Spot the difference?

Avatar Bybroganrogantrevinoandhogan

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. ”

and

“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.

Yes – 30 MILLION POUNDS.

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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broganrogantrevinoandhogan author

Boot wearing football, sport & total nonsense fan-- Gourmet, Bon Viveur and eedgit! - Oh and I write a bit occasionally!

4,992 Comments so far

The Cat NR1

The Cat NR1Posted on10:43 am - Feb 18, 2015


ecobhoy says:
February 18, 2015 at 10:15 am

wottpi says:
February 18, 2015 at 9:47 am

Disruption of the EGM and the need to reschedule is just giving more time for Ashley to saddle the club with a further £5m of debt.

If King and his followers are so sure of victory then they should be pushing to have the EGM in a couple of days time and move on ASAP.
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Not as simple as that I’m afraid – see my post above.

Basically if DK calls for a meeting under S305 Companies Act it must be called for a date not more than three months after the date on which the directors become subject to the requirement to call a meeting.

S306 allows for a court to call a meeting and it appears they can set any timetable it wants so that could well be the quickest route. If I was DK I would be in the CoS asking for the court to set the date as 4 March as originally intended.

That’s why I would be interested in hearing what legal reasons Rangers claim prevents them from sticking to the original date.
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Police Scotland co-ordination perhaps?

I assume that the safety concerns that have led to both London venues pulling out are still relevant. Would they require confirmation that the event could be properly policed and stewarded to prevent public disorder prior to announcing the date? They would not have been able to have done that in the time from the announcement of the Grange Tower pull-out to the announcement that it would be held at time/date TBC at Ibrox.

To have two cancellations may be regarded as a misfortune; to have a third would look like carelessness.

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ecobhoyPosted on10:47 am - Feb 18, 2015


rabtdog says:
February 17, 2015 at 11:42 pm

A Rangers will continue as long as someone can make money out of the fans/other income streams. When they can’t, it stops.
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That, in a nutshell, is the reality IMO. The only people who can bring this to an end are ordinary Bears but that all depends on what kind of club they want or will accept.

It could be argued that the Scottish Footballing Authorities could also bring the current charade to an end but does any football supporter actually believe that?

They will sit quietly in a darkened Hampden Bunker and await events.

They will not give any Leadership on the issue and just hope that somehow it all works out.

Not only are the SFA a disgrace to Scottish Football but a Clear and Present Danger for it that must be removed.

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The Cat NR1

The Cat NR1Posted on11:01 am - Feb 18, 2015


Highlander says:
February 18, 2015 at 8:04 am

rabtdog says:
February 17, 2015 at 11:42 pm

“People here really need to give up on starting from the desired outcome (Dead Rangers) then interpreting the supporting narrative to fit.”

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The SFA/SPFL/MSM really need to give up on starting from the desired outcome (Still alive Rangers) then interpreting the supporting narrative to fit.
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Or even a “back in their rightful place” Rangers?

That’s been the narrative of the last last three years.

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ecobhoyPosted on11:19 am - Feb 18, 2015


The Cat NR1 says:
February 18, 2015 at 10:43 am
ecobhoy says:
February 18, 2015 at 10:15 am

I assume that the safety concerns that have led to both London venues pulling out are still relevant. Would they require confirmation that the event could be properly policed and stewarded to prevent public disorder prior to announcing the date? They would not have been able to have done that in the time from the announcement of the Grange Tower pull-out to the announcement that it would be held at time/date TBC at Ibrox.
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As to safety concerns I would love to know what info was given to both hotels when the venues were booked. Were they given any indication that the event couldn’t be held in Glasgow in premises possibly owned by the company?

Were they told that the last general meeting held involved 2,000 shareholders barracking the Board of Directors non-stop in an abusive manner?

Were they told that although the venues could only hold say 500 shareholders that a minimum of 1,000 would be likely to turn-up. Obviously they would have been welcomed by the hotel bedecked in red, white and blue waving large UJs and incessantly chanting unintelligibly to the Southern ear.

I can imagine the hotel guests would have thought this was some kind of street theatre arranged by the hotel and they would have been out there with their cameras, video and phones to capture the atmosphere.

Personally I think the moment that killed both bookings stone dead was when they received the youtube video of the Ibrox agm.

I don’t mean the chanting btw. I mean when they looked at the directors in their canvas gazebo and the Rangers Crest coming loose and rolling off screen – that was the moment.

