When Charlie Green visited Ulster in September this year and sat at a table bedecked with the Ulster Banner many apologists explained he was ignorant of the nuances involved. Fair enough, why would a Yorkshireman know of these matters even though he had been CEO of Rangers and involved in trying to buy the club since at least February of this year.
But I wasn’t so sure because Chico ain’t no dummy and is the second-best snake oil salesman I have ever encountered. My suspicion increased when he was asked at the ‘Rangers Northern Ireland Till I Die’ meeting:
‘Would Rangers consider bringing out an Orange Top?’ and Charlie answered: “Yes, they have a number of designs and are coming near agreement with Adidas”.
Bringing out any football top in a club like Rangers, with a 500 million worldwide support, is an extremely important financial decision & commitment especially when partnered with Mike Ashley’s Sports Direct to flog Rangers gear in its shops.
Before things got so far down the line with Adidas there must have been intense marketing discussions over why an orange top should be chosen. I assume the reason given wasn’t like the last one, to honour Dutch players and a Dutch manager, but what was the reason? I’m sure Chico knows, after all he was happy to pull on a Rangers orange top and be photographed in it.
I will digress slightly in view of the topicality of the flotation and detail the assurances the NI Bears received on shares:
According to the minute of the meeting, Green stated: ‘Rangers Shares will ONLY be available direct from Rangers F.C. They will be sold at first to Rangers Fans and Rangers Fans only, as in Season Ticket Holders registered Supporters Clubs and Members of the Rangers Family. No other option for buying shares will be available’.
Perhaps all the institutions buying shares before Ranger fans are part of the wider Rangers ‘family’ with hospitality boxes at Ibrox or maybe Chico just changed his tune. Shirly not 🙂
Still he has pledged in the Prospectus that he will open the Rangers shop, probably in Belfast, in the first half of 2013 so that’s something and no doubt the orange top will form the centrepiece of the window display.
Right, back on track and back to the Prospectus where Chico has revealed he is a director in MFP Castings Ltd and has been since 21 November 1990. You might well ask ‘So what?’ as Chico has been involved with dozens and dozens of companies over the years, usually for relatively short periods, and often when levitation is in the air.
Well, the difference with MFP Castings Ltd is that it is/was apparently based at Hydepark Industrial Estate, Newton Abbey, Co Antrim, with Chico as a director and secretary for 22 years which is a world record for oor Chairlie and means surely he must have some knowledge of Ulster.
The strange thing about MFP Castings is I can’t trace accounts data ever being filed and the only ‘next accounts due’ reference I can see mentioned is 21 August 1992 possibly when the company’s first-ever accounts were due but I don’t actually know if they were posted.
In fact, the company has almost slipped beneath the waves as far as visibility is concerned and is archived at Companies House with no information available on its website. However, it appears the NI Department of Development had an outstanding Debenture with the company in November 1990 and a month later the Yorkshire Bank Plc had an outstanding charge.
Interestingly, Chico’s fellow director in MFP Castings Ltd is Laurence Turnbull who stretches way way back with Charlie and I have previously written about their links.
As I said there is little info available on MFP Castings Ltd which has a Northern Ireland company registration number although THE LONDON GAZETTE, 16TH JANUARY 1991, notes that Yorkshire Bank Plc appointed administrative receivers for the English registered foundry MFP Castings Ltd, which formerly traded as MFP Castings BV.
Let’s wind the story back a bit to August 1989 when Dennis Castings Ltd – where Charles Green was a director and held half the shareholding – acquired the Northern Ireland based Dutch company Mueller Flow Products BV. It had strong export sales and occupied a 10-year-old factory built on a greenfield site with good facilities near Belfast. The Kerr Pattern Co Ltd was also purchased in December 1989 which was seen as a year of entrenchment for the Group as it closed its iron foundry at Eccles.
The future seemed rosy when Chico signed the Directors’ Report of Dennis Castings Ltd which looked towards 1991 and declared the group, which had 450 employees, was: ‘Well-placed to be the most successful foundry group of the decade. We must now stop promising and start to deliver’.
The report also noted that included in the tangible fixed assets was equipment with a net book value of £502,000 with a charge in favour of the Industrial Board (Northern Ireland) and that the English-registered MFP Castings Ltd was a dormant company.
I have no idea what happened to Dennis Castings Ltd as many of the documents, filed on its behalf to Companies House are illegible, but it went into administration on 7 January 1991 with a deficit of £2.7 million although it wasn’t finally struck-off and dissolved until 1996.
Because Chico had been an executive director of Dennis Castings Ltd he had to declare that involvement in the Flotation Prospectus involving Sheffield United in January 1997.
I confess that I don’t know why Chico remains a director of what appears to be a long moribund company in Northern Ireland – perhaps it isn’t and it may well have changed it name. But I have wondered if a loan made by the Industrial Development Board for Northern Ireland back in 1989 in respect of MFP Castings might play a part.
The loan was conditional and up to £1,250,000 was reclaimable if certain conditions weren’t observed before 31 December 1996. The loan was secured on certain of the subsidiary’s assets with any shortfall to be made good through an undertaking given by Dennis Castings Ltd.
I have no idea what, if anything, was repaid or indeed if any repayments are still being made but I hope things were cleared and paid as Northern Ireland needs every penny of investment money it can get it hands on to bring prosperity to its people.
Posted by Ecojon