Charlie Green – A mover and a shaker running out of time – Guest Post by Ecojon

We know that Bears don’t do walking away though first team players do but when it comes to Charlie Green he moves so fast I don’t know how he remembers what company he’s chairing.

In January this year he was chairing Formation Group PLC but company results were down and perhaps he felt his jaikit was on a shoogly peg because on 11 January the Bermudan registered Nova Resources Ltd announced Charlie was now company chairman and a non executive director.

The Singapore-based Nova had only just joined the Alternative Investment Market (AIM) two days before with a market capitalisation of £6.37 million and Nova said Charlie would be a key asset in the Company’s expansion. AIM was notified that Charlie was a current Director with Formation Group PLC.

Things appeared to go well because nine days after joining Nova he received a share option on 20 January of 1 million shares with an exercise price of 8.25p. But into each life must fall a little rain and on 22 February 2012 Formation Group PLC announced the resignation of Charles Green as non-executive chairman and director with immediate effect for personal reasons. As Charlie had been a founder chairman of Formation many years before his seemingly hasty departure was a bit of a surprise to say the least.

Another shock announcement followed on 17 May when Nova announced that Charlie had resigned with immediate effect in order to pursue other business interests had the immediate effect of losing his ONE MILLION share option. Ouch!

But days before quitting Nova the jet-setting chairman apparently had his sights on Rangers and a £30 million AIM Flotation which would give him a £3 million pay day making the cheap Nova share issue small fry by then. It’s hard to pin down exactly when Charlie turned blue but in all of these things timing is important as we have seen all through the process including the D&P bidding process.

The Eagle landed in Glasgow bearing gifts and Hope for the Rangers support – the media just wheeled-out the old Craig Whyte clips and dubbed-in Charlie’s face but I think they forgot to change the voice because when the Great Man’s lips moved I could have sworn it was Craig Whyte speaking.

However, I even think the sun shone as Charlie told tales of mysterious investors from the Orient aka the Middle East, Asia and Far East who had heard of the famous Glasgow Rangers and wanted to be shareholders in an iconic club with a world recognised brand who played in the Scottish Premier League – ah don’t think they thought we used a haggis instead of a pigskin but I sometimes ponder what they knew about the parlous financial state of Scottish Football and the curious but unique dynamics of the Old Firm – still I suppose that’s what financial advisors are for.

Anyway Charlie landed in Glasgow and before we knew it he had bought the oldco and began building SevGer on the investments pledged by 20 individuals and families with a guarantee that no one investor could own over 15% and all investors would be named. Well, almost three months later, the beneficial shareholders are still shrouded in secrecy which even the SFA seems to be having difficulty cracking. This lack of transparency scares the living daylights out of the Ibrox support still traumatised by Whyte’s plundering and Murray’s hand-washing.

The more cynical wonder if there’s enough left in the bank to pay the £5.5 million oldco purchase price and bets are already being placed on how many months the club can survive before a double-dip liquidation event. All wagers hinge on whether the shell-shocked Rangers support will buy season tickets with the deeply-divided bluenoses heatedly and bitterly arguing the pros and cons of whether they should starve Green out or back their club.

Club ownership exposes another fault-line as Charlie started off with the usual assurance that the fans could end up buying the club – I am fed-up explaining why this just cannot happen under the Charlie masterplan but it seems to be taking forever for the Ibrox support to waken-up to the real future they face. There can never be a successful AIM flotation of SevcoGers – resulting in a core group of founder shareholders making huge profits on their investment – if the fans were in control and formed the majority of shareholders with voting rights.

Green has apparently been jet-setting across Europe in the last few days presumably in a last gasp attempt to raise funding before the end of the month when the purchase price has to be paid. Help has come from two financial advisors, Imran Ahmad and Brian Stockbridge, previously associated with Nova in Singapore, who are now directors with Zeus Capital in Manchester which claims to have invested in SevGers along with anonymous associates. The two have been given seats on the SevGer board indicating their pivotal importance to Green.

Charlie and Zeus have crossed paths before as the company provided advice to the Formation Group while he was in the chair and in 2009 they advised on the sale of Proactive Sports Management, which Mr Green had previously chaired, to Gresham Private Equity for £22m.

