Today Dave King is in court again. This is the Takeover Panel’s umpteenth attempt to have him sanctioned for the way in which he continues to defy them over their verdict that he acted as part of a “concert party” when he orchestrated his power grab at the club.
King continues to operate under a fundamental assumption about the laws of this land which people seem in no hurry to correct; he isn’t quite grasping that those laws actually apply to him. It is a matter of time before he uses that as part of his legal defence.
There’s an argument for saying that the Takeover Panel has dropped the ball here.
They ought to have imposed the Cold Shoulder on this guy and all his related companies a while back, but they have resisted doing so for reasons known only to themselves. They have pursued lengthy legal processes which have resulted in a stalemate when it would be easier, and better, had they just sanctioned him themselves in the first place.
They are dealing, here, with a guy who purely and simply does not care and will not comply voluntarily. They are dealing with a guy whose appetite for litigation appears insatiable. He cannot get enough of it, otherwise why would he encourage it so brazenly and so frequently?
When is the SFA going to step in and declare him no longer “fit and proper”?
There is undeniable truth in the assertion that King’s behaviour reflects badly on Scottish football; in continuing to pretend this legal rigmarole isn’t going the SFA is sending a message to the legal authorities that clubs and their directors can behave with impunity and defy them and that the bodies entrusted with football governance will not lift a finger.
The Takeover Panel is fully entitled to hold the view that the SFA could have been helpful to them here.
That they’ve stood by and done nothing threatens the general health of the sport, because it impacts on the sport’s relationship with civic society.
King doesn’t care about that, and today we’ve seen another example of his contempt for conventions and laws and contracts and agreements.
Phil has reported that Sports Direct supremo Mike Ashley is preparing a legal case against the club for their recent decision to sell shirts through another outlet, something Ashley won a court order to prevent.
Some will ask – legitimately – how we can be sure that this hasn’t all been resolved behind the scenes; there’s an easy answer to that. King claims credit, and victory, even in circumstances when this is the furthest thing from the truth. If this matter had been sorted out to anything like the club’s satisfaction he’d have been crowing from the rooftops. It’s how it’s been done; quietly, with little preamble, below the radar, in a limited way, that’s the giveaway.
And Ashley will simply not stand for that, and nor should he.
King’s lawyer in court today brazenly said that there is no evidence that he has refused to comply with the Takeover Panel ruling. No evidence, except that he hasn’t yet done it in over a year of stalling and deflection. When a court tells you to do something it doesn’t mean you do it at your convenience, and that he has his people even proposing such a thing in mitigation should serve as a reminder of the manner of man the Sevco chairman is.
It is going to put that club in the crosshairs of the courts over and over and over and over again.
All the while, the SFA stands idly by.
What exactly would it take for them to do something about this guy?
Does he really have to wind up in handcuffs and leg irons before they get real?
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