Murray coalescence with the financial, political, media sectors


“Crash and burn”.  That was the outcome I expected to await Murray International Holding’s (MIH) debt-fuelled expansion in the early part of the last decade.  This wasn’t entrepreneurship. Borrowing money to invest in a market which was on a long-term growth spurt, without consideration that your asset values could fall, was corporate vandalism.  It was a safe enough bet as long as the commercial property market continued its incessant upwards trend, but the bubble had to burst eventually.

There were other voices out there saying the same thing.  In the pre-blog era I remember printed copies of the Dogs Bollox passed around like the potentially-subversive underground insights they were.  It was financial madness, writ large, all you needed to do was step back a little to see what was happening.

Celtic Quick News started because the underlying story of the biggest issue in Scottish football – the ability of the two largest clubs to pay their bills – was not being told.  Without Murray’s debt splurge, this blog would never have happened.

I gave running commentaries of what to expect of Rangers and MIH accounts when they were released in 2005, the evidence will be there, I told you.  I didn’t expect a convenient, and remarkable, property revaluation.  It was smoke and mirrors, though Murray inspired such confidence, even among Celtic fans, I remember “Why can’t we just revalue Celtic Park and borrow more?”

Millions were taken in executive pay and bonuses each year, despite borrowings galloping away, while the Bank of Scotland continued to open the vault.  MIH wasn’t the only bad bet Bank of Scotland made, but it was the worst.

Rangers were the ultimate vanity project.  Tens of thousands of people literally fawned before Murray, he wallowed in decades of deference, controlling oceans of the media. The best parts of history are never written, and what happened at Rangers, and with the Bank of Scotland is no different. While Murray is alive you’re only going to read the parts of this story with documented evidence.

The illegal EBT scandal was typical of how the business operated. Through this, and the also-illegal Discounted Options Scheme, Murray drove a horse and cart through the SFA rulebook. Lord Nimmo Smith found as much. In Craig Whyte, Rangers appointed a person who was not fit and proper to run a football club.  Whyte was sine died from the game and Rangers were disciplined, but it was Murray who sold the business to Whyte, despite his personal history. For all the rule breaking, and subsequent havoc he inflicted on his club, Murray has not been brought to account by the SFA, his allies still hold the balance of power, but not for ever.

The knighthood for services to Scottish business will sound hollow to those who invested in MIH pensions, and who were recently told their funds are in trouble.  Yesterday’s news that Murray is putting a squad of his businesses into liquidation, or from BBC’s Douglas Fraser that Murray’s family are buying “fire-sale assets” from MIH, which, he explains, “received what’s called “an unsolicited approach from the Murray family”, tells you what you need to know about the man.

If only there was the political will to ask for an inquiry into hundreds of millions of pounds of public money lost to the exchequer, as publicly-owned Lloyds, now owners of the Bank of Scotland, slowly come to terms with how deep the Charlotte Square money pit is.  Murray’s acolytes, those who partied hard with him during the good times, remain scattered through Scotland, from Holyrood, to Hampden.  It will take years before they slowly lose grip on their own fiefdoms.

Strip him of his title, discipline him for the rule-breaking in Scottish football, and have an inquiry into how his coalescence with the financial, political and media sectors rendered him immune from responsibility.

More later on Gary Mackay-Steven.

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  1. BT,



    Doing fine – just checking into see if there was any news on Gary Mackay-Steven.



    I might stick my head in the BV tomorrow if I’m passing.


    Much as I am fond of the occasional pint,I’ve never taken to the stronger brews.



    Every one of them that I have tried-and to be fair,I was willing to give them a chance to impress me!-has been absolutely bogging!



    Nothing better than a smashing pint or six after work,but that stuff,naw. Nae pleasure in it,IMO.

  3. One of my sons and I just received letters from Celtic offering us tickets for the League Cup semi. I am surprised because neither of us attended either of the previous rounds. I have texted my other son offering him my ticket if he wants to go.



    2 out of 3 ain’t bad . . . Meat Loaf.

  4. time for change


    12:43 on


    14 January, 2015


    I’m in the HCTS (two season tickets) and haven’t had an offer for semi-final (not that I was going just slightly miffed!)



    I’m in HCTS got letter in in last hour offering me a ticket, i will be not accepting the offer

  5. and they gave us…..



    Jimmy McGrory scores eight goals in one game


    14 January 1928


    It was on this day in 1928, Jimmy McGrory set a British record by scoring eight goals in a single match as the Bhoys defeated Dunfermline 9-1 in the league at Celtic Park. By the ninth minute Jimmy already had his first hat-trick completed and he went on to score a further five, with Alex Thomson scoring the other goal for the Hoops that day. The ball that was used to set this record is located in the SFA’s Hall of Fame.


    He was regarded as a fearless player who could score with either foot, but he was also known for scoring with his head which gave him the nickname ‘the Mermaid’. He scored four goals against Aberdeen in a 6-2 win in 1926, with his head. Former Arsenal goalkeeper Bill Paterson described Jimmy’s heading ability as “He had the knack of connecting with his napper and directing the leather netwards with a greater velocity and judgement than many a counterpart could accomplish with his feet”.


    As well as being Celtic’s highest-ever goalscorer with 468 goals from just 445 matches, he won four Scottish Cups and two league titles as a Bhoy.


    Jimmy McGrory also managed the Hoops between 1945 and 1965, and won a further two League Cups and Scottish Cups as well as the league, the St Mungo Cup and the Coronation Cup.


