The Dismal Art of Whataboutery

ByTrisidium

The Dismal Art of Whataboutery

by Stuart Cosgrove for the Scottish Football Monitor

In the early years of the new millennium, ‘The Battle of the Saints’ was a First Division encounter. Both St Mirren and St Johnstone had been relegated and were among the favourites to return to the spiritually suffocating SPL. Winning the First Division title was a mixed blessing. It provided a football moment that old firm fans could only dream of – an open-top bus round. But victory meant you were back in the SPL, a league that had been shaped for the benefit of the two big clubs.

Television revenues were skewed, there were no play-offs, only one team could be relegated and the voting structures would bring shame to a tin-pot dictatorship. It was a league you could never realistically win and so never fully enjoy. I remember being in the ‘Wee Barrel’ a traditional football boozer near St Mirren’s old Love Street stadium. It was soon after the St Johnstone drug scandal.   On 5th January 2001, George O’Boyle and his teammate Kevin Thomas had been sacked following allegations that they had used illegal recreational drugs. They had allegedly been caught taking an “unidentified white powder” at the club’s injured players Christmas Party at That Bar in Perth. The drugs scandal undermined St Johnstone’s much peddled identity as a local family club. A bitter industrial dispute unfolded and widespread dressing-room unrest. The team’s form catastrophically dipped. Inevitably, St Mirren fans were delighted to play host to such a “scandalised” and “drug-addled” club. Football fans relish the misfortune of others with almost satanic glee. So the Buddies cheered sarcastically when any Perth fans went into the Wee Barrel’s less than salubrious pub toilet. They made pantomime sniffing noises interjected with animal impersonations and at times it sounded like a famer’s convention had turned into a massive cocaine bender. I vividly remember that one St Johnstone fan became so enraged that he blurted out the unforgettable phrase ‘Aye but what about Barry Lavety?’ Further back in 1995 the St Mirren striker Lavety had been arrested for using the then ‘designer drug’ ecstasy making him the first footballer of the acid-house generation. In this short, pithy response outside a toilet door in the Wee Barrel, all the gut instincts of football spectatorship came to the surface and all the components of what was later to become known as ‘whataboutery’ were laid bare.

Whataboutery pre-dates the internet but it has been kindled by it. The web has transformed the way we talk and think about football. Suddenly and profoundly new forums for discussing the game quickly followed. Facebook was launched two years later in 2004, Twitter joined the social media firmament in 2006 and by 2012 and Scottish football’s summer of discontent the micro-blogging platform had 500 million active users. The rise of social media invoked an ‘epistemological break’ with previous eras of spectatorship and with other forms of media and communication. For the first time ever, fans had a way of instantly communicating, of answering back and disagreeing with each other in real-time. Whataboutery is a dismal art that can be defined by three often sub-conscious characteristics – a refusal to engage with the question at hand; an attempt to deflect the discussion on to others and a failure to engage with the morality of the subject.

Go on any web forum today and you will find many debates are pock-marked with whataboutery. The financial meltdown of Rangers is the most recent and most virulent example. What about Hearts they owe the taxman? What about Dundee they’ve gone bust twice? What about Leeds, Middlesbrough and Portsmouth? Sadly, the misdemeanours of others is an unstable platform on which to mount a moral defence and celebrating victory in a tax tribunal about complex offshore loan-trusts does not magically airbrush away tax-debt involving VAT and PAYE. Nor does whatboutery explain why already rich footballers should enjoy the moral right to hide behind complex off shore tax schemes, irrespective of their legality.   Every football fan at some time in their life has felt a deep primal urge to defend their club. We are emotionally instinctive creatures and quick to play the martyr. But however passionate you are about football – and I would count myself as ‘combustible’ – being loyal to your club does not permit disloyalty or contempt for the institutions of a fair society.

Not surprisingly, the origins of the term whatboutery can be traced back to the sectarian divisions in Northern Ireland. Last year I met the journalist and blogger, Mick Fealty who is one of the driving forces behind the blog forum Slugger O’Toole, a site that has bravely tried to provide a platform for localism and for non-sectarian political discourse in Northern Ireland. It is often cited as the place where the term whataboutery was invented. Taking its lead from Slugger, the online dictionary wikitionary defines whataboutery as “responding to criticism by accusing one’s opponent of similar or worse faults.” Recently, at the height of rioting in Belfast in the aftermath of Belfast city council’s policy shift on flying the union flag, a major local newspaper the Belfast Telegraph said in a trenchant editorial – “For everyone who cares about democracy; who wants an end to sectarian posing and mind games; an end to mindless thuggery; an end to immature reactions to complicated issues; an end to whataboutery ….” An end to sectarian posing and mind games – how refreshing would that be? The recent case of Anthony Stokes is a case in point. Most fans would concede that Stokes is a fool to have associated himself with the Real IRA and criminal elements within the Dublin republican scene. But some fans – believing they were supporting their club and its Irish origins – are hard-wired to romanticism and a re-hashed history. Nothing that Stokes has done is either romantic or historic – it is grubby and pathetic. Nor is deflection acceptable either. Yes of course Andy Goram has associated with some fairly disagreeable characters but that does not absolve Stokes of responsibility. Celtic manager Neil Lennon has been unambiguous about that. Stokes is on a final warning and rightly so. Whataboutery is the glue of entrenched opinion. It cultivates extremes rather than subtleties, and favours glib comment over deeper dialogue.  That is why TSFM should always be vigilant about the forum slipping into whatabouterty.

It seems almost banal to say it, but you can be a supporter without being a supplicant.   You can be Rangers daft without endorsing morally bereft tax loopholes, you can want Neil Lennon to enjoy a life free from intimidation without defending complicated film investment schemes; you can relish a goal by Garry O’ Connor without admiring his self-defeating lifestyle,  you can be a big Jambo but still expect staff to be paid on time, you can be a Red Ultra without having to urinate on videos of Gazza and  you can soak up the atmosphere in the Dundee Derry, without cushioning its sectarian associations. And, yes I do know that there was once a dairy behind the goal at the Derry End – but when fights erupted in the 1970s, it wasn’t lactic pasteurisation they were fighting about.

Football fans can be emotionally passionate yet hold on to moral values.  We can be vocal without being vacuous. We can be diehard fans without being robotic ideologues for our club.  Many of us have found ourselves tied in knots trying to defend our clubs and in some cases defend the indefensible. The roll-call of whatboutery in Scottish football would shame a mature society. There’s defective flat-screen televisions in Manchester; hearses at Celtic Park; programme notes at Montrose; unidentified white powder; porn peddlers in the 1980s, Joanna Lumley’s love-life, urinal-videos in Aberdeen; Leigh Griffith’s unique contribution to fatherhood; Hugh Dallas’s emails; Maurice Edu’s car and Lee Wallace’s air-rifle. They are surreal and seemingly endless.

As new technologies surround us daily, whataboutery has gone digital and online disputes are now frequently backed up by a stream of phone-footage, rogue tweets, photo-shopped imagery  and spectacularly desperate analogies.  We live in the white-heat of social media where whataboutery goes on ad nauseum and in perpetuity. It is the dismal art of the web and a habit we have to overcome if Scottish football is ever to find a settled democracy. The financial collapse of Rangers has brought us to a cross roads. Unless there is some kind of rapprochement and an ‘appliance of compliance’, then whataboutery will last for many more decades to come.  Whataboutery is a defence mechanism which allows fans and the clubs they support to avoid moral responsibility. But it need not be like that. In February 2007, Scottish football was given a simple lesson in how the game could be run if we could look forward. It was a cold and wet night at Fir Park during a midweek Scottish cup tie. St Johnstone’s Jason Scotland was unexpectedly targeted by a small band of racist Motherwell fans. By most reasonable accounts of the events, a gang of right-wing casuals taunted the player with monkey chants. Season tickets were not valid and many fans were not in their regular seats. But within a few minutes, groups of decent Motherwell fans turned on the racists, shouted them down and alerted the police.

Online there was a brief and half-hearted flurry of whataboutery. Some denied it had happened, others said that Jason Scotland was “playing the race card” and a small vocal minority argued it was Airdrie fans. This is an unfamiliar twist on an age old deflection. Blaming phantom support from elsewhere is quite common in Scottish football, although it is usually the demonology of Chelsea, Millwall or England fans that are cast as the mysterious villains.

Whatever the motives of those that posted their defence of Motherwell, the whataboutery was short-lived and brought to a shuddering halt by a simple, prompt and unambiguous apology. In an official club statement, Chairman John Boyle said: “These people should never show their faces at Fir Park again and they have no place in football,” adding “We are utterly appalled by this behaviour by a small group of people who have tarnished the name of our club. We are writing to Jason Scotland and St Johnstone today to apologise for this disgusting behaviour which is totally alien to all of us.”

