Spot the difference?


Spot the difference?

Good Afternoon.

Announcing outstanding financial successes for Rangers PLC the then Chairman of the club opened his Chairman’s report in the annual financial statements with the following words:

“Last summer I explained that the Club, after many years of significant investment in our playing squad
and more recently in our state of the art facility at Murray Park, had embarked on a three year business
plan to stabilise and improve the Club’s finances. The plan also recognised the need to react to the
challenging economic conditions facing football clubs around the world.

Following a trend over a number of years of increasing year on year losses, I am pleased to report that
in the first year of this plan we have made important progress by reversing this trend. Our trading loss
for last year of £11.2m reflects a £7.9m improvement versus the £19.1m loss for the previous year and
although it will take more time to completely reach our goals, this is a key milestone. We also intend to
make significant further progress by the end of the current financial year. This improvement is the
consequence of having a solid strategy and the commitment and energy to implement the changes it requires”

Later on in the same statement the chairman would add:

“Another key part of our plan is associated with the Rangers brand and our Retail Division goes from strength to strength. Our financial results this year have been significantly enhanced by an outstanding performance in merchandising Rangers products, in particular replica kit, which makes our Retail Division one of the most successful in Europe.”

In the same set of financial reports, the CEO would report:

“To further strengthen Rangers hospitality portfolio, a new dedicated sponsor’s lounge was unveiled this season. The Carling Lounge is a first for the Club and was developed in conjunction with our new sponsor, Carling. ”


“Our innovative events programme continues to grow and this year saw a record number of official events including the highly successful annual Hall of Fame Awards Ceremony, Player of the Year and 50 Championships Gala Dinner, all of which catered for up to 1000 guests.

At Rangers, we continually develop our portfolio of products and as a key area of income for the Club, we evaluate the market for new revenue opportunities on an ongoing basis in order to exceed our existing and potential customer expectations and needs.

Demand for season tickets reached an all time high last season with a record 42,508 season ticket holders in comparison with the previous season`s figure of 40,320. Over 36,000 of these season ticket holders renewed for this season – a record number.

For the new season, we are delighted to welcome brewing giant, Carling on board as our Official Club sponsor. Carling is one of the UK’s leading consumer brands with a proven track record in football sponsorship.
The Club also continues to work with a number of multinational blue chip brands such as National Car Rental, Sony Playstation 2, Bank of Scotland and Coca-Cola. This year, we will also experience the evolution of the Honda deal via Hyndland Honda and welcome the mobile communications giant T-Mobile to our ranks.”.

The year was 2003 and in the previous 24 months Rangers Football Club, owned and operated as a private fiefdom by Sir David Murray, had made operational losses of some £30 million.


Of course the chairman’s report for 2003 was written by John F Mclelland CBE and the CEO was one Martin Bain Esq.

As Mr Mclelland clearly stated, by 2003 the club already had a trend of increasing year on year losses covering a number of years and was losing annual sums which stretched into millions, if not tens of millions, of pounds.

However, the acquisition of Rangers Football Club was absolutely vital to David Murray’s personal business growth, and his complete control of the club as his own private business key was more important than any other business decision he had made before buying Rangers or since.

When he persuaded Gavin Masterton to finance 100% of the purchase price of the club, Murray had his finest business moment.

By getting control of Rangers, Murray was able to offer entertainment, hospitality, seeming privilege and bestow favour on others in a way that was hitherto undreamed of, and he bestowed that largesse on any number of “existing and potential clients” and contacts – be they the clients and contacts related to Rangers Football Club or the existing and potential clients of David Murray, his businesses, his banks, or anyone in any field that he chose to court for the purposes of potential business.

His business.

It wasn’t only journalists who benefited from the succulent lamb treatment.

Accountants,lawyers, surveyors, broadcasters, football officials, people in industry and construction, utilities, financiers and other areas of business were all invited inside the sacred House of Murray and given access to the great man of business “and owner of Rangers” while attending the “record number of official (hospitality) events”.

Twelve months on from when John McLelland made those statements in the 2003 accounts, David Murray was back in the chair at Ibrox and he presented the 2004 financials.

In the intervening 12 months Rangers had gained an additional £10 million from Champions League income and had received £8.6 million in transfer fees from the sale of Messrs Ferguson, Amoruso and McCann. Not only that, the Rangers board had managed to reduce the club’s wage bill by £5 million. Taking all three figures together comes to some £23.6 million in extra income or savings.

Yet, the accounts for 2004 showed that the club made an operational loss of almost £6 million and overall debt had risen by an additional £7 million to £97.4 million.

However, the 2004 accounts were also interesting for another reason.

Rangers PLC had introduced payments “to employees trusts” into their accounts for the first time in 2001 and in that year they had paid £1million into those trusts. Just three years later, the trust payments recorded in the accounts had risen to £7.3 million per annum — or to put it another way to 25% of the annual wage bill though no one in Scottish Football asked any questions about that!

By the following year, the chairman announced that the 2004 operational loss had in fact been £10.4million but that the good news was that the 2005 operational loss was only £7.8 million. However Rangers were able to post a profit before taxation if they included the money obtained from transfers (£8.4 million) and the inclusion of an extraordinary profit of £14,999,999 made on buying back the shares of a subsidiary company for £1 which they had previously sold for £15 million.

All of which added up to a whopping great profit of ……… £12.4 million!

I will leave you to do the maths on 2005.

Oh and of course these accounts included the detail that 3000 Rangers fans had joined David Murray in participating in the November ’94 share issue where the club managed to raise £51,430,995 in fresh capital most of which was provided by Mr Murray… sorry I mean MIH ….. sorry that should read Bank of Scotland …… or their shareholders……. or should that be the public purse?

The notable items in the 2006 accounts included the announcement of a ten year deal with JJB Sports to take over the merchandising operation of the club and increased revenue from an extended run in the Champion’s League. However, the profit before tax was declared at only£0.1 million in comparison to the £12.4 million of the year before but then again that £12.4 million had included player sales of £8.4 million and the £15 million sweety bonus from  the repurchase of ones own former subsidiary shares for £1.

Jumping to 2008 Rangers saw a record year in terms of turnover which had risen to £64.5 million which enabled the company to record a profit on ordinary activities before taxation of  £6.57 million although it should be pointed out that wages and bonuses were up at 77% of turnover and that a big factor in the Rangers income stream was corporate hospitality and the top line of income was shown as “gate receipts and hospitality”.

However, 2009 saw a calamitous set of figures. Whilst Alastair Johnston tried to put a brave chairman’s face on it, the year saw an operating loss of £17.325 million which was softened only by player disposals leading to a loss before taxation of a mere £14.085 million.

Fortunately Sir David did not have to report these figures as he chose to stand down as chairman in August and so Johnston stepped in and announced that he was deeply honoured to do so.

In 2010, the income stream jumped from £39.7 million to over £56 million with the result that the club showed a profit before taxation of £4.209 million.

However, by that time the corporate hospitality ticket that was Rangers Football Club was done for as a result of matters that had nothing to do with events on the football field in the main.

First, the emergence of the Fergus McCann run Celtic had brought a real business and sporting challenge. This was something that Murray had not previously faced in the football business.

Second,the Bank of Scotland had gone bust and Lloyds could not and would not allow Murray to continually borrow vast sums of money on the basis of revalued assets and outrageous hospitality.

Third, the UEFA fair play rules came into being and demanded that clubs at least act on a semblance of proper corporate governance and fiscal propriety.

Lastly,Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs tightened up the law on the use of EBT’s which meant that Rangers could no longer afford to buy in the players that brought almost guaranteed success against domestic opposition.

On average, since 2002 Rangers PLC had lost between £7 million – £8 million per year – or roughly £650,000 per month if you like – yet for the better part of a decade David Murray had been able to persuade the Bank of Scotland that this was a business that was worthy of ever greater financial support or that he himself and his MIH business was of such value that the Banks should support him in supporting the Ibrox club whilst operating in this fashion.

Of course, had Murray’s Rangers paid tax on all player remunerations then the losses would have been far larger.

Meanwhile, all the other clubs in Scottish football who banked with the Bank of Scotland faced funding cuts and demands for repayment with the bank publicly proclaiming that it was overexposed to the football market in Scotland.

But no one asked any questions about why the bank should act one way with Murray’s club but another way with all others. No one in football, no one in the media and no one from the world of business.

Looking back,it is hard to imagine a business which has been run on such a consistent loss making basis being allowed to continue by either its owners or by its bankers. However, a successful and funded Rangers was so important to the Murray group that David Murray was clearly willing to lose millions year after year to keep the Gala dinners and corporate hospitality going.

Rangers were Murray’s big PR vehicle and the club was essentially used by him to open the doors which would allow him to make more money elsewhere on a personal basis and if it meant Rangers cutting every corner and accumulating massive losses, unsustainable losses, then so be it.

Today, the new regime at Ibrox run the current business in a way which clocks up the same colossal annual losses whilst the club competes outwith Scotland’s top division. Each day we hear that the wage bill is unsustainable, that the playing staff are overpaid, that the stadium needs massive investment and that the fans are opposed to the stadium itself being mortgaged and the club being in hawk to lenders.

