Resolution 12 & The Broken Bond

Celtic Shareholders who put forward a resolution to the Celtic AGM in 2013 are preparing for the 2019 AGM tomorrow and some of their conclusions are reproduced below. Celtic are planning to vote the current resolution of 2019 down after several years of kicking the can down the road after an agreement to adjourn the 2013 motion was agreed at that AGM.

Given the weight of evidence, and the prevarication that has gone on for this extended period of time, you don’t have to be a student of politics to infer that Celtic are failing their own shareholders over this.

There appears to have been, at best, a failure of SFA governance over this issue. At worst? Well that doesn’t really bear thinking about. That Celtic (and other clubs too) have been in possession of the evidence outlined below but have failed to act on it is a damning indictment of the quality of people running our clubs. Peter Lawwell’s words from 2008 about the integrity of competition seem hollow coming from the same lips as the man who has failed to pursue any kind of sporting integrity over upholding the rules of the game.

Of course we are talking about a fundamental difference in how people see the game. There are those of us who (some say naively) consider that upholding the aspects of fair play and competition are paramount, and those who see the commercial aspects of the game as the foremost consideration. A pragmatist might find a way to accommodate both, but there are apparently no pragmatists in boardrooms all over Scotland – just financial accountants.

It would be unfair to categorise the latter constituency as suffering from some kind of character defect of course. Doesn’t make you a bad person because short term financial gain is your thing.

But it puts you at odds with the paying punters – or at least some of them. As a Celtic fan myself, I’m not so sure that I can take any real joy from my own club’s success if I have come to the conclusion that they themselves are happy with a rigged competition. I am not so sure I can credibly throw stones at anyone who is caught cheating when I see that serious evidence of malpractice is being ignored and hidden under the rug by my own club.

I am sure there are those who feel the same as I do. Are there enough of us? Probably not, but the effect of it all from a personal perspective, is that it disconnects me from the process where common goals and objectives are shared between fans, players and clubs. That’s what clubs are for after all isn’t it?

In short, if the game is rigged, there is no common objective.

And consequently, many of us, deprived of that shared mission, that bond broken, will be forced to re-evaluate their relationship with their clubs.

We all have our own thoughts, but the urge to walk away forever is strong with me.

The Resolution 12 Story

In 2012, Celtic shareholders brought a resolution before the Celtic PLC AGM which asked the Celtic Board to refer certain matters to UEFA because they felt that the Scottish Football Association was compromised, no longer fit for purpose in relation to these matters, at least, and had failed Celtic and all the other football clubs in Scotland and in its duty as a Governing body, and it has separately failed UEFA as the Licensing Authority appointed by UEFA to grant licences to play in European Football in relation to Scottish teams.
The actual wording used was as follows;

“This AGM requests the Board exercise the provision contained in the Procedural Rules Governing the UEFA Club Financial Control Body Article 10 with jurisdiction and investigation responsibilities identified in articles 3 & 11 (Note 1), by referring/bringing to the attention of the UEFA Club Financial Control Body (CFCB), the licensing administration practices of the Scottish Football Association (SFA), requesting the CFCB undertake a review and investigate the SFA’s implementation of UEFA & SFA license compliance requirements, with regard to qualification, administration and granting of licenses to compete in football competitions under both SFA and UEFA jurisdiction, since the implementation of the Club Licensing and Financial Fair Play Regulations of 2010.”

The response of the Celtic Board was to argue that this resolution was NOT NECESSARY because the board itself had already recognised that there had been failings within the SFA Licensing process, and they were already in correspondence with the SFA in relation to much the same issue.

The difference between the board and the Resolutioners was that the board wanted to continue corresponding with the SFA rather than refer the matter to UEFA or anyone else, whereas the Resolutioners argued that the SFA were hopelessly compromised, were unfit for purpose, could not of themselves remedy the situation they had created, and so wanted to refer the matter to UEFA as an independent and overseeing body whose rules had been flaunted, broken, ignored and to be frank, completely manipulated as a result of SFA inaction and inactivity.

