Nov 302012
 

The Red Lichties Come To Parkhead This Weekend

 

 

In less than twenty four hours, Scottish Premier League Champions Celtic will take on Arbroath at Celtic Park in the Scottish Cup. The side affectionately known as “The Red Lichties” (a reference to an old red light that used to guide ships into the town’s harbour) currently sit fifth in the Second Division. They have only won one of their last five league matches, and their away form leaves a bit to be desired, with only one away win to their name so far this campaign. In that time, they’ve scored seven times, and conceded nineteen.

Managed by Paul Sheerin, an ex-youth player at Celtic, the Club boasted the world record for the largest ever victory in professional football for over one hundred years, having beaten Bon Accord 36-0 in 1885. However, this has been broken in the last decade, as a side in Madagascar protested by purposefully putting the ball into their own net, straight from kick off, over and over again. This resulted in the scoreline reading: “AS Adema 149 SO l’Emryne 0″ (and no, I’m not kidding).

The club play at Gayfield Park, which holds a little under six thousand people, and is the closest professional ground in Britain to the sea. One notable previous manager of the club was none other than Danny McGrain. The club also have a fierce rivalry with Montrose.

Anyway, whilst Celtic are strong favourites for this one, they would be incredibly naive to presume they will be their visitors, who will undoubtedly be right up for it come kick off. Interestingly, Celtic hold the record for Arbroath’s worst defeat, beating them 9-1 in the League Cup in 1993.

 

Nov 302012
 

Stokes Finds Himself As The Target Of One Idiot On Twitter

 

 

Everyone knows the name Gonzo from the ever popular show, “The Muppets”. Alongside Kermit, Miss Piggy, and the rest, he’s renowned for making people laugh. His original title was, in fact, “Gonzo the Great”, from his days as a daredevil. Now, Gonzo is widely regarded as one of many people’s favourite characters from the show, as he displays both positive traits and also a few flaws in his behaviour, similar to that of most human beings.

Sadly, this is not the Gonzo which this article concerns, although “our” Gonzo does use a picture of his counterpart as his picture on Twitter, and he is undoubtedly a Muppet of the highest order.

Last night, Gonzo (going by the charming name of @Gonzo1690) decided he’d openly and publicly make threats towards Celtic’s Anthony Stokes, screen shots of which can be found below:

 

 

For the sake of common decency, something Mr Gonzo clearly lacks, I’ve blacked out the expletives, although I’m sure most of you will be able to fill in the blanks for yourselves.

Now, as I pointed out last night, it is clear that we’re not exactly dealing with Albert Einstein or Leonardo Da Vinci here. Considering he tweeted the above comments with his location settings on, I’d expect him to be receiving a visit from his local police force long before he receives a visit from anyone MENSA.

However, despite the fact Gonzo is clearly an imbecile, he isn’t the sole point of this article.

The internet is an incredible place. It is unbelievably vast and ever expanding and yet, it isn’t something you can reach out and touch. For those of you who are fans of The I.T. Crowd, you’ll no doubt remember the episode where the technicians wind up a colleague by making her believe that the internet itself a small, metal box with a blipping red light on the top of it.

 

 

However, for all it’s good, the internet has it’s downsides. Freedom of speech isn’t exactly total online, but it’s not far off of it. For example, as I write this, I could type anything I like, anything at all, about anyone or anything and click “publish”. Within minutes, whatever I had written could be read by anyone across the globe with access to a laptop, tablet, or mobile phone. Regardless of what punishment may befall me in my theoretical scenario, whatever I had published would have been seen (and perhaps saved) by some. It is very difficult to contain something once it is put online.

In the same way that unfounded allegations can be made against wholly innocent people, it seems that individuals who like to make threats too have found a convenient outlet in cyberspace. “Trolls” as many refer to them, have become the bane of many people’s existence. Everyone, from high profile footballing superstars to lowly website administrators like myself can, and often do, become the subject of their attentions. Thankfully, only a minority of the threats made online ever become anything other than words, but that is irrelevant, as a threat is still a threat, and it can cause enough damage to someone by itself.

