Insights & Ignorance

First of all congratulations to Celtic. Play-off games, with so much at stake, are never easy. The message from Lennoxtown will be that it’s only half time. Rodgers and his team will nip complacency in the bud. This is as it should be. However no team has ever overcome a five goal deficit in CL history and those who have prevailed after a four goal reverse have invariably done so on the away goals rule. Keeping a clean sheet last night made Astana’s forlorn task even harder.

Prior to the main thrust of this piece I have some insights on matters off the field of play. Patrick Roberts has been briefing his former colleagues at Lennoxtown for the past three weeks of his intention to rejoin them, preferably on a permanent deal. Lawwell seems to be the bottleneck to this deal being concluded, much to the chagrin of Rodgers. Could the former be waiting until CL group stage qualification is in the bag or an offer he cannot refuse is made for Dembele? I know which senior player is confiding this information to my source but I’m not at liberty to divulge his name.

As I revealed exclusively in a comment on this site, Chelsea have tabled a bid for Dembele. The quantum is £23.8m. My source is a football agent. Could Lawwell get closer to £40m if he holds out until the last day of the window? Should Chelsea not budge, would Lawwell instruct Rodgers to play the ‘showing ambition by retaining our best players’ card?

As for Armstrong he has a year left of his university course. He will sign a new contract with a view to a move in the next close season.

I digress. Two delegates from the Celtic Supporters Association (CSA) met with Neil Doncaster and Rod McKenzie on Monday evening. Joe O’Rourke, the General Secretary of the CSA, issued a statement which I will reproduce verbatim in bold italics, adding red typeface on points on which I wish to expand upon:

I had a meeting with Neil Doncaster and McKenzie.
by Joe O’Rourke » Wed Aug 16, 2017 11:47 am

I and Association President John Andrews met with Neil Doncaster and Rod McKenzie on Monday night. The reason for the meeting which incidentally was at the request of Mr Doncaster, was for them to explain their position with regards to the Lord Nimmo Smith (LNS) Inquiry.

From the outset they both made it clear that they thought that the SPL did everything by the book and that they had no further part to play in accordance with the advice they got from a Senior Counsel.

They also stated that they, the SPFL, were happy to have an Independent Review of Scottish Football as stated about three weeks ago after they elected their new Board. The problem with that is, no Independent Review is worth having unless it also agreed by the SFA, and so far Mr Regan and his cronies have not agreed to a Review.

Mr Doncaster made it very clear that the decision taken by LNS cannot be revisited, the decision to fine Sevco £250,000 is final.

Mr McKenzie stressed that all the information held by the SPL was put before LNS, which included the proof of about 51 side letters. But what they cannot answer is, did the SFA act honestly with regards to LNS.

Mr Doncaster also agreed with us that the Five Way Agreement (FWA) was a barrier to Title stripping. That is the FWA that no-one outside if the signatories has actually seen.

McKenzie and Doncaster actually admitted that in one of the early drafts of the agreement Title Stripping was one of the avenues that could be used as punishment to Sevco, not surprisingly Green, and apparently more so McCoist strongly opposed that route, so that clause was taken out.

That’s akin to a High Court Judge telling a convicted criminal that he could face twenty years in jail and the criminal saying I’m not having that. So the Judge says, well ok what about a fine of £250? That will be fine (excuse the pun) your honour.

You have to wonder, if the FWA was good for Scottish Football as a whole, why has it not been made public? According to McKenzie the five signatories would have to agree to that, and he said that wouldn’t happen, but he never told us just exactly who would be opposed to going public, I think they would all oppose it to protect themselves.

Interestingly the SPFL Board backed the call for an Independent Review as proposed by Peter Lawwell at Celtic Football Club, but not one club came out publically and supported Peter Lawwell before the Board went public, which was about three weeks after Peter’s statement.

McKenzie said that club chairmen were backing Celtic, but not in public. I think that proves the point the Bullying and Intimidation by the Sevco Support is actually working, I also think the comments from Ann Budge and Stewart Milne prove that too.

So where do we go from here? Well we’re not beaten yet. We have to force the SFA to back the Independent Review. The only way that can be done is by supporters putting pressure on their own clubs to call for it.

Doncaster claims that the SPFL do not have the power within their rules to strip titles, but the SFA do have that power.

