The Crown Office and the cover up


The criminal justice system in Scotland (and south of the border) is on its knees.  It lacks funds to appropriately prosecute crime, this week I spoke to a shopkeeper who closed a business which flourished for decades, citing, among other things, the inability to deter shoplifters.

So what does this have to do with football?  We learned yesterday The Crown Office has increased its allocation to deal with the malicious prosecution of Rangers administrators and those who purchased the assets.  By March this year, £51.7m had been paid out, and additional £8.8m has been set aside to settle on-going matters.

The Crown Office have accepted they maliciously prosecuted people involved in the Rangers period in administration.  High barriers normally have to be overcome to get the Crown Office to prosecute anyone.  This case is remarkable in that it was pursued without necessary evidence, an inquiry – of sorts – will follow.

The headlines will explain that Newco Rangers’ founding director, Charles Green, was one of the victims, as well as insolvency practitioners and others involved around the time of the failure of Oldco and incorporation of Newco.  No one yet is calling out who went after them.  Why they went after them.  Or on whose behalf they went after them.  The latter question is perhaps the reason no subsequent prosecutions have taken place.

I have no time for Green, Duff and Phelps, Whyte or any of the other characters involved in this tale.  But, in 2012 and 2013 the Scottish media led a campaign against those who sold Rangers assets to the stakeholders of Sevco Scotland.  It was partisan and it was coordinated.  It went hand-in-hand with the malicious prosecutions.

Innocent people were harassed, arrested and subject to years of pressure.  The guilty sailed off into the sunset, untouched by the law.  There is a custom for civil actions (like this compensation episode) to be paused while criminal prosecutions take precedent, it never goes the other way around.

The Crown Prosecution Service would rather we all looked the other way.  News desks across the country know all about it because they were foot soldiers in the game.   They are limited in what they can do, but if they could find 10% of the agitation they used a decade ago, the powerful might think twice before opting for a cover up.

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  1. CHAIRBHOY on 17TH NOVEMBER 2023 1:04 PM






    Thanks for the clarification on the last thread.



    The FSR is a puzzle for me.




    You are puzzled.



    Join the club.



    If both wage bills, removing non player squad costs, are much the same the question has to be why when they do not have to be.



    Is it because what we can spend will make no difference to performance in the CL so spend it elsewhere?

  2. Justice?


    No, just us.


    The Whigs in their wigs have always presided over right and wrong in Scotland, but in recent decades more working class Scots have gone on to become Lord Advocate.

  3. I’m 6’1″ , and one year from my reduced cost season ticket, and not as slim as I once was.


    The turnstiles at the Front Main Stand are a challenge.



    I always go in with a sideways shuffle , facing the centre , it works well but is a bit of a squeeze when wearing 3 layers, plus a winter jacket.



    However, I regularly see older fans (despite being smaller and slimmer than myself) get into difficulties as they attempt the same sideways manoeuvre (because they enter with the opposite orientation , i.e. with their backs to the centre.)



    They have a look of panic on their faces when the turnstile almost locks before the move has been completed, and a huge sigh of relief when they get in.



    Anyone carrying a walking stick is an even bigger predicament.



    Getting into the stadium should not be a Krypton Factor challenge.

  4. bournesouprecipe on

    It’s like the train station in The Great Escape today, – they’re all in here .



    Ashley Pitt CSC

  5. Brilliant article …and we all know what organisation is the root cause of the whole corrupt fiasco.,,shame on the lot of them ..once more the taxpayer takes a massive hit for SEVCO shenanigans ..whilst public sector finance is through the floor

  6. Dessybhoy



    At some point, hopefully before Christmas, the Scottish Government , pushed by the Scottish Football Supporters Association will be asked to intervene in the matter of governance of Scottish Football by SFA/SPFL.



    The case for reform and some form of oversight based on legislation in England will be debated.



    When I made the point at launch of Fans Review in June that intervention was essential on the basis of cost to tax payer of poor governance at Hampden as much as the general decline in Scottish football, I got the distinct impression that cost to tax payer was an issue was not going to feature.



    That may change as we are dealing with politicians but I wouldn’t bet on it, although as tax payers a letter of complaint to our MSPs will make it more difficult to avoid.


