Enough is enough

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Enough is enough

As Celtic prepare to take on one of the Champions league big boys again, a warning to the commentators and pundits.

Like most Scots, I was sad to see Celtic so comprehensively thumped by PSG and Bayern recently. But something about those nights made me angry as well.

Not the players, their effort, or even the schoolboy defending. Not the semi-ritualistic way these games are presented on TV or the ludicrous hype that is generated by the media.

I blame Celtic for their own failings and the executive branch of Scottish football for facilitating that failure. And I think it is the result of a long-term strategy that has clearly failed.

What offends me is the casual referencing of the weakness of the game and players in Scotland as a key reason why Celtic struggle against the best teams, and the implicit suggestion that if only their domestic opponents were more skillful, Celtic’s Champions League training friendlies schedule, aka the SPFL Premiership, might prepare them better for these big games.

Pat Bonner said it outright in his commentary of the Bayern game. The weakness of the SPFL is the problem. Several others made the point that Celtic defenders never get the chance to play against top strikers in their own league and are, therefore, somehow unable to cope with it when they do. Others claim that Celtic are so used to being in possession of the ball and winning games easily at home, that when they face a top-quality opponent, they are suddenly caught like a rabbit in headlights without the faintest clue what to do.

I don’t know enough about the tactics of modern football, or the language used to describe systems of play, to critique that in footballing terms, but I do have a reasonable grasp of what constitutes bullshit. And so much of what our journalists, TV commentators, and pundits say, on occasions like this, is, definitely, it.

I blame Celtic for their own failings and the executive branch of Scottish football for facilitating that failure. And I think it is the result of a long-term strategy that has clearly failed.

Here’s how I think it went. Professional football in Scotland looks like it has been organised around a single goal. To generate Scottish success in the Champions League. A good way to achieve that is to ensure that Scottish teams get plenty exposure to that league. The best way to ensure that is to make sure that the same team, or teams, gain regular entry into it. The way to make that happen is to organise the league such that it is unthinkable that any other team could win it.

How might you do that without making it obvious what your intentions are?

Well, first, you lay the financial ground. Allow teams to keep their home gate receipts. That way, clubs are kept in their place, the big two stay big, the middle six to eight, not so big, and the rest, remain almost irrelevant.

To further entrench the financial status quo, you need to ensure that income from domestic sources (particularly TV money) is kept low enough to stop any other club paying for a team above their station, but not so low that mid-sized clubs go out of business.

It is our fault because we are not brave enough. Not brave enough to stand up to the powers running our game and put a stop to this madness.

Next, you would have to ensure that the rules stay in place long enough for the plan to work. Give the two big clubs the right of veto over rule changes. The masterminds of the plan have to be kept in office for as long as possible and committee members must be carefully selected. A generous portion of executives from the big two, and a fair sprinkling of others too afraid of their own clubs going to the wall to bother about grand generation-long master-plans, should guarantee no one rocks the boat too much. Allow a rogue committee member to challenge things every now and again to make it look good for the punters, safe in the knowledge that no permanent damage can be done to the plan.

But what if something unexpected happened to one of the big clubs? That could be tricky, right? The whole plan could be put in jeopardy. On the other hand, what is there to worry about when you have ensured that the decision makers are either on message or too concerned about their own teams’ survival to get in the way of a stitch up. Sure, we lost a few years, but it’ll soon get back on track.

Journalists would get wind of this surely, or even be able to work it out for themselves, right? Well, in a profession that seems to have lost most of its towering intellects to be replaced by either agenda driven zealots or barely literate fan bloggers (like me, I suppose), we might be asking a little too much of them. In any case, the overwhelming coverage of the big two in the national media and the simple fact that promoting Celtic and Rangers sells advertising space means that they are, more or less, complicit, even if they don’t always realise it.

I hope this sounds like the ramblings of a mad conspiracy theorist, but if any of the above rings true (and it does to me), then there might just be some truth on it.

Pat Bonner and those other pundits and commentators are right of course. Celtic’s failure against the big teams is the fault of the rest of Scottish football. Our players and teams aren’t good enough. But fault is a convoluted thing. It is not our fault because we are not good enough. It is our fault because we are not brave enough. Not brave enough to stand up to the powers running our game and put a stop to this madness.

I have absolutely no evidence that there is such a master-plan, or that anyone at the SFA or SPFL has even considered any of these points or the consequences that might flow from them. I even have serious doubts that any of the current leadership have the intellectual capacity to dream up such a Machiavellian plot, let alone execute it. But one thing I do know is that Scottish football is not in a healthy place. Not even a Celtic victory tonight, even if they gave some of their CL win bonus to Kilmarnock, you know, for giving them such a good run out on Saturday, would fix it.

How glorious would it be for the other Scottish teams to be credited for Celtic’s CL victories (especially the big ones)? I imagine the words would get stuck in plenty of throats. Celtic win CL games despite Scottish Football and lose them because of it. That, in a nutshell, is where we are right now. All that is likely to change any time soon is that Rangers will join them again. Something has to change, if only because my TV won’t survive another shoe being thrown at it when some Celtic minded blowhard tells the world that my team is partly to blame for Celtic’s defence not being good enough to stop Neymar or Lewandowski.

This article was first published in the unofficial Dundee Fans Forum https://www.thedarkblues.co.uk/news/scottish-football/enough-is-enough-r542/ on 23 October 2017. Reproduced, in slightly amended form, with their kind permission.

About the author

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Andrak contributor

A Dundee fan, brought up in the city in the 70s and 80s, now lives in England. An accountant by profession and temperament. Working in international development mostly overseas (Africa & South East Asia, mostly). Currently based in Vientiane Laos. Never played football beyond Sunday League but watch as much Scottish football as possible.

718 Comments so far

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nawlitePosted on10:28 pm - Nov 4, 2017


AS, you need to remember that as far as the SFA is concerned there’s no uncertainty ‘cos Dave said he would put the money in! So that’s awrite then.

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armchairsupporterPosted on10:30 pm - Nov 4, 2017


Sorry about two surelys in one sentence – I just remembered why I don’t post often – not easy from a phone!

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John ClarkPosted on10:50 pm - Nov 4, 2017


AllyjamboNovember 4, 2017 at 20:31
‘… particularly as he’s the only one with a safe bolt hole to run off to (or just not leave) should he decide to renege on his promise.’
____________
In anticipation that  the Court (for all Lord Bannatyne’s concerns about whether ‘may’ really means ‘must’ in the context ) does decide to make an order for King to comply with the decision of the Takeover Appeal Board’s instruction,I’ve been trying to establish whether King does have a bolt hole if he still fails to comply and were to be held to be  in contempt. 
To my horror and disgust, it seems that the penalty for contempt of court in South Africa is a max of six months imprisonment.
And under the THE LONDON SCHEME FOR EXTRADITION WITHIN THECOMMONWEALTH, we find this
“1.(1)The general provisions set out in this Scheme will govern the extradition of aperson from the Commonwealth country, in which the person is found, toanother Commonwealth country, in which the person is accused of an offence.
2.(1)A person sought will only be extradited for an extradition offence.
(2)For the purpose of this Scheme, an extradition offence is an offence however described which is punishable in the requesting and requested country by imprisonment for two years or a greater penalty
…..
(4)An offence described in paragraph (2) is an extradition offence notwithstanding that the offence:(a) is of a purely fiscal character;
…..
While contempt of court in Scotland is punishable by imprisonment up to two years,to my horror and disgust, it seems that the penalty for contempt of court in South Africa is a max of six months imprisonment.
That would rule out the possibility of extradition from there to here, or any chance of the SA authorities being obliged to take action against him there ( as Agreement obliges them to do if they chose not to allow extradition of a national who had been guilty of ‘an extradition offence’.
King will know this, of course,and I think he will cut and run if the Court supports the TAB.
But , maybe, to get his 20 million back, he’ll continue to lend a few million to try to get TRFC into Europe.Or maybe, just opt for Administration and liquidation.

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armchairsupporterPosted on11:06 pm - Nov 4, 2017


Forensic, as ever, JC. I cannot believe though that King is not somehow taking money out of this basket case of a company. Otherwise, I think he would have been long gone. He doesn’t seem like the sort of gambler that would throw good money after bad, even for that elusive £20m. Unless of course, it was somebody else’s money he was throwing.

