Fergus McCann v David Murray

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How Celtic Turned the Tables on their Glasgow Rivals by Stephen O Donnell:
A Review by Auldheid.

Stephen’s previous publication, Tangled Up In Blue provided a detailed history of the rise and fall of Glasgow Rangers FC PLC from 1872 until their demise in 2012. Clearly a lot of research had been done to cover the period in such detail and his follow up publication Fergus McCann v David Murray etc carries on with that tradition. It is a smorgasbord of a book with many different issues succulently served up in its 350 pages.

It tells of events under David Murray’s tenure at Ibrox which began in November 1988 and ended in May 2011 when he left Craig Whyte holding the rope that became a noose just under a year later in April 2012 when Whyte was found guilty of bringing Scottish football into disrepute whilst Murray claimed he was duped.

Readers of the book will come to the conclusion that if anyone did the duping it was David Murray and it wasn’t just Craig Whyte he duped but Scotland’s national game. If ever Murray were to be tried for crimes against Scottish football then this book would be cited as evidence.

It was against the background of David Murray’s tenure at Rangers that Fergus McCann first arrived on the scene in April 1989 with proposals to inject £17M of New Capital into Celtic that the Celtic Board rejected as per minutes:

Proposals put forward by Fergus McCann to provide finance for various capital expenditures were unanimously rejected by the Directors’; and then again in August of the same year: ‘Mr McCann’s latest proposals were discussed and it was hoped that this was a final discussion on the subject. Latest proposals were rejected by Directors.
Fergus later returned to the fray and the chapter on how he was successful in ousting the Board in 1994 is an informative read, particularly if in that period single parenting cares took precedence over caring for Celtic.

I was amused reading the tale of discontent aimed at the old Board after a Ne’erday 4-2 defeat to Rangers in January 1994 when a bemused Walter Smith was watching the hostility aimed at the Celtic Directors box, one fan in the main stand screamed at him, ‘What are you looking at, it’s got fuck all to do with you.”

For me anyway there were a few “not a lot of people know that” moments like that in the book.
The contrast between Fergus McCann’s and David Murray’s style was immediately evident, but the impact of Fergus’s shorter tenure from 1994 to 1999 became more than evident after McCann left and the author does not miss the role servile journalists played and hit the wall for turning Celtic supporters against McCann during his tenure, whilst they dined on Murray’s succulent lamb. A role that in the end helped bring about Rangers end, but not the culture of servility when covering the activity of Rangers FC PLC successor club from 2012.

Sky TV get it in the neck too and if David Murray played the part of Colonel Mustard in killing Scottish football through his financial recklessness and duplicity, Sky are the lead pipe whose toxicity still dictates the nature of the current state of play.( I said it was a Smorgasbord)

Fergus kind of did what it said on the tin. In his case a tin of nippy sweeties, but it was interesting to read about his early years when even then he was described as “a cheeky upstart” but his “idiosyncrasies” and appearance under a bunnet, disguised a sharp if impatient business mind where for him getting straight to the point was akin to procrastination.

So too has Murray’s early years been covered including his rejected attempt to buy Ayr Utd, a rejection by Ayr Directors, who considered Murray was too hot headed and most volatile, that infuriated him.

Their conclusion that he was trying to get Ayr United on the cheap with only £125k of his own money involved was an indicator of his strategy of using other people’s money to invest and not his own. Other people including unsuspecting taxpayers to a tune of £50 million or so.

As you follow the narrative of both Fergus McCann and David Murray and the events that surrounded them, you end up wondering how so many could have been fooled for so long by one guy, but when you have the Scottish media in your pocket it was difficult to separate fact from fiction during the tenure of both. You also wonder how Murray remains a Knight of the Realm since.

Luckily for Celtic Fergus knew business fact from PR fiction and avoided the illusion in which Celtic’s main rivals continue to struggle to this day.

The great pity is that few, if any of the Scottish main stream media will even give this book a mention, because if you don’t write about it, it never happened, except it did and this book is proof.

I therefore recommend anyone interested in the future of our game buys it and asks, is it not now time to revisit the purpose of Scottish football?

Auldheid

714 COMMENTS

  1. John Clark 11th September 2020 at 17:32

    I was up in good time this morning, sat down at about 8.55 and dialled the number to get into the virtual court hearing.

    The line was busy: and it feckin stayed busy up to 9.50, when  I abandoned hope of catching any of the Hearing.

    Was anyone able to listen in?

    You didn’t miss much.

    Gerry Moynihan for the LA appeared to indicate that there were further admissions to be made regarding the period leading up to the first indictment (previously they only referred to actions post that indictment). GM will submit these to the court in the next week.  He anticipated that the documents would be made public in due course, or earlier on the direction of Lord Tyre.

    The Dean of Faculty (Roddy Dunlop) acting for Whitehouse asked for a further six weeks to complete further interviews with witnesses.  Lord Tyre was unhappy about the amount of time requested. RD responded by saying that earlier witness statements were made prior to the “admissions” and needed to be revisited. He indicated that his time scale was conservative and expected to complete it sooner with cooperation from the Crown Office.  RD also indicated that he would review the quantum of the damages sought in this part of the action.

    RD then sought an award of further expenses for any additional or rework required following the previous admissions, and the new ones still to come.  Lord Tyre reserved a decision on expenses until a later date.

    Lord Tyre set a follow up procedural hearing for Tuesday 29th September at 9am.

    The proof (if one goes ahead) is provisionally set for January.

    The action against Police Scotland was not discussed, but the indication was that it remains as was, for the time being.

  2. easyJambo 11th September 2020 at 21:57

    '..You didn’t miss much.

    Gerry Moynihan for the LA appeared to indicate that there were further admissions to be made regarding the period leading up to the first indictment ..'

    """""""""""""""""""""""""""""""

    I am extremely grateful to you for that, eJ.  

