A Scotland State of Mind

In a previous article I referred to The Tartan Army as individuals who specialise in supporting mediocrity; a mediocre team that has not qualified for any World Cup Finals or European Championships since France 1998.

There was a sea change in Scottish football in 1988. David Murray paid a $1m cash bribe to Lawrence Marlborough and then set about destroying the game that we once held in high esteem.

He leaned on his cronies at The Bank of Rangers to put Celtic out of business in 1994. When McCann resuscitated the failing club he introduced two tax dodges to cheat his way to seventeen titles.

During this period of unprecedentedly tainted success, was there any ancillary benefits to the national side? No. Murray Inherited the spine of The England team and peppered his squad with players who earned their caps in other European countries.

The National team traditionally drew the majority of its players from those who turned up in light blue and green hoops on any given Saturday. They were augmented by the cream from Aberdeen and Dundee United, and those players such as Dalglish, Gemmell, Souness and Strachan who earned a better living in England.

Murray changed this tradition. Can one lay the blame solely at his door? No, there are other factors to consider when assessing a 19 years absence from the finals of major tournaments. One should also consider the gutless fraud that is Stewart Regan; a square cricket peg in a round football hole. Having expended the majority of his time creating a Frankenstein club, Rangers Lite, his creation bit the hand that fed with the recruitment of a motley crew of second tier foreign national journeymen. There is not one Rangers Lite player in Strachan’s squad that will face Lithuania and Malta.

The absence of the WhatsApp group from Primark Pedro’s caravan park in Auchenhowie came as no surprise, but I found Strachan’s decision not to call up players from Scotland’s second club, Aberdeen, somewhat puzzling. Aberdeen are on fine form with four wins out of four. They are scoring goals for fun. He might also rue his decision not to call up Callum McGregor who is playing his finest football under the tutelage of Rodgers. Rodgers has the Midas touch. He can make good players great.

Of my four teams that traditionally formed the core of the National squad only Celtic, with six call-ups, are represented. I would play five of these in my starting team, with Forrest coming off the bench to twist the tired blood of the defenders.

This squad will not qualify for the 2018 World Cup Finals. I do not want the inconsequential bounce game against Malta to be a sell-out. I want Regan, McRae and Petrie to squirm on their well-upholstered fundaments as the boos ring out on another ‘glorious failure.’ If Scotland lose to Lithuania, or the game fizzles out to a scoreless draw, it will be game over for the latest campaign of glorious failure. The budding mathematicians in our midst will grasp at sufficient strands to resolve Herzog–Schönheim conjecture, but the sinking feeling will be inevitable.

To gain the measure of Regan, one can revert to the 0-1 reverse to Georgia. There were eighteen seats on the contract hire plane with extra leg room.They should have been allocated to the first team. Regan was having none of it. He insisted that he required extra leg room.

To compound matters, the players were duly checked out from their hotel on the afternoon before the game. When news came through that their plane would be delayed until dawn, Regan checked back into his sumptuous suite and dressed for some fine dining with a large cognac as a night cap. He and his core cabal were then taken by limousine to the airport to stretch out on the superior seats.

The players’ bus by contrast dumped the players off at the airport leaving them to sleep on the floor. They had no choice but to eat at Burger King which was the only food outlet that was open.

Regan thinks that he is the ‘talent.’ Having cheated Celtic out of their rightful place in the 2011 UEFA qualifiers, Regan turned up at the CL Group Stage Draw in Monte Carlo last week to bask in the reflected glory of a team that he had cheated. This gutless fraud has no shame

The cloud of a Lithuanian reverse will have a silver lining. A critical mass will develop to demand that Regan is dismissed. He should be pensioned off to watch cricket.

On a final note one wonders whether Stuart Campbell, who writes Wings Over Scotland from his Georgian pile in Bath, is suitably buoyed by the resignation of his nemesis, Kezia Dugdale? She will be a loss to Scottish politics. Now that Campbell has been exposed as an Anglophile who has resided in England for the majority of Scotland’s two decades of glorious failure, will he remember to cheer for Scotland and not for his adopted country?

Dugdale may not have been a Corbynista. However she was not a fraud like Campbell.

 

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A Stage-Managed Simulation

I have written a number of articles about the death of Madeleine McCann. I made the decision to withdraw these articles as I wanted to spend more time to research the subject. Circumstantial evidence is often used by police to sway juries to convict a defendant. However one will need much more to undermine a ten year campaign to exonerate the McCanns of any wrongdoing.

Prior to my considered thesis it’s important to note that the McCanns have used a significant proportion of the millions that they have raised to ‘find’ Madeleine to silence individuals who have pursued the truth.

One of the more disturbing aspects of the staged abduction is the statement by one of the so-called Tapas 7 Jane Tanner, who reported that she saw a strange man carrying a child from the direction of the McCann’s apartment. At the time Gerry McCann was apparently chatting to Jeremy Wilkins, however neither McCann nor Wilkins saw Tanner in the locus or during the timeline of their chat. Tanner was lying to support the abduction thesis. The Portuguese police’s investigation was subverted by a rogue witness.

Tanner’ statement was deemed to be a fabrication due to a major inconsistency in her narrative. She claimed she saw the man from five metres away. Both McCanns stated on a televised broadcast that Tanner had informed them that she had seen the ‘suspect’ from 50 metres away. The roadway was poorly lit yet Tanner claimed the man was wearing footwear that made him ‘fleet of foot.’  She was quite the liar. Was she hoping for a payoff from the British media as the last person to have seen Madeline alive? Tanner should have been charged with perverting the course of justice. Did she conspire with either of the McCanns to wrongfoot the police? The police who were increasingly looking at the McCanns as suspects?

