Podcast Episode 3 – David Low


There is a great line in one of Mark Twain’s …

Comment on Podcast Episode 3 – David Low by Martin.

There is a great line in one of Mark Twain’s letters (I can’t remember to whom it’s addressed) in which he says “I’m sorry this letter is so long, I didn’t have time to write a shorter one”.

It seems like such a counter intuitive thing to say but I guess what he meant was that boiling everything you want to say down to the salient points takes time.

The eagerly awaited Graham Wallace review of company finances and prospects surprised most observers at the outset by having a less than onerous deadline of 120 days. I’m unable to say for sure but I suspect it’s a time frame in excess of what Mr Twain had in mind for achieving clarity.

As it happens the document produced seems a little thin on substantive detail on how the year on year plan to ultimately place Rangers at the top of Scottish football and reap the rewards of European competition is to be paid for.

Possible sources of income are suggested but immediately undermined by the reality of voting at the companies AGM.

“ In order to achieve the strategy identified below, the Company will need to raise capital. The Board has determined that over the next three years it expects to raise between £20 million and £30 million to be invested in the Club. The Board will consider the most appropriate source of finance which may be available to the Club including equity and other sources in order to obtain the necessary funding whilst also seeking to ensure the Club’s financial stability is protected.
The Directors consider that the issue of equity is important and likely to be an appropriate method of achieving a strong balance sheet. The Board acknowledges the importance of supporters as shareholders as well as its institutional investors.
At the current time the Company is not in a position to carry out a significant equity fundraising as the required shareholder authority that was requested at the AGM to enable the Board to allot shares on a non pre-emptive basis was not granted. “

If day one of the 120 day review began at the AGM then clearly the most significant bar to future to future sources of funds was well understood and required little explanation.

As it is plans for new positions to provide structural support to the football side of the business remain attractive but without detailed means of funding.

The big surprise for Rangers fans season ticket aspirants is that securing their seat for the coming season has become more complex and doubtful.

When you spend time refining the points of your missive to the wider world sometimes 120 days is just not long enough particularly if it’s bad news.

Martin Also Commented

Podcast Episode 3 – David Low

I’m sure my hat is in no immediate danger of being consumed, read carefully the stipulations placed in its defence.

Podcast Episode 3 – David Low
The 120 day review produced by GW has not unsurprisingly divided opinion among the Rangers fan base though it’s fair to say that they were hardly united prior to the documents release.

For all the posturing and back biting exhibited by the various fan groups ‘saving’ the club is at least an apparent common goal, though given the notional immortality of the ‘club’ in question, perhaps achieving its former status and how such a thing might be achieved is a better way of framing the issue.

Someone and I can’t possibly reveal my source, once said “those whom the gods wish to destroy they first make mad “.

Personally I don’t believe in gods, not even one of them, but the quote remains poignant nevertheless.

While many Rangers fans agonise over giving their support to Dave King or the current board, those who have for various reasons already chosen their camp snipe at those who have chosen the alternative.

Moreover each side has actively engaged in a war of words designed to undermine the appeal of their opponent.

I’m sure the more thoughtful among the Rangers support must realise that they have been over this before.

Whatever happened to the ‘requesitioners’? Or any of the other would be saviours, ‘blue knight’ anyone?

While the debates have raged over the last couple of years and support for various individuals or groups have waxed and waned the choice for Rangers fans has always been given the appearance of a stark one.

Lending support to one group or the other was and still seems to be imperative. One side surely holds the keys to the much longed for return to the place called ‘rightful’, while the other offers only ruin.

In reality the choices faced by Rangers fans are never quite as binary as the current or previous protagonists would have them believe.

The box missing in this engineered faux ballot might be preceded by the words ‘none of the above’.

The extraordinary thing is that when the very idea that Rangers would be able to complete their fixtures in the coming season is openly questioned the plan put in place by the current board involves winning the top division in Scottish football and generating wealth from the resultant participation in European competition in a remarkably short time frame.

What madness is this?

Well to be clear it’s the kind of madness that involves someone or some group blithely spending 30 million pounds with no hope of return, making sure that it happens.

Except…they can’t make sure that it happens. So someone or some group are required to blithely spend 30 million pounds with no hope of return and no hope of European football success either.

Who do they have in mind, David Murray?

The King plan going forward is less well defined. Actually it’s not defined at all. Stopping Celtic winning titles seems to be an aim (no real harm in that) though there seems an all too familiar lack of anything substantial. Naturally the aim is appealing to Rangers fans for obvious reasons but anyone could make that an aim.

