The Causes of Crime

Amidst the emerging news of great trauma that is allegedly coming TRFC’s way in the near future, it would be prudent for us to keep our eye on the big picture – the one that captures the other clubs in the league playing the role of bystanders, powerless to influence events and unwilling to react .

For what it is worth, my information on the TRFC situation is that the stadium issues being talked about are not critical at this time (although talks have begun with Queens Park and the SFA to secure a lease of Hampden for two years), but that the creditor issues, including tax, national insurance and VAT, are of immediate, growing concern.

In the last few weeks, Celtic, Hibs, the SFA and referees have all been in the Ibrox firing line and subjected to Level 5 penned invective. Their response has been a dignified silence and a refusal to officially engage. Understandable perhaps, but the cowed nature of it is odd – especially given the opportunity it would have afforded for some proper PR retaliation on the part of any of those bodies.

Perhaps the real and most important question is ‘why does everyone stand idly by as this train-wreck heads for buffers’ ?

And the supplementaries;

  • If Rangers (IL) did in fact cheat, why on earth would clubs let them away with it?
  • Why would they allow the Continuity Myth to become embedded in the first place, emboldening others who might want to trigger an invisible liquidation to dump creditors?
  • While we are at it why would those who suffered financially as a consequence go to great lengths themselves (as we have witnessed over Res 12) to ensure that the offenders would never be held to account?

Here’s why. RFC got away with, and TRFC get away with appalling behaviour for one very simple reason; football’s mortal fear of regulation.

A second insolvency event at Ibrox in five years of the first (irrespective of how many clubs you think took part) would draw unwelcome attention to the SFA and SPFL’s failure to run the game honestly and effectively – and would almost certainly attract attention from Holyrood. Therefore it needs to be avoided at all costs.

When TRFC were caterwauling over the cup final report recently, no-one weighed in with counter-arguments because prolonging the debate would have kept it current long enough to possibly colour public attitudes on fan behaviour. Of course this already carried a government threat of the imposition of strict liability on the clubs. Better that those papers should be wrapping fish suppers as soon as possible – not lighting a bonfire under the main stand at Hampden.

RFC get away with appalling behaviour (and so is TRFC), for one very simple reason;

football’s mortal fear of regulation.

It might be worth mentioning the ‘Oops, we misspoke’ moment in the aftermath of the publication of that cup final report and TRFC’s demands that Hibs should suffer sanctions for their fans’ post final whistle behaviour.

They (TRFC) were consequently challenged to put their votes where their mouths were and sign up for strict liability. Oops! – and radio silence broken out.

The fact that the catastrophic failure of Rangers came about as a result of the catastrophic failure the SFA’s self-regulatory processes surrounding player registration – has made it unthinkable that football should admit to those failures.

Football does not want government cattle strewn around the tracks of its gravy train. Goodies in the shape of interest on loans or preference shares, favourable director contracts, tax write-offs, agent kick-backs and bungs are too great, and government intervention is a threatens to divert the train away from its current path.

Unless you are a forensic accountant, perhaps even if you were, I’d be willing to bet you’d have to get very lucky to extract usable information on the cost of shareholder finance from club accounts, or the extent of contracts between clubs and companies associated with club officials.

The very fact that the catastrophic failure of Rangers came about as a result of another catastrophic failure – that of the SFA’s self-regulatory processes surrounding player registration – has made it unthinkable that football should admit to those failures.

Scottish football tolerates bad behaviour of corrupt individuals and organisations because football itself is endemically, culturally corrupt.

There is no question that there is great antipathy towards RFC and TRFC amongst other clubs. They are pariahs within the Scottish game, but not because of any principled stand against or moral outrage at their behaviour. In fact for the most part, football people at the majority of clubs no moral objections whatsoever to the tax avoidance strategies of the Murray era.

Scottish football is mightily pissed off at RFC and TRFC because they went too far, made it inevitable that they would be found out, and exposed everyone else to the possibility of regulation by government.

Of course Murray, Whyte, Green, King and the rest knew all of this, and that knowledge has allowed them to push the envelope as far as they have.

However clumsily and ineptly each of these individuals have gone about their business, they are NOT the real problem. Our major concern should be that for every crime we discover, there are at least a half dozen that we never got wind of, perpetrated by much smarter offenders. Not to mention the enablers at Hampden and boardrooms all over the country who still promote a culture that seeks to cover it all up.

Let me paint a picture for those people whose ideal scenario in this saga is to have Rangers airbrushed from Scottish football history. Even if you were to get your wish, do you really think the corruption in the game would disappear with them? Would sporting integrity finally climb to the top of the priority list?

Of course it would do no such thing. The Rangers implosion gave Scottish football a chance to demonstrate that malpractice was isolated and confined to one club, but their reaction to it was a light-touch approach to governance and regulation, demonstrating fairly conclusively that the cancer has spread way beyond Govan. In fact the authorities and the clubs would once again become bystanders – perhaps some of them may even take to cheer-leading – if the same thing happened again.

That is why those people who run ALL of our clubs are largely unfit to do so. That is why the sport needs to be properly regulated and accountable. And that is why the SFA/SPFL edifice needs to be demolished, the rot dug out, and new structures put in place which are heavily weighted in favour of sporting integrity and consumer interests.

I never thought I would find myself quoting Tony Blair, and I shall probably go straight to hell for doing so, but it is no good just being tough on the crime itself, we need to be even tougher on the causes of the crime.

Big Pink

Big Pink

Big Pink is John Cole; a former schoolteacher based in the West of Scotland, He is also a print and broadcast journalist who is engaged in the running of SFM . Former gigs include Newstalk 106, the Celtic View, and Channel67. A Celtic fan, he is also the voice of our podcast initiative.

296 Comments
  1. Trisidium


    Re. the stuff regarding Homunculus tonight. Aside from references to ‘begging bowls’ I don’t see anything that could be described as invective in Homunculus’s remarks. He expressed an opinion which the moderators of this site make no comment on – simply because it is not our business to make comment on third parties, unless they are doing something which we think is dishonest, or something we think to be truly outstanding.

    As far as the begging bowl comment is concerned, the reason it wasn’t moderated (as it probably should have been) is because SFM also passes the hat around twice a year. We did not want to give the impression that we were deflecting attention from that area.