Recently, I wrote about the decision made by the Daily Record to publish an article regarding Anthony Stokes on the day of Celtic’s trip to Tynecastle. This had, of course, already been published (with different wording) in the Irish Mail on Sunday, and was therefore in the public domain.

However, whilst most people associated with Celtic do receive the occasional threat, it is safe to say that the recent threats made against Anthony Stokes have been fuelled by the story about him. Had there have been no story, I highly doubt Mr Gonzo would have seen any more reason than normal than to make threats. At this point, I should highlight that I am not criticising one newspaper or media source over another, whereas I was the other day.

The story was in the public domain before the Daily Record published it, and it had already been leapt out by many in cyberspace. For example, Gonzo was ranting and raving about Stokes prior to the story’s publication in the Scottish press.

If it hasn’t started already, I’m sure the following argument will start not long after I publish this. Some people will, inevitably, turn around and say “he [Stokes] brings it on himself”. Now, where have I heard that before? Oh yes, back when Neil Lennon brought nail bombs “on himself” because he’s daring enough to be an outspoken, passionate, Celtic manager.

In reality, there is some debate as to whether or not Stokes should have attended the recent function. I’ve listened to people from either side of the proverbial coin, and whilst both sides do make valid points, I’m sure we’d all agree that neither Anthony Stokes, nor anyone else, deserves to have these type of threats made against them.

 

 

Fundamentally, as I have said before, this sort of thing has to stop. Normally, I’m not one to cite abuse like this in articles, as I’d rather not give these idiots more attention than they deserve. However, this sort of stuff, both related to Celtic and with regards to the internet as a whole, has been getting on my nerves for some time.

No one, regardless of their colour, creed, nationality, beliefs, job, or employer, should be subject to threats. If, for example, a Celtic fan was to make similar threats against a player from Gonzo’s beloved “The Rangers”, I’d be the first to condemn it, and I’m sure I wouldn’t be the only one.

Over the past week or so, I’ve been involved in a fairly lengthy debate with a fan of the new Ibrox club on Twitter regarding the FTT(T). We disagree on almost every point and yet, we have both remained civil and friendly. These are the sort of discussions which help to make the internet great. It’s never a bad thing to hear an alternative point of view and to discuss it. Whilst I disagree with many of his opinions, I respect the fact he holds them and is willing to defend his opinions.

However, when you come across an idiot like Gonzo, there’s not much talking can do. In August, when West Ham United striker Carlton Cole was racially abused on Twitter, the perpetrator was arrested within twenty four hours of his offence.

I hope we see similarly swift action from the Scottish Police with regards to the threats made by Gonzo.

I’ll leave you with one of his recent retweets below, showing, once again, that he is indeed a Muppet by name, and a Muppet by nature.

 

Nov 292012
 

A Few Options Are Available To You At Maley’s Bhoys

 

 

We all know how difficult some people can be to buy for at Christmas every year. Obviously, for a lot of Celtic fans, almost anything with a Celtic badge on the front can be considered a potential present, but a lot of them can be a tad clichéd. Anyway, if you’re looking for something a bit different to add onto someone’s Christmas present this year, then you may well have come to the right place.

 

MND Appeal Discs

Firstly, I’ll run through our option which would allow you to help the good people at Motor Neurone Disease Scotland. As of a couple of months ago, we’ve been selling discs (for your computer) with over 5,000 old Celtic photographs on each of them, ranging from the earliest days of the Club up until fairly recently. These discs, which are also available to download, can give you and your chosen recipient a fantastic trip down memory lane. For example, when I took a disc down to my cousins, we meant to look at it for five minutes…two hours later, and there we were, still arguing over which ground a picture was taken at, or about which season we wore a particular kit.

There is no set price for these discs, but £10 is the recommended donation (to put that into context, that’s less than 0.2 pence per image). All of the money for downloads will go to Motor Neurone Disease Scotland at the end of the football season with the rest of the money we raise during our appeal (£305 so far as I write this). However, if you would like a disc posted to you we would ask for a postage, packaging and product cost of £2 on top of your donation. Obviously, if you were to order more than one this cost does not double or treble providing the discs are going to the same address.

