THE SFA AND ITS ROLE IN ANY FUTURE SALE OF RANGERS’ MURRAY PARK – by Ecojon

The maelstrom surrounding SevGers has reached fever pitch with heightened anticipation it could be financially destroyed in days – so perhaps this is the time to look to the future.

In doing so, in a curious twist of fate lies ahead whereby the very existence of SevGers could once again lie in the hands of the SFA, and I don’t think either realise it and I doubt if the Bears could survive another episode of the nation’s favourite soap which has dispelled this year’s summertime blues.

Despite previous mouth music Green will accept the transfer embargo, promise to clear football debts and somewhere down the line, titles will be stripped.  In return a slight SFA fudge over ‘fitness’ of mystery investors – apparently shunted to D&P who can’t wait to get outta town.

But SevGers get the all-important SFA blessing with survival over the next few months hinging on radically slashing operating costs, increasing shareholding investment and most urgently selling as many season tickets as possible.

So everything in the garden is rosy then? I’m afraid not because I reckon SevGer still won’t be able to cover their operating shortfall and the once anticipated cushion of a £30 million flotation on the Alternative Investment Market planned by Green is evaporating along with a possible £3 million commission as negative publicity engulfs Ibrox and SFL3 financial viability fails to attract short-term investors looking for a quick buck.

Murray Park is the only readily saleable asset that SevGers have which could conceivably get them through an SFL3 year and provide a small financial residue to boost player numbers in SFL2. Auchenhowie is a great location for houses even in a depressed market and planning isn’t really a problem.

Murray Park, or whatever Mr Green wants to rename it as…

As well as a welcome cash injection a sale would reduce SevGer running costs and help get SevGers director Craig Mather’s new sports agency and Paul Stretford busy moving product in the shape of younger players who are surplus to requirement especially as Ally is busily signing players more suitable to the SFL3.

So all done and dusted then? Not quite! Be patient we’re nearly there 🙂

On 6 July 2012, the Standard Security for £500,000 formerly attached to the oldco was transferred to Sevco Scotland Ltd whose directors are Charlie Green, Brian Stockbridge, Imran Ahmad and Malcolm Murray. I believe the security held by the Scottish Sports Council triggers a financial penalty if football activities ceased at Auchenhowie to cover the money originally invested in building the facility by the Sports Scotland Lottery Fund (£500,000). The Scottish Executive also invested £150,000.

In reality the £500,000 ‘penalty’ would be a mere bagatelle in any land grab where a property developer or housebuilder bought Auchenhowie for building purposes despite Lottery Cash stipulating community access for football training and, in particular, use of the indoor football hall and new generation synthetic grass pitch.

But the SFA could hardly sit back if a member club like SevGer tried to flog-off Murray Park given the essential role the complex plays in Scottish Football and as part of the Football Academy network designed to develop youth talent throughout Scotland, with the emphasis on identifying, coaching and developing young players, particularly those who have the potential to progress into the first teams of Scotland’s professional football clubs.

Additionally, the SFA have the right to use the facilities for agreed periods to assist them in the delivery of community and youth development initiatives, coaching courses and referee development courses.

Have the SFA reached any position on such an event or, as usual, will they bury their heads in the sand waiting till the Scottish footballing landscape does indeed become a desert.

I’m not an accountant and have a strictly layman’s ability in understanding the ins and outs of company paperwork and there are some basic things I can’t understand.  I can see that when the £500,000 charge was originally attached to the oldco by the Scottish Sports Council that the failed Rangers had tens of millions of pounds in turnover and in assets and looking at the cashflows passing through would have been able to repay the money if the need arose.

But looking at Sevco Scotland Ltd, apparently the new Rangers vehicle, with its £2 shareholding capital I am left pondering the Public Purse Interest if it went bust.  Would the taxpayer, let alone the Sports Council and Scottish Executive, get their money back or would it all disappear like the oldco pies? Perhaps there is an insurance policy which covers charges like this?

Auchenhowie was the first custom-built complex of its kind in Scotland and at the opening David Murray, Rangers Chairman, commented: “It was crucial that we made a significant investment in youth development to safeguard the long-term success of the Club and ensure we can compete at the highest level in Europe.”

Sir David Murray opening Murray Park – how times have changed

It feels quite sad looking back and comparing Murray’s vision to where Rangers is today and wondering whether its future role is merely to provide housing units and ignore the dreams of Scottish youth.

 

Posted by Ecojon

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110 Comments

Filed under Charles Green, Rangers, SFA

110 responses to “THE SFA AND ITS ROLE IN ANY FUTURE SALE OF RANGERS’ MURRAY PARK – by Ecojon

  1. mick

    it is a shame if it turns to houses but then theres the other issue how many youth players passed throw murray park with celtic minded dads or is it all down to wit school do you go to !!!!if its pulled down then it might mean its the last youth level biased place to bull dose or am i just a bit para the day !!!! and to think public money funded it

  2. mick

    that photo of murray is so egoistic named after him and he open it to unreal

  3. ecojon

    @mick

    Defo para – but yes I’m afraid a lot of it still is down to what school you go to. But Hope Springs Eternal and the decline of organised religion coupled with the internet helping open the eyes to horizons far beyond the very jaded and restricted ones allowable in certain parts of Scotland which seem only to be able to produce green or blue tinted sunrises instead of the multicoloured spectaculars that we all deserve.

    And let’s always remember that this isn’t just one side to blame as there are bigots on both sides as bad as each other who are the roadblocks to progress.

    But the biggest roadblock is our media which at best chooses to turn a sustained spotlight on what is going on and at worst encourages it in a host of very subtle ways.

    If I was editor of a Scottish paper I would ensure that all sports reporters were rotated in terms of SPL match coverage rather than fall into a cosy niche of the Old Firm being seen as the plum assignment for the top two guys. I think this would be a valuable experience for football reporters and help dispel the often worrying accusation of bias.

    • JimBhoy

      ecojon sir, i think if the Ibrox club get in SPL3 I would make all their like minded reporters watch every game they play there. 🙂 AND I think as you mentioned in a previous blog listen to the sound of the Happy newco locos. Let them try and hide that in their report when they are rather close to the action…. Shame sometimes is the only game in town…

      • ecojon

        @JimBhoy

        Shame on me for forgetting that they won’t be sitting in their plexiglass greenhooses but be lucky to escape the rain under the pie stall canopy.

        What they won’t escape is the singing and chants and you’re right chico on trackside should be a laugh as he tries to persuade us that the community singing is being lead by the diddy team support.

        Some of these places don’t have a clue what’s coming down that track.

    • ecojon

      Oops very serious error – ‘ our media which at best chooses to turn’ should read ‘our media which at best refuses to turn’

    • Mick

      Msm is well at fault in it all to well said ecojon and a think the media in this country should look in the mirror at them selfs thers 9companyslisted to green it could be nine sales over a period of time

    • Charlie Oscar

      Mixed schools would be the best start.

      • Tam Makondi

        What difference would mixed schools, as you call them, make? The “mixed schools” don’t seem to make any difference in any other country. Maybe that’s because they don’t have intolerant, anti-Catholic
        bigots making up the majority of the population. When people talk about these mixed schools they are obviously meaning that the existence of Catholic schools cause all the trouble. I wish someone would actually prove that as I have asked plenty of people but no one has ever convinced me.

        • Tam and Charlie,

          I’m reluctant to get embroiled in the schooling debate here, but I want to chip in my tuppence worth.

          I was educated at a Roman Catholic school, and my children are going through the same process. In all the schools involved, the atmosphere has been nothing less than positive. Education is framed within the Roman Catholic ethos of respect for God and for one’s fellow man.

          Whilst no school or system is perfect, I am proud to have been educated in the ethos I have mentioned, and when combined with my upbringing at home and through my Parishes, have seen these as nothing less than positive influences.

          The numbers of non-Catholics who attend Catholic schools is a demonstration of the advantages many perceive in the system, even where not of my faith.

          I cannot speak for what atmosphere is generated from non-demoninational schools. However, I did not see in my own schooling, nor in the schools where my children attend and have attended, the slightest sign of bigotry or “anti-Protestantism”.

          Jim Sillars commented many years ago about the 90 minute patriots.

          I suspect much of the “sectarian” nonsense in Scotland, is generated by the “90-minute zealots”.

