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State of the Club Report, year-end 2014

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2014 saw Celtic win their third consecutive league title, but we didn’t reach either cup final.  A period of significant change got underway during the summer when we said farewell to Neil Lennon.

Neil took over from Tony Mowbray, his first managerial appointment after working with the Youths at Lennoxtown.  His first season was the one that got away.  Defeat at Inverness with the title within their grasp, Walter Smith’s Rangers took their third successive title against the third difference Celtic manager.

Three months into the next season, Celtic were 10 points behind a Whyte-McCoist inspired Rangers, but that was overcome, with interest, by Christmas.  Celtic went on to win the league by 20 points, although 10 of them were as a penalty for Rangers incurring an insolvency event.

Thereafter it was plan sailing for Neil.  He never looked back in the league and reached the Champions League group stage twice, progressing to the knock-out stage on the first occasion.  He learned the managerial ropes at Celtic and did enough in his four years here to establish himself as a European-class manager.  He was our third unqualified success in four appointments.

By this summer it was evidence to all, including Neil, that significant rebuilding was needed.  The job was handed to Ronny Deila.

Ronny’s first challenge came in the Champions League qualifiers in the form of Legia Warsaw.  Despite the record books showing Celtic progressed after a 3-0 default home win, Legia wiped the floor with Celtic home and away.  Celtic looked like a team of strangers, unfamiliar with the system they were asked to play.

That was, of course, true, the system was unfamiliar, but it’s execution was miscalculated, the on-field results were deserved.  The Champions League playoff round against Maribor was unusual inasmuch as Celtic dominated the away first leg and deserved more than the 1-1 draw, but the Slovenians arrived in Glasgow with their game face on.  Celtic were outplayed and out of the Champions League.

Things slowly got better, although home performances against Motherwell (by my measure the worst) and Hamilton Accies (who were impressive), and latterly Ross County indicated there is still a long way to go.

Ronny’s Celtic found their feet in the Europa League, where they finished second behind a very accomplished Salzburg.  The away performances against Salzburg and Astra gave an insight into how things could be for this Celtic team.

It was, to say the least, disappointing not to qualify for the Champions League.  It denied the club millions of pounds and shaded our trump card in to be used in attracting players, but in reality we’re not a Champions League team this season.  The Europa’ gave us an opportunity to play European football on our level, pick up coefficient points and extended interest after Christmas (if you’re young this won’t mean much, if you’re my age, you’ll recall this being our Holy Grail).

Inter Milan await in the next round.  They are also going through a rebuilding exercise and are as vulnerable to lesser-resourced teams as Celtic – so unlike Juventus two years ago – we have a sporting chance.

The tactical direction of the club is visibly distinct from what went before Ronny.  Is this a good thing?  Probably.  Neil Lennon and his players over-achieved in their first Champions League season on a scale it’s difficult to measure.  That squad had no right to reach the levels they did; theirs was a herculean effort.  Play Matthews at left back, alongside a central pair of Wilson and Ambrose.  Put Miku up front, with Mulgrew and Ledley in the middle – then go beat Barcelona.  It was beyond impossible.

Barca, Ajax and Milan were prepared for Celtic last season; we finished bottom, out of ideas and direction on that stage.  We needed to change, same again wasn’t going to wash.

Ronny’s played a high-pressing game, mostly with players who are unaccustomed to the demands of this game-plan.  This has been a mistake on several occasions, most notably against Legia and Maribor.  He’s working on player fitness, but in all likelihood it will take the next two transfer windows before he can craft the squad into the shape he wants it to be.

We’re halfway through the season and, with Aberdeen playing before us tomorrow, there’s a chance they could go top of the table, for a couple of hours, anyway.  That’s not good enough, by any measure.  Notwithstanding the revamp, we should have done better in the Champions League qualifiers and we should be further ahead in the league, but the fundamentals remain intact:

We needed to start post-Neil Lennon with a new tactical strategy.
Trying hard not to be disrespectful to Aberdeen, but we’re going to win the league.
We’re in both cup competitions.
We remain in the Europa League.

I was happy with the direction we took in appointing Ronny Deila and remain so.  The problems of the last six months could be classified as First World Problems.  We’ll get over them, while others watch on from the Other Worlds.

Have a Happy Celtic New Year, strap in and enjoy the ride, I promise it’ll be a great one.

Sale on at CQNBookstore, fill your stockings.

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  1. Ulysses,

     

     

    Best post I’ve read in a long time.

     

     

    You wrote it how it is…a corrupt football organisation within a corrupt country.

     

     

    The media is a disgrace on any matters regarding thems, it’s time our club became more vocal!…I won’t hold my breathe with that one.HH

  2. Anti doncaster folks

     

     

    Any thoughts on whether the spfl or the sfa are the ones we should be backing in the current power struggle ?

     

    Regan stunt with Barry Hearn rent a gob was a joke and waste of good cash IMO.

  3. Who gives a monkeys what Dungcaster has to say

     

     

    We all know the Truth

     

     

    Liquidated, end off

     

     

    Hail Hail

  4. ulysses mcghee - a demographic of one on

    HT

     

     

    I’d rather have stated what I felt than just thought it – I knew it would cause a reaction – but I was not just being reactionary – or pious.

     

     

    I feel, deep to my core feel, that our fans should be fully aware of a complicity by association – a validation by association.

     

     

    I’ve truly always felt/knew that their last laugh would be at the expense of our support.

