Who Is Conning Whom?

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What follows is a record of an exchange in October with David Conn of The Guardian in respect of an article written by him in August 2016 reporting the arrival of The Rangers FC in the top tier of the SPFL.

In that article David Conn suggests that there was no tax overdue in respect of “The Wee Tax Case” of 2011 because he was told by the SFA that agreement had been reached with HMRC to postpone payment until after the Takeover by Craig Whyte and on those grounds the SFA granted a licence.

For such an agreement to pass UEFA FFP rules muster it had to be in writing, signed by HMRC and dated 31st March 2011 or earlier. There were behind the scenes discussions on this point and attempts were made separately at the time to obtain such written unpublished documentation that complied with UEFA FFP regulations from Darryl Broadfoot the Head of SFA Communications, but in spite of promises it never arrived.

Not surprising as, had it existed, Celtic would certainly have been informed when they first wrote to the SFA in December 2011 – thereby rendering Resolution 12, placed at the 2013 Celtic AGM requesting UEFA to investigate the UEFA licensing process throughout 2011 as truly unnecessary.

The first e mail (edited with cosmetic changes to aid reading by  a wider audience but no change of sense) made the following points to Mr Conn on 9th Oct 2017…..


Dear Mr Conn.

On 5th August 2016 you wrote an article about the arrival of “Rangers” into the top tier of the SPFL.

https://www.theguardian.com/football/2016/aug/05/rangers-scottish-premiership-tax-issue

(* A relevant extract from that article – in italics – can be read separately at the end of this blog)

Given that the Craig Whyte trial in July 2017, revealed discrepancies (already known to the Celtic shareholders pursuing Res12) between  what was stated at the trial and what was reported to the SFA and UEFA during 2011 in terms of the status of the wee tax case liability, then it would appear that your article:

  1. Does not fully reflect what took place, giving the impression over two paragraphs that a written agreement signed by HMRC to postpone payment had been reached between HMRC and RFC by 31st March 2011. Had this been so it would mean that there was no overdue tax  payable at 31st March 2011 as UEFA define an overdue payable to tax authorities. 
  2. However what was revealed in court in July 2017 was that RFC had accepted the liability before 31st March 2011 and so it was not “potential” with “discussions continuing with HMRC to establish a resolution to the assessments raised”,  as reported in RFC Interim accounts on 1st April 2011. It was for this reason the SFA have asked their Compliance Officer to investigate what took place and had there been a written agreement to postpone prior to 31st March 2011, there would have been no need to describe the liability to the SFA in the way that it was. 
  3. Further your article does not fully reflect the reason why “Rangers” had to wait three years before playing in European competition, which was that UEFA viewed “Rangers” as a NEW club/company. This was not mentioned although the SFA,  who advised you they held an unpublished HMRC letter also held a copy of a letter  dated 8th June 2016 from UEFA Head of Club Licensing Andrea Traverso (copy attached) to that effect.

Consequently  will you be following the SFA Compliance Officer investigation, and indeed will you be telling him the basis on which you reported the SFA’s position in your article of August 2016 without revealing sources of course?

Importantly in terms of all your other investigatory work into skulduggery, are you also aware that despite what you may have been told by the SFA, Resolution 12 was and is ultimately about making the SFA more accountable and transparent to supporters, an aim which I think you would surely support and is there any chance of you helping with that aim by considering what has caused the SFA to finally capitulate and do what Res12 asked for in 2013, albeit domestically?

A national football association using the media to try to derail a genuine investigation into their behaviour is surely of national, never mind Scottish, interest?

In some ways it matters little now if Rangers gained and retained that licence by deception as the court statement indicates, with the result the SFA Compliance Officer is conducting an investigation.

What matters more is that the SFA have used the absence of accountability to cover up their part in the licensing process, not just from March through to September 2011 but to ignore genuine enquiries from supporter/shareholders of a member club from 2014 to  July 2017. During which time their positions;

  • that the bill had not crystallised, or
  • was subject to dispute or
  • was under appeal or
  • that after 31st March, monitoring was not an SFA function, as stated by SFA CEO Stewart Regan,

were exposed (in court) as self-serving myths.

The SFA and how poorly they serve the game in Scotland because they are accountable to no one is THE story of Resolution 12 and you could help bring accountability about by reporting how you were duped by the SFA in August last year and report on what the Compliance Officer finds.

As it is your August article has undermined your reputation somewhat as someone whom I understand seeks better accountability and transparency from football authorities.

PS what Celtic shareholders lawyers reported to SFA, and when, is available if you decide to engage.

Yours etc


After a couple of reminders, one copied to The Guardian Sports Editor a reply was received dated 8th November 2017 in which Mr Conn said.


Hello 

Thank you for your emails and apologies for not having replied sooner; I have been very busy recently. I have seen that some questions have been raised about the piece I wrote in relation to this. I understand that this issue has been of great interest to people; however, I do not currently have plans to revisit it.

Thank you for your interest and apologies again for not replying sooner.

D Conn


As the SFA Head of Communications, Darryl Broadfoot, who departed from his post in January 2017, would most probably be the person to whom David Conn spoke. He is the same person who failed to clarify this article at:

https://stv.tv/sport/football/1358000-uefa-won-t-investigate-resolution-12-rangers-euro-licence-claims/

by STV reporter Grant Russell, who also recently departed from his job at STV.

