Tuesday 1 February 2011

Audit Right There...

Further to yesterday's post, word has it on the grapevine that Jim Alexander had been pushing for a full audit of the accounts after years of sustained losses and palpably failed budgeting. Gerber Landa and Gee deal with the Club accounts and an ex-director (partner in that company) apparently held the proxy votes removing Alexander. This certainly looks as though something has been swept under the carpet.

Surely it is no coincidence that the Club highlight problems in the finances and then these problems suddenly "disappear"? What I want to know is why more than 3 million shares did not even cast votes at the AGM. If the ex-director in question purported to hold proxies (as rumoured) for two families who no longer have direct involvement with the Club, it still begs the question which other shareholding brought the opposition to Jim up to the 4 million mark.

Of course, there are three members of the current Club Board who hold shares. They are Ronnie Gilfillan (1m), Grant Bannerman (420k), David Beattie (500k).

Other major shareholders include ex-director Eddie Prentice (1m), Jim Oliver (500k), Duncan Stewart (500k) and Lord Smith of Kelvin (200k).

Given that at least one of the Club directors knew that proxies had been lodged (per the meeting with the Jags Trust) this begs a very simple question. If they knew that Jim's position was under threat and none of the current directors were complicit: why were the shares of Ronnie Gilfillan, Grant Bannerman and David Beattie not used to bolster Jim's position?

Also, given that the aforementioned ex-director appeared to be communicating in tandem with one of the directors, why would he be soliciting votes to oust Jim unless with the acquiescence of that director? That ex-director's 1 million votes alongside the current board's votes (even giving him the benefit of the doubt and assuming he didn't vote) would have meant Jim Alexander's position was safe.

This leads to two possible conclusions:

1. The ex-director must have led the proxies and must have had at least tacit if not voting support from elements of the boardroom. The complicit director may have kept the rest of the board completely in the dark about the impending coup, with Jim's position otherwise safe with boardroom as opposed to shareholder votes.


2. The abstention of board members was a precondition of a back-room deal of the non-director shareholdings approving the share issue at the same AGM. Bear in mind that this share issue would (in theory at least) dilute their influence from beyond the Firhill grave.

What do you think?

Edit: It has been suggested that Grant Bannerman DID vote for Jim and asides the Jags Trust was the only substantial shareholder to do so.

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