Armageddon? What Armageddon?

Avatar ByBig Pink

Armageddon? What Armageddon?

Now that we are at the end of the league season, and with respect to the job still to be done at Tannadice and McDiarmid Park, it seems like a good time for a post holocaust report.

Average Weekly Attendances SPL 2011-2014

Fig 1 Average Weekly Attendances SPL 2011-2014

Peppered around this page are three charts and a table* showing the attendance figures for the SPL in the last three seasons. A school kid could tell you that there is a positive trend in those charts and figures, but the people who run our national sport will look you straight in the eye and tell you “that can’t be right – Armageddon is coming!”

It is one of the most ridiculous and mendacious situations I have ever come across. The people who run our national game, aided and abetted by those in the MSM (sans the eye contact though) are actually trying to persuade us of how awful our game is and how unsustainable it will be in the absence of one, just one, club.

Think about that. The SFA and the SPFL trying to talk us out of supporting the game unless we all recognise the unique importance of one, just one, club. That is what has happened, no matter how they try to spin it. And despite evidence to the contrary contained in these figures, not one of them has admitted to an error, never mind the downright lies that they told to support the position they held, the one where anyone speaking of sporting integrity was mocked and ridiculed.

 

Whilst growing up as football supporter in the 60s, one of things I was constantly bombarded with via the medium of the tabloid newspapers was that football clubs should be grateful for the publicity afforded them via their back pages. These were probably reasonable claims, especially in the light of the relative lack of access to players and officials conceded to the hacks in those days, and the pre-eminent cultural position in which they helped to place football. Alongside that, the broadcast media, particularly Archie Macpherson’s Sportscene and Arthur Montford’s Scotsport could be relied on to talk the game up. Of course, there was something in it for the papers – sales. The more column inches devoted to the national sport, the further northward their sales, and consequently advertising revenues travelled.

ex Celtic & Rangers

Fig 2 Avg. Attendances excl Celtic & Rangers

The situation was further cemented by the fact that the press in that ante-interweb era held a monopoly over the exchange and dissemination of information. That symbiotic, win-win relationship between football and the press was as much a part of football reality as the Hampden Roar. It also endured for decades. The press would talk up the game to such an extent that folk often remarked that they hadn’t realised how much they had enjoyed a particular match until they had read Malky Munro or Hughie Taylor’s report the next day. Archie Macpherson is on record as having said the same thing about legendary commentator David Francey, “It was a much better game to listen to than to see!”

Today that symbiosis is broken. The press themselves, in print and in front of microphones consistently belittle the product, talk of crises and Armageddon, of our own version of the Eisenhower domino effect of clubs going to the wall one after another.

Aided and abetted by the two chief bureaucrats in charge of Scottish football, Stuart Regan and Neil Doncaster, who have consistently helped to hammer home the message that Scottish football is not good enough, and cannot sustain itself financially without Rangers, a club that could not itself sustain itself financially to the extent that it is being liquidated.

At a time when Scottish football was clearly in crisis, and badly in need of sponsorship which could mitigate the effects of that crisis, the press and the authorities sought to strengthen their own negotiating hand by making negative claims about the state of the game which never came to pass, and for which they have never apologised. The actual situation, which would not have been hard to predict had anyone actually bothered to analyse the business of Scottish football, is summarised quite easily by saying this;

  1. Since Rangers’ liquidation and subsequent absence from the top league, the average home attendance of the other clubs has INCREASED overall (See Fig 2).
  2. In this season, the other clubs have added 50,000 fans to home attendances compared to 2011-12 (the last year Rangers were in competition).
  3. In that time the league has been won (twice) by Celtic, and the other honours have been claimed by St, Mirren, Aberdeen, Celtic and (either) Dundee United or St Johnstone.
  4. In that time, both Dunfermline Athletic and Hearts (who both had historical financial problems) entered – and exited – administration after fan-led buyouts.
  5. Dundee United have cleared off their bank debt.
  6. Kilmarnock have restructured their bank debt, freeing the club from a precarious long-term situation.
  7. League reconstruction has allowed some money to trickle down to the second tier clubs in an attempt to mitigate the immediate effects of relegation and to reward ambitious clubs.

table

Looking at the table of attendances above, it is pretty clear that immediately upon Rangers exit, the overall figures took a dip. However there was little difference the in the figures if you leave Rangers out of the equation (Fig 3) – despite Celtic’s attendance taking a hit that year (down by around 5,000 per home match).

Taking Celtic out of the calculations, it is clear that there is a 6,000 uplift in this average (Fig 2).

It is still undeniable that less people overall are watching football (Fig 1), but the trend is upward if one leaves the Ibrox club out of the picture.

Furthermore, this statistic exposes the double edged sword that is retention of home gates. The fact that gates are not shared is predicated upon the notion that the bigger clubs do not depend on the smaller clubs for income. And since the smaller clubs are no longer recipients of big club largesse, their fortunes are not affected, at least not as much as was suggested by the Regans, Doncasters and Traynors of this parish. The “Trickle-Down” theory of Reganomics said otherwise – but clearly and demonstrably it was wrong.

The abandonment of gate sharing has made Scottish football less interdependent than it once was, but the irony is that it works both ways. There is hardly a club in the country that depends on Rangers for their own existence, and here is the news; small clubs are no longer financially dependent on the former Old Firm.

Excluding Celtic

Fig 3 Excluding Celtic

The fact, that is F-A-C-T, is that Scottish Football attendances in the top division are on the increase. The absence of Rangers has made no appreciably negative difference to any other club, far less caused a catastrophe of biblical proportions.

Even if the fools who were the harbingers of our doom were simply guilty of making an honest mistake, it is clear that they are uncontaminated with the slightest notion of how the game in this country operates. The Old Firm may be dead, but the OF prism is still being peered through by Stuart Regan, Neil Doncaster and the vast majority of print journalists. The latter who failed to honour that age-old football/press symbiosis because they believed, erroneously that David Murray’s dinner table was the hand that has fed them for over a century.

The irony is that as job opportunities diminish in the print sector, so too will the fine dining and patronage. I think they call that evolution.

 

Two years ago, in the wake of the fans’ season ticket revolt which saw the new Rangers forced to apply for membership of the league and begin at the bottom, those same MSM hacks taunted fans about putting their money where their mouths were. The fans responded splendidly as our statistics demonstrate, but typically there has been no recognition of this either at Hampden or in the media.

And the message from those fans is this: Scottish football is not dying. Not any more. At least not as surely as it was when David Murray started to choke the life out of it in the late 80s. The supporters are returning in numbers to see a competition untainted by the outrageous liberty-taking and rule-breaking of the last couple of decades, and all but one club has emerged from the mire of the Moonbeam Millennium looking forward to a new era.

If authorities allow the new era to thrive by restoring sporting integrity to the agenda, then the numbers, like the opportunities available to more and more clubs, will grow. The question is … will they?

Admittedly, these figures, like any set of statistics, can be cherry-picked to suit almost any argument that you care to construct. The fact remains though, that whilst it would be fanciful and ridiculously over-optimistic to claim that they bear witness to a burgeoning industry, it is utterly dishonest to conclude that they represent financial Armageddon. Armageddon? Aye right!

* Source ESPN          

About the author

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Big Pink administrator

Big Pink is John Cole; a former schoolteacher based in the West of Scotland, He is also a print and broadcast journalist who is engaged in the running of SFM . Former gigs include Newstalk 106, the Celtic View, and Channel67. A Celtic fan, he is also the voice of our podcast initiative.

