Scottish Football: An Honest Game, Honestly Governed?

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Nowoldandgrumpy says: April 1, 2014 at 1:03 pm Not sure if anyone …

Comment on Scottish Football: An Honest Game, Honestly Governed? by ecobhoy.

nowoldandgrumpy says:
April 1, 2014 at 1:03 pm

Not sure if anyone has seen this or commented upon it.

http://www.lse.co.uk/shareChat.asp?page=1&ShareTicker=RFC&1#8733882

Blue Pitch Holdings and Margarita Trust are connected to the Abela family from Lebanon via the Barbel C Abela Trust (Abela Jnr’s mum) and family lawyer Mazen Houssami. The main reason they want to keep their involvement secret is a certain conviction for fraudulent bankruptcy involving a catering firm in Italy. The fact that Rangers officials are scared to even mention the name Abela speaks volumes. The millions of pounds that have evaporated from the club are the “legacy issues” that the current Chief Executive speaks of. Is it not time that the board at Ibrox began to tell the full truth about what has gone on here?

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Yea but the day before a Bear investor posted on LSE:

Blue Pitch holdings is headed by a named individual Arif Naqvi of a company called Abraah Capital. Think of them as a middle-eastern based Laxey type of company. They have more of a sleeping partner type interest in TRFC. The difference between them and Laxey is that Laxey have been involved in some key decisions while Blue Pitch have given their proxy votes to the Easdales and let him represent them on the board. Think Laxey, but without the drama hassle.

No outsider actually knows who is behind Blue Pitch, Margarita and other shareholders – most of whom were the original investors who invested in Sevco 5088 – as they are hidden behind nominees. I wouldn’t even bet that anyone on the current Board knows their identity.

So they have been there from the beginning and are still there – but what is their plan?

I did several pieces on Naqvi on scotslawthoughts as did Paul himself and I think it’s fair to say that both of us strongly suspected that Naqvi had been an original investor but got out and there are two possible reasons both of which might have come into play.

Firstly that Green had initially promised the original investors they would be paid-off in cash but this was changed to be handed shares and this deal was sweetened by them getting shares at 1p. However the argument goes that Naqvi told Green to stuff it and cough-up the cash as agreed and that because of his financial and political muscle Green had to comply and Naqvi departed.

There is also the fact that Naqvi – who is very careful of his reputation – had become worried about the adverse publicity which was being generated involving Rangers and decided to distance himself and cashed-in his chips. I emailed him several times, emailed his bank’s PR department and emailed his personal lawyer in Switzerland to try and clarify the issue but total silence was the loud reply.

One piece I did might prove interesting and it deals with Orlit supposedly introducing Naqvi to Green as a potential Rangers investor as well as Green’s smoke and mirror approach to whether Naqvi was an investor or not. Green’s statement was carried on the Rangers official website from memory although I can’t remember if it was ever published on AIM.

http://scotslawthoughts.wordpress.com/2013/02/07/ecojon-on-the-greenmcmurdo-discrepancy-and-mr-naqvis-investment-in-rangers/#more-3025

ecobhoy Also Commented

Scottish Football: An Honest Game, Honestly Governed?
Yesterday’s postings might help.
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Angus1983 says:
April 1, 2014 at 9:42 am

The Herald reporting that Jim Spence has been cleared by the BBC Trust following complaints by Rangers fans over his “club that died” comments way back when.

Not got access to full story on Herald website, perhaps someone else has?

I’m wondering particularly what the justification for clearing his name was … that the club did in fact die, perhaps?
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ecobhoy says:
March 31, 2014 at 8:54 am
Danish Pastry says:
March 31, 2014 at 7:24 am

Saw some twitter comments on the Jim Spence story from last year. Apparently, BBC Trust ruling in favour of Sportsound and Jim.

Did I miss this on here? Otherwise pages 73-79 of link below (carried by @scotzine a few days ago). End of story. A stramash in a tea cup — but for personal and professional bother caused to Jim Spence!