     

     

    Damned if we do and damned if we don’t.

     

     

    I run the risk of isolating myself from you with my concerns and vice versa.

     

     

    But for all Celtic are supported in February at that game – that energy and fervour and passion and belief serves a dual purpose – it feeds the myth of them and a rivalry and it feeds an almost purpose built validation that order is restored.

     

     

    I don’t think for a second anyone is pretending to support Celtic – and I mean no accusation – it is in fact a well earned privilege.

     

     

    But like heads and tails and yin and yang and day and night – I feel, me, that we ‘reset’, ‘reboot’ that which we desired to leave behind.

     

     

    It’s a fugazzi, it’s fake. It was when the sham fell down and the cheating was rationalised, condoned and re-written.

     

     

    And it will, for me, never be more apparent when Celtic have to play a new club sold to us as an old club – but free of the shackles of crime, misdemeanour, professional malfeasance, sporting integrity and blatant cheating.

     

     

    But that, my friend, is my belief – and those feelings do not make me have any less respect for you or any other Celtic supporter.

     

     

    I hope this clunky reply goes someway to explain my reasoning.

     

     

    U

  5. 2015 same as 2014.

     

    Nothing changes in Scottish football.

     

    No laws or rules matter as long as the HUNS get to play.

     

    At least the face painter, the tobacconist and the sundry other businesses can look forward to their money.

     

    Corruption and collaboration of a size not seen since the Brian Rix Whitehall Theatre days.

  6. big-cup-winners

     

     

    18:34 on 1 January, 2015

     

    SuperSutton

     

     

    Even if your seats are empty mate, you have paid for the pleasure………

     

     

    ——–

     

     

    Indeed I have. I’ve also paid Sky (via my Virgin subscription).

     

     

    It’s what I choose to do.

  7. Whatever anyone says there will be a team playing at Ibrox in 10 years time wearing blue and white and claiming to be an establishment club with dignity. Etc Etc.

     

     

    All I see is misery and malcontent divided Celtic folk currently when we should be enjoying ascendancy.

     

     

    Maybe most Celtic folk prefer to be underdog and like the position of being opressed more than that of being in the ascendancy.

     

     

    Maybe folk might be happier and more aligned then with a common cause.

  8. Awe_Naw_No_Annoni_Oan_Anaw_Noo on

    Interesting that the fans “the life blood of the game” seem to take less precedence than commercial partners.

     

     

    Why the seperation ?

     

     

    Its important imho that no names are mentioned in the advertisement and only governing bodies and their comittees are mentioned.

     

     

    HH

  9. Brogan Rogan Trevino and Hogan supports Oscar Knox, MacKenzie Furniss and anyone else who fights Neuroblastoma on

    Good Evening.

     

     

    I read the Doncaster statement with increasing incredulity at first and then sat back to consider what he is actually saying.

     

     

    What is clear, is that Mr Doncaster seems to be accepting that the one club or otherwise argument falls or dies on the decision of Lord Nimmo Smith. If LNS is shown to be wrong, changes his mind, is countered or contradicted in any way by someone with sufficient clout, or indeed is shown to have reached a decision which was not based on all of the available key facts or based on information which was erroneous, then in any of these situations Doncaster’s reasoning must be flawed.

     

     

    So lets stop and think on a basic tenet of Company Law for a moment.

     

     

    Rangers Football club was formed in 1872 by way of a club constitution with subscribers, members, officials and office holders.

     

     

    In due course, theoe members, officials and office holders voted to have the club incorporated into a Limited Liability company, and the same people or their successors in office became the subscribers and shareholders of the new limited company.

     

     

    That limited company, like all limited companies, had to have its own unique memorandum and articles of association which the members and original subscribers have to sign up to, endorse and live with.

     

     

    The Company memorandum and articles of association have a function in law. They effectively create the statutorily required contract which regulates the legal relationship between all the members of that company as between themselves AND they regulate the legal relationship between the company and the outside world.

     

     

    A Ltd Company cannot per se run itself, and the outside world of third parties need to know the type of entity they are dealing with, what its powers are, what its function is, what it was legally constituted to do and what its legal purpose is.

     

     

    All third parties are legally entitled to rely on not only the actings of the company officials but also on the terms of the company Memo and Arts.

     

     

    In the case of Rangers PLC, from the very outset it has always been claimed that the company is de facto the club — they are one and the same thing and completely inseparable and are to be treated as the one entity.

     

     

    All directors of Rangers PLC throughout its history have held out to all the parties that they ever contracted with that Rangers PLC and Rangers Football Club are one and the same.

     

     

    Third parties relied on this position, acted upon it and traded on it.

     

     

    Those third parties include all employees with written contracts of employment, all other clubs in world football who enetred into any transfer agreements with the club/company, all season ticket and other ticket holders, all shareholders, debenture holders and anyone who in anyway traded with the club.

     

     

    I would go so far as to say that the same stance was taken by the lawyers, auditors and accountants to the club/company.

     

     

    In particular, all employees of the company were traded, bought, sold, paid and indeed taxed through the one company which I say again states quite clearly in its articles that IT IS RANGERS FOOTBALL CLUB.

     

     

    That Rangers PLC was and is Rangers Football Club has in the past been accepted by everyone in Scottish football including the governing body. They have never before LNS distinguished between club and company.

     

     

    In law, it is as clear as day that the one is the other.

     

     

    Now let’s pause there.

