L’Affaire Rangers

Prior to some further thoughts on Rangers Lite’s accounts from Benjamin and the nefarious activities of the ubiquitous James Blair, one takes pause to look at the latest own-goal at Hearts. Of course if an actual own goal occurred in the obscured goalmouth one would have to be advised by supporters whose view was not obscured by the control box.

Some jokers have suggested that there is a bigger problem than the obstruction to spectating. They suggest that the stand is facing the wrong way, leaving the spectators at the mercy of the mind-numbing football that makes the eyes bleed. ‘Move-on‘ Budge’s solution, reduced pricing for the seats that do not overlook the goal, is so farcical that I expected the late Brian Rix to appear in a state of undress. But then the thought occurred that I would not be able to see him. Maybe it’s a blessing in disguise as Hearts under Levein are on a one-way trajectory to Palookaville.  Call me Mr. Bright Side but it must be better than playing I-Spy at Murrayfield and being stuck on something beginning with ‘S’.

While on the topic of mind-numbing, the latest legal joust and parry between BDO and D&P apropos the disposal of Rangers assets has hit a snafu as they await police files that are being held in Manchester. These files pertain to the botched criminal trial. Takeaways were few and far between, but one did witness the genesis of a new term viz ‘L’Affaire Rangers.’ As the redoubtable Mr. Whitehouse is a defendant (with Mr. Clark) one need not colour me surprised that he has lodged a complaint with the Institute of Chartered Accountants of England and Wales Apropos BDO’s proposed ‘expert witness.

Prior to getting to the main course, of which I can assure readers contains no lamb additives, there is one more starter to get through. The results of a survey of 16,000  fans, players, coaches and managers by the SFSA (Scottish Football Supporters Association) was inordinately damning of Scottish football governance. The odious SFA was identified as the major culprit. Their decision to knock back the SPFL’s request for a review was not well received. If one wishes to hit the SFA where it hurts then one should boycott this evening’s meaningless friendly at Pittodrie.

Aberdeen fans, to their credit, have protested on the terracing and outside Hampden. They should not be seduced by Malky Mackay’s sop of calling up their players to his squad. I never thought that I would ever see the day that I would agree with Kris Boyd EBT (£215,000) but he called their inclusion as a naked attempt to sell tickets on BBC Radio Scotland EBT. Is the State broadcaster’s selection of pundits predicated on the following criteria:

1. Do you swing the lead?

2. Are you a former employee of Rangers?

3. Are you a tax-evading scoundrel with an EBT?

BBC Radio Scotland EBT was quick to offer the SFA the right of reply. In their Sportsound magazine they allowed the appalling SFA-retained mouthpiece Darryl Broadfoot – who has been dumped so often that a parallel between his exes and fly-tippers on amphetamines is uncannily accurate – to shout down the SFSA representative. Broadfoot was intent on rubbishing the report. His invoice will be winging its way to Regan’s corner office as I write.

Gordon Smith, who could use a bob or two, chimed in that he tried to effect change  but was stymied from doing so. With so many EBT pundits to hand at BBC EBT surely they could give him a tap to prevent this broadcast-fee claptrap.


The heading chosen by Benjamin, our inimitable forensic analyst, is:

Do you believe in Unicorns?

My preferred title would be who butchered the accounts. Was it not mad dog King who signed them off?

Those who have a passion for forensic accountancy ‘porn’ can pour through the entire comment at your leisure. As I have no wish to induce a Glasgow Scale Coma I will pitch my analysis to the man on the Clapham Omnibus.

Benjamin prefaces his thesis on unicorns with a review of RIFC’s first ever annual report to 30 June, 2013:
The first instance (of  encountering a unicorn) was on page 36 of the 2013 annual report where RIFC acquired substantially all of its present fixed and intangible assets, worth an estimated £27M, by paying the paltry sum of £6.75M including the assumption of debt. The result was a £20M negative goodwill asset on the balance sheet, a concept which hitherto had only been theorized in accounting textbooks. Even when they do everything correctly by the book, so to speak, RIFC’s accounts are a recurring treasure trove for enterprising forensic accountants. I am not at all surprised that Deloitte resigned from auditing their books a few years ago.”
JJ: I have it on good authority that Deloitte confided to one of their clients that ‘they had dodged a bullet‘ by dropping RIFC. However since the coup d’etat by the rogue board , the corporate malfeasance has set a new watermark.

Benjamin continues:

There are, I believe, three technical violations, but none are sufficient to warrant prosecution, and one of the three is not airtight.”

(1) Accounts Receivable / Deferred Revenue for seasons tickets covering the 2017-18 season. While what RIFC has done violates the spirit of presenting an accurate balance sheet, IAS 18 is very brief and is silent on the specific issue at play here. Essentially there’s enough wiggle room for management to do what they have done and not fall afoul of the standard as written even if your humble author feels it’s bad practice. However they will have to change their accounting practice for the 2018-19 accounts once IFRS 15 is mandatory.

(2) The issue of related party transactions and disclosures surrounding the Sports Direct termination and the simultaneous share transfer from Ashley (MASH Holdings) to Club 1872 and Julian Wolhardt is extremely complex, both legally and financially. James Blair is a director of both Club 1872 and RIFC. According to Companies House, Club 1872 has exactly 1 share outstanding, and it is held by James Blair. While the organization is run like a non-profit coop, it is, I believe based on the evidence that this is an organization that is wholly owned by Blair and is fully controlle by RIFC Director Blair.  There are no bylaws or any other binding documents either on Club 1872’s website or at the Companies House that would prevent Blair from doing whatever he wishes with the 1872’s assets. Furthermore, the transaction to buy Ashley’s shares of RIFC by Club 1872 was done to achieve a stated business objective of RIFC whose board Blair sits on. RIFC’s stated business plan depends on qualifying for UEFA competitions, and based on the plain reading of the FFP regulations and RIFC’s cumulative losses over the past 3 & 5 year periods, they are clearly in violation of the regulations BUT can easily come into compliance if the soft loans are converted into equity during the 2017-18 season as cumulative allowable losses would then be increased from €5M to €35M over the measured 3 year period. As I discussed earlier, Ashley was opposed to the dilution of his shareholding and had sufficient voting power to successfully block it at the last annual meeting. Ashley selling his shares to a more management friendly party is absolutely critical to getting item #11 approved at the next annual meeting later this month and subsequently meeting UEFA FFP regulations in the current season to be eligible for UEFA competition next year. Therefore one can draw a straight line from this transaction to RIFC’s business plan and from there to the going concern business assumptions and conclusion from both board and the audit firm. Even if you assume that the price paid for Ashley’s shares shouldn’t be reflected in RIFC’s accounts, they received tangible benefit from the transaction by removing Ashley from the scene, and the RIFC Board, by way of James Blair, had complete control over 1872’s actions in doing so.

