Spot the difference?

Good Afternoon.

Announcing outstanding financial successes for Rangers PLC the then Chairman of the club opened his Chairman’s report in the annual financial statements with the following words:

“Last summer I explained that the Club, after many years of significant investment in our playing squad
and more recently in our state of the art facility at Murray Park, had embarked on a three year business
plan to stabilise and improve the Club’s finances. The plan also recognised the need to react to the
challenging economic conditions facing football clubs around the world.

Following a trend over a number of years of increasing year on year losses, I am pleased to report that
in the first year of this plan we have made important progress by reversing this trend. Our trading loss
for last year of £11.2m reflects a £7.9m improvement versus the £19.1m loss for the previous year and
although it will take more time to completely reach our goals, this is a key milestone. We also intend to
make significant further progress by the end of the current financial year. This improvement is the
consequence of having a solid strategy and the commitment and energy to implement the changes it requires”

Later on in the same statement the chairman would add:

“Another key part of our plan is associated with the Rangers brand and our Retail Division goes from strength to strength. Our financial results this year have been significantly enhanced by an outstanding performance in merchandising Rangers products, in particular replica kit, which makes our Retail Division one of the most successful in Europe.”

In the same set of financial reports, the CEO would report:

“To further strengthen Rangers hospitality portfolio, a new dedicated sponsor’s lounge was unveiled this season. The Carling Lounge is a first for the Club and was developed in conjunction with our new sponsor, Carling. ”


“Our innovative events programme continues to grow and this year saw a record number of official events including the highly successful annual Hall of Fame Awards Ceremony, Player of the Year and 50 Championships Gala Dinner, all of which catered for up to 1000 guests.

At Rangers, we continually develop our portfolio of products and as a key area of income for the Club, we evaluate the market for new revenue opportunities on an ongoing basis in order to exceed our existing and potential customer expectations and needs.

Demand for season tickets reached an all time high last season with a record 42,508 season ticket holders in comparison with the previous season`s figure of 40,320. Over 36,000 of these season ticket holders renewed for this season – a record number.

For the new season, we are delighted to welcome brewing giant, Carling on board as our Official Club sponsor. Carling is one of the UK’s leading consumer brands with a proven track record in football sponsorship.
The Club also continues to work with a number of multinational blue chip brands such as National Car Rental, Sony Playstation 2, Bank of Scotland and Coca-Cola. This year, we will also experience the evolution of the Honda deal via Hyndland Honda and welcome the mobile communications giant T-Mobile to our ranks.”.

The year was 2003 and in the previous 24 months Rangers Football Club, owned and operated as a private fiefdom by Sir David Murray, had made operational losses of some £30 million.


Of course the chairman’s report for 2003 was written by John F Mclelland CBE and the CEO was one Martin Bain Esq.

As Mr Mclelland clearly stated, by 2003 the club already had a trend of increasing year on year losses covering a number of years and was losing annual sums which stretched into millions, if not tens of millions, of pounds.

However, the acquisition of Rangers Football Club was absolutely vital to David Murray’s personal business growth, and his complete control of the club as his own private business key was more important than any other business decision he had made before buying Rangers or since.

When he persuaded Gavin Masterton to finance 100% of the purchase price of the club, Murray had his finest business moment.

By getting control of Rangers, Murray was able to offer entertainment, hospitality, seeming privilege and bestow favour on others in a way that was hitherto undreamed of, and he bestowed that largesse on any number of “existing and potential clients” and contacts – be they the clients and contacts related to Rangers Football Club or the existing and potential clients of David Murray, his businesses, his banks, or anyone in any field that he chose to court for the purposes of potential business.

His business.

It wasn’t only journalists who benefited from the succulent lamb treatment.

Accountants,lawyers, surveyors, broadcasters, football officials, people in industry and construction, utilities, financiers and other areas of business were all invited inside the sacred House of Murray and given access to the great man of business “and owner of Rangers” while attending the “record number of official (hospitality) events”.

Twelve months on from when John McLelland made those statements in the 2003 accounts, David Murray was back in the chair at Ibrox and he presented the 2004 financials.

In the intervening 12 months Rangers had gained an additional £10 million from Champions League income and had received £8.6 million in transfer fees from the sale of Messrs Ferguson, Amoruso and McCann. Not only that, the Rangers board had managed to reduce the club’s wage bill by £5 million. Taking all three figures together comes to some £23.6 million in extra income or savings.

Yet, the accounts for 2004 showed that the club made an operational loss of almost £6 million and overall debt had risen by an additional £7 million to £97.4 million.

However, the 2004 accounts were also interesting for another reason.

Rangers PLC had introduced payments “to employees trusts” into their accounts for the first time in 2001 and in that year they had paid £1million into those trusts. Just three years later, the trust payments recorded in the accounts had risen to £7.3 million per annum — or to put it another way to 25% of the annual wage bill though no one in Scottish Football asked any questions about that!

