Resolution 12 & The Broken Bond

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Celtic Shareholders who put forward a resolution to the Celtic AGM in 2013 are preparing for the 2019 AGM tomorrow and some of their conclusions are reproduced below. Celtic are planning to vote the current resolution of 2019 down after several years of kicking the can down the road after an agreement to adjourn the 2013 motion was agreed at that AGM.

Given the weight of evidence, and the prevarication that has gone on for this extended period of time, you don’t have to be a student of politics to infer that Celtic are failing their own shareholders over this.

There appears to have been, at best, a failure of SFA governance over this issue. At worst? Well that doesn’t really bear thinking about. That Celtic (and other clubs too) have been in possession of the evidence outlined below but have failed to act on it is a damning indictment of the quality of people running our clubs. Peter Lawwell’s words from 2008 about the integrity of competition seem hollow coming from the same lips as the man who has failed to pursue any kind of sporting integrity over upholding the rules of the game.

Of course we are talking about a fundamental difference in how people see the game. There are those of us who (some say naively) consider that upholding the aspects of fair play and competition are paramount, and those who see the commercial aspects of the game as the foremost consideration. A pragmatist might find a way to accommodate both, but there are apparently no pragmatists in boardrooms all over Scotland – just financial accountants.

It would be unfair to categorise the latter constituency as suffering from some kind of character defect of course. Doesn’t make you a bad person because short term financial gain is your thing.

But it puts you at odds with the paying punters – or at least some of them. As a Celtic fan myself, I’m not so sure that I can take any real joy from my own club’s success if I have come to the conclusion that they themselves are happy with a rigged competition. I am not so sure I can credibly throw stones at anyone who is caught cheating when I see that serious evidence of malpractice is being ignored and hidden under the rug by my own club.

I am sure there are those who feel the same as I do. Are there enough of us? Probably not, but the effect of it all from a personal perspective, is that it disconnects me from the process where common goals and objectives are shared between fans, players and clubs. That’s what clubs are for after all isn’t it?

In short, if the game is rigged, there is no common objective.

And consequently, many of us, deprived of that shared mission, that bond broken, will be forced to re-evaluate their relationship with their clubs.

We all have our own thoughts, but the urge to walk away forever is strong with me.

The Resolution 12 Story

In 2012, Celtic shareholders brought a resolution before the Celtic PLC AGM which asked the Celtic Board to refer certain matters to UEFA because they felt that the Scottish Football Association was compromised, no longer fit for purpose in relation to these matters, at least, and had failed Celtic and all the other football clubs in Scotland and in its duty as a Governing body, and it has separately failed UEFA as the Licensing Authority appointed by UEFA to grant licences to play in European Football in relation to Scottish teams.
The actual wording used was as follows;

“This AGM requests the Board exercise the provision contained in the Procedural Rules Governing the UEFA Club Financial Control Body Article 10 with jurisdiction and investigation responsibilities identified in articles 3 & 11 (Note 1), by referring/bringing to the attention of the UEFA Club Financial Control Body (CFCB), the licensing administration practices of the Scottish Football Association (SFA), requesting the CFCB undertake a review and investigate the SFA’s implementation of UEFA & SFA license compliance requirements, with regard to qualification, administration and granting of licenses to compete in football competitions under both SFA and UEFA jurisdiction, since the implementation of the Club Licensing and Financial Fair Play Regulations of 2010.”

The response of the Celtic Board was to argue that this resolution was NOT NECESSARY because the board itself had already recognised that there had been failings within the SFA Licensing process, and they were already in correspondence with the SFA in relation to much the same issue.

The difference between the board and the Resolutioners was that the board wanted to continue corresponding with the SFA rather than refer the matter to UEFA or anyone else, whereas the Resolutioners argued that the SFA were hopelessly compromised, were unfit for purpose, could not of themselves remedy the situation they had created, and so wanted to refer the matter to UEFA as an independent and overseeing body whose rules had been flaunted, broken, ignored and to be frank, completely manipulated as a result of SFA inaction and inactivity.

After much discussion between the board and the Resolutioners, it was reluctantly agreed that the resolution should be adjourned and to allow the SFA to be given the opportunity to demonstrate that they could operate as a proper Governing body should and to answer all and any questions put to them via the Celtic PLC board and , where appropriate, the Resolutioners and ,if necessary, their solicitors.
In the interim period, it has become clear to the Resolutioners that the SFA are not fit for purpose, just as they originally argued, and that they are not, and never could have been, the appropriate body to consider and determine the failings in the licensing system that the Resolutioners had complained of.

This is not merely opinion on the part of the Resolutioners but is the determination and judgement of a formally constituted judicial panel appointed by the SFA itself.
The Resolutioners complain that the SFA have failed, and continue to fail in the following areas;

  • They failed to oversee a fair and robust European Licence application process before and after March 2011 in respect of the appropriate season.
    They had failed to mount any sort of investigation despite being contacted by HMRC from 2006 onwards in relation to the unlawful activities of a member club – they should have had a watching brief and requested regular updates from HMRC directly but didn’t.
  • They failed to properly apply the necessary tests demanded by UEFA in considering licence applications, and subsequently, through their then CEO, sought to justify their licensing process and the grant of certain licences on a number of different contradictory grounds – none of which stood scrutiny.
  • They failed to monitor, update their records or make specific enquiries between 30th March 2011 and Mid May 2011 when the list of application grants was formally intimated to UEFA – and by which time there was widespread public rumour and speculation about the state of the tax affairs of a member club together with specific legal documents which outlined that there was indeed a tax bills due which would have disqualified that club from being granted a UEFA licence – had the rules been applied properly.
  • They failed to grasp the situation between March 2011 and August 2011 when the Sheriff Officers were seen arriving at the same club and had still made no enquiry.
  • They failed to carry out any monitoring duties at all post the grant of the licence, with then CEO Reagan telling Celtic that once a European licence was granted – which it was in April 2011 – all further compliance monitoring and any necessary action was the province of UEFA. This was later contradicted by UEFA themselves.
  • They failed to monitor through the June 30th and September 30th, two key datelines specified with the UEFA regulations, and there exists a damning e-mail from one SFA officer to the offending club which effectively says that he hopes UEFA will be too busy to notice the deficiencies in the latest submissions sent by the SFA to UEFA in respect of the club concerned.

Throughout, the SFA denied that there were any failures in their procedures, that licences had been correctly granted, there had been no breaches of the rules and maintained that their procedures had been audited and approved by UEFA during the period.

According to the official UEFA website, no such Audit actually took place with the same website confirming which Football Associations were in fact audited at the relevant time. There is no mention of any SFA Audit.

