The Blind Men and the Elephant, a cautionary tale

ByTrisidium

The Blind Men and the Elephant, a cautionary tale

A Guest Blog for TSFM by beatipacificiscotia

As a child I read a poem by John Godfrey Saxe, “The Blind Men and the Elephant”, and stumbled upon it again recently.  It is a simple tale of how six blind men encounter an Elephant and attempt to describe the animal:

It was six men of Indostan
To learning much inclined,
Who went to see the Elephant
(Though all of them were blind),
That each by observation
Might satisfy his mind.

The First approached the Elephant,
And happening to fall
Against his broad and sturdy side,
At once began to bawl:
“God bless me! but the Elephant
Is very like a WALL!”

You get the idea.  The other blind men did little better.  The second grabbed the tusk and thought the elephant like a spear.  Others thought the elephant like a snake (the trunk), a tree (the leg), a fan (the ear), and finally a rope (the tail).  What does this have to do with this blog?  Let me explain.

There is a danger of all of us, whether consciously or unconsciously, making the same mistake as these blind gentleman.  It is too easy to use the parts of the argument that fit our values and belief system, at the expense of the whole truth.  The 13th century Jaina scholar, Mallisena, described a much earlier version of the same tale as a parable to argue that people deny various aspects of truth; deluded by the aspects they do understand, they deny the aspects they don’t understand.  He said:

“Due to extreme delusion produced on account of a partial viewpoint, the immature deny one aspect and try to establish another. This is the maxim of the blind (men) and the elephant.”

I am incapable of putting it any better than that, though I would go further.  I argue that people are deluded by the aspects that they choose to understand, and deny the aspects that they refuse to understand.  Which leads me to my tale …..

I have recently read a news report about a decision taken by the Advertising Standards Authority on advertising activities of The Rangers Football Club Ltd and their claims to history and honours.  It includes the following quote referring to advice from the SFA:

“We also consulted with the SFA, which confirmed that its definition of a football ‘club’ varied depending on context, and could sometimes refer to an entity separate from the club’s corporate owner.”

I was most unhappy to read this part of the statement.  I am yet to see the definition or statement of when you could “sometimes refer to an entity separate from the club’s corporate owner”.  This is a contradiction to the definition of a football club given by FIFA; a definition which is handed down to the Confederations, and from Confederations to Associations. 

You may or may not be aware, the application of good governance in football is administered through club licensing.  This annual process ensures that minimum standards are maintained, to promote growth and development, and ultimately protects all of football – every club, every player and staff member, the integrity of every competition, suppliers of goods and services, the reputation of sponsors, and most of all the fans.  FIFA Club Licensing Regulations state that a license applicant must be a football club, defined as:

“Legal entity fully and solely responsible for the football team participating in national and international club competitions that applies for a licence.”

This is a clear and unambiguous definition, which is being ignored by the SFA.  Why is this issue so important?  Simply, a football club must be held responsible for its commercial activities.  For example, an over-ambitious and over-spending Rangers changed the Scottish football landscape forever.  Other clubs tried to compete in an unsustainable “Cold War”-like football arms race.  I believe Scottish football was damaged.  Many clubs have been taken to the brink of death.  This could happen in any country, in any league, anywhere in the world.  For that reason, a football club and its corporate body must be one and the same, living or dying, inseparably intertwined.  The separation of club and company is a myth, a myth dangerous to good governance.  Rangers (1872-2012) should be a cautionary tale told to every club owner.

There are many benefits to club licensing.  These including minimum standards for stadia and infrastructure, youth development programs, and much more.  I would heartily recommend that you read the FIFA document if you have the time. It gave birth to the word and spirit of Financial Fair Play.  Look at some of the financial benefits detailed:

 

10.3  Benefits

Implementation of the financial criteria will help deliver both short and long-term improvements for clubs, the licensors and the football family in general.  For the football family in general, the financial criteria should help to:

• safeguard the continuity and integrity of competitions;

• increase the transparency and credibility of clubs’ financial operations;

• improve confidence in the probity of the football industry;

• create a more attractive market for the game’s commercial partners and investors; and

• provide the basis for fair competition, because competition is not just about the teams on the pitch.

 

For the licensors, the financial criteria should help to:

• improve their understanding of the financial position and prospects of their member clubs;

• encourage clubs to settle liabilities to creditors on a timely basis;

• enhance transparency in the money flow of clubs;

• enhance their ability to be proactive in assisting clubs with financial issues; and

• provide a starting point for club benchmarking at a national level for those licensors and clubs who want to develop this aspect.

 

For the clubs, the financial criteria should help to:

• improve the standards and quality of financial management and planning activities;

• enable better management decision-making;

• enhance clubs’ financial and business credibility with stakeholders;

• improve financial stability; and

• enhance revenue-generating ability and cost management.

 

Important words, and I trust the value and opportunity these regulations offer are now clear.  Note bullet points 3 and 4, and that our top league currently does not have a sponsor.  The SFA must ensure the integrity of competitions, discourage financial recklessness, and protect football for everyone.  This is only possible with a clear, unambiguous statement that confirms club / company are one and the same thing.

To suggest a football club can in some way survive liquidation is to undermine the definition of what is a football club, one of the cornerstones of FIFA Club Licensing Regulations.  For the SFA to suggest a football club can in some way survive liquidation, or allow this belief to go unchallenged, is a shameful dereliction of duty.  It puts all of football in danger.  We cannot allow this.  There is too much at stake.

The poem ends thus:
And so these men of Indostan
Disputed loud and long,
Each in his own opinion
Exceeding stiff and strong,
Though each was partly in the right,
And all were in the wrong!

The blind men were each partially right, though in their vanity / stubbornness / ignorance they failed to find the truth.  There is a lesson for us all in this story.  This may appear to be an attempt to renew the old club / new club debate.  It is not.  To see this as an opportunity to score points against Rangers fans is to completely miss the point – you have failed to find the truth.

This is global issue affecting one of the fundamentals of good governance.  Good governance must be the beating heart of our game – ensuring good health and long life.  I am looking at the here and now, and ahead into the future. 

We must protect and promote ALL of the FIFA Club Licensing Regulations.  To deny any part is to refuse to see the whole elephant, like the foolish blind men.

About the author

Trisidium administrator

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

1,867 Comments so far

AquinasPosted on5:48 pm - Jan 30, 2014


@B

That was a great read today, you reignited my disgust and mistrust of the SFA, what does bug me though is while I agree that the SFA should not get away with this I would like to see ‘us’ do something that both puts a flag up to FIFA and stings the SFA, like….football fans taking them to ACAS! I don’t really know, I feel as if we have the barrel charged but no target.

I’ll put a DD in place to pay my share for a football lawyer, any ideas.

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LongTimeSmirkerPosted on5:58 pm - Jan 30, 2014


Angus1983 says:
January 30, 2014 at 4:02 pm

Surely the key to this is their acceptance of, and willingness to pay back the taxes? They have taken on the sidestepped tax liabilities, hence any sporting advantage accrued previously through tax avoidance will be counterbalanced by their hamstrung status whilst this is achieved.

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CastofthousandsPosted on6:00 pm - Jan 30, 2014


beatipacificiscotia says:
January 30, 2014 at 5:03 pm

“What I am saying is quite the opposite. The FIFA Club Licensing Regulations are the whole truth”
—————————–
From a logical and ethical perspective I agree with you wholeheartedly. I have always adopted ethics as my own personal guiding star but find that I have got awfully bruised shins as I encounter countless obstacles in my pursuit. It doesn’t stop me following that path but it does educate one on what the real human landscape looks like. It sometimes appears that rules exists to corral the wee guy into well defined zones so that the sharks can charge up the fast lane in their 4×4’s without hindrance.