     

     

    In law, if I hold out that the position is one thing and allow you to rely on it and then trade with me on that stated position, but I then later claim that this position was not the position at all and that my earlier stance was completely wrong — then I can expect to face accusations of fraudulent misrepresentation.

     

     

    However, the F word carries a big burden and is an emotive phrase for many ( although it shouldn’t be ) and sets a high standard of proof and evidence.

     

     

    Of far greater interest is the legal phrase ” Personal Bar” which is the notion that one person cannot hold out that Position A exists only to switch to Position B after everyone else has legally relied on their stated position A.

     

     

    In that case you are said to be Personally Barred from arguing that position B is the true situation because you have let everyone believe and rely on Position A.

     

     

    So now that I have bored everyone with a rudimentary explanation of Scots law let me be quite clear.

     

     

    What Doncaster says is total crap — utter legal drivel and stands up to no scrutiny whatsoever.

     

     

    The LNS decision is fundamentally flawed because LNS was not only misdirected in his terms of remit, he was misled as to the actual facts and had certain material facts withheld from him.

     

     

    Further, he relied on completely incredible testimony as to certain matters in football and this testimoney was never tested, contradicted or even questioned thus leaving him with no option but to accept it as fact.

     

     

    Just before Christmas I was discussing the LNS decision with counsel who proffered the opinion that the whole decision was just plain rubbish and was completely contrived.

     

     

    All of the creditors of Rangers PLC believed that they were dealing with the club as opposed to any holding company which could just fold up and leave the club being traded by a completely new entity. Any current trader working with Rangers of any description would want it written into their contract that they are trading with not only a shell or holding company but also with the club as recognised by the SFA etc.

     

     

    Holding this line as espoused by Doncaster massively weakens the legal and so financial standing of all the ltd companies working within Scottish Football as, if you follow Doncaster’s reasoning, they are not the clubs per se and they can all go bust tomorrow but the club itself would merrily trade on.

     

     

    Such a situation is a catastrophe when looking for sponsorship or professional partners as any deal with the “holding company” could mean absolutely nothing at all.

     

     

    Accordingly, every way I look at this I can only conclude that Doncaster is a complete dick!

  10. Captain Beefheart on

    The LC game (worthless tournament) will show everybody in Scotland that a majority of Celtic men are still OF men. Expect a full house, some songs which have nothing to do with football and a whole lot of hassle. Yet the board will be blamed.

     

     

    Incidentally, we had updates from the CQN Loyal about some English side signing somebody called Lewiss McCloud. Who cares?

  11. Captain Beefheart on

    Why do some of you watch every, no exaggeration, Rangers game and then call our board OF men?

  12. BRTH

     

    Accordingly, every way I look at this I can only conclude that Doncaster is a complete dick!

     

    I can’t see you getting any disagreement on that.

  13. Awe_Naw_No_Annoni_Oan_Anaw_Noo on

    Robert Tressel

     

     

    I agree with your post before last.

     

     

    I personally have supported Celtic when we couldn’t compete.

     

     

    My present disengagement is due to a lack of governance and a belief that the game is a sham.

     

     

    I know I am not the only one. It may be an insignificant number percetage wise. I think you are kidding yourself on if it does not exist. Resolution 12 and how far it has gone would back up my argument. I feel.

     

     

    HH

  14. the glorious balance sheet on

    I see some people on here questioning why people are getting so worked up at Doncaster`s statement.

     

     

    Speaking for myself – I have a few reasons why I think that this statement and its timing stinks and that our PLC board have questions to answer re their position on what Doncaster has said.

     

     

    By making such a false and controversial statement at this time a matter of weeks before we play Sevco, Doncaster has unnecessarily further heightened tensions between both sets of supporters and set the scene for an ugly clash that is now more likely to be beset by trouble.

     

     

    Remember Doncaster could have gone public on this issue anytime between the end of 2012 and now. Very curious to do it now just a few weeks before the first ever clash between Celtic and Sevco. Of course this game also takes place a few weeks before the Scottish Government`s “independent and comprehensive” review of the Offensive Behaviour Act is due to begin, it would be most convenient if a particularly bad tempered Celtic-Sevco match punctuated with disorder, offensive chants etc took place just before this review starts to help justify a review recommendation that the OBA is justified and must remain in place.

     

     

    As others on here have already posted, it also clears the way for Sevco to liquidate and dump their debt with Third Rangers to be established with no substantial or proportionate penalties applied despite their only existing since 2012 through spending beyond their means using other peoples` money. Go on a spending spree, shaft your creditors and the completion, dump your debts but keep the trophies that could only be won with this unpaid for debt.

     

     

    With our club having representation on the SFA Board and the SPFL Board it seems to me that Celtic could not be unaware of Doncaster and ergo the SPFL`s view on this matter. Doncaster is not so daft as to say what he did if he felt it would cause any great pushback from Celtic as he knows that would jeopardise his job. He can`t be blind to how the likes of Farry and Dallas have lost their jobs in Scottish football not long after cheating and crossing Celtic.

     

     

    And when we take DD`s public comments about Rangers being a great club who he would dearly like to compete against all the time and PL`s comments about the lack of a Rangers in the SPFL costing Celtic £10 million per annum then it seems to me that our custodians have a personal and financial interest in the SPFL perpetuating the “same club” myth.

