“So that makes it ok then David?”

David Murray apologised today!

“I wish I’d never done the deal with Craig Whyte,” said Murray.

“I was primarily duped,” said Murray. “My advisers were duped, the bank was duped, the shareholders were duped. We’ve all been duped.”

He followed that up with the following;

“I’m not defending me – because I’ve made a huge mistake here.

“And I deeply regret, I deeply regret, selling the club to Craig Whyte now. Deeply.

“And if the information had been available to me at the time I wouldn’t have done it. I did it in good faith.

“Again, I can only apologise how this has turned out. And if I could turn the clock back, of course I would. There’s not much more I can say than that.”

Well..that makes it all ok then David!.

I have to say that I am astonished at Sir David Murray’s comments today (I read them in the Herald and on BBC Sports internet page) for two reasons. Firstly, I am astonished at the level of his admission. If he truly has been duped I am stunned at his “baring all” stance through these comments. Secondly, if he is being truthful, then what the hell happened Sir David? How the hell were you, the banks, the lawyers, your advisors and whoever else was involved in this whole sorry mess so easily hoodwinked into selling your club to this “Grifter” (another name for con artist).

If you are asking us all to believe that you truly were duped along with the rest of your team then this is the biggest con since Paul Newman and Robert Redford  stung Robert Shaw in the Sting! (Classic con movie from 1973 directed by George Roy Hill. Its worth a watch!)

I am sorry Sir David, but this just does not cut it. Alarm bells should have been going off during this whole process of due diligence with Craig Whyte. Remember, you had been trying to sell your shareholding for 4 years with no takers due the fact that no sane man with even the slightest element of business acumen would go anywhere near the deal you had on offer. Therefore it was clear for everyone else to see that this was an opportunity for you to bail out at the first opportunity regardless of what the intentions of the new owner were. Even your Co-Directors were telling you not to touch him. I have to ask why you did not trust men like Alistair Johnstone and Paul Murray, who you obviously had a close working relationship with, over someone like Craig Whyte who you knew nothing about. If you were genuinely looking after the best interests of the club then surely you would be listening to like minded others who had the best interest of the club at heart also?

This has been the biggest jump ship exercise since the Titanic hit the Iceberg and bugger the consequences. The Captain of that particular ship’s apology did not cut it either!

Tell us something we don’t know!

So…..Lord William Nimmo Smith has completed his enquiry and has presented it to the SFA who in turn have passed it on to the Judicial panel for scrutiny. It has been a rigorous process with, you would assume, no stone left unturned in an effort to truly get to the facts and bring out the truth of what was going on at RFC.

You could sense the excitement and anticipation among the press pack as they awaited the statement from Stewart Regan. What stunning truth were we about to hear? What golden nuggets of fact were about to be shared with the nation over the goings on at Ibrox? You could hear a pin drop as they waited with bated breath and Mr. Regan uttered the following words,

“Principally, it is the belief of the Board, taking into account the prima facie evidence presented today, that Mr Craig Whyte is not considered to be a Fit and Proper person to hold a position within Association Football”

Really?!! Do you think so?!! A panel consisting of our most learned judge, Mr. William Nimmo Smith, Professor Niall Lothian, OBE no less, a past President of the Institute of Chartered Accountants, Bob Downes, former Director of the BT Group and our very own Stewart Regan. This is the stunning tit-bit of truth they hand us after two weeks of enquiry!

Gentlemen! Tell us something we don’t know! You could have put Rab the plumber, Tam the bin man, Shug the bus driver and Senga the dinner lady in the same room and they would have told you the same thing in ten minutes and been back at their work in time for the morning tea-break! Come on Stewart, Joe public deserves better.

Where do we go from here then? Well, Mr. Regan did also go on to say that Rangers will be charged with bringing the game into disrepute (another stunning revelation) and that the report did highlight a number of other potential rule breaches by the club and its owner. The potential breaches being considered include obligations and duties of members, Official return, Financial records, Division of receipts and payment of expenses (Scottish Cup). It would appear then that there are a long list of rule breaches being considered by the Judicial panel.