    We should point out here that JJ’s site –  like any other – doesn’t build, host, write, moderate and maintain itself. If JJ is providing a service that people find to be good value, then I don’t see how he can be criticised when those people remunerate his efforts out of their own choice.

    I should also add at this point that anyone who has criticisms or questions regarding funding of ANY blog or site should address those criticisms directly to the sites themselves.

    We have no issues with JJ, but from time to time we are presented with a dilemma. On the one hand we have to maintain a respect for our colleagues online – especially when they seek to tell the truth – but on the other we can’t give a platform to criticism of the MSM and yet close down criticism of everyone on social media.

    SFM is not in competition with either Phil or JJ, or anyone else out there. SFM acts more as a filter for some of the information that emerges from time to time online. Our main role throughout the last four years has been scrutiny of the available information that emerges from a variety of sources.

    I think in this latter-day “Watergate” situation, we have done that in a way that only SFM can.

    Countless times in the past we have been given information which we have declined to publish simply because we could not make it stand up due to lack of corroboration.

    People may remember in particular the criticism we received over our refusal to sponsor the CF material when the good lady herself burst onto the scene. Although that episode earned for us an undeserved reputation for being ‘over-precious’, it was a price worth paying because of our belief that there was enough speculative activity out there already, and that we were much better at providing ballast than scoops of the day.

    What JJ – and Phil and others – do is brave, is of great value, and worthy of our admiration, like SFM they should also be open to scrutiny from time to time. What’s more, I am pretty sure that they welcome that scrutiny, and that they are more than capable of standing up to it.

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  2. John Clark


    TheGamesABogeyOctober 21, 2016 at 22:57
    ‘..the claims are that TRFC used the church’s address as their trading address thus being exempt from water charges, nothing about pipes being laid to get the water.’
    ________
    But, really, The GamesABogey, there is no way that Ibrox stadium could suddenly tell Scottish Water that it all of a sudden was a ‘church’ and entitled to exemption! That would be so outrageous that the City Assessor would have choked on his cornflakes and/or died laughing.Unless, of course, the City Assessor ,like the Regulatory News Service of the Stock Exchange, just simply accepts what ‘customers’ tell him!
    No.
    There’s been some good fun speculating ( mostly ,  I think,with tongue in cheek) about whether ‘reports’ about TRFC’s plunge into deep depths of arrears in respect of Scottish Water bills could be true, and on how they might have tried to cheat the rest of us ( as the now dead RFC(IL) ( which they claim to be!)did  in the matter of football rules) by not paying for their water.
    It is possible that TRFC Limited is ahent wi’ the bill for water consumption. But it is not at all possible that Scottish Water would ‘go public’ about this.
    And it is inconceivable that Scottish Water would cut off the supply, as readily as they would cut off yours or mine ( and they have all kinds of hurdles to cross before they can do that!)
    It is perfectly possible, of course, that Ibrox has a bill to pay, which Scottish water might be gettting a tad anxious about.
    And Scottish Water will, naturally, be very aware that thousands of people now are looking at them with very great interest indeed, and who will scrutinise to the nth degree how they deal with  outstanding debt,if any, owed by TRFC Ltd.
    People who are not averse to asking pointed questions-in the expectation of getting truthful answers.

    ..

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  3. Big Pink


    BOGS DOLLOX
    OCTOBER 21, 2016 at 23:03 

    Big PinkOctober 21, 2016 at 22:40

    What have you heard that makes you so sure?

    The explanation I offered in the first couple of paragraphs of that post BD

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  4. Big Pink


    Woodstein

    I think Morricone used Fender guitars (Strats and Jazzmasters) in his Spag Western soundtracks. As Bigsbee says though, I’m not a fan of pointy guitars. 🙁

    Bigsbee

    Not so much a snob though. A nice wee butterscotch vintage Tele hangs upon the wall of noise at Chez BP. 🙂

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  5. TheGamesABogey

    TheGamesABogey


    @John Clark, totally agree.

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  6. Ex Ludo

    Ex Ludo


    The answer is quite simple. There’s much more “twang” with a tele’. 

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  7. Homunculus

    Homunculus


    KILLIE1962
    OCTOBER 21, 2016 at 20:04
    ================================

    I replied because someone posted about how wonderful JJ’s site was and stated that it didn’t deal in “hear say” unlike Phil’s.

    I was merely pointing out that hearsay was exactly what it dealt in and that it really wasn’t the source of all truth and knowledge that some people would claim it was.

    If people don’t like someone pointing this out then fair do’s. They probably won’t also want to hear that everyone who is quoting a source rather than speaking from personal knowledge is also dealing in hearsay. That’s what hearsay is, in a legal sense. 

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  8. Cluster One

    Cluster One


    Re all the scottish water stories.
    was up early so had a look on internet to see if there was any information that could be asked of scottish water if they had any intentions of cutting off a water supply of any business in the govan area.(I know a long shot).
    Anyway who knew scottish water. Have a facebook page06

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  9. Corrupt official

    Corrupt official


       Having had a wee thought about the water bill and the disparity of figures and claims, there may be an explanation.  A leak (or several smaller ones) on the metered (customer) side.
           Such an occurrence can go unnoticed for a considerable time, and perfectly plausible when you consider undersoil heating and sprinkler systems in free draiing subsoil, coupled with poorly maintained and much older existing systems, vast quantities could be lost over time 24/7
         Just a bit of speculating on a rumour on my part. 

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  10. Barcabhoy

    Barcabhoy


    Attachment

    I have cleared this with the mods. 

    Attached is is a page from the Rangers management accounts which shows the size of the water bill and budget . Although a couple of years ago, the accounts are under the current business and include Auchenhowie & Ibrox. 

    I’d estimate Auchenhowie is a larger user of water , given it has 8 full size pitches against one at Ibrox.
    So unless there’s a pipe running from Bearsden to a church in SW Glasgow I don’t see how the figures for beneficial use , if there is any at all, are in any way material 
    Hopefully this ends what has been a pretty silly story

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  11. jimbo

    jimbo


    Someone mentioned yesterday about Reiver being blocked on jj site.  it might be worthwhile pointing out that he was also blocked on here and some of his posts sent to the moderation thread – 5 October.

    Er, not true Jimbo. Reiver resigned from SFM. He blocked himself.
    T

    I always feel a bit sad about Reiver.  When he came on to this blog he was a joy, full of enthusiasm and ideas.  Could be humorous too.  I supported him on several occasions.

