We’ve all heard the radio ads, “If you’re aged between 50 and 75 and suffer from memory loss…..”.
There’s obviously a market for products that can help with such things, and after the evidence given by them at the Craig Whyte fraud trial, David Murray, Walter Smith and Ally McCoist seem to be prime prospects.
On countless occasions during the trial at Glasgow’s High Court, the three amigos have utter the very same words, ‘I don’t recall‘ followed by attending that meeting, reading that email or a conversation that’s taken place.
Sometimes a combination of all three!
This handy phrase seems to have been used when defence QC Donald Findlay has asked a very pertinent or awkward question of the witnesses.
And on every occasion, when the witness has tried to wriggle out of an answer, good old lamp chops provides a hard copy of evidence, along with a stern reminder of who’s boss in the court. He’s playing a blinder.
As the case goes on, it’s clear the business dealings of Rangers (IL) particularly from 2009, was an absolute shambles.
With still a long time and a lot of evidence yet to be presented, one thing’s for sure, the memory loss business will be booming come the end of the trial…
And get away with it.
This week the Craig Whyte fraud trial has brought back into focus the Biggest Scandal in British Sporting History.
While the case itself is to determine if ‘Motherwell Billionaire’ Whyte gained ownership of Rangers Football Club (IL) fraudulently, the evidence from witnesses Walter Smith, Ally McCoist, Donald McIntyre and David Murray has given us an insight into the workings at Ibrox.
Although all the witnesses at one time or another have claimed to had lapses in memory, defence QC Donald Findlay has managed to jog their respective memories with some hard evidence. In the form of emails, phone call transcripts and texts.
Snippets include the admission by Walter Smith that he was ‘sacked twice’ even though Dignity FC claim never to sack their managers. The loyal cardigan also told the court he didn’t know the mechanisms of running a football club, yet still blamed the bank for the club’s demise.
Super salary’s evidence was, well pretty farcical to say the least. A bit like his managerial career.
However, things really started to hot up when former Finance Director Donald McIntyre took the stand.
Now we all know about the two tax cases, the Wee One and the Big One. To distinguish the two, the first was the Discounted Option Scheme (DOS) operated by Rangers (IL), the second was the Employee Benefit Scheme (EBT’s).
BOTH involved dual contracts or ‘side letters’ as they are known, therefore EVERY player in receipt of either DOS or EBT would be illegally registered. The consequence, as Legia Warsaw found out for this offence is the result of EVERY game where the illegally registered players participated now shows a 0-3 result.
Other clubs in Scotland have suffered this punishment, before and after Rangers (IL) decided to choose to bypass the football rules in this country.
David Murray and Rangers (IL), knew the punishments, but still admitted liability in the Wee tax case. Donald McIntyre said so, in a court of law.
So, I’d like know, what made David Murray and Rangers (IL) think they could cheat the rest of Scottish Football and get away with it?
Might be a question Donald Findlay could ask….
*we’ve only scratched the surface here, there’s plenty more to come from this court case. Keep looking in…
Celtic development team, the under 20’s lifted the Youth Cup for the third season in a row tonight, after thumping Sevco 3-0 at Hampden Park.
Goals from captain Sam Wardrop, Calvin Miller and left back Aiden McIlduff, meant there would be green and white ribbons on the cup for the fifteenth time.
The victory was all the sweeter when you consider this bunch of players are the best produced by the Ibrox side in 20 years, according to their chairman Dave King.
It was also Celtic’s third win in a week against a team from Govan.
Last Thursday night, our under 17’s, with a couple of players included tonight, secured a 2-1 win at Firhill in the Glasgow Cup final, the goals coming from Liam Henderson’s young brother Ewan, and young Jack Aitchison,
The win, was the Hoops fourth success in a row.
Completing the hat-trick of wins was Sunday’s 2-0 stroll in the park, in the Scottish Cup semi-final by Brendan Rodgers men.
When the gaffer arrived at Celtic Park in May, he told the faithful his immediate aim was to continue our domestic domination.
Eleven months on and the club ARE dominating, not only at first team level, but also at the levels below.
It’s not only Glasgow that’s green and white….it’s Scotland!
It’s the stuff of dreams. Former Rangers (IL) vice-chairman Donald Findlay, defending former club owner Craig Whyte in a Scottish court, over the proposed fraudulent takeover of the now liquidated club.
Findlay will know all about the people he’s putting in the dock, having served on the Ibrox board until 1999, when he was unceremoniously forced to resign after being caught on camera singing The Sash.
The bold Donald does have a history of an anti-Catholic rhetoric, along with his vocal disappointment at being born on March 17th, St Partick’s Day!
He is however, regarded as one of the best QC’s in the country, with an ‘inside knowledge’ of the workings at the Govan club.
Having already put the loyal cardigan Walter Smith and his former jovial sidekick, Ally ‘who are these people’ McCoist on the stand, Findlay is just getting warmed up. A web of lies has already unraveled, with more to come no doubt.
To emphasise the point, Findlay told the court, “this is not a public inquiry, it is a trial”, clearly referring the withholding of information that took place in the sham Lord Nimmo Smith inquiry.