Click to access jan.pdf


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Well Spotted Danish!

Well the petty complaint of the ‘easily offended’ was booted ootra park as was expected.

I never cease to be amazed at the energy PR-led Bears expend on attacking all and sundry who attempt to comment fairly on their club and wonder if this is part of a ploy to create and deepen the ‘victim mentality’ amongst the Rangers support to convince them that every hand is turned against them so they have to hang together.

All this organisation and email campaigning which have now spread to the EC and yet this swatch of fans appear to have no problems or views on how their club is being run and seem to be oblivious to imminent financial disaster.

I often wonder whether they actually are Bears or just an anonymous ‘boiler-room’ operation run by operatives working to a script.

It’s certainly evident this ‘movement’ is active online on a minority of ‘fan’ websites and tiny support groups where no discussion that question the club management is brooked and anyone doing so is immediately labelled as ‘Timmy’ and ostracised.

I seem to remember Salvation Army founder General Booth observed something like: ‘Why should the Devil have all the best tunes?’. I feel perhaps if Bears had listened to some of the early ‘Timmy-style’ warnings and adopted them they might not be currently facing such a precarious financial future.

However the BBC report is well worth a read and clearly demolishes the orchestrated complaint campaign and I would have loved to have been a fly on the wall while they were reading all those ‘reasonable’ complaint emails 😆

However there is one thing in the Beeb report I find especially interesting when the senior adviser states she did not believe that:

‘Taking account, of the subject and nature of the content and the likely audience expectation, listeners would have been misled by the use of the word ‘club’ rather than the word ‘company’.

IMO she either doesn’t understand what has happened within the Rangers support or diplomatically decided not to travel that road for fear of sparking a further flood of complaints from the ‘easily annoyed’.

Sadly I believe that most supporters genuinely haven’t got a clue when it comes to differentiating between RIFC, TRFCL, Rangers and ‘Club’ and whether ‘club’ changes depending on the context viz whether speaking of TRFCL or RIFC. Indeed I doubt if many fans fully understand or are aware of the relationship between RIFC and TRFCL.

And this failure in comprehension isn’t solely the fault of the fans as they have been deliberately fed a diet of smoke and mirrors and bullshit to keep them dumbed-down and not asking awkward questions. Sadly, just about every one of their fan ‘leaders’ played along with this deception possibly in hope that a blue blazer might come winging their way.

Recently some of the new kids on the block are starting to seriously question and challenge the incumbents and flex the muscles of ‘fan power’. There’s a long way to go as they have to break an almost life-long addiction of many Bears to the ‘sugar’ fed to them by money burning glory-seekers.

But who knows? We certainly live in interesting times 🙄


Scottish Football: An Honest Game, Honestly Governed?
FIFA says:
April 1, 2014 at 3:01 am

There are a lot more questions still to be asked before the rest of the pieces will be overturned and its not going to be good for some or any of the faces on it and when they are revealed they should be made to pay for their crimes, and I mean crimes .
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In BDO I Trust. Let’s hope it isn’t misplaced. I know they, if anyone, have the ability to uncover the truth and they also have the courage but whether the powers that be will allow them to cut to the bone is another issue.


Scottish Football: An Honest Game, Honestly Governed?
Para Handy says:
March 31, 2014 at 1:08 pm

As for advances in desktop publishing being the model, look at what it has done to the media and I include all types of publishing in that. Another area where new, cheap technology has had an impact in terms of access to production tools and the market is music and there we can see that many have gone out of business as not only can they not compete with individuals, online start ups, etc., but the whole business model has been radically altered and not in favour of anyone other than the already rich media companies who managed to adapt which has led to more control being in the hands of less.
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Lots of what you say I either agree with and I recognise many of the difficulties you flag-up but if we sit and do nothing I have no doubt that football in Scotland will slowly collapse in terms of fielding full-time teams.

And part of that is that other sports, including many news ones, have or are adapting to new media and the younger generations are drawn by the inter-reaction that is taking place between them and the sport they are either watching or involved in.

