Tag Archives: Celtic

Sorry Seems to Be The Hardest Word

1 Aug

Sorry is indeed the hardest word and in this litigeous world sorry seems to be a legal admission of liability.

This simple modern truth could well be the reason for the lack of appologies sent to Rangers Football Club.   The posse that found Rangers Guilty in their Kangaroo Courts in 2012 have been remarkably silent in the weeks since the UTTT found no real wrongdoing in Rangers FC use of Employment Benefit trusts. 

The real reasons for lack of words from Scottish Football are simple.  Rangers 1898 Ltd the former owners of Rangers Football Club are now debt free thanks to Ticketus, the RFFF and the soon to be defrosted accounts.  The money in the currently frozen accounts will pay the PAYE bill left by discredited Craig Whyte.  In fact I was recently told that Rangers 1898 Ltd will be one of the few companies that could emerge from liquidation proceedings and will simply be wound up similar to Celtic oldco (kelly’s and Whytes), Aberdeen oldco ( Donald Family), Dundee United oldco (Jim Mclean), Hibernian oldco (Tom Farmer) and St Mirren Oldco (Paton family).

You see the treatment of Rangers has raised so many questions that it would take a thousand articles to cover.  Saldly what’s done can not be undone but for the shareholders of Rangers 1898 Ltd compensation is surely justified. 

I still expect a raft of court cases.  From fraud to defamation via malicious prosecution. Remember Rabgers 1898 shareholders own no football asset, they sold it to the current owners of Rangers. So without breaking the rules of association this group of victims of fraud and defamation have free reign to sue SFA, SPL(including the ten club members individually), supporters groups (including individual spokespersons), media groups (including individual ‘Journalists’), web sites (including social media) and of course any individual who at anytine has published a lie that has hurt the finiancial wellbeing of the Club (Including Phil Threenames, Angela Haggerty, Greame Speirs). The fact that some of the above names continue to speak in terms of hate and ignorance even AFTER the latest judgements means that by association Rangers Football Club current owners have a real watching brief and can argue that current statements filled with hate and lies directly hurts Rangers International and Rangers Football Club in the here and now. Members of the current Rangers Board have been quick to engage lawyers to seek recompense from fans groups spokesmen, so it would be interesting to see if the same happens to others from outwith the blue umbrella.

Craig Whyte will be chased to the gates of hell by many including Ticketus.  How this shyster was allowed onto the same building as stakeholders of any company is a crime. I have heard many reasons “Rangers were owned by a Crook (Murray) and sold to a Crook (Whyte)” seems to fit the common misguided view. Well that is only half true there is no doubt now that Rangers were sold to a crook. The landscape for this was in no small point due to HMRC demanding monies that now not one but TWO Independant tribunals have thrown out the inflated demands of the HMRC. As a small aside David Cameron and Gideon Osborn have recently forced through a change in the law. Now if HMRC demand money and you think it’s wrong the rules are now Pay up then appeal. How different things could of been had this rule been inforce. How the enforced sale to Mr Whyte occured is another thing.  Sir David Murray received one pound sterling so in spite of everything you could hardly say that the Metal Merchant made a killing.  So who did benefit? The Bank Loydds/TSB/HBOS walked away with £38 million for a loan paid in full via Craig Whyte and his mortgaging of season ticket sales to Ticketus.  So just how much pressure was placed on Sir David Murray by the Bank’s representative on what turned out to be the penultimate Rangers 1898 Ltd board. The same banking group had a reasonable working relationship with the SFA and now defunct SPL, was any pressure placed on these organisations to ignore any concerns regarding Craig Whyte being a fit and proper person to have his hand in the tiller of a Sporting Institution like Rangers Football Club. It seems either this or the SPL SFA failed in their duty of care to protect all of our Scottish Clubs from falling onto the hands of Drug Dealers Fraudsters Con men or general Shysters. So for sure without doubt the SFA SPL FAILED in any test. Do I hear sorry from Regan, Doncaster and co? No!

Lets now look at the “Screaming Masses”

Stephen Thompson, Stewart Milne, Rod Petrie, David Southern, Peter Lawell, Neil Lennon, Stewart Gilmour and other Board memebers of clubs MUST now be revisiting their published comments and hoping that no one reads them out in court.

