Ashley fait accompli


Tuesday’s Telegraph suggested Mike Ashley is about to increase his shareholding in newco to 29.9% via a share issue, in contravention of his agreement with the SFA on multiple ownership.  This morning the club informed the stock market the Ashely’s appointee, Derek Llambias, is now chief executive.

The key passage in the Telegraph article is:

“There is no certainty of anything like unanimous approval, but many in the higher reaches of the Scottish game acknowledge that a revived Rangers, capable of resuming the Old Firm rivalry and renewing the club’s presence in Europe would make Scotland more attractive to broadcasters and league sponsors, with general benefits.”

This has almost certainly come from the same kind of club source which in another lifetime were assuring journalists that HMRC would agree to a CVA; I know for sure the SFA are far from ready to rubber-stamp an Ashley land grab.

There are a few points which, despite blanket coverage of this issue, are not getting a proper hearing:

At current trading levels, Ashley is earning around £4m p.a. from newco as their retail ‘partner’.  He is also their exclusive wholesaler, so the club is worth even more to him, let’s say £5m p.a. in total.

Anyone who tells you his financial pay-off is through having newco wear his branding on a European stage is either wholly compliant in an attempt to mislead newco fans, or is simply regurgitating information handed to them by PR agents, without the wherewithal to digest the information correctly.

He’s making £5m per year and he therefore has an interest in ensuring the club continues in its current condition.

The second issue is around the legality of multiple-ownership.  It is not against Uefa rules (you can simply comply by one club not competing) but does breach rules in Scotland and England.  I recommend not getting too hung-up on this point.  In the event he was asked to disinvest from one of his clubs, Ashley could with pull a Blue Pitch Holdings/Margarita stroke.

For all you know about those two newco investors, I could own them.  It’s a paper exercise for Ashley to move his ownership beyond the reaches of oversight, and there is nothing in the rules to prevent this.

The question for the SFA, and eventually the FA, is what level of Ashley’s influence, not ownership, they are comfortable with.  There are no guidelines on this point.

A further consideration is that whoever briefed the Telegraph at the start of the week is likely to have painted a scenario that without Ashley’s next bung, newco is likely to go the way of oldco.  This is far from certain.

If all newco need to survive another season is circa £8m it’s not a figure beyond the realms of possibility for some of the blowhards who have been trying to disrupt Ashley’s strategy in recent months.

My hunch is that the SFA and newco’s fans will be presented with a fait accomply – it’s Ashley or bust.  What is certain is that the club will be vastly more inhibited by Ashley milking it dry than with a unifying figure.  He has the makings of a memorable Ibrox owner, a true heir to Sir David Murray.

Still time to order Caesar & the Assassin, the 2015 CQN Annual, with or without bundle, or anything else from the vast array of Celtic books and DVDs in time for Christmas post, but you don’t have long……

Thank you to everyone who participated in our Magners ticket competition yesterday – and who donated to Mary’s Meals. The answer to the question, who do we play on 27 December, is Ross County, which proved to be trickier than I thought. Draw will be made this afternoon and winner informed thereafter.

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  1. 67Heaven ... I am Neil Lennon ....The angels are with Wee Oscar in Heaven.. Ibrox belongs to the creditors on

    captain beefheart



    10:00 on 20 December, 2014



    I’m with you, Bhoyo ……. and doesn’t it feel good to revert to sporting integrity…





    It’s started well. I’ve managed to outwit the dreaded once-a-year bar-hoggers by getting in too early for them!



    Hope you have a cracker too,bud. And thanks for that vid the other night!

  3. 67Heaven ... I am Neil Lennon ....The angels are with Wee Oscar in Heaven.. Ibrox belongs to the creditors on

    Going to the Pantomime today…..no, that’s NOT the sevco game ……their going to see Scrooge, having exhausted minty….





    The person you describe sounds like,erm,a horrid person…

  5. 67Heaven ... I am Neil Lennon ....The angels are with Wee Oscar in Heaven.. Ibrox belongs to the creditors on




    10:05 on 20 December, 2014



    Do you EVER sleep ……. :) …….Jingle Bells

  6. Marrakesh Express on

    I work with an ex Clyde midfielder who played many times against Celtic and 1872 club during the 70s.