          I quote Lord Carloway in Walls v PF http://www.scotcourts.gov.uk/opinions/2009HCJAC59.html

          “First, he was repeatedly shouting religious abuse in the form of “f***” the Pope”. Whatever relevance the appellant thought this expression had to a match between Kilmarnock and Rangers, it is conduct which some, perhaps many, attending a football match are likely to find offensive. Secondly, the appellant was repeatedly shouting “Fenian bastards”. The Court does not accept that the appellant was referring to members of the American brotherhood formed in the 1850s. It is within judicial knowledge that the term “Fenian” is used by a certain section of the population to describe a person either of Irish ancestry or even a person of the Roman Catholic faith, whether of Irish ancestry or not. Coupled with the derogatory term “bastard”, this is either an expression of religious prejudice or racial bigotry or both. Again, some, perhaps many, persons at a football match are likely to find it offensive. Thirdly, the appellant was singing the refrain from the Famine Song. It is slightly unfortunate that the Sheriff did not make any findings on the precise terms of the lyrics of the song, but she has adequately set out that the witnesses described the song as offensive and referring to the “Irish Famine”, presumably the potato famine of the 1840s. The song calls upon persons of Irish descent, who are living in Scotland, to go back to the land of their ancestors, namely Ireland. The Court does not consider that the lyrics of this refrain bear any reasonable comparison to those of “Flower of Scotland” or indeed “God Save the Queen”. Rather they are racist in calling upon people native to Scotland to leave the country because of their racial origins. This is a sentiment which, once more, many persons will find offensive.”

          Mr Walls may be a deeply religious man, who regularly attends church, chapel, synagogue or mosque. I suspect that deep religious or doctrinal beliefs were not the source of his chanting and singing.

          Equally there are fans of Celtic, and of other teams, who sing, shout and chant ludicrous and offensive things.

          Frankly this is all to do with the tribalism of football and nothing to do with religion and separate schooling.

          Maybe a longer post of its own for a later day…

          Now back to the regularly scheduled football chat!

      • Robert

        Yes there should be no segregated education system in Scotland.

      • mick

        a wasnt taking the bait either but hay why not religion is a important part of a kids life so any1 that uses the term mixed schools is a non beliver and is out to high jack faith schools parents should have the choice of both something that am proud of in this country my faithfull school shaped me to be the man i am also it shapes our kids to R.C. schools are great for our kids and without them they would become lost souls.the good thing about our R.C. or any faith school is they learn you to protect your soul and to it good ,charlie your trying to creat a nation of lost souls your view is racist not every1 wants to be a none beliver ,a hope a dont sound bitter but people who make your statement above are mostly evil none belivers a hope a did not offend you but am just staeing fact

  4. ecojon

    @Paul

    As Green seems to have delayed his renaming of Murray Park I will suggest, with my property eye, some alternatives: Salvation Alley – Greenfields – Charly Folly. Poor but I am sure others will have plenty of better suggestions

  5. ecojon

    I see Green quoted wisely and coming from sevco Gers website: Green told Rangers’ official website: “We have reached agreement with the SFA and SFL (Scottish Football League) on all matters but not with the SPL.’

    As usual he does his now familiar trick of turning all his firepower on one opponent. However it will be interesting to see whether we shortly get a statement from SFA/SFL to the effect that Charlie’s statement is premature and that no statement has of yet been reached and nothing signed.

    And so the soap roles on (sic)

  6. Johnboy

    Ecojohn: “planning isn’t really a problem”.

    Not true. Auchenhowie is zoned for Green Belt use. In addition, it lies in a flood plain.
    Only possible solution I’ve heard so far is that a developer buys both Auchenhowie and the nearby West of Scotland Rugby Club grounds, then uses the much-more-viable rugby pitches for houses and moves the rugby club into the ex-Murray Park.
    Which would be fitting, in a way.

    • Mick

      Ave highlighted that there was rules of a time period ecojon done a topic on it there free to build its all mines 2 level max a would say

      • Mick

        Asit is green belt so. Murray would not redeveloped the build licence came with conditions over time but the time has expired but open to new developments it would be good for local brickies big housing project although am for not building in green belt but in a recession all builds are good for local economy’s maybe the council could use it as land is scarce in that area for them to build

    • ecojon

      @Johnboy – I realise the flood plain risk but that seldom deters developers but your plan would be ideal. The main reason I don’t see planning being a problem is that the original 2 charges on the ground from the Academicals were only to the effect that if Auchenhowie land use was changed they would get a percentage uplift of increased value. These 2 restrictions are now gone.

      And the Scottish Sports Council charge doesn’t ban change of use but merely triggers financial penalty in the case os use change.

      On the wider front planning laws are being lightened so I don’t actually see a major problem. The ground is that flat anyway the underbuilding would be minimal so there would be little expense in actually heightening houses above a 50 yaer flood level.

      Would be interesting to know the results of any test bores to see if any foundation probs exist but these things are not insurmountable and work-arounds a lot cheaper these days.

    • ecojon

      @mick

      Behave – the well-heeled occupants of the new Murray Park will be carefully screened wi nane o yir cooncil gadgies inside ra gates 🙂

      • mick

        it falls under east dumbartonshire who have a council house shortage you think the council would buy it and do flats lol

    • Tam Makondi

      The SFA talked about closing Largs, so why don’t they purchase it when BDO confiscates it and puts it on the market?

  7. Martin

    Green can’t sell Murry Park.

    To the fans this would be considered as something akin to treason.
    Green is already struggling to get the fans onside.

    There is no workable investment strategy that turns a profit without a massive support for Rangers. That’s true for all investors.

    Green has to find another way of getting short term cash. In the end his consortium must either sell up completely and walk away or dilute their stake. There are offers out there.

    Some investors would happily take control now. Others would like to see all the cars in the crash come to rest before stepping in.

    • ecojon

      @Martin

      I have repeatedly said that the reason that acceptable (to the fans) Rangers Men investors have walked away is that they’ve looked at the figures, done the sums and don’t have the guts to tell the faithful that the old days have gone. These investors realise the stark financial realities of the Rangers Black Hole but they don’t wish to be branded ‘Traitors for Life’ by a very vocal section of the Ibrox support who march only to their own drumbeat.

      But I still don’t quite get my head round how you can register a charge on a company if you have not demonstrated to Companies House that you either own or have a ‘legal’ interest in the building concerned which warrants creation of the charge.

      Indeed the official Companies House form states: ‘Particulars of a charge subject to which property has been acquired by a company registered in Scotland’.

      The actual Certificate of the Charge states that the charge in on: ‘Property Acquired by Sevco Scotland Ltd’.

      So I find it hard in the case of Murray Park to believe that it isn’t owned by Sevco Scotland Ltd. Whether the case is true of Ibrox park is another matter because there are no charges on it although I am unclear about the effect of floating charges from Liberty via RFC Group onto oldco and although mentioned in the initial P&D report it isn’t clarified in the later interim report.

      • Marching on Together

        You cannot grant a standard security over a property unless your name is listed in the Land Register as being the heritable proprietor of the land in question. So if Sevco Scotland Ltd have granted a standard security over Murray Park, their name is on the Land Register as heritable proprietors. Property law 101.

  8. Martin

    Silly thing really. I don’t know how the coloured patterns are assigned to each person that chooses to make a comment the the blog, but I quite like mine 🙂

  9. Martin

    the the blog…where are my glasses 😦 should be on the blog.

  10. MMS

    Back reading the articles & comments but before I make my second comment can I just say thank you to “Mick” for the Proclaimers video – brilliant!!
    Ecojon “Defo para – but yes I’m afraid a lot of it still is down to what school you go to.” Can I add to that I think the greater influence is still from within the family you grow-up in which plays a considerable factor?
    In my own experience (my point of reference), my mother was Scottish (Catholic) and my father is Irish (Catholic), as a family we spent every school holiday and any reasonable (or entirely made-up) excuse to visit his family in Ireland. In my father’s history they lost a family member who was (accidentally) shot and killed by 2 British Soldiers at a check point my father does not “hate the British/English” in fact he joined the RAF; his siblings have married both Catholics & Protestants as a family we argue and we could cheerfully kill each other after an old firm game (whichever team lost or won), but as a united force we stand by each other against any “enemy”. I’m sure (could be wrong), most “families” in the Scotland have a mixture of religions through marriage, most people have a mixture of friends and work colleagues the social structure of Scotland is no longer singular to Catholic and Protestant; other than in the minds of people who are deep-rooted-bigots and Neanderthals of times past who cling onto narrow-minded beliefs.
    If nothing else in recent weeks the fact that so many people, football managers, shareholders, fans etcetera from all sectors of the financial, economic, social and religious backgrounds have stood together and said “no” to Rangers/Newco/Sevco displays the fact there has been a mass unification by the people who are standing up for what they perceive to be right, just and fair and it is not entirely religious based (again I could be wrong), if so I am more than sure to be corrected.

