Scottish Football Administration in the 21st Century

 

Imagine you are one of those people who have a nice big mahogany desk, with a gloss finish set in a big corner suite office which comes complete with a picture window, a break out area, a couch to lie down on in moments of stress, a quietly playing stereo sound system, fridge, plush carpet and loads of wee executive toy like things of your choosing.

Imagine, just for a moment, that outside your office you have the executive German car that is almost compulsory when you work in such an office. Added to that, you also have the benefit of a large six figure salary, a pension scheme, substantial holidays, a bonus scheme which nicely enhances your already excellent salary, fantastic perks and trips abroad as part of your job, and that you fill a position which leads to invitations to the most fantastic events, do’s, and sporting occasions imaginable.

Imagine the respect you must command from your peers, your family and friends.

Imagine the awe that you must be held in at dinner parties and social events when you are introduced to strangers for the first time– strangers who will have heard your name, and know of your position in society.

Imagine the personal and professional respect you must command from others in your field — or any other field for that matter — when you go to conferences and meetings in foreign cities and with foreign counterparts.

Imagine the envy that many others sometimes feel for someone who has succeeded in business and society to this extent.

Then imagine that the big office described above is at Hampden?

What a bummer!!

Now, I mention all of this because if you were one of the big cheeses at at Hampden, I wonder just what you do with yourself when the large rosewood door of your office closes behind you when you get in there each morning?

Maybe you make a coffee? Read the papers? Check the mail? Go to a meeting about the latest in 3G or is it 4G pitches being installed in a ground or two in the Shetlands?

However, no matter what you do and who you speak to THAT file is always there— always at the corner of your desk, neatly up there at the top left hand corner just beyond the desk top golf set and  above the Newton’s cradle with the balls that spell your name or whatever.

That file– the one that relates to the finances, compliance, directors details and ownership of Rangers Football Club.

At least that is what the top of the file says. Though to be fair it is a continuation file… continuing from the one that was opened two months ago and is fit to burst already with reports, memo’s and letters- which in turn was a continuation of the one before that and the one before that and the one before that and on and on.

Maybe that is not the correct name for the club?

Maybe that is something that can be clarified  at the next meeting with the Directors and CEO of the club— whoever they might be at that time?

No matter where you go in the room, you can see that file from every position. There is just no getting away from it.

Who owns The Rangers?

There are all sorts of reports, share prospectuses, memos, deeds, documents, contracts, letters, e-mails all asking the same thing. And there you are— none the wiser.

Please clarify this, please clarify that, are there any signed but  unrecorded documents, or contracts?

Are the Companies House records accurate? is the Land register accurate?

At the end of the day you just lie on the couch, place a cold cloth over your head and hope it will all go away.

Then the accounts come out. Oh the figures are shocking and they confirm that most of the people you negotiated with to get their team playing football somewhere after the collapse and liquidation of RFC PLC have exited stage left with huge severance cheques.

They now live in France, or Singapore or the Cayman Islands and you can bet they will never darken a door in Mount Florida on a wet February morning ever again.

But that is not the worst of it — the bleeding internet is full of leaks— documents, letters, e-mails, contracts, company forms and all sorts.

You wouldn’t mind if the documents leaked were ones that you had seen before, but in the main they are things that you have never seen and never had disclosed.Every day someone calls and asks ” Have you seen the latest?” and of course you haven’t so you stand there feeling like a complete chookie!!!

Every day you call the compliance and monitoring guys:

