Mr Leggat Thinks (Wrongly) that Conviction of Mr Whyte Would Mean Rangers’ Last 2 Years Never Happened

In which I look at Mr David Leggat’s explanation of how a conviction of Craig Whyte (should there ever be a prosecution) means that the last two years did not happen, and I respectfully disagree with him.

I also remind readers that, in October 2011, I identified who could stop Craig Whyte, and indeed how they should do so, but also why it was never going to happen.

And possibly I explain or debunk some of the numerous myths which have accumulated around this saga.


There is a natural human tendency to look on the bright side; to think that, no matter how bad the situation is, it will improve. This is one of the factors which explains the domination of the planet by the human race, and many amazing feats of endurance and survival, facing the greatest odds.

So when someone or something close to one’s heart is threatened, there is almost a default reaction of “it will be all right”. Sometimes it requires the construction of elaborate means by which the happy outcome will be achieved – this being part of the process of keeping one’s spirits up.

Yesterday saw such an effort from that mater of the “inky trades” Mr Leggat. He is a man with many decades of experience at the sharp end of the newspaper industry and someone whose qualifications in that field are clear.

However, when it comes to legalities, I would like to think that my understanding is slightly better than his and therefore, a public service, I thought I would correct some of the misapprehensions in yesterday’s story. After all, if one is looking for a scenario to keep hope alive, better to have one that is realistic, rather than one which collapses at the first puff of analysis.

So what was Mr Leggat’s thesis? I have not re-printed the full piece, but instead have given some extracts and have summarised the thrust of his argument. Part of this is because some comments he makes could have the potential for incurring legal liability, and I do not want to repeat them. As the whole piece, and the “with one bound, Rangers are free” scenario is based on Mr Whyte ending up in gaol, then one might surmise at whom the possibly offending comments are directed.


According to Mr Leggat, “the net is closing in” on Mr Whyte. He states that one police investigation into Mr Whyte is nearing its end, with only Mr Withey, former Company Secretary at Rangers, and Mr Whyte himself to be interviewed.

Mr Leggat refers, melodramatically and, as far as I am aware wholly wrongly, to Mr Withey “going on the run”. That might be a surprise to the firm in London with whom he has been acting as a consultant since leaving Collyer Bristow!

We then have a suggestion, forming part of lessons taught to young reporters many years ago in spicing up a story with juicy metaphors (can you spice something up with juice?), that “the metaphorical noose tightening on Craig Whyte’s guilty neck”.

Now I am sure that, even in the last century when Mr Leggat learned his trade, his “inky” trade, he might have been told about the presumption of innocence. This is especially so when Mr Leggat does not tell us what alleged crime is actually the subject of this alleged investigation!

Mr Leggat then dismisses the recent Sevco 5088/Sevco Scotland/ Switcheroo allegations as an attempt by Mr Whyte to “muddy the waters” by “launching a raft of allegations”.

Muddy Waters

Muddy Waters

I think that rafts, normally floating on top of the water, would only muddy the water is something was going wrong – perhaps that is what Mr Leggat means?


Rafts in muddy waters, but I do not think the rafts caused the mud!

Quite how the circumstances of Mr Green’s acquisition of Rangers exculpates Mr Whyte from any alleged wrongdoing in his purchase of the company is sadly not explained by Mr Leggat.

And now Mr Leggat jumps into Dr Emmett Brown’s De Lorean!

David Leggat (left) prepares to go back in time to save Rangers

David Leggat (left) prepares to go back in time to save Rangers

He says:-

But what if Taggart does snap the handcuffs on Craig Whyte? What if the Crown Office proceeds with a prosecution? What if Whyte is found guilty of perpetrating a fraud in order to buy Rangers?

And thus a whole scenario, akin to Rangers finding a TARDIS, or to Rangers Football Club stepping out of the shower in a Bobby Ewing manner, is created.

