A Sanity Clause for Xmas?

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A Sanity Clause for Xmas?

A Guest blog by redlichtie for TSFM

From what I can see Mike Ashley is likely to be the only game in town for RIFC/TRFC fans unless they want to see another of their clubs go through administration/liquidation.

That particular scenario potentially allows for a phoenix to arise from the ashes but on past evidence it is probably going to be an underfunded operation with overly grandiose pretensions taking them right back into the vicious circle they seem condemned to repeat ad nauseam.

Ashley has the muscle to strongarm the various spivs to give up or greatly dilute their onerous contracts and I suspect that is what has been happening behind the scenes.

From Ashley’s point of view I believe that what is being sought is a stable, self-financing operation that he can then sell on whilst retaining income streams of importance to SD.

I also suspect that he will come to some arrangement with the SFA to dispose of his interest once he has stabilised the club.

The problem for RIFC/TRFC fans is that Ashley is not going to fund some mythical “return to where they belong”, though that is beginning to appear to be the second division of the SPFL where they are heading to have a regular gig.

Like at Newcastle, Ashley will cut their coat according to their cloth. This will mean, again like at Newcastle, a mid-table team with good runs every so often. If the finances can be fixed then they will have an advantage over most other Scottish clubs but in the main we will be back to actual footballing skills and good management being what is important (pace “honest mistakes”).

With recent results and footballing style clearly those are issues that will require attention and McCoist seems likely to present RIFC/TRFC with an early opportunity to address at least one aspect of that if he continues with his current “I’m a good guy” press campaign. It may take just one unguarded comment or action and he will be out.

But will the Bears go for Ashley’s plan? So far they seem antagonistic and still cling to their belief that the world owes them a top football club regardless of cost.

If the fans don’t get behind the current entity I can see Ashley deciding the game’s not worth it and cashing in his chips. Some ‘Rangers Men’ will probably turn up and create a new entity for The People to believe in and Ashley will continue to draw in income from shirt sales and, most likely, charging fans at the world famous Albion car park which he will then own.

The upcoming AGM is crucial and from what we have seen of Ashley so far he gets what he wants.

The crushing reality about to descend on The People is that there really is no Santa Claus. A Sanity Clause, perhaps but no Santa Claus.

About the author

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Trisidium administrator

Trisidium is a Dunblane businessman with a keen interest in Scottish Football. He is a Celtic fan, although the demands of modern-day parenting have seen him less at games and more as a taxi service for his kids.

3,813 Comments so far

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berrtyPosted on12:18 pm - Jan 17, 2015


HMRC will not back down on the EBT case no matter what happens with the Murray group companies. This case is not about the Rangers EBT’s as such. HMRC want to win this case as it would open up large amounts of other schemes to claims and likely bring in 100’s of millions in avoided taxes.

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scapaflow

scapaflowPosted on12:23 pm - Jan 17, 2015


parttimearab says:
January 17, 2015 at 12:17 pm

Jim Spence was reporting last night that sanctions for inadequate pitch protection, did not make it into the final SPFL rulebook.

To be fair, you could argue that the Home company meeting the costs of the replay should be incentive enough to make sure they take all possible steps.

Eco’s explanation for the lack of snow clearance last night rings true, I bet getting G4S to turn out at short notice would not have been cheap either. Would also bet, that Rangers’ policing costs are about to increase 😉

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ecobhoyPosted on12:26 pm - Jan 17, 2015


valentinesclown says:
January 17, 2015 at 10:25 am

View of Ibrox position and who is at fault from rangers fan points of view

http://www.newsnow.co.uk/A/753842139?-11344:801
========================================================
The usual dribble about everyone else except Rangers fans was to blame.

No mention of the DOS cases or the EBTs where liability was admitted or held to be illegal by the two tax tribunals which Bears still think Rangers won 100%.

Self-delusion is difficult to deal with when the facts are twisted and lies substituted for truths. It leads to a revisionist ‘History’ being created to suit the threadbare myths and entrenches the culture of victimhood.

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parttimearabPosted on12:32 pm - Jan 17, 2015


scapaflow says:
January 17, 2015 at 12:04 pm

good article in the Scotsman, on lasts night’s “football match”
——————————————————–
Yep a “permanent embarrassment and an occasional disgrace” right enough….and somewhat geographically challenged…

“With venom and volume, the fulminating throng struck up cries of ‘fat Geordie b*****d’ before a realisation struck among some of those doing the growling that Ashley is from Buckinghamshire, just north of the River Thames. Rapidly then Geordie was dropped for Cockney, before they moved on to simply calling him a ‘w****r’, and from their segueing into exhortations for the Easdales to ‘get tae f***’.”

🙄 🙄 🙄

Good to see the journalist calling them out on the sectarian chanting….nothing on the beeb re that yet….
doubtless they’ll get round to it though 😕

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andygraham.66Posted on1:45 pm - Jan 17, 2015


http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/0/football/30863185

Fans told a legal challenge to the 10Mill loan would be pointless

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neutralaxisPosted on1:48 pm - Jan 17, 2015


From The Scotsman.

“With venom and volume, the fulminating throng struck up cries of ‘fat Geordie b*****d’ before a realisation struck among some of those doing the growling that Ashley is from Buckinghamshire, just north of the River Thames.”

———

Know your enemy, indeed.

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crawfordPosted on2:01 pm - Jan 17, 2015


RE:Last night

Some interesting points on Sportsound.

a Hearts fan was interviewed last night coming away from the game and he
brought up the issue of compensation for the fans.

Do the new lot continue with the position taken by Rangers at the time of the famous spat with Dundee Utd ie Will the fans be let in for nothing or will they do a 180 degree turn and take the DU approach.

*********

Tom English stated that at 9.00pm there was a helicopter, 3 fire engines (eh!) and numerous police horses in attendance.

The public purse takes another hammering!

Imagine the bill for the coming apocalypse.

The horror. The horror.

*********

Incidently, watched the game in a pub in Paisley.
A predominately blue establishment (i know, but I dont have BT and I stopped going to Ibrox (and Parkhead, but for different reasons…..the Celtic stewards) years ago.

According to the clientele, the reason the match was abandoned was totally the fault of…..

..wait for it

Robbie Neilson????

His “constant pleading” with the 4th official was what caused the game to be abandoned.

How do you reason with these people? (Rhetorical)

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jimlarkinPosted on2:18 pm - Jan 17, 2015


parttimearab says:
January 17, 2015 at 12:32 pm
8 0 Rate This

scapaflow says:
January 17, 2015 at 12:04 pm

good article in the Scotsman, on lasts night’s “football match”
——————————————————–
Yep a “permanent embarrassment and an occasional disgrace” right enough….and somewhat geographically challenged…

“With venom and volume, the fulminating throng struck up cries of ‘fat Geordie b*****d’ before a realisation struck among some of those doing the growling that Ashley is from Buckinghamshire, just north of the River Thames. Rapidly then Geordie was dropped for Cockney, before they moved on to simply calling him a ‘w****r’, and from their segueing into exhortations for the Easdales to ‘get tae f***’.”

🙄 🙄 🙄

Good to see the journalist calling them out on the sectarian chanting….nothing on the beeb re that yet….
doubtless they’ll get round to it though 😕

………………………………

Well “sort of”

During his critique of last night’s shinanegins
Tom English whispered that there “was” also sectarian singing !

(I assume he was at the game)?

Did he mention it last night ???

Hmmmmmmmmmmmm !

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Danish PastryPosted on2:41 pm - Jan 17, 2015


The Cat NR1 says:
January 17, 2015 at 10:22 am
17 1 Rate This

Crivens.
I seem to woken up and logged into the wrong site.
The Whataboutery Football Monitor…
——

Quite.

* So, £10m is some prospect from MA. Although, does £3m of the £10m go to paying back original loan? Confused.

* Goosy says liquidation a cert. Is the cmon view here that another Ashley company is getting ready to pick up the assets?

* Interesting female caller on SSB last night questioning the current valuation of Govan assets compared to the knock-down price at which they were given to Charles Green. She asked why creditors received little benefit from these obviously valuable pieces of the oldco. Fair question, and not totally dismissed by the pundits. It’s been a long road, but relevant questions are still being asked, and making it onto SSB. Upcoming court cases will hopefully shed light on what went on, and perhaps offer creditors a possibility of compensation.