They knew instantly that these were not people who could be admitted to their up-market luxury premises. After all they have high standards to maintain and a certain level of clientele to be catered for. Nope the gazebo done for them.

Btw I think the hotels made their judgement on the directors and their low expectation levels. I don’t think they even got round to considering the fans. From a gazebo in a field to one of these hotels – pull the other one mate 😆

More seriously – afaik not one single arrest was made at the Ibrox agm. Yip it was brutal in the emotions expressed – I doubt if it could have been any different and those who remember carpark protests might well agree.

This is a life and death matter wrt their club and if those in charge of Ibrox don’t understand what that means to most Bears then they will be ousted at some stage – it might not make any financial sense but that isn’t the driving force at this point in time IMO.

I don’t necessarily agree with your timing comments but that’s because I don’t have enough info to form a decision at this time so you could be correct in your speculation.

You have to remember that Rangers got rid-off its G4S as its resident security company and replaced it with an in-house outfit supposedly capable of dealing with a sold-out Ibrox football matches plus all the external duties.

As I keep repeating: If Rangers Board don’t think the stadium security can deal with 2 or 3 thousand Bears then there should be a serious look at withdrawing the safety certificate.

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wottpiPosted on11:36 am - Feb 18, 2015


ecobhoy says:
February 18, 2015 at 10:15 am

My ‘couple of days’ timescale was tongue in cheek but as you point out there are ways and means for King to try and get this over with ASAP.

Everyday on TSFM is an education 🙂

Regardless of how it is done, delaying matters just helps the Ashley camp IMHO

If victory is assured then why can’t some Bears just quietly take the result and get on with it.

What we are seeing is of course is exactly the Rangers way as per the last few decades. If it is achieved then simple victory is not enough, it has to rammed down others throats and shouted from the rooftops.

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John ClarkPosted on11:38 am - Feb 18, 2015


ecobhoy says at 10.47 a.m
“….They will not give any Leadership on the issue and just hope that somehow it all works out..”
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I would rather more cynically believe the opposite,
0namely that they are plotting and planning how best to ensure not only that some kind of ‘Rangers’ continues, but that it gets into the top division for next season
These guys were not idle before. And it’s odds on ( whether American or decimalised or UK ) that theyare not idle now.
They did not make cheats and liars of themselves only to becomehonest brokers in the same set of circumstances.
In my opinion?

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ecobhoyPosted on11:52 am - Feb 18, 2015


Yerevan says:
February 17, 2015 at 11:39 pm

The Benny Hill theme tune springs to mind

On Twitter @AndyNewportPA:

Understand that the custom and practice of City law means that meetings at Millennium Gloucester and Grange Tower Bridge hotels will still have to be called. They will immediately by adjourned. The custom of it means there has to be time to physically travel from one venue to the other before the next meeting can be opened, which is why the MG meeting was 10am and GTB was at noon. Also why March 4 might be viewed as too soon for the Ibrox date.
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That seems quite sensible but the argument could be flawed.

I think it can accepted that more Bears would have turned-up at both London Hotels than there were places avaibale for shareholders wanting to attend.

As I pointed out last week the Mem & Arts of RIFC Plc allow for the directors to limit the number of shareholders attending general meetings by issuing tickets according to an allocation scheme.

I would have thought that the Board would already have decided who was getting a ticket – which would be required to get them into the venue – and if that is the case they can directly contact the 500 or whatever was decided and formally inform them of the venue and time change to Ibrox at say 2-3 o’clock.

The calling and adjourning of the other meetings can go ahead with no one in attendance except one lucky director who won’t need to go to Ibrox but could link-up to the stadium electronically if required.

I don’t see their being insurmountable problems to retain 4 March at Ibrox as the date and I doubt that a court would be persuaded there was either. It simply depends on what date is set by the Board and how much of a delay that entails.

Too long and DK will go to the CoS IMO. Still won’t take long to find out.

I also wonder about the legality of a general meeting being opened and adjourned without any shareholders who do turn-up being allowed to attend. Sounds a bit iffy to me.

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ecobhoyPosted on12:12 pm - Feb 18, 2015


wottpi says:
February 18, 2015 at 11:36 am
ecobhoy says:
February 18, 2015 at 10:15 am

If victory is assured then why can’t some Bears just quietly take the result and get on with it.

