MIH poison, poetic history, value of good players


If you’ve been here for 12 years you’ll know that Celtic Quick News started because there was a great untold financial story going on in Scottish football. Celtic were castigated by many, including a large portion of their own support, as “prudent”, while Rangers, then under the majority ownership of Sir David Murray, were lauded for their willingness to ambitiously push the boat out.

But there was a problem. Celtic were losing millions every year. Rangers were losing a lot more, £35m in one season alone. David Murray’s company, Murray International Holdings (MIH), were ½ a billion in debt to Bank of Scotland, and rising.

By this stage MIH’s steel business was dwarfed in significance by its property portfolio. They borrowed from the bank and, perhaps with an eye on the fantasy Ibrox Super Casino, gambled that the market would rise inextricably.

For a few years the debt kept rising. “What’s the problem?” many said, if the Bank are prepared to lend MIH and Rangers, their strategy must be sound. These were difficult times to be preaching financial responsibility in Scottish football, but the reality was written in mile-high font for many of us. “They’re going to crash and burn”, seemed inevitable.

Today we read the news that MIH are, like Rangers before them, finally liquidated. Ignore the reported £200m that Lloyds Banking Group (now owners of Bank of Scotland) lost, that’s just the loose change. The Bank had swapped debt for shares in MIH as clouds gathered. The true financial cost to Lloyds (significantly owned by UK taxpayers) is vastly higher.

Much of the story of David Murray will never be told, not while he’s alive, anyway, as it took place well away from verifiable sources. This might change after he’s dead. The one redeeming positive he brought to football was to end the sectarian signing policy at Rangers in 1989. For that he should be lauded, many before him had the chance to do the same but chose not to.

That aside, the influence of Murray and MIH was poisonous to his club. He sold out for £1 to a liquidation expert in May 2011, against the wishes of his own board’s advisory committee, as his club claimed its last ever league title. The rest, is poetic history.

As luck would have it, tonight I’ll be with some Celtic supporter friends.  We’ll raise a glass to Sir David and his legacy.  Thanks for all you achieved, David, it could never have happened without you.

Erik Sviatchenko is a lesson in the difference good players make to a team. He’s started 11 games since joining in January, we’ve lost four goals over that period. In our previous 11 games we lost 12 goals. His impact on team performance has been phenomenal.

We’ll miss him tomorrow – so should make tactical changes to accommodate the perceived risk.

Motherwell are on fire. Less than two months ago they were in the play-off spot. Now they need just one point to guarantee a top six finish. They will battle every second for that point. If we are going to win tomorrow’s game, we will need to put in our of our best shifts of the season.

Time to get it together, Celtic.

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  1. What is the Stars on




    Stop hogging the blog



    Or should that be stop blogging the hog



    Thom OUT





    That gravy from Chicken Hut in Limerick sounds the business!



    I trust CORKCELT will pop along and give us his opinions on it…

  3. Dontbrattbakkinanger on

    ‘Largest container ship to berth at an Irish port on its way to Cork with 7.5 million Fyffes bananas ‘



    -they’ll be for the continuity banana republican army

  4. thomthethim for Oscar OK on

    You post fairly regularly on here for the guts of twelve years, usually to the sound of tumbleweed and an eerie wind.



    But, one premature “Post Comment” and you become the most popular poster in town!



    I hope one or two of you actually read the article, which I took the liberty of reposting!

  5. thomthethim for Oscar OK on



    ‘Largest container ship to berth at an Irish port on its way to Cork with 7.5 million Fyffes bananas ‘






    -they’ll be for the continuity banana republican army





    Now that is class

  6. Why gloat? Murray has won. The Huns have won.. get to keep all their trophies. Murray gets to keep all his assets. Huns wipe out £150 m debt. Celtic do nothing to stop it.