After much discussion between the board and the Resolutioners, it was reluctantly agreed that the resolution should be adjourned and to allow the SFA to be given the opportunity to demonstrate that they could operate as a proper Governing body should and to answer all and any questions put to them via the Celtic PLC board and , where appropriate, the Resolutioners and ,if necessary, their solicitors.
In the interim period, it has become clear to the Resolutioners that the SFA are not fit for purpose, just as they originally argued, and that they are not, and never could have been, the appropriate body to consider and determine the failings in the licensing system that the Resolutioners had complained of.

This is not merely opinion on the part of the Resolutioners but is the determination and judgement of a formally constituted judicial panel appointed by the SFA itself.
The Resolutioners complain that the SFA have failed, and continue to fail in the following areas;

  • They failed to oversee a fair and robust European Licence application process before and after March 2011 in respect of the appropriate season.
    They had failed to mount any sort of investigation despite being contacted by HMRC from 2006 onwards in relation to the unlawful activities of a member club – they should have had a watching brief and requested regular updates from HMRC directly but didn’t.
  • They failed to properly apply the necessary tests demanded by UEFA in considering licence applications, and subsequently, through their then CEO, sought to justify their licensing process and the grant of certain licences on a number of different contradictory grounds – none of which stood scrutiny.
  • They failed to monitor, update their records or make specific enquiries between 30th March 2011 and Mid May 2011 when the list of application grants was formally intimated to UEFA – and by which time there was widespread public rumour and speculation about the state of the tax affairs of a member club together with specific legal documents which outlined that there was indeed a tax bills due which would have disqualified that club from being granted a UEFA licence – had the rules been applied properly.
  • They failed to grasp the situation between March 2011 and August 2011 when the Sheriff Officers were seen arriving at the same club and had still made no enquiry.
  • They failed to carry out any monitoring duties at all post the grant of the licence, with then CEO Reagan telling Celtic that once a European licence was granted – which it was in April 2011 – all further compliance monitoring and any necessary action was the province of UEFA. This was later contradicted by UEFA themselves.
  • They failed to monitor through the June 30th and September 30th, two key datelines specified with the UEFA regulations, and there exists a damning e-mail from one SFA officer to the offending club which effectively says that he hopes UEFA will be too busy to notice the deficiencies in the latest submissions sent by the SFA to UEFA in respect of the club concerned.

Throughout, the SFA denied that there were any failures in their procedures, that licences had been correctly granted, there had been no breaches of the rules and maintained that their procedures had been audited and approved by UEFA during the period.

According to the official UEFA website, no such Audit actually took place with the same website confirming which Football Associations were in fact audited at the relevant time. There is no mention of any SFA Audit.

The SFA claimed that not only was there nothing wrong with the grant of the licence, but that there was nothing for them to report during the post grant period as it was not their responsibility – and then added that even if something had been wrong, or was later found to be wrong with the grant, they could not report the matter to UEFA and could take no action because they were time barred from doing so.
Post the Craig Whyte Trial, where long held evidence was publicly noted and commented upon, Celtic and the SPFL publicly called for there to be a full independent Legal inquiry into all that had transpired during “the EBT years” and all aspects of how what had occurred, impacted on football Governance in Scotland.

The SFA rejected those calls and instead insisted on their own internal inquiry into the UEFA licence process for 2011/2012 – despite previously insisting that there had never been anything to investigate or report to UEFA who had entrusted them with the administration of their Licensing process.

The SFA wrote to every club in Scotland to say they were undertaking that investigation and later publicly announced that as a result of that investigation they had uncovered sufficient evidence to justify bringing formal charges alleging breaches of both SFA and UEFA rules.

This despite denying for a number of years that there had been any need for an investigation and despite reassuring Celtic that their licensing process was robust, had been conducted properly, and had not resulted in any incorrect grant of a licence.

The SFA appointed a judicial panel to hear those charges, determine whether they had been proven or not and then to hand out an appropriate punishment.