So no argument at all with your logic and I long for the day when such commonsense is indeed common but the reality is that the moment after a rule is instigated up spring a bunch of commercial organisations that will assist you in exploiting possible loopholes. This is really disappointing to me but whilst I sit in the slow lane with a petted lip the 4×4 occupant is flying past giving my sour complexion the vicky.

Where do we go from here? We’ve already seen the perverse LNS ruling that a club has no legal personality. It appears that absurdity is absolutely no barrier to the establishment in embracing any particular stance. You can get angry but that just gives you a sour face and makes you look like you have lost the argument already. Probably the only tactic to employ is ridicule. These guys love their respectability so public ridicule is about the only thing likely to mark their teflon coating. At least the readers of this blog will have had the opportunity to turn over the facts and arrive at their own conclusion but it may take some time for this to penetrate into the wider public arena. We might at some point derive the satisfaction of saying ‘we told you so’ but that will only occur after the ambulances arrives to pick the broken bodies up off the tarmac.

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TSFMPosted on6:26 pm - Jan 30, 2014


The horrible lag on page retrieval appears to have gone away. Wish I could say that I had something to do with it, but even if I had, sleep deprivation would ensure that I didn’t remember what I had done to fix it 🙁

One of WordPress’s little quirks I am afraid – and one which seems to be experienced by many people and remains unresolved by the WordPress developers.

I will keep an eye on things in the hope that it doesn’t flare up again. If it does, a change of platform may be necessary.

Meantime, please give us your thoughts on the funding options over on the funding page.

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Resin_lab_dogPosted on6:30 pm - Jan 30, 2014


Cygnus X2 says:
January 30, 2014 at 10:17 am

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275,000 shares just traded at 25p.

I can understand someone who bought at 1pm wanting to sell. Still can’t quite understand anyone wanting to buy.

_____________________________________

Cygnus the buy trades will probably be almost automated trades by large shareholders and hedge companies taking ‘a position’ on the stock and setting up ‘support’ and ‘resistance’ levels.

It works like this:
Suppose I am an analyst or fundholder . I have no Rangers shares, but it is one of say 400 companies that I have taken ‘a position’ on. I have reviewed the companies books , trasing history or whatever and decided what the market thinks this share should be worth. I am in the business of buying low, selling high and pocketing the difference with as little work on my part as possible.
RFC shares were trading at 50p
I decide the point at which I can make money is for the sake of argument 25p (my BUY instruction)
I decide thepoint at which I should cash in is 75p (my sell instruction). Any price in between is my ‘HOLD’ position.

So I set up this type of arrangement with lots of shares to spread my risk and let it run, reveiwing each company in my portfolio now and again and changing the position as I see fit, rather than scrutinising every bit of my portfolio to the nth degree. I know I will lose money sometimes, but other times I will make a killing. In the long run I expect the cyclical nature of most share price changes to afford me a decent return for very little work using these tactics. Lots of people do the same as me. Some of them may even be using computers to make the buy/sell decisions automatically!
If we are good at our jobs, we will probably arrive at similar ‘positions’ on any given stock. We have just bought a basket load of RIFC shares at 25p – not because we want them or because we have studied the company in any great detail recently, but because we decided there was a good chance they were being sold too cheaply by accident or chance.

The effect is to create ‘support’ for a shere price at a certain level, because this is a level where standing instructions mean there are people willing to buy any shares offered. Conversely there is a ‘resistance’ level at which standing instructions mean that shares will always be coming onto the market to satisfy the demand for them.

Now in the case of a basket case share like RIFC, support will probably get exhausted and the share will drop further below the level at which I took my buy position – I lose money. But in most cases of sensibel shares, the support level will be reached as a result of normal fluctuations, so a recovery will follow, after which I can sell and pocket a margin.

So to answer you point, the person(s) who ‘bought’ those shares probably hasn’t made a specific concious choice to do so. And they may have been a computer. And they were almost certainly using other peoples money.

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m.c.f.c.Posted on7:27 pm - Jan 30, 2014


Resin_lab_dog says:
January 30, 2014 at 6:30 pm

So to answer you point, the person(s) who ‘bought’ those shares probably hasn’t made a specific concious choice to do so. And they may have been a computer. And they were almost certainly using other peoples money.
===================================================================================
Resin_lab_dog – my great uncle Dan used to love the horses and used to place bets in a similar manner. I wouldn’t go as far as to say he made a healthy profit – but he didn’t seem to go broke over many years either.

His advice was look at every race and first identify the obvious losers – then look to see if you can spot a likely winner or two at decent odds amongst the remaining contenders. Too many equal contenders – move on. Poor odds on your likely winner(s) – move on.

I’m guessing he’d have dismissed RIFC as a loser at first glance.

disclaimer – the above is neither financial nor horse racing advice. Anyone foolish enough to use it as such must take sole responsibility for loss of their money, shirt, home and/or dream of being a professional gambler.

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seminalPosted on7:31 pm - Jan 30, 2014


😆 😆 resin_dog, you just made all that up 😀

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andyPosted on7:36 pm - Jan 30, 2014


m.c.f.c. says:
January 30, 2014 at 2:52 pm
12 0 Rate This

Chris Graham Goes Super Nova over Super Alley

Ally McCoist – A Little Respect? The Rangers Standard 14:30
http://www.newsnow.co.uk/h/Sport/Football/Scottish+League+One/Rangers
________________
thats ally done then if fury is backing him
everyone else he has backed has failed or done a runner with pockets full of the gullible s money

that is why he is waiting till it all pans out now :mrgreen:

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m.c.f.c.Posted on7:42 pm - Jan 30, 2014


andy says:
January 30, 2014 at 7:36 pm

that is why he is waiting till it all pans out now
===================================================================================
They say you need to be selfish to be a top goal scorer – and that’s why defenders and midfielders have a higher success rate as managers. Ally may be in the wrong job as a manager but he’s definitely in the right job to make best use of his selfishness. But, with friends like Chris Graham, who needs enemies ?

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Resin_lab_dogPosted on7:54 pm - Jan 30, 2014


seminal says:
January 30, 2014 at 7:31 pm

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😆 😆 resin_dog, you just made all that up 😀

______________________________

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Algorithmic_trading

“A third of all European Union and United States stock trades in 2006 were driven by automatic programs, or algorithms, according to Boston-based financial services industry research and consulting firm Aite Group”

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John ClarkPosted on8:26 pm - Jan 30, 2014


Resin_lab_dog says:
January 30, 2014 at 6:30 pm
‘..It works like this:’…
———
Thank you for that quite lucid explanation,resin-l-d. If i win the Euromillions lottery, I’ll hire you as my financial adviser. Canny seem tae find a CA anywhere that isnae workin’ furra a fitba’ club!

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Exiled CeltPosted on8:57 pm - Jan 30, 2014


Resin does not need me to back him up – however I will stick my nose in where its not wanted 🙂

A popular explanation for the 1987 crash was selling by program traders, most notably as a reaction to the computerized selling required by portfolio insurance hedges.[10] However, economist Dean Furbush points out that the biggest price drops occurred when trading volume was light.[11] In program trading, computers perform rapid stock executions based on external inputs, such as the price of related securities. Common strategies implemented by program trading involve an attempt to engage in arbitrage and portfolio insurance strategies. As computer technology became more available, the use of program trading grew dramatically within Wall Street firms. After the crash, many blamed program trading strategies for blindly selling stocks as markets fell, exacerbating the decline. Some economists theorized the speculative boom leading up to October was caused by program trading, and that the crash was merely a return to normalcy. Either way, program trading ended up taking the majority of the blame in the public eye for the 1987 stock market crash. U.S. Congressman Edward J. Markey, who had been warning about the possibility of a crash, stated that “Program trading was the principal cause.”[12]

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Black_Monday_(1987)

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FisianiPosted on8:58 pm - Jan 30, 2014


In about 24 hours the transfer window will close. Some clubs will bring in players in the hope of strengthening their squad. Some clubs will transfer players to a) gain a transfer fee and b) reduce their wage bill.
If a plan is mooted that a squad reduce their earnings by lets say 15% and this is rejected then the same savings could be achieved by transferring 15% of the wage bill to another team.
Perhaps I am missing something. A club losing 1,000,000 a month could probably reduce this hemorrhage by a few thousand with each reduction in the playing staff.
Give that no transfers have been made I can only assume that the financial demise is deemed inevitable and the decision has been made to carry on at full speed till the funds run out and the wheels fall off and it all stops. When the music stops all the creditors get stiffed. All the players lose their jobs.
Someone will go to prison. Interesting times. The final days. Will it end with a bang or just a whimper? Who will be able to walk away?

