The sober reality dawns on Sevco

I was watching the Chairman Mr David Cunningham King giving his carefully prepared high-Level speech when something didn’t feel right.

I couldn’t put my finger on it at first then it struck me.

He was telling the truth!

Remember this was from the man whose reputation for veracity was shredded by Judge Brian Southwood and his two learned colleagues in the North Gauteng High Court in October 2010.

The judicial assessment that King was a “glib and shameless liar” had followed him to Fair Caledonia from South Africa.

So Mr King’s truthfulness did come as a bit of a shock dear reader.

He was outlining the dire situation of their finances in funereal tone.

As I have written here on several occasions, I do not think the Sevco High Command believed just what a state the place was in before they took over.

This is despite the fact that they had been given excellent inside information by Mr Graham Wallace in the period BEFORE the Off License Putsch.

I do believe that leading members of the High Command fundamentally underestimated the scale of the task in running a professional football club.

One of the headlines from his address is that RIFC own a football club that requires external finance to keep going.

This is also true.

Once more this revelation from the South African based convicted criminal will not come as a surprise to my regular readers.

Indeed, this state of affairs, according to Chairman King will continue for the foreseeable future.

The disparity between this sombre assessment and King’s hubris before he ousted the pro-Ashley board.


Of course, this should be meat and drink for any journalist working the Ibrox beat.

However, the obedient ranks of the stenographers are only interested if succulent lamb is on the menu.

I learned yesterday from an impeccable source that the behind the scenes atmosphere at the AGM was like an episode of “In the thick of it.”


Consequently, King and the Sevco High Command are free from any serious journalistic scrutiny in Scotland.

This is a huge help in keeping The People onside because ultimately they are bankrolling this four-year-old operation.

I understand that that the Admirable Warburton had a free and fair exchange of views with the chairman of the Holding Company Vehicle after the AGM on Friday.

Apparently, the ex-City trader was surprised at the Chairman’s comments apropos Monsieur Barton.

I’m told that the Englishman reminded the South African based entrepreneur that the French-speaking midfielder was not his choice.

Of course, this will not come as a thunderbolt to regular visitors here.

As the King spoke at the podium, perhaps Warburton felt himself being involuntarily propelled under the wheels of a road going public conveyance.

Despite the claims posted on here to the contrary from the occasional dignified visitor, the Ashley retail contract is bombproof.

Moreover, Big Mike is in no mood to be amenable.

I think that will be demonstrated this week when he deploys the best legal minds that he can afford to tackle the Holding Company Vehicle.

That means the Engine Room Subsidiary must manage for the next six years with effectively no retail income.

The only sporting hope that Mr King could hold out to the emotionally committed shareholders at the Clyde Auditorium was of Sevco becoming the Leicester City of Scottish football.

Incidentally, Celtic played the current EPL champions last summer.

I’m told that for taking part in the International Champions Cup the Parkhead club received a cheque for £7m.

Last week Celtic made more in match day income from the recent game against Barcelona at Parkhead than Sevco will receive in retail income over the next six years.

Loyal customers of the Ibrox brand who were dismissive about the sporting effects of the financial doping under David Murray are now bleating about the money that their city neighbours have to spend.

It is almost as if having lots of cash can bestows some kind of sporting advantage.

Strange that…

For the avoidance of doubt, Aberdeen are Celtic’s nearest rivals.

They are a properly run football club with a long and illustrious intact history and some fine players.

The match at Hampden yesterday though showed that Celtic are the best in the country by some distance.

Planet Fitba is now in an epoch of unipolarity.

Sevco are nowhere near Celtic despite the breathless wishful thinking of some in the media  before a ball was kicked this season.



Of course, the reality is somewhat different.

Then why do I write about a sporting nonentity?

That’s an easy one to answer.

What makes the Ibrox shambles a story is that here is the antithesis of Financial Fair Play hiding in plain sight in front of the governing authorities.

The Sevco High Command, in the words of the chairman, has effectively stated that they will live beyond their means for years to come.

In my opinion, this should warrant a response from those entrusted with good governance in the game.

Otherwise, silence could be taken to mean acquiescence.

Dear reader, if I didn’t know any better, I would think that the chaps on the 6th floor once had an unpleasant experience when they had, reluctantly, to apply the rules to a previous club at Ibrox.

The mutant shambles at Ibrox only exists because of decisions were taken by those in positions of authority in the summer of 2012.

Charlie and the boys should have been told to do one.

Instead, they were allowed to pretend that  their basket of assets was a football club established in 1872.

The rest is (purchased) history.



22 thoughts on “The sober reality dawns on Sevco

  1. michaelcraven1

    Hi Phil,
    And there I was thinking,after yesterday’s Hampden stroll,that it couldn’t get much better.

    Wow,I was so,so wrong,you bring a veritable symphony to my ears.

    Keep at it,you keep playing like this,you might give Mr.Rodgers a wee problem,as wether to play you in the (hopefully) next cup final.

    go leor, go raibh maith agat go leor do bheatha! Sé do bheatha! REAL JOURNALIST @WORK

  2. The Beekeeper

    Been a good few days, with all the bad vibes comeing out from the spam factory AGM, and The Bhoys lifting the league cup on our way to a historic treble, and that old despot Castro away to meet his maker.
    Happy Days


  3. Sabledoc

    Aswell as his “trinket” comment No Action Jackson in his pathetic piece wrote that “Celtics victory yesterday was never really in doubt”
    Yet his prediction was a very close 2-1 win for the bhoys.
    Maybe he’s better just writing what he is told atleast it’s consistent.