” Eh have you seen this? Have you been notified that he is a director?”
” No boss – never seen that? Never knew it existed?”
” So who owns the company if that is correct?”
” Eh Dunno boss — not sure of anything over there any more!”
“Ok have you checked the titles with the lawyers?”
” yes but the title as registered looks ok, but there is no guarantee that it hasn’t been sold to someone else and they have not registered their title for the moment!”
” Have you spoken to the lawyers? Have you asked for clarification?”
” yes Boss — the Lawyers don’t really answer our questions– well at least not fully!”
” What about these accounts – there are 57 pages there – what do they tell us?”
” Well they tell us that the figures are not good, boss, but not immediately critical.”
” Are they paying their taxes?”
” Appear to be boss– but we can’t be sure.can we? We were told they were paying their taxes before and … well you know the rest.”
” Ok, but Pinsent masons rule out the Whyte guy being involved?”
” Ah well not really – they don’t go into the company he says he owns – they sort of ignore that part!”
” But they carried out an independent investigation, surely?”
True boss, but the independent investigation was only into what the non independent guys wanted investigating Boss, and they appear to have finished their report without speaking to all the witnesses.”
 ” Ok but the accounts – what do the accounts say about Whyte being the real owner — I mean they are from Deloittes for God sake – they must make the position clear?”
” Well we have had a look at them boss and in that regard the accounts are King Kenny!”
” King Kenny?”
” Aye King Kenny Boss – with regard to Whyte’s claim they say ” maybes aye– maybes naw” and they leave it at that”
” Jesus, well have you written to the Directors?”
” Aye – half the letters have come back marked “Gone away”.Boss”
” Do you know who the shareholders are?”
” Naw Boss”
“Do they have a bank account and a bank reference ?”
” Naw Boss”
” Who’s coming to the next meeting from their side?”
” Dunno Boss”
” Is there anything you can tell me that lets me close this file and get it off my desk for good?”
” Naw boss”
” Well who did we grant membership to last year?”
” The first time or the second time Boss?”
” What do you mean – first time or second time?”
” We started out granting membership to one company and then changed it to another”
” Two companies – owned by the same people?”
” Dunno Boss– but they sounded the same.”
” And which one got a licence?”
” Dunno boss”
” What?”
 “Was the licence not granted by Mr Longmuir boss? And then ratified by us as a formality?”
” Why are you asking me, you are the compliance guys?”
” Aye but we were told it would all be ok by … well by someone ….. and by Mr Longmuir”
” When did he tell you that?”
 ” Told us one day at Ibrox Boss – I think it was at half time?”
” Half Time?”
” Aye – though it might have been full time boss …..  free bevvy and sandwiches so can’t quite remember”.
” Well who has the paperwork?”
” Lost boss”
” Lost?”
” Yes Boss – it was meant to come up from the SFL but never appeared. Turns out that the SFL was run as an unincorporated body and none of its records etc, are intact or have ever been audited …… Boss.  Mr Ballantyne might have them in his garage Boss! ……… Boss? ….. are you still there? Boss?”

 

The man in the corner suite leaves the phone dangling, goes to his fridge for a cold drink and switches on the executive plasma hanging on the wall by way of the remote control on his desk.

The screen beams into life and an advert for the brand of soft drink that he is holding fills the wall. The very same brand of soft drink that has just been announced as the official soft drink to partner Scottish Football.

The executive, looks at his drinks can, looks at the file on the corner of the desk, looks at the abandoned phone and finally looks at the screen just as the speakers spell out clearly ………….. the benefits of coming from a long line of Fannies.

This is Scottish Football Administration in the 21st Century.

2,131 Comments
  1. john clarke


    TheLunaticFringe says: (16)
    October 18, 2013 at 6:31 pm
    ‘…To paraphase soul/jazz poet & musician Gil Scott Heron (junior)’
    ———
    Just this very minute heard your man’s name on RTE Radio 1, at the end of a recording played at someone’s request!
    There is coincidence and pure fluke, but that is remarkable!
    And I remember seeing his dad play at Celtic Park.

    View Comment
  2. scapaflow

    scapaflow


    john clarke says: (1262)
    October 18, 2013 at 9:07 pm

    They should just release it. I suspect that it is the embarrassing prospect of everyone knowing that HMRC told the First Minister to Get tae F__k and mind his own business that is preventing it.

    View Comment
  3. john clarke


    neepheid says: (847)
    October 18, 2013 at 8:34 pm
    ‘…do you consider it acceptable that the serving president of the SFA, Mr Ogilvie, has received a substantial loan at the behest of an association member, ..’
    —-
    Aw, neepheid, gie the poor man a break.It was only a loan for a good night out. We have Chick’s word on that, no? 🙂
    But seriously, it is absolutely appalling that an influential officer of an organisation should be in a position of obligation of any kind to to persons that he might have to deal with in his official function.
    And the gutter press don’t run with a story like that! Unheard of.

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  4. ecobhoy


    I had a bit of a laugh yesterday when I caught-up with a comment by a fellow poster that we should more or less stop being nasty to all those crusading SMSM journos who actually were asking all the difficult questions of the main players but for for some, as yet unexplained reason, were failing to write exclusive stories stating that Mr X or his associates had refused to answer the questions or would only say ‘No Comment’.