The STV article omitted certain references about UEFA treating The Rangers FC/The Rangers International FC as a NEW club/company, a piece of unsolicited information  that was contained in a UEFA response to Celtic shareholders’ lawyer from Andrea Traverso, Head of UEFA Club Licensing) and which was copied to the SFA a week before STV published.

Some may also remember the strange episode where The Guardian accepted an advert from the Celtic AGM Resolution 12 requistitioners in 2016 attempting to draw the attention of Resolution 12 on a tax evasion aspect to the wider tax paying British pubic. Having accepted payment for a “Persistence Beats Res12tance” advert, The Guardian for some unexplained reason changed their mind and decided not to publish and refunded the payment.

They have been coy on answering who, what or why they changed their mind and as can be seen from the above reply from David Conn appear unwilling to pursue the UEFA 2011 Licencing issue further (at least for now). Hopefully those plans will change when the SFA investigation is complete, whatever the result.

Mr Broadfoot although no longer an SFA employee, appears to be continuing in some capacity as an SFA spokesman given his appearance on BBC Sportsound on 8th November along with Paul Goodwin of the Scottish Football Supporters Association (SFSA) to discuss the findings of an SFSA survey involving over 16,000 supporters that highly criticised the SFA for their governance of Scottish football.  The programme segment can be heard here:

https://drive.google.com/file/d/1sQRFX2vOWUvkaeRAEEYL3vzMqdXGFE8T/view?usp=sharing

The overriding point here though is not the credibility of main stream media outlets, which is at an all-time low, but the use of those outlets by the SFA officials using the media in an attempt to produce an outcome that suits them and a single SFA member club at the expense of the value of the shares held by shareholders in another SFA member club.

Awareness of the impact on shareholder value of member clubs by SFA decisions is yet another issue that an enquiry into SFA methods/processes should address, particularly since HMRC made the SFA aware in 2009 of their concerns about Rangers use of ebts in player contracts.

Until such an investigation takes place the SFA will be viewed as no longer fit to govern Scottish football in its present form.

 

Extract from Conn Article of 5th August.

Even now, an allegation persists the SFA was deficient in allowing Rangers a licence to compete in the Champions League during that season, 2011-12. The case, based on leaked documentation from the time and pressed by a group of Celtic supporters on their club to pursue as resolution 12 of the 2013 annual general meeting, was recently argued strongly in a report by the Tax Justice Network campaign.

The argument is that in breach of Uefa rules against clubs having overdue tax payable, Rangers owed £2.8m on a discounted options scheme following a successful HMRC challenge known as the “wee tax case”.

The SFA is adamant its committee which considered the licence dealt with the issue thoroughly and received the necessary evidence the tax was not overdue according to Uefa rules. One informed source involved with the issue at the time, who did not want to speak publicly owing to continuing criminal proceedings against Whyte arising out of his tenure at Rangers, said that at the initial deadline, 31 March 2011, HMRC had agreed that the £2.8m did not need to be paid until after his May 2011 takeover.

Before subsequent 30 June and 30 September deadlines, Rangers, by then owned by Whyte, are understood to have told the SFA they were in discussions with HMRC over the money owed. Uefa rules allow tax not to be treated as “overdue” where there is a written agreement with the tax authority for payment to be extended.

The SFA, although declining to disclose details of the documentation it received, citing confidentiality with its member clubs, told the Guardian via a spokesperson: “The Scottish FA has always been clear the licensing award issued to Rangers in 2011 by the licensing committee was correct. The process is audited on an annual basis by Uefa.”

Uefa, pressed on the issue again recently, said: “The licence for the 2011-12 season was granted by the SFA and there was no reason for Uefa to doubt this decision.”

Uefa has said it has no need to investigate further if the tax was in fact overdue according to its definition, because after that season, Rangers’ fate anyway equated to a sanction for breach of the rules: they could not play in European competition for the following three years. HMRC, taking a stern view of clubs defaulting on tax, declined to approve a company voluntary arrangement with creditors and Rangers went into liquidation.

818 COMMENTS


  1. Big PinkDecember 5, 2017 at 22:59
    ‘……These last two matches may well become seminal in his career.’
    ________________
    And inevitably, rightly or wrongly, justly or unjustly, questions will be asked of the collapse of the second strongest team in Scottish football in not just one, but TWO, matches against at best a very, very, very mediocre team, of which to be manager is a lifetime ambition of the current manager of that second strongest team.

    You know, you could hardly dare to write a script!
    (well, of course, no playwright in Scotland would think of writing a play about such a possible story line!)

    At the very least, questions will undoubtedly be asked about the managerial competence of McInnes.

    And about whether he is the man who, without money to spend, will be able to bring forward the day when TRFC Ltd is a force in Europe.

    My own private opinion , which I share with you as being my opinion, is that McInnes has compromised himself.

    He is not likely to explain himself to me.

    But I think he will owe the Aberdeen FC  supporters’ base some explanation, if he chooses to accept any offer from TRFC Ltd. ( which is not, of course, the ‘Rangers’ of 1872,of George Young, Sam English,Don Kitchenbrand, Wullie Henderson, Sandy Jardine etc etc….)