Motherwell had scripted a blue-print for change. Rather than deflect attention elsewhere or dispute the minutiae of events, clubs, fans and officials have to become “better at being wrong.”  When there is a clear injustice, evidence of wrong-doing or powerful proof that mistakes have been made, then it is no longer acceptable to hide from the moral consequences. Apologise and pay the price. That applies equally to all of us and there is no hierarchy of importance. No special cases. The SPL may have a history of gifting privileges but common decency does not.

Stuart Cosgrove

Stuart Cosgrove is a St Johnstone fan. He was previously Media Editor of the NME and is now Director of Creative Diversity at Channel 4, where he recently managed coverage of the Paralympics, London 2012. At the weekend he presents the BBC Scotland football show ‘Off the Ball’ with Tam Cowan. This is the second of a trilogy of blogs he has agreed to write for TSFM. The first was about the era of Armageddon. He writes here in a personal capacity.

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.

796 Comments so far

BayviewGoldPosted on12:37 am - Dec 21, 2012


ignore the spelling mistooks in my last post, one other addition on reflection – obviously any employment related meetings should be private.

View Comment

troyblainPosted on12:38 am - Dec 21, 2012


very very good £1 share, quite fishy but catchy.

View Comment

andytwenty3Posted on12:41 am - Dec 21, 2012


stmiley says:
Friday, December 21, 2012 at 00:36

=====

do explain…

View Comment

nickmcguinnessPosted on12:47 am - Dec 21, 2012


So, according to Private Eye (who pay big bucks for reliable legal advice) Chuckles Green and his pals paid £190,000 for 19 million RIFC PLC shares that are now worth £13.3 million.
That must make the Sevconians stupid enough to have paid 70p a share feel stupid. Very stupid.
If only someone had warned them . . .

View Comment

BayviewGoldPosted on12:52 am - Dec 21, 2012


theglen2012 says:
Thursday, December 20, 2012 at 22:36

Mr theglen2012, I understand the point you are making, and at some level I agree with it, but imho (as mine are the only ones I have on current medication) I think the thing you are missing is that the two views : the game is not heading for Armageddon or the game is fekd up, are not mutually exclusive, let me explain my meaning – it is obvious by now that the armageddon fear was just that – an ill advised and frankly threatening fear statement from our leaders, despite RFC going into liquidation the world still turns, the TV still shows Scottish football and the national team still thrives (ok maybe not the last part) , but the latter feeling of the game is fekd up is still and has always been true in that the mess we have ALL endured including you as a rangers fan over the last year was completely caused by the SFA/SPL/SFL incompetence. I am sure you have not enjoyed not knowing what was happening or what rules were/are in place. I do not blame the demise of your club on the authorities because that was self inflicted, but I do blame the chaos after on them. This is why I agree with the sentiments that we need to do something to fix the running of OUR game.

View Comment

BayviewGoldPosted on12:56 am - Dec 21, 2012


“nickmcguinness says:
Friday, December 21, 2012 at 00:47

If only someone had warned them . . . ”

It was never hidden in the pre-offering info, which just goes to show – a fool and his money etc 🙂

View Comment

goosyPosted on1:02 am - Dec 21, 2012


dedeideoprofundis says:
Thursday, December 20, 2012 at 23:29
Could it be that there’s no money to be made due to brokers commission? if they all paid 70p a share.?
But anyway, £22m was raised from the sale of 31m new shares, It’s claimed therefore that the value of the company is now £45.6 m because there are now 65m shares in the company. Does that mean that the original shares were bought for £23.6?
,,,,,,,,,,,,,,

Brokers commission will be around £20 per trade plus a modest amount of tax
In total,
brokers take the equivalent of well under 1p on the share price

So anyone buying 5000 shares at 70p and selling them at 76p will make a profit of over £250
,,,,,,,,
Also
The arithmetic of No shares x 70p = £22.3m is how the Media calculate hard cash raised

But we all know how clueless they are

This calculation is convenient for reporting to the Gullible
But it is not and never has been the true amount of hard cash raised by a flotation

In any big deal like an IPO Buyers will pay in cash or in kind
In this case
They swop shares and pay no cash
like Green & co
or they cancel a debt and pay no cash
like Ticketus, Close Leasing and Whytes
,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,

The original 22m TRFC shares were not bought by Green &Co
At best they have spent around £5m since Feb 2012
The 22m shares were created out of thin air by the TRFC Board
They are now shares in RIFC having been swopped on a one for one basis
Their value can only be tested by selling them
If they can be sold for more than £5m then Green & co will be in profit That would be above 22p per share

View Comment

nickmcguinnessPosted on1:10 am - Dec 21, 2012


Bayviewgold:

Where in the RIFC prospectus does it say that 19m shares were sold for 1p each?

View Comment

stmileyPosted on1:10 am - Dec 21, 2012


andytwenty3

‘CG also made a horrendous error by officially joining the club to it’

‘ it may have bought him some cheap applause within the rangers support but it further alienated the club from the SPL.’

‘yes rangers and their support were / are acting CHURLISH’

CHURLISH – Adjective
Rude in a mean-spirited and surly way.

________________________________________________________________________________

The club did not act in the proper spirit of the game, in fact they very publicly acted in a manner which brought disrepute.

View Comment

BayviewGoldPosted on1:12 am - Dec 21, 2012


“Senior says:
Thursday, December 20, 2012 at 20:57

I see people on here asking why the SPL/SFA/SFL don’t do this, don’t that. I say forget it. There is no point in trying to reason with these people They are too deep in it. It is now impossible for.them to regain the high moral ground.”

Thank You Senior, great paragraph introducing a great post.

let the die be cast.

View Comment

andytwenty3Posted on1:15 am - Dec 21, 2012


stmiley says:
Friday, December 21, 2012 at 01:10

=========

OOFT!
Well if acting churlish gets you kicked out of the Scottish cup i sincerely hope Ebenezer Scrooge FC don’t get past civil service strollers in next year’s preliminary round, they’ll have the sfa up in arms……

View Comment

Reilly1926Posted on1:19 am - Dec 21, 2012


nickmcguinness says:
Friday, December 21, 2012 at 01:10
0 0 i
Rate This

Bayviewgold:

Where in the RIFC prospectus does it say that 19m shares were sold for 1p each?
=================

Don’t think they thought it was worth printing in the prospectus. They also didn’t feel it was worth publishing the background/details of their main backers.

The 19m 0.01p thingy was published by Private Eye. I’m sure Mr Charles can threaten legal action if he wants.

View Comment

stmileyPosted on1:26 am - Dec 21, 2012


andytwenty3

I didn’t suggest kicking them out of the Scottish Cup! You’ve obviously thought it.

Charles Green has now hand cuffed himself to the extremist element of the The Rangers support. They now know if they shout loud enough, demonstrate the popularity of a view with an online poll – he will do their bidding. Dingwall doesn’t need a seat on the board – Green is his bitch now!

View Comment

whulliePosted on1:28 am - Dec 21, 2012


When Peter Lawell sits down in the lounge on Saturday with Ross County chairman, Roy MacGregor after the game, what do you think the topic of conversation might be?

What did he and Stuart Gilmour chat about last week and again, with Michael Johnson the week before?

These guys must know the strength of feeling felt by the fans of their clubs?

I would argue that they, or someone delegated by them, would keep half an eye on this forum and other electronic media outlets and compare/contrast the sentiments with the nonsense from the MSM, and are briefed accordingly?

They must get a feel for the frustration felt by the ‘wee folk’ attending games filtering up to their lofty seats in their respective stadia.

Do you think that Stephen Thompson might have called some of his counterparts in football as part of a ‘sounding-out’ exercise wrt to the TRFC/CG boycott situation?

He has got to have stated with some angst, to someone, “What about these guys at the SFA NOT challenging CG?”

Along side Celtic’s Champions League exploits recently, TRFC’s behaviour has got to be THE hot subject. No?

Why then are they allowing this?

They must recognise the damage being done.

Why no statements, joint or otherwise coming from these men?

Surely they can’t all secretly WANT TRFC shuffled back to the SPL that quickly? Or am I so naïve?

I can understand some smaller clubs buckling under pressure from TRFC (Montrose e.g.) I also get their hankering after the blue pound (up to a point). But the bigger clubs surely aren’t feart. Are they?

So why the inaction?

Why the silence?

I just don’t get it.

If some one is backed so far into a corner that there is no other recourse than to come out fighting (not literally) then unfortunately, that’s how it has to be.

I agree that most clubs home games are pre-paid by ST holders and the limited damage to them financially is worth the ability to make the required statement, but it must be a last resort measure. The very threat of this should be enough to spur some sort of action from them. At least that is my hope. I have no truck with this tactic provided the clubs are notified prior to the event and, having been fore warned, haven’t responded.

We cannot sit bashing keyboards in frustration and allow our game to wither on the vine because of the action of one club and the inaction of the governing bodies. Can we?