As the day proceeded, the cross examination of former finance director Donald McIntyre revealed all sorts of information, that had previously been hidden from public consumption or overlooked by various parties that had something to hide.
In particular, a letter dated 26th November 2010 confirming Rangers (IL) accepted liability for the £2.238m due to HMRC for the Discounted Option Scheme operated by the club, for payments to Ronald De Boer, Craig Moore and Tore Andre Flo. McIntyre confirmed a ‘side letter’ was used.
This Bhoys and Ghirls is only the tip of the iceberg.
So far the case has brought us more questions than answers. Certainly where David Murray, Campbell Ogilvie and the part played by Stewart Regan of the SFA is concerned.
I’d stock up on jelly, ice cream, popcorn and whatever else takes your fancy, because this is dynamite.
*Credit to @jamesdoleman for his excellent court coverage.
Here’s a few facts about the horror tackle dished out by Sevco’s Andy Halliday on Paddy Roberts at the start of yesterday’s Scottish Cup semi-final at Hampden.
Let’s begin with the starting place of Halliday. He was around ten yards away from Paddy as he ran at left back Beerman.
When Beerman was tackling Roberts, Halliday started his run. At this point Beerman managed to foul the Celtic winger but somehow Paddy managed to stay on his feet.
Now traveling at speed, Halliday decided he wanted to ‘clean Paddy Roberts out’, which he did, knocking the Bhoy flying through the air. Everyone in the ground could see the tackle was a potential leg breaker, except referee Wilie Collum.
To begin with the whistler made the right decision, and waved play on as Celtic had an advantage. But once the move ended, Collum should have brandished the red card.
The ‘tackle’ for want of a better word, was made to maim. Make n mistake, Halliday set out to injure Paddy Roberts. And it doesn’t matter if it occurs in the first or the last minute, the offence is the same. A straight red card.
Yet Willie Collum decide a yellow suffice. Just like the game last month at Celtic Park, Sevco were allowed to kick anything in green and white without fear of reprisal.
By only showing a yellow card, the thug can’t be punished further, but I do hope whoever represents captain Scott Brown at his hearing for last week’s farcical sending-off, uses a video of teh incident to compare tackles. And punishments.
But let’s be honest here. Halliday made the challenge to prove he’s one of them. A fan who plays for the club. A Govan boy.
And that’s exactly all he is.
Brother Pedro could easily have picked one of the Gullibears from the crowd to do the same job. His notoriety was always going to be about trying to hurt a Celtic player, because he doesn’t have the ability to make anyone sit up and take notice. Like his team, he’s just not very good.
Celtic turned in a performance that was more like the team that has gone 41 domestic games without defeat, in the Scottish Cup semi-final at Hampden yesterday.
The 2-0 scoreline flatters the new club, because in reality it could have been more, much more.
An excellent goal from Callum McGregor after 11 minutes, when he coolly side footed the ball past Fotheringham from 18 yards was just reward for the Bhoys, after dominating the early proceedings.
The Hoops were so much on top, the half-time stats showed Celtic didn’t commit a single foul in the first 45, while Sevco didn’t have a single shot on target during the same period. One way traffic from the champions.
With Moussa Dembele pulling a hamstring towards the end of the first half, Brendan put on a more than able replacement in Leigh Griffiths.
And it was Leigh who made the second goal, sprinting on to Paddy Roberts through ball, only to be cleaned out by Sevco full back Tavernier inside the box, for a stonewall penalty.
Scott Sinclair duly dispatched the ball behind Fotheringham to make it 2-0 and end the score for the day, and with it the dreams of those Sevconians who thought lightning might strike twice.
That was NEVER going to happen
So what can we take out of Sunday’s game. Here’s seven things that I took away from it…
- You have to hit a Celtic player with a hatchet to stand any chance of being sent-off. Halliday’s assault on Paddy Roberts would have got him a weekender if he did that on the street.
- Paddy Roberts has matured so much, and has the natural ability to rip defences to pieces.
- Callum McGregor is in Brendan Rodgers’ starting team on merit. His composure for the first goal was Messi like.
- Scott Brown is an outstanding leader of the team, on and off the park.
- Jozo and Dedryck are without doubt our best central defensive pairing. What a difference a year has made to big Boyata!
- Stuart Armstrong still has nice hair.
- The gap is as wide as we want it to be, on and off the park. Celtic strolled around the Hampden pitch bossing the game and upping the tempo when needed. If we keep our concentration and the officials don’t over com-bust, we’ll finish the season not only as Treble winners, but Invincibles.
Within 14 seconds of today’s Scottish Cup semi-final, holders Hibs found themselves a goal down to Aberdeen, after a serious of slack passes left Adam Rooney with only the goalkeeper to beat.
A total lack of concentration gave Neil Lennon’s men a mountain to climb.
How a team can start so lackadaisical is beyond me, especially with so much at stake. If anything, you’d expect the Hibs players to be extra focused.
To make matters worse, their goalkeeper managed to lose a second after half an hour, when Celtic’s Ryan Christie curled a free-kick at his near post.
