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. BelmontBrian on 17th November 2023 8:00 pm



    Lie = Like






    The Shipwreck possee are Great Company.



    I’d say to Everyone, Poster or Lurker to go and meet the BHOYS, as they are Superb dudes (not heard of a Doll Dani Bher yet).



    We all have differing views, we are Truly Blessed!!!



    Great Lads (I was the Young One) Full Stop, Tam is very controlled and he hud hit his threshpoint, drinkwise,



    Lord Lucan to the next day……..




    Unless you own it, you Wullnae know it.



    I fully understand that the subsequent sonic may not be to the whole CQN Scooby Doo (Scooby is alright Universally IMHO).


  – he was not the Main Man.

  2. 18 YARD MAN on 17TH NOVEMBER 2023 5:52 PM


    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.




    Thanks for this. PB quoted out spend and theirs as £60M and £64m in previous blog. What both spent does not feature in the spreadsheet, only what income that could be attributed to football earnings did and the sheet just shows the limit of spend possible without being in breach.



    However if the £60m Celtic quoted yesterday includes other staff costs (and it did in the past which made establishing squad costs difficult) then the gap between what Celtic spend and what they spend on players is greater than £4m (£64-£60).



    So the question why remains when Celtic could spend more on playing squad without any risk of spending beyond generated football income or breaching FSR guidelines.



    I’ll try on pick up on that in reply to others.

  3. Auldheid 11.46pm



    Gutted I missed the Shipbank 3rd November was the wee granddaughters birthday so not a chance I was able to get away for a shandy or two …



    A few posters have consistently made Resoultion 12 about the Celtic board … am pretty sure the resolutioners were clear that it was about the governance of Scottish football and not a Rangers/Sevco/Celtic board issue … can you clarify ?



    In my opinion the Celtic board put the “feelers” out and decided the majority of the fan base were uninterested and went with that … I could be wrong but some fans/posters seem to think ReS12 was a Rangers thing and am pretty sure you have said all along it was a governance issue …

  4. Carpe Diem 12.33am



    Pretty sure BRRB will have all of that evidence



    He will probably awaken around 7am from a sober slumber …

  5. CELTIC40ME on 17TH NOVEMBER 2023 9:13 PM


    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 didn’t – 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 don’t 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 aren’t 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 don’t 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 don’t think Sevco do.



    But 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.




    I never ever thought FSR was brought in solely to address the problem and danger Rangers spending using non repaid bank loans and ebts caused Celtic and Scottish football.



    Neither am I suggesting FSR on Football Earnings is a guide to what every club should spend , but it is a guide to the LIMITS of what any club can legitimately spend within affordability limits dictated by football earnings. That is what I was trying to establish in the spreadsheet which shows unsurprisingly Celtic can afford to spend more on the playing squad than they can because of superior merchandising, CL income and other legitimate (in FSR terms) sources.



    The insolvency issue was always European wide, Covid just made it starkly clear. But FSR has set limits that did not exist before and it is the impact of that which supporters will have to come to terms with.



    Celtic certainly are a model of a club acting in a sustainable manner and are the victims of the financial recklessness at Ibrox which required Celtic to participate in the 5WA, but pretend that they had not when asked at an AGM if they had seen it. That was the opportunity to be frank with shareholders and supporters but would Celtic supporters have accepted the economic truth that is emerging now?



    FSR Regs should level the financial playing field in the future except that Celtic now make a lot more from football than RFC do, but if those extra earnings are not spent on acquiring better players fit for Europe and continues to be below or in touch with what RFC Ltd spend, then the wage advantage shown in the spreadsheet is no advantage at all if unused.



    Another way of looking at it is that to stop Celtic monopolising titles and increasing the income gap year on year, Rangers squad spend acts as a brake on what could be spent on the Celtic playing squad in order to preserve the illusion of domestic competition into a future where Celtic continue to earn more and RFC Ltd , depend on selling their best players (that keeps them second) to stay in touch. Simply the second best to borrow from Phil.



    This balancing act on squad spend is due to the interdependent nature of the football industry highlighted in Scotland because of the two largest clubs are in fact interdependent.



    Spending what you can afford always makes sense, but the rub now is Celtic can afford to spend more on the playing squad than RFC can, but RFC’s policy of bringing in ready made players in experience terms keeps the SPFL more competitive than it would be if Celtic put their foot on the gas.



    So spending the extra income on the likes of developing Barrowfield, keeping some in reserve if the boost from CL income is somehow lost because a mistake is made in what needs to be spent to keep us ahead of them makes sense from a business point of view, but it leaves the suspicion that who wins titles is not dictated solely by what happens on the field of play but on what is seen as good for both clubs by those running them.

