Spending like the Borgias? Time to move on. Conspiracy to subvert the rules? We have a problem.


So much happened yesterday, I’ll be as brief as possible:

Newco Rangers sent their counsel to the Court of Session to protest Charles Green’s contract with the club, stating it should pay legal expenses, now crystallising ahead of his forthcoming criminal trial.

In opposing Green, James Wolffe QC raised various objections, but as is often the case when people speak on behalf of Newco, included an arbitrary insistence that Newco operated the same club as the now liquidated Rangers.

Green’s QC, Jonathan Brown, put his pit boots on before stating his client’s case, but tantalisingly, before lunch informed the court that he would return to the same club/new club debate later.  And didn’t he.  Brown explained that Sevco Scotland purchased the assets of Rangers, not the club itself, with poetic prose adding:

“The team are paid by Sevco, plat at a ground owned by Secvo, are trained by a manager who is employed by Sevco and fans buy tickets from Sevco.  That is the business that is being carried on.”

Adding that Rangers were “a collection of assets”, “What if the players were sold to one person and Ibrox to antoher, where is the ‘club’ then?”

I had to look away from court reporter, James Dolman’s Twitter feed at this point.  It was like watching an acquaintance being humiliated.  Not something you want to see.

Lord Doherty will determine if Newco should pay Green’s costs in due course, but this will be soon, as Jonathan Brown noted, “the rainy day has arrived”.

This next bit is really important:

Soon after court ended, Dave King was out with a rambling statement on the Newco website.  If it was designed to play to the galleries, it hit the spot.  If it was designed to influence what happens to his club, or how others will regard his input, it was surely an horrendous mistake.

It was a hard day to be chairman of Rangers International FC PLC.  The court hearing only happened because the club objected to its contract with Green, so the unedifying episode could easily have been avoided.  Despite this, sometimes you have to shut your mouth.

Sure, some Newco fans love a bit of grandstanding, but you know what yesterday’s statement will achieve.  If the objective of the statement was to convince other Scottish clubs not to consider disciplinary action against Sir David Murray, or oldco Rangers, for their actions, it was an almighty miscalculation.

Threats seldom work.  This one is unlikely to curry favour: “If the history of our Club comes under attack we will deal with it in the strongest manner possible and will hold to account those persons who have acted against their fiduciary responsibilities to their own clubs and to Scottish football.”

In short:

Don’t threaten clubs you are trying to influence.

Don’t grandstand to your own fans if you are trying to influence other clubs.

Keep a poker face.  Keep your mouth shut, even if it means taking grief from your fans for the lack of public reaction.

King’s statement also addressed the sporting advantage issue from what we now know was an unlawfully operated tax scheme.  While the EBT scheme saved tens of millions of pounds, and King earlier intimated this did provide a sporting advantage, yesterday he insisted the advantage was financial, that the shareholders were “committed to providing funding to the club” and would have done so, if required.

Here’s the thing, in 2012 another King statement revealed, “I have made a claim of £20m on the basis of non-disclosure by the then chairman, David Murray, of Rangers true financial position as far back as 2000.”

That commitment to further shareholder funding seems predicated on some controversial information.  According to King, of course.  Controversial enough to launch a £20m claim, but not to inhibit investment.

For the war-chest hunters among you, if you read this article covering King’s 2012 statement, you’ll find a strong clue.

One other quick but important point:

Some media are attempting to portray questions of sporting advantage as Rangers being punished for spending money they could afford, a travesty, as so many other clubs have done likewise.

This must surely be a deliberate attempt to misunderstand the issue and manipulate the debate.

No one suggests Rangers should be punished for spending money they could not afford.  The questions are straightforward:

Did Rangers break tax law, break SFA rules and break SPL rules, when contracting football players?

Did they disclose matters openly with authorities (in other words, inadvertently make mistakes), or did they conspire to subvert the rules by hiding incriminating information?

Spending like the Borgias?  Time to move on.  Conspiracy to subvert the rules?  We have a problem.

Don’t be distracted by potential ramifications to these questions, they are irrelevant for now.  We should consider no more than did they break all of the above rules, should any the rule breaking be interpreted as an oversight, or does evidence of conspiracy to subvert the rules exist?