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woodstein

woodsteinPosted on2:59 pm - Jan 17, 2015


berrty says:

January 17, 2015 at 12:18 pm

Correct

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Resin_lab_dogPosted on2:59 pm - Jan 17, 2015


andygraham.66 says:
January 17, 2015 at 1:45 pm

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http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/0/football/30863185

Fans told a legal challenge to the 10Mill loan would be pointless

________________________________________________

Well knock me down with a feather, eh?!!!
I wonder how much this inspired piece of legal tautology cost the fans group? eeh… You’d think they were made of money, given the ease with which they seem to part with it!

Any word yet of the other legal opinions they are also no doubt seeking on such matter as the religious affiliation of the pope, or the arborial excretary bevahior of ursine mammals?

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helpmaboab

helpmaboabPosted on5:26 pm - Jan 17, 2015


Despite the pitchfork mob storming the marble staircase,the foul language,the sectarian singing,Herald Sport leads with ‘McNamara unhappy with Deila approach’!!

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parttimearabPosted on5:41 pm - Jan 17, 2015


I post the link to McMurdo minors blog reluctantly given the horrors that normally lurk in the comments section but he’s carrying a screenshot from a female ibrox employee who lost a tooth in last night’s ‘protest’ and who reports that an eighty year old employee was also attacked.

I’d copy the screen grab but the lady uses some rather… er… colourful language to describe the ‘protestors’ and I’d be here all night trying to edit it out.

https://billmcmurdo.wordpress.com/2015/01/17/no-comment-required/

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Shyster Flywheel ShysterPosted on6:06 pm - Jan 17, 2015


If David King needs to know how to pulls the strings in the Boardroom he need look no further than Vladimir Romanov at Hearts, Vlad personally owned no shares in the club, but his wife, son, niece and mother did. Plus other companies that he had controlling interests in. Yet there was no doubt who was in charge. And then look what happened when his business empire went breasts skyward

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easyJamboPosted on6:15 pm - Jan 17, 2015


One thing that I can’t work out is why it is Sports Direct’s name that is on the advance notices and not Mash Holdings.

It could be to avoid further SFA sanctions, but is it possible that the funding Ashley is proposing will come via Rangers Retail, through their partnership with Sports Direct. It might be a way of assuring that the Rangers Retail deal is maintained for as long as the loan is outstanding. The loan may also be accompanied by a hefty early repayment penalty.

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ecobhoyPosted on6:16 pm - Jan 17, 2015


berrty says:
January 17, 2015 at 12:18 pm

HMRC will not back down on the EBT case no matter what happens with the Murray group companies. This case is not about the Rangers EBT’s as such. HMRC want to win this case as it would open up large amounts of other schemes to claims and likely bring in 100’s of millions in avoided taxes.
===========================================================
I hear what you say and I might even agree with it. But if the companies involved no longer legally exist then can the proceedings continue?

I simply don’t know the answer to that one.

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Shyster Flywheel ShysterPosted on6:18 pm - Jan 17, 2015


Did Garron Security Services neglect their duty to keep fans apart last night by being sent to protect their directors from the baying mob?

It is not totally surprising that the MSM have neglected to report the violence after the game. Thankfully, The Scotsman leads with it.

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parttimearabPosted on6:28 pm - Jan 17, 2015


ecobhoy says:
January 17, 2015 at 6:16 pm

I hear what you say and I might even agree with it. But if the companies involved no longer legally exist then can the proceedings continue?
————————-
IIRC said companies being liquidated so might still exist when case being heard next….liquidators might not see any value in contesting but will BDO then carry the torch for RIFC(IL) ❓

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easyJamboPosted on6:32 pm - Jan 17, 2015


Shyster Flywheel Shyster says: January 17, 2015 at 6:06 pm

If David King needs to know how to pulls the strings in the Boardroom he need look no further than Vladimir Romanov at Hearts, Vlad personally owned no shares in the club, but his wife, son, niece and mother did. Plus other companies that he had controlling interests in. Yet there was no doubt who was in charge. And then look what happened when his business empire went breasts skyward
=================================
I’m afraid that’s just not true.

Vlad used UBIG to by an initial stake in the club, then a new company called Heart Of Midlothian 2005 to purchase his controlling holding in 2005.

UBIG’s holding increased through Debt for Equity Swaps in 2008 and 2010, diluting all other holdings.

In 2011 UBIG “sold” 15% of the club to a Swiss company called Quantum Holding SA, which did have Vlad’s neice as a director more than five year previously.

In Dec 2012 29.9% of the club and the majority of the debt to UBIG was transferred from UBIG to Ukio Bankas in a forlorn effort to prop up the Bank’s balance sheet.

At no point did any member of Vlad’s family own shares directly in Hearts, although they did have personal holdings in both UBIG and Ukio Bankas.

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parttimearabPosted on6:35 pm - Jan 17, 2015


parttimearab says:
January 17, 2015 at 6:28 pm

liquidators might not see any value in contesting but will BDO then carry the torch for RIFC(IL) ❓
——————————————
Sorry should read RFC(IL) not RIFC(IL)….Freudian slip 😛

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ecobhoyPosted on6:57 pm - Jan 17, 2015


easyJambo says:
January 17, 2015 at 6:15 pm

One thing that I can’t work out is why it is Sports Direct’s name that is on the advance notices and not Mash Holdings.

It could be to avoid further SFA sanctions, but is it possible that the funding Ashley is proposing will come via Rangers Retail, through their partnership with Sports Direct. It might be a way of assuring that the Rangers Retail deal is maintained for as long as the loan is outstanding. The loan may also be accompanied by a hefty early repayment penalty.
===========================================================
It isn’t actually SportsDirect’s name which is on the advance notices but SportsDirect.com Retail Ltd.

I have undernoted a post of mine from a couple of days ago which might help explain why.

UNDERNOTE

ecobhoy says:
January 15, 2015 at 1:11 pm

I truly am losing my memory and forgot the significance of SportsDirect.com Retail Ltd. And it’s very interesting as the notice of security lodged could relate to Rangers Retail Ltd.

I originally posted the following info on TSFM back in July 2013 and it’s self-explanatory:

Sportsdirect.com Retail Limited (an affiliate of SDI) agrees to provide a facility of £1.5 million to Rangers Retail available for drawdown for a period of 5 years at an interest rate of Barclays Bank’s pass through rate from time-to-time and interest is to be capitalised.

Any sums drawn down under the facility would be secured by a debenture to be given by Rangers Retail over all its freehold and leasehold property. This hadn’t been drawn-down when the Prospectus was released but might have been since.

This could well be another step in the dance of death that Rangers Retail is apparently sleepwalking into.

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berrtyPosted on7:03 pm - Jan 17, 2015


“liquidators might not see any value in contesting but will BDO then carry the torch for RIFC(IL) :?:”

I’m not sure that BDO can finalise the liquidation until this case is finally decided as a win for HMRC would place a big liability against Oldco and so would entitle HMRC to a share of any payout from the pot.

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parttimearabPosted on7:14 pm - Jan 17, 2015


berrty says:
January 17, 2015 at 7:03 pm

I’m not sure that BDO can finalise the liquidation until this case is finally decided as a win for HMRC would place a big liability against Oldco and so would entitle HMRC to a share of any payout from the pot.
——————–
Sorry Berrty -didn’t post as clearly as I might have – BDO had indicated that they might help with BTC costs – if the liquidators of the various parts of the Murray ’empire’ don’t fancy carrying on the fight my thought was that BDO would have to consider having to bear the whole cost themselves ❓

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Cosmic TruthPosted on7:16 pm - Jan 17, 2015


Meanwhile, over on FF, it’s being suggested that Celtic supporters may have been the cause of the trouble last night”

https://twitter.com/celticservant/status/556504865774788608

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TailothebankPosted on7:36 pm - Jan 17, 2015


Every column you read ,every radio show you listen to ..screams out the same anti Ashley and pro King hysteria .it is suddenly the de facto game plan now both in the media and in the ranks of the Rangers fans that King has to be allowed In to run the show

Fwiw I hae ma doots that Ashley will let that happen but that is another issue
Not one person is publicly saying with any conviction that King running the show will be any kind of a problem .

So..if the SFA have ANY intention of stopping King being a director for FPP reasons then they damn well better nip this in the bud right now …..if not there will be riots if they try to stop it down the line .

