does anyone know how far reaching the could shoulder sanctions are?

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

    The judgement stated:

    In our opinion is Mr King an offender who is not likely to comply with the Code and whose conduct merits cold-shouldering by professional bodies regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority

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

    The judgement also relates to King individually, unless he acquires a controlling stake in the company.

    My reading of the above is that FCA regulated companies will not do business with him as an individual.  That may extend to club activities where King is the signatory or nominated person to act on the club's behalf. In those cases it may be as simple as getting someone else to act on behalf of the club.

    The net effect on King and the club will be neglibible if anything at all.

     

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  31. EJ

    I think the phrase "fly wi' the craws , get shot wi' the craws" would come into the thinking of companies before they decide to do business with any company that DCK has the slightest connection with . It would be different if there was a large wad to be had , but with King , I don't see that happening .

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  32. Timtim 14th October 2019 at 22:03

    I notice Ross Wilson ,the new Director of football at Ibrox who was contacted 2 years ago claimed it just wasn't the right time to return but now considers the circumstances correct to sign up.

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

    I am sure even Wilson himself will be surprised at how big a name in football he now is, and how brilliant his track record is being portrayed by people who probably haven't even looked at it. His real surprise over the next few months though will be to find out he is actually a superior person to others in Scotland now.  He is now socially and morally superior to anyone not fortunate enough to be part of Rangers. 

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  33. Bogs Dollox, I suppose time will tell just how far reaching the Cold Shoulder effects will be in practice.

     

    But the salient point, IMO, is that every FCA regulated organisation has to recognise the decision on King's trustworthiness – and WRT to any potential, new dealings with King, they would have to take into consideration the TOP decision.

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  34. I jetted in this morning from Newark Airport, after a couple of interesting and enjoyable weeks in Pennsylvania, and it's good to be back in the same time zone.

    Section A3 of the Take-over Code [  the full text of the code is at this link  http://www.thetakeoverpanel.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2008/11/code.pdf?v=1Apr2019%5D describes the companies, the transactions and persons who are covered by the Code.

    My reading of that section is that the cold-shouldering of a director or a company is only in relation to those transactions that are in connection with a take-over bid by one company of another, or by the directors of a company trying to get an increased control of the company by the issue of shares.

    That's disappointing, because I would wish that anyone 'cold-shouldered' should be seen as being an utter pariah, completely excluded from using any financial services in connection with his business or operating in any commercial business whether as owner or director.

    Reading the Code is not easy for people like me who  knows hardly anything about Companies and shares and the 'market' , so I may be wrong in my reading of the Introduction, Section A3.

    But I think that whatever we think, the people who move in that world of business and shares and take-overs crap themselves at the prospect of being 'cold-shouldered'- so it must have some significance as a penalty, branding the person as an untrustworthy person in whose good faith one would be a mug to rely on in any business connection.

    Further, it seems clear to me that  even to sit round the same Boardroom table with a person ordered by the FCA to be 'cold shouldered' would suggest that one is of the same low-life stamp of lying, untrustworthy business man.

    Perhaps the RIFC plc Board members have thicker skins than I?

     

     

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  35. If you are officially barred from "involvement in transactions that are in connection with a take-over bid by one company of another, or by the directors of a company trying to get an increased control of the company by the issue of shares" because you are likely to ignore the rules that govern same then you are being publicly labelled as untrustworthy. While the restriction may seem to be limited to those issues it will have a far reaching affect.

    If for example you are barred from selling 2nd hand cars because you sell cut and shunts with clocked mileages and fake MOTs would people suggest it is ok to buy a 2nd hand motorcycle from the same individual? If that individual starts work in a different garage for someone else but restricts themselves to working in the background rather than the forecourt how would you see the owner who employs him? The ruling also states people should avoid dealing with King "or his principals" on these matters , does that not tar them with the same brush through association? I don't believe this is a non issue with little consequence , anyone linked with King through business should distance themselves quickly before they are seen as just as untrustworthy as he is. 