Blair stepped down as a Director from Club 1872 two days ago (Nov 6) without fanfare, but he remains the sole shareholder of record at Companies House. The related party relationship discussed above will persist until he either transfers his ownership of 1872 to an independent party or steps down from the RIFC board.

JJ: Career Criminal King has been at pains to insist that Club 1872 are a separate entity. Benjamin’s forensic  analysis has discovered that an RIFC director owns Club 1872. We now know why Club 1872 accepted the enhanced price of 27p per share as this was recommended by their owner. All missives from Club 1872 should from now on be perceived as coming directly from their owner, RIFC Director James Blair.

(3) RIFC’s accounts are officially for the year ended June 30, 2017, yet they chose to disregard the match played on June 29th in preparing their accounts. All sorts of red flags went up when I saw that as they are violating standards 1, 7, and 8  among others by choosing to ignore transactions 2 days earlier and not include them in the annual results. IAS 1 does allow for a shorter or longer reporting period (e.g. a 52/53 week year), and also to lengthen or shorten a specific reporting period (e.g. as a means to permanently change the annual year end date). But that is not what RIFC are doing here — they are continuing to report annual periods ending June 30, but they have simply chosen to cut-off the end-date for 2016-17 two days early, and they have done so arbitrarily (although with good reason), on an ad-hoc one-time basis, and with neither consistency to prior practice nor stated intent for future practice.

Choosing to disregard a material event within the reporting period is simply not allowed by the standards, nor is it permissible to arbitrarily change the cutoff date of the financial statements on a one-time basis with the intent of including/excluding a specific transaction as they have clearly done. It appears that RIFC made it up on the spot to suit their purposes, and their auditor simply looked the other way! So that’s a big deal, one that would end the careers of both management and auditors in the United States, and potentially land some folks in prison for good measure. The Companies Act in the U.K. appears to be not as stringent, although it’s still a BIG deal.

 As I was writing it up, complete with footnotes to the relevant accounting standards, I came across paragraphs 19-24 of IAS 1. I’ll spare your readers the details, but suffice it to say that those paragraphs act as a get-out-of-jail-free card to make it up as one goes along and completely disregard whatever accounting standards one wishes. The threshold for doing so is exceedingly high, and there are additional disclosure requirements when the threshold is met, but it can be done. The standard makes clear with bold print that this should be done in ‘extremely rare circumstances’. How rare is extremely rare? Well, do you believe in unicorns?

We can theorize that they exist; we can even agree on what they look like; but nobody has ever actually seen one. Until now. Accountants don’t go through years of training and additional testing for certification simply to throw everything they’ve learned out the window. It just isn’t done. Ever. The accounting standards are sacrosanct for the profession, even while they are vague or imprecise in certain areas. Usually when abnormal business transactions unduly complicate the presentation of the financial statements, the relevant accounting standards are still applied, and then management will supplement the financial statements with additional reports, metrics, commentary, etc that bridge the gap between their understanding of business and financial performance and the stated financial results that are IFRS  compliant. That is what I would have expected to see here as it is actually quite common across every industry and jurisdiction. I have read through thousands of annual reports in my career and have never come across the application of Paragraphs 19-24. RIFC presented their annual results through June 30, but in fact, as Chairman King made clear in his report, the statements actually cutoff on June 28th and ignore all financial effects of the match played at Ibrox on June 29th and any other ancillary activity on the 30th.

The particular circumstances for why RIFC chose to do this are certainly unusual, and in my opinion meet the threshold laid out in IAS 1 paragraphs 19-24. With that said there were still two technical violations. Paragraph 20(c) requires them to identify the title(s) of the IFRS from which they are ignoring, among other things, and 20(d) requires them to quantify the impact of ignoring said IFRS which they did not do. Again, those are technical violations that can be easily remedied, and the underlying financial statements are materially correct even after considering the violations of those two points.


No-one expected transparency from the rogue board. If one can believe in Continuation in Govania, surely Unicorns are not too much of a stretch?


Come Fly With Me

Dermot Desmond at one time held a majority interest in Execujet Aviation Group (EAG) which solicited brokerage fees from its insurers of £920,000. A leaked memo is instructive:

By having the monies paid into the Isle of Man entity EAG [Execujet Aviation Group] are not required to pay Swiss tax on the income of around 22%.”

According to the leaked emails, that cash was funnelled straight from the Isle of Man back into Switzerland, apparently tax free, on instructions from Execujet executives in Switzerland.

It should be noted that there is no smoking gun linking Desmond with this tax artifice. This switch from Switzerland to the Isle of Man yielded a tax advantage of £202,400. One assumes this was an annual arrangement.

Mark Daly from BBC Scotland was the lead investigator on this narrative and a slew of other narratives apropos leaked memos from offshore tax havens. These memos are collectively known as The Paradise Papers. Mr Desmond responded with the following missive:


There would appear to be an agenda at BBC Scotland to tar Celtic with the same toxic tax-evading brush as the company formerly known as Rangers Football Club (RFC). A Moral Equivalence if you will.

Mr Desmond’s question as to the team Daly supports is rhetorical. Mark Daly is a Hun of some renown. However he is not as bitter as the Director of BBC Scotland, Donalda MacKinnon. Let’s put this in layman’s language that cannot be misconstrued:

There is a hierarchy of Huns at BBC Scotland. There is a causal link between this hierarchy and a selective recruitment policy that mimicked the ‘No Catholics’ policy at the former RFC. 