Btw as an aside the Rangers board could actually be quite cute by rejecting the EGM move telling King he isn’t a FPP to be a Rangers board member ..and they would be dead right!..wouldn’t that be fun!

Meanwhile we know it on here but the wider Scottish football fans need to start to realise they are sleepwalking Into a scenario where the rules are about to be broken in spectacular style for Rangers yet again by the SFA either by accommodating Ashley or King …because they are terrified of the consequences of standing up to these guys and their fans

Per Auldheid yesterday and earlier postings and apologies for boring the forum on this but without doubt IMO The most fundamental question of all right now for us here continues to be ..who on earth is running scottish football?
Rangers and their supporters club at Hampden or the clubs.?..where are Lawwell Budge Petrie Milne etc on this ?
I suspect they have their heads down hoping it will resolve itself in a good way ..ie the 3 bears end up somehow running things .

The problem with that strategy is like all things in life is ..if you don’t make things happen yourself ..then others do …and you live with the consequences ….
I sympathise with Glen and the other good Rangers guys ..I really do ..and really hope the 3 bears ( not King ) prevail and that everything is done by the rules and it all ends well ..and I for one would support a bit of leniency on where they end up in the league set up particularly if there is a liquidation event etc ……but if not and rules are bent again then sorry I and I suspect the silent majority of Scottish football fans …at a time when so many really good things are happening .in our game ..(look at that Aberdeen game today …how good was that ?..also imagine how good the premiere league would be if Hearts and Hibs were in it right now ? ) ..will react even more violently than they did in 2012 …because the last two years has shown us the way to a perfectly good potential future without Rangers and the crew at Hampden

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redlichtiePosted on7:41 pm - Jan 17, 2015


With all the media and private cameras at the protest last night – along with, I assume, CCTV – when will we be hearing from the police and club that plays at Ibrox that action is being taken?

One would suspect there may be a few weel kent faces amongst the protest crowd.

Arrests and sine die bans from Ibrox?

We shall see….

Scottish Football needs a strong Police Scotland.

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Resin_lab_dogPosted on7:43 pm - Jan 17, 2015


parttimearab says:
January 17, 2015 at 5:41 pm

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I post the link to McMurdo minors blog reluctantly given the horrors that normally lurk in the comments section but he’s carrying a screenshot from a female ibrox employee who lost a tooth in last night’s ‘protest’ and who reports that an eighty year old employee was also attacked.

I’d copy the screen grab but the lady uses some rather… er… colourful language to describe the ‘protestors’ and I’d be here all night trying to edit it out.

https://billmcmurdo.wordpress.com/2015/01/17/no-comment-required/

__________________________________________________

To be fair to McMurdo and the rest, on this occasion, the comments are measured and largely reasonable.
A refreshing lack of tolerance for the idiots responsible for last nights disgrace.
Wake up call has sounded.
Coffee has been smelt.

Click without fear.

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easyJamboPosted on7:46 pm - Jan 17, 2015


ecobhoy says: January 17, 2015 at 6:57 pm
————–
Thanks for that. I missed that post among the hundreds that have been posted over the last few days, but reaffirms what I was thinking.

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parttimearabPosted on8:02 pm - Jan 17, 2015


A view on Bobby Madden’s performance last night (wrt the call off) from a real proper ref (grade unknown) on Scotzine.

http://www.scotzine.com/2015/01/the-ref-gives-his-view-on-rangers-v-hearts-call-off/?

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iceman63Posted on8:08 pm - Jan 17, 2015


My first thought upon the Ibrox Noise piece was that the author was paranoid and delusional. Upon closer consideration I now realise that he is neither.
Paranoia and delusion are grave psychiatric conditions and it seems inconceivable that so many football fans can be mentally ill with an identical condition.
The writer is sane, and uses a degree of reasoning but he is however completely misinformed. Now that may well be a deliberate misinforming on his part, but the true scandals run deeper than this distressed, angry, unfortunate blogger.
The nonsense that he spouts has been fed to him and disseminated by the press and media whose special position of privilege within our society is based upon the assumption that a free press will hold those in power to account and accurately inform the public. Instead press and broadcasters have chosen to disseminate untruths and half truths and allowed and fostered misconceptions to be widely accepted asbtruth.
Thirdly, in football terms the lies that have been disseminated have been used as the basis for actios, rule formation and the generally accepted “truth” about the club.
Rangers bloggers and fans are , for the most part, angry, confused and embittered. Those responsible fir generating that bitterness and fostering that wholly bogus sense of injustice, however, occupy senior positions of privilege and authority within our society.
That is the true disgrace and scandal here, not the fevered rabble-roused babblings of low level Rangers fans.
On the other hand the guys blaming Celtic fans for last night’s scenes from Ibrox (missed seemingly by the BBC and The Record.. wonder why) are completely bats!!!

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John ClarkPosted on8:09 pm - Jan 17, 2015


parttimearab says:
January 17, 2015 at 7:14 pm
‘… if the liquidators of the various parts of the Murray ‘empire’ don’t fancy carrying on the fight my thought was that BDO would have to consider having to bear the whole cost themselves :?:’
———
I would myself think that if Murray Group resile on their readiness to include RFC(IL)’s litigation costs as part of their own, BDO as representing RFC(IL)as a legal person, would face a choice:EITHER to fund RFC(IL)’s litigation costs themselves-drawing on such monies that, as Liquidators, they have thus far managed to find and secure for creditors; OR to concede HMRC’s case and withdraw their objection to the HMRC appeal.

If they were to decide to continue to resist the Appeal, and lost, then the pot of money available for a payout would be reduced not only by the backtax that had to be paid but also by the costs of the litigation to date. [And HMRC would, of course, be in a strengthened position vis-vis their view of the law]
If they won, on the other hand, no back tax would have to be paid, and the pot already available would be there for sharing out proportionately to the creditors , including HMRC.
BDO would probably have to ask the creditors what they preferred to do,because , of course, BDO would be using the creditors’ money, not their own. And taking their fees off the top first!

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ianagain

ianagainPosted on8:15 pm - Jan 17, 2015


Red

Yes Done. the inspector from Govan did his job.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-glasgow-west-30866684

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John ClarkPosted on8:25 pm - Jan 17, 2015


ianagain says:
January 17, 2015 at 8:15 pm
‘.. the inspector from Govan did his job.’
——-
And ( as we have come to expect)the BBC hasn’t! No mention of sectarian singing?
Anyway, I hope the fan arrested is the guy who thumped the poor woman staff member and broke her tooth, or poor Mr Took.

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parttimearabPosted on8:28 pm - Jan 17, 2015


John Clark says:
January 17, 2015 at 8:09 pm
—————————
Thanks John, nice and clear, looks right to me…Will be interesting to see how this develops.

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ianagain

ianagainPosted on8:34 pm - Jan 17, 2015


John Clark says:

January 17, 2015 at 8:09 pm

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parttimearab says:
January 17, 2015 at 7:14 pm
‘… if the liquidators of the various parts of the Murray ‘empire’ don’t fancy carrying on the fight my thought was that BDO would have to consider having to bear the whole cost themselves :?:’
———
I would myself think that if Murray Group resile on their readiness to include RFC(IL)’s litigation costs as part of their own, BDO as representing RFC(IL)as a legal person, would face a choice:EITHER to fund RFC(IL)’s litigation costs themselves-drawing on such monies that, as Liquidators, they have thus far managed to find and secure for creditors; OR to concede HMRC’s case and withdraw their objection to the HMRC appeal.

If they were to decide to continue to resist the Appeal, and lost, then the pot of money available for a payout would be reduced not only by the backtax that had to be paid but also by the costs of the litigation to date. [And HMRC would, of course, be in a strengthened position vis-vis their view of the law]
If they won, on the other hand, no back tax would have to be paid, and the pot already available would be there for sharing out proportionately to the creditors , including HMRC.
BDO would probably have to ask the creditors what they preferred to do,because , of course, BDO would be using the creditors’ money, not their own. And taking their fees off the top first!
==============================================

JC

This is a true conundrum.

Only because the Collyers insurance dough is now in the pot and mibbees the Jerome pension moneys (Early days English court dates pending).

Do HMRC collect their share or go for bust and refuse BDO the right to offer it. (Which I believe they can do?) Case of substance; public interest and so on. i.e. Refuse winding up of liquidated party, let it drift in the Sargasso sea for ever until such times HMRC get the result they believe is just.

