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The Big House
April 27, 2012 2:57 PM   Subscribe

Hailed as a Billionaire by a compliant media, Craig Whyte then bought Glasgow Rangers, one of the world's oldest soccer teams, for a Pound. A Blog started, doubting the media spin. The BBC started to raise doubts. Rangers fans protested outside the BBC. When Rangers then went bust, they were somewhat surprised. George Galloway Laughs, Fans Sing, and Officials are Threatened. The journo who claimed Whyte to be a Billionaire is made "Scottish Journalist of the Year" by a former chief judge.
posted by sgt.serenity (15 comments total)

 
This is a very brief sort of overview of the whole thing, anyone thats heard about this could possibly provide dozens more links.
posted by sgt.serenity at 2:58 PM on April 27, 2012


Wait, I'm meant to be outraged that a sports jouranlist believed that someone who was widely reported to be a billionaire was actually a billionaire? Sports journalists are meant to ferret into the details of the financial holdings of the people they write about now? This FPP makes it sound as if the whole deal would never have gone through if some lousy sports journo had only taken the obvious step of getting a degree in forensic accounting.
posted by yoink at 3:07 PM on April 27, 2012


This whole thing is a conspiracy hatched by the Celtics.
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 3:07 PM on April 27, 2012 [3 favorites]


The year ban on transfers is just nuts. Who is it supposed to punish? The folks who did the wrong are out, so it doesn't hurt them. It just devalues a club that's desperately trying to get sold. Imagine buying a race car that you can't even change the tires on for a year.
posted by robocop is bleeding at 3:07 PM on April 27, 2012


Marisa Stole the Precious Thing: “This whole thing is a conspiracy hatched by the Celtics.”

But they play basketball – why would they care?

</troll>
posted by koeselitz at 3:09 PM on April 27, 2012 [7 favorites]


I believe the Scots are again showing their innovative qualities by releasing the first ever sarcastic press award.
posted by Winnemac at 3:25 PM on April 27, 2012 [1 favorite]


"Wait, I'm meant to be outraged that a sports jouranlist believed that someone who was widely reported to be a billionaire was actually a billionaire? Sports journalists are meant to ferret into the details of the financial holdings of the people they write about now?

There is a thing called the Fit and Proper Person Test [wiki] which is designed to stop unscrupulous bastards running football clubs. Whyte should have failed that test and the information should have been available to jounalists. I am not shure exactly what happened here, or why it wasn't picked up earlier.

From the Craig Whyte wiki link in the OP:

"A BBC Scotland documentary Rangers: The Inside Story, aired in October 2011, claimed that Whyte had illegally been a de facto director of a company called Re-Tex during a seven-year period when he was banned from doing so – a claim supported by Robert Burns, the Head of Investigations at the Insolvency Service.[6] Prior to Re-Tex being wound up in 2003, the company made an offer to sell shares to potential shareholders at a price based on company statements the BBC alleges contained "false and misleading" information, formed from accounts signed off by fake auditors appointed by Whyte. The auditors were allegedly run by a convicted fraudster – and former associate of Whyte's – Kevin Sykes
posted by marienbad at 3:38 PM on April 27, 2012


Er.. a quick Google would have sufficed. The journos subsequently claimed whyte paid to delete his info from Google :)
posted by sgt.serenity at 4:19 PM on April 27, 2012


"A BBC Scotland documentary Rangers: The Inside Story, aired in October 2011,

Which is one year after the piece in the first link--you know, where the moron journo is calling the guy a billionaire because he hasn't had the gumption to get in his time machine and watch this BBC doco.
posted by yoink at 4:48 PM on April 27, 2012


Sports journalists are meant to ferret into the details of the financial holdings of the people they write about now? This FPP makes it sound as if the whole deal would never have gone through if some lousy sports journo had only taken the obvious step of getting a degree in forensic accounting.

It would be a cool thing if a journalist had, ya know, tried to figure out the truth. I know sports journalists are mainly just supposed to just write up whatever's in press releases, but every once in a while a journalist surprises you and goes above and beyond. It's called "a scoop."
posted by jayder at 4:53 PM on April 27, 2012


Craig Whyte then bought Glasgow Rangers, one of the world's oldest soccer teams, for a Pound

Someone threw a two pound coin onto the pitch. Police can't work out whether it was a missile or a takeover bid.

I'll get my coat....
posted by daveje at 4:53 PM on April 27, 2012 [7 favorites]


Wait, the Head of Investigations at the Insolvency Service is Robert Burns?
Wee sleekit cow'rin' bankrupt beastie
O what a deficit's in thy breastie
posted by moonmilk at 7:09 PM on April 27, 2012 [6 favorites]


robocop is bleeding: The year ban on transfers is just nuts. Who is it supposed to punish? The folks who did the wrong are out, so it doesn't hurt them.

While Sir David Murray is no longer there, Craig Whyte is absolutely still the majority shareholder. He is banned from the board for failing the FPPT, as explained by marienbad, but it's unclear what effect the SFA's sanctions can actually have if he chooses to ignore them. (The guy is a complete spiv.)

The broader point is an interesting one and I understand where you coming from. Isn't it always the same, though? Sanctions against governments often have similar effects, but what other options do the football authorities have? To have no punishments at all would be a complete mockery.

The transfer embargo, to me, is actually quite a sensible punishment. This is that has seemingly been run along the principle - even before Whyte took over - of simply ignoring its debts. The football creditors rule in England and Wales is controversial, but it at least allows the governing bodies to try to ensure that money doesn't leave the game. (Admittedly at the expense of small businesses, HMRC, St John's Ambulance, etc.)

That rule doesn't apply in Scotland. Rangers still haven't paid for Nikica Jelavić, despite having sold him. There's a strong chance Rangers / Rangers NewCo will never pay its football debts. In that context, having the potential for them to buy more players they can't pay for is obviously a bad option for the football authorities. I understand the arguments against it, but it's not a totally insane decision.
posted by smcg at 12:08 AM on April 28, 2012 [1 favorite]


Well, a time machine is interesting - I can can see doctor who in a sash right enough, forever travelling to 1690.
posted by sgt.serenity at 1:18 AM on April 28, 2012


I think a bit of context might help. In the 2012 Sunday times rich list there was 77 billionaires in Britain. 6 of these where Scottish, you dont need to be a forensic accountant to have worked out Craig Whyte wasn't a billionaire.

I think being semi literate would have been enough, for the guy who declared Craig Whyte a "Motherwell born billionaire" to win a journalism award in any category apart from "half wit of the year" is a sad reflection on the state of Scottish education
posted by akindoftune at 8:04 AM on May 4, 2012


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