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AuldheidPosted on2:29 am - Nov 5, 2017


Cygnus X-1November 4, 2017 at 16:51 Rate This
Spending more than you earn is unsustainable, and the destination of RIFC PLC is easily determined and forecastable. They are guaranteed to go under.
That they have form for this, that Scottish Football has been here before, and we all know what happened the last time( even though many are in denial) it’s insane, completely insane that we’re witnessing it all over again
Instutional dishonesty coupled with instutional stupidity, the hallmark of Rangers…
==================
Spot on but there is much much more to this than going bust. I posted this on Phil MacGiollabhain’s site earlier.
The basis on which TRFC/TRIFC continues to be allowed by fellow SPFL clubs without challenge is truly astonishing.
If remaining a going concern is dependent on football performance that can only produce income brings winning results , what chance of clubs playing TRFC , whether to challenge for Europe or remain in the SPFL Premier, who operate on a sustainable and less risky basis, of being able to challenge fairly? 
If TRFC’s survival (for that is what is at stake with their mad policy) is once again dependent on UEFA money, what is the likelihood of more honest mistakes as in 2010/11 or even falsifications in their application for a UEFA licence to ensure access to that life sustaining income?
In short a return to 2011 when everything that could be done to ensure their survival was done and only McCoist’s failings as a manager stopped access to desperately need UEFA income.
Celtic are so far ahead it should be some time before CL money is at risk to them but what about other clubs vying for EL places?
Are their supporters not only going to stand by and watch a club operating way beyond their financial means in a manner their own clubs will not, but pay for the privilege of being shafted?
When it comes to ST renewal should supporters not ask their Directors if they trust the SFA and on what basis, before they spend one thin dime? With some of the same personnel still at Ibrox as brought about the demise of RFC and the same mindset still at play, what assurances could Directors of all clubs  give their support that the playing field has been levelled in that only income earned from football and associated business is used to fund playing squads?
The accounts should be passed to UEFA by the SPFL and scrutinised by them to see if they do comply with UEFA FFP as the SFA simply cannot be trusted to do a proper job. 
This insanity has to stop and only supporters of all clubs can do it.

  

       

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Allyjambo

AllyjamboPosted on9:25 am - Nov 5, 2017


JOHN CLARKNOVEMBER 4, 2017 at 22:50

As ever, John, some sterling work in providing us with the legal aspect of King’s possible need for a bolt hole, but it wasn’t the need to avoid a jail term that I was thinking he’d be bolting from, but rather the more serious need to be as far away as possible from the McCoist style rabble rousing that is bound to follow the demise of a second Govan football club! That said, I wouldn’t be surprised if King managed to have himself portrayed as a martyr, denied forever the opportunity to take his beloved club back to where they belong, though joining the first Govan club in liquidation might be where many would believe they do belong.

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John ClarkPosted on9:53 am - Nov 5, 2017


AuldheidNovember 5, 2017 at 02:29
‘..The accounts should be passed to UEFA by the SPFL and scrutinised by them to see if they do comply with UEFA FFP as the SFA simply cannot be trusted to do a proper job. ‘
_____________
If UEFA had the power to insist on seeing the evidence with which  King was able(presumably) to persuade his fellow directors of his ability to pay up and of the binding commitment of NOAL to come up with the readies as and when required, that would be fine.

It’s just possible that   King’s fellow-directors, being gentlemen of honour, were happy just to accept the word of another gentleman whose word ,as we all know, is his bond, and did not insist on seeing evidence of what kind of undisclosed sources of funds etc that King said he has or what kind of legally binding promise from NOAL that he has received that the readies will be made available.

Or they may have been given sight of stuff that King would not want anyone else to see.

Unless UEFA had the power to insist on such documentary evidence , they could not do any more than Campbell Dallas, the Auditors, did: just have to accept the Board’s statement at face value and point out the ‘conditionality’ of the ‘going concern’ basis?

I don’t know enough to say whether UEFA could say to a club- show us your money, or else out you go?

Honest to God, SDM has a hell of a lot to answer for in destroying trust in the very idea that football could be an honest sport.

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Allyjambo

AllyjamboPosted on10:01 am - Nov 5, 2017


Assuming he’s who he says he is, there’s a very good analysis of RIFC’s accounts over on JJ’s site by a Chartered Financial Analyst. Obviously I can’t vouch for the anonymous writer of the analysis, but it does read like something written by a genuine expert, and if it is, there’s more to the accounts than I’ve previously seen in anyone elses analysis. Hopefully someone with the knowledge and analytical mind, like Easy Jambo, will take a look at it and let us know what he thinks and whether or not the figures he’s gleaned, and where he’s taken them from, make sense. It’s a bit too technical for me.

Point (4) is particularly interesting, and seems to hint at some…well, maybe best not say here and upset the mods 11

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naegreetinPosted on1:31 pm - Nov 5, 2017


Re JJ – I know he is not everyone’s favourite but I think credit should be given to him/her for the contribution to The Rangers’ debate over the past week in particular .
The COPFS revelation of the Whitehouse contribution to the inquiry was quite stunning in its content & to-day’s input from his CFA with regard to the Rangers’ accounts is also stimulating .
Anyway , I’m sure Homunc will be giving me a thumbs down for this !
And , as a counter-balance as a DUFC supporter I’m still awaiting JJ’ story re an American takeover to be confirmed !

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valentinesclown

valentinesclownPosted on1:38 pm - Nov 5, 2017


As the title of this blog states enough is enough.  We all know (for some time now) the Ibrox club/company financially do not have enough to see season out (like the past few seasons). The SFA must now know enough (which they have always known IMO) to actually possibly confront the club on this matter.  The smsm never do enough in the way of reporting the Ibrox club’s financial frailties honestly (and again they know enough) but enough said about them the better.  Now surely the fans of the Ibrox club must know enough to maybe question Mr King. If TOP verdict results in Cold Shoulder will that be enough to put an end to this fiasco?  You would think so but this is the Ibrox club and this is Scotland. To finish,  people that I have enough of listening to when they talk about Ibrox club and where it should be (in no particular order).  Mr Souness, Mr Wilson, Mr Rae, 2 fingers Barry, DJ, I will stop here as I have have had enough of even mentioning these people.  

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easyJamboPosted on2:08 pm - Nov 5, 2017


Allyjambo November 5, 2017 at 10:01
========================
A couple of comments re JJ’s financial experts input.
Re Point 2 – I guess he missed this statement in the accounts about European football.
Returning to the SPFL Premiership and finishing third enabled a welcome return to European football for the Club going into season 2017/18. With the first tie taking place on 29 June 2017, the financial statements have been prepared for the 2016/17 season up to 28 June 2017. This allows a proper reflection of the 2016/17 season in the 2016/17 results.
Re Point 4 – STs paid by deferred payment schemes or merchant services (credit card).
Trade receivables includes £12,510,000 (2016: £11,423,000) in respect of season tickets that are paid by supporters using deferred payment plans or merchant services.
The £12.5m will relate to ST money for 2017/18, not for previous seasons.  Where supporters have used extended payment schemes (e.g. Zebra) or have paid by credit card, then those companies may only release the funds as each game is played, because of the club’s chequered financial record. 
It is likely that the same £12.5m is also included as “Deferred Income” in Note 19, but I agree that it is unusual to include it under “Trade Receivables, unless it’s a deliberate attempt to make the financial position look better.

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Allyjambo

AllyjamboPosted on2:17 pm - Nov 5, 2017


It’s a funny old game, this accounts analysis thing. To most of us untutored in such things, the RIFC accounts look pretty disasterous, and the analyses of one or two more expert folk tend to confirm this; but there’s always an alternative way of looking at things as is seen on this blog! 

https://www.rangersobserver.com/views/2017/11/5/rifc-accounts-2016-17-overview

Something that might show this effort up for it’s rose coloured spectacles is his section on litigation, where he seems to find joy in the fact that his club’s involvement in costly litigation is over, but fails to mention the TOP case, which is certainly not over, and most likely holds a huge bearing on the anticipated largess of a share issue.

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Homunculus

HomunculusPosted on2:17 pm - Nov 5, 2017


NAEGREETIN
NOVEMBER 5, 2017 at 13:31
=====================

No thumbs down from me. If you think he has posted something useful that’s great.

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AuldheidPosted on2:30 pm - Nov 5, 2017


A post from CQN perhaps worth repeating here.
CATHEDRAL VIEW on5TH NOVEMBER 2017 1:10 PM
Auldheid,
 I’m no expert on such matters but it increasingly looks like whilst the old club bet the house on Champions League income and lost, the new club have gone all in on Europa League income to survive.
 As it’s mostly the same people directing strategy should we really be surprised?
=====We shold be surprised that other clubs are prepared to run the risks to them of the UEFA dependency model that TRFC follow.
As someone commented, DK is now the sole source of money supply. I heard Parks as a company have said “no more” so they must appreciate the risk of such a dependency.
Those accounts should send alarm bells ringing throughout the boardrooms of all SPFL Premier clubs.
How long will their supporters say they are prepared to watch their club struggle against a challenger who is betting their house on beating them?
This whole saga including the same club nonsense would have been impossible if the principles that UEFA FFP attempts to enshrine were mirrored in Scottish football.
When introducing FFP UEFA said one of its aims was to encourage clubs to act sustainably when so many were not. I’ll get the exact words later.
Why is that not a principle in domestic licensing? The rules are there and last time I looked the Licensing Commitee had the power to set conditions under which a licence would be granted. Has that been done with TRFC? Have the risks to other clubs been considered if another insolvency occurs?
How can it be right for a club to spend money it has not earned from football to pay the bills it will earn from football in future seasons as a result of that earlier spending, without which it would not get access to the later money, unless there is a guarantee the early spend will result in later access?
That makes getting access essential and not something that can be left to sporting chance and so corrupts the sporting element.
We saw it happen in 2011.
The unsustainable thinking will continue as long as it’s allowed to and the club’s have the power to stop it.
However I fear that come ST Renewal time, unless supporters as a whole say they will not pay to watch a game where one club continues to act irresponsibly and unfairly, the Directors of other clubs will rely on fan loyalty to allow continuation of unfair financial play in Scotland.