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slimshady61Posted on9:00 pm - Jan 30, 2014


Thanks, BPS – an excellent read and bringing much needed focus on the points at issue. And nice to see a poem by Saxe for the first time in more than 40 years – I’m moved to pay tribute to him (and you) so here is my humble offering:-

It was six men of the MSM
To Rangers much inclined,
Who went to see the Sevco team
(Though all of them were blind),
That each by observation
Might satisfy his mind

The First approached the PR chief,
And happening to fall
upon his knees, and begging please,
At once began to whine:
“I’m here to taste the succulent lamb
Washed down with a glass of wine”

Big J was one who never was
Inclined to suffer fools
He’d outed Speirs & Jackson
As a couple of useless tools
So he said to the hapless Guidi (for it was he)
Ye’ve had yer tea, and it’s up to me
Just follow the media house Rules

It may not p(l)ay like Rangers
But just stick to the fact
The Glasgow Rangers never died
This is no tribute act
We are the Glasgow Rangers
We’re proud, and loyal and blue
So tell those bhoys we’re the real McCoys
Been here since ‘72

Now the rest they came to Ibrox
One by one, with heads all bowed
They were offered poppy for fawning copy
Knowing the “L” word was not allowed
Rangers then, and now and always
From now till the end of time
With plates of lamb, and beaucoup du vin
It’s payback for bampots who whine

Because though the same Rangers team and club
It’s a brand new Clumpany
So they keep their bike and the Loving Cup
And all their history
(tho’ no-one dares mention Arsenal’s shares
a sore one for those Teddy Bears)

So let this tale be read by all
It’s no parable, but true
If enough men lie, the Gers don’t die
They live to make fools of you
But tell the truth, and by God, by Struth
You’re faced with a powerful axis
SFA, League and the Rangers clique
Aye ready to dodge their taxes.

54 (rhyming pentameters) to 0

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John ClarkPosted on9:07 pm - Jan 30, 2014


slimshady61 says:
January 30, 2014 at 9:00 pm
‘….It was six men of the MSM..’
————
Put that to music, slimshady, and you’re quids in!

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TSFMPosted on9:17 pm - Jan 30, 2014


Spoke with Paul McConville’s brother yesterday and he was quite chuffed about the amount we had raised on Paul’s behalf for the BHF, and very humbled by the overwhelming reaction from internet people on Paul’s passing.

He also advised that Pauls blog is inaccessible right now, but that he would speak to Val, (Paul’s wife) about our suggestion that we could keep the content archived here. Some options, if the family are agreeable is to have someone take over the blog and safeguard its tradition – or have it housed here for posterity.

I think the family are only now getting a wee inkling of the impact and influence that their husband, father, brother and son had on people’s thinking in these last few years. Maybe a small consolation that Paul’s legacy extends beyond that which he left as a family man.

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AuldheidPosted on9:22 pm - Jan 30, 2014


Ecobhoy

I would just like to say I appreciate the time you have spent digging much deeper into the land deal accusations than the accusers did.

Indeed the possibility that matters Auchenhowie may not be squeaky clean reminds me of that lesser knowing saying that people who live in grass houses should be careful whose field they are ploughing. 🙂

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beatipacificiscotiaPosted on9:22 pm - Jan 30, 2014


slimshady61 says:
January 30, 2014 at 9:00 pm

Bravo!

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FisianiPosted on9:26 pm - Jan 30, 2014


Why would any team want spend money on a transfer fee to Sevco when the entire squad will be available in less than a month for free?

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AquinasPosted on9:31 pm - Jan 30, 2014


Auldheid that made me chuckle, is that also known as ‘Sods Lawn’?

I’ll get my rainmate……….

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parttimearabPosted on9:32 pm - Jan 30, 2014


beatipacificiscotia says
“I would heartily recommend that you read the FIFA document if you have the time. It gave birth to the word and spirit of Financial Fair Play”.
———————————————————————————————————–
I’ll believe in the spirit of financial fair play when I see it in action.
Let’s see how EUFA deal with the highly creative efforts of Man City, PSG and others to get round FFP regs – I’ll take a wild guess that they’ll deal with it by allowing a feast of creative accountancy.
Frankly FIFA is a sink of corruption.
The footballing world needs to decide if it wants integrity or money.
Sadly I think I know which it will be.

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Tif FinnPosted on9:47 pm - Jan 30, 2014


The Rangers support has it’s share of intelligent people, well trained people, decent people, blokes who would do you a good turn rather than a bad one. I say this because I know them, people who I like and who I trust, people who I happily spend my time with, either on a professional level or on a personal level.

The problem is that they are generally silent on the real issues, not because they don’t know what is going on but because they really don’t need the hassle from their fellow supporters for speaking about it. You only have to see what happens on places like follow follow when a supporter talks sense and highlights the reality of the situation. It is like a feeding frenzy.

To be entirely fair, that is true of the Celtic support as well. There are those who I am happy to discuss things with and to spend my time with, and those who I have no time for, who I would rather had nothing to do with the club I support.

However I think the problems with Rangers just now are entirely different from those Celtic have. Ours is whether or not we should sign Lee Griffiths, whether or not Samaras is a waste or a shirt and should be let go, whether Kris Commons should actually be considered a midfield player who scores goals or a striker. Rangers problems are whether or not the new club will survive, whether it will have to rent it’s traditional home from it’s owners, whether it really is acceptable to have the Easdales drinking from the loving cup.

As problems those are apples and oranges. They are not even in the same league.

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essexbeancounterPosted on9:50 pm - Jan 30, 2014


easyJambo says:

January 30, 2014 at 5:13 pm

ecobhoy says: January 30, 2014 at 3:57 pm
———————–
It seems that budgeting has never been a strong point for the Bears.

From the 1999 Accounts
Plans have now been announced for a new training ground and youth academy at Auchenhowie to the north of Glasgow. The cost of this project is estimated at around £10million and we will have a facility which matches the very best available in Europe.
From the 2000 Accounts
Construction of the new training academy which, at a cost of £12 Million will be among the best in Europe is well underway and I expect the facility to be available by June 2001.
From the 2001 Accounts
Of even greater significance, I believe that the completion of the new £13M football centre, ready for the start of the new season in July this year, was the major achievement

From the BBC News 2001
Rangers chairman David Murray unveiled the club’s new £14m training ground on Wednesday and promised that the benefits of the investment would soon be evident.
==============================================================================
EJ…some light relief prior to the final HMRC deadline of 31 January…but do remind me of when the EBT scheme(s) officially started…and was SDM not the largest single beneficiary…of £6 million…?
Now an increase in budgeted costs of £5 million pounds over less than five years…? …..mmmmmmmmmmm!

Me bad?

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upthehoopsPosted on9:51 pm - Jan 30, 2014


Tif Finn says:
January 30, 2014 at 9:47 pm
====================
Agree with every part of that post.

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essexbeancounterPosted on9:56 pm - Jan 30, 2014


john clarke says:

January 30, 2014 at 8:26 pm

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Resin_lab_dog says:
January 30, 2014 at 6:30 pm
‘..It works like this:’…
———
Thank you for that quite lucid explanation,resin-l-d. If i win the Euromillions lottery, I’ll hire you as my financial adviser. Canny seem tae find a CA anywhere that isnae workin’ furra a fitba’ club!
============================================================================
JC…here I am dear boy….all newly paid up (in excess of £1k fees to ICAS!) and desperate to recover said sum…!