    • ecojon

      @MMS

      Very solid post which touches on all the important bases and is though-provoking.

      Like yourself I have an extensive Irish family background from both sides of the religious divide and was never exposed to sectarianism or bigotry until I went to school and I have had the interesting experience of attending both Proddy & Catholic schools.

      I hear what you say MMS about the family being the key driver and I largely agree but as society’s nuclear families increasingly fracture and the extended family networks disappear for a variety of reasons then I do believe that other factors come into play.

      I survived the schizoid schooling experience I went through most definitely because of the genuine non-sectarian extended-family background I came from but also, and at times more importantly, because I could handle myself.

      I agree that the revolution that has taken place across the length and breadth of Scotland propelled by ordinary fans of all and no religions has been amazing. I don’t even think that it was primarily anti-Ranger but more an absolute refusal to keep swallowing the garbage spouted by our ‘rulers’ and ‘betters’ who knew what was best for Scottish football. No, Sporting Integrity won the day and there will be some financial consequences but unless we have a root and branch restructure and visionary approach to Scottish Football was finished anyway. It would just have taken longer to die.

      My hope is that as we all travel this hopefully new road that bigots from all sides can be further marginalised and perhaps that quiet decent majority that I know exists at Ibrox will feel empowered and come to the fore in what could be a glorious future chapter of club footballinghistory written about their fightback to the top ranks.

      Sadly, the seeds of poison are already being sown with some Bears vowing that once they get back on top they will punish other Scottish clubs financially. So they would burn their own house down – what madness and hopefully along the way cool heads will win the argument that if we are not all in this enterprise together then the best we will achieve is to hang separately at the end.

      Surely football, the banter and our clubs deserve much much more than that.

  11. ecojon

    Well, it’s OFFISHAL

    The SFA read scotslawthoughts blog

    Any relevant piece I write I always email to Stewart Regan @ SFA and/or various others depending on the subject.

    I have never previously received any indication of interest or even acknowledgement from the SFA.

    But today a First! (even if only an autoresponder) with the SFA responding:

    The SFA role in a Murray Park sale

    Thanks for your message.

    It will be passed to the appropriate department and we may contact you in due course.

    Scottish FA
    Hampden Park
    Glasgow G42 9AY

  12. Brogan Rogan Trevino and Hogan

    Folks,

    can I dispell some myths here.

    The first is that the West of Scotland Rugby ground around the corner is abailable to play any part in this mix! As I understand it a deal has already been done re West whereby the existing club and grounds are being bought by Waitrose with a view to a new 20,000sq ft store going on that site, and the rugby vlub moving round to the site of the existing tennis courts on Auchenhowie Road– complete with new clubhouse, etc etc etc.

    So that appears to be out!

    I also don’t think Murray Park can be used for housing as it is not zoned for residential use and I doubt if that particular local authority would be particularly easy to deal with on that site in respect of a housing application..

    However, what is of interest is that each and every sports centre or leisure type business that has opened up in this vicinity has been extremely successful, and there is a good argument that there is room for more.

    The existing Allender sports centre is due to be demolished and a new one built as a pre-requisite to a very large housing development by Cala and others.

    At one time it was mooted that Cala may well be persuaded to by Murray Park for this very purpose, and in so doing free up more land for housing- and after all they would be getting a ready made sports centre at a fraction of the build cost.

    However, even presuming that the Allander is rebuilt in the car park per the existing plans, there is a very good argument to say that Murray Park would be of interest to say a Duncan Bannatyne or David Lloyd sports centre type business.

    It could be aquired for a fraction of the build costs, is more or less custom built needing no more than some reorganising and upgrading, has ample car parking provision and so on.

    Given the price that Green has paid he will make a profit no matter what.

    However, he is in bed with Zeus!

    Therefore I would not bet against Green selling to a Zeus controlled or funded party on the grounds of necessity, and for Zeus to then do the rebrand or refurbishment and then actually sell all or part of it on for the big bucks in due course.

    Not only is there more than one way to skin a cat, in this instance there is more than the one cat in the mix!

    • ecojon

      @Brogan Rogan Trevino and Hogan

      What an interesting post. I’m sure it will turns Green’s thoughts away from Tesco and he is probably meeting with Waitrose as we speak 🙂 You have got to hand it to him he really is irrepressible.

      So in a sense I am back to the SFA holding the key – assuming SevGer becomes an SFA member – as the SFA would then hold a powerful sword above their head.

      So look out for some fancy footwork to legally separate Murray Park from SevcoGers. Keep looking for the charge on Albion Car Park to land somewhere and any new charges on Ibrox turning-up not to forget the Rangers Group charge on the oldco.

      • mick

        ecojon the 9 diffrent companys created by green and co, 1 might be murray park maybe thats why theres so many diffrent companys, it nearly matches the number of investors.still no licence theres reports up on the sevco website that they had a bounce match sevco players agianst each other bibs v nobibs lol there reporting on trianing sessions lol

  13. Martin

    ecojon.

    First and most importantly am I to believe that my coloured pattern could be changed? Who decides this? A panel? I want to know who these people are!

    On the Murray Park thing, ways would need to be found to answer the questions you rightly raise that’s a given.

    As for investors in these days of woe and want the vulture capitalists are on the hunt for any and every lame duck company that can be cooked up into a great feast.

    Some one will have to take the pain for Rangers troubles in the eyes of their fans selling Murray park is a big no-no. Got to find the cash to keep that asset going.

    You can sell any idea to the Rangers fans if you spin it correctly, even losing titles. The big bad football authorities did that! It was David Murray!

    Sell Murray Park?

    What do you blame? Hard economics? The new reality?

    Well you could try it, but isn’t that the same as saying you lack the financial muscle to save Rangers. Try selling that to the to the Rangers fans.

    • ecojon

      @Martin

      U sure you’re not Ally with demanding those responsible to be named 🙂

      I would accept your argument if investors and Green were into the long term at Ibrox but I don’t think they are. Green has no desire IMHO to base himself in Glasgow and I would give him 1-2 years max if he can find enough money to keep SevGers running.

      I don’t think there’s anyone who believes he has the cash to save Rangers – even the most ardent fans seem to accept that but they explain it away by saying: ‘There’s no other game in town’. The few who seem to actually believe in him can only parrot: ‘He’s the only one who put his money where his mouth is’.

      But how can that be when he declares openly that he isn’t a shareholder and the only money he seems to have spent is the £1 out of his pocket he gave to Whyte.

      If the Gers fan civil war on season tickets is lost by Green he is finished and that is when I reckon Murray Park will go for the highest bidder which might even be as a par park for Waitrose.

  14. mick

    a would just say it murry park or admin if a was green ,sevco in admin coming soon lol

  15. mick

    this deal has been scubbered by no spl soccer ,athink greens backers will get nothing and it will liquidate the bdo dramas around the corner the ebts still no licence no team your luck to make 10,000 profit on away games and also the season tickets are not selling ,ozymandias just keeps spring to mind everytime a look at the whole pic. its games a boogie the payoffs as well the council rates owning continetial clubs for players etc etc etc

  16. BIBS (first game): Gallacher; Cole, Goian, Hegarty, Wallace; Bedoya, Wiktorski, Hutton, Edu, Crawford; Naismith.

    NON-BIBS (first game): Alexander; Broadfoot, Gasparotto, Bocanegra, Clarke; Mitchell, Black, Macleod; Beattie, McCulloch, McKay.

    Recon they have enough there to play through the division assuming they can get authorisation…..Todays training spell at sevgers on the “new pitch”.

    • mick

      mk1888 a heard if the brechin games off sevco media are showing that instead lol bib v no bib

    • mick

      am certianly not saying excelts should not play for celtic but you think beattie would be upset they cheated him out of silver wear while he was at celtic would scunner him and not play for the bibs or bibees its good he has a universial view on it all or has him and black in it like green hoping for a grand pay day ??/

    • ecojon

      @michaelk1888

      Ah hope someone’s got this filmed as it could end up as the first and only SevcoGers game ever played 🙂

      Did I hear a C’mon the Bibees from the cheap seats?

  17. KG

    I don’t know how you have been able to form the view that planning permission for housing isn’t really a problem.

    It is.

    This potential development site is a long term opportunity in the 10 – 15 years category, and with no gaurantee of securing planning permission.

    No housebuilder or developer will splash out meaningful cash on such a long term risk.

    This type of deal simply does not happen in this market, especially when there are more certain sites available.

