Scottish Football: An Honest Game, Honestly Governed?

ByTrisidium

Scottish Football: An Honest Game, Honestly Governed?

A Guest Blog by Auldheid for TSFM

Honesty requires both transparency and accountability. In pursuit of honest, transparent and accountable governance of Scottish football, and only that objective, the following letter, with attachments, has been sent to SPFL lawyers, CEO and SPFL Board Members.

An honest game free from deception is what football supporters of all clubs want. It is the action the letter and attachments prompt that will tell us if there is any intention of providing it.

It is a response on behalf of readers here on TSFM, but the sentiment which underpins it is almost universally held amongst fans of all clubs.  Importantly it is a response directly to all clubs, especially those with a SPFL Board member, that will make the clubs and the football authorities aware just how seriously supporters take the restoration of trust in an honest game, honestly governed.

The annexes to the letter contain information which may be published at a later date. We thought it appropriate to first await any response from any of the recipients.

Please also draw this to the attention of friends who are not internet using supporters and love their football and their club.

Auldheid

__________________________________________________________________

Harper MacLeod
The Ca’d’oro
45 Gordon Street
Glasgow
G1 3PE
19 Feb 2014
Copy sent to SPFL CEO and Board Members *
Dear Mr McKenzie
We the contributors to The Scottish Football Monitoring web site write to you in your capacity as the legal adviser employed by Harper MacLeod to assist the Scottish Premier League (now the Scottish Professional Football League) to gather evidence and investigate the matter of incorrect player registrations involving concealed side letters and employee benefit trusts as defined in the eventual Lord Nimmo Smith Commission.
We note from the then SPL announcement that set up an enquiry that the initial date range to be covered was from the inception of the SPL in July 1998, but that was changed to 23 November 2000 because, according to our understanding, that is the date of the first side letter supplied by Rangers Administrators Duff and Phelps. It is also our understanding that the SPL asked for all documentation relating to side letters as well as the letters themselves.
It is a matter of public record that Rangers Administrators failed to supply the SPL all relevant documentation. Indeed the seriousness of not complying with SPL requests was the subject of an admonition of Rangers/Duff and Phelps from Lord Nimmo Smith under Issue 4 of his Commission.
Quite how serious that failure to comply or concealment was in terms of misleading the Commission and so Lord Nimmo Smith can now be assessed from the information contained at Annexes 1 to 10 attached.
We think that as legal advisers to the SPL (now the SPFL) you have a responsibility to make them aware that their Commission was misled by the concealment of documents starting on 3 September 1999, and signed by current SFA President Campbell Ogilvie, whose silence on the ebt matters referred to in the attached annexes* is questionable at the very least.
This letter but not attachments is being posted on The Scottish Football Monitor web site as this is matter for all of Scottish football and support for the issue being pursued to establish the truth can be gauged by responses from supporters from all Scottish clubs once the letter has been published there.
A copy of this letter with Annexes has also been sent to the SPFL CEO and members of the SPFL Board.
Acknowledgement of receipt and reply can be sent by e mail to:
(Address supplied)
Yours in sport

On behalf of The Scottish Football Monitor contributors and readers. http://www.tsfm.org.uk/

Addressees copied in
Neil Doncaster CEO
The Scottish Professional Football League
Hampden Park
Glasgow G42 9DE

Eric Riley (Celtic),
The Celtic Football Club
Celtic Park
Glasgow G40 3RE

Stephen Thompson (Dundee United),
Tannadice Park,
Tannadice Street,
Dundee, DD3 7JW

Duncan Fraser (Aberdeen);
Aberdeen Football Club plc
Pittodrie Stadium
Pittodrie Street
Aberdeen AB24 5QH

Les Gray (Hamilton),
Hamilton Academical FC
New Douglas Park
Hamilton
ML3 0FT

Mike Mulraney (Alloa)
Alloa Athletic FC
Clackmannan Road
Recreation Park
Alloa FK10 1RY

Bill Darroch (Stenhousemuir).
Stenhousemuir F.C.
Ochilview Park
Gladstone Road
Stenhousemuir
Falkirk
FK5 4QL

About the author

Trisidium administrator

Trisidium is a Dunblane businessman with a keen interest in Scottish Football. He is a Celtic fan, although the demands of modern-day parenting have seen him less at games and more as a taxi service for his kids.

3,234 Comments so far

James DolemanPosted on12:39 am - Mar 27, 2014


” I’m not hurting at all, Celtic won the league and congratulations to them for doing so. I was merely responding to a comment the contents of which I disagreed with.”

Only the three I’s in that post Ryan, you are improving.

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Resin_lab_dogPosted on12:40 am - Mar 27, 2014


RyanGosling says:
March 26, 2014 at 10:32 pm

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Sorry FIFA but was that you just blaming the stewards for fans invading the pitch? Not having that, sorry. Everyone is responsible for their own actions and pitch invasions are not to be tolerated in this day and age.

__________________________________

You make a fair point Ryan.
It wasn’t their pitch to invade.
And you are especially right that if it was TRFC fans invading after being crowned champions there would be approbation from many. (Me for starters,if I am honest!… see below) You are right to demand such consistency within this forum and I applaud that.

However I read FIFAs piece as it was officiousness of stewards that engineered circumstances which allowed the pitch invasion to take place.

Now if good order is maintained and it was a home ground (and this wasn’t), I would say… pitch invasion? fair enough.
I notice that 40,000 dons managed to celebrate the breaking of a 19 year duck without spilling onto the turf. I know this because I watched from the losing stands, and it still goes down as one of my greatest ever footballing nights.
It wasn’t their turf to plough. They respected it.

But I also believe that Caley would happily allow well behaved spectators onto the park to celebrate in good nature with players, staff and officials if circumstances ever merited it, knowing that respect would be afforded and officialdom respected. We are not by and large a lairy bunch and can be trusted not to cross lines, I hope.
And I take the view that if a bunch of chinless rugby fans can be trusted to behave themselves in mixed company, and not to scuff the grass when charging onto the pitch at the end of the 6 nations or whatever, you can be sure that the ladies and gents of the highlands would also conduct themselves with suitable decorum should we ever meet with an occasion that would warrant such a celebration. This is what we should aspire to.