The SFA claimed that not only was there nothing wrong with the grant of the licence, but that there was nothing for them to report during the post grant period as it was not their responsibility – and then added that even if something had been wrong, or was later found to be wrong with the grant, they could not report the matter to UEFA and could take no action because they were time barred from doing so.
Post the Craig Whyte Trial, where long held evidence was publicly noted and commented upon, Celtic and the SPFL publicly called for there to be a full independent Legal inquiry into all that had transpired during “the EBT years” and all aspects of how what had occurred, impacted on football Governance in Scotland.

The SFA rejected those calls and instead insisted on their own internal inquiry into the UEFA licence process for 2011/2012 – despite previously insisting that there had never been anything to investigate or report to UEFA who had entrusted them with the administration of their Licensing process.

The SFA wrote to every club in Scotland to say they were undertaking that investigation and later publicly announced that as a result of that investigation they had uncovered sufficient evidence to justify bringing formal charges alleging breaches of both SFA and UEFA rules.

This despite denying for a number of years that there had been any need for an investigation and despite reassuring Celtic that their licensing process was robust, had been conducted properly, and had not resulted in any incorrect grant of a licence.

The SFA appointed a judicial panel to hear those charges, determine whether they had been proven or not and then to hand out an appropriate punishment.

That Judicial panel have ruled that legally they (the SFA appointed panel) and the SFA itself cannot bring, hear, determine and act on those charges, nor consider the activities of the football club concerned in any judicial forum, because apparently the SFA had previously decided and formally entered into a contract which says that the SFA will not, and cannot, administer their normal Governmental and Judicial function (which would normally apply to any other club in Scotland and at any other time in the history of the SFA or UEFA) in relation to the acts concerned and the specific football club in question.
Instead, the Panel ruled that the charges concerned should be considered by the Court of Arbitration for Sport as a matter of contract and law – and could not be considered by an SFA appointed panel.
In other words, it has been judicially determined that the SFA cannot as a matter of law enforce its own rules or those of UEFA in relation to one club, and have signed away their entire right to oversee proper football Governance and the implementation of SFA and UEFA rules in this instance.

Further, that contract must have been known to all the appropriate SFA officers who decided and took part in the inquiry that led to the SFA bringing the disciplinary charges – Stuart Reagan, Andrew MacKinlay and Tony McGlennan – and when the SFA rejected Celtic’s call for a fully independent inquiry.

In effect, those same officers mounted their own internal inquiry and brought proceedings which they knew, or ought reasonably to have known, which would end in a legal dead end.
Such a course of action amounts to professional incompetence on a monumental scale – at best!

Further, subsequent SFA officials, assured the officers of Celtic Football Club that following the decision of the Independent Judicial Panel there was no reason why the SFA would not take the matter to CAS and in turn used the officials of Celtic Football Club to relay that message to the Resolutioners in the knowledge, and with the intention, that Celtic PLC shareholders would rely on those assurances and would act accordingly. Those actions and those assurances should now be the subject of a wholly separate inquiry.

Since those assurances were made to Celtic officials, Solicitors acting on behalf of shareholders have written to the SFA on no less than three occasions requesting clarification on what the SFA is doing, whether or not the decision from the independent tribunal advising that the matter should go to CAS will be implemented, and requesting a proposed timetable when this will happen. All such letters have been ignored or avoided by the SFA.
Subsequently, the current CEO of the SFA has stated that whether or not the matter should go to CAS will only be determined prior to Christmas 2019 – some 18 months after the ruling by the independent judicial panel.
This position is a complete volte face from what the SFA told Celtic officials immediately after the 2018 panel hearing.

The conclusion to all of this can only be that the SFA is not fit for purpose and that the governance of Scottish football is so bad, so broken and so far removed from normal judicial and corporate business practice that it must be looked at by an independent body if the matter is not referred to CAS.

Further, all of this must be made public, must be out in the open and must be properly disclosed otherwise any future investment in any club whether by private individuals, stock market listed entities, banks, loan houses, credit houses or whatever is predicated on the wholly fraudulent notion that the SFA will consistently apply its own rules or those of UEFA.

Celtic, as a respected member of UEFA, should not and cannot, stand back and allow this shambolic governance to continue unchecked and without external examination as to do so would be doing a total disservice to UEFA, and such a course of action would potentially make Celtic a party to the entire shambolic administration we have seen thus far.

The resolutioners have stated consistently since 2012 that SFA governance is not fit for purpose and have requested that this entire matter should be referred to UEFA as the overall governing body for European football and as a footballing authority who has entrusted the SFA to oversee the fair application of its rules in Scotland.

Despite what is now accepted as continued and regular SFA failure, that request has met with obfuscation and resistance.

However persistence beats resistance and no matter what the outcome of the 2019 Celtic AGM this is an issue which will not go away and is worthy of consideration and determination in a more formal legal forum.

1006 COMMENTS

  1. Jingso.jimsie@11.38

    I have the Scotsman on my Twitter feed but I missed that story in all the to-ing  and fro-ing  of the transfer window. I note though that there is interest in not one but two *Rangers players and that Steven Gerrard is”braced” and the club is ready to “fend off” interest from around the world. The language used is clearly trying to give the impression that stuff is happening and *Rangers are at the epicentre. 9/10 for effort I would say.

  2. easyJambo 21st January 2020 at 10:46

    '..Ross Wilson and James John Bisgrove..'

    ++++++++++++++
    I had to dig deep into memory to remember where I had heard those names before- it was when they were merely 'workers at the coal-face' of TRFC. 

    Now they have been given seats on the Board, which will make them complicit in any dodgy decisions or practices that the Board may indulge in if, if, things like Insolvency should loom into view.

  3. https://philmacgiollabhain.ie/wp-content/uploads/2020/01/James-Blair-TRFC-promotion.pdf

    A change of name for James "the Don" Blair and a hint of a suggestion that he will be the puppet having his strings pulled by Dave "hiding behind the curtain" King . Why he just didn't change his name from James Blair to The James Blair will remain shrouded in mystery. As JC points out the two newest board members have slipped the noose over their necks no doubt in the belief that it's an honour to represent the company at the highest level. Whatever  they slip into that Loving Cup is extremely potent. In other news Close Leasing (and other creditors) have been assured that the repayment of their loan will not be an issue as Milan and Barcelona fight to the death for the opportunity to sign Colombia's 12th best striker. I maintain that until King sells his shareholding then the effect of the cold shoulder will continue to hamper the Ibrox operation . That's 12.5m plus a 5m loan plus the Close loan plus Ashley settlement plus outstanding transfer fees due (end of Jan) plus legal fees plus possible Hummel/Elite action plus the 10m shortfall to see out the season and the necessity to break even to qualify for Europe under FFP. 