If one kicks with the wrong foot as it were, any aspirations for an executive role at BBC Scotland will soon be dashed on the rocks of WATP expediency. This is not to say that a couple of ‘taig‘ journalists will occasionally slip through their sectarian net, but they operate under a Protestant glass ceiling.

Not convinced? Compare and contrast how BBC Scotland rolled out the red carpet to Graeme Souness and the doorstepping of Desmond. Souness was given a £30,000 EBT bung by Rangers for buying their players. The Taylor Commission accused him of transfer irregularities. The thug, who could play a bit, has long been on the take.

Compare and contrast Desmond’s doorstepping with the number of pundits with EBT’s taking the licence payers coin at BBC Scotland.

Has Dave King ever been doorstepped by BBC Scotland. He should be. His aviation subterfuge in 2007 led all the way to The South African Supreme Court of Appeal. The following is taken from the court transcript:

A Falcon 900B executive jet has been languishing at the Dassault maintenance facility at Le Bourget Airport near Paris, France, since 3 April 2003. The respondent, the Commissioner for the SA Revenue Services, wishes to have the Falcon (with registration number ZC-DAV) sold and the proceeds kept in trust pending the finalisation of an action instituted by the Commissioner against one David Cunningham King and a number of corporate entities. The Commissioner contends that King and a company of his, Ben Nevis Holdings Ltd, have a substantial income tax liability and that the other defendants were, and are, being used by King to conceal his assets. (King was assessed to tax for more than R900 million and Ben Nevis for more than R1 400 million as long ago as February 2002.) One of these companies is Carmel Trading Co Ltd, the present appellant, and the only entity opposed to the sale of the Falcon.

The Falcon has always been and still is registered in South Africa with the local civil aviation authorities in the name of Hawker Air Services (Pty) Ltd (‘HAS’), a company liquidated by order of this Court on 31 March 2006. The holding company of HAS was Metlika Trading Ltd. HAS was an equal partner with Hawker Management (Pty) Ltd (‘Manco’) in a partnership known as Hawker Aviation Services Partnership and the partnership was the beneficial owner of the Falcon. However, Rand Merchant Bank (‘RMB’) is said to have been an undisclosed partner holding a 99.8 per cent interest in the Falcon. The Commissioner has an additional VAT related claim against both HAS and the partnership of some R73 million.”

King, the beneficial owner of Carmel Trading Company, was attempting to make a case that the jet was not within his gift. It’s instructive to note that King used his jet as collateral at Rand Merchant Bank. The unanimous findings of five Supreme Court judges continued:

On 3 September 2002, Hartzenberg J issued a preservation and anti-dissipation order in relation to the Falcon. Such an order, which interdicts a respondent from disposing of or dissipating assets, is granted in respect of a respondent’s property to which the applicant can lay no special claim. To obtain the order the applicant has to satisfy the court that the respondent is wasting or secreting assets with the intention of defeating the claims of creditors. Importantly, the order does not create a preference for the applicant to the property interdicted.

But on 5 September 2002 and in spite of the order Carmel ‘took over’ the interests of RMB and Manco. Carmel’s attitude was that since it was not bound by the order it could do so. Under normal circumstances such a taking over would have had the effect of putting an end to the existing partnership and creating a new one. In a later judgment on 18 February 2003, Hartzenberg J extended the preservation and anti- dissipation order and ordered Carmel to return the Falcon to South Africa.2 (The Falcon had previously been flown out of the country for fear of an attachment by the Commissioner.) He held, in the course of his judgment that the sale of the interests in the Falcon to Carmel was ‘a contrived transaction, in fraudem legis, to by-pass the preservation order’ and that Carmel was but a tool of King and under his direct control.”

Career criminal King had engaged in a blatant fraud. Colour me surprised. However King followed this up with some perjury:

The Commissioner (of SARS) earlier had sought an order implementing the order to return the Falcon to South Africa pending the finalisation of the said appeal. This had been refused, in part because of a perjured affidavit filed on Carmel’s behalf that the Falcon was safely stored and protected in a hangar at Le Bourget. Another reason was that the aviation authorities had grounded the Falcon on 3 April 2003.

 The Falcon remained put at Le Bourget and this led to a contempt application against, amongst others, King, HAS and Carmel. King, conveniently, had resigned as director of HAS and this, according to Botha J (who heard the contempt application), meant that he could not be held liable for the breach of the order by HAS. After the dismissal of the contempt proceedings King was reinstated as the sole director of HAS. In any event, since the respondent parties involved ‘displayed a willingness to cooperate in bringing about the return of the Falcon to South Africa’, Botha J held that in consequence a committal would be inappropriate. He made an order that would ‘hopefully have the effect of bringing the Falcon back’. It did not. Metlika, who was supposed to provide the finance for the return of the Falcon, withdrew its financial support; Carmel refused to make any funds available for returning the Falcon; and Carmel refused to give consent to the sheriff to return the Falcon to South Africa.”

Note the use of a perjured affidavit and King’s corporate shenanigans. Are you paying attention Lord Bannantyne? King thinks nothing of lying in an affidavit. So what did King do next. He attempted to register the jet in Mauritius. The High Court stepped in to put an end to this attempt to stop SARS disposing of King’s asset. As to the value of King’s attempted fraud and the exchange rate at the time, circa £20m would not be far off the mark:

At the time of the preservation order the value of the Falcon was in the vicinity of R200 million. The Commissioner for SARS also alleged that King’s apparent attitude is that he must at all cost prevent the Falcon from being brought under the control of the court in the hope that something may happen which will make the Falcon or its value available to him in a foreign country. And, concluded the Commissioner, failing this King is ‘patently prepared to see the value of the Falcon lost rather than being utilised to pay’ the Commissioner. These allegations have not been controverted.”

Concluding remarks included the following gem:

Carmel’s first problem is that the Falcon is not Carmel’s property. Carmel may have had a proprietary interest in the Falcon in its capacity as partner in the partnership that was the beneficial owner of the Falcon. However, as I have pointed out, the ‘taking over’ of Manco and RMB’s partnership interest was fraudulent and Carmel cannot rely on a simulated and fraudulent agreement. Carmel relied on a preservation order issued by a Crown Court in England prohibiting Carmel of disposing the Falcon. A sale by the sheriff, said Carmel, would amount to a breach of that order. It is not surprising that, although this was the main defence on the papers, counsel did not press the non sequitur.”