2,810 Comments so far

scapaflow

scapaflowPosted on5:01 pm - May 12, 2014


smartie1947 says:
May 12, 2014 at 4:47 pm

The comments from the sports journos so far would seem to indicate that Ann Budge won’t get much of a honeymoon. Fortunately, she ain’t one for playing by the wee boys clubs rules. I await the towering intellects of Keevins, Jackson, Young, Weir et al, taking her on, with great interest. Hearts should sell tickets, succulent lambs to the slaughter :mrgreen:

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Matty Roth

Matty RothPosted on5:09 pm - May 12, 2014


Great start by Ann Budge I think.

Sorry to see Locke moving on but the overall strategy of the club and football business has to be more important than any one person within the club.

There was a report on the BBC sports pages that Locke had a meeting Ann Budge last week and its not impossible that he was offered the new Head Coach position and didn’t want it?

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StevieBC

StevieBCPosted on5:10 pm - May 12, 2014


Carl31 says:
May 12, 2014 at 4:34 pm

Excuse me if im a bit negative on this. Im especially thinking of FFP rules

where does our ‘sporting integrity’ fit in the picture?
=======================================
Interesting take on ‘tax dodge’, but I presume that if this approach was replicated across Europe’s big clubs, then the EU would take notice, with pan-European legislation to follow perhaps, [e.g. the European Savings Directive]. Of course it would take them a few years…

For me, at a European club level, sporting integrity was deliberately side-stepped when UEFA started tinkering with the European Cup format.
Can’t remember the chronology, but when the pure, knock-out format was replaced with an extended league then knock out format, it was to enrich the big clubs, IMO.
[And the irony here is – if I am not mistaken – it was RFC/Ogilvie who where big promoters of the format change ?]
But to then open up qualification for the ‘Champions League’ to the the top 4 clubs of a main league – and with small nation champions having to play qualifying rounds has devalued the competition significantly, IMO.

Of course the Champions League is hugely successful commercially – and for the big European clubs – but is it a better competition than the European Cup ?
I don’t think so, and UEFA – and the big clubs – deliberately placed commercial objectives over sporting ideals many years ago.

I have my doubts whether the FFP rules are going to change anything – unless it is a precursor to some sort of Euro franchise league for the big clubs?

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DutchmulPosted on6:02 pm - May 12, 2014


Hi All

I’m a Jambo, sorry to see GL + BB leaving the club. Thanks go to both of them for their efforts this season.

Clearly, Ann Budge has a vision for the club and how it should be run, she is also a succesful business woman so i’m behind her all the way, although sad to say goodbye to so many from the team.

I’m also pleased about her statement setting out what she is doing, we all know what is happening and what the goal is.

HMFC needs to be run as a business otherwise we could face extinction again, this may result in us being in the championship for more than 1 season, if so, and the result is we come back to the premier a stronger club, so be it.

What strikes me the most though, is the contrast between Ann Budge’s takeover at hearts and the situation in govan, maybe GW could ask for some lessons on how to run a business.

Now it’s time for me to sign up to FoH and buy my 1914 commemorative strip from Hearts.

Cheers

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cowanpete

cowanpetePosted on6:11 pm - May 12, 2014


StevieBC sais:
or would the churnalists stop short of being perceived to be ‘bullying’ a female club owner in their publications ?
================
I would hope the churnalists would treat her as a Football Club owner and not as a female Football Club owner

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yourhavingalaugh

yourhavingalaughPosted on6:26 pm - May 12, 2014


I do hope the redundancy chasing hack pack of sport hounds do comment on the Heart of Midlothian’s way forward,it might just give their editors the chance to off load them with no package ,how good would that be , but that will not happen in the world of Scottish football ,unfortunately these silly wee boys will spout off and their editors will know no different ,are these guys ever taken to task in there position ,yet the problem and answer is there for all Rangers fans to wake up to ,if they had taken control of the club as John Brown had pleaded and warned of the armageddon that would face them if they didnt,Hearts have shown how to mobilise a support and are
now in a deservedly better place for this ,no hidden agenda ,all out in the open ,offers made that had been well thought out that it would have been a negative for the original owners to refuse,what a scoop it would be for a newspaper to get the whole story from start to finish ,but which one could take this on,they have never asked any of the side from Govan ,but the hipocrites that they are will try and court the Hearts board to give them the story ,it realy is a downer for all attached to the game in Scotland how there are 2 sides to our game such as what we have witnessed in the last 2 years ,I do think that there cannot be many stones left for the powers that be to crawl under.

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MoreCelticParanoia

MoreCelticParanoiaPosted on6:48 pm - May 12, 2014


re Phil’s message about a share issue – they must be looking for more “institutional investors” as why would fans who didnt buy season tickets buy shares?

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occamPosted on6:56 pm - May 12, 2014


yourhavingalaugh says:
May 12, 2014 at 6:26 pm

Spot on here – though I would say that the editors have known exactly what was happening and assumed that the masses could be kept happy without too much trouble.

Let’s just keep turning over those stones and refuse to be silent. The truth will out.

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Alba BhoyPosted on7:29 pm - May 12, 2014


Today’s score in the UEFA Under 17 Championship: Germany 0 v 1 Scotland
http://www.uefa.com/under17/season=2014/matches/round=2000375/match=2014118/postmatch/report/index.html
Some hope for the future or more evidence of Armageddon?

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ecobhoyPosted on7:39 pm - May 12, 2014


torrejohnbhoy(@johnbhoy1958) says:
May 12, 2014 at 2:13 pm

Phil tweeting that there is a big meeting during the week to decide whether RIFC will go ahead with the sale of circa 43m shares. This would buy some time as ST sales are low(below 10k)
===================================
Seems to fit with my post a couple of days ago that perhaps the recent purchase of shares by existing RIFC directors might indicate that a rights issue for existing shareholders was coming a lot sooner than expected to make up for ST shortfall.

Raises all sorts of interesting choices for existing shareholders vis a vis dilution and possibly flushing more money down the pan.

It would appear a helluva lot of the flotation money raised has been dissipated in meeting day to day running costs. I just don’t see how any sane investor could be happy with the same happening with money raised from a rights issue.

And then there is the required ‘Big’ £20-30 million share issue – possibly in August/September to return the club to its ‘rightful place’ if they can get the required % vote at an egm.

Of course there is a direct connection between the initial rights issue and the egm vote for the Big share issue in terms of who wins the vote.

But again I ask myself why would any professional investor want to pour cash into a struggling football club unless they have a plan to make a good return on their investment. And I don’t see footballing activities providing that return.

Even £30 million isn’t enough to get anywhere in Europe and the way Rangers burns money it might not be enough to get anywhere in the Premiership if they can get out of the Championship.

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sixtaesevenPosted on7:50 pm - May 12, 2014


“Armageddon? What Armageddon?”

It’s perfectly obvious what Armageddon they were meaning.
The Armageddon of one club, and one club only.
Not much has changed, it’s just watered down a wee bit.
I now await next season’s flying circus in the knowledge that the Championship is the bestest, hardest league in the wurld.

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ecobhoyPosted on7:51 pm - May 12, 2014


MoreCelticParanoia says:
May 12, 2014 at 6:48 pm

re Phil’s message about a share issue – they must be looking for more “institutional investors” as why would fans who didnt buy season tickets buy shares?
==========================================
It all to do with the illusion spun to fans that the can create some kind of influential voting bloc by buying shares. Whatever they’ve bought will be diluted if they don’t take up their rights issue and the shares not bought by fans will then be available to other existing investors.

And then if they don’t pony-up at the later share issue again the percentage of shares held by fans will be diluted.

