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. bobby murdoch’s curled-up winklepickers



    14:04 on 19 December, 2014





    Kinda reminds me of the eulogising of Mad Frankie Fraser over the last twenty years or so,and of his hugely attended funeral.



    Still,at least he won’t be back…




    Unless someone buys his history…

  2. Geordie Munro



    I don’t think he was as bad as some I’ve seen down the years but it would appear he is going back to Cardiff shortly.



    Lets hope for a great win this weekend.

  3. Quite clearly we are being presented with a fait accompli however this will effect the attendances now and in the future at Celtic Park,so very sad that something we were the main victim of has again because of commercial/business reasons been allowed to again have impotance.

  4. gary67



    13:58 on 19 December, 2014turkeybhoy13:55 on 19 December, 2014Rules don’t apply to Sevco, they’re merely a set of guidelines.


    I think you have just summed up the 5 Way Agreement……

  5. ItaliaBhoy



    14:03 on 19 December, 2014



    Ashley is not daft. He knows the SFA will never sanction action against Sevco when their position is so precarious. This is an organisation which has bent over backwards to help them the last few years, why on earth would they pull the trigger now, knowing one shot could finish them for good?



    Indeed, i suspect this “hearing” in Jan is all show. I bet it gets postoned, on Llambias’ request.



    Then rescheduled for end of Feb.



    At which point the SFA will say “we still need more information from yous”.



    Sevco will have until April 1 to provide it. They don’t, but comply two weeks later.



    Then the SFA will say they need time to consider it, and will report back in June.



    By which point the season will have ended, Sevco will be promoted, and on July 12, Sevco will be hit with a £5,000 fine.



    Which they won’t pay.





    You may well be right, you could be Wrong.



    I’m a Sinner, constantly.

  6. Gary67.



    Gotta go ——so quickly .



    Anello 2 is 2 areas of seats behind one of the goals.Anello 2 is below Terzo Blu.I have no idea re how much of Terzo Blu will be allocated to Celtic . All of it ? some of it ?.



    I have a lot of experience of Italian fitba . Who you are sitting next to varies a lot- it can be be a pensioner and his wife offering you a share of their hot chocolate and a vanilla wafer or it can be a crew of coked up machos who chain smoke herb ( never drunk , being drunk is naff ) for 120 minutes and all other possibilities in between those extremes.



    The Milan polis , the City of Milan authorities and Inter will make a decision re which Security status the match is given . That will be used to decide who is allowed to sit where./ where tickets can be sold / who can buy them / what documents you need etc.

  7. Snake,



    I’ve seen much much worse.



    The dundee game (or was it ict) was howling. But apart from that what I have seen he’s been ok. Just.



    Never easy up there. One game that appeared easy was the game where naka bagged 3. I’m sure we were behind early that day.



    Mighta been the hooch that made me think it was easy :)

  8. Since I returned from Australia and started watching Celtic again, at various games I have spoken to nephews, nieces, lifelong friends, former work colleagues and new friends I have made through attending home games.



    Most of them are lapsed season ticket holders who, without exception, have told me they will buy a season ticket again just as soon as Rangers make it to the top flight.



    Even those who are still season ticket holders made the point that they want them in the SPL for the competition.



    Let’s face it. The main reason for falling crowds at Celtic Park is the absence of Rangers, unpalatable as that truth may be to you and me.

  9. Horrid Henry:



    I’d do a Belfast Celtic, but with a plan which was bought and paid for in advance. And I’d have every QC worth their salt prove my plan before I’d do a Belfast Celtic and those I’d left in my wake, well they’ll survive.

  10. gary67



    Gary, SOT will be able to confirm or deny but most Inter Ultra groups range from right wing to extremely right wing. I’d be wary taking your children into any areas where you’d come into contact with them.

  11. kdc;



    I’ll happily post it if it is not illegal and bring grief to our host and me. But am I wrong in thinking people are opining about the ‘purported’ five-way-agreement without ever having read the alleged document? I thought with the plethora of opinion everybody had at least read the initial draft, after all, it is freely available online.



    If Paul says – publicly – it is okay to post it on here I’ll post it.

  12. 67Heaven ... I am Neil Lennon ....The angels are with Wee Oscar in Heaven.. Ibrox belongs to the creditors on

    geordie munro



    12:09 on 19 December, 2014



    He certainly did say it…..I was Raging ‘ …….. why are Tims who love everything about CELTIC accused of being a clique by those who only post negative comments…? .strange……

  13. I love the quintessential Australian bumper sticker:



    If you don’t like it here – feck off!

  14. Not long back from the shopping and my Cqn annual has arrived, thanks Winnings Captains that sure was a quick delivery.



    Had a wee flick through and got to the Cqn night, some great photos of top bhoys and lovely ladies. HH

  15. Hamiltontim –



    ” range from right wing to extremely right wing ” .



