My Auchenhowie mole has informed me that the appointment of Jimmy Nicholl as Murty’s adjutant was not universally popular. Kenny Miller, who had proffered both a nod and wink to a blind horse thought that he was a shoe-in. Kenny, at 38, knows that his playing days will soon be at an end. He was hoping for a leg-up at Auchenhowie’s Lunar Laboratory (still howling). When news broke Red Hand Nicholl was on his way there was a real ‘stooshie.’ Electrolyte drinks were airborne. Mothers out having post-prandial perambulation with their progeny (how’s that for aliteration) were quick to hide toys and mobiles from the enraged Ibrox stalwart. Dummies were secured.
No-one buffs his brown brogues more fastidiously than Ulster legend Nicholl. He may have been born in Canada but his roots are in William of Orange’s old stomping ground. Oscar Wilde was not the only historical figure who enjoyed ‘feasting with panthers.’ I plan to look at Kincora in a special piece. I will be spending the next few days engaging in research. I will leave no stone unturned. If my research leads to the very top of The Establishment food chain – Westminster and the Monarchy – so be it. I will name ‘names’ and take individuals with big reputations to task. I will peel the paint off their walls, including those from Derry.
I met Nicholl at a fundraiser at Bannockburn Juniors in McQ’s. The late great Tommy Gemmell was also present. Two men who drove many miles at their own expense to support grass roots football. My friends and I paid £25 a plate.
The sumptuous meal – provided free by joint-proprietor Joey – was not as succulent as a meal once enjoyed by James Traynor. With Level 5 posting a mere £45,000 in pre-tax profits, his lamb in 2018 may be mutton. I wonder who Traynor found to pull his cracker at his Xmas party? Gout and Guile are uneasy drinking partners.
I digress. Kenny may have been a one-man whirlwind but it did not upset the Lite squad, many of whom were bidding farewell to the Ibrox faithful. I watched the game with long-term reader and contributor Left Side Red. As an Aberdeen man he hates Rangers and their bastard offspring Rangers Lite with a passion. But even he had to give credit where it was due. Lite wanted it more. They wiped the floor with Celtic in the second half. During some robust discussions at half-time, one of Miller’s WhatsApp group incited his colleagues to play the second half as if it were their last.
Brendan Rodgers was happy with a clean sheet. He had Craig Gordon’s knee to thank for that. Murty, as anticipated, emulated Anderlecht/Hearts with a high pressing game. Scott Brown and Dembele were man-marked. The former was not allowed time to take a touch and boss the game.
Sinclair was back to his best. His dangerous crosses deserved a more prolific striker than Dembele. The striker was a yard late to every penetrating incursion by Sinclair. McGregor’s shooting from distance was as woeful as it was wasteful.
Rodgers had better have a rethink during the break. If Dembele can be punted for £18m he would be well advised to take it. He is a shadow of the player who scored 32 goals last season. He has not been the same player since his injury. Netting eight this term is not good enough. Sinclair is being singled out for missing a sitter but this was more than offset by his overall performance. Lustig is more than a day and a dollar short.
It was worth noting that Murty’s team was patched up to start with and he had to make running repairs. If Celtic cannot prevail against Heath Robinson confections their Europa League ambitions will be short-lived.
It was a year of unprecedented highs and new lows in Scottish Football. When Tom Rogic scored the winning goal in the Scottish Cup final, securing the treble, the sun broke free from the clouds to join the celebrations. Runners-up medals are rarely cherished but no-one could begrudge the Aberdeen players a badge of honour for the part they played in a thrilling final. The Celtic juggernaut went on to break Willie Maley’s 100 – year – old British record with an unbeaten run of sixty-nine games prior to an unexpected jackknife at Tynecastle. The sell-on fee from Virgil Van Dyke and Champions League Group Stage participation will bolster the coffers to the tune of circa £40m. Celtic are in a different financial league to the rest of Scottish football. It shows.
This disparity is in its sharpest relief at Ibrox. There were occasions when I thought that Pedro Caixinha was playing it for laughs. It was comedy gold. He will be missed in Scottish football.
Warburton-on-sea’s Dad’s Army was replaced by the Iberian/Mexican cast of an unheralded Sergio Leone classic: ‘The Bad, The Infirm and The Unemployable.” The Citizen’s Theatre almost shelved their lucrative pantomime season as all the best gags were at Ibrox.
The humble pie being delivered to Ibrox had the Greggs master bakers working in shifts, and it kept coming all year long. When McInnes turned down the Poisoned Pissoir it may have dawned on those with more than one synapse between their ears that they were not watching the same club. Rangers were never this funny.
Dave King has developed chronic arthritis of the shoulder and is railing at those who won’t accept his Green Shield Stamps portfolio as legal tender. The Magnificently Maned Adulterer is dating a clairvoyant but is so broke that he cannot cross her palm with silver. No predictions were forthcoming. Paul had to settle for a Blue Lagoon supper and some hand relief at the bus shelter in the finest of Borders traditions.
One would like to think that Paul is not the mole who is briefing against the current board, but it’s either him or Stewart Robertson. My money’s on Paul and his plaintive cries of “I’ve been duped.”
Our ursine friends, Park Senior & Junior, Taylor & Letham are all laid down with colds, which will be as nothing when the ill wind arrives from Paternoster Square. George Taylor is particularly exposed. One would not be surprised if he bowed out in 2018.