By the following year, the chairman announced that the 2004 operational loss had in fact been £10.4million but that the good news was that the 2005 operational loss was only £7.8 million. However Rangers were able to post a profit before taxation if they included the money obtained from transfers (£8.4 million) and the inclusion of an extraordinary profit of £14,999,999 made on buying back the shares of a subsidiary company for £1 which they had previously sold for £15 million.

All of which added up to a whopping great profit of ……… £12.4 million!

I will leave you to do the maths on 2005.

Oh and of course these accounts included the detail that 3000 Rangers fans had joined David Murray in participating in the November ’94 share issue where the club managed to raise £51,430,995 in fresh capital most of which was provided by Mr Murray… sorry I mean MIH ….. sorry that should read Bank of Scotland …… or their shareholders……. or should that be the public purse?

The notable items in the 2006 accounts included the announcement of a ten year deal with JJB Sports to take over the merchandising operation of the club and increased revenue from an extended run in the Champion’s League. However, the profit before tax was declared at only£0.1 million in comparison to the £12.4 million of the year before but then again that £12.4 million had included player sales of £8.4 million and the £15 million sweety bonus from  the repurchase of ones own former subsidiary shares for £1.

Jumping to 2008 Rangers saw a record year in terms of turnover which had risen to £64.5 million which enabled the company to record a profit on ordinary activities before taxation of  £6.57 million although it should be pointed out that wages and bonuses were up at 77% of turnover and that a big factor in the Rangers income stream was corporate hospitality and the top line of income was shown as “gate receipts and hospitality”.

However, 2009 saw a calamitous set of figures. Whilst Alastair Johnston tried to put a brave chairman’s face on it, the year saw an operating loss of £17.325 million which was softened only by player disposals leading to a loss before taxation of a mere £14.085 million.

Fortunately Sir David did not have to report these figures as he chose to stand down as chairman in August and so Johnston stepped in and announced that he was deeply honoured to do so.

In 2010, the income stream jumped from £39.7 million to over £56 million with the result that the club showed a profit before taxation of £4.209 million.

However, by that time the corporate hospitality ticket that was Rangers Football Club was done for as a result of matters that had nothing to do with events on the football field in the main.

First, the emergence of the Fergus McCann run Celtic had brought a real business and sporting challenge. This was something that Murray had not previously faced in the football business.

Second,the Bank of Scotland had gone bust and Lloyds could not and would not allow Murray to continually borrow vast sums of money on the basis of revalued assets and outrageous hospitality.

Third, the UEFA fair play rules came into being and demanded that clubs at least act on a semblance of proper corporate governance and fiscal propriety.

Lastly,Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs tightened up the law on the use of EBT’s which meant that Rangers could no longer afford to buy in the players that brought almost guaranteed success against domestic opposition.

On average, since 2002 Rangers PLC had lost between £7 million – £8 million per year – or roughly £650,000 per month if you like – yet for the better part of a decade David Murray had been able to persuade the Bank of Scotland that this was a business that was worthy of ever greater financial support or that he himself and his MIH business was of such value that the Banks should support him in supporting the Ibrox club whilst operating in this fashion.

Of course, had Murray’s Rangers paid tax on all player remunerations then the losses would have been far larger.

Meanwhile, all the other clubs in Scottish football who banked with the Bank of Scotland faced funding cuts and demands for repayment with the bank publicly proclaiming that it was overexposed to the football market in Scotland.

But no one asked any questions about why the bank should act one way with Murray’s club but another way with all others. No one in football, no one in the media and no one from the world of business.

Looking back,it is hard to imagine a business which has been run on such a consistent loss making basis being allowed to continue by either its owners or by its bankers. However, a successful and funded Rangers was so important to the Murray group that David Murray was clearly willing to lose millions year after year to keep the Gala dinners and corporate hospitality going.

Rangers were Murray’s big PR vehicle and the club was essentially used by him to open the doors which would allow him to make more money elsewhere on a personal basis and if it meant Rangers cutting every corner and accumulating massive losses, unsustainable losses, then so be it.

Today, the new regime at Ibrox run the current business in a way which clocks up the same colossal annual losses whilst the club competes outwith Scotland’s top division. Each day we hear that the wage bill is unsustainable, that the playing staff are overpaid, that the stadium needs massive investment and that the fans are opposed to the stadium itself being mortgaged and the club being in hawk to lenders.

Yet, in the Murray era the Stadium was revalued time and time again and its revaluation was used as the justification for ever greater borrowing on the Rangers accounts. The playing staff were massively overpaid and financially assisted by the EBT’s and most years the Chairman’s annual statement announced huge losses despite regular claims of record season ticket sales, record hospitality income, European income, shirt sponsorship and the outsourcing of all merchandising to JJB sports instead of Sports Direct.

The comparison between the old business and the current one is clear for all to see.

It should be noted, that since the days of Murray, no major banking institution has agreed to provide the Ibrox business with any banking facilities. Not under Whyte, not under Green, not under anyone.

Yet few ask why that should be.