    Some MSPs are well briefed on shenanigans at Ibrox but it will take action by tax payers to help those who want change and challenge those who want the cover up continue.


    Football and politics will be impossible to separate.

  7. AULDHEID on 17TH NOVEMBER 2023 3:33 PM



    CELTIC40ME on 17TH NOVEMBER 2023 1:42 PM



    AULDHEID on 17TH NOVEMBER 2023 12:54 PM



    Ref your discussion on the comparison of wage bills, I think I read somewhere in the last few days that Celtic’s figures includes (from memory) 130 non-football staff. The other lot outsource their retail operation and so the £65M figure is football staff only.

  8. Dessybhoy 3.35



    So true



    2(two) of them



    Discount option Scheme & Employee Beefit Trust



    Lord Nimmo Shams enquiry did not include DOS in its terms of reference.omitted from the start.



    Sir Hunner of Pence didnt happen to come across ‘ebts’,the ‘Dos’ was getting closed of by Hector,so the alley out was ebt’s


    It does ask the question what “offshore” ruse(s) was/were in place 1988-99.




  9. From irish voice



    The battle for the club’s soul



    Throughout Celtic’s history there have been numerous battles for the soul of the club. The first example of this was in the 1890s, when professionalism, becoming a limited company and re-analysing the prominence of charity all became major topics of debate. In the 1950s the infamous flag controversy saw Bob Kelly take on the SFA in order to preserve the Irish identity of the club. The 1990s saw a fight to avoid liquidation and then the launch of the Bhoys Against Bigotry campaign, which many felt was an attempt to dilute the Irishness of Celtic and deny our political heritage. The latter point even went as far as preventing tickets being given to supporters clubs named after Irish Republican patriots.



    Now, the attempts to airbrush our political past and rewrite history have resurfaced in a remarkably hypocritical way. Indeed, the same board which had its players standing behind a ‘together for peace’ political placard against Shaktar Donetsk last season, have claimed that Celtic Football Club has absolutely nothing to do with politics and that political expression is not welcome at Celtic Park. The board also hosted several hundred Ukrainian refugees at matches last season, they opt not to have the poppy printed on the Celtic shirt during remembrance weekend, and play political songs in the stadium.



    While Bobby Sands’ ‘Back Home In Derry’ is played in the Kerrydale Suite, the PA system blasts out Bella Ciao, Grace, Let The People Sing, The Fields of Athenry; songs rooted in anti imperial history and struggle.



    Politics and football. Politics and Celtic. How dare they mix when the people being killed are Palestinian rather than the NATO backed Ukrainians! How dare they mix when the political topic can’t be commercialised!



    The banning of the Green Brigade, unambiguously connected to the recent Palestine flag displays, is the latest example of a battle for the soul of Celtic as our anti colonial political identity is once more under threat.



    So what is Celtic’s historic relationship with politics? Here’s the indisputable facts:



    Dr John Conway, one of the founding fathers of the club, spoke at St Mary’s Church Hall after Hibernian won the Scottish Cup in 1887. He addressed the audience with the following words:



    “Glasgow Irishmen,we can emulate the Hibernians example not only in social but in political matters as well, so that the goal of every Irishman’s ambition – legislative independence of his country – will soon be attained.”



    (Insert conway photo)



    Wanted Fenian (on the run after the 1867 Fenian Uprising), Pat Welsh, became a Celtic founding father and was responsible for the club signing the Maleys.



    (Insert Willie maley newspaper photo)



    Convicted Irish Republican (gun running for IRB) and Nationalist / Socialist politician Michael Davitt was named Club Patron by the founding committee and was invited to lay the centre sod of shamrock smothered turf at the opening of Celtic Park. God Save Ireland, a rebel song about a then recent event (execution of the three Manchester Martyrs after an IRB operation resulted in the death of an English policeman), was performed on the pitch at the same ceremony.



    (Insert Davitt photo)



    Another founding father, William McKillop, was an Irish Parliamentary Party MP for North Sligo and South Armagh, despite being born in Scotland and living in Glasgow.



    (Insert photo)



    Michael Davitt fiercely opposed landlordism and Celtic played matches to raise funds for evicted tenants in Ireland, in the early years of the club.



