Archive for the ‘Claim Chowder’ Category

A club capable of being owned and operated

Thursday, September 11th, 2014

On last night’s Sportsound programme on BBC Radio Scotland, the former Herald journalist Richard Wilson – now working in some sort of capacity with the BBC – spent some considerable time attempting to explain the current financial farrago going on at Rangers.

During his stint on-air, he was asked a question by the programme’s presenter, Kenny McIntyre, that went something long the lines of: if the club runs out of cash, would this be classed as a second or a first administration?

McIntyre’s question is important, for two reasons; one is down to how the club would be punished if it was forced into administration due to cash-flow problems, and the second concerns the myth being perpetuated by supporters of the club that it is the same entity which existed prior to its liquidation in 2012 with honours and history intact.

Wilson responded with the following remark:

“In February 2013, Lord Nimmo Smith ruled that the current club was a continuation of the same entity, so Rangers – in a football sense – are the same club, so therefore it would be a second administration. In corporate terms, it would be a first administration for Rangers International Football Club.”

Now, here is the problem with this: the High Court Judge Lord Nimmo-Smith, in a document produced for the Scottish Premier League in 2013, published a remark to the effect that football clubs are capable of being owned and operated or bought and sold by a “parent” company or operator.

The document was produced as part of a tribunal commissioned by the SPL to determine whether The Rangers Football Club PLC had broken league rules in its remuneration to players.

The crucial element here is that Nimmo-Smith’s remarks were not a legal ruling or court judgement; they were his own personal view.

His opinion has never been put to the test in a court of law, but it suited the SPL’s agenda at the time (ie. to restore Rangers – and their income potential – to the top-flight of Scottish football).

However, Wilson casually passed along Nimmo-Smith’s remarks as fact on-air – either because he does not understand their original purpose, or he has a deep-rooted desire to somehow make them true.

It’s a form of journalism best-suited to a newspaper.

The BBC has often found itself in trouble for remarks made by its presenters and journalist like this before, especially where Rangers are concerned – usually when the corporation has reported that Rangers were NOT a continuing entity (see: Jim Spence Rangers Jibes), so this is a curious about-face by the national broadcaster – and it will be interesting to see if Wilson’s remarks go unchecked, or if the angry hoards rise up demanding redress.

Ultimately, it’s a classic illustration of how the individual perspective of one journalist, based on the subtleties of their language when tasked with interpreting and reporting information can be influenced by their own world view.

Rangers boss Ally McCoist vows to remain at Ibrox after being linked with Crystal Palace

Sunday, August 24th, 2014

The Daily Record’s Scott McDermott, perpetuating a total fiction:

RANGERS boss Ally McCoist has vowed to stay at Ibrox – amid speculation that he’s on a list of candidates for the vacant Crystal Palace job.

Reports in London suggest the Ibrox gaffer is one of a host of names linked with the position at Selhurst Park, along with former Celtic manager Neil Lennon.

Try to read that first line again without laughing.

Sources close to US billionaire George Soros rubbish claims that he is ready to buy into Gers

Friday, August 22nd, 2014

Gary Ralston writing in The Daily Record:

They insist they’ve never heard of Green, have no interest in doing business with him or any desire to invest in Rangers.

Claim Chowder from the BBC’s Chris McLaughlin only 10 days ago:

Former Rangers chief executive Charles Green has told BBC Sport he is close to raising up to £10m to invest in the Scottish Championship club.[...]

[...]One of the interested parties is Soros Fund Management and it is believed the US-based group have held talks with a senior Rangers official.

Celtic vent fury after being hit by emotional blackmail and claims of bad manners from Legia Warsaw in wake of Champions League exit

Monday, August 11th, 2014

The Daily Record’s Craig Swan gets his jockey pants in a knot at a three-sentence statement from Celtic.

SEETHING Celtic last night fought back after being smacked by emotional blackmail and claims of bad manners from Legia Warsaw.

The Parkhead outfit have defended their honour in the face of a public savaging from Poland.

Legia chief Dariusz Mioduski accused the Hoops hierarchy of “hiding” from them after UEFA booted his club out of the Champions League for fielding an ineligible player in their 6-1 aggregate win.

For the record, here’s the fury-laden response from Celtic to Legia Warsaw’s emotionally-charged plea to overturn the decision by Uefa to kick them out of the Champions League for fielding a suspended player:

“We are disappointed by Legia Warsaw’s comments. This is entirely a matter for UEFA and its processes. Accordingly, we will reserve further comment for the appropriate time.”

Hardly fury or seething, is it Craig?