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  36. StevieBC15th October 2019

    Bogs Dollox, I suppose time will tell just how far reaching the Cold Shoulder effects will be in practice.

     

    But the salient point, IMO, is that every FCA regulated organisation has to recognise the decision on King's trustworthiness – and WRT to any potential, new dealings with King, they would have to take into consideration the TOP decision.

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

    Yes time will tell what the impact will be.

    However, the FCA regulated institutions such as the banks are some of the biggest fraudsters alive with their miselling scams, fixing currency markets, internal corruption, tax evasion and their continuing money laundering for criminals, tax dodgers and kleptocrats.

    So probably best not to rely on them to do the right thing. There's always a choice for them of obeying the law or breaking it and history tells us that if breaking the law delivers profit, then that's what they do.

    It is for TOP regulated activity that they will be forced not to deal with him. As EJ says above the impact on King will be minimal.

    Mind you taking sanctions against King would make the banks look like the good guys and they might contemplate action for PR purposes!

     

    View Comment

  37. @BD 15.43

    Of course financial institutions are crooked and happy to accommodate crooks UNTIL they are exposed as crooked publicly , King has been hung out to dry ,he is the Patsy , if he were Morgan Stanley or Deutschebank then things may be different but he's not ,he's a small time con man of little importance or influence . Like the titles he inherited he is tainted .

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  38. Timtim 15th October 2019 at 16:44

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

    To be fair the club is already struggling to get proper financial institutions to deal with them anyway.

    Metro Bank*, on a cash only basis, no line of credit.

    Loans (overdrafts my arris) from Close Brothers, regularly required, presumably because of cash flow issues.

    The only "external finance" coming from directors, shareholders and their associates, later swapped for pretty much worthless equity.

    It's difficult to see how even King can make things worse.

    https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/metro-fears-big-bill-for-accounts-scandal-x2m5vq5nq#

    *September 19 2019

    Metro Bank has warned it could face a “significant” bill after regulators widened their investigations into a £900 million accounting scandal.

     

     

     

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  39. King certainly can make things worse

    If Metro withdraw their banking facilities it makes operating a company like RIFC almost impossible , in fact I would say totally impossible. If Close call in their loan (due to Kings' situation it makes a fundamental change to the circumstances) and it would be justifiable then they have a major cash flow problem. If other creditors worry that Close will eat all the pie and just leave crumbs then they will want settled before it's too late. It's like any financial system ,it's based on faith and trust in those operating it,once that faith and trust goes then it inevitably collapses. Will anything be left for Ashley? maybe he should ring fence a set amount . What affect will that have ?Major cash flow problem perhaps. It's the domino theory in action ,it's contagion, it's musical chairs . I don't know about others but if RIFC/TRFC owed me any money I would want it paid asap. If you know any face painters out there ……….

    View Comment

  40. Homunculus 15th October 2019 at 20:46

    *September 19 2019

    Metro Bank has warned it could face a “significant” bill after regulators widened their investigations into a £900 million accounting scandal.

       ————————————————————–

         I wonder if Sevco are in for a percentage of the £900 mill H. 

    View Comment

  41. Homunculus 15th October 2019 at 20:46

    '..

    *September 19 2019

    Metro Bank has warned it could face a “significant” bill after regulators widened their investigations into a £900 million accounting scandal'

    Metro announced in January that they had "adjusted the risk weighting of certain commercial loans secured on commercial property and certain specialist buy-to-let loans that had the combined effect of increasing our Risk-weighted assets"

    As I understand it, the amount of capital and cash reserves a Bank is required to keep on hand is closely related to the risks that are attached to their varied types of assets. And, it seems, it's the bank itself that decides what level of risk there may be!

    So, an official in my bank might decide that the risk of lending me £100M  to allow me to buy Big Pink's Lanarkshire mansion to support my plans for making money by renting it out to fabulously wealthy football players is no risk at all: because the money will come in, I shall pay off the loan and interest thereon no bother.

