The King Speaks…..

Only title win saved Rangers from going bust claims Dave King

This morning has greeted us with a statement from Mr Dave King. I am(perhaps) overly critical of the Rangers board of old.

Personally, and I do little to hide this, I would like a full and frank investigation into ALL of the following with regard to their involvement in the clubs affairs throughout the Murray and Whyte era’s: Dave King, David Murray, Paul Murray, Hugh Adams, Martin Bain, Craig Whyte, Alastair Johnstone, Campbell Ogilvie, John McClleland, Mike McGill, Gary Withey,  Andrew Ellis and Phil Betts.

In recent times we have seen the ‘old’ guard emerging from the woodwork to tell us exactly how they feel about Craig Whyte, his takeover etc.

Much of it stinks!

It doesn’t stink because I am a great believer in Craig Whyte – far from, but more because I believe that all of those mentioned above have been complicit in either recent or historic times of hiding information that they were privy to as members of the board.

I actually feel that some of them are trying to stay ahead of the game – to e-quit themselves of any public liability by suddenly becoming ‘tell tales’. The most recent, but by no means the only one has been Hugh Adams. Exactly where were you Sir, all of them years ago, when this practice was going on? It is all very good and well devulging your information now that the shit has hit the fan – but exactly where were you prior to this when things were going “well…”??

Exactly: Nowhere!

It is now the turn of Dave King. The man himself has been steeped in controversy in recent times over his own tax dealings in South Africa. Nevertheless the man is one of great wealth and one of stature in the field of business. So what did he have to say?

STATEMENT ON RANGERS FC BY DAVE KING

Having had the opportunity to visit key stakeholders and to properly consider the information now available to me I would like to comment on certain matters that I have hitherto refused to comment on. My own visibility of the true state of affairs was being actively restricted and, as it turns out, falsified by Craig Whyte and I did not wish to add to the strongly held but unconfirmed rumours that were already being played out in the media.

1. Craig Whyte-
I met with Craig Whyte during my recent visit and he provided clarity on the funding position. His true financial commitment was not by way of cash (as he had previously advised me) but rather guarantees that he and/or companies associated with him had given to Ticketus. He confirmed to me that Ticketus has no recourse to the football club. Hopefully the administrators will be able to confirm this. The upshot of Craig Whyte’s confession is that the fans were duped. Immediately upon the acquisition of the club by Craig Whyte (far from being debt free as was trumpeted by the Murray Group and Craig Whyte at the time) the club was in a much worse economic position than before and had no chance of survival even if we had progressed in Europe.

No recourse to the football club? In that case, do Rangers not owe the money to ‘Ticketus’ and therefore such a debt can be effectively ripped up in the minds of the fans? This is a point that needs clarified big style by the administrators. Is the money guaranteed to Craig Whyte, his parent company and against the potential value of the ‘floating charge’ that he appears to have over the club? Or, is the debt actually that of Glasgow Rangers?

The reason that i ask this question is because I do not see exactly where this deal would stand to benefit ANYONE at this point in time and would be a rather nieve deal for ‘Ticketus’ to enter into should the former come to light? no?

2. The Murray Group-
I purposely did not meet with David Murray but did meet with Mike McGill who was a member of the Rangers board at the time of the acquisition and was intimately involved on behalf of the Murray Group in securing the sale to Craig Whyte. I am absolutely satisfied in my mind that Mike McGill (and hence the Murray Group) had no knowledge that the proof of funds supplied by Craig Whyte’s attorneys was secured by season ticket sales. I am further satisfied that the Murray Group would not have proceeded with the transaction if the true source of the funds had been disclosed. The Murray Group had every right to rely on the proof of funds letter that was supplied by Collyer, Bristow.

This is fairly plausible – if Collyer Bristow were implicit in duping the Murray Group regarding proof of funds it would not look favourably upon the transparency of the deal.

