The Lost Voice of the Armageddon Virus

ByBig Pink

The Lost Voice of the Armageddon Virus

Since I have lost my voice this week to the Armageddon virus, we decided to do a mini, written version of TWM for your pleasure….

 

 

 

In Armageddon Lala Land (© S. Regan), it’s all falling apart in a major borefest.

The explosive first thirteen minutes of the match involving the two top teams in the country were just a dream from which we all sadly awoke – although in my experience one usually gets roused from a dream just as the good bit begins!

Meanwhile nobody in Airdrie, Alloa, Annan, Brechin, Cowdenbeath, Dundee, Forfar, Greenock, Kirkcaldy, Montrose, Peterhead, or East Kilbride noticed anything exciting about the playoffs – and to make matters worse, folk in Cowdenbeath & EK, Forfar & Peterhead, Brechin & Alloa and Dundee & Falkirk have more of this trouser-removal process to endure later this week.

The facts, despite the SFA, SPFL and MSM trying to undersell our game here in Scotland, tell a different story. The playoff system – after close finishes in all the leagues, top and bottom, is pure drama.

There will be tears and laughter in unequal measure of course. Already, Raith Rovers, the great love of our old friend the late Turnbull Hutton have joined Ayr United and Stenhousemuir in relegation. The same fate may yet befall two from Inverness, Motherwell and Hamilton in the top league. The Blue Brazil themselves, Cowdenbeath could face banishment from the SPFL altogether if they cannot beat the upwardly East Kilbride next week.

The truth is, that keeping expectations in a realistic check, the game in Scotland is in better shape than it has been for decades. The delusional, acquisitional David Murray-led charge to financial oblivion has ended. Clubs, well most of them anyway, are living within their means. Thankfully the banks, enablers of the financial doping of the last thirty years, are now playing the role of limiting the excesses of overspending that clubs previously enjoyed.

Doubts over the distribution of the available income streams aside, there is level playing field on which Scottish clubs play, and over the last few years, a host of clubs, including Inverness, Ross County, St Mirren, Kilmarnock and St Johnstone have achieved historic successes. Aberdeen have re-emerged as the second most consistent side in the country after several years of consistency that only Champions Celtic have bettered.

In fact the quality of attacking play – if not defending- on show at Pittodrie on Friday evening would have graced any top flight game in England. It is now to Celtic and Aberdeen as well as our other clubs in European competition, Rangers and St Johnstone, to demonstrate that Scottish football may well be the poor relations in the UK, but is no backwater hangout for hillbillies and banjo players

Celtic’s dominance of course is the elephant in the room. It’s a big cuddly green and white elephant of course if you are a Celtic fan, but phase two of post Armageddon Scotland will hopefully involve a meaningful challenge at the very top over the next few years.


 

Craig Whyte
Whisky Baron?

The Craig Whyte trial continued in Glasgow last week. The former Rangers chairman faces charges including one of ‘pretending’ to have funds to facilitate the ‘purchase’ of ‘Rangers’.

Things the court has heard from testimony up to now include;

  • the claim that Ex-Rangers chief executive Martin Bain got a £360k bonus for the sale of the club,
  • that Gary Withey, Craig Whyte’s lawyer through the acquisition of Rangers, thought that Whyte was a member of the Whyte & McKay Whisky company!
  • that Ally McCoist had a contract with a substantial payoff clause if he was not chosen to succeed Walter Smith.
  • Rangers already owed £6m to Ticketus at the time Whyte took over
  • that David Murray had a deal with Lloyds: If he sold Rangers by a certain date, he would be able to regain ownership of MIM

 

Gary Withey, told the court that he thought Murray was desperate to get the deal over the line, that Murray’s team didn’t care where Whyte’s money had come from, and that in his opinion they knew that the deal was financed via Ticketus – this after the court had heard from other witnesses that Lloyd’s bank had threatened to withdraw Rangers’ credit and finance facilities if the board blocked the sale.

Significantly for matters outwith the confines of the case – and this has been incredibly under-reported by the main stream media – David Murray also told the court earlier that he had used EBT’s in order to get better players for Rangers than they could otherwise afford, re-igniting social media exchanges over the validity of William Nimmo-Smith’s report into Rangers use of EBT’s.

You may remember that Nimmo-Smith himself considered that Rangers had gained no sporting advantage by their use of the scheme – a conclusion diametrically at variance with Murray’s – the man who operated the scheme to achieve exactly that end.

Nimmo-Smith – Doubts?

If Murray is telling the truth, then it puts Nimmo-Smith’s conclusions in doubt. And even if you leave aside for the moment the amended and extremely creative terms of reference set by Neil Doncaster which effectively excluded the already known to be unlawful DoS EBTs from Nimmo-Smith’s team, the SPL has been shown up as a bit a joke.

Who knew?

 

 

 

Another sensational piece of info the court heard, which again has gone almost completely unreported, was that in an email from Mike McGill of Murray Group, dated 17 March 2011, he says “the (wee tax) case only recently went from a potential liability and had not “crystallised” until recently” – this long before a Euro licence was awarded to Rangers on the basis, according to Stewart Regan, that the bill had “not crystallised” when the licence was awarded.

It may be that that the laws of unintended consequences will prove to be more significant to football than the matter of Craig Whyte’s guilt or innocence.

All of the information on the case is what was said in court. None of it is to be taken as fact. That will be for the courts to decide. What is being reported is what witnesses have said in court. Also, there is a lot of hysteria, a lot of speculation going on in social media and the mainstream media over court proceedings.

Speculating on the innocence or guilt of a defendant, or the honesty of a witness is most definitely contempt of court territory. For obvious legal reasons, SFM wishes to stay on the right side of the law and avoid unnecessary problems with the courts.

But we also want to ensure that we are not party to contaminating people with speculation that may lead a defendant to be being mistakenly convicted or acquitted.

The purpose of a trial is establishing the facts of a case, not to merely validate so-called information or inferences that have been drawn before any legal process has begun. So we are asking everyone at SFM therefore to refrain from posting anything that implies guilt or innocence, truthfulness or untruthfulness, or anything which repeats unsubstantiated rumour.

We may think we know a lot, but it may well be the case as the trial progresses that we discover we knew less than we thought – so please keep that in mind when you post.

 


The news that it seems likely Clint Hill will not be offered a new contract at Rangers saddens me a little. Hill has been a consistent performer this year, playing with an energy, honesty and assuredness that was way in excess of many of his teammates and opponents alike. Hill is clearly not ready to retire, and I hope that he gets another year of football.

It will be interesting to see how many of the players who have been in the headlines this year will be leaving Scottish football. Hill looks to be gone, as does Emerson Hyndman. Will the likes of Moussa Dembele, Kieran Tierney, Scott Sinclair, Barrie McKay, Niall McGinn. A fair chance that some of them will. The challenge for our game is to keep a flow of that kind of talent ongoing. The more successful we are at that, the less resigned we will have to be about losing them.


As the season draws to a close, we still have promotion and relegation playoff battles to enjoy. There is the unresolved matter of ‘Invincible’ status for Celtic in their as yet unbeaten league campaign. We also have a proper showpiece finale to the season in two weeks as Aberdeen and Celtic go head to head in pursuit of the Scottish Cup.

In a few weeks, the transfer window will pique our interest as the off-field wars will be waged – with the added fun of the phantom journos in the MSM bringing us phantom stories of phantom Messis and Ronaldos headed for a hover-pitch near you – and the new season will immediately bring European drama to the door.

Who knows? Maybe the close season will see some proper football administrators brought in to replace the architects of Armageddon, tartan style. Sadly that sounds awfully like a Moonbeam.

 

 

 

 

 

 

About the author

Big Pink administrator

Big Pink is John Cole; a former schoolteacher based in the West of Scotland, He is also a print and broadcast journalist who is engaged in the running of SFM . Former gigs include Newstalk 106, the Celtic View, and Channel67. A Celtic fan, he is also the voice of our podcast initiative.

621 Comments so far

HomunculusPosted on7:47 pm - Jun 1, 2017


Another quality “exclusive” from the John James site.