    So the amount that my bank has to keep in cash to cover the risk of me defaulting in my repayments of the loan is nowhere near enough to cover its ass if I do default, and if an unrealistic valuation of BP's mansion had been decided on( deliberately or not) to allow the bank to lend me the £100M.

    I assume therefore that the FCA investigation is into the question of whether there were very naughty deeds of minimising 'risk',thus leaving oodles of cash free for other purposes [not necessarily for illicit purposes (such as lining the pockets of individuals in making sweet deals for clients and themselves)], but consequently exposing the bank to the danger of not being able to meet its own liabilities if the estimates of risk were badly unrealistic.

    I attended a trial once, a number of years ago, where a guy who hadnae two pennies to rub together and had had to 'borrow' money from a guy who had been accused of fraud, testified that he , a finacial consultant,had writtten a 'letter of comfort'  as to the accused's financial standing and probity, to those who were thinking of lending the accused a substantial sum of money!

    That episode (on top of the RBS Goodwin ,the knight stripped of his knighthood while other knights  seem to be exempt from public censure and keep their 'honour' in spite of spitting in the eye of the Monarch by practicing deceit upon Her tax assessors and gatherers) causes me to laugh at the sub-species of human being such people are, hold them in absolute contempt, and wish them every failure financially-and gaol if appropriate.

    Naturally, I pass no comment on the situation at Metro Bank, who swear to cooperate fully with any investigation into the £900M blackhole.

    And, of course, I fully accept that I am not anything other than a questioner

    as well as being someone whose own experience tells him that bodies such as the SFA and the FCA appear not to like  questions being asked of them!

    I am  beginning now to think that I have grounds for asking my MP for some help in getting the FCA to reply to my query about their authorisation of the IPO Prospectus.

    But that is for another day.

     

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  42. John C
    Sadly the BP residence is leasehold 🙁

    BP; I gathered from your little bio at the top of the forum that you were based in the West of Scotland. Obviously you have now moved to some secret location (just like JJ) angry  in England or Wales. I hope your innocent reply to JC hasn't put your life in danger from marauding Huns.

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  43. I see a lot of chat with regard to what effect the TOP ruling will have on King and T'Rangers.

    My view is not a lot really.

    As discussed a long time back it didn't seem to do the last South African who was cold shouldered any particular harm.

    The main point is that T'Rangers and many of their fans seem quite happy to have someone like Dave King at the helm.

    For a club who keeps droning on about dignity they seem to be content to be run by a set of shysters from Murray, Whyte, Green and now King.

    Hearts fans lapped up some of the Vlad years but quickly realized it was no way to go on.

    Others clubs have had similar experiences with other shysters but, like Hearts, have tried very hard to steer an honest ship since those times.

    One wonders when T'Rangers will join the rest of us in trying to run our clubs and the game with a modicum of honesty, decency and respect.

     

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  44. An untrustworthy Chairman running an untrustworthy club?

     

    The SMSM has been reporting that Hearts' young left back Aaron Hickey is a TRFC target;

    • the new Sporting Director's first task is to target Hickey
    • Gerrard will be urged to buy Hickey in January for c.£2M

    No quotes in the article, and presumably it's PR p!sh from Traynor.

     

    Today this story was laughed off by Levein – and joked he might buy Morelos instead.

    But this little nugget highlights a few things, IMO;

     

    1) TRFC is desperate.

    Coincidentally, TRFC plays Hearts – away – this weekend.

    The only really good news story which TRFC still controls is to remain top of the league.  That can be exploited to distract from most of the negative stories swirling around Ibrox.

    And, the Hickey 'interest' is the oldest mind game there is: leak a story that you're interested in one of your opponent's best players just before the tie is played.  It's typically reserved for big games, and usually European ties.
    This tactic is intended to unsettle – or just irritate – the targeted player, his teammates and their manager.

    But, for a routine SPL tie…in October?!

