It’s not often CQN quotes the Daily Record, so hold onto your bonnets……….
Most of us have been watching the old media/new media for years. Actual news is now well and truly in the domain of the new media but when it comes to some matters, the authority of the old media seems to be greater than the new.
Think back to those scenes at Inverness last year when Jelly ‘n’ Ice Cream was given its first outing. That reaction came after the Daily Record put their weight behind the notion that many of us had been saying for weeks/months/years, that Rangers were going out of business. It wasn’t actual news, everyone had heard the same stories many times, but when the Record went on-record, the remaining doubters were convinced.
Viewed through this prism, when today’s Record raises the spectre of police and liquidator action, even the most sceptical must know things are serious. This morning they urge Newco’s chairman Malcolm Murray to:
“Tell the stock market his board understands the explosive nature of Whyte’s claims and that they are on top of their duties. He should order his own investigation, hire independent accountants and lawyers to examine all evidence, while co-operating in full with the police and with liquidators BDO.
“That’s the kind of decisive action Murray should be taking this morning and I suspect it’s precisely what he wants to do. But if he does not emerge at some point today or tomorrow then it means he is being undermined by his fellow directors who have baulked when implored by him to do the right thing.
“His allies – if any – should go with him because if they share his concerns but fail to act upon them they too risk massive reputational damage. Maybe even worse than that if the police become involved. That’s how serious the situation has become”.
The allegations made by Craig Whyte last week are more serious than any charge previously levelled at a football club board in Scotland, infinitely more serious than what has been alleged about Craig Whyte, Sir David Murray or Campbell Ogilvie. They have, of course, come from a man who has been shown to be liberal with his use of facts, but they have been made about Green, who has admitted he tells people what they want to hear in order to get his way.
The Record have also realised the consequences of Green and Whyte colluding during the administration process:
“Green was eventually allowed to pick up the club’s assets for the paltry figure of £5.5m. A deal agreed with Duff and Phelps which excluded rival bids from any other party.
This was as unfathomable agreement that may have cost creditors millions – and which was triggered the second Green’s group stumped up enough money to secure preferred bidder status.
Now it has been further claimed that in order to help scramble that deposit together, Whyte dumped £137,500 into an account belonging to Ahmad’s mother.
Again, this will be of great interest to the authorities because, essentially, this was the very moment Green and his backers were given a clean run at picking up a £50m business for a pittance.”
Newco’s independent non-executive directors, including the chairman, are in a difficult position. If they were not previously aware of the collusion between Green and Whyte they may be of a mind to resign, but as non-execs, it was their job to look after the interests of stakeholders before the smelly stuff lands, which they have clearly failed to do.
Scottish football has had a troublesome couple of years as it prepared for and dealt with the consequences of the liquidation of Rangers. Unless Whyte’s claims can be proven to be without foundation, and unless BDO take a kind view of Charles Green’s agreement with Craig Whyte, the months ahead will at least provide some finality. Stewart Gilmour at St Mirren will have a great deal to think about ahead of his board meeting on Wednesday.
Just think, without so many people backing Charles Green the ‘Rangers’ brand could be in the hands of Brian Kennedy right now! If you see someone preaching the gospel according to Charles Green, don’t try to undermine their faith.
Photo by Vagelis at Biglens