Rangers: Charles Green ‘raising £10m’ to invest in club

Sunday, August 10th, 2014

BBC Scotland’s Chris McLaughlin, fresh from his role as the Corporation’s Commonwealth Games reporter, and without a hint of irony:

Former Rangers chief executive Charles Green has told BBC Sport he is close to raising up to £10m to invest in the Scottish Championship club.

Green left the Ibrox club last year following allegations about business dealings with former owner Craig Whyte.

Now Green claims he has investors ready to stabilise the club financially.

One of the interested parties is Soros Fund Management and it is believed the US-based group have held talks with a senior Rangers official.

McLaughlin’s distinct lack of analysis of Green’s proclamations is quite worrisome.

Scottish football: Who will win what in season 2014-15?

Sunday, August 10th, 2014

To a man, the BBC pundits and journalists pick Rangers to win the SPFL Championship title.

Filed away for future Claim Chowder.

When is a club not a club?

Friday, November 15th, 2013

It wouldn’t be a Friday without a statement from Ibrox. Today’s was prompted by a comment made by the Celtic chief executive Peter Lawwell at the club’s AGM, which was a thinly-veiled dig at the current “Rangers” impersonating the old one:

The Club are disappointed with the comments attributed to Celtic Chief Executive Peter Lawwell earlier today.

Rangers Football Club, now in its 141st year, has a proud history which has been recognised by the football authorities and was noted in a recent SPL Commission determination.

The Club will now take this matter up with the relevant football authorities.

Fact Howler 1: Rangers is not in its 141st year. The club died last year.

Fact Howler 2: the football authorities have not recognised any “proud history” and the SPL Commission referred to in the statement did not determine that Rangers were the same club as the one that was placed into liquidation last year; Lord Nimmo Smith expressed an opinion that a football club was capable of being owned and operated, but no legal ruling was made.

Good luck to the “Club” in its attempts to persuade the football authorities that Lawwell’s statement was, in some way, against the rules, incorrect or damaging to The Rangers International Football Club.

Fear and loathing at Scotzine

Tuesday, November 5th, 2013

From Scotzine’s Aiden Wylie. I don’t think you’ll see a more embarrassing, poorly-written piece of pseudo-intellectual codswallop all year:

Whether or not Terry Butcher, the popular manager of Inverness Caledonian Thistle, takes the Hibernian job is hardly a matter on Watergate level. But if he does not – and the denials from ICT suggest he will not – somebody at the BBC has at best jumped the gun, and at worst set his or her profession’s reputation back decades.

Especially since Inverness have now granted Hibs permission to speak to Butcher.

Rangers boardroom battle: Dave King gets the all-clear from the Stock Exchange to return to Ibrox

Tuesday, October 29th, 2013

Update 2: The article has now been edited to suggest that Dave King may by free to invest in The Rangers International Football Club PLC. Unfortunately for the Daily Record, King does not need financial regulatory approval to spend what money he may or may not have.

Update: It seems the LSE is denying the quotes and that the Daily Record’s story is untrue. I’ve quoted the entire copy of the online article at the bottom in case it gets changed.

Classic Daily Record: headline does not reflect the content of the story and the quotes have been twisted to suit the agenda. John Ferguson writes:

Dave King has been given the go-ahead to return to the Rangers boardroom by the London Stock Exchange.

A spokesman for the LSE last night confirmed the businessman would be free to become chairman so long as Ibrox advisers rubber-stamped the move.

I had a look in the reports and there were these issues in South Africa, the other thing was that he had been on the board previously.

So the question would be whether these things would stop him taking a stake again.

I think the answer on both these points is they wouldn’t.

From the Exchange’s point of view if we are satisfied Rangers’ nominated adviser Daniel Stewart and Company has carried out the correct checks then he would be allowed to make this investment.

Note my emphasis above of the phrase “taking a stake”; it appears that the un-named LSE spokesman only responded to a query about whether King could invest in The Rangers International Football Club PLC, yet Ferguson eagerly reaches the conclusion that the response given means that King can – and will – become chairman of the company.

So, despite the Record’s best attempts, the LSE has not quite said King is free to join the board of The Rangers International Football Club PLC, merely that if the company’s nominated advisers have done their homework and King is clear of any legal impediments, he could invest.

There’s something of the Craig Whyte-esque myth-making about this story, especially the part about King arriving in South Africa “in the 1970s with £10 in his pocket but went on to build up a £200m fortune as a high-powered financial consultant.”

