Shyster, Rip-off & Run CIC

As regular readers of this site already know , King neither has the wherewithal nor the desire to invest in Rangers. I informed everyone who would listen that there would be an amalgamation of the RST and RF and that they would be King’s bankers of last resort. I informed everyone that there is a cash crisis as ST receipts have already been expended. I informed everyone that there would not be an ISDX listing and that there was no possibility of repaying the £5m loan from Sports Direct. The latest development does not surprise me. What does surprise is its audacious scope:

“There have been many shareholders in RIFC in recent years for whom the Club’s interests do not come first. Rangers supporters will ensure that the Club’s interest and its success is always paramount. To achieve this aim, it will be necessary to remove shareholders who do not share the same vision.”

Frankly I find it astonishing that any UK plc would engage in removing shareholders who choose not to report directly to the board. The board should report to shareholders. In King’s Rangers, the shareholders report directly to the board. In King’s Rangers, those who chose not to reveal their identity will have their shares removed and resold to the new equity conglomerate for the benefit of King and his shyster board. However there’s more:

“Rangers supporters can also use the shares they have acquired to back those with the Club’s best interests at heart.”
Translation once you buy the shares that we have stolen, don’t worry about it as we need the money desperately.
“At the moment there are over 20,000 Rangers supporters who are members of and contributors to the various Rangers fan groups. The Club’s Board of Directors were all born and brought up as Rangers supporters but they know the Club’s future success is best ensured by broadening its ownership amongst the many.”

Translation if there are any funds in your escrow accounts, give them to us now.We are real Rangers men and we know how to spend your money wisely.
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“The destination for the monies raised by this Rangers First CIC will include assisting the future financial performance of the Club. The perils of relying on banks and the market in this regard have become all too clear in recent years.”

Translation we cannot get a listing due to the toxicity of our chairman, and there is no possibility of an overdraft.

Give generously as we are having ‘technical difficulties’ with our Chairman’s Western Union account.

Occam’s Razor

Occam’s razor is the principle (attributed to William of Occam) that in explaining a thing no more assumptions should be made than are necessary.

One of our relatively new contributors. Launch The Staunch, included this concept in his defence of King. In another comment he claimed that King’s hegemony was predicated on him contributing the lion’s share of the £8m. This was so preposterous that I chose to not approve it. He has also attempted to bait me into making contentious statements and has criticized me for not allowing a pro-King voice. He claims that I am not encouraging informed debate.

Today Gordo RFC returned from his self-imposed exile. As much as I would like this to be a ‘speakeasy’ portal, I have to be sensitive to an audience that to date has registered more than a quarter million views. I’m also encouraged by excellent contributions by Wessex and Gwared who are known to me from the RSL site.

What has engaged so many of us is the question as to what’s in it for King? Vanity should be our first port of call. King continues to be a pariah in South Africa. He has ripped off everyone unfortunate enough to encounter him. In doing so he has made some powerful enemies.

Not one of the four hundred companies on the JSE would allow him to sit as a non-executive director on their board. They know he is a career white collar criminal who many believe should be behind bars. However, here in Scotland, he is allowed to be a director by our supine SFA. King is no longer welcome in the more exclusive golf clubs in South Africa. His presence would be anathema to those on the receiving end of his confidence tricks. He has no credibility or any gravitas. By appointing himself chairman of Rangers, he takes the view that he will be perceived in a more favourable light and that he won’t continue to be overlooked and avoided. He has engaged Level 5 to promote this revisionism and as is always the case with King, the clever part is that he did not pay for their services.

He did not pay for his shares. Had he done so he would have contravened South African exchange controls. As part of the deal that keeps him out of prison, King was forced to repatriate all his assets and funds held in offshore trusts. Someone other than King paid for his equity.

With no outlay, King became chairman of Rangers and now benefits from the puff pieces created by Traynorand Kerr.

His second motivation, which is linked to vanity, is his desire to be in the limelight. The Scottish media hang on his every word. Jim White flew down to Johannesburg to be given a tour of a cellar, the majority of which had been ‘relocated’ from his Quoin Rock Winery prior to the bailiffs (The Scorpions) sequestrating and selling it to pay his tax debts. He has a £17m mortgage on the property that he showed off to White, but these details were lost as King led him by the nose through his criminal crib. King loves the idea of being important and being feted by the press.

The benefits for King will not be at Rangers. The benefits will be at MMI, the company he co-founded with Greg Morris in South Africa. It has had a troubled past with numerous red flags in regard to solvency.The careful manipulation of quarterly returns has resulted in the original 50c shares now trading at circa R20. Trading volumes are minimal as no-one trusts King.

