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. sipsini:



    I hope we beat them and you have a great day. If we do beat them, I’ll have a great day. If we lose… I’ll have a great day.

  2. kdc:



    do you know anybody on here who has my e-mail address and I’ll send you a copy?



    If anybody has KDC’s address an mine can you sort it out?



    Not till tomorrow though mate, I’m busy watching a 67 Lisbon as well as biting a few natives on here.

  3. Dont think we play the huns this weekend



    For a group of people who despise everything they are and were we spend too much time talking about them.. espcially in the articles.



    Celtic celtic ..thats the team for me

  4. Thanks for the replies all.I thought the FFP was a UEFA ruling to all associations in Europe.Considering the huns have posted losses for the 3 years surely put them in the dock?.Still puzzled by the inaction on this.

  5. NegAnon2


    14:53 on


    19 December, 2014



    I don’t think they are happy with it but I genuinely don’t see what option they have but to put up with while continuing to explore other options.

  6. Turkeybhoy


    15:05 on


    19 December, 2014



    I wonder why the SFA have yet to fully adopt FFP? Hmmm….

  7. Weeminger. Who are they? The celtic board?



    They do and did have a choice. Don’t collude with the corruption. Uphold sporting integrity and remain ambitious in your own right.



    They chose corruption and have lied to us about it ever since.

  8. sipsini:



    forgot to mention, even if we lose, I’ll have a great day, I’ll have a great day because I don’t share their inherent hubris and I came from humble and I’m comfortable with humble, I’ll fight for humble and shame in hubris.

  9. Looking forward to a cracker on Sunday.A full week for the players at Lennoxtown will have been a great help.Wee LG should be buzzin.

  10. Leigh griffiths playing santa this week I see.. brillant .



    He’s starting to get the celtic way.

  11. weeminger


    15:08 on


    19 December, 2014




    15:05 on


    19 December, 2014



    I wonder why the SFA have yet to fully adopt FFP? Hmmm….



    Ah,you see,thats what I did not know.Cheers mate.


    Yes,wonder why.I thought every country HAD to adopt it?.

  12. Greenwells Glory on

    Hi Ghuys, Salve salve;-


    Paulus LXVII interesting article but here is where I have a little trouble with it, knowing what we know about Mikey bhoy I have difficulty underconstabulating the rational of his acquiring nearly 30% of Craig White’s monument as he would according to Phil McG. be contributing to the further enrichment of Charlie and the Bhoys and as we know his hobby is making money not throwing it away.


    BTW there is a made up word in this post can you guess what it is?


    Season’s greetings to all CQN’rs, I am in a great mood as I acquired 2 bottles of Scapa 16 YO yesterday for £ 55. 00




    Pacta sunt servanda, qui tacet consentit.

  13. 67Heaven:



    You made a rather nasty accusation earlier… I’m waiting for you to clarify it.



    Don’t worry though, my blood pressure is normal and I’m not going to ring Paul 999.



    However, if you don’t respond with clarity then please excuse me if I just mark you down as a DICK.

  14. NegAnon2


    15:10 on


    19 December, 2014



    I think we’re had this chat before. I want the board to do the same as you but I have a fear and I suspect the board do to, that if you call the SFA out as corrupt they’ll put the biggest disrepute charge with the heaviest sanction possible on us.



    While we have nowhere else to play we’re stuck between a rock an a hard place.



    It’s like only having one well to drink from but to get there you need to wade through nettles. It stings like nothing on earth and you hate it but you keep doing it you have no choice.

  15. kitalba



    14:09 on 19 December, 2014



    A wee thought before I hit the cot, or maybe tow(sic)



    Second one first, why do people who pretend to be not themselves resort to Frank Kaffka syle (again sic both a French/latin one) posts only to belatedly found out to be a serial liar? You know that I know.



    Firstly and most importantly…



    and this is not between you and me, your gregarious, live for the moment and my why the feck don’t you understand my cynicism, naw… this is simple this is between the question and you ethics, your morals, rember those things you try to teach your kids, and most importantly between you and your conscience…



    between you and your conscience…



    Do you think Scottish football is corrupt?



    Do you think Celtic are complicit?



    In your name too?



    Prince you make me laugh.





    I love this Site.



    IMO we Stay and Build without Television or anything.






    For God’s sake, the horrific EPL, all that is brought out in MANkind, is where we want to go?



    Celtic, Celtic, thats the Developed Team for Moi.



    Ever fallen in Love?.

  16. Turkeybhoy



    UEFA FFP is the standard of licensing that UEFA demands clubs meet before they are allowed to play in UEFA competition.



    Because that invariably means clubs in the top tier the standard only applies to clubs in that tier ( with an exception route for clubs not in top tier qualifying via the Scottish Cup.)