What we are seeing is of course is exactly the Rangers way as per the last few decades. If it is achieved then simple victory is not enough, it has to rammed down others throats and shouted from the rooftops.
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The Bears can’t just quietly take the result – Votes have to be counted and it has to be announced and accepted by AIM.

I think you have to be careful about the standars we expect of Rangers Supporters. Personally I believe they should be the same as those expected of every other football supporter no matter the club they support.

As a Celtic supporter, in similar circumstances, I would be shouting from the rooftops and indeed have at regime change. Why shouldn’t Bears celebrate a victory over what they believe to be the roadblocks put in their way?

Even if DK and T3B win the egm that is not the end of the matter by a long chalk and those first fruits of victory could well turn into vinegar ere too long IMO.

I see no probs in Rangers fans celebrating what they perceive to be a victory. However winning a battle doesn’t necessarily win the war and I have a feeeling that, in due course, the Bears will come to realise that.

But, who knows where this will all end-up. And I will repeat my mantra once again: It’s up to Bears what kind of football club they want to support and they will have to live with the consequences of that choice.

I have no intention of telling any other football fan what kind of club they should support. Indeed I find it difficult reaching common ground with some fellow Celtic Supporters as is obvious from the reaction to my posts on here 😆 🙄 😆

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The Cat NR1

The Cat NR1Posted on12:15 pm - Feb 18, 2015


ecobhoy says:
February 18, 2015 at 11:19 am
===========================
I agree entirely with that.

My EGM safety concerns were more to do with the potential for disruption caused by non-attendees in the environs of Ibrox on a normal business day.
Other than traffic passing up and down Edmiston Drive, the area is fairly quiet on a non-match day so a redeployment of scarce police resources would be required or provision made for overtime to bring in additional officers.
Stadium security will no doubt be able to deal with the attendees once inside the venue, as they will be registered shareholders and therefore identifiable.

The ante has been raised somewhat since the AGM, and this EGM does have the feeling of being a line drawn in the sand that the more volatile elements of the non-shareholding support will more than likely seek to use as a rallying point. As has been mentioned on here numerous times, the disparate fans’ groups have struggled to unite, but the EGM venue presents a tangible time and place to voice their views that mutliple websites and phone-ins do not.

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ecobhoyPosted on12:18 pm - Feb 18, 2015


John Clark says:
February 18, 2015 at 11:38 am

ecobhoy says at 10.47 a.m
“….They will not give any Leadership on the issue and just hope that somehow it all works out..”
—————-
I would rather more cynically believe the opposite,
0namely that they are plotting and planning how best to ensure not only that some kind of ‘Rangers’ continues, but that it gets into the top division for next season
These guys were not idle before. And it’s odds on ( whether American or decimalised or UK ) that theyare not idle now.
They did not make cheats and liars of themselves only to becomehonest brokers in the same set of circumstances. In my opinion?
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You may well be correct. And if you are that means that every other Scottish football club is complicit in the plotting!

It’s easy to use SFA as a shorthand Aunt Sal!y – and I do – but it doesn’t excuse the culpability of every other Scottish Club.

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ecobhoyPosted on12:51 pm - Feb 18, 2015


The Cat NR1 says:
February 18, 2015 at 12:15 pm
ecobhoy says:
February 18, 2015 at 11:19 am

The stewards’ writ, as I understand it, does cover the external environs of Ibrox which are usually deserted on non-match days.

Obviously Police Scotland will be involved in discussions wrt policing the egm event and will allocate the requires resources. That’s an operational decision for them and if they get it wrong again, like the Hearts game, that will be more than unfortunate.

In view of the numbers of Rangers Fans who are now shareholders I think it’s a bit of a moot point referring the ‘more volatile elements of the non-shareholding support’. I tend to view volatile people as ‘volatile’ whether they hold shares or not.

It’s funny how different standards can be used and I have seen many impromptu marches/demos not by Rangers fans being supported on this and other sites and the police presence/action decried.

I hope the Bear Leaders will be able to self-steward their own demo effectively whether it consists of shareholders or simply fans.

Sometimes it’s better to await results and then discuss the issues which have arisen as talking things up beforehand wrt an expectation of violence, which we saw the SMSM do before the recent game at Hampden, tends to bring about the desired result. However 40 odd thousand Rangers and celtic fans got to Hampden and away from it with minimal arrests and only one shocking, inecusable attack on the young boy.

Afaik the egm result won’t be announced on the day so that removes the likelihood of a flash-point if the DK T3B camp lose.