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Homunculus

HomunculusPosted on2:31 pm - Nov 5, 2017


ALLYJAMBO
NOVEMBER 5, 2017 at 14:17
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“Merchandise operations are now fully in the clubs’ hands.”

I was under the impression that the deal with SD was still in place, until at least the end of this season.

I have yet to see any indication of a a new kit supplier or commercial partner. 

Surely if there was a deal or deals in place they would be shouting it from the roof tops. I refer you back to not 4 in the accounts, however I accept that may be just short term and there will be a new deal in place with someone else. 

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Cluster One

Cluster OnePosted on5:11 pm - Nov 5, 2017


HOMUNCULUSNOVEMBER 5, 2017 at 14:31
I have yet to see any indication of a a new kit supplier or commercial partner. 
Surely if there was a deal or deals in place they would be shouting it from the roof tops. I refer you back to not 4 in the accounts, however I accept that may be just short term and there will be a new deal in place with someone else. 
————–
Who would touch them, if king gets the cold shoulder.

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Allyjambo

AllyjamboPosted on10:28 pm - Nov 5, 2017


Cluster OneNovember 5, 2017 at 17:11

While the cold shoulder for King might make raising capital difficult for TRFC, I kind of suspect that companies that see a penny to be made won’t be put off, unless they believe going into a deal with the club might lose them money in the long run, which may well be the case. The effect of the cold shoulder, rather than the observance of it.

I wouldn’t be at all surprised, though, if, in the fullness of time, any new deal is actually made with SD, who will already have a stack of merchandise to get rid of, if as is being punted, the current deal really is up at the end of this season. Mike Ashley knows all about deals with TRFC, and King, and won’t miss a trick if he thinks he can sow up a no lose deal for SD, whether or not he thinks the club, itself, has a future. Watch out for a new deal that sees no design change but a hiked up prices for the bears, while Big Mike maximises profit – in a deal that would survive administration! He might even set it up so that the brand and merchandising returns to his grasp in the event of liquidation. if there’s anybody knows how to squeeze a distressed company, it’s His Bigness08

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Cluster One

Cluster OnePosted on10:32 pm - Nov 5, 2017


ALLYJAMBONOVEMBER 5, 2017 at 22:28
Watch out for a new deal that sees no design change but a hiked up prices for the bears, while Big Mike maximises profit – in a deal that would survive administration! He might even set it up so that the brand and merchandising returns to his grasp in the event of liquidation. if there’s anybody knows how to squeeze a distressed company, it’s His Bigness
—————-
will watch with interest02

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John ClarkPosted on10:39 pm - Nov 5, 2017


HomunculusNovember 5, 2017 at 14:31
‘..I was under the impression that the deal with SD was still in place, until at least the end of this season.’
_________
The new deal was reported as having been signed  on 21/06/17, for one year,the Daily Mail reporting on Thursday 22nd that ” the Sports Direct and Newcastle United owner ripped up the toxic retail contract on  Wednesday..’
http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sport/football/article-4627374/Mike-Ashley-sell-stake-Rangers-deal.html

That report also included this:

“With Ashley appearing to be out of the picture, the last remaining obstacle to a rights issue is also effectively gone.
The board are now likely to call an EGM to push through plans to raise £16m to pay off loans from King and shareholders Douglas Park, George Letham and George Taylor…”

I think we can safely say,  oh no they won’t, not while  they have to wait for Lord Bannatyne’s decision on the wording and nature of the order that he will have to make to ensure that King complies.(I am now convinced that the ‘may’ in Section 955 doesn’t allow the Court NOT to make an order, but merely allows the Court discretion on what kind of order would be most likely to ensure compliance: with King’s history and attitude, seizure/freezing  of assets [even of assets in an Asset Protection Trust] might be the best approach)

I think, from a throwaway remark made by Lord Bannatyne, that he happens to be an expert in Trust law!

I think that the Takeover Panel don’t need to wait  for the Court to make an order: they have the power ( already used a couple of times in other cases) to ‘cold shoulder’ anyway.
And they certainly would not want King and RIFC plc to be seen to be cocking a snook at the ‘City’ if RIFC was allowed to do any kind of share-offer, even in-house, to the advantage of the ‘concert party’ baddies.

King is therefore nothing but a mill-stone around the necks of the Board, not merely limiting any forward movement, but actually impeding it.

The City, as the QC for the TAP executive made clear, cannot afford to create a scenario where every rotten spiv of a crooked speculator and charlatan entrepreneur can have a field day, unfettered by regulation.

In my, perhaps naive, opinion.

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Allyjambo

AllyjamboPosted on10:49 pm - Nov 5, 2017


Apparently Derek McInnes is off to Ibrox (where have I heard that before) according to that well known investigative journal, The Sunday Post.

“Rangers will thrash out a deal with Aberdeen and confirm the appointment of Derek McInnes as manager this week, according to the Sunday Post. The newspaper claim that the Scottish giants will step up their pursuit of the 46-year-old in the coming days and he will imminently be announced as the successor to the sacked Pedro Caixinha. The Sunday Post report that Rangers are prepared to meet Aberdeen’s compensation demands to land McInnes and his assistant Tony Docherty, with the release fee for the pair set at £800,000. It is said that the Light Blues are convinced that McInnes wants the job and the deal is all but done for him to join along with his long-standing number two Docherty.” 

I presume that extract was taken from some ‘Football Gossip’ page, so here is the Sunday Post link:

https://www.sundaypost.com/fp/rangers-set-to-make-their-move-and-announce-derek-mcinnes-as-new-boss-this-week/

If anyone can spot something in that article that points to it being anything other than a TRFC PR placement, please let me know14

Fair play to the ‘newspaper’ though, it does have the decency to point out just why it might be running with an article that might upset Aberdeen, with the following snippet:

‘Adding extra spice to the situation is the fact that Rangers and Aberdeen have a Premiership double header coming up at the end of the month.’

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John ClarkPosted on11:00 pm - Nov 5, 2017


Cluster OneNovember 5, 2017 at 17:11
‘….Who would touch them, if king gets the cold shoulder.’
________
Who indeed?
But I think, really, that ‘cold shouldering’ just applies to financial institutions-people who broker,  provide financial services, act as advisers in take-overs, and so on ( which means in effect death in the City: no share-broker, no NOMAD possibility, no underwriter for a share offer…..)

I don’t think it applies to ‘ordinary’ business concerns, like suppliers of goods and ordinary business services.

They are expected to use their common sense and the experience of others when it comes to questioning whether they might be paid for plumbing or building or face-painting services provided.19

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armchairsupporterPosted on11:32 pm - Nov 5, 2017


Hoist by their own petard!
UEFA Club Licensing and Financial Fair Play Regulations 2015
http://www.uefa.com/MultimediaFiles/Download/Tech/uefaorg/General/02/26/77/91/2267791_DOWNLOAD.pdf
“ANNEX IX: Licensor’s assessment procedures
E: Assessment of the future financial information
3. The licensor must assess the liquidity of the licence applicant (i.e. the availability of cash after taking account of financial commitments) and its ability to continue as a going concern until at least the end of the licence season. The licence must be refused if, based on the financial information that the licensor has assessed, in the licensor’s judgement, the licence applicant may not be able to meet its financial commitments as they fall due and continue as a going concern until at least the end of the licence season.”
Surely by their own admission above RIFC “… may not be able to … continue as a going concern …” How can they be granted a licence to play in Europe? If they cannot, then by one of their own assumptions they will not be able to meet going concern status.
Check mate?
Although I could not find it in the FFP regulations, I remember someone posted a section which stated that clubs were not allowed to count on possible future revenue from participation in UEFA competition to satisfy the requirements of FFP. (I will look again for this.)

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armchairsupporterPosted on11:39 pm - Nov 5, 2017


Sorry, I missed the statement from the annual report which hopefully makes sense of my last post.

RIFC Annual Report
“At the time of preparation, the forecasts identied that the Group would require a minimum of £4.0m additional funding by the end of season 2017/18 in order to meet its liabilities as they fall due. The rst tranche of funding is required in November 2017. Further funding amounting to £3.2m is forecast to be required during the 2018/19 season. However, the nal amount is dependent on future football performance and European football participation amongst other factors. The Board have discussed the Club’s forecast cash shortfall and have reached an agreement with New Oasis Asset Limited whereby they will provide additional loan facilities as necessary to meet the above requirements. Further to this, New Oasis Asset Limited and certain investors have agreed to extend their existing loan facilities to July 2019. The Board is satis ed that those parties will continue to provide nancial support to the Group and have satis ed themselves as to the validity of the undertakings.
The Board acknowledge that had these assurances not been secured then a material uncertainty would exist which may cast doubt over the Groups’ ability to continue as a going concern and therefore its ability to realise its assets and discharge its liabilities in the normal course of business. With the appropriate assurances obtained and the continued support of the investors, the Board believe that such uncertainty has been removed. ”

I’m not sure anyone else in the world believes that “uncertainty has been removed”.