Two goals behind, Lenny made a substitution that paid dividends immediately, when Grant Holt scored with almost his first touch with a header from Martin Boyle’s excellent cross.
That goal galvanised the holders, and they took the game to Aberdeen from the start of the second half. And their efforts were rewarded when ex-Celt Dylan McGeoch equalised with a shot that went through Joe Lewis in the Dons goal.
Unfortunately, Hibs’ comeback was all in vain when, with six minutes to go, Johnny Hayes’ shot cannoned off Hibs defender McGregor to wrong foot the keeper and give the Sheep a 3-2 victory.
Celtic will look at today’s game and see the first 14 seconds as a timely reminder of how NOT to start a game. When the Bhoys take to the field for tomorrow’s Scottish Cup semi-final, concentration is paramount, we cannot be slack in any aspect of the game.
We have to be 100% on the ball, right from the off.
If we do, then I can see us progressing to take on an Aberdeen side, that despite all the plaudits, find it hard keeping a clean sheet when teams go at them.
*A side note. Both Hibs goals were straight at Joe Lewis. I wonder if the pundits will claim he should have saved them, the same as they did with Scott Fox at Paddy Roberts goal last week?
There’s a deluded Sevco blogger, Johnny MacFarlane, who writes for the club fanzine that is the Daily Record*.
He has during his time come up with some real crackers when it comes to talking up the Ibrox club, with not a hint of reality attached to ANY of his articles. Doing very much the same job as Chris Jack does at the Evening Times.
There is no doubt he’s lost the irony of his latest article, where he suggests Sevco do a’ Juventus on Celtic’, comparing the job the Italian giants did on Barcelona in the Champions League, to a similar job Sevco should do on the champions.
Celtic are without doubt the Barcelona of Scottish Football, but Sevco are more like Espanyol than Juventus to be honest.
However, the irony of Johnny’s article has more to do with his choice of club to copy.
If he believes, like most of the Gullibears do, that Sevco are in fact Rangers (IL), then it his choice of Juventus couldn’t be more appropriate.
You see, in 2006 the ‘Old Lady’ of Italian football were stripped of their 2004-05 Serie A title and demoted to Serie B for their part in cheating, by arranging favourable refereeing appointments, in a scandal known as ‘Bribesville’. Unlike the scandal in Scottish Football where Rangers (IL) acted alone, Juventus were part of a five team scam.
And unlike the Scottish scandal, Juventus were punished accordingly, and took their medicine getting on with it, and not blaming anyone else for their cheating.
If justice is to be served in Scotland, Rangers (IL) too will be stripped of the titles they won while using players illegally registered. An offence their chairman admitted committing.
*no newspaper was purchased.
Whenever Celtic face a game against the new club, or the old club for that matter, the media love nothing more than wheeling out ex-players and managers who’ve played their part in previous encounters.
It’s nothing new.
Neither, usually is the narrative. My old team could beat the new team, and we had better players then…blah, blah,blah. We all heard and read it, over and over again.
However, this time, there was a quote that was of REAL interest.
Alex McLeish, former manager of old Rangers (IL) was speaking ahead of Sunday’s game at Hampden when he blurted out, ‘Listen, somehow you have to win the title next year by hook or by crook’.
His assertion apparently came during an interview for the Sevco job with the current directors.
McLeish, unwittingly has given us all an insight as to the thinking inside Ibrox. This latest claim comes on the heels of a BBC interview a few months back when he told us, “if we didn’t pay the money on wages Celtic were paying, we’d been behind them”.
What he was referring to, was the years of cheating the old club embarked on by paying their staff, McLeish included, by means of Employee Benefit Trusts or EBT’s for short. Millions of pounds were siphoned off away from the HMRC. His take was £1.7M.
Yes, £1.7M from the taxpayer, just to make sure the Establishment club remained top dog.
The notion that this money, and any trophies accrued during his five years in charge, was obtained by cheating doesn’t matter on iota to McLeish.
All that matters is, “by hook or by crook”, they stop Celtic.
The media fallout from captain Scott Brown’s last minute red card at Ross County on Sunday has been nothing short of sensational.
Pundits, ex-players and so called fans alike, have been queuing up to put the boot, metaphorically, into Broonie, with a rhetoric that suits their preconceived agenda.
Quotes of ‘old Scott Brown’ are being thrown about like confetti, as if he was some sort of on the park hitman.
And the very notion that the club are, quite rightly, appealing his sending off, has put the usual suspects among the Celtic hating fraternity into meltdown, conveniently forgetting one of their favourites used the exact tactic to escape punishment not too long ago. (Kiernan)
All this means that Scott Brown, the bogeyman, will be available for selection on Sunday for our game against the new club in the Scottish Cup semi-final.
The very same ‘bogeyman’ who has played over 400 games in the last ten years for Celtic, and only received his marching orders on just four occasions, and to be honest, two of those, like Sunday were questionable.
Therefore the image the media wish to portray of this marauding, hacking thug, certainly isn’t the reality of Scott Brown.
Maybe they’re getting him mixed up with Souness?