The Celtic/Glasgow City Council land deals, especially the Westthorn deal for the land next to Barrowfield, were the basis of the EU State Aid complaint case because of the distorted valuations. Now did the Scottish government in their reply to the EU Competition Directorate justify those corrupted valuations. The definite answer is no.
The Scottish government replied to the EU State Aid case against NEW RETROSPECTIVE valuations created by the commercial property company Savills on behalf of Glasgow City Council. And the main purpose of those re-valuations was to cover-up the corruption valuations originally made. That’s the main reason the EU case wasn’t taken forward. The Scottish government willingly took part in this laundering whitewash charade accepting the new re-valuations made years after and did not act as a check/balance on behalf of the taxpayer for the sale of public assets.
Savills claimed Celtic paid 3x their valuation of Westthorn.
Now it takes a lot of washing to shrink an already corrupted valuation but as they say ‘who pays the piper calls the tune’. And GCC needed the original valuations wiped out of the EU State Aid case completely because any close examination would have exposed themselves and Celtic.
What did Glasgow City Council ask to be Revalued and under what scenarios?
Using Westthorn as the main example, this is what the GCC via City Properties (Glasgow) LLP (see below) requested in the letter dated 11th November 2013 to Savills:
There are 3 scenarios in that paragraph:
- Residential valuation as at 2005
- Residential valuation as at 2009
- RECREATIONAL valuation as at 2013 [Note: It says ‘existing use’ – Westthorn is currently used for recreational purposes. Savills even calls it Westthorn Recreational Ground]
So what valuations did Savills, doing the GCC dirty laundering, come up with in their report?
So here we have one scenario pre-GFC, another post-GFC and another on the eve of the Commonwealth Games including the Games village clean-up & development. Yet all valuations are the same, £200,000. One thing about valuations models is that they should be ‘grounded’ in some sort of reality. These re-valuations doesn’t pass the smell test. Under three completely different economic conditions the valuations are the same? Bullshit.
Not only that, Savills did not follow instructions. The third valuation was done on a Residential basis not Recreational. Here’s the proof in the Savills report:
They only discuss Residential values. Nothing about valuing Westthorn on a recreational basis as per City Properties (Glasgow) LLP instructions above.
The question is: Why? Well after Savills has reduced the residential valuation to £200,000 in the attempt to make it look like Celtic paid 3x the ‘re-valuation’ they have painted themselves into a corner. Residential will always be much greater than recreational. If they had given a recreational value it would have been so low it may even have been negative. And then, no doubt, the Scottish ‘investigative’ obedient press would have said that the GCC should have paid Celtic to take the land.Which would still have been used as security against Celtic’s Co-Op Bank loans.
The Scottish government took the retrospective valuations instead of the original valuations and used those in it’s reply letter dated July 2014 to the EU Competition Directorate thus playing its part in the laundering operation as well.
Note: There is no pretence of checks and balances or independently looking after taxpayers interests by the Scottish government – it’s letter is only available on the GCC website. The Scottish government co-ordinated FOI replies with the GCC. Very strange indeed.
Who were the organisations involved in this laundering process & how independent are they?
City Properties (Glasgow) LLP [Limited Liability Partnership] requested Savills to perform the GCC cover-up
Why was City Properties among other ALEOs created under Purcell? Well it is said that it was to appoint Labour mates to positions within the LLP (Limited Liability Partnership) to gain both salary & pension payoffs. The extra layer of corporate veneer helps to hide dealings from public scrutiny and accountablity.
Enough background on where GCC’s dirt (land) is held, let’s look at some of the dirty dealing.
Here is the 11th November 2013 letter requesting Savills to perform the work:
Note requests for RESPECTIVE VALUATIONS. So requesting HISTORY REVISIONISM plain and simple.
When did Savills reply to the request? You would think a couple of days for the letter to be delivered and a couple to reply. No, same day, or at least dated the same day, Savills reply. Hmmm.. :
Note the sentence in the 2nd paragraph: ‘We are not aware of any conflict of interest, either with the Owner or the Property preventing us from providing independent valuation advice’. The Owner of Westthorn is now Celtic yet it is Glasgow City Council requesting Retrospective Valuations from Savills?
Who currently are key people in City Property (Glasgow) LLP and Savills and could potential Conflicts of Interest ever arise?
City Property (Glasgow) LLP
In 2013 who were on the board?
Martin Rhodes, Labour obviously but also, like a lot of Labour party members a member of the Co-Operative party:
So you have a Glasgow Labour member who also belongs to the Co-Operative Party funded by the owners of the Co-Op Bank which loaned low interest funds to Celtic.
Then Annemarie O’Donnell was the FOI gatekeeper you had to get over through the initial FOI, then possibly a Review & then appealing to the Information Commissioner and if lucky you may get an answer on many of the FOIs concerning the GCC land deals with Celtic if they didn’t come up with an exception not to answer – third parties who gave free advice, confidentiality, European Convention on Human Rights, EU relations …. blah blah. Now she has been rewarded by promotion to Chief Executive for services rendered.
Yvonne Kucuk? The East End councillor who has been suspended by the Labour Party. Here’s The Herald report 15 May 2016:
So have they cleaned up City Property (Glasgow) LLP? What sort of people are on the board currently? From City Property website :
Let’s take one from the top & one from the bottom. Check out the chairman Councillor Martin Neil: From His twicial profile
Oh sorry that was his old profile, this is his latest profile:
He’s a Celtic fan. Here’s his Twitter handle @martinneill1
& Tweets (sorry Martin we got your tweets before you locked the account):
And obviously I think this Rangers fan had his tongue in his cheek when requesting Mr Neil’s to investigate the Celtic/GCC land deals:
Before he locked his Twitter you could have a look through Mr Neil’s timeline to see the personal focus of this councillor. There was no attempt at equity and even handedness for all constituents. The biases were plain to see.
Now look at Councillor Frank Docherty’s GCC Register of Interests ‘Gifts and Hospitality section:
Hospitality at Celtic Park. Hmmm….
Expectations of even handedness from Glasgow City Council councillors has been proven always to be unrealistic.
And now let’s take a look at Savills. One of the Directors at Savills is Jamie Doran and he’s been there since October 2011 so was there when the GCC report was done:
Educated at St Aloysius College, Glasgow. Hmmm …. What are the odds he’s a Celtic fan also? Well his brother definitely is:
That would be St Aloysius, the Catholic college that allows sectarian banners to be displayed by boys in balaclavas on their building:
Did Savills get Payback for the Retrospective Valuations Report?
Mr Doran works closely with Glasgow City Council, was this payback for past favours done?
and from the GCC website:
Conflicts of Interest?
Any reasonable person can decide from themselves whether conflicts of interest could have arisen based on the research above whether this laundering report performed by Savills for Glasgow City Council on behalf of themselves and the land deals with the GCC favourites, Celtic PLC.
Industry experts consulted on the usage of RETROSPECTIVE VALUATIONS said they are usually performed to cover-up mis-valuations and that would appear to be the case here.
The question that needs to be asked is why did the Scottish government partake in this laundering whitewash process? The government did not address their submission to the EU Competition Directorate against the original corrupt Westthorn valuation methodology which was what the complaints were about:
which was shown previously here as corrupt. The Scottish government did not look after taxpayers who were short changed with the new ‘over-washed’ shrunken RETROSPECTIVE VALUATIONS. Again thanks to the FTH elves for their digging.
Conclusion: Savills Fixed It for Glasgow City Council, Celtic and the Scottish government. When did they hand out the badges?