The excerpts above are from a report from the Information Commissioner resulting from a request to obtain Glasgow City Council’s (GCC) Geotechnical Report upon which the valuation of the Westhorn Recreational Ground sold to Celtic FC rests.
Except it’s not the Council’s report – it’s Celtic FC’s, the buyer.
And the GCC calls it an attempt at an ‘open market value’. So a hidden geotechnical report from the seller constitutes ‘open’? I’ve heard many weasel words from politicians & civil servants but that takes the biscuit.
Westhorn, remember, is subject to the EU State Aid case which alleges against Celtic that they bought the land for £675,000 undervalued from the seller, GCC, with the ‘abnormals’ on the land reducing the valuation.
And what were the Abnormals? Below is from a previous GCC response to a FoI request:
£3.5 million abnormals. Only representing 84% of the valuation.
So let’s get this straight:
A public body, beholding to taxpayers & ratepayers, GCC, is negotiating the sale of public land and the main item reducing the valuation is a report generated on behalf of the buyer, Celtic FC?
And the GCC did not do an independent check themselves?
Councils can outsource services but not their responsibilities to look after the ‘common wealth’ and certainly not to the party on the other side of a sale transaction.
Two becomes One: GCC lied in previous FoI response
According to the Information Commissioner’s report there is only 1 geotechnical report and it’s Celtic FC’s. So why did Richard Brown, Executive Director of Development & Regeneration Services, GCC in a previous reply above on the 17th December 2013 say the GCC had commissioned their own geotechnical report? Does he understand that it’s an offence to lie under the Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act 2002? Surely the GCC didn’t commission a geotechnical report, find that it did not fit their purposes and destroy the report? Because that would be an offence too.
Thank you to the persistence of the person who took this to the Information Commissioner this has come into the sunlight and been exposed for what it is – State Aid corruption at the heart of the relationship between Scotland’s biggest council, GCC, and Celtic, Scotland’s ‘Sporting Integrity’ team.
I would go back to the Information Commissioner with a copy of the latter response and report Mr Brown for misleading/deceptive conduct and see what happens. Since it’s in the public interest.