Does that justify support?

Shakespeare often made great use of a jester or some other lowly character like a grave digger to inform his audience of a truth that the main protagonists in the play could not see.

The kind of person who with wild eyes might suddenly exclaim something like “starve them out!”.

The truth for Rangers fans is that securing a future for the club might mean taking a realistic view of what that future looks like.

First and foremost having a club to support has to rank higher than any other ambition.

If you happen to hear of anyone talking about cutting costs and consolidating the position you are in now rather than making fanciful predictions of what the future may have in store, two things will happen. One, I will eat my hat, and two; you will have a team to support for the foreseeable future.

Podcast Episode 3 – David Low
John Clark,

“He’s actually offering them nothing, full stop!”

No argument from me on that point. I can’t bring any evidence to support your wider view on his (Dave King) intentions to have control of “critical property assets” there are others who would claim first dibs 🙂

Recent Comments by Martin

A spectre is haunting Scottish Football
John Clark says:
December 18, 2014 at 11:50 pm

with respect, I don’t think any evidence has been withheld in any recent disciplinary cases.

A spectre is haunting Scottish Football
There is it seems a developing question.

Who do we get to judge on issues that occur in football games if we cant accept the view of an independent panel and a process which allows appeal to an equally independent panel?

A spectre is haunting Scottish Football
Smugas says:
December 18, 2014 at 10:39 pm

exactly so.

A spectre is haunting Scottish Football
TSFM says:
December 17, 2014 at 12:10 am

Yes, everyone needs to grow up. Now.

A spectre is haunting Scottish Football
Aleksandar Tonev Appellate Tribunal Outcome
Tuesday, 16 December 2014

An Appellate Tribunal convened in accordance with the Judicial Panel Protocol has considered the following case:

Appellant: Aleksandar Tonev (Celtic FC)
Match: Celtic v Aberdeen (SPFL Premiership) – 13th September 2014

Disciplinary Rule(s) allegedly breached:

Disciplinary Rule 202: Excessive Misconduct by the use of offensive, insulting and abusive language of a racist nature.

Outcome: The appeal has been rejected and an immediate seven-match suspension will be applied (with one match having already been served).

Having read through the decisions given, firstly the initial hearing and latterly at the appellate tribunal I think it’s worth noting that the decisions taken and the reasons for them have been made public.

We have The Right Honourable Lord Bonomy to thank for that and his reasons for doing so in a postscript to the appellate tribunal decision are worth noting.

“There has inevitably been ill-informed speculation about the reasons for the Disciplinary Tribunal deciding to uphold the complaint and impose a seven match suspension. Against that background the Appellate Tribunal consider that it would be in the interests of the parties, in the interests of the wider football community and in the general public interest to publish this decision and the terms of the original Disciplinary Tribunal decision, thus ensuring that any debate is informed.”
I have no firsthand experience of the evidence given or any knowledge of Aleksander Tonev as a person but I am persuaded that those who passed judgement at the hearings did so fairly having considered the matter within the terms that the rules provide.
The suspension from playing football for seven matches also seems appropriate and within the rules.

Perhaps the Right Honourable Lord Bonomy had Twitter in mind when he wrote his postscript.

Immediately after the Appellate decision had been made all manner of opinion apppeared.

Polls were being conducted and questions raised.

Should Aleksander Tonev be sacked? Are the SFA equipped or appropriate in dealing with issues of racism? It’s wrong to convict someone of racism on no more that the evidence of his accuser?

I’m paraphrasing but you get the idea.

Going back to the original judgement it’s worth taking a look at the complaint in question.

Disciplinary Rule 202: Excessive Misconduct by the use of offensive, insulting and abusive language of a racist nature.

The result of the tribunal is damning in its conclusion, there is no place for this kind of abusive language in football and the penalty imposed is appropriate.

The question of whether or not Aleksander Tonev is a racist is not one that was asked of the judicial panel nor should it have been.

The judgement given and supported at appeal is limited to Disciplinary Rule 202 and applicable penalties.

If anyone wants a wider judgement on this the SFA is not the place to go. Those who have given their time and experience to the case have completed their task, thoughtfully and incisively.

If you apply their answer to a different question you are likely to run in to problems.

I’m not sure TSFM is the place for me to comment further on this. So I’ll leave it at that.

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