Tanner’s evidence was so evidently a mendacious and flawed construct that the police did not issue a photo-fit. However Gordon Brown then became involved. After a call to the McCanns, in which they impressed upon him that the Portuguese team were suppressing details of a ‘suspect’, pressure was applied to the investigators to release the McCann/Tanner abduction squirrel.

Is a conspiracy to fabricate a suspect indicative of guilt? Can this conspiracy be dismissed as circumstantial?

Richard D Hall has produced a number of documentaries on Madeleine’s death. He makes the following points:

1. Madeline McCann died on or near 29th April 2007.

2. Madeline McCann’s corpse was concealed and then disposed of.

3. A hoaxed abduction was orchestrated on the 3rd May 2007.

4. UK security agencies assisted in the cover-up of her death.

Mr. Hall looks at four scenarios that could have had a causal link to her death:

A. An overdose of sedatives or other drugs.

B. A freak accident when the McCanns were present or neglectfully absent.

C. An unprovoked assault.

D. Death at the hands of a paedophile that she had been passed to.

The Portuguese Police report of 10th September 2007 asserted:

There is strong evidence that the crime scene was altered, and some furniture was moved around. Those changes are indications that the abduction was a stage-managed simulation.”

The following in italics is from a statement made by Kate McCann to the Policia Judiciaria (PJ):

She now presumes that they were under the effect of some sedative drug, that a presumed abductor administered to the three children in order to abduct Madeleine, a situation that Kate refers to being possible.”

Kate McCann called the PJ liaison officer to request a toxicology investigation of the twins for signs of sedation. Gerry McCann, when apprised of his wife’s call, called the PJ to cancel the request.

However the McCanns did agree to a toxicology test in the UK, five months after their stage-managed simulation. The results showed no indications of sedation. Were the twins actually present in the room when the staged simulation was in full cry? If they were not sedated they would have woken up. They had evidently been moved to another apartment prior to the ‘discovery.’

It only takes 200 hours for all traces of a sedative to no longer be discernible in the body. There was no evidence of sedation by the phantom abductor or the McCanns.

Scenario B is given credence by the PJ report which states:

The minor Madeleine McCann died in apartment 5A at the Ocean Club resort in Praia Da Luz on the night of 3rd May, 2007. At this moment there seems to be no strong indications that the child’s death was other than the result of a tragic accident.”

Both the cadaver dog and the bloodhound identified an area behind the couch where Madeleine could have died. If this had been a tragic accident, why did the McCanns not contact the emergency services?

Were they out on ‘the lash’ having left Madeleine and the twins unattended, and having returned to their holiday rental in the wee small hours, had rigor mortis already set in? The McCanns seemed to be inconvenienced by their children. They placed them in a day creche during the day and abandoned them every evening.

However there is a more sinister possibility that cannot be discounted. A picture of Madeleine in full make up might be dismissed as a playful diversion common in girls of her age. Or at least it would be had it not been for the presence of  Dr. David Payne. When it was disclosed in the local media that Payne was one of the Tapas 7, Doctor Katerina Gaspar, who with her husband had previously been on vacation with the McCanns and the Paynes, contacted Leicestershire police and made the following statement:

I was sitting between Gerry (McCann) and Dave (Payne) and I think both were talking about Madeleine. I can’t remember the conversation in its entirety, but they seemed to be discussing a particular scenario. I remember Dave saying to Gerry something ‘she’ meaning Madeleine ‘would do this’

While he mentioned the word ‘this’ Dave was doing the action of sucking one of his fingers, pushing it in and out of his mouth, while with his other hand he was doing a circle around his nipple, with a circular movement around his clothes. This was done in a provocative way. There seemed to an explicit insinuation about what he was saying and doing. I remember being shocked by that.”

Her husband Sergio confirmed that he had not only seen Payne inquire whether Madeleine at two years old had been groomed to give blow jobs, but that McCann had been making similar inquiries about Payne’s daughter. As the men had established a routine where they would bathe all the children, Katerina and Sergio kept a close eye on McCann when their daughter was being bathed.

Leicestershire Police, who claimed to be assisting PJ, held on to their statements for six months, only passing them to PJ when Gonçalo Amaral had been removed by UK government pressure from the investigation. It was a line of inquiry that Amaral would have pursued. Had he pursued this line of inquiry it might have led to Clement Freud and his attacks on young girls. Is that why the security services were keen to keep a lid on her death? Could one of their assets be in any way involved in Madeleine’s death?

At the outset of this piece I stated my terms of reference and a desire to only engage in speculation where necessary.

All we know for certain is that Madeleine is dead and that her corpse has been moved from its initial hiding place to another location at the direction of the security services. Her corpse will never be found.

As for the McCanns, would you let Gerry McCann anywhere near your children? What was Kate McCann thinking of when making up her child in a sexualised manner? How can fathers of young children be allowed to openly discuss grooming their children to perform oral sex? Why did Leicestershire police not interview McCann and Payne?

Why have Leicestershire Social Services not pursued the McCanns for neglect? Surely they should have a duty of care to the twins and a commitment to safeguard them from a father who thinks nothing of grooming an infant for sex.

Was makeup applied to Madeleine as a precursor to paedophile activity? Is there a causal link from this activity to her demise?

The Portuguese knew from the outset that Madeleine was dead and that the McCanns had staged a simulated abduction. The McCanns have failed to silence Gonçalo Amaral who had their measure right from the start. Kate McCann’s claim of working with corpses to explain the cadaver dog detecting death was disingenuous in the extreme. She is a liar of the first ordure.

Read this article while it remains published. Take a screen shot. Carter-Ruck might soon demand that it’s removed. As we saw with Mr. Bennet, the McCanns will stop at nothing to subvert the truth.