    (Insert photo of original celfic Park plaque)



    Celtic sent an official delegation to Dublin for the Irish Race Convention of 1896. The event was designed to plot a route towards Irish Home Rule. The Hoops were the only sporting delegation represented and key figures in the club’s history were present.



    (Insert shamrock graphic)



    The club introduced the notion of a boycott to football – a political tactic adopted by Michael Davitt, in Ireland.   



    (Insert shamrock graphic)



    Brake club members carried trade union and Irish patriot banners and sung Nationalist songs. Founding father, Dan Molloy, played the fiddle at Celtic gatherings after matches, whilst fellow founder John H McLaughlin would play the piano, and the legendary Neil McCallum (first man to score a goal for Celtic) would sing Irish political songs.



    (Insert photo)



    On the international political scene, the issue of the Anglo Boer war caused a fall out among the board. Most directors opposed British involvement in the conflict, but many also supported British soldiers simultaneously. 



    (Insert extract from walfrid book)



    In WW1, Celtic hosted exhibitions of trench warfare and other military events to support recruitment for the war effort.



    (Insert poster)



    In 1968, Celtic refused to play against Ferencvaros in the European Cup due to the soviet invasion of Czechoslovakia. Bob Kelly said “there are things for Celtic more important than money.”



    (Insert Bob Kelly pic)



    There are countless other examples.



    I am not naive enough to expect directors to act as fans. The PLC not wishing to publicly state a position on Palestine is one thing, that is standard practise in modern business and football. However, banning supporters, especially those who have been involved in the founding of Aida Celtic (team set up in Aida refugee camp in Bethlehem), for doing so is an unnecessary step.



    Are we ‘a club open to all’ … except people with a pro-Palestinian position? Will we continue to stand up for the invaded and oppressed, in keeping with our political roots and our own founding story as a club born of famine and oppression? Or are we happy to let the board amend the slogan to ‘no more than a club’.



    As long as the core support remains then I believe the Celtic soul is safe, no matter what men in suits would like to achieve. It is important that we keep our political, cultural and charitable identity alive.



    For it is the fans who truly make Celtic.




  10. So, we have corrupt judges, corrupt, polis, corrupt media and they expect us to believe we don’t have corrupt referees.


    I recall Graham Spiers telling us that at one point referees were bias towards the hun, but they arny any more, nobody bothered to ask him when they stopped being corrupt and bias……..

  11. There are 2 options for the Huns , firstly behave like normal football clubs or double down on the cheating big time when it’s required.



    The consequences of the first option for the Hun are too difficult for them to contemplate.



    The leopard will continue with the same set of spots and I’d expect them to double down on full off book payments to players …. The cheating will get worse and more clandestine, the opposite of what normal behaviour would suggest.




  12. garygillespieshamstring on

    Part of investigation into Everton related to transfers.


    One such transfer was that of Nathan Patterson from sevco.



    Everton claimed to have paid £16 million for him but in reality only paid £3 million.



    I never belied the transfer fee circulated by msm at the time. Hun were desperate for cash and couldn’t be too choosey over fees.



    Part of investigation into Everton related to transfers.


    One such transfer was that of Nathan Patterson from sevco.


    Everton claimed to have paid £16 million for him but in reality only paid £3 million.


    I never belied the transfer fee circulated by msm at the time. Hun were desperate for cash and couldn’t be too choosey over fees.



    Saw that on Twitter.



    Made up rubbish.

  14. garygillespieshamstring on




    Fair dos.



    Still don’t believe they got that money for him though. Or twenty million for Bassey.

  15. bournesouprecipe on




    Something very strange about most transfers involving Sevco £16M for a player that started two first team games in Scotland was well dodgy.

  16. Prestonpans bhoys on




    Don’t understand why they would do that, can understand the opposite with huns claiming £16m only to receive £3m. That would play to the hun audience!

  17. garygillespieshamstring on




    I agree.


    Always felt iheybhad to make out to the gullibillies that they were capable of generating the same sorts of cash from transfers as we could get.

  18. garygillespieshamstring on




    I thought that was going on too.