  6. GTB,



    Why ?




    I dinnae wanya rthkm us a dancer.



    Who put that, that blokes an utter utter nutter









    Curtley knows ir it wrang.



    I Know Nothing

  7. Petec 1.20am



    I can usually decipher your posts .. but you’d need to walk me through that wan … only part I understood



    Rhythm is a dancer …

  8. GFTB on 18TH NOVEMBER 2023 12:14 AM


    Auldheid 11.46pm



    Gutted I missed the Shipbank 3rd November was the wee granddaughters birthday so not a chance I was able to get away for a shandy or two …



    A few posters have consistently made Resoultion 12 about the Celtic board … am pretty sure the resolutioners were clear that it was about the governance of Scottish football and not a Rangers/Sevco/Celtic board issue … can you clarify ?




    In my opinion the Celtic board put the “feelers” out and decided the majority of the fan base were uninterested and went with that … I could be wrong but some fans/posters seem to think ReS12 was a Rangers thing and am pretty sure you have said all along it was a governance issue …




    That it was a governance issue using the way the SFA dealt with Rangers overdue tax as leverage to bring about change was confirmed by the following statement last December from The Foundation in respect of the £11.2k they received when Celtic offered to reimburse the legal expenses spent pursuing Res12.



    The Celtic Christmas statement read:



    “Celtic FC Foundation are delighted to announce that we received a wonderful donation of £11,266 earlier this week thanks to the Club and a group of Celtic plc shareholders.



    The group, who had come together a number of years ago TO SEEK TO ADDRESS CERTAIN GOVERNANCE ISSUES IN SCOTTISH FOOTBALL, engaged with the Club and worked independently over a number of years, with the objective of highlighting the value of continuing to evolve the governance rules underpinning Scottish Football and European Cub Competition.



    The group of shareholders also privately funded legal costs in the process and the Club agreed in principle to make a contribution to these costs in recognition of the effort and funds that were committed.



    Thankfully for Celtic FC Foundation, with the agreement of the Club, the shareholders have directed this contribution to Celtic FC Foundation’s 2022 Christmas Appeal. We would therefore like to express our sincere thanks to all of those involved. We are exceptionally grateful for your wonderful support in helping us to ‘Share the Magic’ this festive season.”



    There is further background to the above at that should clarify further. I have no doubt it would be seen as some supporters as way to sort out Rangers, a perception that was used throughout by the media to trivialise a serious issue they did not want investigated but it was always about tackling the SFA, something that remains to this day and is an aim of The Scottish Football Supporters Association as poor governance is a matter that affects all clubs, not just Celtic.



    PS if you want to read about attacks on Res12 by the other lot, read the addition at the end of previous link at

  9. Auldheid 1.47am



    At a very low level I worked in HMRC from the years 1988-2015…. I can assure you even at a low level many knew what was going on …



    I don’t care about oldco/newco/next co … liquidation is a final … am delighted to live through them denying liquidation … it’s a joy



    Keep fighting the good fight but in my opinion I think the Celtic board done the best for Celtic and more importantly, the Res 12 bhoys … made sure what ever version of the Huns appear … the “governance” will be highlighted far more than before 🍀



    You & the other bhoys might have wanted a better win but … a win is a win 🍀

  10. GFTB on 18th November 2023 1:28 am







    It’s A-OK if I huv f*cked up.



    You huv Nae Idiea of the Big Fingers.


    Keyboard (ebay) (ZBoard) costs a Fortune to just plsy CS……….. and when yer Ancient like me now



    My Son has Retired, and he was Top Level.



    and Chairbhoy




    “Yes, some folk 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.




    I think it already has SFTB as explained in the Chairmans Statement for The AGM which can be read at





    The problem is just how much of the “money in the bank” needs to be spent within affordability and FSR limits to improve squad quality so that we become as competitive as we can be in Europe indicated to me by a presence there after Christmas in either of the two main UEFA competitions.



    I have no idea of the number of players required nor what they would cost, but I think reaching that higher level presents the kind of problem that might not be seen by The Board as good for domestic competition where competition keeps interest alive.



    However if we forget European aspirations for a minute there should be some room in the kitty to address the three obvious quality issues in goal (in the near future), left back and a ball winner in a midfield where fish suppers are seldom tackled without moving too far from what is spent on players at Ibrox .



    A wee confession:



    I’ve changed my view as a result of putting together that spreadsheet and reading useful exchanges on CQN in that I assumed Celtic would use some of our larger income to stay well ahead in terms of the quality of the squad we could afford, but seeing the wage bills of both and how Celtic’s extra income is to be spent on other areas as set out in The Chairman’s statement, I think that like Conjoined Twins, Celtic and Rangers are stuck with each other in Scottish football.



