A Letter To The Takeover Panel Executive

As I have stated many times on this site I don’t exclusively lobby for change. I also act for change. To this end I have written to The Takeover Panel today to inquire why career criminal David Cunningham King has not yet been the subject of a formal Cold Shoulder order; nor has he been summoned to the Court of Session for a hearing apropos a judicial order to compel King to make an offer of 20p for the shares not within his concert party’s gift.

I wrote to the Executive and Hearings Committee. I have redacted their e-mail address to make it more difficult for the Gullibillies to write in support of King. My letter as published on this site will be in bold blue italic typeface

Email:  (Redacted)

‘The above email address should be used to notify the Executive and the Hearings Committee of a request that the Hearings Committee be convened in order to review a ruling of the Executive. After such notice is received, the Secretary to the hearing will notify all interested parties to the requested hearing of the contact details to be used for subsequent communications.’

Dear Sirs,

I write to you in my capacity as a shareholder in RIFC Plc. I also write in my capacity as the creator and principal author of an award-winning social media blog which currently has fast approaching 14.5m hits and is read by up to 40,000 individuals on a daily basis (www.johnjamessite.com).

By way of a preface to my remittance, I have chosen to reproduce the following clause from the Takeover Appeal Board’s findings:

106. We have reached the conclusion, having regard to the grounds and basis of the appeal and taking account of all the evidential materials placed before the Board, that Mr King was acting in concert with Messrs Letham, Taylor and Park in the acquisition of the shares in Rangers on 31 December 2014 and 2 January 2015. On the “acting in concert” point we uphold the findings and ruling of the Committee.

Having followed this matter with interest and having written copious articles thereon, I could see no other conclusion than Mr. King was acting in concert. Allow me to state for the record that David Cunningham King is a career criminal. He has been accused in South Africa of bribing a tax official (who was subsequently forced to resign) and having the audacity to attempt to have the ensuing, inordinately lenient tax settlement, accepted by a court of law. It was summarily thrown out.

Mr. King attempted to have his name removed from the South African Tax Register by mendaciously claiming that he earned less than the Rand equivalent of £5,000 per annum. In this subterfuge he even went so far as to caddy for Gary Player at The Masters in Augusta. The prosaic facts of the matter was that his monthly credit card expenditure of circa £80,000 was being paid in full from significant cash deposits held in Guernsey.

Mr. King was described by Gauteng appeals court judge, Brian Southwood as:

‘A glib and shameless liar who would not hesitate to lie if it served his interests to do so. He should not be believed on any matter unless supported by objective evidence.”

Mr. King has been charged with Racketeering. Only three witnesses were prepared to testify against him, which led to the collapse of the state prosecutor’s case. It was subsequently revealed that Mr. King paid an underworld figure to intimidate the witnesses.

In his four decades as a career criminal he has only been convicted of 41 counts of tax evasion and one count of contempt of court. This is a drop in the ocean compared to the slew of allegations of fraud, share manipulation and insider trading.

Mr. King has also breached South Africa’s concert party rules with his third party acquisition of shares in MHG in his daughter’s name. The mysterious benefactor who instructed the purchase of shares to boost her stake to 75% was none other than Mr. King. The Takeover Panel should be in no doubt that King will lie, cheat, deceive and steal at the drop of a hat. As an example of King’s duplicity, I enclose the following from your findings:

59.In emails to the Secretary Mr.King re-iterated his position that the key representations should be from NOAL as the purchaser of the shares in Rangers, that NOAL was the real party and that he had no locus to represent it. In his replies the Secretary again reminded Mr King of the procedure for NOAL to attend or to make submissions on the appeal. NOAL had made no application to be heard by the Committee and had made no written submissions to it. It has not made any application to be heard by the Board and has not made any written representations to it.

86. Further, Mr. King’s repeated denial that he has any interest in those shares and any voting rights in Rangers is at odds with the evidence as to their acquisition and as to NOAL’s requisition of an EGM that led to Mr King and his nominees constituting the Rangers board, which both clearly indicate that Mr. King had “general control” over the shares within the terms of the Code’s definition of “interest in securities.”