    A mate sent me the info. Didn’t know his source but Tom says made up push on twitter.



    Couldn’t see Everton being stupid enough to pay that for him. Jon Joe Kenny kept him out of the team and they also had Seamus Coleman . Made no sense for them to pay over the odds for Patterson.

  19. Paul67 et al



    The johnjames site has pretty much given us a running commentary or all things civil and criminal since the demise of Rangers FC. He has consistently been on the money. And as far as the “malicious prosecutions” of those chanced with picking up the pieces from the Charlatan of Charlotte Square, he has delivered a narrative non pareil anywhere in these Isles. Names and packdrill, lock stock and smoking barrel. A scandal and a disgrace involving “Sir” (thanks to Pa Broon) David Murray, MIH, the Bank of Scotland and its’ successor Bank, Lloyds. Not to mention the SFA, the SPL and the SPFL. At a cost of tens of millions to HMRC and further to the public purse of the Devolved government of Scotland, the latter linked closely to PoliceScotland, and serving, subserviant Sheriffs. Many found themselves in Police Cells, but none that should have, the product of a system corrupt to the core. And still counting.

  20. Watching Falkirk v Dundee U .Good wee cup tie.Falkirks wee stadium looking the business,but I think someone told me,it has only 3 completed stands,3 very nice ones.The Astroturf would put both teams in the top leagues to shame.Best I have seen.2-1 United,HT.


    Was that a bit off topic?

  21. Paulinho67,



    Feels like you are Harald Brattback, Harald domestically was never suited to us or the Legendary Top Buzz JunGGle DJ Bach in the day. He wiz mair Breakbeat before it morphed. Disnae matter, Similar and I liked it.



    For the connoisseur, Dr S Gachet caught my attention.



    I’m getting Old obviously but he played a few Awesome Junglist sets I had heard, I thought he played there (he didnae), Heaven Scent (it was a mad wan)…… I behaved on the Friday @ the Palace in Blackpool and went to bed early (I was driving and well into ma sonics).





    Forgetting where your overnight stay was, wiz just in the Middle of that Mad night, not great.



    My Heart is seriously going out for Everyone losing Loved 1s in the Middle East and Everywhere else in this World.



    For those into Dance/Trance/Techno sonics –



    I won’t be the last to link this either – it is cool, © Matthew -



    HH to All the Celts on –

  22. AULDHEID on 17TH NOVEMBER 2023 3:33 PM



    From a while ago, apologies.



    The new regs were drawn up after the serious shock that Covid caused to the industry. Ceferin wanted to ensure that any future shocks didnt cause lasting damage to European football. The Covid crisis was an instant stress test on the finances of the big clubs, and none of them came out of it well. Revenue & income from transfers both crashed but costs didnt – wages remained at exactly the level they had before.



    Celtic have always had to operate with considerable differences in revenues, its why the wages to turnover ratio have been so important for us for a long time. Brian Quinn talked about how wages were what really did for football clubs rather than transfer fees, and we’ve always had sensible wage bills as a result. It was no surprise that we we’re able to ride out Covid, even with such a large percentage of our revenues being dependent on match day income. I dont think there was a club who came out of it stronger than we did, so it was no surprise that PL played an important part in the regulations – we have had a firm control over wage costs for such a long time that we were the sort of example Uefa could use.



    The regs are probably aimed more at the sort of clubs who could cause serious damage in the industry were they to go down. The big Italian clubs spend recklessly, sell future revenues to finance it and are hugely in debt as a result. The big 2 in Spain are massively in debt, and have mortgaged future income to pay for their stadium refurbs and their massive wage bills. The regs arent intended to punish clubs who cheat, its about protecting the game IMO.



    What they definitely arent is a guideline to how much every club should spend. Celtic have been doing this sort of wage control for longer than Uefa have even thought about financial regulations. They regs are so arbitrary that to apply them as a guide for spending for each club, regardless of where they get their money from would be to ignore the vast differences that exist among the clubs that compete in Uefa competitions.



    For all their mismanagement Sevco have always had sensible wage/turnover ratios, at least up until now. If it does reach critical levels It wont take much for them to get it down imo. A big sale or two every three years and they’ll be ok IMO.