I should state once again, for the sake of copyright’s etc, that I do not profit in any way, shape or form from the production or sale of these pictures discs. All of the money, as explained above, goes to MND Scotland or into postage/packaging/blank disc costs. I should also state that, theoretically, you could make one of these discs yourselves if you were willing to spend days of your life trawling the internet clicking “save”, “save”, “save”, as I did.

Some more of the sample photographs found on the disc can be seen at the bottom of the page. You can order these by simply contacting myself on here, on Twitter, or by emailing us at maleysbhoysenquiries@hotmail.co.uk.

 

 

Programmes

Also, as ever, I’ve still got a rather large selection of old Celtic programmes up for sale, predominantly from the 1970-80’s, with some earlier (none before 1960) and some later (mostly early 1990’s). If you’re looking for the programme from a particular match you remember, or trying to find one from a game which fell on a loved one’s birthday, feel free to get in touch! Home, away, friendly, and European programmes are available. If you don’t even know what you want, feel free to contact me and I can tell you about some of the options we have in an attempt to find the best programme(s) to suit your needs.

Please note though, the proceeds from these sales do not go to Motor Neurone Disease Scotland. These proceeds are kept by myself, and go towards things such as website costs, petrol, and beer. By that I don’t mean to sound shallow, but they are my property I have been selling for sometime to help put a bit of extra money in my pocket when times are tight, whereas the discs are just something I put together in an attempt to help support MND.

I should also state that, in advance, I do not have a copy of the Lisbon 1967 programme for sale, as that’s obviously the one a lot of people ask for.

 

 

Finally, as promised a few more pictures from the discs I mentioned can be found below:

Nov 292012
 

Wanyama Shortlisted For African Young Player Of The Year

 

 

Earlier today, it was announced that Celtic’s very own Victor Wanyama had been shortlisted for the prestigious African Young Player Of The Year Award. Victor’s rivals for the prize are Mohammed Salah, who currently plays for FC Basel, and Moussa Konate, of the Russian club FC Krasnodar.

If the Kenyan star goes onto win the award itself, he will be in fine company. Last year’s winner was none other than Yaya Toure (Manchester City), and previous winners of late also include Kwadwao Asamoah (Udinese), Salamon Kalou (Lille, previously of Chelsea), John Obi Mikel (Chelsea) and Obafemi Martins (Levante).

Victor Wanyama would also become (according to Wikipedia at least), the first Kenyan to win either of the African Young Player, or the African Player Of The Year awards, which have traditionally been dominated by individuals from the likes of Nigeria, the Ivory Coast, Cameroon, Morocco, and Ghana (amongst others).

Wanyama has scored ten times in all competitions for Celtic, one of which came against FC Barcelona only weeks ago, as the Hoops triumphed 2-1 (in case you’d forgotten, or have just woken up, wondering if you dreamt it).

In all seriousness though, Victor Wanyama has developed massively since his move from Belgian side Germinal Beerschot. At the age of only twenty one, he has already taken on the world’s best and showed that he can perform at the highest level. He is incredibly versatile, winning vital headers as a defender and often dominating the midfield as a defensive midfielder.

I think it’s safe to say that he is now no longer simply “the brother of McDonald Mariga”, he is his own star; his own man; his own force to be reckoned with; “Victor Wanyama”.

 

Nov 282012
 

A Poor Performance Amidst A Fantastic Career

 

 

Born on the 7th January 1889 in Sunderland, George Washington Elliott is a footballer few Celtic fans will know the name of. He played once for Celtic, when he found himself on loan from Middlesbrough, in October, 1918. Rangers defeated Celtic 0-3 at Celtic Park, with George missing a penalty.

However, whilst this was an unsuccessful outing, it was not a true reflection of George’s career as a whole. Having played for Redcar Crusaders and South Bank as a youngster, he signed for Middlesbrough in 1909, and stayed with the Club until 1925. A natural centre forward who occasionally featured at inside-right, he would go onto score two hundred and three goals in three hundred and forty four league appearances for the Yorkshire Club. He regularly ended the season as the Club’s top goalscorer, and scored the most goals in Division One in the 1913-1914 season. George also scored eleven goals in a 14-1 win for Middlesbrough’s reserves against Houghton Rovers, and featured three times for England’s national side.