  4. These stories about interest in Morelos are probably an attempt to elicit bids in as , we better get in quick with our lower bid before he’s sold .

  5. I very seldom listen to Sky Sports News but caught a bit today where they were extolling TRFC's recent win over Celtic and both club's Euro runs and also wondering why TRFC had not signed anybody yet. Not one suggested that the reason might be the Ibrox club's lack of funds, as fully detailed in it's recent annual report and accounts. Indeed, the whole discussion was carried out as though the only reason no players had been signed was because none were felt necessary.

    On the other hand, Gerrard, in a presser, looked rather p*ssed off as he 'reassured' his fawning media that they would only need to sign new players if any of the current squad were sold. He looked like a man thoroughly worn down by the circumstances surrounding his role at the helm of a club 2 points, with a game in hand, off top spot in the league. He didn't look like a man in love with his job, or maybe his employers.

  6. I believe the stories about Morelos are aimed at calming the nerves of creditors and an attempt to attract investors . Morelos' agent let slip a few weeks ago that he had a release clause in his contract and the price wasn't that high (4-5m) . In the murky world of football transfers tapping up is the norm rather than the exception and a quiet word with the agent to determine the state of play is expected. Any interested club would be informed of the minimum required as that leaves more of the pot for the wage negotiations and that is where the agent takes his %age. All the talk of big clubs being interested has only unsettled the player and allowed his agent to negotiate a better deal . If investors believed the squad really were worth £100m then it may encourage them to buy King out even at a premium to the 20p asking price. That's why guys like Kamara a 50k buy from Dundee are suddenly being linked with Juventus for 8m . Desperate times call for desperate measures and King is desperate.

  7. John Clark 20th January 2020 at 23:13
    ………………….
    https://www.londonstockexchange.com/exchange/prices-and-markets/stocks/new-and-recent-issues/new-recent-issue-details.html?issueId=8816
    …………………..
    Description of business:
    Rangers International Football Club plc following admission will own and operate The Rangers Football Club Limited. Rangers Football Club, based in Scotland, has become one of the world’s most successful clubs, having won 54 League titles, 33 Scottish Cups, 27 League Cups and the European Cup Winners’ Cup in 1972. Playing at the 50,987 seater Ibrox Stadium, Scotland, and benefitting from the world…
    ……………………..

  8. easyJambo 21st January 2020 at 18:31:

    That’s very interesting & thanks for the link. 

    Mr. Crothers has explained matters rather well, but has avoided the elephant in the room (or El Buffalo on the pitch) by not explaining how a third yellow card can be awarded for an offence on the pitch during the game without being accompanied by a red.

    The Laws of the Game are quite clear; one yellow, you remain on the pitch. A subsequent, second yellow equates to red. There’s no mention (that I can see) of any third yellow/non-red option in the laws, whatever category the offence is judged to fall into. As always, I’m happy to be put right if I’m in the wrong.

    I don’t Tweet or I would ask Mr. Crothers directly. Perhaps someone could do this on my (our?) behalf?

     

  9. John Clark 21st January 2020 at 10:51

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    upthehoops 21st January 2020 at 08:43

    ‘..Kenny MacIntyre fills his studio with ex Rangers players who are tax cheats’

    ++++++++++++++++

    Do we know what the definitive HMRC position was/is in relation to seeking payment of tax from the individual EBT recipients? Are they being pursued or has HMRC
    …………………
    There was set aside a settlement opportunity if i remember. I read something quite recently ( i have it somewhere) it may have been appealed or something.
    Sorry for the rubbish informative post. Will try and have a look for it

  10. upthehoops 21st January 2020 at 8:43

    'Kenny Macintyre fills his studio with ex Rangers players who are tax cheats'

    What would be the collective noun for a studio full of tax cheats?

     

  11. John Clark 20th January 2020 at 22:01

    My ‘complaint’ to the BBC, using their online complaint form ( which I suspect is designed to try to put you off complaining in that you have to select from a list the subject matter your complaint relates to. The list doesn’t specify ‘complaints against untrue reports’ !)

    I had to write this “on-line report by Tom Fordyce on 19 Jan 2020” as my subject matter, followed by this:

    “Tom Fordyce , BBC chief sports writer, has told an untruth in his 19/01/2020 on-line report on the Saracens Rugby club affair . He has stated that Glasgow Rangers were ‘demoted’ to the 4th division (in 2012).
    ……………………
    You could have also sent them this JC.
    https://www.scotcourts.gov.uk/search-judgments/judgment?id=c72b2da7-8980-69d2-b500-ff0000d74aa7
    ………..
    Helps with the relegation argument. And as we also know there was no rules in the SPL (AS WAS) for a club to be demoted three or four divisions.

  12. Jingso.Jimsie 21st January 2020 at 19:33

     

    Hi Jingso.Jimsie.Maybe I have picked this up wrong but thought I read that the miraculous 3rd yellow was issued due to the erhm ..disturbance that may or may not have happened in the tunnel after the match and that gesturing from players will be dealt with as a club misconduct charge resulting in a fine  thus avoiding any need for disciplinary action that might extend suspensions.

  13. Timtim 21st January 2020 at 17:20

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    I believe the stories about Morelos are aimed at calming the nerves of creditors and an attempt to attract investors .
    …………………….
    What ever happened to that January share issue?
    Maybe the appointment of two new TRFC Directors will speed things up.

  14. Cluster One 21st January 2020 at 18:57

    Would The Rangers Football Club Limited and Rangers Football Club be different entities , thereby making the statement possibly true ? Designed to deceive ?

  15. paddy malarkey 21st January 2020 at 20:36
    will own and operate The Rangers Football Club Limited. Rangers Football Club, based in Scotland,
    …………………
    Say it twice, say it almost the same. Designed to deceive.

  16. @C1 20.58

    They do say birds of a feather flock together ,  as for the share issue , firstly the costs involved are not minimal ,then will it be underwritten? and finally who will subscribe? Another costly failure that would expose the Emperor without his clothes should it fail , maybe best forgotten about for now. If they do get enough bucks to bong big Ben it won't just be marking the end of the UK in the EU I believe it will also mark the beginning of the end for Rangers*2 if substantial funds don't arrive by the end of the month. For whom the bell tolls; it tolls for TRFC.

  17. Re. my March 4, 2015 post from earlier this morning.
    Was asked by a teenage lad at the weekend what is the 5 way agreement?
    What is it with Dave king and Mike Ashley?
    And me remembering that this lad was not even in his Teens when a lot of this was going on. ( His focus was probably more on playing football and video games with his friends to take any real notice of anything else).
    So i was doing a bit of gathering bits and pieces to give the lad a bit of beginners guide. And March 4, 2015 is where i was at just as king got his foot back in the ibrox door. Also the day WH Ireland quit, rangers shares were suspended. Also the day that it was revealed that Paul Murray would be appointed interim chairman. Mike Ashley was fined by the SFA. The rangers keeper was hit with a 2 match ban for betting on games. And an email sent to a poster on SFM ( nawlite) that rangers were not relegated.
    So quite a busy day that day

  18. Cluster One 21st January 2020 at 21:07

    '…Say it twice, say it almost the same. Designed to deceive.'