This is a very efficient milking machine and like a treadmill it doesn’t matter how hard they try they will continue to fall further behind – it is inevitable and I hope there are some Bears who can explain to their fellow supporters what is going on.

But I agree with you if a fan doesn’t buy an ST to starve this Board and the controlling shareholders of cash then they are unlikely to buy shares although there will be a massive PR campaign to persuade them it gives them a bigger say in Rangers – I have absolutely no doubt the SMSM will also sound the rallying call from the mystery overseas investors.

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hamemadesoupPosted on8:11 pm - May 12, 2014


sixtaeseven says:
May 12, 2014 at 7:50 pm
5 0 Rate This

“Armageddon? What Armageddon?”

It’s perfectly obvious what Armageddon they were meaning.
The Armageddon of one club, and one club only.
Not much has changed, it’s just watered down a wee bit.
I now await next season’s flying circus in the knowledge that the Championship is the bestest, hardest league in the wurld.
————————-
Whilst scrolling down the page , your last two lines looked like an Ibrox press release at a glance . Just as well I double checked 🙄

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upthehoopsPosted on8:33 pm - May 12, 2014


Matty Roth says:
May 12, 2014 at 5:09 pm

Great start by Ann Budge I think.
================================
Just to slightly play Devil’s Advocate, has the model of Director of Football / First Team Coach ever been a resounding success at a U.K Club?

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jean7brodie

jean7brodiePosted on9:17 pm - May 12, 2014


Excellent, informative post BP. Big Jim B taught you well!

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StevieBC

StevieBCPosted on9:18 pm - May 12, 2014


upthehoops says:
May 12, 2014 at 8:33 pm

Matty Roth says:
May 12, 2014 at 5:09 pm
Great start by Ann Budge I think.
================================
Just to slightly play Devil’s Advocate, has the model of Director of Football / First Team Coach ever been a resounding success at a U.K Club?
================================
Kenny Dalglish / John Barnes ?

…mibbees naw… ? 🙄

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andygraham.66Posted on9:22 pm - May 12, 2014


Keith Jackson on twitter

@Gri64 I was told ST sales were under 4000 at close of play on Friday. If that’s true then barring a late stampede money will be needed asap

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BrendaPosted on9:25 pm - May 12, 2014


Mr McCoist has been very quiet …… In fact everyone over ibrox way has been very quiet?? Season book sales must be fine then eh? 😉

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upthehoopsPosted on9:26 pm - May 12, 2014


StevieBC says:
May 12, 2014 at 9:18 pm

Kenny Dalglish / John Barnes ?

…mibbees naw… ?
=======================================
An excellent example of one that didn’t work. Kenny Dalglish / Ray Harford at Blackburn was another, after Dalglish moved ‘upstairs’. Ach…maybe Hearts will be fine given they didn’t appoint Kenny Dalglish as D.O.F!

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neepheid

neepheidPosted on9:32 pm - May 12, 2014


http://www.dailyrecord.co.uk/opinion/sport/keith-jackson-starve-out-no-3530174

From Jackson- Murray Park at risk?

“IF Dave King is serious about rescuing Rangers then he had better get a move on.

In fact, come to think of it, he may have procrastinated too long 
already because this basket case 
of a business is staring its next disaster dead in the eye.

Very soon someone will have to blink and before you know it this club could find itself minus a training ground if it’s not careful.

In five days from now the curtain will come down on season ticket renewals and when it does,
bedraggled chief executive Graham Wallace might as well sound the emergency klaxon because unless there is a late stampede between now and Friday, Rangers will be right back on the brink.

Raising money against Murray Park might then become almost inevitable, assuming insolvency is to be avoided as Wallace so bullishly insists it will be.”

And it looks like King is being called out at last.

“So far, King has done nothing much more than kick up a stink by issuing sporadic flurries of statements, most of which have told us nothing we did not already know. He has been heavy on promises – talking boldly of blowing £30million worth of his children’s inheritance – but feathery light on substance.

So if he is serious about acting – and for the record I’m sure he is – then right about now would seem like an appropriate moment for him to start digging deep.”

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StevieBC

StevieBCPosted on9:43 pm - May 12, 2014


Brenda / Jean – where have you both been ?

What is your female perspective on Ann Budge’s bold move into the male dominated domain of club ownership ?

If you had the opportunity and the money, [maybe you do already ?], would you buy a club ?

I think we should be told. 🙄

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parttimearabPosted on10:12 pm - May 12, 2014


neepheid says:
May 12, 2014 at 9:32 pm
Jackson- Murray Park at risk?
“Raising money against Murray Park might then become almost inevitable”
—————————————————————————
Not that you’d be able to raise much against Murray Park.
Unless you lock RFC Ltd into a long term lease………

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briggsbhoyPosted on10:18 pm - May 12, 2014


Where would we be or in indeed where would Rangers be if CW or CG had taken them over and made a similar statement and vision to that of Anne Budge. It just proves to all that nobody who took over Rangers had anything else on their mind other than money. They knew that the mindset of the bears would only reap them cash. Surely now those with half a brain (Ryan your not included here 🙂 ) can see what needs to be done when you take over a club.

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GoosyGoosyPosted on10:19 pm - May 12, 2014


From Jackson-

“IF Dave King is serious about rescuing Rangers then he had better get a move on.
,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,
Move On?……….Move On?
Give us a break
DK had 2yrs to get a move on
If he can afford to give the SA Gov £40m he can afford to pay back RFC Creditors
Except
He will never do that
Because money means more to a Spiv than any football club

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jean7brodie

jean7brodiePosted on10:20 pm - May 12, 2014


StevieBC says:
May 12, 2014 at 9:43 pm
——————————————————–
Hello Stevie, I’m right here as usual 😉
I am delighted at Hearts good fortune. I am not in any way a feminist. I prefer equality on merit. I do however welcome Anne Budge as a voice of reason and power and sensibility.Look where the men have led us.
I do not, and never will, have the money for anything of substance. If I did then it would not be a football club.
What would you do, Stevie, if you were a woman?

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oddjob

oddjobPosted on10:25 pm - May 12, 2014


Neepheid says : from Jackson, Murray park at risk

I am unsure of the restrictions placed by the local council re the use to which the land there can be put, but I think it would not be the best choice as security for a large loan.

As for the” emergency klaxon” being sounded, surely that is exactly what MrJackson is doing.
I feel he is being used as a go between. We should perhaps see a white flag quite soon.

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jean7brodie

jean7brodiePosted on10:31 pm - May 12, 2014


PS
After watching this: youtube.com/watch?v=x-ZMwp1elXw …
I’d probably give everything I have to Loaves and Fishes.

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justshatered

justshateredPosted on10:35 pm - May 12, 2014


ecobhoy says:
May 12, 2014 at 7:39 pm

What if the current share holders are offered new shares at a massively discounted price?
Obviously the city investors will say ‘nay’ and none of the fans will buy them.
The people ‘in the know’ buy up what is left taking them up to the percentage level where they force all other investors to sell their shares. At this point the people who have been behind this charade all along then own everything lock, stock, and barrel.
At this point they can simply sell off the loss making club and retain the properties for an everlasting income or they simply bulldoze the lot and sell for future development.

I don’t know if the above scenario is feasible however I’ve never understood where the people in this debacle make their cash back. Its certainly not going to be through a football club that consistently overspends and cannot balance their books. With the mega cash on offer in the EPL who will pour money into a Scottish club that is in desperate need of investment, on and off the park, with no prospect of a major income stream.