    But he took the stated aims of TSFM very seriously.  He wanted action by all of us.  He was very DRIVEN.  As time went on it was obvious he was getting more and more frustrated and eventually angry at the inaction.  ‘Couch potatoes’ springs to mind.  He was the same on jj site.  After a few spats jj had enough, same as on here.

    I tried to point out to him the similarities with politics, there are very few activists.  Most people just read about things and vote in an election.

    There are very few JCs, EJs, Res 12 guys and Reivers.  Taking their lead I sent an Email to ‘Private Eye’ about the Tax Justice Network article.  The did a column on it a few weeks later (not saying it was because of me).

    Maybe we all have different expectations from a blog site.  My primary purpose in reading sites like this is to be informed.  It’s my new ‘newspaper’.  Much that I read is speculation and opinions, not always provable hard facts.  I’m prepared for that and feel I have enough intelligence to distinguish the difference.  These new media sites in that respect are no different to the old media.  Except I think the new media blogs have raised the bar much, much higher in terms of integrity, truthfulness and the quality of questions they ask.

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  12. Big Pink


    CORRUPT OFFICIAL
    OCTOBER 22, 2016 

       Having had a wee thought about the water bill and the disparity of figures and claims, there may be an explanation.  A leak (or several smaller ones) on the metered (customer) side.
           Such an occurrence can go unnoticed for a considerable time, and perfectly plausible when you consider undersoil heating and sprinkler systems in free draining subsoil, coupled with poorly maintained and much older existing systems, vast quantities could be lost over time 24/7
         Just a bit of speculating on a rumour on my part. 

    Opportunity to bore begins!!!

    Water leakage is a fact of life in the water industry which causes concern on a scale roughly proportional to how plentiful the supply is. Detection and remedy are both technically problematic and extremely costly.

    Scottish Water really couldn’t care less about leakage of water unless (for example) it is causing a great flood somewhere or undermining the integrity of a structure. They have so much of it that they wouldn’t spend massive amounts of money unnecessarily.

    Also, most leakage detection is carried out routinely overnight (where pressure is higher and losses greater) using estimated overnight usage (two nocturnal trips to the loo per household!) versus actual input into the local area system. Leaks of course occur 24/7 unlike meter tampering or circumvention which would most likely be confined to business hours. A theft of supply therefore could not be easily disguised as a leak.

    Also, companies with significant water requirements have regular meter inspections which cover the meter and all associated apparatus owned by the water companies. I can’t think of any way to effect the taking of water whilst escaping detection in the medium to long term.

    Opportunity to bore ends!!!

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  13. Homunculus

    Homunculus


    http://www.dailyrecord.co.uk/sport/football/football-news/mark-warburton-gap-between-celtic-9098626

    “As much as he maintains that 5-1 was not a fair reflection of how his team competed in that first Old Firm game of the season, he makes it clear why Celtic should be considered ahead of a club still completing the rebuilding process post-liquidation.”

    There we go again, “post-liquidation”.

    Maybe he thought that hyphenating it made it more acceptable. 

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  14. Big Pink


    Barcabhoy

    That pretty much says it all. In my experience, even extremely heavy users of potable water (and football clubs are not unusually heavy users) would have bills way south of seven figures – even allowing for a couple of decades worth of inflation on my part.

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  15. upthehoops


    BARCABHOYOCTOBER 22, 2016 at 11:06 
     I have cleared this with the mods. 
    Attached is is a page from the Rangers management accounts which shows the size of the water bill and budget . Although a couple of years ago, the accounts are under the current business and include Auchenhowie & Ibrox. 
    I’d estimate Auchenhowie is a larger user of water , given it has 8 full size pitches against one at Ibrox.So unless there’s a pipe running from Bearsden to a church in SW Glasgow I don’t see how the figures for beneficial use , if there is any at all, are in any way material Hopefully this ends what has been a pretty silly story

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

    Where on earth did it come from?

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  16. jimbo

    jimbo


    I took my lead in using the word ‘blocked’ from this: “I have had all my posts blocked since using the term “couch potato”, and subsequent argument as to why it was appropriate”  Reiver 5 Oct. moderation thread.

    For clarity, Reiver said his posts were blocked. The mods recollection of events is rather different. The blocking was 100% of Reiver’s own design.

    In fact he went as far as asking for his details to be removed from the site (a request with which we complied) although he asked that his posts be left since people would find them useful.

    Sorry if I have misunderstood, I thought it was more that just a self inflicted exile.  You seemed to be unhappy with his ‘valedictory invective’.

    Not at all unhappy Jimbo. Why do you say that?

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  17. Corrupt official

    Corrupt official


        BIG PINKOCTOBER 22, 2016 at 11:48

        I think we may have to agree to differ on that, as the scenario I suggested has become more prevalent in recent years and I have come across it several times. Mainly due to modern systems moving away from gravity fed installations to pressurised systems. In effect this subjects older existing pipework to much higher pressures than what once was a few pounds of “head”.        Where previously one cold water main fed attic or roof storage tanks. Now in a “closed” system, every pipe is subjected to the higher CWM pressures. 
        I have come across instances where this water loss has been clearly happening over a considerable period, but only came to light with complaints made over ever increasing metered supply consumption. What once was a sweat, soon becomes a trickle, or worse. 
        Having said that, I have no idea if there are overdues
        

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  18. Big Pink


    CO

    I defer to your more up to date knowledge, although I’m not sure what difference it makes in this situation. The scenario you describe would be an internal loss regarded as usage by the water supplier, (although it should still be picked up using measurement regimes) and the responsibility of the user to ensure their own systems are secure.

    It would be a mammoth management failure if the user ignored the problem as far as even a five-figure loss, never mind the sums being reported. If my gas or electricity meter readings started to spike, I’d first of all get the meter checked, and then look internally. Same goes here.

    Also, I can’t imagine the water supplier would continue to supply beyond the situation where there was a outstanding bill in the tens of thousands – although I can’t say for sure whether they would or not.

    My overarching point though, leaving technical nuance aside, is that theft of water is difficult to effect and easy to detect. I just can’t see how it could happen in this situation.