    +++++++++++++++

    And designed with the knowledge and agreement of our football governance people that the Big Lie would be propagated at every turn, while our SMSM gave every evidence of their wholehearted abandonment of journalistic truth and personal integrity.

    May the shades of those real journalists who have actually died for the Truth haunt the miserable wretches for the rest of their years.

  19. Nice summary of how the deniers think and what they want to hear, familiarity to a new club old club. debate

     

  20. Timtim 21st January 2020 at 21:17

    if substantial funds don’t arrive by the end of the month. For whom the bell tolls; it tolls for TRFC.

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

    We have thought that many times but money always appears from somewhere, and the media care little about where it comes from. 

    However, one thing I was wondering is under what circumstances are advance payments made by the authorities to clubs? It has happened in the past. If Rangers were to go and ask for an advance payment in order to meet the wage bill, but as a consequence also avoid an insolvency event, surely the money could not be advanced in those circumstances? Basically the authorities would be helping to finance their title challenge. 

    Having said that nothing, absolutely nothing, would surprise me now. 

  21. bigboab1916 22nd January 2020 at 00:14

    "…if we don't impeach .."

    ++++++++++++++++++

    Some good lines in there, bigboab, easily adaptable to reflect another situation:

    " There is only what is right and good for [Dave King/RIFC plc.."]

    "Are you with the rule of law the  or with [ the sicko governance board and their abandonment of their own rules]"

    " ..the people who are not 'The People'"..

    Trump might conceivably be clinically unwell. Our football governance people have no such excuse for their wicked betrayal of their office of trust and their craven submission to a chancer like Green and to men like King-convicted tax criminal and sanctioned by the TOP cold-shouldered. 

    Trump will inevitably fall- and so will the rotten office-holders in our football governance. 

    Scottish Football will be washed clean when they are hunted out.

     

  22.  upthehoops 22nd January 2020 at 07:10

    '…money always appears from somewhere,..'

    ++++++++++++

    The Daily Mail had a wee headline last night:

    "Police smash massive £215m money laundering ring using 50 companies and 140 bank accounts as they arrest six men and one woman in raids across Northern Ireland

    • PSNI officers raided 15 locations as part of the anti-money laundering operation 
    • Six men and one woman have been arrested during this week's 15 raids 
    • The two-day operation identified 50 companies and 140 bank accounts 
    • The PSNI were working closely with Europol and An Garda Siochana  

    By Darren Boyle for MailOnline

    Published: 19:24, 21 January 2020 | Updated: 19:34, 21 January 2020 "

    I've never understood how money laundering on a huge scale works. I canny make a donation to SFM without my bank warning me to check that it's not a scam, so how the hell big tranches of cash can be deposited without some questions being asked is amazing.

    Not that I'm suggesting that anyone in Scottish football would think it worthwhile trying to pass off millions as being the receipts from pie and Bovril sales.

     

     

  23. helpmaboab 21st January 2020 at 19:58

     

    'Kenny Macintyre fills his studio with ex Rangers players who are tax cheats'

    What would be the collective noun for a studio full of tax cheats?

    ——————————————————————

    May I offer "A Broguery of Tax Cheats"

  24. John Clark 22nd January 2020 at 10:55 3 0 Rate This upthehoops 22nd January 2020 at 07:10 '…money always appears from somewhere,..' ++++++++++++ The Daily Mail had a wee headline last night: "Police smash massive £215m money laundering ring using 50 companies and 140 bank accounts as they arrest six men and one woman in raids across Northern Ireland PSNI officers raided 15 locations as part of the anti-money laundering operation Six men and one woman have been arrested during this week's 15 raids The two-day operation identified 50 companies and 140 bank accounts The PSNI were working closely with Europol and An Garda Siochana By Darren Boyle for MailOnline Published: 19:24, 21 January 2020 | Updated: 19:34, 21 January 2020 " I've never understood how money laundering on a huge scale works. I canny make a donation to SFM without my bank warning me to check that it's not a scam, so how the hell big tranches of cash can be deposited without some questions being asked is amazing. Not that I'm suggesting that anyone in Scottish football would think it worthwhile trying to pass off millions as being the receipts from pie and Bovril sales.

    JC

    I think the old adage works here. 
     

    you owe the bank £100. That’s your problem. You owe the bank £1M that’s the banks problem. 

  25. Although the interview at this link is about the genesis and evolution of Resolution 12,  I think it worth mentioning  to a wider Scottish footballing support base as the lack of accountable governance has created the toxic footballing present where enjoyment of the game is replaced by despair at what it has become since 2012.

    https://larrycafiero.com/?p=402&utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=tangled-web-sorting-out-res-12-from-across-the-pond 

    f history repeats itself again or to get out of the current mess there has to be equivalent of a Six Way Agreement where football supporters are invited to the table although that requires a totally independent group speaking for them to be established.
     

  26. Sad to hear that one of the greats of British comedy, Terry Jones, has seccumbed to that bastard of a condition dementia.

    Python and Laurel & Hardy were my comedy heroes growing up. No one has ever replaced them.

     

    RIP Mr Creosote.

     

    HS 

     

  27. John Clark
    Re: money laundering I believe it goes something like this.

    Taxi Operator / Recording studio / Tanning Salon owner: “Business is great. I drew £30k in revenue this week.
    Reality: “Naw he didny”
    Gangster/Drug Dealer/International Arms Vendor: Can I give you £30k? Please give me £15k back
    Taxi Guy: “Awright”

    Basically any cash-based business claims a surge in business. Phantom revenue is replaced by illegally derived revenue which cannot be banked. Cash business puts cash in till, pays tax etc, takes a wedge, and gives laundered cash, typically 50% back to gangster.

  28. Big Pink 22nd January 2020 at 18:11

    Taxi Operator / Recording studio / Tanning Salon owner: “Business is great. I drew £30k in revenue this week.
    Reality: “Naw he didny”
    Gangster/Drug Dealer/International Arms Vendor: Can I give you £30k? Please give me £15k back
    Taxi Guy: “Awright”

    Basically any cash-based business claims a surge in business. Phantom revenue is replaced by illegally derived revenue which cannot be banked. Cash business puts cash in till, pays tax etc, takes a wedge, and gives laundered cash, typically 50% back to gangster.