    I am interested in big Roddy's observation:

    'RD responded by saying that earlier witness statements were made prior to the “admissions” and needed to be revisited'

    What does that mean? That the earlier statements were knowingly untrue? Or that they were made on the basis of what the statement signatory believed at the time to be true  but now that the 'truth' has been established the statement signatory can revise his testimony to match?

    Questions like this are of course well OT, in that they have no connection to football  except the loose connection that the persons seeking damages were the Administrators of a football club.

    It's interesting all the same, that a  football club's  crooked  dealings in respect of tax dodging and lies to the SFA , has brought up , via a civil damages claim by its Administrators,  questions about the integrity not only of police but of the COPFS.

    And those kinds of questions are far far more important than mere football.

     

  3. I'm still flabbergasted that – as far as I'm aware – not one person has resigned, or been fired,

    since the Crown Office admission of its "malicious prosecution" in a court of law!

    Separately, IMO, this shocking exposure of OUR Scottish criminal system has had nowhere near enough media coverage either.

    Does the CPS, Police Scotland, the Scottish Government and the SMSM have their very own, informal, '4 Way Agreement'?

    It stinks even more now.

  4. StevieBC 12th September 2020 at 12:48

    The Lord Advocate is one of the Scottish Ministers. He (or she) is appointed by the Queen, on the advice of the First Minister. 

    He (or she) is the senior Scottish Law Officer and the head of COPFS (not CPS which is in England).

    Police Scotland operate under the auspices of the Lord Advocate, and all prosecutions on indictment are in his (or her) name. 

    Basically the Scottish Government choose the Lord Advocate. The Lord Advocate runs COPFS. COPFS tell the Police what to do. 

  5. H, so going by that food chain,

    someone from Police Scotland would/should have been ‘resigned’ immediately after the Court admission?

    Unless I’m missing something, it just seems that no PR crisis management is required – because there is minimal SMSM coverage of a scandalous story, IMO.

  6. StevieBC 12th September 2020 at 15:57

    '..someone from Police Scotland would/should have been ‘resigned’ immediately after the Court admission?'

    """""""""""""""""""""""""""""""

    On the face of it, the taxpayers ( you and I among them) are already out of pocket by the awards already made to Whitehouse and Clark, with the possibility that several millions more of our money will go to them by and by.

    In so far as police officers were following the instructions of the  the two Lords Advocate who were successively involved it's hard to see how they bear any responsibility for the actions they took [the manner in which one senior officer is alleged to have taken  some actions might be questionable, and perhaps disciplinary action might follow] But, overall, I think the polis were merely carrying out orders, even if through gritted teeth.broken heart

    As regards the COPFS, it's a matter of public record that at least one PF was bemused by the orders given and the decisions made , rescinded, and re-made, it seems, almost off the cuff by the ultimate decision maker.

    I sat in Lord Bannatyne's court-room several times and heard the most unenthusiastic presentation of a case by the Advocate Depute that I imagine I will ever hear. Several drafts of the indictment, so many, it seemed, that Lord Bannatyne with justifiable irritation had on one occasion to ask whether he had a copy of the latest one.

    It is not with hindsight that as a layman not at all 'learned in the law'  I say that I felt then that this was a prosecution apt to fail: there was no heart in it.

    The Administrators had reported to the Police their suspicions that something had been not quite right about the purchase of RFC by Whyte. 

    The Police investigated. And those who  reported their suspicions that  a possible crime had been committed are themselves arrested, and they and a few others are incompetently indicted and put  on trial, and then the charges are all withdrawn!

    Net likely result : millions of pounds from you and me to be paid in compensation …

    Two Lord Advocates and numerous lawyers in his Crown Office staff were involved in the whole botch-up.

    The sensitivities are ,well, extremely sensitive.

    But the polis are probably not responsible for the shambles of a prosecution.

     

  7. There are a couple of issues with holding the Lord Advocate personally accountable for the malicious prosecutions related to RFC/Sevco/D&P. 

    While David Whitehouse was successful in his appeal to the Inner House of the Court of Session that the Lord Advocate should not have immunity from prosecution, the Lord Advocate at the time, Frank Mulholland, has moved on.  He was appointed as a Senator of the College of Justice in 2016, so is now Lord Mulholland and a judge in criminal cases and the High Court or civil cases at the Court of Session.

    Judges do have immunity from prosecution for actions related to their office, though I suspect that his current role will not protect him from his actions as Lord Advocate.

    The reality is that any liability will be met by the state, i.e. the taxpayer.  Whether or not Lord Mulholland will be forced to resign from his judiciary role in the event of multiple adverse outcomes in the current legal proceedings is a moot point.

     

  8. "…But the polis are probably not responsible for the shambles of a prosecution."

    Just like the 2012 football governance shambles: those who were really responsible evaded any punishment.

    e.g. Murray and Ogilvie should have been banned sine die from Scottish football, IMO.

    It was twisted to become HMRC's 'fault' – and even yesterday the SMSM was reporting that Dundee United had 'created' bitterness in the game – for not voting a Rangers directly into the SPL!

    Going back to the original query: if everybody involved has 'brass necked it' since the malicious prosecution admssion so far – then any resignations / firings seem unlikely now? 

    It's the taxpayer who will be punished – via massive payouts – for 'legal governance' incompetence/corruption?

    And those who were really responsible just carry on…? 

  9. John Clark 12th September 2020 at 23:37

    I have not attended any hearings, however just intuitively I think it is just as likely that the Police overstepped the mark themselves, rather than being instructed to do so.

    Crown Office do not issue search warrants, either they or the Police make application for them, it is a Sheriff who grants the warrant. In my view any mistakes are likely to have been made during the search, where the Officers went beyond the terms of the warrant.

    I would also argue that whilst the Lord Advocate and Crown Office might have overall responsibility for the investigation what they will do is instruct the senior Police officers. They will then instruct the officers carrying out the work and make day to day operational decisions.