Yet, in the Murray era the Stadium was revalued time and time again and its revaluation was used as the justification for ever greater borrowing on the Rangers accounts. The playing staff were massively overpaid and financially assisted by the EBT’s and most years the Chairman’s annual statement announced huge losses despite regular claims of record season ticket sales, record hospitality income, European income, shirt sponsorship and the outsourcing of all merchandising to JJB sports instead of Sports Direct.

The comparison between the old business and the current one is clear for all to see.

It should be noted, that since the days of Murray, no major banking institution has agreed to provide the Ibrox business with any banking facilities. Not under Whyte, not under Green, not under anyone.

Yet few ask why that should be.

The destruction of the old Rangers business led those in charge of Scottish football to announce that Armageddon was on the horizon if it had not actually arrived, yet today virtually all Scottish clubs are in a better financial and business state than back in the bad old days of the Bank of Scotland financed SPL. Some have succumbed to insolvency, and others have simply cut their cloth, changed their structure, sought, and in some cases attracted, new owners and moved on in terms of business.

In general, Scottish Football has cleaned house at club level.

Now, David Murray has “cleaned house” in that MIH has bitten the dust and walked down insolvency road.

What is interesting is that the Murray brand still has that capacity to get out a good PR message when it needs to. Despite the MIH pension fund being short of money for some inexplicable reason, last week it was announced that the family controlled Murray Estates had approached those in charge of MIH and had agreed to buy some key MIH assets for something in the region of £13.9 million.

The assets concerned are land banks which at some point will be zoned for planning and which will undoubtedly bring the Murray family considerable profit in the future, with some of those assets already looking as if they will produce a return sooner rather than later.

However, what is not commented upon in the mainstream press is the fact that Murray Estates had the ability to pay £13.9 Million for anything at all and that having that amount of money to spend the Murray camp has chosen not to buy any football club down Govan way.

Perhaps, it has been realised that a football club which loses millions of pounds each year is not such a shrewd investment and that the Murray family money would be better spent elsewhere?

Perhaps, it has been realised that the culture of wining, dining, partying and entertaining to the most lavish and extravagant extent will not result in the banks opening their vaults any more?

Perhaps, it has been realised that the Rangers brand has been so badly damaged over the years that it is no longer the key to the golden door in terms of business, finance and banking and that running a football club in 2015 involves a discipline and a set of skills that David Murray and his team do not have experience of?

What is clear, is that the Murray years at Ibrox were not good for the average Rangers fan in the long term and that when you have a football club – any football club – being run for the private benefit of one rich individual, or group of individuals, then the feelings and passions of the ordinary fan will as often as not be forgotten when that individual or his group choose to move on once they have decided that they no longer wish to play with their toy football club.

David Murray did not make money directly out of Rangers Football Club. He used it as a key to open other doors for him and to get him a seat at other tables and into a different type of “club” altogether. He did not run the club in a day to day fashion that was designed to bring stability and prolonged financial, or playing, success to the club. its investors and its fans. He did not preside over Ibrox during a period of sustained financial gain.

Mike Ashley will not subsidise 2015 version of Rangers to anything like the same extent that the Bank of Scotland did in the 90’s and naughties.

However, Ashley, like Murray, will use his control of the Rangers brand to open doors for him elsewhere in the sports retail market, and he will use the Rangers contract with Sports Direct to make a handsome profit. He will also control all the advertising revenue just as he does at Newcastle. In short, Mr Ashley is only interested in The Rangers with a view to using it as a stepping stone to achieve other things elsewhere.

However, don’t take my word for any of this, take the opinion of someone who knows.

Mr Dave King is quoted today as saying the following about the current board of Directors who are in charge of the current Ibrox holding company.

“History will judge this board as one of the worst the club has ever had. There is not one individual who puts the club above personal interest.”

That is an interesting observation from a man who became a non executive director of the old Rangers holding company in 2000 and who had a front row pew for every set of accounts and all the financial statements referred to above.

Whether or not Mr King is a glib and shameless liar is a matter of South African judicial opinion. Whether or not he can spot someone who puts their own self interest ahead of the interests of Rangers Football Club and the supporters of the club is a matter that should be discussed over some fine wine, some succulent lamb and whatever postprandial entertainment you care to imagine.

I wonder if he has ever read the accounts of Rangers PLC and compared them to the corresponding accounts of MIH for the same period?


About the author

broganrogantrevinoandhogan author

Boot wearing football, sport & total nonsense fan-- Gourmet, Bon Viveur and eedgit! - Oh and I write a bit occasionally!

4,992 Comments so far

AllyjamboPosted on1:43 pm - Mar 5, 2015

highfibre says:
March 5, 2015 at 12:34 pm

Can’t argue with what you say regarding the most common form of shadow director, though would suspect that that is not the sole criteria for one, but is, perhaps, the easiest case to prove. In most cases it will be difficult to prove because the shadow director tends to remain in the shadows, not in front of the press making endless statements about/on behalf of the company!

King is acting like a man who has the power to be the King Maker, or at least until the time he is free to become the King. The thing is, though, that King is not only barred from being a shadow director, but also from taking part in the running of RIFC until his application is approved (or not), yet he is clearly acting on behalf of the board in waiting in a manner that suggests his influence is not going to stop as soon as the EGM is concluded.

King seems to have assumed the mantle of ‘Chairman in Waiting’ and, publicly, at least, is acting out the part. So far we haven’t heard anything on the future governance of RIFC from the men who will be (expect to be) on the board, though we haven’t actually heard much about anything, from anyone, about how the club/company will progress other than that they will thrive on CL riches.

In the meantime, King talks as though he, and he alone, is in charge. Seems to me that his only defence, if he’s questioned hard enough by those judging his suitability to sit on the board of a ‘Rangers’, from the charge of being a shadow director, on the grounds, at least, of his public statements, would be, ‘it’s OK, I lied to the press’!

I have no doubt, though, that King will be treated by the courts with all the respect and deference due to a RRM, and that the many points raised here*, and elsewhere, to disbar him from the Ibrox boardroom will be overlooked in the best interests of the establishment.

*PS I’m not suggesting those adjudicating on King’s application will visit TSFM to find the points we raise, rather that they should be raising them from their own store of common sense 🙄

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mcfcPosted on1:46 pm - Mar 5, 2015

Gone Native?

My old Dad, god bless him, always said that the worst kind of Tories were working class Tories – because they were not brought up in privilege to believe in inequality of opportunity – they arrived there all by themselves with the zealotry of a convert – in full knowledge of the impact of inequality of opportunity on real people all around them.

As an outsider – I’m willing to do a few rounds for the sake of discussion – has Peter Lawwell gone native and become more establishment than the establishment? Has his presence changed a single, damned thing at Hampden?

Or is he building the perfect double agent cover, cultivating trust only to wield the coup de grâce to kick off the revolution when the time is right.

My view, for what it is worth, is he’d like to return to the old order of a two club world in a 12 club premiership with 11-1 voting on all matters. So for all practical purposes he is indistinguishable from Regan and Doncaster in his desire to restore the Old Firm – which of course means doing everything to restore (The) Rangers.

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wottpiPosted on1:51 pm - Mar 5, 2015

Llambias must be an avid reader of this site and a supporter of our stance on the lack of investigation by the SMSM

Chris McLaughlin @BBCchrismclaug · 45m 45 minutes ago
Derek Llambias arrives into Glasgow airport. Says fight isn’t over. ‘Ask King who his Nomad is. Ask him!’ He says.

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scapaflowPosted on1:55 pm - Mar 5, 2015

mcfc says:
March 5, 2015 at 1:46 pm

FWIW, I believe Mr Lawwell has been consistent in his actions over the last couple of years, whatever his public utterances might suggest. All of which makes the level of abuse he gets from rangers fans, ironic to say the least. Instead of abusing PL, they should be lauding him…

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EstebanPosted on2:04 pm - Mar 5, 2015

mcfc says:
March 5, 2015 at 1:46 pm

This is at odds with what Peter Lawwell has said in public on the subject. And if you notice, New Balance has said today that it is attracted to Celtic for exposure in Europe, with nothing to do with the derby games against the liquidated Rangers or prospective derby games against its successor clumpany.

No one needs a return of the old days. Everyone was being cheated. Now, if Celtic lose the league, to Aberdeen or anyone else, everyone will know that it was a fair fight and that the better team over the season had deservedly taken the prize. This was not the case during the EBT years in which Rangers took prizes, prize money and access to European money by unfair means (because even if it the courts decide this was a valid means of paying less tax and was in keeping with tax rules, the lack of disclosure about what Rangers players were really earning contravened the football rules). They cheated.

Who wants cheats back in the game? It would be nuts to want to expose yourself to that again in exchange for extra season-book sales to fans who, de facto, are saying they only care about the derby games. Far better to play to a smaller crowd that cares and to take your chances of having a few Inter Milan-type games per season as the cherry on the cake.

Competing against the cheats brought money and a few tight finishes in the league, winning some and losing others. I understand why people miss that excitement and would like to bring it back, but it should not be at any price. Accommodating cheats and pretending they are not really cheats would be too high a price to pay.

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beanosPosted on2:22 pm - Mar 5, 2015

100BJD says:
March 5, 2015 at 1:41 pm

i’ve been following the whole series. unbelievable stuff really. if anyone does want to check it out, i’d do it soon. Tom Winnifrith is being served with an injuction from our old friend Aidan Earley this afternoon so the material will be taken down sortly until the hearing on the 11th March.