Lots have been drawn to assign the responsibility of driving King to HMP Barlinnie should he darken the board’s door in 2018. The Conveyancing Consigliere came up short, not for the first time.
It has been a tale of enforced resignations, Pedro’s caravan, barking dogs and a McInnes jilting at the altar. The Caixinha project was a spectacular failure. Murty’s boot sale of distressed intangible assets at knock down prices will be a downsizing made in heaven for rival clubs. One does not need a clairvoyant to anticipate Lite slipping out of Europa League contention as they continue to unravel.
It’s very much a case of Destination Unknown:
The Celtic Ladies Team are in fine voice ( ok it’s Calabria but is journalistic licence the exclusive preserve of NUJ card carriers).
No review of Rangers Lite would be complete without some courtroom drama. Halloween Houston, who shadowed Craig Whyte’s every move in Glasgow’s Saltmarket, was aghast when the Bellshill Bounder walked away Scot free.
His was not the only nose put out of joint by Whyte’s acquittal. DCI Robertson and his pert assistant Jackie O’Neil left no per diem unclaimed in their International Witch Hunt.
A witch hunt that could result in a sixteen million pounds punchline.
I am awaiting some news from this site’s man of the year, David Whitehouse, who penned the following blistering missive:
Submission of David John Whitehouse to the COPFS inquiry
19th October 2016
My involvement with COPFS relates to the prosecution brought in respect of the Rangers case. It is not possible for me to use or disclose any information received from the Crown through the disclosure process, as to do so would breach the provisions of Section 163 of the Criminal Justice and Licensing (Scotland) Act 2010. That constrains what I can say in evidence. I have asked my lawyers to consider whether there is any way in which the court can be asked to authorise me to give evidence on an unconstrained basis. The criminal proceedings remain outstanding against one accused, and reporting restrictions are in place. I can make available to the enquiry detailed, near-verbatim notes of each court hearing which will evidence appalling conduct on the part of the Crown, with the court being routinely misled, but I would need to be reassured that their provision would not breach the existing reporting restrictions.
I have commenced civil proceedings against Police Scotland and COPFS in respect of their conduct in certain aspects of the Rangers case. I will not refer to matters which could compromise that litigation. This litigation will be strictly based upon matters of law which are not covered in this submission. The pleadings in the litigation will contain substantial evidence to support the claim, such evidence is not referred to within these submissions to avoid any prejudice to the civil proceedings. Equally those matters referred to in these submissions are not necessary to support the civil proceedings. The matters referred to in these submissions are matters which I would wish to bring to the attention of the enquiry, which do not have an impact on the current ongoing criminal investigation and prosecution, and do not involve a breach of legislation.
The civil proceedings commenced against COPFS and Police Scotland will expose misconduct on a scale which will be regarded as extreme on any measure.
At the heart of the issue, I believe is a culture of reckless disregard for due process which has had a catastrophic impact upon the public purse, upon the victims of wrongful prosecutions, but most importantly the integrity and effectiveness of COPFS.
I wish to raise five specific issues which should be considered by the enquiry.
Firstly I would like to raise the independence of COPFS.
When I was first arrested, my employer and I, via our legal advisors, had lengthy dealings with Police Scotland and found them to be utterly inept in investigating complex financial crime. By way of background the crime for which I was arrested was reported by me to the Police. To aid the investigation of the crime COPFS and Police Scotland sought to recover material from my employer which was held subject to legal professional privilege. Neither COPFS nor Police Scotland understood the law in relation to legal professional privilege despite it being set out in extensive detailed correspondence.
The police in particular had no expertise nor training in complex economic crime. The lead investigating officer in the Rangers case, Jim Robertson, a Detective Sergeant at the commencement of the enquiry, advised my colleagues and lawyer for my employer that he lacked knowledge of the relevant law, he has no professional training in company law, accountancy or complex financial crime. He had in effect no supervising officer, his allocated line manager Detective Inspector Brian Wright confirmed he was not able to offer meaningful oversight of the investigation as he had been fully employed on the integration of Strathclyde Police with Police Scotland.
The lack of understanding of LLP is a matter which will I will refer back to later in this submission. Despite this obvious lack of technical or professional expertise, COPFS failed to review or challenge the flawed findings of the Police investigation. They failed to provide any legal oversight or supervision of the actions of the Police.
They showed a reckless disregard for the due process which they maintained throughout. COPFS was obliged, by law and by its own Disclosure Manual, to disclose all evidence (in the form of witness statements and productions) to the defence as soon as reasonably practicable, and in any event within 28 days of my first appearance in court (17 November 2014). However, a year later we were still waiting for many witness statements, and over a thousand crown productions. This seriously impacted upon my team’s ability to prepare my defence – all the more difficult when I was facing allegations that were poorly articulated, speculative and untrue.
In June 2015 and later, COPFS blamed delays in disclosure on the need to read the evidence before disclosing it. If true, that would suggest that they sanctioned my arrest, committal and indictment without first considering all of the evidence that had been available to them for many months, and in some cases years. That showed a reckless disregard for their legal obligations and the interest of justice, to say nothing of my own rights.