    I would not absolve Police Scotland of any blame in a flawed investigation / prosecution. Let's not use the Nuremberg defence.

     

  10. Homunculus 13th September 2020 at 13:04
    …………
    I myself blame them all, from the top to the bottom, all wanted to bask in the limelight of being the ones who were part of a collection of people who did the right thing by the institution that was the ibrox club.
    The light shinning on them now though is not the light they want.

  11. I note St Mirren's Jim Goodwin has let rip at the SPFL for essentially trying to force them to go ahead with their game v Hibs yesterday without a keeper.

    However, rules is rules and all that. If you don't have a recognised goalie available then just play with what you have got in your squad.

    In the words of Ross County's Roy McGregor, should they not have just 'Taken their medicine' given these unusual times.

    Luckily a club, who are supposedly driven by self interest,  stepped up with an emergency loan arrangement so St Mirren could take the field with a half decent keeper instead of a converted outfield player.

    Not sure if to be critical of my club for not telling St Mirren to 'go do one' and stew in their own juice or to be proud of an organisation who, despite being shafted a few months ago, was willing to step up and assist when a fellow member club of the SPFL needed some help.

  12. I'm starting a book on the number of stitches macho maddog Morelos will have on his injured knee on Thursday . 

    5-10     6/1

    10 million +    18/1

    0 –    1/10

    Lipread McAllister when he was being carted off the park . And there's a man who's missing his barber .

  13. Cluster One 13th September 2020 at 15:35

    Whilst I agree with blame being spread I think it's highly unlikely that Francis Mulholland, born in Coatbridge and attended St Bernard's Primary and Columba High wanted to " … bask in the limelight of being the ones who were part of a collection of people who did the right thing by the institution that was the ibrox club."

    I think like a lot of other people he made mistakes with the investigation and prosecution. 

     

     

  14. paddy malarkey 13th September 2020 at 16:34

    Caught some of the radio commentary yesterday and then some of the 'afters' so was expecting to see a horrendous tackle on Sportscene.

    However, totally innocuous, no reaction from the ref, no reaction from any of the players. Morelos shows a poor touch and Edwards, probably expecting better control, takes a clearing kick at the ball as it comes loose.

    I'd be raging if a defender wasn't attacking the loose ball. Unfortunately, Morelos has jumped in to regain the situation and the lads boot has caught him in the knee.

    Ref totally correct and anything else, including the pundits on Sportscene calling for a red, is well of the mark IMHO.

  15. Homunculus 13th September 2020 at 13:04

    '.I would not absolve Police Scotland of any blame in a flawed investigation / prosecution'

    """""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""

    Behind the point I was trying to make ( not too clearly) was that the decision to prosecute and to continue the prosecution even when ( as now appears) it was apparent at some determinate stage that there were no safe grounds for doing so was the fault of the COPFS which was directing the prosecution.

    Police officers ( at least one) may have acted beyond their brief,  but what is going to cost the taxpayer is the fact that the brief itself (i.e. the decision that there was evidence enough to charge people with  crime (s) and arrest them is now acknowledged to have been rash and unsound right from the off.

    A monumental kcuf-up when, who knows? a little bit more savvy might have been exercised to better effect

    Aggresssive and 'overzealous' police officers can be disciplined. 

    Can Lord Advocate(s)?

  16. wottpi 13th September 2020 at 17:40

     IMO  ,  Morelos bottled it , and we were told at an early age that if you bottle it in a tackle , you'll end up injured . 

     

     

     

  17. paddy malarkey 13th September 2020 at 20:52

    '.. if you bottle it in a tackle , you'll end up injured . '

    """""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""

    when you bottle it in a physical tackle, indeed you do suffer physical injury.

    When you bottle it in a moral sense, as when you shirk your moral obligations and create myths to try to justify yourself, you suffer injuries that will not heal. 

    Ask anyone in office in the SFA, SPL or SFL 'what did you do in the 'Rangers saga'? 

    They know they destroyed belief in the integrity of Scottish Football as a sport by making a nonsense of it by creating a myth.

    And that self-knowledge will haunt them for the rest of their miserable lives, bluster though they may. 

    Their epitaphs will have the unwritten words hovering above the stone or urn , 'this man was a cheat , liar, and betrayer and abuser of the office entrusted to him'

     

  18. John Clark 3rd September 2020 at 22:54

    The only way forward for TRFC is to acknowledge the truth:

    ======

    JC while browsing a link i found myself at Companies house, and while there took a look at TRFC accounts 2019, which is a bit of a puzzler as there are two companies listed claiming to be The old RFC.

    Firstly: THE RANGERS FOOTBALL CLUB LIMITED
    Company number SC425159
    Incorporated on 29 May 2012

    Secondly: RANGERS INTERNATIONAL FOOTBALL CLUB PLC
    Company number SC437060
    Incorporated on 16 November 2012

    Both still claim in their yearly accounts strategic report to be Rangers Football club formed in Scotland 1872

    So anyway a little intrigued and knowing my knowledge of company filings to be sadly neglected, I had a look at both, namely their yearly accounts.

    TRFC Club limited shows
    Year Ended 30th June 2019 Total Revenue 51.326
    Year ended 30th June 2018 Total Revenue 31.618
    Operating Loss 12.259

    RIFC shows
    Year Ended 30th June 2019 Total Revenue 53.171
    Year Ended 30th June 2018 Total Revenue 32.163
    Operating Loss 11.647

    I doubt TRFC will ever acknowledge the truth when not one but two companies registered in 2012 can pretend to be the same entity, and more so appear to just willy nilly pluck figures from thin air.

    regards
    ff

  19. JC 13 Sep. 20.27

    “Aggresssive and ‘overzealous’ police officers can be disciplined”

    It is my understanding that the DC at the forefront of arrests and investigations, including some unsavoury behaviour in a police station, was in fact Promoted!   Now a DCI I believe!