I enjoy football. It is precious to me but it is becoming tarnished. I am not prepared to sit idly by anymore.

These are my thoughts.

I welcome yours.

View Comment

john clarkePosted on1:34 am - Dec 21, 2012


andytwenty3 says:
Friday, December 21, 2012 at 00:11
‘….As it transpires no rules were broken, you cannot punish a club for NOT taking up an allocation..’
———
Certainly, the body that illicitly allowed a club to become one of its members can hardly expect to have the moral authority to punish the greedy grasping barra boy who bullied them into so doing-although they’re brave enough to have a go at individual managers and players over the relative trivia of everyday football!

The lords of misrule have so suborned the supposed ‘upholders’ of sporting integrity, that they can mockingly and challengingly give them the two fingers with impunity.

The same lords of misrule continue to be protected and defended on every front.

In much the same way, the people responsible for the death of the old club gave the two fingers to their many creditors, by cynically welching on their debts (laughing up their sleeves the while).

They, then , nevertheless got good press protection and no condemnation -maybe even a wee bit of adulation for carrying out a clever wheeze.
No doubt, the rewards in terms of succulent lamb, will have been substantial.

Indeed, in the case of one of their number, the rewards have been substantial.

The great scandal that this whole disgusting episode has been surpasses the worst of the European football corruption scandals.

Because at least in those scandals, the footballing AUTHORITIES were able at length to take action because they still had some shred of moral authority,

The SFA ?

View Comment

BayviewGoldPosted on1:52 am - Dec 21, 2012


nickmcguinness says:
Friday, December 21, 2012 at 01:10

well it did and it didn’t – before any subsequent offerings there were 25.34M shares, the assigned and retained capital from the assignees was £253,000 hence 1p per share, but that did not take into account the purchase and running costs which I think totalled around £7M so in reality the amount they were out was approx 30p per share. (not including all other aspects inc cash/losses etc). I haven’t commented too much on the share thing as I don’t really care.

View Comment

ordinaryfanPosted on1:53 am - Dec 21, 2012


Supporters made their feelings clear, they would not pay out unless there was change. They wanted an end to corruption and collusion, a dismantling of the “old boys network”, an end to the appeasement of one Club, no more lies and no more being treated like idiots. Not exactly too much to ask that the sport we pay to watch is not corrupt.
Pretty much an uneasy compromise was met, Newco were placed in the 3rd Division and change was promised. The Clubs had listened to supporters for the first time and supporters believed things would change as promised. They paid out for season tickets .
But that was all on the condition that we had genuine change. The governing bodies are not keeping their end of the bargain.
Tell our Clubs and the governing bodies that we won’t be paying up next season unless we see drastic improvement and changes at the top.
Next time they won’t get away with fobbing off supporters with empty promises. Change will need to be instant and visible before supporters pay out hard earned money.

View Comment

vforvernacularPosted on1:56 am - Dec 21, 2012


andytwenty3 says:
Friday, December 21, 2012 at 00:28

Generally its just a case of a dog in a corner, keep backing it up eventually it growls and bites back. its pointless petty stuff. Most bears just want to make a gesture of some sort and dundee utd was like manna from heaven for them because of the previous between the clubs. would motherwell or celtic got the same treatment? not a chance.

============

(I’m tempted to suggest the dog isn’t backed into a corner so much as running wild, rabid and foaming at the mouth – but that wouldn’t be very welcoming of me 😉 )

Welcome (back) to the blog andy. I’ve not been a poster for so long myself although I have been a close follower for a long time (also of the RTC blog).

I suppose it might seem like “manna from heaven” for angry bears who are not thinking through just how their behaviour looks to the outside world. Unfortunately for The Rangers and the fans while they feel like they are justified, in fact to anyone looking from the outside they don’t appear to have the slightest justification whatsoever for this. In fact rather than targeting one club as they believe they are actually once again (whether they mean to or not) sticking two fingers up to all Scottish Football fans.

The effect of this?

Fans of clubs all over Scotland are putting aside all sorts or petty rivalries and finding a new spirit of togetherness. We are starting to realise we have more in common than maybe we thought.

Meanwhile fans of The Rangers/Sevco/whatever are doing a very good job of making themselves not just disliked the length of the country but burning so many bridges there will never be a way back.

In the short term bears may find this belligerent venting at their perceived “enemies” is quite satisfying. In the long term this can only cause permanent damage to the reputation and standing of their club throughout Scotland and beyond.

View Comment

whulliePosted on2:18 am - Dec 21, 2012


StevieBC says:
Thursday, December 20, 2012 at 17:46

The SFA must be fully aware of the negative perceptions held by the fans.
The SFA cannot hide for ever (?), and at some point will need to engage the fans.
_________________________________________________________________

That would look great on a billboard Stevie along with a reference to the preferred long-term absence of Campbell Ogilvie. 🙂

Another mad thought touched upon earlier by others.
The Sun and Jim Traynor are hardly likely to be bed fellows. Should other fans encourage this? Should supporters of all clubs (other than TRFC) contact The Sun and attempt to “turn” them. They might see the potential for an earner if they are convinced to report fairly.

View Comment

stevensanphPosted on2:25 am - Dec 21, 2012


I am still convinced this is all a boiler room scam. Read the below article, written by a friend of mine working in commodity trading in Asia. Then apply it to the TRFC situation.

– on a ‘real’ stockmarket – check
– lax rules for stockmarket – check
– very little financial information provided, no forcasts, historical data – check
– unsure what others paid for stock – check
– lots of new stock suddenly issued at premium price – check
– investors emotionally investing – check

Green and co will keep the price artificially high for the next 6 months before dumping stock on mass and walking away with a tidy profit, after their lock in period happens. Even if the price drops to 20/30pence a share, they are still on for huge profits.

——

Beware of Stock Scams – The Art of Illusion

This piece generalises about the methods used in fraudulent stock sales. The actual methods used might vary from those described below as the people perpetrating these scams are extremely rich, clever and always seek to be beyond the law.

The Goods (Or how to make coal shine like a diamond)

First you need a product and what better than a stock that promises to be the next Microsoft.

99% of the time the company does “exist”. In most cases it will be listed on the NASDAQ however many bandits are now selling stock in what they euphemistically call “Pre-IPO situations” which are companies not yet listed. Generally they make sales of these ‘opportunities’ when the client has already bought a listed stock and therefore trusts his advisor. Short of knocking on the door of the Pre-IPO business address, it is impossible to assess if these businesses are what they say they are or if they even exist. However, they all have websites and even sherpas in the Himalayas have heard of the rewards from an oversubscribed IPO – a legacy of dot com fever – so even these scams sell.

But it is the listed companies that provide the most attractive bait for hooking unwary investors. The NASDAQ listing confers respectability, infers regulation and suggests that the stock is genuine and saleable. In reality, the NASDAQ has different boards and the likes of Intel, Microsoft, Dell and others in the limelight do not share the same air as those listed on the Bulletin Board. Most companies listed on the BB do not have to file their financial results with NASDAQ. This means that even with the superb amount of data available on investor websites, the punter will be hard pressed to turn up more than a chart of stock price movement. Unless the wary investor knows how to use the SEC website and contacts the ‘investor relations’ department at the company he has been recommended, the only information readily available is what he is told and the charts he can find for himself.

America is littered with companies that were once exciting start-ups that floundered after their IPO. Many of these companies can not raise cash and face collapse. Their banks will not help, there is no prospect of raising more money from the market and their share price reflects their immanent demise. In most cases, the executives of the company have large holdings or options and therefore have a vested interest in a higher stock price.

At this stage a “Merchant Bank” approaches the company. This bank offers to inject money into the company in return for a great deal of new stock. Many companies that have no where else to turn, accept this offer. The companies that are most sought after are the ones with good stories. “Joe’s Car Lot” in Iowa will not sell well, but “Steroidogenesis Inhibitors”, who have a promising cure for aids under development, appeal to the “What if” dreamers bored with their day job who fantasise about what it would have been like to buy Microsoft at 23 cents back in ’85.

The terms of the deal done between the company and the white knight bank are notoriously hard to uncover. It is not unusual for a company to grant twice as much stock as the cash advance would buy. In other words, if the stock price is 50 cents, the bank gets the company to issue stock for 25 cents.

The new stock is often issued directly to investors, not to the bank. This further conceals the true reason the bank gave money to the company. The company is told who to issue the stock to, and when.

The Sting (Or how to sell coals to Newcastle)

The bank uses a stock promoter to line up agents who will sell the stock. These mysterious men are responsible for ensuring that the enormous number of shares that the bank now “owns” are distributed at very favourable terms.

The first thing the promoter does is to manipulate the share price. We all know this is illegal but it happens. The industry, (and this scam is an industry which is bigger than many), is so mobile and diversified that the SEC can only scratch the surface.