3. Collyer Bristow-
The role of Collyer Bristow requires further investigation as this legal firm appears to have behaved in a manner inconsistent with its natural duties and responsibilities. I met with Gary Withey, on two occasions, during my recent visit and I do not believe that it is plausible that he was actively involved in an attempt to deceive the shareholders, fans, and creditors of the club. I do however continue to have concerns about the discharge of his duties as company secretary for Rangers. There is a true version that has yet to emerge regarding Collyer Bristow’s role and knowledge of events.

…And a very important one! Somewhere along the line,someone has been completely duped into a situation here that cannot leave all parties looking squeaky clean. A very real enquiry should be made into this because otherwise someone , somewhere will walk on completely ‘Scot Free’ when they should be held to account.

4. Administration
I do not believe that there is a reasonable prospect that the company can come out of administration. I believe that liquidation is inevitable.

Not a popular,but an all too common belief. Personally, i struggle to see where the club comes out of Administration from also. I also doubt the business acumen in doing so when liquidation would appear a more sound financial stance. I am in a minority on that among the Rangers support – but it is all about opinion and how you look at it. 

5. European football The club will not meet its financial requirements before the UEFA deadline. There will consequently be no European football next year and liquidation might extend that by another 2 years. The harsh reality is that Craig Whyte has abused the loyalty of the fans by trading that future loyalty for cash in a manner that has excluded the club’s ability to provide the very product that the fans were expected to pay for. To have done this, and then blatantly lied about it, is an abuse that no fan of any club should have to suffer.

Trying to sook in with the support at the end – but let’s not pretend that this is not what the whole statement is about anyway. What he says is true – very true, and any future club should be monitored by fans from the inside out to prevent any future manipulation. Indeed I would advice ALL clubs and their supporters to take this approach in light of the current Ibrox situation. Follow the Motherwell model – so far,at least, it appears to have been very successful. 

6. HMRC-
Now that I have evidenced the true position I wish to commend HMRC for showing the maximum restraint that it possibly could have under its mandate to collect taxes that are due. The empathy that HMRC has demonstrated to the club and its fans is particularly gratifying given the abuse perpetrated on HMRC by Craig Whyte in withholding ongoing tax payments to fund the club- while simultaneously pretending that he was using his own funds.

Without going into his reasoning for making this statement I think his ethos here is a valid one. A lot of Rangers fans appear to claim that HMRC have it in for them – if truth be told, HMRC are rarely so lenient and often issue a winding up order on businesses for debts as little as £1500.00.

7. Going forward-
It grieves me to state that it seems inevitable that the footballing institution will survive but the company won’t. This will entail many hurdles (that will be overcome) including ‘Rangers (2012) Ltd’ having to reapply for membership of the SFA etc. It is a sad point to have reached, but if managed sensibly, it can result in Rangers returning to its former glory as a football club in the shortest time possible. We must all strive to ensure that an appropriate ownership structure guarantees that this event is never repeated. We must remember that our footballing friends across the city came very close to the point that we now find ourselves in. Scottish football needs a strong Rangers and Celtic- but perhaps in a slightly humbler form.

Similar to my own personal opinion, in fact – identical.

8. My own present position-
I seem to be one of the few people who actually invested cash into the club. I have made a claim of GBP 20 million on the basis of non-disclosure by the then Chairman, David Murray, of Rangers true financial position as far back as 2000. Other shareholders may feel deceived like I do and wish to take similar action. (David Murray will no doubt argue to the contrary and the merits of this will be dealt with in due course in the appropriate forum.) For present purposes however, I simply want to advise the fans and fellow shareholders that any benefit I receive from my claim will be fully reinvested into the restructured football club. I remain 100% committed to the Rangers football club and will do whatever I can to advance its interests.

An interesting idea. I am unsure as to what evidence he has on such matters to think that he will be successful in such a claim but the idea is a nice one. My main question would be: exactly how does a board member with full rights in helping to sign off accounts find himself to be ‘mis-led’ about the finances?

 Any new company would benefit from a £20Million investment right?…..