Apropos Paul Murray and his semi-detached zip, exclusive word reaches me that his Borders idyll is on the market. 

I’m assuming he means Paul Murray’s home in Melrose

http://www.eveningtimes.co.uk/news/15270150.Look_inside_stunning_10_bedroom_home_of_Rangers_director_Paul_Murray_that_s_on_market_for___2million/

You can look at the pictures if you want, it was widely reported as being up for sale 3 weeks ago. 

You can look at even more pictures on Right Move. He has been trying to sell it for quite some time. 

NB This is not an exclusive it is public knowledge. 

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HomunculusPosted on7:50 pm - Jun 1, 2017


It’s a really nice gaff, it was Property of the Day in Town & Country.

In March.

http://www.townandcountrymag.co.uk/property/property-of-the-day-faldonside-house-melrose-roxburghshire

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Cluster OnePosted on7:57 pm - Jun 1, 2017


HOMUNCULUSJUNE 1, 2017 at 19:50
had a look to see if they did any stadium sales back in 2012 as  Property of the Day 10

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John ClarkPosted on11:32 pm - Jun 1, 2017


HomunculusJune 1, 2017 at 19:50
‘….it was widely reported as being up for sale 3 weeks ago. ‘
______________
I seem to remember ( no selective amnesia here) posting last year sometime that Murray had put ‘Faldonside’  up for sale then.

It’s a pretty fine property, in 44 acres ( and I think it is undervalued , assuming no major structural defects).

But I was put in mind of James Doleman’s ‘lion’s brother, who is also a lion,…’ when I read in the agent’s description
‘The staircase continues to the second floor which contains further guest accommodation.’

A statement of the blindingly obvious, I would have thought.19

nul points‘ for Knight Frank on that one!

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Corrupt officialPosted on1:12 am - Jun 2, 2017


JOHN CLARKJUNE 1, 2017 at 23:32
    “It’s a pretty fine property, in 44 acres ( and I think it is undervalued , assuming no major structural defects)
    ——————————————————————————-
   It’s haunted John……..By a dead club. I heard the telly mysteriously rose and crashed itself through the windae in the dying minutess of the cup final…..It’s done it a lot these past few months.    16

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bigboab1916Posted on1:16 am - Jun 2, 2017


Re above points i was aware of that regards the house up for sale ages ago, something not right with these exclusives claims, the whole football scenarios are awash with commenters putting their points of view across, but non are pushing the begging bowl to the max. Its nice to support blogs but to suggest closing them to people who put forward an opinion after maybe reading something that caught their attention is a bit exclusive and blogging is not about been exclusive to people outside a circle. You create a blog you hope people like it and support it don’t hold a gun to their head and to be honest…..enough just a thought.

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AuldheidPosted on2:01 am - Jun 2, 2017


On the CW trial its interesting that what CW did after taking over has not been the subject of examination.
He undertook to pay the wtc bill but, as will be revealed, led HMRC a dance for 2 months and lied to UEFA at the monitoring points in June and September with SFA participation and encouragement as licence was fraudulently granted in the first instance – potential my derriere.
 The SFA’s role in allowing what took place in 2011 has to be investigated, if only to ensure lessons are learned so that the circumstances cannot be repeated in order to protect individual shareholdings. It is a fiduciary duty and Celtic are accountable to shareholders, as are the SFA via Celtic as their member club.
Had there been more direct accountability to the paying customer / shareholders the corruption from 1999 could never have happened.
 Regardless of whether CW committed fraud against RFC, Celtic and other clubs were the victims of fraud in 2011 if the definition Prentice provided in court is applicable.
 AD (Prentice) defined fraud in court: “A false pretence, dishonestly made, in order to obtain some practical result.”
 https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B6uWzxhblAt9VGQ0MzAzelliNjg/view
As we now know there was nothing potential about the wtc liability on 31st March.

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Jingso.JimsiePosted on11:09 am - Jun 2, 2017


AULDHEID

JUNE 2, 2017 at 02:01        

On the CW trial its interesting that what CW did after taking over has not been the subject of examination.
————————————————-

He’s not been charged (on this indictment, at least) with anything that happened after his purchase of the ‘thingummy’.

As I see it, he’s currently on trial for two ‘technical’ offences, relating to timing issues regarding the position of his funds at the very moment he took over.

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John ClarkPosted on11:17 am - Jun 2, 2017


AuldheidJune 2, 2017 at 02:01
‘… The SFA’s role in allowing what took place in 2011 has to be investigated, if only to ensure lessons are learned so that the circumstances cannot be repeated in order to protect individual shareholdings. It is a fiduciary duty and Celtic are accountable to shareholders,..’
____________
I suppose it is not outwith the bounds of possibility that some group of smaller shareholders might take legal action against the directors of Celtic plc for failing in their fiduciary duty to shareholders?
It is simply outrageous that a governing body should have so cheated the SPL, and that Celtic should be so ready to accept the consequences of that cheating to the financial loss of their shareholders and the perversion of Sport.
And that the whole of Scottish football should meekly accept the rigging of the game.

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bobcobbPosted on11:18 am - Jun 2, 2017


In other news, it seems not all bills are being paid despite “splashing the cash” and talk of “war chests”…

THE RANGERS FOOTBALL CLUB LIMITED UK08347881
Event History
01/06/2017 Payment Data Update Received29/03/2017 Mr P. Murray has left the board29/03/2017 Mr G.T. Park has left the board29/03/2017 Mr J. Gilligan has left the board
Rating History
01/06/2017 19 Very High Risk29/03/2017 24 High Risk27/12/2016 47 Moderate Risk15/12/2016 37 Moderate Risk
Limit History
01/06/2017£029/03/2017£027/12/2016£210,000

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HomunculusPosted on11:37 am - Jun 2, 2017


JINGSO.JIMSIE
JUNE 2, 2017 at 11:09
=====================================

The fraud charge basically boils down to whether he deceived anyone or not in my opinion. In reality it is whether he deceived David Murray or not. It is up to the prosecution to prove that Whyte did. I don’t think the Jury will accept that and they will return with not guilty or not proven. This is based purely on my reading of tweets and newspaper reports.

I think it is much more likely that he will be convicted of the companies act offence. Rangers had an asset, the money from Ticketus. Rangers lent that money to Wavetower. Wavetower used that money to satisfy the conditions of the Share Purchase Agreement. Did Whyte use the assets of Rangers in order to buy Rangers, yes he did. Bearing in mind he didn’t use them as security or anything like that, he used the actual asset (cash). 

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tangoedPosted on11:55 am - Jun 2, 2017


HOMUNCULUSJUNE 2, 2017 at 11:37

Did Whyte use the assets of Rangers in order to buy Rangers, yes he did.
—————————————————————————————————
He bought rangers for a £1.Then as owner of those assets ,sold season books to fulfill part of an agreement he had entered into.

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stevoPosted on12:52 pm - Jun 2, 2017


I think the tenor of the argument is that the purchase price was actually £1 plus compliance with the terms of the Share Purchase Agreement.

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jimboPosted on12:57 pm - Jun 2, 2017


I thought before the morning break Donald Findlay was a bit underwhelming.  But my goodness he is now coming out with all guns firing.

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goosygoosyPosted on2:40 pm - Jun 2, 2017


IMO
This case has all the hallmarks of being quietly abandoned earlier in the week after some high level deal making
Possibly
DF has traded not calling defence witnesses who would destroy  RRM reputations in exchange for an acquittal
if so
Neither side can afford the risk of the Jury coming to a different decision
My money is on  Lady Stacy  highlighting one or two salient points of law that have patently not been proved and then directing the Jury to bring in a not guilty verdict.

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AuldheidPosted on2:59 pm - Jun 2, 2017


Jingso.JimsieJune 2, 2017 at 11:09

Yes I get that but in terms of his dishonest behaviour after Takeover I thought that might be brought up by the Prosecution to demonstrate he was a chancer.

No matter, it means that after the trial and with any risk of prejudicing the outcome gone, what he did get up to is fair game.

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AuldheidPosted on3:01 pm - Jun 2, 2017


John ClarkJune 2, 2017 at 11:17
It should not come to that as I think Celtic are well aware of their responsibilities to persistent shareholders.