The appeal is dismissed with costs, including the costs of two counsel.

Let’s look at the Moral Equivalence through the prism of aviation. When considering Desmond there is no suggestion of breaking the law. When considering King, we have fraud and a perjured affidavit.

Does anyone recall BBC Scotland doorstepping King in 2007 while he was a director of RFC Plc? Of course not. King is ‘one of the people.‘ The same people who run BBC Scotland.

If I were of a Celtic disposition I might be minded to write to Tony Hall in London requesting a root and branch clearout of ‘the people’ at BBC Scotland. I would also consider witholding any licence fees until assurances on Editorial Control were forthcoming.






A Party Political Broadcast For The Rangers Party

As a xenophobic homophobe takes charge of Scotland for the first time, does anyone miss former manager Craig Brown singing ‘We’re up to our kness in fenian blood‘ to his lover while in charge of the International team? The frankly ludicrous decisions to appoint Mackay as caretaker manager, and not to dismiss Brown for his hate-fest of bigotry, tells us all we need to know about the SFA. This is the same organisation which exonerated Ryan Jack from throttling Dylan McGeouch and attempting to headbutt Anthony Stokes in a game at Ibrox where Rangers Lite hosted Hibs. The same organisation who rescinded the red card Jack received for throwing a punch at Broadfoot and having a kick at him. The same organisation that has allowed Jack to be selected for the national squad despite him being sent off on four occasions in the past twelve months.

When John Beaton correctly sent Jack off in the Hibs game, and Alan Muir followed suit in the game against Kilmarnock, why were their decisions and the red cards rescinded on appeal?

As Ally McCoist was accustomed to saying, ‘who are these people’ at the allegedly independent Disciplinary Panel. Did they review the video footage, or did they take the word of the fourth official? In the Hibs game, Euan Anderson patrolled the technical area. The SFA handbook is quite clear on the remit of the fourth official. It states:

After the match, the fourth official must submit a report to the appropriate authorities on any misconduct or other incident that occurred out of the view of the referee and the assistant referees. The fourth official must advise the referee and his assistants of any report being made – He has the authority to inform the referee of irresponsible behaviour by any occupant of the technical area.”

Note that he does not have the remit or authority to advise the referee, during play, on any decision making. Is this why Jack’s sending off was rescinded and knocked down to a yellow card, which was Alan Muir’s original reaction to the Broadfoot contretemps? Did Jack get off on a technicality?

Did  Euan Anderson, in his report on the Hibs game, not single out Jack for punishment and not corroborate Beaton’s decision?

Jack is not a hard man. He is a mouthy niggler who goes out of his way to noise up the opposition and cause trouble. Since his contentious Bosman to Glasgow’s second club he has adopted a WATP swagger about him. He is evidently enjoying life in the goldfish bowl where the mere sight of a Lite player causes girls to go weak at the knee and drop their knickers faster than a Victoria’s Secret mannequin during the January Sales.

However the decision to include this lacklustre malcontent in the Scotland squad is a naked attempt by Mackay to curry favour with his SFA paymasters and the rogue board at Ibrox. It’s a sop to a second-rate team. Does Mackay consider himself to be a credible contender for the vacancy at Murray Park?

” As the second favourite for the job at Murray Park I staunchly refute claims that I called Dave King a slanted-eyed slope.”

The decision to send off Jack in the game against Hibs resulted in Club 1872, an organisation controlled by the rogue board and which has been established to do its bidding, writing a missive suggesting that the game be replayed. Was this in any way a factor in the decisions to rescind Jack’s red cards? Was his selection for the Scotland squad by way of an apology to Club 1872? Nothing would surprise me from the corrupt cabal who haunt the corridors of Hampden.

But as we talk about Jack, we are not talking about the disastrous accounts, which has been at the top of Slim Shady’s in-tray since their release at 8 p.m. on a Friday evening. As the Jack narrative does not have the legs to maintain the media’s interest, Traynor decided to fly another kite apropos Derek McInnes. He briefed drunk behind the wheel Jim Delahunt that he would be unveiled as Rangers manager last Wednesday. Traynor’s partner in crime, Stephen Kerr, then briefs Jackson that the fee agreed by Sunderland to release McInnes and his assistant from their contracts was for a quantum of £800,000. He and The Sunday Post, the latter clearly riding on Jackson’s coat tails, were fully aware that McInnes had signed a new improved contract but when they added two and two together they still arrived at £800,000. This squirrel is what passes for award-winning journalism in the lickspittle world of the SMSM.

While on the topic of Rangers Lite lickspittles, it would remiss of me not to acknowledge the sterling work done to deflect attention from more bad news at his beleaguered club by Kenny Macintyre in his ‘Hunland‘ magazine on BBC Radio Scotland.

This is a veritable tour de force of Hunnery. Any mention of tax and Dermot Desmond is bound to get a rise from Kenny Mac’s knuckle-dragging listeners. He would never let the salient facts intrude on a good squirrel. Desmond is not a resident of the UK. He has a tax-efficient contract in the Isle of Man. He pays his taxes in full on any dividends paid by Celtic FC.  He did not systemically evade his taxes for a period of twelve years to subvert Scottish football. ‘Hunland‘ will happily run with anything that puts Celtic in a bad light while studiously avoiding reports from The Offshore Game. How on god’s green earth can this rabid Hun be given licence-payers money to run what is in essence a party political broadcast for The Rangers party? Is his commissioning editor up to his knees in it as he signs off on this blue fuck-fest? Do they all don Lite replica tops and fall wanking to the floor after a broadcast? This is a show that is best avoided. It’s a toss-up to decide whether the friendly on Thursday is less appealing than the ‘Hunland‘ magazine.

On a final note both Celtic and Rangers Lite are holding press conferences at 6 p.m. this evening. Are they getting in front of any damning news from a report by the SFSA which will present its findings at a public meeting this evening? Or will Lite bring the house down by announcing Mackay’s appointment?