The destruction of the old Rangers business led those in charge of Scottish football to announce that Armageddon was on the horizon if it had not actually arrived, yet today virtually all Scottish clubs are in a better financial and business state than back in the bad old days of the Bank of Scotland financed SPL. Some have succumbed to insolvency, and others have simply cut their cloth, changed their structure, sought, and in some cases attracted, new owners and moved on in terms of business.

In general, Scottish Football has cleaned house at club level.

Now, David Murray has “cleaned house” in that MIH has bitten the dust and walked down insolvency road.

What is interesting is that the Murray brand still has that capacity to get out a good PR message when it needs to. Despite the MIH pension fund being short of money for some inexplicable reason, last week it was announced that the family controlled Murray Estates had approached those in charge of MIH and had agreed to buy some key MIH assets for something in the region of £13.9 million.

The assets concerned are land banks which at some point will be zoned for planning and which will undoubtedly bring the Murray family considerable profit in the future, with some of those assets already looking as if they will produce a return sooner rather than later.

However, what is not commented upon in the mainstream press is the fact that Murray Estates had the ability to pay £13.9 Million for anything at all and that having that amount of money to spend the Murray camp has chosen not to buy any football club down Govan way.

Perhaps, it has been realised that a football club which loses millions of pounds each year is not such a shrewd investment and that the Murray family money would be better spent elsewhere?

Perhaps, it has been realised that the culture of wining, dining, partying and entertaining to the most lavish and extravagant extent will not result in the banks opening their vaults any more?

Perhaps, it has been realised that the Rangers brand has been so badly damaged over the years that it is no longer the key to the golden door in terms of business, finance and banking and that running a football club in 2015 involves a discipline and a set of skills that David Murray and his team do not have experience of?

What is clear, is that the Murray years at Ibrox were not good for the average Rangers fan in the long term and that when you have a football club – any football club – being run for the private benefit of one rich individual, or group of individuals, then the feelings and passions of the ordinary fan will as often as not be forgotten when that individual or his group choose to move on once they have decided that they no longer wish to play with their toy football club.

David Murray did not make money directly out of Rangers Football Club. He used it as a key to open other doors for him and to get him a seat at other tables and into a different type of “club” altogether. He did not run the club in a day to day fashion that was designed to bring stability and prolonged financial, or playing, success to the club. its investors and its fans. He did not preside over Ibrox during a period of sustained financial gain.

Mike Ashley will not subsidise 2015 version of Rangers to anything like the same extent that the Bank of Scotland did in the 90’s and naughties.

However, Ashley, like Murray, will use his control of the Rangers brand to open doors for him elsewhere in the sports retail market, and he will use the Rangers contract with Sports Direct to make a handsome profit. He will also control all the advertising revenue just as he does at Newcastle. In short, Mr Ashley is only interested in The Rangers with a view to using it as a stepping stone to achieve other things elsewhere.

However, don’t take my word for any of this, take the opinion of someone who knows.

Mr Dave King is quoted today as saying the following about the current board of Directors who are in charge of the current Ibrox holding company.

“History will judge this board as one of the worst the club has ever had. There is not one individual who puts the club above personal interest.”

That is an interesting observation from a man who became a non executive director of the old Rangers holding company in 2000 and who had a front row pew for every set of accounts and all the financial statements referred to above.

Whether or not Mr King is a glib and shameless liar is a matter of South African judicial opinion. Whether or not he can spot someone who puts their own self interest ahead of the interests of Rangers Football Club and the supporters of the club is a matter that should be discussed over some fine wine, some succulent lamb and whatever postprandial entertainment you care to imagine.

I wonder if he has ever read the accounts of Rangers PLC and compared them to the corresponding accounts of MIH for the same period?


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About Trisidium

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.

4,992 thoughts on “Spot the difference?

  1. Nothing arrogant from Murray at all, just what we’ve come to expect from edmuston drive.

    Arrogance is from Mcgloughlin. Murray in fairness said (something like) in no particular order the priorities are 1/football 2/ money 3/…..

    CM should have been all over that like a rash suggesting that whatever they needed to do they’d need money to do it and then take the questioning from there.

    Oh and to quote Tom English not two seconds ago “it’s just the money thing that confuses me.”

  2. Head Hunter says:
    March 7, 2015 at 1:27 am

    Ecobhoy…I don’t always agree with your viewpoint, or perhaps more accurately at times I don’t like the somewhat certain, uncompromising language you use -but you are who you are as you often say yourself. You have an opinion and you will share it no matter. I respect that and I certainly value the enormously positive contributions you have made to this and other forums over the past few years.

    However, I have to say that over the last week or two your posts have become increasingly erratic and uncharacteristic, somewhat reminiscent of others of this parish who were working their ticket. I hope that you will respect my opinion. Alternatively your account has been hacked by level 5 😀
    I seldom have a problem with anyone’s opinion here as long as it doesn’t fall foul of the various ‘isms’.

    But I genuinely am at a bit of a loss wrt my posts becoming ‘increasingly erratic and uncharacteristic’ recently.