Notwithstanding my concerns as to the competence of Police Scotland, I was comforted at the time of my arrest by my lawyers reassuring me COPFS would act independently of the Police and would discharge their duty to critically analyse the evidence produced by the police and investigate my defence, that principle of independence having been established and evolved over hundreds of years. This has since proved to be a misconceived view in this case. Whilst it is correct that over hundreds of years this has been a key role of the public prosecutor, in recent years that independence has progressively been eroded. In the case of my investigation prosecution, COPFS and Police Scotland shared the same office in the same building and clearly acted in tandem at all times. The statutory checks and balances of independence were absent.
This lack of independence is a significant factor which has resulted in the catastrophic failure of the Rangers investigation.
The second issue is a lack of regard to conflicts of interest, which in this case were extreme.
The investigating police officer in the Rangers case, Jim Robertson, is an avid Rangers fan. He has openly confirmed to my colleagues, and lawyers for my employer that he is a regular participant and reader of Rangers fan blogs. In one interview, attended by a partner of DLA solicitors, he actually recited a Rangers chant in an attempt to intimidate a witness!
He stated repeatedly that the evidential basis for this action lay in the BBC documentary, “the Men Who Sold The Jerseys”. COPFS were aware of this and failed in their duty to review his conclusions. Media reports suggest the reporting officer had a deep affinity with the football club which if true should have caused deep concern to COPFS.
Public record documents indicate the Procurator Fiscal, Caroline Macleod, was previously married to one of the failed bidders for the club, Colin Macleod, formerly of Harper Macleod solicitors. Mr Macleod threatened to sue the joint administrators for not accepting his bid for the purchase of the club. His bid, submitted on behalf of “the Macleod clan”, was substantially inferior to other bids. Mrs Macleod refused all requests by my defence team for COPFS to investigate the position of the other bidders. The relevance of such enquiries to the charges is obvious.
Senior counsel for the Crown, James Keegan QC, is a known business associate and professional advisor to members and supporters of the Blue Knights who were also failed bidders for the club. The Blue Knights were a collection of individuals who were openly hostile to, and critical of the work of the administrators. Despite the fact that at no stage did they submit a bid capable of acceptance, they were the purchaser of choice for most fan groups.
Mr Keegan was also himself a previously disqualified director. His disqualification was as a result of an application by the then Secretary of State for Trade and Industry who considered Mr Keegan to have acted improperly as a shadow director of an insolvent company. He was disqualified for three years, by consent. He was also engaged in a 10 year dispute with the liquidator of one of his companies, Lowlands Building Services Limited. The liquidator pursued him for fraudulent trading resulting in him ultimately settling the claim by way of a contribution from the directors. In such circumstances it is entirely inappropriate that he should have been instructed to act for COPFS in an action against insolvency practitioners and individuals accused of fraudulent trading and acting as a shadow director.
Mr Keegan applied to become Queens Counsel in 2009. It is evident to me from a review of the terms of the application process for appointment to Queens Counsel, together with a review of the detailed report of Sir William Rae in respect of the 2009 appointment process, that he misled the panel which approved his appointment to Queens Counsel. He could not in my opinion have disclosed his disqualification as a company director, this coupled with the nature of the proceedings brought against him, which on any reading of the rules for applying for silk are a disclosable matter, suggest that Mr Keegan obtained the office on a false pretence. The practical outcome of his engagement in the Rangers case amounts to a fraud.
The final serious conflict of interest relates to the appointment of experts. The COPFS after twice indicting me and my colleagues, finally in 2016 commissioned an expert report from Aver accountants. The COPFS confirmed in court that absent such a report they did not have an evidential basis for the core charges contained within the remaining indictment.
Aver had a material conflict of interest. Aver had previously been party to a commercial arrangement with a business called Kinetic for the provision of insolvency services. Kinetic was acquired by Duff and Phelps, my employer, in 2015. Following the acquisition of the business, the commercial arrangements with Aver were terminated. This will have resulted in a material loss of income to the partners of Aver. It is inconceivable in those circumstances that Aver did not have a material conflict- of- interest in relation to the assignment which they undertook. In any event their report did not support the proposition advanced by COPFS in the indictments.
None of these conflicts were disclosed to the defence teams nor the court.
The third issue relates to a lack of integrity and honesty on the part of COPFS officials.
Until such time as the current criminal proceedings and civil proceedings are concluded it is not possible for me to fully set out the extent of this misconduct. It is, however, relevant to refer to you a decision of Lord Glennie which related to a restraint order which COPFS obtained against me based upon grossly misleading and false information and representations made to the court.
I attach a copy of the judgement in which Lord Glennie considers the Crowns conduct “amounts to a very serious breach of its duty of candour”. He further states “That it seems to me to be not only a failure to aver, but to amount to a clear and very serious breach of the duty of disclosure and candour.” “Where the applicant is the Crown, and is in a position of power, the court must be alert to ensure those powers are not abused”. In the subsequent HFW judgement for costs against the Crown arising from a bill of suspension in respect of a search warrant also unlawfully obtained, (judgement also attached) the court says “Taken in the round, which we are entitled to do, actions of the Third and Fourth (sic) defendants were an abuse of state power.”
The third and fourth defendants were Police Scotland and the Lord Advocate.
There are numerous other examples of where COPFS have misled the court and its officers and have attempted to pervert the course of justice. These matters form part of my civil proceedings and will not therefore be referred to in these submissions. I have transcripts of each court hearing which prove beyond any doubt that those at COPFS engaged in calculated misconduct in an attempt to pervert the course of justice.
My fourth point is a lack of understanding of the law around the issue of legal professional privilege.