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  19. woodstein

    woodstein


    John Clark
    October 20, 2016 at 01:01
    I feel like that wee bloody machine that has landed on Mars! Like me, it is asking ” is there anybody there?” 
    —————————————————————————————-

    All this cavilling, (must have  been you John, tempting fate above?)1010

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  20. Corrupt official

    Corrupt official


    BIG PINKOCTOBER 22, 2016 at 13:30
          My overarching point though, leaving technical nuance aside, is that theft of water is difficult to effect and easy to detect. I just can’t see how it could happen in this situation.
         —————————————————————————————————————————-
         Generally speaking it is “accidental”, and really only comes to light with pay per unit methods as opposed to a regular fixed bill.  When water meters began to take precedent, it passed the water loss costs onto the customer, as these are normally installed just inside the owners boundary.  The water companies continue to lose vast amounts of wet stuff on their side of the meter, but that goes “unbilled”. It’s a huge infra-structure failing on behalf of the water companies, and quite shocking. 
       The last time I came across it was in a school, where the increased costs were simply paid by a clerk in the local authority until they became a ridiculous stand out. 
       I believe several businesses operate out of Ibrox, and assume there is a cost share of utilities, either a fixed charge, or sub-metered, and the creep up may have had a seemingly “diluted” increase across the board. 
       But I was merely putting it forward as an explanation for the difference in figures, as I have seen it happen. 
       If for example, the water company merely cut the meter into the pre-existing main on the boundary, (without the owners renewing to the meter)then any losses inside the boundary, even though it may have been the water company’s pipe originally, became the responsibility of the owner, and chargeable. 
       There may be no noticeable increase going through the water companies pumping stations, because the entire system has more leaks than just the bloo room. 
         

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  21. Big Pink


    CO

    I think we are at cross purposes here. The two sides of the meter scenario you mention has always pertained in my experience in businesses with significant water use. 

    Where we differ is in the customer management of it. Most businesses keeping an eye on costs would be flagging that up a lot sooner than £2m – a lot sooner IMO. Also an easier job to measure losses within a closed system like a football stadium than it is on a public main.

    However that really wasn’t my main point. I was actually trying to debunk the theory that there was theft of water going on.

    The most likely situation, in the absence of malice, is that the company may well be behind on their water bills, but that the amount of liability is not critical. 

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  22. Carfins Finest

    Carfins Finest


    I think people are getting bogged down with the Ibrox Water Issue. Regardless of whats been going on it looks as though it is the end for Live Streaming from the big wheelhouse.
    ..I’ll get my Macintosh…

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  23. Allyjambo

    Allyjambo


    BIG PINKOCTOBER 22, 2016 at 14:45

    If it is the case that, not only have they not paid their water bills up to date, but have been unable to pay them, then, regardless of the amount due, it will be critical. In fact, the smaller the bill that can’t be paid, the more critical it becomes, for if they can’t pay the small bills…

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  24. dom16

    dom16


    I think the water issue is a great example of how SFM works. Lots of opinion with several experts throwing detail in to help shape the debate. 

    For whats its worth I agree that the circa £2M figure for 2 yrs supply sounds seriously off. I also spotted an error in the original ETims article. Commercial water supply can be delivered by any approved supplier. It’s not the monopoly of Scottish water. And for BP. All commercial premises have a meter

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  25. upthehoops


    ALLYJAMBOOCTOBER 22, 2016 at 15:48

    If it is the case that, not only have they not paid their water bills up to date, but have been unable to pay them, then, regardless of the amount due, it will be critical. In fact, the smaller the bill that can’t be paid, the more critical it becomes, for if they can’t pay the small bills…

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

    I wonder if they will issue audited accounts and hold an AGM before the end of the year. I see Phil McG in his latest blog is claiming they have held talks with the SFA about renting Hampden, although there is a large gap in the figures quoted. Rangers are alleged to want it for around the same as what Celtic paid in 1994, which was £500K.  The SFA allegedly want £150K a month. A historic inflation calculator states £919k is today’s value for what Celtic paid. 

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  26. John Clark


    HomunculusOctober 22, 2016 at 11:53
    ‘”…..a club still completing the rebuilding process post-liquidation.”
    ______
    I will pull on my white coat, and gently but firmly quote to  Euan McLean the words of O’Brien in Geoge Orwell’s ‘1984’:
    “You must try harder. It is not easy to become sane.” 19
     I suspect , however, that much as he may try, the man is not capable of being, in the words that Aristotle might well have used ( in Attic greek, of course), anything other than an a.seh.le, producing quantities of nonsensical crap.
    He may learn what ‘Liquidation’ means (I hope) when the DR goes bust, and ceases to exist.

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  27. Homunculus

    Homunculus


    UPTHEHOOPS
    OCTOBER 22, 2016 at 16:06

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

    They may not be listed but the PLC is still a PLC and it has to have an AGM within 6 months of the end of the financial year. They also have to give a minimum of 21 days notice of when it is taking place. 

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  28. Allyjambo

    Allyjambo


    UPTHEHOOPSOCTOBER 22, 2016 at 16:06

    Something that has to be remembered when discussing any move to Hampden, the ‘Old Lady’ is still owned by Queens Park, and the SFA is merely a tenent. It will be up to them (QP) how much any rent might be, but I could envisage a scenario (of the secret variety) whereby the SFA arrange for favourable terms for a club they must be evermore desperate to dig out of any hole it may be in. The kind of thing I envisage is; the SFA sign a new and longer lease, on very good terms for QP, and TRFC get a lease on Hampden, on very good terms for, well, you know who!

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  29. Big Pink


    DOM16
    OCTOBER 22, 2016 
     

    And for BP. All commercial premises have a meter

    Thanks DOM. I thought that was the case these days

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  30. StevieBC

    StevieBC


    BIG PINK
    OCTOBER 22, 2016 at 11:48
    Opportunity to bore begins!!!…
    ===========================

    Thanks for sharing that information BP: you make us accountants look positively exciting!  19

    …I’ll get ma calculator…

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  31. billyj1


    There was a report circulating not too long ago that the SFA’s lease of Hampden was due to come to an end. There was even more speculation that as part of the negotiating ploy the SFA might buy and move to Auchenhow. There is in my opinion something going on. Don’t be surprised if the SFA end up renewing their lease of Hampden and somehow RFC or whatever they want to be called end up with a lease of Hampden football facilities on favourable terms.

