A Colourful Cast

ARREST_2540291bToday, the AIM Stock Market may well have published the oddest communique in its history, as the Sevco board all but called out Dave King as a fraudster, and told the shareholders not to vote for his resolutions.

The media might not want to write about it, but this laid bare, to the markets, the precise nature of King’s convictions in South Africa, as well as the hurdles he will face at the SFA, AIM itself and with the provisions of the Insolvency Act.

In short, it’s a demolition job on the arrogant chancer who just days ago sat in front of a hand-picked audience of drooling hacks, at an event hosted by the PR company recently formed by Jim Traynor and another former Ibrox press officer, where King won them over with the prospect of succulent lamb.

Some had expected the announcement sooner, but sadly for those who still expect to read actual news rather than regurgitated press spin from our sports media, there were to be no “7 am klaxons”.

Instead, the statement was put out at a little after 2:00 today and it did not spare the South African tax cheat from a lashing.

Football in this country has become accustomed to the soap opera being played out here, but even by Sevco standards today has been an interesting and amusing one.

Some of us had actually expected the Sevco board to refuse the EGM request, on some minor pretext or another. Instead, they used the announcement to dump a pile of grenades into the laps of the requisitioners, and to make a naked plea to the Three Bears to jump ship.

It is unlikely to happen, and as most expect King to have the votes to dump the present Sevco incumbents and put himself in their place it puts pressure on everyone from Mike Ashley to the SFA to lift their own game.

If King takes over, where will he look for investment?

Well, reports have surfaced today that suggest the disgraced former IPL cricket boss, Lalit Modi, banned by the organisation for “financial irregularities”, and who only recently had his passport unfrozen by the Indian government, wants to buy Sandy Easdale’s Ibrox shares.

This would make sense if the Easdales were to be forced off the board … but once again, it would beg the question … just what is it about Sevco that attracts the wrong kind of people?

Aside from having a complicated legal situation at the moment, Modi also has a colourful background, at least if you’re using the word “colourful” the way the Scottish sports media tends to.

In 1985 he was convicted of conspiracy to traffic cocaine, assault and second degree kidnapping. His recent “misdeeds” resulted in his lifetime ban from the IPL, and he is facing a variety of charges in India (where he does not live; like many other global spivs he has chosen to house himself in London) which include, but are not limited to, money laundering, tax evasion and fraud … which makes him a good fit for an Ibrox boardroom table beside Dave King, but certainly not a suitable person to be involved at a proper Scottish football club.

The saga of Sevco becomes more and more like something from a John LeCarrie novel.

Since 2010, when it became clear that the bank and Murray wanted shot of each other, this story has seen the involvement of Russian gangsters, Ulster loyalists, Motherwell born billionaires, Greenock fraudsters, Malaysian crime figures wanted by Interpol, South African tax cheats, English porn directors and now, finally, we’ve come full circle to Indian drug smugglers.

Romanov aside, these kind of people do not get involved at other football clubs. Why doesn’t it happen?

Why are so many of them swirling around in the vortex at Ibrox?

This is like a Who’s Who of the gutters of international finance, the guys who couldn’t get jobs at Stratton Oakmont and the back street dens of the Six Counties.

Is there something fundamentally wrong with that club that attracts these people like flies around a particularly fresh turd?

Do you need a criminal background to get involved there, or can you say you are working towards one and leave it at that?

Can you imagine the outcry if a single one of these people was linked to Celtic Park?

Earlier this year, St Mirren broke off negotiations with a consortium who were interested in taking the club over because the broker involved on the consortium end – Taver Mohammed – had served a six month prison sentence in 2011.

Some clubs do take this stuff seriously, it seems.

Not so much at Sevco or in our Scottish media, many of whom sat in front of Dave King just this week and nodded as he told them that he had won a “favourable outcome” in his South African case.

If, by favourable, he means he didn’t go to prison … then yes, I guess he did. But we know that’s not what he really meant, and they knew it too … and the scary thing is that they either agreed with him or were too stupid to understand that he was reverting to type.

The Sevco board statement today was very clear on what that means. “Glib and shameless liar” is about the gist of it.

