When even Jim Farry blocked a royal postponement


25 years ago, Scotland were due to play a World Cup qualification game against Belarus on the day of Princess Diana’s funeral.  The SFA, then run by chief exec Jim Farry, the same man who was eventually removed from office for delaying Celtic’s registration of Jorge Cadete, decided the game should proceed as planned.

Whatever you think of Farry, he acted without concern for the royalist contingent.  Despite the SFA’s offices being vandalised and Scottish Secretary, Donald Dewer, applying political pressure, Farry dug in:   ”We have taken heed of the various viewpoints, but let’s be reasonable about this, life does and must go on.”

He did not act alone, the SFA International Committee were involved, and they included Celtic’s Jack McGinn, and the Greatest Football Administrator the world has ever known, Campbell Ogilvie!  This was a strange time in Britain, maybe the strangest few weeks of the last century.

Royalists were split between backers of the self-styled Queen of Hearts (honestly), and those in the minority, who sided with the actual Queen.  The Queen, a bit like Farry, held out as long as she could against the indulgent wallowing infecting millions, by resisting calls to lower flags to half-mast.

Before the end of the week, royal flags were lowered and the Scotland game was postponed.  Those of us who never took an interest in royalty were often heard saying “Let’s be reasonable about this”, but were largely ignored.

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  1. 67 European Cup Winners on 9th September 2022 5:45 pm



    BURNLEY78 on 9TH SEPTEMBER 2022 5:39 PM


    Paul may not have intended to be Anti Queen – but to the detractors eye it is very easy to interpret it as Anti Queen


    And that is my point – we are setting ourself up to be shot at (and i know what that feels like today)


    Hail Hail







    Totally agree. The death of the Queen is sad. It is a momentous time in history. A lot of people in the UK and Ireland are upset. My mother was very fond of the Queen. Anyone dying is sad. I was at Celtic Park for the mark of respect for (I think it was the Queen mum), and I respected it, as did the support in general. I personally think she was quite admirable in many respects. So yes, dont let yourselves or the Club in any way.

  2. yeah 67ecw



    it isn’t anti-queen – paul’s article respects the queen, respects those who are affected by this and also respects those who aren’t

  3. CELTIC40ME @ 5:19 PM,



    For me you are wrong, there is no grounds whatsoever to suggest the Board acted fraudulently.



    Let me print out that BBC link…






    Last Updated: Friday, 28 October 2005, 17:48 GMT 18:48 UK



    Celtic launch a £15m share issue



    Celtic have announced a share offer designed to raise £15m to fund their new football academy and reduce the football club’s debts. Major shareholder Dermot Desmond will underwrite the issue to £10m but insists he does not wish to take outright control of the Glasgow club.



    Celtic chairman Brian Quinn said it was needed to stay competitive in Europe.



    “It must give a high priority to finding, developing and training high-quality players,” he said.


    Subject to shareholder approval, 50 million new ordinary shares would be available to existing shareholders and new investors, priced at 30p per share.



    Celtic have long wished to improve their youth facilities and match that enjoyed in recent years by Rangers at Murray Park and Hearts at Heriot-Watt.



    The first team is already seeing the enormous benefit of the country’s most successful youth development programme


    Celtic chairman Brian Quinn


    Quinn’s club have earmarked the Lennox Castle Hospital site to the north of Glasgow for their new academy.



    “The board believes that, as well as continuing to retain and attract experienced players, we must build upon the already excellent results of the club’s youth development programme,” he said.



    “The first team is already seeing the enormous benefit of the country’s most successful youth development programme, with players such as Wallace, Beattie, Maloney, Marshall, Lawson, McManus, McGeady and Kennedy already coming through – and there are many more in the pipeline.”



    “A key objective of this fundraising activity is the establishment of a purpose-built training facility incorporating a state-of-the-art youth academy.



    “This, together with planned major investment in coaching, scouting and player development programmes would account for £10m of the potential £15m sought.”



    As part of the Stock Exchange announcement, the board also announced its intention to de-list from the London Stock Exchange and transfer its listings to AIM to take advantage of the greater flexibility of its rules.



    The underwriting could give Desmond more than the 30% shareholding that would force him to make an offer for the rest of the company’s shares.