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John ClarkPosted on12:13 am - Nov 6, 2017


armchairsupporterNovember 5, 2017 at 23:39
‘…
.the Board believe that such uncertainty has been removed. ”
I’m not sure anyone else in the world believes that “uncertainty has been removed”.
__________
And I’m very sure that our SFA board is only too happy to declare that of course they have every confidence in what the board of RIFC have to say!
Just as they had every confidence that SDM was telling the truth about what he was paying his players, and in how he was paying them.!19
And every confidence that RFC(IL) was not in actual debt to HMRC  when they lied to UEFA to grant the licence !
In my opinion.

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easyJamboPosted on1:36 am - Nov 6, 2017


John Clark November 6, 2017 at 00:13
armchairsupporterNovember 5, 2017 at 23:39 ‘… .the Board believe that such uncertainty has been removed. ” I’m not sure anyone else in the world believes that “uncertainty has been removed”. __________
And I’m very sure that our SFA board is only too happy to declare that of course they have every confidence in what the board of RIFC have to say! Just as they had every confidence that SDM was telling the truth about what he was paying his players, and in how he was paying them.! And every confidence that RFC(IL) was not in actual debt to HMRC  when they lied to UEFA to grant the licence ! In my opinion.
================
King actually went a little further than that.
In Page 9 of the “Finance Report”, King states:

With the Club having returned to European football, it is important that it operates within the boundaries of UEFA’s Financial Fair Play regulations. We are pleased that this set of results allows us to comply with those.

Of course, if Dave King says that they comply, then who are the SFA to question him.

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sannoffymesssoitizz

sannoffymesssoitizzPosted on2:57 am - Nov 6, 2017


For ease of reference here’s a link to the RIFC Accounts CSI blog on the John James website.https://johnjamessite.com/2017/11/05/rifc-accounts-c-s-i/In the comments section the Charted Financial Analyst added the following opinions

James, thanks for publishing my earlier comment. I think a bright light is being shined where it is badly needed, and football fans across Scotland owe you a debt for all your work the past few years.

I want to amend one of my comments. Regarding the buyout of the SD deal, I was working under the assumption that there were 6 years left on that deal, not 7. The upshot is that Ashley did NOT get the full value upfront in cash if there were 7, and not 6 as I had assumed, years left on that deal. UNLESS… we also conclude that the share sale was indeed part of the overall transaction.

From an accounting standpoint, that would get really hairy with respect to the accounts that were just published, so I want to set that aside for now. What I want to focus on is the economic substance and the real-world consequences.

Rewind back to June when all this is taking place and put yourself in the room with King and Ashley as they’re negotiating this deal. Ashley wants full value of the deal in cash before he walks away, and King wants two things. (1) Sports Direct and Mike Ashley to piss off, and (2) Ashley to sell his shares to a more ‘management friendly’ party who will not (again) block proposal 11 at their annual shareholder meeting that will allow the board to issue new shares to whomever they want, thus gaining additional control over the club by cherry picking who gets the shares. The problem is that King can’t buy the shares himself because of the Takeover Panel inquiry, and the 3 Bears probably didn’t want to get involved for the same reason. So he arranges for another director and Julian Wolhardt to buy the shares. But now comes the tricky part: what’s the price? There’s no open market for the shares, so it comes down to a negotiation of whatever the buyer and seller think they’re worth. Ashley probably looks at the recent set of accounts (the ones from 2015-16) plus what he knows about what has happened in the interim (the Barton buyout; the Warburton mess, the hiring of Pedro and his staff, the big summer spending splurge, etc) and concludes that RIFC will never, ever, turn a profit in a gazillion years. So he values the shares at 15p (and I’m picking a number out of thin air here). Presumably at this point in the negotiations King has agreed to the £3M cash payout, but Ashley wants another £0.5M for the 7th year. So they do some quick algebra and determine that Ashley needs to receive a price of 27p to agree walking away. That is, 15p for the rightful value of the shares according to the seller, plus another 12p — or £0.5M — for the SD contract termination.

So a couple caveats here. (1) I haven’t looked up how many shares were ultimately sold by Ashley nor the split between Club 1872 and Wolhardt. (2) because of that, I just made up a number for the supposed share price that Ashley would have considered fair value. Those two are dependent upon one another, so if you go to press with this, those details will need to be ironed out.

There’s a few relevant upshots from all this though, and, again, I’m going to set aside the accounting implications on the annual accounts. That is a hairy subject given the complexities of this as I have presented it as well as the introduction of a related party (Club 1872, chaired by a RIFC board member) transaction.

(1) Ashley ultimately got the full value he sought. £3M in cash from RIFC plus an additional £0.5M consideration for his shares over and above what he considered to be fair market value. Ashley exits stage left, setting up for a successful conclusion to proposal 11 at this years annual meeting.
(2) the working assumption by King and the board that the accounts are in compliance with UEFA FFP. That has been disputed across the broader Celtic blogosphere, but if RIFC are working under the assumption that proposal 11 is passed and new shares are issued, the rolling losses allowed by UEFA increase from €5M over 3 years to €30M if the difference is covered by equity contributions including the conversion of soft loans into equity. Based on what we now know, I BELIEVE THAT RIFC CLEARLY VIOLATED THE FFP REGULATIONS FOR THE 2016-17 SEASON, BUT WILL BE IN COMPLIANCE FOR THE 2017-18 SEASON after a successful share issue later this year. Also remember that the FFP regulations allow clubs to ignore spending in certain areas (primarily fixed assets such as stadium improvements, and also youth team activities), so the allowed losses as referenced in the published accounts is actually greater than the €5M/€30M referenced above. (3) as it pertains to the Takeover Panel proceedings, the 27p paid for Ashley’s shares do not represent fair market value IF PART OF THE PRICE WAS PAID TO SATISFY THE VERBAL OR WRITTEN TERMS OF THE SD TERMINATION. What we know is that the share transaction occurred simultaneously to the ripping up of the SD deal and was likely one of the conditions imposed by King, but that the price was dictated by Ashley as part of the OVERALL agreement to terminate the SD deal. Ashley didn’t care how much came from the share sale vs. how much came from RIFC cash so long as he got what he believed to be the full value of both his shares and the SD contract. The 27p paid for Ashley’s share DO NOT REPRESENT FAIR MARKET VALUE as the share sale was intertwined with the consideration paid for the termination of the SD deal. As such, the Takeover Panel should disregard this share sale in their deliberations as the ‘market price’ for the shares, and the shares alone, cannot be determined.

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Corrupt official

Corrupt officialPosted on9:46 am - Nov 6, 2017


   HomunculusNovember 5, 2017 at 14:31‘..I was under the impression that the deal with SD was still in place, until at least the end of this season.’
   ——————————————————————————————————
   At least until he shifted last season’s jerseys H. 12

https://www.thescottishsun.co.uk/sport/football/1204081/rangers-advise-fans-against-travelling-to-megastore-if-they-are-looking-to-buy-the-home-jersey/

   When you add that to the £3m and 27p a pop, Uncle Mick done no bad out of it.

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John ClarkPosted on12:50 pm - Nov 6, 2017


“JOHANNESBURG – High-profile South Africans and companies have been named in a massive tax leak which is being described as explosive and damning..”
from EWN  http://ewn.co.za/2017/11/06/high-profile-sa-firms-south-africans-named-in-massive-tax-leak
Oh, it would be too good to be true if……
But, naw, he’s skint, innit?19

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John ClarkPosted on1:29 pm - Nov 6, 2017


From the Offshore Leaks Database by The International Consortium of Investigative Journalists
https://offshoreleaks.icij.org/search?utf8=%E2%9C%93&q=new+oasis+asset+ltd&e=&commit=Search

NEW OASIS LIMITED 28-MAR-1996 British Virgin Islands

There is a singular lack of imagination in the creators of these entities-so far I’ve counted about a dozen  various ones all with the word ‘oasis’ in their names!
I wonder is the one cited the ‘NOAL’ which is DK’s Trustee?
Not that the ICIJ is saying or doing anything other than simply listing these entities , making no allegations or naming (yet) any individuals.

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Homunculus

HomunculusPosted on1:47 pm - Nov 6, 2017


John Clark
November 5, 2017 at 22:39 
HomunculusNovember 5, 2017 at 14:31‘..I was under the impression that the deal with SD was still in place, until at least the end of this season.’_________The new deal was reported as having been signed  on 21/06/17, for one year,

================================

Thanks for that JC, so the new deal effectively runs to the end of this season.

It’s surprising that they don’t have anything new in place for next season. Maybe they are going to announce it at the AGM, a bit of good news should they have anything untoward to cover. That along with passing the dis-application pre-emption should give them a bit of leeway if there is anything uncomfortable.