 

 

 

The Man Who Would Be King

Based on a short story by Rudyard Kipling, The Man Who Would Be King is an adventure film which follows the exploits of Peachy Carnehan and Danny Dravot, English military officers stationed in India. Tired of life as soldiers, the two travel to the isolated land of Kafiristan, where they are ultimately embraced by the people and revered as rulers. After a series of misunderstandings, the natives come to believe that Dravot is a god, but he and Carnehan can’t keep up their deception forever.”

 

The following transcript, in italics typeface, is taken from an article written by a South African financial journalist. I will add bold typeface to highlight the main takeaways:

Thursday afternoon’s joint media statement from the parties was a surprise. First because the settlement was far below the R2.7bn the tax court had awarded in SARS’s favour. And secondly because of the suddenly humble, extremely accommodative language attributed to King. The former tax fugitive maintained media silence after the announcement. So we were delighted to have him to chat to us on CNBC Africa’s PowerLunch on Friday. This was the first time King spoke publicly after the record settlement. Here’s the interview:

ALEC HOGG: Dave King is on the line with us. Nice to talk to you, Dave. I believe you were partying last night.

DAVE KING: Ja, I must say I did have a little bit of a party with my legal team in particular. As you know Alec, you’ve been involved in this matter for a long time, It’s been many, many long and difficult years. We did feel it quite appropriate after we left the court to go and have a little party.

ALEC HOGG: I was trying to work it out. It goes back to Specialised Outsourcing 17 years ago, but when did you start with the legal challenge?

DAVE KING: The issues with SARS arose around about 2000, so that’s 13 years ago. But from a litigation point of view in terms of the public eye and where you were probably perhaps first informed was 2002 when SARS got our first attachment order against our South African assets, so that’s over 11 years of high-profile litigation.

ALEC HOGG: How do you come to a figure of R706m? Clearly there would have been a lot of negotiation, but there must have been some rationality to it?

DAVE KING: There was no calculation as such to say ‘we came to a specific number’, it was very much a negotiation. There was an element of it. And where we really got to a figure was when I in fact started to engage seriously with SARS probably from about 2010. I found during the course of that exchange, as I started to give SARS some more information and SARS had a very, I think positive interaction with me. So despite the litigation, SARS was saying to me ‘David if you actually come clean and share everything with us; we know you haven’t done it up until now .’ I think it was fairly obvious there were criminal charges. There was a lot going on and I was just very determined to keep a tight lid on the information flow. But what I found was once I opened up to SARS and they started looking for information – started getting more information from me – we were able to refine and get a number of things I think that SARS thought…what was fair to the State and I thought was fair in the amount of tax that I should pay.

ALEC HOGG: You’re pretty contrite in the statement that came out last night saying that it was a mistake not to cooperate. Very different from the earlier Dave King.

DAVE KING: Yes. I think, as I was saying a couple of moments ago, when this whole thing started in 2002 I adopted a bit of a siege mentality. I saw it as an onslaught.

There were criminal charges and fraud allegations. There were exchange control issues and I really kind of took this onslaught approach. And I was genuinely – in fact very, very pleasantly surprised, when I did engage with SARS. They were tough in their negotiations, but I did find they were fair. They were open and if I look back, it is something that I regret that I didn’t do sooner.

ALEC HOGG: You also say you will be filing all the tax returns from your family. How many are outstanding?

DAVE KING: I’ve not filed any tax returns since 2002, so it’s about 11 years of tax returns I’ve got to get up to speed with.

ALEC HOGG: That’s a lot of work.

DAVE KING: There’s still a bit of admin to be done. We’ve got to the settlement which is the most important thing. There’s still quite a bit of paperwork that I’ve got to put in place, and it does involve me restructuring parts of my agreement with SARS with SARB. I’ll completely regularise my affairs; not only my tax affairs but exchange control compliance. It means a lot of assets that were previously held in offshore trusts, will now come into a South African Trust. So there’s more to this situation than really a financial statement. I have given an undertaking to the State. I’ve got this new chance. I will get my affairs in order and I will just make sure that I maintain a level of absolute total compliance and transparency going forward. It’s nice in a way to have a clean slate going forward.

ALEC HOGG: Dave, two other issues that I’d like to touch on briefly. First of all: Rangers Football Club, the great love of your life I suppose, outside of your family. You’ve been a director of the club. It has gone through all kinds of difficult times lately. Now that you’ve got this monkey off your back, are you going to be able to focus and maybe help rescue it?

DAVE KING: It’s something that’s on my mind. In fact I have had discussions over the last couple of months with the club, They will need some more funds. I’ll be interested in putting additional funds in by way of a rights issue, but what I’m not keen to do, is an acquisition of existing shareholders where the money goes to them and not into the club.

ALEC HOGG: You’ll get a lot of Scotsmen very happy to hear that news. And MICROmega, your company listed on the JSE, you did take over as the executive chairman a while back. The share price was up 27% yesterday. A potential Specialised Outsourcing?

DAVE KING: Well, I think if one looks at MICROmega, we have actually done quite a lot of work with the group. The unfortunate thing that MICROmega has had hanging over it for the last number of years, was SARS attaching the shares. So both from an employee perspective and from a shareholder perspective, people were saying ‘if I get involved with a share or I do this or I do that, is it possible the shares can then be taken away?’ So I think it is really good news from a MICROmega shareholder’s point of view and an employee point of view. I think as Adrian Lackay (or SARS) said in his interview, it gives me time to go forward with MICROmega. We’ve got a lot of value in the group. I declined an offer – an unsolicited offer – about two months ago to buy one of our South African subsidiaries for a value that’s over twice the market capitalisation of the company. So we understand that there’s strong inherent worth there. But as I say it really was seriously affected by the overhang of the SARS issue. From an internal point of view, we can now grow. There’s a lot of good things happening in the group, and I can now focus on MICROmega. I’m hoping for some pretty strong results from the group over the coming years.