Mr Leggat prepares to enter the TARDIS to save Rangers

Mr Leggat prepares to enter the TARDIS to save Rangers

Mr Leggat having succeeded in his mission, Rangers, disguised as Bobby Ewing steps out of the shower in 2011

Mr Leggat having succeeded in his mission, Rangers, disguised as Bobby Ewing steps out of the shower in 2011

Mr Leggat quickly looks at the outcome of the Ticketus v Whyte case, commenting that the decision there would make it easier for Crown Office to secure a conviction. As I intend to write about fully, the decision means nothing of the sort. The outcome of that case has no relevance or bearing on any criminal proceedings which might be instituted against Mr Whyte.

And so let’s enter the time machine with Mr Leggat:-

So, let’s fast forward to later this year. Craig Whyte is lifted. Now let’s fast forward again, this time to the early part of next year. A High Court Judge tells Craig Whyte he has been found guilty of perpetrating a massive fraud on one of Scotland’s most venerable institutions, adding that legally Craig Whyte never owned Rangers and that the Rangers shareholding should revert to the position it was in, in April 2011.


Or, to put it succinctly, and in a manner an old inky trade practitioner would recognise, BALDERDASH!

For one thing, if, and it still remains a very big if, there are ever any criminal proceedings arising from the various Rangers takeovers, the chances of them coming to a conclusion “early next year” are non-existent.

It is notorious that, in the UK, criminal proceedings relating to alleged corporate wrongdoing take many years to come to court, if indeed they ever do. It was seen in the UK as remarkable that the criminal proceedings regarding Enron in the USA came to a conclusion with convictions so quickly.

Should anyone be prosecuted in connection with the Rangers debacle, then it is perfectly possible that a trial might not commence until 2015! And even then, with procedural challenges, with the additional issues involved in choosing an impartial jury, with the prospects of appeals, any proceedings could run for years.

Mr Sykes, a colleague of Mr Whyte’s in Vital Security, which went into liquidation in 1995, was convicted and imprisoned in 2000. The sums involved in that company were around £500,000. The sums involved at Rangers run into tens of millions.

Even if, in Mr Leggat’s dream world, Mr Whyte was convicted of something, then the judge would be highly unlikely to make any comment regarding (a) Mr Whyte’s ownership of Rangers and (b) what should happen to the Rangers shareholding. Those are not matters of concern to a criminal court and such comments, if made, would have no legal value at all.

In fact, of course, Mr Whyte never owned Rangers. His company, Wavetower Ltd bought 85% of the shares in Rangers Football club PLC from Murray International Holdings Ltd (not from Sir David Murray).

Wavetower Ltd was owned 100% by Liberty Capital Ltd. Liberty Capital Ltd was said to be a company owned 100% by Mr Whyte.

And, as we have seen in the tortuous explanation of what Mr Green’s consortium actually bought, Wavetower only purchased 85% of the shares in the company which owned the assets and business of Rangers Football Club!

So Mr Whyte never “owned Rangers”. But Wavetower Ltd did, to the extent of being the majority shareholder.

Could a court order that Rangers shareholding revert to where it was in April 2011?

No. It could have, as I will mention below, but not now.

Mr Leggat kindly says he would leave it to the lawyers to work out how, in such a scenario, to come “to an accommodation with those who are the current shareholders.”

That would involve, even on Mr Leggat’s fantasy island solution, substantial, lengthy and lucrative expensive litigation.

Mr Leggat then goes on to wonder how such a decision would affect the football world.

At a stroke it would nullify any crime committed against the law of the land or the rules of the football authorities during the period when Craig Whyte laid … claim to owning Rangers.

So, no problem for Rangers with withheld PAYE and VAT, meaning no Administration. So, no ten point deduction by the SPL in February 2012. An action which gifted Celtic the title last season.

One can only admire Mr Leggat’s “glass half full” approach.

However Rangers Football Club PLC went into administration as it could not pay its debts, which, even ignoring the Big Tax Case, included the Wee Tax Case and the unpaid VAT and PAYE accrued under Mr Whyte. And this is the key point which has been missed or deliberately ignored. No one has suggested that the with-held taxes were pocketed by Mr Whyte or by anyone else and spirited secretly out of Ibrox in Swag bags.

This picture shows what DID NOT happen at Ibrox

This picture shows what DID NOT happen at Ibrox


So, there was an administration, and it was not caused by the company being left bereft of funds due to theft from it. When Duff & Phelps took over in February 2012, there was around £3 million still in the company bank. Where did that come from in a business losing well over a million pounds per month?