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AuldheidPosted on3:07 pm - Jun 2, 2017


HomunculusJune 2, 2017 at 11:37

Chinese Walls?

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StevieBCPosted on3:42 pm - Jun 2, 2017


Phil’s latest article implies that an absent Chairman is making transfer decisions, whilst another Director is unaware of how player purchases will be funded.

If King is not involved with, [or aware of], the normal routine of running TRFC – then how can he possibly be allowed to make significant, financial commitments for the club ?

A reasonable person would not accept that scenario, IMO, and especially if it could place you at personal, financial risk.

Is King trying to force a buy-out of his shares ?
Or will he be forced off the Board ?

Either way, not the makings of a happy ship, whilst sailing into the new waters of European footy…  14

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HomunculusPosted on3:58 pm - Jun 2, 2017


TANGOED
JUNE 2, 2017 at 11:55
====================================

Rangers sold the season tickets, not Craig Whyte. Therefore the cash received belonged to Rangers.

Owning shares in a company does not mean you own the assets of the company. You may have control over what is done with them, but that does not mean you own them.

Craig Whyte made the decision to provide the loan to Wavetower, but that does not mean it was him making the loan. 

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tangoedPosted on4:47 pm - Jun 2, 2017


HOMUNCULUS
JUNE 2, 2017 at 15:58

Craig Whyte made the decision to provide the loan to Wavetower, but that does not mean it was him making the loan.

—————————————————————
Semantics

https://www.google.co.uk/search?q=semantics&oq=seman&aqs=chrome.1.69i57j0l5.3717j0j7&sourceid=chrome&ie=UTF-8

Ok so i will rephrase,craig whyte was in charge of rangers and as majority shareholder could do anything he wanted,including but not limited to the selling of season tickets and providing loans.

Unless of course you believe that the club somehow done this itself,like some kind of ethereal entity thingy.

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HomunculusPosted on6:06 pm - Jun 2, 2017


TANGOED
JUNE 2, 2017 at 16:47
===================================

Of course it’s semantics, that’s how it works.

Sections 678(3)

(3)Where—

(a)a person has acquired shares in a company, and

(b)a liability has been incurred (by that or another person) for the purpose of the acquisition,

it is not lawful for that company, or a company that is a subsidiary of that company, to give financial assistance directly or indirectly for the purpose of reducing or discharging the liability if, at the time the assistance is given, the company in which the shares were acquired is a public company.

He acquired shares in the company. Acquiring those shares incurred a liability, through the SPA (he had to pay Lloyds).

He borrowed money from Rangers (got financial assistance). He used that to pay Lloyds (discharged the liability).

That’s why I said that it almost looks like an absolute offence. If you did it then you committed the offence.  

I’m not saying he will be found guilty, I just think it’s more likely than the fraud, as I don’t think there was a deception. 

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jean7brodiePosted on7:11 pm - Jun 2, 2017


I am completely lost with all all this Craig Whyte stuff. Must have dementia and be taxed or something10

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gunnerbPosted on9:10 pm - Jun 2, 2017


“He borrowed money from Rangers (got financial assistance). He used that to pay Lloyds (discharged the liability).”

The crux of the matter. Morally indefensible but legally ? I don’t believe he borrowed anything from Rangers. He was in control at the time he settled the bank debt by an arrangement with ticketus. Subtle nuances and corrupt playing of timing but no matter this shyster will probably walk away unscathed from this, to my annoyance.No one will end up being responsible for the collapse of a very well supported football club and their fans will be ill served once more.This is the real crime.

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HomunculusPosted on9:30 pm - Jun 2, 2017


GUNNERB
JUNE 2, 2017 at 21:10
===================================

To use the assets of the company to pay the liability was against the law. Whether it was moral, legal, ethical, a wizard wheeze is not the point. 

Did Wavetower acquire shares – Yes, I don’t think anyone doubts that, it’s a matter of public record.

Was a liability occurred – Yes, The Share Purchase Agreement created a liability to pay off the Lloyds debt.

Did the company the shares were bought in provide financial assistance – Yes, It provided a loan to Wavetower, Whyte being in charge when he authorised the loan is not the point. The company provided the loan to Wavetower. Not Craig Whyte, whether he was the major shareholder at the time or not, the company.

Was that money used to discharge the liability – Yes, the money given to Wavetower was used to pay the liability incurred.

This to me means that all of the conditions have been met, so long as they are all proven. 

https://www.trustnet.com/Investments/Article.aspx?id=20110506204428P6A3F

The Rangers Football Club plc (the `Company’)

Holding in Company

The Company announces that it has been informed that Wavetower Limited(`Wavetower’) has an interest over 92,842,388 ordinary shares in the Company,representing approximately 85.3 per cent. of the Company’s issued sharecapital. Wavetower acquired its interest in the Company (the `Acquisition’)from Murray MHL Limited (the `Vendor’).

 

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HomunculusPosted on9:35 pm - Jun 2, 2017


Again, I am not saying he will be found guilty.

It is Findlay’s job to argue things like 

What is a “liability”?

Was it Wavetower’s liability or Whyte’s?

Surely Whyte was entitled to authorise the loan from Rangers, he owned the club?

Who actually lost out?

etc.

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John ClarkPosted on9:55 pm - Jun 2, 2017


jean7brodieJune 2, 2017 at 19:11
‘… Must have dementia and be taxed or something..’
______________________
We all must be mental to allow the Big Lie to continue to fester at the heart of our football governance.

If my understanding is correct, other people should be in the dock for lying in order to help  not just a financially stressed club, but a club that had systematically cheated its fellow clubs in the SPL over many years.

What a little piece of yite may or may not have have done to that club is of little interest compared to the huge damage inflicted on us all by the very people we rely on to keep our game clean.

That damage boils down to the simple question:

Who is ever going to believe that that aggregation of businesses known as Scottish professional football clubs is anything like the clean potato? Whatever the tournament-leagues, league cup, Scottish cup, there will remain the conviction that Sporting Integrity will always take a poor second place to money-grubbing.

We have been played like mugs, doltish enough to accept meekly the absurdity of the view that TRFC is the old RFC!

What other nonsensical untruths will we be faced with in the future?

Unless there’s a change.
And that change can only come about when our football authorities acknowledge the plain truth, that they threw any kind of notion of integrity to the winds and created a factitious , mendacious  and pernicious screed of supposed justification for their actions.

And, of course, they know it, and know that we all now know the true Res 12 facts, which is the hook on which they will be hanged.

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John ClarkPosted on10:27 pm - Jun 2, 2017


HomunculusJune 2, 2017 at 21:35
‘…Surely Whyte was entitled to authorise the loan from Rangers, he owned the club?’
________
Forgive me, Homunculus, but isn’t that sort of begging the question?
If , in the abstract, someone were to be convicted of fraudulently buying a business, would he own that business?
The fraudulence would surely nullify the transaction, so that he would never have entitlement to any assets of the business.
I grant, of course, that if  the law is such that it allows a fraudulent purchase to be validated, then the purchaser would have rights to the assets of the business.
Perhaps I’m only showing my ignorance of the law and business, but that point niggles away at me.

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HomunculusPosted on10:32 pm - Jun 2, 2017


JOHN CLARK
JUNE 2, 2017 at 22:27
===============================

That was hypothetical obfuscation designed to confuse a Jury in order to achieve a not proven verdict.

I don’t actually believe it.

In any case it was hypothetically discussing the companies act offence not the common law fraud, which I can’t see him being convicted of anyway as I think Murray’s “I was duped” lie is just too obviously that … a lie. 

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tangoedPosted on10:37 pm - Jun 2, 2017


HOMUNCULUS
JUNE 2, 2017 at 21:30

The company provided the loan to Wavetower. Not Craig Whyte, whether he was the major shareholder at the time or not, the company.
 ———————————————————————————————————————-
Perhaps someone should inform the court in london that they got this decision wrong.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-scotland-business-22093410

As far as i know Ticketus/octupus have not pursued Rangers or Wavetower.

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HomunculusPosted on11:10 pm - Jun 2, 2017


TANGOED
JUNE 2, 2017 at 22:37
======================================
 
Thanks for the link.
 
