In 2006, when Celtic bought Lennoxtown, formerly the Lennox Castle Hospital, from the Scottish Government you would think that large amount of land, 19.45 hectares = 48 acres = 194,500 sq metres [approx. 28 football pitches assuming a pitch is 7,000 sq. metres] would require the payment of a large sum of money and the approval of a senior government committee or Minister.
Not in this case.
It was sold for £493,000 exclusive of VAT and signed off solely by one Tom Divers who was the then CEO of the Greater Glasgow Health Board. Since the price was under the £500,000 limit, handy not including VAT to keep it so, the decision to sell the land was delegated from the Minister to the CEO of the health board. Naturally there was a ‘close valuation’, to appear above board, but those are more art than science and can be fudged.
In comparison with the bargain price Celtic paid of £675,000 for 5.33 Hectares for the Westhorn land from Glasgow City Council, the lower price paid of £493,000 for the Lennoxtown 19.45 hectares, which is almost FOUR times the area, was an even bigger bargain. https://footballtaxhavens.wordpress.com/2013/10/29/celtics-mortgages-to-co-operative-bank-and-glasgow-city-council-westhorn-training-ground/
Remember this was 2006, before the global financial crash when real estate prices were way up, one four bedroom detached house commutable to Glasgow in a rural setting would have cost £493,000. How many of those could have been built on the Lennoxtown 19.45 hectares?
Why was this not an open transparent auction to the whole market to get the full value of this land for ratepayers and taxpayers and not a closed hidden deal done in a back room?
The Divers Famous Celtic Footballing Family
Now the Divers are a famous Celtic footballing family related to famous Celtic player Patsy Gallacher. There were two players named John Divers and are father and son. Both born in Clydebank, Dunbartonshire. They are respectively, Nephew and Grand-Nephew to Patsy Gallacher.
John Divers Senior: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Divers_(footballer_born_1911)
John Divers Junior: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Divers_(footballer_born_1940)
John Divers Jnr also had a younger brother, Brian who played for St Patrick’s High School in Dumbarton. He became an executive at John Brown’s/UIE, Clydebank and was a director of Scottish Enterprise Dunbartonshire. He lives in Bearsden, not far from Dunbartonshire, according to a company directors search. There are a lot of Divers about locally.
Tom Andrew Divers Biography
Tom Divers entered the NHS in Glasgow as a graduate trainee in 1975 and spent his whole career in the NHS in Scotland, mostly in Glasgow from the summary upon his retirement in 2008 below.
In December 2000, it was announced in the New Year Honours that Tom Andrew Divers, then Chief Executive of Lanarkshire Health Board was awarded an OBE for services to the NHS. http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/in_depth/uk/2000/new_year_honours_2000/1092606.stm
Where’s he from? Lenzie, Dunbartonshire.
We have Lennoxtown in Dunbartonshire, John Divers Snr and John Divers Jnr both born in Dunbartonshire, John Jnr taught in Our Lady and St. Patrick’s High School in Dumbarton and now low and behold we have Tom Divers in Dunbartonshire too. Hmmm what coincidences!!
Note: This blog’s purpose is not to malign the good name of the Divers footballing family but to highlight a possible conflict of interest solely by Tom Divers.
Mr Divers was a appointed in 2001 by Scottish Labour minister Susan Deacon, she became the founding chairperson of the Hibernian Community Foundation, a Hibernian FC charity, and her partner is BAFTA chasing John Boothman, BBC Scotland Head of News and Current Affairs. Wonder if he’s interested in these revelations? http://www.scotland.gov.uk/News/Releases/2001/08/b30c3a17-8e7e-4e52-bb79-eecf1d1e250f
Tom Divers had a controversial career at the top of the NHS in Glasgow which involved selling off hospitals, closing of A&E and maternity facilities as well as a major disease outbreak with several deaths at Vale of Leven hospital during his tenure going by the following articles:
Questions That Need To Be Answered
Why do Celtic keep getting bargain priced land deals through government entities in Glasgow run by the Scottish Labour party like Glasgow City Council and the Greater Glasgow Health Board?
Why no open transparent auctions to the whole market to get the full value for ratepayers and taxpayers instead of closed hidden backroom deals?
Is Tom Divers related to the famous Celtic footballing Divers family?
Is Tom Divers a Celtic supporter? Was he ever a Celtic season ticket holder or shareholder?
Did Tom Divers have a conflict of interest in this transaction?
Should this land deal, along with the Glasgow City Council deals, be referred to Audit Scotland because it has the appearance of not being done impartially?