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AuldheidPosted on10:04 pm - Jan 30, 2014


Galling fiver says:

January 30, 2014 at 11:43 am
===========
You mention “for the good of the game” and it was a sausage too tasty not to bite at.

The authors of Scottish Fans For Change put out an invite for contributions to

http://scotfans4change.wordpress.com/

and, having previously published thoughts on matters of SFA governance, I took the opportunity to air them again with some updates covering rule breaking with the purpose of focussing on areas of change.

I thought it might help a movement of supporters whose connection with Rangers or Celtic cannot be used as an excuse to attack their aims and might even have got away with it had previous ideas not appeared on a Celtic blog because that was one that was available 3 years ago.

There is no comments section on the Fanss4Change blog, but on Twitter the fact that the blog was written by a Celtic supporter got the usual reaction from the kind of folk who are incapable of letting go of their emotional attachment to long held prejudices, to look at the message rather than the messenger or colour of envelope.

Of course we have no idea of the numbers who are incapable of letting go and hopefully the more rational will realise that staying with the same 2 club model is self harming, but it is disconcerting to see the value of one’s input set aside simply because of the club you support rather than the content of the proposals offered..

This in my opinion is the greatest barrier to change. It keeps supporters divided rather than united, but it also raises another question.

Exactly what is it that Rangers supporters fear from an honest appraisal being carried out of how our game was governed and why it is has lost all claims to integrity?

Is it the fear of what that will mean for them? That they will be banned forever? That titles will be stripped?
Just what is it that is so fearful they are so ready to attack folk simply seeking fairness?

Can these fears be removed in order to carry out something without which I believe Scottish football is doomed to be perpetually played against a background of a never ending uncivil war.

Is this the vision of the SFA?

Is this what makes our game “attractive” to TV audiences world wide?

Is this the kind of message Scotland wants to project to the world?

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essexbeancounterPosted on10:05 pm - Jan 30, 2014


… And nice to see a poem by Saxe for the first time in more than 40 years – I’m moved to pay tribute to him (and you) so here is my humble offering:-

But tell the truth, and by God, by Struth
You’re faced with a powerful axis
SFA, League and the Rangers clique
Aye ready to dodge their taxes.

54 (rhyming pentameters) to 0
================================================================================
Slim…many chapeaux to your excellent post…the last four stanzas I will cherish forever.
PS your style is a distant relative of my late father’s favourite…McGonagle
PPS who dis guy Saxe…?…did he count beans too?

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essexbeancounterPosted on10:12 pm - Jan 30, 2014


Aquinas says:

January 30, 2014 at 9:31 pm
I’ll get my rainmate……….
=============================================================================
Aquinas…thank you…that made me think very warmly of my much loved mother (RIP) who had at least two “rainmates” in every handbag!

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easyJamboPosted on10:19 pm - Jan 30, 2014


essexbeancounter says: January 30, 2014 at 9:50 pm
——————————————–
From the FTTT report:
In April 2001 the management company of the Group set up the Trust. Other companies in the Group subsequently participated in the scheme.

SDM received £6.3M in contributions to his sub trust.

Of considerably more interest was the amount of money paid to “Related Parties” i.e. Murray Group companies during SDM’s tenure.
Value of contracts to related parties – info taken from the RFC accounts
1998 675,000
1999 673,000
2000 975,000
2001 3,082,000
2002 4,221,000
2003 3,896,000
2004 4,298,000
2005 3,941,000
2006 1,918,000
2007 1,875,000
2008 1,177,000
2009 1,140,000
2010 665,000
2011 407,000
Total 28,943,000

£29M is a nice little earner for someone who didn’t take anything from the club.

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iceman63Posted on10:20 pm - Jan 30, 2014


Ok. Poetry night is it Slim!
A young Rangers manager – Ally
With brogues, spivs and journos was pally:
But this cheeky chappy,
When he got unhappy,
Roused the bears like a Nuremburg rally.
Sorry

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ecobhoyPosted on10:22 pm - Jan 30, 2014


Auldheid says:
January 30, 2014 at 9:22 pm

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Ecobhoy

I would just like to say I appreciate the time you have spent digging much deeper into the land deal accusations than the accusers did.

Indeed the possibility that matters Auchenhowie may not be squeaky clean reminds me of that lesser knowing saying that people who live in grass houses should be careful whose field they are ploughing. 🙂
—————————————————————————
Being the modest kind of guy that I am it wasn’t actually very difficult to dig deeper than the Blue land experts.

However I’ve never heard the ‘grass houses’ one before – laughed at that 😀

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essexbeancounterPosted on10:29 pm - Jan 30, 2014


easyJambo says:

January 30, 2014 at 10:19 pm
essexbeancounter says: January 30, 2014 at 9:50 pm
——————————————–
From the FTTT report:
In April 2001 the management company of the Group set up the Trust. Other companies in the Group subsequently participated in the scheme.

SDM received £6.3M in contributions to his sub trust.

Of considerably more interest was the amount of money paid to “Related Parties” i.e. Murray Group companies during SDM’s tenure.
Value of contracts to related parties – info taken from the RFC accounts
1998 675,000
1999 673,000
2000 975,000
2001 3,082,000
2002 4,221,000
2003 3,896,000
2004 4,298,000
2005 3,941,000
2006 1,918,000
2007 1,875,000
2008 1,177,000
2009 1,140,000
2010 665,000
2011 407,000
Total 28,943,000

£29M is a nice little earner for someone who didn’t take anything from the club.
============================================================================
EJ…thank you for the summary of financial largesse spread around by SDM…the dates appear to tie in nicely, without necessarily proving any forensic accounting trail.
Sadly the Companies Act 2006 merely requires a bland summary of “Related Party Transactions” with only total amounts shown…without really stating the true purpose behind the payment, ostensibly in return for “services”, discernible or otherwise!

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Angus1983Posted on10:39 pm - Jan 30, 2014


LongTimeSmirker says:
January 30, 2014 at 5:58 pm

Surely the key to this is their acceptance of, and willingness to pay back the taxes? They have taken on the sidestepped tax liabilities, hence any sporting advantage accrued previously through tax avoidance will be counterbalanced by their hamstrung status whilst this is achieved.
——
Arguably so. However, the fact is they’re a new club by our definition here (i.e. the old company was definitely liquidated, and a new company now runs the club). In fact, the new club even had a new (old) name – Budapest Honved. They took Kispest Honved’s place in the League when the latter was in the process of liquidation.

So, unarguably a new club which is successfully masquerading as an old, dead club.

Should this be accepted simply because they took on the tax burden of the dead club? If TRFC came out and said they’d cough for the Wee Tax Case, would be allow them to be the same Rangers?

Unfortunately, the “eligible to play in Europe” test results are lost in the annals of history, because the situation didn’t arise. The new Honved started the 2004-5 domestic season, and didn’t qualify for Europe again til the 2007-8 UEFA Cup, conveniently 3 years later!.

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easyJamboPosted on10:40 pm - Jan 30, 2014


essexbeancounter says: January 30, 2014 at 10:29 pm
——————————
The accounts simply state : Catering Services, Call Centre, Mail Order Operation, Information Technology and Travel.

I know SDM had interests in Azure catering and RHL (Response) Call Centre services. Don’t know about the others though.

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manandboyPosted on10:52 pm - Jan 30, 2014


A probationer teacher has been struck off by the General Teaching Council Scotland today.

The GTCS concluded her conduct had fallen “significantly short of the standards expected of a registered teacher”.

The panel also found she had “breached the core values of integrity as well as trust and respect with regard to honesty”.

(http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-south-scotland-25944030)
__________________________________________________________________________________________

I bring this item to the blog only because it reminds us

that there are still public bodies in Scotland who believe in

“the core values of integrity as well as trust and respect with regard to honesty”.

