Podcast Episode 4 – Turnbull Hutton

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Barcabhoy, My exact comments on the subject were: “I don’t …

Comment on Podcast Episode 4 – Turnbull Hutton by RyanGosling.

Barcabhoy,

My exact comments on the subject were:
“I don’t think he was doing anything out of the ordinary”
“Almost everybody pre 2008 was borrowing excessive amounts of money and claiming huge profits and wages, assuming the borrowing would be repaid with future profits which never materialised”
“There were many more during the same period who were doing much worse purely because they were better at milking the golden goose than Murray was”

I don’t think any of these statements would amount to me “keep stating that public companies engaged in the same practices as Murray”. I also think that your demand that I produce examples of companies engaged in a very specific list of exact actions of Murray is deliberately far fetched. While there are examples of many of the things on your list, it doesn’t mean that examples have to match the Murray Group deed for deed for my comments to be relevant. My comments as listed above were a general observation that Murray was not alone in questionable corporate behaviour which was immensely profitable to him and immensely damaging to others. This was not a defence of Murray, and I’m not sure why you seem to have been so affronted. None the less, I have attempted to provide some examples below as instructed.

1. Guilty of Tax Evasion – An investigation by BBC Panorama claims HMRC were pursuing Bernie Ecclestone for a tax bill of £2 billion, but allowed him to settle for £10 million, in what could be the “biggest ever personal tax dodge”.

Elsewhere in the world, Enron were also accused of dodging billions of dollars in taxes.

2. Underfund pension scheme by 50% – In August 2013 FTSE 100 companies had a combined deficit of £43bn. And that’s just the FTSE 100, I haven’t looked into deficits elsewhere but the equity crash caused by the financial crisis, millions lost through for example BP’s difficulties and widespread de risking by pension trustees, pension deficits are far from unique and unfortunately if the company funding the scheme goes bust, the scheme is in a lot of trouble if it is in deficit. For the single worst example of an underfunded pension scheme, look at the UK state and public pension obligations versus the capability of the state to meet these obligations.

Elsewhere in the world, Enron’s collapse wiped out $2billion in pension plans.

3. Hundreds of millions of loans written off in exchange for worthless shares – last September Lloyds took ownership of all of £760m worth of De Vere Limited preferred ordinary shares in issue, through Uberior Equity Limited, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Uberior Investments, which is the former HBOS private equity arm. As a result, Lloyds now effectively controls De Vere Group.

4. Sell company assets to chairman for vastly less than book value / original price – I haven’t found another example of this. Such deals can be complex and are always opaque. I highly doubt that the Murray case is the only instance of this.

5. Destroy a Scottish sporting institution – Brooks Mileson destroyed Gretna, Gavin Masterton and Vladimir Romanov very nearly destroyed Hearts and Dunfermline.

6. Chairman takes EBT loan – as at June 2013 HMRC has stated it has around 5,000 current enquiries into EBTs. The Murray Group was not unique in this.

RyanGosling Also Commented

Podcast Episode 4 – Turnbull Hutton
Barcabhoy that is now the second time you have accused me of employing PR tactics, when I am doing and have done nothing of the sort. With regards to spending much more time and effort in attempting to show the crime is not as bad as claimed, again, I have done nothing of the sort; I made an initial perfectly innocent comment with regards to Murray’s behaviour being not exactly out of kilter with wider behaviour in the pre financial crisis world, and that he was not the only one who should be held to account. I did not deny that he should be held to account, and my first words on the subject were that I wasn’t defending Murray. The only reason I have spent so much time and effort on the subject is because you told me to, so I find it bizarre that you are now criticising me for doing so.

I did not suggest that the actions you attributed to Murray were far fetched, I said it was far fetched to demand that another company had done absolutely everything Murray had. I stand by that.