    Lets see how his career pans out.

     

     

  20. Questions I think ought to be answered over the 'malicious prosecution' are;

    1. What was malicious about it?

    2. Did the PF's office prosecute while failing to meet their own standards for prosecution?

    2. Did any police officers lie to the PF?

    3. Was evidence fabricated?

  21. Big Pink 14th September 2020 at 11:48

    Questions I think ought to be answered over the 'malicious prosecution' are;

    1. What was malicious about it?

    2. Did the PF's office prosecute while failing to meet their own standards for prosecution?

    2. Did any police officers lie to the PF?

    3. Was evidence fabricated?

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

    1. My understanding is that the fundamental problem was that the arrests and detention of the individuals involved proceeded without an evidential basis to support the charges. That points to a prosecution "without due cause"

    2. In addition to the previous answer, a decision to proceed regardless, in the hope that something would turn up would make such a prosecution as being "with malice". It is clear that the PF's office failed to adhere to their own standards for prosecutions.

    3. There are allegations that the Police may have misled the PF's office or other agencies, e.g. to obtain search warrants. That may become apparent in the separate action against Police Scotland.

    4. I don't know about fabricating evidence, but there is strong evidence to suggest that the police acquired a large number of documents during their searches, over which legal privilege had been claimed

  22. fitbawfan 14th September 2020 at 00:07

    John Clark 3rd September 2020 at 22:54

    The only way forward for TRFC is to acknowledge the truth:

    ======

    JC while browsing a link i found myself at Companies house, and while there took a look at TRFC accounts 2019, which is a bit of a puzzler as there are two companies listed claiming to be The old RFC.

    Firstly: THE RANGERS FOOTBALL CLUB LIMITED
    Company number SC425159
    Incorporated on 29 May 2012

    Secondly: RANGERS INTERNATIONAL FOOTBALL CLUB PLC
    Company number SC437060
    Incorporated on 16 November 2012

    Both still claim in their yearly accounts strategic report to be Rangers Football club formed in Scotland 1872

    So anyway a little intrigued and knowing my knowledge of company filings to be sadly neglected, I had a look at both, namely their yearly accounts.

    TRFC Club limited shows
    Year Ended 30th June 2019 Total Revenue 51.326
    Year ended 30th June 2018 Total Revenue 31.618
    Operating Loss 12.259

    RIFC shows
    Year Ended 30th June 2019 Total Revenue 53.171
    Year Ended 30th June 2018 Total Revenue 32.163
    Operating Loss 11.647

    I doubt TRFC will ever acknowledge the truth when not one but two companies registered in 2012 can pretend to be the same entity, and more so appear to just willy nilly pluck figures from thin air.

    regards
    ff

     

    There are, of course, two companies, FF. TRFC is the club, as is and has always been (at least since 2012), and RIFC is the holding company. The disparity in the accounts is because TRFCs accounts are rolled up into RIFC alongside any other income RIFC may have. Of course, they are both the original RFC subject to requirements at the time

     

  23. I think it's the posts which are being sued not the people.

    Both the Lord Advocate and the Chief Constable have changed since the relevant times if memory serves.

    There may be individual (named) Police officers being sued as well, I haven't seen that. 

  24. Sportsound currently:

    "a broken organisation" says Stewart, 'looks like an organisation that is corrupt'  I don't have faith in its decisions'…. no integrity

    says Stewart Gilmour former chair of St Mirren. "If one or the other of the 'Old Firm' had no goalkeeper available would they have had to play?"

    Imagine saying that the SPFL lacked Sporting Integrity!! Who woulda thunk such a thing?

     

  25. "a broken organisation" says Stewart, 'looks like an organisation that is corrupt' I don't have faith in its decisions'….

    no integrity says Stewart Gilmour former chair of St.Mirren…

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

    Aye JC, but if Gilmour had used those exact, same 'brave' words back in 2012, about the SFA or SPL/SFL, 

    then I'd eagerly listen to whatever he has to say today.  

    …but he didn't so I won't!  indecision

  26. Can anyone confirm if the following is correct?

    Yesterday there were reports that Hearts were the only team outwith the Premiership who were regularly testing players and then they have now been given permission to play teams who do not have testing regimes.

    Therefore when are the remainder of the SPFL teams supposed to start testing or is it now not required in the lower three tiers?

    Given the announcement that three Hamilton youth players have tested positive, what chances of Covid circulating amongst part-time teams etc and not being detected until it is too late.

    What does the 'P' in the SPFL stand for?

     

  27. wottpi 15th September 2020 at 15:04

    "What does the 'P' in the SPFL stand for?"

    """"""""""""""""""""

    How about : pernicious, perfidious, perverted, pusillanimous, penurious, perjured, pisspoor….broken heart

  28. I wonder if someone can come up with what these numbers refer to……….

    332: Rangers

    235: St.Johnstone

    231: St.Mirren

    200: Hamilton

    197: Hearts

    46: Dundee Utd

    44: Motherwell

    38: Kilmarnock

    35: Ross County

    35: Livingston

    24: Hibs

    17: Aberdeen

    4: Celtic

     

    Anyone ?

     

     

  29. reasonablechap 16th September 2020 at 07:38

    '.what these numbers refer to…'

    """"""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""

    Insufficient information, I'm afraid.

    Which 'Rangers' is referred to?— Cove Rangers, Berwick Rangers, The Rangers FC of 2012, or the Liquidated Rangers Football Club  of 1872,sadly no longer participating in Scottish professional football?