It remains a great pity,

as well as a disfiguring stain,

that the SFA & the SPFL

cannot be regarded as among such public bodies..

Like the teacher,

those responsible at the SFA & SPFL

should also be ‘ struck off ‘.

That might teach them a lesson.

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indy14Posted on11:01 pm - Jan 30, 2014


easyJambo says:
January 30, 2014 at 5:13 pm

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they are and have been openly pillaging RFC for decades

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selfassessorPosted on11:09 pm - Jan 30, 2014


Is it only me or are things getting a bit boring? Celtic are playing a blinder and running up a nice commanding lead in the league and things appear to be spiv-less in Le Stade de Mordor where the tribute act perform necromancy in front of the necrophiliacs.

We need something to happen to keep the interest up. Upper Tier Tax Tribunal anyone?

While I’m typing. I’ve been wondering. Which one of the contributors to this site do we think is RTC? I miss his spreadsheets and analysis of RFC (Now In Liquidation) finances and the fickleness of The MSM!

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AquinasPosted on11:10 pm - Jan 30, 2014


Essexbeancounter, to you.

I was moved by your ‘humble offering’ to Saxe, touched that my reference to the amazing Rainmate brought you warm memories of your much loved and know-doubt missed, very busy, no fuss, no problem, dedicated Mum. She must have been, all Rainmaters are!!

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Palacio67Posted on11:19 pm - Jan 30, 2014


Great piece beatipacificiscotia, nail on the head with the SFAs response to the ASA, one I asked them to explain to me! And one they never did.

Brilliant Ode Slim, Brought a smile to my face, Chapeau.

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wottpiPosted on11:23 pm - Jan 30, 2014


The other week Sally Magnusson reported that the players at Ibrox were ‘Not really’ asked about a 15% wage reduction that would be effective until 2015.

If by this time tomorrow night plus 1hr Lee Wallace is still at @T’Rangers, what will his namesake the CEO think of next to trim over £1m from the expenditure of ‘the club’ and how many more days does he need to implement the cost cutting he has acknowledged, in public, as being rerquired down Ibrox way not only for League One but for the Premiership.

‘Paralysis though analysis’ anyone?

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Paulmac2Posted on11:25 pm - Jan 30, 2014


parttimearab says:
January 30, 2014 at 9:32 pm
15 0 Rate This

beatipacificiscotia says
“I would heartily recommend that you read the FIFA document if you have the time. It gave birth to the word and spirit of Financial Fair Play”.
———————————————————————————————————–
I’ll believe in the spirit of financial fair play when I see it in action.
Let’s see how EUFA deal with the highly creative efforts of Man City, PSG and others to get round FFP regs – I’ll take a wild guess that they’ll deal with it by allowing a feast of creative accountancy.
Frankly FIFA is a sink of corruption.
The footballing world needs to decide if it wants integrity or money.
Sadly I think I know which it will be.
……………………………………………………………………..
It will be interesting considering Michel Platini’s son Laurent Platini holds a senior position at PSG..

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AuldheidPosted on11:46 pm - Jan 30, 2014


parttimearab says:

January 30, 2014 at 9:32 pm

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Quantcast

beatipacificiscotia says
“I would heartily recommend that you read the FIFA document if you have the time. It gave birth to the word and spirit of Financial Fair Play”.
———————————————————————————————————–
I’ll believe in the spirit of financial fair play when I see it in action.
Let’s see how EUFA deal with the highly creative efforts of Man City, PSG and others to get round FFP regs – I’ll take a wild guess that they’ll deal with it by allowing a feast of creative accountancy.
Frankly FIFA is a sink of corruption.
The footballing world needs to decide if it wants integrity or money.
Sadly I think I know which it will be.
=========================
I think the whole world is watching but there are more clubs wanting to p lay fairly than unfairly and UEFA are aware that they are being watched by them.

Whilst break even rules have still to be tested,UEFA have banned clubs for FFP breaches. Malaga for example for having overdues payable to tax authorities…..

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AuldheidPosted on11:56 pm - Jan 30, 2014


Aquinas says:

January 30, 2014 at 9:31 pm

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Quantcast

Auldheid that made me chuckle, is that also known as ‘Sods Lawn’?

I’ll get my rainmate……….
=============
I have heard it described as Turf Lurk

I’ll get the brolly!

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ianjsPosted on11:59 pm - Jan 30, 2014


Auldheid says:

January 30, 2014 at 9:22 pm

I ec(h)o this.

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John ClarkPosted on12:13 am - Jan 31, 2014


essexbeancounter says:
January 30, 2014 at 9:56 pm
‘..JC…here I am dear boy….all newly paid up.. ‘
——–
eb,in the very unlikely event that I win said Euromillions, I will of course keep honest, Shakespeare-loving CAs like yourself very much in mind!

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John ClarkPosted on12:41 am - Jan 31, 2014


A wee while ago some posters (presumably but not necessarily Celtic supporters) suggested that Celtic FC should honour Fergus McCann’s brilliant work in saving Celtic from the fate that has been suffered by the fans of RFC(IL) at the hands of their hubristic, wholly incompetent failure of a loud-mouthed,manipulatively menacing majority shareholder of a businessman(and his successors), by erecting a statue of him alongside those of Brother Walfrid, Jinky, and Jock.

I posted at the time that Fergus is a quiet, modest man, who would be content with a simple word of thanks from the ranks of the supporters.

I myself wrote a simple letter of thanks to him for saving the club honourably ( no cheap and easy sloughing of debt by going into Administration and crowing about it, no dirty buying of the assets from sleaze ball Administrators, no secret, furtive deals with the SFA,to stay in Scotish Football,etc etc).

Today, I got a nice simple reply, in which he expresses his thanks and appreciation, and emphasises that he succeeded only because of the efforts of others.
A nice man. The very antithesis of the Kings, the Greens, the Whytes, the Blue knights who were and are cheapskates on the make.
Fergus as a business man has few equals.
As an honest, plain-speaking, up-front, personal risk-taking business man, he is probably unique.

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Galling fiverPosted on12:47 am - Jan 31, 2014


Racing Santander may save TRFC a scudding in the cup with their actions tonight 😆 that’s if the hot baw system fails mind you. Nae offence to any other cup opponents.
I can see it now, Ally backs his battle scarred players in 15% wage cut row, LMcC “although there’s nae difference in quality we’re naw playing coz it’s naw fair ……in oor favour” headline, bhoycotted. Time for bed I think.

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readceltPosted on6:23 am - Jan 31, 2014


Is it just me or have the number of rangers puff pieces fallen away dramatically in the last few days from the Herald and Scotsman?

You know the kind of thing I mean, pick a random player and discuss how ‘being at rangers is great, our supporters are great, I love life at rangers, our football is great, I turned down other moves to be at this great club’ etc etc or McCoist ruminating on his general lack of understanding of financial matters and budgetary constraints.

It felt like there was at least one a day but the tap has now been turned off.

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TartanwulverPosted on6:38 am - Jan 31, 2014


David Conn at the Guardian on the wider subject of how the requirements of ‘fairness’ that are supposedly coming in to European level football might be being countered by increasingly obscure and creative means

http://www.theguardian.com/football/2014/jan/30/chelsea-links-third-party-ownership?CMP=twt_gu

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TartanwulverPosted on6:57 am - Jan 31, 2014


Let’s all hope that UEFA have more success basing their competitions on the FFP proposals than the SFA have had since they decided to base the game here on the FFS system.

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upthehoopsPosted on7:25 am - Jan 31, 2014


A warning to anyone travelling in or around the Parkhead area of Glasgow today. Celtic have commenced demolition work on London Road Primary School. Rumours of several angry bears in the area have yet to be confirmed.