The Takeover Panel Appeal Board came to the following conclusion:

104. We dismiss the appeal and affirm the ruling of the Committee, save that we vary the date and direct that within 30 days of this decision (i.e. by 12 April 2017) Mr. King announce an offer pursuant to Rule 9 of the Code and, save as to the offer date, such offer to be in accordance with the Executive’s ruling of 7 June 2016, as summarised in paragraphs 19 and 20 above.

Mr. King, not to anyone’s surprise, has paid no heed to this conclusion. He has played cat and mouse with the TPE and its Appellate Board. The TPE also stated that they would pursue a petition to The Court of Session with a view to compelling Mr. King to comply with Rule 9.

To date, I see no movement by the TPE. Mr. King, who attended Ibrox on Saturday 12th August and chaired a meeting of his board, is continuing to make fiduciary decisions on behalf of RIFC Plc. There are those who read my blog who assert that the TPE have no teeth. One went so far as to suggest that you are a group of ‘blowhard paper-shufflers.’

I do not concur with this view but it’s difficult to escape the conclusion that Mr. King is acting with impunity and is making complete fools of the TPE.

Mr. King is a slippery character.This trait has kept him out of prison to date. Mike Ashley of Sports Direct had to go to elaborate lengths to serve Mr. King with a court summons.

Is this the rationale for the TPE’s inertia? Are you unable to serve King?

Mr. King, who likes the sound of his own voice, rarely hides his light under a bushel but on his last trip he slipped in and out without fanfare. Was this his way of avoiding a summons?

Plesase advise my readers and I as to when a Cold Shoulder order will be implemented and the term of this order. Please also advise on the latest news in regard to the Court of Session petition. Has Mr. King paid the costs for his spurious appeal to the Takeover Appeal Board?

I would be grateful if the TPE could apprise my readers and I on the impact of a Cold Shoulder order. Will it in any way affect RIFC Plc or its supply chain? Will Metro Bank be compelled to withdraw banking facilities from RIFC Plc? Will RIFC be prohibited from engaging in transfer activity on behalf of its subsidiary, The Rangers Football Club Limited?

I cannot conceive of anyone more deserving of a cold shoulder than career criminal David Cunningham King.

Yours faithfully.

John James (nom de plume).

n.b. I am loath to reveal my real name as Mr. King will leak this to his ‘militia’ who have to date issued three credible death threats. I live in exile to avoid assassination. However if non disclosure guarantees were forthcoming, I will revert to you with my name to accompany my request for a review.”


I will revert to readers should I receive a response.



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.


Bush Whacked

I was given pause by a Rangers Lite fan who has faithfully attended Ibrox for 34 years, supporting both clubs. Our site, which many Lite fans love to hate but cannot ignore, does not attract contributions from many of a light blue persuasion. I could count their donations with the pinkie of my left hand. However when Iain stepped up with his PayPal confirmation he had every right to make a comment. He made a comment that resonated.

I receive unsolicited abuse every day. One charming individual, taking his cue from my articles on Madeleine McCann, threatened to kidnap my infant daughter and bury her alive. His e-mail was of the ‘burner’ variety. I could approach the police, but which police would I choose as I’m now living in enforced exile? Would I choose Police Scotland who passed on details of my address to one of the hit squads? Or do I merely add this account to the many who skip my inbox and automatically revert to spam?

According to Iain this insidious hatred and the death threats have resulted in a slew of negative articles about Rangers Lite. However they are such a basket case that it’s hard not to take aim and fire.

Perhaps one should bear in mind the fact that the Rangers fans did not ask SDM to cheat his way to 17 titles. They had teams which featured the spine of the England first eleven, with players as good as Laudrup putting in a shift. Those who cared probably assumed that Murray was bankrolling the club, or that the funds were being borrowed on the ‘never never’ from The Bank of Rangers. It was a giddy time of nine-in-a-row and Ibrox playing host to the cream of European football. They were posting operating losses of north of £60m year after year but no-one cared. Murray just accommodated this debt in his burgeoning MIH credit facility. He then decided to cheat and invited Scottish journalists to eat lamb that melted off the bone, washed down with the finest Bordeaux. Roddy Forsuth and Graham Spiers, who wore their support of Rangers on their sleeves, were advised not to look under the bonnet but to gently kick the tyres. They both had the intellect to cause trouble. Others such as Jim Traynor were as thick as Cornish clotted cream and would do as they were told.