    I’m not saying that a developer or housebuilder will not be interested, but rather that the structure of any deal will not involve the meaninful upfront payment of cash.

    • Alex Doherty

      I think that there is perhaps one investor who might take the chance none other than that great Irish investor used to this type of deal Dermot Desmond

      We in Ireland know he is good at this type of thing.

    • ecojon

      @KG

      The main reason that I said that planning for housing wasn’t a problem is because the two Academical charges and the Sports Scotland charge did not specifically exclude it and indeed recognised that any future change of use could happen as long as the chargeholders benefitted financially.

      I’m not up to date on Planning Legislation but is it still the case that you don’t actually need to own ground for applying and actually being granted planning permission for it?

      I certainly would not exclude a number of devices being utilised to increase the sale value of this land and retain an open mind on what plans a developer might have other than housebuilding.

      In fact the post by Brogan Rogan Trevino and Hogan is very interesting in the possibilities and opportunities it identifies. Murray Park might make a fine supermarket carpark.

      One thing I have learnt in my life is never to have an entrenched fixed-mind on what WILL happen. Always look for the unexpected as that is what will catch you out and never ever underestimate the people in the game and in this case there are a lot of very experienced people who will already have worked out various scenarios as to how to maximise the return on Murray Park.

      Not everyone is wedded to operating to the footballing ‘benefit’ of Rangers – Their goal is to maximise profit for their shareholders and thus increase their commission. All perfectly legit but a sad blow to a future Rangers, Scottish Football in general, and all the youngsters, including local ones, who might miss out. Still that’s what Profit & Loss is all about in my experience and Social ‘cost’ is often written down to NIL because many people without conscience just don’t care about anything beyond their own, often narrow financial interests.

      • Marching on Together

        “is it still the case that you don’t actually need to own ground for applying and actually being granted planning permission for it?” That’s my understanding as well, but if the actual owner was to object, then it is unlikely that a planning authority would grant planning consent IMHO.

        However the planning authority will determine the application according to the land and what the local development plan (or whatever it is called nowadays) says. If it is indeed green belt, then they will not grant planning consent for housing until the development plan has been changed, many years down the line.

        Any charges or restrictions placed or not placed on the land as a result of ownership deals are irrelevant so far as planning is concerned.

  18. mick

    a distrubtion center maybe that would be good for manual workers from north glasgow

  19. Bluesnaw

    Wasn’t McConville charged and thrown out of his profession for defrauding miners and their families out of their compensation money; as well as associating with known IRA sympathiser, Phil Mac Giolla Bhain?

    Yet he continues to write with an air of credibility. Jeebus, you Rangers haters are easily fooled… or is it simply that he writes what you dream about hearing?

    • Bluesnaw,

      I made mistakes in my professional life. I have apologised for them and have suffered, and continue to suffer, the penalties for those mistakes.

      Thank you for saying I write with an air of credibility. I appreciate that compliment from you.

      However, please get your facts right.

      1 I was not charged with anything.
      2 I was not thrown out of my profession.
      3 I defrauded nobody.
      4 I can associate with whom I like, and Phil Mac Giolla Bhain is a very interesting man with whom it is a pleasure to speak.
      5 I am not a “Rangers hater”. If you can show me any evidence that I am I would appreciate it.
      6 I am not trying to fool anyone.
      7 I did not write the post you have commented upon.

      Thank you however for the interest in the blog

      Paul

      • Bluesnaw

        Sorry my mistake… so what exactly was your ten year ban for?

      • Bluesnaw

        Phil Mac Giolla Bhain is a mischief maker and a known IRA sympathiser (his early foray into “journalism” with a few other notorious characters in a certain Celtic minded publication is testament to that) who accuses the Scots of anti-Irish racism whenever the opportunity arises. However, probe deeper and challenge him to open debate with statistics and he conveniently disappears into the ether, only to pop up in some other publication spouting the same hackneyed nonsense.
        Tell him Bluesnaw was asking after him and ask him again if he’s willing to engage in a public debate with me… again! But then I already know his answer.
        See, that’s the problem… you let your emotion cloud your judgement, which means a melange of made up facts and odds and sods of speculation to fit the theory. My guess is you are pretty much schooled in the same self-perpetuating puffery as the aforementioned Phil McGillivan – that’s his real name by the way. But you probably already knew that.

        • “Emotion clouding my judgement”, “melange of made up facts” and “odds and sods of speculation to fit the theory”.

          Where do you find that in my blog posts?

          If you feel you want to make a point to criticise my presentation, or to put across your own viewpoint of you feel it is misrepresented, why don’t you write me your own piece, and I can post it here, as long as it meets my quirky standards?

          Being offensive about Phil doesn’t, for the avoidance of doubt.

    • free speech

      @Blues naw

      It is the to credit of this blog that those who contribute are not shouted down or berated with scathing attack or vitriolic utterances as is common on both MSM and supporter forums.

      Factual content is analysed and debated with assumptions left at just that- assumptions. If you have read this blog over the last few months the common theme is transparency. The guest bloggers do not know my dreams but the same theme comes out time and time again.

      I am not a rangers hater but look for good information soundly put together and Mr. McConville puts to shame MSM reporters who are existing on the fumes of succulent lamb.

      Look inward Mr. Naw and see the utter trite published and look at the forum of e.g. RM and is there any real analysis?

      • Bluesnaw

        “Reporters who are existing on the fumes of succulent lamb.”
        That statement says all it needs to say about where your sympathies lie and your hunger for affirmation.
        There is a common theme running through these blogs – a theme that made Phil’s blog successful – and that’s the infinite queue of weak minded sycophants in need of sustenance for their weak minds. They feed on the thin gruel and made up rubbish served up as fact by the likes of Phil, Paul et al.
        I guess we all have to feed on something, but given the choice of succulent lamb or thin gruel…

      • JimBhoy

        i check the dailies too and the subsequent blogs and some of the crud on there is beyond belief. The number of times i hear BJK and the sins of Celtic’s past (One guy at the boys club 40 yrs ago). Ill-informed wee boys grasping at any straw they can to try and defend or attempt to glorify their past standing… Just get on with it for football reasons just as I will do tomorrow at my boys team training, mixed, Rangers, celtic and Motherwell supporters. That is also reflected in the 3 coaches but these bioys would run thru a brick wall for any of their team mates and the coaches treat these boys like superstars (under 14)….
        We have a chance in austerity Britain to concentrate on supplying a chain of youthful talent to teams and the Scotland Squad… Cos we are all skint, turn a neg to a pos…!

    • JimBhoy

      You got facts other than Daily record facts? We have heard this drivel before and Paul should not feel the need to defend himself (again). It is like a broken record sometimes with supporters of the Ibrox club. When shown their heinous crimes and wrongdoings Spit venom at those who do not support the peepul or in this case those who may want to seek the truth from some dubious shennanigans. The enemy, now, according to many general (RFC) blogs expand from Celtic to every club in Scotland…

      What sort of mentality is that… One for which Scottish football fan’s votes ‘NAY’!! That’s the stark reality !

      • Grabthegrass

        Football is a tribal game and generates huge passion from people which can become rather misplaced at times. As a Neutral in this issue, though a supporter of another club, I have found this site to be the only one where the issues were being properly debated, analysed and opinions offered in spirit of genuine freedom and discussion. Compared to the insults and lack of proper debate on forums like the Daily Record comments, this site should be lauded for it’s attitude.

        Society exists on sets of rules and regulations to avoid becoming anarchy. When those in power appear to be abusing the rules they were appointed to keep, then right minded people will rise against this and sites like this exist to point out those errors and inaccuracies. Given that it is all about Rangers and others associated to them like D & P, Green, Sevco etc who are doing this, then it will follow that critisism will fall upon them. If it was Celtic doing the same thing, then this would also apply.

        @Bluesnaw is making the error of attacking the messenger rather than the message. Whatever Paul may or may not have done – and I don’t know him personally or have ever met him or any of the other posters here – his analysis of the documents and public pronouncements have added greatly to the debate. We don’t know who reads or trawls these blogs, but the disection and comments made for example on the SPL presnetation to the SFL – which should go down in history as one of the worst things they have done so far – may have been read and acted on by some of the chairmen of the clubs. Either way, the past issues of the author have nothing to do with it’s contents and attacking him simply makes your potentially valid comments invalid in the eyes of most reasonably minded people.

        Comment is free, abuse is not.

    • ecojon

      Don’t understand the big deal about playing for nothing as I would have thought that qualification would be a necessary one for any dribbling bib,

    • Marching on Together

      Was never a Savage fan during his playing days, but he is the only pundit on the BBC who actually tells the truth, and is not afraid to upset his pals in the game by doing so e.g. he calls players cheats who dive.