Sadly for Mr Leggat the administration does not disappear. But even if it did, what does he suggest should happen? Even if the 10 point reduction was cancelled, they still finished 10 points behind Celtic.

Or maybe Mr Leggat suggests that the season 2011-2012 should be replayed from February onwards?

And no Liquidation. Leading to no need for Rangers to apply for the transfer of their SPL share from Oldco to Newco and the SPL’s subsequent refusal. Meaning Rangers should have been competing in the SPL this season. Something which would also cast doubt on Celtic’s second successive title.

Sorry Mr Leggat. Liquidation became inevitable once the true Rangers men about whom you take so often failed to step up and pay to save the club they so dearly loved, leaving a man whom you dubbed a “snake oil salesman” before changing your tune, to swoop in and buy £100 million of assets for £5.5 million!

Does Mr Leggat suggest that we re-run season 2012-2013 as well, but with Rangers in the SPL? The extra games might help the bank balances of the various teams affected!

And then there is the matter of the Five-Way Agreement which saw Rangers have to go against a Court of Session judgement and accept an SFA transfer ban which had been declared unlawful and to give up their £2M SPL prize money as a condition of being granted a licence to play by the Scottish Football Association, a licence they would never have lost had they not gone into Liquidation, something which would never have happened had Craig Whyte not been laying an illegal claim to owning Rangers.

As I have explained, at some length, the transfer embargo was ruled ultra vires of the disciplinary body, however, before granting a licence, the SFA could impose any conditions it though fit. And is Mr Leggat seriously suggesting that it would have been fair to allow a company which had paid £5.5 million for £100 million of assets to pocket immediately over £2 million prize money, thus meaning that the purchase cost Sevco only £2.5-£3 million?

Sadly I think he is.

Mr Leggat concludes:-

Therefore, should Craig Whyte be nicked and found guilty of perpetrating the fraud on Rangers, which former director Paul Murray has again recently stated he believes is what happened, the Scottish Football Association and the Scottish Premier League would be in a pickle. In fact they would be up to their necks in a pickle.


What should the football authorities do? Order replays? Get the Pools Panel to decide who would have won games which were never players? Rewrite the present season pretending that Rangers were in the SPL?

It has been mentioned before that, in some way, the SFA and SPL would be financially liable to “Rangers” if there had been wrongdoing by Mr Whyte? Why?

Even if Mr Whyte did perpetrate a fraud, which he vigorously denies, he did not defraud “Rangers”. The purchase extinguished RFC PLC’s bank debt and apparent errors by Ticketus’ lawyers meant that they did not have a secure asset, merely an unsecured debt.

If there was any “fraud” the one person who could complain was Sir David Murray (or more correctly his company) as the seller.

And here is the sting in the tail under which at least some of Mr Leggat’s fantasy could have come true – under the sale agreement between MIH and Wavetower, the seller, MIH, had the option of reversing the sale in Wavetower did not fulfil certain conditions.

Wavetower did not fulfil the necessary conditions.

I in fact wrote about this in October 2011 here.

In hindsight Sir David could have averted all of the administration issue if he had intervened when he had the chance.

In hindsight this is the only man who could have disrupted Mr Whyte's plans

In hindsight this is the only man who could have disrupted Mr Whyte’s plans

Bizarrely I suspect that Rangers fans would have risen in revolt at his return then, although now I am sure that, post Green and Whyte, they would welcome him, or some would, with open arms!

So, I am sorry for bursting the Leggat bubble, but his fantasy yesterday will sadly remain something in his dreams only.

Posted by Paul McConville


Filed under Rangers

271 responses to “Mr Leggat Thinks (Wrongly) that Conviction of Mr Whyte Would Mean Rangers’ Last 2 Years Never Happened

  1. Niall Walker
    April 26, 2013 at 6:18 pm

    I see no reason to improve the team to win div 2 or div 1, Scottish football is mince and if you can’t win these divisions on a 6-7.5 million wage bill then there is something seriously wrong.

    By Jove…I think you’ve got it!

    There is something seriously wrong at Ibrox!

    Even the Zombie fans admit that!