But Charlie certainly didn’t waste time on his short sojourn in Singapore and managed to sign-up Jude Allen, a partner in the Kuala Lumpur-based Lumira Hotels Group, as a Rangers shareholder. Again I can’t help but wonder how far back Charlie saw blue as a lucky colour for him.

 

 

Posted by Ecojon

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28 Comments

Filed under Charles Green, Football, Guest Posts, Rangers

28 responses to “Charlie Green – A mover and a shaker running out of time – Guest Post by Ecojon

  1. Peter

    another excellent peice – keep them coming. It clarifies that this is just a big game of power Monopoly for CG and if things go tits up he can just knock the board over and start again somewhere else. He’s probably perplexed though why all these gobbie, local, little people seem to care so much about the intangible assets.

    • ecojon

      A bet he’s even more perplexed at mick’s finda pie savea pie campaign.

      I suppose the pies should be classed as a disappearing asset just like Green in the last few days although I might move him to the liability side 🙂

  2. Grabthegrass

    I think we all know by now our Mr Green is a bit of a serial chancer, but in terms of his Nova resources stint he didn’t actually seem to give much up. The share price when he was given the options was about 8.25p. It rose for a month or so to about 9p, but then has steadily fallen and now trades about 5.5 to 6p a share. Even Charlie could see that buying shares at 8.25p with the real price at 5.5 is a bit of a loss making exercise.

    I am still astounded that he has not put any of his own cash in, but expects others to do so, but still reap a potential benefit of 10% of the share capital if it ever floated. I doubt in his wildest dreams he envisaged the torrent of bad news and decisions that he must have been promised by those in supposed power and I would not be surprised if he suddenly just vanished / resigned as fast as he arrived.

    I don’t think he can actually name the investors hiding behind the Blue holdings etc as they would either simply deny it and pull out or indeed he may not even be able to find out from the men fronting these deals. However for the good of the scottish game going forward I really hope the SFA stick to their demands as capitulation now simply leads to bigger problems later…

    • ecojon

      @Grabthegrass

      I see your point but I cut stuff down for space sake – the options came in three date-separated tranches and I think we both know how some people can manipulate share isssue and prices to ‘spirit’ huge wads of cash out of a company leaving ‘ordinary’ investors holding gazillions of worthless ‘paper’. Not that Mr Green should be thought of as condoning such activities.

      Who knows what announcements of contracts and acquistions (real or imagined and usually in remote areas of the world which are hard to physically eyeball if not impossible) might be made by any company which can have an amazing affect on share prices in either direction. One thing I know is that fortunes have been made even on penny shares when shareholders get dunned as the actual company owners hold and control all the levers on share issues, options, loans and all the rest. But I’m sure we’re on the same hymn sheet here 🙂 or at least know the words to the song.

      The simple answer might be that Charlie Bhoy once in and having looked around came to the conclusion that it was not a vehicle for his financial advancement. Nothing wrong with that but it seems the company thought he was there for the long-haul.

      I certainly agree he must have thought he had walked into the burning fires at the exposure he has faced and which will never stop – such is the nature of the Old Firm and I doubt if it exists to such an extent anywhere else in the world. Whyte obviously thought he could sally-in (apologies to Ally for that btw) do his usual and depart with loadsa loot leaving a shell behind. He learnt differently and I believe will be living in fear of going inside as I doubt he will ever leave and it won’t be the pies that do him in.

      Green could face the same ultimate fate and he can’t really hide as he is needed as an up-front acceptable ‘face’ by the hidden moneymen – gawd help him if they decide he has outlived his usefulness and is drawing unwanted attention towards them and their cash which might well have been accumulated through various nefarious means.

      And in this I agree that perhaps Green can’t actually name the real power-brokers and could quite easily believe all the promised investment money is clean as it obviously is with Glenmuir and Mather.

      Personally, I wouldn’t put any money on backing the other stuff but them I’m not a gambler 🙂

  3. Al ross

    Ecojon hi,
    Can you confirm is Blue Pitch meant to be a limited company or is it an offshore trust ? Reason I’m asking is when you peel through the layers in a trust to the ultimate beneficiaries or indeed the settlor of the trust thats not usually info that makes the public domain. Just a thought happy to be corrected.

    • ecojon

      Blue Pitch isn’t a Limited company in the UK or the Swiss SA equivalent.

      It could be a Trust registered offshore or even a ‘company’ hidden behind nominee layers or quite simply an investment ‘vehicle’ organised by any number of financial investor companies anywhere in the world.