    View Comment

  2. easyJamboDecember 5, 2017 at 23:01
    ‘… with £147k specifically to their QC (Andrew Thornhill / Roddy Dunlop) for the EBT case. ‘
    __________
    My memory is not quite what it used to be,eJ, but were not you and I at the uttt hearing in George St, and in brief conversation ,during the lunch break, with Thornhill?
    When he told us he had a house over in the Gladsmuir hills?
    Honest to God, I really warmed to the man, such was his disarming charm (and private acknowledgement that EBTs as used by RFC(IL) were….!)

    View Comment

  3. Well said JC,
    If he does leave to a club he’s spectacularly lost two back to back games to, after weeks of media / pr pressure, then questions should indeed be asked, but of whom?
    The SFA will never charge TRFC with bringing the game into disrepute over this, although it should.
    AFC could have put him on leave but that could have led to DM claiming constructive dismissal, and left AFC with no compensation. It’s all very murky.
    There’s no point complaining to the media about their constant bias.
    What are the rules about “tapping up” managers? I’m sure if there are any, there willl be considerable scope for discretion by the SFA and burden of proof issues.
    Us dons fans however are rightly suspicious that something ain’t right, and although we can like every other team blow it on occasion and often against glasgow teams, the recent selections and tactics dont show DM in a good light if he does leave – “suspicious” will then not be the appropriate word we’ll be using though…

    View Comment

  4. bad capt madmanDecember 6, 2017 at 00:35
    ‘…Us dons fans however are rightly suspicious that something ain’t right, and although we can like every other team blow it on occasion and often against glasgow teams, the recent selections and tactics dont show DM in a good light if he does leave’
    _______
    Well, what’s a guy to do, when the SMSM insist, demand, and emphatically assert ( BBC Radio Scotland) that he and he alone is the saviour of TRFC Ltd?

    Except seize the opportunity to improve himself, line his pockets in the way that certain charlatans lined their pockets by the Big Lie, and two fingers to sporting integrity, club loyalty,or decent respect for folk who had paid his wages, only to  find , perhaps, that  they had been paying  a quisling.

    Not saying that that is the scenario. Only that it might conceivably be so.

    And not one sleazy, compromised ‘journalist’ in our SMSM will dare ask any relevant question.

    View Comment

  5. A couple of other observations from the latest BDO Creditors report.

    BDO’s time costs for the whole of the Liquidation period are now at £4.4m and that doesn’t include any legal costs.

    The total amount of money they have gathered from all sources amounts to £29.65m. However there was only £14.1m left in the creditors pot, so you can see that more than half the funds have already gone without 1p going to the creditors, with further costs still to be racked up.

    View Comment

  6. Sorry for straying into club territory here, but as a dons fan, I think DM has been seriously damaged by all this and that’s why I think a disrepute charge against TRFC is appropriate.
    However – if he has no intention of leaving, as he and the chairman have said, then he’s been seen to fail under the pressure. When he could have used the same attacking tactics against TRFC as other teams have and succeeded, instead he’s looked like a rabbit in headlights, minimising our strengths. Constant selection changes also seem to weaken the team, and DM now appears damaged goods not able to deliver when really necessary against our main rivals. 
    Given these failings, why would TRFC want him?
    I feel sorry for the guy but he should have overtly said he’s not interested during the lifetime of his contract – or until AFC sack him. At least one dons fan site has rumours that the players think he’ll leave (and take some with him later- McLean?) and he’s lost the dressing room. 
    If he does stay he has work to do to regain trust. 
    If he goes, well the trust was obviously misplaced, and DM will be seen in the same light as Ryan Jack, or worse.
    If this was a cunning plan by an opposition team, then a disrepute charge it is, or should be – and bad show DM for falling for it and not commiting to AFC more strongly much earlier.

    View Comment

  7. I’m guessing there must be lots going on behind the scenes, WRT McInnes?

    And IF TRFC does genuinely want him – and he genuinely wants to go to Ibrox – then the only option left is for him to resign?

    Then signing for TRFC would seem like a pretty obvious breach of contract?
    Another court case could be added to the list for TRFC.
    BUT, King would have his manager now and then have time to negotiate with the Dons to avoid legal fees – and at the very least delay further expenses he can’t afford?

    It would be rather unedifying behaviour from a Scottish club…and would the SFA react?

    (Caveat of course is that it’s just more Level42 boll#x as TRFC just can’t afford McInnes anyway?)

    View Comment

  8. BIG PINKDECEMBER 5, 2017 at 22:59 
    Under terms of McInnes’s contract, I believe Aberdeen can’t refuse permission to speak to him IF the compensation amount is offered AND paid upfront. If talks between Rangers and McInnes are unsuccessful, the cash is returned.

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

    According to today’s Daily Record Aberdeen ‘turned down a cheque for £1M’.  I’m guessing if £1M had genuinely been offered McInnes would be having talks with Rangers today. The Record goes on to exclusively reveal McInnes will resign to join Rangers.  Surely in that case Rangers must be guilty of illegally tapping a Manager under contract, and can also be ordered by the SFA to pay the amount of compensation due under the terms of the contract. 

    This matter is being handled in an utterly appalling fashion by the Rangers board, and if we had a media who were willing to call them out for it rather than help facilitate the move they would not get away with it. If McInnes resigns Aberdeen can of course report Rangers to the SFA, but perhaps they want to avoid a points deduction and a heavy fine for bringing the game into disrepute!