However our Messiah will claim that he has been rehabilitated and is so fiscally upstanding that he is allowed to be the chairman of one of the UK’s most venerable institutions, Rangers. Surely if he can be trusted in the UK with their higher standards of corporate governance, he can be trusted in South Africa? I’m sure King will make a compelling case as he siphons of its value. This is what he does best.

Does King have any appreciable wealth? No he does not. His recent dividends payments from MMI were circa £1.5m. His salary is £215,000 per annum. This is exactly what he has to his name. His claims about putting up £30m was just a lie to encourage others with £20m to step up to the plate.

Of course these so-called well-heeled Rangers fans that he promised was yet another lie. When questioned on his £30m he reverts to the exchange control difficulties, something I prefer to refer to as The Gilligan Defence.

King will cling on to being chairman for as long as possible. It cost him nothing and it pays for his first class travel on British Airways and his stays at The Shard Shangri La.

The South African pariah has a seat at the top table and it did not even cost him his time.

The RST v PMG

The Rangers Supporters Trust (RST) owns 2,179,009 shares in Rangers International Football Club plc. This represents 2.67% of the issued equity. Prior to the Extraordinary General Meeting on March 6 the RST campaigned aggressively for proxy votes, and successfully aligned 2,943,087 shares/votes, which represents 3.61% of the issued capital. The campaign to orchestrate their collective proxy 6.28% holding was spearheaded by Chris Graham. In return for his votes for King, he was given a blazer, but was forced to resign when it became clear he was a committed Islamaphobe. Mr Graham chose to distribute and create images of Mohammed engaged in bestiality. Mr Graham stepped down from the shyster board within 48 hours of his appointment. He did not step down from his position of influence at the RST.

The RST currently counteract their paucity of shares and real power, with attacks on who they perceive are enemies of King. The latter’s hegemony seems to amplify their voice. Their opposition to Mike Ashley’s £10m loan is well documented. Even though their mandate is to use the money they raise to buy shares, they were prepared to raise a temporary injunction at The Court of Session and considered more litigation to challenge the £10m facility.They were advised that any action raised was destined to fail. They therefore reluctantly climbed down.

In 2008, the RST was involved in the controversy surrounding Rangers fans’ singing of The Famine Song. Despite widespread condemnation of the song from politicians, pressure groups and the media, the RST rejected claims that it was racist, stating : “Racism is not a wind-up, however distasteful, aimed at Scottish Celtic fans and in rejecting these specious accusations the Trust restates our opposition to racism and sectarianism, which stands comparison to any other similar body. The Trust’s position is clear enough. The vast majority of the Rangers support do not regard Celtic FC as Irish in any shape or form. Therefore, sentimental songs about how these British/Scottish people at Celtic suffered because of the Irish famine are bogus and degrading to the real Irish people. It is hardly surprising there is constant mockery of those at Celtic Park’s permanent confusion about their own identity“.

My interpretation of this statement is, that as far as the RST is concerned, The Famine Song is a parody mocking the ‘plastic Paddies’ at Celtic Park. Anyone who is aware of the lyrics of this song know that the RST’s statements on this matter are at best disingenuous.

There are those who consider that Phil Mac Giolla Bhain courts controversy. He has few, if any, friends in the Rangers support. The more informed in our support retain a watching brief on his output. As I have consistently stated you must be diligent and discerning when gleaning information from his articles. However he is informed and he evidently has sources.

The RST set out to gag him. They were offended by an article he wrote in regard to Rangers in The Belfast Telegraph. I have read the article. There is nothing contentious or disputed in his piece. What the RST were challenging was his ‘right‘ to comment on our club. They claimed a significant victory in silencing Mr Mac Giolla Bhain. They claimed that the Belfast Telegraph would not commission any contributions from him henceforth. They were lying.

The editor of The Belfast Telegraph had never even heard of the RST, until they were brought to her attention. She emphatically stated that Mr Mac Giolla Bhain would be commissioned as and when she saw fit, and her editorial control would not be undermined by a group she had never heard of and who had no influence.

I posit that those who gave their proxy votes to the RST should be aware of what they stand for. They allow their officers to engage in offensive anti-Islamic rhetoric and they claim more influence than they can yield.

Holding the board to account

“JJ Most of us don’t care who you are. We value your observations and forensic analysis of the situation at Ibrox. The fools who are trying to silence you have lost the argument so are resorting to intimidation to silence any deviation from the “official” position on events.Makes you wonder whether the attacks on you have been sanctioned by royal decree.”