    Told me that he was asked to mark Jinky in one game, literally to never be more than 2 yards away from him….’I was very fit and strong but couldnt get near the wee man, unbelievable, lightning quick and hard as nails. He just destroyed us’.


    He then went to say that a few weeks later he played in a more attacking roll against the huns. First five minutes he was hacked down by Tom Forsyth and then John Greig, who stood over him and warned ‘next time I’ll break yer f*** leg’.



    So Jinky destroyed him with the ball and Greig threatened to destroy his career.


    Both players were voted their club’s greatest ever player.



    Sums them up.

  7. 67Heaven



    Of course I do, I’m human, I exist, I am not just nasty pixles on a screen. Dozens of Celtic supporters from these pages and beyond, from Alaska to NZ will tell you so.



    Now I eagerly await the ignorant “Oh Dear” that is the extent of my thinking brigade to Oh! Dear.



    Hail Hail the PLC books 2014-2015. It’s all about money, not sport, not football, just money and mugs and mugging.



    Oh! Dear.



    Is this the point where bigots invite me to take my opinions elsewhere, yeah those really nice broad minded Celtic Supporter who clap like retarded seals every time the PLC release a books.









    Celtic Supporters?






    Back of couch faceless commandos’?



    Hey! I almost forgot it’s almost Christmas, that time of year we all pretend to love each other.



    Anybody ever member a branded kid called Tonev?

  8. BMCUW


    She who has to be obeyed has been learning the wee mhan


    “Santa is coming ,clap your hands”


    No matter how long she perseveres he always sings


    “Celtic are coming clap your hands”


    then laughs knowing how much she blames me and his dad .



  9. When Bobby Murdoch couldent get a game for Scotland because of Greig, I says it all about SCOTTISH football. All scotland scotland teams must have at least one HUN in it, I’m sure it’s cast in stone, I was told that many many years ago by my Grandfather. Don’t know if it’s true but?

  10. I wonder what sort of Christmas Tonev is going to have.



    I wonder how much the PLC are going to save and smile if they don’t have to go to a real court over the Racist Tonev.



    I wonder how quickly Celtic Supporters would hang their very own kids if their kids were damned like Tonev.



    I wonder how many tartan blankets are now sold along with stickless toffees in the South Stand.



    I wonder what Peter is going to get the homeless for Christmas.

  11. Blue sky , big sun , 8 degrees in the shade ,18 degrees out the shade .



    Day 20 of the Christmas countdown –Strictly vinyl 45 .



    Wild Billy Childish & The Musicians of The British Empire -Christmas 79 ( Damaged Goods


    Iggy Pop -White Christmas Guitar Stooge -( Cleopatra )


    Kylie Minogue ——Santa Baby ( Parlophone )


    Hank Ballard & The Moonlighters -Christmas Time For Everybody But Me ( King )


    Charles Brown -Wrap Yourself In A Christmas Package ( King )





    I’ll bet he disnae laugh as much as I did at that!



    Aye,looks like he’ll be getting the junior season book soon enough,mate.



    Congratulations. You are clearly doing a grand job!

  13. 67 heaven @ 1008



    Oh no you’re not! :)




    Point of note….



    Derek Johnstons stamp now seems to be Willie Johnstons stamp.

  14. Football has evolved from sport to business since Sky started ruling the roost, We at Celtic are only picking up scraps from the table just now but I am glad we have a strong board. A few clubs in our leagues have gone bust ( ha ha to the lot of them ) we are still in a very strong position to evolve further if and when the chance arises.


    I’m not a happy clapper by any stretch but look around the stadium, fantastic arena and surroundings. We are in a good place and hopefully the team will follow in time



    Ave Ave

  15. Kitalba


    Not only Celtic and Aleksander Tonev should be fighting his name being tarnished by those clowns(safest word I could think of) in the SFA,


    this decision has left every single player under their jurisdiction open to being branded on nothing more than the word of another .


    Scandal does not begin to cover the decision,and as I say every player & club shoul be fighting it.

  16. kitalba



    Well when you start calling Celtic Supporters…retarded seals, you kind of leave yourself opened for us? Well me anyhow to rip you a new one, no need for that kind of post, try posting as if you where having a conversation in a pub wi the lads, and then think about your good self coming away with a remark like that to a bunch of Celtic Supporters in a pub, you would probably be in hospital for a good few weeks being fed through a straw, not saying that’s right, but for every action there would be a reaction, so cam doon, and stop slagging Celtic Supporters Ffs man .





