Archive for the ‘Fact Howler’ Category

Trouble does not happen in a vacuum

Sunday, May 29th, 2016

A new strand has been added to the Cup Final “Rangers fans are blameless” narrative, which was started earlier by Gordon Waddell and now continues with Derek Johnstone:

If thousands of Hibs supporters don’t come on the pitch, there is no trouble.

This is a logical fallacy; the “trouble” cannot occur spontaneously by the Hibernian fans simply being on the pitch.

The trouble occurs by Rangers fans subsequently entering the pitch.

If Rangers fans do not enter the pitch, there is no trouble. None.

When is it acceptable to invade a pitch?

Sunday, May 29th, 2016

Answer: it’s not, except when it is.

Gordon Waddell, 26th May 2016:

“They (Hibs fans) shouldn’t have been on the pitch.”

Gordon Waddell, 22nd May 2016

“you can’t blame the Hibs support for an outpouring after this long and this many disappointments.”

This, dear readers, is the kind of media hypocrisy that the Monkey set out to highlight and expose.

Stating the (un)obvious about Rangers

Sunday, May 22nd, 2016

The Monkey has been away on business for a few months, but was jolted back into action by a statement released from Ibrox this evening concerning the events following Saturday’s Scottish Cup final at Hampden when Hibernian beat Rangers 3-2 to win the trophy, and a sizeable number of the Edinburgh club’s fans invaded the pitch to celebrate.

The statement is quoted/indented below, with the Monkey’s annotations:

Rangers finds it incomprehensible that no one, either from within the Scottish FA or Hibernian Football Club, has condemned Hibernian’s supporters following the violent scenes at the end of yesterday’s Scottish Cup final when Rangers players and members of our backroom staff were physically and verbally assaulted.

The SFA released a statement following the match and chief executive Stewart Regan spoke to the media, condemning the scenes and giving assurances that an investigation would follow.

Similarly, Hibernian released a statement criticising the behaviour of their fans and reserved any further comment until a proper assessment of the events could be made. A sensible, measured response, given the circumstances. If anyone at Rangers FC is somehow unaware of these statements, they are either stupid, ignorant or both.

We have not even had the courtesy of any contact whatsoever from Hibernian to ask after the wellbeing of those who were attacked by their club’s supporters.

In the absence of an investigation outcome, which will be forthcoming, it would be foolish of anyone at Hibs to admit to any such behaviour, even if it was fairly obvious what was taking place.

There must be a full independent investigation into the shameful scenes at Hampden.

See above.

Rangers is also at a complete loss to understand why certain individuals have hastily attempted to gloss over the appalling events which unfolded at the end of Saturday’s final.

The only people “glossing over” the events are the people who are attempting to construct a narrative about the nature of the events that somehow attempts to shift blame from one group of supporters to another – without a full appraisal of the facts.

No matter how many times Hibernian’s chairman and Scottish FA vice-chairman, Rod Petrie, and certain other biased commentators wish to play down Saturday’s mayhem and violence, the truth must not be distorted.

Statements like this are a direct attempt to distort the truth before the facts can be ascertained.

What unfolded on Saturday cannot and must not be put down to exuberance. That is a complete insult to Rangers, our supporters, and those individuals who were intimidated and attacked.

This is probably the only sensible component of the statement. However, it’s supercilious; only an idiot would try to justify violence as such.

It was clear to most of those who watched in horror that the Scottish FA’s security procedures failed when Hibernian’s fans went over the top in their thousands.

This is somewhat true; the Scottish FA’s security and stewarding was clearly unfit for purpose. (Rather like the SFA).

It is to be hoped that all of Scottish football will share Rangers’ disgust and any attempts to attach blame to our supporters for the disgraceful and violent behaviour, which led to our players and fans fearing for their safety, will not be accepted or tolerated by this Club.

“It is to be hoped” indeed. If evidence is uncovered that Rangers fans were involved in incidents on the pitch, to not accept or tolerate the findings would be unacceptable and intolerable.

We acknowledge that a tiny minority of Rangers fans also encroached on the pitch but only after having been faced with prolonged and severe provocation and in order to protect our players and officials who were being visibly attacked in front of them.

