Farewell brave State Aid knight

Last night Glasgow City Council published independently verified facts that are kryptonite to a conspiracy theory beloved by The People.

I immediately tweeted the link to my Twitter followers.


However, allow me now to put this nonsense to bed for anyone who dwells in the land of reason.

For several years the ‘State Aid’ conspiracy theory was something that kept many of The People warm at night.

They held to the belief that Celtic Football Club had received favourable deals from the local authorities in the West of Scotland.

This would have breached the EU rules on ‘State Aid.’

Had this been true then it could have led to the Parkhead club being sanctioned by the governing bodies of the sport.

It was, in effect, the Big Tax Case for Celtic.

There was only one problem in those for The People.

It was pish!

I reported on the dénouement of this fantasy back in September.

Audit Scotland had forensically examined the Westhorn land deal and had found nothing untoward.

Anyone with the facility of reason will discern that Celtic Football Club received nothing favourable from the Westhorn deal.

Indeed the Scottish Champions paid three times the market value for the land.

Since the spirit-crushing arithmetic of the Big Tax Case was broken by your humble correspondent in May 2010 some of The People wanted something to respond with.

Something similarly shady  within Celtic’s finances became the Holy Grail for  those emotionally connected to the stadium that John Brown played for.

The champion of this noble quest battered away in Finaghy, south Belfast convinced that one day he would be vindicated.

When the ‘State Aid’ fantasy came along, it seemed perfect.

Lies are usually perfect; that’s because someone made them up,

The truth is almost always messy and doesn’t fit in with pre-conceived notions.

However, this conspiracy theory travelled all the way to the European Commission.

In 2014 they ruled that the ‘State Aid’ allegation had no substance.

However, The People still needed to believe that they were onto something.

So now we are asked to believe that Audit Scotland, The European Commission, and Glasgow City Council were all enmeshed in a labyrinthine conspiracy to do down Rangers (1872-212).

As Celtic concluded a successful AGM today, motoring to Six-In-A-Row it is an inescapable truth that The People follow the Espanyol of Glasgow.

A decade of cheating and lying killed their old club.

Now the four-year-old institution is a travelling circus of misjudgment and hubris.

The rest of Planet Fitba rubbernecks like the appalled neighbours living next door to a family who are the local version of ‘Shameless.’

So that’s that for the ‘State Aid’ conspiracy theory.

It had become an article of faith for many of The People.

Quite simply they needed to believe that this was true, but it wasn’t.

However, they will just curl up in the comfort blanket that the conspiracy was actually much bigger than they had originally envisaged.

One day EVERYONE, except of course The People, will have been involved in this dastardly plot.

A scene from the movie “a beautiful mind” comes to mind…

Increasingly our noble bedraggled and befuddled knight will realise that he dwells in the land of Béal Feirste.

The Rainjurrz, his totem of Ulsturr Scatch kulchurr, are dead.

Moreover, Sevco will be no match in the future for a commercially vibrant Celtic.

It must be cold in our shadow when The People need revenge fantasies to keep them warm at night.

We should pity them.


41 thoughts on “Farewell brave State Aid knight

    1. Fergus Isle

      The taxpayer has to pay 300 grand because of some obsessed bigot, without any hope of him contributing towards such an eye watering cost?

      Does this now mean we can all demand the council wastes money on our behalf in this manner and will they spend an equivalent amount pursuing the truth of old Rangers’ multiple misdemeanours ..?

      I suppose if they’ll forgive a debt of 168 million then 300 Gs isn’t that much on the tab.

  1. iceman63

    So the good sieve Sevco gurgles on. Am I bad in wanting to see financial distress and penury come to the RRM on the board whose sense of diligence, business risk, sensible investment, in fact, just sense departed them when they boarded the rapidly rusted sieve, all guns blazin with Cap’n Dave: or in wanting to see all of the monthly £18.72 debits thrown into the well of worthlessness that is the pool of unissued Sevco shares? Long may this continue..I do wonder what the eventual size and shape of a Sevco in balance or equilibrium will look like. Are we talking a Hearts or Aberdeen, or a St. Johnstone or Inverness, or possibly a St.Mirren or Dunfermline – hopefully a Gretna!

    1. shiltrum

      Hopefully a Gretna!!! ? You do mean a refusal or if you want them back Sevco fc they should not be in any of the Leagues as they are DEID. 😉


    What about the sports Scotland “grant” for Murray Park. Anyone venture into that smorgasbord of deception and deciet.