Scottish football is being run by people who are so in thrall to what Sevco pretends to be that they are wholly incapable of taking the right decisions for the governance of this game.

But if they don’t do that, if there isn’t some form of Financial Fair Play, for example, as well as tougher guidelines not only over who can sit on boards but on what “controlling interest” means, as well as working with governments to assure strong, robust regulations on football ownership, then we’re heading for a very bad place indeed.

It is a matter of time before a Scottish club is being used as a front for all manner of criminal activity. Neil Doncaster’s insistence on the Survival Myth, his attempt to normalise debt dumping, means that “the bust out” is now a viable business plan for someone unscrupulous enough to try it, and the consequences when that happens, and is uncovered, will be colossal.

Some people seem either ignorant about that or don’t care either way.

But it’s coming, unless we start building some walls right now.

In the meantime, all we can do is marvel at the sordid cast of characters who continue to circle Ibrox like buzzards.

For this is Sevco. Alcatraz FC.

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James Forrest

James Forrest is a writer and blogger from Glasgow, and the author of two books, Fragments and Believers, which are available on Amazon.

11 thoughts on “A Colourful Cast

  • 6 February, 2015 at 6:02 pm

    Great blog as per mate, they are so desperate to beat Celtic they’ll overlook any transgressions of any potential financial backers and they have the nerve to try and play the ‘dignity’ card on a seemingly daily basis, IT’S ALL ABOUT THE CELTIC

  • 6 February, 2015 at 6:26 pm

    An off topic post, but I was very impressed by Ronny today. He showed he is no push over and is his own man and not a yes man .
    Still hard to believe he hasn’t won over alot of fans but by the end of the season we will all realize that we have a top manager and next season the team will be playing the way he wants as we are not there yet but we are getting there fast…….
    Tomorrows game will be tough but we should win by 3 and then when we play Inter we will show everyone that this is a good Celtic team which is on the road to becoming a great Celtic team.

  • 6 February, 2015 at 6:36 pm

    Brilliant as usual James surely “glib and shameless” has been called out after that slaughtering today by Mr Irvine how he will recover from that is beyond me.
    You would have swore it was written by one of us !!!
    Your bang on about the MSM who we all know are a disgrace to their profession and btw did you notice BBC Sportscene did not show the 2 incidents involving that thug Elbows with Leigh Griffiths and John Guidetti – perhaps something to do with trial by television so they didn’t show it !!

  • 6 February, 2015 at 6:40 pm

    To me the the most important/worrying question should be WHY are the SFA even allowing this whole charade to even get anywhere near the stage it’s at now, how deeply involved and complicit are they in the corruption revolving around ipox, the warning signs couldn’t be any clearer for the SFA that conmen, gangsters and criminals don’t get involved in football clubs because they love the game..i don’t believe any other football association in the northern hemisphere would be so deeply entrenched in what is clearly turning into international corruption, Heads should roll at the SFA long before they roll at sevco.. HAIL HAIL

  • 6 February, 2015 at 6:45 pm

    Keep exposing the yella belly press James .the reason the scum of the earth try and get involved with zombie fc is because in Scotland they know we have no Fa of note and can do what they want.king said the other day he had assurances he would past any test

  • 6 February, 2015 at 7:23 pm

    Tremendous blog and bang on the money again James.

    The stench coming from The Big Hoose is rivalled only by the aroma from the 6th floor at Hampden.Unfortunately Uncle Tom Lawwell frequents that part of the building too.Wish he would feck off from Paradise, and go join his natural allies at either of the sources of vile odours.

  • 6 February, 2015 at 9:37 pm

    even Atilla The Hun said no to them

  • 6 February, 2015 at 11:57 pm

    Alcatraz FC brilliant James,it’s definitely not Robin and the seven hoods,Sevcos saviours could fill Barlinnie,the never ending saga,this soap has a long way to go yet I presume……………….

  • 7 February, 2015 at 8:34 pm

    Great writing again but, if I may don my pedant hat, I think the novelist you mean is John le Carré. Le Carrie was, I think, a French remake of a film starring Sissy Spacek.

  • 9 February, 2015 at 2:30 pm

    Now they’ve started people trafficking too. I heard there were 5 trafficked in from Newcastle last week… the dirty bassas!!

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