  20. Tam Makondi

    What about the Albion car park as a Park and Ride for the airport? The only flooding there, I would imagine, would have been from the OldCo’s fans bladders.

    • ecojon

      @Tam Makondi

      I think the problem with the Albion is that it is an asset that won’t pass to SevGers for 20 years although I have certain bits of info about strange goings on which will be revealed in due course

  21. marksmith

    That’s correct Paul, you were not banned, you just had your registration restricted for 10 years for being an incompetent clown.

    “The lawyer had his registration restricted for 10 years by the Scottish Solicitors’ Discipline Tribunal after admitting misconduct “likely to bring the profession into disrepute”

    • “Incompetent clown” was not the phrase used. I might adopt it though. Thank you.

      In any event, my name is at the top of the blog, and, for example on Chris Graham’s blog when he took a pot at the “Barmy Bloggers” I wrote seeking to correct inaccuracies. To his credit, until he made it apparent that his was a blog for Rangers folk, he allowed me to respond.

      I could have hidden behind a nom de plume as many bloggers do, but like Phil, and Chris Graham, elected not to. As a result I have been exposed to the most vile abuse online from people who appear to be, or claim to be, Rangers fans.

      So people who read my blog may be aware of my errors. I let them make up their own mind about how, if at all, it affects their view of my analysis.

      That’s life.

  22. free speech

    I’m not one for a conspiracy theory but the pies are ruffling a few feathers.

  23. Excellent article Paul, It always makes me laugh when I read someone trying to attack people personally. It shows that they have lost the argument and are hurting severely. When they have lost the argument and have no other means of defending the indefensible there is no other option available to them but to make personal attacks. Your points must be getting through to the feeble minded cadres now Paul. They don’t like anyone having more influence than them and that is what really scares them. Keep up the good work Paul they are history.

  24. James

    @Bluesnaw .. No ammount of Personal attacks , whoever they’re directed at, won’t detract from the “facts” that have been posted and discussed here on the whole Sevco/gers/sfa/sfl/spl/d&p etc etc fiasco . Note I mentioned ALL (?) parties involved in these “discussions” . However you appear to want to concentrate on one party – based on religious bias.
    As Paul said, why dont you raise a separate topic on this , if you so feel ?
    On the other hand, if you can dispel any of the statements made in the past days on this blog, as being untrue, unbased or downright falsehoods , then please let’s hear your thoughts on these.
    Of course cynics ( not that there are any here ) might think your intention was solely to disrupt the “flow” …. In which case you at least suceeded !
    As is often said on forums.. Let’s get back on topic 🙂

    • Bluesnaw

      Firstly, don’t acuse me of religious bias, you brought the subject up first – not me… I’m talking football teams.

      I’m sorry, but Ecojohn’s piece is speculative rubbish at best. He’s perpetrated the classic con by inventing “likely” scenarios designed to support the narrative around an outcome expected (or craved) by an audience incapable of thinking for themselves.

      He seems to have learned very quickly that serving watery soup is enough to have the ”Joebhoys” and “Celticmads” of this world drooling for seconds in their desperation to hear anything negative about Rangers. Then there’s the added bonus of some much craved kudos for the author, but we won’t go there.

      I know nothing I ever say is likely to change your mind, but ask yourself this: when you read this piece did you truly read it with an open mind and a healthy level of scepticism (as is right); or were you automatically pleased that somebody else in a long line was writing more negative stuff about Rangers?

      • ecojon

        @Bluesnaw

        I really wonder what planet you actually exist on. If you actually read what I have written you will see that I want Murray Park to continue (you can rename it if you want) as is. That is of benefit to Rangers, Scottish Football and the local community.

        You are entitled to your opinion about my piece it is just disappointing that your response is rich in abuse and low in reason.

        It would seem you believe Mr Green will be the saviour of Ibrox and again you are entitled to your opinion although it is disappointing that you have not provided any evidence that might persuade me of your obviously carefully considered position.

        I do agree with you and applaud your sentiment that everything should be read with an open mind and healthy level of scepticism. It would appear that you certainly subscribe to the latter but woefully fail personally to reach the very high standard you have set for the first objective.

        I won’t refer you just to my piece here but to every piece I have ever written and I think you will find it hard to quote where I have written negative stuff about Rangers in the way that I suspect you mean. In fact many Celtic supporters probably disagree with my position on Rangers which quite simply is that I wish to see them back in the same league as Celtic as I believe that is good for both clubs and for all of Scottish Football.

        I cannot be held responsible for the various factors which have brought Rangers to this pass and I have tried to be measured about any punishments meted out and to date nothing has been inflicted which wouldn’t have been inflicted on any team which ended up in the same positions as Rangers has at various stages. As to EBTs and title-stripping my position is clear in that I don’t believe any SPL/SFA hearing should take place until HMRC has reported their findings.

        Obviously I retain the right to pen balanced and objective pieces about Rangers just as you have that right with regard to Celtic. However, and I accept my own failings here – I find it very difficult to be objective about Sevco and it’s probable effect on the future of Rangers even in the relatively short-term.

        You state that the scenario I paint about Murray Park is speculative with no basis in fact and, indeed, invented. Again, I say to you – you are entitled to your opinion. But as someone obviously close to the Sevco hub why don’t you give us your factual account as to how you see Murray Park progressing in the straightened financial times faced by what is now an SFL3 club. I would be happy to read your analysis.

        It is however obvious that something in my article has stoked your ire and I am at a loss to discern what that might be as I wish Murray Park to continue but fear it will be sold to raise cash for Sevco – if you can explain why my reasoning is faulty then I would be happy to hear it. It may well be that you can name the mystery shareholders behind the Sevco ‘face’.

        I am personally just glad that I know the background of the Celtic Board and know their connection to the club. I would rest less easy with the SevcoGers situation, were it my club, with 4 out of the 5 directors having had no connection with the club just a few weeks ago.

        I would also be very wary of a director who openly declares he hasn’t put a penny into the club and yet wants fans to buy season tickets and invest in a share flotation which will never give them control of the club IMHO.

        However, I am sure I have given you plenty of food for thought and btw I don’t serve up ‘watery soup’ but pipin-hot green pea broth with potatoes.

        If you respond in the manner you did earlier I will ignore you as I have no wish to attempt to open closed minds. I commend that you try and imagine a Scotland free of bigotry and hate – it will be hard at first but take it in small doses and I feel sure that you will slowly benefit from the experience.

        One day you might actually be a leader in that land – all you have to do is keep that mind open and you have already made it clear that is how you judge others so it should be a good enough standard to judge you by. Don’t you think?

    • Bluesnaw

      “On the other hand, if you can dispel any of the statements made in the past days on this blog, as being untrue, unbased or downright falsehoods , then please let’s hear your thoughts on these.”

      Nothing, and I mean nothing in Ecojohn’s article has any base in fact, it is made up speculation based on an invented scenario.

  25. ecojon

    Dearyme – I have a night off and the fun starts. They really are hurting it’s so obvious. Why attack a blog that wants to save Auchenhowie for them – I can only believe it was a faction supporting Green as I can’t for the life of me see why they aren’t supporting the thrust behind the blog.

  26. mick

    well in paul there only attacking you cause you are outting the truth they stop at nothing idiots they are you shouldent take the bait they dont deserve your time on a keyboard theres been amedia campiagn of hate agianst you since you started to question them its called propaganda and us on here are beating it .
    were all paul mcconvillie and we stand behind our academic leader

  27. mick

    “were driving the bus now and there not even getting on it “

  28. ADM

    Well, it’s been a funny old day. I’ve spent my blogging time over on RTC being told I was a Rangers spokesperson while Paul’s getting accused of being a Rangers hater. And in the evening, it looked like something real happened – but then again, maybe not. Lack of transparency continues to generate conspiracy theories and accusations of bad faith on all sides while, for sure, if I was the SFA or the SPL or the SFL, I wouldn’t be saying a word in public without some very highly paid lawyers confirming I could say it. So we still have some time to wait. Over on RTC at one point today I asked: (i) will Rangers/Sevco play on Sunday? (ii) if not, will they get on to a pitch some time in the next few weeks? (iii) if the answer to either (i) or (ii) is yes, will they complete a full fixture list for the season? Fwiw, my answers would be (i) No, looking increasingly unlikely (although I might be proved wrong tomorrow); (ii) I suspect yes – think it satisfies a lot of agendas if they at least get on the park at some point; (iii) can’t see how – the finances don’t add up.

