In a previous post I discussed the Celtic Service Level Agreement (CSA) and postulated that The Lennoxtown Initiative charity appeared to be a vehicle for recycling the funds obtained by the NHS GGC for the sale of the Upper Site of the Lennox Castle Hospital grounds.
Well it’s true. Celtic got it’s sale money for Lennoxtown of £493,000 back in less than 2 years. Plus another £391,167. In fact the money that Celtic paid for Lennoxtown was recycled back to them by the NHS GGC within 9 months. NHS GGC paid most of the money it got to The Lennoxtown Initiative and it was directly allocated to Celtic FC. All this over the 9 years of the Celtic SLA which started the same year as the Lennoxtown sale. For every pound that Peter Lawwell put in for Lennoxtown he got almost 2 back. This was an even better deal than Celtic’s Co-operative Bank low interest rate loan & overdraft. So in fact Celtic got Lennoxtown for nothing plus the bonus of £391,167.
Where is the evidence?
Well it’s in The Lennoxtown Initiative accounts from 2006/2007 onwards because the Celtic SLA started that financial year in 2006 and the Celtic SLA was for NINE years. Funds were coming in from the 3 founding public bodies and going to Celtic all under the cover of a charity.
More than half the funds that ran through The Lennoxtown Initiative went to Celtic during that period. Remember this was a charity [didn’t pay tax] and it looks like it’s more than charitable to Celtic.
Celtic claim they were set-up as a charity too so The Lennoxtown Initiative and Celtic have a lot in common.
What were the 3 public bodies doing funding a SLA with Celtic and hiding the fact behind a charity? There doesn’t appear to have been a tender performed in an open and transparent manner to allow other football teams in Scotland or across Europe to bid for the project. This is something for the UK government, Scottish Government and Audit Scotland.
What do the advocates of Sporting Integrity say? Wasn’t Peter Lawwell and Eric Riley plus the usual suspects earlier this year trying to their hands of SFA grassroot football funds? Reminds you of the ‘Fat Bhoys’ – ‘Can we have some more from the Sporting Integrity fund?’.
Lawwell and Riley look compromised on the SFA/SPFL committees and as for Brian Quinn who was the Celtic chairman at the time, well he also looks extremely out of place on the UEFA Financial Fair Play committee. I think Lord Nimmo is available for another paper collection exercise at the SPFL without Harper McLeod this time.
And what of EU State Aid from 3 public bodies at the same time – that’s a record. With the Celtic SLA this is so obvious and direct that Mr Almunia is going to throw the book at them.
The Lennoxtown Initiative Accounts for year ending 31st March 2007
We know from a previous post that on 29th June 2006 Celtic PLC paid £493,000 for the Upper site of Lennox Castle Hospital. Another FoI highlighted the timing & amount NHS GGC paid into The Lennoxtown Initiative:
That’s Celtic’s payment of £493,000 less £30,000 for adviser fees no doubt.
The Lennoxtown Initiative accounts ended on 31st March. Let’s take a look at some excerpts from the accounts ending 31st March 2007 in which the funds arrived from the NHS GGC:
Under NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde heading we have the Celtic SLA with £464,333 and Operational Costs of £735.
No has been made to attempt a cover-up. The monies that Celtic paid were allocated directly back to them. As for the running costs of the charity – well NHS GGC had a whip around the office for the £735.
How much of NHS GGC’s payment was given back to Celtic in the same year that they paid for Lennoxtown. [Don’t worry they got the rest plus a lot more in subsequent years.] Let’s look at Resources Expended in 2007:
So Celtic received a payment of £329,001 under the Celtic SLA out of the £493,000 paid in the same year. They had to wait for the residual of £164,000 until the following year. The cheek of The Lennoxtown Initiative.
Notice in both tables that the Celtic SLA monies are listed under Restricted. This means the funds coming in and going out are ringfenced TOTALLY to the Celtic SLA project – the funds are not merged with general administration.
Further on in the 2007 accounts the Celtic SLA is acknowledged [I should hope so with most of the funds coming going back to Celtic]:
What happened in the next year?
The Lennoxtown Initiative Accounts for year ending 31st March 2008
Well it was Scottish Enterprise Dunbartonshire’s turn to chip a few pounds:
A few? Well £253,000 to be more accurate. So lets get it straight a Scottish public body, created to encourage companies outwith Scotland to set-up in Scotland, is funding an operational SLA for schools to get visits from Celtic? Hmmm
What was actually paid the Celtic under the SLA for the year ending 31st March 2008:
The whole amount, £253,000, was given to Celtic. So that’s £582,001 paid to Celtic and they got the cost of Lennoxtown back in less than 2 years. The public purse appears to be lying open on the table. Remember there is still the £164,000 allocated to the restricted Celtic SLA account sitting from the previous year.