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Resin_lab_dogPosted on9:01 pm - Jan 17, 2015


ianagain says:
January 17, 2015 at 8:15 pm

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Red

Yes Done. the inspector from Govan did his job.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-glasgow-west-30866684

_______________________________________________

sine die bans would send the right message.

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scapaflow

scapaflowPosted on9:06 pm - Jan 17, 2015


Resin_lab_dog says:
January 17, 2015 at 9:01 pm

Frankie and old GM Suck were in the vanguard so to speak, allegedly :mrgreen:

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Allyjambo

AllyjamboPosted on9:14 pm - Jan 17, 2015


iceman63 says:
January 17, 2015 at 8:08 pm

The nonsense that he spouts has been fed to him and disseminated by the press and media whose special position of privilege within our society is based upon the assumption that a free press will hold those in power to account and accurately inform the public. Instead press and broadcasters have chosen to disseminate untruths and half truths and allowed and fostered misconceptions to be widely accepted asbtruth.
_____________

I wrote fairly recently that I sensed that a deeply hidden acceptance of the possibility that TRFC were not, in fact, a continuation of RFC, was partly responsible for what appeared to be a lack of action by the bears in the face of impending disaster. They’ve proven me wrong.

Perhaps, though, if the truth had been put out there in away they would accept, and they were all made aware that this was a new club, and that, therefor, it’s failings wouldn’t impinge on the memories of their one true love; then the violence we have seen, and what will, with some certainty, follow, would almost certainly have been avoided.

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jean7brodie

jean7brodiePosted on9:15 pm - Jan 17, 2015


Has anything happened re Offensive Behaviour At Football Act or does that take ages and ages and ages?

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Cluster One

Cluster OnePosted on9:47 pm - Jan 17, 2015


Is this the first time the fans have marched on a building and it was…….OPEN.

This may put me on the naughty step 😥

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Carfins FinestPosted on9:48 pm - Jan 17, 2015


There was a show of strength around Govan last night. Unfortunately this show of strength came from neither the football authorities nor the constabulary. What we witnessed was basic anarchy. When a crowd cannot be controlled by the authorities that’s what you get. This crowd had already been pumped by various factions telling them who was pissing in their chips and how to sort out the enemy. Add in some liberal Friday beverages and what we have is a powder keg. Some people just need pointed in a particular direction and off they will toddle. Dragging their knuckles. I really fear for the innocents when these people come face to face with the people they perceive to be the REAL enemy. The prospect fills me with complete dread.

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bfbpuzzledPosted on9:53 pm - Jan 17, 2015


After the sectarian singing violence including of the internecine variety and general crass offensiveness, I really hope the semi final does not happen some really positive stuff happened in the last year in Scotland and this kind of synthetic combination of a narrative of false victim hood and hubristic übermensch ludicrusness is the opposite of that. Furthermore as the final acts of this play near the end -hell mend them.

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StevieBC

StevieBCPosted on10:11 pm - Jan 17, 2015


Another possible aspect of the nonsense at Ibrox last night.

I failed to get an online livestream of the Hearts game before the game was abandoned, so followed up on here and Twitter for the updates around the stadium.

As mentioned, the level of trouble reported – or not reported at all in the SMSM – seemed to be underplayed.

If Celtic v TRFC goes ahead, with expected trouble – will it be under reported in the SMSM…for the good of Scottish football, of course ? 🙁

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Danish PastryPosted on10:21 pm - Jan 17, 2015


Jim Spence echoing thoughts expressed here for quite a long while:

@Thedee1893 @GrahamSpiers @DarkBlue62 @McNallyMirror
Rangers fans could sort it tomorrow
9:13pm – 17 Jan 15

@Thedee1893 @GrahamSpiers @DarkBlue62 @McNallyMirror
they could walk away set up a new club and rent Hampden. Radical but effective.
9:15pm – 17 Jan 15

@shomac28 @Thedee1893 @GrahamSpiers @DarkBlue62@McNallyMirror a new club owned by fans
9:18pm – 17 Jan 15

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HirsutePursuitPosted on10:29 pm - Jan 17, 2015


Tailothebank says:
January 17, 2015 at 7:36 pm
26 1 Rate This

Every column you read ,every radio show you listen to ..screams out the same anti Ashley and pro King hysteria .it is suddenly the de facto game plan now both in the media and in the ranks of the Rangers fans that King has to be allowed In to run the show

Fwiw I hae ma doots that Ashley will let that happen but that is another issue
Not one person is publicly saying with any conviction that King running the show will be any kind of a problem .

So..if the SFA have ANY intention of stopping King being a director for FFP reasons then they damn well better nip this in the bud right now …..if not there will be riots if they try to stop it down the line .

Btw as an aside the Rangers board could actually be quite cute by rejecting the EGM move telling King he isn’t a FPP to be a Rangers board member ..and they would be dead right!..wouldn’t that be fun!
=====================================================
Except under particular circumstances, anyone who was (within the previous 12 months) a director of a company going into insolvent liquidation, is prohibited from being a director or “in any way, whether directly or indirectly, be concerned or take part in the promotion, formation or management” of a company with the same or similar name for a period of 5 years.
http://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/1986/45/section/216

I assume that DCK will seek leave of the court to become a director of RIFC plc.

I don’t know what arguments he would present to the court in support of his application; but I suspect the recent conviction on 41 counts of non-payment of tax (and the £44m fine) will substantially weaken his case.

If leave of the court is granted for a relaxation in terms of the prohibition, the SPFL and SFA would find it difficult to disallow his participation under the FFP rules.

However if DCK is not granted leave, the board of RIFC may feel that his call to remove them and nominate replacements is being “concerned in the management of the company”. Consequently they may feel unable to act on instructions from someone they believe “be in contravention in relation to the company of section 216”.
http://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/1986/45/section/217

The footballing authorities will have little say in the matter either way.

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CastofthousandsPosted on10:37 pm - Jan 17, 2015


Zilch says:
January 17, 2015 at 9:59 am

“They have a choice to make. Do they stoke the fires in advance in a desperate attempt to boost their flagging sales?”
———————————-
As witnessed in the proverbial tale of the scorpion crossing the rover on the back of a frog, of course they will. It is in their nature. Any unfortunate aftermath may prove even more newsworthy. These are not guardians of the moral fibre of society.

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John ClarkPosted on10:41 pm - Jan 17, 2015


ianagain says:
January 17, 2015 at 8:34 pm
‘….let it drift in the Sargasso sea for ever until such times HMRC get the result they believe is just.’
———-
If the Court of Session upholds Lord Doherty’s decision(s), next stop is the Supreme Court.God alone knows how long it would be before the case would be heard!

But I think HMRC WILL go the distance.

Because this is not a case of very clever, honest, lawyers simply finding genuine loopholes and weaknesses in the law as framed by Parliament and taking honest advantage of them.

No, there is enough evidence to show collusion in constructing a deceitful scheme with the appearance of legality.
The FTTT and the UTTT were too ready to accept that there was no intent to deceive the taxman by a mock ‘trust’ arrangement, and took the view that because the bits of paper looked like ‘trusts’ they must BE ‘trusts’, in spite of all the dodgy testimony and disappeared papers that established the contrary.
In my view.

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ianagain

ianagainPosted on10:52 pm - Jan 17, 2015


John Clark says:

January 17, 2015 at 10:41 pm

ianagain says:
January 17, 2015 at 8:34 pm
‘….let it drift in the Sargasso sea for ever until such times HMRC get the result they believe is just.’
———-
If the Court of Session upholds Lord Doherty’s decision(s), next stop is the Supreme Court.God alone knows how long it would be before the case would be heard!

But I think HMRC WILL go the distance.

Because this is not a case of very clever, honest, lawyers simply finding genuine loopholes and weaknesses in the law as framed by Parliament and taking honest advantage of them.

No, there is enough evidence to show collusion in constructing a deceitful scheme with the appearance of legality.
The FTTT and the UTTT were too ready to accept that there was no intent to deceive the taxman by a mock ‘trust’ arrangement, and took the view that because the bits of paper looked like ‘trusts’ they must BE ‘trusts’, in spite of all the dodgy testimony and disappeared papers that established the contrary.
In my view.
=====================================

JC

My guess also they will proceed. However will BDO get involved?