In a statement, Ticketus said: “Ticketus would not have entered into the ticket purchase agreement with the club if Mr Whyte had disclosed, as required, relevant information concerning his previous seven year disqualification from serving as a director, and the reasons for the disqualification”.
 
“… it emerged Mr Whyte gave personal and corporate guarantees over the deal.”
 
They sued Whyte, that does not mean that it was Whyte who sold them the season tickets. Unless you think they are referring to Whyte when they say “the club”. They sued him because of the guarantees.
 
They bought the tickets from “the club” not Whyte or Wavetower. The cash received was therefore the clubs. The club then lent it to Wavetower … etc

Clearly the majority here disagree with my take on this. Fair enough, I’m sure people are getting bored with it, so probably best to leave it. I imagine the High Court Judge will explain the ingredients of offence when she charges the Jury. 

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Cygnus X-1Posted on11:16 pm - Jun 2, 2017


GUNNERBJUNE 2, 2017 at 21:10 “He borrowed money from Rangers (got financial assistance). He used that to pay Lloyds (discharged the liability).”
The crux of the matter. Morally indefensible but legally ? I don’t believe he borrowed anything from Rangers. He was in control at the time he settled the bank debt by an arrangement with ticketus. Subtle nuances and corrupt playing of timing but no matter this shyster will probably walk away unscathed from this, to my annoyance.No one will end up being responsible for the collapse of a very well supported football club and their fans will be ill served once more.This is the real crime.

Is it?
Isn’t the real crime, that the well supported football club, continually & knowingly spent more money, than it earned, and despite its well supportedness, simply couldn’t pay its bills, as a result.
Everything, stems from this simple business fundamental, forget football matches, and court cases, forget tribal songs and colours, this entire scandal began and ended, simply because, more money was being spent, than earned.
To further compound this crime, the new club, which replaced the old club, seemingly has the same business practices. Now, if that’s not an even greater crime, well I’m bloody stumped, because it’s still got lots of supportedness, but exists solely because other people are pumping money in.
An absolute disgrace…… 

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woodsteinPosted on11:39 pm - Jun 2, 2017


Homunculus
June 2, 2017 at 18:06
Sections 678(3)
(3)Where———– is a public company
—————————————————————
Not disagreeing with you but section 4 goes on to say:-
 
(4)Subsection (3) does not prohibit a company from giving financial assistance if—
(a)the company’s principal purpose in giving the assistance is not to reduce or discharge any liability incurred by a person for the purpose of the acquisition of shares in the company or its holding company, or
(b)the reduction or discharge of any such liability is only an incidental part of some larger purpose of the company,
 
I would not know how to interpret that,  it seems vague? 

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goosygoosyPosted on11:45 pm - Jun 2, 2017


GUNNERBJUNE 2, 2017 at 21:10 “He borrowed money from Rangers (got financial assistance). He used that to pay Lloyds (discharged the liability).”
The crux of the matter. Morally indefensible but legally ? I don’t believe he borrowed anything from Rangers. He was in control at the time he settled the bank debt by an arrangement with ticketus. Subtle nuances and corrupt playing of timing but no matter this shyster will probably walk away unscathed from this, to my annoyance.No one will end up being responsible for the collapse of a very well supported football club and their fans will be ill served once more.This is the real crime.
,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,

Suppose Whyte had paid off LLoyds  using  money from Wonga which was then repaid to Wonga within 24 hrs  using a Ticketus funded loan made to Wavetower by Rangers
Is anybody saying that the Rangers loan in this case was also financial assistance?
Cos if they do it is effectively saying that a holding company Wavetower cannot instruct a subsidiary co Rangers to repatriate money to its parent in the form of a loan
Or put another way
If the SPA wording explicitly states that the deal is null and void if the bank debt is repaid using Rangers assets,the onus is on the vendor to police Whytes payment to LLoyds
Because
The vendor retains ownership until the LLoyds debt has been cleared in accordance with the SPA conditions
Since
 The sale price is effectively £18m + £1 

So it all hinges on whether the sale price was £1 or £18m +£1
The SPA makes it clear that the sale price is £1
Therefore the onus of clearing the debt is on Whyte after he has paid £1
Where and how he finds the money to clear the debt is irrelevant
There is no fraud because the SPA permits Whyte to clear the debt after acquiring ownership
 

View Comment

John ClarkPosted on12:42 am - Jun 3, 2017


HomunculusJune 2, 2017 at 23:10
‘..I imagine the High Court Judge will explain the ingredients of offence when she charges the Jury. ‘
__________
I think I can truthfully say that of all the thirteen judges whom I have seen in action in some kind of connection with the saga, I put Lady Stacey up there with the best, in terms of demonstrating both the impartiality and the sheer knowledge of the law and case law relating to the case they happen to be hearing.
I hope to be in Court on Monday to hear how Lady Stacey cuts through all the bumph, and rhetoric, makes it clear to the jury what the charges actually are etc etc.

View Comment

Corrupt officialPosted on12:52 am - Jun 3, 2017


There were more than just the buyer and seller seeking some aort of satisfaction from the sale of Rangers(I.L.) . Each having their own needs to be met. Each appeared to understand the others needs,
   It seems to me that the various lawyers involved were more concerned about what would be written, and what would be tacet.   From lawyers who dot every “I”, to businessmen who cross every “T”, it seemed more an exercise in what should not be documented
  A serious level of coordination and cooperation would be required to do this, and that is impossible to achieve without having an understanding of each others requirements.
  Milk of amnesia in the court water supply. 
  Alias emails….Why would you for honest business?
  Immunity from prosecution…..What’s that all about? 
  A 12 week trial folding after 3…Is it usual for court schedulers to be so far from the target, or did somebody blink? 

  I can’t help but wonder if a joint prosecution of Minty and Craigy defrauding the creditors, including HMRC, would have been a more appropriate charge, and the other “players”, charged as aiders and abetters. 
   To my layman, but wasn’t born yesterday mind, that’s what this trial managed to prove……..But that wasn’t the charges, so they don’t count.
   If Carlsberg did the Procurator Fiscals office…….. 

View Comment

woodsteinPosted on1:07 am - Jun 3, 2017


goosygoosy
June 2, 2017 at 23:45
 
So it all hinges on whether the sale price was £1 or £18m +£1 The SPA makes it clear that the sale price is £1 Therefore the onus of clearing the debt is on Whyte after he has paid £1
Where and how he finds the money to clear the debt is irrelevant
There is no fraud because the SPA permits Whyte to clear the debt after acquiring ownership
———————————————————————————–
Having read the SPA,  I agree with the  above.
 

 

 

View Comment

FinlochPosted on8:05 am - Jun 3, 2017


Don’t know what will happen next week but I remember the shock of the Big Tax Case initial judgement a few years back.

This came to mind.

“If the law supposes that,” said Mr. Bumble, squeezing his hat emphatically in both hands, “the law is a ass – a idiot”.

View Comment

HirsutePursuitPosted on8:29 am - Jun 3, 2017


Has the AD tried to demonstrate beyond a reasonable doubt that Wavetower’s liability (via the SPA) to pay the bank debt was legally enforceable?

DF has suggested that the SPA was nothing more than a ‘wish list’.

If the liability to repay the bank debt (in the manner described by the SPA) was never legally enforceable, was it a real liability?

Now, Wavetower may have had good reason to organise the repayment of the Rangers bank loan in the way that it did. I did not see anything reported from this case so will not speculate. However, the net result was that there was no debt between Wavetower and Rangers.

The bank loan debt then held by Wavetower was 100% offset by the loan provided by Rangers to Wavetower.

The bizarre situation is that the charge of ‘Financial Assistance’ arises because Ranger repaid its bank loan from the money made from the sale of its season tickets.
 
I’m trying to get my head around the idea that it may be a crime for a football club to repay its own debt!

