Comment on In Whose Interests by easyJambo.

    StevieBC 11th September 2019 at 13:10

    JC / eJ, as our 'SFM legal eagles', with your extensive knowledge of the legal proceedings around the RFC/TRFC saga…

    There is, IMO, a rather explosive blog today on the JJ site.

    I don't know if this content has been discussed before, but…

    would either of you be able to corroborate this content – or even, what is your opinion on the content?

    It just doesn't read true because it is SO damming of the Scottish criminal legal system and the Police, and on multiple levels. 


    I have already read David Whitehouse's submission to a Scottish Government inquiry into the operation of the COPFS. It dates from October 2016.

    Sadly the "inquiry" failed to publish DW's submission on the Scottish Government's website, unlike those of others, including one from DW's colleague David Grier, whose submission was from a different viewpoint and tame in comparison.


    DW's submission certainly doesn't miss its target(s), and I would like to hear those allegations with supporting evidence to be aired in open court.

    Whether of not that happens will, in part, be dependent on the outcome of the current appeals to the Inner House of the Court of Session into the immunity of COPFS officials.

    JJ has posted DW's submission previously, but I would guess that he has only repeated it today because of me posting about yesterday's proceedings in Whitehouse's and Clark's appeals. 

    In keeping with his previous blogs, JJ takes no cognisance of legal proceedings that are ongoing and thus risks both fairness and contempt of the court processes.  I think he is wrong to approach the legal issues as he does.

    Edit: JC is having IT issues with commenting on the blog at present, so we will have to do without his input for the time being.

    easyJambo Also Commented

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

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


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

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

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


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

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


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

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

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

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

    Recent Comments by easyJambo

    Tangled Up In Blue by Stephen O’Donnell (Book Review)
    JC and I attended the latest appeal hearing in the cases of David Whitehouse and Paul Clark's action against the Lord Advocate at the Court of Session earlier today.

    Unfortunately today's proceedings had little to do with events following the administration and liquidation of RFC, but were focused on legal arguments about whether the Lord Advocate and his staff in the Crown Office (Advocate Deputes, Procurator Fiscals and Procurator Fiscal deputes) should have immunity against civil claims for damages.

    The appeal was heard by the Inner House of the Court of Session with five judges on the bench, viz. Lord Carloway – The Lord President, Lady Dorrian – The Lord Justice Clerk, Lord Menzies, Lady Paton and Lord Brodie, so was close to the most senior bench available to the court.

    Roddy Dunlop QC for Whitehouse and Douglas Fairlie QC for Clark argued that the case law needed updating to reflect the current situation.The current case law, which provides the Lord Advocate with virtually absolute immunity, was set in 1961 in the case of Hester v MacDonald.  It was argued that only the USA and Scotland continued to offer such immunity, while England, Ireland, Australia, Canada and South Africa did not. There were references to cases in each of those jurisdictions which highlighted why the prosecutors should not be given blanket immunity.

    There was half an hour at the end of the day when Gerry Moynihan QC, acting for the Lord Advocate started his submission on why immunity should continue.  He made one very odd statement, saying that the immunity policy came into being in order to ensure that 999 prosecution staff acting in good faith should not be subject to claims because of 1 prosecutor who acted in bad faith.

    It seemed a weak argument given that the 999 would not be subject to a claim if they indeed acted in good faith.

    The hearing continues at 10:30 tomorrow (immediately following the announcement of the CoS decision on the merits of the appeal against proroguing of parliament). 

    I sensed from the interventions of Lady Dorrian, in particular, that overruling/updating the case law from Hester will be a difficult challenge, and that the case could end up in the Supreme Court.

    Dunlop and Fairlie were keen that the case should go to proof (trial) so that the facts of the case can be heard in order to show malice and lack of probable cause by the Crown Office, as the alternative was that such immunity if confirmed would necessarily mean that there would be no remedy for a wrong.