South African Psycho

For those of you not familiar with American Psycho it’s a 2000 American pitch black comedy horror film co-written and directed by Mary Harron, based on Bret Easton Ellis’s 1991 novel of the same name. It includes a number of disturbing vignettes where the film’s lead and narrator Patrick Bateman (Christian Bale) compensates for his sinecure of a day job by acting out/fantasising about the most despicable acts that could be conjured up in Ellis’s twisted imagination. It includes a scene where Bateman, dressed in what can best be described as a makeshift CSI suit, discusses the finer points of a post-Gabriel Genesis prior to setting about his house guest with an axe.

As far as I’m concerned, The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway, which is in many ways a flawed album, brought the curtain down on Genesis. The plastic pop that followed was anathema to me. I continue to this day to be an ardent follower of Gabriel.




The term turpitude, which has the Latin root turpis i.e. disgraceful, base, is more often than not used in conjunction with moral and gross moral. The latter is grounds for dismissal in most public bodies. However when used in a corporate context one can have no doubt that this article will focus on the question as to what happens next at Ibrox.

When Ashley sold his shares to Club 1872 the last impediment to resolution 11 being passed had been removed. Other dissenting voices have had their rights to vote rescinded. The fact that King and his rogue board can get away with this and continue to be regarded as a PLC should stick in the craw of all right thinking men and women.

The problem is that we are not dealing with right thinking individuals. We are dealing with a South African Psycho. King, with a tenner in his pocket, emigrated to a country where live ammunition and water cannons were liberally used to oppress the indigenous majority. The agitators in chief were either murdered (Biko) or incarcerated for life (Mandela). It was a state of flux. The perfect conditions for a career criminal on the make.

As much as I enjoyed our resident forensic accountants debating the finer points of impairment, I could sense that some of my readers were not quite up to the comptroller minutiae. A sidebar developed on the merits of Fergus McCann. There are those who believe he should have risked his money and spent 5 years working selflessly for a noble cause. Playing for the jersey if you will. They baulk at McCann making £40m when he cashed in his chips. They should think again. Celtic have a minimum of a 10,000 seat advantage at the box office over its rivals. This, and lucrative sponsorship deals, have given Celtic the edge to win six successive titles and to participate in the Champions League year after year. They are a business with a turnover north of £90m which outstrips the new club in Govan by a factor of three.

Ask yourself a question. Who would you prefer to have at the helm of your club? Fergus McCann or Dave King? McCann was always truthful and straight. If King bade you good morning you would be well-advised to check your watch. If he shook your hand a quick audit of your fingers would be in order.

The financial results were from the warm-up magicians in the rogue board including the odious Dickson who is cut from the same cloth as King. The ‘rabbit from the hat’ moment will become apparent when the agenda for the AGM of 30 November is published.

There are those who believe that McInnes will dress up in a sequinned tutu a la Debbie McGhee to distract the audience from the real sleight of hand. The Sunday Post, plagiarising copy written by Jackson and originally drafted by Slim Shady Traynor, are confident that McInnes will make the move this week. What’s £800,000 to a company burning millions? Should McInnes join this clusterfuck of a club he will be buying one-way passage on the Titanic minus iceberg insurance. The bears will turn increasingly Polar should he not secure The Scottish Cup. If he did not secure Europa League participation he would be summarily dismissed.

Rumour has it that Bomber Brown kicked Warburton’s arse when he failed to land the Scottish Cup. The lickspittle SMSM would have us believe that the players were safeguarding themselves from green-hued marauders. The prosaic fact is that Warburton was cowering from the board. Gilligan let rip with some blistering invective. They rounded on Warburton like hyenas on a bare week.

Warburton knew that his time was up in the close season. However he had to bide his time until the manager merry-go-round created a vacancy at Nottingham Forest. When he left, Lite were a distant 24 points behind Celtic. McInnes would not have the cushion of a season in the second-tier against part-time teams. He would be up against teams who have the confidence to play at Ibrox and win. He might be dismissed in a matter of months.

The next two games against Hamilton and Dundee have six points written all over them. Matters become more interesting for McInnes on Wednesday 29th, the day before the AGM, when Aberdeen visit Ibrox. Would McInnes wear a tin hat to fend off the invective from the travelling Aberdeen support?  How would he feel about rocking up at Pittodrie with Lite a few days later on Saturday 2nd December? Does he have King’s rhino skin? Is he the South African Psycho’s apprentice?

Auldheid, who is a most welcome contributor on this site, is of the opinion that we have returned to 2011 where the same perpetrators subverted Rangers UEFA licence application. On the face of it being a minimum of £19.9m in debt, excluding the pay-off to Caixinha and his team and the acquisition of Dorrans, drives a coach and horses through FFP. However King unequivocally stated that Lite are FFP compliant which is good enough for the craven SFA.

Why be hung for a lamb when a sheep is available? The hiring of Mcinnes would put Lite in the box seat for the back-to-back games with Aberdeen.

To be FFP compliant RIFC must convert the loan debt into equity, but this flies in the face of another snippet from the report. The loan repayments have been postponed until 2019. Are our ursine friends beginning to realise that a debt for equity swap would be throwing good money after bad?

How many shares would have to be issued to cover the loan debt?  At 27p, just north of 74 million. However there is a major issue to be considered. If the rogue board pulled this off they would be breaching concert party regulations by stealth. At the moment only the South African Psycho’s head is on the concert party block. Do our ursine friends fancy an encounter with Patrick Bateman’s axe?

We are not living in an apartheid-riven state of flux. The City are watching. Its public watchdog, The Takeover Panel, is alive to the South African Psycho. Should Bannatyne pull the trigger, King will be dead in the water.

The Gullibillies are staring into the abyss, but are being distracted by the thought of Derek McInnes in a sequinned tutu.




RIFC Accounts C.S.I.