      At their simplest, the investment ‘vehicle’ is offered by a investment company to its clients as an investment opportunity. Say for sake of argument the investment company wants to invest £1 million in something it would then pitch to existing clients to each contribute a certain amount ( and this depends on how well-heeled its clients are) of say £100K each so it would need 10 clients.

      This is all just a very simple explanation and in real-life much more complex usually to bamboozle virgin or stupid investors and especially the investors that think they are super-wide who seek ‘independent’ advice without realising they are in a financial spider’s web where everone and everything is connected and looking to take a slice of commission on the action – IMHO opinion you understand 🙂

      So to get back on track the scheme offered is often given a prospectus name and that is all Blue Pitch Holdings might be. This is one of the big probs for the SFA in doing due diligence because of the layers of shareholding which can exist and the real difficulty of getting back to the original layer where the real moneymen hide.

  4. Ernesider

    Charlie Green is the modern equivalent that much derided old Irish character “The Gombeen Man”.

  5. interesting poser…..imagine blue pitch holdings is an ever moving/revolving investment vehilce with multiple smaller holding groups/personal equity investors at various levels from say $50,000>……..it is a short term financing vehicle that revolves deals for short term gains until long term cash is invested or the company/business is stripped/raped and closed. At any one time it may hold to order against secured assets somewhere in the region of $50m to allow it to act with speed and secure lucritive deals around the world at different investment levels.

    The funds held in escrow (client account) are held to order for and on behalf of Blue Pitch Holdings and instructions are received accordingly to move the capital where its needed again under instruction and order.

    The principle investors will normally originate from middle east/ eastern europe and sub asian countries with a few emerging investor groups from S America.

    Now apply this imaginery thought to sevgers ……………

    • ecojon

      That how I reckon they work and there are thousands maybe tens of thousands of them. And the real problem – not just for a company in their sights – is that actual shareholders don’t know their fellow shareholders and are are therefore unable to make a critical judgement or do due diligence on them. But always remember the reports that one Blue-chip investor who had appox £4 million to invest in Rangers in the early SevGer days tripped over traces of a shareholding from The Del Monte Man aka Interpol’s Most Wanted and tookimmediate flight with his millions before someone else might have.

      In any case how is it possible to do due diligence on such an ever-evolving organism.

      Basically you end up in the hands of the professionalism of Investment Advisors and personally I would rather be on the one-way rowing boat to Hades.

      In keeping with the high classical content of this site I feel it is my duty to advise that anyone without money to pay the ferryman never got to Hades and was left to wander the world as a kind of original Zombie if my memory serves me correctly.

      So if anyone sees Charlie shambling along the pavement with arms oustretched don’t drive a stake or even a pie through his heart – he might just be soliciting an investment 🙂

      Is the Govan ferry still running btw?

  6. beanos

    I think Mr Green grossly underestimated the interest and media coverage this would bring.

    A few clubs down South have similar murky ownership scenarios where fans have been trying to gain an understanding of who owns their club for years. As they aren’t Premiership clubs the media has shown little appetite to question.

    I also doubt that any of these clubs have a blog dedicated to their financial shenangigans attracting 1000s of views a day and thousands of comments a week.

    I can see Charlie now, rocking back and forth while muttering “I’d have gotten away with it if it hadn’t been for those pesky bloggers”

    I find it hard to see how he can sell Division 3 Sevco as a money making exercise, certainly in the short term. A lot of this falls on D&P though. If a typical Admin path had been followed, there wouldn’t be any high earners left. Nobody came up with a plan B for a lack of SPL football.

  7. ecojon

    @beanos

    I will shortly be putting up another post which might helps towards explaining some of the questions raised.

    I think a lesson for the clubs down south is that media interest isn’t necessarily the key to this as with a few honourable exceptions they started off Green friendly, became stoic as things started to unravel and have no ignored it and they actuallt wonder why their paper sales are collapsing as the punters head for the internet not just to read the news but to create and add to it.

    It created and fuelled the Arab Spring and is an important part of the Syrian fight which hopefully will also lead to real democracy. The club support down south should take some of micks steak and heart pies and get digging and blogging – that’s why we age given two hands btw 🙂

    • k

      Hi ecojon i always enjoy your posts, and i am interested in what you say “It created and fuelled the Arab Spring and is an important part of the Syrian fight which hopefully will also lead to real democracy.” Is this not a myth made up by lazy journalists and political agendas?
      http://www.boilingfrogspost.com/?s=twitter+revolution+myth

      • ecojon

        @k

        I detest lazy journalists and have a healthy disrespect for most political agendas and am well able to recognise them.