    On a serous note such matters have precedent.  Fergus McCann believed when Tommy Burns resigned from Kilmarnock in 1994 to join Celtic he was simply exercising his right to move job. The SFA fined Celtic £100k for tapping Burns and ordered them to pay Kilmarnock £200K. I’m willing to bet what McInnes is on at Aberdeen is way above what Burns earned at Kilmarnock in 1994.  Compensation aside I’m also willing to bet the SFA would not fine Rangers anything like £100k for tapping McInnes, if anything at all. 

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  9. Whatever the outcome of the McInnes Saga, there can be little doubt that Aberdeen have been weakened as a result of it. Regardless of whether or not it had any effect on Aberdeen’s performance in the last two matches, the uncertainty of McInnes’ loyalty for the rest of the season must have a detrimental effect on the team and everyone within the club and it’s supporters.

    What we are seeing now is not just as a result of the SMSM’s total support for this new club, it is also the result of the meek and unchallenging acceptance of the big lie by all the other clubs, allowing people like McInnes to be fooled/allow themselves to be fooled into believing they are being hunted by the ‘Rangers’ McInnes, himself, once played for. Surely, by now, Stewart Milne must be asking himself why he has been so ready to go against the wishes of his club’s supporters, choosing, instead, to aid the game’s governors in the support they’ve given to the club that replaced the biggest bunch of cheats our game has ever seen.

    It’s not just Stewart Milne, of course, who should be questioning the wisdom of accepting the big lie and turning a blind eye to all that has happened to assist the new club (the unquestioning acceptance of TRFC’s fit and proper status as an example), for this is just the beginning!

    I do hope that Stewarts Milne, whatever the outcome of this saga, tells the Aberdeen supporters exactly what he thinks of TRFC’s disruptive methods, what they offered and how they intended paying it, and the media’s part in it all.

    Hopefully he makes a complaint to the game’s governors – and also tells the world exactly how they react!

    View Comment

  10. I think Kings/Traynors tactic is to get McInnes unpopular with the Aberdeen fans so that Milne accepts a low offer just to get rid and move on.
    Pretty sure there’s no turning back now and he’ll be gone. Hopefully before Friday nights game in Dundee.
    To me McInnes doesn’t come out of this too well as he’s been sleekit . Saying one thing in public while obviously discussing all things Rangers with their representatives.
    Anyway nobody is bigger than the club

    View Comment

  11. Re McInnes/Rangers

    This situation reminds me of 1983 when the mighty Glasgow Rangers approached Jim McLean to take over from a failing John Greig – everyone in the media then assumed Jim would go (he was offered twice the salary he was getting at United) he went up the marble staircase had the interview & to his eternal credit told them where to shove it ! (This was after the job was offered to Alex Ferguson first of all who also knocked it back ) – two v.successful managers of “provincial” clubs similar , in a way to McInnes’ situation to-day .

    Difficult one to call (for McInnes) but his reputation would be enhanced if he stays at Aberdeen I think & the risks of Ibrox (financial/ownership) are considerable .

    View Comment

  12. Another cracker from C Jack in the Herald,”It is understood that the Gers opted to do the honourable thing and wait until after the Premiership double-header with Aberdeen last week before making an official approach for the Reds boss.” 1212

    View Comment

  13. BAD CAPT MADMANDECEMBER 6, 2017 at 01:44

    While I think you may be right about this, the question is how do you prove it and who will pursue it even if some proof is found
    The Football authorities will be unwilling and the thing is Rangers have always been able to “tap” people they want without using the usual under the table methods.  They have the whole SMSM to do that for them.  
    My own feeling is while McInnes may have been a wished for target they may have already decided they can’t afford him, however the process has undermined a key opponent.  An official approach (one in which apparently they were unwilling to upfront the money as required) can be seen as them justifying what they did retrospectively. 
    They may even believe there’s an outside chance with the SMSM help they can force Aberdeen to drop their demand for all the money upfront and that McInnes will jump ship.  But their main object will already have been achieved regardless.

    View Comment

  14. AJ said

    Surely, by now, Stewart Milne must be asking himself why he has been so ready to go against the wishes of his club’s supporters, choosing, instead, to aid the game’s governors in the support they’ve given to the club that replaced the biggest bunch of cheats our game has ever seen.

    This with nobs on.

    EB said

    The weakness of a one horse race is CFC are not used to handling any real pressure,the title run is going to be nothing but pressure because Rangers are not going away anytime soon.

    2121212121212121

    Just as a suggestion you could try googling ‘McInnes’ and ‘Big game pressure’

    Thankfully you have reams of press copy critically analysing whether McInnes really is the man for the job for you to fall back on – that is the job YOU want him to do.

    Double thankfully your club(s)  don’t have a history (obvious joke – avoid avoid), a history of throwing the toys out of the pram and blaming everyone but yourselves for not recognising and dealing with what was staring you straight in the face.

    View Comment

  15. Meanwhile, back in the real world, a nasty world with laws and other technical stuff.  What would be the situation if talks fall through for whatever reason but McInnes does want to leave? Him wanting to leave infers that talks have concluded from his poijt of view – he is happy with the package on offer. The only stumbling point therefore can only be the release clause?   Presumably he then resigns.  Presumably one of two parties pays the recognised compensation/release clause fee else why would you have it?  Those parties being:  McInnes himself buying out his contract or McInnes again being sued for breach of contract.  Secondary to this, were AFC to go down the route of legal action for breach of contract can McInnes manage the purchasing club in the meantime? 

