Podcast Episode 3 – David Low

ByTrisidium

Podcast Episode 3 – David Low

davidLowDavid Low

represents a highly significant component of the history of Celtic FC and consequently a highly significant component of how Scottish Football has panned out in the last 20 years.

As Fergus McCann’s Aide-de-Camp, Low was instrumental in helping him formulate and implement the plans which ultimately allowed control of the club to be wrested from the Kelly and White families. Low also helped McCann to rebuild and regenerate Celtic as a modern football club.

His views are unsurprisingly Celtic-centred, and this interview reveals his ambition for the club to ultimately leave Scottish Football behind. That may or may not be at odds with many of our readers, but the stark analysis of the realities facing football in this country may resonate.

Podcast LogoHe provides a window on the pragmatism of the likes of McCann, Celtic and many other clubs in respect of the demise of Rangers. He pours scorn on Dave King’s vision of a cash-rich Rangers future, and provides little comfort for those who seek succour for our failing national sport, believing that Scotland will find it impossible to emerge from the football backwater in an increasingly global industry.

Agree or not with Low’s prognosis, it is difficult to deny his compelling analysis of our place in the football world.

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About the author

Trisidium administrator

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

3,066 Comments so far

StevieBCPosted on6:04 pm - Apr 21, 2014


upthehoops says:
April 21, 2014 at 2:48 pm

Off topic I know but it seems David Moyes has been sacked by Man Utd.
=======================================================
Any truth in the rumour, [started by me just now], that McCoist has told the MSM ;

“Who are these people whispering about the Manchester United job ? Moyes is doing a great job, at a massive, massive club – absolutely! And in all honesty – I won’t be making any comment on any rumours that I am being linked to any other job, as I also happen to be the manager of a massive, great club like Rangers.”

Mibbees 😉

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erniePosted on6:12 pm - Apr 21, 2014


Danish Pastry says:
April 21, 2014 at 5:41 pm
===================
Exactly. The NYT article that JC commented on was posted by me as a dig at yuppified franchise fitba, not America.

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twopandaPosted on6:33 pm - Apr 21, 2014


What do these characters do all day?
Hampden Shower: 10am – rule `interpretation[s]`. 12.00 media spin…
Ibrox Lot: 10am; Review – 4 months plus, 12.00 Bonus Meetings 2.00pm media pants
MSM critturs: 10am conference call: Ally Says, Ally Salutes, Ally worries, Ally nae worries

Repeats every day

Seems a complete waste of time

Course the game could be run properly, a 20m operation doesn’t need to lose 19m and;
the media could report stories, opinion and insight
Am I missing something? 😯

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AllyjamboPosted on7:03 pm - Apr 21, 2014


Seems McCoist has learned not to mouth off to the press about potential new signings, in this article, at least, on the BBC website:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/0/football/27104107

The last couple of sentences amused me. I think The Salary has got this right; unless, of course, there’s something Wallace would like leaked to the press 🙄

“I will have a cup of tea with Graham before the game and then definitely have a chat on Wednesday or Thursday,” added McCoist.
“But I’m not expecting a heads-up or sneak preview of the report. That’s Graham’s department and, when he’s ready to tell us, we will all know.”

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Blindsummit63Posted on7:06 pm - Apr 21, 2014


Danish Pastry says:

April 21, 2014 at 5:41 pm

Blindsummit63 says:
April 21, 2014 at 2:05 pm
1 1 Rate This
____________________________________
Well that’s me put in my place then!

I realise I am out of step with the entire peaceful and loveable world outside of the U.S. in that I don’t consider America to be evil incarnate and I actually quite like visiting the place.

I see thoughtless anti-Americaisms all the time, where a people numbering 330 million are reduced to a caricature as if they are all one and the same. We wouldn’t accept such things said about the people of other nations.
And I could come up with many equally pithy remarks about Communism and Socialism too if I chose to.
If I wanted to be lectured on groupthink politics then there are plenty of other places I could go.

And I do think that the NHL is a more competitive, fairer and even handed league than the SPFL.

My apologies for stepping outside the party line and I’ll withdraw now.

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CastofthousandsPosted on7:34 pm - Apr 21, 2014


Auldheid says:
April 21, 2014 at 1:53 pm

“…the following has gone to Lord Nimmo Smith and his colleagues on The Investigation.”
———————————————
Lord Nimmo Smith will not be obliged to give you a response. He was commissioned by the SPL to undertake these duties and has fulfilled his remit. Should the SPL wish to revisit the verdict then LNS may be re-engaged since he has a decent knowledge of the subject. I wouldn’t expect him to provide public commentary on paid work carried out for any client. It is not inappropriate however to have provided him with the documentation so that he has some notice of the disgruntlement that is afoot.

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StevieBCPosted on7:41 pm - Apr 21, 2014


So it’s slow today… 🙂

Had to have a wee laugh at the local vernacular utilised in the following extract from today’s Herald.

“…When Rangers said the update would be announced on Friday April 25 (which will be day 127, incidentally), fans immediately clocked that they would have only the weekend to consider it before deciding whether or not to cancel the auto-renewal of their season-tickets (which may not be enough time if it that has to be done in writing). That was either a calculating move by the club or an unthinking one, but either way it looked sleekit…”

http://www.heraldscotland.com/sport/opinion/wallaces-strategy-update-may-be-too-late-to-win-over-rangers-fans.24005492

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John ClarkPosted on7:50 pm - Apr 21, 2014


Castofthousands says:
April 21, 2014 at 7:34 pm
‘..Lord Nimmo Smith will not be obliged to give you a response. He was commissioned by the SPL …’
————-
I would imagine that ,although he will say nothing in public, if he thinks his terms of reference were structured to reflect only part of the picture and thus made him an unwitting and unwilling catspaw in a whitewashing scam, his own personal integrity would compel him to have words with his sponsors. If he was brave enough, and convinced enough that he had been ‘had’, he might make an issue of it.
Then again, he might not.
But it is indeed right and just that TSFM should have written to him.

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CastofthousandsPosted on7:55 pm - Apr 21, 2014


scottc says:
April 21, 2014 at 1:35 pm

“From Keef Jackson’s piece”
——————————————
He seems desperate to throw Regan to the Lions. It seems to me that he is trying to take the edge off their appetite for the Conflicted One. This excerpt from the article in particular illustrated from whence he was taking his bearings:

“Not only should the CEO’s position be untenable but there has been a long running and largely mean-spirited clamour for the president Campbell Ogilvie to be ousted from office because of his involvement in the EBT scheme which helped drag Rangers over the financial abyss.”

“Mean spirited”.

Let me just ponder that for a few moments.

The evidence suggests that the gentlemen concerned was in the prime position to officiate over the largest fraud ever perpetrated in Scottish sporting history.

Mean spirited.

Not only may he have committed this fraud but he may also have subsequently concocted an extravagant cover up of his actions and along the way thrown the ethics of football’s governing body into the hedge rows like litter from a car window.

Mean spirited.

If what has been hypothesised concerning this man’s actions turns out to be true then the level of callousness and vindictiveness that would be required to deserve the accolade, “Mean spirited”, would be of such a magnitude that it would do the word ‘inhuman’ a disservice.

His only hope appears to be a perilous solo journey in an open rowing boat to the UEFA mainland where he might hope to find some friendly blazers to haul him ashore. Alas, given the increasing rumble concerning Rangers 2011/12 UEFA license he may find that upon making landfall there are no friendly faces there to greet him.

I think there should be a place in everyone’s heart for charity but fool me twice, shame on me.

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John ClarkPosted on8:07 pm - Apr 21, 2014


Blindsummit63 says:
April 21, 2014 at 7:06 pm
‘…Well that’s me put in my place then!…’
——-
Don’t you believe it, blindsummit63.
Your place is here, adding another perspective and airing a view based on that perspective.
The only ‘party line’ on this blog is: ‘There was monumental ‘sports cheating’ by one club, and even worse cheating by the football authorities who forgot all notion of sporting integrity when dealing with that cheating: and the cheating was ignored, minimised, or even denied by significant people in civic and public life: and, of course, the perpetrators of that cheating were lionised, fawned over and believed by a very compliant Press and Broadcast media. ( with some tentatively honourable exceptions from time to time) instead of being named, shamed, pilloried and booted out like so many Lance Armstrongs!