  29. waverley

    I stopped reading after this… “Auchenhowie is a great location for houses even in a depressed market and planning isn’t really a problem.”

    Auchenhowie is built on greenbelt land and any planning application for housing submitted to East Dunbartonshire Council will be instantly denied. This is public knowledge.

    Exceptions were made during the planning of Auchenhowie that it can not be sold for housing development at a later date. Hence why the valuation of the ground is no where near what people would expect it to be, even if it is Milngavie.

    If you can’t get the basic facts right, i take it the rest is nonsense.

    Have a nice day.

    • ecojon

      @waverley

      It is obvious that I have touched a very sore spot with many with my housing scenario for Auchenhowie.

      As I have explained I try not to take up entrenched positions and most certainly avoid a fixed-mind. I would also point out in simple words that I wish Auchenhowie to continue as is – that is why I have flagged-up what I believe to be legitimate concerns.

      Waverley, you say: ‘any planning application for housing submitted to East Dunbartonshire Council will be instantly denied. This is public knowledge’.

      If what you say is correct I would say that you are indentifying what appears to be a prima facie case of public curruption and I would urge that you report your ‘evidence’ to the local piolice.

      You also state: ‘Exceptions were made during the planning of Auchenhowie that it can not be sold for housing development at a later date.’

      If that is the case please advise where these ‘exceptions’ are listed so that I can inspect them and no I am not Bomber Brown.

      You further state: ‘Hence why the valuation of the ground is no where near what people would expect it to be’.

      Very interesting, so what is the valuation? And how do you kiow it as I don’t think your ordinary guy in the street, even in Bearsden or Mingavie, would have a scooby.

      So you are in some loop or circle – could it be that you are privvy to the recent valuations? Let me remind you what D&P stated in one of their reports:

      9.15 Lambert Smith was also instructed by the Joint Administrators to provide an indicative valuation of Murray Park, on an existing use and alternative use basis.

      It would appear that some sort of alternative use must have been envisaged. I wonder what it could be? A Masonic Hall – I suppose that could count as a religious or charitable use.

      What about ‘social housing’ – that’s not a commercial housing development but more a social function so that elderly people in the local area can continue to stay there in a suitable sheltered housing complex at Auchenhowie and sell their big empty house and release equity to pay for their care and not be a burden on the state or local authority.

      As I suspect you know Waverley – valuation amount is a moving target depending on the useage.

      However, you have raised many interesting questions and I await your answers as hopefully you are not here with ulterior motives as I love ripping blue veils away although I would be happy to retain the Blue Vale of Auchenhowie in its current use for the benefit of Scottish Football.

      • Marching on Together

        ecojon

        In planning terms housing is housing. Makes no odds whether it is social or commercial. Local authorities do of course have polices which require commercial housing developers to contribute a percentage of the total units built as social housing – not sure what it is for East Dunbartonshire, but it can be up to 25%.

        However, if housing is not permitted as it is not zoned as such in the local development plan (I have not checked – I am taking it on trust that those who have posted on this know what they are talking about) , then as Waverley says, any application would be a waste of time, and any planning officer offering pre-application consultations would say so. There is no corruption involved.

        For housing to be acceptable the local development plan would have top be changed and that would be years down the line, if ever.

  30. JimBhoy

    Mr Bluesnaw, I for one would love to hear your take on events at what has been the recent circus and past events involving Rangers (new/old). Stick to the facts though…

    One other suggestion, this site may determine fact, question it and ask more questions (inevitably never aired by our jornalist fraternity) and it may also allow some comedic value therein based on the farse that has played out so far. If the shoe were on the other foot, would we, as mainly Celtic supporters (and not Rangers haters) expect anything less in return from supporters of the team that may play at Ibrox.?

    Read thru these blogs and pick out 20 questions from it that the guy you let purchase your club (for a song) should have answered many weeks ago…

    This whole affair is not the doing of anyone else bar those that Rangers’ have trusted to do their bidding, well and a little incompetence from those who purport to run Scottish football.

    Peronally I would have expected more from the Rangers fraternity to have sorted this mess out and i truly hope it happens in the near future. Half my family put a lot of money into supporting the Ibrox team and I feel their pain. Been there..!

    • ecojon

      @Marching on Together

      I hear what you say but it doesn’t need to be housing. I haven’t a clue what possible use might interest a developer and I assume from your silence that the Masonic Hall one couldn’t be ruled out – I picked that as a way-out example but for all I know that might be an acceptable use under the local plan.

      Sadly, unlike yourself, I seldom take as a matter of fact what unknown posters claim to be fact. But, over the next couple of weeks I will try to check the local plan scenario and have a chat with council officials.

      I also take exception with your comment about planning officials making comments to the effect that they would advise any applicant that they were ‘wasting’ their time. I would expect a professional official to provide any applicant with all available information including the local plan and leave it to the applicant and his professional advisors to come to a judgement as to whether it was a waste of time.

      Indeed, I would be very wary of an official making that kind of comment and wonder whether a bribe was being solicited to make it worth his time.

      Fanciful? Perhaps not. Especially when I go back to the fact that two organisations (including the Scottish Sports Council and possibly the previous owner of the land) have placed three ‘charges’ on Auchenhowie restricting a change of use. If it would appear that there can be no meaningful financial change of use and it was an ‘obvious waste of time to even apply’ why did they go to the bother and expense and waste their time with the charges, one of which still applies.

      But let’s not throw aside the blue veil that seems to be descending over this issue and get back to basics: If there is a change of use that affects Scottish Football with the SFA act! Especially as the land owner would presumably be a football club registered by the SFA.

      I know that SevGers may not be granted registration – so in that scenario who will safeguard Murray Park and its important role in Scottish Football.

      • ecojon

        Second last para should read:

        But let’s throw aside the blue veil that seems to be descending over this issue and get back to basics: If there is a change of use at Murray Park that affects Scottish Football will the SFA act! Especially as the land owner would presumably still be a football club registered by the SFA. And if Auchenhowie is transferred to a legal entity other than an SFA registered member how will its current role be safeguarded and preserved and would the SFA have any role in this process?

      • Marching on Together

        ecojon

        To save your time to spend more productively on other stuff:
        The current East Dunbartonshire Local Development Plan was adopted by the council on 31 Oct 20112, so is pretty up to date: http://www.eastdunbarton.gov.uk/content/planning_and_the_environment/planning__building_standards/planning/long_term_planning_policies/adopted_local_plan_2.aspx

        It states (p51, Chapter 7) under planning policy GB1: “Policy GB 1 – Presumption against Development
        Within the green belt, as defined on the proposals map, there shall be a general presumption against development, and planning permission will not be granted for developments other than those falling within the categories listed in Policy GB 2 below.” [GB2 lists the exceptions, which are mainly agricultural, and do not cover any of the financially viable alternative uses for Murray Park].

        Murray Park is within the defined Green Belt area as can be seen from the relevant map: http://www.eastdunbarton.gov.uk/pdf/DE%20Enterprise/East%20Dunbartonshire%20Proposals%20Map%20reduced.pdf

        It is also part of a ‘nature corridor’.

        The next version of the local development plan is under way, for adoption in 2016, and the main issues have been identified: http://www.eastdunbarton.gov.uk/pdf/DE%20Planning/DE-P-Summary%20of%20Pre%20Main%20Issues%20Report%20Publicity%20&%20Engagement.pdf

        It states in the findings at the start that: “In terms of locating new housing, brownfield sites, town centres and windfall sites within urban areas were preferred, although a number of responses
        stressed the importance of adopting a flexible approach with regard to the greenbelt boundary and well located greenbelt release where necessary. Residents and other stakeholders suggested a range of sites across the area that could be developed.” Murray Park has not been mentioned by anyone as part of this process, so as of Feb 2012, it did not seem to be in contemplation that it could have a change of use. That is not to say that it could not, but that could not happen prior to the adoption of the new local development plan in 2016.

        In determining a planning application, planners and planning committees must follow the local development plan, unless there is a material reason not to do so. I cannot see what the material reason here would be.

        Hence, I would fully expect any planning officer consulted, to effectively say to any proposed developer: Local development plan, up to date, Green Belt, not within category of exemptions, what material consideration, yeah very funny, no chance.

        I say this as someone with significant experience of dealing with planning officials on this basis over the years (although now retired).

        As for the restrictions placed on the land by its previous owners, this is extremely common device, to ensure that if land is sold for a specific purpose and at some point in the future planning policy of the local development plan changes, that not only the new owner of the land benefits from such increase in value of the land, but the previous owners. Councils these days are particularly keen to do this when they sell land. This stands independently from any planning restriction, and the presence or absence of such restriction has no bearing on the likelihood of obtaining planning consent for a change of use, and is merely a comment on the wisdom and experience of the seller’s advisers.