So honest supporters throughout the whole of Scottish Football must stand up to the Bullies and Intimidators and force action from your own club’s. This is not a Celtic v Rangers issue, this is Honest and Integrity v Bullies and Intimidators issue. Football has to win, but it can only win if the honest decent supporters unite to make it happen.”

 

It’s not the most eloquent of pieces. Using ‘publically’ when ‘publicly’ is the correct form is indicative of the fact that Mr. O’Rourke is more of a shop steward than a man of letters. I don’t have an arrogant bone in my body but I’m much better informed than Mr. O’Rourke seems to be. I don’t anticipate Neil Doncaster inviting me to sit down of an evening as I would deconstruct his arguments and dismiss his objection handling with consummate ease.

O’Rourke and Andrews made a significant error. They led on their assertion that the Five Way Agreement was an impediment to title stripping. Doncaster and McKenzie were no doubt delighted with their assertion. They know otherwise, but were happy to add the CSA’s ignorance of the facts to their canon of objections. I have  exclusively published Charles Green’s take on the 5WA. I was the first to reveal that fifteen titles would have had to be surrendered had the SFA, who were actively pursuing this course, been able to shoehorn Charles Green’s basket of assets into the SPL or SFL1. When this failed all bets on title stripping were off. Doncaster, Regan and Longmuir knew that these titles should be stripped and signed off on it. Green only signed the sixth draft. I refer Mr O’Rourke to the SFM archive where he will find this final draft in full.

I have seen drafts 1, 2, and 6. Dave King published 1 and 2  on his/Murray/Traynor’s  CharlotteFakes account to undermine Green. The inference was that he was prepared to surrender 15 titles. Is Mr. O’Rourke oblivious to this?

Let me state unequivocally for the hard of understanding that the 5WA is no impediment to title stripping. Charles Green confirmed this to me in writing.

The Rangers social media boards are fully aware of the proposals to strip the titles. However why would Doncaster, Longmuir and Regan choose to revisit any draft as the latter and former are hell-bent on avoiding what they initially negotiated on as an intrinsic part of their bargain?

Doncaster and McKenzie not only dodged a bullet; Mr O’Rourke actually  gave up his gun and his ammunition for good measure.

As for the assertion that only the SFA have the ability to strip the titles does it follow that the SFA conferred the titles to the new club? The titles that are listed on the SPFL website?  How remiss of Mr. O’Rourke and Mr. Andrews not to ask this salient question.

The idea that the recommendations of the ‘advisory’ LNS commission are set in stone is risible. Nothing could be further from the truth. This commission was a private undertaking by a retired Lord Ordinary. Stewart Regan imposed himself on this commission to tie Nimmo Smith’s hands and keep a lid on Pandora’s Box. Regan protected the President of the SFA who was complicit in a tax fraud. He also covered his own exposure on the malfeasance that led to Rangers being granted a UEFA licence in 2011.

Could Mr. O’Rourke not have asked why the Chief Executive of the appellate body was given the authority to define the scope of the commission?

The conclusions and recommendations of this commission are predicated on a number of false premises. If Mr. O’Rourke had read any of my articles on this he would have had the facts at his fingertips.

We now find that the SPFL are in favour of a review, but the SFA are, rather conveniently for Doncaster and McKenzie, dragging their heels. A blind man could see that Doncaster and Regan are going out of their way to do the square root of fuck all.

The reason Doncaster set up the meeting is that he wants to get the CSA onside. He wants them to believe that he and McKenzie are honest brokers whose hands are tied. Meanwhile Regan works with Darry Broadfoot to build a consensus with the SMSM to sweep it all under the Hampden shag pile and move on.

If Mr. O’Rourke and Mr. Andrews had any self awareness they would know that they were being used.

 

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22 thoughts on “Insights & Ignorance”

  1. Good stuff as usual,JJ. I have to say,Doncaster offering the CSAhis time looked like a stitch-up from the off.

    Btw,£10 per month sounds about right. Good luck with it.

    1. A stitch up from the off indeed

      Doncaster must be pissing himself and he knew he was taking on the blunt tools in the box with these chaps from the CSA.