Sorry is hard to say but lessons learned mean that actions speak louder than words. First chink in the sorry we did that but we learned is the postponment of St Mirren v Aberdeen because Aberdeen have a couple of qualifying rounds in Europa League. How Rangers would of appriciated such common sense in Manchester UEFA Cup FINAL! Not a sorry but the different action means admission of wrong by default.

You see that’s the point we all know we won’t get a Sorry from any of the shouting clans but we all know that they won’t repeat their “hardline” again. That’s as good as a sorry as we will get. What we will get though is enforced comments as Judges order smart mouths to pay up and say sorry.

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Neil and Stu – Trotters not so Independent Traders

7 Sep

Followers of my words will know that neither Neil Doncaster or Stewart Regan are on my Christmas Card list.  I am acutely aware that I am not on theirs.  Safe to say I won’t hold my breath for a invite to hampden ivory towers for tea and crumpets.  I try to be fair and chatitable to the leaders of Scottish Football but the latest freshly baked batch of news to emerge from Hampden is beyond reason.

Let’s take all the statements from Neil and Stu.  Turmoil, financial instabilities, needing investment just some of the paraphrased comments.  From member clubs you hear the need of two things

1 financial income/investment

2 support from the associations and league.

So why did Stewart Reagan’s SFA close TWO DAYS before the rest of the world on transfer deadline day. 

This suicidal move to restrict trade has 41 clubs wondering why they didn’t benefit from the HUNDREDS OF MILLIONS of Pounds swilling around European Football.  The only club to benefit seems to be Hamilton who cashed in on a Scots born Irishman via a sell on clause.  We’ll done them.  The sale that keeps on giving, just male sure Stewart Regan isn’t your bank manager because you wouldn’t get your money till Christmas. 

There is a Christmas theme what the sfa did by closing is the equivalent to marks and spencers closing on the 21st of December!  Why because it’s a working day! 

It’s a reason that does not stack up, not now not then not ever.  Much talk of Pyramid systems well by shutting up shop early the sfa cut the player pyramid off in its prime.  Directly hurting ambitious players, destroying the possibility of clubs making survival til January easier.  I hope a club does not fold potentially because it wasn’t able to sell a player on.

The merrigoround of transfers traditionally spins and drags in some Scottish interest.  Player A goes from Scotland to England, player B goes from lower league to Scottish  Premiership. Players develop clubs survive.  Simple that’s what happens on transfer deadline day. 

Celtic for example fresh from Champions league qualification suffered a potentially long term injury blow with Lustig, even with a early Saturday Kick off Neil Lennon had no time to find a replacement.  This proves that the SFA have no intrwst in supporting or developing clubs and players in Scotland.  Let’s make no bones about this,  Supporting and Developing The Game (clubs & players & officials) is The Foundation of the remit of the Association it is not a opt in.

Peter Lawwell must be realising his position on the sfa board. He must wish that he was appointed earlier. He like every other club in Scotland must look at England with envy.  Then again Greg Dyke etc were not insidiously employed by a Lawyers firm masquerading as a employment/hr firm.  I doubt that even former employee of the month Lawwell will ditch his former employers and his friends though because he is part of the problem even though Celtic have been indoubyably disadvantaged by the SFA.

If Neil and Stu’s motivation to close the case and run off to the three wheeler van was aimed at Rangers then that is not just bad but cause for absolute horror.  If the vendetta against one club Rangers, allows for the REST OF SCOTTISH FOOTBALL to suffer then that my friends is a crime beyond Jim Farry.

Scotland’s Shamful Supporters – Who Sainted The Tartan Army

18 Aug

Right it seems that if you criticise The Tartan Army for being abusive, offensive and generally racist then you have to be prepared for a deluge of abuse, offensive and racist comments from the tartan army foot in mouth Soldiers.

Show them this sheet music
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Or better still play it on a instrument and it kind of becomes a self fulfilling prophecy.  Sing it and you could find yourself facing down legions of louts wearing plaid.