        You pose an interesting question which is also complex but let’s see what we can do. You are incorrect in stating it is a ‘myth’ – I base that on the evidence of my own eyes and ears; the internet contacts that I have had with many people actively involved in the affair; the reports issued from accredited opposition spokespeople. Strangely enough, I also base it not only on the utterances the former Libyan and current Syrian regimes but mainly in the efforts that those tyrants have taken to shut down mobile and internet netwrorks for fairly obvious reasons. It may be that you do not accept their importance and that, of course, is your right.

        Lazy jounalists – well that is a trite phrase if one has had no experience of brave and principled jounalists. There are lots of lazy journalists for a huge variety of reasons which I could discuss for days on end. However, I would say that I have yet to place one journalist in the ‘lazy’ category who works in war and famine zones or under the rule of a ruthless dictator. I don’t know whether you have met any of these people who are often seriously injured and killed for their fight ‘to bring the truth to the free people’s of the world’.

        A quote from the pre-internet age and that is what makes it so relevant today because the message of truth can now be brought – via the internet – to captive peoples whose governments used to have 100% control over their country’s media. Again I don’t know if you have ever worked or lived in such a country – it really is an eye-opener and the visceral low-level fear that constantly gnaws at your guts and naw it wisnae an Ibrox pie 🙂

        Turning to political agendas I won’t spend too much time on that because I believe something can be done about ‘lazy’ jourmalists. As to politicians well what can one say. And as to agendas it is an area almost impossible to probe effectively and accurately until the real diaries surface after death and the 100 year paper release rule provides the goodies.

        Therefore sadly we never ever can, in our own lifetime, fully disprove or prove the conspiracy theories that abound. That is for another generation but I do read the restricted papers when they are released and then go back to what was being written at the actual time.

        And when you’ve been doing that for 40 years you can actually start to spot and understand, if not approve, how the establishment and not just the political element of it, actually react to events. It is easy to scream cover-up but that really is a lazy reaction.

        And I would say that the whole Westminster Media Village and the Lobby System is one of the biggest threats to Democracy that exists in this country as its sole purpose is to hold the ring and provide a ‘balance’ which lets the establishment survive unscathed with dodgy political agendas left unquestioned by ‘lazy’ journalists and not their brave colleagues who are killed and maimed at worst and ridiculed and driven out of their profession and the light end – their crime? Simply, attempting to reveal truths which are uncomortable for the political elite even as far down as parish councils – I jest not btw.

      • ecojon

        @k

        Right I’ve just had a chance to look at your link. I would agree with the general thrust represented there. Of course the Americans and us and the Chinese and the Iranians and the Russians and god knows who else are carrying out their own cyber warfare which is all wrapped up in the capitalist agenda aimed at maximising profit and to hell with social and environmental consequences. But political control of the target states is an essential element of their ‘dirty tricks’ and often the only realistic way to that goal is government change through various destabilisation strategies..

        I spent a large chunk of my younger life capaigning on Chile with a few very small successes. Same goes for Apartheid opposition decades before it became popular or should I say ‘acceptable’. I wish I had one of Green’s quids or mick’s pies for every political battle I have been involved in. I have lost almost all of them but I choose my battles carefully as time is finite and so is life. I believe it is not so much the satisfaction of personal victory that is important although I do confess to having a healthy ego which is often tempered like tonight when I got handed a pie supper – my partner has a good sense of humour but is indicating she needs and wants attention. So I’ll cut this short if you don’t mind to say and say why do I do it. Because it is important not to become hung-up on the absolutes of victory or defeat. It is about organisational building ans pls don’t think I am talking about mechanistic cadres, It is about empowering and educating people in a myriad of ways so that the message is not only spread further but understood.

        As to real democracy – I am not yet clear yet what that actually means in set against a Muslim backdrop even a secular one. It will be different from what we recognise in the UK. But that is no bad thing because our people are voting with their feet and disenfranchising themselves. Maybe we have a lot to learn from the new democracies of sorts that are evolving.