    I think the post referred to a stamp by Willie Johnston. Derek Johnstone was guilty of a ridiculous swallow dive.



    Confusion is easy to understand though. Hunnish behaviour each time.

  18. Till later all


    solo shopping expedition today,


    I really should come into the 21st century and learn how to do it online .




    I may be gone a while CSC

  19. leftclicktic:



    Hey pull your neck in mate, you’re not allowed to talk about Celtic issues on this thread, don’t you know it’s yet again, another ‘let’s all laff at Rangers’ thread.




    I’m pretty sure I’m going to be in Glasgow the 6th of February if you’d care to join me for a beer.

  20. the glorious balance sheet on

    So the Daily Record give over 2 pages of their declining rag for a fawning sycophantic succulent lamb Q & A with McCoist which he uses as a platform to excuse his failings as a manager, justify his salary, plead that “I love the club” etc etc.






    This format seemed awfully familiar to me and so it should. Rewind to the end of August and we again have 2 pages in that paper given over to a fawning sycophantic succulent lamb Q&A published 2 days after our defeat to Maribor, featuring Peter Lawwell, and used by Mr Lawwell as a platform to explain away Celtic`s poor CL qualifier results and performances, lack of incoming players etc , and to plead his love for the club






    Note the lack of proper questioning given to either McCoist or Lawwell in these Q&As – it seems that not only where the answers given by them, the questions were too. Answers are not cross-referenced against known facts and questioned they are just accepted as fact because in both instances McCoist and Lawwell said it was so.



    Its clear to me that the Daily Record is simply a vessel used by PR companies and spin merchants in Scottish football to get their party line accepted as truth. Its not so much pro-sevco, as pro any powerful interests that throw it morsels of lamb to fill its back pages and balance the amount of diarrhoea contained on its front pages about “The Vow” and Z-list celebrities.



    I find it very telling that they have today given McCoist the same format of 2 pages to put his line across unchallenged at a point in time when he is now coming in for heavy scrutiny by his club`s fans; the exact same format and platform they gave Peter Lawwell at a time when he was coming in for increased scrutiny (the booing and GTF chants at Murrayfield and at full time v Maribor)



    If anyone hoped that the demise of the hun would be an end to succulent lamb journalism in the SMSM they were wrong. It seems the succulent lamb industry has diversified, there`s a lot more players in the supply chain, and our club are in the same business of feeding the lamb to those lazy tabloid hacks.



    At a time when our game more than ever needs quality investigative journalism which is truly independent we just get more propaganda and wind.

  21. sunny calmachie



    With regard to getting extra tickets for the inter game just give your season card to a friend or relative to take to ticket office on date you can buy extra tickets and they can get the tickets for you

  22. Dear wee tont donnelly (bless),



    I now believe that there should be a ne entry in Wikipedia under the definition of irony which reads.



    Irony – Tony donnelly berating people for not using language you would use face to face and for celtic supporters criticising celtic supports whilst simultaneously using language you would use face to face and criticising fellow celtic supporters. All the while being blissfully unaware of the irony.




  23. Bobby,



    Apologies. I got there in the end;)



    I shoulda known it wasnt dj as mcmaster ‘only’ needed the kiss of life.

  24. tonydonnelly67:



    You make me laff. There is some purpose to your life after all.



    Post your disgraceful treatment on line to Jeanette Findlay do you mind if I draw your attention to these two humourous posts?



    • tonydonnelly67



    18:47 on 19 December, 2014



    Come on here and slagging a signed Celtic player, is prob. As about low as it gets, it’s a complete and utter nonsense , and the persons/person doing it should really take a long hard look at themselves.



    • tonydonnelly67



    19:01 on 19 December, 2014






    As far as I’m concerned its a nonsense, you can think what you like, anyone can come on here and say crap about anyone, all I’m saying is it’s a nonsense, and mischievous conduct.



    Who killed Kenny CSC?

  25. saltires en sevilla on

    Musing on John Grieg comments there… He was just a cr@p player and all he had was a nasty streak. Enabled by a sense of entitlement and mibbery.



    The worst 1873 team manager until Sally appeared. He actually won 4 trophys as a manger and almost a treble in 1979, until King Billy and his 10 men fixed that potential blight on the oul’ record books.