Prior to a more detailed look at the Rangers Lite accounts – a forensic Crime Scene Investigation if you will – one takes pause to congratulate Brendan Rodgers and his History Bhoys. Regular readers will note that I coined this term when Celtic equalled Willy Maley’s record. With yesterday’s commanding win in Perth they have written their names in the British football record books. Thoughts inevitably turn to when this record-breaking run will end. Can they go through a second consecutive season undefeated? The style in which they have achieved this record, regularly scoring 3 or more goals, suggests that even some honest mistakes from Bobby Madden would not be enough to derail their trophy-laden goods train. Is a back-to-back treble on the cards?

Aberdeen’s draw was not the end of the world. Being only 3 points adrift of The Invincibles after 12 games is no mean feat. McInnes, and everyone else for that matter, now know that the basket of assets in Govan is a basket case. It would be a graveyard for any ambitious manager. McInnes will keep his powder dry until a better offer than Sunderland comes along.

As for Rodgers the sky’s the limit. He might even be considered for the dead man’s shoes Arsenal job when Wenger inexorably drops his clogs.

However I have not come to praise Rodger’s Caesar. I have come to bury King. I have had a look around at other exercises in analysis, including Martin ‘Engine-Room Subsidiary‘ Williams having a go in The Herald, but they fall short in capturing the Criminal Zeitgeist at Ibrox.

No less than a Chartered Financial Analyst stepped up this morning on our site with the following take:

(1) much has already been made of the £3M payment made to Ashley to rip up the retail agreement. If you look at page 45 of the report, you will see that Rangers Retail Limited earned slightly north of £1M after tax last year. The year before showed a similar, slightly smaller sum. 50% accrues toward Sports Direct, and 50% goes to RIFC. So the £3M payoff to terminate the agreement represents approximately 6 years of future profits that Sports Direct would have expected to receive. This is essentially a buyout. Ashley got the full value of the deal, upfront, guaranteed, and also the opportunity to sign a new deal for the same time period! This is a much different story than what was presented last June. Moreover, King arranged for Real Rangers Men to buy Ashley’s shares at 27p while he was preparing his defense from the Takeover Panel case. Remember, part of his defense is that the ‘market’ price of the shares is more than the 20p he would be required to offer, and nobody would take that offer. But the question arises, at least in my mind, whether that 27p was really the market rate at that time, and whether this should be treated as part of the cost of terminating the Retail contract with Sports Direct. Did King arrange for Ashley’s shares to be purchased at above market rates, and do so as part of the overall compensation offer of terminating the Retail deal, simply so he could create his own feeble defense before the crown?

(2) Looking at the Key Performance Indicators on page 12, one thing that is conspicuous by its absence is any mention of the Europa League Qualifier played at Ibrox on June 29. That match is obviously part of the 2017-18 season, but the Accounts are for the 12 months ended June 30, not for the 2016-17 season. That’s a small distinction, but it matters to accountants and auditors. The revenue recognition principal is for matchday income to be recognized as matches are played. Yet there doesn’t appear to be any disclosure that Rangers recognized the revenue from this match in their accounts.

(3) Page 36 outlines the assumptions they used in the forecast period when they tested for impairment of fixed assets (Ibrox & Murray Park) and intangible assets (brand value). This year’s disclosure is more detailed than prior years, and a couple points stuck out: (a) their baseline assumption is that they will make the group stages of the Europa League at least twice in the next 5 years, and failure to do so would result in an impairment charge against their fixed assets, and (b) their player salaries can grow by no more than 3% above their forecast or they will be forced to impair their assets. From experience, I can tell you that 3% for an exercise like this is considered rounding error. But more than anything, these two things indicate one major conclusion to me: their forecast assumptions are right on the breaking point of being credible and yet they just barely avoided an impairment charge.

(4) Trade Receivables, disclosed in Note 14 on page 46, contained a detail that I found highly unusual, though not necessarily problematic. They are owed £12.5M from merchant service providers relating to season ticket sales. As this is over the summer period when season tickets are being renewed, that would be the likely culprit and an obvious explanation. However, IFRS rules prohibit the creation of a receivable when performance obligations have not been met — i.e. revenue recognized, assets transferred, etc. In other words, this £12.5M is cash that is owed to RIFC for matches played in the 2016-17 season. Going back to the KPI’s on page 12, total season ticket revenue was £13.6M in total for the season. It seems more than a little unusual that the overwhelming majority of season ticket revenue from last season still had not been collected by June 30. Something else must be going on here, and the obvious explanation is that it does indeed represent a receivable for the upcoming season. But that would be a pretty flagrant violation of IFRS accounting rules that a first year accounting student would spot immediately. Maybe someone else can chime in here…

(5) On page 39, we can see revenue was £29.2M, and ongoing structural cash operating expenses consisting of staff costs, Other Operating Costs (policing, stewards, pitch maintenance, and other matchday costs), and hire of plant and machinery totaled £29.7M. RIFC are operating at a permanent, structural, cash flow loss. And that excludes expenses for player acquisition, regardless of whether one wants to measure that via amortization or cash outlay, as well as expenses for other capital outlays, interest expense, one time charges to terminate the Sports Direct deal, one time charges that occur annually to fire their manager and his staff, etc.

(6) Lastly, the disclosure of NOAL and the relationship to King found on page 57 changed from prior years.
Last year’s disclosure: “ Oasis Asset Limited is a company controlled by the Group Chairman, Mr D King.”
This year’s disclosure: “New Oasis Asset Limited is a company in which the Group Chairman, Mr D King and his immediate family are interested.”
When one looks at the last sentence of this year’s report, we learn that NOAL has extended the repayment date of their £6.7M interest-free loan to July 2019. Ordinarily, trustees would be obliged, by law, to invest the trust assets for a financial gain for the benefit of the beneficiaries, particularly if one of them is penniless. It’s a legal quagmire for the trustee, and the only way for the trustee to avoid any legal problems would be to obtain assurances from the beneficiaries, in writing, that they won’t hold the trustee accountable for such negligence. But one thing is for certain: I am sure that such consent has ABOSULTLEY NOTHING AT ALL to do with the change in language regarding one Mr D
 King being merely ‘interested’ in the trust as opposed to it being outright ‘controlled’ by him a year ago.


King and his hired mouth-on-a-stick Slim Shady Traynor have been caught with skid marks on their grey Y-fronts after this forensic debagging by Benjamin. So much for a hard-fought favourable result with SDI. King paid Ashley off in full for six years of the seven years notice period, with the final year ticking down as I write.