    His life was dedicated to Celtic serving as a player, manager and public relations officer, working almost up until his death on October 20, 1982.


    While several players have made more appearances for the Celts, no Bhoy has managed to outscore the legendary Jimmy McGrory.

  6. BMCUW



    I have already started saving for next year!



    She is having a night out in Glasgow on Saturday with her pals, none of whom drink Tennants or Carly Super! I think they drink everything else ‘tho!




  7. bournesouprecipe on

    When Rangers died, and Sevco 5088 were voted into the fourth tier, SMSM predicted Armageddon, and St Mirren’s CEO even said five clubs would go out of business?



    Some clubs including Aberdeen and relegated Hibs are virtually debt free, the game has been in its healthiest state since Minty ‘stitched it’ in this country, by spending borrowed money, not paid back.



    Only the new club nowadays is a perilous state, yet, incredibly, that’s the club we’re being told we need to have in the SPL?





    I read your latest offering on DONTSHRINK-very very funny.



    Nice one,bud.

  9. blantyretim is praying for the Knox family on



    Happy birthday Erica



    Is she giving you permission for Friday pm





    Good girl,takes eftur her faither. Knows how to enjoy herself!

  11. antipodean red on

    Tom mclaughlin,



    Meat Loaf was absolutely minging at the AFL Final a few years back, you must agree?




  12. the long wait is over on

    David Murray , ah… the hubris of it all.




    “My name is Ozymandias, king of kings:


    Look on my works, ye Mighty, and despair!”


    Nothing beside remains. Round the decay


    Of that colossal wreck, boundless and bare


    The lone and level sands stretch far awayCSC

  13. Alfie Noakes


    “What a bitter and underhand bigoted little country Scotland is, and yet a large minority of our ‘out of touch’ support, wanted to empower it through separation from the UK, to hammer home it’s long – standing proven prejudice against our minority”



    Surely you can’t have it both ways. Either we were in the “Union” when all that occurred or we were an Independent Country. Which was it? por cierto




    it was a good one but the continence bit…… well to late for me .. :-))

  15. GlassTwoThirdsFull on

    Bournesouprecipe 13:11


    It’s because only they would be able to challenge Celtic. Oh, hang on!

  16. Tallyboy


    Happy Birthday to Erica, the big 2 -0!


    Hope she enjoys a nice glass of Buck on the rocks!


    Remember my 20th


    Brother Walfrid just went home to Sligo, and Celts signed Malkie McDonald from the Ants !





    History tells us that the mighty eventually fall.



    That it is usually begun from within,and at the height of that might,well,you’d think the powerful would learn some humility.



    Icarus Syndrome,I believe they term it nowadays.

  18. jeez_I_thought_blinker_was_pants on

    Minty should be slung in jail at least for fashion crimes, have you seen some of those shirts he has worn in the past few years?





    I’m sure Tony enjoyed it. That’s the main thing. An inspiring struggle from the young fella,and yet he can still smile.




  20. South Of Tunis on

    Hugh Bonkle



    ” Scotsmac anyone ? ” .



    Once ——-absolutely never again .



    A party in a hippy gaff west of Newport on Tay .. Woke up in a potato field with a woman who looked like Judy Sill. . I was sick for days.





    Oooops,I misread that. I thought you said shorts.

  22. bt



    Daughter coming up to Glesga on Friday to sit an exam at uni.



    I might come up with her!



    Fingers, and toes, crossed!




  23. Antipodean Red –



    A couple of years ago in Oz, a work colleague was talking about taking his missus to see Meat Loaf in concert in Brisbane. I spent a lot of time trying to talk him out of it. I saw Meat Loaf at Wembley Arena circa 1980/81 and he was excellent, but I knew that in 2012 he was washed out.



    On the Monday after AFL, my mate came into work and said, “Bloody hell Tom you weren’t wrong.”



    He decided to keep his cash and give Meat Loaf a body swerve.

  24. Derry city expecting a bid from celtic for micheal duffy who just completed his 2nd trial last week.



    Scored to in under21game against newcastle. Krus was nets for geordies.

  25. Hrvaski Jim



    Looks more like a Michael Moore documentary.



    OT DR still cow towing to (D) Murray, would you like this man’s vote of confidence?

  26. 67Heaven .. CHALLENGING THE LIE ..I am wee Oscar / Neil Lennon.. Ipox belongs to the creditors on

    wait is over



    13:14 on 14 January, 2015



    And with every day that passes, the decay intensifies, to the extent that ‘normal business’ will not be resumed …. and they will realise that when they get to circa



    …… incidentally, someone wondered earlier if murrayskint isn’t being pursued because he could take too many of them down with him ….. a fairly sensible conjecture……..



    ….IT IS, INDEED, THE GLORIOUS SHAMBLES …….. c’mon the vultures, stope circling, and get stuck into the carcass…..

  27. 67Heaven .. CHALLENGING THE LIE ..I am wee Oscar / Neil Lennon.. Ipox belongs to the creditors on

    When they get to circa sevco7





    They’re brilliant!



    Might not suit my usually-pink in the morning eyes,but hell I’d take the risk.

  29. Great article Paul. Really shocking that neither stv or bbc thought this was worth a mention last night.



    Truly a morality tale of our times…


    67 HEAVEN



    If even one person being investigated in Operation Hornet cracks,the whole affair will be in the open,everything will be shown for the cronyism and high end fraud that it was.



    Sadly,it looks unlikely now. Still,you never know. I for one live in hope for a result from it.

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