    I am happy to explain my reasoning in any of my posts that you identify as falling into the above categories although it might be best if you do so by PM. Btw if you choose to publish anything here I state in a PM back then I have no problem with that.

    I genuinely am not aware that I have radically altered my position on anything of late. I have always said that it was up to Bears to decide what kind of club they want and if that means taking King as their Saviour then that’s their choice.

    I do usually say that the Bears will require to live with the consequences of their decisions. I don’t think DK is a good choice and have repeatedly said so but it’s up to the Bears and they have decided on him by a clear majority.

    I certainly don’t believe DK faces any serious problems in becoming a Rangers director and have spelt out the reasons in various posts. That isn’t to say that I endorse his fitness in any way because I don’t.

    But looking at the possible barriers I think for a variety of reasons he is likely to get round them. And if he is happy with the delisting move then that removes the AIM scrutiny and presumably the S206 requirements if they actually pose any real problem which I am yet to be persuaded of.

    I also have never believed that DK would fail the SFA ‘fit and proper’ test. I could be wrong about that but we’ll see. And my observation shouldn’t be taken as an endorsement of his fitness.

  3. I posted earlier today about Govan fans not wanting or finding it difficult to change concerning the status of their club etc..

    Well just listened to Paul Murray on BBCSportsond interview. He stated (twice) in his opinion that Rangers are the biggest club in Scotland (really which Rangers is he talking about?).
    He then stated that his club will be challenging Celtic in 1 or 2 years (seriously)?
    To challenge Celtic will in short term require 10 to 20 Million pounds?
    He wants his club to lead Scottish football like they did in the past. Yes Lead was the term he used (SFA and SPFL what is your role in future if this Govan club leads)?
    He went on to say that Scottish football standards have dropped (with Govan club not there) and as an example he used, wait for it, Celtic as a team not as good as they used to be. He also stated that if the contract with SD was not to the benefit of the club then the board will change it. Fell of my chair as this point.
    As mentioned earlier above the fans do not want to change and their role model is the board who by this statement are as arrogant as they always have been. I would say it beggars belief but history of this club tells me differently. Arrogance emanates from the board down to the fans and we need this club and it’s culture back at the top table, really? Basically this club has no respect for any other club in Scotland and sporting integrity does not exist in their cultural make up.

  4. valentinesclown says:
    March 7, 2015 at 3:18 pm

    Richard Gordon rightly pointed out that fans of Aberdeen, Dundee Utd and ICT will not concur that standards have dropped. I also heard Murray say Celtic don’t have the same standard of players. They’ve had enough to qualify for the CL groups twice, and the last 16 once since Rangers liquidated. They’ve sold two players to England for seven figure transfer fees in the same period.

  5. valentinesclown says:
    March 7, 2015 at 3:18 pm

    I posted earlier today about Govan fans not wanting or finding it difficult to change concerning the status of their club etc..


    I listened to PM interveiw.
    I was driving at the time.
    So apologies to all other road users in the inverness area.

    Lets just say, in one interveiw he used up most if not all of the sympathy I have felt for Ibrox fans over their recent tribulations.

    What a conceited little… p…. person… he is.

  6. VC
    I am disappointed to see Paul Murray stooping to Charles Green’s level, of feeding the Ultras this tosh. They need bums on seats, but there are better ways to get them back.

    However, Mr Murray will find out soon enough that the Objective Realities are “chiels that winna ding.

    Perhaps Mr Murray will learn from the hard fall on his a*se that is heading his way sooner rather than later.

  7. I think brth has put it very well, and he echoes my own thoughts. Like TSFM said earlier, what King does for that club is their problem, and he may, or he may not be their saviour.

    However, as far as I can see, there is no difference in terms of media sycophancy between King’s accession, Whyte’s or Green’s, so what has changed from four years ago until today?

    If an Ashley backed TRFC can’t get credit at the bank (and remember that in David Low’s opinion there is NO credit available for football clubs anywhere) without personal guarantees from directors, how will King change that? Murray and Gilligan or Douglas Park don’t have the resources to stand as guarantors, so unless King coughs up some cash he will never again expect to see, no change on that front.

    In many ways we have come full circle. If you swap out David Murray with John Gilligan (and I STILL haven’t worked out what he brings to the party), you have pretty much the same bunch of people who got Rangers into the culture of ducking, diving and cheating the exchequer, leading to its ultimate demise.

    Yes I know that it is easier to be objective if you are not a Rangers fan, but what has changed today? Are the Rangers fans really so badly handicapped with short-term memory loss to such an extent that this escapes them?

    As far as I can see the only thing that is possible to change is attitude. The trouble is that the same board personnel were so impotent when it came to managing fan expectation that liquidation became inevitable. The fans might forget that, but the “other people with money” who King will need sooner rather than later? They won’t forget. People with money seldom do.

    In order for King to succeed, he needs to urgently manage those fan expectations, and consequently be able to convince those other people that his pan can work. On thing he has in his favour is a compliant media pack, but it will still be a difficult tightrope to walk for King.

