For every fingers in ears celebration and for every sock tape thrown in bins (or at Uncle Albert if you listen to the SMSM) played out this week, for every fingers to pursed lips celebration, to every tackle on Frimpong passed without punishment or analysis on Sportscene we’ve been up in arms about this week alone, there has been a message that has been somewhat lost, a bigger picture that has been out there and received a slightly muted reaction from the Celtic support.
This week ‘67 in the heat of Felton’ American blogger Larry Cafiero ran an interview with Resolution 12 campaigner Auldheid. It was huge yet somewhat ignored. It has been followed up in The Celtic Star, who organised the interview, and from there it has grown.
In that interview landed an exploding grenade that if true showed our CEO Peter Lawwell lied to every single shareholder and every individual supporter, supported ably by Eric Riley and with the ultimate responsibility of Dermot Desmond.
I’ll point you again to the link of the interview this week via our American blogger’s attempts to shine a light.
And for now I intend to take a tabloid tact to Auldheid’s broadsheet approach to Celtic’s own involvement in a five way agreement.
At the AGM in November Joe McHugh of VideoCelts fame asked Peter Lawwell the question.
“Was anyone at Celtic involved in 5 way agreement”?
And Lawwell answered with a straight bat.
“No and I’ve never seen it”.
When asked a supplementary question as to whether Lawwell thought it would have been useful to see it, it brought another negative reply.
In the latter stages of a very interesting one to one between a longstanding Celtic campaigner and a relatively new to Celtic blogger, comes a moment that blows you away- there in all its glory is confirmation of Celtic’s own complicity with regards the infamous ‘Five Way Agreement’. It’s a moment in the interview where you stop, read back and then again.
The interviewer asks the respondent a fairly direct question-
“How could Lawwell claim at the AGM that as Celtic CEO, he had never seen the hugely important change to the rule book that is the 5 Way Agreement? Did he mislead the AGM or is he negligent in his duties to shareholders in not having made sure he had seen this document and had a say in what it said before it become part and parcel of the Scottish game”?
Auldheid, the interviewee then responds to the questioner-
“Again, that is for Peter Lawwell to explain. It is simply not credible and would be bordering on total negligence not to have been involved, but the 5 Way Agreement final draft was attached to an email from Neil Doncaster dated 26 July 2012 to then SPL Board members including Celtic Director Eric Riley and to Peter Lawwell. No reply or challenge by next day would be taken as agreement, so even if at that late stage the contents of the attachment were not known, simply by not opening it Celtic gave the SPL their approval to its contents”.
Quite simply it is a stunning paragraph to read. The five way agreement that Celtic’s Chief Executive has previously denied any sight of, and did so in the most public and sacrosanct of Celtic settings – with no room for being misquoted – namely the 2019 Celtic AGM, appears to now have a weight of evidence – if true – out there contradicting Peter Lawwell’s claim to the Celtic shareholders assembled en-masse that he had never seen it.
I can also reveal that Larry Cafiero, who is a retired newspaper editor in California and knows his trade, having had a distinguished ‘lamb free’ career in journalism, this week contacted Celtic through SLO John Paul Taylor to request an interview with Petr Lawwell to allow him to respond to the claims that have been made.
As far as I am aware Larry is still waiting on a reply from the club.
Since the Celtic AGM the Resolution 12 rebellion team have upped their game and it is perhaps time we recognised their efforts. Have a look for instance at the following e-mail with the relevant redactions to protect the ‘innocent’.
So for now let’s step back from the tabloid minimalist approach and give you the text upon which the whole house of cards is precariously balanced.
Let’ start shall we, with that e-mail which was retyped and published yesterday on the Sentinel Celts site, which is a sort of rebellious break-away site from the board friendly long established blog that never mentions Res 12, you know the one?
And if you were at the game yesterday and picked up a copy of Not the View you would have read even more revelations about all of this, see below.
Feel free to peruse the email. Check it out at Sentinel Celts. Remember this is the re-typed version to remove the full email addresses etc.
Resolution 12 (2013 and 2019): Shareholders and Supporters Update at 17 January 2020.
Ahead of yesterday’s Scottish Premiership game against Ross County, Auldheid alongside the ‘Not the View’ fanzine produced a printed approach, married to the online onslaught earlier this week. Yesterday ‘Not the View’ ran the following text to awaken the alternative to the online approach, shining the light on the issue.
In the week prior to the Celtic AGM and knowing Celtic’s response to Resolution 12 2019 as reproduced in the AGM papers was:
“ As the premier football club in Scotland, Celtic have made a consistent stand, over many years and covering many instances, for fairness and transparency to be at the heart of football governance. The Board of Celtic PLC considers that the best way to ensure that these principles are safeguarded is continued and constructive engagement with the Scottish FA, the SPFL, UEFA and fellow clubs. In respect of this particular issue, the Board engaged with the requisitioning shareholders over a significant period of time. The Board has further engaged, over the same period, with the relevant football authorities, according to their respective responsibilities. The matter currently sits with the Scottish FA.
The Board does not consider it to be in the best interests of the Company to take the steps proposed by the resolution. The Board recommends that you vote against this resolution.”