George went on to work as a cargo superintendent at Middlesbrough’s docks once he had played his final match against Southampton in 1925. He died in 1948.

 

Nov 282012
 

Thoughts On The Story Itself And The Decision To Publish It Today

 

 

This morning, the Daily Record published a story regarding Anthony Stokes with the headline pictured above. The full article, should anyone wish to read it, is available online here.

Now, I’m not going to sit here and try to tell you that Anthony Stokes’ attendance at this event was right or wrong, because it was, of course, his own decision. Regardless of what I said, if I commented on it in that nature, I’d have people from either side of the proverbial fence wanting to debate the point endlessly (and the chances are no one would manage to persuade the other group that they were right or wrong), so I see no point in that. However, considering he is described as having entered the event through a side door, it does suggest that he may have been trying to avoid any media outside.

As for the picture itself, it certainly doesn’t look professional. By that I mean it was taken on a phone or an “everyday” camera, as the lady pictured with Anthony probably asked for a picture with him, and then it may have been tweeted or put on Facebook or whatever. In one sense, it may have been somewhat naive of Stokes to think he could attend this event without it reaching the press whom, particularly in Scotland, were bound to jump on the story if they even got a sniff of it.

However, the story itself was first printed in The Irish Mail On Sunday on the 25th November 2012. Now, I saw a screenshot of this at the weekend, so this information has been in the public domain for some time.

And yet, the Daily Record have not chosen to publish it until today, Wednesday, the 28th November 2012. Considering that the story was already covered in some detail by the aforementioned Irish newspaper, it wouldn’t have taken too long to reword it a bit and have it ready for publication on an earlier date, had the Daily Record wanted it to be published sooner. Now, there is only one reason to wait until today to run this story, and it is, of course, that there is a football match scheduled to take place in Edinburgh tonight.

 

 

Heart of Midlothian v Celtic is now, without doubt, the most volatile fixture of the Scottish footballing calendar nowadays. Previously, it was of course the Glasgow Derby of old, but a new rivalry won’t be formed there for some time  unless Celtic meet the new club in a domestic cup tie. Returning to my point, considering the assault (in all descriptions other than that of a Scottish courtroom) on Neil Lennon at Tynecastle is still fresh in the memories of many, you have to seriously question the editorial decision to publish this story regarding Anthony Stokes today, and not yesterday or the day before.

Of course, the Daily Record will want to sell papers, especially in a time of plummeting sales, and more people are likely to buy a copy with a headline such as this on a day like today. Regardless of their reasoning though, waiting until today to publish that story can be seen as somewhat inflammatory, even if the Daily Record is predominantly a Glasgow paper, the story will undoubtedly spread across the country online. It reminds me of the moronic non-stories of old published in the run up to a Glasgow Derby which were designed to purely “up the ante” for the upcoming match. However, “upping the ante” for a match with a less than friendly history of late isn’t something to be applauded; it’s something to be condemned.

I just hope that after tonight’s match we’ll be talking about the football, regardless of what the result is in the end.

 

 

Nov 272012
 

A Serious Point Amidst The Comedy

 

 

Earlier today on Twitter, I posed a comical question, and asked folk to send in pictures of people they think could be behind the now infamous “Rangers Tax Case” blog. Within minutes, some hilarious and some downright strange suggestions started to fly in under the hash tag #IsThisRTC.

Now, obviously, this was all a bit of fun. Aleksandr Orlov (the meerkat from the TV adverts) is not, of course, truly the author of the RTC blogs. However, there was some method to my madness.

Over the past weeks and months, we have seen “true” suspects being named on several websites, not only forums for fans of The Rangers, but also on a couple of blogs. Have any of them actually managed to name the RTC blogger? Who knows? However, they have certainly wrongly accused several people who have absolutely no connection with the blog.

