The song goes something like this; “In this life, one thing counts. In the bank, large amounts. I’m afraid these, don’t grow on trees. You’ve got to pick a pocket or two.”
Dave King knows that. Dave King has always known that. The media which swoons before him, the fans who hang on his every word, the manager’s who’ve trusted him, all have known who Dave King is and what Dave King is about. He knows that too.
He knows that it does not matter at all.
There are people who will deny that King is a bad man, that his influence on that club has been negative, that he is a cancer on our national game. But the truth is very different and they are not really in doubt about it. King’s behaviour in South Africa was criminal. He defrauded. He lied. He concealed. He led regulators a merry dance.
Has he changed? No. In his time at Ibrox, he has screwed sponsors and kit manufacturers. He fought a war with the club suppliers over a signed contract. He lost that battle, by the way, having had to find millions for a pay-off and then created an entirely fictitious account of what happened which the media ate up. When it was busted he sailed through it knowing no-one would take him to task for it. In addition, he has fired one manager and then alleged that the guy resigned. And he has refused to comply with a court order over his takeover.
This is exactly the same man as committed multiple offences under the South African tax and exchange control acts … and much worse. His corruption extended to bribery and even the forgery of documents. If he had taken over a club in England – if he had tried to – he would have been sent packing. Only here in Scotland, at Sevco, could this be a hero.
King knows his audience. He knows what’s he’s doing. The news reports this week that he is going to “spend more time in Scotland” reminds me of that moment in Alien 3 when the prisoners on Fury are scared and ask Ripley where she thinks the beast might be. “Around here actually,” she tells them. “See, it’s like a lion. It stays close to the zebras.”
In other words, King knows where the mugs are.
He also knows how to play this audience like a fiddle. Convince the Sevco fans that the glory days are just around the corner and they will allow him to do anything, take anything … and charge anything. He subscribes, completely, to what Lyndon Johnson once told another US lawmaker about the stupidity of a certain type of voter; “If you can convince the lowest white man he’s better than the best colored man, he won’t notice you’re picking his pocket. Hell, give him somebody to look down on, and he’ll empty his pockets for you.”
We know who the “colored” are in this case. A little bit of the old supremacy, a wee touch of “we are the Peepul” and King’s hand will be in those pockets before these guys know it. Season ticket prices will sour. If they are able, at some point, to issue shares the con job will be on for real.
You can’t tell them that. Or, you can but they don’t listen.
King knows that too.
Whatever else we might say about him, nobody here thinks he’s stupid.
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