I’m not doubting King’s rise to riches, but as far as I am aware, he was transferred to South Africa in the 1970s by his employer, the Weir Group. It seems unlikely he would have only had £10 in his pocket if he was sent there to work by his employer, but the Daily Record sure loves a rags-to-riches story where Rangers are concerned.

The story also neglects to elaborate on the line about King setting up a stud farm with the famous golfer Gary Player. Only last month, King was forced to settle out of court after claiming Player failed to repay him a R6.1m loan in relation to said stud farm, having originally sued the golfer for R33m.

It seems relevant that a so-called multi-millionaire would be so unsure of his chances of recovering a £350,000 debt that he would be forced to settle out of court.

However, the most telling part of the article is a quote from the current Rangers manager Ally McCoist, who was quizzed following his side’s victory against East Fife at the weekend about King’s business dealings in Scotland:

I haven’t had a chance to talk to him in great detail but effectively it’s none of my business.

Quite right Ally: It’s none of your business.

Fact Howler 1: King did not pay the South African Revenue Service £44.75m. He paid £44.54m.

Fact Howler 2: Dave King did not “strike a deal with the South African Revenue Service (SARS) to settle a long-running £227million tax dispute”. He was convicted by the South Africa Prosecuting Authority after pleading guilty to 41 contraventions of section 75 of the South Africa Income Tax Act 58 of 1962 and was sentenced according to his plea agreement.

Entire Daily Record article:

A QUESTION mark had hung over the former Rangers director’s possible return due to his South African tax conviction but a spokesman for the Stock Exchange says the way is clear for King to take his place at Ibrox.

DAVE King has been given the go-ahead to return to the Rangers boardroom by the London Stock Exchange.

A spokesman for the LSE last night confirmed the businessman would be free to become chairman so long as Ibrox advisers rubber-stamped the move.

It had been thought King’s South African tax conviction and his previous board appointment at Ibrox may have stood in the way of a comeback.

But a spokesman for the LSE, where Rangers shares are listed on the Alternative Investments Market (AIM), appeared to clear the way for King to plough money into the club.

He told Record Sport: “I had a look in the reports and there were these issues in South Africa, the other thing was that he had been on the board previously.

“So the question would be whether these things would stop him taking a stake again.

“I think the answer on both these points is they wouldn’t.

“From the Exchange’s point of view if we are satisfied Rangers’ nominated adviser Daniel Stewart and Company has carried out the correct checks then he would be allowed to make this investment.”

King is believed to have met Paul Shackleton of Daniel Stewart yesterday to discuss returning to Ibrox as chairman.

Earlier this year he struck a deal with the South African Revenue Service (SARS) to settle a long-running £227million tax dispute.

He agreed to pay SARS £44.75m after admitting he owed income tax, and in return the revenue service agreed to drop prosecutions over dozens of criminal fraud charges.

He pled guilty to having contravened tax legislation by failing to provide correct information about earnings.

The payment agreement was reached as an alternative to an 82-year jail term for 41 counts of breaching tax legislation.

During his 10-year legal battle a judge once said of King: “He has no respect for the truth and does not
hesitate to lie … if he thinks it will be to his advantage. He is a mendacious witness whose evidence should not be accepted on any issue unless it is supported by objective evidence.

“In our assessment he is a glib and shameless liar.”

King arrived in South Africa in the 1970s with £10 in his pocket but went on to build up a £200m fortune as a high-powered financial consultant.

He also had a seaside holiday home, a £165,000 Ferrari, £64,000 Mercedes-Benz and two private jets worth £14m.

King bought up vineyards too and, along with golf legend pal Gary Player, ploughed £1m into a stud farm.

SARS began to ask questions when the tycoon claimed to be earning only £5000 a year.

King’s defence was that nearly everything he had was owned by an offshore company called Ben Nevis.

He flew into Glasgow Airport on Friday to hold meetings with the Rangers board, and was last night thought to have headed to London to continue discussions with the LSE and Daniel Stewart.

Under stock exchange rules, should regulators have any questions about his suitability to be a director, Daniel Stewart and Company would have to signal to AIM that it had carried out due diligence on King before putting him forward as a board member of a publicly listed company.

Meanwhile, Gers boss Ally McCoist said: “I saw Dave briefly at the East Fife game. We exchanged pleasantries and spoke about the match.

“I haven’t had a chance to talk to him in great detail but effectively it’s none of my business.”

Former Rangers director Paul Murray calls for board members to leave the club after hailing ‘stunning’ court victory to block AGM

Tuesday, October 15th, 2013

Try not to laugh:

This is not a victory for Paul Murray. This is a victory for Rangers fans everywhere.