    But the board is seeking approval from independent shareholders to waiver that requirement.



    Celtic chief executive Peter Lawwell added: “During the summer, we spent more money on new signings and extending contracts for senior players than any other club in the country.



    “The funds raised will enable us to implement our long-term strategic objectives by improving the club’s infrastructure, with a development at Lennoxtown being our preferred option.



    “In addition, we intend that the radical expansion of our global scouting operation under Ray Clarke will be funded via this exercise.”



    Now, it is very clear to me why someone would think that announcement suggested that Lennoxtown would be mainly used as a state of the art academy and that Dermot Desmond would not be taking a controlling interest in Celtic.



    Hail Hail

  4. Coneybhoy on 9th September 2022 5:35 pm







    Did you know that King Arthur’s famous round table was designed by Sir Cumference?






    I googled Sir Cumference, and there was no such person.

  5. CHAIRBHOY on 9TH SEPTEMBER 2022 6:06 PM



    Look at the prospectus, that’s the legal document not a bbc article.



    No matter the change in circumstances if the money raised through a share issue is willfully used for something else, even if it is running costs then it’s fraud. Every investor could sue the board

  6. MADMITCH on 9TH SEPTEMBER 2022 5:32 PM


    Stx2 @ 4.29







    I think you are only telling half the story.







    The £15mill rights issue kept the bank off our backs when we were under the financial cosh of the 2004/05 financial collapse.







    WGS coming in and downsizing the MON inflated wage bill from £35mill to £25mill did the rest along with the money from AV for SP in 2006.







    So highlighting the £10mill cost assigned to L/Town in the context of a £15mill rights issue is not the full story — not even close.







    The full story is that we got the £15mill in 2005 to bring the bank borrowings — had been £23.5mill against a £24mill limit — back to a more sustainable level which gave us time to trade our way towards a £10mill spend at L/town.







    Three years in the CL were a big help as well so it shows where we need to focus going forward.









    Bank, – hello brian, can we ask you why your up to the limit of your borrowings facility ?



    BQ – why its a rolling arrangement is inot due to repay for 5 tears.



    BK – em, we just want to make sure you can pay it back , hows the cash flow then ?



    BQ – cashflow is good, what a stupid question.



    BK -em, ok mr bank of england, can you just give us some reassurance you will pay it off sometimem and how your going to grow the business.



    BQ – aye, righty oh, who do you think we are rangers ?

  7. CELTIC40ME on 9TH SEPTEMBER 2022 5:56 PM






    2 things and after that I promise I’ll stop filling the blog up with this




    If you state in the prospectus that you’re using the money invested in the company for three things and then you willfully spend it on something else it’s fraud. It doesn’t matter if there’s a change of business plan, the shareholders who bought the shares could sue all the directors of the company




    You’re suggesting that the board collectively, including BQ and DD were part of the issue, drew up the spending plans then let PL change them, unchallenged. DD spent £10m of his own money and then let PL decide, unilaterally, what he would spend it on? And they all let PL do this in the knowledge that they faced criminal charges if they let him do it.

  8. bigrailroadblues on

    Team for Wednesday- Joe, JJ, Greg, St Moritz, CCV, Captain, Reo, Matthew, Jota, Gio, Abada.




    and ConeyBhoy @ 17.35







  10. 9TH SEPTEMBER 2022 6:07 PM


    Coneybhoy on 9th September 2022 5:35 pm









    Did you know that King Arthur’s famous round table was designed by Sir Cumference?







    I googled Sir Cumference, and there was no such person.




    Try Tupai Argh

  11. 67 European Cup Winners on



    Paul67 may have no intention of disrespecting the Queen – but there are those who will read the article and make their own interpretation and suggest Celtic are disrespecting the Queen


    My point is do not give our enemies ammunition to have a go at us




  12. CELTIC40ME @ 6:09 PM,



    Of course not being legally trained this is just my opinion but would be full hardy in the extreme to Sue the Board for the case you laid out.



    The Board have professionals in this respect as Executive Directors, NEDs third party advisors.



    Were the BBC misleading us.!?



    Celtic have announced a share offer designed to raise £15m to fund their new football academy and reduce the football club’s debts. Major shareholder Dermot Desmond will underwrite the issue to £10m but insists he does not wish to take outright control of the Glasgow club.