     

    2) TRFC has no respect for its member clubs – or their players.

    TRFC has no qualms about using the SMSM to try and unsettle an opponent in Scotland.  

    Everybody and their dug knows TRFC has minimal cash, so an 'imminent £2M purchase' seems rather unlikely.

    But, perhaps most pertinently: Hickey is a young player who has attracted widespread attention this year.

    If a seasoned pro was targeted via the SMSM in this way, he could easily shrug it off with experience, and won't be unsettled.

    But, in this case, TRFC has quite deliberately decided to target – and try to unsettle – an inexperienced, 17 year old kid.

    That's just plain wrong, IMO.

    View Comment

  45. I notice that the BBC are reporting that Bury FC are on the brink of liquidation and that a committee will determine in "which league any new club shall be placed and will set out requirements to be met by the new club."

     https://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/football/50069246

    I wonder how long it will take for the BBC to rectify its blatant error, perform a u-turn and report that, on reflection, only an expendable company is being liquidated.

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  46. Metro bank has slumped a massive 96% since March 2018 from £40 to £1,68 , a small recovery to £2.04 in the past month does little to persuade investors that its problems are over in fact the phrase' dead cat bounce and pump and dump maybe of more relevance. The City dumping Metro may be as likely as Metro dumping Rangers*, rocks and hard places comes to mind. A small note re Aaron Hickey , if he does sign for the Ibrox club* then 30% of that transfer fee will go to Celtic . That's a very large IF.

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  47. Timtim, yes it looks ominous for Metro Bank.

    IIRC, the founder is a U.S. chap who opened/expanded Metro in the UK post the financial crisis to specifically take business away from the disgraced high street banks: i.e. Metro probably won't have many friends in the industry, or at the FCA either.

    [And I see that the colourful founder – and his ever present wee dug – got punted from Metro recently.]

     

    From an RIFC perspective: they can't simply wait to see if Metro Bank gets shut down, they have to be proactive and manage this risk.

    As in, the MD Stewart Robertson should already be approaching other banks – to make at least tentative enquiries at this stage – about taking on the RIFC/TRFC business.

    I wonder how well that is going…?  indecision

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  48. I'll be very surprised, indeed, if RIFC/TRFC are unable to find a bank prepared to furnish them with banking facilities, though I'm certain it would be on a strict no overdraft basis only.

    I suspect the only business problem King's cold shouder will cause the club might revolve around how Close Bros view it and if they see some financial advantage in using it to give them justification under the terms of the facility to call in the loan, leading, perhaps, to them taking over the assets under security. This, in turn, might prompt SDI to act to protect their position and apply for an arrestment on TRFC's assets. I really don't think, though, that either of these actions is going to take place at the moment, and not, if either event does happen, prompted by the cold shoulder.

    There will, almost certainly, be reputational damage to the club amongst the financial community, but, in time, should they survive long enough, that will be forgotten about and the club will be able to enjoy the banking facilities most businesses of their size and turnover have available.

    Banks have never been particularly interested in what type of person they accept money from (until the EU introduced money laundering regulations, with which the banks were very reluctant to comply – hence a number of hefty fines within the banking community), and only concerned with a customer's reputation when it came to lending.

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  49. I'd be surprised if the club was still using the Close facility.  Last year they took it out in February and had paid it back before the end of the financial year, so there was nothing about it the annual accounts.

    I'd expect the same situation this year with the facility paid off by early ST receipts.  The fact that the club also took out around £7m in new loans (now converted to equity) from various shareholders is evidence that Close wasn't used, or at least didn't extend their facility.

    View Comment

  50. StevieBC 16th October 2019 at 13:29
    If a seasoned pro was targeted via the SMSM in this way, he could easily shrug it off with experience, and won’t be unsettled.

    But, in this case, TRFC has quite deliberately decided to target – and try to unsettle – an inexperienced, 17 year old kid.