That Judicial panel have ruled that legally they (the SFA appointed panel) and the SFA itself cannot bring, hear, determine and act on those charges, nor consider the activities of the football club concerned in any judicial forum, because apparently the SFA had previously decided and formally entered into a contract which says that the SFA will not, and cannot, administer their normal Governmental and Judicial function (which would normally apply to any other club in Scotland and at any other time in the history of the SFA or UEFA) in relation to the acts concerned and the specific football club in question.
Instead, the Panel ruled that the charges concerned should be considered by the Court of Arbitration for Sport as a matter of contract and law – and could not be considered by an SFA appointed panel.
In other words, it has been judicially determined that the SFA cannot as a matter of law enforce its own rules or those of UEFA in relation to one club, and have signed away their entire right to oversee proper football Governance and the implementation of SFA and UEFA rules in this instance.

Further, that contract must have been known to all the appropriate SFA officers who decided and took part in the inquiry that led to the SFA bringing the disciplinary charges – Stuart Reagan, Andrew MacKinlay and Tony McGlennan – and when the SFA rejected Celtic’s call for a fully independent inquiry.

In effect, those same officers mounted their own internal inquiry and brought proceedings which they knew, or ought reasonably to have known, which would end in a legal dead end.
Such a course of action amounts to professional incompetence on a monumental scale – at best!

Further, subsequent SFA officials, assured the officers of Celtic Football Club that following the decision of the Independent Judicial Panel there was no reason why the SFA would not take the matter to CAS and in turn used the officials of Celtic Football Club to relay that message to the Resolutioners in the knowledge, and with the intention, that Celtic PLC shareholders would rely on those assurances and would act accordingly. Those actions and those assurances should now be the subject of a wholly separate inquiry.

Since those assurances were made to Celtic officials, Solicitors acting on behalf of shareholders have written to the SFA on no less than three occasions requesting clarification on what the SFA is doing, whether or not the decision from the independent tribunal advising that the matter should go to CAS will be implemented, and requesting a proposed timetable when this will happen. All such letters have been ignored or avoided by the SFA.
Subsequently, the current CEO of the SFA has stated that whether or not the matter should go to CAS will only be determined prior to Christmas 2019 – some 18 months after the ruling by the independent judicial panel.
This position is a complete volte face from what the SFA told Celtic officials immediately after the 2018 panel hearing.

The conclusion to all of this can only be that the SFA is not fit for purpose and that the governance of Scottish football is so bad, so broken and so far removed from normal judicial and corporate business practice that it must be looked at by an independent body if the matter is not referred to CAS.

Further, all of this must be made public, must be out in the open and must be properly disclosed otherwise any future investment in any club whether by private individuals, stock market listed entities, banks, loan houses, credit houses or whatever is predicated on the wholly fraudulent notion that the SFA will consistently apply its own rules or those of UEFA.

Celtic, as a respected member of UEFA, should not and cannot, stand back and allow this shambolic governance to continue unchecked and without external examination as to do so would be doing a total disservice to UEFA, and such a course of action would potentially make Celtic a party to the entire shambolic administration we have seen thus far.

The resolutioners have stated consistently since 2012 that SFA governance is not fit for purpose and have requested that this entire matter should be referred to UEFA as the overall governing body for European football and as a footballing authority who has entrusted the SFA to oversee the fair application of its rules in Scotland.

Despite what is now accepted as continued and regular SFA failure, that request has met with obfuscation and resistance.

However persistence beats resistance and no matter what the outcome of the 2019 Celtic AGM this is an issue which will not go away and is worthy of consideration and determination in a more formal legal forum.

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About Trisidium

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.

1,006 thoughts on “Resolution 12 & The Broken Bond

  1. Sorry Ernie, not accepting that.  I also know that privately Duncan holds his own views re the newco.

    But he still clearly feels the need to publicly pacify their support in the political and sporting hotbed of discourse that is the Press and Journal Business Supplement.  I feel no such need and I fail to see the need for our club to do likewise.  What are they, perched in 2nd with ambition we can only dream of as they are, going to do?  Bother suing us? Are they fvgh!