Such is the egos of the Tartan Clad Clots that they assume the Tartan Army can do no wrong, not now not ever. You even get the excuse if we are not as bad as …. This "wee bit pregnant" style excuse fails right off the bat. Even just banter fails as the authorities and tartan army fans have ignored this reasoning from old form and Edinburgh clubs. So for the Tartan army to it now is evidence of a special kind of hypocrisy. This is not to mention the excuse of non violence well sorry words can be violent too and to compare any member of the Tartan Army to Rosa Parks and M.L.K. is nothing short of delusion.

I wonder who sainted these ambassadors of abuse. What evidence mandates the self classification of the Scottish National Teams Loud Mouthed fans. I look at scenes from the last 50 year's and I am not seeing much evidence that backs up the "Angels In Tartan Tammies" tag.

To answer my own question and to despel the accusation of West of Scotland bias. I will repeat my veiw. The lack of Supporters from the big two metropolitan multicultural centres of Scotland means that Scotland is now followed by the backward country bumpkins that defend Bernard Manning! Uneducated bigots who armed with one piece of correct if bot unused information will still manage to embaress themselves.

So with the Commonwealth Games Tickets going on sale I would urge the Tartan Army to stay away from the events next year. The games will have athletes from nations the tartan army don't like. England will be represented as will India, Pakistan and several African nations. In fact Tartan Army Soldiers a lot of the athlete's and visitors will not be like petty minded Scottish bigots, a lot of people present in arenas won’t even be Scottish.
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So why can I make the statement that the tartan army is populated by sub humans outwith the main multicultural centres of Scotland. Simple most Celtic fans do not support Scotland due to a mistrust of the SFA going back to Jorge Cadette! Rangers fans don’t trust the sfa going back to unofficial use of tv evidence to punish a Graeme Souness. That is not to mention the ethnic cleansing employed by the Tartan army to get rid of old firm fans. Edinburgh fans are similar they tend not to be so happy that to see Scotland at home they have to travel along the M8. These matches should in their view be played in the Capital not 40 miles away.

There is of course an additional reason. Glasgow and Edinburgh have large multicultural populations and have developed into tolerant societies. Now I am not going to hold up the old firm as paragons of virtue. Nor am I going to suggest that Edinburgh is a Martin Luther King City of tolerance. Yet in comparson to The shires within the shores of Scotland the advancement of Glasgow and Edinburgh is undoubted.

In Glasgow and Edinburgh folk respect the anthems of others and at least realise that if you play a verse and a chorus it is easy to assume it to be verse one. Certainty the Metropolitans don’t automatically assume that the unsung lyrics that could cause them offense is the very silent words being sung in their own heads. As I said in previous posts the Lichtenstein Anthem being booed automatically discredited any anti-Marshall-Wade-ism, unless someone shows me that the first verse of “Oben am jungen Rhein” (Up above the young Rhine) is actually a battle cry for the men of Lichtenstein to attack Dundee!

To decry a musical score is akin to the burning of Beatles records by rednecks. I wonder how many of The Tartan Army have spent the last week burning all their Nike Clothing and Footwear because England wore Nike stripes. It’s ludicrous to extend a genuine rivalry the oldest rivalry in international football to this level.

Sadly though I think by decrying the big city teams branding Rangers, Celtic, Hearts and Hibs as bigots/racists and bad eggs the Tartan army has failed in its much vaunted intention to police itself.

As seen at Wembly last week the tartan army is devoid of the big city fans and filled with educationally sub normal bigots who fueled by alcohol and ignorance continue to embaress Scotland.

Much lauded laws were introduced to combat ignorance. Yet they are hardly used outside Glasgow or on Non Old firm fans and not on the Tartan Army. The Tartan Army are all members of the Scotland travelling fans and as such are on a database so they are easily traced. They booed they embarrassed they caused it so BAN THEM ALL. The twenty-five thousand who misrepresented the Scottish Nation should be at least shamed by association.

Strange thought though how does Englishman Stewart Regan feel having his national anthem booed by fans paying his wages. Wonder how new league chief Neil Doncaster feels about this too. Oh sorry Regan and Doncaster have I just reminded the loudest bigots in Scotland that your not Scottish.

Watch your inboxes.