    I really wish I could wish him well, but the other thing that hasn’t changed is an institutional refusal to accept that the original club treated Scottish football very badly. Given that the same people who started the EBTs are back in charge, that is less likely than ever to happen.

  8. News from Newcastle…

    “MIKE Ashley won’t allow Newcastle United to miss out on a place in Europe because of his involvement in Rangers.

    Newcastle owner Ashley also owns nine per cent of Rangers, and had been linked with a takeover of the crisis-hit Scottish giants.
    That was effectively ended yesterdaqy when South African Dave King took control of the Ibrox club, although Ashley still has a sizeable influence on the club because of the merchandise contract Sports Direct has with Rangers, and the £10m loans they owe him.

    There had been the threat that, should Ashley take control of Rangers and get them into Europe, then it would have stopped Newcastle playing continental football because of UEFA’s dual ownership regulations.

    However, Newcastle’s board, in minutes released after a Fan’s Forum, said that the Toon owner won’t risk United’s European qualification because of his involvement with the Gers.

    The minutes said: “The board stated it is aware of the UEFA regulations regarding the situation. The club and its owner would not put Newcastle United in a position where it would lose a European place because of Rangers.”

    The Newcastle board, which had managing director Lee Charnley present, where also asked if Rangers would become a ‘feeder club’ for Newcastle.

    This came after United loaned the Scottish Championship side five players in January – Kevin Mbabu, Haris Vuckic, Shane Ferguson, Remie Streete and Gael Bigirimana.”

    The reply said: “The board stated that it is exploring the possibility of strategic partnerships with a number of clubs. A number of Premier League clubs already have this type of arrangement/relationship. The purpose of this would be to send players to these clubs to aid their development with the ultimate beneficiary being Newcastle United.”

  9. ecobhoy says:
    March 7, 2015 at 2:52 pm


    I think you are arguing against most of the flow on DK, that is all, and I have no problem with your input, and am glad to see both sides of the case being put forward, even where my own view diverged from your own. I may be wrong.

    You raised the suggestion that some people from an opposing stand point may be PR fronts.
    Many bridled at that, as maybe over stepping the mark, which I can totally understand.

    But I can also understand why you mooted the suggestion, and can accept that it wasn’t coming from a place of ill intent.

    Maybe we should see that as affirmation of the quality of the contribuitions made by the protagonists here that their deliberations can be mistaken for the work of trained and highly paid PR professionals.

    And your call for people to support assertions with facts was bang on the money.

    I cite PMs interview on the BBC today as evidence that some of our fears about King et al. were well founded.

    I also note the conciliatory noises and rhetoric being made by DK towrds Mash and Sporrs Direct through PM in the same interview. Be interesting to see how that plays out and what it says about the dynamic behind the scenes.

  10. boywithoutanaitch says:
    March 7, 2015 at 10:18 am

    Wow….and you wonder why you can’t get Rangers fans to engage on TSFM.

    Actually, no. I don’t wonder about that at all. You must be confusing me with someone else. I’m interested in sport, justice and fair play. It doesn’t surprise me in the least that those who currently frequent Ibrox do not contribute here. And it doesn’t bother me in the slightest.

    I don’t believe that the validity of a discussion of sporting ethics and morality depends on the support of any particular set of vested interests.

  11. RSL

    “..Be interesting to see how that plays out and what it says about the money behind the scenes…”

    Fixed that for you

  12. On Paul Murray, back in the day RTC, was wont to argue that Paul Murray was the best hope for a baggage free Rangers, I wonder how RTC is viewing things today 🙁

  13. scapaflow says:
    March 7, 2015 at 3:31 pm

    Mr Murray will find out soon enough that the Objective Realities are “chiels that winna ding.
    The last verse of Burns’ poem (‘A Dream’ – written, appropriately enough, to a King) warning of the need to take the long view over short-term adulation might be worth reading in Ibrox towers tonight

    Gad bless you a’! consider now,
    Ye’re unco muckle dautit;
    But ere the course o’ life be through,
    It may be bitter sautit:
    An’ I hae seen their coggie fou,
    That yet hae tarrow’t at it.
    But or the day was done, I trow,
    The laggen they hae clautit
    Fu’ clean that day.

    Roughly –

    God bless you all! consider now,
    You’re very much acclaimed;
    But before life’s course is through,
    It may be bitterly salted:
    And I have seen their plate be full,
    That still have dithered over it;
    But before the day was done, I believe,
    The bottom they have scraped
    Full clean that day.

  14. ecobhoy I am not sure how to persuade you about 216 and Mr King.

    It is nothing to do with AIM and its nothing to do with what Mr King has been up to in SA. 216 would not stop Mr King being a director of Celtic or Arsenal. But it stops him being a director of a company with Rangers in its name.

    There does not have to be a declaration by anyone that TRFC or RIFC are successor companies or phoenixes or anything like that. Phoenix is not a legal term. It is shorthand to describe something that is all.