    But I have my response ready to hand for the inevitable future circular asking us all to contribute to the Kingsford les elephant blanc.  Im afraid my interest has also been demoted and returned to the 4th Division.


    Sod em.  Sod em all.     

  2. Smugas. That’s exactly what I’m saying. It makes me cringe. 

  3. EJ

    Yes by domestic I meant something tailored to the Scottish football environment.

    A tightening up of the rules including club licensing might have saved Hearts from administration given the number of times they came in third place to Rangers during their ebt and unsustainable borrowing years when 2nd placed club got a CL place.

    Dont know the politics at play with FOH but dont see how they benefit from having no deterrent to unsustainable borrowing by main rivals unless it's a path they wish to follow.

  4. I will get to my point; but it may take some navigating.

    Alfredo’s ‘gesture’ is not up for debate in my opinion and there are parallels to be drawn with the definitive peripatetic of football, Paolo Di Canio, when he intimated his intention towards the No. 8 of the club that breathed back in the day. 

    The furore poured from the front, middle and back pages of the ‘usual suspects’. In fact, without exception,  all of the red tops and broadsheets descended and condemned. Not wishing to garner collective indulgence, I certainly indulged back in the day. But that was then and I suppose by my own admission and acknowledgement that ‘that WAS then’ and rightly times have moved on, I can’t help but compare. There was no press officer proffering excuses for the gesture nor was there a media buying into the buffalo sh*t. Di Canio was yellow carded and ultimately missed the next match as it constituted a red on account of an earlier booking. Furthermore, (allegedly) he was fined £12000 by his club in the aftermath. Arguably, rightly so. But not so for the buffalo, instead we’ve been encouraged to accept that his intimation was merely lost in translation. 

    Moving forward, albeit paradoxically backwards, there’s more. Artur Boruc once caused ‘outrageous’ controversy and suffered the wrath of the Crown Office and the entire world that is Scottish football, for a ritual blessing which has always* and remains a universal ritual amongst worldwide Christians and modern* day sportspersons. (Understated with brevity for the purpose my post). 

    And here we are. On balance and in all fairness, Morelos should not be judged on the past, because the past is too dark to be revisited. He should be given a spanking and a further game ban. I’ll settle for that alongside an acknowledgement from his club. 

    But then, what of Griffith’s crime of littering? Let’s get the Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal to administer a fixed penalty of £80 and be done. That for me would satisfy precedent, just like the way they would penalise the rest of ‘us’. 



  5. Auldheid 25th January 2020 at 00:30

    A tightening up of the rules including club licensing might have saved Hearts from administration given the number of times they came in third place to Rangers during their ebt and unsustainable borrowing years when 2nd placed club got a CL place.


    I don't blame anyone other than Hearts for their financial collapse. Any rules limiting spending or losses would have needed to have been in place from the 1990s to prevent what happened to them. Any Hearts footballing achievements during the "EBT years" need to put in the context of them spending beyond their means in much the same way as Rangers did.   

    Hearts slide into administration started back in 1998 under the chairmanship of Chris Robinson, when they were sucked into borrowing more and more. In 1997 Hearts had net debt of £1.9m and a sustainable wages to turnover ratio of 58%. By the time the club was sold to Romanov in 2005, the net debt had been ramped up to £21.5m and the wages/turnover ratio had peaked at 94%  as early as 2002.   Administration was inevitable even then. Only the timing of it was uncertain.

    Romanov continued the unsustainable spending and wages with the net debt peaking at £36.1m and the wages/turnover ratio peaking at 126%. However he did have the means (almost certainly illegal) to sustain the spending by DFE swaps and loan forgiveness amounting to £40m between 2005 and 2011. As a result, the net debt had "only" gone up to £26.2m when the club finally went into administration in 2013. 

  6. From the foreword (by Aleksander Čeferin) to the recently released Club Licensing Benchmarking Report Financial Year 2018, 

    "The data in this report and other research by our new intelligence centre helps to inform our decision-making and, therefore, the report highlights a number of threats to continued European football stability and success. These include the risks of globalisation fuelled revenue polarisation, of a fragmenting media landscape, and of cases of overdependence on transfer activity revenue. The report also shows that European club football is strong, united and resilient, and I am certain that European football can and will overcome these challenges and others just as successfully as it dealt with the threat of spiralling losses in the recent past."