But I would respectfully also point out that the corrupt system that has operated within Scottish football over the past wee whiley – to the favour of one (possibly 2) clubs and at the expense of all others- and which continues to exert its malignant influence as I write – has unjustly made the remote possibility of such a celebration for us *decent fans of honest clubs all the more remote.

So, on the whole, I think we should be aspiring for a level of respect in the sport that made such occurrences an accepted non event, rather than a public order breakdown.

Its sportsmanship.

Honesty. Integrity. It starts with players staying on their feet in the 18 yars box and builds from there into an honest game, honestly governed. It includes paying taxes. Obeying rules in a spirit of fairness. And encouraging the values we would like to see our children witness and inherit.

Kids for a quid anyone?

*I consider that you are quite clearly a decent fan Ryan. And I wish you every success in turning your club honest.

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Resin_lab_dogPosted on1:22 am - Mar 27, 2014


RyanGosling says:
March 26, 2014 at 10:43 pm

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Comeongetaff I’m not hurting at all, Celtic won the league and congratulations to them for doing so. I was merely responding to a comment the contents of which I disagreed with.

__________________________________________

Congratulations to your guys for beating the teams that were put in front of them.
You have a huge amount of respect on this forum Ryan.
And that has been honestly won.

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RobbypPosted on2:28 am - Mar 27, 2014


Remember the little guy with the ‘off-the-radar’ IQ who, apparently, invested heavily in Sevco? Whatever happened to him? If he is still there, which side is he backing?

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easyJamboPosted on7:33 am - Mar 27, 2014


Interims out this am

http://rangers.g3dhosting.com/regulatory_news_article/375

27 March 2014 Embargoed for 07:00

Rangers International Football Club plc

Interim Results
Rangers International Football Club plc (AIM:RFC), the holding company for the ‘Rangers Football Club Limited (“Club”)’, is pleased to announce interim results for the six month period to 31 December 2013.

Highlights
· Season ticket sales of approximately 36,000 for the 2013/14 season
· Average home league attendance of over 40,000 during the period; seventh highest ranking UK football attendance
· Revenue of £13.2m up by 38% (£9.5m for the 7 months ended 31 December 2012)
o strong increase in sales from Sports Direct Retail partnership
· Operating expenses of £16.8m (£16.6m for the 7 months ended 31 December 2012)
· Reduced loss before tax, excluding non-recurring items of £3.5m (£7.2m for the 7 months ended 31 December 2012)
· Cash of £3.5m as at 31 December 2013 (£21.2m at 31 December 2012)

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easyJamboPosted on7:37 am - Mar 27, 2014


Emphasis of matter – Going concern

In arriving at our review conclusion, which is not qualified, we have considered the adequacy of the disclosures in note 2 to the condensed set of financial statements in the half yearly report for the six months ending 31 December 2013 concerning the Company’s ability to continue as a going concern. The Company has made key assumptions in relation to the timing of season ticket monies, the volume and pricing of season ticket sales, increase in matchday income and sponsorship, the timing and value of dividends from Rangers Retail Limited and further cost reductions.

This condition relating to the timing of receipt of season ticket monies, along with the details provided in note 2 to the condensed set of financial statements, indicate the existence of a material uncertainty which may cast significant doubt about the Company’s ability to continue as a going concern and therefore that the Company may be unable to realise its assets and discharge its liabilities in the normal course of business. The financial statements do not include the adjustments that would result if the Company was unable to continue as a going concern.

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easyJamboPosted on8:10 am - Mar 27, 2014


I’d guess that on the surface, that the numbers don’t look quite as bad as feared. (approx. £600K per month loss), but I suspect that there are a few nuggets to be found e.g.

Income from Retail looks fairly healthy at £4,750M, up from £941K however costs for Retail have gone up to £3M from £400K

Their £3.475M cash balance isn’t quite what it seems:
“Included within cash balances is £1,669,000 relating to Rangers Retail Limited, which is not immediately available as working capital to the Group as a whole. ”

The £3.5M Operating loss was after a tax credit of £813K was included, so the Operating loss can be judged as £4.3M (or £700K a month)

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ecobhoyPosted on8:34 am - Mar 27, 2014


Castofthousands says:
March 26, 2014 at 11:57 pm

It is the contribution of everyone that brings any significance the blog may have. Even if you only post once you may set in motion a chain of events that eventually leads to a revelation or deeper understanding.

I couldn’t agree more and have often thought of ‘butterfly wings’ when I have spotted something a fellow poster has mentioned or alluded to which switches on a light in my brain and provides a key or a link to my own searching which had previously eluded me.

And the wider range of posters we have the better so that we can discuss and come to conclusions based on differing viewpoints and not only come to understand why those views are held but how they can be used to strengthen the moral and sporting integrity which should be the rock our great game is built on.

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TSFMPosted on8:37 am - Mar 27, 2014


easyJambo says:

March 27, 2014 at 7:37 am

Emphasis of matter – Going concern
__________________________________

A not so transparently positioned warning shot against the DK ST embargo plan?

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easyJamboPosted on8:39 am - Mar 27, 2014


A key number to watch is the cash burn rate
Dec 2012 – Cash at Bank £21.2M
June 2013 – £11.2M (down £10M) or £1.67M a month
Dec 2013 – £3.475M (down £7.7M) or £1.28M a month

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easyJamboPosted on8:53 am - Mar 27, 2014


Looking at the turnover breakdown compared to the period to Dec 2012 shows a bit more reality about the day to day operations.

Gate receipts & hospitality – down
Sponsorship & advertising – up
Broadcasting – down
Commercial Income – down
Retail – up
Other income – down

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Mr AndersonPosted on8:55 am - Mar 27, 2014


@EasyJambo – good point re the burn rate – June to Dec £1.3m per month
£3.475m left in Dec + £1.5m loans in Feb = £5m
£1.3m per month X 4 = £5.2 – so mid April unless the burn rate reduced is when the cash could run out ❓

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essexbeancounterPosted on8:57 am - Mar 27, 2014


comeongetaff says:

March 26, 2014 at 10:17 pm

Just want to share this.
The one and only time I’ve ran onto a pitch was back in 1966.
Celtic had just won the league.For the first in yonks.
I was dragged on to the park by my Da.
He is now long dead. But thank you Da.
Anyway Billy Mc Neil ruffled my head as he was going off at full time.
I turned 60 last week.And I have a full head of hair.
Coincidence or what.
=========================================================================
Comeongetaff…thank you for sharing that wonderful memory…I too was there with my late father…just old enough to be allowed to an away game, all the way to Motherwell…!
PS I also have my full head of hair…must have been the atmosphere.