I would like to thank Wessex for the aforementioned comment. It’s the second time I have featured his comments as a preface to an article. Wessex  formerly contributed to the RSL site and if memory serves made a comment on The Scottish Football Monitor. With the current suspension of the RSL site, there are few outlets for informed debate.

It was never my intention to in any way replace the RSL. I did not have any lofty ambitions when I wrote my first article, The Unvarnished Truth on the 19th September of this year. I knew that I would attract criticism and I knew where it would come from. Those currently engaged in smear tactics are well known to me. However they do not have the first inkling about me, other than what I have written that remains in the public domain. Wessex is a nom de plume, as is JJ and @sitonfence.

Almost eight months ago, on March 6, we were confronted by a revised view of David Cunnigham King. This perspective was meticulously crafted by James Traynor and Stephen Kerr of Level 5. I have never criticized Stephen Kerr who was a loyal servant to Rangers. Mr Kerr spent more years than the months of Traynor’s tenure. He did not walk away with shares provided to him by Charles Green. There has been cogent media speculation that Mr Traynor subsequently sold these shares to Felix Magath. If this is the case, I posit that the profits made would be capable of underwriting the start-up costs of a professional PR operation. The fact that James Traynor continues to contribute to the Rangers narrative after his shocking lack of journalistic due diligence in regard to Craig Whyte, causes some concern. The fact that he openly stated that Green could dress up his new company, but it would never be Rangers, did not stop him working for Green. He is a hypocrite of the highest order. In many ways he is the perfect folly for Dave King.

Dave King has delivered nothing during his tenure. There are those who believe he appointed W&W, but if that is the case he broke his commitment to the SFA when he unequivocally stated he would not act as a shadow director. I am persuaded by the view that he treated the SFA with the contempt they clearly deserve, and if they had refused to grant him his ‘fit & proper’ status he would have taken them to court. He would have instructed Anderson Strathern. The invoice, as is the case with the invoices from Level 5, would have been settled by Rangers, not King. You can see how someone so compromised by the EBT fallout, Campbell Ogilvie, would be keen to avoid legal scrutiny. His statements to Lord Nimmo Smith were described by informed sources as a masterclass in obfuscation.

Meanwhile, four hundred miles away at Wembley Stadium, The English FA have banned Massimo Cellino, of Leeds United until June 2016 for not paying VAT on an imported Land Rover. King systemically evaded taxes for his entire white-collar criminal career in South Africa. He falsified returns and lied shamelessly. He dressed up as a caddie and applied for the South Africa equivalent of Legal Aid. He was convicted. When we compare and contrast Cellino with King, it is not a huge leap to suggest that the SFA board are compromised.

King is a slippery character and those who believe that he won’t put pressure on our fans collectives are naive. No-one else would do business with King. Gary Player was quick to disassociate himself with King when the latter sued him for $1m. Apparently King, through a convoluted trust fund maze set up to evade tax, invested $1m in a stud farm owned by Mr Player. King was desperate to raise funds to pay his legal expenses, so he went after a long-term friend. He was paid off and declared persona non grata.

The sooner someone comes along, pays him off, and declares him persona non grata at Rangers, the better our opportunities will be from operating with a clean board.

Hoisting King by his own petard.

One of my favourite novelists, Graham Greene, died in 1991.Greene’s vision of a journalist was of a working man with a pen.An unpretentious man, in and of the world, who wrote for readers, not critics. The two main themes of Greene’s prolific output were those of literature and entertainments.

My previous article, A Glossary, was intended as an entertainment. However the po-faced King acolytes have clearly had a sense of humour bypass operation. They are clearly obsessed with discovering who I am. They have come up with wild guesses ranging from Martin Bain to others known only to those of a CFC persuasion. They continue to be deluded. They have come to the conclusion that anyone who is anti-King is anti-Rangers. They clearly lack the sophistication to discern between both camps. They are best ignored. Had they spent more time asking questions about Whyte, Green and King, we would not be in our invidious predicament.

As has now become increasingly common, my Twitter account was linked to an exchange with Keith Jackson. Some are critical of his work but I find him to be the most approachable and best informed journalist working within the Level 5 polluted SMSM. He is by far the most accurate. Mr Jackson has joined the consensus that the shyster board are desperately in need of soft loans to maintain a team on the park this season. This conclusion is obvious to all of those whose vision has not been obscured by burying their heads in the sand, just as they did with Whyte and Greene.

I was appalled when King appointed himself chairman of our once fine club. I was outraged by the way he orchestrated smear campaigns against the previous board and drove down the share price to its all time low of 18p. King should be an anathema to any informed Rangers supporter. His audacious plan to use our season card money to his own ends sums up this criminal shyster.