  2. jjbhoy

    hi paul,are there reasons that this five-way agreement cannot be made public as all this secret society posturing regards said document only makes everyone else suspicious of its content. if they(ssfa) went the other way about it then we would have clarity,trust(to a degree)and this would also let everyone know that nothing was being hidden not the stance they have taken.


    It’s a secret, why it is being kept secret!
    Above is a link to a petition to get it out in the open

  4. arb urns

    oldco,newco,sevco………TRFC ILL………whatever they want to be called

    bust then……….bust now…….and bust forever…. if they dont get a grip……….

    an octopus isnt really a football fan !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    go get him cam before its too late

  5. Sometimes what you say is simply wrong, finding a context or a platform for it is futile if the words you chose are widely considered to be reprehensible.

    Charles Greens 1970’s revival is a useful example. He talked himself into a corner, there was no satisfactory response.

    With other events circling around him he had nowhere to run, yet run he did presumably in record breaking style.

    Members of the consortium that “saved” Rangers may soon be in short supply, it has been reported in the press and much discussed on internet forums that Imran Ahmad is being pointed less than gently toward the Ibrox door.

    One might argue that it’s a door with an “escape hatch” sign posted above, but it’s a route Mr Ahmad hasn’t taken, yet.

    There is something that links comments attributable Mr Green and Mr Ahmad. It is a link that has been proven beyond any reasonable doubt.

    Mr Greens’ comments were without question his own, made on television or directly to reporters and visible to everyone and in their content and context, unquestionably damning.

    Mr Ahmads’ comments on Rangers forums or more accurately those attributed to him remain without any substantiating evidence that he made them.

    Perhaps more importantly there is nothing in what was claimed to have been said by Mr Ahmad that would look out of place in the discourse of a fans forum.

    The accusation seems to be that if this was Mr Ahmads’ work then he was leaking private and sensitive information.

    Far be it for me to make any kind of judgement on the sensitivities of those on Rangers Media and other forums, however the comments attributed to Mr Ahmad look on the face of it be sometimes pertinent mostly innocuous. There are worse thing to be found on fans forums.
    The comments could have been made by anyone with a flair for the dramatic.

    If Mr Ahmad made them himself a flair for the destructive would be more applicable.

    The burden of proof rests with the accusers; quite what they are attempting to prove is questionable.

    If the “crime” is based on anger at anything Mr Ahmad is believed to have said it’s a case presented without conviction. Actually the mystery blogger has quite a bit of support.

    If the “crime” is that he should not have been leaking stories from deep within the blue room then even if he did someone has not been paying attention. Working the media is an essential part of business especially if that business generates its income from a section of the public best described as fans.

    The link between Mr Green and Mr Ahmads’ comments are unmistakable.

    They are entirely different.

    Mr Greens comments are unarguably his own, Mr Ahmad’s are as things stand without proof that they are indeed his.

    What binds them together is the outcome. It seems inevitable, a brief acquaintance with the marble staircase, on route to the car park and beyond.

  6. jjbhoy

    I think that the comment was more in hope that paul will scratch the surface of the secret haundshakers we all know and don’t love called the ssfa,just what would they have to hide?,as it’s only a wee div 3 club.

  7. ecojon

    McCoist really does take the biscuit!

    McCoist said: “John was very forthright and opinionated in his views not so long ago. I don’t think he’s ever said he was willing to take them back or he was going to eat his words.

    “There are a lot of things that have been happening recently that would maybe say he has still got a point. Some of the things John was saying might just have been valid.”

    Ally he was saying thern to you and Walter nearly a year ago and what did you do? You told the fans to buy STs.

    And then what happened? You gor 1 million shares for washers and a 700K a year salary and Walter go a seat on the board, shares and a salary.

    What did the club get and support get? SHAFTED!

  8. ecojon

    Rangers International FC Plc
    -1.97p (-3.40%)
    Apr 26 – Close

    It’s almost at the stage where every single shareholder except the ones that were gifted shares at 1p a time has lost money on their investment.

    Just as well that football supporters don’t buy shares to make a profit. Unfortunately, the clients of institutional investors buy on the expectation that they will make a profit and they must be handing out a lot of grief.

    Who would have though back at the beginning of January when the shares were 94/95p a time that they were about to head for the bargain basement department.