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Ballyargus

BallyargusPosted on4:21 pm - Nov 6, 2017


Is this another court case or just someone else they want to fight with?  1012

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LUGOSI

LUGOSIPosted on4:51 pm - Nov 6, 2017


Tomorrow brings the outcome of the Scottish Football Supporters Association survey.
I note that John Clark is attending the SFSA meeting at Firhill tomorrow and if there is one man who personifies this site’s aim to ask the questions that the mainstream media consistently fail to ask of the authorities John Clark is that man.
When I joined the SFSA I was asked what my main concerns were and I listed all the usual suspects and told them to take their pick.
If I could ask John Clark to ask one question tomorrow it might not strike others as being the most serious or the most pressing or the most threatening subject facing us but I think it is a question which can be easily answered.
Why is bigoted, sectarian, racist, abusive singing acceptable, tolerated and not even worthy of comment or action?
Not a game goes by without songs about murdering Catholics; the deaths and enforced emigration of millions of Irish people as a result of the Great Famine; the sexual abuse of children; what Jock Stein may or may not have known; the deaths of the Lisbon Lions and abusive references to the Pope.
The supporters of forty one out of forty two clubs know that these songs are going to be sung every time one club plays; the fans at the game have to listen to it; the fans of every other club have to listen to it on the television or radio (despite every audio gymnastic attempted by broadcasters); the fans of every other club know that it will not result in any reporting of it far less action being taken and the fans of every other club know it will happen again the next time that one club plays.
Is it really the case that the authorities have no view or have no power or have no inclination to do anything about what is sung during games played under their auspices?
Is it open to the supporters of the forty one other clubs to sing their hearts out about disemboweling Quakers; the deaths of tsunami victims; the sexual harrassment by Hollywood executives and Members of Parliament; the members of a Petrofac Cup winning team going over a cliff in a charabanc; Bill Struth being a budgie thief who may or may not have drowned someone and round it off with a rousing F*** The Moderator Of The General Assembly Of The Church Of Scotland?
As I say, others may have other priorities, but it strikes me that if we can’t get past this simple one the rest don’t really matter.
This is not a question of opinion or interpretation which allows for sophistry leading to hair splitting and debating how many angels can dance on the head of a pin.
It is a binary issue-either the authorities do something or they don’t.
This is not an issue where the authorities will not act because they cannot. As we have witnessed all too often the authorities are not bound by any rules when it suits. If the authorities do not act it is because they choose not to because they don’t want to.
If this one question continues to go unanswered or is answered in the negative the game is no longer a game worthy of the name. If simple decency is not important it has ceased to be a game; is no longer worthy of respect and is certainly no longer worthy of patronage.
If this is where we are I, for one, don’t want the authorities to #GiveUsOurBallBack.
They can keep it.

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Cluster One

Cluster OnePosted on6:00 pm - Nov 6, 2017


CLUSTER ONENOVEMBER 5, 2017 at 17:11 17 0 Rate This
HOMUNCULUSNOVEMBER 5, 2017 at 14:31I have yet to see any indication of a a new kit supplier or commercial partner. Surely if there was a deal or deals in place they would be shouting it from the roof tops. I refer you back to not 4 in the accounts, however I accept that may be just short term and there will be a new deal in place with someone else. ————–Who would touch them, if king gets the cold shoulder.
——————
JOHN CLARKNOVEMBER 5, 2017 at 23:00 14 0 Rate This
Cluster OneNovember 5, 2017 at 17:11‘….Who would touch them, if king gets the cold shoulder.’________Who indeed?But I think, really, that ‘cold shouldering’ just applies to financial institutions-people who broker,  provide financial services, act as advisers in take-overs, and so on ( which means in effect death in the City: no share-broker, no NOMAD possibility, no underwriter for a share offer…..)
I don’t think it applies to ‘ordinary’ business concerns, like suppliers of goods and ordinary business services.
They are expected to use their common sense and the experience of others when it comes to questioning whether they might be paid for plumbing or building or face-painting services provided.
————–
Thanks for replies JC and ALLYJAMBONOVEMBER 5, 2017 at 22:28
————–
I also wanted to elaborate who would touch them ie.
new kit supplier or commercial partner. One look at the ibrox board and there actions towards puma and SD would have any new kit supplier or commercial partner running to the hills or would have to have cast iron contracts

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Allyjambo

AllyjamboPosted on7:06 pm - Nov 6, 2017


Cluster OneNovember 6, 2017 at 18:00

I also wanted to elaborate who would touch them ie.new kit supplier or commercial partner. One look at the ibrox board and there actions towards puma and SD would have any new kit supplier or commercial partner running to the hills or would have to have cast iron contracts
_____________________-

Simply put, CO, we have all, more often than not, been dumbfounded by the people we would have judged to be more business savvy than ourselves, in the way they have risked money, and perhaps reputations, by involving themselves financially with RIFC/TRFC. Think of the financial institutions that bought into the IPO as a prime example. We were all shouting from the rooftops that shares in that club’s holding company were a short-cut to lost fortunes, and yet ‘the experts’ fell for a snake oil salesman’s pitch. We were right, and never doubted it.

I am not even sure that another kit manufacturer would take steps to protect their investment, and might even fall for the ‘world’s most successful club’ lie.

On the other hand, if they have all been paying attention – to the SD contract shenanigans if nothing else – then maybe a cut-throat deal by MA is back on the cards, as he doesn’t seem to care about his reputation, and appears to be happy to do deals that screw the other side in a way that others might shy away from.

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Cluster One

Cluster OnePosted on7:07 pm - Nov 6, 2017


Andy Muirhead @andymuirhd Dermot firing a broadside at Mark Daly and the BBC pic.twitter.com/6bmg8xpXW2

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Cluster One

Cluster OnePosted on7:17 pm - Nov 6, 2017


ALLYJAMBONOVEMBER 6, 2017 at 19:06
I am not even sure that another kit manufacturer would take steps to protect their investment, and might even fall for the ‘world’s most successful club’ lie.
On the other hand, if they have all been paying attention – to the SD contract shenanigans if nothing else –
————-
Charles Green touted ADIDAS and they ended up with puma. Even with the  ‘world’s most successful club’ lie.all CG could attract was SD.Any bigger kit supplier or commercial partner.after due diligence would surely have contracts weighed heavily in their favour

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Homunculus

HomunculusPosted on7:23 pm - Nov 6, 2017


ALLYJAMBONOVEMBER 6, 2017 at 19:06 
On the other hand, if they have all been paying attention – to the SD contract shenanigans if nothing else – then maybe a cut-throat deal by MA is back on the cards, as he doesn’t seem to care about his reputation, and appears to be happy to do deals that screw the other side in a way that others might shy away from.
===============================

It would not surprise me in the slightest if the new deal was SD with it being re-negotiated on a season by season basis. 

From Note 4 of the accounts. 

“On 21 June 2017, the Group entered into a new retail operations, distribution and IP license agreement with SDI Retail Services Limited (replacing all existing agreements) … Going forward, the payments to TRFCL under the new license agreement will be significantly higher than under theprevious agreements.”

If it was for one year surely it would have specifically been written that way. Something like 

“During the 2017/2018 season the payments to TRFCL under the new license agreement will be significantly higher than under the previous agreements.””

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Homunculus

HomunculusPosted on7:40 pm - Nov 6, 2017


I see that the RIFC PLC AGM has been announced and that Resolution 11 with regards dis-application of pre-emption has again been included. 

On the assumption that it is passed this time, and I think that’s a reasonable assumption it will be interesting to see how quickly they arrange the share issue and who is allowed to be involved. For example with Club 1872 be invited to buy some or will they be diluted the same as everyone else. 

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jimboPosted on8:05 pm - Nov 6, 2017


Very good caller on R. Clyde from Hamilton.  He has a background in finance.  Put it to the panel that The Rangers does not have the money to attract a decent manager.  Nor any money to buy new players other than what the club can raise from players sales.  He was referencing the accounts all over the place.  For example, King did not get rid of Ashley but had to pay off his contract. 

They are surviving on loans and debts.

Suggested their best bet was to appoint G. Murty until the end of the season, it’s about all they can afford.

It was good to hear some truth on the airwaves for a change. 

There was what can only be described as a pregnant silence until Hugh Keevins and Big DJ said this would not go down well with the bears.  BDJ in particular was a bit incredulous. The caller said the information is already out there it’s just that some people refuse to believe the state of affairs. (Like DJ ?)

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John ClarkPosted on9:02 pm - Nov 6, 2017


HomunculusNovember 6, 2017 at 19:40
‘…..I see that the RIFC PLC AGM has been announced and that Resolution 11 with regards dis-application of pre-emption has again been included’
______________-
I am so genuinely baffled by this that I have felt constrained to fire off this email to the supportgroup emailaddress of the TOP:
“Dear Takeover Panel,
I understand that Mr David Cunningham King, chairman of Rangers International Football Club plc (RIFC plc) was  recently adjudged by the Takeover Appeals Board to have been the lead member of a ‘concert party’  and was required by that Board to make an offer to buy all the shares in RIFC plc not already in the ownership of the members of that concert party.
I know that, King not having complied with that requirement, the Court was asked ( for the first time ever, apparently) to use its powers under Section 955 of the Companies Act 2006 to make  an order which, in the Court’s opinion, would secure his compliance.
The judgment of the Court is still awaited.
I learn today, however, that on the agenda of RIFC plc’s AGM ( scheduled for 30th November 2017), there is a motion seeking the dis-application of preemption rights.
Can this be right?
If the motion were to be passed,  wouldn’t it mean that the whole point and purpose of the Code’s rules on concert party activity was being by-passed? The Directors involved in the concert party would be able to restrict the allotment of shares to themselves, denying access to other shareholders.
As I understand matters, the very reason  for the concert party’s  purchases which brought them over the permitted limit  and triggered the obligation to offer the general run of their shareholders at 20p per share was precisely to get control, so that they could  get a disapplicationt motion passed on the strength of their additional voting rights!
It surely cannot be right that a Director should be allowed to cock a snoot at City regulation, and make the first use of the Courts to enforce their rulings nothing but a farce?
I realise that these matters are, or can be, very complex and away beyond my capacities, and that there may be  nothing untoward about RIFC’s actions,  in the present circumstances.
I would like, however, to be reassured on the matter.
Yours sincerely,
[me: real name and address]

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StevieBC

StevieBCPosted on9:47 pm - Nov 6, 2017


Caught up with the news that a new Scotland strip has been launched.