More often than not, the company’s stock price has flatlined, the volume has dwindled to a few thousand and it does not take much to move it to five or ten times it’s value. There is little danger of existing shareholders bailing out at these higher prices because most of them would still realise a loss. Indeed, the revitalised share price gives them hope of recovering their original investment.

The sales of new stock are made at this inflated price. Since the company issues the stock directly, the details are not registered on the market figures. Furthermore, because the new stock has a year’s restriction (it can’t be sold for a year) there is no danger of the market being deluged by sell orders and spoiling the price manipulation. In fact, it is very hard to find out that the new stock even exists.

The Brokers (Diamond dealers or Coal merchants?)

The SEC has very strict guidelines and enforces them, when possible, with grim determination. Hence the USA is policed and the biggest scams are largely excluded. But that leaves the international investor who is prey to the vultures.

The brokers disguise themselves in all sorts of ways, perhaps as specialist analysts with a trained eye for ‘this sort of opportunity’. They never have qualifications or licenses and are always based outside the countries in which they garner clients. The common element is that the punter never sends his money to either their bank or address. Instead it goes to an offshore clearinghouse in the Bahamas or somewhere as lax, often via New York. The clearinghouse will instruct the company to issue the new stock when it is in receipt of funds.

What happens to all the money? Well, first of all, let’s get an idea of how much there is.

For example: The Widget Co Inc is nearly bankrupt. Nice Mr Merchant Bank offers them $2 million dollars. The stock price has fallen from $14 at IPO to just 50 cents where it has been for the last year. The Widget Co agrees to the issue of 10,000,000 new shares in return for this cash advance. It will issue them to whoever the clearinghouse instructs them to. The stock stands the bank in at 20 cents a share.

The Merchant Bank contacts Mr Stock Promoter who has a track record in being able to shift the unshiftable. Magically the stock price rises to $5 and hey presto; the bank’s stock is now worth $50,000,000. Not bad for a $2 million investment.

The stock promoter now alerts the boiler room boys to the stock. These fellows are the ones you hear from. Credibility is their stock in trade and their plausibility combined with the recipient’s greed and gullibility ensure they live well. Once they’ve convinced you about their outfit and offered you their free service, they’ll pause before they call you again to tell you about the hot share.

The story will be sexy. The website of The Widget Co Inc will be good. The chart will show the stock price moving towards the heavens. What could be more promising?

So the cautious investor dips his toe. He buys 1,000 shares at the prevailing (manipulated) market price of $5, little realising they are really only worth 50 cents and cost the bank only 20 cents. He’s done his checks (or as many as he can think of) and it seems all right. He transfers $5,000. He gets regular calls to update him and he’s even introduced to a senior dealer. A nice rapport seems to be building up between him and the broker/dealer. The share certificate duly arrives and confidence is complete. It is then that the “Loaders” extract the larger amounts. These are super-slick salesman whose real job is to squeeze the last drop of juice from the lemon. They masquerade as senior dealers, analysts, partners or anything that sounds impressive.

It is not uncommon for the “brokers” to be paid 50% of all money invested by clients. The actual salesman will receive anywhere between 5 – 25% depending on his position in the outfit. Loaders earn the most. None of the people you ever talk to, apart from the receptionist, are salaried. None of them would ever be employed by a respectable brokerage. Most of them have no experience of financial markets (although a few may have sold mutual funds) and they simply absorb the buzzwords from their peers. Most of them are simply telesales professionals in the most lucrative job they’ve ever had… and in an exotic climate to boot!

Conclusion

If it sounds too good to be true – it probably is.

If you want to check out a broker, just ask yourself how many international calls he could afford on a normal broker’s fee. Ask yourself why he’s troubling to get business outside the country he operates from. But best of all, ask him where he’s registered – the prepared answers are always good for a laugh.

Bill Beaumont
(note: this is not his real name. He had to write under an alias after having received death threats)

View Comment

whulliePosted on2:36 am - Dec 21, 2012


Senior says:
Thursday, December 20, 2012 at 20:57

Re your draft letter.

And apologies if the following IS what you meant.

Once the script is finalised, rather than individuals rewriting their own version, should we copy and paste the EXACT version and send THAT to all recipients. It would highlight the fact that all senders are working in unison.

Lots of individual letters may get ignored.

Hundreds, nay thousnads can’t be.

It is also my contention that letters should be ‘sent’ as opposed to emailed..

View Comment

whulliePosted on2:39 am - Dec 21, 2012


Of course that should read. ‘hundred, nay thousands the same can’t be’.

View Comment

whulliePosted on3:28 am - Dec 21, 2012


theglen2012 says:
Thursday, December 20, 2012 at 22:36

Remember, remember the 5th of November…

A mere 6 weeks later and, apparently, the gemz a boagie. It’s aw rubbish. Despite us now having a decent team in the last 16 of the Champions League. The league still being competitive. And, presumably, crowds still up on last years figures.

Now there’s talk of fans helping their own team by boycotting one of their games. if that doesn’t work, then boycott another. And so on.
————————————————
Hi TG.

I believe I have to accept responsibility for the sudden leanings by some posters towards boycotts. The following is a copy of the the post that started these grumblings IMO.
——————————————————
whullie says:
Wednesday, December 19, 2012 at 11:45

http://www.dailyrecord.co.uk/sport/football/football-news/sfa-tell-dundee-united-that-rangers-1496602

I find myself getting even more disenchanted by the day.

Yes, I can revel in my preferred teams success.

I can even live with the infantile ravings from the Soo’ Side, even though I have a strong dislike for everything that they stand for.

But I am at my wits end with the people charged with the governance of our game.

What is the worst thing about this?

My feeling of complete and utter impotence wrt to what is happening to football in this country. We appear hog-tied and unable to make these self serving oafs listen to reason.

I am just another “wee guy”, not a businessman, MP or owt. No clout here but…….

I am scunnert, utterly scunnert.

They don’t even try to hide it any more.
————————————————–

More learned commentors than I have picked up the baton and ran with it.
I have been a random contributor to TSFM and RTC pages but regulars may have noticed an increase in my contributions in the last few days.

Both the post above and my increased activity are as a direct result of the announcement that the SFA have no issue with TRFC wrt the CG sanctioned boycott of DUFC. That to me was the final straw. I have gone from being reasonably calm to being outraged by this.

I agree with your notion that fans are free to choose whether to attend games or not. I cannot agree that a boycott can be officially sanctioned by one club against and then ignored by the authorities.

Up to that point I still retained some faith that these authorities would want a word in CG’s shell like. Now, after their lack of action, I just believe them to be bent.

I was a lurker. I am now a fully fledged activist and will gladly involve myself in any legal scheme to oust these chancers from Hampden.

View Comment

BayviewGoldPosted on4:39 am - Dec 21, 2012


stevensanph says:
Friday, December 21, 2012 at 02:25

jeez – I’m breaking my own rules here, up until now I have resisted posting anything about the share offer but here is yet another post where I opine, Steven the situation described in the boiler room description I don’t believe is the same as TRFC, typically boiler room scams are all about feeding into others greed, this is not normally the case with football clubs, I would hazard a guess that the ‘berz’ who invested were not looking for financial return. The investors were and with good reasons. To be honest the assets were bought on the cheap. It would take a complete idiot not to make money on getting all the assets for 5.5M. Is Charles Green on the make – probably, but that does not make it illegal or even immoral. I predict that the stock price will likely remain pretty stagnant for a while then slowly decline – like most football club stock (but this is not investment advice etc etc ) Is Charles talking up the stock – absolutely, but no more than any other CEO on the planet. So with regards to the financial actions of the investors so far – everything seems as I would expect. What is not acceptable is the actions and some of the publice statements from the same people around the football arena and also the apparent feeding into some of the baser elements of TRFC support (roadshow in NI – while can be ‘explained’ is not smart if you want to distance yourself from the bad past)

View Comment

finchleyflyerPosted on7:28 am - Dec 21, 2012


Andytwenty3

I’d really appreciate some solid evidence that Dundee United were somehow the most vociferous and critical club things RFCIL over the summer. All I recall was a chairman brave enough to answer questions in an honest and intelligent way. Prove me wrong. Show me anything Thomson or United said which wasn’t honest and fair. You’ll have some difficulty, I suspect.

However, the mantra of ” Dundee Hibs were out of order” has now been repeated so often, it is the accepted truth.

But you and I know better, don’t we?

View Comment

embarrassinglyneutralPosted on7:30 am - Dec 21, 2012


I read Stuart’s blog with interest and thought it was well written, and very appropriate in terms of moving on within Scottish football. However, most comments on here seem to have ignored the blog and carried on regardless. I.e., “what about what Rangers / Sevco did”

For example – the blog is about “whatabouttery”, and I for one thought of my own actions, and more importantly thoughts, after reading, and came up wanting. Stuart was right. Our first response is to react by blaming others for doing something worse. This is an important sentiment if we are going to heal the divides within our game.