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Angus1983Posted on9:03 am - Mar 27, 2014


comeongetaff says:
March 26, 2014 at 10:17 pm

Just want to share this.
The one and only time I’ve ran onto a pitch was back in 1966.
——

In the spirit of experience sharing – the only time I’ve been on the pitch was when Aberdeen paraded the ECWC at Pittodrie in 1983. I’d been up at E&M and the Town House first for the bus coming down Onion Street, then ran along King Street (I could do such things in those days)to catch the bus coming down Pittodrie Street, then into the Main Stand to see the Cup getting carried round the pitch, and finally onto the pitch itself. I’ve got photies somewhere. 🙂

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ecobhoyPosted on9:08 am - Mar 27, 2014


easyJambo says:
March 27, 2014 at 8:39 am

A key number to watch is the cash burn rate
Dec 2012 – Cash at Bank £21.2M
June 2013 – £11.2M (down £10M) or £1.67M a month
Dec 2013 – £3.475M (down £7.7M) or £1.28M a month

I also refer to your earlier comment: ‘Their £3.475M cash balance isn’t quite what it seems: “Included within cash balances is £1,669,000 relating to Rangers Retail Limited, which is not immediately available as working capital to the Group as a whole”.’

What I wonder is where the £1.669 million actually is and do we know if it is actually in Rangers bank account. Could it still be in the bank account of Rangers Retail Ltd which is totally controlled in financial issues by Sportsdirect?

If the figure represents profit from the joint venture kit sales then why is there some kind of ‘restriction’ in what Rangers can do with it. Why isn’t it free and clear cask to be spent on whatever Rangers wants to spend it on.

Is it money that can only be spent on rebuilding the new Rangers/Sports Direct megastore at Edmiston House. And that again takes me back to the issue of whether it is the drawn-down loan described in the Rangers AIM prospectus which from memory was to a max of £1.5 million + interest.

I don’t have access to the last accounts which also referred to this conundrum but I have a memory that the figure was £1 million. The latest figure fits well with the draw-down facility and interest charged on the loan.

The missing bit of the jigsaw is that the drawdown loan was to be secured on Rangers property either heritable or leased and there is no sign of that and the use of Edmiston House in the Laxey/Easdale loan and subsequently again seems at odds with the loan being secured on Edmiston House.

But maybe it’s because I’m not an accountant that I can’t understand how Rangers can present £1.669 million in their accounts as beiung cash at their bank but they can’t spend it because it’s tied-up in some way.

Perhaps Bears might want to add this to their list of questions of the Board – there’s obviously no hope of the SMSM stirring themselves into actually trying to get any answers 🙄

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CampbellsmoneyPosted on9:11 am - Mar 27, 2014


Its a (c). 700K a month real losses. Bonuses all round.

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y4rmyPosted on9:13 am - Mar 27, 2014


Given the going concern warning, I wonder if Imran Ahmad will be heading back to court ASAP.

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ecobhoyPosted on9:15 am - Mar 27, 2014


easyJambo says:
March 27, 2014 at 8:53 am

Looking at the turnover breakdown compared to the period to Dec 2012 shows a bit more reality about the day to day operations.

Gate receipts & hospitality – down

I assume the gate receipt reduction will be directly due to the reduction in seat prices?

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neepheidPosted on9:25 am - Mar 27, 2014


ecobhoy says:
March 27, 2014 at 9:08 am

But maybe it’s because I’m not an accountant that I can’t understand how Rangers can present £1.669 million in their accounts as beiung cash at their bank but they can’t spend it because it’s tied-up in some way.
================
I remember commenting on this when the last set of accounts came out. I simply do not understand how Rangers Retail can be consolidated in the accounts of RIFC, when it is about as completely under the control of Sports Direct (Mike Ashley) as it possibly could be, short of outright ownership.

I intended writing to Deloittes for an explanation of the basis of consolidation, but I’m afraid I lost interest and didn’t bother. I did check the Companies Act provisions and the accountancy standards, and my conclusion was that Rangers Retail, if a subsidiary of anyone, was a subsidiary of Sports Direct. Maybe I’ll resurrect my interest and drop a “concerned potential investor” letter to Deloittes this weekend.

The cash balance which RIFC can’t access is almost certainly in the bank account of Rangers Retail, and so controlled by Ashley. He has a clear interest in keeping the Rangers show on the road, since it is very profitable business for his company. I wonder if that cash is the whole amount in the RR account, or 51% of it?

Why is nothing ever straightforward with anything to do with Ibrox?

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bobcobbPosted on9:33 am - Mar 27, 2014


Eco, did TRFC not have the same level of ticket pricing in the period June to December 2012 as June to December 2013?

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bluPosted on9:34 am - Mar 27, 2014


ecobhoy says:
March 27, 2014 at 9:08 am
====================================
From the RIFC accounts to 30 June 2013 (13 month period): ” Included within cash and bank balances is £946,000 relating to Rangers Retail Limited, which is not immediately available as working capital to the Group as a whole.”

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easyJamboPosted on9:43 am - Mar 27, 2014


ecobhoy says: March 27, 2014 at 9:08 am
I don’t have access to the last accounts which also referred to this conundrum but I have a memory that the figure was £1 million. The latest figure fits well with the draw-down facility and interest charged on the loan.
————————
The figure from the last accounts was £946K, so it has gone up by £723K.

That may well be Rangers share (dividend?) of the Retail profits over the 6 month period.

However income of £4.75M and costs of £3M would suggest a profit on Retail of £1.75M.

I too have difficulty understanding the operation of the deal with Sports Direct, but I suspect that TRFC doesn’t benefit as much as they would like.
—————————————————–
It is interesting that the club should claim that their staff costs were £7.5M (down by £0.8M) also excluding £0.5M in severance costs, but chose to exclude Retail staff costs.

The £7.5M equates to £15M per annum, plus Retail staff costs, plus severance payments.

The annual staff costs in the last set of accounts was £17.9M
——————————————————
In increasing Retail income and reducing Staff Costs they do seem to have made a modicum of improvement, but nowhere near enough to balance the books.