View Comment

HomunculusPosted on9:36 am - Jun 3, 2017


goosygoosyJune 2, 2017 at 23:45
So it all hinges on whether the sale price was £1 or £18m +£1 The SPA makes it clear that the sale price is £1 Therefore the onus of clearing the debt is on Whyte after he has paid £1 Where and how he finds the money to clear the debt is irrelevant There is no fraud because the SPA permits Whyte to clear the debt after acquiring ownership

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

As far as “the fraud” is concerned you are possibly correct however I think it fails at the deception anyway, I do not believe for a second that David Murray did not know exactly what was going on.

That is different for the companies act offence though, where as far as I can see no deception is required, but it really does matter where he gets the money from. He cannot use the businesses own assets (the cash) to discharge the liability.

I think one also has to differentiate between the “sale price” and the agreement. Findlay will argue that the badly drafted agreement did not create a liability for Whyte and as such the companies act offence is irrelevant. 

View Comment

HighlanderPosted on10:11 am - Jun 3, 2017


The dissection and analysis of recent events by SFM posters over the past 12 hours or so are what make this site so compelling, with any minor disagreements debated courteously.

I only wish I had the intellect to participate beyond saying I hope a certain career shyster gets his comeuppance sometime soon, and I mean a knight of the realm, rather than Mr Whyte. 

View Comment

Corrupt officialPosted on10:28 am - Jun 3, 2017


   Are tickets for matches 3 years in the future really an asset?.
      Considering the distressed company condition, we are talking about unknown fixtures in an unknown league, against unknown opposition, with an unknown sales figures and cost, possibly, or possibly not, being played by a club with an unknown life-span………..Could Ticketus realistically price and quantify that, or was it a punt on their part, in an attempt to recoup the £6m worth of tickets which were going down the pan.
    EJ…..As the guy with the figures I pay most attention to, perhaps you have the numbers…..Does it pan out?…What sort of return were Ticketus looking at for their gamble
  3 yrs x 61% of capacity versus what they put up…………Any idea? .
  Put simply, if ST sales fall below 61% of capacity, their figures are all to cock.
  

View Comment

easyJamboPosted on10:39 am - Jun 3, 2017


Corrupt official June 3, 2017 at 10:28
EJ…..As the guy with the figures I pay most attention to, perhaps you have the numbers…..Does it pan out?…What sort of return were Ticketus looking at for their gamble
=====================
The best I can come up with are the figures mentioned in the Ticketus v Whyte judgement.  Ticketus’ net outlay was £17.68m.  They were looking for damages of £26.11m, which I assume to be the income they expected to receive from the sale of the STs.  I’m not sure if the £26.11m was inclusive of VAT though.

Ticketus was awarded damages of their net outlay of £17.68m plus interest, with a later decision to be made on a costs claim of £541k

View Comment

HomunculusPosted on10:48 am - Jun 3, 2017


CORRUPT OFFICIAL
JUNE 3, 2017 at 10:28
==================================

Rangers sold the tickets to Ticketus and received payment. The cash they received was an asset of the business. 

With regards the return, the deals are not always the same. Ticketus agree a discount on each ticket bought. That discount is their profit when they sell the tickets at face value (minus a small commission the club receives for selling the ticket on their behalf). 

View Comment

AllyjamboPosted on12:16 pm - Jun 3, 2017


From this summation of Findlay’s closing speech the impression I get is that Findlay was trying to distance Murray (David, not MIH) from any blame in the sale of Rangers to Whyte, blaming, instead, the board that Murray, himself, put in place plus his own advisors. I have to admit, I got a similar impression while reading James Doleman’s tweets yesterday, so it’s perhaps not succulent lamb emanating from the Herald, this time, though how accurately they would have written the piece if the opposite was the case, we can only guess at. 

I have to say, I find the idea that Murray just left it all to his advisors, without giving them clear instructions in exactly what he wanted them to achieve, quite preposterous. Anything Murray didn’t know, he gave orders to the effect that he should not be told! The truth is, of course, he still carries the can for everything done under his instructions, on his behalf, or as owner of the shares that were being sold. But we won’t read that in the Herald or any other section of the SMSM 2222 

I think we may have new fall guys in the making, I just hope the bears realise/allow themselves to realise that two members of the RIFC board were on the old club’s board and are a major part of that cock up/inevitable result!

PS I don’t really hope the bears realise how complicit King and Murray (P) were in their downfall, I like the idea of them both being around for quite some time to come!

http://files.heraldscotland.com/news/15325252.Craig_Whyte_trial__Former_Rangers_owner_being_made_fall_guy_over_takeover_deal__Findlay_tells_jurors/

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part time petePosted on12:29 pm - Jun 3, 2017


I noticed that it was tweeted yesterday that Findlay said that Whyte had paid £1.7m for H&S work, whereas in the week I thought it had been tweeted that the H&S work had not been done.
who do we believe?

View Comment

tonyPosted on12:33 pm - Jun 3, 2017


ALLYJAMBO
i had that feeling reading james dolemans tweets too mate,still being protected

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woodsteinPosted on1:55 pm - Jun 3, 2017


part time pete
June 3, 2017 at 12:29
 I thought it had been tweeted that the H&S work had not been done.
——————————————————————-
   
 As you say:-
Findlay  Closing address June 2, 2017
 
The bank debt had to be paid off as part of the procedure of the deal, that was done, other obligations “future obligations”

One was “hold £5m for playing squad” Ally McCoist testified in fact more than £5m spent on squad

Health and safety liability met,
tax liability appealed. “Not a scrap of evidence working capital not provided”
 
I believe Findlay08

View Comment

AllyjamboPosted on1:59 pm - Jun 3, 2017


part time peteJune 3, 2017 at 12:29

From my dodgy memory, I am sure there was a couple of occasions when Findlay spoke of the £1.7m of H&S work being done under Whyte, but, again using my dodgy memory, I cannot think that there was any evidence actually given to that effect by any of the witnesses.

It might well be that it was accepted as a given in the testimonies that were agreed prior to the case beginning, with witnesses not called, but it does seem strange if he is referring to it, and making an important point (a condition carried out), when the ‘fact’ wasn’t stated in court (assuming my memory serves me well).

Of course, whether or not the £1.7m was spent on the H&S work discussed in court, it doesn’t mean that other issues turned up that haven’t been addressed yet! It may well be the case that when King mentioned the necessary repairs, he was just resorting to type, and couldn’t stop himself from lying!

View Comment

AuldheidPosted on2:52 pm - Jun 3, 2017


Woodstein
By Nov  2011 no appeal had been placed on the wtc.
The time to appeal ran out in June 2011, so an appeal to appeal had to be lodged. By November neither RFC nor HMRC knew if the appeal to appeal had been upheld.
Given that one of the reasons a licence was refused in 2012  was the overdue wtc liability still existed then it is safe to assume no appeal had been placed.
HMRC treated any intent to appeal as vexatious and were confident no leave would be given. Talk of appeal was nothing more than a ploy to cover non payment.
DF mispoke or was misled.

View Comment

AuldheidPosted on3:16 pm - Jun 3, 2017


Thinking out loud.
If Ticketus were willing to loan CW the money to pay Lloyds why didn’t SDM use the facility instead?
Lloyds would have been paid and could have  cast RFC adrift to find another banker.
Was it Lloyds offer to give keep  MIH alive if Rangers were sold that drove SDM?
Of course SDM publicly using TicketUS  would have meant less income in future seasons to recruit players in a wage bracket similar to that enjoyed, but ongoing participation in the CL would have compensated to a degree,(no one knew Ally would screw up)  but if a lowering of quality of players was a price of balancing the books why not do it?
Or was it the thinking that Rangers fans only support in numbers when winning that drove SDM to seek a way out?

View Comment

HomunculusPosted on3:40 pm - Jun 3, 2017


AULDHEIDJUNE 3, 2017 at 15:16
Thinking out loud.
If Ticketus were willing to loan CW the money to pay Lloyds why didn’t SDM use the facility instead?
===========================================

They didn’t lend CW money, they bought season tickets at a discount.

That’s what they do.

http://www.ticketus.co.uk/

What does Ticketus do?

Ticketus buys tickets in advance for events.

It buys tickets in bulk from the organisation putting on or hosting an event in advance, and then collects the proceeds when those tickets are sold to the public. These events can be football matches using season tickets, but also other sports and entertainment businesses.