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

    The "gangster" also has to be the taxi or other business operator, or owner, for laundering to work effectively.  That way all the cash is laundered (at a cost of having to be taxed, and processed through company accounts, paid as dividends etc).

    In your scenario, the £15k handed back to the gangster is still dirty money, unless the gangster can account for it, e.g. having been paid "legitimately" by the business for providing a service.  That £15k would then have to be declared as income etc.

  29. Re-money laundering. In 2018 the then Securities Minister revealed to a Commons Select Committee that a UK club was under investigation. There may be more and it may still be ongoing. 

    I wonder if in Scotland a club was caught laundering money and had enjoyed success on the field during that period. Would the SFA say because they didn't know the money was laundered at the time then all is fine and no action could be taken? Just a thought, albeit far fetched!

    Away to watch the reality of Kilmarnock v Celtic now!

  30. upthehoops 22nd January 2020 at 19:19

    '..Would the SFA say because they didn't know the money was laundered at the time then all is fine and no action could be taken?'

    ++++++++++++++

    Happily, Brysonism  under which you cannot commit an offence if no one notices it at the time of its commission, and when they do notice it, it's not an offence that can be punished ,because it was not noticed at the time, is not yet of universal application, uth.

    If Bryson is still alive he must be an object of derision even to himself.

    Or maybe he is  still fist-pumping at the success his 'evidence' had at shaping  the retired judge's decision that dozens of players had not been in breach of eligibility rules! And being toasted by all right thinking friends.

    I suppose that there's many a tax cheat who would wish that 'Bryson's law' applied in the world of Taxation.

    Perhaps Bryson has even met some in the course of his professional life.

     

     

  31.  

    Words of soon to finish Aberdeen FC CEO Duncan Fraser

    “We also found ourselves in the position where many clubs went into administration. Ultimately, Rangers went into liquidation and went back to the bottom tier"

     "I wanted to strengthen the executive team we have at Pittodrie. I am still a non exec at the football club. I’m a director at the SFA, a Uefa delegate and a Fifa commissioner, and I have also served on the European Club Association competitions committee."

    Even Fraser can't bring himself to be totally honest

    The games doomed angel

  32. Bill1903 22nd January 2020 at 22:12
    Rangers went into liquidation and went back to the bottom tier”
    ………………….
    I do believe rangers 1872 only ever played in the top flight of scottish football and had never played in a bottom tier or any other tier except the top flight.
    TRFC did begin in the bottom tier but i don’t believe they ever went back to it.
    And this is a guy who is a non exec at a football club. a director at the SFA, a Uefa delegate and a Fifa commissioner, and has also served on the European Club Association competitions committee.”
    Should he really be involved in football?

  33. Big Pink 22nd January 2020 at 18:11
    10 0 Rate This

    John Clark

    Re: money laundering I believe it goes something like this.

    Indeed BP, but it is a scaleable pursuit, particularly beloved of “The establishment”.
    It is not just drug-dealers and “Gangsters”, who procure such services.. Respectable Lords and ladies also have a penchant for such “services”. Over an hour long, but very informative. Alex Cobham from the Tax Justice Network is amongst some of the contributors.
    For some, they do not see it as a crime. It’s the business model.

  34. Cluster One 22nd January 2020 at 22:54

    '…Should he really be involved in football?'

    ++++++++++++

    Short answer, NO.

    Because he spits in the eye of genuine sporting competition, apparently believing that sporting success can be bought by money rather than by honest sporting competition on the field of play. He must know that TRFC as a new football club are not entitled to the sporting honours of the liquidated RFC of 1872.

    I cannot believe that someone with his attitude could have been of any use to the concept of sporting integrity, and that his contribution to the sport of association football in any of the 'offices' he chunters on about holding or having held were in the least beneficial. 

    Such guys are guys that sport can well do without.

    In my opinion.

     

     

  35. As an Aberdeen fan I am once again disgusted by those running the club’s inability to tell the truth re both Rangers. 

     

    They should be furious with the actions of the defunct Rangers.  Instead we get this pandering for the benefit of a new club that sees itself as a victim and is quite prepared to carry on with the same attitude and recklessness of the old club because it knows that neither the authorities or fellow clubs will stand up against it.

     

    Is Duncan Fraser really stupid enough to believe that if the shoe was on the other foot  either of the Rangers would lie and make a fool of their own support for the benefit of Aberdeen?

     

    In every other sport where cheats are caught their fellow competitors always demand that some form of punishment is made however in Scottish football, we are not only expected to move along but to also feel sorry for those that cheated and open the door for them to do so again.

     

    All the while our authorities, fellow clubs and journalists still stand by and look on in awe as the new club gets ever more aggressive and belligerent in its pursuit of ‘getting back to its rightful place’

     

  36. CliffHanger 23rd January 2020 at 08:58

    Nicely put, CH, but rest assured you are not alone in your disgust of your own club's inability to stand up to the bullies of Scottish football. All of our clubs, particularly those that might be described as the 'leading' clubs, let us down very badly, indeed, by their cowardice and disregard for the integrity of a sport we have all devoted much of our time, money and lives to over many, many years. 

    At least we supporters of clubs outside of the three members clubs of the two 'Old Firms' now know that what we always felt about that heinous body was accurate. Did any of us realise that it was an actual 'thing' with a registered copyright and not just a convenient word to set the two member clubs of the old and new era apart from the rest of us and provide a financial advantage?

    They (those who benefit from 'a Rangers') want us to go away, they want us (SFM etc) to move on…But we won't, and by refusing to comply with the bullies, we can, at least, make their worthless, cheating lives less comfortable. 

    I have to mention the amazing efforts of Celtic supporters like Auldheid and the rest of the Resolution12 guys for their sterling work in standing up to the bullies, not only of Scottish football, but of their own club and the disgust they, and the majority of Celtic fans, hold for that alliance of 'enemies' that is the 'Old Firm'. Like us, they might never win, but they will never lose their integrity. And they, and us, will never forget.

  37. CliffHanger 23rd January 2020 at 08:58

    As an Aberdeen fan I am once again disgusted by those running the club’s inability to tell the truth re both Rangers. 

    ———————————————————————

    And sadly there will be no change in that with Mr Cormack at the helm!! (in my opinion).

     

  38. In the Court of Session this morning the business in  the Whitehouse v Chief Constable and Lord Advocate Mr Roddy Dunlop advised the Court that he represented the Pursuer, Ms Maguire QC represented the Chief Constable and Mr Moynihan QC represented the lord Advocate. 

    There had been  an earlier motion seeking to have the proceedings in the Grier case transferred to the Commercial Roll as being ready for a proof hearing. Mr Dunlop mentioned that while he joined in the motion, he would have a difficulty if Mr Clark's case was not joined. The elevation  of Mr Fairley to the Bench had caused delay until Mr Clark's representative  could catch up with events. 

