In 2006, OJ Simpson and a Hollywood screenwriter and occasional ghost-writer called Pablo Fenjves completed a project which would prove to be as controversial as anything else from Simpson’s life. Simpson, who had been acquitted of the notorious double murder of his former wife and her boyfriend, had recently lost his multi-million-dollar civil suit against the Goldman family and was facing bankruptcy. Fenjes, or someone in his orbit, suggested he do a book.
But this was not to be any ordinary book; entitled If I Did It, it was nothing less than an exploitation piece, a book written from the perspective of the killer. It was a confession after the fact, a sort of left handed revenge against those who even then were still pursuing him.
There was outrage when The National Enquirer published the details of the book.
The Goldman’s went to court immediately to block publication whilst their lawyers geared up for war over the book rights, which Goldman was eventually awarded prior to the book coming out a year after it was intended.
A Fox News interview with Simpson – in which he made remarks which would have changed the whole direction of the trial had he said them in court – was mothballed.
Segments of it – horrific segments – would later surface and finally be shown on TV in a documentary called The Lost Confession?
Simpson, who went on to commit an armed robbery which sent him to prison, is now so widely acknowledged to have been the man who killed Ron Goldman and Nicole Brown that the modern version of the book carries a cover where the word If has been so reduced in size you can hardly see it, as well as the tagline “Confessions of the killer” underneath.
Lots of criminals have published their “confessions” after the fact; Simpson is almost unique in doing it after he had been found not guilty. That verdict didn’t matter. The crime would never be buried. So many people were convinced that he did it that it ruined his life utterly.
There would be no companies asking for his endorsements in the future.
Nobody would be fawning all over him or throwing money in his direction.
It turned into a war of attrition with the families of the victims and a public which increasingly detested him.
I thought about Simpson a lot over the weekend, especially with the way the Ibrox fans tried to dress up King’s cold shouldering as being of no consequence.
OJ Simpson was found not guilty; still, he was toxic to everyone around him.
King is bang to rights.
The board he tops cannot escape his stink.
The club he heads cannot escape it.
The SFA will not if they leave him there.
Think on it like this; if you were a legitimate business person and you were asked to invest in the Ibrox club, would you do it with this guy at the top of the house? Even if the investment itself made sense, you would be right to think twice. There might not be any “taint” on the Ibrox club as a result of the verdict, but they now have a crooked chairman, a tax fraudster in one country and carrying the Mark of Cain in another. That carries its own stigma and shame.
What reputable business would have such a man at the helm?
What reputable business would want to enter into a deal with another which had?
On top of that, we’ve seen what King believes contracts are worth and what store he puts in agreements which turn out not to his liking … this is why their board was facing an uphill struggle already in signing commercial deals this summer.
Today they are celebrating the hiring of Ross Wilson; whatever possessed that man to leave a job in the EPL to take on this basket case? I have a strong feeling it won’t be long until he regrets, very much, that he has done that.
But the issue of King shouldn’t haunt Scottish football for another minute more after this week.
That man has not only been found guilty, but issued a statement where he boasted of his flagrant rule breaches and vowed to do it all again if the club was in need. This naked appeal to the fans to overlook the negative aspects of his cold shouldering was not impressive to outsiders, but it was not intended for our consumption. Nevertheless, it damns him.
Not for Dave King the word “if” on the story of his crimes; he did all of it, and freely admits to it.
His untrustworthiness is the one thing he’s actually honest about. As those words are already in the public domain, as his confession and his expressions of no regret, are already on the record, an SFA hearing into him should be one of the shortest on record.
What, after all, is there to decide? His guilt is established beyond a reasonable doubt.
The only issue at play is whether or not he’s still “fit and proper”. As he never was, it should be a fairly simple matter to find against him. As I said yesterday, we know that the SFA had to bend their own regulations to the snapping point to let him in his seat … that charade is over with.
The governing body has no credibility left. A decision which left King in place would, arguably, not damage the game much more than they’ve already done, but actually it would. Because this is no longer about their credibility; that was shot a long time ago. It’s about the simple application of the rules. We either have a national sport that follows them or we don’t. We have a national game which welcomes corrupt gangsters or we have one that keeps them away.
And that’s all that’s left to decide.
We know what King is, just as we knew what Simpson did.
Simpson was a pariah even before he semi-admitted what he’d done, but most believe he still escaped justice. Only Scottish football would countenance letting someone away with something they’d been found guilty of and then boasted about.
That’s what at stake here, not the credibility of the SFA itself but that of the game.
They cannot save their own reputations; they can save what’s left of the sport’s.
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