    Sadly, no mention of the threat posed by fundamentally dishonest national associations such as I believe the SFA to be, as demonstrated by its complicity in propagating a monstrous ( and ludicrous) sporting deception, and perhaps also in consequence supporting a huge financial fraud.

    Bearing in mind that the miserable receipts from TV money that the SPFL can get , which means that clubs are dependent on the clicking of turnstiles,  I would think that the absolute priority for the SFA should be the restoration of governance integrity and honesty by;

    letting an independent investigation take place into how and why CW's 'Rangers' were awarded a UEFA Competitions licence in spite of evidence that they were absolutely not entitled to such award 

    declaring once and for all that 'RFC of 1872 in Liquidation' [ slyly renamed as RFC 2012] is not a member of  any league and is not, and has not been, participating in Scottish Football since October 2012,

    and apologising to us all for having been such liars.

    Honest sporting competition one can happily support and pay for.

    But who is going to subscribe to a rotten sport, governed by chicanery and malpractice?

    And who would give a tuppenny toss for any 'sporting' achievement that was obtained by a fiction or by 'arrangement' made by venal, unprincipled men.

  7. I note that yesterday  " The FCA confirmed in a statement that Christopher Woolard will serve as interim CEO while the HM Treasury prepares to begin its search for a permanent successor to former chief Bailey."

    Well, I hope that Mr Woolard (although he's already part of the furniture and has been for 6 years) will get his correspondence unit to attend to the very basics: like fecking well simply acknowledging mail!

    Naturally, replying to a letter/email takes more time. 

    I wonder whether I might reasonably chase up my 'complaint' , acknowledged on 02 December 2019, now that almost 8 weeks have passed?  

    One of four possibilities arises

    my emails have been junked, put in the bin without a second glance


    the FCA is so snowed under by complaints of various kinds from companies upset by their processes or decisions that my 'complaint' about them themselves possibly having been in breach of their statutory duty is away at the back of the pile [indicating a poor capacity to sift and prioritise the mail]


    it has been passed to someone who doesn't know what the heck to do with it and just hopes it's from a crank and it'll go away.[I have been that guy who hopes , not the crank!]broken heart


    someone has actually looked at what I say are the facts and may actually be trying to assess whether the Prospectus was , in their judgment, misleading


    has looked at it and decided that ,yes, it was misleading and ought never to have been authorised , but so what, brother?Feck off!

    I'm offering no odds on which scenario is likely to be accurate!

    But given the Christmas and New Year break, I'll wait another week before I ask for an update. 

    But I will ask. And will keep asking until I get a reasoned reply. The FCA may not be 'civil service', but they are answerable ultimately to Parliament- and us. 

    And, of course and more importantly, to the Law.

    It would be a monstrous thing if the Financial Conduct Authority had so far failed in the discharge of its statutory duties as to allow a plc to go to the market on a deliberately misleading prospectus, wouldn't it?



  8. easyJambo 26th January 2020 at 01:44

    I seem to recall posters claiming that the email was deliberately sent when Celtic's representative Eric Reilly was on holiday and if a negative reply was not sent within 24 hours then agreement was assumed.

  9. Lawwell: a fox in the chicken coop?


    When I got hooked on the RTC site back in 2011, it was all about “Sporting Integrity”: wanting justice to prevail and trying to somehow ensure that business interests didn’t trump the long established rules and regulations around Scottish football.


    Would it not be an absolute sickener – IF – it transpires that  Lawwell had been a willing participant – to support a continuation Rangers and to willingly look the other way when it came to Hampden making it up as they went along?

    …and a willing participant – and on behalf of the club – prepared to ignore Sporting Integrity?


    Hopefully, the whole truth will eventually come out about ALL the shady goings on around Hampden in 2011/12 in particular – and what the officers of my own club did during this period WRT accommodating the Ibrox club.