  3. Swavvy

    Not that many of The People around the site these days, Phil, no WASR nor Wulz, no Jennie nor yon creepy quiet one …

    I wonder what’s happened to them, I’m almost starting to miss their reactionary lunacy …

    Nah, wait, on second thoughts, I don’t give a monkeys, not for them or their mad ‘club’.

  4. FSTB

    I am with you on that one Alfie
    With what we know now of the tainted knight what are the chances that murky park was not whiter than whyte

  5. and connelly makes it three

    my only thought is that the good folk of south Belfast must all have lovely homes, jobs , good schools and hospitals , care homes and nae pot holes , low crime etc if all their chosen representative can get his teeth into is this “pish “

    1. Salted Popcorn

      Actually, much of South Belfast is just as you describe. Leafy avenues, the university, cafes, big houses, a teaching hospital, secure employment in the public sector… Sure there’s also the Markets and the Lower Ormeau, but I don’t think Lord Laird ever goes there. At least not since the Parades Commission started.

  6. Frank

    Phil please help me,on res 12, i will let the can of worms spill out,But what really bugs me is a future res 12, if everything we know about Sevco is true then surely if they qualify for Europe this season they will NOT be allowed to compete under FFP rules

    1. Phil Mac Giolla BhainPhil Mac Giolla Bhain Post author

      We will cross that bridge when we come to it.
      They have to get, at least, third place in the SPFL.
      They’re 3rd at the moment.
      However, they may not be there at the end of the season.

      1. Dan

        Regarding the FFP I have done some reading on it and like anything from UEFA it is not completely clear. For instance does the money that the directors have put in count towards it?

        To be exact, clubs can spend up to €5million more than they earn per assessment period (three years). However it can exceed this level to a certain limit, if it is entirely covered by a direct contribution/payment from the club owner(s) or a related party. This prevents the build-up of unsustainable debt.

        The limits are:
        • €45m for assessment periods 2013/14 and 2014/15
        • €30m for assessment periods 2015/16, 2016/17 and 2017/18

        In order to promote investment in stadiums, training facilities, youth development and women’s football (from 2015), all such costs are excluded from the break-even calculation.

  7. Duncan (@DMacphaidin)

    I think Celtic should make an example of this numpty and sue his erchie for not only making up lies about our well run Club but also for desperately trying to besmirch the good name of it.
    Unmask him and let all those who believed his nonsense know exactly who he is.
    Even if it costs us a few grand to do so I believe it will have been worth it in the end.
    Cracking piece as always Phil.

    1. Gordon

      I’m sure the council should be thinking about re-couping costs from the state-aid loony as I and many others will be effectively paying for it as a GCC council tax payer.

  8. Charger

    I cannot prove this beyond a shadow of doubt, but I do believe that you may be factually inaccurate when you write, “A decade of cheating and lying killed their old club.” I believe Twenty Five years is probably much closer to the mark. The former director, Hugh Adams, indicated that scams of one form or another had been on the go pretty much since day one of the Murray regime. Unfortunately he passed away before he could expand on this. However, since he was proven correct on every other allegation he made I tend to believe him.

    1. Phil Mac Giolla BhainPhil Mac Giolla Bhain Post author

      The dodgy tax strategies came in at the end of 1999.
      RFC lied to HMRC in 2004 about side letters for EBT recipients.
      It was a decade of lying and cheating.
      Before that, David Murray was using a very understanding bank to financially dope RFC and buy titles.

      1. Charger

        I suppose at the end of the day timescales are irrelevant. The bottom line is the now defunct club were cheating b*******!

      2. Veritas

        What you say is in of itself is true and I agree with you .but what you and none of us know for certain is whether Murray in addition to leveraging the BOS in what was clearly financial doping was ALSO pursuing and using various underground or illegal methods to attract the various high profile characters who amazingly pitched up at Ibrox and delivered 9 in a row etcetc .
        I ,and I am sure many others , have heard many probably apochraphal tales (but may be not that ) of course we can’t substantiate that would make your hair stand on end about Murrays methods in those years …
        I think it is entirely feasible , and none of us should
        discount easily the possibility , that the initial DOS scheme and subsequent EBT scheme were actually attempts not just to respond to CFCs emerging power but also a means of trying to legitimise previously completely under the counter illegal offshore type payments and processes
        As I posted on another prominent forum recently . We Will never know unless and until an old Rangers insider breaks the omertà and comes clean …and IMO that will obviously never happen
        I would add this . from all my life experiences natural abusers and bullies in whatever subject (and Murray appears to be a grade A in both ) start abusing when they know they can . I suspect Murray started this tax stuff around the Maurice Johnston heist timeline in the late 80s
        I also suspect part of the strategy of having Ogilvie and Smith “placed ” into the SFA was to ensure the DOS and EBT stuff never saw the light of day ..but equally importantly that the earlier misdeeds were also buried forever preserving 9 inaro no matter what