The SFA Twitter account is getting pelters from the fans for the price though.

60 quid for a 100% polyester top, in support of a consistently disappointing / under-performing national team ?
I’m guessing it might cost between 5 and 10 quid max. to produce ?

Easy decision to restrict paying way over the odds for my club top only.

 

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John ClarkPosted on9:56 pm - Nov 6, 2017


HomunculusNovember 6, 2017 at 19:23
‘If it was for one year surely it would have specifically been written that way..’
________
I think that’s a fair enough supposition, Homunculus, if the Sky Sports report of what King’s statement said is accurate.
In their report of the new deal, they have King saying 
“TRFC and SD hope that the new arrangements will be long standing but there is no longer a fixed commitment on that front.”
That would suggest that while the actual deal is a one year deal, and while there’s no commitment to any fresh deals, other 1 year deals might be  possible. Provided Ashley thinks he’s getting a good return.

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macfurgly

macfurglyPosted on10:05 pm - Nov 6, 2017


jimboNovember 6, 2017 at 20:05
————————————
http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/football/41875999
“Jason Holt insists Rangers ‘ players would support a move to make interim manager Graeme Murty their permanent boss. (Sunday Mail)”
The latest TRFC player to be wheeled out to say what a good manager Murty would be.

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Homunculus

HomunculusPosted on10:20 pm - Nov 6, 2017


JOHN CLARK
NOVEMBER 6, 2017 at 21:02
==========================

Good point JC, it hadn’t occurred to put the two things together.

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Homunculus

HomunculusPosted on10:27 pm - Nov 6, 2017


JOHN CLARK
NOVEMBER 6, 2017 at 21:56
==============================

I’m not sure how the support would react to that.

Some are a tad perturbed that the club has had to pay £3m to get out of the original arrangement. However they are satisfied that it was money well spent to “get rid of the {insert ott pejorative term here}“. They are accepting that Dave King maybe didn’t send Mike Ashley away with his tail between his legs after all. 

If it were to transpire that SD were still the commercial partner, albeit with RIFC PLC now and not TRFC Ltd, I don’t think they would be best pleased. The board would have to have their PR people working overtime on the social media sites convincing the support that it was in the best interests of the club. 

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John ClarkPosted on11:20 pm - Nov 6, 2017


HomunculusNovember 6, 2017 at 22:27
‘..They are accepting that Dave King maybe didn’t send Mike Ashley away with his tail between his legs after all. ‘
___________
Aye, but I imagine they’ll still buy the gear, however reluctantly.

Club 1872 has to protect its shares and will have to rally round and encourage a spending spree  to boost the commercial income.

And even the dimmest bear will by now be aware of the distinct possibility that TRFC Ltd might be heading for Administration in the same way that that other, much older  club, now in Liquidation, did.

Ashley no doubt drove a hard enough bargain, but even so, RIFC’s share per unit of kit sold is probably a good bit better than the 7p that , according to King, was what they were previously getting.

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Homunculus

HomunculusPosted on11:38 pm - Nov 6, 2017


JOHN CLARK
NOVEMBER 6, 2017 at 23:20
==================================

I agree.

It will be a case of “Well I thought it was terrible, but then Mr King told me it was in the best interests of the club and he is a financial genius and real Rangers man so I will just doff my cap, consign my own thinking to the rubbish bin and do what he has asked me to do.”

I base that on nothing more than years of watching their obsequiousness and deferring to their betters. 

That will make Mike Ashley a lot of money if he is still the commercial partner. 

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jimboPosted on11:43 pm - Nov 6, 2017


“Rangers ripped up their long standing contract with Sports Direct in June this year, agreeing a new one-year deal.
Ibrox chief Dave King confirmed at the time that the club were working together with Puma over the design of new away and third kits.”
(The Sun 4 Oct. 2017)

Ripped up their long standing contract with SD.
Yes, as in it cost £3 million to rip it up!

I remember the reaction to some bears of the new kit – well into the season – it was described as ‘off the peg’ puma tops with the club crest and sponsor on it.  They really saved a few bob in design fees.

Incidentally,  The home tops are selling for ‘£10 off’ in the on line megastore at the moment.  I don’t know, but is that normal trading practice?  For a new kit to be reduced so soon after it’s introduction to the massive ‘Rangers’ market? in the run up to Christmas?  I would have thought maybe January Sales marketing would have been more appropriate.

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John ClarkPosted on11:52 pm - Nov 6, 2017


The ways of Scottish football and Scottish football clubs can be very , very strange.

I have a brother in Glasgow.

Whereas I’m of a shy, retiring disposition, with a limited range of social, business, sporting contacts, he is very much the opposite in his own field.

We were exchanging texts an hour or so ago about a cousin of ours , a much older man (yes, it is still possible for someone to be older than I, ya bass!), living on his own, quite some distance away, whom neither of us has been able to make phone contact with over the last week or two.

In that exchange of texts it was learned that Celtic and RIFC plc (or maybe it was TRFC Ltd) have each called a Press conference for Tuesday- at 6.00 pm.

Isn’t that a remarkable co-incidence?

Or would one be correct in assuming that it was the two cheeks of the same arse coming together to try to minimise /sabotage the SFSA meeting at Firhill, to which of course the Press were invited?

What is either club likely to be saying to the Press, on a Tuesday evening, in international week?

What will our hacks think?

In the case of one of the clubs, perhaps the announcement of a new manager? They couldn’t miss that, could they?

In the case of the other, what? Some transfer, in or out, or a reduction in the price of a pie, or developments in the hotel building line?

God Almighty, what the sods will do to keep fans as mere till fodder.

Because I suppose it would be altogether too much to expect that Celtic will announce they’re going for the SFA on the licence issue, while TRFCLtd  will be saying ‘don’t look at us, it was RFC(IL) wot done it.

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bigboab1916Posted on11:57 pm - Nov 6, 2017


John Clark
November 6, 2017 at 23:52
ya bass!
The item that belongs in the beginning of that quote would be required to lift hot coal are you an old caltonian by any chance?

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jimboPosted on12:00 am - Nov 7, 2017


Oh dear, what happened to the projections?

“Rangers post £7m losses and are not expected to make profit until return to SPLRangers finance director Brian Stockbridge claims the club were never expected to make a profit in the first year after posting losses of £7 million for the last seven months of 2012.”
(The Telegraph 4 March 2013)

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TrisidiumPosted on12:32 am - Nov 7, 2017



Homunculus: ‘I’m not sure how the support would react to that’

To be fair H, they’ve never had much trouble selling snake oil like that to the bears. The trust invested in anyone with a seat at the boardroom table is quite breathtaking, and at the other end of a very long avenue of trust from the rest of us

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John ClarkPosted on1:00 am - Nov 7, 2017


bigboab1916November 6, 2017 at 23:57
‘.. are you an old caltonian by any chance?’
_______
Old, certainly, bigboab!

But not really frae the calton, but further along London Road to where the old Parkhead Juniors ground was ( across the road from the present Celtic Supporters club )

I think my first sight of the ‘Tongs ya bass’ graffitti was in about the middle 1960s. I came home from abroad in 1963, and there was a film current round about then entitled “55 days in Peking” with Charlton Heston and David Niven.

I always assumed at the time that the graffitti merchants had taken their slogan from that film, although there was nothing in the film that referred to the Tong wars. I thought at the time that ‘Boxers, ya bass’ would have made more sense.

I still don’t know whether the ‘Tongs ya bass’ were any kind of pretendy Norman Conks or pretendy ‘Billy Boys’.

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Cluster One

Cluster OnePosted on7:13 am - Nov 7, 2017


A small read for JC
https://forums.digitalspy.com/discussion/916877/tongs-ya-bass

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theredpillPosted on7:44 am - Nov 7, 2017


Sevco  is gonna love this.
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-41857222

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John ClarkPosted on8:33 am - Nov 7, 2017


theredpillNovember 7, 2017 at 07:44
‘….Sevco is gonna love this.’
_______
Yes, but have a look at the twitter link Cluster 1 posted  in his post
Cluster OneNovember 6, 2017 at 19:07

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wottpiPosted on9:56 am - Nov 7, 2017


A small comment re T’Rangers accounts.

Sorry to bore you all but I keep going back to the baseline figures that have been the same since the days of SDM.
Excluding the staff costs the day to day running costs of the club have always been in the range of £10 -£15m.
The expenditure in the latest accounts excluding the staff costs is around £15m as opposed to the £12m from the previous year. Therefore we are still in the same ball park as we have been for many years.
It is interesting to note that a specific comment is made 

Other operating charges include matchday costs, such as policing, stewarding and pitch costs. A 27% increase in other operating charges against the previous year was driven by one additional home game played, in addition to the reintroduction of a pre-season foreign trip, and significantly increased repairs and refurbishments being carried out to the Stadium.

