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. blantyretim is praying for the Knox family on



    having lived though it, the playersnow are angels….take my word for it..



    guess what those men are Celtic to the core… (whats left of them)


    Feck some of them actually support the team home and away.


    they don’t sell their souls for the queens shilling and never will…

  2. hamiltontim


    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.

  3. jamesgang



    18:54 on 19 December, 2014



    Sorry I missed you today but as of 16:00 yesterday I’m off until 5th January and had lunch in County Coatbridge with five CQNers: cowiebhoy, doc, crc, bjmac and paddybhoy1888.



    Next time big stuff.



    Keep the Faith!



    Hail Hail!

  4. What if Griffiths was taunting Ronny, about his fitness regime, when Ronny wasn’t there, in front of people who would be almost certain to report back to Ronny.


    What if Griffiths was very drunk at the time, anyone think that could have happened. Anyone think Celtic have kept it in house. or am I just like H.T. in being mischievous?

  5. blantyretim is praying for the Knox family on

    I used to call Pittodrie, Dens park and other parks..



    even back then i payed for the tickets although they where offered as comps…

  6. TonyD



    I was completely against Celtic signing Griffiths, my feelings are well known.



    What I witnessed in Newcastle, where Griffiths was in attendance, would go some way to explaining why he’s not getting a game. A Celtic employee witnessed it and would have related it to the manager.



    Thems the facts.



    I could have come back from the night, posted all over social media and CQN what happened as a means of backing my initial point and as a way of point scoring. A kind of ‘I told you so’. I didn’t but I’m saying why he may not be playing.

  7. lennybhoy



    Cheers fur Ra invite!!!!









    See you @ the corner next week I hope.



    HH jamesgang

  8. For all those May Day Techno lovers……






    A very subtle but exceptionally groovey under current.



    Ronny Deila – Keep on doing what yer Doing!



    Ronny Deila thumbs up ;)

  9. “let me say this two strikers on the park will over a season score more goals than a single striker”






    You might be right. But will the team score more?



    There’s some great high scoring teams who don’t play any proper centre forward up top…Barca…..peps bayern….leveins Scotland…



    Ok I Mighta taken that too far ;)




  10. blantyretim is praying for the Knox family on




    family took control today big chap..


    you know the score…

  11. Lennybhoy



    19:07 on 19 December, 2014






    18:56 on 19 December, 2014



    He certainly is an inspirational person.



    Keep the Faith!



    Hail Hail!





    I know that.

  12. lennon's passion on




    19:08 on 19 December, 2014



    There’s not many in life that haven’t made mistakes.

  13. JNP



    Sssshhhhh :-)






    I have no idea mate I was only saying why, in my opinion, Ronny isn’t playing him just now.

  14. Gooooooooooood evening friends.



    As this week’s arguably been dominated by someone giving their notice may I just say that tomorrow morning will be my last EK weather report. Until Monday. Cheeky wee Christmas overnight at the ole Airth Castle Sat/Sun ;-)



    And on the basis that confession is good for the soul, may I confirm that I’ve listened to Scoreboard pretty much all week. And I’m loving it!

  15. geordie munro



    18:33 on 19 December, 2014



    He’s right, we’ve got a first team squad of 40 plus players, that’s 30 not playing and a lot with no chance of playing. A joke.



    Apart from wasting money it must be bad for the squad having a lot of dead wood hanging around, a squad should be hungry and driven, competitive for places

  16. hamiltontim


    No, not at all, I’m just saying you post what you like, I’m just saying I wouldent post a thing leavening it hanging, with no end to the post, what’s the purpose?

  17. lennon’s passion



    Completely agree. Read between the lines and you might see what I’m getting at. Even better read the first post at 19:08.

  18. Joe Filippis Haircut on

    Geordie Munro. We are not Barcelona or Bayern Munich we are a club with a long tradition of playing attacking football and scoreing lots of goals. Now if we have Four strikers in our player pool Guidetti,Scepovic,Stokes and Griffiths playing only one as an out and out striker at home makes no sense.However,you have your point of view I have mine and I think more Celtic fans will hold my view than hold yours.H.H. :-)

  19. sipsini



    19:14 on 19 December, 2014



    !!bada bing!!,



    It’s been quite on here, sorry if it seemed i was stirring the pot…:))





    There are 19 Men missing…..




  20. H.T.


    Ok will do lol. Paddy phoned me to say he seen Virgil out shopping with partner and baby today, seriously he was all excited. I said what did you say to him, he said nothing I just smiled. I guess that’s what been a fan does to you at times.


    Butzy. Hope you are doing well. Look forward to seeing you again soon.

  21. lennon’s passion



    18:56 on 19 December, 2014



    Like who ?? And who do these guys replace ???

  22. kitalba


    14:22 on


    19 December, 2014


    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.





    This is what we are up against, coupled with the Winkle-pickers man who calls people with a differing view “a knobhead”



    Thank God these people have no influence in running our club and are part of an extreme and tiny minority who will always find fault.



    Perhaps they would rather have Janette Findlay as CEO – God help us!!

  23. blantyretim is praying for the Knox family on



    I know and have known about HT and that incident, he is not telling lies..


    HT is talking about current players last night was about ex players and bgx was of the opinion that it was thanks but gtf…

  24. tonydonnelly67



    19:17 on 19 December, 2014




    No, not at all, I’m just saying you post what you like, I’m just saying I wouldent post a thing leavening it hanging, with no end to the post, what’s the purpose?






    Tony let’s be honest. If I posted what I witnessed you’d call me a grass, claim that I was shit stirring and trying to hurt Celtic :-)



    I wouldn’t ever post evidence that could or would be used by those who wish to harm us despite my personal opinion of them.



    Re the point. I believe it explains why he played at Sunderland last night.

  25. Sips



    You’re naughty and/but I love ya!






    I’m so under the thumb you wouldn’t believe!



    Mrs JG just found out that her Christmas present is going to Dublin for the last weekend in march to see the latest lord of the dance. Tried to wind her up that it coincided with a hootenanny hot on the back of the Belfast feb 14 do. She’s no believing a word of the shoite that I talk!!!!!



    Good on Bobbio. Make it come to pass!!!



    HH jamesgang

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