  7. ballymenatoybhoy on

    With regards ES yes the stats look impressive but as we all know stats don’t tell the full story! Celtic have been poor at best for far too long yet the are hardly a disaster! ES is a very average player and when it comes to creditable opposition will be found wanting big time. Of course with the only other replaceable defenders injured he has been the only alternative. No brainer to run with CM and DB in central defence – even if ES was fit. Not a match made in heaven but they will hopefully do enough to get us over the line. Meanwhile get a back-up for JS urgently!!!

  8. Jungle Jim Hot Smoked on




    “Curious that the Final (or any) Report to Creditors is apparently unavailable.”



    What does this omission signify?




  9. Jimmynotpaul on



    A lovely tribute to your friend who passed away.


    From what you posted I’m sure his loved ones will have many happy memories to help them through this sad and difficult time.


    Hail Hail.

  10. The Battered Bunnet on




    Watch yersel’. Any more of that and you’ll get pulled up for excessive use of humour.



    We need more vitriol please. More antagonism. And more antagonists (as opposed to your Joan Burnie types, who are Aunt Agonists)

  11. Paul67 et al



    I cannot be the only one on here who believes that “Sir” David Murray, the Scottish Scheister, or if you prefer, the Charlatan from Charlotte Square should be languishing in a debtors prison. The greatest debtor in Scottish history and a man who makes David Cameron’s father look like a paragon of virtue. CQN has certainly proved witness to the fall of both Rangers FC and MIH but it was Alf Young of the Herald who first flagged up the extent of Murray’s borrowing from the Bank of Scotland, debts unpaid which helped bring down a major Bank. And that was back in 1993, when the same Bank was trying to pull the plug on Celtic FC. For his efforts Alf was made persona non grata, which in journalistic terms in Scotland means, no succulent lamb, no fine wines, and no pudding!

  12. The Battered Bunnet on




    Primarily, it signifies that it’s not available to be read by the general public.

  13. thomthethim for Oscar OK on




    Did you see the link that SFTB put up, re the St. Kevins’s tournament?



    Our kids made, what we thought was an impressive WBA team, very ordinary looking.



    The big No. 6, who we thought was a star in the making and probably will be, was left floundering on a couple of occasions.






    I must get my D-I_L to check out the gravy milis in Limerick.

  14. Dontbrattbakkinanger on

    As any fule kno green vitriol is iron [II] sulphate heptahydrate




  15. MIH, The Bank of Scotland & Scottish Football. An Epic Tale with a cast of Millions. They should make a movie about.



    The Greatest Story Never Told.



    Or perhaps…



    The Greatest Story Ever Sold.



    Poison indeed Paul, and it continues to rankle and irritate. More than that, it continues to fester and form pus. It is an infectious wound, which if left unaddressed could prove fatal for Scottish Football. Maybe for some the game is already up.

  16. I asked on last thread, what happened to Auldheid?



    “COOLMORE MAFIA on 8TH APRIL 2016 10:14 AM


    Was someone on here not demanding to know the identities of everyone involved in resolution 12 a few days ago?



    Go to the Police at the slightest threat Auldheid. Catalogue everything with screen shots etc. There is always a trail electronically”



    Are you referring to me?


    If so, where did I demand to know the identities of everyone involved?

  17. Tonight CQN is bringing along 3 Celtic legends and Lisbon Lions to celebrate 20 years of unbroken history for the Tommy Gemmell CSC.



    Tommy Gemmell is very much looking forward to his first night out since his recent stay in hospital. He is very much looking forward to it.



    He will be joined by two players that my late dad used to rave about – John Yogi Hughes and Charlie Gallagher.



    Quite proud to think that CQN has published books for these three Lions ( Charlie’s book is at the printers now) as well as Willie Wallace’s biography.



    Willie has signed two very special Lisbon Lions Celtic shirts for us and the 3 other legends will add their signatures.



    One off the strips will be in the raffle tonight and we’ll raffle the other one on CQN next week – all proceeds to CQN’s Mary’s Meals Malawi fund. Don’t want to auction as that stops the ordinary supporter having a chance to win.