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joburgt1mPosted on8:14 pm - Apr 21, 2014


Blindsummit63 says:

April 21, 2014 at 2:05 pm

The annual speedboat races were on and we had a fine day. And one of my favourite guitarists, Kim Mitchell hails from there.

—————————-

Apologies for OT – but memories are just that, seen him at Glasgow Apollo and Edinburgh Odeon with Max Webster in 1979 – brilliant….

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John ClarkPosted on8:20 pm - Apr 21, 2014


StevieBC says:
April 21, 2014 at 7:41 pm
‘…but either way it looked sleekit…”
———
And what a wonderfully descriptive word ‘sleekit’ is. It’s got every connotation of rotten behaviour: oiliness, craftiness, deceitfulness, unmanliness, odiousness, sneakiness, cowardly malice and more cowardly hypocrisy…..! .

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y4rmyPosted on8:39 pm - Apr 21, 2014


There appears to be some cultural chauvinism here when talking about American Sports.

The one thing the NFL is most assuredly not is an example of unrestrained capitalism. On the contrary, the draft system, shared revenue, and salary cap ensure that the kind of huge money-fuelled competitive gaps we see in many (most?) european football leagues these days cannot happen. The authorities realised several decades ago what TV money could and would do and so acted to maintain competition.

Certain teams can be relentlessly excellent (New England Patriots) and others relentlessly poor (Detroit Lions), but this is down to simple good/bad sports management, not money.

I know the concept of a franchise is anathema to us, but it’s part and parcel of the way professional sports have always been done in the US and so is natural. Even there though, there are certain teams where changing locations would be unthinkable (e.g. the Green Bay Packers).

I don’t think we are really in a position to throw stones at other leagues; especially those that work…

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justshateredPosted on8:44 pm - Apr 21, 2014


So according to our esteemed journalistic community the SPFL are trying to take over from the SFA.
Is this really the case?
It looks as if the board is made up of President, TWO Vice Presidents, Regan And Doncaster, as well as a representative from the top league, a representative of the other three leagues, and a representative of Junior football. It already looks as if there already is a five to three imbalance already. Lets face it there is no way Regan or Doncaster are going to leave the comfort blanket that is Ogilvie and as for the two Vice Presidents well they are next in line to the Ogilvie throne when he toddles off to the UEFA gravy train.

To be honest I do not really care who runs the show as they all seem as bad as each other and no one seems interested in the long term good of the game.
What I really want to see is a structure put in place where clubs MUST put their financial houses in order. A time has come to put an end to the Administration, Russian roulette Liquidation, of our sport. Airdrie, Clydebank, Motherwell, Livingstone, Dundee (twice), Gretna, Rangers, and Hearts have all played this dangerous game. With Airdrie, Clydebank (through Airdrionians take over), Gretna, and Rangers have all spun the barrel of the gun and pulled the trigger only to find a bullet in the chamber. For all of these clubs to fall into this state in 14 years while the authorities do nothing to prevent it happening in future is appalling governance.
To allow, on average, a club to enter administration every 13 months since the turn of the millennium and not put in rules and regulations to prevent it is bordering on neglect. It is as if they want our league structure to fail. They baulk at the prospect of Celtic leaving the league or in reducing the number of clubs participating at senior level yet they allow clubs to fail and go out of business in a reckless manner while giving the senior office bearers a pay rise. Yes a pay rise for incompetence and possible corruption. While clubs dice with oblivion the people in power cannot understand why our leagues cannot attract a sponsor. Well knock me down with a feather if I’m surprised at that. Why would you consider attaching the name of your company, which you have probably spent years building up, to a product where it is more likely than not that at least one of the clubs will be in administration before the season is out.

As if this was not enough we still have the spectre of teams being able to field ineligible players, possibly even for years with little prospect of serious or even any punishment. The fact that they deemed it appropriate to set up an independent enquiry to investigate the goings on at a particular club tells you that something is not right. When the accused is found guilty of the most serious of breaches, and nothing is done, surely that tells you that they have to tighten up their rules and also lay out the penalties of what failing to follow the correct procedure should be.

Until you get the fundamentals correct and lets face it it is these that are wrong, then you may as well have the Marx Brothers running the show. At least with those guys you could get a laugh. Unfortunately the comedians we have in charge are fleecing the game and the seriousness of the issues they are ignoring are like a ticking bomb rapidly counting down.

So while our leaders scrabble about wondering why not one company will attach its good name to our sport, ignore their own rules, lie to their customers, not hold office bearers to account for their actions, and fight amongst themselves Rome will continue to burn.

I can almost feel the heat from here!

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StevieBCPosted on9:18 pm - Apr 21, 2014


y4rmy says:
April 21, 2014 at 8:39 pm

There appears to be some cultural chauvinism here when talking about American Sports…
=============================
I feel obliged to make some sort of comment. 🙄

My general observation is that there is/will be more American influence in the EPL due to American ownership. Currently 6 of the 20 EPL teams are American owned/majority owned ;

Liverpool
Man United
Arsenal
Aston Villa
Fulham
Sunderland

[plus Derby and Millwall in the Championship]

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_English_football_club_owners
================================================
And I don’t expect that this American ownership has anything to do with allegiance to any ‘soccer’ team – but they have simply identified good business opportunities, e.g. as we have seen with the Glazer leveraged buyout of Man United.

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Danish PastryPosted on10:23 pm - Apr 21, 2014


Blindsummit63 says:
April 21, 2014 at 7:06 pm
20 5 Rate This
——–

The point is, not all that is perceived to be anti-Americanism is anti-Americanism. It is possible to be critical of your own and other societies without committing an act of treason or sedition. And it’s not meant personally either — the Lenin references were part tongue in cheek, after the other Lennon debate.

Keep the sports thoughts coming. Scottish football needs alternative thinking. Though just because suggestions are dismissed, whether they are trans-Atlantic or North Sea, doesn’t mean that anyone is anti-US or anti-Nordic — or anti you 😉

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John ClarkPosted on10:38 pm - Apr 21, 2014


I was asked there about an hour ago to give my brother-in-law ( wife’s sister’s husband- is that a brother-in-law, or just your wife’s sister’s husband? ) my expectation of what Lord Doherty’s decision will be. If, for heaven’s sake, he ever gets round to making or publishing his decision.
I rather surprisingly found within my soul the certain conviction that the good lord will

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AuldheidPosted on10:48 pm - Apr 21, 2014


John Clark
Cast of Thousands.

The John has it. 🙂

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CastofthousandsPosted on10:55 pm - Apr 21, 2014


John Clark says:
April 21, 2014 at 10:38 pm

“I rather surprisingly found within my soul the certain conviction that the good lord will”
—————————————–
Am I deluding myself by believing that I’m left dangling on the cusp of a revelation?

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CastofthousandsPosted on10:57 pm - Apr 21, 2014


Auldheid says:
April 21, 2014 at 10:48 pm

“The John has it. :)”
———————————
I wasn’t intending to denigrate your efforts Auldheid; just managing expectation.

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Danish PastryPosted on11:00 pm - Apr 21, 2014


StevieBC says:
April 21, 2014 at 9:18 pm
4 0 Rate This

And I don’t expect that this American ownership has anything to do with allegiance to any ‘soccer’ team – but they have simply identified good business opportunities, e.g. as we have seen with the Glazer leveraged buyout of Man United.
————

And what an opportunity! The big red cash cow being milked to service interest payments! Just business. Must be a bit of panic setting in now.

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John ClarkPosted on11:16 pm - Apr 21, 2014


sorry, chaps and chapesses, I was summoned urgently -not, mercifully, by the good Lord- but by the household divinity.
As I was saying, I find that the bordering- on- pessimistic feeling I had at the time of the hearing, I now am inclined to the optimistic view that Lord Doherty will NOT send the case back EITHER to the same FT tribunal OR to a differently constituted Tribunal.
He will instead strike that beautiful balance between pragmatism and idealism, absolute truth and an acceptable work-a-day version of it, self-protection and personal glory-hunting, shrewd estimation of the likelihood of appeal by one party or the other, and arrive at the correct decision.
He will decide the case himself, making such findings of fact that the First tribunal could have, and should have, made on the evidence before them. And he will view those facts in the round, on the what they say about the whole intent and purpose and operation of the MG EBT scheme.
And will conclude that it was an illegal tax evasion mechanism, designed to allow RFC(IL) to pay huge salaries because they did not have to pay the commensurate tax and NI on the gross figure that would otherwise have had to be paid.
It would be a bonus if he referred the matter to the Procurator Fiscal, as raising the possibility of there having been an element of criminal conspiracy to defraud her gracious majesty’s revenue. Not to mention the rest of us.