  31. Thomas

    Paul love yer stuff! havent bought a paper all year between the two Pauls and Phil.
    Development value of Murry Park is as valued today, I understand the agreement with the original owner/leasee is any overage from sale value goes to them. Registers of Scotlansd on line will give you the Title.burdenss for £12

  32. Marching on Together

    ecojon

    As I suggested previously, a sale and leaseback of Murray Park is the obvious answer. Any buyer would have the benefit if zoning for the area is changed to allow housing, and would get an annual rental. Whether any investor would be confident enough of Sevco Scotland’s ability to pay a rental at a commercial rate year on year, is another matter, unless guarantees are provided by credible financial big hitters. Of course if the rent is not paid, the investors could terminate the lease, but you then have the problem of finding an alternative tenant and/or use for it, to say nothing of outraged bluenoses looking to ensure that you do walk away.

    So who does that leave us who would be interested in ensuring Murray Park’s continued use and would have the money to buy it? Other clubs? Only Celtic/Desmond could afford it, so we can forget that idea. The SFA? Could be if there was to be increased use for non-Rangers purposes, but could they find the money? SportScotland aka the Scottish Government? Never shy of wasting other people’s money, has a promoting sports to the masses agenda to punt with Glasgow 2014 coming up, and needs something quick to win over lots of doubting loyalists/unionists with a referendum coming up in 2014.

    Clearly Salmond wants to do something to help Rangers, so do not be at all surprised if the Scottish Govt buys Murray Park, and leases it back to Sevco Scotland, “to secure this wonderful sporting facility for the nation”. Watch this space!

    • ecojon

      @Marching on Together

      I did consider your earlier suggestion about the leaseback scenario but I rejected it because I reckon it requires medium/long term shareholders not in for a quick buck and quicker exit. As none of the shareholders actually appear to have a Rangers interest – and I except the Hart shareholding situation as it requires much deeper scrutiny – I would tend instinctively to put them in the short term category.

      Salmond I think would have serious difficulties in using government money mainly because of the mystery investor ‘taint’ that lies over SevGers. There is also the effect this would have on the Celtic-minded voters especially at a time when a lot of voters involved in organised religions are up in arms about SNP Gay Marriage policy.

      However, since this thread started some posters have raised viable money-making private financed ventures that could be interested in Auchenhowie without a change of use being required.

      But I am also cognisant about the level of attack the ‘housing’ suggestion has generated and I am a great believer in no fire without smoke so wonder why these posters are getting so hot under the collar.

      I think we are all men of the world enough – let alone Scottish Cooncil enough – to realise that where there is a will then there is usually a way to change or circumvent planning rules and decisions.

      • Marching on Together

        ecojon

        I take the case of my own club, Leeds Utd, who sold their training ground and stadium, on a sale and leaseback basis (with a right to repurchase on defined terms within defined dates). The purchasers were property investors, based offshore, with no other connection to football, or the club or its owners (at least not that several years of sleuthing has been able to uncover).

        On both deals to me the rentals charged were way above what would have been a fair rental based on the sale price, but in that scenario, beggars couldn’t be choosers.

        As regards planning, while I accept that in certain councils a brown envelope or two might have smoothed the way for certain things, I can safely say that in a high profile case such as this, where such a change of use is clearly against the local development plan, that the chances of a behind the scenes corrupt deal being done are nil. Some of the other suggestions made on here are interesting, but the common factor all of them face, as does a change of use to housing (or indeed a mixed development) is that they are all long term, and obtaining planning would take many months.

        The Scottish Govt option, retaining its current use, has the advantage of being a short term, immediate solution. As for offending the Celtic-minded folk out there, that is easily ameliorated by giving a bung in Celtic’s direction for the development of Lennoxtown Training Centre phase 2, all dressed up in the language of Glasgow 2014.

        Whether the EU chappies dealing with state aid would be happy, is another matter.

      • ecojon

        @Marching on Together

        The problem we face here is whether in fact SevGers actually own any assets as many are convinced that a) The £5.5 million purchase price hasn’t been raised yet by investors. b) Even if it is the operating shortfall can’t be covered with many saying the end of the year will be collapse time.

        So, if there is any truth in these scenarios I would expect assets to be sold-on in a legally protected way before the collapse to safeguard the investor cash so I can’t really entertain the sale and lease-back scenario more a fire-sale.

        The reason I looked at Murray Park as the ‘easiest’ for a quick sale to raise operating cash is because the line could be sold to the SevGer support that no way are we paying-out to produce youngsers to go on and play for other clubs and I believe it is a possibility that Celtic may feature in that scenario. So in a Rangers ‘political’ sense Murray Park is not really part of the important Rangers History and is more a Murray thing, in any case.

        As to broon envelopes – I remember a long time ago asking a much older and wiser mentor why it was that only Labour Cooncillors got done for corruption. The answer has remained with me to this day: ‘Contracts me boy. Labour cooncillors get paid in brown envelopes and Tories in contracts and it’s impossible to prove.’ I suppose nowadays it would be white-collar city fraud and we know how few are successfully prosecuted. Of course the cynics in Scotland would claim that a contract wouldn’t be needed – and contract also has its own peculiar meaning in Glasgow of course – that it would all be done with a handshake. Do I believe that: ‘Well, mibbes aye, mibbes naw’.

        I am also surprised at you Marching on Together as I have enjoyed many of your previous posts which I have always found to be balanced. What I refer to is your statement: ‘where such a change of use is clearly against the local development plan’. I can only note that a few posts back that you didn’t know what the local plan allowed and were relying on what another anonymous poster claimed. I have no idea what the local plan states and would make no definitive comment until I did know from my own research as this area we are discussing is a very emotive one and spreads far beyond the possible sale and change of use of Murray Park.

        Major financial games are being played-out and they could impact on all of Scottish Football and not just the Ibrox support and that is why I am interested as a helluva lot of the Ibrox support seem to be sleep-walking into a disaster zone with their eyes open but brain in neutral. I know why they are reactig like this as I saw very similar attitudes when Celtic faced meltdown.

        However, back to the present – one way or another things will become clearer fairly quickly – I just want to make sure that certain organisations don’t get caught on the hop and if they do they cannot avail themselves of the: ‘Ah didnae know’ defence.

        The important thing is to discuss and examine in the clear light of day and when we disagree support the right of all to hold their own opinion.

        • Marching on Together

          “as I have enjoyed many of your previous posts which I have always found to be balanced”

          Thank you. I just did not add the usual caveat if the previous posters were correct as I had done previously – at some point you have to take some information on trust, and at least one poster talked the talk in the right terms to be credible. However, I have now confirmed to my own satisfaction, that what previous posters did say on the subject was accurate.

          So the question comes back to, who is there who (a) has the money and (b) could get a benefit from buying Murray Park as it stands (or with minor variations in use)?

          Any purchaser also has to get over the hostility from aggrieved Rangers fans if it is no longer to be used by Rangers, and although I do not live in West of Scotland, I do not underestimate it. That is why I think that any purchase by David Lloyd, Bannatynes etc is a non-runner. Sale and leaseback to Sevco Scotland, even with less use being made by Rangers, does not suffer from that problem. It also has the benefit of producing cash now to plug the cash-flow shortfall you refer to, and as the sale price is effectively determined by the rental being charged, then there is no problem about having to get valuations etc carried out. The only problem is the financial bona fides of the tenant i.e. Sevco Scotland, which may be a problem, but suppose the SFA rather than buying the place, was to guarantee the rent to the landlord instead?

          Don’t get me wrong, I would be annoyed if any of this happened, but sale and leaseback is the only option IMHO which produces cash for the asset in the short term, not subject to planning or any other of the conditions which any other sale would involve.

  33. Marching on Together

    ecojon

    I posted 3.55pm on this thread a lengthy post showing that planning consent would not be granted for a change of use for Murray Park to housing or a mixed use, and that it is in the Green Belt, including links to the relevant local development plan etc. However for some reason it is ‘Awaiting moderation’

  34. ecojon

    @Marching on Together

    I fear we may be at the risk of switching others off but given the importance of this issue and the fact that you do not live in the west of Scotland I would suggest that before you come to any final decision that you read in full the material at: http://joswinson.org.uk/en/page/kilmardinny

    There you will find that various decisions were taken by the council, who are the planning authority for Murray Park, concerning house building and other developement on green belt land which in opposition to virtually every local resident.