    Late last night , too late to let his Lordship know, an agreement had been reached with Mr Henderson (for Clark), and Mr Dunlop was today seeking a continuation of the motion.

    Ms Maguire told Lord Doherty that she was content to let Mr Ferguson have time to catch up.

    Mr Moynihan said that he was also content with the motion, although he did have some reservations about 'competency' of the original motion.

    Lord Doherty observed ,on the face of it, there did not seem to be much to be anything very much 'commercial' about the cases, and  that he would need to hear argument. 

    He agreed to continue until 30/01/20. 

    And that was that, except  that when the judge had left the bench, the QCs had a brief conversation about practicalities , promising emails to each other.

    [ According to David Grier, getting his case to the Commercial Court would speed things up for him, because it would be a trial , with witnesses and evidence etc etc maybe later in the year. I don't begin to understand fully, so I'll try to learn more about that procedure]

     

  39. John Clark 23rd January 2020 at 13:32

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

    I don’t think that you have accurately picked up on what David Grier said.  The last proceedings in his case was a judgement by Lord Bannatyne (now retired). His judgement hasn’t been made public but his Lordship declined to grant the summary decree sought, but indicated that the case should go to “proof” with witnesses called (most likely referring to DCI Robertson). The case is not likely to be heard until late in the year.

    Today’s motion was brought by David Whitehouse. It was his legal team’s request that the case should proceed through the commercial court, as it would expedite matters towards a conclusion.  There was a prior agreement between the legal teams that Paul Clark’s case should be dealt with alongside that of Whitehouse as they are identical in respect of evidence and process.

    Ms Maguire and Mr Moynihan agreed to the request to continue the motion for a further week to allow Paul Clark’s new counsel, Iain Ferguson QC, to get up to speed.

    However I understood that Maguire and Moynihan would be arguing against the case going to the commercial court. That argument already appeared to have initial support of Lord Doherty going by what his Lordship said, but he wanted to hear from both sides. So, everyone will be back in court next Thursday at 10:30.  

     

  40. easyJambo 23rd January 2020 at 14:11

    '..don’t think that you have accurately picked up on what David Grier said.'

    ++++++++++

    Grateful for that clarification, eJ.

    (I should maybe , as well, have made it clear that Grier had been talking privately outside the Courtroom, and not as any part of the court proceedings!)

    But broadly correct? – Whitehouse's motion was to be discussed today, but his QC had had a problem, not knowing until late last night whether Clark's new QC  would agree to be included, so today was about asking the judge to continue , to give time for Ferguson QC (for Clark) to get up to speed?

     

     

  41. Cliffhanger

    What I dont understand is why supporters of Aberdeen, Hearts, Hibs and other top 6 place contenders do not demand a form of domestic FFP is introduced in Scotland to limit the amount of debt a club can incur or amount of equity it can swap for debt.

     

    The big difference in the league this year is not so much TRFC have improved to be level in points terms over 2 league games with Celtic, but the number of points not lost to other clubs compared to last season because the finance gap between the other clubs and TRFC has increased significantly but  a portion of it is debt that other clubs fear to incur because insolvency for them could mean Goodnight Vienna rather than Good Morning Sunshine.

    I'd be surprised if the new guy at Aberdeen has not been appraised of the cost to him of closing the debt gap and benefit of ensuring debt is kept under repayable control. If not tell him via Don's Supporters Associations.

    More points earned v TRFC (if we assume Celtic always work within repayable debt parameters even if not written down) so more payback from league positions, a more competitive league (and I've put forward the view that all SPFL clubs should get a bigger solidarity payout from UEFA at reduced CL payout to clubs.)

    The biggest danger of the now more than obvious Celtic/The Rangers duopoly,  where the analogy would be two clubs owned by same owner in the same league is that of moral hazard.

    Let's put it this way, when RFC needed to win league in 2009 to get CL money to stay afloat, Celtic surrendered a healthy lead before the run in.

    In March 2011 when Lawwell and Bain are working hand in hand to get into the EPL at a time when Rangers existence depended on CL money is it any surprise a UEFA licence was awarded in dodgy circumstances that Celtic have gone to great lengths to stop being investigated?

    Was it any real surprise when a home victory on 29th Dec  for Celtic would have seriously dented TRFC's challenge for a title and reduce the chance of CL money clearing TRFC's debt that Celtic lost?

    5 years ago I would have scoffed at such a notion but now?

    Other clubs need to unite to demand some form of domestic FFP but Doncaster in one interview said there was no appetite for it.

    Give your club owners an appetite by demanding domestic FFP before renewing and sell the benefits (better return for less investment) of it as well.

    Take the moral hazard out of the game by making domestic FFP the means that the play is fair, or at least much more fairer than it currently is.

     

  42. Auldheid 23rd January 2020 at 15:53

    ——————————————–

    I agree that there should be some form of FFP in the Scottish game. Unfortunately, there is no point in adopting the UEFA model, as the "acceptable" losses are way in excess of what all but one club could countenance.

    Of more value would be a profitability and sustainability model which would be tied to your turnover, with key indicators such as operating losses, wages to turnover ratio etc., e.g. you could be sanctioned if you exceeded losses of 20% of your turnover, or a wage/turnover threshold of say 80%.  Dundee United, for example, has recorded W/T ratios in the last four seasons of 84%, 81%, 94% and most recently 133% in their gamble to get promoted. That IS unsustainable.

    Other clubs lose money year after year (not just Rangers), which are covered by loan forgiveness or the issue of new shares to their owners. Ross County, ICT and St Johnstone all spring to mind. Any solution would have to allow for a certain amount of owner subsidies.

    With Hearts due to transfer majority ownership from Ann Budge to the Foundation of Hearts very soon (should be achievable in February, although the formal handover may not take place until the financial year end in June), you might have thought that FOH would be interested in progressing such a model. Sadly no, they have decided to adopt a "hands off" approach to the football club (HMFC plc), despite being its majority shareholder, meaning that the football club's board will continue to act in what it believes is in the best interests of the club.

    I repeatedly tried to argue for a more practical and sensible approach to the new FOH governance model which will be implemented with the transfer of ownership, but there appeared to be vested interests at play from Ann Budge and the original FOH founders, meaning that their proposed model was voted through virtually unopposed at the FOH AGM in December.   

    It is theoretically possible for the FOH membership to force through changes, but it is extremely difficult, so I'm afraid that there is little prospect of Hearts rocking the boat in the short to medium term. 