This subject has been at the heart of the Rangers case and resulted in an oppression plea being upheld against one accused. The proceedings referred to above by HFW have resulted in very significant costs and damages being awarded against COPFS reported to be £500,000. Despite COPFS apparently have either failed to communicate the correct law to their staff who continue to maintain LPP does not apply in Scotland, or their staff have chosen to ignore the advice. This has led to the latest judgement re Clyde & Co v COPFS, copy attached, where COPFS have again acted oppressively with a disregard for the law.
I have personally been directly consulted by another leading Insolvency Practitioner not connected to my firm, who was also threatened with arrest by officers of COPFS in connection with the Rangers enquiry, as they maintained that this would overcome issues of LPP, astonishingly this was in 2016, after the HFW proceedings.
My final observation is that COPFS chose to disregard their own disclosure manuals and procedures consistently throughout the entirety of the Rangers prosecution. They deliberately and repeatedly concealed exculpatory material in an attempt to pervert the course of justice. The full detail will be established within the civil proceedings and are therefore excluded from these submissions.
I would request the opportunity to provide verbal evidence at the enquiry upon conclusion of the civil and criminal litigation.
My primary submission is that the failings of Crown office are a product of failed leadership which have resulted in a culture of incompetence and lack of candour. This can be rectified by the new Lord Advocate and I wish him well in that task.
It is a cornerstone of any modern society to have a criminal justice system in which the public have trust and confidence, I very much hope the enquiry will go some way to bring about change and to restore public confidence in what is a failed public body.
What a takedown. It’s a ruthlessly forensic deconstruction of many of the pillars of The Scottish Establishment. Singing ‘The Billy Boys’ to intimidate a witness beggars belief. This is one of my favourite exclusives from 2017.
I trust my readers are well-informed. I’m meeting one of their number this evening for the first time. Hail Fellow Scot Well Met. The toast will be to ‘Absent Friends.’
All the very best to all of you in 2018 and for those of you who put your faith in divinity, God bless.
The result of today’s Glasgow derby, as I asserted in an addendum to my previous piece, may well be predicated on the betting whims of gambling junkie Bobby Madden. Does he fancy both teams to score and Celtic to prevail 2-1? Will he have a spread bet flutter on yellow and red cards? I contend that it depends on how much he’s in hock and how desperate he is to clear his 2017 slate. Will he bet in play? How tempted would he be to award Lite a soft penalty if Celtic went in 2-0 at the interval?
I would be surprised if Madden only trousered his match day fee. Betting patterns in East Kilbride might well be instructive. Where others are deflected by his pro-Lite squirrel I will have one eye on the betting platforms on my phone with the other on the game itself. Allowing a gambling junkie to officiate this game is akin to giving Sandy Chugg a stolen prescription pad. How could either resist some extra-curricular remuneration?
Today marks the beginning of the rag and bone sale. Every player in light blue is available. As is customary at this time of year the SMSM will make up an inflated fee for a mediocre player. Simon Stone of BBC Sevco got the ball rolling by stating that Lite had turned down a £500,000 bid from Preston. The actual bid was £150,000 rising to £200,000 with add-ons.
Murty has put Pena front and centre of his cart by stating that he would be surprised if he did not move on in this window. The austerity is beginning to bite. The salaries offered by Pedro The Plank are no longer tenable. Agents are circling like vultures, seeking cut-price carrion.
How about Tavernier? A snip at £400,000 with £100,000 of add-ons. How about Lee Wallace? Declan John will get the nod because he’s cheaper. Alves anyone? Morelos?
As many players as possible will go to reduce the payroll run. Pedro’s Iberian strategy has been an expensive flop. Those on loan will be recalled to fill the gaps.
It looks like Lite have given up on pretending they are a big club. Not that the Gullibillies will notice as they are fed on succulent morsels from Stone and his ilk.
There is a dawning realisation that the entire Sevco squad could be acquired for the sell on fee Celtic will accrue from the resale of Virgil Van Dyke.
Even if Madden subverts today’s game the incontrovertible takeaway is that Lite’s basket case of assets are distressed and priced to go.
Far be it for me to be the kid at school who reveals that the janitor is behind the white beard and red trim in Santa’s Grotto, but there is no Old Firm. I now refer to Hibs/Hearts encounters as the Old Firm as the latter exited administration. Rangers went under. In many ways their demise has parallels with the morbidly obese pederast, William of Orange, falling off his horse and almost suffocating in the mire. However there was no-one to save Rangers. Even RRM Dave King put the boot in apropos the CVA as he thought that he would come out the other side as a secured creditor.
Would it be churlish of me to deny the Gullibillies their big day out? A day when they are playing Celtic in the biggest arena in Scottish football? Let every dog have his day etcetera? It might not come as a surprise to many but I’m not in a parochial mood. The gloves are off.
The Celtic Park toilets will be ‘reconfigured’ by the hard core recidivists in the blue milieu. It has become an integral part of the match day experience for the Klan Caravan.
Seats will be ripped up to be used as missiles. Safe standing will become an oxymoron. The heirs of the morbidly obese pederast will be wading in Fenian blood. There will be no shortage of red hands and a conspicuous absence of red faces. The early kick off will preclude getting ‘tanked up’ at The Louden Lodge, but off-licences will do a roaring trade. The cries of ‘no surrender’ will punctuate the early morning gloom. For some all that will be missing is the smell of cordite.