Twenty five thousand went to Wembley and three arrests showing that not only is ignorance not a excuse for breaking the law but ignorance is not against the law, well not in England anyway. In Scotland there is a task force looking into it. Maybe they should look into the self-beatification of the Tartan army. The same Government who are bringing in minimum pricing for alcohol units because it wants to reduce alcohol abuse in Scottish society celebrates, indeed uses a whiskey fuelled mob of ignorant bigots as “Cultural Ambassadors” what next Andy Murray as a stand up comic!

Brand Targets

21 Jul

The attack on the Rangers bus at its depot is sickening.

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There is no excuse for this but obviously a reason for it in the sad minds of the criminals who carried out this act. I am though slightly concerned that this will not be the first attack on a team bus.

Bayern Munich began this trend for seriously luxurious branded team transport. Their bus actually their two buses play leap frog with the team on European trips one bus drops the team off at airport while another left days before to pick them up on arrival. This statement from the German club is that they are self contained.  It is a bubble that modern day players seem to live in either by choice or expectation.

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So who could of had motive to carry out the Rangers Bus attack is actually not a question, there is I am sure a long list of possible motives ranging from jealous rival fans to jealous rival bus companies. Whatever the motive, this branding of the transport will unfortunately and rather inevitably lead to further attacks.

When Rangers arrived in a black bus with a cherished registration plate they were no real attacks on it miles away from grounds. The black Parks of Hamilton livery camouflaged the team into the road infrastructure. This aided by Celtic sharing the the same bus supplier and you need a pretty sharp sighted vandal to attack the right team bus or even a bus load of Grannies on a day out. 

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Years ago in Aberdeen you used to get local celebrities and Players driving cars with their names on the side and name of car dealership. Such and such drives a ford from Cordiners emblazoned on the doors.  Even in the less angry times of the 1980’s there was one local celebrity who seemed to always have various scratches on the side of his sponsored car.

I saw the Rangers bus it was lovely very swish and dripping with luxury.  I also recently saw the Aberdeen Bus same standards both with club crests draped over the side. Sadly though for everyone with a sense of pride in seeing their team bus they are 10 who want to put a brick through the window.

It is a sad comment on today’s twisted society but one we all know to be true.  I worry that “Team Bus Bashing” will lead to incidents similar to the miners strike in the 1980’s with missiles being thrown from motorway bridges etc. There are only a few solutions to this.

Improve security around the trinket of team busses.

Have police escort the team from start of journey to end. Including patrolling every motorway bridge the bus travels under.

Or Radical idea tone down the paint jobs because at present you may as well paint a target on the side of the vehicle so the neds and thugs can hit their target.

I am all for celebrating the brand. As I am also enjoying the PR battle of the Coach Companies. Sad to say though the decision by Parks Of Hamilton not to Brand the buses they used for Celtic, Rangers and Scotland National Team seems to be proved to be prudent and safe.

Silence Is Golden

26 Jun

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Have you noticed?
I will give you a clue have you heard it?
Has your media been filled with it?
The answer is of course a resounding NO!

What am I talking about? You ask and your right too. So let me explain.

Heart of Midlothian are in administration. With every second that passes they are heading for liquidation at the speed of light. With around twenty-seven million pounds of debt the Jambos are going down but I am concentrating on as Coldplay would say the speed of sound.

The last Top Division Club to enter Administration and seek a Company Volunteer Agreement was Rangers in February 2012. Then you heard, it we all did. The words coming from almost every other SPL club. “Financial doping” “cheats” “sporting integrity” “no help, no special treatment” Mark Daly investigating, Alex Thompson firing and as quickly withdrawing distasteful remarks. You couldn’t drive past Ibrox without seeing at least three media vans. The phones red hot in every media department of SFA, SPL and clubs. Everyman and his dog googling Employment Benefit Trusts, Company Volunteer Agreements. The SFA and SPL websites getting increased tragic traffic as the minutia of the rule books were read and re read. Phantom web sites being quoted and re quoted. Supporters groups leaders phone numbers suddenly appearing on media guys family and freinds phone bills. Wild bile filled statements emerging from people barely qualified as human beings yet alone representatives of the majority of football fans in any given area.