The Worthington saga is a very similar story to the TRFC one with many of the same characters popping up.

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mcfcPosted on2:23 pm - Mar 5, 2015

Esteban says:
March 5, 2015 at 2:04 pm


If Peter Lawwell had written your reply, my argument would be face down, dead in the water. But, to my knowledge Lawwell:

hasn’t said a single word to condemn the cheating;

hasn’t demanded fair application of rules;

hasn’t ridiculed the LNS or Bryson nonsense;

hasn’t called for UEFA to investigate the SFA

hasn’t called for conflicted and incompetent SFA/SPFL/SPL/SFL officers to resign;

hasn’t done a Barry Hearn analysis on Scottish football.

All of these things would have been to the advantage of Scottish football and to Celtic more than any other club – but instead he has sat quietly and watched the establishment move heaven and earth to restore their club back to its rightful place. Sell-out or genius tactician ?

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TartanwulverPosted on2:30 pm - Mar 5, 2015

Derek Lambias tells Scottish journalists what questions they should be asking – if he ever loses his present job, he might like to consider working as a media guru, as he seems to have a better handle on the key questions to ask than the vast majority of mainstream journos up here do!

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StevieBCPosted on2:33 pm - Mar 5, 2015

jimmci says:
March 5, 2015 at 9:40 am

RANGERS will still be able to achieve long-term financial stability when Dave King takes over – despite the Ibrox club’s shares being suspended.

Matthew Lindsay
Sports Journalist
Thursday 05/03/2015

That was the prediction by financial expert Neil Patey today…
Did anyone else notice that in his lengthy quotes, the financial expert Neil Patey didn’t mention any numbers at all – like money numbers ?!

If Patey is a financial expert, then I’m Warren Buffett, [without his billions unfortunately 🙁 ]

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scapaflowPosted on2:43 pm - Mar 5, 2015

StevieBC says:
March 5, 2015 at 2:33 pm

Maybe we should club together and get Neil one of those super-size Sports Direct calculators.

Esteban says:
March 5, 2015 at 2:04 pm
mcfc says:
March 5, 2015 at 2:23 pm

However much I disagree with Mr Lawwell on matter of Scottish Football governance, he was I think, genuinely in favour of title stripping. However, PL is not a stupid man, he knows as well as I do, and I suspect everyone on here knows, that title stripping would have had no material effect on Rangers. In fact as the OC/NC thing demonstrates, the “We won them on the pitch” argument would have prevailed with Rangers fans, whatever the official record may have read.

But, title stripping would have changed the mood music of the period utterly, at worst, the SPL would have been successful in their attempts to parachute Rangers Mk II in the old First Division, and at best quite possibly would have succeeded in keeping them in the SPL.

Charles Green, of course, scuppered all that, and rest is history.

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andygraham.66Posted on2:48 pm - Mar 5, 2015

The 2nd episode in a series entitled

Jim White Interviews

is coming up on SSN, where intrepid reporter Jim interviews Dave Cunningham King.

(posssibly not in a hospital, probably standing next to a private jet)

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wottpiPosted on2:48 pm - Mar 5, 2015

StevieBC says:
March 5, 2015 at 2:33 pm

As discussed a while back the media have their favourite rent a quote guys on speed dial.

Of them all Prof John Curtis in his analysis of the voting patterns and polls tends to put his money where his mouth is by making clear predictions and saying when things are uncertain.

Patey always talks in a calming tone and paints pretty broad brush strokes for the masses. As he isn’t getting his day rate for these puff pieces he will not talk of something as vulgar as money!!

My guess is that if he was on the inside on a contract to sort matters out down Govan way he would have a different story to tell and it would be more of a hard-nosed cost cutting, right the ship type affair as pursued by L&L

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AllyjamboPosted on2:50 pm - Mar 5, 2015

wottpi says:
March 5, 2015 at 1:51 pm

Chris McLaughlin @BBCchrismclaug · 45m 45 minutes ago
Derek Llambias arrives into Glasgow airport. Says fight isn’t over. ‘Ask King who his Nomad is. Ask him!’ He says.

And so, Chris, have you asked him yet? Of course, you might be well aware that he won’t give you an answer to that question; because he can’t, or doesn’t dare!

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mcfcPosted on2:59 pm - Mar 5, 2015

scapaflow says:
March 5, 2015 at 2:43 pm

I was always dubious about title stripping – seemed gratuitous and messy – deciding who had won and why. But that wouldhave been for the SFA/SPL to decide as a sanction if the rules had been broken. The real issue turned out to be how the investigation and findings were manipulated to avoid any meaningful sanction being considered. What did Peter Lawwell say about the changing of the period considered by LNS and the Bryson registration paradox ? These were the practical issues and I think it is fair to say he was not pointing out the monarch’s nudity.

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scapaflowPosted on3:00 pm - Mar 5, 2015

John Clark says:
March 5, 2015 at 2:57 pm

Fair question, but, PL has been in a unique position to genuinely act as an agent for change at both the SPL, and now the SFA.

Show me the change, to coin a phrase 😉

No he wasn’t, see above reply to JC
Whatever the merits/demerits of title stripping, in terms of saving Rangers from themselves it would have been the smart move

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andygraham.66Posted on3:09 pm - Mar 5, 2015

Dave King Celtic mention sweep

4 mins 23 secs for the first mention of Celtic

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mcfcPosted on3:12 pm - Mar 5, 2015

John Clark says:
March 5, 2015 at 2:57 pm

Answer me this: what exactly would you wish Lawwell to have done, or to do now, that you would not also and equally demand of any of the clubs’ CEOs or owners on the same individual basis?


Fair question – noblesse oblige – as the only other big kid in the playground and the only one able to stand up to the bully alone, I would have expected him to make the first move to stop the bully hurting the little kids – and organise the little kids to find strength in numbers. This could have been done discreetly in private – no High Noon finale necessary. I fully accept that some of the little kids might not be as afraid of the bully as others for various reasons.

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woodsteinPosted on3:13 pm - Mar 5, 2015

beanos says:

March 5, 2015 at 2:22 pm

100BJD says:
March 5, 2015 at 1:41 pm

“i’ve been following the whole series”


Same here


“so the material will be taken down sortly until the hearing on the 11th March”


Too late 😈

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The Cat NR1Posted on3:14 pm - Mar 5, 2015

wottpi says:
March 5, 2015 at 1:51 pm

Llambias must be an avid reader of this site and a supporter of our stance on the lack of investigation by the SMSM

Chris McLaughlin @BBCchrismclaug · 45m 45 minutes ago
Derek Llambias arrives into Glasgow airport. Says fight isn’t over. ‘Ask King who his Nomad is. Ask him!’ He says.
DL must be devastated to learn that he only arrived at (into?? WTF?) Glasgow Airport, rather than jetted in, as is the standard nomenclature for those of an Ibrox disposition. 😯

Clearly, he has already had his blazer-wearer privileges removed by the SMSM, as the smell of the most succulent freshly grilled lamb begins to waft through the fourth estate once again. :slamb:

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grail14Posted on3:29 pm - Mar 5, 2015

Ladies and Gentlemen.
if you were a trustee of a pension fund and had say, £10 million to invest in the best interest of your clients.
Would you invest in a company controlled by
a: dave king
b: sir david murray
c: Lord Sugar
d: Mike Ashley

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mcfcPosted on3:50 pm - Mar 5, 2015

grail14 says:
March 5, 2015 at 3:29 pm


If profit was your only concern, I’d have to hold my nose and go for the only commoner. He’s younger and four times richer than Sugar who is not even a billionaire. MA has no criminal record and no HMRC sword hanging over him.

But why aren’t Branson and Buffet on the list – both seem reasonably decent as billionaires go.

Oh, I see, their egos have not led them into football ownership – I rest my case 🙂

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mcfcPosted on4:02 pm - Mar 5, 2015

Brilliant for Bampots and Bomber

“Dave King: The time for change has arrived at Rangers and I can guarantee absolute transparency and accountability ”

Tell us all about the deeds Dave

Tell us all about the anonymous shareholders Dave

Tell us all about the onerous contracts Dave

Tell us all about your part in EBTs Dave

Tell us all about the Five Way Agreement Dave

Tell us all about the charity money Dave

Tell us all about any spivs still involved in RIFC/TRFC Dave

Tell us all about the cash you are putting in personally Dave

Tell us all about the business model and all the numbers Dave

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redetinPosted on4:11 pm - Mar 5, 2015

I had one experience of shares (Centamin) being suspended. Bought at 60p, they went to 110p, then their mining licence was challenged in the courts.

The suspension was lifted within weeks, but the share price had been adjusted down to around 30p.

Suspension will give the market makers an opportunity to re-value RFC shares. What assets support the RFC share price?