    You also asked why their wage bill was so much higher than ours. I think theres three reasons for that:



    Firstly we’re much smarter than them. We get better value from the players we sign, we sign winners and we have better managers who know what they want and coach the players to success.



    Secondly the profile of player both clubs sign. Better-known, experienced players from bigger European leagues tend to have more suitors than younger, less experienced ones who fewer clubs know about. we have a bigger, better more extensive and smarter scouting network than therm. Despite what the experts tell you we scout using the sort of data that Sevco are talking about. It means we generally pay our new signings less., and them sign them to better contracts if they are successful.



    Thirdly they sign more out-of contract players or players who they can pick up for a low fee because they’re nearing the end of their contract, and they love an expensive loan. They might not cost a large transfer fee but they cost more in wages and signing on fees than someone who costs a large transfer fee. A free transfer has hidden costs that mount up over four years.



    They have also given their top earners improved contracts over the years. Although we’ve done it recently its been a while since we’ve bumped ups the wages of our senior players.



    We set our wage bill according to what we think we can afford. Its not with a view to what they are spending or doing, or what the UEFA regs are or what we can get away with. This has always been the case, it underpins our success on and off the park



    I dont think their wage bill is going to cause them serious trouble with Uefa for a while yet. I dont think Uefa see clubs like Sevco, who might have the odd year in breach, as the problem, and for the punishment to be serious they would need to be seriously and repeatedly over the limits. The serious punishments have been for the serial offenders and the clubs who’ve tried to hide the breaches by cheating their accounts, which I dont think Sevco do.



    Bu they are serious about the new regulations and Ceferin has promised the punishment will be quick and effective so maybe I’m wrong. He’s talking about a cap with he says has widespread agreement so it doesnt look like losing to City in court has dampened his resolve.

  23. AULDHEID @ 3:39 PM,



    “You are puzzled.



    Join the club.



    If both wage bills, removing non player squad costs, are much the same the question has to be why when they do not have to be.



    Is it because what we can spend will make no difference to performance in the CL so spend it elsewhere?”



    Yes, some fholk like to argue Sevco can’t touch us because we have more money, the argue that spending money won’t make us better in Europe.



    The aul’ cognitive dissonance in full flow!?




    With a 90% spend, UCL money and Covid compensation money etc, we could have spent circa 100 mn on the footballing side this year.



    Of course not saying for a minute we should but in a couple of seasons we could be down to 70 mn.



    Of course the Board would never sanction such a high percentage outlay but you never know, with football inflation, we may not be far off that spend to keep competitive in Scotland never mind Europe.



    Smart investment this year when we have 90% spend, high revenue and money in the bank seems quite sensible to me.



    Hail Hail

  24. Watched the second half of…



    Belgium U21 0-2 Scotland U21



    Matthew Anderson of Admira Wacker the only Celt on show.



    All our other players in the squad weren’t even on the bench – not sure why not but some pretty useful players on show (mainly defence and the outball).



    Hail Hail

  25. Chairbhoy



    “Yes, some fholk like to argue Sevco can’t touch us because we have more money, the argue that spending money won’t make us better in Europe.




    The aul’ cognitive dissonance in full flow!?”





    Not that dissonant if you frame it correctly as:-



    The Zombies are unlikely to beat us too often unless we squander our financial advantages by being reckless.



    Spending money will make us better in Europe but we don’t have enough to bridge the gap with the big clubs. It might get us one round further every 3 or 4 years but it won’t change our sense of ourselves.



    That 100m you want to spend on boosting this year’s or next year’s performance, might need to be earmarked for another purpose.



    The Celtic turnstile doesn’t shrink to fit inferior supporters






    Absolute quality.


    Or, any supporters for that matter. 😂👍

  27. AN DÚN on 17TH NOVEMBER 2023 12:40 PM


    Is Scotland a functioning democracy? When your police, prosecutorial service and media are so compromised, it is difficult to say yes.




    Amen to that! 😳🤷🏼‍♂️💩👍

  28. Juat spent a lovely evening in Gaucho, West Nile street (not the east end Gang) with my Big bro. Talking about familia and Celtic.




    I love this Family bhoys.



    D :)