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  32. easyJambo


     billyj1October 22, 2016 at 18:28
    There was a report circulating not too long ago that the SFA’s lease of Hampden was due to come to an end. There was even more speculation that as part of the negotiating ploy the SFA might buy and move to Auchenhow. There is in my opinion something going on. Don’t be surprised if the SFA end up renewing their lease of Hampden and somehow RFC or whatever they want to be called end up with a lease of Hampden football facilities on favourable terms.
    ==========================
    The SFA took out a 20 year lease on Hampden Park in April 2000.  The lease was assigned to Hampden Park Limited in May 2008.  HPL has an option to extend the lease by a further 20 years.

    The cost of the lease is currently around £305K per annum.

    The SFA has a number of options it could consider going forward
    * Renew the lease and stay at Hampden for a further 20 years (probably with a higher cost per annum)
    * Move to Murrayfield and share the “National Stadium” with the SRU
    * Move offices etc to the new National Performance Centre at Riccarton and play Scotland games around the country
    * Rent office space in Glasgow or other location and play Scotland games around the country.

    My own personal preference would be a move to Murrayfield and allow Queens Park to sell the Hampden site and use the proceeds to protect their future at lesser Hampden or another site. I think that staying at Hampden would be a parochial decision and would mean continuing to used a “dated” stadium whose bowl design is no longer suitable as a top class venue for football.   

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  33. John Clark


    I endorse  the post by DOM16  October 22, 2016 at 15:52 .
    What an example of  civilised debate we have had: a report of rumour, critical investigation of the possibiity or likelihood of the rumour being soundly based, injections of factual knowledge from people who know the subject matter, and from people who can track and read relevant financial accounts, some intelligent speculation, some little flights of fancy, some comedy, and an underlying readiness displayed to take nothing said about  the business affairs of TRFC Ltd at face value.
    I don’t want to  plumb the depth of the alleged water difficulty,but DOM’s observation that “Commercial water supply can be delivered by any approved supplier” prompted me to add to my general knowledge.
    In doing so, I discovered that ( without getting too political) there’s a lot of people making money out of us, the public. I thought we got our water from, more or less, a public service! Damn the bit of it:there are 24 feckin companies ‘licensed’ by Scottish water to make money out of by selling us our water!
    But that is by the by: what kills me is the ‘letter of grant’ of a licence.
    I have lifted this from the this link, relating to  the ‘Water Industry Commission for Scotland’ ( which I had never heard of!) http://www.watercommission.co.uk/UserFiles/documents/131003%20Grant%20letter.pdf
    It appears to be a stock letter to successful applicants  for a licence to operate as a provider of water services etc. Nothing I say below is said in reference to any particular licensed operator, but only to the anonimised ( is there really such a word?) letter.
    “3October2013           Our Ref: 131003 Grant letterYour Ref: Dear ……………………… Limited’s Application for Water Services and Sewerage Services Licences
    Following your completion of the Training Process (including self-certifying your readiness to participate in the market) in accordance with Market Code Subsidiary Document 0001 (Market Trainingand Assurance Strategy for the Water Market in Scotland), the Commission is pleased to confirm that a decision has been madetogrant you a water services licence and a sewerage services licence as of today….”

    Now, what I wish to draw your attention to is the “( including self-certifying your readiness)“.
    And I refer to a previous post about the Stock Exchange ‘Regulatory News Service” as being nothing other than a passer-on of what a company chooses to say about itself;and my letter to Companies House about what companies say about themselves in their statutorily required ‘Annual Report and Accounts.’
    What, I ask in suffused rage, happened to the notion that things that businesses say must be checked for truth and accuracy when public finance is involved? Where did this acceptance of ‘self-certification’ come from?
    We know from bitter experience what happened when the SFA took SDM’s word at face value [ ok the SFA’s money is not in the strictest sense ‘public money’, but it is very much the public’s money!)
    And I’m reasonably sure that there are many, many more SDMs around in worlds bigger than the Scottish Football world.
    What kind of Government ( or, in our case, ‘governance body’) allows itself to operate on such  a foolish ( I will not say “and complicit”) basis of ‘trust’- especially post 2008, the time  when the Freds of the world were discovered to have virtually destroyed the economies of the West,
    and when the ‘City’ and Wall St were seen to be populated by the kind of people who destroyed RFC(IL): The only difference being one of scale, a scale on which the SDMs of the football world are merely disgusting pimply excrescences on the ar.e of the world, relative to the Everests of greed and rapacity of the bankers and private equity sharks.

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  34. John Clark


    easyJamboOctober 22, 2016 at 20:20
    ”….The cost of the lease is currently around £305K per annum.”
    __________
    What,if anything, does that say of the £500K that was charged by the SFA (? as tenants allowed to sub-let?) to Celtic in 1994/5?
    If upthehoops is correct with his ‘A historic inflation calculator states £919k is today’s value for what Celtic paid’ ,  then words like ‘gun’, ‘head’ and  ‘barrell’ spring to mind! as well as a much hated  name from past-Rachman!
    There may be some reasonable explanation in terms of leases and sub-leases ( maybe Queens as lessor insisted on particular conditions in the matter of sub-lets?) but the charge to the sub-tenant seems unbelievably high!

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  35. John Clark


    Yesterday [ oh,dear lord! how immediately the words ‘all my troubles seemed so far away’ come into mind!
    What it was to be really young and (kind of relatively with it!) in them days], yesterday,I say, I  went through to the metropolis of the west ( most entertainingly , talking to my seat neighbour, an 80 year old wumman on her way to a line-dancing weekend event in Oban,and her about to go in for a knee joint replacement in a few weeks)
    I went to have a brotherly mini-bevvy with my ( for the avoidance of doubt) actual biological brother.
    He and I have the kind of brotherly relationship that sees us now dissolving in fits of laughter and now  in earnest discussion of family history ( we spent an hour in the Mitchell Library, looking up old school records, and exclaiming  ‘ Ah, remember her (or him) ‘ and wallowing in nostalgia)
    But, to get back to relevancy, the question as to the funding of Supporters Direct ( Scotland) cropped up.
    Now, the brother is a man of business. And, of course,a football supporter.
    It appears that Supporters Direct (Scotland) is to some extent funded by the SFA.
    We each of us acknowledged the intrinsic contradiction.
    How can a ‘supporters’ organisaton ‘ accept funding from the body that is the very body that  it might have serious issues with on behalf of its membership?
    The answer of course is that it cannot. I know that,and any ordinarily intelligent person knows that.
    Because the minute that you are in thrall to some paymaster,you are f..ked as far as freedom of opposition is concerned.
    We (the brother and I) concluded that a proper,independent, representation of supporters  is to be found in the Scottish Football Supporters Association, which in principle boaks at the idea of accepting money from the SFA.
    Others may disagree.
    I say, more fool them!
    And the brother says likewise!19

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  36. upthehoops


    JOHN CLARKOCTOBER 22, 2016 at 22:53

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

    The key point for me is that the supply of water remains in public hands. Hypothetically, whether Rangers owed £100k or £2m I don’t believe the Government would allow any action to be taken against them. In 2012 the Police and Ambulance services were made to continue providing a service to Ibrox despite Rangers not paying the bills for them. It appears that ‘Rangers’ are effectively regarded as a national treasure therefore I assume there will be times the taxpayer has to pick up the tab for them. 