There are those who perceive Scottish football as a see-saw. You will find many of this ilk on the sixth floor of Hampden. As Billy Big Baws was cheating his way to 17 unlawful titles, wee Timmy was in the air, flailing his arms and legs at the injustice of it all. Timmy was dismissed as paranoid and obsessed. He was invited to bow in deference to the EBT-fuelled juggernaut and laugh at Helicopter Sunday.

Hard cheese wee Timmy, better luck next season. Just remember that We Are The People. Now take your seats at the back of the bus.”

Fast forward to the present season and one will find that those who were once at the back of the bus are now driving it. They are informed and they have a voice. They have had enough of Doncaster and his lies about continuation. They have had enough of those who hide behind the bastardised LNS commission. They have had enough of the well-polished turds that were defecated on demand by Rod McKenzie and Gerry Moynihan. They have had enough of the slippery shoulders of Stewart Regan.

I am one of their number and make no apologies for it. Rangers cheated ergo the titles must be stripped. There are no ifs, buts, maybes or whatabouts. It’s a binary choice. We either accept the cheating and move on or we challenge it.

As Iain will note as he has been with me since the beginning, my true loves are the so-called ‘Diddy’ clubs. I played for one of them at a decent level but I did not enjoy myself as much as I did playing three games per weekend for school, amateur club and county. When I was not playing or training for these clubs one would find me playing street football. When my local professional club knocked on my parents door to offer an ‘S’ form my father advised them that they had passed me playing in the street. The first team manager and his assistant then sat down on the grass behind the jacket goal posts to watch me play.

I’m not going to lie down to the threats Iain. I will call it as I see it and it will always be truthful and grounded in facts. I have lost any affection I once had for Rangers. My sneaking admiration for Celtic has grown as I have read, and listened, voraciously about them to catch up. No Scottish Football blog worth its salt would discount its champions.

I digress. The statement by Club 1872 was at worst libellous and at best a breach of the ‘utmost good faith’ covenants in SFA regulations. Club 1872 must be punished.  Which leads one to the vexed question of who are these people who claim to represent the club? Are they just heads on a stick that do King’s bidding or are they pressed into action by Traynor to deflect from a reverse, or as I suspect both of the above?

Are their press realeases wtitten by the ubiquitous conveyancing consigliere, James Blair, and published via the shadow operation that is Supporters Voice Limited (SVL)? It’s almost as if they want to earn praise for and solicit contributions to 1872, while leaving any fallout to SVL.

As 1872 only have a 10% holding in SVL they may form the view that they can get away with malicious statements apropos the manager of a member club. When John Daly took Brendan Rodgers to task for his tacit support of Ian Cathro, it was an open man-to-man exchange of views, not an attack By James Blair with SVL-issue tights over his head. If Blair, who is the company secretary of TRFCL, did not pen this release, did he in his capacity as a director of 1872 and SVL sanction its publication?

Blair should be hauled before the beaks to establish his role in this malice aforethought. If Traynor is using 1872 as a squirrel then he too should be exposed. I  invite the press to film Jim, who has the body of an obsese platypus, on their next visit to Murray Park. I recommend a wide-angle lens to capture Traynor in the raw.

The last word in this article is the preserve of Celtic who face a tricky tie against Astana to qualify for the group stages of the Champions League. One might argue that Rodgers’ recruitment of players during the current window is predicated on qualification.

Rodgers favours a Goliath ball winner at Centre Back coupled with a skilful ball player. A Vidic/Ferdinand type combination if you will. Simunovic might pass as a poor man’s Vidic but would one accord the Ferdinand mantle to Nir Bitton?  Tierney could put in a shift, but Celtic would lose his threat on the left flank. Lustig who has lost a yard, could be drafted in. As for Ajer, is he now discounted at this level?