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roddybhoyPosted on4:11 pm - Mar 5, 2015

mcfc @ 1.46

As a celtic fan AND scottish football fan I hate to say it but I would agree with you about PL. He has done a great job for Celtic on the whole…we live by our means and do not too bad when considering the unfair advantage other English and European clubs have over us and scottish football regarding revenue which lets be honest is what the modern day game is all about now unfortunately . I do feel he wants Rangers back for the , in his mind “old firm ” games . I find it incredible that no one not even PL have called out the SFA or SPFL for what they are……..rogues unfit to rule Scottish Football. Why there has never been any dissenting voices among PL and other club executives beggars belief!! That they even awarded themselves a pay hike last year is unbelievable. I do think that there are a lot of positives about the game up here at the moment but the game is continually getting dragged through the dirt with the pantomime at Govan and the ineptitude of the football authorities. IMO it needs the clubs to get together and issue a vote of no confidence in the whole SFA / SPFL . Rid us of Regan ,Ogilvie and Doncaster for starters, put people in place who are modern thinkers with scottish footballs interest at heart. Weed out your Brysons and your Broadfoots etc and think out the box. Summer football ( what we got to lose) look into alternative TV etc etc. If the rangers do make it back into the top league I think PL might get a nasty surprise , yes some fans will come back BUT a lot will stay away. If you read any of the rangers blogs , they want “revenge” . Me? I want an unrigged game , with fair competition , why do I want to go back to the status quo .the rangers got away scot free and it sticks in the throat. Until there are large scale changes at the top of our game I dont think we can ever move on. My dream… laughing at the back is an SFA SPFL that will do everything for the interests of Scottish Football first and foremost . An SFA that has a proper set of simple rules that apply to every single club no matter how big or small. Rangers to admit to their years of cheating and apologise , titles and cups stripped then and only then would i welcome them back. Please please club executives get together you have the power all you need is to grow a pair ….the fans will back you

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StevieBCPosted on4:19 pm - Mar 5, 2015

Just a thought…

I still just can’t understand the attraction of TRFC to King.

He’s recently lost a chunk of his wealth/liquidity to the SARS.
You would think he would be more risk averse about where he ‘invested’ his remaining wealth.
He knew his reputation would be dragged through the mud – again – across the SMSM and t’internet via the F&P requirement.
And he must have a decent idea of what numbers are required to get TRFC into some form of SPL competitive team/squad, [never mind other infrastructure costs].

So, could King simply be a front for someone else ?
Someone who could not take over the club directly because they might be deemed ‘unsuitable’ ?
But, it might be easier to gain control via King in some convoluted way ?

It was a no-brainer back in the ’80s for [S]DM to ‘buy’ RFC for the kudos it afforded him.
But now ?

I just don’t get what King’s REAL motivation is: and, IMO, it can’t be ‘Rangersitis’.

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Resin_lab_dogPosted on4:20 pm - Mar 5, 2015

ecobhoy says:
March 5, 2015 at 12:33 pm

As I’m not a Rangers supporter it actually matters nothing to me who ends up controlling the Ibrox club in its current incarnation.

It’s interesting in a ‘Game of Thrones’ kind of way to watch the machinations and power struggle taking place over the tattered corpse of Rangers the club.

The weight of comment here is totally opposed to DK and those associated with him and there is reason a plenty for that which I wouldn’t argue with.

But in watching the PR-style carpet-bombing of the requistioners’ camp as opposed to the Ashley tank berms I have to wonder . . .

Is Ashley actually solely interested in Rangers? Or does his interest extend much further in terms of Scottish Football?

I suspect the latter is more likely to be the case and while some are fixated in destroying DK and his supporters perhaps they should keep one eye firmly fixed on what Ashley may actually be about.

Succulent Lamb is obviously back on the agenda for the SMSM which may well explain the seeming blinkered approach to the latest Ibrox Saviour with his tarnished blue armour and threadbare chainmail.

But I doubt if the frenzy is just about returning Rangers to its ‘Rightful Place’ but more about hastily erecting defences against a feared Ashley Masterplan for Scottish Football.

That tsunami might well destroy the game as we know it. In itself it might not be a bad thing but the problem I have with the Ashley philosophy is that I doubt if he has any real interest in Scottish Football but only the profit that can be squeezed from it.

In that sense I sympathise with fans of Rangers and NUFC and think it would be a mistake not to keep him under the microscope just because he is viewed by many as a White Knight about to put his blue-clad adversary to the sword financially.

Armageddon can arrive in many different forms and often from a direction least expected.


I really think that with Ashley its a case of wysiwig.

He wants to make money.
He does this by selling branded sports shirts.
He negotiates supply agreements that enable him to source his merchandise price at low cost.
He sells at a lower price than his competitors can, to customers who are happy to pay. A large part of the profit he makes is the badges on the shirt that his punters are happy to pay for.
He markets aggressively.
He negotiates hard.
He cuts costs ruthlessly.
He stays within the law.
He pays his bills.

Now , if the law allows him to do something entirely legal but ethically questionable in the opinion of many, and make money in the process, it is apparent that he will probably not hesitate to do so, probably justifying it on the basis that someone is going to do it so it may as well be him.

But he pays his suppliers the price they have agreed for the goods they provide and pays his (legally employed zero hours) contract staff the wages agreed for the services they perform.

Somebody sold him the exclusive rights to put a Rangers badge in a football shirt, enabling him to increase the value of a 50 p piece of cloth by very many multiples. He paid for those rights. He will enforce them. He will make as much money as he can by doing so.

Now, if Scottish football wants to protect itself from Ashleys business model, it has a very simple solution:

Do not take his money. It really is that simple.
No elaborate defence required. No :slamb: .
A simple ‘No Thankyou, Mike’ is all that is required.

Do not sell him your jerseys!
TRFC did.
NUFC (or at least Sir John Hall) did
Their choice.

No one else has to!
But if you do, you can’t complain about what happens afterwards.

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mcfcPosted on4:29 pm - Mar 5, 2015

roddybhoy says:
March 5, 2015 at 4:11 pm
nicely put – obviously from the heart

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stan freePosted on4:43 pm - Mar 5, 2015

All the talk of King (and if he does so much jetting could he come and jet the moss off my drive?) and FPP tests, AIM rules etc has ensured that a statement today by the world’s second greatest football administrator, Mr Doncaster, seems to have passed us by without comment. So I will make one.

Here’s the great Neil in the Herald on the subject of summer football, just opposite an interview with ‘well’s Alan Burrows where he (Burrows) makes encouraging noises on this subject:

“Summer football is seen as an impractical suggestion because of the length of the Premiership season, to need to avoid a clash with World Cup and European finals every two years and the desperate shortage of available dates because of Uefa’s insistence that top flight domestic games are not held on the same midweek nights as Champions Leagues (sic) ties.”

So let’s just think for a moment about these points in turn.

Length of the season – If there are twelve clubs in the league, fixtures will occupy the same number of weeks whether played over summer or winter. Summer football would mean fewer fixtures disrupted by bad weather, frozen or waterlogged pitches.

Clash with World and European Championships – well Neil we have to qualify first. How long ago did we last do that? If we do qualify there can be a work around, other Northern European nations seem to manage. Maybe it’s time we imported some administrators from there, at least they may have a “can-do” attitude.

Clash with Champions League ties – just tell me how many Champions League matches are played in May and June? Even by April and May it’s the quarters and semis, surely that leaves as many midweeks free as unavailable. Once again less need for re-arranged fixtures, so less need for midweek games anyway.

I wonder if Mr Doncaster has ever sat in the South Stand at Pittodrie in December or January, shivering through a 15 minute half-time (I don’t remember voting for that one either). It must be nice to sit in the Director’s box in your sheepskin coat and go down to the Board Room for tea and a sandwich halftime. In exchange for his salary, expenses and hospitality at the expense of the paying spectator, all he can come up with are pilot schemes for alcohol and standing, even then admitting that won’t make much difference. Sorry, isn’t he the man who is employed to make a difference?

The arguments for summer football are well known so I won’t repeat them here but what chance have we got with attitudes like his?

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grail14Posted on4:47 pm - Mar 5, 2015

mcfc says:
March 5, 2015 at 3:50 pm
re Branson
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How getting nailed for tax fraud helped make Richard Branson a billionaire

Jordan Weissmann, | May 28, 2014 3:35 PM ET
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Creation myths about entrepreneurs inevitably include tales of triumph over adversity — a failed early company here, a break with a long-term partner there. Richard Branson, the goateed and grinning mascot of British capitalism, is no different. His Virgin empire grew from a record label that brought us both the Sex Pistols and Boy George to encompass airlines, rails, and mobile phone service. In the process, it has also spawned a fair number of busts: Virgin soft drinks, Virgin fashion lines, Virgin makeup. Along with his publicity stunts—such as trans-Atlantic hot-air balloon voyages—these misfires have burnished his reputation as an adventurer willing to try just about anything in business or sport. At the moment, it’s not clear when or if his ambitious space tourism venture, Virgin Galactic, will ever get off the ground. We shouldn’t be too surprised. After all, Branson did write an advice book titled Screw It, Let’s Do It. Guaranteed success isn’t part of the Virgin brand.

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But Branson’s march to riches may have truly begun with a somewhat less benign and fun-loving version of failure: a youthful foray into tax fraud, in which he was caught red-handed.

As Branson tells the story, his scam was always meant to be short-lived. In the spring of 1971, the future billionaire was a 20-year-old British public school dropout with a restless entrepreneurial streak. He had founded and folded a national magazine, Student, which managed to land interviews with the likes of Mick Jagger, but no profits. His new company, Virgin, was losing money as a discount music retailer. Its record shop on London’s Oxford Street was popular and its mail-order business was growing, but thanks in part to its rock-bottom prices, the company was burning cash and digging itself deeply into debt.