    This might be a strange concept to the poster involved but printing the refusal of a man in the hot seat to give an answer to a probing question from a journalist is worth a thousand times more column inches than all the PR crap swallowed with the succulent lamb and regurgitated as an alleged ‘News’ story spun to order by a highly-paid media spinner.

    I really am truly confident that every one of out fearless Scottish hacks have asked the Easdales if they are aware of the actual identities of the person/people behind Margarita and Blue Pitch whose proxy votes are wielded by the Easdale Camp.

    I have read much in the SMSM of the percentage of shares that the Easdale Camp have voting proxies for but have yet to see any journo state how many shares were bought by the Easdales pre-IPO and on flotation of Rangers International Football Club Ltd and how many were bought from spivs after flotation which means not one penny of that purchase would have gone to Rangers but to stuff the pockets of those who have walked away.

    I am also certain that the Easdales have been asked by all these clued-up SMSM forward thinkers about what their plans are for Rangers and how they intend to turn Ibrox into a financially self-sustaining football club.

    As I say I truly utterly believe that our SMSM hacks have asked these very simple questions and perhaps I have missed their exclusive revelations but somehow I don’t think I have.

    WHY ARE SMSM JOURNOS SO FRIGHTENED OR CONFLICTED THAT THEY COWER IN FEAR ❓

    As for their apologists they really ought to take a hard look at themselves and spell-out how they can defend such cowardice ❗

    It’s really quite simple – if you’ve asked the questions and been told to f*** off then write the story ❗

    And this isn’t just about the Easdales but the myriad of questions that need to be asked and answered vis a vis the Rangers debacle and which I don’t believe for one minute have actually been asked by a single Scottish journalist – what a terrible indictment of those who should be in the forefront of not only seeking the truth but in printing it.

    And what an absolute disgrace when judged against the thousands of real journalists who are tortured and murdered every year throughout the world for trying to bring the truth to their readers. They suffer and often die because they won’t be silent like Scottish kid-on journalists.

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  5. TheLunaticFringe


    Greenock Jack says:

    If the hypothesis is accurate, then the caller makes a legitimate point.

    I would argue that there should be guidelines in place. Facts are gathered, followed by a judgement. Any grey areas that arise should be interpreted by a lawyer.
    ————————————————–

    Jack. Nobody would disagree that there should be clear SFA guidelines, but I don’t recall there being quite so much focus on the voting rules etc on this type of issue, before PL got his feet under the SFA table. In case it’s escaped anyone’s attention, the SFA is an association of football clubs, not a global corporate entity. It’s therefore perfectly normal that some decisions are made based on a vote by the board, rather than after consultation with lawyers. It’s also not unreasonable that the pre-eminent club in the country, who’s CL exploits benefit all of Scottish football, is actually represented on that board.

    IMO it’s somewhat rich for Sevconians to be complaining about the (perceived) bias of PL being allowed a vote on the DK issue, now that it suits their agenda to do so. – Many a Celtic fan will tell you that PL’s decisions – rightly or wrongly – appear to be heavily influenced by the view that the survival of the other half of the O.F was essentially in Celtic’s best interest. You can’t have it both ways. .

    It’s also about time those complaining accepted the simple historical fact that, for decades, Rangers held considerable influence/sway within the SFA. Some would say that power was commensurate with their status in the Scottish game, others might argue a case that they (ab)used that power unfairly to get their own way,to the detriment of others in the Scottish game. Also, as an earlier poster indicated, even today a sizeable portion of SFA staff – despite their public profile – are Wee Arra Peepil. Perhaps it’s about time that fans of that club from Govan got the message that they no longer rule the roost and the “good old days” when they could bully everyone else to get their own way are well and truly over?

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  6. Greenock Jack


    Neepheid
    That’s a pretty indirect answer to a direct question, but never mind.
    Lawell is a new face on the SFA board, he wasn’t there last year, just what you want, it seems. So what’s your objection to him?
    ——————————————–
    I don’t have enough precise detail / dates to give you a direct answer.
    I did say my piece about the same organisation which covered some of the same ground.

    I refer back to what I said earlier about posters diving in with politicaly coloured presumption on automatic pilot.

    You rush to put words in my mouth re.objection to Lawwell/SFA board.
    Can you show me where I mentioned this ?