If Rodgers persists with Bitton his charges might concede an away goal. I would start with Lustig in the centre and Gamboa to his right. I would drop Ntcham as Rogic has more to offer. The uncertainty over Armstrong is a concern as he could have added value this evening. Griffiths should be restored to the number 9 spot with Forrest on the flank.

It will be an interesting encounter. All eyes will be on Celtic Park this evening.





Controlling The Narrative

I must admit my disappointment that Pedro Caixinha reached for the WATP  epithet to deflect from an opening home league reverse to Hibs. A reverse in which Ryan Jack was dismissed for a headbutt. He could have been sent off for throttling McGeough seconds earlier, but decided to be red carded for a sheep rather than a lamb.

The one-eyed gallery who signed a petition denouncing what they perceive as anti-Rangers refereeing should think again. Should one have expected more decorum from the revolving door directors of Club 1872 and the ubiquitous James Blair? Maybe the latter was prompted to draft something to celebrate a rare visit by the Transvaal Trimphalist, career criminal Dave King. The Cold Shoulder is already in place. Other directors will be feeling the pinch. One would not be surprised if Graeme and his father were somewhat parky.

We are the people!

I digress. I have added bold type for emphasis in the Club Tropicana statement:

” Club 1872 would like to commend the restraint of the Rangers support following a clear attempt by Hibernian manager, Neil Lennon, to incite trouble at yesterday’s game at Ibrox. Rangers and Club 1872 are always keen to remind our supporters of their duty to act as ambassadors for our club but that duty is not one that applies only to Rangers supporters. Mr Lennon has previous for abusing and goading both Rangers staff and supporters. He seems completely unable to control himself at Ibrox. We can only speculate as to why. His actions in the dugout yesterday – where he made various inflammatory gestures to the supporters sitting directly behind the Hibernian dugout – were not becoming of any football manager, never mind one who likes to play the victim when things do not go his way. It is inexplicable that the fourth official chose to take no action against him at the time but, against the backdrop of possibly the worst refereeing performance ever seen at Ibrox, perhaps we should not be surprised. Mr Lennon has been extensively quoted in the media as saying that he “didn’t make a gesture”. If that quote is accurate then he is not only irresponsible but a liar. Had a Rangers supporter reacted to Mr Lennon’s actions yesterday then we would no doubt have been treated to further dramatic headlines about the persecution he has to suffer. Instead we have seen several media commentators make jokes about Lennon’s conduct. It is only because of the good sense of our supporters that they are in a position to do so.Police Scotland categorised this match as high risk due to the behaviour of Hibernian supporters at the Scottish Cup Final in 2016 when Rangers players were attacked on the pitch. Neil Lennon knew that and he knew he had a responsibility to act in an appropriate manner. He shirked that responsibility and reverted to type.
We hope that Police Scotland will speak directly to Mr Lennon over the coming days and at the very least give him a warning over his future conduct at Ibrox. We also expect the SPFL to take action against Mr Lennon over his failed attempt to incite trouble.

Issued by Supporters Voice Limited, a Club 1872 company.”

It’s a one-eyed masterclass. How ‘restrained’ were the Lite supporters who rained down Bovril cartons of urine on the Hibs supporters on their lower tier enclosure?How ‘restrained’ were they in spitting on the Hibs support and throwing coins, lighters and golf balls at them? How ‘restrained’ were they when they threw their rolled tabloid makeshift catheters at them? How ‘restrained’ were they when fifty of their number attacked men, women and children as they queued at the turnstiles?How ‘restrained’ were they when singing that Lennon was a ‘Sad Fenian Bastard?’

As for the ‘worst refereeing performance ever seen at Ibrox’ Club 1872 should be connoisseurs having seen so many matches decided in Lite’s favour by dodgy refereeing decisions. If Ryan Jack wants to play football like a fighting cock one should not be surprised when his headbutts have consequences.

