Charles Green’s Irish Business Connection + Orange Strips? – by Ecojon

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

Further Reading:-

An interesting take on Rangers and their NI Unionist support by the BelTel

 

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306 Comments

Filed under Charles Green, Guest Posts, Rangers, Rangers Share Offer

306 responses to “Charles Green’s Irish Business Connection + Orange Strips? – by Ecojon

  1. ecojon

    @John Burn

    Aye, but are they lining their pockets with feathers?

  2. Cam

    I fear Maths Teacher is sailing very close to the wind in arguing with our overlord in a fairly reasoned way. I can see an addition to the list.

  3. Clarkeng

    December 15, 2012 at 9:22 am

    There is the law as written and the spirit of the law ie what the intention of the written word is.

    Regardless of LNS in my opinion Rangers based on the FTT revelations have gone against the spirit of the football law in their use of ebts . Whether a loan is repayable or not, at the time of offering in the signing circumstances, it is a payment made to induce a player to sign. What other purpose does it have?

    Quite how that is not recognised is perhaps down to the same desire on your part to see a particular result.

    I could see how Rangers might get the benefit of the FTT on the narrow legal point that a loan is not a payment but football;law asks all payments to be registered at the time of registration and this was not done.

    It might all fall back on the FTT interpretation in which case LNS would do well not to make any decision that is based on reasoning that is later overturned on appeal. On the other hand LNS might say that for football purposes the undeclared ebt was clearly an inducement for a player to sign which was not disclosed to the SFA and its status for tax purposes is irrelevant…

    We’ll see.

  4. COYBIG

    @Clarkeng

    Comparing Fergus McCann to Charles Green? That’s like comparing Kelly Brook to Jo Brand.

    Fergus SAVED CELTIC FROM BANKRUPTCY. Where as Charlie and his new Company/Club, Sevco Scotland Ltd, bought assests (Ibrox and Murray Park) from a Club (Rangers) in Administration.

    Fergus took the onus of Celtic’s future in his hands, assuming responsibility for Celtic’s debt (£7m) and put in £9m+. Where as Charlie gave a £25k loan, which was paid back quicker than his record 100m time.

    Fergus was upfront about what he was going to do and completed his objectives – building a new stadium, placing the club on a firmer business footing and returning the League Championship to Celtic Park. Where as Charlie’s been anything but upfront or even consistent with his projections. Not to mention all of his…since it’s Christmas, lets just call them inaccuracies.

    Fergus made his £30m profit (not £50m) by selling the shares HE BOUGHT. And he sold them INTREST-FREE, resulting in small shareholders (fans) owning over 60%.

    Compare that to what it looks like Charlie’s doing. He’s selling £17m worth of shares to institutional investors (not forgetting the millions already ‘bought’ by other ‘institutional investors’). Yes he…I mean The Rangers will get the money, but the institutional investors will want a return on their investment. Therefore The Rangers fans can expect the bare minimum to be spent on the playing squad, as the majority of any money made will be paid out to institutional investors. Or in other words, The Rangers will be milked dry. But as long as you’re happy with the 33% wages limit and not competing for the SPL title (if Charlie lets you join that is). Then everything will be fine.

    Finally, just to be clear. Fergus made 4.4 times the amount he risked. If the IPO is sucessful, Charlie will make £3.5m (not forgetting his £360k per year +expenses) after risking nothing (the £25k loan was guaranteed and repaid ASAP). Fergus is a fan who saved his Club from bankruptcy and was paid what his shares where worth. Where as Charlie is a supposed Venture Capitalist who seen an opportunity to make money.

    • Clarkeng

      @cowbig
      So Saint Fergus was a philanthropist and done it all as a fan.
      OK I can buy that.
      If you say its true it must be.
      His modus operandi was virtually identical to what Green is doing now.
      Why? – because Fergus showed the way in how to structure these things.
      I have never speculated on here about how much profit Fergus made.
      Only Fergus, Elspeth ( possibly ) and Mr Barnett of PFK will know that.
      I have stated Fergus sold his shares for circa £52m of which because 10000 Celtic fans subscribed he donated back to the club £1.5m.
      The donation back to the club was stated in the prospectus and was staged dependant on the number of fans who took up the subscription.
      When he sold up he got £50m or so after the donation was given.
      And dont forget the sale was entirely underwritten as well but because the Celtic fans responded so well this did not have to be taken up.
      True he created the wealth and his shrewd financial brain ensured that none of it would be wasted on the pitch.
      Just think if he had not stopped ten in a row for Rangers what would Celtic fans think of him now?
      True he put money in but how much actual cash has never been revealed.
      Your £9.4m is only speculation and contradicts your later return of 440%.
      True he walked away with £50m which came staright out of Celtic and the fans pockets – the value of shares are an asset worth money but if that money is taken out what do you think happens to the asset or to the Balance Sheet?
      Your comparisons with Green are based on what the perception of Fergus is now against what it was then ( and it was not good amongst many Celtic minded people ).
      So far Green has emulated Fergus by upsetting the fans, the media, the SPL, the SFA and everyone else by saying some silly things – maybe Peter McLean could come to the rescue again.
      Maybe just maybe he will do the same with share issue.
      Only time will tell.
      But earnings as you say of 440% in only five years that is exceptional especially for a true fan.
      Perhaps not for Fergus.

      • ecojon

        @ clarkeng

        As I have said continuously – the time for any comparison between Fergus and chico is after the circus leaves Ibrox.