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paulsatimPosted on11:02 pm - Jan 17, 2015


Tomorrow’s Sunday Mail back page, https://pbs.twimg.com/media/B7lUevFCAAEqGpF.jpg

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John ClarkPosted on11:20 pm - Jan 17, 2015


ianagain says:
January 17, 2015 at 10:52 pm
‘..My guess also they will proceed. However will BDO get involved?’
————
I suppose that will be a function of their understanding of their legal obligations to the creditors and to the Court.

I assume that they have absolute discretion to decide whether continuing to argue RFC(IL)’s case rather than give it up is in the best interests of the creditors?
They seem to be in a no-win (except in relation to their own fees, of course), lesser-of-two-evils situation.
I await events! 🙂

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CastofthousandsPosted on11:22 pm - Jan 17, 2015


The Cat NR1 says:
January 17, 2015 at 10:55 am

“The only one involved who seems to be in any position of a lack of denial is MA (and placemen). Is he the only one who played no role, either active or passive, in the downfall of RFC”
————————————
I was thinking that Sports Direct’s relationship with football clubs might be analogous to car manufacturers relationship with Formula One motor racing. The sport provides the brand with kudos which is very important in marketing terms. With Formula One there is also a bit of technology transfer as well.

Sports kit for the masses is pretty basic stuff; Shanghai synthetics factory number 17 can knock it out at an extraordinary rate of knots. So with such a commoditised product, brand differentiation becomes very important. If you can link your brand to some genuine sportsmen then it gets you a foot in the door. Rangers and NUFC may not be true world brands but they do provide some overhead servicing turnover and it perhaps only takes a wee bit of success somewhere down the line for the brand to be given a wee polish of success.

From that perspective Mike Ashley would probably not want to be associated with a sporting catastrophe.

Maybe that’s why he might not be as snow whyte as you suggest Cat NR1. Maybe he took out a bit of insurance early on in the form of some kind of hidden stake in the club. Dual ownership rules would have been manifest so perhaps it was thought prudent to achieve some kind of back door security just to prevent any messy business later on.

Perhaps despite Ashley’s best laid plans things have become a bit too complex, as we have witnessed. It might be that behind the scenes all this fracar is intertwined and controllable if you know what strings to pull. However if the cast list have went off script and altered the plot there may be a difficult situation here to be sorted out.

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John ClarkPosted on11:54 pm - Jan 17, 2015


Castofthousands says:
January 17, 2015 at 10:37 pm
‘..These are not guardians of the moral fibre of society.’
———-
I agree.

But every editorial in every ‘broadsheet’ is written by people who use words such as ‘it ought’, ‘people should’ ‘it is right that’ , ‘moral duty’ and so on. When they themselves acknowledge no other principle, no other truth, no other reason for their existence than achieving high advertising revenue or propagating the views of their owners.

In that regard, the editors of what used to be ‘important’ opinion forming organs- the Scotsman, the Herald, the Times- are not one jot different from the sleaziest, phone-tapping, door-stepping prurient little tyke who gets the odd piece in the Sun or Daily Record.Or from the better educated, middle-class sports journalist, of whom we seem to have a lot in Scotland, who persistently propagandises and peddles mis-truths, half-truths out of partisanship and/or craven cowardice.
You’re absolutely right,CoT: our newspaper and other media men are indeed NOT the guardians of the moral fibre of society. They are its destroyers, in pursuit of a shilling or two ( the basest of reasons) or in propagation of inimical ideas.
In my opinion.

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ianagain

ianagainPosted on11:56 pm - Jan 17, 2015


John Clark says:

January 17, 2015 at 11:20 pm

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ianagain says:
January 17, 2015 at 10:52 pm
‘..My guess also they will proceed. However will BDO get involved?’
————
I suppose that will be a function of their understanding of their legal obligations to the creditors and to the Court.

I assume that they have absolute discretion to decide whether continuing to argue RFC(IL)’s case rather than give it up is in the best interests of the creditors?
They seem to be in a no-win (except in relation to their own fees, of course), lesser-of-two-evils situation.
I await events! 🙂
==============================
JC

Yes an interesting one I think under the radar thus far.
Maybees impending Court actions staying everyones hand?

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gunnerbPosted on11:58 pm - Jan 17, 2015


John Clark says:
January 17, 2015 at 8:09 pm

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parttimearab says:
January 17, 2015 at 7:14 pm
‘… if the liquidators of the various parts of the Murray ‘empire’ don’t fancy carrying on the fight my thought was that BDO would have to consider having to bear the whole cost themselves :?:’
———
I would myself think that if Murray Group resile on their readiness to include RFC(IL)’s litigation costs as part of their own, BDO as representing RFC(IL)as a legal person, would face a choice:EITHER to fund RFC(IL)’s litigation costs themselves-drawing on such monies that, as Liquidators, they have thus far managed to find and secure for creditors; OR to concede HMRC’s case and withdraw their objection to the HMRC appeal.

If they were to decide to continue to resist the Appeal, and lost, then the pot of money available for a payout would be reduced not only by the backtax that had to be paid but also by the costs of the litigation to date. [And HMRC would, of course, be in a strengthened position vis-vis their view of the law]
If they won, on the other hand, no back tax would have to be paid, and the pot already available would be there for sharing out proportionately to the creditors , including HMRC.
BDO would probably have to ask the creditors what they preferred to do,because , of course, BDO would be using the creditors’ money, not their own. And taking their fees off the top first!
——————————————————-

I remember querying this matter on RTC. My point being that the Murray group EBT arrangements outside of the football operation were far more likely to be accepted as kosher (no side letters etc) and therefore why was Lloyds(by then de facto owners of Murray Group) willing to bear the cost of defending all the EBTs. I think it was because HMRC were chasing the absolute ruling of EBT bad no matter what. If that is the case then in the absence of a properly funded defence, I believe the burden should fall on the taxpayer.I don’t imagine this will be a popular view but when governing bodies are set upon establishing legal precedent of any kind then their case must be thoroughly tested.

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SmugasPosted on12:08 am - Jan 18, 2015


Final point before I head for bed. Listened to tam and jane? Today on way to match. In a day where the Ibrox support has been largely demonised, rightly or wrongly, just wanted to say I thought Andy Cameron was a great listen today. Yes he’s an entertainer so you expect the patter, but he was or certainly seemed to contributing fully, factual stuff where he could, one liners to lift the mood etc. more importantly, he was taking verbal punches, jibes about the team he clearly loves, and he wasn’t huffing, nor protesting nor blaming the world for everything, in fact he was trying his hardest to give as good as he got. Made for a great listen. Good on him. Whist I can’t comment on the guy in a private sense as I’ve never met the man I’m sure we all know a bear like that.

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Resin_lab_dogPosted on12:42 am - Jan 18, 2015


StevieBC says:
January 17, 2015 at 10:11 pm

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Another possible aspect of the nonsense at Ibrox last night.

I failed to get an online livestream of the Hearts game before the game was abandoned, so followed up on here and Twitter for the updates around the stadium.

As mentioned, the level of trouble reported – or not reported at all in the SMSM – seemed to be underplayed.

If Celtic v TRFC goes ahead, with expected trouble – will it be under reported in the SMSM…for the good of Scottish football, of course ? 🙁

_____________________________________________

The cynic in me thinks that certain distatsteful elemenst may be COUNTING on this fixture going ahead?
What better way to redeem the odious Ibrox element they represent than to fill the back pages with hooligans in green and white and spread the sh*te equally?

I would suggest therefore that any Celtic fans intending to patronise the aforesaid fixture would be well advise to don ‘cassock and cotta’ rather than their cherished green and whyte.
And imbibing of earl grey rather than Buckfast may be the order of the day.
Because I suspect ‘self defence’ won’t count for much.

Lets call the whole thing off, eh?

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Resin_lab_dogPosted on12:59 am - Jan 18, 2015


scapaflow says:
January 17, 2015 at 9:06 pm

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Resin_lab_dog says:
January 17, 2015 at 9:01 pm

Frankie and old GM Suck were in the vanguard so to speak, allegedly :mrgreen:

_______________________________________________

win win?

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John ClarkPosted on1:05 am - Jan 18, 2015


Resin_lab_dog says:
January 18, 2015 at 12:42 am
‘Lets call the whole thing off, eh?..’
__________
I would call it off because I don’t recognise the legitimacy of TRFC Ltd.

I have expressed the hope that substantial numbers of Celtic supporters share my view, and will by their non-attendance show their contempt.