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Danish PastryPosted on11:20 pm - Apr 21, 2014


John Clark says:
April 21, 2014 at 11:16 pm
1 0 Rate This
——–

Why the change in your mood about this John? A surge of spring optimism?

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John ClarkPosted on11:21 pm - Apr 21, 2014


Auldheid says:
April 21, 2014 at 10:48 pm
‘..The John has it.’
———-
With some very recent posts on Americanisation fresh in mind, I’m glad you used a capital ‘J’. FFS! 😀

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Paulmac2Posted on11:57 pm - Apr 21, 2014


For some reason..( I know not why ) I was denied access to log in around 10am this morning…did TSFM withdraw the right to comment for posters?

I am puzzled as I hadn’t posted anything for around 3-4 days and as memory serves was not contensious…

Just need to know if I have been a bad boy without realising I had?

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Paulmac2Posted on12:10 am - Apr 22, 2014


For those uncertain about the SPFL’s move into the SFA…the status quo at the SFA is unacceptable..which leaves us with the only real organisation that has the teeth and the ability to reform the SFA…and it does need reformed…which will not happen from within.

As fans it should be considered a positive move…however we are to long in the tooth not to be suspicous as to what might be behind their motives…

Serious questions need to asked..

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John ClarkPosted on12:14 am - Apr 22, 2014


Danish Pastry says:
April 21, 2014 at 11:20 pm
‘..Why the change in your mood about this John? A surge of spring optimism?’
———-
Oh, for the days of a surge! Of anything. 🙁 🙄
Seriously, though, my subconscious will have been working away .
And I can see clearly now that the FTT ‘majority’ blinded themselves to the clear evidence that the MG EBT scheme had been devised as a tax evasion scheme very cleverly structured, by collusion, as a ‘genuine’ loan scheme for employees and their families. There were bits of paper to show that it was ‘genuine’, after all.
And there they stopped , possibly with a sigh of great relief , clearly ignoring or misinterpreting/misapplying the significant judgments about having to look at the whole point and purpose of such schemes as evidenced by the way they were actually operated, and that one part having the clever appearance of ‘legality’ did not remove the need to look at all the parts as a single totality.
And I suppose, for me, the innate meanness of megalomaniac money-grubbers ( like , in another context, King??) was a clincher.
No loan was for more than the exact bloody amount needed to arrive at the figure that would have been the gross figure minus the tax and NI due.The miserable, essentially stupid b.stards hadn’t the savvy to make the ‘loans’ appear to be unrelated to that relationship between gross and net remuneration.
Even the seedy pornographer of a struck-off lawyer couldn’t see that that might have been sensible.
But apart from those musings, I have no other basis for my optimism.

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paulsatimPosted on12:19 am - Apr 22, 2014


New post from Phil Mac, http://www.philmacgiollabhain.ie/the-iceman-cometh/

Verrry interesting !

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justbecauseyoureparanoidPosted on12:37 am - Apr 22, 2014


John Clark @ 12.14am

John I hope with every fibre in my being that you are correct.
Not that I believe for a second that it will lead to any retrospective action against the team in liquidation nor for that matter any significant change in stance by the laptop loyal
However it would provide official confirmation of something that should have been obvious to a blind man, that every team, not just Celtic, were playing against a loaded deck
Not just the honest mistakes, but pure unadulterated cheating
I spent many years travelling every other week from Yorkshire with my son to watch a league which was only ever allowed to be won by one team
It hurts to this day, especially the Tommy Burns year, three amigos, Jim Farry and all
It would be a thing of beauty to have a simple statement that said they cheated us all

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John ClarkPosted on12:38 am - Apr 22, 2014


paulsatim says:
April 22, 2014 at 12:19 am
‘..New post from Phil Mac,.’
———–
As you say,paulsatim, this is very interesting, from several different perspectives. My first interest would lie in learning whether the ‘two senior executives’ and the two other managers were daft enough to let their emotional allegiances carry them away to the point of making very unsound investment decisions that have annoyed their top men.
A secondary interest would be in learning ( because of the ‘central European expert’ reference) whether Laxey is the investor involved: they seem to operate in that financially mucky area.
Quite brightened up the night!

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John ClarkPosted on1:05 am - Apr 22, 2014


justbecauseyoureparanoid says:
April 22, 2014 at 12:37 am
‘..It would be a thing of beauty to have a simple statement that said they cheated us all.’
———
My Motherwell-born non-millionaire dad, ‘uneducated’ , seriously- wounded- on- Monte Piccolo ‘S’ Company Scots Guardsman, frequently quoted a line from John Keats: ” Beauty is truth and Truth beauty”, if memory serves.
In the absence of a contrite confession from SDM , a decision by the cold authority of the Courts that wrong-doing had been perpetrated would be the next best thing. We could live with that. The wrong-doers would have to live with that. In shame and disgrace.

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upthehoopsPosted on5:56 am - Apr 22, 2014


Paulmac2 says:
April 21, 2014 at 11:57 pm
==========================
I had the same issues for a little while. Don’t think it was anything more sinister than a technical glitch.

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upthehoopsPosted on6:45 am - Apr 22, 2014


John Clark says:
April 22, 2014 at 12:38 am
=============================
Finance is not my profession although I guess investor’s like Laxey do sufficient due diligence before parting with their millions. Either that or Charles Green really was able to convince them the club from Ibrox is, or has the potential to become, something it is not, has never been, and is never likely to be!

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Danish PastryPosted on7:08 am - Apr 22, 2014


paulsatim says:
April 22, 2014 at 12:19 am
8 0 Rate This

New post from Phil Mac, http://www.philmacgiollabhain.ie/the-iceman-cometh/

Verrry interesting !
———

Will this mean another delay to the 120 … er …. 127 day review while there’s a review of the review?

PS Cheers John C. sap is rising!

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upthehoopsPosted on7:23 am - Apr 22, 2014


Auldheid, a question for you when you look in. If you feel giving an answer at this time would compromise progression on the Celtic AGM Resolution 12 then no problems.

Much of the talk over the last day has surrounded this SPFL / SFA issue, which I notice has prompted a number of the MSM to side with the SFA. The question for us though, is are they fit for purpose, which the MSM will never discuss. That brings me to Resolution 12. What is the ultimate aim? Is it to convince the Celtic Board to formally challenge the SFA firstly in private, and then publicly if necessary? Given the amount of evidence that is available, my personal view is the least that is required is an admission of wrongdoing by the SFA and an unreserved public apology. I would leave it to the Celtic Board to decide whether asking for compensation is necessary.

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Para HandyPosted on8:27 am - Apr 22, 2014


EKBhoy says:
April 21, 2014 at 10:53 am

Para handy

Last game at Celtic park , audible guff ….. From the jags , subject closed , point made.
——————————-
Given the coverage we see on here about such songs, I am very surprised that this has never been mentioned before. So forgive me if I take this with a pinch of salt, EK, unless corroborated. And, if it is, I will be very disappointed, as having attended many matches against the OF, I have never sung nor heard them. As I said earlier, a complaint to the Club will see such matters dealt with.

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causaludendiPosted on8:41 am - Apr 22, 2014


I see the English Media witch-hunt has succeeded…

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Danish PastryPosted on8:52 am - Apr 22, 2014


Wow, mucho RTC on twitter.

@rangerstaxcase

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SmugasPosted on9:00 am - Apr 22, 2014


It makes me smile.

Phil decides to keep his finger on the pulse re the rangers story and gives us a plausible major shareholder movement story with hopefully more to follow.

The Sunday Mail decides to keep their finger where its always been and gives us “Boyd set for Ibrox on Mega Wages (which they don’t appear to have).”