“Tiny”; interesting choice of word. There were dozens of Rangers fans caught on camera on the pitch, without justification. Potentially, the number is three figures or more. Hampden holds over 51,000 people. Half of the people attending the Cup Final – at least – would have been Rangers supporters. The number certainly was not “tiny”. It was significant.

To justify their actions on the basis of usurping the role of the law officers and stewards in the stadium – ie. taking the law into their own hands, is as hypocritical as attacking “exuberance” as justification for doing the same.

“Prolonged”; another interesting choice of word. The whole incident took place over roughly 30 minutes, certainly under an hour.

Any club’s supporters would have done the same.

Again, this feels like a hypocritical justification for the behaviour of the Rangers supporters who chose to react to the pitch incursion of Hibs fans and somehow tar supporters of other clubs with the same mindset as Rangers fans. Many thousands of Rangers fans did not enter the field – they chose to leave the stadium or remain in their seat.

This distressing and deeply disturbing episode would never have happened had Hibs fans behaved properly but as they swarmed across the pitch it became immediately obvious that the security procedures were inadequate and had failed.

This is true; the security measures clearly failed – but the point has already been made in the statement. We get it.

These fans were allowed to rush, unchecked, towards Rangers supporters at the opposite end of the stadium – all the while goading and threatening them.

The fans were not “allowed to rush, unchecked” – the security measures were simply unable to prevent them from doing so.

This makes it preposterous to suggest Rangers fans were somehow to blame as some commentators appear anxious to do.

The Monkey knows of no commentators in the media who have said (“anxiously”) that Rangers fans were to blame, certainly not solely to blame. Most observers have been critical of Hibs fans for their actions, but have also issued some criticism of Rangers fans for also entering the pitch and becoming involved in trouble.

This thuggish behaviour must be investigated and as many culprits as possible brought to book and formally charged.

This is a given.

This is the second time in a year that Rangers fans have had to endure attacks by another club’s supporters.

A reference would have helped explain this? (Perhaps some conciliatory references to the sectarian chanting, use of flares and other bigoted singing by Rangers fans during the match could have been acknowledged in the statement also?)

It must also be said that it was not at all helpful to see leading members of the Scottish Government, including the First Minister whose parish is Govan, passing comment on social media without any attempt to condemn the behaviour of Hibernian’s fans.

The match did not take place in Govan (and the word “parish” appears to have only been employed in this instance purely as an off-hand religious epithet). Most government officials who have commented on social media have been fairly measured in their criticism of the scenes and have indicated a desire for an investigation to be conducted and conclusions to be published.

These failures are unbecoming of our elected representatives.

They are hardly “failures”?

Certain media outlets have also attempted to distort reality. 

By reporting the facts or by releasing statements to friendly journalists/media outlets in a bid to construct a pro-Rangers narrative?

In the case of the BBC this is, of course, not news. BBC employees, in particular Stuart Cosgrove, believe Rod Petrie’s comments to be ‘balanced’ and others speak of a ‘minority’ of Hibernian supporters.

Ah… now we get to the crux of the statement; personal anger (on the part of the person who drafted the statement) with individuals in the media. The proverbial chip on the shoulder.

Another, Tom English, who was not even at the match, would prefer the authorities to focus on Rangers fans’ reaction. We will not endure this insult.

Tom English was particularly vocal about the Hibernian support, and also suggested that any Rangers fans who had misbehaved should be sought out and punished too.

So, let everyone be clear on one thing – Rangers demands that players, staff and fans be protected from the violence and hatred of supporters of other clubs.

“Demands”? Let’s all be clear about demands, eh?

Rangers fully expects the Scottish FA and Police Scotland to take action to provide our people with a safe environment.

Rangers are not alone in expecting this. All football supporters expect the same.

When players are unable to accept medals at the end of a final because of fears for their safety and our supporters are alarmed and extremely concerned for the women and children among them, then surely every step must be taken to ensure that this is never repeated.

Agreed.

A “legal personality”

Wednesday, September 9th, 2015

Welcome to all new readers of Hostile Monkey. It seems Weekend At Bernie’s was popular (or, unpopular, depending on your perception).

It has been pointed out to the Monkey that the use of the phrase “legal personality” in reference to a car or a house, is incorrect and a fact howler (never let it be said that the Monkey doesn’t own up to its own mistakes).

