Today, the Takeover Panel of the City of London contacted Sevco to tell them that their criminal chairman, Dodgy Dave King, is in violation of the Takeover Panel code for failing to meet the requirements of the court order of last month.
They have told the club that they will take “all appropriate measures” to make sure that King complies. A contempt of court proceeding is almost a certainty at this point and so too is the dreaded Cold Shouldering which is feared by everyone on the Ibrox board.
Ian Maxwell, the SFA’s new chief executive, has a serious decision to make here. If King winds up in front of the beaks the notion that he is “fit and proper” will be destroyed at a stroke. The idea that he can wear such a label is already pretty much farcical but even the Scottish football governing body could not ignore a warrant for his arrest.
Sevco have claimed that the reason for the delay is that the South African government is making it difficult for King and his family to expedite the transfer of funds. This is not a great shock to regular readers of this blog or Fields, where I have long speculated on whether or not their exchange controls would permit King to utilise cash earned over there in pursuit of his Grand High Poo-Bah fantasies over here. I always thought this issue would come up.
But King has to have known this too, and it is perhaps the reason he told the Takeover Panel that his South African based “trust fund” would make the offer in the first place. Anyone in South Africa would find it difficult to move that kind of cash, but one of the stipulations of King’s plea deal with their government was that he “repatriate” all his monies back to the country … the idea that they would allow him to move such a huge sum was virtually a non-starter.
There are ways and means, of course.
Exchange controls do not prevent the movement of capital, what they do is make it expensive. For King to move £10 million into an escrow account, as demanded by the City of London, would entail him spending around £1 million on a non-refundable basis to satisfy South African regulators. It is not impossible, and certainly not out-with his means. But that is typical of Sevco; they are trying to fudge the issue.
Because that’s not what the Takeover Panel is interested in, or even accusing them of; their warning letter to the club specifically refers to the expiration of the deadline “without the publication of a Code-compliant offer document. RIFC has been informed by the Takeover Panel that this is a breach of Rule 24.1 of the Code.”
King and his board had promised that the share prospectus document would be fully prepared by this week; that, too, remains undone and exchange controls have precisely nothing to do with that. That’s King dragging his feet, and the Takeover Panel understands this full well.
He is playing games with them, and they are dangerous games which he cannot and will not win. He is betting on the Takeover Panel continuing to walk softly … he has failed to see they are also carrying a very big stick. They are getting ready to use it.