Tag Archives: Conflict of Interest

Some Thoughts On Conflicts, EBT’s and SPL v Rangers in Reply to Comments

The blog was busy yesterday with comments, for which many thanks to all.

However, I wanted to deal specifically with a few contributors, who made the mistake of asking me for a response either directly or by implication. 🙂

This blog post therefore provides some further thoughts on a few matters – EBT’s, the tax case, conflicts of interest, whataboutery, Minority Report by Philip K Dick, the cultural significance of Rangers and whether there is a point to investigating past offences.

Finally by way of housekeeping, I remark on a recent burst of comments which I have not approved for publication on the site. Continue reading


Filed under Blogging, Football Governance, Rangers

“Conflicts of Interest” – Lawyers and Scottish Football

Three bodies representing Rangers fans recently issued a statement which received uncritical commentary coverage in the media. I wrote about it yesterday here.

I wanted to look specifically at one of the issues raised – Conflict of Interest. This piece takes as its base my section on conflict yesterday but expands on it.

The statement from the fans’ groups said:-

“There would appear to be a serious conflict of interest in the choice of law firm appointed by the SPL to carry out their investigation. Harper MacLeod have acted for Celtic FC, who would be the main beneficiaries of any finding of guilt in the case. Indeed, until it was recently removed, they included a testimonial from Celtic CEO Peter Lawwell on their website. The SPL could have chosen any law firm to carry out this investigation and it was extremely naïve of them to appoint a firm with such a close connection to a rival club.” Continue reading


Filed under Football, Football Governance, Rangers, SPL

The Errors in the Rangers FC Fan Groups’ Offensive Against SPL Inquiry

Last night three of the Rangers FC’s fans’ groups have come out fighting on the SPL proceedings to be dealt with by an Independent Commission.

The statement can be read in full below. I have appended some notes and comments which are in bold. I will say in advance that disagreeing with the fine gentlemen who make up these bodies is not my default position. However, the facts are the facts, and obfuscation and misleading words and ideas, however innocent, ought to be clarified.

I also wonder what advice, if any, the groups to0k before preparing the statement. There are various parts of it which seem to me to be defamatory of Harper MacLeod, of the SPL, of the Board members thereof and of officials of Celtic. Not perhaps the wisest of ideas.

If a siege mentality is being developed at Ibrox, as seems clearly to be ever more the case then this statement works perfectly. Outside obervers will view it as nonsensical and ill-informed.

Within the stockade however it will be seen as standing up for the club. Continue reading


Filed under Football, Football Governance, Rangers, SPL

SFL Meeting 13/7 – Part 1 – Why Can’t Dundee Vote on Sevco Rangers?

In which I look at the SFL notice of meeting and discuss, in this part, whether the SFL has been correct in, allegedly, telling Dundee that it cannot vote at Friday’s meeting.

I suggest that of all the SFL members, Dundee appear to have the least “conflict”, on the basis that they are to be promoted. In that case why did the SFL tell Dundee it could not vote?


Thanks to Alex Thomson of Channel 4, we have seen the Notice of the Special General Meeting at which the SFL will consider the future of Sevco Scotland Ltd in Scottish football.

I reproduce the text below, and my comments come after the document.


Subject: SFL Special General Meeting – Friday, 13th July, 2012

Dear Sir or Madam,



Filed under Charles Green, Football, Football Governance, Rangers, SFA, SFL, SPL

Some Questions For David Grier and the Administrators of Rangers

In which I explore the nature of conflict of interest, wonder why Duff and Phelps accepted appointment, wonder why Andrew Ellis was not appointed a director on takeover, as was intended, and ask some questions of Mr Grier of Duff and Phelps.

Some of those questions are below.

What were D&P told by Craig Whyte about sources of funding in the period from January 2011 to April 2011 when D&P was negotiating with the Bank re clearing Rangers debt?

If it was D&P’s primary role to provide assistance to Liberty Capital in negotiating a settlement and assignment of the debt due to Lloyds Bank, what was its secondary role?

When did Mr Grier’s concerns re Ticketus crystallise?

Why did he speak to HMRC about these concerns?

Why did he speak to the “controlling directors”, who one assumes were the people involved in what concerned him? After speaking to them and HMRC, why did D&P continue to act? Presumably his concerns were allayed?

Did Mr Grier have indirect contact with Ticketus, or did anyone at D&P have direct contact pre-takeover? What about post-takeover? Did discussions to which D&P were party regarding Ticketus involve Ticketus?

Did D&P provide written advice re HMRC pre-takeover?

Why does the Report to Creditors make no mention of D&P being engaged pre-takeover to give advice re HMRC and regarding the effect on insolvency of a funder of season tickets?

Was the alleged Collyer Bristow letter the only information seen by D&P showing that Mr Whyte had access to ÂŁ33 million?

Did D&P give any advice to Mr Whyte regarding the wisdom of his purchase, bearing in mind he was asking about insolvency prior to spending ÂŁ33 million on the purchase?

Did Mr Grier read the 19th April email referred to by the BBC? If he did, was his curiosity not piqued by reference to “Ticketus agreements” (plural)?

How could financial projections show that money was coming from Wavetower, which had no money?

What did HMRC do about Mr Grier’s concerns?

Mr Grier refers to discovering the FULL extent of the funding relationship with Ticketus. Did D&P know part of the funding relationship previously, or the nature but not the full extent?

Did the cash flow projections prepared by D&P post takeover include reference to Ticketus, either in terms of short-term funding, or the £20.3 million “understood” to have been paid? If not, and as the forecasts were, inter alia, for the purposes of negotiating with HMRC, was false or incorrect information provided to HMRC?

Is the invoice referred to in Mr Grier’s email dated 24th June the same as those referred to in Rangers Financial Controller’s evidence to the SFA Judicial Panel, namely the multi-million pond invoices to Ticketus which were completely unknown to the Financial Controller, and were prepared using clip-art?

If Mr Grier was preparing invoices for Rangers to Ticketus, how is this covered in the statement in the Report to Creditors of what D&P did prior to appointment as administrators?

If Mr Grier was preparing invoices for Rangers to Ticketus in June dated May, how did it take him “over the summer” for concerns to crystallise?

Why do Mr Grier and D&P consider there is no conflict of interest?

Whilst D&P were assisting Rangers with short-term cash flow projections, ÂŁ3 million was paid to Ticketus. Did Mr Grier make enquiries as to what this related to?

Could he or his colleagues prepare forecasts and projections without knowing the nature of the payment to Ticketus, and further liabilities to them?

By August 2011, D&P was monitoring cash flow and discussing capital raising. Had Mr Grier’s concerns crystallised by then?

I want to make clear that Mr Grier and Duff & Phelps have vigorously maintained that they have acted at all times with consummate professionalism and that they have at no time failed in their legal duties. I am sure Mr Grier and his colleagues would have answers to all of the questions raised above. However these seem to be reasonable queries arising from the statements made by D&P. I do not intend any negative connotations for D&P to arise from these questions. I merely pose them as a matter of interest.

(I refer to D&P throughout this piece, even where the work was done by MCR, taken over by D&P last year.) Continue reading


Filed under Administration, Rangers