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StevieBC

StevieBCPosted on10:39 pm - May 12, 2014


jean7brodie says:
May 12, 2014 at 10:20 pm

What would you do, Stevie, if you were a woman?
=====================================
Could be straying a bit OT now… 😆

I think anyone who puts up their own money into a senior, Scottish football club is brave.
I’m sure Ann Budge knows the risks, has a plan and her passion for HMFC is her overriding motivation.
She would presumably have a good grasp of the whole RFC/TRFC/SFA/SPFL/MSM nonsense over the last couple of years.

But I wouldn’t want the inevitable intrusion into my privacy – and blatant fibbing – by the SMSM.

But I do agree, it could be refreshing to have someone new on the scene who doesn’t seem to have any prior affiliations to the Scottish football hierarchy – and who maybe won’t be fazed to ask pertinent questions of the authorities if required ?

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BrendaPosted on10:44 pm - May 12, 2014


Stevie 🙂
I don’t think I could stretch to millions and I am not a feminist but believe women should be given a chance to prove themselves. Best of luck to Anne Budge and HMFC, I really hope things work out for the fans sake. On Craig Levein 😥 bit puzzled by that one ( track record’s not great ) but each to their own 😕 I would also like to wish Gary Locke continued success on his next venture he showed terrific strength of character and deserves a break 😛

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yourhavingalaugh

yourhavingalaughPosted on10:57 pm - May 12, 2014


Wow,just Wow ,Keef really letting rip with an old WW2 klaxon to warn all and sundry about the devastation awaiting the govan club if the bears dont pony up and quickly ,give us all a break Keef ,if Murray park is your lever today you better have more for each day leading up to the curtain comming down ,and its comming down ,how about giving Jim McColl a shout ,remember him,he has now moved up the rich list a bit more and there is more chance of seeing him in Glasgow than the man who would be King,or even Charles he must have a few bob he can put the sevco way ,and where is Paul Murray these days surely another that can chip in ,I wont even go near Craigy Whyte I dont think his burnt fingers have healed yet,and there is the emergency break glass that you can crawl to, SDM, seriously is that the best you can come up with ,Murray Park ,you really have let the Rangers fans down this time and need to get a grip ,the names above have been made a laughing stock with your previous backing of them as the saviours of your club and how they where going to save it,when I think of you Keef I have a mental picture of you as Wylie E Coyote ,zzzzoooooommmmmm.

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Matty Roth

Matty RothPosted on11:02 pm - May 12, 2014


upthehoops says:
May 12, 2014 at 8:33 pm
5 0 Rate This

Matty Roth says:
May 12, 2014 at 5:09 pm

Great start by Ann Budge I think.
================================
Just to slightly play Devil’s Advocate, has the model of Director of Football / First Team Coach ever been a resounding success at a U.K Club?

=================================

Its certainly failed to work on a few occassions but I suspect we tend to get this wrong in the UK when trying to implement it. Do we often see the head coach as equating to the manager’s role when in fact a huge chunk of the job is the DoF’s remit? So putting an experienced manager in as the DoF might just work.

Like you, I’m not too sure it will prove a success but my comment on a good start was really more as a whole: Ann Budge seems to have a vision and has clearly set out her goals for the club. I think thats great to see and the goals themselves all seem correctly focused and achievable. There’s no nonsense about rightful places or champions league music at least… 🙂

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John ClarkPosted on11:19 pm - May 12, 2014


justshatered says:
May 12, 2014 at 10:35 pm
‘… I’ve never understood where the people in this debacle make their cash back.’
——–
You’re not alone,justshatered.
In the early days, it was possible to imagine the institutional investors thinking that, with the SFA’s and SPL assistance, a few millions of CL money would be guaranteed to come rolling in by now.
That hasn’t happened, and looks unlikely to happen.
They are left with the decidedly uncertain prospect of promotion to the top division, and absolutely no guarantee of success in that division for years. No prospect of any kind of return on their investment.
If they forget the Football, they are left with virtually un-saleabe properties: a clapped out stadium (which perhaps they don’t own) with no planning permission to demolish , and a training ground of very doubtful development value.And a rag-bag of playing staff worth, broadly, not hellish much.
Renting the stadium would scarcely bring in enough money to give the bigger shareholders enough to make it worthwhile.
CG is about the only one who made any sort of killing. The directors who have come and gone have been paid (by ordinary standards) big salaries and bonuses , but not millions in lump sums (not any that we know of, certainly)
So why are they still hanging in there? What’s in it for them?

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oddjob

oddjobPosted on11:28 pm - May 12, 2014


For John Clark, please see the last post on podcast 4. You probably know this already, but contrived or not?

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Para Handy

Para HandyPosted on11:30 pm - May 12, 2014


I find it strange that a board which met by exception to discuss finance but a week or so ago should be meeting again to discuss share issues for the first time.

Perhaps this is the meeting of the board at which it will be first documented prior to the AIM announcement. There are reputations to be protected here so on the surface it all has to appear normal.

There are all the signs of an organisation beginning to crumble. I wouldn’t be surprised if there is a tacit media super-injunction in play…

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ptd1978Posted on11:36 pm - May 12, 2014


Even without Dave King’s ramblings, is a huge slump in season tickets not expected. How many ST holders were bothering to turn up at the back end of the season? The quality of football remains dreadful and will only get worse with the inevitable cuts. Although if they could afford Messi, McCoist would still be sending out a team to punt long balls up towards him.
The baggage from the dead Rangers isn’t getting any lighter either. In fact it seems to have become easier to brush the songbook under the carpet. Lower profile games and a knowledge that the authorities will always provide a get out of jail free card may have convinced some fans that enough is enough and that it’s not worth going.
At the other end of the tolerance scale, the idea that “the journey” might end with a whimpering crawl up to the top flight via a few honest mistakes from the refs in the up to five play off matches might not appeal to some either.
The klaxon calls will get more desperate through the coming days, but the only thing that might make a difference is an honest club with realistic promises. That might attract the switherers, who want to support a football team, who tolerate rather than revel in all of the BS that goes with Rangersness and are sick of the drama that Sevco has become. A pantomime can be fun, but you only really want to see it once a year.

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twopandaPosted on1:14 am - May 13, 2014


They didn`t just blow the money
– They waited till the last minute [new ST sales] to tell bears [something] about it.
And they`re still playing for time
And they`re still dodging questions
But they still want the bears money
– Or else..
Or else what?
CoS with welcome carpet that`d make the marble staircase look like a kids playground ride.
Today a MP Siren – But limited agri-value minus demolitions + sports council + no Planning
& a planning gambit would take years – buckets of money – and no guarantees
recap;
Spivs exploited wasted time – spivs `onerously` fed
Months of MSM PR -`ally salutes……` etc – and blew the money
In arrogance they couldn`t care less about [last minute] changing Summer Holiday budgets
They gambled on blind loyalty – they have open revolt
They`re not wanted
It`s quite simple

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Cluster One

Cluster OnePosted on7:10 am - May 13, 2014


Is it to late for the red buckets

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upthehoopsPosted on7:12 am - May 13, 2014


Matty Roth says:
May 12, 2014 at 11:02 pm

Like you, I’m not too sure it will prove a success but my comment on a good start was really more as a whole: Ann Budge seems to have a vision and has clearly set out her goals for the club. I think thats great to see and the goals themselves all seem correctly focused and achievable. There’s no nonsense about rightful places or champions league music at least…
======================================
I wasn’t having a go at her Matty, it was just that I could not think off hand of any occasion where this model has worked at a UK club. Seems to be fine in other parts of Europe but here we are all used to working a specific way. I wonder how Levein himself would react to working under a D.O.F, given his reputation for intransigence.