However, almost all comments following up were discussing “Sevco”. May I direct you to the “mission statement” of this blog, nay the very title: if this is a “Scottish Football Monitor”, surely there are so many more things to discuss right now? The potential meltdown of Hearts? Celtic entering the top 16 clubs of Europe this year? Aberdeen and Dundee United chairmen making pre-emptive statements regarding the membership of a club in the top division? This is my first post, but calling your blog “The Scottish Football Monitor” led me to believe we’d be discussing Scottish Football, while all I’ve seen is upset regarding the team from Govan. If we are to be a Scottish Football monitor, please let’s monitor the game. Let’s discuss everything that goes on fairly, and without fear or favour. Let us monitor everything. And if, as a previous blog stated, we want to engage Rangers fans – don’t abuse them at every turn. I’ve read so many comments about “I’m sure there are a few decent Rangers fans, but…” – that isn’t a welcoming sentiment to any of them.

Scottish football must move on. Scottish football includes a large number of Rangers fans. If we want to have a voice on here, and we certainly do, we must represent all. Otherwise we come across as partisan, obtuse and limit our own influence by our very actions.

View Comment

finchleyflyerPosted on7:36 am - Dec 21, 2012


Sorry, first sentence should read ” . . . and critical club about all things RFC(IL)”

View Comment

embarrassinglyneutralPosted on7:55 am - Dec 21, 2012


If we really want to have a voice, instead of a boycott, how about this: pack every ground in Scotland. And keep on doing it. And if we do so, nobody can say we don’t have a voice. We are the game. Nobody can say that “Rangers” are the primary interest of the powers that be – they are only that because the numbers dictate it. If we want to have a voice then support, rather than boycott, is the only way. Give them so much money that they can’t bear to see it taken away.

View Comment

ikiPosted on8:38 am - Dec 21, 2012


Whullie
The Sun and Jim Traynor are hardly likely to be bed fellows.
………………
Hmmm.
I think you may be rather generous in your estimation of Traynor …….hell hath no fury like a worm scorned.

View Comment

troyblainPosted on8:43 am - Dec 21, 2012


Why was there a rush to have the share issue now, before Christmas ? Could it be another part of the jigsaw to swirl the muddy waters even more so that any BDO investigation will get nowhere.

Also, we all expect Mr Green to disappear with a large sum of money in the not too distant future if he can find a buyer…or does he even need a buyer.

Last point regarding the institutional investors and why would they invest in this club. If I was investing maybe i would try to secure future contracts for my investment or maybe a stadium name change ?

who knows.

View Comment

embarrassinglyneutralPosted on9:04 am - Dec 21, 2012


Troyblain – institutional investors have included all the usual players, i.e. Legal & General etc. Its not anything dodgy, they looked at the investment and thought it was a good one.

View Comment

iamacantPosted on9:24 am - Dec 21, 2012


Has Traynor acquired any shares? Just wondering like

View Comment

TSFMPosted on9:54 am - Dec 21, 2012


nowoldandgrumpy says:

Thursday, December 20, 2012 at 20:28(Edit)

TSFM did you get my e-mail?
_______________________________________________________

Yes I did. Get back to you with more detailed response asap (Very bogged down at work right now and struggling to keep up here), but we’d be happy to go along with that. It is an excellent idea. Thanks for your patience.

View Comment

neepheidPosted on9:58 am - Dec 21, 2012


whullie says:
Friday, December 21, 2012 at 01:28

Surely they can’t all secretly WANT TRFC shuffled back to the SPL that quickly? Or am I so naïve?
====================
I’m afraid that you are being naive, because that is EXACTLY what the SPL clubs all want. So how do we know that?

Think back to the events of last summer, when Sevco applied for direct admission to the SPL. That application was refused ONLY because the clubs knew that they faced genuine armageddon in the shape of fan boycotts and minimal season ticket sales if they did what they really really wanted to do, and handed RFC’c SPL place direct to Sevco. Having bowed to fan pressure, the next action of the SPL clubs was to attempt to bully, bribe, blackmail and coerce by any available means available the SFL clubs into voting for direct entry of Sevco into SFL1.

It is to the enormous credit of the SFL clubs that they “showed the finger” to the SPL and to the eternal shame of every SPL club that the SPL tried to subvert the internal processes of the SFL. Now that is real corruption. And it is no good shoveling all the blame on to Doncaster’s shoulders. We know for certain that Doncaster was reflecting the will of the SPL clubs, because if he wasn’t he would be out of a job right now.

And when the SFL1 plan failed? The SPL propose urgent league reconstruction. Well, I may be old and stupid, but I’m not so daft as not to understand what that’s all about.

I confidently predict that TRFC will be playing in the SPL by 2014/2015 at the latest. Green will be long gone by then, of course. It will be interesting to see who Sir David Murray selects as his next front man. Because if SDM isn’t behind some or all of these mysterious offshore entities who control TRFC, then I came up the Clyde on a water biscuit.

View Comment

bluPosted on10:08 am - Dec 21, 2012


stevensanph says:
Friday, December 21, 2012 at 02:25
14 0 i
Rate This

I am still convinced this is all a boiler room scam. Read the below article, written by a friend of mine working in commodity trading in Asia. Then apply it to the TRFC situation.

– on a ‘real’ stockmarket – check
– lax rules for stockmarket – check
– very little financial information provided, no forcasts, historical data – check
– unsure what others paid for stock – check
– lots of new stock suddenly issued at premium price – check
– investors emotionally investing – check

Green and co will keep the price artificially high for the next 6 months before dumping stock on mass and walking away with a tidy profit, after their lock in period happens. Even if the price drops to 20/30pence a share, they are still on for huge profits.

============================================================
Steven, the problem with that theory is that there’s not likley to be a trading market for a large scale offload. More likely a negotiated sale to Rangers fans with money at a price that suits both parties and gets above the 50% mark so a controlling interest is held. For those people it would complete the job of dumping the debt and retaining the assets.

View Comment

wottpiPosted on10:15 am - Dec 21, 2012


andytwenty3 says:
Friday, December 21, 2012 at 00:11

A bit of whataboutery

“As it transpires no rules were broken, you cannot punish a club for NOT taking up an allocation but you can criticize them and that’s fair enough.”

As per my earlier post (Thursday, December 20, 2012 at 16:31) it appears the case that Dundee United broke no rules in charging half price admission for the cup tie replay in 2009. Yet Rangers officailly, through the statements released by the club at that time and then by the supporters backlash attempted to punish a fellow club through encouraging a financial boycott (and continue to do so) for NOT breaking any rules.

The choice of individual fans to pay to go to a game is their’s and their’s alone. However clubs, in the spirit of the game, should be doing everything possible to encourage fans to attend, home and away, for the good of the game in Scotland and by knock on effect for the good of their own club. To do otherwise is mere folly. (Which is why if a counter boycott is launched you won’t see another club chairman or CEO going anywhere near the press to offer a supportive opinion on it)

What we see coming out of Ibrox is more than mere criticism of others, it is a demand that every opinion or view that differs from T’Rangers mindset is stricken from the public record and openly apologised for. Thats is not criticism, debate or banter, that is dictatorial bullying based on a misplaced belief in their own self importance.

The trouble is that like most bullies they can dish it out but are not so keen to take their own medicine.
Until that attitude and general demeanor is tonned down, they will, like it or not, remain the most disliked club in Scottish Football. Unfortunatley no matter how many decent fans there are down Ibrox way, through the actions and deeds of those in power and a vocal minority you end up being tarred by the same brush.

While I understand that there has been a need to come ouut fighting to get T’Rangers off the ground, as a decent inteliigent fan what do you think your club needs to do to change their image?

View Comment

shield2012Posted on10:30 am - Dec 21, 2012


“Sevco fans do not dig deep”

……….based on your opinion I take it? £5.2m share issue 1 week before xmas…..not to mention merchandice and ST sales.

View Comment

shield2012Posted on10:35 am - Dec 21, 2012


“The Scottish Football Monitor” led me to believe we’d be discussing Scottish Football, while all I’ve seen is upset regarding the team from Govan.
—————

The title is a tad misleading, thats for sure!

View Comment

neepheidPosted on10:39 am - Dec 21, 2012


shield2012 says:
Friday, December 21, 2012 at 10:30

“Sevco fans do not dig deep”

……….based on your opinion I take it? £5.2m share issue 1 week before xmas…..not to mention merchandice and ST sales.
===========
Based on Charles Green’s opinion, £5.2m works out at around 1p per fan.

View Comment

jw hardinPosted on10:41 am - Dec 21, 2012


Troubled Hearts hit by indefinite transfer ban

http://www.thecourier.co.uk/sport/football/spl/troubled-hearts-hit-by-indefinite-transfer-ban-1.62267?

