The Scottish media ought to be embarrassed beyond mere apologising tonight, and in particular those amongst them who were perfectly willing to trade away our game’s sporting integrity to promote the agenda of David Cunningham King, also known as the Glib And Shameless Liar. Rules were bent and broken to accommodate his ascension to the Ibrox throne, and there was not a newspaper writer in the land who did not know it.
And there was not one who stood up and said “Don’t do it.”
The rationale they all gave was that King was the only one with the wealth to take Sevco forward, as if the forward momentum of a single football club was all that mattered in our game. This would not have been done for any other club, as many of us argued.
Tonight they have been humiliated, utterly, by the testimony offered to a court in his ongoing dispute with the Takeover Panel, which will end tomorrow and will, surely, destroy any remaining shred of credibility this man has left.
The media has indulged him and now, along with the supporters who welcomed him in spite of knowing exactly who he is, and the SFA which was willing to ignore not only a legal outcome but the scathing verdict of the judges, they jointly own the disgrace of having promoted his cause.
For years these people have sneered at my guys, the bloggers, for indulging in what they have labelled conspiracy theories. The derisive ways they’ve referred to us have not dissuaded a single one of us; tonight their contempt for us is nothing compared to ours for them and their profession, not one individual in it who dared to go against the flow of the tide when King was being lauded as a hero and the man to turn Sevco into a top class club.
I have written tens of thousands of words on King since he breezed back into town when Sevco was trying to claw its up way up to the top flight. I have forensically examined the tax verdict and all that surrounds it, as others have. On top of that, we’ve looked at South African law. We’ve examined the Rich List’s over there, and available information on the family’s holdings. None of this was particularly complicated.
As a consequence of what we found, serious doubts arose as to whether he had any major net worth – not the sort he talked about anyway – and we said so. We also doubted that he could legally get money out of the country, and we said that too.
The chances that King was able to spend tens of millions on Sevco we estimated at roughly zero, even if he were a man who might be so inclined.
We put the chances of that at around about the same; this guy fought a ten-year war with the tax man over there and risked prison to keep his ill-gotten gains … nobody who does that will pour money down the black hole of a West of Scotland football club.
He is many things; a liar, a criminal, an egotist, but he is not mad.
Many of us doubted that he even cared about the club; why would we think otherwise?
We know he used it as a tax-dodging conduit for the £20 million he “gave” them back in Murray’s day; we also know he got much of it back, washed clean, because it was listed in the assets which SARS put together when they were making their claim against him.
He has given differing statements about whether he even likes football, and nothing we’ve seen since he took over has convinced us that he is engaged with the club in any meaningful way. He does not attend most of the games. He takes no part in actually running it. He didn’t even play a role in appointing the last two managers. He uses the club to generate publicity for himself; he really does love being in the papers. It’s just not clear that he cares about it.
Today, in court, the Takeover Panel counsel read out a truly extraordinary missive, one that confirms that every single thing we wrote was right on the money and that every single thing the press has been writing was wrong, wrong, wrong.
It confirms that rules have been suborned for nothing, that Scottish football’s disgrace in allowing a crook to chair one of our clubs has been compounded by the simple fact that it was futile anyway, accomplishing nothing, only succeeding in bringing them further shame, shame the media and those at Hampden share.
King’s deposition pleads poverty.
It claims that he has no actual wealth of his own. It essentially says “I can’t make any offer for more shares because I’m skint and I always was.” It even went as far as to deny he owns any of the shares in the first place. There could not be a more concrete example of King’s MO than this document which was just submitted to a court.
He has lied about everything, as we said all along, and the only way the media gets to slither off the hook is if he’s still doing it, if he is sitting on high net worth (he isn’t) and is simply lying to a court about that. There’s a word for that. Perjury is a crime.
And even if he has the money, he’s confirmed that he can’t legally get it out of South Africa, an admission which ought to spark an immediate investigation into exactly how Sevco is being run; some of the money that’s paid the bills has, publicly, been attributed to King.
More of it allegedly came from Hong Kong, which I wrote about in an extensive piece for Fields.
I have never believed that obvious nonsense; that story stinks to high heavens.
The SFA will not do anything about any of this; King’s dishonesty is not exactly a secret, but it is disgraceful that Scottish football should be thus tainted, and as inevitable as it was I am still bloody angry about it as every one of us should be.
You know, I blame the clubs too because they don’t want an investigation into all this although Celtic have called for one. We received zero support. So days like this, I’m afraid, will happen … they will continue to happen as long as we have people like Regan in office.
Tonight King will be squirming like a worm on a fishing hook.
But in fact, he should be laughing because he has made mugs out of so many people here and the consequences to him will, in all likelihood, be less severe than they will be for the club he is certain to leave behind, bereft of even hope now to take it forward.
What a shambles this is. Our media and our governing bodies must be very proud of themselves. I’ll tell you, I know we bloggers certainly are.
We saw this coming a mile down the road.