    It’s difficult to imagine a nastier bunch of thugs than those 70’s Hun teams. Absolutely riddled with hatchet men. Guys like the Lions and Kenny, Danny had to be tough to shine against that lot.



    Then Ally came along and tried to wink his way to glory – he was even worse than the thugs, sly egging them on etc., even Whytey Bhoy called him out for losing the CL Money and Subsequently EL Money, final nail in 1873 and always remembered that way. karma!



    Then resurrected as the wrecking ball of Sevco …more karma



    Still he lingers, giving us endless hours of merrimement




  26. Exslaemuirbhoy. I think you have neatly summed up the problem. Celtics sole focus is on making money. The football is unimportant and secondary and they think they can rely on their gullible fans cos the love the club. Or is it the company/clumpany cos none of us are sure any more are we?

  27. My friends in Celtic,



    So another footballer falls foul of social media.



    I do not believe for a minute Mario Balotelli is a racist or anti semitic, but he is now branded.


    The difference is the majority of players we know about, while claiming mitigating circumstances have admitting their guilt.



    Tonev has been branded on one individual’s word while maintaining his innocence. Logan’s social media rant after the appeal says it all really as far as his credibility is concerned.



    It is still my opinion and it will not be forgotten in a few weeks ( apologies to one of the most sensible and rational posters on this blog–Corkcelt ) that our club loses some of its own credibility by meekly accepting this, after stating that we would take it higher.



    I normally back the board, but in this instance, IMO they are failing in their duty to one of the Celtic family and the expectations of the wider support.



    “Grow a set”, Celtic is maybe a very simplistic statement, but feels right for this.



    HH to all.

  28. 67heaven 08.16



    Willie Johnston lives in Kirkcaldy.



    He had a pub at the bottom of Kirkcaldy high street called the Port Brae.



    He passed it onto his son , but without Willie behind the bar it failed and was repossessed .



    The pub sits across from Kirkcaldy harbour overlooking the Esplanade.



    During the late 80’s , early 90’s


    ( I can’t recall the exact time )


    Jimmy Johnstone was working repairing the roads .



    (I get sad when I think that JINKY , our greatest ever player, never had enough to see him through his life after he stopped playing.)



    It was a boiling hot day , the wee man was stripped to his waste , his face , body , arms and hands camouflaged in tar.



    I had to drive pass a couple of times before I was sure it was him.



    There was the obligatory stop n start signs held by workmen.



    Whilst stationary I gawked at my idol.



    He looked exhausted by the heat.





    I parked my car and just sat watching him.



    It was exciting just to see him.



    Then across the road came Willie Johnston.



    He was carrying a tray of food and a couple of pints.



    He and JINKY sat on the sea wall , shared a couple of pints, broke bread and chewed the fat.



    It was a very nice gesture from a very nice wee man.



    Over the years that “Bud” had his pub , he welcomed all.



    He was especially fond of the Celtic supporters who frequented his pub.



    The Joseph Rafferty CSC from Kirkcaldy was founded by Joe’s son Stephen , in his Dads memory.



    Stevie and his pals played fitba for the Port Brae , and ” Bud” helped train them.



    Although steeped in a Rangers history , if you ask him , his team has always been Hearts.



    In the last year or so , I have had the pleasure of meeting him a couple of times.



    He is a smashing wee fella.



    Far from the scumbag that you labelled him.



    I’m sure if you speak to Bertie Auld or Davy “the assassin” Hay,they can tell you stories of how they gained retribution against opponents .



    It was then and still is now , a part of The Human nature of sport, especially Fitba.



    But let me reiterate.



    Willie “Bud” Johnston is a smashing wee bloke.




  29. Kitalba. Wee Tony is such an innocent wee soul. Anti intellectual to a fault. Believes simply in his own narrow wee view and even makes up,his own wee language.



    I’m not sure wee Tony even knows what irony is.



    I think it’s unfair of you to expect a reasonable debate with Tony. He operates at a completely different level to us mere mortals.

  30. the glorious balance sheet


    That was just a wee dig at McCoist to get at Peter Lawwell right, so predicable, you amaze me the amount of posts you wangle PL into, is a cat done a slash in George’s Square you would have PL involved in it some where, any thing new going on in your life? Apart from the usual?

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