In reference to the ‘dramatic headlines’ there will be less of those as the entire press pack walked out of a Murray Park press conference as they took exception to being filmed. Keith Jackson, our award-wining journalist who is banned from Murray Park and Lennoxtown, summed it up accurately when he wrote:

There is a sinister sub text to all of this. Ask anything too difficult and the club reserves the right to put it up online in order that the support can act as judge and jury. This sort of intimidatory tactic would be right up Jong-un’s street but it does not reflect well at all on those who are making decisions on Rangers behalf. It resulted in a mass walk out of football writers from Caixinha’s pre-match briefing ahead of Saturday’s visit from Hibs and it will most likely happen all over again when the media are ‘welcomed’ back to preview this weekend’s lip smacker of a match up with Hearts.”

As for Police Scotland responding to Hibs supporters, not one of whom was charged with assaulting a Lite player, 1872 conveniently ignored the 200 or so Rangers Lite thugs who invaded the park intent on violence. The Hibs fans were intimidated by the presence of Police Scotland cameras as they filed off their buses and trains for another urine-soaked matchday experience at The Ibrox Pissoir.

There was, on balance, one ‘GIRUY’ gesture by Lennon, as he raised his right arm and cupped his right bicep with his left hand, but this is as nothing to the tsunami of vile bigotry he was forced to endure on the touchline. Everyone saw Lennon being attacked at Tynecastle. Everyone read about two former public schoolboys knocking him unconscious when he was out for an evening with his partner. Then there are those drawn from the Rangers support who were jailed for sending bullets and bombs to Lennon. Some ‘enterprising’ Lite supporters on social media suggested that Lennon should be ambushed on the way home and shot. How ‘restrained’ of them.

Club 1872’s attempt to incite a police response is built on sand. They should take a closer look at the vile sectarian behaviour in their midst before castigating any response to it. It would seem that the headless chickens at Ibrox are not the exclusive preserve of those wearing light blue on the park.

Traynor’s sledgehammer approach to controlling the narrative has piqued the interest of the slippery shouldered Stewart Regan, who makes a habit of taking a vacation or attending a social occasion when real leadership is required. I make no secret of my admiration of the oeuvre of two of my peers, namely James Forrest and Paul Brennan. The latter wrote the following piece on Celtic Quick News:

Yesterday, the SFA’s Professional Game Board met to discuss the SPFL’s request that they hold an inquiry into the goings-on in Scottish football, following The Supreme Court’s ruling last month on the legality of Rangers EBT use. The League, which represents all 42 senior clubs in the game, wants the national association to investigate the most serious governance events in the sport’s history.

You would think the SFA would be obliged to investigate, right?

Instead, the SFA are getting the band back together. They will sit down with Darryl Broadfoot, now the Association’s external PR, to calculate whether they can carry enough media support to get away with doing nothing at all.

Apparently, the SFA would rather solicit backing for inaction than carry out the wishes of their professional league. This is Scottish football in 2017. It is actually happening, right now.

Governance standards are non-negotiable. No national association can ignore the will of its professional clubs, on an issue as serious as governance, without major repercussions. If the acute situation we have witnessed in recent years is not bad enough, this lack of action puts the SFA on the verge of complicity and cover-up.

Some of the recent most senior office-holders of the Association itself are implicated in the scandal, both as administrators and financial beneficiaries. The question before members of the Professional Game Board isn’t just, ‘Do we do the right thing?’, it’s ‘Do we expose some of our friends and colleges to scrutiny? And if so, how far does the contamination spread?’ Those watching from within the game know, once Pandora’s Box is open, the actions of many others could be open to scrutiny. Don’t think evidence presented to Lord Nimmo Smith was not thoroughly rehearsed and approved by ‘the band’ before being put to the SPL Commission.

The SFA will instruct a cover-up in the coming days to protect their cronies, and in doing so will become complicit in the subversion of the level playing field in Scottish football.

The stink goes as high as the recent past-president of the SFA, Campbell Ogilvie, who worked with those on the Professional Game Board, and had administrative responsibility for contracts and licensing at Rangers during their EBT period. He was also a financial beneficiary of an EBT. The SFA will refuse the request of the SPFL to investigate these matters and attempt a cover-up.

When you have prima facie evidence of a governance issue, presented by your own league, involving your own past-president, you are obliged to open up to independent analysis. Failure to “promote and protect ethical standards and good governance” put the Scottish Football Association in breach of their duty as a member association of Uefa.