I was surprised by the reduced income on other areas of the business, so my assessment would be that they remain deep in the merde.
————————————————————–
There is a curious statement about deferred income (mainly ST Monies) that I don’t quite understand.
“A reclassification of deferred income for the period ended December 2012 has resulted in £2,496,000 being reallocated between deferred income and trade and other payables. The previously reported balances at December 2012 for deferred income and trade and other payables was £8,117,000 and £3,053,000 respectively.”

It looks as if they have reallocated £2.5M of what was claimed to be ST funds in Dec 2012 to pay other bills, but I don’t know how this impacts the overall view of the accounts.

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csihampdenPosted on9:55 am - Mar 27, 2014


So £1.8M available cash reserves at end of Dec.
An operating loss of £600k/month conservative estimate.
Are Rangers already in March funding continued losses with the loans received for working capital? Have they had any other significant one-off income in the intervening months?

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easyJamboPosted on9:59 am - Mar 27, 2014


csihampden says: March 27, 2014 at 9:55 am

So £1.8M available cash reserves at end of Dec.
An operating loss of £600k/month conservative estimate.
Are Rangers already in March funding continued losses with the loans received for working capital? Have they had any other significant one-off income in the intervening months?
=====================================
Their largest piece of unbudgeted income will have come from their Scottish Cup run with live TV coverage of their recent ties (and replays)

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Gym TrainerPosted on10:06 am - Mar 27, 2014


Something doesn’t add up here:

They had £21m in the bank… they had income of £13m (so £34m to the good)….

They had expenses of £16m (so now £18m to the good)…

They made a loss of £3.5m – so now £14.5m to the good

Yet they say £3.5m in the bank – so where’s the missing ~£11m?

I can guess, but of course I’m not a multiaward-winning journalist.

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ecobhoyPosted on10:18 am - Mar 27, 2014


neepheid says:
March 27, 2014 at 9:25 am
ecobhoy says:
March 27, 2014 at 9:08 am

But maybe it’s because I’m not an accountant that I can’t understand how Rangers can present £1.669 million in their accounts as being cash at their bank but they can’t spend it because it’s tied-up in some way.
================

I remember commenting on this when the last set of accounts came out. I simply do not understand how Rangers Retail can be consolidated in the accounts of RIFC, when it is about as completely under the control of Sports Direct (Mike Ashley) as it possibly could be, short of outright ownership.

I intended writing to Deloittes for an explanation of the basis of consolidation, but I’m afraid I lost interest and didn’t bother. I did check the Companies Act provisions and the accountancy standards, and my conclusion was that Rangers Retail, if a subsidiary of anyone, was a subsidiary of Sports Direct. Maybe I’ll resurrect my interest and drop a “concerned potential investor” letter to Deloittes this weekend.

I can understand the reasoning behind Green wanting to claim that RR was a Rangers subsidiary and on the face of it this appears to be true with Rangers holding 51 of the 100 £1 shares and ultimately SportsDirect holding the remaining 49.

However a resolution passed by RR divides the two blocs of shares into two different classes viz: ‘A’ and ‘B’ shares. The 49 held by a SportsDirect subsidiary count as double when used on any voting on financial issues whereas the Rangers remain counted singly. So in financial decisions the actual voting split is 98 to SportsDirect and 51 to Rangers.

I have to admit I struggle to think of any decisions that RR could ever make that couldn’t be classed as ‘financial’ and therefore IMO SportsDirect directly control RR and I don’t believe that RR should be listed as a Rangers subsidiary because actual and effective control of the company lies with Ashley’s business empire as does its ownership.

And if the money is in the RR bank account and SportsDirect has de facto and possibly de jure control over that money through its shareholding and the fact that the RR administration is carried out by a SportsDirect company then how can it appear in Rangers’ accounts?

This is probably one of these questions that possibly only an accountant could answer but which would probably never be understood by any mere mortals 😆

But again the £1.5 million loan seems to ‘fit’ well with balancing the books although perhaps the amounts are just coincidental with no accounting connection.

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SmugasPosted on10:23 am - Mar 27, 2014


Its obviously accounts 101 morning!

In the Record David Somers states (well the Record says he states, always a dangerous assumption) that continuing season ticket doubts raises spectre of going concern issue. Sorry, but if they increase ST’s by 20% and continue to sell the number they do then that still doesn’t fully address the annual 7m operating loss. OK if you have reserves to deal – oops – but not great if you’re running on vapour as it is one would have thought?

Or am I a cream filled doughnut?

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SmugasPosted on10:25 am - Mar 27, 2014


Eco – non financial = control of brand rights, image, market positioning perhaps? That would make sense at least. Probably not then!

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EstebanPosted on10:27 am - Mar 27, 2014


This is one of my favourite bits, so far.

“General Information: The Rangers Football Club Ltd (RFCL) was incorporated on 29 May 2012”.

Merci beaucoup.

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CampbellsmoneyPosted on10:48 am - Mar 27, 2014


A quick look at the Sports Direct audited accounts (the most recent ones I could find – to y/e Apr 28 2013) do not disclose Rangers Retail as a subsidiary of Sports Direct – so at least as between SD and RIFC – they are consistent.

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Arabest2Posted on10:55 am - Mar 27, 2014


Many of you will not like this…… but the nightmare scenario for us all has been realised! We all knew before a ball was kicked that this outcome was inevitable. The title won in March with several games to play….. a pyrrhic victory achieved by a team without serious competition. Where will competition come from? The authorities remain unwilling to bite the bullet, and take the necessary course of action to save this beleaguered league from encroaching armageddon.

The obvious solution is of course to fast track the biggest most successfullest club in the universe straight to their rightful place at the top of the Bundesliga, where their 500 million fans and financial muscle can at last offer Bayern Munich the life line of competition ……and rescue the ailing entity that is German football with a dose of dignity, glory and everything else that constitutes true blue Rangersness. (shamelessly robbed from ‘Plastered’ on a St Johnstone forum 😉 )

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ecobhoyPosted on10:56 am - Mar 27, 2014


Smugas says:
March 27, 2014 at 10:25 am

Eco – non financial = control of brand rights, image, market positioning perhaps? That would make sense at least. Probably not then!
——————————————————————
There are quite detailed arrangements for licencing laid-out in the RR joint-venture agreement that you should have a look at if you are interested in these issues. At the end of the day what really intrigues me about the deal is that SportsDirect can buy-out Rangers in my reading of the agreement but Rangers can’t buy-out SportsDirect.