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ptd1978Posted on7:35 am - Jan 31, 2014


Galling fiver says:
January 30, 2014 at 11:43 am
45 5 Rate This

Your right, there needs to be an engagement. But the rest of Scottish football is too busy doing nothing wrong, to engage with those who deem you a hater for suggesting they join the same club. Some TSFM posters excluded, well Ryan anyway. 😆

_________________________________

I agree that the new Ranger’s behaviour and business model has been completely unacceptable and has only been possible because the governing bodies are so corrupt and willing to break their own rules only for the Ibrox club.
There can’t be a solution without the SFA being fixed so that Spiv activity results in a club suffering. Look at Hearts. Vlad overspent madly and ran out of town. Hearts are basically guaranteed relegation now and still may disappear altogether. The SFA hasn’t promised them top tier football, or a license come what may. Spiv activity must be discouraged with punishment.
Fans need to be more tolerant too and to say other clubs are doing nothing wrong is burying your head in the sand a bit. Quite a few clubs have fan problems and could be more active in dealing with them. Celtic have done well recently, but there are still issues and some on here even still use sectarianism to describe the motives of Rangers fans who might just be stupid,or engaging in oneupmanship towards Celtic the way a United fan might be towards a Dundee fan. That’s a problem with the accuser unless there is hard evidence of sectarianism.
You can’t find a middle ground if you always say they’re wrong and we’re right. Especially when that isn’t always true.

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andygraham.66Posted on7:58 am - Jan 31, 2014


Happy Jim White day

Or as it’s known in Govan

Pre Liquidation, everything must go, sale day

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Danish PastryPosted on8:18 am - Jan 31, 2014


upthehoops on January 31, 2014 at 7:25 am
3 0 Rate This

A warning to anyone travelling in or around the Parkhead area of Glasgow today. Celtic have commenced demolition work on London Road Primary School. Rumours of several angry bears in the area have yet to be confirmed.
———-

Don’t know about angry bears but @celticfc posted photo links of the destruction of the listed building yesterday.

Jannie’s hoose first away. A very sad sight to behold, this unsentimental bulldozing of a wee bit of East End culture, heritage and history — three things the club is otherwise associated with.

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manandboyPosted on8:21 am - Jan 31, 2014


ptd1978 says: January 31, 2014 at 7:35 am

You can’t find a middle ground if you always say they’re wrong and we’re right.
________________________________________________________________________________________

ptd1978, What is being said in the above sentence is true.

However, the middle ground refers to a difference of opinion.

I would suggest that most of what concerns us here is invariably a matter of fact.

For example, lying, cheating and stealing.

Non payment of taxes – where’s the middle ground in that,

unless it’s the central courtyard at Barlinnie ?

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slimshady61Posted on8:57 am - Jan 31, 2014


Danish Pastry says:
January 31, 2014 at 8:18 am
————————————-
DP

First of all, there are any number of similar Edwardian school buildings dotted around Glasgow if want to visit them on your next visit. All are in disrepair, to a greater or lesser extent, though some shamefully some are still in use as schools.

Secondly Glasgow District Council disgracefully allowed this building over the past 15 years to go to rack and ruin and did nothing to prevent rain/water ingress/vandalism.

Thirdly it was a condition of Celtic getting the opening ceremony to the Commonwealth Games that they tart up, at their own expense, the approaches to Celtic Park, and furthermore that the said tarting up be sympathetic to, and aligned with, the unamiginative square tin opposite known as the Emirates Stadium, an indoor stadium and cycle track with seating for up to 5,000 people but no public car parking on event days.

Urban regneration is a two way thing between land owners and public bodies. In this case the public body has not discharged its duties properly and furthermore resisted all earlier attempts by Celtic over more than a decade to acquire the school and, whilst it was still watertight, turn it into some sort of facilty for the club.

54 (schools) going to rack and ruin

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briggsbhoyPosted on9:07 am - Jan 31, 2014


Re London Rd Demolition

I was in the Lighthouse building in Mitchell lane in Glasgow yesterday and there is a series of pictures of fine old Glasgow builings under threat or recently lost to demolition and decay. One that saddened me recently was the old Springburn Sports Centre, such a fine looking builing that was allowed to decay. The school at Parkhead to was a typical sanstone school and you could argue a fine looking building. The problem in modern terms is that these buildings are not fit for purpose these days in terms of insulation and the work inloved in bringing them up to modern stanards is phrohibitive. Consider also that there is no vat relief (was 5% I think, may have been withdrawn for listed buildings) for renovation but you can reclaim the full 20% on new build. So where is the incentive to retain our building heritage ? That said I would have liked if the architect could have incorporated some features or indeed a part of the original building in any new design such as they have done in the Calton and elsewhere in city. Modern structures rarely excite me.

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briggsbhoyPosted on9:16 am - Jan 31, 2014


Slim at 8:57
I just saw your post which in someways reflects the point I was making. There are many building which are being left to decay on purpose especially if they are listed. We should of course complain to the likes of Historic Scotland and the council and ask that they take action as I believe they are obliged to act.

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helpmaboabPosted on9:18 am - Jan 31, 2014


BFDJ in the Evening Times. “like many Rangers supporters, I have little understanding of how the finances of a major company work.”
Then haud yer tongue.
Oh,and not a cheap about Super Salary.

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GabbyPosted on9:22 am - Jan 31, 2014


Long time RTC and TSFM lurker.

The only way to achieve financial fair play is with the introduction of a properly policed salary cap. Everything else in the FFP policy is just window dressing designed to give the impression of FFP.

It will never happen in European leagues but it the only genuine way to ensure competitive leagues.

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ecobhoyPosted on9:22 am - Jan 31, 2014


john clarke says:
January 31, 2014 at 12:41 am

Fergus as a business man has few equals. As an honest, plain-speaking, up-front, personal risk-taking business man, he is probably unique.
================================================
I had a professional relationship which was interesting to say the least 🙄

I greatly admired his business acumen which was solidly based on having ‘vision’ and the courage to implement it and I don’t just mean wrt Celtic.

It carried over into his personal life as well. Ego-inflated idiots often made the mistake of thinking ‘The Wee Man’ was a pushover – they still carry the wounds to this day from the verbal dressing-down and sometimes tongue-lashing they received face-to-face. He most certainly didn’t suffer fools either gladly or in silence 😆

I think perhaps the greatest achievement from his spell at Parkhead wasn’t so much ‘saving’ the club but in terms of his legacy which was built on solid fiscal and business foundations. As long as it is followed by future custodians the Club will continue and hopefully provide entertaining football for its supporters for a long time.

I nearly chucked supporting Celtic he was shamefully booed by some fans – Thinking about it afterwards I realised they simply were incapable of seeing The Bunnet’s vision of the Promised Land and I hope some of those involved in that tawdry episode have had the opportunity to reflect and realise that Fergus didn’t do things for short-term gain. He was always thinking of the longer term for Celtic and in securing a stable future.

And because he was a businessman he wanted his return and was always clear about that – but there are no missing zillions that can be laid at his door because he was simply honest and kept his word.

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Danish PastryPosted on9:38 am - Jan 31, 2014


slimshady61 says:
January 31, 2014 at 8:57 am
3 0 Rate This
————

I’m very much aware of the state of disrepair and neglect of Glasgow’s iconic structures. It’s something I do pay attention to when I visit, especially when the non-Glasgow folks with me tend to look in bewilderment at some of the places I take them to. I’ve heard the arguments about the games, about the sandstone, and so on, but culture and heritage can transcend pragmatism and here-and-now practicality.

As Briggsbhoy mentioned above, it must surely have been possible to incorporate some of the original features, or even part of the original building, in the shiny new structure.

There’s a bombed out ruin of a church in the middle of Berlin you’ve no doubt seen that’s probably been viewed by some Berliners as an eyesore, and by others, as a link with the past. It’s now an iconic landmark and symbol of the city’s renaissance.

If nothing else the Jannie’s hoose could have been saved. On the other hand, I may just be showing my own age.