     

  43. easyJambo 23rd January 2020 at 17:07

    EDIT

    .." Other clubs lose money year after year (not just Rangers), which are covered by loan forgiveness or the issue of new shares to their owners. Ross County, ICT and St Johnstone all spring to mind. Any solution would have to allow for a certain amount of owner subsidies.''

    I agree with you on this EJ except for the loan forgiving /share issue of owners.I appreciate fans wanting the best for their club and being able to support it financially but if cloth is cut then there should be no need and all clubs are on a level playing field in terms of methods of finance.A 3 year grace period and then income/turnover as you outline is preferable.If a club want to raise money for capital projects such as stadium or pitch improvement then their request should be submitted to and vetted by, an independent audit.Auldheids idea of a more equitable distribution of revenue from european adventures is honorable and as gate sharing is  a non starter then it might help to level up team performances.Im sorry to hear that FOH are having their tummy tickled but still admire they way Hearts fans fought to save their club.

     

  44. Auldheid 23rd January 2020 at 15:53
    Other clubs need to unite to demand some form of domestic FFP but Doncaster in one interview said there was no appetite for it.
    ……………………
    Scottish Premier League clubs delayed a vote on financial fair play because “passions are running high,” according to the SPL chief executive.

    Neil Doncaster said the delay may see developments at administration-hit Rangers.

    “These aren’t rules that are simply going to affect one club; they could potentially affect all 12 clubs,” he told BBC Scotland.

    “Scottish football is in a very sensitive position.”
    ….
    Clubs will meet again at Hampden on Monday 7 May.

    “Passions are running high,” Doncaster told BBC Radio Scotland’s Sportsound.
    “And the right thing to do is let some of the heat come out of the situation; let clarity emerge from Ibrox over the next few days and, in that context, potentially get round the table again next Monday.
    “Given how fast moving the [Rangers] situation is, the view was that the best thing to do at the moment, rather than rush through rules that may have unintended consequences, is to have a further period of reflection and a further discussion of those rules.
    The SPL did agree to strengthen financial disclosure requirements that are designed to make sure clubs have no outstanding debts due to any league rival as of 31 December in any year.
    April 30, 2012
    https://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/scotland/17892984
    ……………………..
    SPL clubs to discuss financial fair play rules
    Scottish Premier League clubs will meet on Monday to review their current regulations on financial fair play.

    The clubs will discuss whether changes need to be made, which could mean “tougher” rules being rubber-stamped at a general meeting in April or July.

    “It is vital that we do not shy away from these issues,” said SPL chief executive Neil Doncaster.

    “It is important that we keep the whole issue of financial fair play firmly in the spotlight.”
    March 2, 2012
    …………………………….
    That spotlight has gone dim.

  45. Like many other Celtic supporters, I have been shocked and appalled by Kris Boyd's behaviour on Sky last evening.

    It doesn't take a psychologist to spot his aggressive antipathy towards  Celtic FC (amply evidenced by his tone of voice, smirking, body language – he could hardly wait to get out his fact sheet on Griffiths – tone of voice and general agitation!). Didn't he realise that the comparative lack of game time for Griffiths was primarily attributable to his well documented mental health issues. 

    Sympathy for anyone who has lost a family member to suicide is a given, but Boyd has demonstrated that his deep rooted aversion to all things Celtic has 'blindsided' him on this.

    He will no doubt be aware by now of the reaction against him (I haven't read anything supportive of his comments), so surely an apology is called for – at least for the sake of his charity and its stakeholders.  

     

  46. You should always follow the money…

    I wrote this back in 2013 on SFM.

    As part of the purchase of Rangers’ business & assets to Sevco Scotland, the club’s administrators sold the then pending SPL 2nd place prize money (£2.55m) for season 2011/12. Effectively meaning that the club’s assets were purchased for £2.95m – not the headline £5.5m that is often quoted. Later, as part of the 5-way agreement, Sevco waived their right to this £2.55m which was retained by the SPL and (possibly) distributed to the remaining SPL clubs. Of course, before distribution they had the extra expense of the LNS Commission and the £1m TV rights payment to the SFL to pay for. It is not clear (to me at least) why Sevco would have needed to pay the SPL anything. They have never been a SPL club and owed nothing to that league. As Rangers had completed the season’s fixtures, the SPL had no straightforward legal cause to withhold the prize-money. Anyway, as a technical step, the SPL required the administrators of the old Rangers to sign-off on Sevco’s prize money waiver; but as they had already sold it on, it caused no further deficit in the old club’s accounts. I am sure the £2.55m has to be the “compensatory money” that your friend refers to. As I’ve said before (on many, many, many occasions 🙂 ) the SPL behave in their own commercial interest at all times. Unless you were to take the very cynical view that the £2.55m was a straightforward payment for constructing the dodgy LNS remit and case execution – and I make no such allegation – you would have to think that this “forced” payment by Sevco to the SPL was grossly unjust.

  47. EasyJambo on 2020/01/22 at 6:58 pm

    The "gangster" also has to be the taxi or other business operator, or owner, for laundering to work effectively.  That way all the cash is laundered (at a cost of having to be taxed, and processed through company accounts, paid as dividends etc).

    In your scenario, the £15k handed back to the gangster is still dirty money, unless the gangster can account for it, e.g. having been paid "legitimately" by the business for providing a service.  That £15k would then have to be declared as income etc.

    Correct EJ, 
    I was being simplistic, but in one particular laundering operation that I know about, the gangster is a partner in the laundering business. Don't know the ownership ratios, but the guy who runs the business gets a fair old wedge in exchange for sitting around all day, his feet up, smoking a cigar and gurgling away at £400 bottle of Nyetimber Blanc de Blancs no

  48. upthehoops 23rd January 2020 at 21:13

    '..5 way agreement on Twitter. Is it a further revision to that we have already seen?'

    ++++++++++++

    It looks to be the same as the version I first read literally years ago!

    Satan himself could scarcely have devised such a fundamentally lying document, a farrago of legalese nonsense trying to create some kind of legal structure to hide the truth-that a  long established football club suffered the Insolvency event of going into Liquidation , lost its share in the SPL, and thereby ceased to be a member of the SFA and therefore ceased to exist as a participating club in Scottish Football. 

    As many other failed clubs have done over the years.

    The evil, wicked intent to create a myth is plain for all to see.

    No wonder the oath of secrecy [ okay, perhaps not quite naked sword to naked breast! but then we would never know, would we?broken heart];  because  any honest person would blush scarlet with shame at the thought that his name would become a byword for deceit and betrayal if it were known that he had signed such  a plain lie of a document.

    But I note from 8.2 that the secrecy clause " shall not apply to any disclosure made……..
    ..to any announcement or disclosure required by the laws of any relevant jurisdiction or
    by any competent regulatory or governmental body or securities exchange .."