A report concentrating on Rangers FC and SFA activity during and after the period at end of March 2011 when the UEFA licence was granted was requested from a professional accountant, subsequently vetted and confirmed by a peer.
It was requested because according to statement by The Rangers Football Club, (when the SFA announced in May 2018 that The Judicial Panel Disciplinary Tribunal (JPDT) would investigate UEFA Licence breaches in 2011), activity during the period at the end of March 2011 had been excluded from scrutiny, adding that accusations relating to that time were groundless and made by folk wishing to harm Scottish football!
This exclusion was at odds with evidence, legitimately obtained, which Res12 shareholders lawyers brought to both the SFA and Celtic’s attention in June 2018 (that letter and more can be read from the comments dated 25 June 2018 at https://www.res12.uk/timeline-two-part-three-continued-after-the-trial-was-over-june-2017-to-date/ ) after which the JPDT decided in July 2018 that the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) needed to be involved, something about which Celtic were questioned at the 2018 AGM. No answers were forthcoming from SFA or Celtic, necessitating the new Res12 in 2019.
The brief given to the report’s author was not about the technicalities of UEFA FFP rules with respect to overdue payables to tax authorities, although that is covered in the full 18 page report accompanied by 49 pages of Appendixes supporting the report’s findings, the question put to a non-Celtic supporting professional accountant able to produced balanced work on matters relating to Scottish football was:
“In respect of the granting of a UEFA licence to Rangers FC for the season 2011/2012, do you think the description of the liability as potential subject to discussions was an accurate presentation of the facts as known at 31st March, a period that according to TRFC is not under JPDT scrutiny?”
The main conclusions from the report that can be found at: https://drive.google.com/file/d/1NeNzADsUAXkcFQ6QtehK5QqNsFa6he8V/view?usp=sharing
1. The evidence viewed contradicts description of the liability as ‘potential’ as at 31 March 2011.
2. There appears to be evidence that the auditors had been misled produced in evidence at the First Tier Tax trial and consistent with reaching a conclusion which does not appear consistent with the evidence provided.
3. The financial statements produced and used for UEFA licencing appear to contain misstatements that may have mislead both the auditors and the SFA and are the responsibility of the old Board to present in a true and fair manner in contravention of FFP Annex VII.
4. Evidence viewed shows that the Board did know that there ought to have been a contingent liability in the financial statements prior to March 2011 and that by this time it ought to have been provided for with liability being accepted.
5. These misstatements appear to have facilitated the granting of a licence and conclusion reached at the time by the auditors and SFA that there was no overdue payable as at 31 December 2010, these persuasively if not conclusively determine that amounts were overdue at that date.
6. The misstated presentation did have the effect – whether intended or not – of making the onus of proof on the licence applicant considerably easier to achieve relating to whether the payables in respect of unpaid PAYE/NIC though omission in the full accounts to 30 June 2010 and only partial compliance with the accounting requirements in the interim accounts to 31 December 2010 but could only have been achieved by omitting necessary documentary evidence (not just accounting disclosure which was not full either) required by Article 50(8).
7. The evidence viewed suggests that omission of the agreed nature of the principal liability as at 31 March 2011 allowed this item to be explained as still under dispute (but probable it would result in payment by the club) when it was no longer under dispute and awaiting agreement of payment terms and therefore a ‘payable’. The work done on this payable (whether overdue or not) by either the auditors or the SFA appears to have reached an outcome which appears inconsistent with the evidence viewed as to its status as claimed and in either case, the SFA is responsible for this stage of the process.
8. Regardless of treatment in the application, ‘fair presentation’ is an FFP requirement and would have brought further scrutiny to this item by the auditors and SFA which was avoided as a consequence.
9. The initial licence grant would seem to be of considerable importance to the overall consideration being given by the SFA at this time. Particularly so the accuracy of information provided to the SFA and auditors and fairness of the financial statements at that time. It is unclear the rationale for leaving that *period out, but it may suit preferred outcomes to do so. (* that period being end of March 2011)
(The report is supported by 49 pages of appendixes of which Appendix One is of most interest.
Summing Up: Had the SFA acted in 2011 as the Greek FA had done in 2013 when Giannina FC had overdue payables to the Greek tax authorities, the UEFA Licence application would have been rejected by UEFA either on an overdue payable basis and/ or a breach of the “fair presentation of accounts FFP rules identified in the full report in time for Celtic to take the place of Rangers FC.
The full report and Appendixes were subsequently shared before Christmas with shareholders who had signed up to Res 12 2019.
On 5th January the first of 70 plus shareholders sent the full report and appendixes to Celtic. They expressed unhappiness at the responses given from the top table at the AGM that lacked clarity and significantly related only to the monitoring period in June and September 2011 and NOT the end of March 2011, on which the SFA are sitting still after 18 months ,
Shareholders requested that Celtic examine the report and if they did not disagree with its findings send it to SFA and that the next Fans Forum (end of Feb into March) be dedicated solely to justifying to supporters and shareholders alike , precisely why it is not in the Companies best interests to involve UEFA in bringing to an end this judicial sham resulting from the total failure of the SFA Judicial Panel Protocol authority under which football justice totally relies.