 

 

These accusations, based at times on nothing other than an individual’s profession and “the way their name sounds”, have led to threats being made against some of these people, both directly and indirectly. This is both unsurprising and somewhat beyond belief at the same time.

Thankfully, we also see some sanity prevailing in the minds of some people on these websites, questioning the point and the need to band allegations about.

I’d be the first to admit that this website is much, much smaller than some of the “big” football ones out there, and thus it is somewhat easier to police. However, if people were to post threats or personal details on here they’d be banned without a second thought. As Aleksandr would say, “simples”.

To put all this craziness into context, I’ve even had a couple of people ask me whether I was the RTC blogger! I mean seriously, whilst I do write about the subject from time to time on here, I think it’s fairly clear that whoever did write the RTC blogs had an in-depth knowledge of the matters they were discussing. I, on the other hand, didn’t know an EBT from an ABC or a 123 a couple of years ago.

Anyway, returning to the point at hand, it is incredibly irresponsible of people to start throwing names about on the internet. Fundamentally, it has to stop, and I don’t just refer to RTC in this regard. I’ve seen people’s names and addresses being published online in the past, and it can’t be allowed to continue.

Anyway, below, you can find a selection of some the “suspects” put forward today by our followers on Twitter. Please note, I do not accept any liability if any of these turn out to be RTC…

Nov 272012
 

Having published some information regarding this night as far back as early October, it has been fantastic to see that it was such a success. Sadly, I could not be there personally, but everyone I know who was present seemed to thoroughly enjoy themselves. At Maley’s Bhoys we only really gather money for one charity every season (a decision taken every summer). In that sense, I mean that we aren’t a big enough website to take on more than one campaign per year. However, whilst we are not raising money ourselves for the Wee Oscar campaign, we do of course back it to the fullest of our abilities in terms of publication.

I’d just like to take this opportunity once again to wish Oscar and his family all the best for the future, and to congratulate all of the volunteers behind the fundraising movement who continue to work tirelessly for something, and someone, they truly believe in.

The official press release from the campaign regarding the race night, as well as contact details, can be found below.

Over £27K raised during a thoroughly entertaining race night and auction to directly support Wee Oscar Knox and his family during his brave fight against Neuroblastoma

 

Glasgow, Scotland – 27th November 2012 – On the evening of Saturday 17th November 2012, around 400 people descended on the Kerrydale Suite at Celtic Park to raise funds for the WeeOscar4Life campaign at an entertaining Race Night & Auction. The event was also attended by Wee Oscar’s dad Stephen Knox, and an astonishing £27,350.00 was raised to directly support Wee Oscar and his family during his continued treatment and fight against neuroblastoma.

This campaign was launched by supporters of Celtic Football Club (the Celtic Family) to raise money for Oscar Knox, a four year old boy who was diagnosed in November 2011 with high risk neuroblastoma – a rare form of cancer which mainly affects children.

On the race night, the campaign team were delighted to be joined by supporters of many other Clubs and Oscar’s dad Stephen flew over from Northern Ireland. Also in attendance we’re former Celtic Players Tom Boyd, Bobby Petta and Frank McAvennie as well as current Players partners and great supporters of the campaign Lisa Hague (Partner of Kris Commons and Patron of the WeeOscar4Life campaign), Ruby May Ridgeway (Partner of Joe Ledley) and Lucy Parmenter (Partner of Gary Hooper).

The evening’s entertainment included moving, yet truly inspiring videos of Wee Oscar and his incredibly brave family’s journey, which generated an energy and fun loving atmosphere comparable only to Wee Oscars outgoing and fun loving nature. There was a ‘buzz about the place’ and cheers went up as winning horses went over the finishing line.

The auction and raffle, strewn with kindly donated items, including a Celtic 125th Anniversary top signed by the entire first team kindly donated by Celtic FC, sparked a flood of generosity and excitement as friendly rivalry saw items being auctioned for literally thousands of pounds.