    That’s just plain wrong, IMO.
    ………………
    They tried that with
    DONS GAFFER WANTED Rangers make Aberdeen boss Derek McInnes top target after sacking Pedro Caixinha
    https://www.thesun.co.uk/sport/football/4779245/rangers-next-manager-derek-mcinnes-aberdeen-pedro-caixinha/
    But with no quotes, no problem with the club tapping. Just let the SMSM do your work for you.

    View Comment

  51. 'easyJambo 16th October 2019 at 17:11

    I'd be surprised if the club was still using the Close facility.  Last year they took it out in February and had paid it back before the end of the financial year, so there was nothing about it the annual accounts.'

    #####################################

    https://beta.companieshouse.gov.uk/company/SC425159/charges

    There seems to be three outstanding Close Bros. items listed: two from this year & one from 2018. For the non-business head, what does that indicate? 

     

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  52. Jingso.Jimsie 16th October 2019 at 19:25

    https://beta.companieshouse.gov.uk/company/SC425159/charges

    There seems to be three outstanding Close Bros. items listed: two from this year & one from 2018. For the non-business head, what does that indicate? 

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

    Your guess is as good as mine.

    Of the two created this year, one is a standard security over specific assets and the other is a floating charge.

    The one outstanding from last year is also a floating charge. I've no idea why it's still there..

    When last year's standard security was "satisfied", everyone thought that was the loan just having been paid off. However, there was no mention of the loan in last year's accounts suggesting that it had been paid off before the financial year end (30 June). It was similar to the Ticketus short term funding arrangement that the Oldco had used before the Whyte takeover, i.e. no-one had a scooby that any borrowing had taken place.

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  53. Jingso.Jimsie 16th October 2019 at 19:25

    '.. There seems to be three outstanding Close Bros. items listed ….what does that indicate?'

    _________________________

    Possibly it just indicates that the facility to borrow is there when TRFC Ltd need to use it, without going through hoops (Oops!).

    Incidentally, there is a wee drafting curiosity in the Companies House copy of  Charge Code SC4251590015

    delivered on 01 March 2019:

    " Para 6.5   Restrictions on dealing with Leases

    In relation to the Leases, the Borrower will

    a)..

    b)…….

    i) not irritate  [yes, irritate!] nor exercise any right to terminate the leases without obtaining consent "

    Obviously, m'Lords, the word the drafter wrote would have been 'initiate' and some copyist misread it. More importantly, no one on either legal side seems to have checked the final draft for misprints or typos!

     

     

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  54. EJ

    I pretty much see Close in a similar way to you. It is analogous to the arrangement with Ticket, in purpose if not in operation.

    Both were to deal with a cash flow issue, with the former being by pre-sale of tickets and the latter being loans.

    Given that the business runs at a loss, operates on a cash only basis and has no overdraft facility with the bank short term financing to cover cash flow shortages is inevitable. 

    The problem is that in either scenario you are spending next season's money to get you through this one. 

    The problem is that if either Metro or Close become unavailable then where do you go next. The field is rapidly narrowing and may soon be limited to existing investors only. 

    View Comment

  55. This link to Companies House talks about 'charges' , if anybody wants to expand their knowledge. (I just discovered it myself 5 minutes ago!)

    https://www.gov.uk/guidance/registering-a-charge-mortgage-for-a-company

    (I think any lender would want to make damned sure that the right form was sent at the right time to Companies House. If CH don't have it within 21 days after the borrower/lender sign their agreement, the lender would need a Court order to get it recorded. And if a standard security is not recorded, any debt just joins the queue of creditors if the Company goes bust)

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  56. Homunculus 16th October 2019 at 22:49

    '.The problem is that in either scenario you are spending next season's money to get you through this one.'

    Now that I come to think of it, there was not  lot of comment about the fact, when it became known,  that the Knighted majority shareholder of the original Rangers had used Ticketus routinely ( as well as the EBT tax dodge)while boasting about what he was going to do spending-wise.