    You will read of council betrayal of the community, matters being raised in Parliament, Alex Salmond being pilloried for inaction, an inquiry and appeal, AND not completely coincidentally the fate of a local sports centre.

    It makes fascinating reading to me and I live in and well understand the west of Scotland’s little ways. You may find it all a bit of an eye-opener and revelation. It may even make you consider whether the information you have so readily accepted from these other posters should be reweighed in the balance as I contend it has been Butchard – please excuse the pun.

    I have looked at your various links about what the Local Plan hopes to achieve in fine and worthy language. Read the one link I have provided and you will see what the fine words actually mean and allow when push comes to shove.

    I allowed myself a wry smile at your comment: ‘at some point you have to take some information on trust, and at least one poster talked the talk in the right terms to be credible. However, I have now confirmed to my own satisfaction, that what previous posters did say on the subject was accurate’.

    Let me make it clear – when public money is at possible risk then I take nothing on trust and the same goes for Scottish Footballing interests in general.

    I have obviously failed in what I have tried to make clear so I will attempt to do so yet again. This piece was intended primarily as a wake-up call for the SFA to ensure that Scottish Footballing interests and the Scottish Football Academy network is protected by retaining Murray Park.

    I am not really interested in the mechanics of how that is done that is for the SFA, Scottish Sports Council and others to decide. I have looked at your favoured option of sale and leaseback and I don’t think it has a snowball’s chance in hell of working here because SevGers doesn’t have the financial muscle or staying power. I also doubt whether SevGers actual interest necessarily requires Glasgow Rangers to be playing football beyond the short term

    You may not realise that the RV of Murray Park is approx £600,000 and with the rate poundage it means actual yearly amount payable will be: approx £300,000. Ibrox Park from memory has a RV of approx £2 million with £1 million yearly payment approx – there will be a discount because of drop from SPL to SFL which I haven’t checked but not a lot.

    Do you honestly think even if SevGers survive that, from SFL income, they can pay a yearly lease amount for Murray Park that will satisfy its shareholders + £3000,000 yearly in rates plus all the wages of all the specialists working at Murray Park and a plethora of other operating expenditure including staff costs for cleaners, groundsmen, security and all the reast of the VIP little people. It really is wake-up and smell the coffee time and I say that in the nicest possible way.

    • Marching on Together

      ecojon

      Thanks for the detailed reply. I regret that I don’t really have the time to wade through the detailed stuff listed on Jo Swinson’s website to form an independent assessment as to whether the decision to grant planning consent was correct or not, but i would highlight the following points:

      1) the minute Swinson says: “Liberal Democrat and SNP councillors were unanimously against the proposal, while the Tory and Labour groups were split” means that she is not to be trusted on the topic. Determination of planning applications by a planning committee is a quasi judicial function and strictly non-party political. Party whips do not apply and are unlawful.

      2) the fact that thousands of local people might have been against the development in planning terms is completely and utterly irrelevant. What matters is what the local development plan says, and if the thousands of local people have not bothered their backsides to have their input when the local development plan is being discussed and consulted on in draft, then more fool them. What thousands of people being against a development does mean is that local councillors, with their eyes open to the potential loss of votes, do allow themselves to be swayed by that, when they should not be. This means that they will vote against an application though they admit in private that it should be granted, and as the only ground for refusal is that it does not comply with the local development plan, that is what they have to say, even if they know that is complete bollocks. I see that Swinson does not mention that the planning officers of the council recommended that this application should be granted.

      3) I would more trust the professional views of the planning officers who assess the planning application, and that of the inquiry reporter who determined the appeal, than a bunch of vote hungry planning committee members, in thrall to what the local mob demands. The purpose of the appeal system is to protect developers from populist nonsense and unlawful decisions by planning committees who act like God and have a very poor understanding of what their role actually entails.

      4) I lived for many years in Edinburgh, but have dealt with planning authorities over the years all across Scotland, so I am not as naive when it comes to these matters as you suggest. I have also been on both sides of the fence when it comes to planning.

      5) “I have looked at your various links about what the Local Plan hopes to achieve in fine and worthy language. Read the one link I have provided and you will see what the fine words actually mean and allow when push comes to shove.” The whole tale on Swinson’s web-site seems to me to demonstrate very well that no matter the populist pressure out there, in the end, what the local development plan said actually won through. Reporters are slow to award expenses against planning authorities, so for it to happen in this case IMHO shows clearly how far out of line the council planning board actually was.

      6) Sale and leaseback is not my favoured option. My favoured option is for nothing to happen. I think that it is the only one with a chance of happening, but as I pointed out, only if someone can be found to guarantee Sevco’s obligations under the lease. For what it is worth, I don’t think that newco Rangers is financially viable without a sugar daddy, and that there will be another administration some months down the line. I mentioned that the party involved could be the SFA or the Scottish Govt. Because of the planning and other restrictions on Murray Park, who else is out there to take on occupancy of Murray Park?

  35. ecojon

    @Marching on Together

    Ah, silly me! I should have pointed out in the previous post that: “East Dunbartonshire Council’s planning board rejected the developers’ planning application after councillors voted 15-5 against the proposals. It was rejected because the proposals did not accord with the Local Plan – the Council’s long term plan for the development of East Dunbartonshire.’

    Is that the same glossy and finely-worded very worthy Local Plan that you pinned so much faith on as did the citizenry only to see the decision taken away and over-ruled. As I’ve always known – Local Plans when it comes right down to it often go straight out the window when expediency calls. And like yourself I have been involved in many planning issues over the years.

    Many people may be posting on this blog on this particular topic who have no interest in Rangers or Scottish Football but solely in profit and I would therefore caution as to what advice you take because false Sirens can be very seductive.

  36. ecojon

    @Marching on Together

    I would take issue with your post on July 26, 2012 at 4:16 pm

    You state that: ‘ planning consent would not be granted for a change of use for Murray Park to housing or a mixed use’. That is not actually what the report, whose link you have provided, states.

    The report doesn’t specifically mention Murray Park yet you convey that impression. I am not saying your action is deliberate but it is certainly misleading and I am sure none of us would want that. I have no problem in accepting that the ‘general presumption’ in the Local Plan is against Green Belt development.

    I would hazzard a guess that every Local Plan in the UK has a similar if not identical ‘general presumption’ phrase. Does that mean that the Green Belt is sacrosanct and Mr Tiggles is safe. Of course it doesn’t – thousands upon thousands of Green Belt disappears every year to housing and mixed use. Why? Because investors want to make money and they simply have the Local Plan overturned in the face of fierce local opposition, environmental and other critical issues.

    I will make a hopefully acceptable suggestion Marching on Together and I have to admit that your moniker made me think of it. Go and march with local protesters trying to protect Green Belt and see how impossible their fight often is when up against a well-oiled PR machine with money to burn. Watch how big business shreds the fine sentiment contained in Local Plans just to turn a coin and then move on leaving locals to pick up and repair the pieces which is sometimes impossible

    I don’t actually think we are that far apart on this subject but I am not hooked-up by what is stated in Local Plans because I KNOW that in the final analysis if there’s enough profit to be had the plan will be ditched and the culprit will be the ‘flexible approach’ which you mention but whose actual significance appears to have escaped you.

    I find no surprise that: ‘Residents and other stakeholders’ did not make representations by 2012 to include development at Murray Park within the Green Belt although you seem to. Firstly, the matter was hardly on the radar for them at that time and also, in my experience, residents seldom push for Green Belt development and developers also tend not to come out in the open like you have suggested as they don’t want to fan interest and increase acquisition costs.

    My concern at this stage is ensuring that Murray Park doesn’t end up quietly disappearing into the night to be owned behind an impenetrable web of financial devices as appears to have happened to your own football club. That is not to say that down the line I would not be supporting the Local Plan or opposing it. It all depends what is the greatest good and that is not an easy judgement. I am not talking about money here and I trust you might accept that.

    I will make it clear that I will not come back unless you can demonstarte that you have actually read the material at the link I have provided and unless you raise a fresh point. I do not waste my time on calculating how many angels or devils can dance on the head of a pin. My statements are clear and I think my position is as well and I will leave readers who have not lapsed into a coma to reach their own conclusions.

    But if you feel a need to explain your position further feel-free.

  37. ecojon

    @Marching on Together

    I have read your latest post and my case remains rested and will continue to do so. I know you don’t come from the west of Scotland but to hear the good citizens of Bearsden amd Milngavie desribed as a ‘mob’ is music to my ears having been born in the Gorbals and brought up in a housing scheme 🙂

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