      I’ve read their statements and letters recently and the spelling and grammar beggars belief. No wonder Doncaster approached them. Would he approach Paul Brennan? Or Paul Larkin, whom I believe to be a proper ordinary Celtic supporter, but well appraised of the facts. I can even live with his Edinburgh accent and repetitiveness.

      A golden opportunity to pin these con men to the floor was spectacularly missed by these chaps from the CSA. I can’t believe they didn’t go armed with a solicitor. The stands of Celtic Park are populated by some of the sharpest legal and financial minds in the UK.

      I’ve never trusted the CSA. Blazer chasers treated with the contempt they deserve by the real power brokers at the club. They are well and truly kept at arms length, but given enough access to keep the many thousands of ordinary Joes onside. The majority of supporters know snippets and draw their own conclusions. What is needed here is a concentrated effort with big hitters who are fully appraised and have legal knowledge coupled with the natural ability to publicly debate and orate, not social club commandos.

      Doncaster has dodged a bullet on this occasion, but thank goodness there are better equipped minds working in the background for the attempt at establishing a judicial review.

  2. I don’t think the CSA are unaware of the role of the SPL/SPFL in this corrupt affair. The clamour for a review is growing and once granted (imo it will) Pandora’s box will be opened.

  3. I totally agree a pair of tossers who brings a solicitor when you done nothing wrong I would have been straight on to you to attend this meeting at least somebody who could slap these pair of lying cheating bastards down no moving in for me let’s have the meeting at Celtic park if front of our fans and questions from the floor

  4. Having read his previous correspondence on the matter, I too feared the worst when I heard that Joe O’Rourke was sitting down to represent Celtic supporters…especially when I heard Rod McKenzie was Doncasters wing man.
    No disrespect to the man but kittens don’t fuck cats – especially fat corrupt ones!
    Some of this debrief narrative beggars belief.
    This was clearly a time to park egos and defer to others better equipped for the task.

    To quote s man of substance

  5. If Mr O’Rourke had let people know he was meeting with donkeyasster JJ could have supplied him with the questions that we all want the answers to instead of being told the same old shite over again it would have been better to have him sitting squirming in his seat and until the proper questions are put forward to the SFA and SPFL its just one big cover up.

  6. The only problem with the Rangers side contracts is that it was not an error or misjudgement or there would not be the meticulous writing up and hiding of the contract, and people in power would not have acted as couriers to break their own association rules without checking and register ineligible contracts. LNS was a stich up and will be opened,

    it was not Rangers who broke the rules at the enquiry, we already knew why they were there, they were there to be punished for their sins, it was the committee who setup the enquiry that broke the rules to ensure the punishment was not going to be enforced, they acted with self-interest and in doing so perverted the course of justice.

    This case was not a legal binding end all in law enquiry; this was simply the equivalent of dealing with and applying the rules in association football and meting out without favour and applying fairly the rules for all clubs participating. If it was a law case the act of withholding key evidence whilst known it is in existence is perverting the course of justice and punishable, so the QC who took the money to make the statement on behalf of the SFA/SPFL is talking through a hole in his arse and lord Nimmo was not sitting as a judge that day he was there to apply a legal mind capable of interpreting jargon and was paid for his services.

  7. A little off topic, but I thought Bitton really looked the part of a ball playing defender last night. Rogers obviously trusts him enough to play him in such a vital game. I doubt he’ll start away though. Resolute defending likely to be more necessary and a good opportunity to see what Ajer can offer (who, lets remember, is also a converted midfielder continuing in the vein of Stephen McManus, Johan Mjalby and others to have played for Celtic). Even former strikers (Dublin, Sutton and Riseth to name a few) have done decent jobs there. A good footballer should be able to fill in many positions if the late Johan Cruyff had any say in it and lends to a balanced team and tactical adaptability.

  8. Very concise and detailed article. JJ This is the areas you excel. I only wish you would stick to this type of issue. When resorting to issues like recent cup draws where you infer they are always provide home draws it pulls down your credibility and gives of vapours of paranoia. Please stick to the clever and good work you do, and don’t get involved in the trash paranoia.

    Best Regards John

    1. John the reason we are where we are now shows that we were not paranoid, and may I add that, JJ is only bringing the truth to the party 🎉 you’re not one of the now move along nothing to see here brigade.