And it also appears to me that if SportsDirect buy-out Rangers then they can continue under licencing agreements to make branded Rangers products for sale.

I have no doubt that Ashley has got everything sewn-up tighter than a duck’s ersium – Jeesuz it would appear to look as though Rangers can’t even spend the profit being made from the joint-venture company and I really wonder what bank account the money is sitting in.

However I don’t agree with you that: ‘ brand rights, image, market positioning’ aren’t essentially financial matters. IMO they are very very important financial issues in any company so under the agreement my reading is that the SportsDirect 49 shares trump the 51 of Rangers as Ashley’s count double on financial votes.

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South0fThe BorderPosted on11:04 am - Mar 27, 2014


Gym Trainer says:
March 27, 2014 at 10:06 am

Something doesn’t add up here:

They had £21m in the bank… they had income of £13m (so £34m to the good)….

They had expenses of £16m (so now £18m to the good)…

They made a loss of £3.5m – so now £14.5m to the good

Yet they say £3.5m in the bank – so where’s the missing ~£11m?

I can guess, but of course I’m not a multiaward-winning journalist.

You can’t add just income to cash in the bank (one’s from the P&L and the other in the balance sheet).
The cash in the bank will include cash received from season ticket sales that has yet to be earned as income (as some of the matches have yet to be played). To quote from their accounts – this is when they recognise revenue (income):

Gate receipts and other match day revenue are recognised as the games are played. Prize money in respect of cup competitions is recognised when earned. Sponsorship and similar commercial income is recognised over the duration of the respective contracts. The fixed element of broadcasting revenues is recognised over the duration of the football season whilst facility fees received for live coverage or highlights are taken when earned. Merit awards are accounted for only when known at the end of the football season.

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BigGavPosted on11:08 am - Mar 27, 2014


Gym Trainer says:
March 27, 2014 at 10:06 am

Something doesn’t add up here:
They had £21m in the bank… they had income of £13m (so £34m to the good)….
They had expenses of £16m (so now £18m to the good)…
They made a loss of £3.5m – so now £14.5m to the good
Yet they say £3.5m in the bank – so where’s the missing ~£11m?
——————

The accounts only cover the 6 months Jul-Dec 2013, and are compared to the previous year’s interims covering Jun-Dec 2012.
The £21m cash balance at end Dec 2012 had already dwindled to £11m by end June 2013, so the ‘missing’ ~£10m is the cash spent in the first half of 2013.

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JimBhoyPosted on11:24 am - Mar 27, 2014


The bears seem happy with the half year accounts so things must be good….Any mention of what the crisis loan paid for?

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CampbellsmoneyPosted on11:25 am - Mar 27, 2014


Wonder when we will hear Mr Patey’s super-optimistic take on the figures?

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No1 BobPosted on11:27 am - Mar 27, 2014


There is no doubt in my mind that Rangers Retail is a subsidiary of Sports Direct International.

Rangers Retail Limited, company number 08142409, was formed on 13/07/2012 however it was not initially known as Rangers Retail. Before it changed it’s name this company was known as SDI Newco No1 Limited. Its registered address is Unit A Brook Park East, Shirebrook, NG20 8RY which is the same address as all of the other Sports Direct International subsidiary companies.

There are 3 directors one of whom is Iain Wallace. However the other 2 are long term associates of Mike Ashley – Barry Leach and David Forsey. David Forsey has worked for SDI for more than 20 years and is the current CEO. Not only are Rangers out voted on financial matters by the ‘A’ and ‘B’ share split but they have no power over any votes on any matter at all.

Rangers 51% stake is listed as being owned by The Rangers Football Club Limited, however, given the set up they are very much the junior partner in this arrangement and any suggestion that they could have easy access to the monies held in the Rangers Retail bank account is laughable.

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FinlochPosted on11:44 am - Mar 27, 2014


Well done to Celtic for their championship.
It was always odds on but they have played ruthlessly good football all season.
A well run business with a professional set up and a capable young manager.
As a diddy club fan with an eye for the bigger picture…

Scottish Football needs more competition.
Competition that we haven’t had for a long long time.
Competition that monopolies and duopolies stifle.
Competition that will only come with some radical change rather than a reworking of the old model.

Now there’s a project.

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Gym TrainerPosted on12:06 pm - Mar 27, 2014


Thanks gents for clarifying… I hear Chris Graham is going to be on Radio Shortbread in 20 mins time… should be a giggle given the “danger of insolvency” editorial in the news…

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toadintheholePosted on12:09 pm - Mar 27, 2014


I wonder if the recent loans from Laxey and the Easdales were required by the auditors before they’d sign off on the Going Concern assumption

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Bogs DolloxPosted on12:29 pm - Mar 27, 2014


toadinthehole says:
March 27, 2014 at 12:09 pm

I wonder if the recent loans from Laxey and the Easdales were required by the auditors before they’d sign off on the Going Concern assumption
++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
Deloitte have qualified the assumption by stating that there is material uncertainty over the clumpanys ability to meet it’s liabilities going forward. The loans would have allowed them to prepare the accounts on a going concern basis as they provide enough cash to get them to the inflow of season ticket money.

The time is right for the fans to take back their club by boycotting season ticket sales thus starving out the spivs and buying the club on the cheap from the administrator with the assistance of King & Co.

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normanbatesmumfcPosted on12:48 pm - Mar 27, 2014


I am by no means an accountant and only have very limited experience of analysing accounts, however the figures that stick out to me are under Current Assets;
31st Dec 2012 = £24,459m
30th June 2013 = £16,514m
£31st Dec 2013 = £ 8,204m
As has often been said on here, in any business “cash is king”, however in this business (RIFC) it would appear they are “dropping” around £8m every 6 months. With very little cost cutting done the cupboard will be “bear” in the summer and the chances of surviving next season as far as I’m concerned are nil.
Third Rangers playing in a stadium near you soon?????

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BarcabhoyPosted on1:06 pm - Mar 27, 2014


Trends tell you a lot about a business’ sustainability. Rangers have now produced 3 sets of half year results and what it shows is telling.