     

     

    I don`t agree with statements that “it has nothing to do with us.” There is no deterrent to stop clubs from racking up huge debts and building up teams that are way beyond their means to unfairly win trophies and prize money. They won`t be stripped of these trophies. We have been the biggest victims of this type of practice to date (although Hibs also have a good cause to feel aggrieved at being defeated in the 2012 Scottish Cup Final by a Hearts team that was financially doped) and there`s nothing to stop it from happening again.

     

     

    If a PLC board sits back while such a situation is allowed to occur on their watch, are they acting in their shareholders interests?

     

     

    If Doncaster`s views are those of the SPFL clubs including Celtic then we are all being regarded as mug punters, expected to pay through the nose to watch bent games of football where cheats are allowed to prosper and keep their illegitimately won trophies, all while having camera-happy coppers briefed to find offence in our songs and actions videoing us as we enter, sit inside and leave the stadium.

     

     

    Its a statement that satisfies the suits, the politicians and the beancounters but scunners a lot of fans whose money keeps the game afloat. I hope and trust that the Celtic board – and those of other clubs – will question this and if necessary chase Doncaster out the door. I`m not holding my breath.

  15. prestonpans bhoys on

    Brogan,

     

     

    Your second last para is very important, Doncaster has created an environment which no one in their right mind would offer credit. Buy a player and pay in instalments , no thanks.

  16. BRTH (glad you are feeling somewhat recovered)

     

     

    Articulate as ever, detailed, reasoned, logical, legalistic and incontrovertible.

     

     

    Winning Captains – perhaps we have our Herald Ad content.

     

     

    Oh and send a copy to the boards of Celtic PLC, SFA and SPFL please

  17. It would suit our board to have the huns promoted this season.

     

    They have been allowed to cheat their way into the third division at the expense of other clubs, lied about debts, lied about contracts and many other rule breaches.

     

     

    Publicly our board have done less than Raith Rover and Dundee Utd over the rule bending of the new club.

     

    Disappointing but to be expected that we as a club didn’t challenge the process. History isn’t always remembered as the truth, it’s sometimes just the result of a lie told enough to make it true.

  18. eddieinkirkmichael on

    The Ne’erday Game

     

    Posted on January 01, 2015 by Rev. Stuart Campbell

     

     

    We’re technically on holiday today, folks, so for the first time in a very long time we’re going to write something about football and if you don’t like it that’s just your tough luck. Nobody’s making you click the “Read more” button.

     

     

    Two fairly remarkable things happened in Scottish football today. The first was that Aberdeen went top of the Premiership for the first time in about 20 years, but the second was of a bit more relevance to this site’s political and media-monitoring brief.

     

     

    donkeycaster

     

     

    That’s because, for the very first time that we’re aware of since Rangers went bust in 2012, the chief executive of the Scottish league’s governing body, Neil Doncaster, explicitly and directly stated that the club currently 15 points adrift of Hearts in the game’s second tier was the same one that died two and a half years ago.

     

     

    And that matters more than you think it does.

     

     

    This site exists because we were sick of professional journalists not doing their jobs properly and not asking the questions people were entitled to expect them to ask. And in all the millions of words that have been written about the ongoing Nightmare On Edmiston Drive in the last 30 months, it’s astonishing that not a single interviewer or reporter has ever pressed the SPFL’s top man to answer that once and for all.

     

     

    Doncaster’s long-overdue response couldn’t provide a clearer illustration of why there’s a Wings Over Scotland, because it’s a flat-out falsehood that’s simply allowed to pass unchallenged, despite not only being untrue but actually nonsensical. We live in a media environment where those in power and authority are too often allowed to assert that black is white and have it not only go unquestioned, but have it casually repeated as fact without so much as the suggestion that it may be contested.

     

     

    And the really weird thing is that Doncaster appears to have spontaneously and voluntarily answered the question WITHOUT actually being asked it.

     

     

    “How concerned should the league be about what’s currently on-going at Rangers?

     

     

    “It’s very difficult for a league to get too concerned with the individual affairs of any one member club.

     

     

    “We have a rule book, which is agreed by all member clubs. Any club within the league has to play by those rules and our job as a league is to apply them, so that’s what we do.

     

     

    In terms of the question about old club, new club, that was settled very much by the Lord Nimmo Smith commission that was put together by the SPL to look at EBT payments at that time.

     

     

    The decision, very clearly from the commission, was that the club is the same, the club continues, albeit it is owned by a new company, but the club is the same.”

     

     

    Wait, what? Nobody asked you if it was the same club. But to his partial credit, the BBC’s Chris McLaughlin picked up the sudden outburst and double-checked it.

     

     

    “So the official take from the SPFL is that Rangers Football Club continues, it’s the same club?

     

     

    “Yes, it’s the same club, absolutely.”

     

     

    People have extreme views on this, so what’s the difference between a club and a company?

     

     

    “The member club is the entity that participates in our league and we have 42 member clubs.

     

     

    “Those clubs may be owned by a company, sometimes it’s a Private Limited Company, sometimes it’s a PLC, but ultimately, the company is a legal entity in its own right, which owns a member club that participates in the league.”

     

     

    So, once and for all, the league is putting this to bed, it’s the same club?

     

     

    “It was put to bed by the Lord Nimmo Smith commission some while ago – it’s the same club.”

