What is the Truth About Rangers? Part 2
- 31 October 2012
Yesterday I examined some recent claims made by our erstwhile carers across the city relating to the relationship between Zeus and Ticketus. Another who has fairly obsessed about all things Rangers is Paul McConville. Mr McConville is a lawyer who spends a great deal of his time blogging about Rangers and inviting others to guest blog, mostly on the same subject. He also guest blogs on other sites. Despite a varied blogging inventory of over 120 categories, almost all of the entries are related to Rangers. Of late, Mr McConville and others have been very busy suggesting a prior link between Craig Whyte and Charles Green, and attempting to cast doubt on Imran Ahmad's and Brian Stockbridge's past financial dealings, performance and motivations.
For those of you who don't know about Mr McConville, he is currently working in the CAB and is an Albion Rovers fan (one blog about Albion Rovers, how they would vote on Rangers!). He stopped working as a lawyer in 2010 and he appeared before a Scottish Solicitors Discipline Tribunal in 2012. I have no wish to go over these events again but suffice to say that someone who lost a business, was made bankrupt, cost many people money and has been found guilty of professional misconduct is perhaps not best placed to judge other people's business acumen or financial skills. Paul has often shared a stage with Phil Mac Giolla Bhain and Paul Brennan (CQN) at various Celtic events answering questions on Rangers.
One of the problems I have with the site is the positioning of it. The Scots Law Thoughts title gives the blog gravitas but that title disguises some dubious phrasing, inaccuracies and sensationalist writing.
Here, for example, is a blog by a guest writer named 100bjd. Now I know it is not Paul (or is it?) but it is his site and he must read the posts before they go on.
‘We have all been following the insane antics of Charles Green as he attempts to get Rangers fans believing in him.’
Insane antics? Dearie me! This is followed by appeals to the Rangers support:
'Rangers fans ask the right questions based on as much information as you can get.’
They really care about us don't they?
Should we use 100bjd's information and analysis? Let’s see. The clue is in the title. This ‘analysis’ is of Imran Ahmad's former company Allenby Capital. Now bear in mind Mr Ahmad sold this company about 11 months before this article was written. A list of clients is given by 100bjd (who displays a remarkably similar writing style to Paul) and he lists their poor performance (as he sees it) with glee.
What has to be said is obviously that the nature of high end financial risk investment has an inherent, well, risk of losing money. No financial adviser has made the right call every time. But more importantly, the companies the author wants Rangers fans to use as a measure on Mr Ahmad's investment skills were not clients of Allenby Capital when Imran Ahmad was a share holder in the company. They are as follows:
Let me say again, this is the information that the author wants you to use as a judgement on Mr Ahmad financial skills yet much of it has absolutely nothing to do with him.
Furthermore, from the extensive lists, performances are taken over varying periods of time which presents another problem. All but three of these companies were taken on from other brokers. So, for example, to compare a price in 2007 when it was with another broker in a different economic climate and then look at it now serves no purpose whatsoever. In the rush to rubbish Mr Ahmad, the facts go out of the window.
The author also seems to have missed AFC energy, for which Mr Ahmad raised £2million when the shares were valued at 10p: they now sit at 42p and peaked at 80p. In addition, there is Strategic Mineral Resources which was floated at 5p and now at 8p after peaking at 12p. XG, taken on at .001p by Allenby under Mr Ahmad, now sits at .35p and there are many more.
Paul spends a lot of time speculating (I am being kind but it is more of a nudge-nudge, wink-wink gossip delivery, a kind of Celtic minded Hilda Ogden). On his blog ‘I wonder’, written after Craigy had secretly taped his conversations with David Grier, he muses:
‘Does he have his discussions with Mr Green on record, for example? If so, is there anything in such a call which could embarrass the Yorkshireman?’
Anyone would think you are hoping that he does but only you have suggested it. It is all part of Paul's desperate attempt to make us believe that some prior link exists between Charles Green and Craig Whyte.