Avoiding prison was the most persuasive incentive I’ve ever had
“Incentives come in all shapes and sizes, but avoiding prison was the most persuasive incentive I’ve ever had.”

One day, Branson thought he had found a quick way to dig it back out.

The scheme, as recounted in Branson’s memoir Losing My Virginity, was rudimentary: Virgin would avoid paying purchase taxes on its merchandise by pretending to export albums that it actually sold in England. In Britain at the time, music retailers paid a heavy 33 percent levy on records they planned to sell domestically. But the tax didn’t apply to vinyl destined for abroad. While attempting to drive a large shipment of discs to Belgium, Branson discovered that he could stop at customs in Dover, get his export paperwork stamped, then bring the cargo back to sell at home, where he could pocket the tax savings. After a few such profitable trips, he figured, Virgin would be debt-free. “It seemed like the perfect way out,” he later wrote.

The British journalist Tom Bowers, who has written two harshly critical biographies of Branson, cast the young entrepreneur’s motivations in a less innocent light:

For [Branson], the plot to defraud Customs and Excise was just another wacky prank.

“It’s a great wheeze,” he buzzed. Cheating Customs, he urged his employees, would be effortless. … Doubters were swayed by Branson’s enthusiasm for Robin Hood. Helping impoverished adults hear their music despite the ogre-ish government’s taxation, he urged, would constitute a blow for justice.
Branson was, it turned out, far from the first person in England to think up this particular hustle, and it didn’t take customs officials long to catch on to him. According to Bowers, investigators immediately began probing Virgin’s export forms after an employee at the record label EMI suggested there was “something fishy” about Branson’s low record prices. Then they noticed that Branson claimed to have exported 30,000 records inside of a single Land Rover. The four-wheelers were big, but not that big.

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To confirm the scam, customs began marking EMI records that Branson was officially buying to export using an ultra-violet pen (the invisible ink was meant to keep Branson from realizing they were on to him). Then, they placed orders for the same records through Virgin’s mail order service; the marked merchandise arrived back in their mailboxes, proving that they weren’t really meant for export after all.

And so customs planned a raid.

The night before, however, an anonymous caller tipped Branson off and told him about the invisible ink. The mogul-in-training and his Virgin cohorts bought a sun lamp and ran to their warehouse, where the UV light revealed that, indeed, all of their EMI records were marked with an E. As Branson recalls:

We began to run in and out of the warehouse carrying piles of records into the van. We then made a terrible mistake: we assumed that the Customs and Excise officers would just raid the South Wharf warehouse. We therefore drove all the records round to the Oxford Street shop and put them in the racks to be sold. We had no idea that Customs and Excise officers have greater powers of immediate search than the police.
Branson had named his company Virgin because he and the people who worked for him were “virgins at business.” They were also, evidently, virgins at crime.

Customs descended on the shops, and Branson was hauled into jail. “I had always thought that only criminals were arrested: it hadn’t occurred to me that I had become one,” he wrote. “It wasn’t some great game about my getting one up on the Customs and Excise office and getting off scot-free: I was guilty.” He spent the night in jail, before his mother showed up and posted a family home as bail. Branson’s headmaster at school had once predicted that the young man would either become a millionaire or go to prison. “By twenty-one, he had achieved the latter,” Bowers wrote, “albeit briefly.”

He had also managed to plunge himself even further into debt. Branson negotiated a settlement with the government, totaling 60,000 pounds, worth more than 700,000 pounds today. If he couldn’t pay, he would be re-arrested and put on trial.

This being the story of a future Davos fixture, the incident turned out to have a silver lining. In order to pay back the previously unimaginable sum they now owed to the queen’s government, Branson and Virgin needed to learn how to run a business. “The next two years were a crash course in how to manage cash,” Branson wrote. “From being a completely relaxed company running on petty cash from the biscuit tin and a series of unpaid IOU notes, we became obsessively focused. We used every penny of the cash generated from the shops towards opening up another shop, which in turn was another pound towards paying off my customs and excise debt.”

They also began exporting records for real, as well as laying the groundwork for the record label that would, within a few years, mint Branson his first fortune, when it released Mike Oldfield’s prog-rock opus, Tubular Bells, to massive sales. Along with hits from the Sex Pistols and Culture Club, Virgin Records would eventually release albums by iconic ’80s artists like the Human League, Phil Collins, and Peter Gabriel before Branson sold it at a large profit in 1992.

“Incentives come in all shapes and sizes,” Branson wrote, “but avoiding prison was the most persuasive incentive I’ve ever had.” The young Branson seems to have taken away a related lesson from his experience: The value of a good tax lawyer. As he wrote in his memoir, the night in jail impressed upon Branson the need to keep his business above board. According to Bowers, when Tubular Bells became a hit, earning Branson his first millions, he began depositing his earnings and Virgin’s trademarked logo in an offshore “family trust” set up in the Channel Islands.

Today, the Virgin group is a vast warren of around 400 companies registered offshore (in places including, aptly, the Virgin Islands). As David Runciman wrote in the London Review of Books, Branson “has been very careful about when he pays tax and to whom.” Meanwhile, his “wish to avoid being taxed by the British government means he cannot spend more than ninety days a year in the UK.” Such is one of the many ironies of life as Britain’s most famous entrepreneur.

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mcfcPosted on5:12 pm - Mar 5, 2015

grail14 says:
March 5, 2015 at 4:47 pm
very interesting – so it’s Buffet then – unless of course . . .

btw – does this just point out that King didn’t learn the lesson Branson learned – was he just too tight and/or too stupid and/or too arrogant to fork-out for a good tax lawyer? Instead he spent a decade fighting SARS and losing. Now where’s that happened before?

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DeekbhoyPosted on5:16 pm - Mar 5, 2015

mcfc says:
March 5, 2015 at 5:12 pm
grail14 says:
March 5, 2015 at 4:47 pm
very interesting – so it’s Buffet then – unless of course . . .

btw – does this just point out the King didn’t learn the lesson Branson learned – was he just too tight and/or too stupid and/or too arrogant to fork-out for a good tax lawyer? Instead he spent a decade fighting SARS and losing.


Bet he is hoping history does not repeat itself in his fight with Big Mike!

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mcfcPosted on5:16 pm - Mar 5, 2015

A Coronation Delayed

With the coronation of the King delayed until he is officially and inevitabbly found fit and proper, what will the narrative be tomorrow afternoon and for the next few days? I’d like to offer the Liam Byrne / David Laws scenario after the last election. Liam’s note as departing Chief Secretary to The Treasury to his successor read; “Dear Chief Secretary (David), I’m afraid there is no money. Kind regards – and good luck! Liam.”.

My prediction is that Chairman Murray (P) will run down the marble stairs to the triumphant masses hysterically waving onerous contracts screaming, “Things are much worse than we ever imagined. We’ve been raped. We’ve been pillaged. We’ve been robbed. We’ve been spivved, We’ve been Ashley’d. Only God and Dave King can save us all now” Then the PA will blast out ZZ Top’s “Give me all your money and all your love ‘n’ kisses too. Give me all your money and don’t let up until we’re through”

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andygraham.66Posted on5:25 pm - Mar 5, 2015

Spiers latest (excerpt)

My money is on the SFA wilting over King’s “fit and proper” status, and duly waving him through. There will be scorn heaped on the organisation for it, but that will only be one more bruise to the face.

It will be wrong, but I can’t see otherwise.

For Rangers fans who back King – and there are legions of them – this is all highly frustrating. He has means, he has wealth, he has the popular vote, he appears to have plans for the club.

The fans’ argument is: “For God’s sake, would people just get off the club’s back, and let us move on.” They attest to constant persecution.

Others call it an unrelenting persecution-complex.

If Dave King is waved through, and is free at last to set to work on Rangers, then a point will be reached to let him get on with that. Rangers have suffered enough. Some kind of rebuilding of the club must take place.

But, until then, the integrity issue over King will linger. As much as he declares otherwise, it won’t go away.

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grail14Posted on5:29 pm - Mar 5, 2015

mcfc says:
March 5, 2015 at 5:12 pm
two different cases:
Lester Piggot: did the time
Ken dodd: employ George Carman Q.C. and earn a fortune therafter.

As he said in court:

“Not many comedians are accountants, but I know a lot of accountants who are comical”

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Resin_lab_dogPosted on5:36 pm - Mar 5, 2015

grail14 says:
March 5, 2015 at 3:29 pm

Ladies and Gentlemen.
if you were a trustee of a pension fund and had say, £10 million to invest in the best interest of your clients.
Would you invest in a company controlled by
a: dave king
b: sir david murray
c: Lord Sugar
d: Mike Ashley



Mike Ashley.
BUT I would ensure I had very very good lawyers in the contract drafting and negotiation.
And even then, I would make sure that their professional liability insurance was adequate and up to date.

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stan freePosted on6:04 pm - Mar 5, 2015

If the coronation in absentia goes ahead tomorrow the Blue Brazil fans have a great opportunity on Saturday –

“Who’s your Nomad, who’s your Nomad,
Who’s your Nomad, Mr King?
Ye havnae got one, ye havnae got one,
Yer not an FPP, Mr King!”