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  16. One is forced to wonder.

    When Dave King publicly admitted there was going to be a £4m shortfall in Rangers income this year and that he would cover it, did he include the cost of getting rid of the manager, and his staff, and the cost of bringing in a new manager, and his staff.

    If not then I think it is reasonable to infer that there would be a further say £2m involved in that process. Meaning that Rangers would be looking at losses of something in the region of £6m this year.

    Again.

    It take a bold, naive or idiotic person to suggest that Rangers don’t have financial issues just now.

    View Comment

  17. I do not see Dave King as a particularly intelligent man, his dealings with proper authorities, SARS, SA Courts, UK Courts etc., show that, but when it comes to fooling the gullible, like the SFA, SPFL, Rangers/TRFC supporters etc., he is a master of the art of the confidence trickster. He seems to be particularly good at the big con, carrying it out at arms length, where he manages to get a fawning media to do his bidding, while turning a blind eye to what is really going on. His use of the more thuggish element of the Ibrox support, particularly in his takeover bid, is another example of him getting other people to actually do the work (intimidation).

    His latest con trick has the hallmark of genius. For regardless of the outcome, he has managed to do so much in his own favour, at no cost to himself, and only a little to TRFC, by barely lifting a finger.  

    We’ve already covered the damage done to Aberdeen – and it is ongoing damage, not a one off, but look at the benefits to himself and TRFC. He’s successfully shifted much of the attention away from the Report and Accounts and the AGM, and most importantly for himself, kept his personal failures and lies out of the news (except here on the internet). But I believe these are just collateral benefits from the main aim of the saga, which was to give the bears the impression that TRFC have money to burn on a new manager, whether or not they are successful and bring McInnes to Ibrox. There can be little doubt that the majority now believe that not only do they have close to £1m to get that new manager, they will be convinced whoever gets the job will have millions to spend in the next transfer window.

    Now the chairmen/women of most football clubs would be aware of the fact that come January they would have huge expectations to live up to; but not Dave King. For him it’s all about playing for time, in the hope that something turns up, but if it doesn’t, he’ll again utilise his mates in the press and spin it as a positive. And the bears will buy it!

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  18. BallyargusDecember 6, 2017 at 09:29Another cracker from C Jack in the Herald,”It is understood that the Gers opted to do the honourable thing and wait until after the Premiership double-header with Aberdeen last week before making an official approach for the Reds boss.” 
    ———————————————————————-
    I know, I saw that earlier! Some of the stuff spouted by Chris (union) Jack these past weeks has been beyond belief.
    My take on the saga is that it stinks, stinks to high heaven! The SMSM, including and maybe particularly the BB effin C, stated from day 1 that McInnes was the preferred candidate so basically doing Sevco’s dirty work and destabilising Aberdeen. I believe D McInnes has been “sleekit” as BILL 1903 says and does not come out of this well. His body language over the past weeks has sent messages.
    We really are in a no win position. If we try to hold on to a manager who no longer wants to be at the club that will end in tears. I have no problem with him leaving and, as posted here a few days ago, always thought that would be the outcome, but the whole way in which the thing has been handled, as I say, stinks.
    I hope that when we move for another manager that if that is someone who is in a job currently that we do it properly with respect for all concerned.

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  19. And the bears will buy it!

    Quite literally.  His task list is essentially:

    Make transfer moves to look like billy big baws.  You never know it might flush out a sheikh.  (note to self – caution against shaking out a (busted) flush).
    Find Money for this from somewhere, anywhere.
    Get to Share issue *(note to self – how do you do these with my record)
    Use share issue to sort loan problem re licence. 
    Use share issue to dilute out club tropicana
    Send Email to James reminding him he’s to ransom club Tropicana to maintain their share %age equals cash to me, sorry, us.
    Set up Email to James as ‘recurrent’ 

    View Comment

  20. ” …  if the business had serious financial issues …”

    I would love to see the argument which tries to suggest that it doesn’t have serious financial issues.

    A PLC which has posted trading losses in every year of it’s existence and which has admitted it will be doing the same this year, and next. Which will have to have a £20m share issue just to pay off loans. Which has no proper banking facilities and no line of credit other than it’s own shareholders. In fact it seems all but one shareholder has had enough, and that one is a convicted fraudster, so hardly what one would describe as a certainty to make good on his promises.

    If that’s not serious financial issues I don’t know what is.

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  21. Rangers told their support that they were taking applications / CVs which they were considering and would be looking to interview suitable candidates.

    If I remember correctly they said that they were waiting until the Friday of that week before deciding what to do.

    That being the case, and the fact that they have now approached Aberdeen to speak to their manager I can only really think of a couple of explanations.

    1, No-one suitable applied.

    2, They were lying to the support.

    From that bastion of honesty

    http://www.eveningtimes.co.uk/sport/rangers/15654956.Rangers_have_received__numerous_applications__for_manager_s_job_but_haven_t_interviewed_any_Ibrox_candidates/

    10th November
    Rangers have received ‘numerous applications’ for manager’s job but haven’t interviewed any Ibrox candidates
    Christopher Jack @Chris_Jack89
    Group Senior Sports Writer

    A statement read: “The club confirms that since the departure of Pedro Caixinha it has received numerous applications for the now vacant position and is anticipating further applications by the end of next week.

    “The Club will then consider all viable options available to it. At this time the Club has not interviewed any candidate and will take its time to ensure that the best possible decision is made.”