There does seem much to be positive about though. Anne Budge with her first statement gives the impression of someone who expects no favours and will do things the right way. Particularly significant was her view that liquidation meant the end of Hearts history. The way in which Hearts administration was handled was excellent, including the effort by the fans, indeed, especially the effort from the fans. No-one has shouted their mouths off demanding anything. The heads have been kept down and the reward is a healthier club emerging supported by someone actually prepared to put their money where their mouth is. Compare and contrast the Hearts approach to that of Charles Green two years ago, and Rangers WERE liquidated – night and day doesn’t even begin to describe it. If Hearts go on to seriously put the final stage of ‘the journey’ at risk it will be interesting to see how the media react. I am sure Anne Budge did not get where she did in life by being a weak character, and Craig Levein is no shrinking violet either. They may need every ounce of those skills in the face of a potential onslaught if they dare to threaten what most in the media believe is cast in tablets of stone. I wish them well, as a properly managed Hearts would be nothing other than an asset to our game.

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upthehoopsPosted on7:19 am - May 13, 2014


Para Handy says:
May 12, 2014 at 11:30 pm

There are all the signs of an organisation beginning to crumble. I wouldn’t be surprised if there is a tacit media super-injunction in play…
========================================
Rangers get super-injunctions by default. They don’t even have to apply to a court for them. It’s all part of the deal between them and the self serving fourth estate.

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erniePosted on8:07 am - May 13, 2014


The DoF plus coach/manager may have failed to deliver in the UK but it shows a level of clarity of thought and future planning for which Hearts and Ms Budge deserve plaudits. There are two reasons why. The first is that, whether or not Levein is the right man, she has obviously recognised that as a business woman she needs someone who knows fitba so probably not an ego trip for her.
The second is the whole long termism of the arrangement that we just can’t get a grip of in the UK. This appointment is being reported and discussed as if it’s the old manager/asst manager set up, it isn’t. The theory is that the DoF looks after everything except the team’s tactics and performance on the pitch. He looks after all the continuous stuff such as scouting, contracts, fitness, youths etc. Apart from acknowledging that a good manager may be a crap long term organiser and vice versa the main benefit of the syatem is that if/when the manager leaves the system continues and the next guy steps up. The clear out and rebuild every time a manager leaves cannot be sustained by any serious club; ask Aberdeen! This shows a real commitment to the future.
For some reason the UK game sees this as unacceptable for the coach as “how can he pick the team when he’s not in total control” which is ridiculous, no business hands over total control to a Manager, even CEO’s need a business plan to justify commitment by the company. As an example, interesting to see Malky Mackay has dropped his dispute with Cardiff City and the speculation that he may have overstepped the budget, this is not unusual in fitba.
Good luck to Hearts, I suspect that not only will they be ok in the chumpeenship but they will also come back to the premiership a stronger club. Also hope the DoF thing works out as an example to the others.

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scottc

scottcPosted on8:11 am - May 13, 2014


parttimearab says:
May 12, 2014 at 10:12 pm

neepheid says:
May 12, 2014 at 9:32 pm
Jackson- Murray Park at risk?
“Raising money against Murray Park might then become almost inevitable”
—————————————————————————
Not that you’d be able to raise much against Murray Park.
Unless you lock RFC Ltd into a long term lease………

I may be mistaken, but isn’t Murray Park already held on a long term lease?

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torrejohnbhoy(@johnbhoy1958)Posted on8:11 am - May 13, 2014


Morning all.
Story last night that ST deadline has been moved on to Sunday.Also, 4452 STs had been sold at close of business last night.
WRT the possible sale of available shares(seems investors meeting on Thursday),how does Mr Lethams £1m loan affect calculations.does he take cash,due 1st July or a block of around 5m shares,giving him just under 5% of the business.
Assuming a price of around 20p per share,a full take up makes RIFC around £8.6m.Take away Lethams million and issue costs then RIFC should have around £7m to play with,plus any ST cash they have. Maybe a total of £8.5/9.0m.at current burn rates of around £2.8m p.m. This gets them though May-July and a bit of August.the season will only be a couple of weeks old and they’ll be skint again.
I still don’t see an out for the investors and don’t understand why they’ll continue to throw cash in.

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TaysiderPosted on8:19 am - May 13, 2014


If I was a Hearts supporter I would be very encouraged by Craig Levein’s appointment as Director of Football.

Dundee United were in the football wilderness for many years before Levein’s appointment as manager in October 2006. Eddie Thompson made him Director of Football at United in 2008. He said at the time:

“In Craig Levein we have a manager who can not only achieve long-term improvements on the park, but who can also bring valuable football-related experience and knowledge to the board.

“He is widely respected throughout the game and I have come to rely on his expert advice on a number of matters relating to Dundee United.

“He understands football finance, budgeting and is an excellent man-manager.”

Levein is widely recognised by arabs as the man who laid the foundations for the clubs current success, not just top 6 every year since May 2008 but also a youth development set up for the long term whose success was reflected recently in 3 of the 4 young player of the year nominations coming from the Terrors.

If I was a new Chairman of a Scottish club looking to appoint someone with a proven ability to rebuild a Scottish club with a focus on young talent, Levein would be an obvious choice.

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parttimearabPosted on8:35 am - May 13, 2014


scottc says:
May 13, 2014 at 8:11 am
I may be mistaken, but isn’t Murray Park already held on a long term lease?
—————————————————————————
scottc
Don’t think so – wholly in the ownership of RIFC Plc as far as I’m aware.
I recall some talk of a floating charge held by the Scottish sports council – could it be that you’re thinking of?

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JimBhoyPosted on8:35 am - May 13, 2014


Based on ALL the recent financial discussions around rangers….Chairmen of all clubs should be asking the SFA prior to season start what assurances/proof have rangers given that they will be able to compete for the full season 2104-15 as a fall out impacts all other teams in some way.

The SFA should be held accountable if they roll on the above and just let things happen and rangers, as strongly suspected, go t!ts up during the course of the season.

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JagsmanPosted on8:38 am - May 13, 2014


There is really nothing new in the arrangement proposed by Anne Budge. Indeed Hearts have been down this road before. The upside for the Jambos is that this time the Director of Football is not Vladimir Romanov.

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JimBhoyPosted on8:42 am - May 13, 2014


The Jingle Jangle Journo supreme might be trying for the Ibrox desk that Jabba recently left, going by his latest offering.

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scottc

scottcPosted on8:52 am - May 13, 2014


parttimearab says:
May 13, 2014 at 8:35 am

scottc says:
May 13, 2014 at 8:11 am
I may be mistaken, but isn’t Murray Park already held on a long term lease?
—————————————————————————
scottc
Don’t think so – wholly in the ownership of RIFC Plc as far as I’m aware.
I recall some talk of a floating charge held by the Scottish sports council – could it be that you’re thinking of?

No, I know about the charge (fixed, I believe, rather than floating). I just had it in mind that when David Murray(RFC Plc) bought the property it was as a leasehold, rather than a freehold.

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Long Time Lurker

Long Time LurkerPosted on9:04 am - May 13, 2014


From the LSE (web pages) discussing TRIFC share price:
http://www.lse.co.uk/SharePrice.asp?shareprice=RFC

The emergency loans £500,000 and £1,000,000 we due to be repaid from ST as soon as possible. So once amount exceeds these there will be announcement on AIM that loans cleared…. so far no announcement… so would appear yet to breach that level.