Wee Oscar’s dad Stephen commented: “What an amazing night! I am delighted that I was able to be here to support the event; there are just so many people to thank that I could be here all night! Oscars fight goes on and we will continue to take advice from Oscar’s Doctors regarding future treatment paths; we are delighted that Oscar came home from Hospital on Thursday and maybe we can get a little bit of normality into our lives at least for a while. Thank you all.” Stephen was pleased to meet so many of the campaign team on the night: “It was fantastic to have the opportunity to come over to meet and personally thank the people who have been helping out so much with the WeeOscar4Life campaign. We will be eternally grateful to everyone involved for all their efforts!”

Oscar’s mum Leona was unable to travel and stayed at home to look after Oscar and Oscar’s little sister Izzie however, through Twitter Leona said “I’m short of words, for once! What you have done for my family can never be repaid, saying thanks just isn’t enough.”

Wee Oscar and his family flew to Philadelphia on the 6th October 2012 to start Wee Oscar’s potentially lifesaving immunotherapy treatment, but unfortunately due to health complications, Wee Oscar was rushed into Intensive Care. It appears that these complications have shattered the prospect of him receiving this immunotherapy treatment in Philadelphia.

Thankfully, Wee Oscar is a fighter and he gained enough strength to return home on Saturday 27th October 2012. However, the events of the last couple of months – and the news that it could cost an enormous £400,000 for the treatment Oscar had while he was in hospital in Philadelphia – have strengthened the WeeOscar4Life Campaign’s resolve to ensure maximum support for Wee Oscar and his family throughout Oscar’s on-going treatment.

Lisa Hague who works so hard to promote the cause (despite being heavily pregnant) commented on the race night: “What an amazing selection of people, brought together for one reason: to continue the support for Wee Oscar. This is just another event that confirms what the Celtic family is all about; kindness, support and generosity. I thought the night was so well organised and a credit to the whole WeeOscar4Life team! My personal reward was speaking on the phone to Wee Oscar on the night. It is a pleasure to be Patron and a pleasure to be part of the Celtic family”

Tom Boyd was asked “How proud do you feel being regarded as a legend amongst the Celtic fans?” he replied “Myself and other Celtic greats won trophies and medals, but it’s on a night like tonight that you realise what a real legend is… Wee Oscar is a true legend.”

 

Future planned events include:

Glasgow to Belfast Cycle Ride

WeeOscar4Life organisers are planning a cycle from Glasgow to Belfast for St Patrick’s weekend in March 2013 and will be looking for cyclists to take part in this event. Interested parties should email weeoscar4life@gmail.com quoting ‘Cycle’ in the subject field and the organisers will get back to you with more details.

For more information please contact the WeeOscar4Life campaign team by emailing

WeeOscar4Life@gmail.com. Alternatively contact the WeeOscar4Life team on: 07595015203.

Press Contacts should be co-ordinated via Paula Elliott, C8 Consulting +44 (0) 118 900 1132.

Nov 262012
 

“It’s Oh, So, Quiet”

 

 

As well all know, the recent First Tier Tax Tribunal (FTT(T)) appeal found in favour of Murray International Holdings (MIH) and Rangers Football Club* (RFC, * = in liquidation), through a majority verdict of two to one. Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs have until Christmas to decide whether or not they will appeal this decision, or leave it be. I have already written about the evidence presented to the tribunal, and will, in all likelihood, continue to do so whilst there is sufficient interest in it. However, this article, once again, concerns sections of the Scottish media and their “bizarre” handling of the story itself.

Those of you who read our previous article regarding the tribunal (“Tax Doesn’t Have To Be Taxing…Until You Die?”) may well remember that it finished with the discussion of a quote from Mssrs Muir and Rae (the gentlemen who voted for MIH and RFC*), cited in paragraph 85 (page 20) of their writings, which stated:

“85. Certainly, we considered that Mr Red was defensive in his evidence to us. He accepted that there had been delays in his providing certain information to HMRC. His position, perhaps, was somewhat invidious inasmuch as he was charged with the day-to-day management of a scheme devised and directed by another party, Messrs Baxendale Walker (none of whose representatives gave evidence.) One aspect of his evidence which disturbed us was his meeting with Mrs Crimson on the eve of her giving evidence. Having collected her at Edinburgh Airport it seems that there was some discussion about Trust matters and he passed to her for her consideration that evening certain extra documents including company minutes. (These were produced as late extra documents by the Taxpayers’ Counsel and Advisors for scrutiny by the Tribunal.)”