That’s what you haven’t heard. The cacophony the chattering classes. Leaks of confidential documents, as yet no one is quite sure how much trouble Hearts are in. The deafening silence from the authorities is noticeable. Unless Neil Doncaster and co are currently bouncing about in the mosh pits of The Boss, Robbie and Bon Jovi then to be quiet honest they couldn’t be less fit for purpose. At a time when leadership is required the beeks are on their holidays. Crisis the only crisis Messers Doncaster and Regan seem aware of this summer is the tour dates for newly reformed China Crisis!

As for Dundee United, Aberdeen, Hibs, Celtic, Motherwell and Inverness Caledonian Thistle have they lost their voices. Did last year’s shouting hurt their delegate vocal chords?
Where is sporting integrity now? How many clubs are engaging their fans in focus groups to decide the party line on Hearts.

None.

That’s how much Hearts matter to the SPL.

It could be I am wrong though. I think its not quite as clear cut as that. I am minded more than ever that the SPL is too busy looking at its own individual accounts. I have a strange feeling that BDO are getting a lot of silent calls. If BDO dialed 1471 they could have a direct line to a lot of SPL chairman’s desks.

In 2013 the media don’t seem interested in inflating the figures of debt at Tynecastle finding often innocent men guilty.

Is this evidence of a agenda still in use from last year?

Or as Tesco and Asda hover over a piece of land off Gorgie Road, is the medias silence and inactivity a sign of regret as they slowly realise that the over reaction last year hurt them as much as anyone else.

Hearts and The Shysters Charter

21 Jun

Brian Jackson, Neil Patey this close seasons big signings in Scottish Football.  To be fair both have been around a while.  Experienced with proven track record an asset to anyone who requires their skills.  The shame is Brian and Neil are not players they are football finance experts and in a world of internet forums every fan in Scotland is fast becoming competent with the ins and outs of football finance.

I watch with horror as another club looks likely to be liquidated.  Not placed into administration, liquidated.  Every piece of information I have seems to point to the fact Hearts will be liquidated before new season kicks off.  Reasons are simple debts out multiply annual income by over 3.5 times. Three and a half is around the maximum ratio.

Back in the old days when Bank Managers were respected and a mortgage meant a few meetings with this man not a quick hassle free phone call. Banks operated a simple lending plan.  For Joe Public it was simple three times your annual earnings oh and at least a 5% deposit. How we wish in this day and age that this simple financial certainty was still upheld.  Maybe just maybe we wouldn’t have so many state owned banks in 2013 if this was still the way things were done.

The banks with years of careful experience did not just come up with the three multiplied as it was their favourite number.  The banks after decades of experience realised that three was the magic number to lend out savers hard earned cash.

This brings us back to Hearts indeed any football club in Scotland with debt.  What the hell were the banks thinking dishing out increased loans to clubs that would do well to service the interest on the original loan let alone a new increased topped up loan.  A mortgage needed guarantees, collateral to give it its proper name.  A home owner technically does not fully own their home until the mortgage loan is paid off.  So what was put up as guarantee by clubs.

Last year Rangers via what is increasingly seen to be a move by a con man managed to pay off the bank.  The bank happened to have a man on the board and some would suggest in the dash for its cash the bank didn’t care who Rangers were sold too as long as they got paid in full.  Lloyds TSB/HBOS got paid in full and didn’t bat an eye when Craig Whyte then worked his spell over Rangers.  They had there money who cared about due diligence. It seems increasingly obvious that a combination of Craig Whyte and Her Majesties Revenue & Customs pursuit of a failed £100,000,000 claim consigned Rangers ultimately to Division 3.  When the magical EBTs were mainly declared legal HMRC did not say whoops we caused a company to fail via frozen accounts, refusal to compromise and vindictive persecution, no HMRC still convinced its right kept the accounts frozen and appealed the decision.

Hearts though have no powerful other in the picture.  Hearts fans have only one or a series of ones to blame for their predicament.  From the moment Wallace Mercer Sold Hearts the writing was on the wall.  Smart businessmen ignored the good business sense that had made them rich and followed the ideals of the fans.  More, More, More and when you have done that lets have some More. Investment not in reducing the debt, paying it off but servicing the debt.  In credit card terms paying the interest only.  The loans don’t appear to of had a structured repayment plan.  The checks and balances on these loans failed – missed payments tacked on to the loan.  That seems to of been en vogue.  Ambition may bite the nails of success but in this case it destroyed the heart and soul of a club.