    If correct that is going to be hard to get used to by a support that rightly wants to see as much distance as possible between us and them.



    Thoughts guys?

  12. GFTB on 18TH NOVEMBER 2023 2:03 AM



    Cheers. The final outcome, Celtic acting under the radar, but recognising the value of Res12 in the offer to meet legal costs is perhaps typical of The Celtic Way of doing things.



    Now about those referees…….. :)

  13. Petec 2.24am



    We’re probably always on the same level at some point



    MissGFTB was buzzing today about Kyogo’s Christmas message … a bit different when I was 15 but very much the same enthusiasm… wee Kyogo is not only a terrific footballer but such a great influence on the “young team” … again delighted Brendan is back and loving some of the fitba … McStay, Brown, MacGregor … some players we might not hold onto but may as well just enjoy …. Forever the optimist … wee win in Rome, hopefully Morata & Grizeman (world cup winners) can do Feynoord then we can maybe take it too the last game … may as well hope for best … if the worst happens we … go again 🍀

  14. Auldheid 2.36am



    The res 12 bhoys have been “peeing against the wind” since 2012…. Family, friends, season ticket holders said to me “get aff that internet”



    In my opinion you have all been totally correct, again not the outcome you wanted but again I think the fact it “shouldn’t” happen again is a terrific success …



    Res 12 shone the light … “if” it did happen again surely even this Celtic board couldn’t ignore ….. unless that’s what the majority of their “customers” wanted … :-)



    It’s all about the income 🍀 if the income stops any board will react :-)

  15. Soon GerryBhoy – Just dinnae expect much.



    I’m Alive.






    You know a BLanger is the Potential Champ (i Never Ever thought) I Huv nae interestin’ In Celtic Being the Best wecan be.




    IMHO, if we keep the Majority of our Elite level players, we have a chance.



    just Keep Building.



    I Believe



    He wiz

  16. Petec 2.51 2.51am



    Don’t think we will keep the best these days .. enjoy the players we have … am just delighted to have had












    Over the last couple of decades those 4 must have made a few appearances 🍀

  17. Good Morning – Grand Day To Be A Tim



    AULDHEID @ 2:30 AM,



    SFtBs @ 10:32 PM,



    Yes, thanks for the clarification Auldheid.



    The Chairman is suggesting the money we have banked can be used to make up the shortfall during seasons where we have no UCL football.



    Smoothing out the seasons of plenty and seasons of famine if you will.



    Yet if our football revenues are 100 mn and footballing costs are 70 mn, in a couple of seasons time, we CAN’T use the bank money for a “boost”, as this money would take us over the 70%.



    If Sevco Rangers had UCL football that season they could well be outspending us football-wise.



    If instead of keeping the money in the bank this season we spent some on “High value players”, not only do we have the benefit of those players in the current first team, we can sell them during the years of “famine”.



    That money can be reinvested in the squad without effecting the 70%, as the positive transfer fee would be seen as a boon to our footballing income.



    Quality footballers as assets and our recruitment and transfer costs become key in ensuring our revenues and profitability is boosted through very smart player trading.



    Have a great day



    Aff oot…



    Hail Hail

  18. bigrailroadblues on

    Carpe Diem


    I’ve asked Leggy to send the pictures from the Shipbank. Will post them soon.

  19. Personal



    Fullname: Ronald Campbell Simpson


    aka: Ronnie Simpson, ‘Faither’


    Born: 11 October 1930


    Died: 19 April 2004


    Birthplace: Glasgow, Scotland


    Signed: 3 September 1964


    Left: 7 May 1970 (retired)


    Position: Goalkeeper


    Debut: Barcelona away 1-3 Fairs cup 18 November 1964


    Last game: Clyde home 6-1 league 1 May 1971


    Internationals: Scotland


    International Caps: 5 caps



    “The only worry I had out there in the Lisbon final was the danger of sunstroke.”


    Ronnie Simpson on 1967 European Cup Final



  20. Back to Basics - Glass Half Full on

    During international break you’ve got to get your fix where you can find it.



    An T – thank you for links to Swiss Ramble.



    Excellent pieces on Celtic, Sevco, Inter and Everton.



    Always good value.



    Link to Palma’s assist worth a look.



    Most of the praise, rightly, goes to the goalscorer …



    … But the speed with which Luis sees the pass and the speed, quality and ingenuity of the execution are terrific.





    Clearer picture. Carpe Diem took it. I think.”



    Is the pictures, above you all, supposed to be a before and after thing? :)) por cierto