     

     

  30. I see the 'Queen's Eleven' supporter, that man of truth and integrity, Murdo Fraser ,opened his mouth to speak about the 'malicious prosecution', writing in today's 'The Scotsman' that the Lord Advocate's admission 'should send shivers down the spine of anyone concerned about the integrity of the Scottish legal system'

    Hypocritical of a politician who had nothing much to say about the lack of integrity of his 'Queen's Eleven' which cheated Scottish football for a decade or the lack of Integrity of the Scottish football authorities in their cringing readiness to create and sustain the sporting and commercial myth that a club founded in 2012 is that very same 'Queen's Eleven' that was founded in 1872.

    Utterances by the likes of Fraser who clearly shares in belief in the Big absurd Lie send shivers down my spine.

    Bad cess to him.

     

  31. EasyJambo
    It seems then, that either the entire prosecutorial system has broken down, or there has been some commission between the police and crown to ‘get’ their men.
    Allegedly.

  32. It’ll be the same old, same old . Secret meeting with interested parties , decision on way forward taken , plan actioned regardless of collateral damage , any questions deemed to be underming attempts to catch the baddies , all supported by a compliant and equally corrupt SMSM . It’s how the establishment rolls . 

    And on the Castore strip fiasco , weird to see all those supporters desperate to get their money into the new club , especially as they declined in 2012 and let the original club die .

  33. reasonablechap 16th September 2020 at 07:38
    I wonder if someone can come up with what these numbers refer to……….
    332: Rangers
    4: Celtic

    ====

    At a rough guess the amount of penalties voted to be awarded to each team, during a masonic meeting by those fine whistlers with rolled up trouser legs while wearing an apron and sporting a rams head 🙂

  34. 332: Rangers

    4: Celtic

    ==========

    Draft versions of the 2018/19 Annual Accounts.

     

    For 2019/20, the number of draft versions are expected to be;

    1690: Rangers

    4: Celtic

  35. I wonder if someone can come up with what these numbers refer to……….
    332: Rangers
    4: Celtic
    ………….
    Adverts for season tickets at the bottom of a puff piece in the SMSM in the last 4 years

  36. paddy malarkey 16th September 2020 at 15:34
    And on the Castore strip fiasco , weird to see all those supporters desperate to get their money into the new club , especially as they declined in 2012 and let the original club die .
    ………….
    How do the supporters get money into the club if most are asking for a refund as the replica kits are so bad;-)

  37. Big Pink 16th September 2020 at 15:12

    '.It seems then, that either the entire prosecutorial system has broken down, or there has been some commission between the police and crown to ‘get’ their men.
    Allegedly.'

    """"""""""""""""""""""""""""""""

    The starting point, I believe, is the fact (?) that it was the Administrators themselves who alerted the Police to their suspicions,no doubt providing them with some documents that might have indicated why the Administrators were suspicious.

    Following up, the Police presumably thought that somewhere in the  document chain there was mention of the connection between Whyte, Grier, MCR/the Administrators and D&P getting and keeping the gig, and something that suggested that there might have been some collusion in the matter of the financing of the purchase.

    It's unlikely that the Crown Office would authorise continuance to prosecution if there was insufficient evidence.

    They would hardly prosecute with the intention to fcuk the prosecution up deliberately! Easier and safer just not to prosecute, for lack of evidence..

    Is it possible, is it likely, is it believable that the Police would have had a motive for falsifying evidence just to  try to get the people who 'killed 'Rangers' done for that 'crime', out of some kind of desire for revenge?

    Or is it conceivable that the Police might deliberately have intended or been led to sabotage the prosecution  by insultingly provoking  a solicitor while seizing material that the solicitor had which was legally privileged, in order to achieve that end?

    Clearly there was a major 'bol's-up, one way or the other. All charges against all accused dropped, prosecution abandoned. 

    Accidental incompetence, or deliberate intent  to protect  other people of great influence not already charged?

    Will we ever know, if settlements are made on a non-disclosure basis?

  38. I wonder if someone can come up with what these numbers refer to……….

    332: Rangers

    235: St.Johnstone

    231: St.Mirren

    200: Hamilton

    197: Hearts

    46: Dundee Utd

    44: Motherwell

    38: Kilmarnock

    35: Ross County

    35: Livingston

    24: Hibs

    17: Aberdeen

    4: Celtic

    =======///============

    Fitbawfan

    At a rough guess the amount of penalties voted to be awarded to each team, during a masonic meeting by those fine whistlers with rolled up trouser legs while wearing an apron and sporting a rams head

    =============%%%===

    No, but it does have something to do with penalties.

    It is the amount of days since each team were last awarded a penalty in the SPFL premiership.

     

    Looks like old Karla (Moscow Central) couldnae lace Peter’s boots. The Celtic heid honcho must have been inserting double agents into the masonic lodges. 

     

     

     

  39. I think the main positive thing we should take from this is that the Lord Advocate, Crown Office, The Chief Constable and Police Scotland are not above the law, or exempt from it.

    It was Lord Carloway  Lord President of the Court of Session and Lord Justice General, Scotland's most senior Judge, who said that.

    https://ukhumanrightsblog.com/2019/11/19/the-lord-advocate-of-scotland-is-not-immune-from-suit-for-malicious-prosecution-supreme-court-of-scotland-considers-relationship-of-scots-law-with-the-european-convention-on-human-rights-and-the-huma/

     

  40. Will we ever know, if settlements are made on a non-disclosure basis?

    =======

    JC, on the face of it, it would appear that by admitting 'malicious prosecution' the Crown Office has admitted its liability: the monetary value of that liability is to be determined.

    Any NDA would be a wholly separate matter – you would think?

    The Crown Office is in no position to dictate what can/cannot be divulged about this collapsed criminal action(s).

    All they can do is offer an NDA – for a price – to be added to the monetary liability.

    Likewise, it would seem that the victim's could agree a monetary value – but politely decline any offer of an NDA.

    I hope no NDA is accepted, so that;

    – the taxpayer will not have to pay more

    &

    – information can be publicly shared, so that those responsible can be questioned further – and mibbees be forced to take some personal responsibility?