The Lennoxtown Initiative Accounts for year ending 31st March 2009
No funds came in for the Celtic SLA but £38,071 went to Celtic. So that now £125,929 left in the Restricted Celtic SLA account.
The Lennoxtown Initiative Accounts for year ending 31st March 2010
No funds came in for the Celtic SLA but £47,635 went to Celtic. So that now £78,294 left in the Restricted Celtic SLA account.
The Lennoxtown Initiative Accounts for year ending 31st March 2011
The board are getting worried they don’t have enough funds to feed the monster that is the Celtic SLA. There is only £78,294 left in the Restricted Celtic SLA account and the Celtic SLA is projected to require £160,000:
Even though no funds came in for the Celtic SLA from East Dunbartonshire Council and NHS GGC but Celtic still got their cut through the Celtic SLA payment of £48,671. The Restricted Celtic SLA account balance is now £29,623 although liabilities appear to be exceeding assets!!
In the Accounting Policies it is stated that The Lennoxtown Initiative is virtually bankrupt and they sack staff but can still make payments to Celtic – that’s dedication. Even as the ship is sinking East Dunbartonshire Council will fund the Celtic SLA. Why does the council not fund the program directly? Well they’ve hidden it all this time – why not continue:
Scottish Enterprise escape
During the financial year ending 31st March 2011 Scottish Enterprise Dunbartonshire heads for the hills and maybe to do some shredding?
The Lennoxtown Initiative Accounts for year ending 31st March 2012
Again no funds came in for the Celtic SLA from East Dunbartonshire Council and NHS GGC and although the Restricted Celtic SLA account balance only had £29,623 they were paid £49,706. So the Celtic SLA was now being funded from the general charitable funds.
Also even though funds have not been topped up for 2 years the accounts forecast further payouts to Celtic over the next two years via the Celtic SLA of £118,084. Just want to remind people that The Lennoxtown Initiative was supposed to be set-up as a charity for the people of Lennoxtown. Does it look like it the board are following their purpose.
So the Restricted Account of the Celtic SLA is in deficit to the tune of £20,083.
The Lennoxtown Initiative Accounts for year ending 31st March 2013
No further resources are incoming for the Celtic SLA but again funds [debt] are available to pay Celtic the Celtic SLA costs of with another payment of £49,706:
Again, although no funds have come in for the Restricted Account of the Celtic SLA and the balance is now in further deficit of £69,789 the last payment is forecast for 2013/14 of £68,377.
Total Amount of the Celtic SLA Payments
Adding up all the payments made to Celtic over the nine years under the Celtic SLA it comes to £884,167. That’s Celtic’s original £493,000 payment for Lennoxtown returned plus another bonus of £391,167.
Current Financial Standing of The Lennoxtown Initiative
Well as you can see from the Company Check they are bankrupt with a negative net worth of £200,000.
The charity vehicle used for plundering and recycling funds to Celtic PLC has been left been left bereft with the cupboard more than bare.
Corruption of Public Bodies, EU State Aid and Sporting Integrity
Lots of questions for the 3 public authorities that set up The Lennoxtown Initiative and set-up the Celtic SLA without any open transparent tendering process:
NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde [formerly Greater Glasgow Health Board & other trusts?]
East Dunbartonshire Council
Scottish Enterprise [of which Scottish Enterprise Dunbartonshire was a subsidiary and they funded via the taxpayer]
Did the Scottish Government know that NHS asset sale proceeds were being recycled back to the company that bought the asset? This corruption should be raised to Audit Scotland and have questions raised in the UK Parliament.
So where do the SFA, SPFL and member clubs stand now on Sporting Integrity?
What do Stewart Regan, Neil Doncaster, Peter Lawwell and Eric Riley, Stephen Thompson, Rod Petrie, Turnbill Hutton and Stewart Milne say now about Sporting Integrity? It looks like Lawwell and Riley should exclude themselves from any SFA/SPFL investigation.
Time for another SFA low level paper collection and the appointment of Lord Nimmo to look at the titles Celtic won during the years of the Celtic SLA?
Then what about UEFA monies obtained by Celtic during the 9 years of the Celtic SLA when they were receiving State Aid?
As they say, when the shit is hitting the fan don’t stand in front of the fan.