I’m delighted that Bill McMurdo has made two contributions to this site. I trust that all those who value his judgment, insights and experience, as I do, will join me in welcoming Bill. Bill made the point that ‘the fix is in.‘
The most obvious first port of call is the SFA. In anointing King and simultaneously fining Ashley, they nailed their colours to this pirate’s mast.In August 2013, King was convicted, in a criminal court, of 41 convictions for breaches of South African tax law, all of which were liable to imprisonment for a period of two years. King unequivocally was a director of a club in membership of a National Association within the five-year period of such club having undergone an insolvency event. There is also the not insignificant fact that King is on licence for a three month prison sentence for contempt of court. Despite these forty-three compelling reasons against King’s appointment, Regan, Doncaster, Ogilvie ,McRae and Johnston, in a hastily arranged quorum of eight (with one member observing) voted for King. The opposition of Petrie and Lawwell was no more than a footnote to a conspiracy where Stewart Regan was the ring-leader. Regan, who had five votes in his bag prior to entering the boardroom, invoked the SFA’s infamous ‘discretion as to whether or not an individual is fit and proper.’ The fix was in.
Stewart Regan, in my informed opinion, is not only the kingmaker at Rangers, he effectively reports to any incumbents of the blue room. The following is an email from Andrew Dickson (Head of Football Administration ) to Ali Russel (Chief Operating Officer) with a cc to Craig Whyte, from 7th December 2011:
“Regarding Rangers getting a license for next season (following email from Stephen Kerr to Andrew Dickson and Carol Patton) – enclosed email from Stewart Regan.”
Regan: “Further to my discussion yesterday with Andrew on the matter of Rangers FC’s European license I would like to release the following statement. In light of persistent speculation across all media, the SFA would like to clarify the position in regard to RFC’s license to play in Europe as governed by Article 50 of the UEFA regulations. It is noted from the report submitted to the Licensing Committee of RFC’s advisers Grant Thornton UK LLP, dated 30th March 2011 that ‘All the recorded payroll taxes at December 31st 2010 have, according to the accounting records of the Club, since that date been paid in full by March 31st 2011, with the exception of the continuing discussion between the Club and HMRC in relation to a potential liability of £2.8m associated with contributions between 1999 and 2003 into a discounted option scheme.’ These amounts have been provided for in full within the interim financial statements.Since the potential liability was under discussion by RFC and HMRC as at 31st March 2011, it could not be considered an overdue payable as defined by Article 50.”
Craig Whyte in his response to Andrew Dickson (cc Ali Russell) on the same day,7 December 2011, stated:
“It would be crazy for them to put this out.”
On the same day, Ramsay Smith wrote to Stephen Kerr( now at Level 5) Carol Patton and Ali Russell :
“We should put some pressure on the SFA from a high level, from Ali or Andrew, to say we do not believe this is a good idea they put out such a statement. If they persist they will only cause issues for themselves as much as Rangers.”
Ali Russell to Stewart Regan, Andrew Dickson (cc Ramsay Smith, Stephen Kerr) – Dec 7th 2011:
We would prefer no comment or the following: “We have looked at this matter and there is no issue with the license granted to Rangers from the SFA.”
Internal RFC Communication from Ali Russell to Craig Whyte, Andrew Dickson, Fiona Goodall (cc Ramsay Smith, Stephen Kerr, Gary Withey) – Dec 7th 2011:
“All sorted. Held until further notice and I have agreed we will meet Stewart and Campbell for dinner in the next couple of weeks to discuss bigger issues.”
Dinner was duly served to Campbell Ogilvie, Stewart Regan and Craig Whyte at 19:30 hours on December 20th 2011 at Hotel du Vin in Glasgow. It is alleged that Craig Whyte recorded this conversation using a specially equipped pen.
Note that I have highlighted in bold Mr Smith’s statement in regard to should the SFA persist they will only cause issues for themselves as much as Rangers. These issues will come to light in the trial of Craig Whyte, Green and four others which resumes on the 8th December. Craig Whyte has 80,000 pages of incriminating evidence. Police Scotland have all the Charlotte Fakes material. Stewart Regan knows that a tsunami of information exhibiting his collusion with directors past and present at Rangers will be presented in this trial. He is hoping that reporting restrictions are strictly enforced.
However the Ashley trial, now scheduled for April, is unlikely to be swept under the carpet of reporting restrictions as it’s not a trial by jury. King was summoned to the meeting at the SPFL. I would not be surprised if Stewart Regan patched into this meeting via conference call. King was told in no uncertain terms that if his board persisted in refusing to repay the £5m it would cause major issues for the SPFL and the SFA, which would in turn cause major issues for Rangers. King was told in no uncertain terms to make it go away.
There are a lot of red herrings in the SMSM about Ashley exercising the ‘nuclear option’ of calling in the receivers. This would be a poor business decision. As long as Rangers continue to operate, they generate merchandising revenue. As we have found out, in yet another breach of the High Courts injunction, the seven year notice period will not initiate until all outstanding debts are paid, including the £5m loan.
The £5m offer is conditional upon Ashley withdrawing from all litigation in regard to RIFC and the SFA’s fit and proper determination.
King told us as much. Rather than a quick call to David Forsey at SD with the offer, King stated that it would be handled by solicitors. Ashley will not agree to these conditions. These conditions include his withdrawal from raising injunctions to stop the misappropriation of equity.
As I stated in a previous article it is a bluff by King. He knows full well that Ashley will not agree to his terms. King was playing to a rapt audience at the Clyde Auditorium and Hampden.
I anticipate that the next time we will be hearing from Mr King will be at his trial on December 9. Adam Lewis QC now has both the Sky tape and Saturday’s Daily Record article. It will be a slam dunk for Lewis.
As Regan has told King in words with a minimum of syllables: how can he possibly defend his approval of him as fit and proper if he is sent down on the 9th December?