Costs (starting with the earliest)

£16.57 million

£17.09 million

£16.80 million

Revenue

£9.52 million

£9.58 million

£13.16 million

So we can see costs are very consistent , with revenue in the most recent 6 months showing the benefit of the retail sales deal kicking in. Two things to note on retail.

Firstly , the Rangers figure of £4.75 million compares very poorly with the Celtic figure of £8.38 million for the same period. This is actually almost the only area a valid comparison can be made as it is for the sale of merchandising including replica strips. Either Rangers fans aren’t buying in the numbers Celtic fans are, or Mike Ashley got much the best end of the deal with Rangers.

Secondly, Retail sales usually are much higher in the first half of the year. Celtics traditional ratio isn’t far away from 75% sold in first half 25% sold in the second half. So in all probability Rangers retail sales are likely to be down to £1.2 million in the second half of the season.

The other major component is gate receipts, and the second half of this year will have exactly the same number of home league games compared to the first half, although revenue will be affected by the fact they Newcastle friendly was in the first half. This leaves the revenue for the cup ties with Dunfermline , Albion Rovers and Dundee Utd , all of which have shared gate receipts. This might bring a little more than the NUFC friendly but not much.

All of which means that a reasonable estimate of revenue for the 2nd half will be around £10 million. Should Rangers run true to form and have expenses in the high £16 million’s then the full year is likely to return a £10 million loss. Cash flow estimate for the 2nd half of the year when i’ve had some lunch

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stevensanphPosted on1:09 pm - Mar 27, 2014


The only important figure I see is what AllyJambo already posted:

easyJambo says:
Dec 2012 – Cash at Bank £21.2M
June 2013 – £11.2M (down £10M) or £1.67M a month
Dec 2013 – £3.475M (down £7.7M) or £1.28M a month

So in 6 months 7.7m has left their account, and their current assets (kudos normanbatesmumfc) have gone down by a similar amount. You can manage P/L accounts however you like to make the picture rosier (RFC IL were the kings of this), but ultimately the solvency of a company is based on cash flow. RIFC quite simply do not have the required cash flow. Without massive cost cutting, the season ticket sales will not last until Xmas 2014. I really think we are in the end game, and the King story is the cover while the Spivs exit stage left with what remains to be stripped…

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Danish PastryPosted on2:04 pm - Mar 27, 2014


stevensanph says:
March 27, 2014 at 1:09 pm
5 0 Rate This

… I really think we are in the end game, and the King story is the cover while the Spivs exit stage left with what remains to be stripped…
————

Exit how, Steven? (Nice to see you, btw). Who wants to buy a football club that drains your account faster than you can say ‘newco’?

Since King has announced that he has great wads of cash, will the board not attempt to sell up to him for a BIG profit in the here and now?

Of course, that is if the assets are theirs to sell. But if they are, is there not a deal waiting to be done? King has been bragging about how obscenely rich he is, why wouldn’t the board not want to relieve him of some of that cash and find some chateaux of their choosing?

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essexbeancounterPosted on2:13 pm - Mar 27, 2014


Barcabhoy says:

March 27, 2014 at 1:06 pm
All of which means that a reasonable estimate of revenue for the 2nd half will be around £10 million. Should Rangers run true to form and have expenses in the high £16 million’s then the full year is likely to return a £10 million loss. Cash flow estimate for the 2nd half of the year when i’ve had some lunch
==========================================================================
Barca…I only wish I could have joined you for lunch and helped with the cash flow forecast(s).
The “Accounts 101” comment earlier merely indicates just how useless the publication of statutory accounts, audited or unaudited, qualified or unqualified, has become. There is still so much than can be hidden, so many sets of smoke and mirrors, so much obfuscation prevalent in all of this, that any meaningful analysis or comment on such accounts is useless…!
I have to admit to being more than a shade embarrassed at being a member of such a useless profession.

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John ClarkPosted on2:37 pm - Mar 27, 2014


essexbeancounter says:
March 27, 2014 at 2:13 pm
‘…..just how useless the publication of statutory accounts, audited or unaudited, qualified or unqualified, has become..
————
As I sit listening to a very good production of ‘Hamlet’ on Radio 4, I hear King Claudius refer to ‘..the people muddied..’ i.e by lies, misinformation and spin! First I knew that accountants figured in the plot! 😀

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y4rmyPosted on2:40 pm - Mar 27, 2014


The curious and opaque relationship between Rangers Retail and Sports Direct as described above really demands closer scrutiny from the Rangers support and/or MSM. It’s clear who calls the shots from the voting rules and makeup of directors (including one Cameron James Olsen, the Sports Direct CEO).

Merchandising is an area of a football club that is guaranteed to make money (selling £40+ shirts that cost £5 to make, year after year) especially for one with a large support. What do Sports Direct offer that is more lucrative than doing it yourself? I suppose they provide access to a nationwide network of shops, but surely if the stuff was in that much demand they’d stock it anyway.

Are these kind of partnerships common in football? I genuinely don’t know.

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JimBhoyPosted on2:46 pm - Mar 27, 2014


rangers megastore… Remember this one…

http://www.scotzine.com/2013/10/football-viral-duck-is-off-the-menu-at-ibrox-after-sportsdirect-gaffe/
😆

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jean7brodiePosted on2:46 pm - Mar 27, 2014


essexbeancounter says:
March 27, 2014 at 2:13 pm

I have to admit to being more than a shade embarrassed at being a member of such a useless profession.
—————————————————————————–
It could be worse Essex, you could be a SMSM journalist 😉

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John ClarkPosted on2:58 pm - Mar 27, 2014


Regan says they will be putting forward a candidate to fill the ‘British’ vacancy on FIFA which will come up in 2015.
I don’t think I would particularly welcome having any candidate sponsored by our present SFA, and therefore likely to be a running dog lackey of those who have destroyed belief in the integrity of our game, in any position of influence in FIFA . [ don’t actually know why the Chinese used that ‘running dog’ phrase, but I like it]

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JimBhoyPosted on3:02 pm - Mar 27, 2014


Come on Ally you know you want to… All the great news breaking this week must shurely give you great optimism in your plans to have the biggest playing squad in the galaxy at your disposal to stop celtic’s quest for 10 in a row…DaKing throwing in £50m, Waldo making all sorts of legally binding promises, no staff cutting promises, money thru new revenue streams, cheap(er) loans, fans tripping over themselves dying to throw money into the rangers and now a great set of accounts… We know you ONLY comment on football matters but shurley you will have some words of optimism for the cheering bears… 😎

