Date: 9th January 2017 at 1:04pm
Written by:

Today, at last, at long last, the worms have turned.

Some in the MSM, probably fed up watching the team they love rot as Celtic moves further ahead, are finally asking questions. Unfortunately, they are questions which needed to be asked years ago, of a man who thinks they are mugs and thereby won’t even bother to answer them, but as someone smarter than me once said, “Let’s forget that you’re late to the party and just embrace the fact you showed up at all.”

So a sarcastic round of applause, please, for Keith Jackson in particular.

The love affair with Dodgy Dave King is entering a new phase; that one where you realise the object of your affections really does have to pee like the rest of us. The one where you start to get irritated by the way they fold ironing. The point where you lose some of your happy thoughts.

What I’m saying is, this isn’t outright loathing. That’ll come, the point beyond which love affairs usually end unless those involved are of a particularly masochistic bent, but it’s not here yet. Keith and others will need to go through a little more pain first, and that sense of betrayal will have to grow greater still, but this is progress. This is the dawning of sanity, at last. The truth of everything some of us have been saying is finally sinking in.

Do you think they feel like mugs yet?

Probably not, but that’s coming too.

That’s the feeling that sends people past the point of couple’s therapy and towards that quiet, and final, conversation in the pub or in the living room with the door shut so the kids don’t hear it. It’s the point at which some people sit down to write a wee letter or send off an email. In this case, when it arrives, it’ll come with an article screaming invective like the ones they all wrote about Whyte after they’d first turned the hoover on to Full Suction and called him a billionaire.

It took them only a few months to realise Whyte was at it. That came with the discovery of his directorship ban and the BBC expose. What’s taken them so long this time? It’s not as if King’s background and predilections were a secret, after all? In fact, they and we knew a Hell of a lot more about what he’d gotten up to than we initially did about the man from Motherwell. King’s legal problems were a matter of record here and South Africa, and enough had been written about them and was available online to fill many a good sized book.

With King, they simply ignored everything they knew, like one of those people who starts to date someone they know is a serial cheat and unrepentant liar, but who believes glib assurances that this time it’s True Love. He’s a Real Rangers Man, isn’t he?

Why would a guy who professes to be that do harm to the thing he cares about?

Well they called Craig Whyte a Real Rangers Man as well, didn’t they? There was as much evidence for that assertion as there was for King being one. Yes, he “invested” money before, when Murray was in charge, but there are elements to that which few people care to remember. He got a seat on the board at a time when the tax authorities in Johannesburg were just starting to look into him and he was exploring the option of moving back here permanently. What better way to start the ball rolling on that than to invest with Murray’s grand scheme and endear himself to the Peepul? Return home like a conqueror instead of someone running from the law.

Let’s not forget, he also expected to get every penny of that money back and then some, and he threatened to sue when liquidation sent the club to the wall. Let’s not forget either that it wasn’t Craig Whyte he said he was going after; it was Murray himself, using the same line the peer of the realm and crasher of companies did when talking about the Motherwell born billionaire; he claimed that he had been “duped.”

It’s something he should be familiar with; he’s made a career doing it to others.

We know a judge called him a “glib and shameless liar.”

What amazes me is that more people don’t recall the far more damning line from that same published statement. “He is a mendacious witness whose evidence should not be accepted on any issue unless it is supported by documents or other objective evidence.”

These people can’t act surprised that he’s not delivered. Some of us said he wouldn’t, right from the start.

“Oh but he deserved the benefit of the doubt …” will certainly be their rejoinder to that.

Well how about this rejoinder?

Ronny Deila didn’t get the benefit of the doubt; he was branded a cheap option before he set foot in the country. Ian Cathro wasn’t given a chance when he took over Hearts recently. These same hacks have branded signings as failures because they didn’t hit the ground running. They’ve condemned directors at other clubs for making grandiose statements that the press didn’t think could be backed up by action.

So how come a convicted tax fraudster deserved the benefit of the doubt and these people didn’t? Can it be as simple as that he was promising to lavish his ill-gotten gains on a club calling itself Rangers and playing out of Ibrox?

Is it really that easy to fool these people?

Whyte, Green and Mike Ashley are only some of the proofs that it is precisely that easy.

So today King is getting it in the neck from Jackson.

In part it’s because he’s an absentee landlord.