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  1. On the Nimmo smith farce, I think Celtic did say something, I could be wrong mind you, but I think it was along the lines of…….. We find his result astounding……?

  2. TBJ says Wee Oscar Knox is in heaven with the angels on

    So the ross county v celtic match semi is live on BBC



    I’d ever there was an opportunity for a bhoycott this is it

  3. DBBIA / Natknow –



    Ahhh, rowies. I had a couple earlier on in the week, but they were not of the same standard as the ones I prefer. Aitken’s rolls are the very best ever in the history of that venerated foodstuff. 50% flour, 50% butter, 50% salt adds up to 100% heart-attack material, and fine tasted as well . . . .



    I realise that I have fallen down in my duties as purveyor of the finest rolls to the poor Celtic supporters who drink pre-match in the Merchant City. Someday, once I am in a position to come down for a game again, I will reverse the car up to the door of Aitken’s shop in Holburn Street, fill the boot with bags of rolls and head south with these food parcels for the poor and bereft!



    “Green Cross” food parcels?



    H x 2




  4. Jungle Jim Hot Smoked on

    Does anyone have any idea, based on experience, how long it will take before we hear the verdict from yesterday`s case?



    “PROUDBHOY on 13TH NOVEMBER 2015 1:43 PM


    Lots of sevco chat


    Unless their dead again it’s all very boring”


    PB Can you see that your first sentence shows that many do not share your view?






  5. TD67 they said they were “surprised” at the result.



    Timaloy29 tell me – in the face of the wanton corruption and the even more wonton media manipulation and agenda all it would take is for celtic to call them on it. They would run for cover immediately. And never mind that – it is the right thing to do to stand up against the corruption. But our board were engaged in it – they helped along the 5 way agreement.



    The club have never acted on this – show me the evidence – show me anything they have done. PL sits on a few committees at the SFA – but the cheating hasnt altered. Where is this effective strategy that the board have (either on or off the field).



    Lots of hot air around not interrupting your enemies.



    And of course speaking out now has to be called “grandstanding”. Whats grandstanding about tacking corruption?



    There is not one iota of evidence that celtic are doing anything – in fact all the public evidence points to the exact opposite.



    Blind faith eh. See where it gets you.

  6. Philbhoy


    I got. 2 tickets last season I had to pay them because I had lease car and lease firm were going to charge me and add on admin charge otherwise I wouldn’t pay only enforceable in England and Wales

  7. So,a tax advantage does not mean an on the pitch advantage, Mr King?



    Monaco has a tax advantage over other clubs playing in Ligue 1, in that most of their players pay certain tax rates applying in Monaco. Everyone accepts that Monaco this tax advantage translates into an advantage on the pitch – Monaco can sign players which other French clubs can’t. This is why Monaco and Ligue 1 have been trying to come to an accommodation over this. This is not easy, given that Monaco is in fact a different country (it’s not in the EU, it’s not even in UEFA). But it’s been in the open, and it’s legal.



    “Monaco has enjoyed a position in French football that is totally unfair and that hasn’t been questioned,” France Football’s English correspondent Philippe Auclair told CNN.



    “The club has enjoyed an unfair advantage over every French club. Monaco should be subjected to the same tax regime as the other clubs in Ligue 1,” added Auclair, who acknowledged that the French football authorities have allowed this anomaly to go on for too long.



    “In any other country this would be unthinkable. Imagine if Welsh clubs Cardiff and Swansea didn’t operate under the same taxation regime as the other 18 English Premier League clubs?” http://edition.cnn.com/2013/05/31/sport/football/football-monaco-tax/



    Unthinkable?? Indeed. At least the Monaco situation is legal.

  8. GlassTwoThirdsFull on

    So Mr King reckons that “throughout the period in question the shareholders were committed to providing funding to the club.”




    Hmmmm. My memory is that around 2004 the bank debt had spiralled to nearly £80m.


    And my recollection is that they had a rights issue to allow shareholders to invest.


    And if I remember correctly these shareholders came up with around £1m of the £51m they were looking for?


    But I guess I must have it wrong…

  9. It never fails to surprise me when the Ibrox hordes go on and on about Celtic fans being ‘obsessed’ about their clubs. There must be about two dozen issues swirling about the place just now regarding their entity. It seems almost every day there is another story. Been like that for years now. What else do they expect? (Besides it’s a good laugh!)