There is also the curious case of James Blair recommending the purchase of Ashley’s shares to Club Tropicana at 27p a throw, which one could reasonably conclude was part and parcel of the severance deal.

Ashley has skewered King, turned him over in a rotisserie, and stuffed an apple in his mouth for good measure.

You would like me to be a trustee in NOAL? How quintessentially white of you David. Do I get fries with that?”

As I wrote some time ago, James Blair attended the Takeover Appeal Board hearing where a price of 20p was established, but as he changed hats when checking in as secretary of Club Tropicana, he recommended the significantly higher price of 27p. I’m sure this salient detail was not lost on Blair as he reviewed King’s affidavit to the Court of Session. You cannot keep a good career criminal down.

One would like to think that the £12.5m owed in point 4 of Benjamin’s analysis has not been ringfenced by a Qatari factor? Perish the very thought.

I like nothing more than some semantic juggling as in point 6. Is King so slippery that he is the Limpopo All-Comers Champion of Jello Wrestling? Is he impossible to pin down, just like the roofs of three stands which require major refits? £800,000 might be a sufficient quantum for a bribe to secure a safety certificate but it won’t make any material difference to the precarious three roofs.

Which leads me to the final conclusion of this piece. It’s unequivocally evident that the concert party directors are all-in. They are tapped out. Their last concession was to postpone the due date on their loans.

The future of Rangers Lite is in Career Criminal King’s hands. What could possibly go wrong?


Does The Old Lady of Edmiston Drive Have Bats In Her Belfry?

Keep it out of sight
Keep it out of sight
Undercover of the


My preface is an excerpt from a well known composition by Keith Richards & Mick Jagger. It succinctly sums up the rationale for the Friday evening publication of RIFC’s accounts to 30 June 2017. The rogue board and the squatters at Auchenhowie are attempting to blindside the business press who would hang these accounts out to dry. They know that the Lite fans with laptops in the SMSM don’t have the intellectual capacity to read an annual report. However the hapless hacks should be able to discern that these accounts were signed off by King and the auditors on the 26th October, yet they were not released until a Friday evening eight days later. A cynic might suggest that the rogue board are trying to bury bad news

Will Lord Bannatyne, as he sits down to Eggs Benedict this morning at his Morningside pile, be caught mid-mouthful by an article in the Scotsman? Will he note that NOAL, which is an anagram of LOAN, will advance an emergency quantum of £4m to keep the lights on at Ibrox? With his forensic mind will he add this sum to the £2.8m already advanced by NOAL and the subtotal to the promissory note for an additional £3.2m and arrive at a NOAL grand total of £10m? Will it occur to him that Mr King, whose counsel fallaciousaly claimed was ‘Penniless‘ could get his greedy grasping hands on a sum sufficient to comply with the Takeover Panel’s edict? Will it occur to him that the former Lord Advocate of Scotland, Baron Davidson of Glen Clova, was lying through his back teeth? If Lord Bannatyne read my article that I published yesterday and Mr Whitehouse’s withering assessment of Jim Keegan, might he form the opinion that Davidson is just another rogue QC from the bottom of the advocates’ barrel? I would be surprised if his Lordship had not read my blog as I am reliably informed by my bewigged learned friend that it was the hot topic in chambers.

If Lord Bannatyne is as astute as I’m led to believe by My East Coast Legal Eagle, and he is not unduly influenced by those who ‘swing the lead‘ he will inexorably arrive at the conclusion  that King must comply with the Takeover Panel edicts.

Does The Old Lady of Edmiston Drive have bats in her belfry?

King, safely ensconced in his Johannesburg digs, will do no such thing. Ladina, who has converted the basement (which at one time held 28,000 bottles of boosted wine) into a dance studio, will invite King to get down and dirty to a Jane Fonda workout to ease the onerous burden of his grand opening of his cheque book. One wonders whether NOAL’s quantum is residing in a Yellow Sea tax haven not far from the city made famous by Jane’s impromptu visit during the Vietnam War; and by a prison that made Guantanamo Bay resemble a Butlin’s holiday camp. Is NOAL’s treasure chest being looked after by Messrs Scott and Ross? Which begs the questione of how it was siphoned out of South Africa? Perhaps The Serious Fraud Office, who are the real deal and not the bare-nippled huns of Police Scotland lore, will chap King’s door after they have dealt with the odious money-laundering Gupta family. King is so bent that he could pass as an Indian businessman.

Prior to a look at the accounts I take pause to chuckle at the brass neck of King who gave Sir Bribe & Lie £20m to hide from the South African Revenue Service and duly received a £15m ‘dividend’ with SB&L trousering £5m. This was money laundering in the raw but narurally passed unnoticed by the Lodge Luddites who were hopping around with blindfolds at the time. King now wants a return of 3.91p per bent pound. One would need a face painter to colour me surprised should the small stakeholders not rip new ones in the joint liquidators if they give a backhander to King on BDO’s next visit to the Argyle Suite.

In any report signed off by King it’s best to ignore his foreword farrago of lies and proceed directly to the Auditor’s Report and the following gem:


We draw attention to note 1 to the financial statements concerning the Group’s ability to continue as a going concern. In order to continue operations for the next 12 months the Group is dependent upon raising additional finance to cover the projected cash shortfall of £4m in season 2017/18 and a further £3.2m in season 2018/19. Failure to secure additional funding would result in the existence of a material uncertainty which may cast significant doubt as to the Group’s ability to continue as a going concern. The financial statements do not include the adjustments that would result if the Group was unable to continue as a going concern. Our opinion is not modified in respect of this matter.

The material uncertainty of relying on loans from a Chairman who will soon be subject to a Cold Shoulder order should ring alarm bells at Ibrox. The Takeover Panel will not accept that NOAL is providing loans at arm’s length to King. They did not come down in the last shower. Receiving loans from the disgraced chairman will throw a huge spanner in the works. Don’t be surprised if Metro Bank walks away and the players are paid by cash in brown envelopes.