Dr Heidi Poon, the chartered accountant and judge who made up the “one” in the two to one verdict, authored the appendix attached to the tribunal papers, entitled “The Dissenting Opinion” (an article concerning this evidence as a whole will be released at some point in the next twenty four hours).

 

 

Rather than publishing one enormous blog regarding Dr Poon’s thoughts, I have chosen to split it up into smaller, more manageable pieces which, critically, are not so long that you need an hour of your time to read them. For this reason, this article only concerns the meeting between Mr Red and Mrs Crimson, cited above by Mssrs Muir and Rae, and below, by Dr Poon.

The vast majority of that written below is directly quoted from the relevant appendix. As ever, I will allow you to draw your own conclusions, before discussing my thoughts on a few matters.

Dr Poon discusses the evidence given by Mrs Crimson, a director from Trident, the current managers of the Remunerations Trust (with direct regards to the aforementioned meeting for the sake of this article), stating:

“48. In cross-examination, it became clear that Mrs Crimson was very uncomfortable with her position. She spoke with hesitation, prevarication, and gave conflicting details…”

Dr Poon then refers to one of the most intriguing snippets of information which has become public through the release of the tribunal’s findings; one which has been roundly ignored in the mainstream media – the meeting between Mr Red and Mrs Crimson at the airport, and the transfer of an envelope containing documents between the pair. She says:

“We heard evidence on how Mr Red had a conversation with Mrs Crimson on the eve of Mrs Crimson’s giving of evidence, and passed her a brown envelope containing copies of Murray Group company minutes of meetings deciding on the contributions to the trust. The Respondents submit that this was an attempt in conniving evidence, since Mr Red had asserted in his oral evidence, given the day before Mrs Crimson was due to give evidence, that the Trustees had been sent such minutes as part of the procedure. In reality these minutes were never sent to the Trustees, and to cover up the fact that the Trustees had never had sight of these minutes, Mr Red passed her the brown envelope on the eve of Mrs Crimson’s testimony so that she could claim that Trident had been sent these minutes as a matter of course.”

She continues on a scathing attack, which some would feel brings into question the entire legitimacy of the tribunal’s findings:

“All these factors suggest that Trident’s real independence from the Appellants was highly compromised, and there is no evidence to contravene this inference. On the contrary, the ‘brown envelope’ episode stands as a proof of the Appellants’ control over the trustees, and the trustees’ readiness to comply with the direction. As the Respondents submit, the conduct of the trustees was characterised by being compliant and complicit: (1) Trident as trustees were willing to act in breach of trust to achieve the aims of the Appellant companies in using the sub-trusts to grant loans to the protector/employees; (2) Mrs Crimson as a director of the trustee company was willing to connive in giving false evidence to help create a false impression of procedural practice that would suggest Trustees’ independence.”

And now, having seen Dr Poon, an experienced individual with regards to FTT(T) hearings, describe Mrs Crimson as willing to connive in giving false evidence” and that the Respondents “submit that this was an attempt in conniving evidence, since Mr Red had asserted in his oral evidence, given the day before Mrs Crimson was due to give evidence, that the Trustees had been sent such minutes as part of the procedure.” 

This alludes to the fact that these minutes had never been sent out, and this was all a rouse in an attempt to “cover up” the passing of documents from one witness to another. Whilst there is nothing criminal about this, it was clearly frowned upon by those present. There is also speculation found at other points throughout the document which indicates some witnesses were asked about possible collusion between themselves and others, regarding their evidence (namely Mr Scarlet and Mr Magenta, and the bonuses relating to potential qualification for the UEFA Champions League group stages in 2005/2006).

These concerns have rarely been highlighted in the mainstream media in Scotland, whilst being ignored altogether by several outlets. Considering the veracity of these claims by a judge and experienced chartered accountant, this is, at best, a little bit bizarre. Therefore, I will ask you “do you think these would have been discussed and highlighted more had they concerned the actions of another Football Club, or any other business for that matter?”