        The wee man’s record has stood the test of time and I have a feeling that chico’s record at Ibrox won’t although it may yet show he has not lost his fleet of foot record even handicapped with a loaded warchest.

        • Clarkeng

          @ecojon
          That you have eco and you are correct,
          Its just a pity some others cant leave it like that.
          I thought you would be responding to my last post to you but can accept the lack of reply as your answer.
          There was only one answer to both questions after all.
          Rabthecab tells me HMRC have already been given leave to appeal the FTTT decision.
          Can you shed any light on that?
          It is news to me.
          Anyway as we approach the festive period and celebrate the arrival of our Lord J.C. and we reflect on all of the horrible things which have happened recently it is perhaps a time to be thankful and if circumstances permit joyous.
          Goodwill to ALL men and compliments of the season.
          It is time to move on from this particular topic.

      • COYBIG

        @Clarkeng

        Firstly, Celtic did stop Rangers doing 10 in a row, so that point is redundant.

        Secondly, I don’t care what you buy. The facts are the facts. If you can’t see them for what they are and if you cant differentiate between Fergus McCann and Charles Green. Then that’s your problem.

        You mention the fact that Celtic’s share issue had an underwriter as if this is an unsual practice. Are you sure you know what you’re talking about?

        Fergus’ return was paid straight out of Celtic fans pockets? Yes. Celtic fans paid Fergus a fair price for his shares. Actually, most Celtic fans bought them throught a intrest free payment scheme, thanks to Fergus, so it was a good deal for all. Or do you think Fergus should have just walked away for nothing? After performing the Football equivalent of turning water into wine.

        What happened to the ‘asset’? Well Fergus left Celtic with an infrastructure in place that’s seen the Club progress on and off the field, while other Clubs have been over laden with debt. Some have even been liquidated. So i’d say the ‘asset’ is doing very well thank you very much.

        Many Celtic people didn’t like what Fergus was doing at the time because they seen Rangers being able to spend. They thought that since Fergus had made Celtic a better business than Rangers, Celtic should have been able to do likewise. They where wrong, Fergus was right. And we now know that Murray had help from his friends at BoS.

        Compare that to Charlie, who has already got your new SFL DIVISION 3 Club spending approx. £5m in 3 months, whilst income for that same period is only approx. £1m. He’s also having to add £20m worth of ‘negative goodwill’ to the accounts to offset loss in his first year projections. Without the £20m NG, which isn’t real money by the way, The Rangers are projected to post a loss of between £15m to £19m. Same mold as Fergus? Don’t make me laugh.

        “So far Green has emulated Fergus by upsetting the fans, the media, the SPL, the SFA and everyone else by saying some silly things”? Is that a serious point? Honestly? Fergus was validated in his dispute with the SFA. And with the use of that wonderful thing called hindsight, we can now say he was right in his management of Celtic. Charles Green on the other hand? Some of the stuff he’s spouted in recent months has been a load of shite. Don’t worry, he won’t be offended. Shite doesn’t mean the same in Yorkshire as it does in Scotland.

        So your pinning all your hopes on the fact that you think Charles Green reminds you of Fergus McCann? Wow! For what it’s worth, I actually think the IPO will be a ‘success’. The only thing is, a ‘success’ for who?

        £9m x 4.4 = £39.6m <<< Fergus' return (I rounded it up to £40m Mr Pernickety).

        Finally, if it all turns out absolutely fantastic at The Rangers. I'll hold my hands up and say I was wrong and Charles Green, in his own unique way, is The Rangers very own The Bunnet. But I am commenting on the hear and now. And in the here and now, Charlie is nothing like Fergus.

        • Clarkeng

          @cowbig
          Facts??!!
          Do you know what you are talking about?
          Facts indeed.
          Firstly – if someone makes 4.4 times or 440% of what he invested that means he made £39.6m AND if you add to that the amount you claim as fact was originally invested being £9.4m then that comes to £50m.
          Nes pas?
          That is what I have consistently said.
          As you correctly said previously Fergus sold the shares he bought therefore he not only received back the £9.4m you say he originally invested but a further £39.6m if we take your figures.
          The facts are that you have based your opinions on Fergus on hindsight and on Green as of today.
          The facts on whether Green will be as greedy as Fergus remain to be seen.
          Maybe it is better he is not a true fan as Fergus was.
          Perhaps he will settle for less when he leaves.
          Oh and your point about re-evaluating the goodwill – if you knew anything about business – you would appreciate that this is standard practice.
          That is to say the Directors of a business in their financial statement or accounts present their estimate the value of tangible and non tangible assets on the basis that the business is and will continue to be a going concern.
          Under the Companies Act it is a requirement to prepare such a statement.
          The value of these in a going concern would always be higher in a going concern – ask Fergus and Charles Barnett who re-evaluated the assets at Celtic before putting them up for sale.
          Come back in twelve years and talk facts.
          Maybe then there could be a reasoned discussion using the benefit of hindsight to corroborate your so called facts.
          Or my assertion that at this stage the two are very alike and Green should only be judged when the whole process is complete.

  5. Scotus

    If either of you lads were hurt in an accident and needed help would you respond? Something assures me you would. It’s a Scottish thing. Let’s cheer up and keep a wee rammy in perspective

  6. Clarkeng

    @scotus
    Of course as long as there was no kissing lol.

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