I was clear in my initial comments that I was speaking with regard to a wider context beyond just Scotland and Scottish football. I was very clear on this. If you think nothing of a wider context should be mentioned here then you’ll be harrassing a lot of posters for their comments. I notice for example that people commenting on a Guiness case earlier were spared your wrath. You asked for examples of public companies (you did not suggest they had to be related to Scottish Football) demonstrating examples of the same behaviour as Murray, and then shot me down when I provided examples because they didn’t relate to Scottish Football. I did exactly what you asked and provided reasonable examples which demonstrated my original perfectly simple and reasonable point that Murray was not doing anything so far out of the ordinary. I stand by that as well; the examples I provided prove that in the wider context in which I was commenting, others had done similar things to Murray. That is all I said originally, and I have not changed my viewpoint.

Gretna, Hearts and Dunfermline were all damaged by the actions of individuals. If they are not big enough clubs for you to bother with or to satisfy the demands you made of me, there is nothing I can do about that.

I am not making any arguments the same as Murray acolytes, as I have never once said “Don’t go after Dave” and in fact have been quite clear in every post I have made on the matter that I am not defending him and I believe he should be held to account for his actions. I have never wavered in my view of this or in my public comments on the matter.

I have never made very loud public noises about anything on this blog. I must stress again that I strongly resent your repeated implication that I am following PR tactics or trying to hijack the mood of the blog. The only reason I have commented on this so much is because you have hounded me on the issue of what I consider to be a perfectly reasonable original comment.

I will now consider the matter closed as I no longer believe you are actually reading my comments with any degree of fairness or spirit of friendship in which they have all been intended, but seem more intent on shouting me down on anything you’re not happy with. Which again, I find bizarre, as over the last two days I have actually disagreed with very few if any of the factual comments you have made.


Podcast Episode 4 – Turnbull Hutton
Barcabhoy , why do you draw a distinction between the leverage ratios of public and private companies?


Podcast Episode 4 – Turnbull Hutton
Occam- ignoring the same club / new club debate, which TSFM has justifiably given it’s own thread, it occurs to me that most clubs could “survive” a liquidation while maintaining their fans…as long as it was clear that it was a reset. If Celtic had gone under in 94, but then restarted the next day, I reckon they’d have maintained the majority if not all of their fans. If rangers had done the same a couple of years ago, I think they’d have maintained the majority of their fans. But this whole same club thing, when coupled with ongoing financial trouble, has destroyed that possibility. The lies and spivs have raped and destroyed whatever notion of my team ever existed, and if it goes under this time I believe they will have succeeded in destroying the very goodwill they believed they purchased.


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Happy new year one and all xxx


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Congratulations to the Scotland team tonight for a great result, looked like a goal would never come due to that intrepid crossbar but it’s great to see a Scotland side look as accomplished as we have recently. Just think where we’d be if we’d kept our concentration in the last minute against England!


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Auldheid,

”Now on what is objectionable to others: songs that are inward celebrating might cause offence to others but they are the ones taking offence, it is not being offered to or aimed at them. It is something intolerant in them that sparks the offence taken.”

By your criteria above, it would be perfectly acceptable for a group of fans to turn up at a football ground singing “Ode to Isis” and as long as it was inward looking, it would be the fault of the rest of the crowd if they were offended. 

I usually read your posts with interest and respect your views, but I find this stance ridiculous. 


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Upthehoops, thanks for your response. I’ve recognised my club’s weaknesses on here many times, but the justification given for support of clubs in Europe here is always that they are the Scottish representatives, which Rangers were. You can’t claim (and I don’t mean you particularly) to support the Scottish representatives but then exclude some because they aren’t financially well managed. Rangers mk II have been run at a loss but have broken no rules, and are not the first club in Scotland or in Europe to have been run at a loss. Again, I have been a vocal critic on here of the Rangers administration, but if people are on here claiming to support the Scottish representatives but making an exception for Rangers then I say they are hypocrites. 


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Jimbo you were not as vocal in your support for Scottish representation in Europe when Rangers were (briefly) involved. Neither was anyone else here, somewhat disappointingly. 


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