I gotta ask, when did this become evident to the Daily Record’s star-man? Because King has been that from the first day. He lives in South Africa; I thought this was a well-known fact? Are we to believe that it’s only now just dawned on this guy?

“The stay-away chairman was last spotted in November when he stood up before shareholders at the AGM, said nothing of much note and then ducked out of answering questions from reporters as he disappeared again back into the vacuum which has engulfed his time in charge,” Jackson huffed, as if the time for writing that was now and not two months ago, when King did, indeed, leave the AGM in one big hurry and refused to do interviews.

I like how Jackson has woken up to the “vacuum” of non-disclosure and keeping people in the dark. Finally. At last. It’s only been a central theme of nearly everything the Internet Bampots have been writing since King took over and promptly de-listed the club from the stock exchange, as he had said he would do all along. Maybe they didn’t believe him. Which is ironic considering it might well be the only thing he’s actually told the truth about.

This site and others said, at the time, back in March 2015, that King had no intention whatsoever of being open and transparent, that he had deliberately engineered the company’s de-listing (he had hinted at it enough times in his statements) so that the company would go from being a PLC to one that was more private, and where disclosure of information would not be compelled by stock exchange rules. It’s incredible to me that nearly two years later no effort at all has been made to re-list them (especially with the need for cash so severe) and that nobody has bothered to question that, or any of this, until now.

And yes, King did campaign for his takeover on a “ticket” of openness and transparency.

Shock horror that he hasn’t delivered.

This would be a good example to use in future when discussing his conduct in terms of the South African’s court’s withering verdict on his character.

“King’s decision not to attend Ibrox on Hogmanay for the first visit of Celtic in four years was another head-scratching contradiction,” Jackson wails. Well maybe this is just me, but perhaps King doesn’t care that much? Hasn’t that dawned on this guy?

It reminds me of a moment from The Sopranos, in Season 3, when Tony is talking to the goomah of one of his captains.

She mourns that her lover frequently acts like he doesn’t give a damn about her. Tony’s question is deliberately cruel but might be one of the most honest things anyone’s said to her in years. “Ever think he’s not acting?” he asks.

“Here is a man so committed to his football club that he is prepared to pump millions of pounds into saving it and yet, having appointed himself as chairman, shows no interest in watching the side play games or carrying out important, leadership duties,” Jackson writes.

First up, what “millions” has he pumped into the club?

Only an idiot, someone ignorant of the utter lack of verifiable information coming out of Ibrox (and Jackson is well aware of how little there is; it’s one of his complaints) could simply accept that assertion when there is no supporting evidence of it whatsoever.

Remember the words of the judge.

Soft loans from other directors are all that’s keeping the lights on at Ibrox. If King has personally paid a penny I have seen no proof of it at all. The so-called “millions” he pumped in to “save the club” don’t exist, and the idea that he’s “saved it” is nonsensical in the first place. The club only got this far because of those soft loans and season ticket sales; it’s the real fans – on the board and in the stands – keeping them alive, not King.

Jackson and others seem almost wholly ignorant of that too.

“After almost two years in charge, King should at least be able to outline a sound, long-term financial strategy by now because, to date, Rangers have been run on hand outs from himself and others”, writes the Record’s reporter, sounding thoroughly miserable.

And yet, again, this merely echoes a question some of us have asked over and over and over and over until our heads hurt. Where’s the plan? Forget about the money, the money isn’t as important as the strategy, and the strategy is non-existent.

Yet even as it appears that Jackson is going somewhere with all this, he changes tack right at the end and let’s King off the hook, like a cheated on partner who starts analysing causes instead of concluding that the object of their affections is an untrustworthy sod who ought to be immediately, and perhaps even publicly, shamed and kicked into touch.

Because King’s lack of transparency and money and accountability is all the fault of Mike Ashley.

Of course it is.

What a ridiculous, and tired, excuse that is, especially when the same reporter has written over and over again about how King has the Sports Direct supremo on the run. You can’t keep saying that and then hiding behind his “influence” over the club.

Hey, I am not criticising Jackson for reaching these conclusions.

I’m simply wondering why it took him two years to do it when many of us had King pegged for the deplorable character that he is right from the start.

This only ends one way; in disaster.

Slowly, but surely, Jackson and others are waking up to that fact but one suspects that it’s way too late for getting emotional.

Instead, if I were in their shoes, I’d prepare for the crash.