Just as an aside and in these pc non stereo-typical days I am perfectly aware that it is very very wrong of me to say that Boyd appears to join a list containing McCall, Butcher and Gosling as actually quite likeable, realistic Blues!

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AllyjamboPosted on9:28 am - Apr 22, 2014


Danish Pastry says:
April 22, 2014 at 8:52 am

And an interesting wee blog from PMGB 🙂

http://www.philmacgiollabhain.ie/the-iceman-cometh/#more-4583

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TaysiderPosted on9:39 am - Apr 22, 2014


Well, I finally gritted my teeth and made the effort to listen to David Low on Podcast 3. So I’d like to start by thanking TSFM for making this interview available. I don’t particularly like a lot of what he says but I respect it because he is being honest in clearly and consistently coming from a viewpoint of what he considers is in the best interests of Celtic football club.

I’ve asked this question before. What is Celtic’s vision for Scottish Football? I don’t know just how close David is to the thinking of the current Celtic Board but the impression I get from the interview is that he is still sufficiently connected with the club to have a good sense of what that thinking is.

If his views are close to those in the Celtic Board room what does that tell us? Well, firstly that Celtic want to see a Rangers back in the top flight as soon as possible. Not a Rangers fuelled by an unsustainable spending policy but a sustainable strategy that means they can provide Celtic with competition that they are currently lacking and need because that competition makes Celtic a better team and earns the club more money.

It is particularly interesting hearing him talk about 2012 and the attempts by the SFA to parachute a Rangers straight back in the top flight. They were shocked at a fans rebellion that prevented an immediate return to the top flight and even more shocked at a further rebellion that saw Rangers re-enter in the fourth tier. For me it is further confirmation of what we have always suspected; that most of Scottish football, even at a club level, were judging the Rangers saga very much by commercial criteria. What was good from a turnover perspective? The push for integrity, for a fair application of the rules, that came from the fans with maybe the exceptional club director also recognising its importance. Only when integrity was clearly linked to a commercial issue, namely fans not renewing their season tickets, did it become essential to actually pay attention to what the fans were saying.

David Low’s love is clearly Celtic and what is in Celtic’s interest and not Scottish football which he sees as a somewhat diddy backwater that is being left further behind as yet more money from the big tv deals swells the coffers of the EPL clubs and those in other bigger leagues. So if he is close to Celtic’s perspective then we can expect more periodic stories about Celtic looking to join a bigger league while quietly behind the scenes they will also welcome a Rangers back to the top flight, albeit a club coming from behind as they will be unlikely to be in a position to win the league for a number of years.

At the end he suggests that Scottish Football would be a better place without Celtic and Rangers but I’m not sure I’m convinced he really believes this, given that he has already said that he is not a fan of Scottish Football.

Well done Big Pink for asking him about the benefits of a more competitive league if other teams were to close the gap. Of course the big tv money which irritates David Low as giving clubs he regards as lesser than Celtic better prospects in the Champions League is still sufficient to likely ensure that Celtic have sufficient advantage, with Champions League money, to dominate Scottish football for a number of years.

Ultimately his is a very business view of football (as you might expect). If there are to be a few dominant brands with international appeal, Barcelona, Real Madrid, Manchester United, Bayern Munich, then that is where you want your team playing and winning. If you are not there, you risk being left further and further behind. Grow the brand, grow the turnover, squeeze the assets and wonder at how lesser mortals are willing to pay to watch the Brechins and Arbroaths of this world battle in the first division for a chance of some minor fleeting glory.

The only way to convince a David Low and perhaps the Celtic Board that the best interests of Celtic and Scottish football coincide in the longer terms is 1) if they are certain that the door remains firmly shut to joining another league and 2) if they can buy into a vision where a more competitive league would also be good for the bottom line.

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Danish PastryPosted on9:49 am - Apr 22, 2014


Taysider says:
April 22, 2014 at 9:39 am
2 0 Rate This

Well, I finally gritted my teeth and made the effort to listen to David Low on Podcast 3 …
——–

Haha, took me a while to get round to it as well, having been a bit put off by the early reviews/discussion surrounding it.

Pretty fair and accurate summary you’ve posted.

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Para HandyPosted on9:54 am - Apr 22, 2014


Out of interest, leaving aside changes to the at best, blazered approach to running football in Scotland, do people on here believe that the most significant improvement to Scottish football would entail extending the top division to 16/18 teams playing twice?

TU for yes, TD for no.

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scapaflowPosted on9:57 am - Apr 22, 2014


Taysider says:
April 22, 2014 at 9:39 am

Good summary, and several more reasons for treating the SPFL resolutions with deep suspicion!

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AllyjamboPosted on10:11 am - Apr 22, 2014


Just a wee thought on Phil’s latest blog.

Could the mystery sackings at an, as yet, unknown institutional investor be linked to a certain (very) high interest rate loan that was withdrawn to allow a soft loan to take it’s place? A situation that not only saw an opportunity to gain a large profit, or even heritable property, disappear, but created a scenario where the institutional investors holdings would inevitably be diluted. That added to the original dodgy investment might have sealed these managers’ fates.

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valentinesclownPosted on10:28 am - Apr 22, 2014


Phil,s post very interesting, RTC raising some real interesting points on twitter and then reality over in Sevco land (Gers Net), see below.
The last few years have been hugely difficult for Rangers fans. Administration, dysfunctional directors and confused coups from ‘Rangers men’ who believe they would be better placed to run the club; all this contributes to an ongoing period of uncertainty and frustration for many bears. Time is a great healer they say but, in actual fact, we appear no closer to finding genuine stability for Rangers football club in the short term – indeed the decision-making for the average fan is now even more of a challenge than before.
————————————————————————————————————————————
Well could have been worse liquidation may have occurred. Oh wait……………………

In John Clark I trust, as in my gut I know they cheated we all know they cheated. Let justice prevail and for once and for the benefit of us all let it be known what they done, without fear or favour.

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PW1874Posted on10:43 am - Apr 22, 2014


Very interesting developments with the shareholders of RIFC PLC. I’d imagine these shareholders, unmoved by Rangerness, are currently mulling over whether TRFC Ltd has outlived its usefulness.

It’s worth reminding everyone that the shareholders of RIFC PLC are one of the few groups of people who don’t actually need a football club. These shareholders do hold all the Aces, the Kings, the Queens and every card of value; they may decide to play their Joker too!

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valentinesclownPosted on10:49 am - Apr 22, 2014


PW1874 says:
April 22, 2014 at 10:43 am
2 0 Rate This

Very interesting developments with the shareholders of RIFC PLC. I’d imagine these shareholders, unmoved by Rangerness, are currently mulling over whether TRFC Ltd has outlived its usefulness.

It’s worth reminding everyone that the shareholders of RIFC PLC are one of the few groups of people who don’t actually need a football club to make money. These shareholders do hold all the Aces, the Kings, the Queens and every card of value; they may decide to play their Joker too!

————————————————————————————————————————–

What the return of Craig Whyte, surely not there is only so much fun a person can be entitled to in one life time.

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GiovanniPosted on10:53 am - Apr 22, 2014


John Clark says:
April 22, 2014 at 12:38 am

Allyjambo says:
April 22, 2014 at 10:11 am

JC & AJ, I don’t think it is Laxey Partners that Phil Mac Giolla Bhain can be referring to as their involvement seems to be being driven by their chairman and founding partner Colin Kingsnorth.

On a separate note I still cannot understand why they only borrowed £1.5M when a back of a fag-packet calculation would have surely told Messrs Wallace and Nash that it was a never enough. Phil Mac Giolla Bhain remarked on this at the time but no one seemed to take him up on this. Was it perhaps the maximum that, in the case of the Easedale brothers, they could afford, and in the case of Laxey Partners the maximum they were willing to lend?

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broganrogantrevinoandhoganPosted on11:04 am - Apr 22, 2014


Good Morning.

Those involved in the running of Scottish Football, and indeed the reporting of it, may well be advised to check their libraries or on-line resources this morning and search for a biography or auto biography of Sir Jackie Stewart. They could also do with dusting down their copy of the Three Musketeers!

Many will know Stewart as the three times world champion racing driver who secured 27 Grand Prix victories from 99 starts behind the wheel in formula one. While other drivers have won more Grand Prix, few can match Stewart’s percentage of wins per start, and if you extend the study into examining the number of podium finishes achieved by the Dunbartonshire man from those same 99 starts then the statistics become virtually unique.