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  22. On loans.

    Dave King has said he has access to funds. Presumably more than the additional £7m he has promised. He wouldn’t lend every penny he has to a loss making business surely.

    He has also talked about providing funds to a new manager. We can only assume that would be reasonably substantial sums. Maybe not in football terms but in normal terms. Certainly a million or two i would have thought.

    He has also told the Court of Session that he cannot make an offer to buy shares because of his current impecuniosity.

    Sorry to carry on with this “lying” motif, however it can’t all be true … can it.

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  23. EB

    Craig Whyte had nothing to lose?  You mean apart from the personal guarantee he issued to Ticketus that was subsequently used to bankrupt him personally including losing him his house (castle).  You mean apart from that he had nothing to lose.

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  24. Haven’t commented much on the Mcinnes because it’s a bit too “my club” for me so I have to give the following disclaimers.
    Much as I like McInnes I don’t think losing him would be disastrous, it could even work out well for us especially with the comp to spend on a replacement.
    And, Milne is a decent custodian financially but I have no time at all for his backing off the 11-1 and the whole “moving on” rubbish.
    But.. a lot of us supporters appear to be buying into the “McInnes should bare all” camp whilst the fact is that rangers2 played the media and they are playing us.  It was obvious some time ago that they would take it all the way to the ridiculous headlines in the record this morning that he has been “forced” into a position where he will “have” to quit to go to ibrox.  The job is almost done.  If he quits there is not much AFC can do except go to law and I’m not sure how such a clause would stand up, I assume rangers 2 have sought opinion.  That leaves the SFA to adjudicate on a tapping up charge and I don’t expect that to pan out for us.  If you think unsettling McInnes is a media frenzy wait until that case comes up!  All of this , of course, while no-one, no-one has asked rangers2 to clarify exactly what their intentions, plans and proposals are.  McInnes, on the other hand, has to state clearly his position at every step of the way ,and remember he already has a job, so that the media can satisfy the hordes sense of entitlement.  It’s a bloody disgrace but not unexpected..

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  25. And whilst we’re at it.

    EB said

    they (Kingco) have everything to lose and nothing to gain by being reckless.

    Nope.  They have put up to date.  Churlish to deny that. But their ‘journey’ model doesn’t work if they’re not ‘reckless.’  They’d be more transparent than, well, than Craig Whyte was.  The difference is Craig had a consequence to the club (I’ve covered his personal situation above) of being reckless to deal with.  This is traditionally called liquidation.  But in your world that ‘risk’ has been removed.  Kingco now feel they can be reckless with impunity (granted apparently with their own money this time) which is why you consider it not being reckless.  There’s a difference but it only comes about if someone stops being reckless, or someone acts to stop them AND someone asks either for a return or, worst case scenario, their money back. 

    Just time to edit hopefully as saw your latest post. “SPL Losses and future losses are part of a future growth plan” Really?

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  26. So apparently King has “everything to lose” which is wrong and “nothing to gain” which is also wrong but apart from that you’re right.

    OK.  Good job he’s not involved with the Club then.  Just the company that owns the company that owns the Club.  This factual reality of yours is really quite magical isn’t it?

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  27. IMO, McInnes is being poorly advised.

    You would think it is ‘reasonable’ to assume that McInnes has not signed anything so far with TRFC, for obvious reasons. 

    Mibbees just a verbal assurance about his package and budget [if any] for new players.

    The fact that TRFC is quite happy to try and screw over the Dons very publicly – by unsettling their manager, and then presumably [?] to offer a poor offer to meet his termination terms… 

    …then why would TRFC not screw over McInnes as well ?

    IF he arrives at Ibrox he could be presented with a much lower package to sign…so what does he do?
    Sign the contract of course – and feel stupid.

    Whatever happens: nobody is coming out of this debacle with any dignity.

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  28. Valid point Steviebc, you have to wonder who is actually advising him?  Could it be that he has to look under the bonnet to achieve close out whether he goes or not? Looking in at how he has dealt with the business of football at Pittodrie I find it hard to believe that he can engage at all with the spivs at ibrox.  Still, disastrous career moves are not unusual in football although usually the risk taker can count on a mega pay off when it all goes pear shaped c.f. multiple scots to the championship in England.  
    As for “Whatever happens: nobody is coming out of this debacle with any dignity.”  Maybye not but I do hope that AFC go about recruiting a replacement in a reasonable manner and that he will at least be able to hold his head up. You have to hand it to the spivs at ibrox;  they are indiscriminate in whom they shaft.

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  29. Whoever advised Stewart Milne to refuse Derek McInnes the opportunity to speak to the Ibrox club made a fundamental error.
    (If indeed anyone did – he may well be his own counsellor like other self made men) 

    I think he would have been better telling his manager, the Ibrox club and the media that when the compensation money was in an escrow account with strict criteria that he would allow his contracted manager to listen to what they have to say.

    At the same time he should have been brutally honest behind the scenes with Derek about the current Ibrox financial model and trading status.

    The outcome of now of his effectively telling someone close to him that he does not trust them sufficiently to listen to the Rangers offer is that it has become a certainty that Derek and his team will decide to move on.

    The uncertainty is how far south they will choose to go.

    Derek’s stock is high.
    He has made mistakes in the past and no doubt is wiser for them.
    Other offers (richer offers) will come.
    He might well bide his time until a less poisonous option turns up.