     

     

    At this point, though, with the ball rolling across the six-yard line and the goalie nowhere in sight, McLaughlin doesn’t take the shot. Any hack worth their salt would have been in for the kill and asked Doncaster the two blindingly obvious questions that arise from that assertion – if the demise of the company didn’t affect the club, why did a club that finished second in the SPL find itself playing in SFL3 the next season, and why were its players allowed to walk away from their contracts?

     

     

    The SPL had penalties for clubs going into administration, which were fully applied in the case of Rangers: a 10-point deduction, which didn’t affect its league position. The team wasn’t relegated and no subsequent football penalty was imposed on it which would explain it dropping three divisions. That it did so, then, is an extraordinary event for which the league’s CEO has offered no rationale.

     

     

    There’s no getting around the fact. If the club exists separately of the company, and was bought as an ongoing concern separate from the liquidation of the company, then its football activities continue uninterrupted and it plays in the SPL. Its players remain under contract.

     

     

    The reason that didn’t happen with Rangers is that the club DOESN’T have a separate legal existence. Charles Green bought the physical assets of the liquidated company – its buildings and trademarks – but he didn’t buy it as a going concern. He didn’t own the players’ contracts and he had to apply to be admitted to SFL3 as a new club, with no voting rights, having previously been denied entry to the SPL.

     

     

    “Green’s Sevco consortium had been forced to apply for entry to the SFL after Scottish Premier League clubs voted against the new Rangers being admitted to the top flight.”

     

     

    Neil Doncaster said today that “The member club is the entity that participates in our league”. The fact that Charles Green’s club had to apply (unsuccessfully) to be allowed to join the SPL – a matter on which the old Rangers had a vote – leaves no wiggle room at all.

     

     

    “Rangers will not play in the Scottish Premier League this season.

     

     

    SPL chairmen met at Hampden to vote on the new club’s application to replace the old Rangers in the top flight.

     

     

    BBC Scotland has learned that 10 of the 12 clubs were in opposition, with Kilmarnock abstaining and Rangers voting in favour.”

     

     

    You don’t have to apply to join an organisation that you’re already a member of, and if Old Rangers existed at the same time as New Rangers and got to vote on their application, then they plainly can’t be the same “member club”. It’s a nonsense so colossal in its scale it defies even the concept of debate, like trying to argue with someone in a rowing boat on a lake who’s insisting that he isn’t surrounded by water and could walk back to shore any time he liked.

     

     

    The empirical facts simply couldn’t be clearer. Old Rangers and New Rangers – the football clubs, not the companies – CANNOT be the same, because both existed at once and one voted on the fate of the other. You don’t give the accused in a murder trial a vote in the jury. And so far as courts of law are concerned, the incontrovertible established fact is that the clubs were different, because Old Rangers players were allowed to leave and join other clubs without breach of contract or transfer fees.

     

     

    So why, as Neil Doncaster claims, would a learned judge like Lord Nimmo Smith find otherwise, in contravention of all logic and reason? And the answer, of course, is that he did no such thing.

     

     

    nimmosmith

     

     

    The findings of the Nimmo Smith commission can oddly no longer be found on the SPFL website. But they exist on archive.org and can be read in full. As early as page 3 in his report, Nimmo Smith summarises the history thus:

     

     

    “Rangers Football Club was founded in 1872 as an association football club. It was incorporated in 1899 as The Rangers Football Club Limited. In 2000 the company’s name was changed to The Rangers Football Club Plc, and on 31 July 2012 to RFC 2012 Plc. We shall refer to this company as ‘Oldco’.

     

     

    […]

     

     

    Oldco is now in liquidation; a winding up order was made by the Court of Session on 31 October 2012, and Malcolm Cohen 4 and James Stephen, both of the accountancy organisation BDO, were appointed joint interim liquidators.

     

     

    On 14 June 2012 a newly incorporated company, Sevco Scotland Limited, purchased substantially all the business and assets of Oldco, including Rangers FC, by entering into an asset sale and purchase agreement with the joint administrators. The name of Sevco Scotland Limited was subsequently changed to The Rangers Football Club Limited. We shall refer to this company as Newco.

     

     

    Newco was not admitted to membership of the SPL. Instead it became the operator of Rangers FC within the Third Division of the Scottish Football League. It also became an associate member of the SFA. These events were reflected in an agreement among the SFA, the SPL, the SFL, Oldco and Newco, which was concluded on 27 July 2012.”

     

     

    That’s clear enough. A football club was founded in 1872, it became a limited company in 1899 (note “became”, not “was purchased by”), it changed its name a couple of times and in went into liquidation in 2012. Its assets were purchased by a new company and a new club formed, which applied unsuccessfully for membership of the SPL and subsequently joined the SFL.

     

     

    Note that Doncaster and Nimmo Smith’s accounts are already at odds here. Doncaster claims that the club is separate from the company, Nimmo Smith says the club IS the company. The club name (“Rangers FC”) is in essence simply a trading name for the company (“The Rangers Football Club Limited”). On page 32 Lord Nimmo Smith makes it absolutely explicit:

     

     

    “We see no room or need for separate findings of breaches by Rangers FC, which was not a separate legal entity and was then part (although clearly in football and financial terms the key part) of the undertaking of Oldco.”

     

     

    (All emphases in these quotes are ours.)

     

     

    That’s the exact opposite of what Neil Doncaster claims the Nimmo Smith report said. Nimmo Smith found and stated directly that the club and company were NOT separate. Chris McLaughlin has followed events at Ibrox very closely for several years and knows this perfectly well, yet he not only allows Doncaster to tell an absolute lie unchallenged, but fails to ask the simplest and most obvious of follow-up questions.