Extending that study further, if you take away those occasions when the car failed on Stewart, something jumps out at you, and that is that Stewart very rarely failed to finish a race without scoring points, and that if he did fail to finish then it was most likely due to the car letting him down rather than the driver himself making an error.

However, it should be remembered that all of this was achieved at a time when motor racing was far more dangerous than it is today. Jackie Stewart saw numerous colleagues, rivals and friends ( note they were all one and the same ) all die in pursuit of their sport, and as a result he was in the vanguard, if not actually in charge of driving the train, when it came to demands for greater safety for drivers and changes in the rules of the sport in general.

Stewart himself sees those rule changes as his greatest legacy in the sport where he was acknowledged as one of the very best.

At times, that meant that Stewart had to be seen as rebel, a trouble maker, a difficult character, an awkward and at times forceful individual who, with others, at times threatened to scupper a race or series of races unless the organisers took his demands seriously and acted upon them.

Ultimately, of course, this stance brought him universal respect within the sport.

Given the number of fatalities during the Stewart career, it is not surprising that Stewart had one great motto when it came to driving and it was this:

To finish first in a race, first of all you had to ensure that you actually finished at all!

So what has all of this to do with Scottish Football and its current state of flux?

Well, I think it has everything to do with some recent comments from various personnel and I think it has everything to do with weekend reports of an SPFL attempted “coup”!

It is no secret that there has been general dissatisfaction with the running of the Scottish game for some time.

There has been dissatisfaction from fans.

There has been the almost summary removal of David Longmuir from the SFL once chairmen realised that the organisation they thought they were part of and engaged with was no more than a semi private enterprise.

The ineptitude of the SFA, an increasingly moribund body in virtually every respect, is there for all to see.

Sometime ago, a well known commentator on things in Scottish Football told me privately that there had been a major sea change in the opinion of those who run many of the smaller clubs. This was a change whereby those chairmen and officials were no longer prepared to simply settle for the word being handed down from on high but accompanied by mealy mouthed public statements from officials which pronounced that those officials actually acted “on behalf of” those same chairmen!

Further, there was a growing feeling that the officials simply did what they felt best AND that if they felt it best to ensure or preserve a strong Rangers ( or Celtic for that matter ) at not far off any cost, then everyone else would have to like it or lump it.

My understanding is that such an attitude no longer cuts the mustard and that ” The wee men” have at last found a voice and are not satisfied with the answers– or lack of them — coming from Hampden.

In particular take note of the comments last week coming from the chairman of Forfar Athletic who stated openly that he wished Rangers Football Club all the best for next season in the league above, but then added that the recent match between his club and the team from Ibrox was not fair competition!

I await to hear whether or not the Forfar chairman has been cited by Vincent Lunny — surely a football official who complains so openly that the competition is not fair at all is bringing the game into disrepute?

Then again, perhaps Mr Lunny and others are smart enough to steer well clear of any debate as to what is in fact fair competition in Scottish football in 2014 — especially when it comes to the Ibrox club and its either very long, or very short, history depending on your point of view.

However, the chairman of Forfar Athletic is the chairman of Forfar Athletic — he runs a provincial club with a small fan base and it might be said that his club have not been unduly affected by the worst of the fall out from the years of footballing abuse overseen by Messrs Murray, Whyte, Green and others while in charge of one of the giant clubs in the league.

The same cannot be said of other clubs who will come into direct contact with the current Rangers set up next season. Clubs such as Falkirk, Hearts, Dundee, Hamilton Acccies, Hibs, Ross County, Raith Rovers. Queen of the South, Livingstone, Dumbarton and Morton may all well compete with the Ibrox administration next year.

Those same clubs all (now) seek to run and achieve success on a proper business basis and some clearly saw their fortunes decline during the Murray money years when Scottish football endured a long period when one of the top teams in the country ensured success ( or attempted to secure success ) by way of a covert monetary policy which any sane person can see flouted the rules under which every other club was meant to playing.

That was a policy which was never uncovered by anyone at the SFA or the SPL — perhaps that is something which at long last is beginning to rankle?

Certainly, the historic and ongoing failure in transparent governance coming from Ibrox has rankled with countless thousands of Rangers fans who have parted with cash for shares, cash for season tickets and merchandise, and who invest emotionally in the football club ( Old Co or New Co ) itself. The SFA can hardly be described as having served them well in terms of applying the rules which are supposed to highlight any fiscal deficiencies.

Irrespective of what Lord Nimmo Smith might have said or not said, irrespective of what he was asked to look at or not asked to look at, or what Campbell Ogilvie revealed or kept hidden, the fact is that the governance of the individual clubs in Scotland has turned on its head in the last two years.

Clubs are actually now seeing the benefit of properly run clubs, acting within budget, with a proper business plan and a good idea of what they can achieve going forward as a collective and as individual businesses.

However, that emergence from the dark also brings with it a dawning that the SFA really is “not fit for purpose ” in its current form and in fact is a hindrance to “fair competition” and proper investment in the individual clubs.

For example, the new owner of Hearts is a proper business woman — not only that there were others who were just as willing to come and invest in Hearts — provided the club play in a properly structured football set up.

Similarly, the businesses of all the other clubs ( and the financial commitment from their fans ) need looking after rather then the business of supposedly looking the exclusive business of the big two and the business of the SFA itself.

The Championship sides in particular will have to face a Rangers side where there are repeated claims that the aims of those who run the club ( and those who would like to run the club ) are to “restore” Rangers to their rightful place at the top of Scottish football.

Clearly, that aim can only be achieved at the expense of everyone else, which is absolutely fine in the event of it being achieved as a result of fair competition — but here comes the Forfar chairman proclaiming that the competition isn’t fair!

Some clubs don’t like the idea of competition being unfair and want to ensure that the SFA are actually ensuring fair competition and so protecting and looking after the interests of the investors and stakeholders of ALL clubs and you can only ensure that this is the case if there are proper rules and that those rules are applied.

Otherwise, there is no reason at all to invest in any football club.

Further, unless those rules are fairly applied, there will be those who will argue there is no real reason to support a football club at all!

So consider the following rules which relate to a domestic football licence and which are in situ at the current time:

8.2.6 SFA Decision

A licence will be refused:

a) If the annual financial statements (that may also include supplementary information) are not submitted to the SFA within the defined deadline.
b) If the club submits annual financial statements (that may also include supplementary information) that do not meet the minimum requirements for the content and accounting.

Having read the auditor’s report on the annual financial statements, the SFA will assess it according to the points below:

c) If the auditor’s report has an unqualified opinion, without any modification, this provides a satisfactory basis for granting the licence in respect of criterion A.47.

d) If the auditor’s report has a disclaimer of opinion or an adverse opinion, the licence will be refused.

e) If the auditor’s report has, in respect of going concern, either an emphasis of matter or a qualified ‘except for’ opinion, the licence will be refused, unless additional documentary evidence demonstrating the club’s ability to continue as a going concern until at least the end of the season to be licensed has been provided and assessed by the SFA to its satisfaction. The additional documentary evidence includes, but is not necessarily limited to, the information described in 8.1.7 (Future financial information).

If the auditor’s report in respect of the annual financial statements submitted in accordance with A.47 includes an emphasis of matter or a qualified ‘except for’ opinion in respect of going concern, then Indicator IND.01 shall apply (as set out in 8.2.26).

As a result, the SFA will undertake more extensive assessment procedures in respect of criterion A.52 (Future financial information) and, if granted a licence, the club must also comply with criterion A.67 (Duty to update future financial information).

f) If the auditor’s report has, in respect of a matter other than going concern, either an emphasis of matter or a qualified ‘except for’ opinion, then the SFA will consider the implications of the modification for club licensing purposes.

The licence may be refused, unless additional documentary evidence is provided, and assessed, to the SFA’s satisfaction. The additional evidence that may be requested will be dependent on the reason for the modification to the audit report.

If the club provides supplementary information the SFA shall additionally assess the auditor’s report of the agreed-upon procedures in respect of the supplementary information.

g) If the auditor’s report of factual findings from the agreed-upon procedures includes reference to errors and/or exceptions found, the licence may be refused.