    Once again, I doubt it very much, it would have been their take on the share issue and if you complained I’m sure they would justify their report.



    Hail Hail

  13. CHAIRBHOY on 9TH SEPTEMBER 2022 4:54 PM



    The change in strategy had already happened. The rights issue was part of the new strategy not before it.



    You can look up comments made by BQ about the change in 2004. See also MON’s comments about life in the slow lane in 2003



    Apologies, I answered this on the previous article’s comments, that’s why I’m posting it after my last comments

  14. Jackiemac at 5:30



    Good post –



    “I commiserate with those who are grieving now and respect those for whom this is a poignant moment in their lives; however I also see this as a chance for our squad to rest ; induct hacksaw and abild into ange’s vision and review the real and poxco matches. Come back better Ange!”

  15. Roddy Doyle has summed it pretty well




    -It’s fuckin’ mayhem at home.


    -What’s the story?


    -The wife’s paintin’ the house for the Queen’s funeral.


    -Wha’ – is she paintin’ it black?


    -No, she’s not. She’s doin’ it up.


    -Yis aren’t celebratin’ the poor woman’s death, are yis?


    -No – .


    -Those days are over.


    -No, we’re not – calm down, for fuck sake. She just wants the place lookin’ nice.


    -Why? In case the royal family drops in on their way back from the graveyard? You don’t want tha’ gang comin’ into your house – horse shite on their fuckin’ shoes an’ tha’.


    -I’m bettin’ they won’t be buryin’ her in Dublin.


    -Not with the price o’ the drink in this fuckin’ country.


    -And other factors – yeah. She liked the Queen – the wife did. An’ when yeh think about it – she was the Queen before we were even born.


    -So wha’?


    -Okay – . Remember when she came to Ireland?




    -An’ she went to the Garden of Remembrance to pay her respects – straight from the airport.




    -It was impressive, wasn’t it?




    -My Da was still alive when that happened. He phoned me up – he was


    was nearly cryin’.


    -Fair enough. She did her bit – God save the Queen.


    -There’s no football tomorrow.


    -Wha’?! Are yeh fuckin’ serious?!

  16. 67ECW…you are completely entitled to your view, and indeed they are welcome…but you’re wrong to say that Paul has read the room wrong. He’s helped open the debate about what is mental illness, what is mass media brainwashing and what it means to be a Celtic fan. And the internet hits keep on rolling 😀👍






    Not in a deferential way 🤣




  17. CHAIRBHOY on 9TH SEPTEMBER 2022 6:22 PM



    Look at the prospectus, it’s not a matter of takes, it’s a very simple document which outlines what the investor can expect their money to be used for.



    I don’t think you understand the basics – it’s an absolute basic principle of an issue. You tell people in the prospectus what their money will be used for, investors decide if their investment will be used in a way that will add value to their shares.



    Spend it on something else and you’ve lied to them.



    I know there’s no fraud. I think you’re totally wrong about how the money used.

  18. 67 ECW




    I see very little shouting for the club to “do something”.




    I do see a lot of us shouting that we are being forced to do something that others aren’t




    Rugby, cricket, horse racing and golf will be played this weekend. Opera and Theatre and concerts will perform.




    Uniquely Football gets its fixtures wiped out- not delayed for one day of mourning- a whole weekend.




    The posh boy sports don’t need to be brought into line – just the oicks who don’t recognise their rightful masters




    Up the Republic!

  19. The Queen successfully lobbied the government to change a draft law in order to conceal her “embarrassing” private wealth from the public, according to documents discovered by the Guardian.



    A series of government memos unearthed in the National Archives reveal that Elizabeth Windsor’s private lawyer put pressure on ministers to alter proposed legislation to prevent her shareholdings from being disclosed to the public.




  20. CELTIC40ME @ 6:22 & 6:32 PM,



    Of course the change in strategy had happened but just how much were the Celtic support aware!?



    One of the reasons for CQN as well as counteracting the “Lazy” SMSM and their Ibroxian bias, was to educate Celtic Suppoters in the realities of Football finance and the importance of balancing the books.



    Yet the Club were still going on about European ambition and putting every penny back into the Club.