     

     

    Any reader who listened to James Naughtie interviewing Alistair Darling during the referendum campaign, or watched Gordon Brown given free reign to say whatever he wanted on the BBC at seemingly limitless length, or any of a hundred other examples, shouldn’t need the parallels pointed out to them.

     

     

    Neil Doncaster and his SFA counterpart Stewart Regan infamously warned of “Armageddon” if New Rangers weren’t given privileged admission into SFL1 in 2012. In the event, they weren’t, yet Armageddon has failed to materialise. The Premiership is now almost debt-free, the lower leagues have enjoyed a huge cash boost as New Rangers have passed through the divisions, crowds are up and the top tier now has just five points separating the top five teams at the halfway point of the season.

     

     

    We were told a similar apocalypse would result from Scottish independence. The electorate was told lies equally breathtaking in their scale by the No campaign, and those lies went similarly unchallenged.

     

     

    When we talk about football – and we’re regularly berated for doing so on Twitter – we try (if we’re in a patient mood) to explain the connection between the two things, how reality is routinely twisted, no matter how absurdly, to protect the establishment and vested interests. Whether the subject is football or politics, the rules are the same.

     

     

    (The SPFL and SFA are terrified that if they admit New Rangers are a new club their fans will be lost to the game. Ironically, pandering to the delusion that they’re not has left the new club in such a mess that those fans are walking away anyway, not unlike the way that winning the referendum has destroyed Scottish Labour.)

     

     

    If the events of today don’t help people to see it, we don’t know what will.

  19. Awe_Naw_No_Annoni_Oan_Anaw_Noo on

    ulysses mcghee – a demographic of one

     

     

    18:45 on 1 January, 2015

     

     

    Only cause their too thick to understand the implucations of their actions or dont care and are subliminal bigots in need of the fix.

     

     

    At least the social implications of WWF are not as singularly acute for those that wish to follow it.

     

     

    It is akin to shitting on your own doorstep and pgoning the police to volunteer for the fine.

     

     

    HH

  20. The new SPFL Rules are written in a confused fashion that talks of clubs, owners and operators in a fashion designed to support the fiction of club and company split.

     

     

    But the old rules were not.

     

     

    So … if the club and company were separate entities, then who purchased and employed the players?

     

     

    Well, we know from the accounts that it was the company. Not the club.

     

     

    So if the split between club and company was in fact true, then every player who played for the old club was not in fact their player. They were owned by a third party … and was that not against the rules?

  21. The Ne’erday Game

     

    Posted on January 01, 2015 by Rev. Stuart Campbell

     

    We’re technically on holiday today, folks, so for the first time in a very long time we’re going to write something about football and if you don’t like it that’s just your tough luck. Nobody’s making you click the “Read more” button.

     

     

    Two fairly remarkable things happened in Scottish football today. The first was that Aberdeen went top of the Premiership for the first time in about 20 years, but the second was of a bit more relevance to this site’s political and media-monitoring brief.

     

     

    That’s because, for the very first time that we’re aware of since Rangers went bust in 2012, the chief executive of the Scottish league’s governing body, Neil Doncaster, explicitly and directly stated that the club currently 15 points adrift of Hearts in the game’s second tier was the same one that died two and a half years ago.

     

     

    And that matters more than you think it does.

     

     

     

    This site exists because we were sick of professional journalists not doing their jobs properly and not asking the questions people were entitled to expect them to ask. And in all the millions of words that have been written about the ongoing Nightmare On Edmiston Drive in the last 30 months, it’s astonishing that not a single interviewer or reporter has ever pressed the SPFL’s top man to answer that once and for all.

     

     

    Doncaster’s long-overdue response couldn’t provide a clearer illustration of why there’s a Wings Over Scotland, because it’s a flat-out falsehood that’s simply allowed to pass unchallenged, despite not only being untrue but actually nonsensical. We live in a media environment where those in power and authority are too often allowed to assert that black is white and have it not only go unquestioned, but have it casually repeated as fact without so much as the suggestion that it may be contested.

     

     

    And the really weird thing is that Doncaster appears to have spontaneously and voluntarily answered the question WITHOUT actually being asked it.

     

     

    “How concerned should the league be about what’s currently on-going at Rangers?

     

     

    “It’s very difficult for a league to get too concerned with the individual affairs of any one member club.

     

     

    “We have a rule book, which is agreed by all member clubs. Any club within the league has to play by those rules and our job as a league is to apply them, so that’s what we do.

     

     

    In terms of the question about old club, new club, that was settled very much by the Lord Nimmo Smith commission that was put together by the SPL to look at EBT payments at that time.

     

     

    The decision, very clearly from the commission, was that the club is the same, the club continues, albeit it is owned by a new company, but the club is the same.”

     

     

    Wait, what? Nobody asked you if it was the same club. But to his partial credit, the BBC’s Chris McLaughlin picked up the sudden outburst and double-checked it.

     

     

    “So the official take from the SPFL is that Rangers Football Club continues, it’s the same club?

     

     

    “Yes, it’s the same club, absolutely.”

     

     

    People have extreme views on this, so what’s the difference between a club and a company?

     

     

    “The member club is the entity that participates in our league and we have 42 member clubs.

