The Myth of Continuity

Alan Dewar QC, representing Charles Green at the Inner House of the Court of Session, has stated that  ” The Rangers football club does not exist, it is an idea in people’s minds, a myth of continuity. No-one knows what the Rangers football club is, but it has no legal personality.

Mr Dewar adds that ” you can only be the chairman of an entity that has a legal personality. Sevco Scotland, and it alone, bought the assets and carried on the business. The concept of the Rangers Institution continuing exists only in the minds of die hard supporters.

Mr Dewar was responding to a question by one of the three appeal court judges who inquired: “Why is it so important that Rangers football club is Sevco Scotland rather than an institution going back 100 years?”

Mr Dewar emphasized that Green bought ” the business and assets of the Rangers entity” then acted on behalf of, and for the benefit of the shareholders of Sevco Scotland. Jonathan Brown, who presented Mr Green’s original petition to Lord Doherty, is also representing Green at the hearing. RIFC’ counsel is Mr Walker. RIFC’s instructing solicitors, Anderson Strathern, are represented by RIFC Company Secretary James Blair.

Mr Dewar reminds the court that the previous judge called the notion that Rangers should pay Green’s legal bills in a criminal matter as “absurd.” Mr Dewar cites the case precedent that the appeal court ruled in favour of former News of the World editor Andy Coulson in a similar case. Any legal indemnity would be pointless unless it also covered criminal charges. Mr Dewar continues that when the compromise agreement was signed. “it was known that legal proceedings were likely.”

Mr Dewar notes that the appeal court ruling in the Coulson case made no distinction between civil and criminal charges in News International’s legal indemnity insurance clause. Mr Dewar states that there is no moral issue over paying legal bills in a criminal case, and adds that  “The legal aid board does it every day.” Mr Dewar posited that the previous judge, Lord Doherty “showed no appreciation” that a future jury could convict Green of criminal acts but acquit him of conspiracy charges. Mr Dewar questioned the competence of Lord Doherty. He argued that he misunderstood the nature of the conspiracy charges against Green.

Mr Dewar stressed that the criminal trial is some way off and that there may be a third indictment.He noted that the criminal indictment against Charles Green is an allegation of a conspiracy pre-dating the purchase of RFC assets. As Chairman of Sevco Scotland, Mr Green was acting in the interests of the company and not just personal interests. Mr Green was ‘the face of the entity that is Rangers Football Club.’

Green’s case is that his acquisition of the assets of Rangers put him in an invidious position. Due to a dispute on the ownership of these assets,indictments were anticipated. The prospect of indictments was known to Imran Ahmad, Malcolm Murray and Brian Stockbridge when they included legal cover in his severance/compromise agreement. Mr Dewar argued that there was a case precedent in the Andy Coulson appeal where no distinction between criminal charges was made.

Mr Walker for RIFC, when he presents his argument this afternoon, will in my informed opinion, present case precedents where criminal activity precluded indemnity. However it is important to note that Mr Green has not been found guilty of any charges at this time.

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18 thoughts on “The Myth of Continuity”

  1. Hi John

    Off topic I know but could you tolerate me having another post re the petition.
    The popularity of this blog means that anything posted on older threads is seen by a lot less people.
    There has been some concern voiced about the safety of signing the petition and I would like to counter that. Change.org is a well respected means of running petitions and has now been in existence for a number of years. So when they offer not display your details if you indicate that is what you wish then that is what happens. Indicate your wishes using the checkbox on the “Sign Petition” section.
    Please do not refuse to sign because of a groundless fear, we need as many signatures as we can get. At the moment the count is way below the point where I would take the first actions, and that disappoints me. I see so many people moaning and complaining on newspaper sites that, if all bother to act and sign, we would be three or four times our current level. Don’t be just a hollow voice in a media where nothing happens.
    The recent sackings at the Herald and the timbre of those holding control of the courts show that this is no longer just a football issue. This is about the society that our children and grandchildren(in my case) will grow into.
    Do the right thing.
    SIGN the PETITION

    https://www.change.org/p/scottish-football-association-return-integrity-to-football-administration-in-scotland-673d2730-4863-4499-8b6d-b4c6e908318f

    1. As opposed to posting a link, specify precisely what you are asking for. If I have the time and your argument is detailed, I will use it as a preface to an article on this site. But it will have to join the queue behind the Green Appeal and a further discussion The Herald’s commercial expediency.

  2. Thanks John
    Here is the text of the petition.

    Return integrity to football administration in Scotland

    In the last few years Scottish football fans have watched on as their game has been drawn into disrepute through the handling of a number of issues by the SFA and SPFL.

    Agreements whose details are secret.

    Duplicity in enforcing the laws of the game.

    Members who are the subject of court cases.

    Officials whose backgrounds should warrant exclusion from dealing with serious issues remaining in a position where they can influence the outcome.

    Clear flouting of the rules protecting our clubs from being run by undesirable characters.

    Officials taking actions that breach UEFA laws.

    These and other issues have, in my opinion, led to the loss of faith in the integrity of a sport supported by so many in this country. In my view the only path of action now is to demand that administrators resign their posts en masse and that a working group be put in place to define the way forward for the sport. All discussions of the group should be conducted in open session and any resulting reports be openly published.

    The aim should be to save our game from the destruction that it now faces and to work towards a sport where all member clubs have equal stature and influence on the game and the competitions in which they compete.

    I ask anyone who shares my disgust in the state of football to sign this petition and help return it to being a sport that we ALL can support with pride.