However I would say that I wasn’t proposing desktop publishing as the model but more referring to it as an earlier wave of new technology which radically altered the media landscape both in terms of the printing and actual production of printed publications.

What I was trying to say was that I believe that internet-based TV – especially with community/special interest – will completely revolutionise many areas of the media, sport and other fields. And you are correct that those with money will make the most of the opportunities which arise but that has been the nature of capitalism since the Luddites were swept aside.

We must never forget the hundreds of thousands of jobs that have been created through desktop publishing with many small companies companies being formed in media and allied professions which have grown enormously. This technology growth has continued with the steady rise of online internet news companies whether individuals or small groups of like-minded people have enormously expanded the range of alternative news available to the public.

I don’t see desktop publishing as a negative factor, as you seem to, because in removing home publishing from the letraset era it meant many printers and publishers who charged enormous rates were unable to compete. The rates charged weren’t just down to profit but because of the very high wages paid and the cost of equipment which the gifted amateur in his garret wasn’t subject to.

However it wasn’t desktop publishing that did for newspaper publishing IMO. Obviously the new technology era ushered-in by Eddie Shah at ‘Today’ and followed-up by Murdoch and the breaking of the print unions had a major part to play in changing the landscape. It’s something which I have seldom seen commented on but Scotland didn’t go through the same kind of Wapping Upheaval because there wasn’t the same barriers to introducing technological change and it was coming in although slowly prior to Wapping.

Although the print unions were strong in Scotland they didn’t match the power wielded by them down south where they dictated to the newspaper management and owners. New technology provided the solution to breaking that power.

There are many reasons as to why newspapers have collapsed but I view one of the major factors as failing to attract new customers/readers and the loss of existing readers which was accelerated by the useless journalism on offer as wages were cut and professional were cleared-out to be replaced by – well I think it best that I don’t dwell on the lack of ability of the replacements as it depresses me.

As to the music industry that is a complex area but from my little knowledge of it it seems to me that a major problem for musicians has always been the difficulty in enforcing copyright and in many ways that has become harder in recent years.

However the revolution that happened and the free internet file transfers that followed were always going to happen and the only way probably to control that was through the Big Boys getting involved to protect their revenue. I still think that the cheapeness and ease of producing music has created an explosion in terms of creating tunes, lyrics and performers. Some will make money and be more in contrrol of their destiny than they ever were in the bad old days when the Record Label was as big a bogeyman as the Press Barons.

One thing I have learnt about life is that it constantly changes and evolves and old skills disappear and it’s necessary to inculcate an aptitude to continually adapt to changing circumstances – there are very few jobs for life these days.


Recent Comments by ecobhoy

Did Stewart Regan Ken Then Wit We Ken Noo?
jimmci says:
April 24, 2015 at 1:50 pm

And why did we not get the panel’s reasoning together with the decision last night?
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Simples ❗ The Decision was the easy bit 😆 The explanation to sell it was the hard bit and despite a nightshift they appear to have fluffed their lines AGAIN 🙄


Did Stewart Regan Ken Then Wit We Ken Noo?
Allyjambo says:
April 24, 2015 at 2:18 pm

Might I suggest that SD’s main interest in this meeting was to put the RIFC board straight on some matters regarding the security over the IP and just how watertight it is, rather than to discuss funding or any ‘amicable’ discussion how best to move the club forward!
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You might be right but would SD want the club suffering another Insolvency Event? Perhaps they were asking for the second loan tranche of £5 million which the new board apparently rejected on taking control.

I have undernoted a reply I made to parttimearab last night which may have been missed but may also be relevant.

3. Insolvency events

(i) The inability of the Company to pay its debts as they fall due within the meaning of section 123 of the Insolvency Act 1986 (the “Act”);
(ii) The issue of an application for an administration order or a notice of intention to appoint an administrator in relation to the Company;
(iii) The passing of a resolution or order for the Company’s winding-up, dissolution, administration or reorganisation;
(iv) The declaration of a moratorium in relation to any of the Company’s indebtedness;
(v) The making of any arrangement or any proposal for any arrangement with any of the Company’s creditors; and
(vi) The appointment of a liquidator, receiver, administrator, supervisor or other similar officer in respect of any of the Company’s assets.