Any who wish to maintain the myth that it is an ‘Old Firm’ game, the winning of which could mean something of worth, are playing into the hands of the those who have corrupted Scottish Football.

In my opinion, of course.
Legitimisation by the general football community is what TRFC crave, and ‘continuity’.

They cannot be allowed to have it.
Nor can our Football Administrators be allowed to get away with their deceit and chicanery.Nor can our lying, deceitful, partisan press guys be allowed to continue to misreport or falsely report without challenge.
Again,in my opinion.

You seen the price o’ Earl Grey? Buckie at £7 a bottle

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Resin_lab_dogPosted on1:42 am - Jan 18, 2015


John Clark says:
January 18, 2015 at 1:05 am

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Resin_lab_dog says:
January 18, 2015 at 12:42 am
‘Lets call the whole thing off, eh?..’
__________
I would call it off because I don’t recognise the legitimacy of TRFC Ltd.

I have expressed the hope that substantial numbers of Celtic supporters share my view, and will by their non-attendance show their contempt.

Any who wish to maintain the myth that it is an ‘Old Firm’ game, the winning of which could mean something of worth, are playing into the hands of the those who have corrupted Scottish Football.

In my opinion, of course.
Legitimisation by the general football community is what TRFC crave, and ‘continuity’.

They cannot be allowed to have it.
Nor can our Football Administrators be allowed to get away with their deceit and chicanery.Nor can our lying, deceitful, partisan press guys be allowed to continue to misreport or falsely report without challenge.
Again,in my opinion.

You seen the price o’ Earl Grey? Buckie at £7 a bottle

_______________________________________________

In which case. Drink buckie and stay at home.
Trouble only suits the agenda of those who have corrupted the game.

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John ClarkPosted on1:57 am - Jan 18, 2015


gunnerb says:
January 17, 2015 at 11:58 pm
‘…My point being that the Murray group EBT arrangements outside of the football operation were far more likely to be accepted as kosher (no side letters etc) and therefore why was Lloyds(by then de facto owners of Murray Group) willing to bear the cost of defending all the EBTs.’
————-
I think it’s because our deceitfully cunning SDM, guilty of football cheating on a massive scale, knew or hoped that HIS scheme’s ‘side letters’ trick might have been ignored in the bigger Murray group scheme of things.
The man was a chancer.
Relying on his ‘recognition’ as a man of utmost integrity, a knight of the realm, super big wheel, fabric of Scottish society, entrepeneur extraordinaire, he conned or directed his ‘group’ into defending his rotten ( under his control) football club’s tax default.
Which could only be done of course with the compliance of certain bank personnel.
That perhaps you, and certainly I, paid bonuses to.

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Bryce CurdyPosted on3:00 am - Jan 18, 2015


Good morning JC.

Sadly Anthony Stokes legitimises Sevco with references to ‘old firm’ and ‘since we last played them’ in an interview with Moira Gordon in today’s Scotland on Sunday (sorry that I can’t do links on my iPad). I had been informed by an excellent source that the players and other employees were under specific instructions regarding the language to be used when discussing this fixture. I was not expecting anybody to inflame the situation by telling the truth, but if Stokes has gone off message I hope the club hammer him. Given his background we might reasonably expect him to be amongst the more aware of the players of the fans’ feelings about this, although aware is probably not something Anthony has been described as very often.

More unexpectedly however, Ms Gordon rather bravely states that there are many who regard this as the first fixture between the clubs. I hope she is not assuming that her gender will afford her a degree of protection. The subeditor (or whoever’s role it is to come up with article titles) also refers to ‘Celtic-Rangers’ rather than ‘Old Firm’.

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Barcabhoy

BarcabhoyPosted on4:43 am - Jan 18, 2015


Excellent article by Ian Fraser in todays Sunday Herald. There are many questions to be asked of and by Politicians .

Why did Lloyds and Bank of Scotland behave the way they did with regards to Murrays failed business.

Article below

Sir David Murray’s metals-to-property conglomerate Murray International Holdings (MIH) died last week, going out not with a bang but a whimper.

Sir David Murray’s fortunes changed when his accounts were transferred to Lloyds’s business support unit. One of its first goals was to persuade Murray to offload Rangers
Sir David Murray’s fortunes changed when his accounts were transferred to Lloyds’s business support unit. One of its first goals was to persuade Murray to offload Rangers
MIH and eight subsidiary companies – Premier Property Group, PPG Land, Premier Burrell, GM Mining, Murray Group Holdings, Murray Group Management, Murray Outsourcing and MMH NSS – are to be liquidated by Deloitte. The insolvency practitioners will be seeking to retrieve as much cash as they can from the firms’ assets and debtors before shutting down the companies for good.

Since the credit crisis blew a massive hole in Murray’s business plans six years ago, his bank, Lloyds – which completed its disastrous acquisition of HBOS in January 2009 – appears to have treated him with kid gloves. It had few qualms about pulling the plug on other HBOS ­customers who had built up massive debts with HBOS, such as John Kennedy’s Kenmore, Jonathon Milne’s FM ­Developments and Ken Ross’s Elphinstone Group.

But Lloyds was prepared to give Murray five-and-a-half years to disentangle and dismantle as much as he could of his business empire, as well allowing Murray Capital, a new private concern of Murray and his son, David junior, to cherry-pick some of his most cherished assets. The reason for this unusual leniency from Lloyds was ascribed to Murray’s tough negotiation skills, and highlighting the number of dependent Scots employees in a diverse group.

In his pomp in the 1990s and early 2000s, David Murray was viewed as one of Scotland’s most successful entrepreneurs. He caught the eye of Bank of Scotland’s former treasurer and managing director Gavin Masterton, and the bank first lent Murray money in 1981. Bank of Scotland went on to lend him the entire £6 million he needed to buy Rangers FC in 1988. By 2008, as part of HBOS, it had provided him with £900 million of debt to bankroll his wide-ranging business operations, which once encompassed commercial property, coal mining, metals trading and football. This was despite the fact that, even at its peak, the turnover of Murray’s group ­holding company never exceeded £550m.

HBOS senior bankers including chief executive of corporate banking Peter Cummings and the late Ian Robertson, managing director of corporate ­banking, gave Murray what amounted to an open cheque book. Together, Murray and HBOS formed a complex web of joint-venture companies into which hundreds of millions of pounds of the bank’s money were poured. In most of these property deals, the bank was effectively lending up to 40% of the money to itself.

Robertson, nicknamed “Robbo”, was infamous for “Robbo rollovers” – deals by which the bank rolled over existing loans into newly created special purpose vehicles, effectively making bad debts disappear in a puff of smoke.

One banking analyst said: “Property assets that ought to have gone into ­insolvency, or into HBOS’s intensive-care unit – which would have required the bank to book a provision for bad debt – were instead rolled over.

The roll-overs are said to have compounded Murray’s situation after the credit markets crashed, complicating his business empire’s problems. However, one of Murray’s more astute moves in the past decade was to sell his Murray International Metals business for £119m in 2005.

From the mid-2000s onwards, having witnessed the success that the likes of Sir Tom Hunter were having in commercial property, Murray massively boosted his group’s exposure to commercial real estate, snapping up provincial shopping centres and office buildings from Edinburgh to London. The number of deals accelerated after Robbo’s successor, Ray Robertson, former head of real estate at Bank of Scotland Corporate, assumed day-to-day responsibility for his affairs at the bank. Both Robertsons had such faith in Murray and his Premier ­Property Group they seemed willing to lend millions with few questions asked, though it was the worst of times to be investing in and developing commercial properties.

Things started to go badly awry when Murray moved away from calculated risk-taking and started using HBOS’s loans for what looked more like reckless gambling. This coincided from 2005 onwards with the adoption of what HBOS insiders call “kamikaze lending to the great and the good” as it sought to grow its ­corporate loan book by some 20% per annum to compensate for a slowdown in other aspects of its business.

Even after property markets ­weakened, Murray seemed impervious to the risk of a property crash. One month after the global financial crisis started in August 2007, PPG had some £500m of development projects under way, including a 175,000sqft speculative office development in Glasgow’s Bothwell Street. MIH was going to be able to defy economic gravity thanks to what Murray described in the 2008 annual report as “the breadth and depth of the group’s diversified portfolio and management team”.