9. My own future position-
I intend to remain involved with the club, at least on my present basis, post-reconstruction if that is at all possible under the new ownership structure. I am however alert to the raw sentiment around the need for Rangers to have ‘fit and proper’ persons at its helm. In view of my own well-publicised and acrimonious legal disputes with the authorities in South Africa I have taken it upon myself to approach the SFA in that regard in advance of considering an increased role in the club going forward. I will be guided by the SFA’s response in that regard.

Does Dave King meet the fit and proper person test? Well, the current shambles in place means that just about anyone would qualify. I presume from this that Dave king has little plans to take the club on as a whole but rather take a back-seat role with a view to making some money in the future…..

10. Paul Murray-
In the interim I will be putting my full support behind Paul Murray’s initiative to secure the future of the club. Paul is a very smart businessman of undoubted integrity and a man who holds all that is sacred and traditional at Rangers football club very close to his heart. He is exactly the type of man the club needs at this time.

Prove it…..

I mean it, I cast suspicion upon ALL of the previous board members…No longer am i prepared to take someone’s word for it like we did with Craig Whyte. (albeit with a slight concern)

11. The previous board-
I worked happily with the previous board and was immensely saddened by the way that some of them were excoriated by the media for no reason other than that they strongly opposed the sale of the club to a man who appeared to have insufficient funds to take the club forward. Martin Bain, Paul Murray and Alastair Johnston were fired immediately upon the takeover for voicing their concerns. The Ranger’s spin doctoring machine then started to work overtime to discredit them, both individually and collectively. We now know the truth and hopefully those three loyal Rangers fans can now be fully welcomed back to Ibrox Park with full appreciation for the role that they have played in working tirelessly behind the scenes to expose Craig Whyte for what they truly knew him to be- and what all fans now know him to be. This cancer might have continued longer without their continued probings.

Continued longer? I am interested to see quite how much longer this could have continued? Surely , if you wish to keep a financial scam out of view then you keep your payments with the tax man up to date?

12. Martin Bain-
Martin deserves particular mention. I have chatted to him a few times since he was forced to resign. Despite the lies and untruths that were being leaked about him to the press he never wavered in his loyalty and commitment to the club. He never wavered in his commitment to the fans and he was determined to expose what was really going on. The club was fortunate to have Martin at the helm as CEO for many years and was even more fortunate to find him continue to act in the interests of the club after he was unjustifiably removed from that position and unjustifiably deprived of his fair contractual settlement.

13.
John Greig and John McClelland-
Both of these gentlemen were, like me, not fired from the board after the acquisition and soldiered on in the best interests of the club until they reached a point where they reluctantly resigned rather than be associated with the failing governance at the club. That was the early warning sign. I haven’t spoken to John McClelland but I can confirm (from my recent discussions with him) how pained John Greig is to have been unable to attend his beloved Ibrox. Hopefully he will shortly be able to resume his rightful iconic place in the director’s box.

14. Previous titles-
I have noted the recent media comment about Rangers being stripped of previously earned titles. While this makes good headlines, I am absolutely confident (now that I have a good sense of the true position) that this will not happen.

I don’t think anyone can quite be sure of this matter. The parties have been had, the hangovers survived :- taking away the titles is only academic now. No matter what spin others may try and put on it, and what gain they feel they may achieve, a title,a league and a party are all moments in time that CANNOT be taken away from memory and CANNOT be relived. 

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2 Comments on “The King Speaks…..”

  1. perthlurker Says:

    Hi Garry

    Once again a really enjoyable read. I wonder how paul murray can satisfy a fit person test given his role previous?

    as a celtic fan, i think if the two contracts is proven and the financial doping proved through liquidation brought on by tax evasion mthods, then the stripping of titles. shows to other fans that fairness in the long run is important. the memorues maybe there but tainted – no more stupid 5 stars stunts because the other team can have one!


  2. Interesting thought that i had regarding Paul Murray.

    You are correct, he could not satisfy the test but would i be correct in saying that Mr Romanov OWNS Hearts – but has no directors role?

    Strange set-up…


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