    I’m also guessing that Lawwell will be long retired if/when the whole truth comes out.

  10. stevieBC

    most of the fans won't care as long as celtic keep winning the league,should TRFC win the league this season there will be nowhere for lawell to hide,you will suddenly have tens of thousands getting interested,just my opinion

  11. There can be no 'shaking of hands and reconciliation' with the SFA, SPFL or Celtic plc while there are  lies at the very heart of their joint efforts to 'save' Rangers of 1872.

    They did not save Rangers. Rangers are In Liquidation (in spite, perhaps, of a much earlier lie to give them unentitled monies).

    Instead they shamefully betrayed all notion of governance integrity and cobbled up a ridiculous fantasy.

    First, let the lies of 2011/2012 be confessed openly and contritely, and let corrective measures be put in place, and then we can talk about 'moving forward', the bastar.s!

  12. " the bastar.s"

    Mrs C and I have just had a delightful Skype session  of  an hour and a half's duration with the son and family in Oz. 

    And throughout I was thinking: what must it be like for those who manufactured the big lie to know how much they are despised as betrayers of their offices of Trust? 

    They wear a badge of shame, an indelible badge, that puts them in the same category as those whose football cheating caused the death of Rangers of 1872.

    To be forever remembered as liars and perverters of truth in sport while being the very governors and regulators of a sport is a dreadful legacy to leave one's grandchildren.

    I know it would freak me out!

    Maybe I should have said "poor bastar.s!" having to live with that shame for the rest of their dishonourable lives.

  13. John Clark 27th January 2020 at 00:42

    In truth, John, these people do not know what shame is. It is a mistake good and honest people make to think that bad and dishonest people suffer from the conscience and self awareness that is required to feel shame.

    Pity them not.

  14. Rangers liquidators rack up £5m fees as creditors offered 3p in the pound
    The liquidators of “oldco” Rangers have racked up fees of more than £5million while long-suffering creditors were offered just 3p in the pound.

    BDO sent a confidential letter to creditors informing them of the charges.

    The firm claimed another £282,212 for the period between July 2018 and last November, excluding VAT, with a further £5399 in outlays.

    That means the firm has earned a staggering £5,081,275 between October 31, 2012, and November 1 for its work processing oldco’s assets.
    We told last month how much creditors due a payment received after Glasgow-based BDO secured releases totalling £3.24million from assets.

    The interim dividend would only pay out 3p for every £1 owed.

    The club went into liquidation in 2012 following the disastrous buyout by disgraced former owner Craig Whyte.

    In December, BDO said it had around £30million in assets in oldco Rangers which were owed to a host of creditors.

    BDO also warned they “do not expect to be in a position to bring this case to a conclusion for some considerable time”, giving them time to earn more.

    Creditors have been given the right to appeal against the fees within 14 days but face launching a case at the Court of Session in Edinburgh if they want to challenge it.

    BDO said the new fees had been approved by the Creditors’ Committee.
    The taxman is oldco Rangers biggest creditor but millions were owed when the club went bust to “trade creditors”, ranging from giants such as Coca-Cola to a face-painting business owner due £40.

    The financial meltdown of the club in 2012 – with debts of £134million – sparked a string of legal actions.
    By 2017, big legal firms had received payments of £9.2million for their work.

    Whyte, 49, bought Rangers from Sir David Murray for £1 in 2011.

    In 2017 he was cleared of taking over the club by fraud after a seven-week trial.
    The club went into liquidation in 2012 following the disastrous buyout by disgraced former owner Craig Whyte.
    The Club went into Liquidation… Thats a bit off message for the Record.

  15. Ballyargus


    i believe the Reilly holiday issue (which sounds as pathetic now writing it as it did hearing it then) was over the release of the LNS findings the following February(ish) AFCs Duncan Fraser expressed concern that they seemed to miss the point somewhat but appeared to be over ruled.


    and I’m not having a go at Eric personally for having a holiday.  But you seriously expect me to believe that CFC would take the view re LNS, possibly the single biggest issue faced by the Club (beating in mind they claim not to have seen the 5WA) and thought “ach it’ll wait till Eric gets back!”