View Comment

iamacantPosted on10:44 am - Dec 21, 2012


“Just who are these people?” – quote from white bricks man this morning and he’s still trying to flog copies of his book 🙂

View Comment

wottpiPosted on10:44 am - Dec 21, 2012


shield2012 says:
Friday, December 21, 2012 at 10:35

We are constantly being told that the whole of Scottish Football (and in fact the game worldswide) relies on T’Rangers so why are you surprised that they are often the main topic of conversation on a blog relating to Scottish Football?

View Comment

embarrassinglyneutralPosted on10:48 am - Dec 21, 2012


Can I ask – why is this blog discussing the Rangers share issue? I don’t see the relevance. Hearts are borderline out of business, and have had a be all and end all share issue. A team in the top tier of Scottish football and the issue is being sorely under represented on a Scottish Football Montior. That is the key issue of the moment, and we should be discussing it in detail.

View Comment

jw hardinPosted on10:50 am - Dec 21, 2012


From Supporters Direct:

RANGERS SUPPORTERS TRUST PLAYING A PART IN TAKING RANGERS FORWARD

The Rangers Supporters Trust were proud to announce that they lodged a cheque on Tuesday afternoon for £250,000 and an application for shares with the Ibrox club’s stockbroker.

The support for BuyRangers.org has been well received and in four days it has become the largest Community Share Scheme in UK history according to the Trust’s website. There have been nearly 2000 individual investors including Alastair Johnston and former Rangers player, and record SPL goal scorer, Kris Boyd who also signed up this week.

The Trust received an email from Imran Ahmad which read:

“Many thanks to you and your colleagues for all your support from Charles, Brian and me. Merry Christmas.”

SDS and Scottish Fans would like to congratulate Rangers Supporters Trust for playing a part in securing 12% of the Club’s shares for the fans (as reported in the Daily Record).

http://www.supporters-direct.org/?news-article=rangers-supporters-trust-playing-a-part-in-taking-rangers-forward

View Comment

troyblainPosted on10:54 am - Dec 21, 2012


Troyblain – institutional investors have included all the usual players, i.e. Legal & General etc. Its not anything dodgy, they looked at the investment and thought it was a good one.

i would not want my pension money associated with a club that got into major debt and folded and then like a pheonix rose again and has promised to do exactly the same, spending millions upon millions.

View Comment

RiddriePosted on11:00 am - Dec 21, 2012


Lord Wobbly says:
Thursday, December 20, 2012 at 16:50

monsieurbunny says:
Thursday, December 20, 2012 at 16:16

Tarnished by renaming?? Not tarnished by riots in Manchester
and other places???
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
The Manchester riots was a different club. No really. It was.
_____________________________________________

Ah…but it wasn’t the club that rioted, it was the same scummy fans that now have tuped over to Sevco.

View Comment

troyblainPosted on11:02 am - Dec 21, 2012


we are discussing the continued bias towards a single club by the football authorities and MSM. You can guarantee that Hearts in their hour of need will get no help at all, like Celtic when they nearly went to the wall. Never will league reconstruction be called to save any other club.

Hearts having financial difficulties is a bit like Christmas, it comes around every year and has done so for probably close to a decade.

View Comment

forweonlyknowPosted on11:02 am - Dec 21, 2012


embarrassinglyneutral says:
Friday, December 21, 2012 at 10:48

Totally agree!

————————————————-

A *PRIVATE* message to Heart of Midlothian FC

Dear ** *********,

We have recently heard that you have been having some money worries. It is, after all, a time of austerity. I also realise that you have maybe not had the best of luck with getting certain payments to your employees and the tax authorities. As I say … hard times indeed.

We appreciate that you have made every effort recently to raise extra funds to pay of certain debts and you and I must appluade the fans for stepping up to the plate, especially at this time of year.

It’s pretty obvious to us that The Hearts (take note) fans are extremely keen to retain their illustrious history.

However as **** ********* **** we feel that it is indeed our duty to inform you that you you are actually wasting your time.

As you will be aware one of *** ******** members went into liquidation. This, at first glance, looks and sounds quite final. It could not be further from the truth. Please refer to the attached guidelines document, which outlines how to continue to not pay tax (please do not strike up any deals with HMRC), enter administration, retain all your players on 25% of their salaries, try to achieve a CVA (which we all know won’t happen as you have previous) and then liquidate.

The key here though is that you find someone from another group (make sure they only have tenuous links to) to buy the assets (IP etc) for way below the market value.

After you’re back up and running, we promise that we will come up with a nice secret agreement that will allow you entry into the lowest division (we misjudged that one first time) but given that you will be debt free and reconstruction will happen shortly, it will all be worth it. Please keep this to yourself.

We hope this helps you out in your quest to shed lots of debt whilst retaining all of your trophies and history.

Best regards ******** ******

***

——————————

This is of course NOT a REAL message!

View Comment

shield2012Posted on11:03 am - Dec 21, 2012


Shares were taken up by UK based investors only. £5.2m does NOT work out to be 1p per share. In my opinion, it’s closer to £10 per fan.

View Comment

shield2012Posted on11:09 am - Dec 21, 2012


Yes “they are often the main topic of conversation on a blog relating to Scottish Football?”. However, it’s more often than not, the death of Rangers that is the topic of conversation.

View Comment

jw hardinPosted on11:15 am - Dec 21, 2012


Seems Hearts are to challenge sanction.

If SFA had dealt with Uncle Arthur initially do we think this would’ve happened?

http://theworldgame.sbs.com.au/news/1134067/Hearts-to-challenge-sanction?

View Comment

angus1983Posted on11:15 am - Dec 21, 2012


Getting back to basics …

Can someone remind me how Rangers were at death’s door this time last year, and are now debt-free and sitting on off-the-radar wealth? The only consequence of their swickery seems to be a re-boot from Division 3 and the inability to sign certain categories of players for a while – the latter having little or no effect.

I know it’s a new company. Can it really be that easy to just drop such huge debts and commitments and then claim to be the same club rolling in cash a few months later? Can it?

LNS claims jurisdiction over TRFC under SPL Rules. It seems to me that he embodies our last chance of some kind of justice (the UT – whatever happened to HMRC’s request to appeal? – may take years in their deliberations, to little end effect).

shieldTroll: actually, TSFM’s mission statement is to hold the MSM to account by asking the “difficult questions”. That’s what it says at the foot of each blog post. 😉

View Comment

wottpiPosted on11:17 am - Dec 21, 2012


In relation to the earlier post containing A Sports Direct News ws article that could be interpreted as being a Mike Ashleys shot across Chuckies bows regarding the announcement of millions going to be made available for Ally to buy players, can anyone tell me what happened to all the youth development at Murray Park and the worldwide academies that were being talked about just a few months back.

“Everyone was in agreement that our Clubs future was looking extremely good with plans of Hotels, Cancer Centre, New Shop, New Ticket office and renovations to Edmiston Club along with Football Academies in America, Asia and widespread Global Marketing.”

http://www.vanguardbears.co.uk/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=287:rangers-till-i-die-ni-statemnet

Also on the subject of Mike Ashley I see Leggo isn’t overly happy about the merchandise and who is manging it!!

http://www.dothebouncy.com/home/showthread.php?51436-Is-Mike-Ashley-s-Sports-Direct-costing-Rangers-Money

View Comment

scottcPosted on11:20 am - Dec 21, 2012


troyblain says:
Friday, December 21, 2012 at 10:54
Rate This

Troyblain – institutional investors have included all the usual players, i.e. Legal & General etc. Its not anything dodgy, they looked at the investment and thought it was a good one.

i would not want my pension money associated with a club that got into major debt and folded and then like a pheonix rose again and has promised to do exactly the same, spending millions upon millions.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

As I understand it, it’s not L&G per se. I believe it is a special investment vehicle (SPIV) being ‘managed’ by L&G. Your pension is safe (well, as much as it can be these days)

View Comment

ordinaryfanPosted on11:20 am - Dec 21, 2012


shield2012 says:
Friday, December 21, 2012 at 10:35
1 9 Rate This
“The Scottish Football Monitor” led me to believe we’d be discussing Scottish Football, while all I’ve seen is upset regarding the team from Govan.
—————

The title is a tad misleading, thats for sure!

…………

We should have gone with “Kick Corruption In The Plums”.

View Comment

neepheidPosted on11:22 am - Dec 21, 2012


shield2012 says:
Friday, December 21, 2012 at 11:03
0 2 Rate This
Shares were taken up by UK based investors only. £5.2m does NOT work out to be 1p per share. In my opinion, it’s closer to £10 per fan.
===========
Any fan in the world could have shown their support by “investing” via the RST scheme. So, with 500 million fans worldwide that makes 1p per fan. Now that’s not what I call “digging deep”.