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Hoopy 7Posted on3:10 pm - Mar 27, 2014


Good afternoon
Enjoying the analysis of the accounts.
If I were a bear I would be very worried, more worried than usual.
The obfuscation created by the accountants can be cleared up with reference to their actual words.
They say, “The Company has made key assumptions in relation to the timing of season ticket monies, the volume and pricing of season ticket sales……..This condition relating to the timing of receipt of season ticket monies, ………. indicate the existence of a material uncertainty which may cast significant doubt about the Company’s ability to continue as a going concern and therefore that the Company may be unable to realise its assets and discharge its liabilities in the normal course of business.”
For those who need an interpretation it means that they have made “KEY ASSUMPTIONS”- They have assumed that they will get by until they collect the Season ticket money. If they don’t or don’t get enough season ticket money then, “THE EXISTENCE OF A MATERIAL UNCERTAINTY” becomes a reality and they will be “UNABLE..TO DISCHARGE ITS LIABILITIES”
IN OTHER WORDS THIS IS A FINANCIAL BASKET CASE WHICH NEEDS US TO RELIEVE YOU OF YOUR HARD EARNED WONGA OR WE WILL GO TO THE WALL.
Nothing new there but the use of the english language in the way that they have is deliberately done to fly over the head of the average unintelligent bear.

What is undisputed is that this is a money draining business which in any other commercial sphere would be liquidated as being unsustainable.

Who owns the deeds?

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scottcPosted on3:13 pm - Mar 27, 2014


16. Post Balance Sheet Events

Since the period end, the Company has also obtained access to loan facilities totaling £1.5m. £500,000 of the facility is interest free. £1,000,000 of the facility incurs a facility fee of £45,000 and carries a potential annualised interest charge of 10% should repayment not be made before 2 July 2014.,

I thought that was quite interesting. Don’t recall a similar clause in the Laxey deal

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stevensanphPosted on3:16 pm - Mar 27, 2014


Danish Pastry says:
Exit how, Steven? (Nice to see you, btw). Who wants to buy a football club that drains your account faster than you can say ‘newco’?

—-

At a guess, the 500 million 😛 fans?

Is King being used to ‘rally’ the fans together to eventually pick up TRFC (not RIFC – the spivs will keep hold of this)? The fans will no doubt come up with a few million to take over the football side of it, while the SPIVs retain whatever they can. If they manage to get the assets out, which I think they will, then RIFC is a good business deal, assuming the fans can be persuaded this club is worth saving…

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essexbeancounterPosted on3:17 pm - Mar 27, 2014


John Clark says:

March 27, 2014 at 2:37 pm
————
As I sit listening to a very good production of ‘Hamlet’ on Radio 4, I hear King Claudius refer to ‘..the people muddied..’ i.e by lies, misinformation and spin! First I knew that accountants figured in the plot! 😀
===========================================================================
….having a bad day all round, and this JC guy regales me with my true “eminence grise”, Shakingspear!
…note to self, …take lessons in loving Shakingspear!

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Sugar DaddyPosted on3:20 pm - Mar 27, 2014


So those accounts in summary.

Still losing a lot of money. Half of the cash in the bank cant be touched. No credit facility. Using pay day loans to get by = everything is fantastic.

Sure it is. I believe you.

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JimBhoyPosted on3:23 pm - Mar 27, 2014


Lifted (below) from the comments of one bear in his den…Typically a lot of bears want DaKing to just throw in some cash. That £10-15m would merely fill a hole each year until they get that orange tap out to the half a billion bears. Mind you relevant to the earlier discussion points it sounds like the latter would be more a winner for SportsDirect. Mr Leggat, the well known ir(rational) bears fan once suggested thru his many leaks that rangers were getting pennies for a shirt sale.

“F*** Lenny bigot brain, he was rambling about how we shouldn’t spend loads of Kings cash the other day, sh**ing it that we will and then destroy them, although hes right we don’t need 50million to destroy a awful celtic side 10-15 should do it with the rest put to infrastructure and in the bank. ”
:slamb:

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SmugasPosted on3:30 pm - Mar 27, 2014


Jim Bhoy

So they don’t understand the term “investment,” they don’t understand the concept of “ownership” and now they seem to be having a problem with the term “the rest” as well. No hope for them, just hand outs. IF and it’s a big IF Letham does bail them out in their present form he’s going to have to learn quickly that addicts can’t cope with just one final fix…

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normanbatesmumfcPosted on3:46 pm - Mar 27, 2014


John Clark says:
March 27, 2014 at 2:58 pm
Rate This
Regan says they will be putting forward a candidate to fill the ‘British’ vacancy on FIFA which will come up in 2015.
I don’t think I would particularly welcome having any candidate sponsored by our present SFA, and therefore likely to be a running dog lackey of those who have destroyed belief in the integrity of our game, in any position of influence in FIFA . [ don’t actually know why the Chinese used that ‘running dog’ phrase, but I like it]
________________________________________________________________________________
Surely a shoe-in for the great administrator, with a tailor-made replacement Longmuir waiting patiently in the wings, to fill his crampon soled brogues, (crampons required for climbing over the “lumpy” carpets on the 6th floor).

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AuldheidPosted on3:58 pm - Mar 27, 2014


Stevensanph
Barcabhoy

If within a very short period of accounts being produced experienced business folk like yourselves can see that allowing this club to continue to play without a change in financial direction and more importantly thinking, then surely those at SFA with licencing responsibilities could at the very least make a statement about any concerns they might have and insist on balancing measures before they grant even an Entry level licence and permission to participate in the coming season?

It seems that the thought that Scottish football could not survive without TRFC overrides all the other sensible thinking on which club licensing is based.

On the financial mindset I noticed in either The Chairman or CEO ‘ s statement that putting a competitive team on the park came before adapting a sustainable business model. If the positioning of the two phrases represents priorities then they will have some job getting the balance right, especially when Europe is the ultimate competitive target.

Get the order switched and they might stand a chance. Keep thinking the same and the Monty Python Black Knight looks like a wise old owl in comparison with worse bloody consequences.

Sooner or later this is a club who need to define what they are for rather than what they are against – being second to a club that are defined by what they are for.