    Och well maybe they’ll go up next week as long as trading isn’t suspended.

    • Zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz.

      • Ed Paisley

        Once they reach 25p I’m going to buy up 365 shares. I hear the share certificates are made from super absorbent paper so that will give me enough to use it as asswipe for an entire year. I’d leave them on top of the cistern so that they are aye ready. The fun never ends!

    • mick

      hi ecojon at what point will the shares be suspended to save the company a 3rd half a read if shares slide then the market step in and suspend trading ?for that reason alone this is with out the criminality aspects which is a other suspension issue should the sfa not be asking or the government in Scotland as it looks like a sham going on

    • Felpen

      Great post eco, I have to confess I am loving every minute of it. I hated Rangers with a passion and had one almighty party when the were sent to death by their queens men. The tribute act is giving me just as much laughts. Loved how they kissed Whytes ass when he first came to shaft them. But even better watching the love and respect they gave to Charlie as he was shafting them! A good friend of mine once remarked, it’s like you hear of some girls that get beaten up and raped by their partner the think they deserve it and love the culprit even more for it. Maybe they just hate having to admit to the world and it’s wife they have been shafted yet again. We all seen it happening and it’s been said over and over again on this blog it was going to happen but they AGAIN buried their heads in the sand and called us obsessed for laughing at them. Probably even funnier now to see them still trying to tell every one on here they were wrong.. And when all goes wrong and they don’t have an agreement left, the finger pointing at their champions starts. I’m a Celtic supporter and I’m supposed to be devastated that my great club has dropped prices! I maybe should call on all my fellow Celtic supporters to martch to Hampden with me (when it’s closed mind) and demand to know the names of who it was at paradise that cut the season ticket prices. I mean talk about making a fking laughing stock out of the fans by shafting us like that! Next they will be trying to sell us shares at Christmas when we have our families to think about! Oh my oh my.

      • castlerockbhoy

        Felpen, when they hit administration last season, it was great knowing that poor financial management from the club who had issued the ` for every tenner` comment had brought them down.
        This season I think is going to be even more enjoyable, by a factor of at least ten, because they will have been forced into administration by the stupidity and greed of everyone associated with The Rangers. Lets remember that although we knew the end is coming, it really kicked off when Green made his, ` I shafted Craig Whyte ` comments. Since then the club has plummeted like a snowball down Mount Everest. We have evidence now that implicates Mc Coist and Smith, we have the fans not wanting to believe anything is wrong with their club, we have Green and his little Yorkshire friend doing dear knows what, but it isn`t good anyway, the redoubtable Craig Whyte that just wash away, I doubt even Barry Scott could get rid of him, dodgy share issues, issues with the RFF, it just gets better by the day.

  9. Ra sellick have cut their season tickets down to between 3 quid and 8 quid …….but now they want to reintroduce booze at the fitba ! After they started a fight ( and the ran away , as usual ) that had the banning of booze at the games introduced , hipocracy or what !!!!!! Are things that really bad at breezeblock castle that they have to get you drunk then sell you a ticket for the price of a mcdonalds happy meal ???? LMAO.

  10. Paul

    if they get you drunk you must already be in the game which means you bought your ticket sober,simples

    • But do they have to then get you drunk to stay ? …will it kill the pain ? Lmao.

      • Surely having to get the green seat brigade , the greatest fans in the world BTW , drunk is unethical ? …questions should be raised in the house ! ….order , order !! …lmao.

        • Can you get , battery fluid , turpintine , anti freeze and dirty dish water on tap ???

          • Paul

            That was not your point mate.Anyway obviously must be hilarious to think that the bears are actually watching the pish at ibrox sober.I am not an expert but i am willing to give you the benefit of the doubt, which will be in your reply, that booze has not effect on zombies.What has booze and sevsco have in common, both could soon be classed as spirits.

          • Ahhhhhhhhhhh, a cunning plan , sell booze , get the punters aka , the green seat brigade , to think the game was magnificent ! Give the left over anti freeze to the press , tell them it was a sell out , and hey pesto ! …GENIUS.