    How exactly did the small-time CW dream up the Ticketus arrangement? From his own small-time, petty level 'expertise' as a would-be asset-stripper?

    or did he have a much more 'daddy'-type millionnaire giving him pointers about how to obtain funds?

    For some reason, as I write, the phrase'I was duped' comes into mind. I'm sure I've heard it before.

    View Comment

  57. And now we have this

    "Top Scots referees to be snubbed from major UEFA tournaments like Euro 2020 as no VAR in Scotland"

    https://www.heraldscotland.com/sport/football/17973352.top-scots-referees-snubbed-major-uefa-tournaments-like-euro-2020-no-var-scotland/

    Honest toGod, what is the SFA like!

    Super protective of referees and their '' honest' mistakes' I hear you cry?

    Or just penny-pinching troglodytes?

    Let's hear it from Maxwell: why do we not have VAR ? Lack of money, or fear of lack of control over the result of important games when referee decisions are clearly seen to have been utterly unfounded and in favour of a particular team?

     

    View Comment

  58. John Clark 16th October 2019 at 23:18
    How exactly did the small-time CW dream up the Ticketus arrangement? From his own small-time, petty level ‘expertise’ as a would-be asset-stripper?

    or did he have a much more ‘daddy’-type millionnaire giving him pointers about how to obtain funds?
    ……………….
    If i remember correctly and always happy to be corrected.
    It was mentioned in the Craig Whyte court case.
    “There is this company called Ticketus, we use them all the time”
    Or something along them lines. It may have been when Gary Withey (RIP) was questioned.
    ………………..
    Withey gave evidence during Whyte’s 2017 fraud trial.

    He told the court how previous Rangers’ owner Sir David Murray’s firm “didn’t seem to care” where Whyte was sourcing funds to take over the team.
    Withey said he was told by Whyte not to share information that the source of the cash to pay off Rangers’ huge debt was ticketing firm Ticketus.

    Withey also said he issued a warning to Whyte telling him he should “walk away” from the deal for the club

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  59. A very interesting article in The Sun;

    "NO GOAL Collum and Madden set to be snubbed for major games due to lack of VAR in Scotland

    By Lindsay Herron 17 Oct 2019, 7:40

    SCOTLAND’S top refs are set to be snubbed for major European and international games because we don’t have VAR.

    It has been revealed that leading officials Willie Collum and Bobby Madden will be excluded from major Champions League and Europa League matches.

    They are also set to be blanked from next year’s Euro 2020 finals.

    SPFL chief Neil Doncaster has claimed Scotland will struggle to adopt VAR because of the cost involved and the lack of officials.

    But former Fifa referee Charlie Richmond fears Scotland is becoming a backwater and must catch up with the rest of Europe.

    The top flights in England, France, Germany, Italy and Spain are all using VAR this season.

    There are also versions being used in Belgium, Holland, Portugal, Turkey, Greece, Switzerland, Poland and the Czech Republic…"

    ==========

    Some follow up questions a proper journalist could put to the SFA and SPFL;

    1) If Doncaster is pushing back on the cost of VAR, then how can leagues such as Switzerland and Portugal make progress?

    2) Following numerous clubs’ complaints last season about refs' performance, there was a 'Referees Summit' held in Perth last February.  The outcome was that the use of VAR "would be looked at".  So, exactly where are the SFA/SPFL today WRT implementing VAR?

    3) Has anybody from Hampden visited e.g. the Switzerland or Portugal leagues to study how they managed to introduce their version of VAR?

    4) What is the official position of the Scottish Referees' Association: are the SPL refs wholly supportive for the introduction of VAR into the SPL – and at the earliest opportunity?

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  60. Re VAR in Scotland. The SFA could not even implement something as simple as the Referee spray to mark out free kicks at the same time as the modern world did. For some reason they chose to wait. I simply don't buy that they can't afford VAR given some of the other nations who have a version of it. It either suits them not to have it, or the Grade 1 Refs they have who are selected on a very exclusive basis are so honest there is simply no need for it. 

