Stars Of 79 Night 6th Nov, 30 Years Since We Topped the Premier League
Written by Sean (Donnelly) Tuesday, 23 June 2009:
‘As some may know, the Greenock Morton Supporters Trust have planned a night to celebrated the 30th Anniversary of the Players and Staff who took us to the top of the Premier League away back in 1979. The Date is 6th Nov 2009, venue Port Glasgow Town Hall, 1900-0100am………. The aim is not to make money but to make it as cheap as possible so ‘real fans’ can get along, any money that maybe made will go to the new Greenock Morton Football Acadamy’.
The above announcement preceded an event which was declared an outstanding success by all who attended. Jim Gallacher who co-organised the event with Sean Donnelly and with whom he was JOINTLY responsible for the largely cash dealings, received the following emails from respected ex-players:
Just want to say thank you for a great night. So glad I came. To see all the lads again was brilliant.
What a great bunch and not a bad team too!!
It was a fantastic night on Friday. You and your fellow members did us proud. It was good to see my team mates again also be in amongst my ‘ain folk’, the fans.
They were different class.
I’ve just watched the DVD for the 3rd time, brill.
Thanks again and good luck wi’ your new manager.
Perhaps the aim had not been to make money, but things turned sour when an apparent deficit emerged. The finger of blame was pointed at Jim Gallacher, who became the subject of a C.I.D. investigation. He was questioned extensively, the Trust ‘evidence’ thoroughly scrutinized, and subsequently this report appeared in the Greenock Telegraph:
No charges in fan cash probe
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:
’There has to be a proper paper trail and accounts, and in this case that was missing. 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’.
The Trust, however, seemed determined to ’get its man’, and on the very day the ‘Tilly’ report appeared, the following announcement was posted on Greenockmorton.org – Mr David Bell’s ‘Tontastic’ website from which Mortonjag has been banned for asking questions:
Those sentiments were echoed shortly thereafter by the Trust Chairman on David Bell’s message board and on the Trust website:
Written by Stuart Duncan
Saturday, 30 January 2010
The police probe into the events surrounding the Stars of ’79 event has been dropped. They have completed their investigation and said no one would be prosecuted.
The Supporters’ Trust are extrememly disappointed, given the information we supplied to the police, that no action is being taken.
Chairman Stuart Duncan said: ” The Supporters’ Trust has organised many successful fundraisng 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 £5000.”
“We are extremely dissapointed the Stars of ’79 evening – attended by 280 people – produced a deficit to the Supporters’ Trust of £1600. The Supporters’ Trust may pursue a civil action to recover money and items which are still due to them.”
Incidentally, Jim Gallacher had been heavily involved in the organization of that Fans’ game without a murmur of dissent!
Fully five weeks elapsed before this announcement appeared on the Trust Website, a link to which was inevitably posted by Mr Donnelly on David Bell’s ‘propaganda platform’.
Update on Stars of ’79 Event
Written by Stuart Duncan
Friday, 05 March 2010
The Supporters’ Trust have now completed their own investigation into the affairs of the Stars of ’79 Celebration evening.
Many lessons have been learned.
As a result of those investigation, which resulted in representatives of the Trust speaking to many people not previously spoken to by the police, a report has been compiled on the events leading up to the evening, the activities on the night of the event and activities that took place after the event. Given the contents of the report The Board of the Trust have agreed to seek legal advice as to what action is now available to them.
We will keep you updated on any developments.
That was fully a week ago. Mortonjag is watching with great interest for news of ‘any developments’, though the Trust’s only consistency appears to be that ALL things take time!
‘Many lessons have been learned’. Could one of those relate to the C.I.D.’s perception of:
‘Bad business practice’?
It is common knowledge that the Trust encouraged cash payments for goods and services. It has been suggested that that was deliberately done to avoid having to pay V.A.T.
…….And as D.I. Dearie said when he cited ‘bad business practice’:
’There has to be a proper paper trail and accounts, and in this case that was missing’.
Should the Trust have known better? Is it remotely conceivable that the experienced Chairman of an organization responsible for some £120,000 of supporters’ money – a man renowned for his complicated facts and figures ‘answers’ to simple questions – could have been unaware of his own rules?
Perhaps the answer lurks within Mr Duncan’s concession that ‘many lessons have been learned’, though ‘his’ rules may be easily accessed by anyone who dares to question the Trust (with the implicit caveat that such behaviour may damage ones reputation and/or professional standing).
RULES OF THE SOCIETY
113. The Society is to keep proper books of account with respect to its transactions and to its assets and liabilities in accordance with Sections 1 and 2 of the Friendly and Industrial and Provident Societies Act 1968.
…and here are those two sections of that Act:
Friendly and Industrial and Provident Societies Act 1968
Books of account, etc
(a)cause to be kept proper books of account with respect to its transactions and its assets and liabilities, and
(b)establish and maintain a satisfactory system of control of its books of account, its cash holdings and all its receipts and remittances.
(2)For the purposes of paragraph (a) of the preceding subsection proper books of account shall not be taken to be kept with respect to the matters mentioned in that paragraph if there are not kept such books as are necessary to give a true and fair view of the state of the affairs of the society and to explain its transactions.
‘Establish and maintain a satisfactory system of control of ALL ITS RECEIPTS AND REMITTANCES’
It seems to Mortonjag that the Trust deliberately ignored its own rule (113).
The Trust committee has corporate responsibility for prudent stewardship of members’ finances. That CANNOT be escaped. Attempting to transfer to one individual total responsibility for a catastrophic financial farce of the Trust’s own making just ‘doesn’t wash’.