Bill McMurdo blogged (http://billmcmurdo.wordpress.com/2013/06/21/way-down-upon-the-swanee-river/) that it appears that Hearts are only the first of a select band of clubs who are destined to call on Brian Jackson and his colleagues.  Bill mentions that unfashionable clubs who have sucked up the pain both publically and privately to ensure that their club runs within its means. Clubs that have put up with beatings and defeats from players opposing teams couldn’t afford are now in pole position to challenge.  As the sneering contemptuous masses of Clubs like Hearts who  looked down on Clubs running good businesses will now find out.  The so called Diddy’s are coming.

Hearts, Aberdeen, Dundee United, Hibs, St Johnstone, Inverness CT and Motherwell all indebted, all looking down from Ivory towers some may be saying there but for the grace of god but all dreading the call from the bank.  All failing to hit the debt being three times income ratio. In these times of reduced media and sponsorship, stands being partially closed due to lack of sales this income is falling as,fast as the interest is being added onto the loans. The lenders are in a panic. The lenders are fed up with multi-million pound liabilities sitting on their books. From a distance and upon forensic inspection these clubs business models don’t add up. The banks are not far from placing a member on the boards of these clubs and a demanding lender approving, disapproving and being in any control of your club is a bad thing indeed(ask a Rangers Fan). Simply put the lenders want out.
The Hearts situation has ramifications for all clubs with debt if a CVA is offered by BDO and the banks think that so many pence in the pound is a good deal they will engineer administration at other clubs to get something back from loans.  Cut losses and run! The flip side if the CVA being created offers in Banks eyes a low pence in pound value, the banks will be battering on the door of chairmen demanding repayment of the loans starting now.  Not cut losses and run more a structured repayment plan that will at best cost each club a players wages a year maybe more. That’s a player not at a club. That’s the double edged sword for most  top division teams.  Not for them cutting their cloth to suit but cutting their throats to pay and pay quickly one way or another.

They are clubs in SPL perfectly well run within means and budgets.  Clubs that have suffered for years destined to finish near the bottom but seen to be happy to be at the party.  Well breaking news they weren’t just at the party they were biding their time waiting for the perfect storm. Who is laughing now.

Sympathy for Hearts is in short supply they bet the farm and lost.  Sympathy should be given however to the countless redundancies being made.  Not the players released because with best will in world players tend to actually profit from being released one way or an other.  no sympathy for the people who today do not have a job and have bills to pay.  The people who worked in offices, answered phones and cleaned to building.  Today jobless going down the job centre after giving years to a reckless club.  Sympathy yeah I am for them.  I wonder if they believed the story given to SPL/SFA at end of last season that Hearts were ok didn’t need Lithuanians.  I wonder if some even bought luxuries thinking this story must be true because the authorities say it is.

The checking facts, Finances, Fit & Proper person investigation department at the SPL/SFA is I am told a room with two rubber stamps sitting on a table. One of the stamps says approved and  the other is a copy in case the first one breaks. That really is the question though.  Who in Authority is carrying out these checks on accounts and is a person fit and proper to run or be on the board of a football club.  Brookes Milestone (Gretna), Craig Whyte (Rangers), Gavin Masterton (Dunfermline) and Vladimir Romanov ( Hearts) all taking over clubs in last decade all the clubs dropped into the smelly stuff.  ALL APPROVED BY THE AUTHORITIES.  Same authorities who approved Stewart Reagan as chief of SFA.

You reap what you sow its true Karma is a bitch all the clichés are coming thick and fast.  As fast it would seem as Heart of Midlothian Football Club falls from top league to given the new structure the Lowland League.  As all Scottish fans should maybe get out of the habit of rejoicing and think who is next.  The Shysters Charter that is Scottish Football is entering the end game.

With the real possibility of two clubs either disappearing from football or relocating in a lower league this weeks fixture lists look more like a fantasy league than a declaration of events.