Which leads to my next point. Does King honestly believe that he can find a NOMAD and an exchange to accept a company relying on loans from a Cold Shouldered Chairman? It’s just not going to happen. Not in 2018. Not as long as the disgraced chairman is cutting cheques at NOAL to keep the lights on.

It’s also interesting to note that the accounts don’t include the compensation due to Caixinha and his team and I’m led to believe the acquisition of Dorrans. There won’t be much change out of a £1m for addressing the former. Jim Delahunt and Chris Sutton were evidently taking the proverbial when they claimed that this beleaguered club had the wherewithal to buy out McInnes’ contract. How does their idle speculation square with a £4m emergency quantum?

This company is listing under the weight of £15.9m of loans and other than the ludicrous valuations of Ibrox and Murray Park would be technically trading whilst insolvent. Their operating expenses increased by £7.1m from the comparative figure in 2016 to £31.3m. The Operating Loss of £6.7m for the year was more than double the losses incurred in 2016.

How the rogue board can assert with a straight face that they are close to breaking even truly beggars belief. What part of a £6.7m loss do they not understand?

Is it any wonder they slipped this out under the cover of the night. In layman’s terms that even the Gullibillies could understand they cannot afford McInnes or any other manager in serious employ and will have to make do with Murty and his fractured squad.

£7.2m in loans will not be sufficient to keep this charabang on the road. This figure is predicated on unrealistic assumptions.

King has the audacity to talk about Lite regaining their dominance in Scottish football. Are they planning to drop back down to the second tier?



The Curious Case Of The Missing Missive

Yesterday’s piece was on balance very well-received. Someone imbued with the SFA’s mindset made a case for Rangers as a force for good in Scottish football. He challenged me to rebut his points and should I do so he would donate £50. I provided a direct quote from Peter Lawwell which unequivocally contradicted his basic premise. As we have come to expect from Rangers-facing individuals, he welched on his debt.

I was planning to write a piece on Rangers welching on their football debts, King’s latest confidence trick and 276 creditors being stiffed with peppercorn returns on the pound, but this will have to remain in development for the time being. A learned friend from Edinburgh has been in touch with some insights that will astonish my readers.

I have often stated that I curate comments on our award-winning site with a light touch. I will publish comments that I don’t agree with but I baulk at comments that are materially wrong. When Ayephone asserted that two former Duff & Phelps employees had settled their case with COPFS and Police Scotland I knew that he was wrong. Giving him the benefit of the doubt I arranged for an intermediary to contact the principals who confirmed that his argument was wide of the mark. However I went the extra yard and contacted a learned friend in Edinburgh. His insights that I will exclusively reveal in this piece will astonish you. I challenge readers to retain the merest vestige of confidence in the Crown Office & Procurator Fiscal Service (COPFS) and Police Scotland. Is it any wonder the latter tried to silence me and threatened me with action from COPFS when I wrote a slew of articles which highlighted their ineptitude. These articles were described as hard hitting. I now realise that I did not hit home hard enough.

The incontrovertible facts are that David Grier is suing Police Scotland in the Sheriff Court for £2million. In the higher courts Paul Clark is suing the Crown and Police Scotland for £5m and David Whitehouse is in for £9m, also against The Crown and Police Scotland. However it is to Mr Whitehouse and The Curious Case of the Missing Missive that I initially wish to turn.

Last year the Scottish Government’s Justice Committee invited submissions for the Inquiry into the role and purpose of the Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal Service.


There were a number of submissions including one from a party that represented the ‘Inalienable Rights of Scottish Badgers’ and in precipitous relief to this flight of fancy there was what can best be described as a somewhat constrained salvo from David Grier. Mr Grier’s remittance to the Inquiry had a light touch.

However there is a submission missing from the Inquiry’s list and I can exclusively reveal that it was from Mr Grier’s colleague, David Whitehouse. My bewigged learned friend in Edinburgh informs me that the Justice Committee, whilst pandering to Scotland’s badgers, ran a mile when they saw Mr Whitehouse’s allegations. Their excuse for not accepting his document was that it was defamatory of certain lawmakers.

The trouble is that everybody on the committee has seen this blistering missive and so have half of the legal profession in Scotland’s capital city. Happily one of the honest lawmakers who regularly reads my articles was only too happy to send me a copy and here it is for your delectation. Please read it carefully as its insights are explosive. I have added bold and occasionally red typeface to draw attention to key takeaways but I have not in any way adulterated the original text:


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.


Defamatory? Only if it’s untrue but from what we know of the behaviour of police and prosecutors in the Rangers fiasco I doubt whether Mr Whitehouse need worry that a writ will be heading his way. Indeed with his £9m lawsuit underway, all the heavy artillery is now under his control and aimed squarely at Edinburgh. I have never met Mr Whitehouse and he does not know that I have this document but I don’t think he will be unhappy that it is to receive a wider audience. I think one can also reasonably assume that the meat of his statement to the spineless Justice Committee is basically the thrust of his damages case against Police and Crown.

I must admit to almost slack-jawed amazement to the revelation that Jim Robertson used a Rangers chant to intimidate a witness. Given his lack of any skill set in economic crime how did this hairy-arsed detective sergeant become a detective inspector during the course of the trial? Were Police Scotland attempting to confer a pretext of gravitas on their bumbling Keystone Cop?

Then there is Jim Keegan’s fraudulent elevation to the position of Queen’s Counsel. It truly beggars belief. I wrote extensively at the time that someone disqualified as a director for three years for fraudulent trading should not be leading a major Crown prosecution. COPFS sent their attack dogs, Police Scotland, to silence me. I paid no heed to the threats that were articulated to my parents.

However even these truly shocking revelations pale somewhat when one considers that Keegan acted for The Blue Knights and that a Procurator Fiscal was formerly married to a party who submitted a bid, under a ‘Macleod Clan’ banner, for the assets of Rangers.

Mr Whitehouse goes even further than laying out these incontrovertible facts. He accuses COPFS of perverting the course of justice.

In Ayephone’s flawed analysis he stated that Grier and Clark wanted Keegan’s and Robertson’s heads on a plate. Mr Whitehouse has not only delivered both heads. He has also had them stuffed.