 

King talks a good game about turning over a new leaf, but a closer look at his activities betrays his criminal intent. This interview was conducted on the 1st September, 2013. Laxey Partners refused to sell their shares to King. Colin Kingsnorth, a RRM of many years standing, threatened to call security to escort King from his premises. Kingsnorth could see right through this two-bit spiv.

Hogg touches on Specialist Outsourcing. Having pumped up the share price out of all proportions with improbable financial returns, King briefed analysts that he was in it for the long haul, while simultaneously selling his entire stake at the back door. When the price started to flag in response to his systemic dumping of the shares, he called the analysts to inform them that he was buying some more. He propped up the price until all that was left was a hollowed-out husk. Everyone who backed King lost their shirts. A few months earlier King, using a fraudulent business card with A.C.C.A. after his name, solicited funds from a Johannesburg orphanage. They lost everything. The children were left to roam the streets to beg. King did not lose a wink’s sleep over his shares heist. He has no social conscience.

Having manipulated the shares at Specialist Outsourcing with ease, King then turned his hand to The Rangers International Football Club. Paul Murray delivered King’s £25,000 in cash to Bill Stevenson for his hacked data. James Traynor then established a Twitter account, Charlotte Fakeovers, to publish sensitive information that painted the board in a poor light. The shares duly plummeted to an unprecedented low of 18p from their issue price of 70p, which was King’s cue to buy 14.57% from existing shareholders.

King used a trust fund, New Oasis Asset Ltd, to acquire his equity in RIFC. The South African Reserve Bank allows a maximum of circa £590,000 in foreign investment in any given year for trust funds. King’s shares in RIFC cost circa £2.1m. Which leads to the question of how he managed to circumvent exchange controls? All his assets and cash reserves, as part of the deal to avoid an 82 years prison sentence, have been repatriated to South Africa. Is King in default of the South African Prosecution Authority’s deal, or did a third party offset King’s restrictions with a £1.5m loan?

One can safely conclude that the Park family are exposed in RIFC as King is stymied by FOREX controls. How convenient for the concert party carpetbagger.

One wonders when the natives of Govan will wake up to the fact that they have been worshipping a false god?

 

A Gutless Fraud

Stewart Regan is a gutless fraud. Stewart Regan sits at the helm of the most corrupt football association in Europe. He is an ignorant man, a man of little character, a man of no discernible skill whatsoever. His existence is pointless. He is a joke.”

James Forrest – The Celtic Blog

Prior to my focus on the corrupt cabal that run Scottish football, there was a swing of two points to Rangers Lite relative to Celtic at the weekend. Two goalkeepers were instrumental in that swing. Craig Gordon, a great stopper not noted for being comfortable with the ball at his feet, gifted St. Johnstone a point that their play did not warrant. As for Scott Fox of Ross County, what on earth was he thinking when gifting Rangers Lite a goal? Lite were abject yesterday. Ross County made them look better than they are. If Fox played for Celtic, and on yesterday’s evidence he is a million miles away, Rodgers (who can be ruthless) would banish him to the reserves. One wonders if Gordon will face the same fate.

As for BT Sport why do they need two failed managers in Butcher and McCoist to lead the cheer for Lite? Ally McCoist looked like he had been at an all night party the night before and had not been home. Was he out partying with Pena?

Colour me surprised but these inept coaches turned pundits believe Primark Pedro should be given more time. Many Celtic fans share this belief as Caixinha is comedy gold. When one thinks of Primark the image of a Robin Reliant towing a caravan comes to mind.

Craig Sutton took cack-handed Caixinha to task on his assertion that he had the best squad in Scottish Football. Sutton inquired as to which member of the Celtic squad would not get a place in his team? However Primark’s belief is as ephemeral as the belief that the liquidated Rangers continue to this day.

Sutton made the point from the home dressing room that Primark Pedro had an inferior record to that of Paul Le Guen. However I was left with the impression of how far BT Sport will go to get closer to the action?  Will they ask their pundits to join the players in the team bath and provide an exclusive on who had beans on toast as their pre-match meal? Or perhaps conduct interviews through glory holes as the players have a dump? Did BT Sport miss a trick when not signing up Richard Gough who is a past master of stall architecture?

The current bitter crop of Lite supporters were up to their fishermen’s waders in Fenian blood. Has BT Sport given up the ghost on silencing the most odious supporters in British football? Will the SNP introduce ‘Strict Liability’ and make Rangers responsible for these fans? It would be relatively easy to sell tickets exclusively to season ticket holders and ban them from Ibrox should they offend away from home. Maybe Stuart Campbell of Wings Over Scotland – a man who incredibly has lived in Somerset and Bath since 1991 – can agitate for change from his vantage point south of the border. Campbell should have his own entry in the Urban Dictionary under H for Hypocrite.

I digress. I have never hidden my admiration for the work done by James Forrest and Paul Brennan. One would like to venture on the Rangers Lite boards for a balanced view of events, but balance and their supporters’ recidivism are at opposite ends of their sectarian spectrum.

The CSA Posse that met up with Doncaster and Regan included the inimitable Mr. Brennan. He solicited a number of takeaways, including one that I have referred to in jj passim:

They were also asked about the new club issue. Rod McKenzie said they were same club because ultimately they (the SPFL) wrote the rules. They were dismissive about even debating the issues ‘We’d never agree’ and treated it as a debating point rather than a fundamental belief of many fans. When asked for a description that could be written down and would stand up in court, they talked about it being “a feel” an “emotional attachment”. When pointed out this “feeling” would not stand up in court, RM responded – ‘Anyway this is not really relevant to the discussion.’