Scotzine, the neutral Celtic football site, published a Paul McConville article (one of many), the clumsily titled ‘Green and Whyte unlike ebony and ivory not in perfect harmony’. I wonder if that was Andy Muirhead's work. Anyway here is the link:
In this article Paul points out:
‘it is noteworthy that Mr Green denies direct contact with Mr Whyte even though Mr Whyte does not allege such contact took place.’
What? Sorry? Why is it noteworthy? Oh, you mean it is more nudge-nudge, wink-wink insinuation? I get it. Read between the lines and all that. In all seriousness, that is what it amounts to. Look how much Mr Green is saying he has no contact with Mr Whyte other than he has stated, that must mean he has. It is pointless and disingenuous.
In this blog:
Paul tells us that after 100bjd's excellent post (?) raises the ‘possibility that there could be links, either deliberate or coincidental, between Mr Green and Mr Whyte’. He goes on to inform us:
‘One of the companies to which Allenby Capital has acted as an adviser is Merchant House Group, which is very closely connected to Craig Whyte.’
‘It is, of course, possible that Mr Ahmad had nothing at all to do with MHG in his time at Allenby, although, as the top man in the business, he might at least have been expected to be aware of this major client.’
Well, yes. Merchant House Group has close links to Craig Whyte and Allenby did advise MHG but the reason why Mr Ahmad had ‘nothing at all to do with MHG’ is simple. Mr Ahmad sold Allenby in Nov 2011. Allenby became involved with MHG in July 2012. Paul goes on to talk again about the legal firm Field Fisher Waterhouse and a connection to them having worked with Charles Green before. As they have no connection to Octopus or Ticketus, this now becomes completely irrelevant. Paul continues to create a very tenuous link from Charles Green to Craig Whyte but even his own summing up suggests nothing is amiss:
‘Does any of this imply wrongdoing by Mr Green, Mr Whyte or FFW? Of course not. These parties move in circles which mean that what might at first sight seems unusual is simply coincidental.’
Ain't that the truth but it begs the question why bother writing it? I will leave you to speculate what the motivations may be. Paul's site has made reference to Mr Ahmad's previous company Hoodless Brennan and makes much play of boiler room tactics that they, as well as many others, were accused of in the past. It is not a million miles away from a smear as the truth is Imran Ahmad was never at Hoodless Brennan. He formed their investment banking arm HB Corporate HBC and then bought it off them. The more you look into the claims, the more you see how inaccurate they are.
Now we have Paul Brennan weighing recently with this:
‘I have a Heads of Terms document for the sale and leaseback of Ibrox, Murray Park and the Albion Car Park’
This is Paul Brennan, the operator of Rangers/Celtic Quick news. Leaving aside why Paul feels the need to get involved (it is not the welfare of the Rangers fans is it Paul?) why does Paul not publish the document? Imran Ahmad has rubbished it, Charles Green has rubbished it and here is Brain Stockbridge’s comment on it:
‘There is and will be no sale and leaseback whilst I am on the board.’
The reason Paul does not publish it is may be due to someone using him to try and damage the IPO? Perhaps they have let him see a document but not actually keep it. The problem with this document, however, is there are many ‘Heads of Terms’ templates online that just about anyone can follow and produce one to say what they like. So if Paul has been shown a ‘Heads of Term’ document it means absolutely nothing. ‘Not lazy journalism’ indeed. I have sent a letter to Paul inviting him for a meal and then back to my hotel room. I have signed it Nicole Scherzinger, I wonder if he will show up?
For me, it has become pretty obvious that there is a concerted campaign to discredit Charles Green, Imran Ahmad and Brian Stockbridge. I believe that these efforts are not aimed at helping the fans by providing information but serve one purpose and one purpose only-damaging Rangers. There are many who thought this club was dead but it has come roaring back and they don't like it. There are also some who call themselves fans who are also pursuing this agenda for reasons beyond my comprehension. I am not saying we should not continue to question and challenge this board. They are here to make money and they have said as much. What I am saying is now it is time to move forward with them and yes, under close scrutiny. They are entitled to make their money but at no risk to this club.