  11. Surely having to get your fannys , sorry fans , to attend 90 minutes of mundane pish is unethical ? I think questions should be raised in the house ……fat Alex are you taking note ?

  12. kKnowTheStruth

    Did everyone miss Leggo saying The Rangers had to get a new license from the SFA….Chris Grahams argument as to why The Rangers are not a new club is because they transferred the old SFA license from Rangers to The Rangers therfore unbroken history……Leggo needs to get with the programme…pmsl

  13. Paul

    We don’t do cunning.Whyte,green,Imran,walter,Ally

  14. mick

    blue cheese would be nice and a smoke zone lol

  15. Mick , season books for peanuts , cheap hooch at castle breezeblock , I’m starting to think I backed the wrong horse !……only would I have time sit next to ” people ” with six thumbs ? And their family tree detailed on the back of a stamp ?

    • Pensionerbhoy


      “And their family tree detailed on the back of a stamp ?”

      Only so that you would have to lick our back side.

    • @cARSEHOLE
      See this breezeblock shite, whitsa about? what is it you expect a building more than a house to be made of? gold bricks? fairy cakes? asbestos?
      Fuck off,
      Mick the Brick, is there a better building material?

  16. Ed Paisley

    But carson, if you want hippos to have the vote we’re going to have to widen those narrow polling booths. You need to think things through before you bring forward these suggestions.

  17. Ed Paisley

    On the subject of @hippocracy, that’s a good description of the Rangers directors box with all those fat arses and beer bellies.
    Only kidding – we all know the Ibrox hierarchy is a kleptocracy.

  18. Niall Walker
    April 26, 2013 at 5:57 pm
    I for one cannot wait to see one of the greatest rivalries back on our screens, passion is a rarity in our consumer mad world and there is nothing quite like an OF game to make you feel alive.

    If it was only passion I would agree with you, but the vile hatred, discrimination, sectarianism and racism is no longer acceptable.

    It never should have been.

    Setting that aside, the breaking of footballs laws and regulation, referred to as second only to match fixing, should on its own have ensured Rangers went out of business permanently.

    They are presently being liquidated, and the Tribute Act, a new club that did not meet the requirements of entry into the 3rd division were given preference over clubs that did, like Spartans.

    No amount of pleading by people that they will ‘miss’ Rangers should be allowed to deflect fifteen years and more of offences that amount to cheating and worse.

  19. Niall Walker
    April 26, 2013 at 2:16 pm

    To be honest most Celtic fans want Rangers back, CL success comes around once in a blue moon.

    An interesting claim.

    Have you spoken to ‘most’ Celtic supporters?

    If not how could you know?

    Why not run a poll on Celtic sites to find out.

    I think you’d be surprised.

    It is Rangers fans, whose team has staggered along like alcoholics in division 3 all season, and will no doubt similarly do so in divisions 2 and 1 for the next four or five seasons, who are desperate for the rivalry with Celtic to be re-instated.

    That would mean they were back in the SPL.

    Speaking for myself and Celtic fans I know, we will be glad to see the back of this toxic club for good.

    • Niall Walker

      Speaking for myself and Celtic fans I know, we will be glad to see the back of this toxic club for good.—————————————————-

      If it was only passion I would agree with you, but the vile hatred, discrimination, sectarianism and racism is no longer acceptable.—————————————————————————


      You must not practice what you preach against.

  20. cam

    No apology from my good self will be forthcoming Fra my man.
    If you can point to any assumptions i jumped to about the delightful Marty then as you say,i’ll await with interest!!!!

  21. cam

    Yes Marty,i did read it and replied.Thanks for your kind thoughts.

  22. cam

    Paul now that Martybhoys comments seems to have vanished i would be delighted to see my responses to that happy camper ,vanish in the same manner.
    Thank you
    Cam,your resident bam.

  23. Brendan

    Paul, much as I like your thinking, why use your intellectual and legal capability to rubbish the rather obvious rubbish…

    I love Mr Leggat – he makes me laugh nearly every day with his re-invention of history – Today the Celtic fans started the 1980 riot, I mean really David, even after we had won, and even when the pitch battles took place towards the Celtic end (normally a sure sign of who the aggressors were)

    So come on Paul, it’s hardly fair sport, leave comedy gold alone…


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s