Posts Tagged ‘richard wilson’

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, bloggers, the media and The ‘L’ word

Monday, November 4th, 2013

Ireland-based Scots blogger Phil McGillivan, once again deliberately ignoring evidence when it fails to suit his agenda:

Only Jim Delahunt on Clyde consistently uses the “L” word when discussing matters Ibrox.

If liquidation isn’t in the narrative then the entire Sevco saga makes no sense.

Subsequently the hacks start to tie themselves in knots to present the same club fiction to their readers.

Only today, the Daily Record has used the very word Phil claims the newspaper refuses to print:

Murray and his partner Paul Murray have concerns about two shareholders – Blue Pitch Holdings and Margarita holdings – who hold a 12 per cent stake in the club, with fans fearing they could be a front for former chief executive Charles Green or even Craig Whyte, the man who started the club on its path towards liquidation last year.

And The Scotsman: Skipper Lee McCulloch believes reaching their first final since Rangers went into administration and liquidation last year shows they are on the right track on their road to recovery.

And the BBC: King lost the £20m he invested during Sir David Murray’s spell as owner after Rangers went into liquidation last year.

And the Express: Rangers entered administration in February last year. Charles Green’s Sevco bought the club’s assets last June as it faced liquidation and later changed the name to The Rangers Football Club Plc.

And even The Herald’s Richard Wilson, a man known for his Succulent Lamb journalism manages to use it: The governing body would take into account the period King spent on the board after Craig Whyte took over as owner, preceding Rangers going into administration then liquidation last year.

The Monkey is baffled as to which “hacks” McGillivan is referring to.

King stands his ground to pursue Ibrox dream: Former Gers director close to return

Monday, October 28th, 2013

Fact Howler 1: by Stephen McGowan of the Daily Mail on Dave King:

The Castlemilk-born tycoon had charges of fraud and money laundering lowered by the South African tax authorities in August in return for a plea bargain, which saw him pay £43.7m whilst accepting culpability for 41 charges of breaching the South African Income Tax Act.

Offered the choice of paying £210,000 or an 82-year jail term under section 75 of the act, he opted to pay the cash.

Dave King is a convicted criminal. The South African Tax authorities did not “lower” his charges – he pled guilty to various contraventions of section 75 of the South Africa Income Tax Act 58 of 1962 in order to avoid a lengthy court case, and a prison sentence.

He was fined accordingly, based on the sentencing agreement his legal team reached with the South Africa National Prosecuting Authority.

Fact Howler 2: One cannot be a “South African based businessman”. The correct usage would be “South Africa-based businessman”.

Fact Howler 3: in the headline, King is referred to as “Former Gers director”. He is not a former Rangers director, he was a director of the former Rangers.

Fact Howler 4: Dave King was forced to pay a verified figure of R706.7 (South African Rand), which equates to £44.54m in current money, not £43.7m

See also: The Herald’s Richard Wilson describing Dave King’s criminal conviction as “minor breaches of the Income Tax Act“.

If paying out £44.54m in South Africa’s biggest-ever tax case is minor, I’d hate to see a major case.

Murrays could return to Rangers

Tuesday, October 1st, 2013

The Herald’s Richard Wilson does his level best to gloss over Paul Murray’s role as a non-executive director of Rangers during the five-year period preceding the club’s insolvency event in 2012, which would be necessarily scrutinised under the Scottish Football Association’s Articles of Association regarding fit and proper office bearers:

Despite (Craig) Whyte taking Rangers Football Club plc into administration, Paul Murray would not be prevented from returning to by the Scottish Football Association’s fit and proper person criteria.

Forget the fact that the sentence above does not actually make any sense (“prevented from returning to by”?), this is an astounding assertion with zero supporting evidence other than Murray’s own public proclamations about his own suitability for the board position; either Wilson has contacted the SFA regarding Murray’s potential return – and has been told his prior involvement with a failed football club would not present an obstacle to him joining the current PLC’s board – or, Wilson’s remark is pure propaganda disguised as news on behalf of Mr Murray.

Fact Howler 1: Yes, Craig Whyte took Rangers Football Club plc into administration, but the correct usage would be “liquidation”, not “administration”.

Fact Howler 2: If he somehow manages to pass the SFA’s fit and proper person text, Paul Murray would not be “returning” to Rangers Football Club plc; he is attempting to secure a seat on the board of The Rangers International Football Club PLC, which is an entirely separate entity. He has never occupied a seat on the board of this company, so he can’t possibly “return” to it.

Building blocks help Rangers construct road back to the top

Wednesday, September 25th, 2013

The Herald’s Richard Wilson stares at the mantlepiece while poking the fire:

Rangers are still developing, and McCoist himself admits they are some distance from the club’s old standards, but the manager is attempting to put building blocks in place for the future.

This is what is known as ‘Succulent Lamb Journalism’ – the benefits accruing to journalists who produce flattering and uncritical articles about Rangers FC.