In order to have a “legal personality”, something (or someone) has to be capable of holding legal rights and obligations (this also applies to “legal entities” such as companies, cooperatives, charitable organisations or any other group of persons acting as though they are a single person for specific purposes, such as a trade union).

The use of the phrase was perhaps clunky in this context – and was intended to refer to a “legal asset”; ie. any form of property (physical or intellectual) with an inherent, intrinsic or perceived economic value.

The point behind the phrase remains the same; a football club does not have a “legal personality”, and is therefore not a “legal asset” that can be bought or sold – only assets that carry an economic value can be legally bought or sold.

So, for example: buildings, contracts, vehicles, computers, land and intellectual rights would all be considered legal assets (or, a house, or a car – or an original work of artistry such as a novel, a painting, a photograph or a screenplay). A company is a legal asset, and also has a “legal personality”.

A medal, or a physical trophy would be considered a legal asset, provided it had either been gifted as an award in perpetuity and remained in the keep of the benefactor (so, not, for example if it was awarded or loaned for a limited period of time, in the way the Scottish Cup would be – such a trophy would always remain the property of its owners, in this case the Scottish Football Association).

So, for example, individual memories of a company Christmas Party in 1986 could not be termed as a legal asset, despite having actually taken place, perhaps even on company property, making use of company resources – replete with photographic evidence and fondly remembered by many company employees who were present – since the memories have no inherent economic value, only sentimental value, and therefore cannot be party to a legal exchange.

So, to be clear: in the process selling a failed company, if an item is not considered a legal asset, it does not exist and cannot be bought or sold in any legal sense.

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.

Sporting integrity? It would have been sheer lunacy for Celtic to hand Legia Warsaw a free pass to the Champions League

Monday, August 18th, 2014

The Daily Record’s Keith Jackson, attempting to create the illusion of defending Celtic, while actually launching a bitter attack riddled with disdain for the club and its chief executive:

It was Peter Lawwell who gave Scottish football this very phrase ["sporting integrity"] back in the days when the main objective of Celtic’s chief 
executive was to do all in his power to pip Rangers to the title – and thereby secure his club a ticket to UEFA’s yearly pocket-stuffing 
extravaganza in Monte Carlo.

Back in 2008, Lawwell wrapped himself in a cloak of sporting 
integrity to demand no special 
treatment was afforded to his rivals who wanted the league season extended to help Walter Smith and his players go for UEFA Cup glory while allowing them to catch a breath in the defence of their domestic title.

It has also somehow become Celtic’s problem that a Polish club fielded an ineligible player during a Champions League encounter, thereby forfeiting the match, as per Uefa’s rules:

Lawwell was absolutely correct to sling the Poles a deaf ear. He’ll live with being labelled a hypocrite just fine so long as it means Ronny Deila and his players have a chance to put right all that went so very wrong against Legia.

This is passive-aggressive journalism at its very worst.

UPDATE (and Fact Howler by Jackson): As is being pointed out by numerous people on Twitter, Rangers did get the season extended in 2008.

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.

Rangers claim police are probing disputed Charles Green signature on document which appears to make Craig Whyte director of Sevco

Wednesday, November 13th, 2013

The Daily Record:

Police are investigating if disgraced Craig Whyte forged former owner Charles Green’s signature in the Rangers takeover.

The club yesterday denied Whyte, right, still had links to the club – but confirmed a probe by Police Scotland Economic Crimes Unit. They say detectives are analysing a disputed Green signature on a document which appears to appoint Whyte as a director of Sevco 5088 Limited, a company set up to take control of Ibrox.

Last night, a handwriting expert compared several genuine signatures by Green, pictured left, with the one on the Sevco document.

Fact Howler 1: Charles Green did not “takeover” Rangers; he purchased the assets of a dead company.

Rangers fan banned from football for two years for making Nazi salute at Old Firm youth cup final

Thursday, November 7th, 2013

The Daily Record, rewriting history:

The match was the first meeting of the two teams since Rangers were liquidated and reformed to join the bottom tier of Scottish football.

Fact Howler: Rangers did not “reform”. They are an entirely new entity.

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.”