View Comment

SeniorPosted on11:22 am - Dec 21, 2012


jean7brodie
—————–

Thank you for that, of course it was meant to be teetering.

bayviewgold
——————.

No this will be, apart from some fine-tuning, the draft that will sent to every decent fan in Scotland. By letter? I have no problem if people wish to do so but I imagine email will be the weapon of choice in most cases.

View Comment

shield2012Posted on11:25 am - Dec 21, 2012


If you are suggesting that the purpose of TSFM is to seek the truth, by asking the ‘difficult questions’, then I’m all for it. However, would you say that the majority of posts on here are simply seeking the truth?…………In my opinion, they’re not!

The agenda of TSFM is often questioned…….but only so it doesn’t end up down the same road as RTC.

View Comment

wottpiPosted on11:29 am - Dec 21, 2012


shield2012 says:
Friday, December 21, 2012 at 11:09

Thats because despite having bent over backwards to allow them to survive the new incarnation of the club appears to be just as bad and if not worse than the old version.

A bit of humble pie and a quite but gritty determination to work their way back to the top while jettisoning some of the worse elements of their support would have done the newco a world of good.

However it appears to be the ‘same old-same old’ and frankly the rest of Scottish Football fans are happy trying to get on with each other and live in the 21st century without it.

View Comment

RiddriePosted on11:45 am - Dec 21, 2012


vforvernacular says:
Friday, December 21, 2012 at 01:56

============

Meanwhile fans of The Rangers/Sevco/whatever are doing a very good job of making themselves not just disliked the length of the country but burning so many bridges there will never be a way back.

In the short term bears may find this belligerent venting at their perceived “enemies” is quite satisfying.

“In the long term this can only cause permanent damage to the reputation and standing of their club throughout Scotland and beyond.”
===================================================================

Rangers fans behaviour in Manchester, and before that, Seville, Pamplona and Barcelona, show they have no understanding of decent behaviour, only thuggery.

So how could their reputation and standing be damaged any further than it already has been?

View Comment

scottcPosted on11:46 am - Dec 21, 2012


shield2012 says:
Friday, December 21, 2012 at 11:25
Rate This

If you are suggesting that the purpose of TSFM is to seek the truth, by asking the ‘difficult questions’, then I’m all for it. However, would you say that the majority of posts on here are simply seeking the truth?…………In my opinion, they’re not!

The agenda of TSFM is often questioned…….but only so it doesn’t end up down the same road as RTC.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

There is a tendency for the blog to return to the same subject repeatedly and I certainly understand the frustration. Even the proposed ‘boycott’ finds itself being diverted to being an anti-rangers/sevco/trfc thing rather than a positive attempt to bring pressure to bear on the football authorities. If it is done properly it would bring the current supporters of Rangers/the rangers/sevco/whatever along with it as it would have a direct bearing on all of us.

I read on one of the Rangers forums a suggestion regarding league reconstruction and it was spot on. They don’t like the current situation or the proposed changes either and why should they?

For what it is worth shield, I am not a supporter of either half of what was the old firm; rather I support a 2nd Division East Coast team who play in sky blue, but even I can see that there has been some serious ‘maneouvering’ over the course of the Spring and Summer to bring about the situation that we currently have and it would help things considerably if the supporters form Govan would recognise that what was done benefitted them greatly rather than caused them harm.

View Comment

ordinaryfanPosted on11:47 am - Dec 21, 2012


shield2012 says:
Friday, December 21, 2012 at 11:25
0 1 Rate This
If you are suggesting that the purpose of TSFM is to seek the truth, by asking the ‘difficult questions’, then I’m all for it. However, would you say that the majority of posts on here are simply seeking the truth?…………In my opinion, they’re not!

The agenda of TSFM is often questioned…….but only so it doesn’t end up down the same road as RTC.

………………………

For some strange reason, all of the corruption, collusion, bias, cheating, favouritism, threats, injustice, dishonesty, gerrymandering, intimidation, bullying, dishonesty, lies and propaganda just seems to lead to TWO Clubs only: the dead Rangers FC (currently in liquidation) and Tribute Act FC (soon to be in administration).

View Comment

angus1983Posted on11:52 am - Dec 21, 2012


shield2012 says:
Friday, December 21, 2012 at 11:25

If you are suggesting that the purpose of TSFM is to seek the truth, by asking the ‘difficult questions’, then I’m all for it. However, would you say that the majority of posts on here are simply seeking the truth?…………In my opinion, they’re not!

The agenda of TSFM is often questioned…….but only so it doesn’t end up down the same road as RTC.
——

Valid points. The problem, which has been aired here before, is that the “difficult” questions are often formulated, seldom asked and never answered. Hence the recent frustration of contributors. There is a lack of a spearhead – a frontman, a Dave Lee Roth who has the same loud voice and drive as Mr Green to make TSFM heard – and listened to – outside its own confines.

Most posters here are actually seeking the truth, mostly the truth behind what has happened at Pie-brox, (c) The Sun, over the last year, ten years, twenty years. We want to know why the establishment club is the Establishment Club and why a patently new club has been allowed and encouraged to forge onwards until it regains the old club’s “rightful position” by assuming the latter’s discarded and freshly dry-cleaned mantle.

You may note that I often question agendas on here, and get my lugs flicked for doing so. Others do the same. I seldom read the longer posts, relying on others to distill them for me. I was taught to be concise (ever written a scientific abstract?) although I am not being particularly so in this post. 🙂

I’m not sure what to think of RTC. Evidently something has happened to make them remove their blog history. This may be a legal thing, or it may be simply personal embarrassment at failing to get the “big question” right (at the current interim stage, anyway). I don’t know. RTC served a purpose at the time. Whether TSFM has fully assumed a similar position I don’t know. There is a lot more dilution here, a lot more obvious anti-RFC gut instinct. I commented recently that similarities to RM could be found, but I think that post may have been deleted. I stand by it, though.

I’d hope, Mr Shield, that you can contribute to TSFM. If you have reasonable commentary to make, please do so. A balance needs to be regained here.

Now, I’m away for more coffee. My car needs fixing and I canna get out to do it in this weather, and I canna put the fire on cos the wind’s blowing the wrong way and the smoke comes back down the chimney – so might as well buzz on caffeine for a while. 🙂

View Comment

angus1983Posted on11:56 am - Dec 21, 2012


ordinaryfan says:
Friday, December 21, 2012 at 11:47

… and Tribute Act FC (soon to be in administration).
——

I think they’d have to go some to end up in Admin in the short to medium term. Or am I missing something?

View Comment

neepheidPosted on11:59 am - Dec 21, 2012


shield2012 says:
Friday, December 21, 2012 at 11:25
0 1 Rate This
If you are suggesting that the purpose of TSFM is to seek the truth, by asking the ‘difficult questions’, then I’m all for it. However, would you say that the majority of posts on here are simply seeking the truth?…………In my opinion, they’re not!
======================
Here is the question that I’ve been asking for the past 4 months. Why and on what exact terms was the RFC membership of the SFA transferred to Sevco? Or to put it another way, could I see a copy of the five way agreement please?

I wonder whether you agree that my question is relevant to Scottish football generally? Or do you think that because it relates to the death and resurrection of Rangers, it should be considered off topic? In other words, just let’s all ignore what happened 4 months ago, water under the bridge, ancient history, nothing to see here, let’s move on, etc, etc, etc. Let’s instead all discuss a quick fix reconstruction to restore the natural order asap.

Well,in my opinion, what happened 4 months ago highlighted deep seated and blatant corruption in the governing bodies of Scottish football, and until that is fully exposed and dealt with, there can be no moving on. What is the point of moving on to more of the same? It is of course crystal clear that more of the same is exactly what Rangers supporters, or 99% of them, really want. Let’s just forget the hows and the whys of what happened last summer, catapult TRFC into the top flight by hook or by crook, and off we go again.

View Comment

bluPosted on12:07 pm - Dec 21, 2012


shield2012 says:
Friday, December 21, 2012 at 11:25
If you are suggesting that the purpose of TSFM is to seek the truth, by asking the ‘difficult questions’, then I’m all for it. However, would you say that the majority of posts on here are simply seeking the truth?…………In my opinion, they’re not!

The agenda of TSFM is often questioned…….but only so it doesn’t end up down the same road as RTC.
===========================================================
shield – I suspect that you’re at it but let’s say you’re not for just now. You’re right, an awful lot of posts are simply digs at the various Rangers incarnations borne out of frustration at the debt dumping, screwing of creditors and failure of Scottish footballing authorities to apply their own rules in respect of Rangers going into liquidation. However, I’m sure you’ve learned a hell of a lot about how the Rangers fans are being screwed all over again by people who paid, let’s say, 30p per share taking into account the original investment made by Green et al, whilst the fans paid 70p+ for theirs. The ordinary fans will be shafted again.