In the Celtic half of the divide, the buses will rock to ‘Dublin In The Green‘ and if the stewards are lax the head of the House of Windsor will be invited to have sexual congress with herself.
“It’s just the ‘Old Firm’ your majesty. Why did we not just let the Picts go in 2014.”
The head of The Church of Rome won’t fare much better. Some of Police Scotland’s finest – are you paying attention Ms. Gilligan – would have us believe that he’s a paedophile in an elaborate frock.
Not that any frock is too elaborate for these partygoers:
who won first prize at their local Orange Lodge and duly posted their triumph on Facebook. The police responding to a complaint could not see anything wrong with venerating The Holocaust. Might one suggest an education? The KKK founder of Billy Boys fame, Billy Fullerton, would no doubt be smiling in his circle of hell. The Klan will call out his name faster than a hooker does tricks during Fleet Week.
Mark Dingwall, who is also fond of a frock, will wipe they eye-shadow from his eyes and lead the Pink Panthers into battle. A night of high energy rumpy pumpy at Delmonicas is so invigorating. Will he use the Ladies at Celtic Park or chance his luck in the Gents?
It will be SEVCON ONE. The urinals will be in the air. But as we saw in Manchester there will be no inconvenience. The Rangers fans then, Lite fans now, can make do with a rolled up newspaper and some evergreen leaf. Assuming they let anything green near any orifice. Salads have never been popular at Ibrox.
Celtic will win this local skirmish. The best Lite can hope for is a controversial draw. Madden has previous in that regard. As for Murty’s claim that this is one of the biggest games in the world, who spiked his cornflakes? He would be as well sucking a vodka-infused orange like many in his support prior to sucking lemons.
Only Eagle Scout Chris Jack, who gets a nosebleed when he travels south of Lesmahago, would be sufficiently insular to suggest that it’s the biggest game in the world. Where is the tradition in a five years old basket case of assets?
If one wishes to view a real powderkeg derby look no further than Boca Juniors and River Plate.
Or one could cast our eye at The Classico where the lighters and coins that are routinely thrown at Celtic players are common currency. A pig’s head was thrown at ‘Judas’ Figo.
Graeme Souness, who likes a bung, could make a cogent case for Fenerbahce vs Galatasaray. If one likes your tears tinged by tear gas this derby is for you.
I have personally experienced a Roma v Lazio derby. My ears had not stopped ringing by the following morning. Closer to home we have the Merseyside derby. At Anfield the Manchester Reds are greeted with human faeces in Crisps packets. One assumes that Pringle cardboard tubes are too high-brow for the Scallies whose morbid fascination with the Munich Air Disaster is unhealthy.
Will I watch the game. Yes. I will be keeping a close eye on Bent Bobby Madden who will rock up the Celtic Way in his staunchest brown brogues. The clown from the Billy Boys Circus might yet have the last laugh.
A hat-tip to Paul Brennan for outing Bent Bobby Madden as a gambling junkie. As Madden decides on the number of yellow and red cards, will he trade on his authority to his advantage? Is he being leaned on to pay off his debts? Will he bet in play at half-time? Unlike Ibrox WiFi is available at Celtic Park. There can be little doubt that Madden’s smart phone will have a slew of betting applications.
Is Madden’s pro-lite bias no more than a squirrel to deflect from a more sinister trait? He should have sent off 3 Rangers players in the last game he officiated at Celtic Park. What part of tackling Leigh Griffiths waist-high in the box while not playing the ball is not a penalty? Did Madden have a bet on 1-1?
The SFA control refereeing appointments. Are they blind to the gambling addiction of Madden and the clear and present danger of their man subverting a game?
Does anyone fancy Rangers to prevail 2-0 at 50 to one? Too obvious? How about 2 -1 at 28s? Or even better both teams to score – with a soft penalty to Rangers Lite – in a Celtic win at 2/1.
Will Madden be picking up much more than his match day fee?
Dear readers. Suffice to say that the premium articles did not deliver any financial relief to your beleaguered blogger. How could I refuse those who had ventured £100 in the past year? It was a lot of work but a labour of love. Giving something extra to my most loyal supporters was inordinately gratifying.
I have looked at a number of models and come to the conclusion that a second site, John James II, is the best way to proceed. The original site will continue in its current form. There will be more satire – including The Bears – and a weekly round up of the articles behind the paywall. I would appeal to those who prefer intermittent payments to give as generously as they can. As soon as £100 is contributed one will have access to John James II in 2018.
John James II will feature exclusives and my best writing. It will also feature the comments of my right hand man, The Mensch, who has supported The Sitonfence Speakeasy since its inception. The feedback from readers suggests that £10 per month is ‘the sweet spot.‘ Those who venture £20 per month will receive a detailed email with information that is too sensitive to be published. I don’t anticipate many who will venture £50 per month – there was only one this year – but if one chose this quantum I would provide one exclusive blog for your eyes only.
As the John James II site ramps up and begins to have traction I would appeal to readers to make additional contributions to support its inception.
To get the ball rolling I will publish all the premium content items in full. I will duly edit them to present them in their original format. The Director’s Cut if you will. Those who missed out on The Whyte Papers will have a second chance. Truly indispensable reading.
I will spend a day or two working out how best to introduce the new site. I will revert to you with details. Ceteris Paribus I will publish at least one article per day as before, alternating between sites.