     

     

    “Those clubs may be owned by a company, sometimes it’s a Private Limited Company, sometimes it’s a PLC, but ultimately, the company is a legal entity in its own right, which owns a member club that participates in the league.”

     

     

    So, once and for all, the league is putting this to bed, it’s the same club?

     

     

    “It was put to bed by the Lord Nimmo Smith commission some while ago – it’s the same club.”

     

     

    At this point, though, with the ball rolling across the six-yard line and the goalie nowhere in sight, McLaughlin doesn’t take the shot. Any hack worth their salt would have been in for the kill and asked Doncaster the two blindingly obvious questions that arise from that assertion – if the demise of the company didn’t affect the club, why did a club that finished second in the SPL find itself playing in SFL3 the next season, and why were its players allowed to walk away from their contracts?

     

     

    The SPL had penalties for clubs going into administration, which were fully applied in the case of Rangers: a 10-point deduction, which didn’t affect its league position. The team wasn’t relegated and no subsequent football penalty was imposed on it which would explain it dropping three divisions. That it did so, then, is an extraordinary event for which the league’s CEO has offered no rationale.

     

     

    There’s no getting around the fact. If the club exists separately of the company, and was bought as an ongoing concern separate from the liquidation of the company, then its football activities continue uninterrupted and it plays in the SPL. Its players remain under contract.

     

     

    The reason that didn’t happen with Rangers is that the club DOESN’T have a separate legal existence. Charles Green bought the physical assets of the liquidated company – its buildings and trademarks – but he didn’t buy it as a going concern. He didn’t own the players’ contracts and he had to apply to be admitted to SFL3 as a new club, with no voting rights, having previously been denied entry to the SPL.

     

     

    “Green’s Sevco consortium had been forced to apply for entry to the SFL after Scottish Premier League clubs voted against the new Rangers being admitted to the top flight.”

     

     

    Neil Doncaster said today that “The member club is the entity that participates in our league”. The fact that Charles Green’s club had to apply (unsuccessfully) to be allowed to join the SPL – a matter on which the old Rangers had a vote – leaves no wiggle room at all.

     

     

    “Rangers will not play in the Scottish Premier League this season.

     

     

    SPL chairmen met at Hampden to vote on the new club’s application to replace the old Rangers in the top flight.

     

     

    BBC Scotland has learned that 10 of the 12 clubs were in opposition, with Kilmarnock abstaining and Rangers voting in favour.”

     

     

    You don’t have to apply to join an organisation that you’re already a member of, and if Old Rangers existed at the same time as New Rangers and got to vote on their application, then they plainly can’t be the same “member club”. It’s a nonsense so colossal in its scale it defies even the concept of debate, like trying to argue with someone in a rowing boat on a lake who’s insisting that he isn’t surrounded by water and could walk back to shore any time he liked.

     

     

    The empirical facts simply couldn’t be clearer. Old Rangers and New Rangers – the football clubs, not the companies – CANNOT be the same, because both existed at once and one voted on the fate of the other. You don’t give the accused in a murder trial a vote in the jury. And so far as courts of law are concerned, the incontrovertible established fact is that the clubs were different, because Old Rangers players were allowed to leave and join other clubs without breach of contract or transfer fees.

     

     

    So why, as Neil Doncaster claims, would a learned judge like Lord Nimmo Smith find otherwise, in contravention of all logic and reason? And the answer, of course, is that he did no such thing.

     

     

    nimmosmith

     

     

    The findings of the Nimmo Smith commission can oddly no longer be found on the SPFL website. But they exist on archive.org and can be read in full. As early as page 3 in his report, Nimmo Smith summarises the history thus:

     

     

    “Rangers Football Club was founded in 1872 as an association football club. It was incorporated in 1899 as The Rangers Football Club Limited. In 2000 the company’s name was changed to The Rangers Football Club Plc, and on 31 July 2012 to RFC 2012 Plc. We shall refer to this company as ‘Oldco’.

     

     

    […]

     

     

    Oldco is now in liquidation; a winding up order was made by the Court of Session on 31 October 2012, and Malcolm Cohen 4 and James Stephen, both of the accountancy organisation BDO, were appointed joint interim liquidators.

     

     

    On 14 June 2012 a newly incorporated company, Sevco Scotland Limited, purchased substantially all the business and assets of Oldco, including Rangers FC, by entering into an asset sale and purchase agreement with the joint administrators. The name of Sevco Scotland Limited was subsequently changed to The Rangers Football Club Limited. We shall refer to this company as Newco.

     

     

    Newco was not admitted to membership of the SPL. Instead it became the operator of Rangers FC within the Third Division of the Scottish Football League. It also became an associate member of the SFA. These events were reflected in an agreement among the SFA, the SPL, the SFL, Oldco and Newco, which was concluded on 27 July 2012.”

     

     

    That’s clear enough. A football club was founded in 1872, it became a limited company in 1899 (note “became”, not “was purchased by”), it changed its name a couple of times and in went into liquidation in 2012. Its assets were purchased by a new company and a new club formed, which applied unsuccessfully for membership of the SPL and subsequently joined the SFL.

     

     

    Note that Doncaster and Nimmo Smith’s accounts are already at odds here. Doncaster claims that the club is separate from the company, Nimmo Smith says the club IS the company. The club name (“Rangers FC”) is in essence simply a trading name for the company (“The Rangers Football Club Limited”). On page 32 Lord Nimmo Smith makes it absolutely explicit:

     

     

    “We see no room or need for separate findings of breaches by Rangers FC, which was not a separate legal entity and was then part (although clearly in football and financial terms the key part) of the undertaking of Oldco.”