Therefore, while additional games certainly brings in additional income, the club admits that additional games also comes at a cost as does, potentially, playing ‘glamour’ friendlies abroad and the likes. (What about the development squad costs for playing European competition as opposed to domestic?).

We know that over the recent years there has been talk improving the Murray Park facilities and work needed on Ibrox itself. The much talked about roof problem, regardless of whether it is in a catastrophic condition or not, will most likely require a decent bit of cash to make things right. So capital and maintenance costs are likley to be ongoing for some time.

It is interesting to note that outwith the first team wages (up to £10.4m in these accounts) the other staff costs rose by around £600k. Therefore appointments such as a Director of Football and the likes are adding to the overall wage bill.

Everything therefore points to money going out as quick as it is coming in.

The income of £29.3k is not to be sniffed at but clearly the club is spending beyond its means. This season is likely to have seen a further rise in the cost of the first team, so any increase there will have to be offset by additional income of more soft loans.

The more they try to act like Billy Big Baws the more money they need. 

To my mind the current path is not sustainable.

I have no particular problem (apart from needing to adhere to any ongoing FFP rules) with them running up internal debt and then trying to sort it out with shares issues and the like. Its not that long ago Aberdeen restructured £15m worth of debt and HIbs id the same with a debt of £5.5m.
Hearts clearly have internal debt currently  but that can at least be put against capital infrasturcture improvements to the main stand and there is an open and transparent plan in place and obvious austerity on the pitch!!!

Nobody says boo to a goose on these issues. Aberdeen’s recent rise to consistent 2nd place in the league and cup final appearances could be said to have been built on the years prior to debt restructuring. As such, while I am overjoyed at the level of their financial incompetence, I fail to see why T’Rangers are then criticised for doing something many other have done in the past.

The problem for the newco is however the same for the oldco, in that  there is only so many times you can play that card and when someone with the (then) reputation of SDM couldn’t gather enough interest what hope does someone like DCK have of turning the trick too many more times. 

If shares issues come along like buses then it is a clear indication that things are not right.

T’Rangers brand is still pretty toxic and, at best, I can only see them standing still for many years to come. Park’s prediction of a seven year rebuild was a far more realistic message to put out.

That being said unless other, such as Hearts, get their act together that could still be enough to sneak the odd cup final appearance and bag European spots.

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normanbatesmumfc

normanbatesmumfcPosted on10:01 am - Nov 7, 2017


theredpillNovember 7, 2017 at 07:44 
Sevco  is gonna love this.http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-41857222
……………………………………………………………………………………………..
AND, the beeb also described Celtic as Scotland’s biggest club!
While we know this to be true, the Klan will be raging.

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Allyjambo

AllyjamboPosted on11:35 am - Nov 7, 2017


A few days ago we got a DR article comparing Ann Budge and Hearts fortunes with that of Dave King and TRFC’s. The basis for that comparison was the fact that Hearts had been in administration, and although they avoided mention of it, the inference was that ‘Rangers’ had been in a similar position, which they had but then they’d died, as we all know.

Now we have a mega rich Irishman grabbing the headlines in Scotland, grabbing those headlines in Scotland merely because he ‘owns’ Celtic FC, and not because his alleged ‘tax efficiency’ arrangements affect us, or Celtic, in any way.

Anyway, the story is all about TAX DODGING, and as the one link of interest is Scottish football, why no mention of the biggest known tax dodge in Scottish fiscal history (I may be wrong, but has there been a bigger, non-football, one ever broken in the press?).

Regardless of size, however, to the SMSM, two clubs having been in administration, no, sorry, one club having been in administration, and the other…how the *!$& do you put it (well they made that unspoken link), justifies a tenuous comparison, so why no ‘tax dodging’ link in any of the Dermott Desmond stories? Why, if the only possible reason for this highlighting of one out of over a million caught out in the ‘Paradise Papers’ revelations has a Scottish football link, not mention the fact that the other half of the one time Old Firm has tax dodging – at it’s very core? I was about to write ‘at its very core, too’, but then that would have suggested Celtic were somehow linked to whatever private tax arrangements their major shareholder has, and, as we all know, that is definitely not the case.

NB This post is about tenuous links used to form an article in the press, as a Hearts supporter I deeply resent the link made between Ann Budge and Hearts with King and TRFC, with the link being the word ‘administration’, but I’m not complaining about it here, the point is that tenuous links are used all the time, often to lessen the impact on one particular entity. Desmond’s tax affairs are not even tenuously linked to Celtic, Scottish football, or even Scotland, while Rangers (IL) tax affairs were definitely linked to Scottish football, Scotland, and undoubtedly to Celtic’s in a very detrimental way. 

It would not be a tenuous link to mention the Rangers Tax Case whenever tax, Scottish football, Celtic, and, indeed, any other Scottish football club is mentioned in a way that suggests wrongdoing is afoot!

Another wee point. Isn’t it amazing how often a story breaks that the SMSM use as a squirrel whenever they can’t avoid bad news (in this case the Accounts) from Ibrox?

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bobcobbPosted on11:52 am - Nov 7, 2017


It’s interesting that from the hundreds of names listed in the Paradise Papers, a British National Broadcaster chose to train its sights on an Irish Businessman (legally) avoiding paying his tax in Switzerland! Were there no Scots, or indeed Brits, on the list?
“Billionaire in Tax Reduction Scheme!” is hardly a shock story. Desmond has done what many of his ilk have done; namely employed Accountants to help him legally reduce his tax burden. (For the record, I’m opposed to any tax avoidance and wish that everyone would just accept their social responsibility and pay what is due, but that is neither here nor there; that isn’t the issue here).
I’ve been critical of Desmond in the past but can’t help feel that he is being unfairly singled out by a Corporation with a clear agenda i.e. to establish a “tax cheat” equivalence between Celtic and the former Rangers Football Club. BBC Scotland doesn’t have to look far to “doorstep” real tax cheats; they regularly remunerate some for appearing on a number of Sports TV and radio programmes. And for all the good work Mr Daly has done in the past, I cannot recollect a single instance when Sir David Murray (a man who actually did cost the British taxpayer hundreds of millions of pounds) was given similar treatment. 
This is not “whataboutery.” Nor is it whataboutery to ask why the BBC have failed to take a similar approach to Dave King – a real tax cheat (albeit in another country – just like DD)!
Some will think this is me simply being a blind Celtic fan who cannot see anything wrong with his club, but that is also sort of my point. This story has nothing to do with Celtic yet how many times was the club mentioned in Daly’s report?

It boils down to this for me: Why did BBC Scotland single out a foreign national for legally avoiding paying tax in another foreign country when there were a number of much higher profile Brits involved, including the British head of state? 
Paranoid? Me? If I’ve learned anything these past 5 years it is that I was never paranoid enough.

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justbecauseyoureparanoidPosted on11:57 am - Nov 7, 2017


BOBCOBBNOVEMBER 7, 2017 at 11:52

Agree 100%
But then again I would, wouldn’t I? 20

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easyJamboPosted on12:32 pm - Nov 7, 2017


Allyjambo November 7, 2017 at 11:35
——————————–
I’ve noticed that there have been quite a few sensitive souls around twitter in the last 24 hours as the “Paradise Papers” have been revealed on Panorama, primarily in relation to Dermot Desmond. 

We even have some Rangers fans complaining about tax avoidance (irony of ironies) and Celtic fans, including some who post on here, questioning why Celtic is linked to the story, and why the BBC sees fit to report on the affairs of an Irish citizen who could be due taxes to Swiss authorities.

Well, I’m a Hearts fan whose conscience tell him that tax avoidance and evasion, by anyone or any company, is abhorrent, be it British, Irish, Lithuanian, Russian, American etc.

Is Dermot Desmond’s involvement in the Paradise Papers newsworthy in Scotland? – Yes – He has a public profile in Scotland as the largest shareholder in Celtic.  It is a public interest story.

Has he done anything illegal? – I don’t know, he hasn’t been convicted of anything to my knowledge but the Swiss authorities may be inclined to investigate whether or not he has. He has also been linked to money laundering through a Lithuanian Bank in which he has an significant interest.

Is it a sports story and worthy of discussion on a sports programme? – No, or at least not until there is some evidence presented that directly links Celtic to some tax avoidance or illegal activities.

I had no problem with the BBC’s Frontline Scotland investigation into Vladimir Romanov’s business practices across Europe which was broadcast at the end of 2005, and subsequent coverage of his business interests in Russia, Lithuania, Bosnia, Belarus and Scotland.  That information allowed me to form an opinion about how I viewed Romanov as Hearts owner. 

Why should Celtic fans be so sensitive to business activities of the their major shareholder? I can only think that it is the risk of damage to the Celtic “brand” that concerns them.  Should they ignore what Dermot Desmond does in the rest of his business empire, just because it doesn’t directly involve Celtic? If I was a Celtic fan, and had a political interest in fairness within the tax system, then I definitely would want to know what he was up to elsewhere in his business empire. Otherwise you would have to ask why the same Celtic fans are so interested in the tax affairs and convictions of the current Rangers chairman, which had no direct connection to the football club.    