Why don’t sports clubs and other organisations using Ticketus just borrow the money from a bank?

Many businesses at the moment have been struggling to get normal bank finance due to the wider state of the economy. Football is in a similar situation and, for reasons such as already having a mortgage on the stadium, banks are often not interested in providing additional finance.

Ticketus offers a solution since it does not lend money, but instead provides working capital in exchange for tickets – an asset that banks rarely will lend against.

Many clubs see advanced ticket sales as a preferential solution to bank loans as it provides access to finance without taking on debt.

View Comment

woodsteinPosted on4:09 pm - Jun 3, 2017


I knew I had read some  information previously on the SPA and “financial assistance”

https://rangerstaxcase.wordpress.com/?s=Share+Purchase+Agreement
 
03/04/2012

“– Craig Whyte’s Shareholding Whyte holds all of the good cards as long as he owns 85% of the club’s shares. There are those who say that this transaction can be nullified due to ‘financial assistance’ rules against borrowing against a firm’s assets to buy its shares. They might be confusing debt with equity! While Mr. Whyte now freely admits that he is not a billionaire, I am quite sure that he managed the princely sum of £1 to buy his Rangers shares from his own pocket. Even the SPA (still available on this site) does not offer negation of the contract as a remedy for any failure to fulfill promises. (There is a chance of Whyte’s debt and floating charge being cancelled as a result of certain terms, but these are so loosely worded that it is hard to imagine that they can be enforced). Short of an as-yet-unpublished aspect of the agreement surprising us, it would appear to me that Whyte’s grasp on 85% of Rangers shares should be quite secure. This means that he will demand a price for giving up control. I am quite sure that Whyte’s treatment from the directors of the old board and the assorted supporter banners blaming him for all of Rangers’ ills will have done little to warm his heart about the need for ‘the big hoose to stay open’.”
 

View Comment

easyJamboPosted on4:59 pm - Jun 3, 2017


Corrupt official June 3, 2017 at 10:28
EJ…..As the guy with the figures I pay most attention to, perhaps you have the numbers…..Does it pan out?…What sort of return were Ticketus looking at for their gamble
============================
I’ve dug out more figures from a D&P Creditors Report.
May 11 – £20.3m advanced – Revenue expected in return £25.4m
Jun 11 – £3m repaid
Sep 11 – £5m advanced – Revenue expected in return £9.3m
Sep 11 – £5m repaid
Apr12 – £26.7m Creditors Claim

View Comment

AuldheidPosted on6:27 pm - Jun 3, 2017


HomunculusJune 3, 2017 at 15:40

Ok loose terminology – after all this time on SFM I think I have a grasp of how Ticketus operate but thanks.
My question is why didn’t SDM do what Craig Whyte did?
If he could get the money to pay Lloyds as CW did, why didn’t SDM do it?
Was he simply forced by Lloyds, using a carrot and stick, with no thought to the future effect on Rangers income streams. He sold the family silver in the past to reduce debt when he did a retail deal.
How much a role did crashing RFC in order to get out of debt pay? Any? Or was that not factored in and only came about as a result of losing to Malmo/Maribor?

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HomunculusPosted on7:01 pm - Jun 3, 2017


AULDHEID
JUNE 3, 2017 at 18:27
=============================

He did exactly what he was told to do, which was get rid of Rangers to anyone. It was a loss making business, already in substantial debt, with a potential further debt in the tens of millions of pounds.

Lloyds and Murray wanted rid, as simple as that.

Anyone who thought that selling 3 years worth of season tickets, meaning the loss making business was going to be starved of that money for the next 3 seasons was either an idiot or a liar. It was never going to work. Certainly not without substantial European income.

It was the case for several years, Rangers lost £8m – £10m a year without really good European money. We know what happened the first time they didn’t get it. 

View Comment

Corrupt officialPosted on7:06 pm - Jun 3, 2017


EASYJAMBOJUNE 3, 2017 at 10:39
    Cheers EJ. 
   According to those figures they were looking to gain £8.42m on their outlay of £17.6m, which is nigh on 50%. I would say that is fairly representative of the risk they were taking. 
   Unfortunately for them the gamble flunked. In effect they bought gold from an already exhausted mine. I wouldn’t consider a prospect an asset. 

View Comment

Cluster OnePosted on11:11 pm - Jun 3, 2017


ALLYJAMBOJUNE 3, 2017 at 13:59       5 Votes 
part time peteJune 3, 2017 at 12:29
From my dodgy memory, I am sure there was a couple of occasions when Findlay spoke of the £1.7m of H&S work being done under Whyte, but, again using my dodgy memory, I cannot think that there was any evidence actually given to that effect by any of the witnesses.
—————————————
Findlay.. The stadium needed a large amount of money spent on it in 2011 suggests figure £1.7mill.
McIntyre agrees there was no money set aside for the £1.7m for ibrox suggests could have borrowed to keep the stadium open.
Findlay..on ibrox bit’s of it were falling to bits.
McNintyre we’d held back a bit on repairs.
Findlay suggests Health ans saftey exective forced repairs on ibrox.
—–
McGill agrees there was a major health and safety issue at ibrox cites problem with public adress system £1.7mill within 12 months.
Findlay notes your telling the new owner he can shut half the stadium and you can’t do anything about it.
Findlay if there is a health and safety issue that is something you have to adress yet agreement gives 12 months for money to be released.
Findlay on the £1.7mill health and safety bill for ibrox this was pretty substancial not just tighting a few screws.
——–
BETTS SAYS THE £2MILLsourced from Close Brothers was used for stadium repairs.
Findlay on the £1.7mill bill for the stadium football was to be played there the next season, something must have been done.
Withey I believe they got a safety certificate.
All i can find on the Health and safety issue

View Comment

goosygoosyPosted on11:17 pm - Jun 3, 2017


 It’s a Whodunnit
Q  Dunn what?  you might ask
A Who stayed within the law at all times and how did they do it?
Was it
The Vendor?
The Lender?
The Buyer(who is also the Borrower)?
The Bank?
,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,
The Storyline
The 4 parties need to construct a SPA that stays within the law. This requires trust
But
There is no trust
Therefore for the SPA to be legal
The Bank debt cannot be part of the sale price
Because
The only source of funds for clearing the bank debt involves selling RFC assets which is illegal if the proceeds are used to acquire RFC
Meaning
The SPA cannot insist on using RFC assets to clear the bank debt
Meaning
Clearing the Bank debt using RFC assets has to occur AFTER RFC has changed ownership
But
This puts the Vendor and the Bank at the mercy of the Buyer if he chooses to renege on repaying the bank debt after buying RFC for £1
The solution?
Cast iron side letters are required to cater for defined contingencies
,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,
The Banks Side Letter
The Bank must have insisted on a written assurance from the Vendor (a “side letter”) that he would instantly repay the Bank debt of £18m from his own resources in the event of the Buyer refusing to repay the Bank debt immediately after the sale
The Bank is then in the clear whatever happens
,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,
The Vendors Side Letter
If the Buyer of RFC does not repay the Bank instantly he has failed to honour an SPA condition that cost the Vendor £18m. The vendor can sue the Buyer for £18m but if he does, the PR consequences are horrendous
So how does the Vendor cover this contingency?
There is one obvious solution
He gets a side letter from the Lender (Ticketus) that their £18m purchase of RFC STs contract from the Borrower will be cancelled if it is not used immediately to clear the Bank debt
There is only one problem
This could be construed as conspiracy by the Vendor to enable the Buyer to use financial assistance to purchase RFC
So the Vendor can`t openly ask Ticketus for a side Letter in his own name. that would be conspiracy to give financial assistance
In any event
The Vendor has no leverage with Ticketus
Because
Ticketus are indifferent as to whether their Borrower uses the ST money to clear the Bank debt or uses it for working capital. They are also indifferent as to whether or not RFC are liquidated
since
Ticketus believe their ST contract with the Borrower will roll over on to the new owners if RFC are liquidated
So what does the Vendor do to gain leverage over Ticketus?
IMO
The Vendor has only one route to persuading Ticketus to cancel their contract with RFC if the Bank is not repaid
He has to be a major investor behind the Ticketus2 contract with RFC
There were 22 LLPs in Ticketus2.  Between them they funded the £18m lent to the buyer of RFC
One of them must therefore have a side letter from Ticketus guaranteeing him that his investment will be returned if it is not used immediately by the RFC Buyer to repay the Bank loan
That person or entity will be acting as an agent of the Vendor
<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<< 
So to summarise
Whodunnit?
Q Who stayed within the law at all times and how did they do it?
A  They all did ….Thanks to the lawyers on all sides
Meaning
The Vendor , Ticketus ,The Bank and The Buyer were all involved in a massive exercise to create an SPA that met all their needs and stayed within the law at all times
Who coordinated all this work?
Wish I knew
Grrrrrr……….