    So reread 216 and see if you can suggest why it does not apply to Mr King as regards TRFC and RIFC.

    I admire your tenaciousness about questioning everything and not taking anything at face value. You are of course quite right to ask the difficult and awkward questions and to require those of us who may hold different views to answer those questions.

  15. P Murray distilled “WATP no one likes us and we don’t care ” uneffinbelievable

  16. Campbellsmoney says:
    March 7, 2015 at 5:27 pm

    ecobhoy I am not sure how to persuade you about 216 and Mr King.
    I actually sent you a PM sketching out my ‘roadblock’ as I thought perhaps the blog might have had enough of S216.

    It facinates me how it was a seemingly hurried addition to the act and meant to deal with Phoenix companies but in various appeal cases its scope has been greatly increased.

    Indeed it is now accepted as being fully relevant, I believe, even if it is proven there is no hint of ‘phoenixing’ at work that the act applies.

    It has developed a long reach it seems far beyond the intentions of the original drafters – not an unusual development of course 😉

  17. Joking apart I think there has been a paradigm shift. Had craigy been a genuine OTR billionaire and arrived and said the utterances of mini Murray today I think the fans and press would have saluted and the rest of us accepted it at face value. Now, even the average MSM reading fan, whilst accepting through exhaustion the question of continuation is still saying “hang on, show us the money, and up front this time.”

  18. Yet more from our “National Broadcaster”-

    The words and wisdom of Paul Murray, this time- those of a delicate disposition, please have a sick bag handy before reading further

    “First of all, I’m obviously biased, but I believe Rangers are the biggest club in Scotland and I think what comes with that is a responsibility to lead Scottish football,” he said.
    “I’m 50 years of age now and in my lifetime, and before that, Rangers very much led Scottish football in terms of the governance and the strategy, obviously along with Celtic and other clubs, and in the last 15-20 years that’s been gradually declining and we need to get back to that way of thinking.
    “A lot of people have got strong views on what happened to Rangers and that’s fine, and I’ve got strong views as well, but we need to move forward now and grasp the situation and lead Scottish football.
    “In terms of practical things it’s rejoining some of the committees that determine what’s happening in the game, participating in discussions about the strategy of the game, these are things we’ve got to be involved in as we are the biggest club in Scotland in my view.”

    If you have an appetite for more of this guff, just follow the link. The problem for me is that I’m forced to pay for this fanzine. I think I’ll have to emigrate- honestly.

  19. I think that the current owners of Rangers were always the planned end game. It just took longer due to having to start in div 3, having to spend 70 million and having the income streams tied up.

  20. It seems ‘building bridges with the rest of Scottish football’ should be taken more literally. The Ibrox club should have sole use of these bridges and the other clubs will be happy to form the structure by bending over (backwards or forwards). Quite sad.

  21. I think apart from the quote above from mini M was the obvious fact that they have NO idea what contracts exist, what their worth either to individuals or organisations.
    AND they will wait till Monday to find out.
    If Id bought a lucky bag that was wriggling or ticking Id be at least poking it by now.
    Beggars belief Id be tearing the drawers out and examining every scrap of paper and downloading all the servers too.
    I withdraw my savvy businessmen remark of earlier.

  22. I can’t recall much discussion at the time of Craig Whyte’s recent 15 year disqualification.

    A couple of points in the judgement will give Dave King (and Paul Murray) some reassurance that they will both be able to avoid falling foul of the SFA’s FPP guidelines on being involved with an insolvent club in the previous five years.

    The tax convictions are a different matter though.

    1.3 Until at least in or around August 2011, Mr Whyte deliberately and dishonestly concealed the existence of the manner in which he had arranged to fund the limited company’s acquisition of the majority shareholding in RFC from those directors of RFC who had been on the board since before 06 May 2011, and its financial controller, to the detriment of the proper corporate governance of RFC, and in breach of his obligations to disclose his own interest in transactions and not to place his interests in conflict with those of RFC;

    1.4 Generally, he conducted the affairs of RFC without reference to those directors who had been on the board since before 06 May 2011, denying them access to information about RFC’s management and financial affairs, including the existence and details of the LLP Contract, preventing RFC from being subject to proper corporate governance

  23. Maybe Paul Murray should be more concerned about the following rather than leading Scottish football:

    1) the league table
    2) Potentially 6 play off games
    3) Most of the first team leaving at the end of the season
    4) Replacing the Management Team
    5) Replacing the first team
    6) Repairing Ibrox
    7) Paying back loans
    8) Keep paying Charles
    9) ‘Investing’ their own money to offset annual losses
    10) Keeping Mike happy

    Thank goodness for Paul Murray who will lead us all out of darkness and into a brave new dawn ☺

  24. I heard a bit of Paul Murray ‘ s interview and was glad to hear the arrogance element picked up on Off The Ball a petty programme that is in danger of becoming the only football broadcast one in Scotland that brings balance to the debate.