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Alan PricePosted on4:01 pm - Mar 27, 2014


neepheid says:
March 26, 2014 at 10:11 am

Seriously, though, how is anyone ever going to get a return on their “investment”. Forget King’s £50m moonbeams….
_______________________________________

Quite.

And although its been reported as £50mill, what King actually said was that he had already invested and lost £20mill in Rangers but was not averse to investing another £30mill in the tribute act.

Media then adds the £20mill lost by King in Rangers 1, to the amount he supposedly intends to invest in Rangers 2, and come up with a new investment of £50mill!

Simple arithmetic gone badly wrong.

But not to worry, upwards and onwards.

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JimBhoyPosted on4:14 pm - Mar 27, 2014


@Smugas
m Bhoy

So they don’t understand the term “investment,” they don’t understand the concept of “ownership” and now they seem to be having a problem with the term “the rest” as well. No hope for them, just hand outs. IF and it’s a big IF Letham does bail them out in their present form he’s going to have to learn quickly that addicts can’t cope with just one final fix…
=========================================================================

Good analogy, seems to me that the addicted haven’t quite hit rock bottom yet, I thought that would have been liquidation BUT with the various mouthpieces, that have come and gone (with loadsa money) have supplied just enough to keep the addiction going. Some might argue the addiction is bought in unsustainable success and a notion of being better than the rest. It’s definitely not the football..

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John ClarkPosted on4:28 pm - Mar 27, 2014


normanbatesmumfc says:
March 27, 2014 at 3:46 pm
‘…Surely a shoe-in for the great administrator…’
————–
Lord preserve us, nbmf, that is a dreadful possibility that doesn’t bear thinking about!

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Danish PastryPosted on4:30 pm - Mar 27, 2014


stevensanph says:
March 27, 2014 at 3:16 pm
5 0 Rate This

… If they manage to get the assets out …
—————

Ok, I’ll ask the next dumb question: what do you mean by the above? I imagine that you mean separate the ethereal club from the physical infrastructure?

It will be ironic of they can actually sell the ethereal bit (as helpfully defined by LNS) and make money from doing that. That would add up to a resale of the history that Charles Green claimed he got as part of a job lot.

What price denial, eh?

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bluPosted on4:31 pm - Mar 27, 2014


Alan Price says:
March 27, 2014 at 4:01 pm
================================
Alan, I think it’s clear that he was talking about up to £50m new money over 4/5 years. He was also reported as saying he didn’t want to pay it all. I didn’t see any reports of who would pay £20m if he paid £30m.

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y4rmyPosted on4:35 pm - Mar 27, 2014


And although its been reported as £50mill, what King actually said was that he had already invested and lost £20mill in Rangers but was not averse to investing another £30mill in the tribute act.
Media then adds the £20mill lost by King in Rangers 1, to the amount he supposedly intends to invest in Rangers 2, and come up with a new investment of £50mill!
Simple arithmetic gone badly wrong.

We’ve been here before.

http://www1.skysports.com/football/news/11788/8342844/Rangers-boss-Ally-McCoist-set-to-be-handed-up-to-30m-for-new-players-by-chief-executive-Charles-Green-once-transfer-embargo-lifted

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CampbellsmoneyPosted on4:41 pm - Mar 27, 2014


Alan Price says:

Rangers 1…. Rangers 2

————————————————————————————-
Away win, it could happen one day.

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Angus1983Posted on4:43 pm - Mar 27, 2014


Radio Shortbread running a piece in drivetime news about Mr Somers telling the Bears that if they don’t fork over the season ticket cash then it’ll be (in the words of Mr Philip Mogg, accompanied by Mr Peter Way playing a triplets bassline which requires the forearm muscles of Mr Popeye) Lights Out, Lights Out at Ibrox.

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No1 BobPosted on4:51 pm - Mar 27, 2014


Apart from being a “shareholder and lifelong Light Blues fan”, to quote the Evening Times, who exactly is George Letham?

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Danish PastryPosted on4:53 pm - Mar 27, 2014


Campbellsmoney says:
March 27, 2014 at 4:41 pm
1 0 Rate This

Alan Price says:

Rangers 1…. Rangers 2

————————————————————————————-
Away win, it could happen one day.
———

Three penalties?

😆

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BarcabhoyPosted on5:23 pm - Mar 27, 2014


No1 Bob says:
March 27, 2014 at 4:51 pm
2 0 Rate This

Apart from being a “shareholder and lifelong Light Blues fan”, to quote the Evening Times, who exactly is George Letham?

——-

If he’s from Edinburgh he’s an executive in a radiator business, however i don’t think its him. I think he’s a roofing guy from Glasgow , who uses a London address for business registration .

Thats not based on factual knowledge, just a comment from a Rangers supporting pal.

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BigGavPosted on5:30 pm - Mar 27, 2014


No1 Bob says:
March 27, 2014 at 11:27 am

Rangers 51% stake is listed as being owned by The Rangers Football Club Limited, however, given the set up they are very much the junior partner in this arrangement and any suggestion that they could have easy access to the monies held in the Rangers Retail bank account is laughable.
———

Indeed.
Hence the reason the accounts contain a caveat about “assumptions in relation to … the timing and value of dividends from Rangers Retail Limited”.
If it was under their own control, there would be no need to make assumptions about it.

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BangordubPosted on5:36 pm - Mar 27, 2014


Big Gav:#
“Indeed.
Hence the reason the accounts contain a caveat about “assumptions in relation to … the timing and value of dividends from Rangers Retail Limited”.
If it was under their own control, there would be no need to make assumptions about it.”

And we all, I’m sure, know what assumptions make of You and I?

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Famous songPosted on5:45 pm - Mar 27, 2014


Humour me here, I’m a specialist in not much more than gazing out the window. One of the highlights of the RIFC Annual Report 2013 was a figure on page 25 (the balance sheet bit), for current assets, of £16.163m, as “amounts due from subsidiary undertakings”. Note 15 says this is: “amounts due to RIFC from The Rangers Football Club Ltd represents (sic) the proceeds of the Initial Public Offering less costs incurred in the fundraising. The net funds from this activity have been made available to the subsidiary as working capital.”

Try as I might, I can’t find any reference to this in the interims. All help gratefully received, preferably not involving words like simpleton.

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