Which is germane to my assertion that one of the most striking aspects of the corruption in Scottish football governance is the decision to confer Rangers’ historical titles to Charles Green’s basket of assets under the umbrella of Sevco Scotland Ltd. Asserting that it’s their rules and their continuation construct just does not wash. The sole shareholder of Sevco Scotland, Charles Green with his two £1 shares, has had his perspective – that he did not buy Rangers per se and that Rangers had no legal personality –  articulated by his counsel in the Inner House of The Court of Session. Rod McKenzie’s assertion may have weight in the SPFL trade association, but would have no traction in a court of law. On 19 July 2013 at an Upper Tier Tax Trbunal hearing in Edinburgh, the judge Colin Bishop stated:
Before coming to the detail of the case it is worth making a preliminary observation. I have referred to the strong feelings of many football supporters. Perhaps because of such feelings, professional football clubs are often regarded as having a special status. In some respects that may be the correct view; but it should nevertheless not be overlooked that a modern professional football club is not a ‘club’, in the sense of an unincorporated association of members who join together in pursuit of a common purpose, but a commercial enterprise whose function is to generate profits for its shareholders. From that perspective it has no special status, and there is no reason why its tax affairs should not be as open to scrutiny as those of any other profit-making organisation. The players, too, have no greater right to conceal their tax affairs from public scrutiny than any other taxpayer. The fact that they are in the public eye is irrelevant. Any application for privacy, anonymity or redaction of detail must therefore be supported by the same type and quality of evidence as would be required of another taxpayer, and will be granted only for the same reasons.” 

 

This commercial enterprise, Rangers Plc renamed after CVA failure as Rangers 2012 Ltd, is being liquidated. One cannot continue a commercial enterprise after liquidation, unless all creditors are repaid and it is ‘sisted’ from liquidation. Even Dave King was aware of this important point. However with the price of sisting coming in at circa £168.6m it’s a non-starter.

McKenzie’s spurious assertions must be shot down in a Judicial Review.

Stripping titles from a club that no longer exists would, in my opinion, have little attraction. UEFA balked at punishing Rangers as they no longer exist. However Ballantyne’s, Longmuir’s, Regan’s and Doncaster’s artifice, with McKenzie and Moynihan holding their coats, has been exposed. They are grubby little men who believe that Scottish football is  a Punch & Judy show. They are the puppet masters who ensure that Punch is never arrested for his domestic abuse of Judy.

Should one accord Doncaster and McKenzie a modicum of respect for having the cojones to front their fallacious assertions to the CSA? Probably. However one cannot accord the same respect to Stewart Regan, who is crawling around like a gecko in his well appointed Hampden office, with its high desk to accommodate his requirement for extra leg room.

The Supreme Court Ruling was final. Title-stripping has been on the agenda for two months. Regan is in hiding. He will turn up next Monday evening at Hampden surrounded by the most stupid football fans one is ever likely to encounter – the so-called Tartan Army – who specialise in supporting mediocrity. How much bang will they get for their £20-£30 buck against the minnows of Malta? Even Rangers Lite, a team that cannot beat the fourth best team in Luxembourg, would put six past this team. A good Junior’s team would prevail against Malta. What a waste of money as everyone knows that the National team won’t qualify for the World Cup finals yet again under the stewardship of Regan. Everyone also knows that results against Malta would count for nought in the unlikely event that Scotland was runners-up.

Trickle Down Corruption

James Forrest reports that Celtic have made a formal written request for a review of the LNS recommendations. The SFA can curry favour with their SMSM lapdogs, particularly the BBC in Scotland, but it won’t change the fact that a member club, backed by other SPFL clubs is demanding a review.

Regan reacted to Celtic’s first call for a review with rhetoric which claimed that they had an agenda. Regan hoped to build a consensus that Celtic were the agitators in an off the field Old Firm drama.

Regan is a dangerous bastard who will do anything to stop a review of his corruption.

However if he dismisses a formal request for a review, Celtic will escalate the matter to The Court of Arbitration in Lausanne.

Regan would then not have the scope to subvert the inquiry as he did in the LNS whitewash. It’s high time that his failures in Scottish International Football and his bent stewardship of The Scottish Cup was taken to task.

He has failed in all the key performance indicators of his remit at the SFA. He has been active and complicit in corruption. He has sold the Scottish game to bookmakers to earn a bonus.

Don’t let the degree in American history fool you. Regan is cut from the same cloth as the career criminal Dave King.

 

 

 

Primark Pedro’s Caravan of Love

I have just watched the Mayweather v McGregor fight. For eight rounds it looked like a man making his professional boxing debut was going to edge it on points. McGregor was using his better reach to niggle The Money with his right and throw his opponent’s combinations off. When Mayweather clutched both gloves to his face McGregor’s strategy began to unravel. Mayweather’ superior punching began to show. McGregor, who has a good chin, was taking too many head shots in round nine. In ten the heads shots were landing unimpeded, prompting referee Robert Byrd to call an end to proceedings. It should be remembered that Mayweather has held word titles in five divisions and will retire (again) undefeated.

Mayweather will be inducted in the boxing hall of fame, but he’s not even close to the best pound for pound fighter of all time, Sugar Ray Robinson. I would also back Duran and Leonard to beat Mayweather if they had gone toe-to-toe in their prime. I have never been overly impressed with Mayweather who when in trouble will hit low or catch his opponent on a break. McGregor was wise to his tricks and on balance was significantly dirtier than Mayweather. The former will bank between $30m – $100m. Not bad for a kid from the wrong side of the tracks in Dublin.