So we have conformation from a single source that once the £1.5m loans are paid off there needs to be an announcement to the Market [AIM]. An announcement that the loans have been paid off would indicate ST sales in excess of £1.5m

Rumours of ST sales in the region of 4,000. I do not see an AIM announcement before Friday 16 May.

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parttimearabPosted on9:36 am - May 13, 2014


Long Time Lurker says:
May 13, 2014 at 9:04 am
So we have conformation from a single source that once the £1.5m loans are paid off there needs to be an announcement to the Market [AIM]. An announcement that the loans have been paid off would indicate ST sales in excess of £1.5m
——————————————————————–
However George Letham does have the option of taking the £1m of his part of the loan in shares as per the original Laxey agreement…..does seem a tad unlikely though…

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wottpiPosted on9:41 am - May 13, 2014


Long Time Lurker says:
May 13, 2014 at 9:04 am

Not sure peole are getting a bit carried away.

The original Regulatory News announcment inlcuded the following..

“The Easdale Facility and the Laxey Facility (together the “Facilities”) are both secured against the Company’s Edmiston House and Albion car park properties. The principal amounts of the Facilities are repayable no later than 1 September 2014 from a variety of potential sources.”

When it changed from Laxey to Letham the RN said the following

“The Laxey Facility, now transferred by Laxey to Mr George Letham, remains subject to the same terms and conditions with the exception that the premium payment has been reduced to £45,000 and remains payable in shares or cash.”

Therefore not sure where all this paid ASAP from Seaspn Ticket money is comming from.

IIRC correctly there was more detail somewhere of how the monies could be paid back in cash or shares but I can’t remember that being specifically linked to any season ticket income and deadlines.

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Rufus Otis and HugoPosted on9:44 am - May 13, 2014


Why have the SMSM not asked Dave King how money has actually been deposited (not pledged) in his ST Trust Fund? Could it be that it is even less impressive that the ST sales?

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Campbellsmoney

CampbellsmoneyPosted on10:03 am - May 13, 2014


Rufus,

I thought that one of the beauties of Mr King’s plan/scheme/proposal/idea was that no one need fork out anything until later.

So would the answer to the question “Mr King, how much cash have you actually received?” not be “None at this stage but that is what I intended/planned/schemed for.”

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GoosyGoosyPosted on10:04 am - May 13, 2014


ecobhoy says:
May 12, 2014 at 7:39 pmecobhoy says:
May 12, 2014 at 7:39 pm
But again I ask myself why would any professional investor want to pour cash into a struggling football club unless they have a plan to make a good return on their investment. And I don’t see footballing activities providing that return.
,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,
Could be a lot of nonsense
But
Take away the idea of “investing”
And substitute
“moving cash into a legal hiding place”
and you might get a clue as to why this Spiv infested business continues to attract Spivs

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andygraham.66Posted on10:06 am - May 13, 2014


I’m just reading the comments section of the Sons of Struth FB page re the Jackson/Auchenhowie leaseback idea

This is a belter from an “Ian”, it really does make you wonder !!!!

Keith Jackson has been on the money since the start of this disaster
.
It has 10 “likes” so far

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ecobhoyPosted on10:07 am - May 13, 2014


parttimearab says:
May 13, 2014 at 9:36 am

However George Letham does have the option of taking the £1m of his part of the loan in shares as per the original Laxey agreement…..does seem a tad unlikely though…
——————————-
Not so sure it is unlikely as Letham is actually a genuine Rangers supporter so it might boil down to whether he can afford not to have the money back asap. there is the other point that if a rights issue is underway then he might want more shares. But being a ‘savvy’ investor he will be well aware that if he doesn’t pony-up for the rights issue his shareholding will be diluted.

There is also the possibility he could defer repayment of his loan in exchange either for more shares or for an interest payment.

things are seldom simple at Ibrox with all the sub-plots that go on with known UK RIFC investors never mind the mystery overseas ones.

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neepheid

neepheidPosted on10:10 am - May 13, 2014


Long Time Lurker says:
May 13, 2014 at 9:04 am

From the LSE (web pages) discussing TRIFC share price:
http://www.lse.co.uk/SharePrice.asp?shareprice=RFC

I don’t agree with the post on LSE. We cannot conclude anything regarding ticket sales from the fact that the emergency loans have not been repaid yet.Here is the relevant wording from the original AIM announcement regarding the loans –

“The Easdale Facility and the Laxey Facility (together the “Facilities”) are both secured against the Company’s Edmiston House and Albion car park properties. The principal amounts of the Facilities are repayable no later than 1 September 2014 from a variety of potential sources.”

http://www.lse.co.uk/share-regulatory-news.asp?shareprice=RFC&ArticleCode=5ur7ks16&ArticleHeadline=Credit_Facility_of_15_milllion

There has been discussion on here regarding Latham’s option to take repayment in shares. In fact he only has the right (inherited from Laxey) to take his premium in shares. So Latham has the right to convert only his £45000 premium into shares, at a price of around 21p per share, so say 220,000 shares, which will make no difference at all to the balance of power behind the curtains of the Blue Room. Easdale has no premium attached to his loan, so his loan is repayable entirely in cash, by 1 September 2014.

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y4rmyPosted on10:14 am - May 13, 2014


Re: The George Letham Loan.

The replacement loan, from “lifelong Rangers fan” George Letham, was “subject to the same terms and conditions with the exception that the premium payment has been reduced to £45,000.” However, the accounts’ “post-balance sheet events” section adds that the facility “carries a potential annualised interest charge of 10% should repayment not be made before 2 July 2014.”

http://twohundredpercent.net/?p=25611

So not a bad deal for George. I suspect the ST rumours are making him a tad nervous though.

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Para Handy

Para HandyPosted on10:29 am - May 13, 2014


andygraham.66 says:
May 13, 2014 at 10:06 am
0 0 Rate This

I’m just reading the comments section of the Sons of Struth FB page re the Jackson/Auchenhowie leaseback idea

This is a belter from an “Ian”, it really does make you wonder !!!!

Keith Jackson has been on the money since the start of this disaster
.
It has 10 “likes” so far
——————————–
To be fair, if you believe in RIFC being the same Club and don’t mind getting the story late, sprinkled with squirrels, inaccuracies and homage to brogues then he is pretty much on the money…

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ecobhoyPosted on10:31 am - May 13, 2014


GoosyGoosy says:
May 13, 2014 at 10:04 am
ecobhoy says:
May 12, 2014 at 7:39 pm
ecobhoy says:
May 12, 2014 at 7:39 pm

But again I ask myself why would any professional investor want to pour cash into a struggling football club unless they have a plan to make a good return on their investment. And I don’t see footballing activities providing that return.
,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,
Could be a lot of nonsense
But Take away the idea of “investing”. And substitute “moving cash into a legal hiding place”
and you might get a clue as to why this Spiv infested business continues to attract Spivs.
==================================
I think we always have to be careful about getting carried away with good conspiracy theories 😆 For starters – I use the term ‘spiv’ for a caricature of a slick-talking, sharp-suited, dodgy dealer who usually promises much more than ever actually materialises.

The Spivs however I refer to don’t break the law and aren’t criminals – they operate just within the system and bend the rules but they don’t actually need to break the law because there are millions of gullible fools out there begging to throw their money away often motivated by a large dash of greed albeit possibly conned by sales patter promising huge returns.

Many vulnerable people are of course dunned which is morally reprehensible but seldom illegal and indeed most approaches to the cops are rebuffed by the comment: ‘It’s a civil matter see a lawyer’ and that’s even when the cops know that criminal gangs are operating large-scale frauds and scams.