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MaBawPosted on6:04 pm - Mar 5, 2015

The last time I looked, the SFA were responsible for the governance of Scottish football, not PL. As for the other clubs chairmen and women, the reason we ended up with such a bad TV deal is down to their lack foresight, experience and being more interested in a quick buck.

cause of that damaging reduction was the decision last year of the other nine SPL clubs to ignore warnings from Celtic, Rangers and Aberdeen and opt for a four-year extension with Setanta rather than the security of Sky.

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mcfcPosted on6:09 pm - Mar 5, 2015

Ant & Dec

With no chairman and no Nomad and rumours that L&L will not attend tomorrow’s RIFC plc EGM, who will preside and anoint the King and his courtesans? Well, I’ve given away my nomination. Who else is better qualified to stay po-faced during the whole ridiculous spectacle? With years of experience remaining composed as the pseudo-famous gag on raw marsupial genitals they have no peers. They may even be able to through in a few fat Mike one-liners to please the assembled, dignified shareholders.

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nawlitePosted on6:12 pm - Mar 5, 2015

So, back to the Scottish Football authorities…..

I’m sure you’ll all remember Neil Doncaster’s public assertion at the turn of the year confirming that as far as the SPFL was concerned, the Rangers currently playing in the SPFL was very much “the same club now as the one that existed pre-liquidation.”

I wasn’t going to let him away with that easily, so on 6 January, I emailed asking them/him to answer two straightforward questions that, in my opinion, followed logically from that assertion.

1. As a result of administration, Rangers were docked 10 points, similar to other clubs suffering administration, but this still allowed Rangers to finish second in the SPL that season. By what mechanism under (then) SPL/SPFL rules were Rangers demoted to SPFL3 for the following season. This did not happen to Hearts or Dunfermline who entered administration shortly after Rangers. I cannot see a mechanism in the rules for the same team being demoted to the bottom division.

2. As I said, Rangers finished second in the SPL. As the same club, Rangers should have entered the Champions League qualifiers in the following season, but were not allowed to, yet Neil Doncaster has now confirmed Rangers are indeed the same team. Why were Rangers not allowed to take up their rightful place in CL qualifying?

From past experience of being ignored, I honestly did not expect an answer and after 5 follow-up emails (I won’t bore you with the content), I thought I was going to be proved right, but eventually on 20 February, I was surprised to receive an acknowledgement/holding reply from a named individual at the SPFL that read

Thanks for your e-mail.

I will speak to the relevant department and come back to you next week.

Kind regards


I was pleased because even if this turned out to be a mistake by a newbie, I had been promised a response even if the high heid yins didn’t want to provide one.

At first it looked as if David had been told not to engage further, with a further follow up eliciting no response. However, my second chaser email on 2 March was quickly replied to with the following justification.

Apologies for the delay.

Please see below.

1. Had Rangers Oldco been able to agree a CVA with its creditors, then it should have been able to emerge from administration (as did Hearts and Dunfermline) without further sporting sanctions. However, a CVA was rejected by Oldco’s creditors. This led to Oldco being liquidated. Newco applied for membership of the SFL and was granted associate membership but on condition it started in SFL Division Three. Newco bought the assets of Oldco from the administrations and took Rangers FC into the SFL. Rangers FC were not relegated from the SPL.

2. The European place that would otherwise have gone to Rangers for finishing 2nd in the SPL could not be taken up by Rangers FC due to UEFA Rules applicable in circumstances where the owner of a club goes into liquidation.

Kind regards

I’m pleased that I received a response (that’s the first time for the SPFL) and pleased too that the response includes the line “Rangers FC were not relegated from the SPL.” As you know, demoted/relegated is now the default setting for those RFC fans to reinforce their victim mentality and is also regularly quoted by the SMSM, so I’m glad I now have an email that officially says it did not happen, but that they started again.

Unfortunately, the wording for why they had to start again uses the oldco/newco argument. This takes us back round in a circle to my argument that says the old club was one inseparable entity, ergo they must have started again because the old club was liquidated – not a standalone oldco. I don’t have the wherewithall to make that argument though I know it to be true, so I don’t think I’ll go back and challenge David on that.

I know this is a bit OCNC, but does anyone see anything in the SPFL’s response that we can use to put them on the spot? Have they been clever enough not to give us an angle to challenge their view?

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McCaig`s TowerPosted on6:43 pm - Mar 5, 2015

grail14 says:
March 5, 2015 at 3:29 pm

Ladies and Gentlemen.
if you were a trustee of a pension fund and had say, £10 million to invest in the best interest of your clients.
Would you invest in a company controlled by
a: dave king
b: sir david murray
c: Lord Sugar
d: Mike Ashley

I’m not sure if this is a rhetorical question, or even two questions, but were I a trustee of a pension fund with £10 million to invest then the smart answer would be:

I would take legal advice with regard to the investment freedoms granted and restrictions imposed by the Trust Deed & Rules and overriding legislation in particular over the extent to which I could impose my particular ethical standards on the beneficiaries of the trust (aka scheme members).

I would seek investment advice on the appropriateness of the suggested investments (and alternatives) with regard to the trust’s stated investment principles, again looking at things like expected returns (both income and capital growth) and giving due consideration to various risk factors (and, of course, to the trust’s liabilities).

An individual investor is perfectly able to impose ethical restrictions on his/her investment manager – it is his/her money. There are difficulties when investing on someone else’s behalf – I think there is established (and separate) case law involving the NUM and the Church of England.

Of course, there may be valid reasons to resist investment in a particular vehicle – such as doubts about the growth prospects in a particular economy, the track record of the company’s management, the company’s remuneration policy and so on – at the quoted price.

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scapaflowPosted on7:25 pm - Mar 5, 2015


I give you the SFA Board, make of it what you will 😉

Campbell Ogilvie

Campbell Ogilvie is the President of the Scottish FA and a former General Secretary of Rangers FC and Managing Director of Heart of Midlothian.

Campbell’s first involvement in football was as Assistant Secretary of the Scottish Football League. In 1978, he was hired as General Secretary at Rangers and later became a Director of that club.

He joined Heart of Midlothian in November 2005 as Operations Director and was later promoted to Managing Director in March 2008. Member of the Professional and Non-Professional Game Boards. Director of Hampden Park Ltd.

Stewart Regan
Chief Executive

Having graduated from Hull University with a BA(Hons) in American Studies Stewart has spent the largest part of his career in the brewing industry, initially working for John Smith’s brewery, and latterly Bass Brewers. Whilst there, he held a variety of roles including Sales Managing Director of Bass North, and Strategic Planning Director for Bass Brewers Ltd. Stewart was part of the management team which successfully sold the Bass Brewers’ UK business to Coors, the American brewer. This transaction stimulated a career change which saw him take up a new position in a sporting environment as Director of the Football League Championship.

Stewart Regan joined the Scottish FA in October 2010 from Yorkshire County Cricket Club where he had been Chief Executive since 2006.Working with the Board, he has been instrumental in driving forward the many changes to the game during his tenure having set out his vision in, ’Scotland United: A 2020 Vision’ in 2011. Member of Professional and Non-Professional Game Boards. Director of Hampden Park Ltd. Vice Chairman of UEFA’s Marketing Advisory Committee.

Alan McRae
First Vice President , Chairman of the Referee Committee and Non-Professional Game Board.

Alan joined Cove Rangers as a player in 1979. Within five years he had become Chairman, leading the Aberdeenshire club from the amateurs, to the ranks of the Juniors and eventually to the Highland League. 

Alan relinquished his chairmanship in 1999, becoming President then Honorary President until 2007, when he left to commit more time to his work at the Scottish FA. It was his presidency of the Highland League that precipitated his involvement in the Scottish FA, originally as a Council Member in 1993 before becoming 1st Vice President, he has served as 2nd Vice-President. Member of Professional Game Board.

Rod Petrie
Second Vice President, Chairman of Professional Game Board, member of the Remuneration and Audit & Risk Committees.

Rod Petrie is Chairman of Hibernian Football Club. He was appointed to the board in 1996, became Managing Director in 1997 and Chairman in 2004.Rod has served the Scottish FA continuously since 1998 and was elected 2nd Vice President in June 2011.He served as a Non-Executive Director of the Scottish Premier League for eight years and as Vice Chairman of the East of Scotland Football Association. He has also served on numerous committees within football.

Before becoming an Executive Director of the Hibernian Football Club, Rod spent six and a half years as an Executive Director of Quayle Munro, the listed Edinburgh based Investment Bank, and 13 years with Ernst & Young, from trainee to audit partner.

Tom Johnston
Junior FA President, Non-Professional Game Representative and member of the Remuneration Committee.

Tom became Secretary of the Central Region of the Scottish Juniors FA (SJFA) in 1985 until he was approached to join the Association as Assistant Secretary in 1991. After eight years in that role, he was appointed Secretary in 1999. During that spell, Tom has represented the SJFA on various Scottish FA committees including the Executive Committee, the Board and the new Non Professional Game Board.

Tom’s first involvement in Junior football came as a player, when he joined Saltcoats Vice in 1966. He played for North Kelvinside Senior Secondary and was approached by his then Geography teacher, Davie Lambie – who later became MP for North Ayrshire – to join Saltcoats Vice. Tom moved from there to Neilston Juniors in 1969 and in his association with the club served as Player, Coach, Manager and Secretary until 1985, after which he enjoyed a two-year spell with Giffnock North. He is a member of the Non-Professional Game Board.