  41. It's funny what you can do with statistics. Or more importantly the ones you chose to quote

    This is from June this year

    RANGERS top the table when it comes to the frequency of penalties handed out in the Scottish Premiership according to a new data analysis.

    According to the CIES Football Observatory, since the 2017-18 season, Gers have on average obtained a spot kick every 411 minutes – a total of 23 from 105 matches.

    Rivals Celtic sit seventh in the table having earned 14 penalties from 106 games in this period, averaging one every 681 minutes – four and a half hours behind their Ibrox counterparts.

    Hamilton and Kilmarnock sit just behind Rangers in second and third, being awarded penalties every 477 minutes and 502 minutes, respectively.

    The table is based on the nine Premiership clubs who have taken part in all three campaigns since the study began in 2017.

    Motherwell are cut adrift at the bottom of this table having only had 13 penalties in their 106 games – giving the Steelmen an average of 734 minutes for every spot kick awarded.

    ———————————————

     

     

     

  42. Homunculus 16th September 2020 at 18:20

    '…I think the main positive thing we should take from this is that the Lord Advocate, Crown Office, The Chief Constable and Police Scotland are not above the law, or exempt from it.'

    """""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""

    The truth of that , of course, would be proved only if ( God forbid!) any of those  three office -holders broke the law and was indicted, charged , tried and found guilty!

    Bear in mind that we are now living in a (UK) society where a buffoon of a Prime Minister has publicly declared that he will  be happy to break the law! broken heart

    (credit t o Advocate General for Scotland  Richard Keen for resigning his office rather than accommodate the buffoon)

  43. John Clark 16th September 2020 at 20:24

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

    That would be the private individual breaking the law, not the post breaking the law.

    The point is that the Lord Advocate, whoever that happens to be at the time, is no longer immune. That immunity (as was) there does not extend to people working on his (or her) behalf.

  44. Homunculus 16th September 2020 at 18:47

    '..It's funny what you can do with statistics. Or more importantly the ones you chose to quote'

    """""""""""""""""""""""""""

    laugh

  45. reasonablechap 16th September 2020 at 18:11
    332: Rangers
    It is the amount of days since each team were last awarded a penalty in the SPFL premiership.
    ………..
    Was that the 4 in one game?
    Long gone are the waghorn (Pen) days, when it was said the ibrox club get a lot of penalties because they are an attacking team and most of the play is in the opposition box so more chance of penalties. Maybe this ibrox team don’t get in the other teams box enough.

  46. Cluster One 16th September 2020 at 16:51

    I would suggest "some" instead of "most" .

    Read the stuff about them trying to get refunds . Every penny appears to be a prisoner .

    The point I was aiming for is that TRFC fans have finally woken up to the fact that clubs can die and that their club is in great need of funds/donations to prevent  happening . Unfortunately , they seem to forget that the lack of their support assisted in the demise of the club the originally supported until it was sent to liquidation .

  47. paddy malarkey 17th September 2020 at 15:09

    They were too big, too important to Scottish society to go into administration. It simply couldn't happen. 

    They were too big for that administration to fail, for the club to be liquidated. A CVA would be agreed, they would pay pennies in the pound and come back debt free and stronger than ever. Everyone would ensure that.

    Given the above, they simply don't acknowledge that it happened. Well it happened but not to their club, to something which conveniently appeared out of nowhere.

    Perhaps forgetting that the "holding company" already existed, it is called The Rangers FC Group Limited (previously Wavetower Limited). Which isn't actually being liquidated. 

  48. And there was me thinking it's over eight years since Rangers had a penalty.  But to be fair it was a penalty that will never be forgotten – the death penalty!

  49. Just a thought.

    King's name has been mentioned online recently.

    You would think he'd not be keen to get involved 'hands on' at Ibrox again – even if he could?

    But, IIRC he still holds his – largest – share stake in RIFC, and he does have an outstanding loan payable to him.

    Is it just a coincidence that King's name pops up around the time that Campbell Dallas is due to sign-off the RIFC Accounts?

    Has King been asked to offer any financial guarantees to mitigate the expected / repeated Going Concern risk(s)?

    Again IIRC, King gave a guarantee in the past, (but didn't actually honour it?) 

    Of course, I'm only guessing.

    But – on the face of it – King would still be the single, largest loser if RIFC went bust.

  50. StevieBC 17th September 2020 at 18:00

    If I remember correctly his holding, via New Oasis is just over 25% of the shares (meaning he can block special resolutions). So I think you are right, he has the biggest holding and as such stands to lose the most.

    That's to say nothing of any loans which may be outstanding to him.

  51. Would using taxpayers' money to secure an NDA be legal? It implies that any due settlement would be inflated at our expense to avoid embarrassment to the authorities

  52. StevieBC 17th September 2020 at 18:00
    Homunculus 17th September 2020 at 19:50
    If I remember correctly
    There was to be a share issue in January and it never happened. kings parting shot at his last AGM was he would rather own shares in the club rather than in the holding company.And the RIFC was to be wound down or something,maybe it is still the plan but events out with football put an end to any plans. I believe kings loan is due to be repaid by 2021

  53. spikeyheid 17th September 2020 at 21:49

    ‘…using taxpayers’ money to secure an NDA be legal?..’

    “”””””””””””””””””””””””””””””

    What I don’t know for sure is whether, if there was no settlement and the case went  to trial ,the trial would be before a jury?

    Apparently, in Scotland, it is the jury that determines how much damages are to be paid if the claimant wins, and although the judge can give guidelines , the jury can ignore these. And Scottish juries are apt, apparently, to be far more generous than the Courts in England..