    Of course paying down the debt and balancing the books was paramount but when that morphed into hording money and managing expectations things have gone too far.



    It’s of course very much buyer beware, especially when you buy stocks and shares, it is up to you to understand or get professional advice before you purchase.



    What I’m talking about though is football supporters who are making an emotional investment, deserving total clarity from the Club.



    As I said in an earlier comment, at the time Paul67 urged supporters to back the share issue as if we failed to fully subscribe the issue DD would increase his holding.



    The issue was over subscribed and DD still increased his holding, I know he done this perfectly legally but when someone as knowledgeable as Paul67 didn’t see that coming then what chance the rest of us.



    Still if we continue to back Ange and continue to show real ambition then we can put those seasons and transfer windows behind us.



    The fact is, whether it was under BR or Ange, it has been proven in the last ten years that real investment in all aspects of the team means greater roi.



    Hail Hail

  21. bournesouprecipe on

    Tom McLaughlin @ ages ago.



    Can see the point of freeing Nir Bitton who wanted to go home.



    I think Ange told TR what his role would be at Celtic given Angeball and his plans for the squad, and Tom opted for the revolving door big wages and a potential last big signing on fee.



    Generous in the extreme for Celtic to give up a potential transfer fee, for a player who had just realised the potential we had hoped for since he signed.

  22. 67 European Cup Winners on



    Very good point and today I have helped the cause


    Silence is golden right enough



    Hail Hail








    Am curious….at what level can a personal wealth be considered embarrassing?



    Can you post the full text of the article please




  24. Coneybhoy on 9th September 2022 6:19 pm





    ethereal Welsh internet down again, bah


    bet it was that watery tart





    😀 😃 😄 😁 😆 😅 😂 🤣 🥲 ☺️ 😊

  25. 67 European Cup Winners on



    I am not saying we should shut down


    I am saying we should not be the ones shouting to Play On


    In a Hun country we will be isolated – then condemned – then found guilty forever more



    Being Celtic means always tip toeing around sensitive issues – this is sensitive



    Hail Hail




  26. bournesouprecipe on

    Archbishop Nolan got his statement out long before any football club including Statement FC.



    Boom CSC

  27. CHAIRBHOY on 9TH SEPTEMBER 2022 6:48 PM


    CELTIC40ME @ 6:22 & 6:32 PM,




    Of course the change in strategy had happened but just how much were the Celtic support aware!?




    One of the reasons for CQN as well as counteracting the “Lazy” SMSM and their Ibroxian bias, was to educate Celtic Suppoters in the realities of Football finance and the importance of balancing the books.




    I know. Paul started the blog around the time we changed what we were doing, he explained to us what it meant in away that no one else did, at the time it was happening. “Where did the Seville money go” as you would say was explained in the context of a strategy that made sense for a club that was heavily in debt and wanted to remain solvent but still competitive. He even said recently it was why he started the blog



    You’re missing the point. You suggested there was some sort of PL-inspired change in how we operated that explained why the issue capital was spent on something other than the academy. The change happened in the years preceding the issue



    Before the issue BQ gave a interview in which he explained that the club would no longer use rights issues for operating costs, or player purchases. No repeat of 2001, any investment would be used for capital projects that would add value and increase income.



    You’re suggesting PL went against that.




    The full text is in the article and we will never know how much money she has avoided in tax that is imho the point of the article

  29. Apols if this is a mess…full text to Dalriadabhoy link



    The Queen successfully lobbied the government to change a draft law in order to conceal her “embarrassing” private wealth from the public, according to documents discovered by the Guardian.



    A series of government memos unearthed in the National Archives reveal that Elizabeth Windsor’s private lawyer put pressure on ministers to alter proposed legislation to prevent her shareholdings from being disclosed to the public.



    Following the Queen’s intervention, the government inserted a clause into the law granting itself the power to exempt companies used by “heads of state” from new transparency measures.



    The arrangement, which was concocted in the 1970s, was used in effect to create a state-backed shell corporation which is understood to have placed a veil of secrecy over the Queen’s private shareholdings and investments until at least 2011.



    The true scale of her wealth has never been disclosed, though it has been estimated to run into the hundreds of millions of pounds.