    I think OTB should produce a programme based on the following which is a text that I drafted but did not send after listening to the discussions between Tam Cowan, Stuart Cosgrove and Graham Speirs.


    Tam spoke of moving on.

    I agree but unless the feelings of the other Scottish clubs who have been the victims of the very questionable behaviour at Rangers since 2000 to date are recognised, then the wounds caused will resurface.

    To hear pundits talk you would think only TRFC fans were the victims. What about the thousands who paid good money to watch a game which now looks to have been corrupted by lies over ebts that by any logic gave RFC a better chance of winning those games than their opponents?

    Move on? Yes but only after listening to the victims who do not support Rangers.

    Name supplied

    I’m beginning to think the Paul Murray ‘ s of the Rangers world are unaware of their arrogance, that without them Scottish football would die.

    But how do you change their minds if there is no platform on which to do so? When every approach made is dismissed on preconceived notions of motivations of those asking to be heard caused by the arrogance of the non listener?

  25. neepheid says:
    March 7, 2015 at 7:21 pm

    Yet more from our “National Broadcaster”-


    I notice they didn’t quote the bit about how much worse all of us other teams have become in the intervening period when we lacked the leadership of a strong Rangers.

    (Kinda wish now I’d spent the money on leather uphostelry in my car. Easier to clean)

  26. vansen says:
    March 7, 2015 at 8:28 pm

    Maybe Paul Murray should be more concerned about the following rather than leading Scottish football:

    3) Most of the first team leaving at the end of the season
    I have a sneaking suspicion that number three isn’t keeping him awake at night..

  27. Auldheid says:

    March 7, 2015 at 8:36 pm

    In checking that post for typos I realised what is really annoying me. Its this bit

    ” which now looks to have been corrupted by lies over ebts that by any logic gave RFC a better chance of winning those games than their opponents?”

    Now apart from the DOS ebts (which are the subject of a new soon to be posted blog) its the idea given a veneer by Lord Nimmo Smith of respectability of no sporting advantage that really bugs me.

    Now perhaps that is because in revisting and updating an old article at that I am reminded of what football supporters were asked to accept, but do they football authorities and media think we are fools?

    Not only have we been cheated, we have been cheated out of justice by being cheated in its pursuit.

    No wonder I get pissed off.

  28. Good evening all

    I’m somewhat confused about the intent behind s216 😕 so I’ve reproduced the text below in order that some kind person will take pity on a poor old soul 🙁 and provide simple answers to a couple of questions ❓

    s216 Restriction on re-use of company names.

    (1)This section applies to a person where a company (“the liquidating company”) has gone into insolvent liquidation on or after the appointed day and he was a director or shadow director of the company at any time in the period of 12 months ending with the day before it went into liquidation.

    (2)For the purposes of this section, a name is a prohibited name in relation to such a person if—
    (a)it is a name by which the liquidating company was known at any time in that period of 12 months, or
    (b)it is a name which is so similar to a name falling within paragraph (a) as to suggest an association with that company.

    (3)Except with leave of the court or in such circumstances as may be prescribed, a person to whom this section applies shall not at any time in the period of 5 years beginning with the day on which the liquidating company went into liquidation—
    (a)be a director of any other company that is known by a prohibited name, or
    (b)in any way, whether directly or indirectly, be concerned or take part in the promotion, formation or management of any such company, or
    (c)in any way, whether directly or indirectly, be concerned or take part in the carrying on of a business carried on (otherwise than by a company) under a prohibited name.

    (4)If a person acts in contravention of this section, he is liable to imprisonment or a fine, or both.

    (5)In subsection (3) “the court” means any court having jurisdiction to wind up companies; and on an application for leave under that subsection, the Secretary of State or the official receiver may appear and call the attention of the court to any matters which seem to him to be relevant.

    (6)References in this section, in relation to any time, to a name by which a company is known are to the name of the company at that time or to any name under which the company carries on business at that time.

    (7)For the purposes of this section a company goes into insolvent liquidation if it goes into liquidation at at time when its assets are insufficient for the payment of its debts and other liabilities and the expenses of the winding up.

    (8)In this section “company” includes a company which may be wound up under Part V of this Act.

    ?1. Sub-sections (1) & (2) – Wrt DK being appointed director, if these does not apply could it be argued that RIFC is the same as the original company?

    ?2. Sub-section (6) – Because Sevco 5088 has been refused permission to cease to exist is this still the name of the original newco (ie. not RIFC)?

    Erm…OK three questions 😕 Can the SFA/SPFL apply their own rules/regulations with complete disregard to s216?

  29. A wee group of Clydebank Airdrie Loyal at Brechin today. Police (rarely seen at Brechin) were in close attendance.

    They even gave us a wee rendition of their version of “Hello, hello, we are the….” but I couldn’t hear if they were up to the knees in anything.

  30. broganrogantrevinoandhogan says:

    March 7, 2015 at 1:53 pm

    I responded on CQN this morning as follows.