View Comment

Cluster OnePosted on11:28 pm - Jun 3, 2017


AULDHEIDJUNE 3, 2017 at 18:27       6 Votes 
HomunculusJune 3, 2017 at 15:40
Ok loose terminology – after all this time on SFM I think I have a grasp of how Ticketus operate but thanks.My question is why didn’t SDM do what Craig Whyte did?If he could get the money to pay Lloyds as CW did, why didn’t SDM do it?
———————
I think if i remember Ticketus would not do a deal with murray for 3 years worth of tickets.
Also might be of interest.
whole document sent to the takeover panel now being read to the jury.
 Document difficult of raising finance while playing in the scottish league says murray group does not have resources to invest

View Comment

John ClarkPosted on11:48 pm - Jun 3, 2017


Cluster OneJune 3, 2017 at 23:11
‘…BETTS SAYS THE £2MILLsourced from Close Brothers was used for stadium repairs.’
________
Lord, that reference to Close Brother took me on a nostalgic trip to  http://www.dailyrecord.co.uk/sport/football/football-news/rangers-chief-charles-green-quits-1842777

References to Sevco 5088 and Imram Ahmad and Joe Dweks….and all that stuff that was part and parcel of the as yet unfinished saga.

You know, I lifted my garden hose reel thingy this afternoon ( which I’ve never got round to fixing to a wall) and about a zillion slaters crawled out.

For  who knows what reason, I thought of money things , like tax evasion, off-shore ‘banks’, ‘venture capital’ entrepreneurs, deceitful , compromising journalists, political advocates for special treatment for sports cheats, and governance bodies who spit in the eye of honest sport.

And I only lifted the damn thing to move it so that I wouldn’t trip over it   with the hedge cutter in my hands!

View Comment

Corrupt officialPosted on12:08 am - Jun 4, 2017


HOMUNCULUSJUNE 3, 2017 at 10:48
CORRUPT OFFICIALJUNE 3, 2017 at 10:28==================================
Rangers sold the tickets to Ticketus and received payment. The cash they received was an asset of the business.
   ——————————————————————————————————————–
   Ticketus did not consider them an asset of the business, At least at any rate under Minty’s ownership. The bank were about to pull the plug, and the “asset” with it.   In the eyes of Ticketus, Craigy at least offered a prospect that further investment might cut their loss, or even turn it into a profit.
   Only if the business changed hands were Ticketus prepared to take the punt…Otherwise they were out.
   At a push they could loosely be considered an asset of the business AFTER the sale, but not prior.
   Therefore they were not an asset of THAT business, but the new one. 

View Comment

easyJamboPosted on2:05 am - Jun 4, 2017


I think that there is a key player in the takeover whose view hasn’t been reported as much as others.  That is the Takeover Panel itself.

JD tweeted the following:
Findlay on Ticketus funds “Would it surprise you if the takeover panel knew” Horne “That would surprise me.”
Findlay shows the witness a “file note” 30 March 2011, says from a Raymond Phillips at the takeover panel 1/2
“Current proposal Craig Whyte would use future sales of season tickets to replace Lloyds bank funding”

So if the Takeover panel knew something about the structure of the deal (something that Murray Group claimed no knowledge) and didn’t seek to block it as being illegal, then that could be Whyte’s escape from of the “financial assistance” charge.

JD also tweeted that “Additional joint minute of agreed facts read to jury. Typewritten note from Roland Phillips of the takeover panel given in evidence true”.  Unless you were in court when the minute was read out to the jury then we don’t actually know what was stated by Mr Phillips. It could be an important piece of evidence.

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FinlochPosted on7:35 am - Jun 4, 2017


I’m not sure what will happen in the next few days in Lady Stacey’s courtroom but speaking personally something doesn’t feel quite pucker.

I also really don’t know how or why we have got to where we are and indeed what the real objectives of the prosecution are any more.

An awful lot of time and money has been locked up in what seems to have become a bit of a charade.

I was genuinely surprised when Donald Findlay got the Craig Whyte gig because in my opinion he has inside knowledge but also relationships and loyalties that may make him inevitably compromised whichever way he turns.

I remain amazed and angered a little too at the collective and convenient amnesia by some high end advisers and others being questioned, almost as if there had been a few rehearsals of the “official line”‘.

And I remain surprised

– that Mr Muir was summoned but not called.
– that Craig did not get his day in court and maybe share some of his recordings.
– that Donald had a late legal review that we’ll find out about after the trial and decided to call nobody in defence of the accused.
 

I keep thinking that maybe some kind of deal where nobody is held to be at blame has already been set in process and all that is happening is legal box-ticking process.  

Move along everyone. Nothing really untoward here.

View Comment

HomunculusPosted on10:10 am - Jun 4, 2017


CORRUPT OFFICIAL
JUNE 4, 2017 at 00:08
======================================

Clearly we are talking at cross purposes.

Whether anyone considers future season tickets an asset of the business is not the point.

Ticketus bought them. They paid for them. The money they paid to Rangers was an asset of the business, Rangers.

View Comment

HomunculusPosted on10:16 am - Jun 4, 2017


FINLOCH
JUNE 4, 2017 at 07:35

I keep thinking that maybe some kind of deal where nobody is held to be at blame has already been set in process and all that is happening is legal box-ticking process.

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

That deal would have to involve the Jury, in order to get the right verdict and / or the Judge to get the right sentence should the Jury convict on either charge.

The more prosaic idea that Findlay simply thinks the prosecution have done a dreadful job and that his client will not be convicted is much more likely in my opinion.

View Comment

Cluster OnePosted on10:35 am - Jun 4, 2017


JOHN CLARKJUNE 3, 2017 at 23:48       8 Votes 
Cluster OneJune 3, 2017 at 23:11‘…BETTS SAYS THE £2MILLsourced from Close Brothers was used for stadium repairs.’________Lord, that reference to Close Brother took me on a nostalgic trip to http://www.dailyrecord.co.uk/sport/football/football-news/rangers-chief-charles-green-quits-1842777
———————–
Whyte sold £2million of future earnings from matchday catering at Ibrox to Close Brothers to pay for the lease of kitchen equipment.
There is another link between Close Brothers and Whyte. One of the board members of Close Brothers is Ray Greenshields, who is also chairman of Octopus VCT3, who own Ticketus.
Whyte funded his takeover of Rangers by selling off future season tickets to Ticketus.
—————————
Findlay say’s Murray group recommended Ticketus to him for working capital.
Withey says Murray group told him “why not use Ticketus we use them all the time.they’re really good.
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Are the murray group saying here for whyte to use ticketus for working capital as the murray group use ticketus all the time. As if whyte did not know who Ticketus were. But we know now that the  link between Close Brothers and Whyte. One of the board members of Close Brothers is Ray Greenshields, who is also chairman of Octopus VCT3, who own Ticketus.
But whyte must have known who ticketus were and what they could do to help with working capital.
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Can i also ask if i may.
£2MILL sourced from Close Brothers for stadium repairs.
Whyte sold £2million of future earnings from matchday catering at Ibrox to Close Brothers to pay for the lease of kitchen equipment.
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Did the £2 mill from close Brothers go to stadium repairs as Bett said and was the  £2mill from close brothers to be repaid from future matchday catering, or was the £2mill from close brothers to pay for the lease of kitchen equipment.