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  37. neepheid

    neepheid


    In today’s post by JJ, he rows back somewhat from his “Watergate” claims. I can see why some jiggery pokery with the water supply might be tempting for a couple of million, but surely no Director in their right mind would risk it for the £200k or so put forward on here as the realistic cost of 2 years’ worth of water.

    The source of the Watergate leak may not have had a head for figures, but that does not undermine the central premise of his thesis.

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  38. Cluster One

    Cluster One


    UPTHEHOOPSOCTOBER 23, 2016 at 08:52       5 Votes 
    JOHN CLARKOCTOBER 22, 2016 at 22:53
    ==============================
    The key point for me is that the supply of water remains in public hands. Hypothetically, whether Rangers owed £100k or £2m I don’t believe the Government would allow any action to be taken against them. In 2012 the Police and Ambulance services were made to continue providing a service to Ibrox despite Rangers not paying the bills for them.
    ———————-
    And the police have been fined and Criticised for their heavy handed involvement in the arrests of ex ibrox chairmen and administrators and Criticised for their handling of ibrox fans at a cup final.
    The police don’t seem to be getting much joy from things from ibrox

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  39. Corrupt official

    Corrupt official


    EJ?…. For I think it was thee, who posted the cost to Celtic from the ’95 accounts for Hampden rental. Can you extrapolate from the accounts as to whether there were any other costs to Celtic, such as catering, 
       Did Celtic earn anything from that, or did the SFA keep the pies?, or where there any other “hidden” costs.
       I would look myself, but accounts and I are not bed-fellows 
     
       

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  40. Pat Byrne

    Pat Byrne


    Glad to see some common sense breaking out over the Watergate shenanigans on the SW side of the city, how easy it would be for SMSM to instigate rumours simply to prove a point? that being the bambots blog utter guff, makes it more important for us to take a step back and check the facts, figures and the source of such leaks, it is an art form of a type to find a scoop with so many others under pressure to be first across the line, financial pressure can cloud your mind if you are working towards a narrowing window  of opportunity. Caveat Emptor.

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  41. easyJambo


    Corrupt official October 23, 2016 at 10:51
    EJ?…. For I think it was thee, who posted the cost to Celtic from the ’95 accounts for Hampden rental. Can you extrapolate from the accounts as to whether there were any other costs to Celtic, such as catering,     Did Celtic earn anything from that, or did the SFA keep the pies?, or where there any other “hidden” costs.    I would look myself, but accounts and I are not bed-fellows 
    =====================================
    There is nothing in the accounts that provides any details about the Lease.

    It was first mentioned in the 1994 accounts as being “very costly” for the next season.

    The 1995 accounts simply recorded the £457K as an “exceptional item” in the Profit and Loss account, with a description of “Costs incurred on the Club’s temporary relocation to Hampden Park”

    I can’t find any separate entry about any income.

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  42. upthehoops


    CLUSTER ONEOCTOBER 23, 2016 at 10:13
    And the police have been fined and Criticised for their heavy handed involvement in the arrests of ex ibrox chairmen and administrators and Criticised for their handling of ibrox fans at a cup final.The police don’t seem to be getting much joy from things from ibrox

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

    The cynic in me sees a situation where being able to prove in a court Rangers were victims of a fraud by shady people would effectively be a legally stamped clean bill of health for the club. The only problem is they would actually have to have been a victim of fraud in the first place. The courts have taken some convincing so far, with only Whyte still to walk away free of any charges. 

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  43. Big Pink


    EJ/CO

    A major bone of contention when Celtic moved to Hampden was that despite paying a very high rent, they had zero access to hospitality and stadium catering. The only matchday spend Celtic had access to was tickets and programmes.

    Celtic had no negotiating power at all because they were told by the SFA that they could not stay at Celtic Park and rebuild in a phased manner. Therefore they had no other choice but to accept the deal on offer.

    When it came out in the wash later on, Fergus McCann accused Ernie Walker of  ‘misleading’ him with regard to the regulatory need to relocate.

    However the fact remains that the lease only allowed access on matchdays. Celtic had to provide stewarding, cleanup, and of course policing. The SFA and Queens Park kept the revenues from catering.

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  44. John Clark


    easyJamboOctober 23, 2016 at 11:47
    ‘…There is nothing in the accounts that provides any details about the Lease.
    It was first mentioned in the 1994 accounts as being “very costly” for the next season’
    ______
    That led me,eJ, to have a look at Queens Park’s stuff..Not a dickie bird ( to my untutored eye)about receipts in respect of rental income in their Annual Reports for the relevant periods.

    But I was intrigued ( have I always been so generally unaware of these things?) to learn that there is The National Stadium plc, company number SC 158083, incorporated 12/05/95, total number of shares 50000   of which Queens Park FC Ltd holds 49 000 , and one James Nicolson holds 1.

    I assume that it is the National Stadium plc which since then has been the landlord to the SFA, but there is no mention in their accounts of rent receipts from anybody?
    It’s a baffling world out there.

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  45. Cluster One

    Cluster One


    Attachment

    Remember when we were talking about team sheets and what name would be on the team sheet to play Brechin in the cup,and who would have this team sheet. This is today’s team sheet for the cup. Wonder if that team sheet for the Brechin game will ever see the light of day as one team on that sheet may be incorrectly written on it03

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  46. briggsbhoy


    On BT “Rangers need to spend in Jan”. Stuart McCall’s face was fizzin and a picture when BiG Hartson jumped in and highlighted what we all know, Sevco aint got that kind of money, in fact they have nae money. Apart from the support they cannot be talked about in the same league financially. As JH said Celtic are here as he raises his hand upwards and Rangers are down here. When will these TV anchor men etc start reflecting reality. 