        What really gives me hope in the latter part of my life is that we can possibly recognise what is driving the revolutions I speak of and at the core it is a belief that voters, through the ballot box, can make a difference and in the west we have lost that and we need to get it back.

        As to how, well that’s a whole different kettle of fish that I’m still working on. One thing I do know is that it entails never being frightened to speak out for the weak or minorities and to try and lead a life that reflects the values that I believe are essential to society and also to promote reconciliation and strong communities with a strong social compass. I am not religious and am human so I fail often but every day given to me is a fresh chance for another attempt 🙂

      • k

        Hi ecojon, luv it, beautiful man,insightful, inspired, passionate!! Kudos’n’respect to you. I will ponder on what you have said for years to come, very interesting,hmmm. But in the mean time any chance of you expounding on your experiences in Chile that sounds really interesting. Looking forward to your next post. peace and luv from an untermensch.

      • ecojon

        @k

        better to be untermenschen than lumpenproletariat

        I have no time to waste or energy to spend as 70 approaches on an old man’s dreams of past glories. We managed to keep a spark alive in Chile despite all the efforts of the USA in as many ways as there were supporters. I did not fight physically but in other ways where my talents lay.

        However, the fight never ends there is always a new elite to be ‘policed’ and kept under scrutiny so they can be held to account sometimes as it certainly how do they say: encourager les autres.

        A powerful tool because they who have most have the biggest amount to lose (I of course refer to material possession which creates their collective Achilles heel).

        Who would have believed less than a decade ago that The Masters of the Universe could ever be tackled and yet the beginnings of cutting them down to size have begun and most importantly the weapon is not physical as in creating wounds but morality and the fear of loss of wealth, power and position.

        I will probably put a post up tomorrow about a friendly football match and if you read it and understand then you will probably have an insight into how my mind works and also the ethos I try to pursue and live by.

        Thank you for you plaudits they do so well stroke an old man’s vanity 🙂

  8. ecojon

    IMHO there was never any need for for a Plan B as Plan A is still working fine as long as the SevGer shareholders actually cough-up. I have formed no impression that the mystery shareholders give a fig about whether football is ever played at Ibrox ever again if more profit can be realised on their investment through a change of use.

  9. beanos

    Yeah, in my roundabout way that was the point I was trying to make, the blogs have played a massive part and it can’t be underestimated.

    I also forgot to say, that was a good read. been enjoying your stuff here.

  10. beanos

    there is a cynical part of me that thinks that football isn’t the only plan either. I’ve stated a few times that I’ll be surprised if Sevco ever kick a ball in anger.

  11. ecojon

    http://www.scotsman.com/sport/football/sfl-division-three/in-full-a-breakdown-of-the-rangers-newco-squad-set-to-start-life-in-third-division-1-2423750

    Scotsman listing 16 players avaialable to Ally for season start – will it start?

    But list includes Bedoya and Hemmings.

    Wonder if this is Poorboy winge for media consumption to pressure SFA?

    • Ernesider

      Hi Ej

      I firmly believe that most of the people involved with Rangers, owners, staff, players and supporters, cannot accept, believe, come to terms with the situation they are in, and are waiting for some sort of “Deus ex machina” to appear and solve all their problems.

      “A deus ex machina ( /ˈdeɪ.əs ɛks ˈmɑːkiːnə/ or /ˈdiːəs ɛks ˈmækɨnə/ DAY-əs eks MAH-kee-nə; [1] Latin: “god from the machine”; plural: dei ex machina) is a plot device whereby a seemingly unsolvable problem is suddenly and abruptly solved with the contrived and unexpected intervention of some new event, character, ability, or object.”
      (Wickipedia)

  12. Chriske

    Hi Ernesider,
    The only “Deus ex machina” that I can foresee is a figure similar to Roman A who will bring untold lolly due to an undying love for RFC. But anything is possible even though the SFL put them in Div 3 and the SFA is playing a teasing game with the license. I don’t think the SPL financial apocalypse argument has been satisfactorily answered either. This time next week I think we will have a lot more answers, the closer it gets to July 31.

  13. mick

    and the panto gos on and on ,tesco is more a reality now than ever ,rfc could be the millenium third larnark all because of david murrays ego sad but true

  14. tainted orange

    Great blog

    Can see a fair amount of digging and checking has went in.

  15. ecojon

    Rangers accept 12 month transfer ban – BBC news

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