      Alf

  9. You are on the ball as usual JJ .Keep up the good work and keep safe we are all JJ and Neil Lennon. Small donation made from an O.A.P. wish it could be more.

  10. TJ’s wishlist of things anyone else who happens to score an interview with Doncaster or Regan should ask instead of just turning up to regurgitate spin:
    1. How can a clause that was removed from a secret agreement be a barrier to doing the right thing (in this context – stripping titles one by benefitting from tax fraud)? If it was removed then unless another tacit agreement was put in place instead – i.e. agreement NOT to strip titles – then its an irrelevance isn’t it?
    2. Why do the SFA have to agree to any INDEPENDENT review? (just set one up and if they don’t co-operate then that’ll be damning in itself and lead to supportable calls for clarity)
    3. Clearly by Mr Doncasters own admission, the early super secret agreement which the SPL and SFA signed up to contained clauses that would suggest beyond any doubt that certain titles should be voided. Presumably there were grounds on which this was based. What were they and what changed, such that the historic behaviours of Rangers (IL) were seen through a different light?
    4. Exactly how does the LNS report cover the DOS scheme when no evidence at all was presented relating to it?
    5. Who changed the original timeline and remit of the LNS enquiry and why?
    6. Given that the LNS outcome was entirely predicated upon the EBT schemes being legal and fair – something that is now conclusively shown to have not been the case – doesn’t this render the entire report as redundant given it revolves entirely round a false premise? With regards to actually dealing with the matter of obtaining advantage not allowed by rules, isn’t it standing behind this a bit like holding an enquiry on whether to punish a team for fielding 13 players on the assumption that teams are allowed to field up to 13 players? It totally ignores the fact YOU AREN’T ALLOWED TO DO IT!
    7. Which set of audited accounts were submitted to enable a license to play European football to be granted to The Rangers this season?
    8. How do the Scottish Football Authorities enforce financial governance standards such to ensure that the spirit of financial fairplay in football is maintained – you know, stopping clubs risking the leagues reputation by living beyond their means, etc?
    9. If the SPFL feels that there is a question mark over the integrity of the SFA in this affair but that Chairs of football clubs are afraid to speak out – has the SPFL taken measures to ask member clubs their views using anonymous voting (I can recommend survey monkey for this)?
    10. Given that the LNS enquiry was restricted to just considering whether the players were correctly registered to play football – why can a totally separate enquiry not take place into whether or not competitive advantage was obtained relating to breaching the rules relating to payment of taxes (note – the final demand excuse would be a red herring here as they still obtained benefit from not paying via liquidation)?
    11. The singing of illicit songs, thrown objects and violence around football games seem to be on the increase in recent seasons in the premier league – what steps are the authorities taking to safeguard the reputation of Scottish football and the safety of fans, players and staff?
    12. Why was only Craig Whyte ever charged with not paying taxes when due and is there plans to levy such charges against other persons or clubs in similar positions?
    13. No action at all seems to have been taken regarding wilful misrepresentations relating to players contractual data provided both the SFA and HMRC and in particular whether certain documents did or did not exist. Given Mr Doncaster suggests these were handed to LNS as evidence there is strong evidence they did exist. How many times do you need to lie to the authorities before it is considered to be bringing the game into disrepute?
    14. Given that the collapse of Rangers came hard on the heels of similar financial catastrophies at Gretna, Livingstone, Dumbarton, Motherwell, Morton, Dundee, Airdrie and Clydebank and were followed by Hearts and Dunfermline it would stand to reason that the Scottish Football Authorities would be taking ever increasing steps to make sure clubs were run on sound financial principals over this period. Why did these steps fail to prevent further collapses and what action was taken against those responsible for financial mismanagement and trashing the reputation of Scottish football?

  11. What shouldn’t be forgotten is that the SFA let Mr Green/RIFC/TRFC hold a review of their actions into themselves by themselves. There can be no doubt on what side the SFA shows it allegiance to. Take it to UEFA as their rules and regulation weren’t upheld either. The clubs need it to go to CAS and let the dice land where may. The CHEATS can’t be allowed to swan away with no actual recourse. The liquidation deniers NEED to know there club died and I would be happy with that, as there can be no obscuring of our shared reality. As for Doncaster, he has been caught lying again as what would Mr Green have to gain by putting it out and into common knowledge, that the 6th version of the 5 way agreement didn’t have title stripping as a stipulation. Snakes in the grass, without a decent bone within them, up to and including Nimmo the Dimmo.