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  47. paddy malarkey

    paddy malarkey


    Tin hat on . I thought that game was more one-sided than the 5-1 game . And it may take it’s toll midweek .

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  48. billyj1


    How on earth does Thomson continue to referee at a high level.
    Shocking decision making yet again.
    Also agree it was more one sided than the 5 1 game. 

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  49. Homunculus

    Homunculus


    PADDY MALARKEY
    OCTOBER 23, 2016 at 17:29
    ====================

    They may make a few changes but I honestly think that Celtic team should have enough to compete with Ross County, even away from home. Celtic are currently 12 points ahead of them with two games in hand a a goal difference 24 better.

    No disrespect to the Ross County support, it’s just my opinion.

    Apologies if you were talking about the Rangers St Johnstone game.

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  50. paddy malarkey

    paddy malarkey


    HOMUNCULUSOCTOBER 23, 2016 at 18:21

    Wisnae meaning them !

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  51. Homunculus

    Homunculus


    PADDY MALARKEY
    OCTOBER 23, 2016 at 18:24
    ========================

    Apologies, what were you talking about.

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  52. blu


    HOMUNCULUSOCTOBER 23, 2016 at 18:48  PADDY MALARKEYOCTOBER 23, 2016 at 18:24========================
    Apologies, what were you talking about.

    HOMUNCULUS, You’re a naughty boy.

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  53. Corrupt official

    Corrupt official


    EASYJAMBOOCTOBER 23, 2016 at 11:47
    BIG PINKOCTOBER 23, 2016 at 12:54
        ————————————————————————————————–
       Thanks to both. It’s appreciated.
           I have read elsewhere that there were other aspects to the arrangement with regards the true costs involved.     Here, from posters of trust, I know I will get responses based on actualities, rather than imagination or wishful thinking.
       Which really leads me to another poser, and that is of Mike Ashley’s control over retail, and via that, the Ibrox superstore. 
       Closing that, or even isolating it and keeping it open with a subsequent reduction in footfall traffic, may be detrimental to his business. I suppose eyes-on contracts, would really be needed to reach a conclusion as to how that may pan out, but there would appear to be a helluva lot more involved in upping sticks, than merely reaching an appropriate and just level of charge.
        Some intricate negotiation will be required, and 100% transparency of any agreements reached between Sevco, QP, and the SFA should not be a request, but a demand.

    View Comment
  54. neepheid

    neepheid


    Corrupt officialOctober 23, 2016 at 21:21        Some intricate negotiation will be required, and 100% transparency of any agreements reached between Sevco, QP, and the SFA should not be a request, but a demand.

    ============================================
    Whatever the outcome, I can guarantee right now that transparency will form no part of any agreements for the rental of Hampden. Our “authorities” simply  don’t do transparency. Which is in complete harmony with Dave King’s philosophy. A meeting of minds, indeed.

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  55. goosygoosy


    BBC
    Eighteen people have been arrested following the Scottish League Cup semi-final between Celtic and Rangers.
    …………………………………
    And it all could have been avoided in 2012

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  56. part time pete


    Not sure how Scottish water bill customers, but down south part of any water bill includes a charge for the disposal of surface water. This means that customers pay a charge for the removal of rainwater from their premises via the authorities sewers to a local watercourse or sewage treatment works.
    The cost of this charge can be anywhere between 50p or £1 per square metre of impermeable area per annum. I have no idea of how much impermeable area the club control but the car park or roofs are not small I would imagine.
    However what is interesting is that charities including churches do not pay this charge and are exempt.
    i just wonder when the new company applied for the water charges to be put in the name of the new company that someone just carelessly ticked the wrong box on the application form saying that the water bill would be paid by a charity.

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  57. John Clark


    Water charges debt problem? Nae wunner! They were gi’eing it away free in 2014!19
    from http://www.glasgow2014.com/sites/default/files/documents/ISR_Ibrox%20Stadium%20Venue%20Guide_Version%203.pdf
    “At Ibrox StadiumFacilities– Spectator Information Point……..
    ……First Aid.– Merchandise, food & drink kiosks and free water filling stations in the external Spectator Plaza..”

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  58. oddjob

    oddjob


    If there is a rental deal for hampden, QP should insist on payment up front, perhaps on a game by game basis.
    No pay, no play !!

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  59. Haudthebus


    for those who might be interested I just received the following message from the Offshore Game Team
    Add your voice to the call for changeDear 
    Last week Greg Clarke, Chairman of the FA, was called to Parliament to answer questions about the recent revelations published by The Telegraph.
    But MPs also took an interest in the offshore finance and raised questions about our report on the amount of offshore cash in the game.
    We are obviously really pleased that MPs have taken the time to read the Offshore Game’s report and are clearly concerned.
    The Culture Media and Sports Committee have now launched a more widespread inquiry into the governance of the game. Members of the public can write in with their evidence too.
    To find out how you can contribute, read our latest blog post here: http://www.theoffshoregame.net/offshore-game-goes-parliament/
    And do remember to share the article to encourage your friends and contacts to contribute too.
    With best wishes,
    The Offshore Game Team. 

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  60. Smugas


    GG at 22.59

    BBC Eighteen people have been arrested following the Scottish League Cup semi-final between Celtic and Rangers.…………………………………And it all could have been avoided in 2012

    Goose.

    Not to labour the point but it wouldn’t have been avoided per se in 2012.  Rather the authorities could have played with a straight bat, liquidated the club correctly and permitted the follow followers to follow follow whoever they liked.  They could claim what they liked about their club(s).  The result on Sunday would have been exactly the same, it would still have been a sellout and no doubt there would still have been 18 arrests.  But ‘the game’ (and I mean that in its widest sense, none of the ‘Old Firm’ bolcox) would have been intact, not fundamentally fractured to its core.

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  61. zam1


    In my opinion , any business/company who has given TRIFC credit since 2012 deserve to be wripped off, if I was a manager with ANY of these companies, whoever signed the contract to supply whatever service would be sacked.
    And this also applies to people who bought season books AND shares.