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  7. scapaflow

    scapaflow


    ecobhoy says: (2017)
    October 18, 2013 at 9:35 pm

    Spot on ecobhoy

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  8. sickofitall


    Think you will find there will be 7 members on the panel One of them will be mr ogilvie 1 all I think

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  9. Greenock Jack


    Echoboy
    SMSM (football) are out of their depth.
    MSM are today generally tools of the powerful via agents with a decreasing number of noteable exceptions.
    Real investigative journalists are being slowly marginalised and certainly not encouraged.
    Budgets are down and this effects investigative reporting

    The Easdales, nor Irvine on their behalf seem to want to say anything.
    They may want a break in silence to co-incide with an announcement about new board member(s), so as to avoid questions on the past few days.

    I agree that there is a pile of questions that The Easdales need to answer but I doubt that they’ll be easy to pin down for journalists or fan groups. Nearer any AGM, they’ll have to come forth a little more.

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  10. twopanda


    WHY ARE SMSM JOURNOS SO FRIGHTENED OR CONFLICTED THAT THEY COWER IN FEAR
    .
    Frightened – is the word – about and over time for straight talk on this

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  11. RyanGosling

    RyanGosling


    I’ve deliberately stayed out of this over the last few days as I thought I had nothing constructive to add and I thought my presence would have distracted from the conversation. But, dare I say it, I actually think the MSM need to get a break. None of them are really qualified to deal with what they are presented with in terms of the financial goings on at Rangers. I’ve seen from the inside how the media have reported Northern Rock, Lehman Brothers, RBS, HBOS, and every time they have misunderstood the issue and made things worse. In the case of Northern Rock in particular, there was no problem until the media created one. So in that light, I really think that we’re expecting too much from the MSM; they don’t understand major global financial incidents, so we’re asking too much to expect their sports journalists to understand what the spivs are doing at Ibrox.

    As for the goings on at Ibrox…the last game I was at was the 8-0 game, at which the army appeared at half time. I won’t get into that, TSFM has been clear on how the conversation should be directed, and I respect him / her for that. But as a football game it was cracking for a Rangers fan. I just really wish I could go and watch my team again without worrying who the money was going to.

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  12. Tic 6709


    ecobhoy says: (2017)

    October 18, 2013 at 9:35 pm
    =======================
    Well said ecobhoy.

    View Comment
  13. PhilMacGiollaBhain


    @twopanda

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  14. davythelotion


    If Pete Lawell knocked DK back, he’d be doing sevco a huge favour, if Lawell ok’d the SA tax con, he’d be vilified by the govan gang as deliberately sinking the ship.

    The fact is that the less involved you are with the sevcoshambles the better.

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  15. twopanda


    PhilMacGiollaBhain says: (151) @ 10:25 pm
    __
    It is time

    View Comment
  16. neepheid


    RyanGosling says: (72)
    October 18, 2013 at 10:09 pm

    In the case of Northern Rock in particular, there was no problem until the media created one.
    ++++++++++=
    Really? They were borrowing short and lending long. The market went against them, and they had to seek help from the Bank of England. All the media’s fault though? You really are having a laugh.

    A very typical “Rangers” mindset, though. Sweep bad news under the carpet, and it will all go away. Trouble is, sometimes it doesn’t.

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  17. Drew Peacock


    eddie rice says: (38)
    October 18, 2013 at 3:40 pm
    John Clark

    That currupt decision you talk would be the same decision every other association in world football would have made.

    I don’t condone cheating, I just happen to live in the real world.
    ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
    Another Graduate from the Sir Hugh Keevins School of Pragmatic Self Preservation and Media Studies

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  18. Squiggle


    RyanGosling on October 18, 2013 at 10:09 pm

    So true!
    Just like Northern Rock. In fact the same as that, entirely. Corporate avarice and incompetence (on a good view) with lots of unfortunate victims, creditors and householders out on a limb. Just as well none of it was done with intent eh? ‘Cos that would have been…what?
    As for the MSM, you are bang on, 18 months (at a minimum) is far too indecently brief a period for anyone, in the trade, to have got to grips with the story, far too soon…
    I can’t comment on what you say about the quality of football McCost is managing to squeeze out of an overfed, overpaid team that are mostly dreaming about playing top level football.

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  19. jean7brodie

    jean7brodie


    Squiggle says: (104)
    October 18, 2013 at 10:55 pm

    McCost!!! Love that, good one 😆

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  20. broganrogantrevinoandhogan


    New leader article posted.