    Either way Milne will find this particular decision was the wrong one and some of us on this blog remember he has a track record of calling it wrong.

    Aberdeen fans deserve better.

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  30. Finloch, who is to say that Milne hasn’t told TRFC and McInnes exactly that – Once the money is available away you go and talk.
    Seems to me that all that AFC can be held as being guilty of at the minute is not seeking the SMSM to do their dirty work for them, not spouting off through broadcasters and journalists and unbelievably behaving in something approaching a professional way. Something TRFC couldn’t even begin to imagine doing.
    AFC supporters are most certainly being treated with contempt by the SMSM and by TRFC, and in all probability by McInnes but Milne…. in this case I think its too early to say. That said… it wouldn’t surprise me!
    I have my problems with Milne, but in this case I think he can’t win regardless of how it ends. I only hope come the end of it all he will pay more attention to feelings of the AFC supporters than those of TRFC and their compliant media. 

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  31. I think at this moment in time, Stewart Milne, and Aberdeen, have not done anything that could be construde as undignified over the McInnes affair, and the only thing that might change that is if they allow TRFC to walk all over them and get what they want without him exposing them for what they are. He must explain everything that has happened to the Aberdeen supporters, who, after all, are the people who have provided the money to pay the salary of McInnes, a salary that most could only dream of recieving.

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  32. Tayred/Finloch.  My reading of it is that Milne has indeed told TRFC exactly that, show us the money and you can talk.  Refunded if it falls through.  That’s translates into “Milne forces McInnes to have to quit” headlines from the weegia.  The key point here is that TRFC can’t afford/don’t want to afford the compensation to go through with this in the formal manner laid out in DM’s contract for this express purpose. That’s why it’s panning out like this.  Disgraceful piece of work by the SMSM.

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  33. The difficulty Milne has is if this is how future player/manager dealings are to be carried out – essentially a 6 week media derived unsettling period followed by swift one way negotiation – then a competent businessman would spend that 6 weeks trying to do to others (to get a replacement) wot others are doing to him (to pinch his present manager).  OK, he does it without the media’s assistance in a wholly more dignified manner.  But he still has to do it.

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  34. Ernie, 

    The problem is one of portrayal.  It has been and no doubt will be tomorrow portrayed as Fourth Place AFC release the next Sir Alex Ferguson per his wishes to a well funded club with ambition.

    The reality is the six week period of uncertainty has had a lot to with AFC being 4th but that has gone virtually unreported.  Acceptable Collateral damage if you will.

    The next Sir Alex Ferguson is nothing of the sort as I tried to point out to EB earlier.  His big game record under pressure is shocking.  Consistency and team bonding – yes, in buckets.  Long term strategy and media skills – near perfection.  Results when it really matters?  That’s where the press have really let themselves down.

    I assume you don’t need me to go in-depth about the well funded purchasers.  See EB’s MBA thesis on Strategic Losses for Growth for details if not.  

    That the problem has been media driven is without doubt.  ‘Rangers’ to a large extent have been blameless in so far as they haven’t said anything publicly save for a snidey wee remark at the AGM about contracted parties.  But the issue has been driven by a media hell bent on raising it but then refusing to discuss it fully, concentrating instead on just the bits they like, over and over again.  I do hope their gracious coverage continues in similarly selective vein.

    And finally no I’m not naïve enough to think ‘rangers’ didn’t have a hand in it, but doubtful if you can prove it so not worth getting hung up about.

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  35. FINLOCH
    At the same time he should have been brutally honest behind the scenes with Derek about the current Ibrox financial model and trading status

    surely mcinnes knows exactly what he is walking into,if not,he deserves his summer resignation

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  36. I think there is still a widespread belief throughout football that Rangers survived liquidation once and could/can do it again if needs be.
    Maybe the next time will be a pre-pack.
    People like Milne and the rest of the inner cabal on the SPL (SPFL) and the SFA helped them last time and would/will do it again at the drop of a hat.
    Its business.
    All Stewart had to do yesterday was add a few words to the 27 in his press release which some MSM printed verbatim.

    “Aberdeen Football Club has announced this evening that Rangers have contacted the club asking for permission to speak to Derek McInnes and that permission has been refused.”

    He chose not to for reasons unknown to us.

    All Derek had to do last week and again yesterday or even today was politely and publicly say he was flattered but not for moving to Glasgow.
    He also chose not to.

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  37. Smugas, I fully concur that Milne should, and probably has, have been working behind the scenes to replace McInnes should he leave and I’m well aware that is how it goes. However, my anger is directed at the SMSM who have been a disgrace: it’s not a novel situation, one only has to look back to Alan and TRFC a year or two ago and multiple managerial appointments in the history of the game (Burns e,g.). It just hasn’t happened to has for a while because we haven’t had the talent to poach (note poach as opposed to pay for which is business).  The core issue for me is that McInnes negotiated a lucrative extension to his contract, including a major salary increase, which includes a compensation deal expressly to deal with the situation of a “big” club coming in for him.  If it was Wolves, Blackburn and the like the comp would not be an issue.  It’s TRFC, they’re skint and they’re spivs, so roll up tame media: Mcinnes “has” to quit.  I won’t spend any time getting hung up about the fact that TRFC are in it up to their bollox, but neither should we give the cheating b*stards a free ride.  AS for McInnes, if he goes he’s a mug and that surprises me.