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  62. Allyjambo

    Allyjambo


    HAUDTHEBUSOCTOBER 24, 2016 at 09:25

    “But MPs also took an interest in the offshore finance and raised questions about our report on the amount of offshore cash in the game.We are obviously really pleased that MPs have taken the time to read the Offshore Game’s report and are clearly concerned.”

    So, MPs take notice of what the ‘Offshore Game’ have to say, yet the Scottish media dismiss what they have to say about the game they are employed solely to cover! I wonder when it was that MPs gave any notice of anything a Scottish football hack had supposedly uncovered? I wonder when one of their number actually uncovered, or at least published, any wrongdoing in Scottish football?

    For the record I do not class Mark Daly as a football hack!

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  63. briggsbhoy


    Going back to my earlier post how refreshing would it be if the SMSM and these TV pundits  when commenting on the January transfer window told it like it is when discussing the Sevco squad shortcomings. They may have a massive support but the reality if the finances are no better than a struggling team in the lower leagues so how can they buy in the January window, what is the answer ? I just wish they’d stop talking mince (lamb of course) and debate the fact poor financial management and purchasing in transfer market is was brought down oldcoand so how does newco survive or improve because they have champange tastes and beer money. It’s a bit like having a conversation with Lee Hendrie the former Aston Villa player who went bankrupt and asking him if he’s planning on buying a new lambourgini in January and ignoring the fact he’s skint. 

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  64. upthehoops


    ZAM1OCTOBER 24, 2016 at 09:37   
    In my opinion , any business/company who has given TRIFC credit since 2012 deserve to be wripped off, if I was a manager with ANY of these companies, whoever signed the contract to supply whatever service would be sacked.And this also applies to people who bought season books AND shares.

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

    What is far worse in my view is the number of politicians, some senior, who in 2012 thought it was okay for Rangers to deliberately evade tax. Rather than demanding that the taxes which underpin our democratic society were paid in full, they instead urged HMRC to take what they could get and not to liquidate the club. If the allegations they are behind on VAT are true, then I fully expect the same thing to happen again. I repeat once again the Emergency Services were ordered to provide cover at Rangers games in 2012 despite the bills not getting paid.  The shortfall would have been made up by money collected from honest taxpayers. Not a single politician had an issue with that. 

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  65. oddjob

    oddjob


    Upthehoops,
    It is true that certain politicians pleaded on behalf of RFC .Their pleas were rebuffed, which is why BDO are currently busy with the liquidation of RFC, and HMRC have pursued the tax through the courts.
    I am sure,should there be another Tax bill, HMRC will diligently pursue what they consider is due.
    Politicians can say what they like, but it is an offence for any person to obstruct an officer in the course of his duties.
    Any attempt to interfere, will, I am sure, be well and truly booted into the long grass.

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  66. John Clark


    HaudthebusOctober 24, 2016 at 09:25
    ‘..Last week Greg Clarke, Chairman of the FA, was called to Parliament to answer questions about the recent revelations published by The Telegraph.’
    __________
    I have just finished watching the Parliamentary committee’s questioning of Greg Clarke, of the FA.(And that was a very helpful  link, Haudthebus, thank you)

     I wish the Health and Sport committee  in our own Parliament would summon Messrs MacRae and Regan and conduct an equally open and rigourous  enquiry into how the disgraceful cheating by the RFC of SDM was allowed both to come about and was able to be ‘hidden’ for so many years, with ultimately disastrous consequences for many, many creditors and the general tax-payer;and the shattering of faith and trust in the entire governance of Scottish Football by the SFA and the now SPFL.

    It is sad to reflect that ,whereas the English print media was the catalyst for their grilling of Clarke, the journalistic running-dogs of the SMSM  not only stayed resolutely schtum when it came to asking hard questions of the succulent lamb-dealer, but to continue to this very day to bombard us with propagand on the part of the’myth’, ignoring actual legal, commercial and sporting facts.

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  67. easyJambo


    One for this week’s court diary
    LORD BRODIE – J Harding, Clerk
    Friday 28th October
    Starred Motion
    P989/15 Pet: Michael Ashley for Judicial Review
    Brodies LLP – Burness Paull LLP

    This case was Ashley’s appeal against the “dual interest” tribunal decision of the SFA.  The petition was dismissed and the previous CoS decision can be found below. Friday’s proceedings may just be about costs.
    https://www.scotcourts.gov.uk/search-judgments/judgment?id=ff7f16a7-8980-69d2-b500-ff0000d74aa7

    ==========================
    Meanwhile ……… What has Big Pink been up to?  07

    INNER HOUSE ROLLS
    SECOND DIVISION
    Thursday 27th October
    Continued Summar Roll
    A1378/91 Reclaiming Motion (LadyStacey) in the cause John Cole &c v Advocate General for Scotland
    Allan McDougall – Morton Fraser LLP

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  68. upthehoops


    ODDJOBOCTOBER 24, 2016 at 13:09 
    Upthehoops,It is true that certain politicians pleaded on behalf of RFC .Their pleas were rebuffed, which is why BDO are currently busy with the liquidation of RFC, and HMRC have pursued the tax through the courts.I am sure,should there be another Tax bill, HMRC will diligently pursue what they consider is due.Politicians can say what they like, but it is an offence for any person to obstruct an officer in the course of his duties.Any attempt to interfere, will, I am sure, be well and truly booted into the long grass.

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

    I know Oddjob, but Politicians really shouldn’t be seen to support tax evasion, no matter who it is.

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  69. Homunculus

    Homunculus


    HMRC is a non-ministerial department, precisely to prevent Politicians interfering in them doing their business.

    https://www.gov.uk/government/organisations/hm-revenue-customs/about/our-governance

    HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) is a non-ministerial department.
    HMRC was established by the Commissioners for Revenue and Customs Act (CRCA) 2005, which gives the legal powers and responsibilities of the department to Commissioners appointed by the Queen.
    HMRC’s status as a non-ministerial department is intended to ensure that the administration of the tax system is fair and impartial.

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  70. paddy malarkey

    paddy malarkey


    HOMUNCULUSOCTOBER 23, 2016 at 18:48 11 Votes

    Sorry, didn’t see this bit on my browser –
    Apologies if you were talking about the Rangers St Johnstone game.

    Yes, that was what I was suggesting .11

    View Comment
  71. Big Pink


    New blog up – by Tris

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