    If  that is so, then Whitehouse and Clark might be best advised not to accept settlement of less than their respective claims, if they believe that they would a) win in Court and b) that the jury would be inclined to award them what they claim [ with the judge throwing in a few more thousands as ‘exemplary damages’ for the ‘malice’ aspect of the wasteful, abandoned prosecutions]

    As against that, perhaps, the admission by the Crown is only that they prosecuted wrongly: they clearly don’t admit liability for the amounts of damages claimed, and might conceivably convince a jury that the claims are way over the top, so that something considerably less is awarded, less even than the offer that a settlement might might provide!

    I expect that the duo  will settle, to be sure of at least  85% or 90% of what they variously claim(plus legal costs), rather than run any  risk of getting less than that. 

    But it is no secret that both Whitehouse and Clark are angry bunnies,  especially Whitehouse, who was white and fizzing with rage and anger on at least one occasion when we saw him in Court, tugging at his solicitor’s sleeve to get him to pass a message to his Counsel about something the Crown Office QC (Mr Moynihan) was saying.

    And that anger might make them determined to reserve the right to speak about their cases rather than tape their mouths with an NDA!

    I hope they  choose not to settle, so that we might all hear a bit more of the foul -up and who was responsible!

    Not taking sides, of course, but these things are far too important to be kept hidden. If public officials make serious errors of judgment, or are cavalier about the exercise of the powers we invest them with, we need to know.

    Because  one day any one of us ( who could not look at the eye-wateringly huge expense of bringing an action) may be victim of error or cavalier attitudes.

     

  54. Poetic justice or what?

    Get to extra time by two penalties, and lose in a penalty shoot out!

    I watched with enjoyment the game between Coleraine and Murrerwell.

    Not a lot of silky football, but huge effort, and gutsy performances.

    But I think Motherwell were not really ready for the determined fighting, attacking  mood of Coleraine.

    Pre-match complacency? A deadly thing!

    Overall, I'm happy that the team of my dad's young days won through. 

  55. Exciting development for SFM possible with a new radio startup talking with us to provide football coverage.

    Of course it may come to nothing, but anything that helps raise the platform is good.

  56. John Clark 18th September 2020 at 00:33

    Poetic justice or what?

    Get to extra time by two penalties, and lose in a penalty shoot out!

    I watched with enjoyment the game between Coleraine and Murrerwell.

    ====&====

    I’m sure the SMSM and wee Nicola will be all over this anti-social distancing procedure.

    https://twitter.com/craigfowler86/status/1306632492418502657/photo/1

    Or perhaps they fall under a party of up to 30 who were shooting grouse. 😄

    Breath holding exercises commence.

  57. The SPFL at their usual reactive best with today's statement.

    SPFL STATEMENT

    SPFL ANNOUNCES COVID-19 TESTING PROTOCOLS FOR BETFRED CUP AND CHALLENGE CUP…

    At its meeting earlier today, the Board of the Scottish Professional Football League determined the Covid-19 testing regime that will be put in place for the Betfred Cup and the Challenge Cup this season.

    League matches
    At present, all Premiership clubs are obliged to carry out RT-PCR (swab) testing of their squad in the 168 hours prior to kick-off for a Premiership match, with results made available to the SPFL by midday two days prior to the match. These arrangements will continue.

    There remains no requirement for routine swab testing in relation to Championship, League 1 or League 2 matches.

    Betfred Cup
    In relation to the Betfred Cup, a number of lower division and non-SPFL (and therefore non-swab testing) clubs will play against Premiership (swab testing) clubs this season. To minimise the risk of transmission to Premiership players, any team drawn against a Premiership club in the Betfred Cup this season will be required to swab test their players in the 168-hour period prior to that Betfred Cup fixture, with results provided to the League by midday two days prior to the tie.

    As with Premiership league fixtures, any players who test positive would be required to self-isolate and would not be able to take part in the tie.

    If a club is unable or unwilling to field a team in a Betfred Cup Round 1 group stage tie, or fails to provide sufficient negative test results, the club concerned will forfeit the match (on the basis of a 3-0 defeat).

    Challenge Cup
    The SPFL’s Challenge Cup has, over its history, predominantly been a competition for the benefit of lower league clubs. It also noted that prize money in this competition is significantly less than for the Betfred Cup.

    As a result, the SPFL Board does not consider it reasonable to impose a requirement on clubs to have to swab test, if they are drawn against a Colt team in the Challenge Cup.

    However, the prospect of having their Colt team play against an untested team may concern Premiership clubs, due to the increased risk of transmission of Covid-19 into their playing ‘bubble’.

    The SPFL Board has therefore decided that:

    – for any tie not involving a Colt team, there will be no requirement to swab test

    – for any tie involving a Colt team, the Premiership club may elect for their opponent to have to swab test their squad in the 168 hours before kick-off, but at the cost of the Premiership club

    – Premiership clubs may elect not to enter a Colt team in the Challenge Cup this season

    As with the Betfred Cup, there is potential for a club not to (or not to be able to) play a tie. In these circumstances, the club concerned will forfeit the match, with their opponents automatically progressing to the next round.

    Neil Doncaster, chief executive of the SPFL said: “The enormous efforts SPFL clubs are going to is a sign of the sport’s determination to do everything humanly possible to mitigate the impact of Covid19. The very future of many of our clubs depends on this comprehensive suite of steps to which clubs are rigorously adhering. The fact that Premiership clubs will pay for Covid-19 tests to be carried out by lower league opponents in the Challenge Cup is very positive. Everyone in our game knows we are all in this together and the fact that the game as a whole is taking a very collegiate and mature approach augurs very well for the future.”

    There is so much irony in their desire to "protect" their beloved Premiership elite from the unwashed (and untested) masses.  What happened to all the £50k donations to each SPFL club which were anticipated to provide the necessary level of testing?  Why were Kelty and Brora invited to take part in the Betfred Cup when they were neither part of the testing regime, nor beneficiaries of the £50k handouts?  Why the different regulations for the "colt" teams?