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  38. ERNIEDECEMBER 6, 2017 at 17:54
    AS for McInnes, if he goes he’s a mug and that surprises me.
    ——————
    A real mug would buy out his own contract then expect a warchest for transfers10

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  39. I think Michael Stewart has called it correctly in this tweet.

    Michael Stewart‏ @mstewart_23
    Correct me if I’m wrong but if a club meet a compensation figure then surely they can talk to their target…..
    So events would suggest Rangers HAVEN’T met that figure. This whole episode has been so poorly handled

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  40. Why can’t Mr king not just (pick up the phone,get a loan, he has before) for something that needed urgent payment. Meet a compensation figure that is required urgently,then just add it to the list of loans that need to be paid back through a share issue.
    Or would that be to much of an eye opener for the ibrox fans that the new guy will not have a warchest
    Edit.. but who needs a warchest when (put in many SMSM bestest manager in britain headlines,all about youth…all about bringing the best out of) you get the drift.
    edit… until it all falls apart and the fans demand warchests be spent.

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  41. On the difference between being able to make the share offer he has been ordered to, and lending money to a loss making business, which is to be converted to shares.

    I’ve worked it out.

    Dave King has gone to the people who operate New Oasis Asset Ltd and asked a few questions. Bearing in mind that Dave King does not have total control over the money, I believe it’s a trust fund.

    DK – “Can I borrow about £11m”
    NOAL – “What for”
    DK – “I was part of a concert party which bought shares in a PLC. I have now been ordered to make an offer for the shares and my appeal failed. I need to make the offer but no-one will buy anyway so I just need the money for a few weeks. It’s a cosmetic exercise actually, a loan I will pay you back quickly”
    NOAL – “No, sorry but you are not having money for that”

    DK – “Ok can I borow about £9m”
    NOAL – “What for”
    DK – “This PLC I told you about, it loses money every year. It’s lost about £35m so far and is likely to lose at least another £7m or so. It’s going to have lost over £40m in the not too distant future. We have been covering those losses with loans and a share issue”
    NOAL – “What do you need the £9m for”
    DK – “Well I’ve said I would pay the £7m it needs to keep afloat, and I’ve also said I would put in another few quid for players”
    NOAL – “And will this money be coming back to us, will this loan be getting repaid”
    DK – “See there’s the thing, I’m going to get it back as shares in the PLC losing all the money so no. It’s not really a loan I want, more of a gift really. If anything it will commit me to putting even more money in.”
    NOAL – “That all seems fine, do you want cash or should we move it through HK”

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

    Just as an aside. I suspect a Business Analyst would look at the first 4 years and say “Why in the name of feck would you have been spending so much more money than you were earning. Are you all mentalists, do none of you actually understand how a business works. If you spend so much more than you are earning your business dies. It’s not complicated.”

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  42. From the PLC audited accounts. 

    New Oasis Asset Limited is a company in which the Group Chairman, Mr D King and his immediate family are interested. 

    However from previous accounts

    New Oasis Asset Limited is a company controlled by the Group Chairman, Mr D King.

    A bit of a difference is it not.

    One wonders why he is trying to change the perception of his relationship with NOAL.

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  43. Just in case you missed it Auldheid.  Kenny Macintyre on Sportsound just now (defending the media’s role in the McInnes saga),

    ”when a journalist uncovers some facts they report them.  That’s how it works.”

    Thought it would be a good opener for when you do tiffin with Tom.  They really are beyond contempt.

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  44. SMUGAS
    DECEMBER 6, 2017 at 20:29
    Just in case you missed it Auldheid.  Kenny Macintyre on Sportsound just now (defending the media’s role in the McInnes saga),
    ”when a journalist uncovers some facts they report them.  That’s how it works.”
    =============================

    If only there were some journalists involved this story would have been reported in the MSM over the last several years. 

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  45. HomunculusDecember 6, 2017 at 19:41
    ‘..One wonders why he is trying to change the perception of his relationship with NOAL.’
    _____________
    I gather that (in the USA and almost for a certainty in places like the British Virgin Islands) the ‘settlor’ of a ‘revocable living Trust’ can be the sole Trustee of the assets in the Trust ,and retains full control.

    If that is indeed the case, then one wonders whether King might have had a ‘revocable NOAL Family Trust’ over which he had control, and has smartly changed it into an ‘irrevocable trust’,over which he would have no legal control (just moral control over ,say, the wife if she was the Trustee) so that he could ‘honestly’ tell the Court that he was ‘penniless’.

    One then wonders whether the Court would insist on seeing the date of  such  change, to check whether it was before or after the Takeover Appeal Board’s decision, and after the decision by the Panel Executive to  ask the Court to make an order to procure compliance.

    If the change was made after the TAB ruling, would the Court be thinking in terms of ‘wilful deprivation of capital’?

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  46. SMUGASDecember 6, 2017 at 20:29
    ‘…. Kenny Macintyre on Sportsound just now (defending the media’s role in the McInnes saga),”when a journalist uncovers some facts they report them. ‘
    __________I startled Mrs C with the loud guffaw I let out when I heard that! Absolutely priceless bullsh.t19

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  47. I note Ernest is still about the place and clutching at more and more straws. I’m sure I’ve read somewhere that TRFC might actually be a loss making business with no credit facilities from any bank.

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