Is this the best of both worlds? I still receive mail from individuals stating that they will never pay. It’s high time they lost out. The unwaged and infirm will still have a vibrant site, with 17.3m hits, at their disposal. Those who have more to give will receive more.
As always, I will defer to my readers. I look forward to your views on John James II.
Charles Green’s basket of assets may be many things but as his counsel at The Court of Session was quick to point out, they’re not Rangers. The odious Stewart Regan, with one eye on a second-rate Scotland team having a sponsor and a broadcast partner, and the concomitant bonuses which add padding to the cushiest job in football, transferred the SFA membership of the former club to Rangers Lite. The even more odious Ménage a trois Ballantyne – who saved Regan’s bacon when there were calls to have the blue Smurf sacked – then audaciously conferred the titles won by the former club to the basket case of assets. Seventeen of these titles were bent but the arch Hun that is Ballantyne did not give a flying fuck for sporting integrity. The doyen of triangular rumpy pumpy would be hard pressed to spell the words. Of course he could not have transferred these titles without a green light from Regan and Doncaster. When one adds Longmuir to the mix one has has the architects of The Great Continuation Swindle.
I won’t tire of calling these corrupt bastard out. When it comes to corruption at the heart of Scottish football I am indefatigable.
One of these corrupt bastards, Regan, deemed that a convicted criminal who led an illegal concert party putsch was ‘fit and proper’ to be the chairman of the holding company which runs the member club. King’s hired gun in South Africa gave all the excuses required to allow King to carve up Rangers Lite. Regan may have not started life as a Rangers supporter, but as we have seen with LNS and Resolution 12, he is up to his knees in bloody corruption. Did Campbell Ogilvie hold Regan hostage? Is the blue Smurf suffering from Stockholm Syndrome?
I digress. The stylish thriller of 1995 that spawned the title of this piece introduced the term ‘buckwheat‘ to the urban dictionary. This refers to one being executed by a bullet fired directly into the rectum so as to induce a slow and inordinately painful death. Much the same as we are witnessing at Ibrox.
The news that Virgil Van Dijk has signed for Liverpool for a king’s ransom of £75m is music to the ears of the Celtic board who had the foresight to add a 10% sell-on clause when Van Dijk transferred to Southampton for £13m. The £7.5m windfall is equivalent to the sum required to keep Lite solvent.
When King was agitating for Rangers Lite supporters to send their season ticket money to him – with Richard Gough taking a break from gloryhole carousing to add gravitas to King’s pitch – he asserted that there was no need for austerity at Ibrox.
He was of course lying. Murty’s promotion to the role of first team coach is a direct consequence of a club that is trading whilst insolvent. Murty was the only employed coach that Rangers Lite could afford.
I predicted that Rangers Lite would run Celtic ragged at Celtic Park on Saturday. I predicted Celtic would have no answer for Pena, Windass and Miller. I could see so many weaknesses that I knew the wheels at Celtic were beginning to come off. I did not have long to wait until the Celtic juggernaut jackknifed at Tynecastle.
However in many ways this 0-4 reverse was a good thing for Celtic. Preserving the unbeaten record was becoming a millstone around the players’ necks. No-one was prepared to throw caution to the wind to eke out a win when a draw served the invincible doctrine. Celtic are now playing with more freedom. Players who had become jaded have been replaced by others in the squad with more hunger.
Murty will follow the Anderlecht/Hearts formula, but Lite don’t have the technical ability to execute this strategy. Playing 3-4-3 at Tynecastle was tactically cavalier. Rodgers will set out a team that will put 14 points of daylight between Glasgow’s pre-eminent club and the buckwheat at Ibrox. The penny will soon drop at the penny arcade that is Rangers Lite.
Hibs should be in third place in the SPFL. They wiped the floor with Lite at Easter Road and were denied a stonewall penalty. Last night they had a goal disallowed in the Old Firm derby, despite the ball having clearly crossed the line. Is Lennon being punished for creating a dossier of ‘honest mistakes‘ whilst at Celtic? It certainly looks that way. Which reminds one that Bent Boddy Madden will be in charge of the Glasgow Derby on Saturday. Should Leigh Griffiths suffer a waist-high tackle from behind in the box, with the Celtic striker carted off to A&E, arch Hun Madden will look the other way. Awarding this game to a Rangers supporting blatant cheat is an outrage. But then outrages are second a penny in the Banana Republic of Scottish Football. Should Ryan Jack regain fitness after yet another assault by a cage fighter masquerading as a footballer – Cedric Kipre – he can foul with impunity as Madden would never be the one to fart in the Rangers team bath.
One doubts that the denizens of Paternoster Square have a team bath. However if they did and chose to lather up in unison this morning, they would note that Dave King had taken a dump in it. A big steaming Greyfriars Bobby – a ‘Madden’ if you will – from south of the Limpopo. As they exited the foaming brouhaha faster than swimmers at Amity Island beach they would not be blowing bubbles at King’s unseemly deposit. They would be spitting blood.
Regular readers will note that I have been in touch with the Takeover Panel Executive (TPE) to apprise them of the ‘majesty’ that is King’s four decades career as a criminal. Some of their number now follow our site. They are playing close attention to the proposed directors carve-up. King, who always thinks he’s the smartest man in the room but rarely is, knows full well that any appeal of Lord Bannatyne’s opinion is a non-starter. However he wants to buy time to throw a spoke into the TPE’s wheel.