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Billy BoycePosted on1:00 pm - Nov 7, 2017


I see that Graham Spiers has made a nice put-down on Twitter this morning.  I hope the font size is large enough to read on this extract.

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Homunculus

HomunculusPosted on1:29 pm - Nov 7, 2017


From my reading of it Dermott Desmond’s company, Execujet, set up an office in the IOM, specifically to deal with the insurance side of the business. This led to them paying some of their tax in that jurisdiction rather than in Swizerland. Bearing in mind that Execujet operated in various countries throughout the world, not just Swizerland.

That meant they did not have to pay a 5% levy rate and were subject to a reduced rate of tax, they paid c£1m less in tax over a 3 year period.

The corporate structure and tax arrangements were legitimate in the jurisdictions concered. The UK isn’t one of them.

I’m not really seeing how this is much of a story, certainly in the UK and certainly when there seems to be a lot of information in relation to several UK citizens, oh and one monarch.

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bordersdonPosted on1:41 pm - Nov 7, 2017


easyJamboNovember 7, 2017 at 12:32
——————————————————————
I agree with this view 100%.

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erniePosted on2:04 pm - Nov 7, 2017


I’m glad that tax havens are a story as we need to make all this misuse of tax regulations, put in place for reasons not connected with making stinking rich folks richer, illegal rather than merely immoral.  Is Desmond’s participation worthy of a Scottish story given his profile here?;Maybe. Has it anything to do with fitba? No. A pox on all the tax dodgers in any case. (Actually, it’s worse than that, I’m fed up subsidising these leeches.)
I’m more intrigued with the alleged letter starting “Are you a Rangers fan?”.  Have I missed something, is it a wind up? Or is it a prime example of the arrogant, myopic, whataboutery view of Scottish fitba as portrayed across the board (not just bampots and stenographers) that anything critical of Rangers and you’re a Celtic fan and vice versa.  Well include me out.  Time to grow up I think.  

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bobcobbPosted on2:05 pm - Nov 7, 2017


EasyJambo, I’m certainly not a “sensitive soul” nor do I fail to take an interest in the financial affairs of my club’s largest shareholder. I state in my post above that I have been critical of Desmond in the past and one of the reasons for this is his approach to tax avoidance. I’m also very clear that I oppose tax avoidance and vehemently believe that everything possible should be done to close loopholes that corporations and business people like Desmond take advantage of.
My point was that despite the many, many Scottish and British people named in the Paradise leak – including the British head of state no less – the national broadcaster in Scotland chose to single out an Irish businessman who avoided £1m tax in Switzerland (not to mention a troupe of Irish actors that the BBC decided to target – am I spotting a trend here or is that going too far?) 
Is that really the main public interest story here? I have no issue with Desmond being investigated, named and outed as a tax avoider. My issue is the obvious attempt by the BBC to place some sort of equivalence between Desmond’s legitimate (if not moral) business dealings with the real illegal tax practices we have witnessed of late in Scottish Football.
I’m also aware that the BBC regularly remunerates several tax evaders (not avoiders) on their many sports bulletins and shows. I’m actually a big supporter of the BBC and believe our democracy needs an independent and impartial broadcaster. But I also believe that the past five years has demonstrated that BBC Scotland is anything but independent or impartial.

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erniePosted on2:20 pm - Nov 7, 2017


Furthermore, given the nature of the beast I’ll be amazed if a few more fitba related “businesspersons” are not outed from these papers as they tend to be in the public eye given their connection to fitba teams however diddy. Will I/we be lamenting the hounding of these folks by headline hungry reporters?  Nah.  Hell mend them.  As I’ve said it’s great that this is a story, It crops up every few years and gets swept up in the trickle down wealth scam.  These people don’t trickle down their wealth, they hoard it, like Gollum and the ring.

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John ClarkPosted on2:38 pm - Nov 7, 2017


Just to say briefly ( too many other things on the plate just now) that I did manage in to Courtroom 6 in Parliament House this morning. Proceedings lasted almost an hour.Nothing earth shattering, just interesting: possibly on 18th January they might be able to set a date for the actual hearing of the guts of the case.
When I get back home from Firhill I’ll post some detail of today’s business.

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Allyjambo

AllyjamboPosted on2:42 pm - Nov 7, 2017


easyJamboNovember 7, 2017 at 12:32
An Irish businessman using, as far as we know, every legal form of tax avoidance available to him is hardly news to me. It would have been news to me to learn of one such businessman, Irish or not, who doesn’t seek to maximise his already disgusting wealth in any way possible. Any Celtic supporter who believes Dermott Desmond is such a good person he would never avoid paying tax on every pound he makes is living in cloud cuckoo land. No one likely to ever give thought to the morals of the board members of their (any) club is going to be surprised to learn that said board members use every legal method of tax avoidance available to them, and no one should be in the least surprised to learn this of Dermott Desmond, in fact I’d be very surprised to learn he wasn’t the most despicable of money grabbing shysters in a world of despicable money grabbing shysters. (That is how I feel about all hugely wealthy people, not just Irish or people involved in football).

However, a footnote announcing Desmond’s appearance on the Paradise list, amongst all the revelations of tax avoiding businessmen with interests in Scotland, would have been perfectly correct as the list is poured over during the coming weeks, and his connection to Celtic mentioned too. But this is not a footnote, and is not about informing anyone with an interest in Celtic. This is sensationalism, pure and simple, in an attempt to draw attention from one particular club’s travails while discrediting it’s main rival (in their minds).

Remind me, did Mark Daly stick a mic under Dave King’s nose and ask him about his tax affairs? Now there’s a real story, affecting every football fan in Scotland, but I think that story would have upset the wrong side of the Glasgow divide for the BBC these days.

Compare the urgency of the BBC to send Mark Daly chasing Dermott Desmond to the time it’s taking them to ask Dave King how his NOAL Trust is able to bankroll TRFC so soon after having his counsel claim, in the CoS, that he had no money. If the BBC are interested in keeping Scottish football supporters appraised of the possible financial chicanery of their board members, why have they ignored that (and so many more examples)?

I’m not suggesting you are wrong, EJ, in anything you said, and agree that it is the MSM’s job to inform us all of the questionable morals of those people who run such things as our football clubs, it’s their own morals (of the MSM) I’m questioning in the way they pick and choose who it is they will expose and the level of sensationalism they use.

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FinlochPosted on2:55 pm - Nov 7, 2017


I thought at the time and still agree that the pursuit of Mr Desmond by BBC Scotland for following the advice of his well paid tax advisors and acting within the laws could be seen as slanted.
The targeting of 3 of Mrs Browns Boys could also be seen as a parallel piece of similarly targeted mischief.

This from a corporation where many of the “employees” are not on the books in order to allow them to take advantage of many self employed concessions not available to normal paye humans.
And the same corporation whose shiny new offices in Glasgow are owned by a trust out of one of the offshore havens.

That being said why on earth did Mr D ask if Mark D was a Rangers Fan in the second line of his very swift response letter?

I think that was a dumb thing to do and that wee question alone speaks volumes.

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wottpiPosted on3:20 pm - Nov 7, 2017


SFA and SPFL: Survey says stakeholders dissatisfied with Scots’ governing bodies
http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/football/41904600

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Cygnus X-1Posted on3:26 pm - Nov 7, 2017


Let’s get a couple of things straight. Wrong is wrong, wrong ain’t right, just because someone wears a blue jersey or a green jersey.
If Dermot Desmond is found by a court or regulatory body to have broken the law, or contravened tax laws, then throw the fu**ing book at him, no if’s, but’s or maybe’s
However, at this precise moment, no such charges against him, have been proven, whereas we know of a football club, with it’s large group of Directors, majority shareholders, and individual employees, who have been to the very highest court in the land, and conclusively proven to have contravened tax laws in this country.
That is the real story, we know it and the Scottish media know it. No matter what squirrel’s they use, to distract us, it remains the real story, and it’s not going away. Not now, not never.   

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wottpiPosted on3:27 pm - Nov 7, 2017


The case of the Mrs Brown’s Boys three is a fine example of how to run an EBT type scheme via the offshore trust.

All above board and run within the rules apparently – as yet.

Maybe questionable in a moral sense but legal all the same.

I assume that because the whole Mrs Brown production thing is run via the ‘family business’ no-one was going to be blabbing or looking for additional assurances the money was coming their way via the offshore trust. Its my understanding that’s exactly how these tax avoidance schemes were designed to work and who they were most suited to.

People still don’t seem to get the message that the vehicle was not suited to the needs of a football club and its players and it was the side letters that did for them down Govan way.

SDM / Rangers chanced their arm and got caught – Simples!

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NTDEALPosted on3:38 pm - Nov 7, 2017


Sir David Murray took £6,000,000 out of one of his businesses and paid no tax via an EBT,which we now know was illegal,evasion…..ILLEGAL.Thats around £2.4M unpaid tax.Probably more.
Media Silence.
Dave King,convicted for tax evasion.
Media?
Get some perspective.
BOBCOBB;”never paranoid enough” absolutely.
Disgrace

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