The above provisions can be summarised as follows:

In order to have a chance at finishing first in any league, first of all the SFA have to be satisfied that any club will in fact finish ( the season ).

In recent years, the SFA has a poor history when it comes to ensuring that clubs can finish. All the evidence would suggest that there has been poor performance when assessing the financial statements and structures. Clubs have gone into administration, liquidation and in essence have been trading whilst insolvent.

Further, even taking the FTT decision which is under appeal, the only description of the quality of the evidence at that tribunal more than suggests that when it came to financial disclosure the Murray Group did everything possible to conceal, deflect and essentially cover up the truth of its financial operations.

When it comes to the LNS enquiry concerning player registration, the disclosure of financial documentation, the reading of accounts and the conducting of any necessary assessments and so on, it is hard to escape the conclusion that the footballing authorities ( principally the SFA ) have either deliberately turned a blind eye to rule compliance or are absolutely and utterly inept!

Take your pick.

As we head towards season 2014- 2015, it appears that those within some clubs who strive for proper financial governance of their own clubs and the game in general are demanding a new attitude.

Like Jackie Stewart all those years before they are demanding change within their sport and they are being awkward about it — in particular they will ask the question:

Before you get the chance to finish first, having considered all the financial rules can you prove that you are likely to finish?

If not, put your house in order otherwise you do not get a licence to play at all.

It is an Alexandre Dumas moment — all for one — and one for all.

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AllyjamboPosted on11:24 am - Apr 22, 2014


Giovanni says:
April 22, 2014 at 10:53 am

You could well be right that it’s not Laxeys, I was just musing over the fact that it’s happening now and they seem to be the only institutional investors who’ve recently made any financial play in TRFC. The share-price nosedive happened some time ago and I’d have thought any fallout within any such organisations would have happened before now, though perhaps has without our knowledge. Whichever financial institution these sackings have occurred at, others will have taken note and doubtless TRFC will become more toxic as a result. This assuming, of course, that any sackings are related to TRFC.

As to Mr Kingsnorth’s involvement, he quite possibly did no more than rubber stamp Laxeys’ involvement, having been presented with proposals from a couple of managers and he now regrets accepting their recommendations. But this still doesn’t mean that it was Laxeys that Phil was alluding to.

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Para HandyPosted on11:34 am - Apr 22, 2014


broganrogantrevinoandhogan says:
April 22, 2014 at 11:04 am
21 0 Rate This
===========================
Excellent piece, BRTH; an excellent summary of the position. It does make you wonder as to the timing and content of the SPFL’s power play along with the Forfar chairman’s comments. Could it be, as you allude, that some of the Clubs are seeing cracks in the armour of those responsible for this mess?

A grass roots uprising of Napoleonic proportions where, now that the threat of Armageddon seems to have lessened, the diddy clubs are asserting themselves. Perhaps we as fans should grab the nearest pitchfork and join in!

Chapeau!

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TaysiderPosted on11:37 am - Apr 22, 2014


broganrogantrevinoandhogan says:
April 22, 2014 at 11:04 am

“Sometime ago, a well known commentator on things in Scottish Football told me privately that there had been a major sea change in the opinion of those who run many of the smaller clubs. This was a change whereby those chairmen and officials were no longer prepared to simply settle for the word being handed down from on high but accompanied by mealy mouthed public statements from officials which pronounced that those officials actually acted “on behalf of” those same chairmen!”
——————————
Great post. Anyone concerned about the motives behind the current SPFL initiative to push for modest reform of the SFA will be encouraged to think that it is for the right reasons, judging by the well known commentator’s private observations to you quoted above.

One angle that I haven’t seen much discussed here is the sponsorship of the SPFL or lack of it to be precise. Has it been more difficult because of the lack of a Rangers in the top flight or because of the damaged done to the credibility of Scottish football by the ongoing saga? I’d like to think that a perception that “getting your house in order” would be good for attracting sponsors would help drive reform although I guess the alternative that potential sponsors want to see the return of a strong Rangers is also a possibility 🙁

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AllyjamboPosted on11:52 am - Apr 22, 2014


As ever, BRTH, another excellent read, and bringing one of my sporting heroes, Jackie Stewart, into it was particularly pleasing 😀 honour and integrity personified. There does seem to be a slow dawning amongst some of the club chairmen/boards to what’s actually been happening and some seem ready to take the giant step of questioning those who govern in their name. Sadly, I fear, those responsible for the mess will all have ‘moved on’ (to pastures new) before the questions get loud enough to require answers.

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AllyjamboPosted on12:04 pm - Apr 22, 2014


Giovanni says:
April 22, 2014 at 10:53 am

“On a separate note I still cannot understand why they only borrowed £1.5M when a back of a fag-packet calculation would have surely told Messrs Wallace and Nash that it was a never enough. Phil Mac Giolla Bhain remarked on this at the time but no one seemed to take him up on this. Was it perhaps the maximum that, in the case of the Easedale brothers, they could afford, and in the case of Laxey Partners the maximum they were willing to lend?”
____________________________________

I’d imagine, Gio, that the loan amount was based entirely on the value placed on any potential security. No security = no loan!

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borussiabeefburgPosted on12:25 pm - Apr 22, 2014


Good post BRTH, but I’d have to take issue with the following:

BROGANROGANTREVINOANDHOGAN says:
April 22, 2014 at 11:04 am

However, the chairman of Forfar Athletic is the chairman of Forfar Athletic — he runs a provincial club with a small fan base and it might be said that his club have not been unduly affected by the worst of the fall out from the years of footballing abuse overseen by Messrs Murray, Whyte, Green and others while in charge of one of the giant clubs in the league.
The same cannot be said of other clubs who will come into direct contact with the current Rangers set up next season. Clubs such as Falkirk, Hearts, Dundee, Hamilton Acccies, Hibs, Ross County, Raith Rovers. Queen of the South, Livingstone, Dumbarton and Morton may all well compete with the Ibrox administration next year.

The years of footballing abuse has also affected the clubs with smaller fan bases. For the last two years proper competition to get out of the most competitive leagues in the set up (fourth then third levels in successive seasons) has been badly skewed by the presence of a side from Ibrox. Each season, a side has been denied the opportunity to progress, in a footballing sense.

There has been no reasonable football advantage gained by having them placed in these leagues, while off the field little money, if any, has been made from their presence.

As an example, on Saturday, Stenhousemuir were forced, by the police, to close their club bar within Ochilview’s stand, as the police stated it would have to be used for an operations room. The ‘wee bar’ is run by the football club, and normally opens on match days, for home and away supporters. Many more police and stewards were present at the match, all done on the insistence of the police, but paid for by the club.

Meanwhile, in the largest hall in the area, the Dobbie Hall, 750 yards from the ground, Falkirk Council’s licensing board, on which the police have an influential presence, had allowed a ‘sash bash’ to take place, pre and post match, including music provided by Camelon Flute Band.

To jump back to a popular discussion topic of a few weeks ago, the above illustrates why lower league clubs generally don’t want to see colt sides from the major clubs dropped into their environs.

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indy14Posted on12:26 pm - Apr 22, 2014


I think it is clear, Armageddon as prescribed by the SFA for Scottish football in it’s entirety was in fact a foretelling of the future for the SFA. Uncovering of the corruption, rule breaking and support of the former club inexorably has led to the death of the esteem of said corrupt band of misfits….lovely

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Madbhoy24941Posted on12:46 pm - Apr 22, 2014


Peter Lawwell: We are losing fans weekly due to our apparent lack of action in relation to The SFA mismanagement of Scottish football. Why are some of these guys still in position?

Stewart Regan: I do not run Scottish football; it is being run behind the scenes by people with more influence than I currently have. I need some help in the fight against the blazers, would you like to put yourself forward for the board?

Peter Lawwell: So I have been here for a while and my vote on specific matters doesn’t seem to count, how are we going to implement the changes required to install confidence in the organisation?

Stewart Regan: Why don’t you ask the clubs to Mount a challenge to control what might seem as minor point in the grand scheme of things but would open the door to having more influence in the longer term?

– Cue leak to MSM from a blazer about a takeover
– Cue outrage from past blazers like Peat
– Cue uniformed circling of the wagons from MSM

What? No comment from Rangers? Well that is very strange…..