    Queen Elizabeth II


    The scale of Queen Elizabeth’s wealth has never been disclosed but she feared a 1973 bill would allow the public to scrutinise her finances. Photograph: Adrian Dennis/AFP


    Evidence of the monarch’s lobbying of ministers was uncovered by a Guardian investigation into the royal family’s use of an arcane parliamentary procedure, known as Queen’s consent, to secretly influence the formation of British laws.



    Unlike the better-known procedure of royal assent, a formality that marks the moment when a bill becomes law, Queen’s consent must be sought before legislation can be approved by parliament.



    It requires ministers to alert the Queen when legislation might affect either the royal prerogative or the private interests of the crown.



    The website of the royal family describes it as “a long established convention” and constitutional scholars have tended to regard consent as an opaque but harmless example of the pageantry that surrounds the monarchy.



    But documents unearthed in the National Archives, which the Guardian is publishing this week, suggest that the consent process, which gives the Queen and her lawyers advance sight of bills coming into parliament, has enabled her to secretly lobby for legislative changes.



    Thomas Adams, a specialist in constitutional law at Oxford University who reviewed the new documents, said they revealed “the kind of influence over legislation that lobbyists would only dream of”. The mere existence of the consent procedure, he said, appeared to have given the monarch “substantial influence” over draft laws that could affect her.



    ‘Disclosure would be embarrassing’


    The papers reveal that in November 1973 the Queen feared that a proposed bill to bring transparency to company shareholdings could enable the public to scrutinise her finances. As a result she dispatched her private lawyer to press the government to make changes.



    Matthew Farrer, then a partner at the prestigious law firm Farrer & Co, visited civil servants at the then Department of Trade and Industry to discuss the proposed transparency measures in the companies bill, which had been drafted by Edward Heath’s government.



    The bill sought to prevent investors from secretly building up significant stakes in listed companies by acquiring their shares through front companies or nominees. It would therefore include a clause granting directors the right to demand that any nominees owning their company’s shares reveal, when asked, the identities of their clients.



    Three crucial pages of correspondence between civil servants at the trade department reveal how, at that meeting, Farrer relayed the Queen’s objection that the law would reveal her private investments in listed companies, as well as their value. He proposed that the monarch be exempted.



    “I have spoken to Mr Farrer,” a civil servant called CM Drukker wrote on 9 November. “As I had recalled he – or rather, I think, his clients – are quite as concerned over the risk of disclosure to directors of a company as to shareholders and the general public.



    The Queen with the then prime minister, Edward Heath, in 1973, the year Heath’s government put forward the transparency proposals. Photograph: Mirrorpix/Getty Images


    “He justifies this not only because of the risk of inadvertent or indiscreet leaking to other people,” Drukker continued, “but more basically because disclosure to any person would be embarrassing.”



    After being informed that exempting only the crown from the legislation would mean it was obvious any shareholdings so anonymised were the Queen’s property, Farrer, the correspondence states, “took fright somewhat, emphasised that the problem was taken very seriously and suggested – somewhat tentatively – that we had put them into this quandary and must therefore find a way out.”



    Drukker continued: “He did not like any suggestions that holdings were not these days so embarrassing, given the wide knowledge of, for example, landed property held. Nor did he see that the problem might be resolved by any avoidance of holdings in particular companies. It was the knowledge per se that was objectionable.”



    After being informed by Farrer “that he must now seek instruction” from his client, Drukker advised a colleague: “I think we must now do what you suggested we should eventually do – warn ministers.”



    Three days later, another civil servant, CW Roberts, summarised the problem in a second memo.



    “Mr Farrer was not only concerned that information about shares held for the Queen, and transactions in them, could become public knowledge (since it would appear on the company’s register) and thus the subject of possible controversy,” Roberts wrote.



    “He regards any disclosure of beneficial ownership of shares by the crown, even if restricted to the directors of the company, as potentially embarrassing, because of the risk of leaks.”



    He continued: “Mr Farrer has accepted an invitation to go into the matter with us, but has said that he will not be able to do so for a few days, until he has taken instructions from his principals.”



    Secrecy clause


    By the following month the Heath government had developed an ingenious proposal through which the Queen’s dilemma might be resolved.