    Thus FFP is not applicable to domestic competitions unless the national FA and leagues adopt it for domestic purposes.



    This has happened in England in both the Premier and Championship but not in Scotland.



    I believe PL mentioned at the AGM that there would be domestic FFP and for me a domestic version like that in linked article






    should be the sine qua non for any form of any return to the top tier by TRFC.



    Without it what is to stop the past repeating itself?



    If it’s of any relevance that article was sent to PL at the time and noted.


    I would be amazed if Celtic were not working to have something on those lines implemented.


    They would be fools not to and I believe the main delaying point has not been unwillingness, but waiting for clubs to become more financially secure so that they do not fall foul of the requirements.

  17. Steinreignedsupreme on

    Agent Green 15:09 on 19 December, 2014



    “Super Salary now saying he’s going to see out his 12 month notice – BBC.”



    “Happy days.”



    If I was Mike Ashley I’d keep Salary and his assistants in place. I’d get rid of as many players as possible in January, without bringing any in. I’d offer the coaching staff nothing in the way of help and allow them to take the flack for every bad result which will come between now and the end of the season.



    And I’d be confident that ‘super’ and his pals would walk without a pay-off before next December.

  18. petec:



    You are the fourth person to call me an idealist tonight (at least I think you did)… three on the phone and now you online.



    I don’t think I’m an Idealist, I just want to look after the kids, treat everybody with reciprocal respect, keep my chin up and if anybody calls me a liar… kick them in the balls with justification.



    How does it go in the bible mate… do unto others……………

  19. weeminger



    15:17 on 19 December, 2014




    Not if we can prove it there won’t be.



    But we have to be sure of proof first.

  20. kitalba



    15:24 on 19 December, 2014






    You are the fourth person to call me an idealist tonight (at least I think you did)… three on the phone and now you online.



    I don’t think I’m an Idealist, I just want to look after the kids, treat everybody with reciprocal respect, keep my chin up and if anybody calls me a liar… kick them in the balls with justification.



    How does it go in the bible mate… do unto others……………





    I’d never call you that, so dinnae ever think that.

  21. Auldheid:



    mate, sorry to be bothering you but how do you define integrity and is it worth the bother in the world in which we live in?

  22. kitalba



    I know, for sure, that i have read a version of what purports to be the 5 way agreement online more than once. I thought I had read it on here (from a link to Charlotte Fakes) but I could be mistaken. I am surprised by a view that publishing something which claims to be the 5 way agreement would bring trouble to the site.



    Rangers fan sites and Celtic fan sites have detailed parts of the alleged document without any sanction. BBC and other outlets have referred to what it contains and provided details, including those by which the recent Telfer fine has been claimed by the SFA.



    The terms of the 5 way agreement do not seem to be so secretive. They are shameful terms and I doubt their legality has been tested. After all, one of the signatories has since decried it, once Nimmo Smith worked his grip on things.



    Anybody who wants to find it can do so easily via Google or using the Paul McConville site or others.

  23. setting free the bears:



    I have four different versions of it, from initial draft to signing draft. I honestly thought everybody had seen at least one version of the agreement.



    If Paul says it is okay to do so I’ll post my latest copy, bearing in mind it might just be a crock of ****

  24. Kitalba,



    I get were you’re coming from, they hate the humiliation that they feel they have undeservedly been put through.



    The more they hurt, the better I sleep.



    Reckon you will be seeing Acgr during his travels, enjoy, he’s a nutter..:) HH

  25. Captain Beefheart on

    Sanctimonious victimhood crap on here today. Next we will be told that Celtic/Pl were responsible for the assassination of Kennedy.

  26. I could go on a rant about so much. I won’t.



    Kitalba, You are powerful to me, you can have yer suspicions about me until the cows come home, I’m strangely immune now.



    comfortably numb.



    I done my own little experiment about being influenced, that will always remain with me, more should do likewise.

  27. weeman67:



    At a quick glance that looks close to the PDF copies I’ve got, however it stoped loading after a few pages.



    Now, who would sign up to that, and in whose name?

  28. Steinreignedsupreme on

    I can’t understand people getting animated by some members of the Celtic staff wanting to see our club play against a version of Rangers when there are more important issues, like Peter Lawwell shooting JFK.

  29. “Looking forward to a cracker on Sunday”






    You’ve just thrown my weekend plans up in the air.



    I honestly thought the game was tomorrow.



    Doh csc

  30. kitalba



    15:36 on 19 December, 2014






    feck off you nutter I’ve spoken to you on the phone… remember?





    Nutter? I agree with and Thanks for that phone call.



    Remember, I do Remember, although Mum is now forgetting so much, at least she has Beat the Breast Cancer.




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