Ralph Topping
Professional Game Representative

Ralph Topping retired in August 2014 as Chief Executive of William Hill (a FTSE 100 company), the largest betting company in the UK. During his tenure Ralph was responsible for the Group’s overall strategic direction and day-to-day management. Having joined William Hill in 1973 Ralph has held various roles within the Group, including Group Director-Operations. From 2002 to 2007 he was Retail Operations Director and, prior to that, pioneered William Hill’s internet presence and online operations, establishing a market-leading position.

While Chief Executive he led the transformation of William Hill’s online business, making it one of the largest in Europe, and the development of its innovative mobile platform. Having always held an interest in football, he became Chairman of the Scottish Premier League in 2008, and still holds that position in the newly formed Scottish Professional Football League. He is a member of the Scottish FA’s Professional Game Board

Peter Lawwell
Professional Game Representative and member of the Audit & Risk Committee and Remuneration Committee.

Peter started his career as a trainee accountant with Babcock Energy in the 1970s. After a career working as an executive for a number of companies, including ICI and Hoffman-LaRoche, Peter joined Celtic as their Financial Controller in 1990. He left the Club and held senior positions in Mining Scotland and Clydeport. returning in 2003,and now holds the position of Chief Executive. He is a member of the Professional Game Board.

Barrie Jackson
Independent Non-Executive Director, Chairman of the Audit & Risk Committee ,and the Remuneration Committee.

Barrie was the Scottish FA’s first ever Independent Non Executive Director appointed in 2011. He has spent most of his career in the brewing and distilling industries, accumulating vast international experience working in many of the world’s major markets. After graduating from Heriot Watt University with a BA in Business Organisation, he became Group Sales and Marketing Director of the Edrington Group, working with well-known brands such as ‘The Famous Grouse’ and ‘Macallan’.

He later became President and CEO of the Hong Kong-based International Beverage Holdings Limited, whose leading Asian beer brand, Chang, has become synonymous in UK football circles for its sponsorship of Everton.

Barrie has also enjoyed a successful period as Chairman of Amsterdam based Maxxium Worldwide NV. He retired from the drinks business in 2010 to broaden his interests and is currently a Non-Executive Director of the Tullis Russell Group, a Non-Executive Advisor to the CEO of ACCA in London, and a Trustee of the Russell Trust.

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neepheidPosted on7:30 pm - Mar 5, 2015

From McMurdo (or Merlin as he likes to call himself 🙄 :roll:)

King might find it hard to secure a Nomad. My understanding is that Rangers is considered toxic by the Stock Exchange following the deluge of complaints received from King supporters by the AIM and FCA. Even Nomads willing to take on Rangers may be blocked by the Exchange.

This is seriously worrying for Rangers fans and shareholders. It is also extremely ironic that King zealots may just have done great damage to King’s quest for a Nomad.

Of course, this might come as a surprise to many, considering that King himself has claimed he has a Nomad in hand. Jittery fans would, I am sure, be greatly relieved if King was to name this Nomad as he was challenged to do today by Derek Llambias.

Naming his Nomad would help steady nerves, especially after yesterday’s announcement that he was going to seek to clarify his fitness with the appropriate regulatory bodies and put forward Paul Murray as an interim Chairman. You would presume that the Nomad King says he had would have been on this matter by now…

Many of those fans who voted for King only to get Mini are not best pleased, especially those who voted FOR King but AGAINST Murray. They might feel a little cheated there. It is like voting for Keith Harris, only to get Orville, you could say.

If Kingco do win the EGM, they have four weeks to produce the Nomad.

Or the delisting many are warning of WILL be a reality.

Dave King has some serious obstacles to overcome if he is to match his rhetoric with effective action. The clock is already ticking and if his actions fall far short of his verbiage he will lose the support of the fan base. The five to ten years quoted for recovery is simply unacceptable to Rangers supporters, as is the perception that a King-led Rangers will adopt an appeasing attitude to the club’s enemies.

King and his cohorts might just discover that it is far easier to throw stones from the outside than to keep the windows intact from the inside.

Anyone who thinks the battle for Rangers is over is counting a lot of unhatched eggs.

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Danish PastryPosted on7:30 pm - Mar 5, 2015

A lot been going this afternoon I see. From where I’m reading it’s all gone a bit Celtic-centric. Interesting that journos feel uninhibited when asking questions at some clubs, while at others they grovel in pathetic obeisance. Not so tongue-tied after all.

Did Peter Lawell really come out against UEFA-style strict liability in Scotland?

If I didn’t know better I’d say there may be bad news in the pipeline.

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scapaflowPosted on7:39 pm - Mar 5, 2015

DP some of the questions at the kit launch were outrageous.

In terms of the discussion about board members, I feel about Board members much the same way Bill Shankly felt about players caught up in the offside rule:

“If a player is not interfering with play or seeking to gain an advantage, then he should be.”

If someone is on a board, and they aren’t making their presence felt then they bloody well should be, or get the hell out of Dodge and let someone else try.

Anything else is just duck and cover

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Resin_lab_dogPosted on7:46 pm - Mar 5, 2015

DKs first words on landing appeared to be something along the lines of…
“It will take something North of £20m…”
Did I miss the bit where he offered to personally underwrite this a la Ann Budge/HMFC ? Or is his just a ‘different; sort of ‘leadership’.

(Profound apologies to HMFC fans for licence taken when using Ms Budgename in the same context as DK, albeit only to make a point)

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jean7brodiePosted on7:47 pm - Mar 5, 2015

EKBhoy says:
March 5, 2015 at 7:31 pm

Spfl board

Reading between the lines at least 6 brothers

And therein lies the problem.

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StevieBCPosted on7:49 pm - Mar 5, 2015

neepheid says:
March 5, 2015 at 7:30 pm
From McMurdo (or Merlin as he likes to call himself 🙄 :roll:)

“…My understanding is that Rangers is considered toxic…”

We have a winner ! 😉

That McMurdo chappy certainly has his finger on the pulse…

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bfbpuzzledPosted on7:58 pm - Mar 5, 2015

from the SSB sublime to the Radio 3 ridiculous James Macmillan talking about the inspiration for his 1st piano concerto about to be played in concert- Celtic 5 dinamo Zagreb 4 – out on away goals It is called The Berserking good name for a book that

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parttimearabPosted on8:02 pm - Mar 5, 2015

Danish Pastry says:
March 5, 2015 at 7:30 pm

Did Peter Lawell really come out against UEFA-style strict liability in Scotland?
Assuming the Scotsman haven’t been misplacing quotation marks, yes he has…

Lawwell will resist calls for UEFA’s ‘strict liability’ principles for supporters’ misbehaviour to be introduced into Scottish football, saying: “I think it is strict, it can be seen to go against justice as opposed to support justice.”

Instead, he called for context…

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nawlitePosted on8:08 pm - Mar 5, 2015

Mods, are we allowed to discuss PL’s comments about not supporting Strict Liability or is that off limits?

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Danish PastryPosted on8:12 pm - Mar 5, 2015

scapaflow says:
March 5, 2015 at 7:39 pm

DP some of the questions at the kit launch were outrageous…

That’s the impression I’m getting scapa. I haven’t seen it, just trying to join the dots after a busy day. If only smeone had the courage to ask outrageous questions at the other side of the city.

Tomorrow, perhaps.

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upthehoopsPosted on8:15 pm - Mar 5, 2015

Danish Pastry says:
March 5, 2015 at 7:30 pm

A lot been going this afternoon I see. From where I’m reading it’s all gone a bit Celtic-centric. Interesting that journos feel uninhibited when asking questions at some clubs, while at others they grovel in pathetic obeisance. Not so tongue-tied after all.

What should have been a press conference to announce the biggest ever shirt sponsorship deal in Scottish football quickly became a grilling for Lawwell over pyrotechnics at games and certain songs. I often see journalists complaining that Celtic people are not easily accessed. It’s little wonder.

Meanwhile an intense (and free of charge) PR campaign continues to ensure a convicted tax evader is allowed to take over Rangers. Would Lawwell be better thought off by the same people who champion King if he had convictions for tax evasion, or would he be roundly condemned?

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James ForrestPosted on8:20 pm - Mar 5, 2015

Our national sport is in a desperate state.

The campaign to escort King up the Marble Staircase is in full flow already.

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beatipacificiscotiaPosted on8:20 pm - Mar 5, 2015

Apologies if already posted. Dave King come right out and says what many have suspected – he doesn’t have the money Rangers need. He is relying on others coming in with him. What if they don’t? What if the numbers are worse than he thinks?

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neepheidPosted on8:26 pm - Mar 5, 2015

Dave King has insisted that he has lined up a Stock Exchange nominated adviser for Rangers ahead of him assuming control at Ibrox.

Former Rangers oldco director King is set to claim victory at the club’s EGM on Friday where his move to oust current board members Derek Llambias and Barry Leach and replace them with himself and his allies will be carried by what he claims will be a “landslide” majority.

Chief executive Llambias has questioned King’s ability to fund the club after his takeover.

Furthermore, following the announcement that trading in Rangers shares was suspended following the resignation of its nominated adviser (Nomad), Llambias was sceptical about King’s ability to find a replacement to allow the company to continue to trade on the Stock Exchange.