The process now, we have to assume is that the Judicial panel will sit and use as evidence this report put together by the Independent Enquiry Board, along with whatever else they have as evidence to RFC’s wrong doing over the years. Lets hope that after whatever time it takes for them to consider the evidence that Mr. Regan can issue a statement that does not insult our intelligence.

Next they will be telling us that Celtic play in Green and White!

Gordon Smith Did He Know?

An idea has been formulating around my mind for the last few weeks and I have delayed bringing it up until I did my research in an effort to try and be as accurate as possible in this blog. Now, what I am about to share is in no way an allegation of fact but merely a sharing of a thought based on what is now being alleged of RFC regarding player contracts, and, also me looking into Gordon Smiths association with RFC since the year 2000 and seeing a possible link.

Just to set up the scene RFC, as we know, are being investigated regarding the use of EBT’s for their players since 1998 by HMRC. Also now being investigated by both the SPL and the SFA is the use of alleged so called second contracts that may relate to these EBT or “Off Shore” payments as they are also known. My question is what did Gordon Smith know about this if anything? Was he aware this was happening? I would present the following time line to support my questions:

June/July 2000 Kenny Miller signs for Rangers from Hibs. Gordon Smith was his representative during these negotiations and contract agreement.

June 2007 Gordon Smith is appointed Chief Executive of the SFA.

April 2010 The Guardian Newspaper reports that Rangers are under investigation by HMRC over “Off Shore” payments to their players (We now know that HMRC’s investigation is going back to 1998)

April 2010 Gordon Smith resigns as Chief Executive of the SFA due to “personal reasons”

It was widely reported at the time that the SFA were left reeling and stunned at the sudden departure of Gordon Smith from his post and did not see it coming. Along with personal reasons and family pressures other reasons were suggested also such as Mr. Smith had had several controversial run ins with member clubs over his involvement in things considered not to be within his remit for example, calling for extreme punishments for Robbie Winters over an alleged diving incident at the time.

What if it were something more? Was Gordon Smith running away from something that was potentially going to blow up in his face? Was he aware of the alleged issuing of second contracts at RFC that were linked to off shore payments for players. Did Kenny Miller have such an alleged contract and if so was Gordon Smith involved in the negotiation of that contract? Was this then a direct conflict of interest if this was the case and therefore such an investigation might highlight the fact that the current Chief Executive of the SFA had full knowledge of these alleged second contract practices that were a breach of the SFA and SPL rules of full disclosure? Would this have been an embarrassment for Mr.Smith if this came to light?

The sudden resignation of Gordon Smith from his role of SFA Chief Executive so close to the breaking of this story I think allows the question to be asked “What did you know Gordon?” As a players agent he would be involved in all contract negotiations and therefore if such payments where made to Kenny Miller, and it is a big if, was it ethically correct for him to take up the role as the SFA’s Chief Executive if any second contract in place had not been disclosed?

I am very surprised that I have seen nothing of this in the media now that Mr. Smith has gone from Rangers and the HMRC story is in full swing. I would have thought at the very least he would have been asked by our “Objective press” “Gordon, were you aware that this was going on or where you ever involved in any contract negotiations of this nature?”

I am merely thinking out loud and have no evidence to suggest that Gordon Smith was aware of anything and I stand to be corrected if this has appeared anywhere else and Gordon Smith has stated his case that he knew nothing. I would be delighted to hear from anyone who has the answers!

The SPL Investigates Rangers Payments

I read with interest today the comments attributed to Neil Doncaster by certain areas of the Media who have reported that the SPL is set to investigate payments made by Rangers Football Club (RFC) to their players which may be in breach of SPL rules D9.3 and D1.13.