     

     

    (All emphases in these quotes are ours.)

     

     

    That’s the exact opposite of what Neil Doncaster claims the Nimmo Smith report said. Nimmo Smith found and stated directly that the club and company were NOT separate. Chris McLaughlin has followed events at Ibrox very closely for several years and knows this perfectly well, yet he not only allows Doncaster to tell an absolute lie unchallenged, but fails to ask the simplest and most obvious of follow-up questions.

     

     

    Neil Doncaster and his SFA counterpart Stewart Regan infamously warned of “Armageddon” if New Rangers weren’t given privileged admission into SFL1 in 2012. In the event, they weren’t, yet Armageddon has failed to materialise. The Premiership is now almost debt-free, the lower leagues have enjoyed a huge cash boost as New Rangers have passed through the divisions, crowds are up and the top tier now has just five points separating the top five teams at the halfway point of the season.

     

     

     

    When we talk about football – and we’re regularly berated for doing so on Twitter – we try (if we’re in a patient mood) to explain the connection between the two things, how reality is routinely twisted, no matter how absurdly, to protect the establishment and vested interests. Whether the subject is football or politics, the rules are the same.

     

     

    (The SPFL and SFA are terrified that if they admit New Rangers are a new club their fans will be lost to the game. Ironically, pandering to the delusion that they’re not has left the new club in such a mess that those fans are walking away anyway,

  22. ulysses mcghee – a demographic of one

     

     

    Not for a second did I believe you were being pious or deliberately antagonistic my friend. No, there are enough of that type on here these days that it’s easy to differentiate between the shite and a heartfelt belief like yours.

     

     

    When the draw was made I was sitting in the car on London Rd having just left Parkhead. I actually closed my eyes (don’t worry the car was stationary) and said a quick prayer that we wouldn’t get them.

     

     

    I didn’t and don’t want to play this new club for many of the reasons you highlight. However, often we’re our own worst enemy.

     

     

    How many words have been written or spoken by Celtic supporters since their demise?

     

     

    At a party last night, standing with 3 other guys, I asked if we could start talking about Celtic and leave the Newco conversation.

     

     

    They are immaterial to me. I rarely read posts on here about them and I almost never post about them.

     

     

    They died it’s that simple for me and I’m happy to let the corpse rot.

     

     

    So come February 1st I’ll take my place at Hampden to support Celtic because that’s where I’d be regardless of who we’re playing.

  23. captain beefheart,

     

     

    Working with them, like most that post or lurk, it’s best to keep atleast one step ahead of their reasoning.

     

     

    Their team in my eyes died, although they are quiet now, the zombies will be back in another format to cause it, as Febuary will surely be their day for vengeance….they have no shame. HH

  24. The game was up when, Aberdeen fans came to Celtic Park and waved a banner stating – “Your Silence is Deafening!”

     

     

    This was after the LNS verdict.

     

     

    If I was an Aberdeen fan at that time, I would have thought that with Celtic FC’s silence that, the O## F### was alive and well and that, one side was as corrupt as the other.

     

     

    Would I have been wrong to think that?

     

     

    Not been on for a while – Happy New Year to all on CQN.

  25. the glorious balance sheet @ 18:59

     

     

    By making such a false and controversial statement at this time a matter of weeks before we play Sevco, Doncaster has unnecessarily further heightened tensions between both sets of supporters and set the scene for an ugly clash that is now more likely to be beset by trouble.

     

     

    My sentiments exactly and a real concern to me. I won’t be attending and I didn’t want the draw initially. I just hope that my fellow fans attend and get home safely.

     

     

    Doncaster’s statement would be inflammatory regardless of which stance he advocated – the timing is mind-boggling for all the reasons above! Surely the subject of an SPFL board meeting next week?

  26. BIG-CUP-WINNERS on

    Hi-diddle-dee-dee(tis an actors life for me)

     

     

    Not so sure about the chronology in your post mate ?

  27. After the Charlie telfer compensation ruling the paupers were quick to change their triumphalist statement when Dundee United got on to them and deleted the same club section

     

    Quick mention on today’s postponed game ; Motherwell had a lot of similar problems with flooding but were able to sort it out

  28. Good old huns, they never learn.

     

     

    From FF

     

    _____________________________

     

     

     

    To Mike Ashley: We have the battle fever on for 2015…

     

     

    ——————————————————————————–

     

     

    …..do you?

     

     

    Because you will never achieve nothing with Glasgow Rangers as long as we starve you of cash pal and the assets are practically worthless. This isn’t Newcastle Utd.

     

     

    Now we also have the Three Bears Consortium who have very shrewdly purchased the single biggest shareholding in Rangers Football Club and will be calling the shots within weeks.

  29. eddieinkirkmichael on

    Allgreen

     

     

    19:07

     

     

    Do you honestly think any Football Association in the whole world would just let 30000+ supporters leave the game? Some people need to get real. A club went bust and Scottish football potentially lost 30000+ fans, the leagues did a deal with a buissnessman who said he could bring them back.

     

    Are you all saying that was wrong? If you are then you are idiots, really you are because no other buisness would cut off that revenue stream, ever.

     

     

    The authorities tried to stitch up the fans by treating the new club as oldco but fortunately the clubs held firm and the best possible solution was found.

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