Let’s assume that the rogue board issue all the shares as per the green light of 78.3% of their stakeholders. £1,086,376.01 equates to 108,637,601 one penny shares. The current issued shares anount to 81,478,201. King has been ordered to offer 20p for every share which is not in the purview of his concert party.
King currently owns 11,869,505 shares; George Taylor 7,.575,000; Douglas Park 5,000,000; George Letham 3,299,515. The Illegal Concert Party own and control the voting rights of 27,744,020 ordinary shares. King has been ordered to make an offer to those in possession of 53,734,181 shares. At 20p per share he could be staring down the barrel of £10,746,836.20.
So let’s cut to the chase. If the Illegal Concert Party wish to maintain their current equity ratio, in an expanded RIFC issued equity pot of 190,115,802 ordinary shares, then King’s 14.57% would be maintained if he held 27,699,872 shares. He would require an additional 15,840,367 shares in the expanded enterprise.
When one considers the concert party, George Taylor’s 9.30% if maintained would equate to 17,680,769 shares. Douglas Park’s 6.14% would account for 9,505,790 of the issued shares. George Letham’s holding of 4.05% would equate to 7,699,690 shares.
A grand total of 62,586,120 shares. However there’s a sting in the tail. If King sells any of the remaining shares not within the concert party purview, all 127,529,682 of them, then he would be duty-bound to purchase them at 20p as per the TPE edict. James Blair reassured River & Merrcantile and Julian Woolhardt that they would be looked after if they voted with the rogue board, but can one conceive of them paying 20p per share to maintain their equity ratio in the expanded enterprise? No, but if they were offered one penny shares they might bite and hold King to his 20p ransom.
King is an old hand at manipulating shares in South Africa but he is being scrutinised. I don’t foresee any situation where this will play out well for King.
I can foresee ‘buckwheat‘ for the departing chairman.
In Confessions of a Confidence Man, Edward H. Smith lists “the definite steps or stages of growth” of a confidence game:
Preparations are made in advance of the game, including the hiring of any assistants required.
The victim is provided with an opportunity to profit from a scheme. The victim’s greed is encouraged, such that their rational judgment of the situation might be impaired.
Pay-off or Convincer
The victim receives a small payout as a demonstration of the scheme’s effectiveness. This may be a real amount of money, or faked in some way. In a stock market con, the victim is given fake dividends.
A sudden crisis or change of events forces the victim to act immediately. This is the point at which the con succeeds or fails.
A conspirator (in on the con, but assumes the role of an interested bystander) puts an amount of money into the same scheme as the victim, to add an appearance of legitimacy to the scheme. This can reassure the victim, and give the con man greater control when the deal has been completed.
David Cunningham King and his accomplice Iain Gregory Morris are accomplished con-men. Their biggest and most successful long con began in 1997. They both claim to be qualified accountants. Nothing could be further from the truth. King was a clerk in a Cathcart company that manufactured slurry pumps. He spent weekends as a golf caddy to American tourists. He hustled them. There is no record of King ever attending Ibrox during this period. His credentials as a Real Rangers Man are as illusory as his faked accountancy certificates. No-one faked accountancy certificates better than Greg Morris. The latter had used his confection to blag his way into a position of authority – Financial Manager – at Umgeni Water.
In a confidence game, the illusion of financial propriety is a useful device during the Foundation Step. The background to KingCon has been forensically examined by a Legal Investigations Team. Its report was sent to Ronnie Kasrils, The Minister Of Water Affairs And Forestry, on the 1st June, 2001. Mr Kasrils issued a six page missive to the board of Umgeni Water in Pietermartizburg 13 days later. The following extracts from his missive are instructive when discussing the scale of King and Morris’ 4.2b ZAR Treasury Fraud. Mr. Kasrils wrote:
“We are a newly established democracy with much to learn. We need to be vigilant if we are not to fall prey to the profiteers who are always circling seeking easy pickings. This whole process should be a salutary warning to Board members of all public enterprises, not just those in the water sector. We have to recognise that directorships are not a gift, an honour or a community service but an onerous responsibility.
• I accept the finding that two former Board members held shares in SOL.
• I accept the conclusion that the contract entered into with SOL in 1997 was unfair, unbalanced and prejudicial to Umgeni.
• I further accept that the fees paid by Umgeni were excessive in the circumstances.
• In these circumstances, I note and support the avoidance of the contract with SOL.
• I need to record that the report demonstrates that there were serious lapses in Umgeni’s corporate governance in 1997 that allowed this situation to develop.’
There is prima facie evidence of serious misconduct that must be addressed. Therefore, until such time as such external reviews have been completed, and without prejudice to their outcome, I believe it would be wholly inappropriate for certain of the parties concerned, namely SOL or its former Chief Executive Mr David King to have any further engagement in the affairs of Umgeni save insofar as they may be required to provide such relevant historic information needed to prosecute further enquiries or required in order to place the future management of the Treasury functions on a firm footing.”
Dave King and Greg Morris were arrested and charged with corruption and fraud in April of 2001. Their trial in Pietermaritzburg Court collapsed when witnesses failed to attend. Were these witnesses intimidated by King’s underworld contacts? Were these the same contacts who subverted their racketeering trial where only 3 of 14 state witnesses had the courage to attend?
King bribed Morris with a position at SOL. Other executives were bribed with shares in SOL. When King had his hands in the £420m treasury till he exploited Umgeni like his namesake Don King exploited boxers.