Fans will not accept anything less; clubs will not accept anything less. The matter will go to Uefa. It will go to government. It will go to media in England and beyond. It will go to court; those turning their heads today will be called to account. It cannot and will not be accepted. It will not go away.

There will be no cover-up to protect the guilty.”

Is it any wonder that a judicial review is required to rid our sport of these corrupt office-bearers. It might be easy to control the tabloids and build a consensus to move on, but sites such as this one, CQN and The Celtic Blog/On Fields of Green, with a collective monthly hit rate of four million, will take them to task.

I reserve the final word for the Rangers supporters who are boycotting The Daily Record due to their decision not to print the previous delusional diatribe from Club 1872. If this boycott is effective it will lead to the death knell of this title. The Celtic support have long abandoned the Record. They get their fix online. If the boycott does not control the narrative at Central Quay our award-winning journalist might have to throw his hat in at Clotted Weir’s Herald Group and write for Chris Jack’s Rangers Fanzine. Jack, who pulls in about £16,000 per annum for his haircut exclusives and his public interest feature on Bruno Alves paying his ‘leccy’ bill, might baulk at Jackson’s eighty large per annum. His empathy with the Lite WhatsApp group who rail against the inflated salaries of Caixinha’s signings might well be borne out from personal experience.


The Utmost Good Faith

I have been at pains to point out that the LNS Commission was a stitch-up. In The Missing Article (jj passim) I expounded on the incontrovertible facts. Bill Nimmo Smith went out of his way to assert that there was no question of dishonesty. Bear in mind that the SFA Chief Executive – the odious Stewart Regan with his American history degree – shoehorned himself on to the commission and would have been fully aware of the consequences if the directors of Rangers had been found to have acted dishonestly:

Title Stripping would have been back on the agenda.

How the mendacious registration of 55 players and 25 ancillary staff/directors could be anything other than dishonest truly beggars belief.

Rod McKenzie in his confidential emails, exclusively revealed on this site, presented Rangers case that their directors did not believe that EBT had to be disclosed. However there is no grey area in the SPL rules:

D1.10 A Club participating in an Official Match must ensure that those of its Players Playing in the match are eligible to Play in such match.

D1.11 Any Club Playing an ineligible Player in an Official Match and the Player concerned shall be in breach of the Rules.

D1.13 A Club must, as a condition of Registration and for a Player to be eligible to Play in Official Matches, deliver the executed originals of all Contracts of Service and amendments and/or extensions to Contracts of Service and all other agreements providing for payment, other than for reimbursement of expenses actually incurred, between that Club and Player, to the Secretary, within fourteen days of such Contract of Service or other agreement being entered into, amended and/or, as the case may be, extended.

As one can see this is a binary issue. Fifty-five players transgressed D1.13. This rang alarm bells at the SFA as they knew that D1.11 and D1.10 had also been trangressed. Let me spell this out:

The players of Rangers who won 17 trophies from 1999-2011 were not eligible to participate in Scottish Professional football.

This resulted in the worst lie ever uttered by an SFA executive since Jim Farry subverted Jorge Cadete’s registration.  Sandy Bryson deemed that the players were ‘imperfectly registered but eligible.‘ How on God’s green earth can they be eligible when they were up to their knees in side contracts and EBTs? Let’s take a look at the following article:

Article 12.3… all payments, whether made by the club or otherwise, which are to be made to a player solely relating to his playing activities must be fully recorded within the relevant written agreement with the player prior to submission to the Scottish FA and/or the recognised football body of which his Club is in membership.

This article was used to defend the cheating. Rangers asserted that they paid the money to a trust and what private arrangement the trust entered into with the player was not their concern. However this was found to be disguised remuneration by the Appellate Inner House of The Court of Session and The Supreme Court. So there’s no defence.

However Gerry Moynihan has asserted that the SPFL cannot enforce SPL rules despite the fact that they have the same company number and are merely a rebrand of the SPL, admittedly with a bigger remit. However had they appealed the inordinately lenient fine, the SFA’s article 5.1 would have been relevant. Was it deliberately remiss of Rod McKenzie not to draft a corollary bill for the SPL? Was this another component of the stitch-up?