When HBOS collapsed under the weight of massive bad debts and a short-sighted funding model, and the bank succumbed to Lloyds TSB in September 2008, the game was up for Murray. He and other tycoons had been used to picking up the phone to HBOS and receiving hundreds of millions of pounds within hours. That all changed after Murray’s accounts were transferred to Lloyds’s non-core business support unit (BSU), whose goal is to maximise value from distressed borrowers.

One of the BSU’s first goals was to persuade Murray to offload Rangers, partly because the club was such an obvious drain on resources and partly as it was seen as a distraction for the hands-on Murray. One ex-bank insider said Lloyds simply wanted out of football clubs: “Rangers was just soaking up cash. You can’t build a football business on overdrafts and borrowing, but that is what Murray seemed to be doing.” Two-and-a-half years after ceasing to be Rangers’ chairman in October 2009, Murray sold his 85.3% equity stake in Rangers Football Club to Craig Whyte for £1. The club subsequently collapsed into chaos that continues to this day.

Lloyds continued to allow Murray to do two massive debt-for-equity swaps which, given the fact that MIH’s equity was by now as good as worthless, were essentially free gifts. The first, in April 2010, saw Lloyds write off £150m of debt in exchange for an additional 12% stake in the company. Conditions included that Murray must liquidate three-quarters of MIH’s commercial property portfolio by 2015; introduce greater transparency into his business dealings; and stop using cross-guarantees, by which healthy and profitable parts of his empire were used to support more anaemic parts like Rangers. Such cross-support makes it more difficult to hive off businesses to third-party buyers.

A string of ­disposals, including that of oil and gas business Premier Hytemp and three shopping centres (sold for less than half their purchase price), followed. Unusually, in what seems to have been a sweetheart deal, the bank allowed Murray to personally buy back his private equity business Charlotte Ventures, partly because the assets within it, which included a stake in bus manufacturer Alexander Dennis, were seen as too high risk for the bank. Murray said the purchase of the unit, later renamed Murray Capital, was “done arm’s length, at market value”. A second £118m debt-for-equity swap followed in March 2012, the negotiations for which are said to have been extended and heated.

Murray claimed the deal – which took the amount of debt that had effectively been written off by Lloyds to £268.5m – did not dilute the Murray family’s 70% voting power over MIH. Talking about the winding-down of MIH, Murray said: “This has been a consensual approach with the bank, and it has been an orderly, managed process. It’s not been easy – it could have been easier to walk away and not do it – but it was decided with the lender that we would work this out, and we have.”

There are major assets which remain unsold, including Response, the call-centre business. It lost a contract with BSkyB, but has since won one for Scottish Power. In another unusual move, Lloyds let Murray and his family, through Murray Capital, buy Murray Estates, which owns about 1200 acres of prime development sites across Scotland’s central belt for just £13.9m. In addition to Murray Estates, Murray Capital also snapped up other unwanted MIH assets.

The Murray Estates portfolio includes a 13-acre site at Ratho Station on the western edge of Edinburgh, a 26-acre site near Edinburgh Airport, a 300-acre site at Torrance Park in North Lanarkshire, the 135-acre Kingdom Park site in Kirkcaldy and the 675-acre Garden District on greenbelt land adjacent to the Edinburgh City Bypass near Gogarburn. The latter offers scope for a £1 billion development of 3500 homes, a showcase garden project called Calyx and a new community stadium. For many years Murray has been ­piecing together so-called “ransom strips” to the east of Edinburgh Airport’s approach road, with a view to galvanising a wider ­development project called the ­International Business Gateway.

Things are already moving fast for the some of Murray Estates’ development sites. In November, Fife Council granted planning permission for the construction of a £500m residential district at ­Kingdom Park over 20 years. The same month, pre-construction work got under way on a £60m mixed-use development for phase one of Torrance Park in Holytown.

In its 2013 annual report, MIH said funding difficulties meant it was unable to develop the Murray Estates sites itself. MIH added it had considered ­selling the land in a piecemeal fashion to other developers but then “received an unsolicited approach from the Murray family in spring 2013 to acquire the ­majority of assets in the portfolio of Murray Estates”. A spokesman for Lloyds said the Murray Estates deal included an “anti-embarrassment clause” which enables the bank to secure a share of the upside should Murray Estates’ projects come good, but declined to give details. The MIH 2013 accounts noted: “The ­transaction completed after protracted negotiations and was supported by advice from two independent firms of chartered surveyors … plus significant potential additional consideration based on profits realised over 10 years.”

Intriguingly, even though Murray Capital (formerly known as Charlotte Ventures) also banks with Lloyds, Murray made clear Lloyds did not fund the £13.9m acquisition. He added that the non-embarrassment clause is geared to enable the bank to get a bigger share of gains if projects are sold or developed quickly, saying: “It was put in place to stop us flipping things for a quick gain.”

Overall, Murray has been shown far greater leniency than other failed property tycoons after Lloyds/HBOS was bailed out and commercial property prices crashed. One ex-HBOS insider has suggested that it was because he was “one of great and good, like Tom Farmer and Tom Hunter”. All three have been knighted, with Murray receiving his – for services to business in Scotland – in June 2007. The source added: “Sir David never had the great fall, the humiliation that some of the other over-leveraged property tycoons were made to feel.” His businesses’ outstanding debt to Lloyds stands at up to £346.7m, and the bank has, to date, written off £268.5m through debt-for-equity swaps, which suggests that the collapse of his business has left a £615m hole in Lloyds’s accounts, and that two-thirds of the money Murray’s businesses borrowed has been lost. And because of the 2008 bailouts it is effectively taxpayers who are picking up the tab. Meanwhile, he has walked away from the wreckage of his failed group with some of its most promising assets under his belt.

It is perhaps unsurprising that Murray presents the winding-up of his erstwhile business empire as a sort of triumph. ­Writing in the MIH 2013 accounts, he said: “In the prevailing economic ­conditions since 2009, the delivery of the numerous asset disposals and debt-reduction programme represents a significant achievement and a very ­credible performance.”

He said: “It’s not been without some ­casualties but we’ve done the best we could. The proceeds from the disposals have been optimised, enabling us to secure ­continued employment for more than 95% of the group’s 2008 workforce and minimising losses to other stakeholders and creditors. One of the reasons we have come through this as well as we have is that we had some prime assets and some good trading ­businesses. All the small creditors have been paid in full and everyone’s been paid their redundancy.”

Lloyds refused to comment “on the grounds of customer confidentiality”, but others might see Murray, along with bonus-crazed bankers in rescued banks, as the ultimate pet of the sugar daddy state.

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Bryce CurdyPosted on5:33 am - Jan 18, 2015


Barcabhoy

Reading that really makes my blood boil. I had always assumed it was only HBOS who had behaved disgracefully and that Lloyds had acted in a more conventional and ethical manner. Seems I was mistaken.

And how, exactly, can MIH receive ‘an unsolicited approach from the Murray family’? Can somebody with more business acumen than I explain what that precisely means?

And how can he be allowed to renege on pension promises while continuing to invest in new areas?

What a horrible, horrible excuse for a human being. As deserving of his knighthood being stripped as Fred Goodwin. Should actually be imprisoned.

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jimlarkinPosted on6:27 am - Jan 18, 2015


HirsutePursuit says:
January 17, 2015 at 10:29 pm
23 0 Rate This

Tailothebank says:
January 17, 2015 at 7:36 pm
26 1 Rate This

Every column you read ,every radio show you listen to ..screams out the same anti Ashley and pro King hysteria .it is suddenly the de facto game plan now both in the media and in the ranks of the Rangers fans that King has to be allowed In to run the show

Fwiw I hae ma doots that Ashley will let that happen but that is another issue
Not one person is publicly saying with any conviction that King running the show will be any kind of a problem .

So..if the SFA have ANY intention of stopping King being a director for FFP reasons then they damn well better nip this in the bud right now …..if not there will be riots if they try to stop it down the line .

Btw as an aside the Rangers board could actually be quite cute by rejecting the EGM move telling King he isn’t a FPP to be a Rangers board member ..and they would be dead right!..wouldn’t that be fun!
=====================================================
Except under particular circumstances, anyone who was (within the previous 12 months) a director of a company going into insolvent liquidation, is prohibited from being a director or “in any way, whether directly or indirectly, be concerned or take part in the promotion, formation or management” of a company with the same or similar name for a period of 5 years.
http://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/1986/45/section/216

I assume that DCK will seek leave of the court to become a director of RIFC plc.