The Foundation Work was in place. The next step, The Build Up, was to list Specialist Outsourcing on The Johannesburg Stock Exchange at 50c per share. King and Morris then issued quarterly returns which demonstrated unparalleled success. The returns were fake. King & Morris pumped the shares up to 70 Rand at their peak. They solicited funds from a number of disparate sources, including an orphanage. What could possibly go wrong with ‘qualified accountant’ Mr. King who had access to the State Water’s Treasury Fund?
The paper profits were The Pay-Off. With this stock taking off, investors cast prudence to the wind in a frenzied bid to board the gravy train. They were so relieved that they had clambered aboard the train before the train had left the station. The Hurrah was good to go.
It was soon time for the In-and-In. Unbeknown to anyone except Outsourcing’s founder Dave King, his company Ben Nevis sold its 70% stake in SOL over a three years period yielding a profit of R1.2bn, which was circa £120 million in Sterling. The funds were immediately “repatriated” to offshore bank accounts. Ben Nevis was registered in The British Virgin Islands . This in turn was owned by a Guernsey-based discretionary trust called Glencoe. As we discovered in Lord Ballantyne’s opinion King has now initiated another layer, Sovereign, which controls his game of three-card monte.
Asset managers unable to find shares in the open market privately approached King for stock. He always denied being a seller. To his mind that was true. Ben Nevis, not DC King, was offloading. I have emphasised this sentence in bold type as it will resonate when one considers present King’s criminal endeavours in Govan. During this three years period King continued to buy the stock in sufficient quantities to maintain its price. He briefed analysts that his stock acquisitions demonstrated that he was in SOL for the long term. With every share knocking on the front door, ten were being knocked off at the back door.
By October 2001, King had resigned from SOL to start a similar business called Legacy Ventures, which was later renamed Micromega. His original creation ended up worthless. Sanlam, Old Mutual, Coronation and Southern Life tried to make King accountable, claiming he fudged the financials and manipulated the share price. They had all been duped by KingCon.
I was one of the very few who saw King coming. The Mensch and I were trashed on the RIFC shares chat portal, but I knew where the bodies were buried in South Africa. The Mensch had significant contacts at board level.
In one of the most blatant lies I have ever encountered in a national newspaper, Cub Reporter Chris Jack asserted that King had paid off SARS to avoid criminal charges. This lying little lickspittle should not be believed on any matter unless it is supported by objective evidence, just like the subject of Jack’s wet dreams, Dave King. King was convicted of 41 criminal counts, each of which carried a two years prison tariff. King is a man of many convictions.
When one fast forwards to the Opinion expressed by Iain Alexander Scott Peebles, Lord Bannatyne – who is a Senator Of The College Of Justice and a Judge at The High Court of Justiciary and The Court Of Session – would anyone other than Chris Jack and King himself be so sentiently-challenged as to appeal? I foresically deconstructed Bannatyne’s 30 pages of findings and decision in jj passim: Two Shades Of Grey.
This was a premium content piece, ostensibly priced at £1.99 but given away free to all but a handful of recipients. It was a lot of work for little reward, just like The Sitonfence Speakeasy, which is a labour of love. Only 200 of my 10,000 to 42,000 daily readers contribute to the upkeep of our site. The overwhelming majority are freeloaders. Why should they pay when Phil Mac, Paul Brennan and James Forrest are free? For many they are in positions 1,2 and 3 in the social media premier league. The latter two are supported by advertising. Phil Macgiollabhain is reputed to earn a comfortable living from PayPal donations. His most productive source, Jim Spence, is keeping the Donegal Blogger in clover. Jim is alleged to have an ally on the board at Ibrox. There can be little doubt that The Three Amigos yield the most in revenue. I most certainly don’t begrudge them their support as without it their excellent sites would wither on the vine.
I have come to the conclusion that The Sitonfence Speakeasy is not indispensable reading. It’s not in the premier league of my peers. So be it. I guess every site has a finite lifespan.
This article will be provided free. I will receive no advertising income and as most of my readers are on vacation my coverage will be limited. Which is disappointing because as I rail against the fading of the light I’m minded to light the night sky with a dazzling piece. To go out as we all started with a Big Bang.
A useful metaphor when considering the clusterfuck of an omnishambles (my apologies to readers who have criticised my use of industrial language – would they prefer the aliterative: Incomparable Incompetence) that is Dave King, one can envisage King at the guillotine, with a masked executioner primed to unleash the finely honed blade. However at the eleventh hour there is an appeal. Would the executioner deny the condemned man a last cigarette?
An act of defiance if you will.? A stunt for pause and temporary respite? The estimable Lord Bannatyne, like The Mensch and I, saw King coming. Bannatyne could hardly state to a condemned man that smoking was bad for his health. What he did assert was a follows:
“In so far as the respondent’s argument seeks to deny contravention on the ground that it was not him but the family Trust which made the purchase of the shares in Rangers, this is an argument not open to the respondent, in that as submitted by Mr McNeill, he is seeking to reopen matters where adverse findings have already been made.The court is not acting in the context of this provision as a court of appeal. The Panel is the body who is charged with the duty of evaluating the evidence and making findings of fact.”
King has made his appeal. It was not upheld. The findings were adverse. Suck it up Grifter. The Court of Session will give the Takeover Panel teeth. Your chutzpah of an appeal is as hollow as your accountancy training. Your head is for the chop King. Your legacy is four decades of financial carnage.