The Celtic Park faithful, who came out in support of McGregor, will be disappointed by the result. They will also be disappointed at dropping two points to St. Johnstone at home. Celtic left it late, finding it difficult to unpick a St. Johnstone team playing Catenaccio. The home side’s relentless second-half pressure eventually paid off in the 79th minute when McGregor equalised. On balance Celtic should have won this game. Maclean should have been sent off for a forearm smash, that McGregor would have been proud of, on Kieran Tierney. The young Celtic full back, one of the brightest prospects in the Scottish game, is not being protected as he should be by referees. Rarely a game goes by when he’s not assaulted by an opponent that he has dominated and outclassed.

Aberdeen won a seven goal thriller at Firhill to go top of the table by two points. Many observer thought that the Dons would be less of a force this season with the unseemly transfer of Ryan Jack to Rangers Lite and the altogether more gentlemanly transfer of Hayes to Celtic. Having won four league games on the bounce McInnes seems to have done some excellent business in the close season. Chapeau.

Hearts, in what could prove to be Daly’s last game in charge, lost away to Motherwell. I was tipped off two weeks ago that Pressley would take the reins but my source asked me not to publish it. I would be surprised if he did not take over in the coming week.

Hamilton did well to come back from being two goals down at Kilmarnock, but there are those who cogently contend that the award of a penalty in the 88th minute to Hamilton was on the soft side.

Hibs travel to Dundee today hoping to shake off last week’s home defeat and get back to winning ways. However the media spotlight will be on Primark Pedro’s caravan.

The dogs will be barking on the A9 if his charges don’t do the business in Dingwall.

I’ll give the last word on this piece to The Housemartens:

Every woman every man
Join Ped’s caravan of love
(Stand up) stand up
Stand up
Everybody take a stand
Join the caravan of love
(Stand up) stand up
Stand up

So are you ready ( he’s coming )
Are you ready ( he’s coming )
Are you ready ( he’s coming )
Are you ready ( he’s coming on the caravan ) “

Cleaning Out The Augean Stables

For the fifth labor, Eurystheus ordered Hercules to clean up King Augeas’ stables. Hercules knew this job would mean getting dirty and smelly, but sometimes even a hero has to do these things.” Greek Mythology.

I was born in a slum. The tenement stairwell was strewn with dog shit. Individuals, who could not spell civic responsibility, threw their trash directly out of their windows to the area reserved for the bins. One of my many chores was to take the family’s trash to this designated area and avoid being bitten by rats. As I passed by the first floor I was patted on the head by sailors who smoked Gitanes as they awaited their turn with the Filipina prostitute who had an indeterminate number of children.

However I had two things in my favour. I had an ability to play football and I was smart. The latter attribute led to a grammar school education. I was taught the classics. My peers left school early to work in the shipyards. I on the other hand was destined to be the first bearing my family’s name to attend university.

I have had to struggle all my life. A struggle against bigotry and class. I continue to struggle to run our site. But wiser men than I have opined that we were not put on this earth to enjoy ourselves. The American Constitution includes provision for the pursuit of happiness. I won’t be happy until we clean out The Augean Stables of Scottish Football governance.

Will it be a Herculean task to clean out the corrupt self-serving cabal who run the game that we love?  No-one should be under any illusions on how difficult this will be. We will need resolve and wit. If legal redress is available to us we must give generously.

I and others have written thousands of words on what ails us. This is my ninetieth article in a series of one hundred. Will there be articles after the one hundredth is published? Will this site celebrate its second anniversary on September 19? This remains to be seen. I solicited feedback on a paywall. The overwhelming majority of my readers are opposed to it. So be it. Those who wish to comment on The Sitonfence Speakeasy may do so whether they have made a donation or not.

I will seek the support of my readers in the International category of this year’s Football Blogging Awards. I invite those who are unwaged and disadvantaged to make a positive contribution by voting. I have always looked out for you so please look out for me. I cannot thank enough those who have contributed to the upkeep of our site. Our site’s future is in their generous hands.

One of my readers, who claims to support Celtic and Boca Juniors, has invited me to Argentina to stay with his family. He has very kindly offered to pay the cost of an economy flight to Buenos Aires. He knowns that Diego Maradona is my hero. I’m truly excited by this opportunity. An opportunity that I would like to share with my readers via a number of articles.

Now it could be an elaborate plan by one of my haters to lure me out of hiding to assassinate me. Should this be the case you won’t hear from me again.

I digress. To clean out the Augean stables effectively we need to establish the scope of this Herculean task. Four men stand in our path. Messrs Longmuir, Ballantyne, Doncaster and Regan. All four were set to transfer Rangers’ SPL share to Sevco Scotland on July 4, 2012. Rangers voted for this transfer. Kilmarnock abstained. The other football chairman, under pressure from their club’s supporters, vetoed this plan.

The plan that was cooked up was to confer all the titles won by Rangers to Sevco Scotland, minus fifteen that were deemed to be unsound. When this proposal was spiked they bullied the chairmen of SFL clubs to parachute Sevco Scotland into their top tier. Regan spoke about Armageddon and social unrest in public. Behind closed doors he asserted that if the chairmen did not accept his proposal they would be in breach of their fiduciary duties. The SFL chairman would not be bullied. They voted by an overwhelming majority that Sevco Scotland must set out on its journey from tier three.

At this point the plot thickens. Jim Ballantyne, a die-hard Rangers fan and shareholder in the former club, conspired with David Longmuir, another dyed in the wool Rangers man, to confer all the titles won by Rangers to the Frankenstein club. They had created a monster. It was carefully concealed in their laboratory.