  4. An.Lann.Gairdean.Laidir

    The inescapable reality of THE GAP is between the toddler club/entity and its mature and wise neighbour is at least finally being confronted . . sort of . . hence the bullish caffeine fuelled kites being flown . . .
    This latest fairy tale from the grimmacing bretheren will be top of ra peepulz santa list . . unfortunately for them . .they and speci. fically their glib and mendacious gauleiter are right at the top of santa’s naughty list. .

  5. Walter Mitty

    The shiniest silverware within Sevco’s grasp this season was undoubtedly the immaculate chrome on the gleaming minibus after the AGM.

  6. Alfie Birches

    Would be fascinated to know where DK thinks this extra cash to keep going for years, is to come from?
    Be prepared to be told that the club has gone under but the company which owns the club can start a new club, retaining the same history of course, which remains in the top division, because the company floats in the ether above and below and within the club.

    How ironic.

    1. Wessex

      No I think we’ll be told that the company has gone under but the ethereal club is being taken over by a new company. Companies come and go but clubs are eternal (Even ones made up of a basket of assets and purchased history)

  7. sligojoe

    In retrospect, it would have been interesting to see how many of the 80 odd million shares available were actually sold.

  8. shiltrum

    They will just adopt the Sandy Bryson Protocol when dealing with the financial matters of Sevco. Just like their improperly registered players if nobody asks then all will be hunky dory. Onward and upward with the nothing to see here dictum.

  9. kevin devine

    I think it would best for Scottish football if they just died and disappeared. They are just a cancer from top to bottom.

  10. theclumpany

    “Involuntarily propelled…”. That sentence made me laugh. For me, the most striking thing about the AGM spectacle was the sight of the board sullenly walking down the steps to the bus afterwards, not offering a single comment while Mr Traynor hovered in the background. It was almost as if they had nothing to shout about…

    Of course, [if I may…] there could be a medical explanation:

    And having reviewed the papers and the AGM itself, I have pulled together some observations for potential investors to consider:

    Remember folks, the value of your investments can plummet as well as go down…

  11. sligojoe

    The Ashley retail deal is bomb proof.

    Good to know that King is encouraging the fans to continue to NOT buy Sevco merchandise.

    Has he sussed yet that for the holding company vehicle this is a lose, lose situation?

    Long may the farce be with us.

  12. Mad Mac

    As ever, Sir, a Succulent journalistic feast. It would appear that there must be some seriously undernourished lions roaming around the rolling King estate. I would, however, contend that, in my humble opinion, the “free and fair” exchange referred to would have been more of the “full and frank” variety.

  13. John Fallon

    Heard a rumour that they are waiting till after NY eve game, they will be putting yes NETTING around Stadium Stands to protect fans, thats how bad there stadium is, who sign H&S certs

    1. Vinnie

      John, there was talk a few weeks ago (which seems to have evaporated) that Celtic were to ask for guarantees of safety for our fans prior to accepting any allocation of tickets for the NY’s eve game at the Centre of Excrement.
      Does anyone know anything of this?
      BTW, John, was Res 12 named after you in commemoration of a certain game played on 25th May 1967?

  14. Peter

    Phil; as you know, there is an old saying that you reap what you sow. Well, the SFA and SPFL are reaping the seeds of what they allowed to pass back in 2012. Like you, I was struck by the totally open and unambiguous statement from the GSL that the club was going to need additional funds to keep going. Not only that, they were also open that they would accept funds from anywhere or anyone (stupid enough to do so).

    As you state, the SFA should be all over this in case a recurrence of 2012 happens and a certain club is unable to complete the season. We all know the answer to that, they will do SFA! But I am actually more concerned about why Celtic are not concerned enough to be forcing the SFA to do something.

    Also, I would have to think that the auditors who just signed off on the accounts have to be a tad nervous. After all, the allowed the accounts to be released because of the belief that the club would have additional funds out in and also have income from European football next season. Not only are both of these material items totally in question, but you have also had the additional financial outlay of the Joey Barton settlement and the upcoming legal case with Mick Ashley.

    If the AGM didn’t give GSL the ability to issue as many shares as he wants, then surely this holding company/club entity may only be one straw away from breaking point. After all, there can’t be much change left from the loan they got to meet October wages and now November’s, which run about a million a month each. No doubt hey will magic some cash up out somewhere, but this has to be nearing implosion point soon as no one simply throws money away for no good reason.

    The silence from the SFA and MSM on this only helping the GSL continue to fleece the fans.

  15. Pat

    Would it not be financially viable for Sevco to volunteer to go back to the lower leagues? Because it looks as if they could go under again.

    1. Crosshaven

      It still costs money to play in the lower leagues so what is the benefit?
      Also their “star” players will jump ship.
      And finally, there will be civil disorder by the klan.

      Meanwhile, in another part of the city …………..


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