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SmugasPosted on12:53 pm - Apr 22, 2014


To follow BRTH’s F1 lead I would also add that if you want to look into the individual perils, or rather perils to the individual of commercialising sport ahead of intergrity you could do worse than research the James Hunt/Nikki Lauda story. (And that’s not a sly advert for the film which I haven’t even seen yet btw).

Just on Phil’s Blog (I can’t access from here for some reason). Does he get the feeling that its still some sort of orchestrated liquidation play (money men get the assets, King gets the club, fans get the ‘history’ (don’t spend it all at once guys)) or are we genuinely now in the realm of the simple flustercluck?

And talking of simple flusterclucks that brings me on nicely to the SFA. Again a deep rooted principle of mine in this whole farrago was that heads had to roll. If they wanted to stack the deck and protect ‘their club’ for an unwitting rules infringement then fine. I don’t agree, but if that’s the decision, fine. I therefore want the proverbial asses of those responsible for not spotting/acting on the infringement instead. Call it blood lust if you like but someone somewhere has to fall on their sword for the biggest failure and scandal in Scottish Sport. You can’t simply have both sides sit back and say Oopsie!

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AuldheidPosted on12:58 pm - Apr 22, 2014


BRTH

You point out one of the key areas in which the SFA have been delinquent and that has been a refusal to use the powers the licensing arrangement gives them.

To cut them some slack that may have been that had they done so with due rigour in the past it would gave been a six club league, but as more clubs put their financial house in order the balance towards fairness to all has shifted past tipping point.

There are a number of structural deficiencies in the current set up that need addressed and it might help do that if the SPFL were seen to be the customer of the SFA with the right to seek an alternative to the SFA if it is not providing an adequate service to the leagues.

In the normal business world the ability of the customer to choose brings in competition and it appears that without that competition the SFA have become lazy and self serving in respect of the services they deliver.

Normally in business you get ” charters” setting out relationships and expectations between the service provider (the SFA) and the customer ( the SPFL).
So why not put some in place along with another charter between the SPFL and the supporters that sets out what the support can expect from the SPFL to look after the supporters and the game’s interest, which should be more or less the same?

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broganrogantrevinoandhoganPosted on1:35 pm - Apr 22, 2014


borussiabeefburg says:
April 22, 2014 at 12:25 pm

I don’t take issue with any of that and fully realise that the clubs in the lower leagues have not necessarily seen their coffers filled with gold as a result of visits from Rangers, and that they will have had to accommodate some ( for them ) extraordinary administrative costs when hosting Rangers.

What I was getting at was that the bigger clubs I have mentioned saw a downturn in their fortunes as a result of the constant spend spend spend attitude of the Murray years which saw Scottish football become so lopsided, and which heralded virtually nationwide financial gambling in the boardrooms as that business model spread throughout the country like a virus.

Those clubs will not want to return to that and will want to ensure that they stand at the start tape each season on an equal footing if that is possible.

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scottcPosted on1:54 pm - Apr 22, 2014


broganrogantrevinoandhogan says:
April 22, 2014 at 1:35 pm
2 0 Rate This

borussiabeefburg says:
April 22, 2014 at 12:25 pm

I don’t take issue with any of that and fully realise that the clubs in the lower leagues have not necessarily seen their coffers filled with gold as a result of visits from Rangers, and that they will have had to accommodate some ( for them ) extraordinary administrative costs when hosting Rangers.

The other area where the smaller clubs have lost out is in the retention of local fans. Both Celtic and Rangers have taken fans from across the country for, imo, different reasons. Is it not possible that a Rangers which was not competing at the same level thorugh restricted finances, would perhaps NOT have been such an attraction for the ‘fans’ from the smaller towns around the country?

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scapaflowPosted on1:55 pm - Apr 22, 2014


broganrogantrevinoandhogan says:
April 22, 2014 at 11:04 am

Interesting post as always. I am more than a bit concerned that this debate is being held through the prism of the SPFL and the shenanigans over the last few years. Shenanigans that the SPL clubs were deeply involved in….

The SPFL clubs only represent part of the remit of the SFA, by one count they make up only 3% of the people who are involved in football in Scotland. Who is speaking for the other 97%? What plans do the SPFL have to fund the tremendous work that’s done week in week out in Women’s football, Junior football, kids, diversion work etc etc etc?

I trust the SPFL clubs to operate in what they perceive as their best interests, though history, (SPL anyone?), shows that that perception can be a bit myopic.

Until the SPFL clubs convince me that they are not just out for their own narrow sectional interest, then I’m afraid, its not just No, but Hell No.

Scottish Football needs a strong Civil Service Strollers, Eskmill Boys Club, Edinburgh South Ladies, not just a strong Raith!

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abrahamtoastPosted on2:22 pm - Apr 22, 2014


I would take Phil’s latest blog with more than just a pinch of salt. All through this saga we have been told that Sevco was small beer; the sums involved were insignificant to the parties investing.

Now suddenly it’s a big deal, and “senior executives” have been let go by the investment house. This is absolute nonsense; even a total loss of the investment in Sevco would barely cause a ripple in any of the “investment houses” likely to be involved. It is absolutely laughable to suggest that two middle managers have been “moved sideways”, and an East European big wig has been brought in.

Utter tosh Phil; you’re usually better than that. (I am posting this here, as you seem to have closed the comments on your blog, after a few which arrived shortly after the blog was posted. Were you expecting a negative reaction to this piece of fiction, or wishful thinking at best?)

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JimBhoyPosted on2:31 pm - Apr 22, 2014


Giggs taking over as care-taker at Manyoo. Apparently in his first team talk earlier he said he would be treating all the players like brothers.. 😳

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ecobhoyPosted on2:57 pm - Apr 22, 2014


abrahamtoast says:
April 22, 2014 at 2:22 pm

I would take Phil’s latest blog with more than just a pinch of salt. All through this saga we have been told that Sevco was small beer; the sums involved were insignificant to the parties investing.
=====================================================
I have no idea how accurate or otherwise that Phil’s blog is although from what I know of him there must be some basis to what he says although I can’t tell whether it is significant or not because I don’t who the parties involved are whether they be investors or fund managers or whatever.

I assume as you have dismissed Phil’s comments out-of-hand you must have the inside-track and know the parties involved and whether the sums spoken of are significant or not and whether any personnel have been let-go or moved as a result of their investment strategy.

That being the case perhaps you would care to enlighten the rest of us or are you in the same position that you are accusing Phil of – basically that you know nothing?

As someone with a rudimentary knowledge of share investing it does seem that the RIFC share performance has been woeful and therefore I have always assumed there is some kind of performance review held by investment trusts if a turkey or even a ‘gang’ of them has been bought.

Apparently a lot of turkeys as well as being referred to – appropriately enough in the circumstances – as a ‘gang’ are also known as a ‘rafter’ which isn’t appropriate since we are looking at the Rangers share price going through the floor rather than the roof 😆

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ecobhoyPosted on3:00 pm - Apr 22, 2014


JimBhoy says:
April 22, 2014 at 2:31 pm

Giggs taking over as care-taker at Manyoo. Apparently in his first team talk earlier he said he would be treating all the players like brothers.. 😳
========================================
Remains to be seen whether it will be a ‘Band of Brothers’ or a ‘Band of Hope’.

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PW1874Posted on3:02 pm - Apr 22, 2014


As far a Laxey Partners are concerned, some of the specific Funds managed by them are hardly of the magnitude that the Fund could take a significant hit on its RIFC PLC investment and not weep.

It’s also fair to point out in relation to Phil’s blog, Hedge Funds involve making money for clients; it is the clients’ money they are investing and speculating with, these clients are usually very demanding. A significant downturn in expected return for these clients due to an investment in a notoriously fickle industry such as football might be enough for some of these clients to demand changes in the people who manage their money.

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AllyjamboPosted on3:02 pm - Apr 22, 2014


abrahamtoast says:
April 22, 2014 at 2:22 pm

I get your point, that senior executives maybe get away with losing a couple of million quid of other peoples’ money from time to time. But, in one firm of investment managers, somebody brokered a very good deal (for their investment company) with a very high interest loan with very good security, then gave it away to someone who’s loan will be repaid in a manner that will dilute all other investors’ shareholdings. Not very good at what they are meant to be doing, wouldn’t you say? There’s also the possibility that they overcame some strong objections to their involvement with TRFC, and have now been found out as being not very good at this part of the job either (took their bosses a lot longer to do that than it did the internet bampots 🙂 ), maybe even misleading the CEO to get the go-ahead.