I also think that any criminal wanting to launder our hide money in Rangers would need to be aff their heid. This is a ‘club’ under constant inspection from a multitude of people ranging from the bampots and clatterers and subjected to searching investigations from all sides including HMRC, BDO and various legal/court inquiries.

Trust me – that is not where criminals would hide/launder cash 😆 They will chose the 100% anonymous overseas options that operate from jurisdictions beyond the reach of the UK or Interpol and their involvement will be totally hands-off with cut-outs that allow no way of linking them to hot money.

Off course there are always stupid master criminals out there and they mave have caught Rangeritis – so anything’s possible 🙄

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occamPosted on10:31 am - May 13, 2014


andygraham.66 says:
May 13, 2014 at 10:06 am

Those of us who are a of certain age will remember that the word ‘hack’ was also used, especially in cold weather, to refer to the inevitable irritations and sores – usually between fingers and on toes – caused, we were told, by not drying the skin properly and exposing it to icy temperatures. I notice that the Oxford dictionary comments that this definition is now archaic – but I think it sits quite well with the other reference to ‘A writer or journalist producing dull, unoriginal work: eg. ‘(Sunday) newspaper hacks earn their livings on such gullibilities’
There are still too many in society who fall into the latter category, but more power to sites like TSFM to shine a light on the laziness, inaccuracy and craven attitude of too many in the 4th estate who should know better.

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wottpiPosted on11:06 am - May 13, 2014


ecobhoy says:
May 13, 2014 at 10:31 am

You dialogue with Goosy relates to the point I reiterated the other day and other posters have followed up with similar questions of “where is the return” in all of this..

This forum is full of expertise in various fields and without going to far into some of Goosy Goosy’s more elaborate theories I have still to hear anyone come up with an explaination of where the return is ( and iof there is one when it will happen) or what the other financial advantage in terms of offsetting tax liabilities etc are in ploughing money into T’Rangers.

Charles and his mates have clearly recouped their cash and more so what is left for those remaining and any new investors?

Are we all missing something really obvious????

Despite not wanting to get dragged into Barca’s wider SDM debate at least we can all see where he took money out of the club and that being involved in the ‘institution’ brought him other side benefits in terms of his wider profile over the years he was in charge. There is no obvious side benefits for the known and ‘unknown’ institutional investors, so what is their game?

All answers on a postcard to the usual address!!

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easyJamboPosted on11:08 am - May 13, 2014


Hearts first press conference with the new management in place is going on at the moment.

Ann Budge: “I’m going to the SFA tomorrow to present our budget…. Our whole objective is to live within our means.”

Now I wonder if Graham Wallace has said something along the lines of “I’m going to the SFA tomorrow to present our budget. There’s a huge hole in it. but our whole objective is to live within our means of squeezing the last drop of money we can out of the fans and mug investors.”

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andygraham.66Posted on11:11 am - May 13, 2014


WRT to the Facebook/SOS/Jackson story.

SOS in reply said that Jackson was right all along about Craig Whyte but has been pilloried for it

If these people,

and these arent just your guy in the pub, wants a successful Rangers, doesnt delve into how where or why.

but a head honcho from an organisation that is trying to see their club go forward, believes that Jackson has been right all along about Whyte………………….

what chance does the man in the pub, wants a successful Rangers, but hasn’t delved into the how where and why, got????

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Night TerrorPosted on11:12 am - May 13, 2014


Re the Hearts shake up – I’d be interested to hear from our resident Jambos how it is going down amongst their support generally.

From what I saw of Levein (“Sir Craig”) at Tannadice, Hearts have made a very, very good appointment as director of football.

Levein’s talents, even when at Tannadice, were clearly in the long term & strategic stuff. His match day management was always a bit suspect where he seemed to overthink it, which made the SFA decision to pursue him for the 8-games-a-year Scotland job and his decision to accept it as an obvious but understandable mistake on at least one of their parts. However, he made some very brave, foresighted and enlightened decisions in his Director of Football capacity at Tannadice, especially in the youth setup and the appointment of Ian Cathro. He backed it up in the face of resistance of the old guard and crabby Dundonian parents unhappy their big laddies were being forced to play football at training sessions rather than batter the smaller kids around, even if it meant losing.

Neilson I’m less sure of, but it was very noticeable how much better our results were when he played for us than when he didn’t, despite him never doing anything spectacular. I’d be stretching it to say he was a good organiser and motivator, as I don’t know for sure, but on the evidence of his talking and apparent influence on the pitch, those qualities seem likely to me. And if Sir Craig was responsible for his appointment, I’d be very happy with that if I was a Jambo.

Regarding those leaving – everything I saw of Locke and Brown made me think they were just old style shouty football men with no real savvy, and while that can have its uses in some circumstances, I’m glad to see guys with that kind of mindset losing jobs in the Scottish game. As for the players being shed – they seem to be most of the high wage earners and badge-kissers – also good, despite some good performers amongst them. I can think of another recently insolvent club who could have benefited from such an approach in administration.

In summary, I couldn’t imagine a more promising set of appointments and dismissals at Tynecastle. I’m delighted and jealous.

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ecobhoyPosted on11:13 am - May 13, 2014


scottc says:
May 13, 2014 at 8:52 am

No, I know about the charge (fixed, I believe, rather than floating). I just had it in mind that when David Murray(RFC Plc) bought the property it was as a leasehold, rather than a freehold.
=========================================
Away back when the deal was done there was rumblings about it being a long-term lease but I don’t think there was ever any positive proof of the lease provided although there has been if my memory serves me correctly a land register certificate produced showing TRFCL as owners. I have never actually checked the Land Register personally so I don’t know who now owns it.

However I did a couple of posts on scotslawthoughts on Murray Park some of which is still relevant and interesting IMO 😀

http://scotslawthoughts.wordpress.com/2012/07/25/the-sfa-and-its-role-in-any-future-sale-of-rangers-murray-park-by-ecojon/
http://scotslawthoughts.wordpress.com/2012/07/20/smoke-mirrors-and-sevco-rangers-assets-guest-post-by-ecojon/

I also did the undernoted post here in January 2014 which included details of the planning moves over Auchenhowie:

Auchenowie is an interesting study in the sometimes complex world of planning permissions and the financial gain which can sometimes accrue from them, or not, as the case might be.

Auchenhowie, before it became Murray Park, had been used in ‘a low-key’ manner for many years by Kelvinside Academy pupils as playing fields mainly to train and play rugby and had no changing facilities. The area was under-used, rather neglected and overgrown with a lot of self-seeded on-site trees. Wrt the Local Plan it was playing fields set in Greenbelt.

However a slumbering giant awoke and an outline planning application was submitted by Kelvinside Academy to EDC which noted it was for: ‘an extensive sports facility in the Green Belt’.

EDC planning committee heard on 20 August 1998:

‘The school have sold their playing field on Great Western Road and plan to make full use of this site as the new school playing fields. The outline plans show a new access road, groundsman house, changing facilities, car parking and rugby, cricket, five-a-side, and hockey pitches.

‘The application is outline so details of these facilities would be the subject of detailed applications submitted at a future date.’

In recommending that the committee pass the application a council official stated: ‘I consider that financial planning gain is inappropriate.’ The committee duly rubber-stamped the proposal which, in itself, is hardly surprising as I’m sure they would genuinely wish to assist the school and make sure they weren’t left without playing fields. And I can even understand why the councillors accepted that there should be no financial clawback for granting outline planning permission despite the obvious increase in value this bestowed on the ground in question.

So what happened after the Kelvinside Academy planning application was approved by committe on 20 August 1998. Well Rangers Football Club Plc submitted a planning application on 9 August 1999 to build Murray Park on the greenfield site owned by Kelvinside Academy.