    It comes from a Celtic supporting perspective but it is not only Celtic who have a responsibility to its supporters. All clubs do.


    The lad who spotted the emperor had no clothes on and shouted it out.

    Spot on post.

    Show us the money show us the spreadsheet that supports the business case. There is an illustrative template just waiting to be filled in.

    I caught the tail end of an interview with Paul Murray there on BBC.

    What stuck out was his belief Rangers are the biggest club in Scotland.

    They are not, not under any measure you would like to apply apart from support where we still top them.

    That arrogance is still there in their DNA.

    That is why Celtic (and other clubs) must take steps to protect themselves and Scottish football from the new club with delusions of adequacy.

    PL mention Financial Fair Play is on its way. I want to know when and in what form.

    It was the lack of FFP rules in the domestic game that allowed unsustainable spending.

    The thinking of Paul Murray and Dave King suggests they have learned nothing. The old adage “you cannot fix a problem with the mind that created it” springs to mind.

    I’m realistic I don’t expect Celtic to stop what is going on at Ibrox but I do expect them to recognise the dishonest nature of that entity and to be taking steps to protect us from the worst aspects of it.

    That includes not just introducing domestic FFP but taking a much more aggressive attitude to the media and especially TRFC’S PR advisers as well as the SFA.

    Celtic have every reason to do so. Not to would be as much a dereliction of duty to the Celtic support as the dereliction of duty the SFA have shown to Scottish football.

  31. easyJambo says:

    March 7, 2015 at 7:59 pm

    That was a useful link in that it confirmed what had been deduced from other material and that is the wee tax bill was never paid and the money seized after SO’s called in Aug 2011 had gone to the outstanding PAYE.

    The only way under UEFA Article 50 that unpaid tax cannot apply whenever or if ever TRFC eventually qualify for entry into a UEFA competition, is if TRFC are not RFC.

  32. Re Paul Murray and Rangers place in driving Scottish football forward.

    While my heart lies at Tynecastle these days let’s not forget (as I am lead to belive)

    Hibs first team in Europe
    Hibs first flood lights
    Hibs first shirt sponsorship
    His first undersoil heating
    Clydebank and Aberdeen first all seated stadiums.

    I also recall Hibs bringing in two or three foreign lads in bthec late 70s or early 80s before it was the done thing. (Finnish lads maybe??)

    Paul Murray is a joke. Rangers and to a certain extent Celtic, who in my opinion failed themselves and the rest of Scottish football by failing to build on their European successes in the 60s and 70s, could be argued as, historically, not being progressive at all. At least when McCann got a hold of Celtic he took them in the right direction. The club Paul Murray speaks of had a sectarian signing policy for most of its existence FFS. In latter years it was a castle built on the sand of friendly bank loans and dodgy tax avoidance schemes. For a man with 50 years on the planet his memory is somewhat selective. This is an acting Chairman!! No better than the man who would be King for spouting nonesense, IMHO.

  33. PS oh yes and when Sir Walter of Cardigan was doing decent job with the National team, those guys at Ibrox who were supposed to be leaders of our game tempted him back to Govan because they were more important than anything else. What a fecking joke.

  34. In all the hullabaloo…back slapping and cheering…I may have missed the announcement from Paul Murray or Dave King….

    Does anyone know if they have stated when they intend to repay the 276 creditors the 95 million they are owed?

  35. Auldheid says:
    March 7, 2015 at 9:00 pm

    I don’t think Celtic or anyone else for that matter can stop the Directors of RIFC/TRFC from doing what they are going to do, however, the board members of the SFA & SPFL, and their employers ie the clubs, have a duty to protect Scottish football from any fallout. That means, first and foremost, that the collusion & enabling that has been the modus operandi of the men at the top of Scottish Football has to change.

    Unfortunately, I think hell will freeze over before that happens, which is why every last one of them has to go.

  36. Auldheid says:
    March 7, 2015 at 9:00 pm

    What stuck out was his belief Rangers are the biggest club in Scotland.

    They are certainly the youngest senior club in Scotland.

  37. scapaflow says:

    March 8, 2015 at 12:17 am

    Auldheid says:
    March 7, 2015 at 9:00 pm

    I don’t think Celtic or anyone else for that matter can stop the Directors of RIFC/TRFC from doing what they are going to do, however, the board members of the SFA & SPFL, and their employers ie the clubs, have a duty to protect Scottish football from any fallout. That means, first and foremost, that the collusion & enabling that has been the modus operandi of the men at the top of Scottish Football has to change.

    Unfortunately, I think hell will freeze over before that happens, which is why every last one of them has to go.
    No you cannot stop them but you can demand rules that leave no room for discretion to deter them. First though you need to make the SFA accountable for not policing their rules.

    This is an objective of Res 12 once there is absolute proof they have not.

  38. ecobhoy says:
    March 7, 2015 at 2:52 pm

    Mr. King fails the fit and proper test as it stands…what he doesn’t fail is the SFA’s right to ignore their own rules…which they have done consistently for the last 3 years.

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