    Who knows, maybe the FCA might (oh, how I wish!) be asking questions about oc/nc: they have their reputation to think about, and would not take kindly to , possibly, having been taken in by some blatant 'investment ' scam..

     

     

     

     

  49. JohnClark@23.03

    If you’re interested in finding out how the FCA really operates then you could do worse than by perusing the pages of Private Eye. Not every issue has a piece on the FCA but the pattern of their practices will soon emerge over a period of weeks. 

  50. Ex Ludo 24th January 2020 at 00:21

    '…you could do worse than by perusing the pages of Private Eye.'

    ++++++++++++

    I detect a note of cynicism, Ex Ludo?

    Personally, I feel that the FCA is kind of like the SFA, in the sense that it's a body made up of the same kind of people that it 'regulates'

    That is, they are essentially themselves 'business men' not really interested in ethics or right and wrong or fairness or anything other than making sure that some daft bastar. doesn't spoil things for the 'club' by being too naughty a boy, and thereby putting other businesses at risk.

    The TOP guys accommodated King to an extraordinary degree! 

    I suspect that the FCA would tolerate any rogue in the market place up to the point where the rogue's actions might be so bad as to cause Parliament to be forced to do something that might upset 'big business'.

    That is, it's quite possible that 'truth' is not part of the FCA's vocabulary except when the truth might be more expedient than lying.

    Cynical? Me? —-indeed, and in spades.

     

  51. JohnClark@00.46

    More like a whole symphony of cynicism rather than a single note JC. It’s worth noting that a fair few of those working in the FCA now were key players in banking and finance in and around 2008 when the system crashed. It was nothing to do with them of course. The present Chancellor of the Exchequer was himself working for Morgan Stanley at that time.

    I follow BroganRoganTrevinoHogan on Twitter and over the last 12 months or so he has made numerous references to the current crop of banking scandals. Plus ça change.

  52. I had a comment to make on Duncan Fraser and the continuation crap but I can’t pass up sharing the headline in today’s Mail as reported in the BBC gossip post. Apparently Sevilla are planning to make a massive cash offer for Morelos but have been advised to keep it for the summer as a bid now would be wasting their time. I have no words for this. 
    On topic. I can personally confirm that not only does Fraser believe newco are in fact a newco but he is as disparaging of that whole enterprise as the rest of us. He is the one who commented rather sarcastically “We’ll be all right” when challenged on Armageddon on the steps of Hampden btw which endeared him somewhat to the Dons fans. However, and this is a very big however, he is moving on from Pittodrie and “seeking a post in or out of football” as quoted in the press. He is toeing the line to protect his employment chances: shame on them all. 
     

  53. Sorry Ernie, not accepting that.  I also know that privately Duncan holds his own views re the newco.

    But he still clearly feels the need to publicly pacify their support in the political and sporting hotbed of discourse that is the Press and Journal Business Supplement.  I feel no such need and I fail to see the need for our club to do likewise.  What are they, perched in 2nd with ambition we can only dream of as they are, going to do?  Bother suing us? Are they fvgh!

     

    But I have my response ready to hand for the inevitable future circular asking us all to contribute to the Kingsford les elephant blanc.  Im afraid my interest has also been demoted and returned to the 4th Division.

     

    Sod em.  Sod em all.     

  54. EJ

    Yes by domestic I meant something tailored to the Scottish football environment.

    A tightening up of the rules including club licensing might have saved Hearts from administration given the number of times they came in third place to Rangers during their ebt and unsustainable borrowing years when 2nd placed club got a CL place.

    Dont know the politics at play with FOH but dont see how they benefit from having no deterrent to unsustainable borrowing by main rivals unless it's a path they wish to follow.

  55. I will get to my point; but it may take some navigating.

    Alfredo’s ‘gesture’ is not up for debate in my opinion and there are parallels to be drawn with the definitive peripatetic of football, Paolo Di Canio, when he intimated his intention towards the No. 8 of the club that breathed back in the day. 

    The furore poured from the front, middle and back pages of the ‘usual suspects’. In fact, without exception,  all of the red tops and broadsheets descended and condemned. Not wishing to garner collective indulgence, I certainly indulged back in the day. But that was then and I suppose by my own admission and acknowledgement that ‘that WAS then’ and rightly times have moved on, I can’t help but compare. There was no press officer proffering excuses for the gesture nor was there a media buying into the buffalo sh*t. Di Canio was yellow carded and ultimately missed the next match as it constituted a red on account of an earlier booking. Furthermore, (allegedly) he was fined £12000 by his club in the aftermath. Arguably, rightly so. But not so for the buffalo, instead we’ve been encouraged to accept that his intimation was merely lost in translation. 

    Moving forward, albeit paradoxically backwards, there’s more. Artur Boruc once caused ‘outrageous’ controversy and suffered the wrath of the Crown Office and the entire world that is Scottish football, for a ritual blessing which has always* and remains a universal ritual amongst worldwide Christians and modern* day sportspersons. (Understated with brevity for the purpose my post). 

    And here we are. On balance and in all fairness, Morelos should not be judged on the past, because the past is too dark to be revisited. He should be given a spanking and a further game ban. I’ll settle for that alongside an acknowledgement from his club. 

    But then, what of Griffith’s crime of littering? Let’s get the Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal to administer a fixed penalty of £80 and be done. That for me would satisfy precedent, just like the way they would penalise the rest of ‘us’. 

     

     

  56. Auldheid 25th January 2020 at 00:30

    A tightening up of the rules including club licensing might have saved Hearts from administration given the number of times they came in third place to Rangers during their ebt and unsustainable borrowing years when 2nd placed club got a CL place.

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

    I don't blame anyone other than Hearts for their financial collapse. Any rules limiting spending or losses would have needed to have been in place from the 1990s to prevent what happened to them. Any Hearts footballing achievements during the "EBT years" need to put in the context of them spending beyond their means in much the same way as Rangers did.   

    Hearts slide into administration started back in 1998 under the chairmanship of Chris Robinson, when they were sucked into borrowing more and more. In 1997 Hearts had net debt of £1.9m and a sustainable wages to turnover ratio of 58%. By the time the club was sold to Romanov in 2005, the net debt had been ramped up to £21.5m and the wages/turnover ratio had peaked at 94%  as early as 2002.   Administration was inevitable even then. Only the timing of it was uncertain.

    Romanov continued the unsustainable spending and wages with the net debt peaking at £36.1m and the wages/turnover ratio peaking at 126%. However he did have the means (almost certainly illegal) to sustain the spending by DFE swaps and loan forgiveness amounting to £40m between 2005 and 2011. As a result, the net debt had "only" gone up to £26.2m when the club finally went into administration in 2013. 

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