    Charlie Gallagher is also coming on CQN next week for one of our Q & As.



    Need to quick cure for a hangover in the morning to catch the bus to Motherwell.

  18. With regards to auldheid , it was inevitable that the identities of the brave men involved would be announced . At this stage I would hope the police have been informed , if so I would hope the police act on the threats , ( not so confident on that one ) and get the culprit or culprits involved , I would thank the gallant 4 for taking this resolution 12 to the state that the cheats are getting very worried . This country is practicing a form of apartheid ,against Irish , Catholic , celtic minded people . And getting away with it . It’s a scandal that I can’t turn on sky sports without listening to the big lie , can’t pick up a red top up here without reading the big lie , can’t tune into. Ssb or on the ball without brainwashed tubes , supporting the big lie . For me the burying of their heads in the sand by the media is in a way expected for the reasons above , but the lack of action to tackle the blatant cheating , lack of action to take on the big lie , by the celtic board , and the sitting back knowing what needs addressed on our clubs behalf , by letting fans of the club who are sick to the pit of their stomach With what is being allowed to happen to their club , but worse of all is sitting back , allowing these same guys to put themselves and there families in danger to try and achieve a level playing field , and get as what happens in other sports . Cheats being punished , is total cowardice from the directors of celtic f.c . I hope the tens of thousands of celtic fans , don’t ever forget the resolution12 4 . I also hope the tens of thousands of celtic fans don’t forget the cowardice of the white feather brigade in their boardroom .

  19. Dontbrattbakkinanger on

    I’m pretty sure I saw a lapwing this morning.



    Great start to the day, they are on the conservation ‘red list’.

  20. What is the Stars on



    I was there for the game against Barcelona and they played very well,lost 3 -2 but played well and Barca won the tournament





    I’m pretty sure I read some stuff from a lapdog this morning.



    Great start to the day(!). Serves me right for reading a redtop.

  22. clogher celt on




    Could you re-post that article please? I appear to have missed it:)))



    A good read, thanks for posting.

  23. thomthethim for Oscar OK on

    ÁRD MACHA on 8TH APRIL 2016 1:58 PM






    Excellent article.




    Árd Macha





    Thanks for taking the trouble of reading.


    I thought it a very honest piece and pars of the text could be solely directed at Scottish football.



    Apologies again for the side salad and extra you had to wade through to get to the meat.

  24. The Battered Bunnet on




    I’ll resist the temptation to continue the flippancy.



    MIH represents the biggest corporate failure in Scottish business history. Add in the Rangers bankruptcy and you’re looking at the best part of £1 Billion of creditor deficit.



    In ordinary course, the Liquidator would report publicly on progress, detailing efforts made to recover funds for creditors, and distributions made.



    In the case of MIH, standing a modest sum to HMRC, all of the debt is owed to one creditor – Lloyds. Lloyds of course were bailed out by the UK taxpayer in 2008, and subsequent to which, wrote off around £300M of MIH debt (as a paper-based equity swap) before liquidating the company, and losing a further >£200M.



    That there is no public record of the Liquidators’ work or the outcome of the winding up is something of a curiosity, given both the custom and practice in these matters, and the specific public interest in the final disposal.



    Why this should be the case is beyond my ken, if indeed it is the case. (I’ve checked the usual sources, and there’s nothing apparent)

  25. GREENPINATA on 8TH APRIL 2016 12:43 PM



    If feels funny supporting Hearts. :-(((





    Hoping for a Hertz victory is not the same as supporting them – steady on old chap!!

  26. Dontbrattbakkinanger on

    £1 Billion of creditor deficit.



    -that must be [yet] another ‘World Record’, to add to the pile?





    Even worse is that Murray family interests were allowed to spin out profitable sections of the company even as it was undergoing the liquidation process.



    For a song,btw.

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