I don’t know what arguments he would present to the court in support of his application; but I suspect the recent conviction on 41 counts of non-payment of tax (and the £44m fine) will substantially weaken his case.

If leave of the court is granted for a relaxation in terms of the prohibition, the SPFL and SFA would find it difficult to disallow his participation under the FFP rules.

However if DCK is not granted leave, the board of RIFC may feel that his call to remove them and nominate replacements is being “concerned in the management of the company”. Consequently they may feel unable to act on instructions from someone they believe “be in contravention in relation to the company of section 216″.
http://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/1986/45/section/217

The footballing authorities will have little say in the matter either way.

……………………………………..

Absolutely brilliant post (which hits the bullseye)

King’s recent “conduct” should also be questioned.
Telling customers (non shareholders) to stop using – ergo, paying for anything relating to the business of Rangers International Football Club, thus effecting the share price to plummet, then Mr King “snaps up” 16% of the shares for a saving of 50% -70% less than he would have had to pay within the previous 12 months.

Ashley by way of his “representatives” on the RIFC board would be quite right to refuse this EGM “requisition” on these grounds, and also seek to get the SFA To publicly state what their “view” on the matter is, because – like Ashley – King is “seeking to influence a football Club” having already been a bad influence on
“It” in the past.

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Long Time Lurker

Long Time LurkerPosted on8:15 am - Jan 18, 2015


An excellent article in the Scotsman (online) this morning, on the possibility of Dave King passing the SFA fit and proper person test. In short Andrew Smith’s assessment is that King would fail on at least 2 counts.

Refreshing to see such a evidence led article that does not seek to find any ambiguity.

The article also questions how the fans of the Club may react. At the moment the SFA is the good guy, as they are looking to enforce the dual ownership rules with reference to Mike Ashley. However, the fans are likely to see the SFA as the bad guy should they move to follow their rules without fear or favour and find that King is not a fit and proper person (in the SFA rule-set).

The article is clear King convicted on criminal charges in South Africa. King was a board member of a football club that was liquidated in the last 5 years.

http://www.scotsman.com/sport/football/spfl-lower-divisions/rangers-dave-king-s-move-faces-taxing-questions-1-3664643

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Long Time Lurker

Long Time LurkerPosted on8:23 am - Jan 18, 2015


Could BDO step in and question King’s involvement in newco Rangers?

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Danish PastryPosted on8:25 am - Jan 18, 2015


Long Time Lurker says:
January 18, 2015 at 8:15 am
1 0 Rate This

An excellent article…
——–

@LTL
Was just about to post that link to the Andrew Smith’s article, too. Finally, some proper journalism. Where’s AS been until now?

Only thing I worried about was the ‘discretion’ quote. It can be applied both ways, to bar or to permit. I imagine they can ultimately waive any rules because they’ve given themselves the discretion to do so.

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Long Time Lurker

Long Time LurkerPosted on8:33 am - Jan 18, 2015


Danish Pastry says:
January 18, 2015 at 8:25 am

I agree the “discretion” element allows room for maneuverability. However, in the cold light of day the club/company need at least £6.5m possibly this week to keep the lights on.

The EGM could be a red herring in that if an administrator is called in everything is kicked into the touch.

It gets potentially more interesting if BDO are appointed as administrators (who else would take on this work?) Would BDO accept a bid from King for the assets?

If Administration is not going to happen, the end game looks to be Rangers renting Ibrox and Murray park from Mike Ashley. If that is the end game, I am sure that MA has all the bases covered. And if not, he has little to loose by killing off the entire venture.

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iceman63Posted on8:56 am - Jan 18, 2015


In a state if shock. Two insightful, truthful articles in the SMSM on the same day. Well done messrs Fraser and Smith. More like this, and I might start buying a Scottish newspaper again!

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Danish PastryPosted on8:57 am - Jan 18, 2015


Long Time Lurker says:
January 18, 2015 at 8:33 am
1 0 Rate This
——-

Nice summary.

I don’t imagine MA has come this far to throw in the towel. Although Derek Llambias and Mr Leach might have had enough grief by now. They must be incredibly loyal to MA (‘The Ashley Bears’?) — so I suppose a certain element of the support appreciates them!

If MA is one or more steps ahead his next move will be fascinating. Checkmate, perhaps?

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jimlarkinPosted on9:19 am - Jan 18, 2015


Well done Werherspoons – NOT showing the “game”.

Apart from the fact one of the team’s name is actually wrong)

http://www.dailyrecord.co.uk/news/scottish-news/pub-chain-pull-plug-showing-4998413?

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upthehoopsPosted on9:23 am - Jan 18, 2015


Barcabhoy says:
January 18, 2015 at 4:43 am
===================================

Every lamb munching journalist (and there are still many) should read that Herald article about Murray, then forever ‘haud their wheesht!’.

I don’t call him ‘Sir’ David because I don’t have to. Laughably we are told his knighthood is for services to industry. I’ve always thought that to be a total smokescreen for the real reason but I personally don’t think there should be an honours system at all. However to claim Murray’s award is for services to industry means they really do think our heads all button up the back. Take Murray with the same life/career, except Rangers. No chance of a knighthood in my view. At least true greatness, such as that achieved by the late Jock Stein, Bob Paisley and Brian Clough, shines through establishment prejudice every day of the week.

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wynnvegasPosted on9:51 am - Jan 18, 2015


Just caught up with the Super Scoreboard podcasts from this past week. Hearing Jim Delahunt start his working week off with a mild rebuke for those abusing and threatening his wife and kids was shocking.

Worse still, the following days, hearing him let these cretins win by stumbling and struggling to skirt around ways to not utter “Sevco”. The lack of detailed reporting and critical analysis of the trouble before, during and after the game on Friday, to my mind, is a direct result of the intimidation and alleged discrediting of Spence, Spiers, English, Cosgrove et al.

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Tartanwulver

TartanwulverPosted on9:52 am - Jan 18, 2015


Something we have all become accustomed to is the ‘great and the good’ determining obscure versions of what the truth is to be, and then it being officially rubber stamped. Prime examples are the tortured logic put forward to LNS, and in the HMRC case, in both of which cases somewhat odd interpretations seem to have been accepted (albeit not without querying by one HMRC tribunal member) without any recourse to Occam’s razor.

There has been a sustained effort over the past years to cast David King as the man with extreme wealth ready to be put at the disposal of the Ibrox organisation, true ‘Rangers Man’, and plucky underdog to boot. Parts of our media seem to have been complicit in trying to build up momentum for this over time, while also avoiding mention of words such as ‘conviction’, ‘in lieu of jail time’, ‘former director’ and so on. The strategy appears to be to build up a head of steam amongst supporters for King’s place at the head of a those wishing to save the Ibrox entity, and to sustain that view regardless of any potential regulatory factors that might prevent it happening. Friday’s whipping up of an unruly mob was no doubt coincidental, but may have nevertheless reminded those in authority of the potential for mayhem should such elements not get their way.

However, the addition of Mike Ashely to the mix changes the balance significantly. Whereas it might have been assumed previously that a combination of nods and winks between those in positions of power, the fear of ‘social unrest’, and a supine Scottish (and uninterested London) media might have been enough to win the day, if Ashley decides to raise objections to King, he can do so from a position of strength. He can rely on top legal expertise (no doubt well capable of destroying contorted arguments), appears oblivious to others’ bully boy tactics, and doesn’t entertain the media even at the best of times. In short, any regulatory body that seeks to give King an unimpeded passage back into the heart of Ibrox will have to, in the Ashley climate, make very, very sure that they can back up their judgements with an argument and be able to show, chapter and verse, that the relevant regulations – and clear logic – allow them to do so. Otherwise, they risk huge personal embarrassment and reputational damage if a forensic light is shone on any odd decisions.

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yourhavingalaugh

yourhavingalaughPosted on10:02 am - Jan 18, 2015


Mr Houston of the sos interviewed for the above article by the daily ranger regards witherspoons looking after its customers,staff and property something that could “BACKFIRE” on them ,he doesn’t know when to shut up,after Friday nights scenes on BT Sport and before the watershed (do we still have that)then the appalling stats quoted in the article,I would imagine any human being ,sorry any normal human being would agree and add that since the game is on tenement telly it would be advisable to stay behind closed doors until a week after the “clash”,the powers that be have really no concept of what will happen .
R.I.P Scottish Football

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