If Celtic do disagree with reports findings, then reasons are awaited.
Further to the above as it was a separate unexpected AGM issue if any justification in respect of The Companies interest involves the 5 Way Agreement that Celtic denied involvement in or sight of at the AGM when asked from the floor, then an explanation needs given to shareholders why it was in the Companies interest not to oppose that Agreement when Celtic were given the opportunity to do so on 26th July 2012 in an e mail from the then SPL CEO Neil Doncaster.
In suggesting a report back at next Fans Forum both Celtic and SFA have been given more than adequate time to bring Resolution 12 2013 to a satisfactory close thus enabling the moving on to a more trustful relationship with shareholders/supporters and The Board that Mr Bankier was really asking for at the AGM without giving reasons why The Board should be trusted.
The Truth Shall Set You Free. (John 8:31 8:32)
You can give nothing but respect to Auldheid and incidentally my own editor that many of you may recognise as ‘Winning Captains’ amongst many others in matters surrounding Resolution 12.
The Resolution 12 campaigners have now asked for answers from the Celtic board. They have set a deadline for answers for this long running dispute. In short everyone feels this nonsense has long since run its course. Independent questions have been asked and honest answers are required.
So what is the end game? Is it to bring the SFA to account? Yes. But let’s be honest that ship has sailed-for now.
What is required is an acceptance that Celtic have dropped the ball.
To move forward we need the club, the board and all entailed to accept and be honest about where we have reached.
In my opinion what is now required is proper fan representation on the board. Be that the supporters associations (if they are prepared to criticise the club when necessary), The Celtic Trust, non-compliant Celtic fans media or rank and file die-hards. If this Celtic board wish to avoid the lessons of the past it is time to include the modern supporters forums and their representatives-it could and should be a route to reconciliation, an opportunity to come out of a mess of their very own making an opportunity to accept errors and find working solutions that can allow Celtic to move forward.
What needs to be understood entirely is that the current pretence of pretending what went before (in 2012) and before is not sustainable. The Celtic board require the help of all Celtic fans and organised resistance to help alleviate and correct what has gone before. This can be done but it takes an honesty and reconciliation between fans groups, activists and the Celtic board to reach that point.
As with any dispute we now need to reach the point of truth, if we reach such truth then we can reach reconciliation.
As things stand the commercial pressures put on the SPL/SFA as a result of Rangers FC dishonesty muddy the waters. Over ten years from 2000 as result of unlawful use of EBTs and reckless bank borrowing is understandable, but fear of Rangers disappearing off the football landscape and consequent loss of income to the industry gave those wishing to take the place of Rangers a strong negotiating hand, which led to concessions that have all but destroyed the integrity of the sport and the credibility of the SFA as fit and proper to run Scottish football.
Now this is in the public domain, now Celtic supporters know our own CEO has lied publicly to supporters and shareholders means we can head one of two ways. Reconciliation or divorce.
Given the latter leads to the possible dissolving of nine and ten titles, we need as I can see it to reach a suitable line in the sand.
Yesterday after the game as the email published by Sentinel Celts started to get discussed by supporters on social media Barcabhoy (a well known Celtic fan and a campaigner on various matters that surrounded the Rangers 2012 story) who is friendly with and has associations with the Celtic Board including Peter Lawwell, claimed that the the email was a fake.
“Fake email. It shows that it was Sent FROM multiple email addresses,” he tweeted from a locked account (so can’t embed -you can check for yourselves).
He followed this up with “It’s an obvious fake. What kind of moron goes to the trouble to create a fake email. Pathetic nonsense,” he wrote.
Remember the source of this email – and what Sentinel Celts have produced is a re-typed version – is Auldheid himself.
Barcabhoy, friend of the Celtic Board, is accusing Auldheid of producing “a fake email” calling it “Pathetic nonsense” claiming (incorrectly) that the email had been sent from multiple accounts.
That’s quite a dramatic difference of opinion from two of the most prominent ‘Internet Bampots’ among the Celtic Support. It would appear that the gloves are well and truly off.
But surely both parties need to meet, need to find common ground. It is more than unfortunate that the timing lands as Celtic head for nine in a row, should the board swipe away such an olive branch could see the biggest error of judgement since Fergus McCann and his rebels rode in on their white horse.
For now Peter Lawwell knows the score as does Dermot Desmond of course. To be complicit in a five way agreement can be levelled and understood. If this email is indeed genuine, to lie about Celtic’s knowledge and complicity is a worrying and now evidenced development. There is time however to hold hands up and find a way to reach a palatable conclusion. Silence and ignorance however can only lead to revolution.
If the email is a fake as Barcabhoy claimed last night – the same counter argument that was used by the Rangers support when the Res 12 boys received their letter back from UEFA which confirmed that UEFA regarded the Rangers as a new club so couldn’t take action against them for the sins of the previous club. Fake News was the cry then.
Barcabhoy is entitled to his opinion and it certainly has weight, but Auldheid has earned the respect and admiration of the Celtic Support. It’s really for Peter Lawwell and not proxies to come out and clear up the matter. Larry has already given him an invitation, it is one he should consider accepting.