  16. Smugas' post directly above ended with the word "Seriously!". Mine starts with the same word but needs extra exclamation marks. After the infamous 80-minute league table, here is the DR showing more desperation in their efforts to placate the TRFC fans by showing Rangers* at the top of a league table….any league table. Haha.

  17. Nawlite@12.12

    A truly pathetic sop for those not wishing to acknowledge the actual result from Tynecastle on Sunday.

    What is truly significant is that Jordan Jones and Brandon Barker are up for sale. It is surprising that Jones is for sale given he arrived at Ibrox with such a fanfare barely 6 months ago. In the words of the song “money’s too tight to mention” especially on ClydeSSB who analysed every aspect of the Hearts game on Sunday without looking at the bleedin’ obvious that Rangers do not have enough depth in their squad and cannot afford to bring in anyone. What also may or may not be important is that Gary McAllister took the press conference today.

  18. Ex Ludo

    apparently slippy g was in barcelona with a morelos DVD,unconfirmed

  19. Cluster One 27th January 2020 at 21:38


    Much of the information in the Record article was available from BDO’s Report to Creditors that was published in December.

    I don’t know how the Record could claim that BDO had £30m in assets in December.

    They have had £30m go through their books since 2012 (£24m came from the Collyer Bristow insurers), but most of that has gone in their own fees, and other legal and professional fees.  Very little has gone to the creditors of the Club.

    From the December report

    BDO fees £4.7m
    BDO expenses £64k
    BDO pre liquidation fees £191k
    BDO’s own legal fees £4.7m

    Pre Liquidation legal costs (Ticketus) £130k
    Other legal costs (Ticketus) £25k
    Legal fees (CB escrow A/C case) £48k
    HMRS share (CB escrow A/C case) £86k
    No win no fee cost (CB insurers case) £5.4m
    Legal fees (Administrators case) £258k
    Counsel costs (EBT case) £356k
    Supreme Court legal costs (EBT) £240k

    Valuers fees £190k
    Litigation insurance £572k
    Deed of indemnity £189k
    Other professional costs £284k

    That’s over £17.4m gone to “professional services”. 

    In contrast only £4.4m has gone to creditors to date, £962k of which went to Wavetower in their recent settlement.

    After HMRC agreed to reduce their claim and a large number of debenture holders declined to pursue their claims, the Creditors pot currently sits at £7.4m. I wouldn’t expect all of that to end up in the creditors hands though.

    Had BDO not received anything from from the Collyer Bristow insurers, then I suspect that BDO would have chosen to dissolve the Club long before now.  While cash remains in the creditors pot, BDO will continue to suck until the well is dry.  




  20. I made a post about Hibs, Ron Gordon and HSL (Hibs fans investment vehicle) yesterday evening. It turns out that the post was lost when the website swapped servers. Big Pink is unable to recover the post very easily so I will repost what I can remember of it (just for the record).

    Some of you will know that I have an interest in Scottish football finances generally and not just TRFC and Hearts.

    The background to this post is that, up until Ron Gordon took over Hibs last summer, HSL had been taking monthly pledges from its membership (2,400 members) with the cash going to the football club in return for new shares. HSL held 18.8% of the club's shares immediately before the takeover.

    Ron Gordon takeover involved the purchase of the HFC Holdings stake in the club (90% owned by Sir Tom Farmer and 10% by Rod Petrie), but he was also able to purchase the remaining shares that had been allotted but not yet paid for, having originally been earmarked for future purchase by HSL.  That gave RG a controlling stake of 67% of the club, however the second part of the purchase had the effect of diluting HSL's holding down to 15.4%

    On Saturday, HSL issued an email to it's membership following communication with the club as to the way forward. The email contained this paragraph:

    I am now writing to you today to confirm that we have received a letter from the Club regarding the potential purchase of Shares. They have advised that “the Board is content with the balance of share ownership and will not approve the further sale or purchase of shares’’. This means that we are unable to acquire any shares from the Club or existing shareholders.  