    True but not 100% . . There is one Black Bloc / Antifa crew and one No politics but we enjoy a bit of fighting whilst wearing 1000 euros a pop parkas crew .

  16. 67Heaven ... I am Neil Lennon ....The angels are with Wee Oscar in Heaven.. Ibrox belongs to the creditors on




    Genuine question …..were you brought up in the Gorbals, Glasgow, Scotland.? …… Just trying to understand why you would state that any Celtic Supporter who doesn’t want the zombies 2, 3 >>>>> anywhere near Scottish Football / Celtic Park, is a hate-filled “bigot”





    Stop being a knobend about it.



    Certain scenarios involving Ashley have been suggested,and the possible outcomes discussed.



    Financial reasons for and against further involvement,legal ramifications-under current regulations-and the possibility of circumventing them with assistance from the usual sources.



    No-one has suggested resigning from the SFA or any other doomsday gesture of the type you suggest we have.



    If they get back,with or without Ashley or A.N.OTHER,we deal with it.



    But we are perfectly entitled to point out forcefully where rules have been broken to facilitate this,and to do our utmost to prevent it.



    Do you reckon we should just not bother,and let them carry on regardless?



    Make it as difficult as possible,put our objections and reasons thereof into play. Hold our heads up,and then batter seven shades of s… out of them every time we play them.



    If we can’t kill them off,humiliate them.

  18. kitalba




    14:27 on 19 December, 2014



    Ive always been under the impression it was confidential and secret.



    Secrecy is the bastion of those with something to hide…

  19. 67Heaven … I am Neil Lennon ….The angels are with Wee Oscar in Heaven.. Ibrox belongs to the creditors





    14:36 on



    19 December, 2014








    Genuine question …..were you brought up in the Gorbals, Glasgow, Scotland.? …… Just trying to understand why you would state that any Celtic Supporter who doesn’t want the zombies 2, 3 >>>>> anywhere near Scottish Football / Celtic Park, is a hate-filled “bigot”



    Please, for the sake of your credibility did I ever say:



    Celtic Supporter who doesn’t want the zombies 2, 3 >>>>> anywhere near Scottish Football / Celtic Park, is a hate-filled “bigot”



    Your words, your accusation, now please for the sake of my sanity… prove it.

  20. kitalba



    13:57 on 19 December, 2014


    !!Bada Bing!!



    If I got a freebie I’d be standing next to you. Fecked if I’m paying for corruption.






    I got a freebie, after a bit of deliberation, I’ve decided to go and support Celtic, it’s our team.



    I’ll be going to watch us destroy and humiliate thems….then again, thems have no shame.

  21. kdc:



    If it is not illegal I’ll post it but I’m obviously concerned about bringing grief on the blog and myself. If you haven’t got a copy I could send you one, unsigned though.

  22. Was a warm 39 here in oz today.. tough working in it.



    Enjoying few cold ones with luke kelly blasting



    What they forgot to kill went on to organize



    Gutted im not home for christmas this year.. derry always has special buzz at christmas.



    Great people who deserve better

  23. jinkyredstar cuts it back for Neil Lennon on



    Thank you very much- all responses have been very helpful



  24. Horrid Henry.



    You seem incapable of responding to challenges. Your world view is one of just accept it and get on. Even your use of the word malcontent is reminiscent of a bygone era when the Kelly’s were telling us just to get on with it.



    If we get on with it we should be honest with ourselves. You should too Tam.



    If we continue to ignore what is before our very eyes we are accepting that what we are watching isn’t sport and. We are accepting our role as second class citizens.



    The people who run celtic seem happy with that (it’s good for business after all). But can you live with yourself?



    There would be no more complaining about referees because you are signing up to and accepting being cheated. It’s your birthright after all.



    You are signing up to one sided media nonsense, unfair treatment from the police etc



    Your act of an appeasement would impact your grandkids. They would be forever burdened with the sectarianism we experience only this time we can tell them it’s okay. It’s just our role in life.






    Or are you desperately hiding from this inconvenient truth.



    That’s why I am so angry with lawwell. He wants us to know our place and just accept it.

  25. Geordie Munro:



    You ever make it to Australia and to my house you will get the same welcome as quite a few before you.



    You’ll get a bed, you’ll get fed, you’ll get whisky and beer until your liver and ears bleed…



    The only payment I’ll ask for in return is for you look me in the eye and for you talk with honesty. And if we disagree, we’ll disagree, but we won’t ever go to bed without drinking one for those who have gone, both yours and mine… and in the morning I’ll make you your breakfast and I’ll take you to where you’re going and if the sun is half way up… I’ll drop you off and I’ll drink one drink with you to your sate journey and your hopeful return to disagree with me again.



    As long as you are honest, and I think you are, but those are my house rules, I have no room in my house for snakes.

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