The planning committee were told by the relevant official:

‘I consider that this proposal complies with Local Plan policy. The proposal is for a private training
facility for Rangers FC. Access will be strictly controlled. The site will be fenced.

I can see no mention of any ‘financial planning gain’ being applied but I hope I’m correct in assuming a large payment was required from the most successful club in the world especially in view of its enormous wealth. I also wonder if the permission would have been won so easily if the original apparently’stalking horse’ planning submission hadn’t been made and approved.

I have no wish to become the victim of paranoid conspiracy theories but I do ponder over my recollection that the Kelvinside Academy playing fields are still at Balgray just off Great Western Road – a short walk from the school. So they obviously weren’t sold it would appear. I suppose there might have been other playing fields that I am unaware of that were and I’m sure the many Old Boys of that private school on here will set me right.

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Night TerrorPosted on11:18 am - May 13, 2014


Second thought on the Levein appointment – great eye for a player, so the money saved on those Hearts regulars he’s shipped out will probably be used to bring in twice as many players on the same money.

Anyway, enough of my Levein cheerleading. He’ll be sniffing around the Tannadice youth team soon enough annoying me.

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AyeRightNawPosted on11:18 am - May 13, 2014


Mebbe as has been floated on here before it’s not so much about return on investment at Scotland’s newest club but simply a tax vehicle to allow major investors to set their losses against other income a la Take That.

Like most others on here I really struggle to see any other financial benefit of investment particularly as it seems highly unlikely that there’s a long game to play.

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ptd1978Posted on11:30 am - May 13, 2014


I was genuinely surprised by some of the tactics that Tom English used to get stuck into Craig Levein on the BBC last night.
It’s clear he doesn’t like the guy, but revising history to declare him a failure as a manager is just bad journalism. Okay, Scotland and Leicester were unsuccessful, but he knows what he’s doing in domestic Scottish football. English stating that his third place finishes for Hearts were due to everyone else being rubbish only exposes English’s prejudice and willingness to deny reality to argue his own opinions. Great journalism!!
Accusing him of being a political operator rather than being a football manager is also disingenuous. CL wants what all football managers want. Complete control of footballing matters. How different organisations choose to give him this is a matter for those organisations. He still gets fires when he fails. Something English was willing to speculate Hearts couldn’t afford to do in this setup and on the wages CL is probably on. English doesn’t have this information, he’s throwing stones with a blindfold on and it’s far more revealing about the journalist than the manager.
In the year or so that information about McCoist’s salary and importance to Sevco have been available, English hasn’t once spoken so openly about McCoist’s self serving actions – and he has cold hard facts to refer to there rather than just making stuff up like he did last night.
Implying that Budge is an excellent businesswoman in all senses apart from the one time where Levein bamboozled her into spending everything Hearts had on his salary just makes English look like an idiot.

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easyJamboPosted on11:34 am - May 13, 2014


Night Terror says: May 13, 2014 at 11:12 am

Your assessment is a fair one. There were always going to be some questions over Levein’s appointment with Locke being shown the door. A poll on Jambos Kickback (of 1,250 votes) gave Locke 57% support to continue as manager.

I’ve spoken to Robbie Neilson and a number of the younger players in the last few weeks and he seems to be very focussed on what he wants achieve with the players. The youngsters have responded positively to his coaching methods since he took over the U20s in October last year. (he has been working them much harder physically than before). I guess his first real test will be in this evening’s U20 cup final.

It’s a positive step forward to go in with a plan and execute it without emotion. There are now gaps to fill both on the playing side and in the coaching/academy side.

Neilson has indicated at this morning’s press conference that he will be picking the team. He is also looking to bring in six players – a keeper, a centre back, two midfielder and two attackers. That would leave a full time complement of 28 players including youths.

Among the backroom staff there will be a vacancy as Neilson’s assistant/U20 coach and possibly more important a new Academy director as John Murray is being eased back to the role of Chief Scout. Jim Spence was tweeting about Ian Cathro maybe re-joining Levein yesterday. It could be that he is being earmarked for the Academy director’s role. Cathro is currently Asst Manager with Rio Ave in Portugal who play Benfica in the Portuguese Cup Final at the weekend, so maybe no announcement before then if it is to be Cathro.

There’s never a dull moment down Tynecastle way these days.

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torrejohnbhoy(@johnbhoy1958)Posted on12:10 pm - May 13, 2014


@Pmacgiollabhain: Ah the circus has a new act…
Blue Pitch & Margarita are now banging the drum for immediate austerity measures.
Rather late in the day…

@Pmacgiollabhain: Of course Blue Pitch & Margarita would not hear any talk about those pesky “onerous” contracts…

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tomtomPosted on12:40 pm - May 13, 2014


ecobhoy says:
May 13, 2014 at 11:13 am
===================
I lived next to Balgray at the time of the application. Apparently Advocaat put the kibosh on it as it “was the wrong shape”. The original purchase price was I believe somewhere in the region of £4.3m. I can only surmise that when the deal fell through Kelvinside Academy offered them Auchenhowie as a replacement. It would be interesting though to see what the charge that Kelvinside have/had over Auchenhowie was about. Maybe they are entitled to a cut from any future sale?

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ecobhoyPosted on12:50 pm - May 13, 2014


wottpi says:
May 13, 2014 at 11:06 am
ecobhoy says:
May 13, 2014 at 10:31 am

at least we can all see where he (DM) took money out of the club and that being involved in the ‘institution’ brought him other side benefits in terms of his wider profile over the years he was in charge. There is no obvious side benefits for the known and ‘unknown’ institutional investors, so what is their game?
=============================
What indeed is their game? I tend to think that the delay in finishing the game is either because there is serious disagreement as to the favoured objective and/or deep divisions as to how best to achieve it.

And my opinion gives absolutely no regard as to footballing success in Scotland or Europe because I don’t figure that plays any part in the game plan.

Laxeys and the institutional investors who foolishly IMO bought-in on flotation I understand. But what I really don’t understand is why Margarita, Blue Pitch, Putney Holdings and Norne Anstalte and a few others of the original Sevco 5088 investors are still there. That’s the mystery to me not helped by their anonymity and being offshored.

Wrt to DM we have to remember that when it was all happening there was a dearth of info and anything that existed wasn’t carried by the SMSM – surprise surprise – although many were aware of rumblings especially from – believe it or not – some financially clued-up FF fanzine fans who actually challenged DM face to face at agms.

But they got no support and were shouted down by the majority for doubting the biggest Sugar Daddy of them all or so it was believed by many in that pre-Bampot era 🙄

I have no truck with FF and their beliefs but they were certain that there was something ‘iffy’ aboiut Rangers finances, they were unhappy at what appeared to be contracts that removed money from Ibrox and reduced the financial viability of the ‘club’ and generally questioned the stability of Murray’s financial Empire.

Just a pity there fellow Bears didn’t listen and of course the SMSM continued to look the other way – for a variety of reasons.

And that’s why the Bears are where they are !

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oddjob

oddjobPosted on12:59 pm - May 13, 2014


Many thousands of Taysiders will trek to Celtic Park at the weekend to attend the Cup Final. For the majority it may be their first visit to the ground. Indeed, especially for the youngsters, it may be their first Cup Final. I hope they are royally entertained and , win or lose , go home infused with a determination to support their team wholeheartedly in the future.

To quote an old Andy Williams song,

There’ll be sadness and joy, there’ll be laughter and tears.

The most important thing is your support, so sing your hearts out and have a great day.

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