These rules “impose a prohibition on players receiving payments for playing football or participating in an activity connected with football except where such payments are made in accordance with a form of contract approved by the SPL and require that all such contracts are submitted to the SPL within 14 days of being entered into” as it was presented in a statement from the SPL.

The investigation it seems is centred around the alleged non-disclosure of payments to the SPL made by or on behalf of RFC to players since July 1st 1998. If this is found to be true then RFC will be found to be in breach of SPL rules as laid out above.

What is of real interest to me though is the strong language of intent from Neil Doncaster which has been somewhat missing from his counterpart Stewart Regan at the SFA. Mr. Doncaster it would appear, if his comments are to be interpreted correctly, will be applying the rule book in the event of RFC being found guilty of the alleged wrong doing. Comments such as “We will be looking into it and taking whatever action is necessary,” and “Our role here is to apply the SPL rule book” give the clearest indication yet that there may well indeed be serious repercussions from RFC’s fellow membership at the SPL.

It may be premature to applaud the SPL at this moment however credit must be given for Mr. Doncaster’s strong words of intent that punishment will be meted out. If only the same could be said of Mr. Regan and his colleagues at the SFA. Yes, of course the SFA have appointed Lord William Nimmo Smith to chair an independent enquiry into RFC’s recent practices and they have also advised that they are aware of the claims made by former RFC Director Hugh Adam that such payments were made to players and that the SFA will investigate, however why this stance of no further comment which seems to be the party line coming from the SFA?

The reluctance to engage in any confirmation that if RFC are found guilty of any wrong doing that conflicts with SFA policy and rules, that they will be punished as a result is astonishing. By continuing this no comment policy regarding the applying of the rules in the event of guilt, they are merely feeding the paranoia machine that operates in the West of Scotland. Come on Mr. Regan, what are you afraid of? This blog asks you directly,

” If RFC are found to be in breach of SFA rules regarding contracts, undisclosed payments or any other malpractice, will the maximum penalties for these breaches be applied?”

I won’t hold my breath for an answer (I would need an Aqua Lung if I did) but I will say well done Neil Doncaster. Credit where it is due for your transparency and defence of the SPL rule book. I would add though, don’t let yourself down should the necessary be required come the time!

Time For Leadership at SFA & SPL

Time For Leadership at SFA & SPL

I read with interest this recent enclosed blog. My learned friend has for some time now published some interesting and very accurate information regarding the disgraceful mismanagement of Rangers and some of their Directors. In his most recent of blogs, (If you have not read it click on the link above) he shares with us some dialogue with Stewart Regan who quite clearly is dodging an issue which for me should be very straight forward. It is a simple question Stewart! What are the rules and what is the punishment for breaking those rules?

The more cynical among us would suggest that by avoiding answering this question, as he has done, that there are moves afoot to perhaps change these rules in order to limit the punishment due to Rangers Football Club (RFC) if they are found guilty of the alleged administering of second contracts for players. My question therefore would be why? What if this was say St. Mirren or Hibernian or Aberdeen? To my mind there would be no question or doubt in the applying of the rules for any of these clubs or any other club within the SPL. Mr Regan has drawn some unwelcome and inadvisable attention to himself by avoiding the questions put to him when it should have been as straight forward for him to answer simply what the rule is and what punishment applies. Instead he fumbles giving the impression that the rule will not apply to RFC. All we can do now is watch with interest and see what develops. I for one though expect to see another example of open bias for the country’s establishment club.

The Shame of RFC

Hi and welcome to my blog. As a passionate fan of Scottish football as a whole and a genuine lover of the game and what Scottish clubs have achieved in the game, I , like thousands of other football fans in Scotland, and around the world, feel betrayed at the behaviour of Rangers Football Club, who, through their own self promotion, claim to be the establishment and biggest club in Scotland.

Over the next few weeks I will be blogging on the events happening at Rangers Football Club (RFC) and giving my thoughts and would welcome your participation and comments. 

I look forward to hearing from all of you. Happy reading!