In due course Longmuir was paid handsomely to walk away while Ballantyne engaged in sexual triangles with his wife and her female lover. The fix was in.

When the SFL merged with the SPL to form the SPFL, Doncaster embraced the fix by stating that Rangers had survived liquidation and continued with their unbroken history. It was a lie of Herculean proportions.

A commission was established to look at the 12 seasons in which Rangers failed to fully register their players’ contracts. This was a threat to The Frankenstein Club. Stewart Regan shoehorned himself onto the panel of the commission and ensured that an e-mail from HMRC to MIH, in which the former alleged fraudulent activity, played no part in LNS’ deliberations. The scant evidence led included 29 heavily redacted documents. LNS concluded that EBT were a legitimate means of tax avoidance and as other clubs could have availed themselves of its tax efficacy there was no competitive advantage to Rangers; ergo no points deduction and no title stripping.

Fast forward to the present day and we find that the SFA are hiding behind the robes of the conveyancing consigliere Gerry Moynihan while Doncaster and McKenzie are engaging in a whitewash roadshow.

Doncaster has revealed that there are no sanctions in their regulations that deal with tax evasion. In his game of governance tennis, he plays a rasping backhand cross court to Stewart Regan who is caught out of position. There may be no rules in Scottish football to address Rangers’ systemic tax malfeasance – let’s call it what it is: a blatant fraud – but there are rules on social taxes at UEFA.

Much has been made of the SFA’s licence application to UEFA that allowed Rangers to compete in 2011/2012 qualifiers, but little has been made of equally flawed licence applications in 2000, 2003, 2005, 2009 and 2010.

Rangers were not paying their social taxes. They were engaging in fraudulent disguised remuneration schemes. As Hugh Adam stated in 2002, they knew that they were cheating.

One can but conclude that the SFA were complicit in this cheating apropos UEFA licence applications.

When cleaning out the faeces of the goat herd one must pause to consider Sandy Bryson’s nadir when he stated that the players were imperfectly registered but eligible. Only a fraction of their contracts had been declared. The bulk of their earnings was being paid off the books. This was not imperfect. This was fraudulent.

Of course at this juncture the Greyfriar’s Bobbies dropped by Campbell Ogilvie as he lied to and subverted the LNS commission must also be swept away.

Into this breach steps a solicitor, a junior counsel and senior counsel. Make no mistake that both the SFA and SPFL are bound by the laws of the land. It’s high time a judge wiped  their smug smiles off their faces.

When Ralph Topping expounded on a better time when we were all in the dark or in  the midst of an SMSM pea-souper, he harked back to the days when the upstart laddies in the public house were told to pipe down by the seasoned wisdom of age.

No-one will ever tell me to pipe down. I won’t rest until their Dystopian Carthage is sacked. If these bastards want a Punic war let’s give it them.

 

 

 

The Cover-Up

Yesterday’s draw in Monaco was not kind to Brendan Rodgers. Bayern Munich, Paris St-Germain and Anderlecht stand in his way to a much coveted spot in the last 16. Hollywood would be challenging enough but the degree of difficulty shifted to a different paradigm with the inclusion of PSG. These teams will anticipate taking 4-6 points from the pot 4 team. The superior country coefficient of Belgium did not do Anderlecht any favours. The Europa Cup spot will be fiercely contested.

I don’t claim to be a fly on the wall in the Ibrox boardroom. I cannot tell you of the demeanour of the career criminal who has patched into the meeting from south of the Limpopo. Frankly speaking I’m surprised that anyone can as it would not be difficult to identify the leak by a process of elimination. But as one will have noticed from yesterday’s blog I have some of the best sources in social media. A third party who is close to a senior player at Celtic provided the player’s analysis of the qualication process as follows:

Forrest played striker twice in qualifiers. Should never ever happen.

Ajer started 2 games in qualifiers. Should never ever happen.

Bitton is a 6th choice midfield player who played centre back in 3 qualifiers. Should never ever happen.

Shambles really but got away with it.

Needless to say they won’t get away with it against Bayern, PSG and Anderlecht. Rodgers of course will know this but with the first group stage game only 18/19 days away will he risk his new acquisition from Ajax Cape Town at centre half?  Can he get Dembele match fit to at the very least start from the bench as Griffiths leads a 4-5-1 formation? Will the mercurial Roberts, who reminds one of a young Pat Nevin, continue to add value to the squad? I remain unconvinced on Hayes but I may have judged Ntcham too quickly. If the latter continues his understanding with Sinclair, Dembele’s absence will not be as conspicuous.

Call me Mr. Bright Side but I sense that this squad will make a better fist of the group stages than was the case last year. Rodgers wishes to rejuvenate his career at Celtic. If he took his charges to the last 16, or perish the thought the last 8, of Europe’s Premier Competition,  the chairman of the largest English clubs would engage in a bidding war to secure his services. Rodgers is not only a great coach. He is a wonderful ambassador for Celtic.

The stark contrast between Rodgers and Primark Pedro is there for all to see. Primark could not get a tune out of O’Halloran and Waghorn who are now scoring for fun elsewhere. Primark, who is constantly being undermined by Miller and the WhatsApp crew, has filled his team with seasoned pros who he he hopes will be loyal to him. Sadly Pena’s laissez-faire attitude to training and his penchant for pie suppers is doing nothing for team morale. Even the world class breakfasts seem to have passed him by as he does not do mornings.

I digress. Yesterday’s piece on the blue balloon that is ‘gorgeous’ Jim Ballanyne elicited many informed and thoughtful comments on our Speakeasy board. From this point onwards if one has a good point to make, but has not made a contribution to the site, I will be minded to approve your comment in the true spirit of a speakeasy.