It could, of course, be that these ‘senior executives’ have been involved, not just with investing in TRFC, but with the hidden faces behind Green and other dubious ventures – and are perhaps not the only ones. This might just explain the inexplicable ‘success’ of the IPO.

But you could well be right, and Phil is talking nonsense, which will be of great comfort to bears, everywhere, I’m sure! It will be interesting to see if his story develops.

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MoreCelticParanoiaPosted on3:24 pm - Apr 22, 2014


Legal advice for spivs. I wonder if this works for holding companies as well as directors….

http://www.purnells.co.uk/limited-company/administrative-receivers/what-is-a-debenture.html

“Can I have a debenture over the assets of my own company?

Once you know the definition of “what is a debenture” and “what is a floating charge” you will realise that as a director of your own company you can obtain a debenture (floating charge) over the assets of your own company and in consequence obtain priority of repayment of your director’s loan account on any winding up of your company.

A debenture (sometimes called a floating charge debenture) is little more than a written agreement between a lender and a borrower and which agreement is then filed at Companies House. As a director of your own company you can achieve considerable protection against any later insolvency of your company and benefits by filing a floating charge debenture at Companies House. The floating charge debenture document must be filed at the same time as you lend money to your company.

For instance you lend money to your company when a dividend is voted and you do not draw on that dividend at the time. The amount then owed to you can be protected by a floating charge debenture. The debenture document records that in any liquidation or any other insolvency process you will be repaid from company assets before any unsecured creditors under what is known as your floating charge debenture.

This means that your director’s loan account, when secured by a debenture, has to be repaid in full out of company assets in any insolvency before VAT,PAYE and trade creditors receive one penny. What a benefit for you! ”

What a benefit indeed. Stiffing the taxpayer and honest employees is something to boast about it seems…

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Long Time LurkerPosted on3:28 pm - Apr 22, 2014


I see that @rangerstaxcase is tweeting again.

This one caught my eye:

Bartin Iceman ‏@BartinYes · 2h
Do you think King asking for RFC fans to put money into trust because he knows what is about to happen next?

Rangers Tax-Case ‏@rangerstaxcase · 1h
@BartinYes Ring fencing ST cash now accelerates insolvency and makes liquidation more likely. I assume that is the desired effect.

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AllyjamboPosted on3:49 pm - Apr 22, 2014


Looks like Hearts are being used in McCoist’s battle of wills with Wallace, aided, as ever, by the Daily Rag. The article totally ignores Hearts situation – it would be optimistic to say the least to expect Hearts to be making many, if any, signings for next season (we’re not even out of administration yet, for goodness sake) – but it does put pressure on Wallace in the eyes of the bears. At the same time it puts pressure on the bears; don’t pony up and one of our own might end up at next season’s biggest rivals for the title (ok they might not be, but you could imagine them seeing Hearts as such, and undoubtedly so if they managed to sign Boyd).

http://www.dailyrecord.co.uk/sport/football/football-transfer-news/rangers-could-lose-out-hearts-3441156

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CampbellsmoneyPosted on4:26 pm - Apr 22, 2014


I see that there have been a few tweets/posts discussing the possibility of ring fencing the proceeds of advance ticket sales. This really arises in the context of wrongful trading issues for the directors. Also relevant to consider is the “going concern” warning in the recent accounts for the parent company and the subsidiary.

The context here is that in the event of an insolvency, Section 214 of the Insolvency Act 1986 states that the directors can be obliged to contribute to a shortfall in the assets if, prior to the insolvency, they should have been aware that insolvency could not reasonably be expected to be avoided.

Basically of course what the section is trying to do is to stop the directors continuing to carry on a business which is doomed to failure (thus increasing the liabilities of the company to creditors in a situation where those creditors will not be paid in full (because there is an insolvency looming)).

The idea of ring fencing funds is commonly mooted in retail. Perhaps the easiest example is a furniture retailer.

It would work like this. You fancy buying a new sofa which costs £1,000. The delivery time is 6 weeks. You go into the store on November 1 and pay the £1,000. You will not get your sofa until the middle of December.

If the furniture company goes into liquidation or administration prior to the sofa being delivered to you, you will not get your sofa and you will not get your £1,000 back from the company. (If you pay by credit card you will get protection as the credit card company will have to refund you – but then the credit card company is a creditor). If the directors of the company knew on the 1st of November that an insolvency event could not reasonably by expected to be avoided prior to the date when your sofa would be delivered (and therefore they knew or ought to have known that you would be a creditor to the tune of £1,000 in the insolvency), then in those circumstances there may be a wrongful trading case to be run against the directors. You should note that in wrongful trading cases, the creditor will not receive the £1,000 (if the directors are obliged to pay that amount by virtue of a successful wrongful trading action against them). Instead, the £1,000 will be put into the general pot for all creditors.

In order to head off this difficulty, it is often suggested that the £1,000 should instead be put into a ring fenced account such that it does not become part of the general assets of the company. If it were in a ring fenced account, it would not (for example) be used to reduce a pre-existing overdraft. In the event of an insolvency prior to delivery of the sofa, then the creditor would be able to get the £1,000 back out of the ring fenced account.

In order for this to work, the ring fenced account has to be created in such a way that it does not form part of the general assets of the company in an insolvency. The most obvious way of doing this is that the ring fenced account is a trust account where the company itself is the trustee and the people who have paid in advance are the beneficiaries.

In my experience, ring fencing is talked about quite a lot but is relatively rarely put into practise. There are difficulties for the company in doing this. First is that by “ring fencing” it means the company does not get access to these funds for use in paying its debts (and this at a time when it is usually very pressed for cash). In addition, it is often the case that insufficient care is taken in setting up the “ring fencing” and what is actually set up is not a proper trust which is effective in an insolvency.

In a sense, ring fencing is robbing Peter to pay Paul as, for the company to continue in business without access to the proceeds of advance sales, it has to find the money to pay its debts from another source. Often that will mean late payment of other debts, withholding of taxes or extending a bank overdraft. Each of these routes is just as much wrongful trading as trading on the proceeds of advance sales.

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wottpiPosted on5:05 pm - Apr 22, 2014


Campbellsmoney says:
April 22, 2014 at 4:26 pm

In a sense, ring fencing is robbing Peter to pay Paul as, for the company to continue in business without access to the proceeds of advance sales, it has to find the money to pay its debts from another source. Often that will mean late payment of other debts, withholding of taxes or extending a bank overdraft. Each of these routes is just as much wrongful trading as trading on the proceeds of advance sales.

+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

This is the tightrope T’Rangers they have been walking for some time now.
To keep the circus references going it really is down to how many plates Wallace et al can keep spinning and for how long.
Until they cut their cloth accordingly, gain access to ‘soft investment’ or increased income this situation is going to come along every few months.
As with the SDM period even if money is borrowed there is a good chance it will need repaid and that will bite them in the bum once again.
Still hard to see how this one is going to pan out.

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TailothebankPosted on5:15 pm - Apr 22, 2014


I know this point has been made before but it really should be made very publicly now again
With regards to BTHT excellent post and the ongoing and growing SFA crime list surely The final tipping point for the clubs, supporters etc will be if Rangers go into Administration BEFORE the beginning of next season , indicating that they are officially guilty bang to rights of attempting to win the current year title whilst on financial steroids , but are allowed to proceed to the championship???
We all know the so called rules ref 15 and 25 points deductions etc ..but has any football association ANYWHERE ever allowed a trophy to be won by a club falling into administration?…Surely never?..perhaps someone on here knows?
IF and I know it is a big If they do go into administration Rangers must be forced by the SFA to forfeit this years’s title and related prize money and stay in the 3rd division ..anything else really is scandalous and hopefully what the Forfar chairman was alluding to.
The governing bodies even if they attempt to let Rangers off the hook this year absolutely MUST never let this possibility occur in the future .and must legislate accordingly ..as it could be repeated year in year out technically

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