Anyway, this is seriously off-topic and verging on architectaboutery, so I will follow the updates via twitter and imagine what might have been.

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ecobhoyPosted on9:40 am - Jan 31, 2014


upthehoops on January 31, 2014 at 7:25 am

A warning to anyone travelling in or around the Parkhead area of Glasgow today. Celtic have commenced demolition work on London Road Primary School. Rumours of several angry bears in the area have yet to be confirmed.
=====================================
I hate being pessimistic but it looks as though they’ve left it too late to catch-up on their skoolin 🙄

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borussiabeefburgPosted on9:47 am - Jan 31, 2014


Simple and old fashioned.

SFA chief executive Stewart Regan, yesterday:
“The success of the William Hill Scottish Cup has been enhanced by Sky Sports’ extensive live coverage, the nation is fully behind Gordon Strachan as we continue our preparations ahead of the Uefa Euro 2016 qualifiers and the commitment to cover the Scottish FA Youth Cup allows supporters an opportunity to look at the next generation of young Scottish talent.”

Don’t think the gentleman Regan grasps the effect of television coverage in relation to fans attending matches.

Coupled with the disgraceful allocation already of the Final and Semi Finals to Celtic Park and Ibrox, the penultimate matches in the Scottish Cup, if they follow recent trends, will kick off in Glasgow at around noon, which hardly enhances the success of the tournament. Sky Sports uses Scottish football as a space filler in their schedules, diminishing the likelihood of fan interaction at the live event itself.

Regan further thinks Sky Sports are now permitting supporters a chance to see up and coming Scottish youth footballers: now, maybe I’m a bit simple, but rather than waiting for a television channel to show the Scottish FA Youth Cup, I’ve actually gone to the grounds and watched these matches.

Perhaps I’m also just a little old fashioned, Stewart, and sitting at home creating an atmosphere in my living room is the way forward for Scottish football.

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ecobhoyPosted on9:47 am - Jan 31, 2014


helpmaboab says:
January 31, 2014 at 9:18 am

BFDJ in the Evening Times. “like many Rangers supporters, I have little understanding of how the finances of a major company work.” Then haud yer tongue.
=============================================
I remember the day when the ET had its own business reporter and if it needed it could always call on The Heralds very well-staffed business and finance department which might even had more journalists in it than the sports department.

All I can say is: Changed Days! And most certainly for the worse if the plummeting circulation is a judge of readership satisfaction.

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THCPosted on10:02 am - Jan 31, 2014


Morning all, long-time lurker at RTC and now at TSFM and this is my first post here. Nothing to add of substance to the debate other than to congratulate beatipacificiscotia on a concise and erudite post that hits the nail firmly on the head. Chapeau. And to the many and varied posters supporting clubs up and down Scotland and beyond who continue to shine light into those murky recesses where the SMSM either can’t or won’t – more power to your keyboards and to your enquiring minds.

TSFM – a small sum donated to your running costs by way of appreciation for all the excellent work you do and facilitate through this site. Thank you.

THC

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ecobhoyPosted on10:12 am - Jan 31, 2014


Danish Pastry says:
January 31, 2014 at 8:18 am

Jannie’s hoose first away. A very sad sight to behold, this unsentimental bulldozing of a wee bit of East End culture, heritage and history — three things the club is otherwise associated with.
=======================================================
I don’t think the subject is actually OT because of the actual location and the fact that the demolition will provide the usual contrived ‘stick’ for the Bears to beat Celtic with.

It is sad but two of the schools I attended in Glasgow were demolished many moons ago. One was a much more imposing and architecturally important structure and the other was very similar to the London Road school.

The problems for all such public buildings, throughout the UK, is that there isn’t enough money to save them and that was before the recession hit. They are enormously expensive to renovate and many have later asbestos-clad additions and asbestos-lagged heating pipes.

And a use has to be found which can pay for usually high running costs when they are renovated – it’s a tall order and seldom one that the private sector has the slightest interest in. That’s why councils – like private developers – usually let then slowly deteriorate and think silent thoughts about vandalism and the thought of a fire which could well destroy the roof and hasten the, by then, inevitable slow march to demolition of an unsafe building. A classic of this genre is Lennox Castle on the former Lennoxtown Hospital site – relax everyone it’s nothing to do with Celtic 😆

Certainly I agree that some aspects of the school should be saved and incorporated in new developments at Celtic Park. But in this day and age it would be easy and relatively inexpensive to build an audio-visual record of the school history which could be added to by former pupils or children of them as well as ordinary residents of the area.

We have to move with the times and I really think the AV would have been the way to go. I would have expected Celtic to assist in this but it’s the responsibility of Glasgow Council, who presided over the structural demise of the building, to carry-out the project. It would have been lovely to involve other East End schools in the project – each investigating different historical aspect which would allow children many insights into how their world has changed and progressed over the decades.

All it takes is ‘Vision’ but often any huge bureaucracy like Glasgow Council just doesn’t reach the starting line in that department. I blame the schools – well some of them 😉

EDIT – ADD

I should have said that all of my memories of schooldays centre round fellow pupils; teachers; sports; and extra-curricular activities – don’t ask!

The buildings actually mean nothing to me in relation to the knowledge I gained – not just academic – which was a starter for becoming an adult with rudimentary emotional and intellectual tools to make my way in life.

And the memories – some good and some bad – but I remember them all and often have a good laugh to myself about what we got up to. I really don’t know how so many of us survived.

I remember my class teacher saying over 60 years ago: ‘One or two of you might even live to see the next century’.

The Millennium seemed so far away back then to a child as to be unimaginable. I have to add that as it did start to get closer I did remember the teacher and ponder the doom-laden prediction.

But the school has gone and I’m still here because of increased life expectancy particularly in the working classes. However the East End is still a black spot and that’s why the regeneration currently taking place is so important.

In that context I’m afraid the school has had irs day and its pupils have hopefully moved on a bit as I and many others did.

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SmugasPosted on10:48 am - Jan 31, 2014


Campbellsmoney says:
January 30, 2014 at 10:58 am

Smugas says – “Why doesn’t a company take on debt, fund a club, win the league and fold. Repeat. And repeat again, and again and again until there is no more to win?”
———————————————————————————————————————————————-
From a footballing point of view – that may well be technically possible (if the footballing authorities are prepared to put up with, and be complicit in, such conduct) but from an insolvency law and the real world (i.e. non-football) point of view that will not happen.

Suppliers would not continue to supply on credit. Sections, 213 (fraudulent trading), 214 (wrongful trading) and 216 (prohibited names) of the Insolvency Act would come into play and catch up (eventually) with the malefactors. As I have posted before, just because we haven’t seen any of these things in action yet – doesn’t mean they are not happening.

In the situation posited above – the “con” would be obvious to all and sundry and it just could not happen.

I agree with all you say, and note that you go to pains to distinguish that the scenario you describe is the real world, outwith football.

The mistake you make though is looking at it from the company perspective. The company now becomes a mere plaything that comes and goes. I accept the following is a completely cynical, fantastical account, based on my own mood at present having paid my own tax bill (how come it was twice EBC’s by the way?!!!)

For instance, Company 1 drives their bus into the wall. Debt dumped is commercial, predominantly tax, bus drivers (see later)…and face painters.

Company 2 picks up the reins and, we are led to believe, the bus (club) stays the same despite the write off note to the insurers. Company 2 inexplicably drives the bus into the wall again, despite the fact its on the easy roads, the hard bit being next up. Debt dumped this time I accept isn’t commercial debt but institutional (don’t care) and fans (do care).

Company 3 turns up. Turns out company 3 have a bit of history. Company 3 has a bus driver who lost a sh!tload of money on Company 1 and has some nasty men chasing him to get it back. He also has some interesting tapes for the cassette player.