We are now led to believe that the new SPFL board have addressed this shortfall and that the equivalent of D 1.10 to D 1.13 is now on their statute books. Talk about bolting the stable door after the horse has bolted and is engaging in sexual congress with a brood mare.

Was Andrew Dickson, who is snaking his way up the greasy pole at the SFA, oblivious to article 5.1? There can be little doubt that he would have been aware that he was acting dishonestly and not with the utmost good faith. As Hugh Adam stated in 2002 they knew that they were cheating.

One should also consider the quaint provision which deals with the faith of the register. Clubs can apparently proceed on good faith, specifically the utmost good faith, when disclosing material information apropos player registrations. Surely it follows that failure to disclose side contracts undermines the fidelity of the register, and the faith in it upon which members clubs “should be able to proceed”.

The following quote is from an article by Tony McKelvie:

Curiously, this breach of duty by Rangers FC was not raised by the SPL at the Commission. One can only guess at why. It is though clear that had the commission held that Rangers FC had breached their duty to act in utmost good faith, given the significant and sustained breaches, and the range of sanctions under the SPL rules, a likely outcome would have been “reduction of the contract”: Rangers FC being expelled from the SPL. Perhaps this prospect was simply too much for the SPL to contemplate when preparing its case to the commission.”

He continues:

Given that this fundamental issue was not considered by the SPL Commission, it remains open to the SPL (now SPFL), to review the matter, and its corollary impacts on the legitimacy of its competition during the (many) years in question.”

In summary the stitch-up was more ingenious than we have given them credit for:

1. Change the scope.

2. Do not consider the breach of duty.

3. Spike an appeal as it might invoke SFA Article 5.1

4. Allow Campbell Ogilvie and Sandy Bryson to lead false evidence.

The question remains as to whether Regan and Doncaster can get away with this?Will natural justice prevail? As my exclusive insights from Charles Green point out there was nothing in the final Five Way Agreement that precludes title stripping.

It’s unfortunate for Moynihan and McKenzie that this site has published the latter’s confidential e-mails, and driven a coach through Moynihan’s mendacious statement that the SPFL are in any way bound by the Five Way Agreement. Moynihan’s was counting on us not having access to the drafts. However he was caught out in a blatant lie.

As for buying the history, I quite fancy seven or so Tour De France titles and the official unexpurgated history of The Battle of Stalingrad. Will Mr Moynihan act on my behalf, or was he lying through his back teeth?

Same old solicitors, always cheating.



Piss Poor at Ibrox

How far would you go to support your team? Would you endure the supporters at The Citadel Of Recidivism revelling in wading in the blood of your ancestors? Would you recoil at The Famine Song and its underlying message of ethnic cleansing? If you are a Hibernian or Celtic fan heading to Ibrox one should be prepared for a more palpable threat. You will literally be pissed on, and spat upon, by the two-headed snakes in the upper tier above you.

Do not take children to this game as they will cower and cling desperately to your legs as they are attacked in the queue for the turnstiles. The Hibs fans had a reception committee waiting for them. A group of circa 50 of The Klan set about them. Had it not been for the speedy intervention of the police the Hibs fans would have been slaughtered. The Klan don’t care if you are women or children. If you are dressed in green you are ‘a fucking taig who needs to be reminded who is boss.’

A Saturday pastime? A pleasant afternoon out with the family? Think again. The support of the pariah club know that at Ibrox they can literally get away with murder. Is that what it will take to arrest these criminals? Criminals like Sandy Chugg of The Sons of Struth and the hardline Union Bears.

Of course none of this will be reported in the odious SMSM. They feed the blue horde with stories about how their new recruits received a haircut and how Pedro WATP Caixinha banned the use of green boots.

However the Hibs Chief Executive, Leeann Dempster, has now been apprised of the situation and is being pressed not to accept any tickets for any games at Ibrox. Would Peter Lawwell be minded not to accept tickets for the next visit of Celtic as he cannot guarantee the safety of his supporters?