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  61. Refusal/delay of VAR has absolutely nothing to do with money. All they need todo is amend the broadcasters contact to include the facility. In fact they currently provide limited VAR now which we could do straight away – just put a TV monitor in front if the 4th official. It becoming a farce where commentators and indeed fans at home can see immediately what’s happened but the ref cant. As stated VAR delay is simply to avoid proper officiating, I am appalled that the clubs are not demanding it be installed immediately

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  62. I suspect that the SFA's Head of Referee Development would require to be moved on (along with several of his favourites) before the SFA could implement any sort of meaningful (as in 'fair & reasonable in application') VAR.

     

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  63. Celtic should introduce VAR to Celtic TV, which is shown abroad during matchday, however with everyone at the game having a mobile,Celtic could bring out their own VAR app which only shows the var moments, penalties and offsides,  to all subscribers of the app, this would as it is a VAR moment be behind real time in live broadcasting and would not infringe TV rights as the clips will be Celtic TV property rights and are not live clips.

    Let the refs know what the stadium are witnessing when the make the honest mistake and let them know why the booing and shouting is directed at them solely.,

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  64. From an email received today from the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ) I learn that there was a Global Investigative Journalism Conference last month in Germany .  [1700 journalists attended. Were there any from the SMSM, d'ye think?]

    I hope they don't mind me giving a couple of excerpts from the email

    "Ramón Fonseca and Jürgen Mossack, the founders of the law firm at the heart of our Panama Papers investigation, are the targets of a federal investigation in the United States, according to new court documents. The new documents are part of the founders’ attempt to stop Netflix streaming The Laundromat, which is set to hit screens this Friday. The Panama Papers-inspired film is based on a book by reporter Jake Bernstein.  "

    "The Cayman Islands plans to make a corporate registry public… by 2023 "

    "Our reporters Scilla Alecci and Will Fitzgibbon have got you covered with their hot tips from the conference (even if you’re not a reporter): understand the science, value face-to-face meetings, and always check every detail.

    Investigate the enablers

    When covering financial misconduct, don’t forget about the lawyers[ed: do we know any?], accountants, bankers and other professionals who often make money laundering, tax evasion and other illicit activities possible. DCReport’s editor David Cay Johnston suggested digging for records in company accounts and speaking to retired regulators to build your story and identify laws or rules that may have been broken.

    Look for language patterns

    Be alert to language that might signal cover-ups in financial statements, audits and company accounts. In his comprehensive presentation, called “Following the Money,” Nick Mathiason from Finance Uncovered gave examples from his own reporting, including our favorite, the phrase “in the absence of proper accounting records.” (From an actual audit of a company called FastJet, that operates low-cost aircraft in Africa). "

    And there is a detailed presentation by one of the journalists of the basic structure of company accounts and how to read and interpret them.

    I look forward to trying to learn something!

     

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  65. Jingso.Jimsie 17th October 2019 at 16:23

    I suspect that the SFA's Head of Referee Development would require to be moved on (along with several of his favourites) before the SFA could implement any sort of meaningful (as in 'fair & reasonable in application') VAR.

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

    Only about three months ago or so an ex-Grade 1 Referee said on BBC Sportsound in response to a question from the presenter that most of the Grade 1 Referees are Rangers fans. A few support other teams and none of the current ones support Celtic.  This does not mean of course that there is any deliberate policy to discriminate against or favour any particular team as they go about their duty. What it does mean in my view is that the policy of how they are recruited and appointed stinks, and a complete overhaul of that policy is needed. Perception of bias is not good at all. Would the English media sit in silence if most Referees supported Man Utd? – I doubt it. Would the Scottish media sit in silence if most Referees supported Celtic? – I doubt it. 

    I don't care whether Referees from England, Germany, France or anywhere have stinkers as well. Until there is a recruitment policy in place in Scotland which complies with the same diversity and inclusion laws as every other employer has to, then in my view it should be Referees from other nations who take charge of Scottish games. 

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