Last week, in one of the articles on this site, I argued that one of the problems with Sevco fans is that they genuinely don’t know who their friends are. I argued that Doncaster and Regan are amongst them; these are men who will literally do anything to hold the Sevco franchise together.
If it’s in their power then they’ll move mountains for the club.
They did in 2012, of course. I’ve written extensively on those days, about stuff that’s in the public domain but also stuff that isn’t. I’ve researched this matter thoroughly and I know some things for sure and I can make a pretty good guess at some others.
It is my firm belief, based on what I know and have seen, that both Regan and Doncaster are at least partially guilty of assisting in the collapse of Rangers. Doncaster then used that disaster as leverage in trying to get Sevco into the top flight, via the television deal he had negotiated behind the backs of the clubs. The whole thing reeks and it always has. Regan’s role has always been more opaque, but he was aware of what was going on at Ibrox at an early stage and because he and Whyte were already in communication over what became Resolution 12 it makes sense that he would have gone along with even the most hair-brained scheme over there.
A lot of people know this stuff. There’s not much incentive for them to talk, but the information has got out anyway, in strategic leaks online. I’d say a couple of thousand people at most are wholly familiar with that information and the ground it covers; that’s a lot within a small community – and the Internet Bampots are a small community – but that doesn’t matter if the media won’t touch the subject with a barge pole and so you can’t get it out there to the wider public.
I do believe full public disclosure of that information would wreck careers; these men couldn’t survive the rest of the country knowing, for example, that they knew Whyte intended to keep running up debts and then dump the lot overboard. Of how the face painter and the taxi company and the newsagents who were ripped off and will get pennies in the pound could have been saved from the hassle had the SFA and SPL leadership hit the brakes when Whyte told them what was going on inside Ibrox. Instead they helped him do it.
I don’t just believe that; I know that for a fact.
And one of the people in the know about the full extent of it is Dave King.
He probably knows more than any of the Bampots do, and not only because he was on Whyte’s board.
It’s an accepted fact that his knowledge goes deeper than that of the majority of the public, because in addition to serving under the Motherwell Born Billionaire he also made certain moves to get his hands on Sevco which definitely helped.
Because Dave King, or someone in his circle, bought the Charlotte Fakeovers documents, for a reputed £50,000.
He did it to firmly establish the links between Charles Green and Craig Whyte, so that he might destabilise the regime Green left behind him at Ibrox. King made sure sections of that information did make it into the media and that helped collapse confidence in the previous Ibrox board and torpedoed the share price, which made it easier and cheaper for him and his colleagues to get a controlling interest.
But that’s not all the Charlotte Fakeovers documents contained.
That information originated with Whyte himself, and in it are the details of every email exchanged between him and the people who run football in Scotland. There is at least one tape recording, and probably many more.
Whyte knew this all might unravel, and he secured himself against that possibility by recording everything and everyone.
Dave King bought it all. He knows who did what, where and when. He knows who was involved and who wasn’t, and how deeply. He turned at least some of that information over to the prosecutors going after Whyte but I suspect he kept hold of the bits that helped him more than them. I suspect, strongly suspect, that he’s got enough to sink Doncaster and Regan if not guarantee that at least one of them, maybe both, faced some hard questions of their own in a courtroom.
Blackmail is a big word. It’s a controversial word. It is a legally dicey word, which is why I am not alleging that it’s a technique being used in Scottish football today. But it could be, and that’s where I have a problem, where we should all have a problem.
King bought the ability to do it, and he was only able to because these men left themselves wide open to it with their conduct. Even if what they did was legal – and I do wonder about that; it’s a question for people much smarter than me – the immorality of it is astounding and these people could not survive that. They allowed Whyte to keep on running the club when they knew full well the direction he was moving it.
It was only after details of his previous business dealings were exposed by Mark Daly and the BBC that they acted and then because they had no choice.
For those who wondered what the real function of the Pinsent Mason report was – the one into allegations that Whyte and Green had been working together, and which they let Sevco organise, effectively an investigation into itself – this is the answer. The SFA knew an independent inquiry might turn up more than just a link between those two; it might establish what their own involvement was in the collapse of Rangers.
I cannot put it more bluntly than this;
From October 2011 at the latest, both Neil Doncaster and Stewart Regan knew that Rangers was going into administration and that the ultimate objective was some kind of phoenix company which would seek to dump the debts and emerge clean. Not only did they support this action but they were talking to Craig Whyte from that point onwards about how it could best be done, presented and sold to the football public.
Every single organisation with which Rangers were doing business from that moment on was being defrauded and the SFA and the SPL were knowing, willing, participants in that fraud. They said nothing to stop it. They did nothing to stop it. Did they alert other clubs? Well we know that sometime early in November Doncaster got the SPL board together and informed them of a “developing situation” in Scottish football which he used on 21 November to push through the Sky deal, and collapsing the idea of FansTV.
The clubs were aware of something going on, but I’m not convinced that they were aware of how deep the hole was and I know for sure they weren’t aware of what was called Project Charlotte, the blueprint (which both Regan and Doncaster had seen and signed off on) by which Rangers would be collapsed, a new company born and its SFA membership and SPL place handed over to a NewCo wiped clean and able to compete as if nothing had happened.
See everyone knows Regan and Doncaster tried to sell that plan at the end; what few outside the Bampots are aware of, and what hasn’t sunk in yet to many others, is that they were involved in planning that for months. The implications of that are enormous.
What I’ve just done here is put down the broad strokes of what they were involved with; King knows the fine details. This is a blog which thousands of people read but the media would bring that story to the whole country, and both these guys would be gone.
Don’t believe for a second that Sevco supports the removal of Stewart Regan. They could have that simply by releasing this information. They will make a lot of noise in public and put pressure on him through the press – the media reports of their unhappiness are a not-so-coded threat – but the real squeezing will be done in private.
Unlike the fans, King and his board know who their “friends” are.
As long as King holds their careers in his hands they are compromised. They cannot be trusted to act in the best interests of the game, when he and others can make them dance to a particular tune. The imperative for removing both of them is obvious.
The question is, what are the clubs willing to do about it?
So far, we’ve not liked the answers to that question.
But as I’ve said repeatedly, Celtic will endure no matter what tricks or allowances the SFA makes for the Ibrox club. Not everyone can say the same. It will not be our club robbed of a European place or prize money if the governing bodies continue to pander and scrape and bow to whoever inhabits the Blue Room.
At some point, self interest has come into this.
At some point the other clubs have to grow balls.