    “With the help of the Bank of England, my department have evolved the following solutions, which will appear in the bill,” wrote the Conservative trade minister Geoffrey Howe to a fellow minister.



    Howe proposed that the government would insert a new clause into the bill granting the government the power to exempt certain companies from the requirement to declare the identities of their shareholders.



    Officially, the change would be for the benefit of a variety of wealthy investors. “Such a class could be generally defined to cover, say, heads of state, governments, central monetary authorities, investment boards and international bodies formed by governments,” Howe continued.



    In practice, however, the Queen was plainly the intended beneficiary of the arrangement. The government intended to create a shell company through which a range of these investors could hold shares. It meant that any curious member of the public would be unable to pinpoint which of the shares owned by the company were held on behalf of the monarch.



    “My department have discussed this solution with the legal advisers to the Queen,” Howe noted. “While they cannot of course commit themselves to using the suggested new facility, they accept that it is a perfectly reasonable solution to the problem which they face, and that they could not ask us to do more. I am therefore arranging that the necessary provisions should appear in the bill.”



    Geoffrey Howe, September 1973. Photograph: William Lovelace/Getty Images


    It would be three years before the bill and its secrecy clause would come into law. In February 1974 Heath called a general election, resulting in all legislation that was going through parliament being thrown out.



    However, the proposal was resuscitated by the subsequent Labour government under Harold Wilson and became law in 1976, with much of the original bill simply copied into the second edition.



    The exemption was almost immediately granted to a newly formed company called Bank of England Nominees Limited, operated by senior individuals at the Bank of England, which has previously been identified as a possible vehicle through which the Queen held shares.



    Shares believed to be owned by the Queen were transferred to the company in April 1977, according to a 1989 book by the journalist Andrew Morton.



    The exemption is believed to have helped conceal the Queen’s private fortune until at least 2011, when the government disclosed that Bank of England Nominees was no longer covered by it.



    Four years ago, the company was closed down. Precisely what happened to the shares it held on behalf of others is not clear. As a dormant company, it never filed public accounts itemising its activities.



    ‘A possible landmine’


    The use of Queen’s consent is normally recorded in Hansard, the official record of parliamentary debates, before a bill’s third reading. However, no notification of consent for the 1976 bill appears in the record, possibly because it was only sought for the 1973 version that never made it to third reading.



    Howe, who died in 2015, appears to have disclosed the role of Queen’s consent – which is invoked when ministers believe a draft law might affect the royal prerogative or the private interests of the crown – during a parliamentary debate in 1975 in a previously unnoticed speech.



    “In relation to that draft legislation, as to any other, the advisers of the Queen, as they do as a matter of routine, examined the bill to see whether it contained, inadvertently or otherwise, any curtailment of the royal prerogative,” Howe said.



    Howe had been prompted to speak in the parliamentary debate during a row caused by the leak of high-level Whitehall papers to the Morning Star newspaper. The leak revealed the government’s intention to exempt the Windsor wealth from the companies bill.



    It was a major scoop for the communist newspaper, but the leaked papers did not establish whether the Queen had lobbied the government to help conceal her wealth.



    At the time, the Financial Times remarked that “a possible landmine for the Conservatives would be if Buckingham Palace in 1973 had taken the initiative in suggesting that disclosure of the Queen’s shareholdings should be excluded from the bill”.



    The newly discovered papers reveal exactly that. “At the very least, it seems clear that representations on the part of the crown were material in altering the shape of the legislation,” Adams said.



    When contacted by the Guardian, Buckingham Palace did not answer any questions about the Queen’s lobbying to alter the companies bill, or whether she had used the consent procedure to put pressure on the government.



    In a statement, a spokesperson for the Queen said: “Queen’s consent is a parliamentary process, with the role of sovereign purely formal. Consent is always granted by the monarch where requested by government.



    “Whether Queen’s consent is required is decided by parliament, independently from the royal household, in matters that would affect crown interests, including personal property and personal interests of the monarch,” she said.



    “If consent is required, draft legislation is, by convention, put to the sovereign to grant solely on advice of ministers and as a matter of public record.”




    • This article was amended on 10 February 2021. An earlier version incorrectly described Geoffrey Howe as “trade secretary”. He was a trade minister at the time, not a secretary of state.



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