I also received several comments by personal message from someone with a firm grasp of his subject matter. He drew my attention to the following piece from the authors of The Offshore Game which, given the report on celticminded.com, now has even more resonance:

 

The Scottish Football Association, in seeking to defend itself from allegations that it unfairly awarded Rangers a licence to play in Europe in 2011/2012, appears to have admitted that it withheld evidence from the Lord Nimmo Smith inquiry into rule breaking by the club in its use of tax avoidance schemes.

In 2013, a commission headed by Lord Nimmo Smith decided that sanctions should be imposed on Rangers in respect of tax avoidance schemes that involved the non-declaration of payments to players, contrary to the rules of the Scottish Football Association and the Scottish Premier League. The commission could have decided to impose a points penalty on Rangers, which would have meant the club lost titles. They did not, instead a fine was imposed.

The decision not to strip league titles was based on the finding that no advantage had accrued to Rangers, since any other club could in theory have conducted the same, legal schemes.

As we explained in our report “Doing SFA for fair play”, that judgement was clearly wrong on the facts. One of the tax avoidance schemes run by Rangers was unlawful and had been accepted as unlawful by both the club and HMRC before the start of the commission’s inquiry. The question remains, how did the commission get this so badly wrong?

Now, in a letter to Celtic shareholders, it appears that the SFA has admitted that at that time of the inquiry 2012 it was in possession of a letter from HMRC describing the behaviour of the club as ‘fraudulent’. But the SFA appears to have made no attempt to bring this to the attention of the inquiry, who continued on the basis that all of the Rangers tax avoidance schemes were lawful.

 

The commission decision not to consider title-stripping turned on the following points. First, they considered the two schemes (or rather, the trusts through which they operated) together and stated they did not know of any difference between the two, not realising that one had already been declared unlawful and was therefore fundamentally different from the other.

Second, the commission ruled that other clubs could equally have used such schemes; that there was therefore no sporting advantage to Rangers; and so the commission do not consider sanctions ‘of a sporting nature’ such as reversing results.


In our report we showed how Campbell Ogilvie, the then President of the Scottish Football Association, and the only person to give evidence in person on the tax avoidance schemes had originally set up one of the companies that was used to operate a tax avoidance scheme in favour of Craig Moore. That scheme was the same ‘Discounted Options Scheme’ that was later found to be unlawful in the case of two other players, although HMRC did not pursue the Craig Moore case. This evidence seemed to directly contradict Mr Ogilvie’s own claim to the inquiry that he had ‘nothing to do’ with the tax avoidance schemes used by the club. Mr Ogilvie has never responded to repeated requests for comment.

The report also dealt with a second issue, that was the granting of a licence by the Scottish Football Association to Rangers to play European Football in the 2011/2012 season despite the fact that UEFA rules require clubs to be up to date with tax payments.

The assumption of many has been that the club misled the SFA about the nature of the ‘Wee Tax Case’ in order to get their licence, not telling them that they had admitted liability for the bill (again, the SFA chose not to answer repeated requests for comment in advance of the publication of the report).

However, in order to defend their position, the SFA appears to have inadvertently admitted that they in fact withheld evidence from the Nimmo Smith inquiry.

Following the publication of the Offshore Game report earlier this year the SFA told David Conn that the federation was well aware of the ‘Wee Tax Case’ and was in fact in possession of further documentation that showed that the club had been given time to pay by HMRC, which meant that the club would be allowed to play in Europe under UEFA rules (that explanation in itself is suspicious, given further evidence available to the report writers, but is not the subject of this article).

The problem was that in the end, Rangers never did pay, and HMRC pursued the club for repayment through the courts, which was a significant cause of the club’s later bankruptcy proceedings which triggered the Nimmo Smith commission.

This raises the question, if the SFA knew all about the “Wee Tax Case”, and in fact had even more documentation about it than anyone else has seen, why did they not alert the Nimmo Smith commission to this?

Now, the SFA have been digging further. Writing to representatives of Celtic shareholders about the process of awarding Rangers a licence for European football in 2011-12, SFA chief operating officer Andrew McKinlay appears to have admitted that not only did the SFA know about the ‘Wee Tax Case’, but they had the 20 May 2011 letter from HMRC to Rangers in their possession before the Lord Nimmo Smith commission began its work. That is the same letter which described the club’s behaviour as fraudulent.

The correspondence from the shareholders to the SFA included a copy of the May 20th letter and in his response to lawyers representing the shareholders Mr McKinlay says:

“Even if the information that your clients have brought to our attention was not before us in 2011, and we do not accept that, it is arguable that the process for that season has been completed and is closed on the basis of the information provided by the licensee club”


The Offshore Game contacted the SFA repeatedly over the last week to seek specific clarification on this point. The SFA spokesperson repeatedly acknowledged the question, but has failed to provide any response.

This points to one of the many governance failures of football. Who can hold the football authorities to account? If a football association cannot be trusted to ensure fair play over issues as fundamental as the awarding of league titles, and investigating allegations of foul play, fans may as well give up and watch the wrestling instead.

With the parliamentary Culture, Media and Sport select committee now firmly focused on football governance, this could finally be the time for a long overdue, external intervention.”

Old Bill Nimmo Smith asserted that there was no question of dishonesty yet HMRC are suggesting fraud. Stewart Regan was on the panel of the LNS commission. He would have been aware of HMRC’s position and Ogilvie’s duplicity. Yet as McKenzie scrambled to collate redacted documents from a reluctant MIH, Regan and his cronies buried the smoking gun.

It’s difficult to discern which is worse: The Cover-Up or the initial corruption?