Ton fans in police cash probe
15 Jan 2010
POLICE are probing the alleged disappearance of thousands of pounds from a charity celebration night held by Morton fans.
The Tele can reveal the Greenock Morton Supporters’ Trust have called in detectives because they believe a substantial, four-figure sum of cash went missing from the proceeds of their recent ‘Stars of 1979′ bash at Port Glasgow Town Hall.
The event – which was arranged by the trust and had no official connection to Morton FC – saw hundreds of supporters gather to pay tribute to the famous Ton team of 30 years ago.
Profits from the evening were set to go towards establishing an independent youth academy which it is hoped will funnel talented footballers into the set-up at Cappielow.
But in the aftermath of the gala event, trust officials discovered a major discrepancy in the proceeds – and went straight to Strathclyde Police.
A senior detective today confirmed his team are looking into the allegations made by the supporters’ trust.
Detective Inspector John Dearie, of Greenock CID, said: “I can confirm a complaint has been made by them and an investigation into that complaint is now under way.
“The complaint relates to the alleged misappropriation of funds and we are looking fully at the circumstances surrounding it.
“Our investigation is not completed as yet and it would be too early to comment any further at this stage.” Det Insp Dearie said he could not comment on the amount of money involved – but the Tele understands that it is a sizeable four-figure sum.
The Greenock Morton Supporters’ Trust chairman, Stuart Duncan, today confirmed that they had called in the police over the affair.
Mr Duncan said: “We can confirm that Strathclyde Police are investigating a complaint made by ourselves with regards to monies at Greenock Morton Supporters’ Trust.”
No charges in fan cash probe
30 Jan 2010
A POLICE probe into the alleged disappearance of thousands of pounds from a Morton fans’ fundraiser has ended in no charges being brought.
The Tele recently revealed detectives had been called in by Greenock Morton Supporters’ Trust after they suspected a substantial four-figure sum had vanished from their recent Stars of 1979 night.
But officers have now completed their investigation – and say no one will be prosecuted.
Detective Inspector John Dearie, of Greenock CID, said: “We interviewed the individual at the centre of it and the end result is there will be no charges.
“There is no criminality we can see at this stage to prove any charges. There has to be a proper paper trail and accounts and in this case that was missing. It is a civil matter between the organisation and individual.” DI Dearie also confirmed his team had established a small shortfall in funds from the event, which was held in November to honour the famous Ton team from 30 years ago.
He said: “There is a shortfall of a small amount of cash but this is probably due to the haphazard way it was organised.
“The shortfall is not a significant sum and nowhere near the sums talked about initially – it could be accounted for by bad business practice.” Proceeds from the Stars of 79 night were earmarked for a new football academy which will nurture young players.
Today, Greenock Morton Supporters’ Trust said they were ‘extremely disappointed’ by events surrounding the charity night.
Chairman Stuart Duncan said: “The supporters’ trust has organised many successful fundraising events over the years where we have raised a great deal of money that has gone to Morton youth – such as the Champions’ Party in Greenock Sports Centre and last year’s fans’ game at Cappielow, which raised £5,000.
“We are extremely disappointed the Stars of 1979 evening – attended by 280 people – produced a deficit to the Supporters’ Trust of £1,600.
“The Supporters’ Trust may pursue a civil action to recover money and items which are still due to them.”
TO BE CONTINUED.