     The decision not to issue any new shares to HSL is not a surprise as it would dilute Ron Gordon's stake.  However, the decision not to approve the future sale or transfer of existing shares (to HSL) is quite unusual and, to me, shows a lack of respect towards the fans.

    Ron Gordon is within his rights to instruct the Board not to approve the transfer of shares (as per their Articles of Association).  I understand why he wants to prevent HSL increasing its stake in the club towards a possible 25%  "blocking" stake, but it is equally within Ron Gordon's capability of making an offer to other shareholders in order to increase his stake from 67% to 75% , thereby giving him full control over key decisions involving the club or its assets.

    It seems he wants unfettered control of the club without going the extra mile and paying for that right.

    The rest of the email to HSL members invites them to continue to pledge cash to go to the club, but with nothing given in return.  That will be a matter for the individual HSL pledgers to decide if they are happy with that arrangement.

    The Hibs accounts are also due out in the next few days, so it will be interesting to see what cash Ron Gordon has actually injected into the club either through equity or in the form of loans. 

  21. Easyjambo@17.39

    A very interesting if somewhat depressing tale of sharp business practice. Are you aware if this was a leveraged buy-out in the American way and Hibs will end up saddled with a mountain of debt like MAN U? I note Mr Gordon was once the President of Atari, maybe he likes games?

  22. easyJambo 28th January 2020 at 16:53



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    Cluster One 27th January 2020 at 21:38


    Much of the information in the Record article was available from BDO’s Report to Creditors that was published in December.

    I don’t know how the Record could claim that BDO had £30m in assets in December.
    Thanks for clarification.
    Now about the Records claim that the club went into Liquidation;-)

  23. Ex Ludo 28th January 2020 at 18:32


    A very interesting if somewhat depressing tale of sharp business practice. Are you aware if this was a leveraged buy-out in the American way and Hibs will end up saddled with a mountain of debt like MAN U? I note Mr Gordon was once the President of Atari, maybe he likes games?


    I think that it reflects more on my distrust of any new owner until they demonstrate by their actions that they are working in the best interests of the club.

    In Hibs case the jury is probably still out. He apparently paid off the circa £2.9m balance of the outstanding mortgage to Sir Tom Farmer, which is to the benefit of the club in terms of reducing their ongoing costs. Beyond that, his purchase of the unissued shares put £3.5m into the club's coffers. It's not clear if both transactions were new money or whether one was used to pay off the other.  The accounts should tell us one way or another.

    He took out securities over the club's assets, so I assume that he has provided at least some funds as loans to the club. Again we need to wait for the accounts. 

    If it is all new money and there is evidence of him doing things in a positive way, then good luck to him, the club and their fans (results excepted mail)


  24. easyJambo @ 17.39


    Yes  and I lost a wee comment on your post.(still can't access  via pc,so am reduced to trying to use my phone)

    Surely HSL must have considered the possibility of RG doing exactly that??

     I ask that because not being well versed in these matters I was surprised to learn that a shareholder in a private company cannot sell his shares unless the board agrees

    But surely HSL would have had professional expert advice. They had no promises (I think)  that the club would move to fan ownership , but they must have planned on getting a blocking power?






  25. That's me in through the 'log in' button on the SFM podcast page! I kept getting warnings not to, when I tried to log in on the current blog page-I sought advice and was told to 'clear cache'.[ That is like me saying to someone who hasn't done Greek  ' I would just use the aorist  in the middle voice, and put the main verb in the pluperfect. And remember it's eimi sum, not eimi ibo.']

    Mrs C who worked with computers in 1967 first switched from Edge to Firefox to see if that would solve the problem. It didn't.

    Then she cleared ( she thought) the cache in each in turn. But still the warnings came up on both!

    So I used my phone, but thick fingers make it a pain to write  comment. 

    So I'm quite pleased with myself that I thought of using another SFM page! 

    ( It makes me think  that the Americans might be wrong in their opposition to the UK going with Huawei!)


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