Ps sorry for the long post on a sunday morning19

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Corrupt officialPosted on1:04 pm - Jun 4, 2017


HOMUNCULUSJUNE 4, 2017 at 10:10 
CORRUPT OFFICIALJUNE 4, 2017 at 00:08======================================
Clearly we are talking at cross purposes.
Whether anyone considers future season tickets an asset of the business is not the point.
   ———————————————————————————
   It’s the point I was making though. The tickets were not an asset of Minty’s business as it was to be closed down if the sale never materialised. Only a take-over, and nothing else, created any future whatsoever, to negotiate with

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Cluster OnePosted on1:27 pm - Jun 4, 2017


CORRUPT OFFICIALJUNE 4, 2017 at 13:04
It’s the point I was making though. The tickets were not an asset of Minty’s business as it was to be closed down if the sale never materialised. Only a take-over, and nothing else, created any future whatsoever, to negotiate with
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Whyte was “The only show in town”
if the sale never went through all deals were off.A whole document sent to the takeover panel now being read to the jury. Document difficult of raising finance while playing in the scottish league says murray group does not have resources to invest

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AuldheidPosted on1:42 pm - Jun 4, 2017


Cluster OneJune 3, 2017 at 23:28  
AULDHEIDJUNE 3, 2017 at 18:27       6 Votes  HomunculusJune 3, 2017 at 15:40 Ok loose terminology – after all this time on SFM I think I have a grasp of how Ticketus operate but thanks.My question is why didn’t SDM do what Craig Whyte did?If he could get the money to pay Lloyds as CW did, why didn’t SDM do it?———————I think if i remember Ticketus would not do a deal with murray for 3 years worth of tickets. Also might be of interest. whole document sent to the takeover panel now being read to the jury.  Document difficult of raising finance while playing in the scottish league says murray group does not have resources to invest
================
Thanks for the reply. It makes some sense if at the time Ticketus thought either
a) Rangers are going to the wall under SDM and we will not be able to sell the stock of tickets we bought
or
b) Rangers will not go to the wall but the necessary austerity will lead to a reduction in ST sales meaning it will take longer to sell our stock, so we cannot deal with SDM.
However what made them so sure that Rangers under CW were not going to suffer the same fate under CW as under SDM above?
Was the thinking at the time to do a pre pack under CW to dump debt and stay in the top flight and so carry on as before and the exit from the CL changed that thinking by making HMRC the largest creditor when unpaid VAT Paye and WTC liability (+btc potential liability?) was added to the creditors bill causing the CVA to fail?
Was the deal Ticketus entered into at the time done on the premise of the pre pack Administration or even as fall back  the Armageddon plan that Regan and Doncaster failed to sell to clubs  when liquidation, caused by CL exit changed the landscape?
I’ve read somewhere CW very unhappy at the CL exit. Very.

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AuldheidPosted on1:57 pm - Jun 4, 2017


Reading back other comments it looks like Ticketus thought continuation in the top flight and CL money was assured.
On the latter point, an unpaid tax bill certainly was not going to be an obstacle to obtaining access to that CL income stream and with men on the inside of the SFA on Licensing Committee and as Vice President in March 2011, the risk of not being granted a licence under the overdue tax rules was nullified.
RTC asked on Twitter the other day were the SFA duped or complicit?
I’d add another question. Did they subsequently try to hide their complicity when questions started to be asked after Sherriff Officers called in August 2011?

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easyJamboPosted on1:57 pm - Jun 4, 2017


Lord Hodge’s opinion given to D&P when they sought guidance about breaking the Ticketus contract might be instructive re the sale of assets.

Ticketus sought to claim that a trust existed over the sale of future STs.  Lord Hodge disagreed and stated the following:

If I am correct in my conclusion that Scots law applies, the difficulty which Ticketus faces in asserting a trust over the proceeds of sale of the STA tickets is that the proceeds do not yet exist. On the assumption that the Ticketus agreements are sufficient to amount to a declaration by Rangers of a trust over the STA tickets and the proceeds of their sale, the non-existence of both is fatal to the creation of a trust. Where the truster and trustee are the same person it is our law that there must be constructive delivery of the trust subjects to himself as trustee of an irrevocable trust: see Allan’s Trustees v Lord Advocate 1971 SC (HL) 45, in which Lord Reid at p. 54 spoke of the doing of “something equivalent to delivery or transfer of the trust fund.” In Clark Taylor & Co Limited and Quality Site Development (Edinburgh) Limited 1981 SC 111, Lord President Emslie (at p. 118) stated that, for that to be possible, there must be in existence an asset. There is a line of authority consistent with this approach and it includes two further Inner House decisions ……….

 
 
Here we have a situation where the future STs didn’t exist, and Lord Hodge goes on to cite Lord Emslie that an asset has to exist in order for Ticketus’ claim to stand up.

So if the asset didn’t exist, how can RFC (ergo Whyte) have sold the assets.  I believe that all that has been sold is the right to buy assets at a future date, arguably at a time when Whyte would have the legal right to do so. Is that another possible defence to the “financial assistance” charge.

I guess that it is a bit like buying a new build house from a planned development and paying a deposit, or the whole amount in advance of the build. If the house doesn’t get built before the builder goes into Administration or Liquidation, then your only comeback would be to make a creditors claim against the builder.  I’m unsure if you would have any rights over the plot or a part build in that scenario.

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easyJamboPosted on2:14 pm - Jun 4, 2017


John Clark – You have a PM.

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HomunculusPosted on2:28 pm - Jun 4, 2017


EASYJAMBOJUNE 4, 2017 at 13:57     I believe that all that has been sold is the right to buy assets at a future date, arguably at a time when Whyte would have the legal right to do so. Is that another possible defence to the “financial assistance” charge.

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

I don’t think it matters for the purposes of the second charge. Rangers sold something. Whether it was the ticket or a later right to buy a ticket. They were then paid for that something. The money they received was Rangers’ asset. Not Murray’s or Whyte’s or Wavetower’s.
 
Whether Murray owned the shares, or Whyte owned the shares, or anyone else owned the shares it was Rangers which owned the tickets (or whatever) and Rangers which sold them and Rangers which received the payment.

It is when Whyte loaned that money to Wavetower, and Wavetower used the money to satisfy the Lloyds debt that the “financial assistance” took place. However only if it was discharging a liability linked to the sale of the shares in the first place. If the SPA was so badly written that it didn’t mean that Whyte had to do it as part of the deal and he basically did it through choice then it wouldn’t really be “financial assistance” as described in the Act. As people have said, as the main shareholder and chairman it was a matter for him and his board how they spent the clubs’ money.

” … a liability has been incurred (by that or another person) for the purpose of the acquisition … it is not lawful for that company, or a company that is a subsidiary of that company, to give financial assistance directly or indirectly for the purpose of reducing or discharging the liability…” 

 

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easyJamboPosted on3:14 pm - Jun 4, 2017


Homunculus June 4, 2017 at 14:28
====================
I’m aware of what constitutes “financial assistance” and I recognise how the legalities would apply to Whyte’s acquisition. On the face of it there is a strong case that FA was given.  However it is not for us, or even Lord Stac,y to determine whether or not Whyte is guilty or not.

All I’m trying to do is explore any avenues of how the charge could be defended, or doubt be placed in the minds of the jury.  I’ve suggested that the takeover panel’s statement and their apparent agreement to what was proposed is one avenue, and that Lord Hodge’s opinion could be another. 

One other possibility that has already been mentioned by Findlay earlier in the case was that it was in Rangers interests that the debt should be paid off, even from its own means, as there would be a saving of around £1m a year in interest and another £1m a year in capital repayment.  Findlay has already established that CL group participation could earn the club £20m per annum, and suggested that was part of Whyte’s business plan (acknowledged by Findlay as a flawed one, but a plan all the same).  Alastair Johnston had previously given a similar business plan to Lloyds that assumed three successive years CL group participation. Hypothetical question – What if Whyte had made public before the takeover, a business plan that included the club paying off it’s own debt on day one? Would that be FA.

We have yet to hear Findlay’s summing up in relation to the financial assistance charge. I will be interested to see how he approaches it tomorrow, and of course what directions Lady Stacy gives to the jury with respect to the application of the law in this case.

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