  12. Excellent piece as usual and I have just committed to £10/month for the pleasure of reading your articles and other’s comments. My thought on your article and the replies by others – Do we not honestly believe that the SFA/SPFL et al all know that what was done was subversive. It is sheer fear from the outcome of title stripping that is stopping the correct thing being done and therefore they are hiding behind the LNS review or ‘rules not in place to deal with this’ mantra. The real answer surely lies with UEFA or CAS to determine what is meaningful punishment for EBT/DOS/incorrect registration transgressions and then, whatever the outcome is, we can all move on?

    I firmly believe that those in positions of power within the Scottish game are not fit to do so and that titles/cups should be removed from the records (not necessarily given to anyone else though) but from your position in isolation, due to threats, don’t you have a small level of understanding for them?

    JJ: Cheers BE.

  13. JJ.
    Sorry usual donation made a day late(please delet.I personally am adverse to you using a paywall as I agree with many of the commentators of this site, that it would affect your readership and would therefore dilute your brilliant work exposing the corrupt SFA/SPFL, and the GASL and cohorts.

    If you do decide to go down the paywall route would you please remember who donates to your site? i.e. I have not set up a recurring monthly donation, (but as you know have donated a fair bit) and would hate to be excluded from some of your material for even a few days until payment kicks in.
    Don’t know if I/we need to continue to post confirmation of donations every month, if so here is mine.

    07C415926R387xxxx
    JJ: Very much appreciated FB. I will give some thought on how to accommodate occasional contributions.

    1. ****440116
      Notice Jimmy Calderwood has come out to say he is suffering from early onset dementia, and wishes everyone in football will not change in their perception of him. No problem Jimmy, everyone will always remember your Dunfermline team
      and how they capitulated to a Rangers led by David Murray who ensured you got that job and promised you the Rangers job to boot. I suppose no further questions on that matter can now be raised due to Jimmy’s illness and his questionable recollections of any events pertaining to that game. May I wish him the best of luck for the future and hope he has the same good fortune as Ernest Saunders.

  14. Why take a blunt knife to a gunfight?
    Can’t believe Doncaster can get the better of anyone nevermind a csa rep. Disappointing to say the least, otherwise I hope they were fishing and not keen to show their cards though doubtful…
    Good points JJ.

  15. Hi JJ. Donation made 4BL45158B3606xxxx.

    I have been unemployed until the last few weeks – I’m aware that you don’t charge the unemployed but I wanted to wait until I could contribute before posting. Like many others I think that 10 pounds per month is a reasonable pay wall figure.

    I’m disappointed but not surprised in the “performance” of O’Rourke and Andrews.

    I’m also surprised at how long it seems to be taking the Takeover Panel to take King to Court. Phil Mac reckons the courts are on holiday until September and then a date will be allocated?

    For a laugh I occasionally look at the Rangers web sites to see how these guys delude themselves (although Follow Follow generally doesn’t take long to sicken me!)

    They seem to believe (or want to believe) that King has some sort of comeback against the Take Over Panel – and the SMSM pander to this mass delusion. Ditto with the Mike Ashley/last years strip nonsense that King put out for the gullible.

    If the stories of the strains within the Ibrox boardroom are true – we can’t be that far off an endgame. Ultimately – the soft loan providers will realize that King has taken them for a ride and they are throwing good money after bad. When the Cold Shoulder becomes “official” – and I don’t doubt your assertion that its already biting – the game will surely be up.

    They really have problems – a useless manager/backroom team on three year contracts. A team made up of has-beens or journeymen. The combined transfer vale of their team wouldn’t meet the payouts required to faire Pedro and his pals!

    One question – do you know what happened with Warburton, Weir etc? I’ve seen Rangers fan sites purporting that they have just dropped the whole thing which would both surprise and disappoint me.

    Keep up the good work.

    1. I respectfully refer you to today’s piece on the TPE. One of my sources is a football agent. If he is looking in could he please apprise me on the latest in regard to The Resigned Three.

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