So, done by the profligate Murray, done by Whyte and done by Green. Did RTC bring any of this to light when it wasn’t being covered by the mainstream media? Rangers fans should have been signing up in their droves to RTC rather than providing their hard earned to the parcel of rogues that has been running their club for the last 20 years.

I don’t know if you read or post to Follow Follow, Rangers Media, Rangers Standard, Vanguard Bears or Leggoland but my assessment is that none of those has offered much critical analysis of the Rangers situation, they’ve simply cosied up to whoever’s been next to say they’ll sort it all out and blamed everyone else who isn’t Rangers, especially the omniscient Mr Lawwell and the venal Stephen Thompson.

I agree that the Rangers discussion has probably overshadowed wider discussion or specifics on the likes of Hearts, although there has been some fine detail provided by allyjambo and others, but Rangers was the establishment club in Scotland and apparently impregnable – of course it’s demise and how this was dealt with was going to dominate discussion.

View Comment

jimlarkinPosted on12:24 pm - Dec 21, 2012


this article claiming the sevco supporters trust bought 12% of the “clubs” shares for £250k !!?

======================================

NEWS

Rangers Supporters Trust playing a part in taking Rangers forward

The Rangers Supporters Trust were proud to announce that they lodged a cheque on Tuesday afternoon for £250,000 and an application for shares with the Ibrox club’s stockbroker.

The support for BuyRangers.org has been well received and in four days it has become the largest Community Share Scheme in UK history according to the Trust’s website. There have been nearly 2000 individual investors including Alastair Johnston and former Rangers player, and record SPL goal scorer, Kris Boyd who also signed up this week.

The Trust received an email from Imran Ahmad which read:

“Many thanks to you and your colleagues for all your support from Charles, Brian and me. Merry Christmas.”

SDS and Scottish Fans would like to congratulate Rangers Supporters Trust for playing a part in securing 12% of the Club’s shares for the fans (as reported in the Daily Record).

http://www.supporters-direct.org/?news-article=rangers-supporters-trust-playing-a-part-in-taking-rangers-forward

——————————————————————————-

View Comment

csihampdenPosted on12:27 pm - Dec 21, 2012


shield2012 says:

Friday, December 21, 2012 at 11:03

Shares were taken up by UK based investors only. £5.2m does NOT work out to be 1p per share. In my opinion, it’s closer to £10 per fan.

>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

In response to this and your previous post – yes, it is in my opinion. I don’t contribute to blogs to give someone else’s.
And it actually works out at 10,000 individual investments of £500 minimum investment – for a club who are atrracting 40,000 crowds every second week, whose fans have paid reduced prices for seasoon tickets this season compared to other seasons, who have known for weeks and months that a share issue was coming, who have known for weeks what the minimum investment level would be, who watched the worst possible events happen to their first love for financial reasons throughout this year, who were given the “opportunity” to invest double the amount that they have actually invested (presumably in part because they were told that others would take up the slack if they didn’t invest – the spirit of entitlement).
So yes – its my opinion that I think Charles Green thought that offering a £10M “opportunity” was a racing certainty given all that had happened, given how desperate these fans would be to fund their club, given how he had turned them around to eating out of the palm of his hand with his soundbites and rhetoric.
But I think he underestimated the entitlement expectation – “step up and pay” etc. And because of that miscalculation, I believe he will be less encouraged to have high expectations of further investment from that fanbase in future – certainly, I don’t think he will confident of what amounts he could raise.
So – do you think he will be encouraged or discouraged, if this approach was part of his future investment strategy?
In my opinion, I think further fans share issues would have been part of his future investment strategy, and I don’t think he will be encouraged by the fact this portion was undersubscribed this time round. And I’m curious as to what leverage he will attempt to use with that fanbase to change that situation when that next time comes around. And my concern is that he will further attempt to polarise Scottish football to do so – identifying new enemies for the fanbase to unify against, before he attempts to dip their pockets again.

View Comment

scottcPosted on12:28 pm - Dec 21, 2012


jimlarkin says:
Friday, December 21, 2012 at 12:24
Rate This

this article claiming the sevco supporters trust bought 12% of the “clubs” shares for £250k !!?

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

No just that they have conributed to that total. That was how I read it anyway

View Comment

embarrassinglyneutralPosted on12:47 pm - Dec 21, 2012


I think the biggest story on the share issue is that £17m institutional investor money was spent, i.e. the guys who really matter. The world is run on institutional investors. Your and my pensions are in what they buy. I don’t know why they bought Rangers shares but the truth is they have been accepted by the investor community. Stop talking about how the fans “only” put in £5m, its paltry compared to what the players put in.

View Comment

john clarkePosted on1:00 pm - Dec 21, 2012


SupportersDirect have now completely blown any credibility they might have had.

They failed to speak out about the rottenness of the defaulting, debt-shirking dead club, but now cannot wait to congratulate its illegitimate heir and determined enemy of Scottish Football..
I always suspected that the ‘leadership’ of SD were not the brightest of lamps.

They have now shown themselves to be either very stupid, or very MSM-like partisan in what they will relate to.

Bad, and very bad cess to them.

And heaven help Scottish football andfootball supporters generally , when their tax-payer subsidised representatives are onside with rogue entrepreneurs.

View Comment

NawlitePosted on1:03 pm - Dec 21, 2012


While I am one of the frustrated many who have tried and failed to get answers from the MSM and SFA etc by way of e-mail and letter, I am not a fan of this boycott idea. It feels too much like what bullies do and this blog is quick enough to castigate others who boycott to get their way.

I know there’a feeling of powerlessness against the ‘might’ of the MSM ( I have posted previously on that), but we either stay true to our principles or lose the moral high ground in my opinion. I believe it would be much better to absolutely pack out Tannadice on the day, with the away end full of supporters of all clubs wearing their own club colours. This helps United, helps charity and should help us with some publicity, given the Sky coverage. If some banners could be prepared as to why we’re doing it; questions to the SFA; to Yorkie etc that might give us some visibility.

Thoughts? TDs?

View Comment

john clarkePosted on1:08 pm - Dec 21, 2012


orweonlyknow says:
Friday, December 21, 2012 at 11:02
‘…This is of course NOT a REAL message!.

No, but the 5-way agreement was real enough!

View Comment

vforvernacularPosted on1:14 pm - Dec 21, 2012


riddrie says:
Friday, December 21, 2012 at 11:45

Rangers fans behaviour in Manchester, and before that, Seville, Pamplona and Barcelona, show they have no understanding of decent behaviour, only thuggery.

So how could their reputation and standing be damaged any further than it already has been?

===============================================

I take your point riddrie but I’m certain this ongoing silly, petulent attitiude from them will continue to erode their reputation.

For one thing they can’t point and say its a small number of dangerous yobs who follow the club at fault. Green has endorsed a boycott of a fellow member club. I don’t for one minute think all the other clubs in Scotland will sit back, shrug their shoulders and say “ach its just between that new Rangers club and Dundee Utd”. They’ll be asking themselves and thinking on the answers to these sort of questions:

“what did Dundee Utd do wrong?” – Nothing. Then we could just as easily be the next victims. Will the SFA stand up for all clubs? No it appears not. We need to be prepared for dealing with this sort of thing on our own.
Who will stand by us?
Should we offer support to Dundee Utd privately? publicly?
And so on.

So the SPL Clubs stance in future can only be hardened by this. SPL club chairman may suddenly be looking upon each other with greater sympathy and awareness of the problems faced.

As for fans attitudes, Scottish fans are becoming increasingly clear just what sort of people we are dealing with here. Its clearer every day and I think what most of us see is not very nice. There have been no sensible voices from the Rangers/Sevco support and equally no sensible voices from the people within the club.

This hardened attitude amongst other scottish fans is then quite obvious when in conversation about football with other fans, friends, family etc. I’m quite aware of attitudes within supporters of my own club but whats interesting is how much I notice it when speaking to work friends who support other teams than I do. Most are extremely angry about all of this and will not be for turning.

The continued undignified behaviour and attitude of Rangers, Sevco, the authorities, the fans etc may have lost them any sympathy or goodwill from an entire generation of football fans in this country.

Long term I feel thats going to really affect their progress.

View Comment

nowoldandgrumpyPosted on1:18 pm - Dec 21, 2012


i must have missed this, seems Mr Longmuir thinks it is the same club.

From their 140 years match day celebration programme.

On behalf of everyone at the Scottish Football League I would like to add my sincere congratulations to Rangers on Achieving this magnificant milestone in the club’s history.

Rangers have brought great honour and distinction to Scottish football throughout these 140 years and the club has risen to every challenge it has faced. … There is something rather poignant that after 140 years the club is once again a member of the organisation it helped found in 1890 and we are honoured and proud to have Rangers in the league.

To everyone involved in the club and its remarkable and loyal fans Happy Anniversary.

David Longmuir

Chief Executive

View Comment

Comments are closed.