Before answering, let me stimulate your imagination for a moment, with a fully fictional, and somewhat satirical example of what I feel we would have seen in certain Scottish newspapers had it been, for example, Celtic, caught up in this mess.

 

 

“MBSport can exclusively reveal that one of the three judges who sat on the recent First Tier Tax Tribunal appeals panel believes witnesses for Celtic Football Club COLLUDED to provide FALSE evidence to the Tribunal. Papers released by the Tribunal describe how Dr Nick Riviera (“Hi everybody!”) had serious concerns regarding Mr Whyte picking Mr Green (yes, pun intended) up from the airport AFTER Mr Whyte had given his evidence but BEFORE Mr Green had given his. Incredibly, Dr Riviera, and his colleagues who voted for the Parkhead Club, all acknowledge that a “brown envelope containing documents” was also passed between the pair. These revelations have left the Scottish taxpayer, whom the Parkhead Club were alleged to have cheated out of almost £40 million, STUNNED. ”

Now, of course, that is entirely fictitious  as I have previously stated. However, I believe that many of you reading this could easily imagine seeing that on the front of a tabloid newspaper in this country (had things been different) with a ridiculous headline such as “CONNIVING CELTS ACCUSED OF CHEATING TRIBUNAL”. And yet, have you seen a similar headline leaping out from the shelves in your local newsagents or supermarket regarding the concerns of Dr Poon and RFC*? I thought not, because these concerns have been all but ignored in large sections of the Scottish mainstream media.

“But why?” I hear some of you ask. Well, I’m afraid I’ll have to leave you to ponder that one for yourselves.

I will say this though. There is a part of me which is becoming somewhat bored of writing about this saga. I, predominantly, enjoy writing historical articles about Celtic Football Club and Scottish Football, as well as current opinion pieces regarding the usual topics of debate (tactics, players, potential signings etc). That is why I started, and that is why I run, this website.

However, as has been the case for sometime now, I feel that I am bound to write articles regarding the demise of RFC* and the accompanying saga of tax tribunals etc, to help put a side of the story, which is being ignored by many, across for people to consider. It is entirely up to you what you take from this side of the story (if anything at all), but what I feel is important is that these stories must be told.

Loans which are described as “non-repayable”? Payment structures where more money goes (untaxed) into an employee’s Trust than into their declared salary? And side letters being “actively concealed” for years prior their eventual publication?

Make of it that what you will. I know what I smell.

 

Jake La Motta scores another knock out blow.

Nov 252012
 

Radio 5 Live’s North American Football Expert Gives His Opinion

 

 

As many of you will know, Juan Agudelo, a Colombian born American striker is currently on trial with Celtic Football Club. Having only just turned twenty, Juan is still a young man. During his relatively short career thus far, he has played with New York Red Bulls, Chivas USA and the United States national team, whom he scored for on his debut in 2010. Standing at just over six feet tall, he is widely regarded as one of America’s most promising footballing talents.

Those of you who listen to the radio may well have heard of  BBC Radio 5 Live’s “World Football Phone-In” (also available as a podcast). Aired every Saturday morning, between 2am and 4am, it is hosted by Dotun Adebayo, and features regular guests who are individually considered to be experts with regards to football within a particular continent.

Yesterday, one of these guests happened to be the show’s resident expert on North American football (or “soccer”), a gentleman named Sean Wheelock. Unable to sleep, I decided to text in in an attempt to hear Sean’s views on Agudelo. Around half an hour later, said text was read out, and Mr Wheelock offered the following reply.

“I really like him a lot. He’s only just turned twenty. He’s pacey, smart, and a natural born finisher. He has great potential for the future. He moved from Colombia as a child, and his talent was spotted at an early age in the States. If he’s not quite good enough to play regularly as an international, he’s certainly not far off it. “

In the past, he has trained with VFB Stuttgart and Liverpool (all American internationalists are sent to train with European clubs during the US off season). Speculation is rife that Neil Lennon will look to offer him a deal in the January transfer window. We shall see.

 

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