I could speak of having some man-love for Dave King, but at the very least, there is a growing affinity. Hot on the heels of calling for an investigation into a Celtic fan on the SFA board, yesterday the chairman of Newco (and former director of Rangers (in liquidation)) demanded the SPFL “must immediately suspend its Chairman pending an independent investigation by a senior QC”.
This concerned “allegations of non-disclosure” that SPFL chairman Murdoch MacLennan was appointed as a non-executive director of an Irish media business in which Celtic director, Dermot Desmond, has a minority shareholding.
Only problem is, MacLennan disclosed his appointed to the SPFL board, two months before it took effect. This board includes Newco managing director, Stewart Robertson.
The SPFL handed King his bum on a plate by killing the allegation of non-disclosure stone dead:
“The members of the SPFL board were each informed of Murdoch’s appointment on January 19 2018, the same day it was publicly announced in a press release from Independent News & Media PLC. That release was also circulated to the entire SPFL board that day.
“No director raised this issue subsequently [including Stewart Robertson]and it was not the subject of any board discussions.
“A non-executive position on a PLC does not constitute a business relationship between that individual and a minority shareholder in the company and, therefore, no investigation is warranted.”
Asks yourself, why would you publicly demand an investigation into an alleged non-disclosure four months after the matter was disclosed to you? Why do this knowing the answer will be “But it was disclosed. To you”?
Based on confirmation from the SPFL that Stewart Robertson knew this information in January, we can conclude this is an entirely an entirely fabricated indignation. It plays to King’s season ticket demographic, who may be the last constituents he has when several of the critical issues on the Newco horizon materialise. It will not gain an inch of traction within Scottish football (please bear this in mind the next time you demand Celtic ‘take on the man’ in a futile attempt to show they care).
You would be embarrassed by such a quick and complete rebuttal of your “non-disclosure” allegation. Not King, the fact that MacLennan’s appointment was disclosed will not even cause him a moment of cognitive dissonance. The psychological insight is fascinating.
What’s his game? I’ll remind you with a few suggestions:
Next month Uefa will decide if Newco have cleared Financial Fair Play rules. If not, they will likely be denied entry to the Europa League. This matter is down to corporate (King’s) planning, or lack thereof. It will require an epic amount of spin, but King has prepared his placemen.
The club has survived thus far on soft loans, some of which are due to be repaid by 1 July (when season ticket money will be in the bank). Expect some of the lenders to demand repayment.
He needs to get £11m into the UK, then wait to see how many shareholders accept his 20p offer. My guess is this will relieve King of a substantial amount of his ‘warchest’. There are also the issues around failure to comply with a court ruling on this within the specified period.
King was a director of Oldco when the club submitted its Uefa licence information in 2011, an issue which is now under investigation.
The man is besieged by problems all round. What we are witnessing is bunker mentality, firing at targets which don’t exist.
I know what you are thinking, why did the SFA pass him as Fit and Proper? He is not, of course, but don’t sweat this one. It is much better to have him set the tone at Newco than anyone else. He has no credible plan to build Newco into a competitive football club. Leave him there for as long as possible.