Double Standards at Sectarian Speakeasy

Brendan Rodgers’ decision to play Nir Bitton as a Centre Half with Forrest as his number 9, whether real or false, is not working. Should he continue with this experiment Astana will punish Celtic. One can understand Rodgers’ rationale. Sviatchenko is a good stopper but does not have the skill to build attacks from defence. Van Dijk is that kind of player but is now commanding up to £50m in the overheated transfer market that is The English Premiership. Friday evening’s game against Partick Thistle was poor box-office as the hosts showed no ambition whatsoever. It was hardly ‘Firhill for Thrills.’

As for the penalty claim, only in the fevered imagination of Robert Grieve, the hun with a laptop who infamously asked Brendan Rodgers whether he was having a mid-life crisis, could Miles Storey be described as an ‘Ace.’ The Jags journeyman was not in possession of the ball, stuck his leg in, did not touch the ball, and then dived theatrically when Bitton tried to hand him off. It was simulation. Thistle deserved nothing from this game.

I’m not convinced by Ntcham who hit a nice volley which would not have been net bound but for a Brown deflection. Hayes is a shadow of the player that he was at Aberdeen. I was informed that Patrick Roberts, whose genius can unpick teams like Thistle who put ten players behind the ball at home, would sign on Tuesday. I trusted my source. I will be more circumspect in future. I’m no longer convinced that this deal can be done. Celtic will be a much poorer prospect if Hayes is his permanent replacement. Ntcham should not be keeping Armstrong or Rogic out of the starting lineup.

In the final analysis Celtic stretched their unbeaten run in domestic games to 51. Are they awaiting a Van Dijk sell-on premium to source a centre back?

My tip for second place, Hibs, did nothing to undermine my prediction. Lennon sent out a 3-4-3 formation at Ibrox. No-one could ever accuse him of showing Rangers Lite too much respect. Ambrose was commanding at the heart of defence and showed a composure that Celtic clearly lacked on Friday evening. Lennon knew that Alves’ best days are behind him and that the speed of Stokes, Murray and McGeouch would show him up. They also twisted the blood of Ryan Jack who assaulted McGeouch, acting as peacemaker, to get to Stokes.

It was a red card all day long but Caixinha pandered to the one-eyed gallery by stating that they would appeal. Always cheated never defeated seems to be the Poundstretchers’ Mourinho’s mantra. I grew tired of claims that Alves was Ronaldo’s mate. Alves was sent off at Euro 2016 for a head high tackle on Harry Kane. He was only in the team due to an injury to Pepe. As he is a few months shy of his 36th birthday he won’t be Ronaldo’s play mate for much longer, if he ever was in the first place. Alves arrived on a free transfer. He was surplus to the requirements of an average Italian team who only recently gained promotion to Serie A.

Did Jack’s dismissal tip the balance towards Hibs? Probably, but Hibs inventive forward play looked good enough to prevail against any 11 in the Lite squad. Caixinha who is a devout practising Roman Catholic had the audacity to assert in his summing up that ‘We are the people.’ Is that all it takes to excuse a home defeat? Is playing to the deluded bigoted supremacists his get out of jail free card? His ‘people’ on this showing will do well to finish fifth and despite the best efforts of the SFA will win nothing this year. Will they still be ‘the people’ when they call for your head at Xmas, if not before? Another cash injection is now urgently required. Buying Walker for £1m is pie in the sky.

Motherwell and Dundee, who are already shaping up to be the whipping boys of the SPFL, both lost by three goal margins to St. Johnstone and Hamilton respectively. However as Motherwell finished the game with eight players, with three sent off, their reverse was hardly surprising.

There were six sending offs and eighteen goals across the full card of six fixtures. Scottish football may be a corrupt backwater but it does not lack excitement.

The pick of the Championship’s games was Morton’s win against local rivals St. Mirren. I can confirm that The Buddies lifelong fan Chick Young was not present to see Morton prevail with two converted penalties.

Readers of this site will know that I’m an ardent advocate of Junior football. Hats off to Largs Thistle who fashioned a three goal win at Dalry.

The last word goes to Neil Lennon who is apparently going to be reported for the following gestures. Is celebrating goals by opposing teams proscribed at The Sectarian Speakeasy? Was the fenian blood not high enough for their tastes?