The fans, those same fans who lost out on company 2 feel obliged to finance company 4 to keep their cherished bus (what write off?) away from Company 3. Remember however that the going gets tough on this section of the road. The terrain requires that the bus receives a new engine, new wheels, chassis, gearbox and coach. Much like Triggers (god rest) broom, apparently its still the same club, sorry bus. All the replacement bits of bus cost money.

Now company 4 might just make it to the promised land. It might not though in which case I wouldn’t be surprised to see companies 5,6,7 coming along. Even if it does make it, company 4 might not be fit to compete with all the big shiny new busses that inhabit the promised land. The funders (note not necessarily the majority shareholders) of Company 4 won’t be happy, their bus is always the best bus. There will be an understandable temptation for company 4 to completely rebuild the bus again, and then dump the supply companies. (I accept this bit is more problematic – as player fees would be football debts and thus payable).

Hopefully you can see where I’m going with this. Focus on the club that is now immortal. If you take the view that the club – the bus – is untouchable, no matter how many financial walls it hits, how many write off notices are writ, how many bystanders it takes with it in the accidents and how many trigger type rebuilds it receives. If you stand idly by and encourage said bus to a finishing line, to the complete, if not detriment, certainly stagnation of the other busses then one has to question your motives, your capacity for the job and whether the finishing line is a thing worth achieving at all.

I take your point on ordinary creditors by the way – the oil in the bus if you like. However if you are a pie maker in Glasgow and someone orders 38,000 pies every 2nd week with the risk that you might miss a weeks payment every year or so, despite their promises to the contrary, it takes a pretty brave man to turn them down.

First bus – we’re back to the real world now – appear to be doing well in the bus world at the moment. I’m willing to bet they’ve taken one or two speeding tickets in their stride to get there.

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ecobhoyPosted on10:55 am - Jan 31, 2014


All Quiet On The Ibrox Front ❓

RST Official Statement – Posted on January 30, 2014

MEETING WITH CEO

Graham Wallace invited representatives from the Rangers Supporters Assembly, The Rangers Supporters Trust and the Rangers Supporters Association to informal meetings over the past few days. The purpose of the meetings was for him to get to know the representatives and to start the process of building good working relationships to take the fan engagement agenda forward as a priority.

The CEO asked for details of the background to the various fans’ groups and how things had operated over the past period.He gave a bit of background on himself and said that he felt he had the skills, experience and drive to ensure that the Club returns to its values and is run on the lines that we all expect it should be.

He stated that the biggest challenge for him and the Board is to establish trust and confidence with the fans and he asked us how we felt that could be achieved. We said that the outcomes of his 120-day review and the manner in which they are communicated will be crucial. Fans want to see tangible evidence that the Club is being run professionally at all levels, that the governance and financial management is sound and transparent, that there are plans to grow the business and attract investment, that the playing squad remains competitive and progressive and that the match-day experience is attractive. We also said that open engagement with fans and building strong relationships was crucial and we emphasised that the PR and media outputs from the Club need to be good.

We requested a wider fans’ meeting similar to meetings held previously where topics like concerns about the Club’s financial position could be discussed. He recognised that there was too much focus on short-term planning previously and said that there needs to be a 5-year plan that covers us getting back to competing with Celtic at the top of the SPL and playing European football and growing the business in line with that plan. He said he needs a bit of time to put the plan in place and changes will need to be made to enable the Club to live within its means.

It was encouraging that he has a clear vision, he demonstrated a desire to work with fans’ representatives on an ongoing basis, realises the importance of trust between the Club and the fans and wants to address that as a priority. He has clearly given the matter some thought and taken soundings from within the Club and from individuals that have contacted him. He discussed the concept of a Fans Committee that could represent the views of ALL fans and we agreed that was where we want to get to.

We will maintain discussion with the CEO to determine the next steps and respect his request for a bit of time and space to complete the 120-day review of all aspects of the business.
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Seems to me that Wallace is making it clear that the fans will have no input in his plan. All he wants from them is to join the new supporters’ organisation which has a two-fold advantage: It supplies a nice annual tranche of membership subs and will reduce the power of the existing fragmented groups to zilch.

The new body – whose committee wil be carefully chosen IMO – will be the ‘go-to’ destination for all media enquiries seeking a fan spokesperson.

I now understand why Chris Graham has suddenly gone all moderate and be nice to McCoist – he might not manage a blazer but he could end-up with a job as spokesman. Still the 120 days will eventually come to an end and all will be revealed and mibbe even before 😆

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SmugasPosted on11:11 am - Jan 31, 2014


On Graham Wallce – and I accept its maybe just the way the report is written.

He recognised that there was too much focus on short-term planning previously and said that there needs to be a 5-year plan that covers us getting back to competing with Celtic at the top of the SPL and playing European football and growing the business in line with that plan. He said he needs a bit of time to put the plan in place and changes will need to be made to enable the Club to live within its means.

So thats’s effectively a 6-7 year plan to Eurpoean football then. In fairness that sounds about right. Can it be done whilst breaking even though? Or do they have an investor willing to fund ‘well intentioned’ losses?

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futbolPosted on11:11 am - Jan 31, 2014


Hmmmm ….

Thursday 6th February

Procedural Hearing
Between 9am and 9.30am

CA131/13 Imran Ahmad v The Rangers Football Club Ltd
BBM Solicitors
DWF Biggart Baillie

http://www.scotcourts.gov.uk/rolls/supreme/lists/r140130_105.htm

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m.c.f.c.Posted on11:23 am - Jan 31, 2014


ecobhoy says:
January 31, 2014 at 10:55 am

RST Official Statement – Posted on January 30, 2014

MEETING WITH CEO
===================================================================================
Eco – well Graham kicked that one far into the pampas grass – talks about talks about talks. Graham must have that feeling Green had when he first realized that these tough talking representatives of the peepul can be manipulated like three year olds Who wants ice cream. Who wants more toys, Who wants a Disney movie, Who wants ……

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SmugasPosted on11:42 am - Jan 31, 2014


Sorry, just wanted to come in on the FFP debate as well. The point was made how come the Man City’s and the like are allowed fancy dan Lawyers to get around the rules. I have no problem with this to be honest. There are rules. You stick to them, or get round them to the best of your ability, or to the extent of your resources to pay someone to get round them for you. Such is life – and it falls into the same camp as how come CFC’s overdraft costs less than mine – I’m afraid.

If however your fancy lawyer cocks it up and you get caught then you must take what’s coming. If you have an issue with your lawyer over it that’s your problem, no-one elses.

Secondly, if your fancy lawyer gets it right but you make a backside of implementing it, or even worse, following said backside you then enter a period of ‘questionable strategic governance,’ hiding paperwork, denying paperwork even exists to think of two examples off the top of my head then expect consequences, on you, no-one else.

If you dance with the devil, wear a flame proof suit.

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m.c.f.c.Posted on11:43 am - Jan 31, 2014


Forest: No Room For Bear Sh*t

Nottingham Forest update, 10:18

BBC Sport’s Owen Phillips: “Nottingham Forest could well be one of the busier clubs in the transfer market today. On-loan Sunderland midfielder David Vaughan is highly likely to extend his stay with the Championship side and deals for Hull City duo Danny Graham and Jack Hobbs are by no means dead.

“Centre-half Hobbs was recalled by his parent club earlier this month, but Forest are still keen – despite signing another defender in Kevin Gomis on Thursday. Wigan and Reading are also said to be interested.

“And there is still a possibility of bringing in out-of-favour Tigers striker Danny Graham. The 28-year-old is way down the pecking order at the Premier League club following the recent signings of Nikica Jelavic and Shane Long.

“Forest, who came from 2-0 down to beat Watford on Thursday and are fifth in the table, have also signed Southampton defender Danny Fox and Algeria striker Rafik Djebbour in recent days.”

http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/live/football/25645614

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CampbellsmoneyPosted on12:00 pm - Jan 31, 2014


Smugas says:
January 31, 2014 at 10:48 am
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You aren’t really taking about buses are you?

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