  10. Dennytim






    The situation is muddy because the lease firm got the ticket.



    Could they take legal action to recover the fine from you?

  11. As regulars here know PL is not my favourite fellow.


    However, were it he rather than King who had produced yesterday’s statement, the Scottish media would be tearing him apart.

  12. My friends in Celtic,



    I hope ( and believe ) Parking Eye charges are not legally enforceable in Scotland. Parking Eye have been chasing me for a trumped up fine for about 4 years. Last week I received a ” threatening letter” from a debt collector company.


    The letter stated that they were acting on behalf of Parking Eye so I filed it in the bin.


    If the debt collectors had actually bought the “debt” I may have given it more thought.



    However be wary if you live in Englandshire or Whales. parking Eye have just secured a victory in the Supreme Court.




  13. Turkeybhoy on 13th November 2015 2:17 pm



    Turn the question around.



    Have you copper bottomed proof that our Board is not sitting on its hands and have any reason to think that they aren’t.

  14. Dontbrattbakkinanger on




    I hope you can make it to a game soon too.



    I will gladly exchange the ole rowies for the tattie scones made in Moffat.



    THey are the breakfast of champions.

  15. The board will not be sitting on their hands.



    At this time on a Friday I expect they are standing at the bar.

  16. Greenpinta you must of received the same threatening letter as me, there is an appeal pending and this case is in Engerlund hold your nerve, give them nothing. H H Hebcelt

  17. DBBIA



    I was in Moffat a few weeks ago on the way home from the Lakes.



    Although the sun was shining I thought the town looked a wee bit tired.



    Maybe it was the wrong time of year to see it at it’s best.



    Moffat Toffee Shop was still going strong, always a plus.



    Nice memories of that wee town so I have.

  18. thetimreaper on 13th November 2015 1:17 pm



    eligible to participate in organised football.



    Apart from corruption what about Scottish Football is organised?

  19. Neganon



    “in the face of the wanton corruption and the even more wonton media manipulation and agenda all it would take is for celtic to call them on it. They would run for cover immediately.”



    No they wouldn’t. In case you haven’t noticed, the press feed off the “Old Firm” narrative. If Celtic come out with a grand statement about Rangers, it will be the best thing that’s happened to the SMSM in forever.



    They will derail it into an “Old Firm” issue and continue to misrepresent and misinform on the issue. It will be a case of bitter old Celtic.



    “The club have never acted on this – show me the evidence – show me anything they have done.”



    Pretty much the same statement made by huns under every Phil MacG article. Like I said, believe what you want but this board don’t tell the fans anything.



    Why? I think smellygate is a perfect example. There’s always one irresponsible idiot.



    “And of course speaking out now has to be called “grandstanding”. Whats grandstanding about tacking corruption?”



    Putting sweeping statements public is exactly that. It’s attention seeking.



    Corruption has never been squashed by a public statement.



    “There is not one iota of evidence that celtic are doing anything – in fact all the public evidence points to the exact opposite. Blind faith eh. See where it gets you.”



    Like I said, I know about things going on. The club are taking this all very seriously and are letting the issue take its course.



    Believe me or don’t but I certainly wouldn’t disclose any further info, breaching any trust.

  20. One of my soured thoughts.


    For someone who cannot shut his mouth about THEM when a mic is shoved under his tash, DD is mighty quiet about THEM and THEIR tax affairs.

  21. Philbhoy


    My lease company was a English firm and they warned me they could take me to court they said it was law in England even tho the parking tickets were in Scotland

  22. Neganon – whilst no board supporter anymore, I think the Johnjames site breaks down who is conflicted and that celtic have been pushing for justice at the SFA

  23. Marrakesh Express on




    Tongue in cheek surely there mate.


    This is Scottish football’s Enron. THE biggest scandal in UK football, EVER, and our club and support were shafted big time.


    If it wasn’t for the Internet bampots, our msm and governing bodies would be half way to burying these crimes forever with the ‘nothing to see here Timmy’ headline .


    Every post keeps the pressure on and going by the levels King and the media are stooping to, the dam starting to leak.

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