Now I haven’t a clue whether that has anything to do with the SPFL Rule Change. But it’s clear that there could be various stages in an Insolvency Event and perhaps the rule change is to cover all eventualities which might not have been previously defined in the Rule Book.

In particular I look at:

(vi) The appointment of a liquidator, receiver, administrator, supervisor or other similar officer in respect of any of the Company’s assets.

And I think of the various charges which have been placed on Rangers assets wrt the £5 million loan. I have previously posted that the contracts wrt a Default Event could see the assets pass to SportsDirect without any court hearing and SD also already has the power to appoint a Receiver to deal with any of the assets that pass to it via a loan default event.

Now that might not ultimately lead to a full-blown Insolvency depending on what SD actually decide to do with Rangers. But looking at the above I wonder whether with the SPFL rule change that just taking control of the assets is enough to be classed as an Insolvency Event under SPFL Rules?

Perhaps the SPFL are thinking ahead ?

But does the rule take effect immediately or from the new season?

It seems that if it is immediate and Rangers suffers an Insolvency Event then that would be an automatic 25 points this season and 15 next season. Assuming it is able to survive death a second time.


Did Stewart Regan Ken Then Wit We Ken Noo?
Resin_lab_dog says:
April 24, 2015 at 12:10 pm
ecobhoy says:
April 24, 2015 at 12:00 pm
blu says:
April 24, 2015 at 11:40 am
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From what I saw, all criticisms emanating from ICTFC was directed towards the SFA machinery and not towards CFC. Similarly, I have seen no evidence of any criticism of ICTFC being put forward by CFC. I see that fact as quite telling.

Celtic were quite entitled to make all the statements they made and had the boot been on the other foot, in the circumstances I am sure KC at ICTFC would have done likewise.

Similarly, had the situtaions been reversed w.r.t. the foul, I would have expected CFC to back their player robsutly in the same way that ICTFC did.

This is about governance of the sport, not internecine disagreements between member clubs – for which I am yet to see any cause advanced from either party.
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Couldn’t agree more!


Did Stewart Regan Ken Then Wit We Ken Noo?
blu says:
April 24, 2015 at 11:40 am

My view is that Celtic played this one wrong (only in the public nature of it)and it was easy for media outlets to infer cause and effect in the Celtic/Compliance Officer actions.
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There is some merit in your view IMO. However there’s a balancing act to be achieved which requires an answer to what the officials saw, didn’t see, or decided or didn’t decide on Sunday.

All I heard in the ground, leaving the ground, on the train, in the pub, was real anger and disbelief at the decision which worsened with the TV replays.

I do think Celtic fans were due an explanation and tbf to Celtic I doubt if they could have forseen what an absolute hash the SFA would make of it. Obviously the SMSM has ridden to the rescue of the SFA so what’s new about that?

But we’re still awaiting the answers requested. Will we get them? Not without keeping the pressure on the SFA on all fronts where Hampden’s dark secrets exist.


Did Stewart Regan Ken Then Wit We Ken Noo?
Gabby says:
April 24, 2015 at 10:18 am

If Celtic really, really felt they needed to send a letter, then this is the type of thing they should have sent…
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I disagree as the letter you suggest goes way beyond the immediate point which is simply: ‘Please explain how the decision was arrived at’. I say decision because when Celic sent the letter it seemed there had been no decision reached but that the incident had been ‘missed’ by all officials.

Once the SFA provide that info then Celtic can make a decision as to if and how it should proceed with the matter.

My credo in a situation like this is not to give any leeway to a slippery character or room for manoeuvre. Ask the straight simple question and take it from there once the basic position is established.

Never jump fences too soon and never ever jump fences you don’t need to especially if you don’t know what lies in wait on the other side.


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