    Tangled Up In Blue by Stephen O’Donnell (Book Review)
    A couple of court cases next week that will be heard together by the Inner House

    Tuesday 10th September
    Summar Roll (4 days)
    A293/16 Paul Clark v The Chief Constable of Police Scotland &c – Kennedys Scotland – Scottish Government

    A295/16 David Whitehouse v The Chief Constable of Police Scotland &c – A & W M Urquhart – Scottish Government

    Tangled Up In Blue by Stephen O’Donnell (Book Review)
    wottpi 3rd September 2019 at 16:47


    As you point out, politicians will always act in a way that they believe will appeal to their electorate and not pose a risk to continuation of their own elected position.

    For info:   The Bury CVA proposal indicated that HMRC was owed £1,158,850.45. HMRC voted against the CVA.

    Tangled Up In Blue by Stephen O’Donnell (Book Review)
    The EFL and its clubs appear ready to make up new rules as they go along in the Bury case.


    The English Football League is to discuss Bury's future with its member clubs following efforts to reinstate the Shakers in League Two next season.

    Bury were expelled from the EFL on 27 August after a failed takeover bid by C&N Sporting Risk.

    Bury North MP James Frith has called for the Shakers to re-enter in the fourth tier for the 2020-21 season.

    Meanwhile, Greater Manchester Police has said it is investigating an allegation of fraud involving the club.

    No arrests have been made.

    In a statement, the EFL says the "only current established procedure" for entry to League Two is promotion through the National League.

    However, it added that "in acknowledgement of the extreme nature of the problems" at Bury, the EFL board had "agreed it is appropriate to discuss the matter with member clubs" and those talks will take place in the coming weeks.


    Tangled Up In Blue by Stephen O’Donnell (Book Review)
    wottpi 3rd September 2019 at 09:25

    easyJambo 2nd September 2019 at 16:54

    We have discussed this before.


    We have indeed.

    King has adopted the same approach as Murray did two decades ago ……. viz. spend as much as it takes to be successful. It doesn't matter where the money comes from, just that they are able to fund the necessary level of spending.

    The ironic thing about Murray's spending was that it only really got going after their 9 in a row. They had achieved success without spending to excess (Celtic had their own financial constraints at the time). It was the failure to go on to 10 or 11 that drove them to engage in excessive borrowing, seeking external investment (from King and Lewis) and engaging in unlawful tax arrangements. By that time Celtic had put their house in order (under McCann) and were again serious challengers to Rangers domestic dominance.

    Moving forward to the last couple of years, the desire to stop another 9 in a row or the unprecedented 10 in a row has become all consuming. King's speculate to accumulate model hasn't as yet stopped the Celtic juggernaut, but he has tied a rope to it, with the club clinging on while balancing precariously on a pair of roller skates.

    King's fundraising, initially as loans with around £25m now converted to equity, could be compared to Murray's early sourcing of investment. He seems intent on spending every penny he earns, or raises, on the team, which may well be laudable in the fans eyes, but perhaps is not a prudent choice.

    I see it very much as a gamble with the future of the club at  stake. Thus far he is still in the game and has accumulated support from the fan base and by reaching the EL group stage for the last two seasons. There is no doubt that TRFC is closer to Celtic than they were two years ago.  The club is largely debt free for the moment, thanks to the recent DFE swaps. King hasn't gone "all in" yet, but the spending on the likes of Kent is based on future earnings from the EL.

    That is an unsustainable model, but as long as they progress on the park I believe that King will continue to find backers willing to support the cause.

    There are huge risks along the way, of which SDI is a relatively small part. King suggested previously that it would only take a season of Celtic failing to reach the CL group stage to knock them off their perch. Celtic has now failed in the CL quest for the last two seasons but thus far appear to be able to adapt to their reduced revenue. I have adopted a contrary view in that I think that TRFC is more at risk should they miss out on EL revenues. 

    We will be able to view Celtic's annual report later this month, with RIFC producing their report a month or so later. I'm certain that Celtic's will show some prudent steps taken to manage their spending to a reduced income, but with the impact softened by a couple of boosts from the departures of Rodgers and Tierney. The RIFC accounts will be much harder to interpret. Some of their debts were only converted after year end, with player purchases and departures occurring both before and after year end, so the forecasts and post year end reports will probably be more enlightening than the raw figures.

    I don't know what the end game will be. Will TRFC manage to pull themselves alongside a slowing Celtic juggernaut, or will they hit a bump in the road and find themselves crashing off their skates and come to a juddering halt as they hit a tree by the roadside?