    The Premiership clubs that are complaining about having their players exposed to untested opponents are exactly the same Premiership clubs that are advocating the return of thousands of untested fans into their stadiums and risking the health of their own employees involved in various roles working on turnstiles, catering, cleaning and security.

    It should be the Premiership clubs who should be forfeiting matches if they are unwilling to play against untested opponents. After all, the SFA, the JRG and the Scottish Government (subject to protocols being adhered to) have already sanctioned adult and youth matches involving untested players.  The Premiership players will still benefit from their regular testing regimes following any matches. 

     

  58. easyJambo 18th September 2020 at 18:30

    '.The SPFL at their usual reactive best with today's statement…'

    """"""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""

    You make a number of telling points, eJ, anent the SPFL Board's decision.

    And it is the Board's decision, with no hint that it came after consultation with the membership as a whole.

    It surprises me that the membership, having previously knocked on the head the ( sensible, I think) suggestion that the Board should be given explicit powers to take action in urgent matters arising from the effects of the pandemic and measures required to deal with such effects, should be content to let today's 'decisions' pass without comment.

    I'm sure the non- SPL clubs must have thoughts to express? 

     

  59. Big Pink 18th September 2020 at 11:17

    '..with a new radio startup talking with us to provide football coverage.'

    """"""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""

    That does sound interesting. Can you tell us a little more?

  60. John Clark 18th September 2020 at 21:50

    easyJambo 18th September 2020 at 18:30

    ‘.The SPFL at their usual reactive best with today’s statement…’

    “”””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””

    You make a number of telling points, eJ, anent the SPFL Board’s decision.

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

    As examples of the inconsistency a Hearts XI played East Fife (who fielded a different XI in each half) tonight and another XI will play Spartans tomorrow.  Hearts operates within the testing bubble, but I’d be surprised if both East Fife and Spartans will have tested their squads in advance of the games.

     

  61. fitbawfan 18th September 2020 at 14:52

    '…I’m sure the SMSM and wee Nicola will be all over this anti-social distancing procedure.'

    """"""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""

    Oh, I think maybe it'll feature in 'Off the Ball' tomorrow!

    I'm sure Cosgrove will make some remark to Tam about hoping that the Murrerwell directors aren't in the same 'bubble' as their coach and players!broken heart

    Will Aberdeen ask for guarantees before turning out for  Sunday's game? 

    If individual players can be ( rightly) hammered for breaching covid protocols, then perhaps company directors of football clubs should be pilloried as well. 

    And the UEFA delegate!

     

  62. Over this last wee while, I have been having a look at the business pages of 'The Scotsman".

    Why?

    Well, I've noticed  that the 'business ' reporters seem to do nothing but act as advertising agents for companies that send in 'news' about their latest acquisitions or deals ,or staff promotions business extensions and such like without any comment whatsoever. ( I conclude that the newspaper must be taking money from the companies on whom they report, and that the reporters credited with a byline are on a bloody good thing ,cutting and pasting with no journalistic element to their work whatsoever!)

    Anyway, today my eye fell on a piece by a Perry Gourley ( above his byline is the Twitter address of McGill's Buses)  reporting as follows " The former Watt Brothers department store in Glasgow city centre has been bought by businessmen brothers Sandy and James Easdale who are planning a £20M revamp of the site,"

    The puff-piece carries on with a quote from Sandy "…we believe the building has great potential for hotel and residential use…" and  further information about other development projects that the Easdales are involved in.

    The other 'business' items (three by Emma Newlands, one by August Graham, and a second by Perry Gourley) are of the same stamp- free publicity without any kind of critical comment whatsoever.

    No harm, of course, to any of the companies mentioned or to the 'reporters', but surely these pieces should carry the words "advertising feature" or 'advertorial' , rather than be passed off as 'journalism'?

  63. Easyjambo

    It should be the Premiership clubs who should be forfeiting matches if they are unwilling to play against untested opponents.

    i have to disagree with that. 

    The inconsistencies coming from the Scottish Govt are getting rather alarming. 
    Pro sport was allowed to restart based on setting up protective bubbles and having a testing regime in place. Football were allowed to move to one weekly test until the incidents with Aberdeen players and Boli. 

    if they are being asked to comply with that regime then it’s reasonable to protect the “bubble” otherwise why have it?

    The changes to other levels of sport are nonsensical. We can’t meet more than 6 people from 2 households but organised sports can train and do contact training with up to 20 players in groups of 5. So either it’s all testing or no testing  

    my prediction – the mood music on further lockdown restrictions will see the end of contact training for non tested sports teams 

  64. John Clark 19th September 2020 at 13:18

    Over this last wee while, I have been having a look at the business pages of 'The Scotsman". Why?…

    ======

    Yes JC, it's become very noticeable recently that newspapers are ditching journalism in favour of copying/pasting press releases – in general – along with property schedules, opening of new pubs, new 'hot products', etc.

    During the stabbing/shooting incident in Glasgow city centre a few months ago, it was pretty obvious that The GT had no reporters on the ground – down the road from their offices!

    Their "Live" coverage was simply lifting Tweets from the public and Police Scotland.

    I've noticed that The GT has simply not even mentioned some incidents locally, such as shootings.

    Seems that the journalists have been replaced with copy/pasters – who are perhaps unable to add comment?

    It just makes the SMSM online content worthless: why would anyone pay a monthly subscription to read adverts posing as "News"?

  65. Apropos of nothing in particular, Michael Stewart is part of the Celtic TV pundit team.

    It was refreshing to listen to him today, one normally expects the pundits on teams own channels to be very one sided. However when they were discussing the Livingston penalty he explained why he considered it a good decision. When they went on to discuss Celtic having a penalty claim rejected by the referee a few moments earlier he explained why that was a good decision as well.

    Just him doing what he does and calling things the way he sees them I suppose, nice to see (hear) though. 

  66. John Clark 19th September 2020 at 13:18
    …………..
    Nothing to add, but when i have the time i will do the same

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