    I have since added

    I have decided that, when we reach 1000 signatures, I shall inform UEFA of the petition and let SFA and SPFL know of my actions.
    I know 1000 signatures is not enough to carry any weight but awareness by the authorities can only be good for our cause

    You have permission to do as you wish as long as it does not end with me in hospital.:)

  3. Being an engineer, a lot of the courtroom babble, is just that to me. I find it immensely informative when a case is laid out in terms I can understand:

    ” The Rangers football club does not exist, it is an idea in people’s minds, a myth of continuity. No-one knows what the Rangers football club is, but it has no legal personality.”

    Mr Dewar adds that ” you can only be the chairman of an entity that has a legal personality. Sevco Scotland, and it alone, bought the assets and carried on the business. The concept of the Rangers Institution continuing exists only in the minds of die hard supporters.”

    Mr Dewar was responding to a question by one of the three appeal court judges who inquired: “Why is it so important that Rangers football club is Sevco Scotland rather than an institution going back 100 years?”

    That pretty much nails it for me, many thanks JJ

  4. Reiver very well put.
    There are far to many mouth pieces and keyboard warriors who will just sit on there a–e and do nothing, to many people who want others to act for them, to many people who do not have the courage of there convictions but want to shout from the roof tops that all is not right.
    From JJs site through the SFM, Phils, McClumpies and all the clubs fans own web sites, they shout at there PC screens and type posts, yet when it comes to it they RELY ON EVERYONE else.
    The ones who sit and do NOTHING deserve the game they have and will be left with, corrupt to the core.
    Sporting integrity ???? PMSL you deserve what you will be left with.

  5. jj is that petition all above board?

    JJ:Brian, if you had read my comments, you will have noted that I drew a line under this discussion. If you want to add your name to the petition, do so.

  6. This is just a taster of how Green will fight tooth and nail to save his skin in courts civil and criminal. Those he served tea to in the ST queue should brace for impact because he will say things you never thought possible from that nice Yorkshire chap with Rangersitis.

  7. Legal indemnity to me covers firstly criminal indictments and thereafter civil indictments.

    Unless RIFC put into Green’s contract an exclusion clause specifying criminal charges were not covered, then RIFC have messed up and must stump up.

  8. Rangers as a myth of continuity is an idea in people’s minds. It has no legal personality. Hence it cannot own anything. Like a claim to titles.

    Donald Findlay QC, former RFC vice Chairman has stated TRFC is not the same football club as old RFC.

    TRFC is a company founded in 2012 whose business is playing football for prizemonies. The company IS a football club.

    What part of that do diehards not get?

  9. “The Rangers football club does not exist, it is an idea in people’s minds, a myth of continuity”

    I wonder if STV NEWS will report that @6.20pm tonight.

  10. very expensive legal person for RFC spending hours on “new/old” club argument.

    Very expensive day to hold this silly argument for fans in front of 3 judges.

    1. Sorry but its Not a silly argument its about whether an Accused Man can have the Best Defense to Defend Him at a Criminal Trial….

  11. John

    Could you indulge me on what will probably seem dumb questions about this.

    I understand if you feel the questions are unacceptable in view of the ongoing case.

    Mr Dewar distinguishes between civil proceedings and criminal and ALSO criminal/conspiracy matters. Conspiracy to commit a crime being a crime in and of itself as we know.

    Am I to understand that Green believes he was covered within his compromise agreement for civil, criminal charges including conspiracy to commit crime?

    If his views on this is were rejected previously, was this because those conspiracy charges related to his alleged actions prior to signing the compromise agreement? OR because Lord Doherty rejected all legal cover under the agreement?

    Or, based on Lord Doherty’s decision last time round, is it that he was only covered for civil matters and not criminal?

    Is there some inherent contradiction between what Mr Dewar says in your first two paragraphs and what he is reported to have said later on in the passage.

    That Mr Green “was the face of the entity that is Rangers Football Club”.

    It seems confusing to say one and then the other or is this a transcription issue and my addled brain?

  12. If the accusation of conspiracy relates to the decision to start a new Rangers football club as Sevco Scotland, thereafter named The Rangers FC, then it would be logical for the current club to back Green with legal finance to the hilt.

    I posit its ridiculous to posit the indemnity doesn’t cover the period in which TRFC was imagined and designed in its creator’s head.

    By not indemnifying Green the club is jeopardising its entire existence. Such is the strange world of Sevco.

    “It’s so they can say they won the league” no laughing please.

    “There is a danger this debate becomes too complex” I thought Judges lived in the realm of complex. The danger is the same club myth dissolving legally.

  13. An amusing and, hopefully, for the still-deluded, enlightening day in court all round, I’d say.

    As a political activist of some 30 odd years now, I’m very surprised that no one has actually organised a fans collective march on Hampden to protest at the crime, corruption and favouritism being practiced by the balloons based there.

    I was in Ireland when Roy Keane stormed out of the Ireland World Cup squad in 2002 and there were protests outside the FAI offices in Dublin for weeks after, with fans outraged at the greed and incompetence of their self serving bureaucrats.

    If I still lived in Scotland I would willingly organise and lead the line in such a public protest but it appears that no one is prepared for such direct action, despite the huge level of justified outrage at this great public deception.

    Perhaps it is this level of apathy which has allowed such venal practices to go unchallenged for so long in ‘the best wee country in the world’ (sic).

    I know for certain that the UK media has long been manipulated in certain ways and for certain people, but this Herald fiasco exposes for all just how completely corrupted the media has become.

    This deliberate power grab spans the globe and anyone who fails to see the greater connections have simply not been paying attention to what is happening on every level of society right now, as Deception becomes the key name of the game.

    And this little saga is simply a parochial instance of far greater events worldwide.

    But it’s what people intend to do about it that will make the difference.

    For typing your anger into a keyboard, staring at screens and mutely signing petitions achieves little to nothing, as my own experiences testify.

    Direct Action is the only form of protest these people understand.

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