        1. michaelcraven1

          Veritas,(meaning `the truth`like it.)
          you also have made some very true statements in your post,NO-ONE will truly ever know,with absolute certainty,what transpired through the era of ENVIOUS JEALOUSY.I am of a similar opinion to you,ie.I would tend to think that minty thought that he could get away with just about ANYTHING.

          Pinching that traitor johnson being a prime example.Well,with all his pals at the sfa and the bank,WHO would`ve,or for that matter,could have stopped him?

          What really irks me is that NOT ONE APOLOGY has ever,or is ever,likely to emerge from the `ibrox omnishambles` as Phil has tagged it on occasion.IF it were an individual,they would have been locked away,never to see the light of day again.But NO SURRENDER is their cry,and by the looks of it,that also means NO apology.I have recently had a tax demand,stating full payment within two weeks,I called immediately and set up a payment plan,while they consider my appeal.So why are they any different to me or anyone else who owes the taxman?? Only in Scotland would this farce have been allowed to run this long,DISGRACEFUL.

          The Scottish population should have a say in this,as `them` not paying taxes for over a decade would almost certainly have cost lives.I mean a new hospital could have been built with what they owe in taxes,although that amount of money now would probably not be enough to build a new,top spec. hospital at todays pricing.

          Power to your elbow Phil,and a sincere thanks for letting me rejoin the debate and I promise NEVER to let it get to me like before,my head is in a much clearer state than it was when you rightly binned me off.I apologise whole-heartedly.There were varied circumstances at that time,personal stuff,family matters.But that doesn`t excuse the wording of those posts.I can only hope you continue to permit me to contribute.
          gracias molto.

          You are out there on your own,and you too should have a coat Chanel ermine fur coat like Connor McGregor,because what you continue to do takes BALLS,in spates.Please continue to do so,either you do,or,we all become like mushrooms;left in the dark…..

          Have you given any thought to the radars `reporters` being in breach of NUJ criteria/rules,?Hopefully you will unearth something to bat them out the park with.HH

          Thanks again Phil.

        2. James O'Neill

          I talked, bantered regularly with friends/ colleagues who were Rangers supporters back then and was shocked , naively at that time when they told me they had absolutely no shame in admitting that – Rangers and Murray would do EVERYTHING possible to win – financial doping, tapping referees who were true blue and were expected to ‘do a turn’, contacts in the sfa who were staunch, banks that were open for business and could give loans Celtic could never dream of, offers that star players couldn’t refuse, etc. This was normal because they were THE RANGERS and we Celtic would never be able to compete.
          I did chin a couple not that long ago with ‘So what do you think now ?’
          A shake of the head – don’t go there haha.

  9. Brendan


    That’s the funniest and shocking line I’ve heard all year, “the Espanyol of Glasgow”….

    Then I remembered that Espanyol were not ‘a loss making business without a credit line from a bank’ 😀

    1. Phil Mac Giolla BhainPhil Mac Giolla Bhain Post author

      Espanyol is that they will forever be in the shadow of their city rivals.
      Moreover, the bigger club is a global brand and is loved by many out with the club’s own support.

      1. Veritas

        Never thought of it before but The Espanyol comparison is excellent . There is a lot to be said for the Celtic Board doing and saying absolutely nothing in all matters TRFC including RES 12 and all the LNS stuff ..just play along and let it go .This crowd will never ever compete .They will become irrelevant !
        For a million years the world over ..realpolitik is that the only thing worse than death is having to live forever under the yoke of your mortal enemy who does with you and yours what he wants ..Unless a mega billionaire sugardady shows up ..step forward TRFC and their fans !

  10. Alfie Birches

    Has anyone ever investigated the Auchenhowie, Kelvinside Academy Rugger fields alleged link.
    Here’s one the Peepul could really get their teeth into.

    1. Cortes

      Publically available documentation re the original standard securities over “Murray Park” are masterpieces in obfuscation and craft. Have a look, then maybe ponder the involvement of SportScotland…if ever the question of a FOIA enquiry were to be pursued relentlessly that might be the place to begin.


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