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  21. Smugas


    ecobhoy says: (2017)
    October 18, 2013 at 9:35 pm

    One of RTC’s strongest attributes that brought me to his site was, having first explained the facts to me – as a diddy supporter I was none the wiser (and this despite reading several MSM publications 🙄 !) – he would then predict, with unerring accuracy, exactly how the MSM would cover it and spin it.

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  22. neepheid


    Greenock Jack says: (72)
    October 18, 2013 at 9:39 pm

    I don’t have enough precise detail / dates to give you a direct answer.

    ++++++++++
    What information do you lack? It is a fact that RFC were a member of the SFA. It is a fact that RFC arranged for Ogilvie to receive around £90k tax free by way of a “loan”, It has never been denied that Ogilvie held office in the SFA at a time when that loan was outstanding. It is a fact that Ogilvie is currently President of the SFA. Do you see nothing that compromises his fitness for office?

    As regards Lawell, did you not express support for the view that he should not be involved in any ruling as to King’s “fit and proper” status? If I got that wrong, I apologise unreservedly.

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  23. selfassessor


    Personally, I’ve never really been one for bull fighting.

    However.

    Where we are now with the tribute act ……. I feel that somebody needs to put it out of its misery. The final sword needs to be inserted by Paco Camino, El Cordobes or Craigo Whytez.

    As much as I will be sorry to see the gift that keeps on giving give no more, I think it’s time. My sides have not much more to give, although I will miss it.

    …… Am I alone?

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  24. selfassessor


    Well, at at twenty past eleven on a Friday night I don’t appear to be alone. There is one TU for me and one TD against me.

    If I’m really honest, I can’t wait for the next ignominy instalment to befall them; the more bizarre and hilarious the better. Bring it on, please.

    Hail hail!

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  25. Drew Peacock


    scapaflow says: (1040)
    October 18, 2013 at 9:39 pm
    ecobhoy says: (2017)
    October 18, 2013 at 9:35 pm

    Spot on ecobhoy
    ++++++++++++++++++

    Agreed – he got there in the end. Now all we need is Newtz to make connections. Silence is also a strategy.

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  26. Squiggle


    jean7brodie on October 18, 2013 at 11:04 pm

    Glad you like. No one has challenged my copyright claim, so, its all mine. Might need a side letter just in case, you good. 😛

    View Comment
  27. Drew Peacock


    neepheid says: (850)
    October 18, 2013 at 11:05 pm

    4

    0

    Rate This

    Greenock Jack says: (72)
    October 18, 2013 at 9:39 pm

    I don’t have enough precise detail / dates to give you a direct answer.

    ++++++++++
    What information do you lack? It is a fact that RFC were a member of the SFA. It is a fact that RFC arranged for Ogilvie to receive around £90k tax free by way of a “loan”, It has never been denied that Ogilvie held office in the SFA at a time when that loan was outstanding. It is a fact that Ogilvie is currently President of the SFA. Do you see nothing that compromises his fitness for office?

    As regards Lawell, did you not express support for the view that he should not be involved in any ruling as to King’s “fit and proper” status? If I got that wrong, I apologise unreservedly.
    +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

    Pssst – you are forgetting CO was in place when the wholly illegal DOS scheme was put in place. In FACT isn’t there a letter somewhere with his signature on it authorising it all?

    When he signed up to the scheme he would of course know it was a “highly aggressive, high risk” tax scheme that would inevitably be challenged by HMRC. Sir Dave’s advisors would have told him that but CO and the Dave went ahead anyway.

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  28. Drew Peacock


    selfassessor says: (64)
    October 18, 2013 at 11:10 pm
    Personally, I’ve never really been one for bull fighting.

    However.

    Where we are now with the tribute act ……. I feel that somebody needs to put it out of its misery. The final sword needs to be inserted by Paco Camino, El Cordobes or Craigo Whytez.

    As much as I will be sorry to see the gift that keeps on giving give no more, I think it’s time. My sides have not much more to give, although I will miss it.

    …… Am I alone?
    ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

    Dunno – but i hope it continues until 24 Dec.

    View Comment
  29. fergussingstheblues


    p.s. I haven’t heard the dulcit tones of The Chycophant for 2 days now on Radio Scotland. It’s been bliss!

    I hope someone has had a word in his ear? We’ll find out tomorrow!

    View Comment
  30. Den


    RyanGosling says: (72)
    October 18, 2013 at 10:09 pm

    In the case of Northern Rock in particular, there was no problem until the media created one.
    —————————————————————————————————————–

    “No problem”

    Really!

    View Comment

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