King promised us a NOMAD; he lied. King stated that Mike Ashley was one he could do business with. Ashley took him to court to shut him up and called an EGM to embarrass him. Llambias knew that King was lying and practically broke. Smart businessmen have his number. However alarm bells should have been ringing when he was unable to repay £5m to Sports Direct. Surely an inkling could have been gleaned when King’s criminal convictions resulted in RIFC’s equity being de-listed?

This was an underfunded unprofessional coup d’etat. The procession of beating second tier teams every week does not disguise the fact that his first decision was cut the player payroll by £3.8m and force former players to pursue legal action for their holiday pay entitlement.

King promised transparency. He delivered Level 5 to obscure and obfuscate.

King did not come down in the last shower. The Charles Green v RIFC proceedings at the Court of Session would be the perfect opportunity to force the fans collectives to provide their funds as a soft loan. In my considered opinion, the shyster board can limp forward to the hearings on the 12th, but as soon as his first installment becomes due, they will be in the red with no possibility of meeting his legal obligations.

At this point it’s worth noting that Craig Whyte attempted to have his costs met by the insurers of RFC plc. As I clearly stated in a previous article, no insurer would indemnify against criminal charges. Charles Green, who had run a football company, had the foresight to arrange for his board to sign off on a Compromise Agreement to pay any reasonable legal costs should they fall due. It’s an iron-clad agreement. The argument that it is an annex to a criminal conspiracy does not stand up to legal scrutiny. At the time of the hearing on 12th November, Charles Green must be presumed to be innocent.

Rangers First and the RST are now between a rock and a hard place. They have been told that King is attempting to circumvent the South African exchange controls to deliver his investment. He is of course lying, but it’s an obvious tactic that many of us predicted.

There must be smart individuals in both organisations who are not prepared to back a charlatan who is not even hands-on. McCann gave five years of his time to putting CFC in order. King has spent five days, if that, most of which were staged by Level 5.

I would turn the tables and hoist him by his own petard. I propose that they give the board the funding on the condition that King sells his 11.45% equity at the price he paid for his shares (using borrowed money) and on the second condition that he tenders his immediate resignation. This would be a win-win for RF and the RST. Their combined holding would be almost 24% and the good name of Rangers would no longer be tarnished by King. With King gone, others would be prepared to do business with Rangers.

There will be challenges ahead, but they will not be insurmountable should they remove King.

A Glossary

JJ,I do my best to follow the ins and outs of all the proceedings but sometimes I find myself stymied despite my best efforts by a lack of clear understanding of the peripheral players in this bizarre saga. What would you say to some sort of ongoing glossary of names including a very brief background and probable motives? It could probably be done in a couple of sentences for most people without going in to too much extraneous detail. I realise it would be rather a lot of work, but it would certainly help all but the most hardcore readers follow events more clearly. Perhaps it could even be crowdsourced by your readers, (although that would almost certainly descend into farce I suspect).

I received this comment today and I honestly thought that someone was attempting to pull my chain. But on reflection I decided to provide a glossary for some of the players and their respective epithets:

DCK    David Cunningham King

G&SL  A glib and shameless liar- DCK

The Gilligan Defence This is not an obscure chess opening. It refers to Mr Gilligan defending DCK’s ‘technical difficulty’ in                                        providing the £30m he promised to invest. Please refer to G&SL

SIDAM  This is the diametric opposite of the Midas touch, best exemplified by Chris Graham’s 48 hour elevation to the                       board, not be confused with:

SDM      Sir David Murray, a noted bon viveur and raconteur, whose epicurean take on lamb has been described as the                     most succulent ever tasted by the Orson Welles of journalism, James Traynor. Sir David was so adept at                               borrowing money that Gavin Masterton provided him with a network of Bank of Scotland ATM’s, one of which was                 rumoured to exist in his executive water closet. Sir David’s idea of a quiet night in was a solo performance by                       Lionel Richie singing Hello, which was a Karaoke favourite of Craig Whyte

Craig Whyte The Motherwell-born billionaire was forced to cut short a proposed trip to Cancun. He indignantly traded his                           bucket list for a legal aid application. Mr Whyte is renowned for his taste in women and conspiracies.

Charles Green Mr Green is fond of fillies and changing horses just prior to being under starter’s orders.. The current odds of                          4/6 on his latest runner, Compromise Agreement, is considered generous by legal experts.

Paul Murray  Noted for having great hair and……did I mention the hair?

ICAS  The Institute of Chartered Accountants of Scotland has never heard of Dave King, despite CA being printed on his                South African business cards. Please refer to G&SL.