Arriving at Glasgow Airport ahead of the EGM, King said that he already had a Nomad who were happy to deal with him and that they would act for Rangers if happy with the club’s accounts. He would not reveal the identity of the company involved but when asked to confirm he had one lined up he said:

“Yes but when you say ‘I have a Nomad’ ….I think we’ve addressed the money issue. I think the point I wanted to make is it’s not my Nomad. The club has to have a Nomad.

“I think Llambias should understand that. He’s confusing the AIM listing with the club. It’s the club that has to have the Nomad.

“All I have done is, in advance of the change of board, ensured there is another Nomad willing to come in. The club has to appoint them so that process can only happen after the general meeting.

“I’ve got one [lined up] who has done due diligence on the individuals but the key component for any Nomad is the club itself.

“Nomads are concerned about the financial affairs of the club. It’s the one area where I’ve been able to give no more input than what I’ve read in the newspapers.

“If we succeed tomorrow, and I think we will, then we will get it immediately. It’s a process that would be done in a day or so.”

Rangers have already begun the process of drawing down the second £5m of Mike Ashley’s £10m loan and Llambias earlier told STV it because the club “had to” and had “a duty to”.

Asked if King was not able to provide those required funds, the chief executive replied “Has he offered to provide those funds? No he hasn’t.”

On Thursday evening, King responded by claiming that he had the funds required to invest in Rangers, in conjunction with other investors.

“I don’t have [all the money required] but I think if you look at money I have agreed previously is that I would go 50/50 with other investors,” he said. “Between myself and the other investors I think we have sufficient to take it forward in the medium term.

“It’s difficult to say [how much]. I said about £20m in the short term but I’m concerned there’s other areas of the club where money’s needed to be spent as well. I think it’ll be north of £20m in the short- to medium-term.

“The arrangement that I’ve had in the proposals that I gave to the boards was that I would take on 50% of the funding and that I expected other individuals to take on the other 50%. That’s where your Paul Murrays, George Lethems, Brian Kennedys and Douglas Parks all come in.

“It would be a 50/50 split but I don’t see me as carrying the sole burden. Initially we thought £16m to £20m would be the right level for the next couple of years … but right now my indication is that the figure would be higher.”

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timomousePosted on8:29 pm - Mar 5, 2015

On Dave King and his landslide

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jean7brodiePosted on8:32 pm - Mar 5, 2015

James Forrest says:
March 5, 2015 at 8:20 pm

That’s brilliant James!
Especially this bit:
“To allow a convicted fraudster to execute a highly dubious scheme in an effort to turn around a basket case of a football club that has caused our sport nothing but embarrassment”

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parttimearabPosted on8:36 pm - Mar 5, 2015

neepheid says:
March 5, 2015 at 8:26 pm

“King said that he already had a Nomad who were happy to deal with him and that they would act for Rangers if happy with the club’s accounts”
No worries there then… 😈

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AyeRightNawPosted on8:40 pm - Mar 5, 2015

Danish Pastry says:
March 5, 2015 at 8:12 pm
scapaflow says:
March 5, 2015 at 7:39 pm

DP some of the questions at the kit launch were outrageous…


Just seen Reporting Scotland and I guess it will be typical of the coverage of Celtic’s new kit deal.

The questioning highlighted in the report served only to turn a good news (for Celtic) story into a negative bad news story.

New Balance must be furious that Peter Lawwell allowed himself to get caught out so easily. PL can address fan behaviour whenever he chooses but to get sidetracked while sitting beside a major new sponsor is frankly amateurish and not like him.

Celtic’s media relations team need to take a good look at themselves. They should have stepped in and nipped the line of questioning in the bud. Their job is to protect the reputation of the club, the officials and sponsors. They failed miserably today.

In something of an editorial contrast it was intriguing and bemusing to see Chris McL talk at length about the Nomad issue without once mentioning that share trading was suspended.

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Cluster OnePosted on8:47 pm - Mar 5, 2015

neepheid says:

March 5, 2015 at 8:26 pm
“Nomads are concerned about the financial affairs of the club. It’s the one area where I’ve been able to give no more input than what I’ve read in the newspapers.

“If we succeed tomorrow, and I think we will, then we will get it immediately. It’s a process that would be done in a day or so.”
And yet Mr Wallace had to have 127 days to look at the financial affairs of the club. Kings NOMAD must be top drawer to only need one or two days 😮

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andyPosted on8:49 pm - Mar 5, 2015

I see they have compiled a new hit list on FF now all their troubles are over and they are on the way back to where they belong

30 so far and counting 🙄

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Kilgore TroutPosted on8:50 pm - Mar 5, 2015


“In something of an editorial contrast it was intriguing and bemusing to see Chris McL talk at length about the Nomad issue without once mentioning that share trading was suspended.”

Ah, you see what you are forgetting is that the suspension of share trading is ‘inconsequential’.
A lot like Mr McLauchlin himself in that respect.

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stifflersmomPosted on9:03 pm - Mar 5, 2015

James Forrest
Part of me wants to pat Spiers on the head and say ‘well done, some good points well made in your article lad’.

But then he goes and finishes with a table thumping King endorsing crescendo of Que Sera, Sera.

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scapaflowPosted on9:38 pm - Mar 5, 2015

stifflersmom says:
March 5, 2015 at 9:03 pm

Spiers is wrong. If the SFA wave King through, it won’t be because they wilted, it will be because they had no choice. I’ll happily disagree with the football authorities and their board members, I’ll even criticise them from time to time :mrgreen: , but I hope I restrict myself to things that are actually within their competence.

If King becomes a director or chair of RIFC, it will be because those tasked with enforcing UK company law have said that he can, I don’t see how the SFA could trump that permission and make it stick.

Personally, I don’t think anyone with even one conviction for tax evasion, should sit on any UK board, but the place to make that case is the Palace of Westminster, not Hampden.

So on this one, I will be giving the SFA (Including PL :mrgreen: ) a break.

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obsessionatPosted on9:48 pm - Mar 5, 2015

Re BBC interview: So Dave King wants to make “Rangers … a solid number two”. Freudian slip or what?

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jean7brodiePosted on9:51 pm - Mar 5, 2015

scapaflow says:
March 5, 2015 at 9:38 pm


And damn the Palace of Westminster in all their heinous deeds.

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AuldheidPosted on9:55 pm - Mar 5, 2015

Evening Folks

You know how we all want an SFA that is accountable to supporters where the supporters are independent of the SFA?

Well it looks like we are not the only ones.

I’ve followed the chap on Twitter but his contacts are:

m: 07702 252 519

I reckon there quite a few good volunteers here if they want to get in touch.

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AuldheidPosted on9:58 pm - Mar 5, 2015

AyeRightNaw says:

March 5, 2015 at 8:40 pm

“Celtic’s media relations team need to take a good look at themselves. They should have stepped in and nipped the line of questioning in the bud. Their job is to protect the reputation of the club, the officials and sponsors. They failed miserably today.”

I think they are out of touch with what matters to Celtic supporters who also are all too aware of the pits the media dig.

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Resin_lab_dogPosted on10:00 pm - Mar 5, 2015


Phil suggesting that the package that the SMSM have just giftwrapped into the clutches of Mr. King might still be ticking?

“Wake up its a beautiful morning…”

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AuldheidPosted on10:05 pm - Mar 5, 2015

Show us the spreadsheet Dave

Show us the spreadsheet Dave

Is this not what our journos (and SFA) should be asking?

I made up one based on a sustainable business model (I know, I know) about 18 months ago.

Some assumptions will need changed (like when UEFA money will arrive along with when TRFC enter the top tier ) and of course we have no idea of cost of onerous contracts, but as a template it could form a start point. Something I tweeted to 3 journos about

41m: @stvgrant @PeterAdamSmith @GrahamSpiers Here is what a sustainable business plan for TRFC might look like.

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Resin_lab_dogPosted on10:06 pm - Mar 5, 2015

obsessionat says:
March 5, 2015 at 9:48 pm

Re BBC interview: So Dave King wants to make “Rangers … a solid number two”. Freudian slip or what?

Well, it could do with some firming up, but other than that he’s a bit late to that party! Could someone open a window?

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valentinesclownPosted on10:08 pm - Mar 5, 2015

Resin_lab_dog says:
March 5, 2015 at 10:06 pm
obsessionat says:
March 5, 2015 at 9:48 pm

Re BBC interview: So Dave King wants to make “Rangers … a solid number two”. Freudian slip or what?

Maybe it is just all wind? Cannot see DK following through.

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TartanwulverPosted on10:13 pm - Mar 5, 2015

Auldheid says:
March 5, 2015 at 10:05 pm

Show us the spreadsheet Dave…Something I tweeted to 3 journos about

41m: @stvgrant @PeterAdamSmith @GrahamSpiers Here is what a sustainable business plan for TRFC might look like.
Maybe run off an extra copy for Neil Patey while you’re at it Auldheid?

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stan freePosted on10:15 pm - Mar 5, 2015

It’s the club that has to have the Nomad.

Does it? Is a Nomad a speciality position coach or a physiotherapist?

I thought it was a public limited company listed on the AIM market that had to have a Nomad.

Silly me!

I obviously know nothing and have been getting my club and company as confused as Neil Doncaster does.

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Cluster OnePosted on10:18 pm - Mar 5, 2015

Re BBC interview: So Dave King wants to make “Rangers … a solid number two”. Freudian slip or what?

well he does want to sit on the throne

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