The Scorpions Having sold all of King’s assets for a song (Hello by Lionel Richie?) these hardened South African bailiffs                               were amused to find that Dave King did not own the watch on his wrist. It was actually owned by a British                               Virgin Islands Trust Fund.

Oscar Pistorius  Mr Pistorius was sentenced to five years imprisonment for culpable homicide, which is 77 years less than                             Dave King received. Should Mr Pistorius apply for Fit and Proper Approval at the SFA, a letter from his                                 cell should suffice.

EBT  Employment Benefit Trusts. One of SDM’s more creative tax avoidance instruments, where a loan is given for a                    period of 999 years in lieu of salary. SDM’s ATMs went down for 24 hours so he arranged a £6m bridging loan to be            repaid in the 31st Century.

  

  

A Healthy Club?

JJ re the 22 consortia – That was back in 2012 when the club wasn’t at the centre of fraud allegations over the acquisition of the assets. Who in their right mind is likely to make a bid when administration occurs?
The assets are either under dispute in court or they have been secured by creditors. The court case covering acquisition of assets is going to run for years. The intellectual property is also secured by creditors so I am struggling to see what is left to be rescued by any consortia when admin occurs.
This Rangers incarnation is dead in the water in my opinion and any funds / support available from supporters groups should be withheld until they can organise a phoenix club. One that plays out of Hampden / Scotstoun / Firhill as a temporary measure as Ibrox is tainted until ownership can be determined.
I know this is unlikely to be popular but fan ownership of a phoenix club is the only way I can see that a healthy club can emerge from this horrible mess.”

I would like to take this opportunity to welcome Wessex Blue to this site. Wessex was a contributor to the excellent RSL site that was run by our good friends Bill, Billy and Ninjaman. Those familiar with his contributions will know that he tends to keep his powder dry until such time as he can make several points.

His first point is in regard to administration. It’s obvious to everyone that if no external funding can be arranged then the current corporate vehicle RIFC won’t survive. However the appointment of John Gilligan and James Blair to the shyster board was no accident. The last throw of the dice for King and Murray is the amalgamation of Rangers First (RF) and the RST. A meeting, that was kept under wraps, has already occurred. The first order of business of the new group will be to loan the board the funds they so desperately require to continue.

Should they realize that King was lying all along and that they are not prepared to throw their good money after bad then administration is inevitable. In the present circumstances, if this were any other business where the assets are under warranty and subject to an ownership dispute once two of their former CEO are dealt with in court, there would be only one outcome.

I agree with you that RIFC is on borrowed time. I also agree with Bill and Ninjaman’s view that Ibrox is on borrowed time due to the gentrification plans for the Govan area. A new stadium west of Ibrox with good M8 access would make perfect sense, especially if the costs of this move could be underwritten by the sale of Ibrox. It would be a more attractive proposition to a developer if there was no warranty on The Albion Road car park, but that would not be our problem if we paid Ashley as we should. My father and late grandfather attended the game on January 2, 1971. I recall waiting anxiously for the return of their supporters bus with my mother on the worst day of our history. I understand the views of those who want to maintain Ibrox as a mausoleum to the fallen. As much as I sympathize with this view it’s time to move on. Green did not spend the £8m raised in the IPO on Ibrox as stated in his prospectus. The cost of removing the asbestos from the main stand and other repairs are conservatively estimated at £15m. The business case for a move is compelling.

I’m fairly certain a deal could be brokered by the SFA and Queens Park to play at Hampden, but we should do so as a Scottish Premiership team. We could survive a 25 point penalty and still gain automatic promotion, but should we liquidate RIFC/TRFCL as many believe is inevitable, it would be back to the fourth tier. This is unacceptable.

The solution here is simple. A new owner with a minimum of £15m to his name steps forward and pays off Ashley his £5m. We sell the land and move to a new stadium. We open our own outlet to sell our merchandising at the stadium and online, creating new brands if necessary. The concert party shares of Taylor, Park,Letham and King are bought for as little as possible to rid ourselves of another criminal. With their 34% and a deal done with Easdale for his shares, 60% equity could be acquired for less than £10m (20p per 1p ordinary share).

Relocate to a new site in 2/3 years and if we can sell Auchenhowie to a developer, we could invest this money on the park. We cut a deal with Glasgow City Council. We move from Ibrox, freeing up this land for their plans, on the basis of allowing development at Auchenhowie. Should the assets revert to BDO, let them sort out the mess.

King took over the club with nothing in his pocket. Both Whyte and Green brought more than he did to the table.

The sooner we rid ourselves of this pariah, the better.