What will be will be – and I remain an optimist – so I hope the egm and any demo pass off without disorder.

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MoreCelticParanoia

MoreCelticParanoiaPosted on1:00 pm - Feb 18, 2015


bfbpuzzled says:

February 17, 2015 at 6:32 pm

Gist of SSB is utilisation of the West of Scotland defence On the EGM changes ‘it wizny us a big bad Celtic supporter uploaded Manchester Videos and ran away’ …jings crivvens etc..
________________________________________________________

And who’s fault is it that such footage exists anyway?

Seems a bit contradictory – As far as I was aware TRFC fans were mostly up in arms about the EGM taking place 500 miles away, but now that they have got the outcome they wanted it’s a reason to have a go at Celtic fans via some crackpot conspiracy theory? 😕 (?)

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PaulPosted on1:16 pm - Feb 18, 2015


Within hours of the vile and sickening racist abuse by Chelsea supporters in Paris, both the Club and the English FA released statements saying they would do everything they could to identify and ban those fans involved. And rightly so.

I contrast this with the deafening silence from the SFA and the two teams involved in the Scottish League Cup Semi-Final on Sunday the 1st of Febuary over the issue of clearly audible sectarian singing.

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MaBawPosted on1:28 pm - Feb 18, 2015


re the Scottish FA, it would depend if it was a wee club or a big club.

re the loaned players, has any Scottish journalist tried to find out if this is saddling rangers with more debt. SSB stated at the start of the transfer that the players were free, but i doubt that was based on any attempt at finding the facts.

This additional debt and the potential loans to cover it could be important yet the press do not seem to care.

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shaunysaurusPosted on1:38 pm - Feb 18, 2015


Paul says:

February 18, 2015 at 1:16 pm

Within hours of the vile and sickening racist abuse by Chelsea supporters in Paris, both the Club and the English FA released statements saying they would do everything they could to identify and ban those fans involved. And rightly so.

——–

Paul,

This would require a change in attitude from Chelsea. Hopefully this change has occurred and it means “England’s Brave” John Terry is limited to a maximum of 19 league appearances next season.

More likely it’s bans for PR sake and nothing else.

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GoosyGoosyPosted on1:53 pm - Feb 18, 2015


For our legal experts
Lets assume Ashley intends to liquidate RIFC before the EGM if he reckons he will lose the vote
If so
Can King & Co take court action delay a prepack liquidation until after the EGM?

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easyJamboPosted on2:02 pm - Feb 18, 2015


There have been five MR01 documents lodged with Companies House for TRFC.

I assume these are the fixed securities over Murray Park, Edmiston House, Albion Car Park and the Club’s trademarks, together with a floating charge over everything else bar Ibrox.

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arabest1Posted on2:04 pm - Feb 18, 2015


“It is not the Rangers way to threaten individuals on a personal basis and there should be zero tolerance for this.”

…it does however appear to be the ‘Sevco way’……. 😉

Add the latest threats and intimidation to this lot….

http://blogs.channel4.com/alex-thomsons-view/threats-silence-intimidation-rangers-fans/2873

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rabtdogPosted on2:08 pm - Feb 18, 2015


Meanwhile, in the game of football, realism & resolve from Willo Flood…

“Celtic fear us a little bit. They can say what they want in the press, that if they do this or that then they will win the league. But up here at Pittodrie, Scott Brown was celebrating in the tunnel as if they’d won the title that day [Celtic league win at Pittodrie]. I thought, ‘Yeah, they fear us, so let’s have a go.’
“If we play to our potential we can take them all the way. I don’t know if we’ll finish above them but we can definitely have a go,” he added.

#coyr

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borderman67Posted on2:09 pm - Feb 18, 2015


It would appear that the only Security problem over Ibrox is trying to arrange for the boards safety at the EGM 🙄

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tykebhoy

tykebhoyPosted on2:11 pm - Feb 18, 2015


Does TRFC actually own Edmiston House and the world renowned car park? Did RIFC buy them out of the IPO proceeds or was part of the £15m+ loaned to TRFC by RIFC (from the IPO proceeds) used by TRFC to “re-purchase” them?

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oddjob

oddjobPosted on2:16 pm - Feb 18, 2015


There is an added complication to any delay to the GM. Both the Board and MA have dates with the Sfa,the first I believe is on March 6. Question is Will the Sfa accept a further postponement to accommodate a postponed GM? Whichever Board turns up may have the completely opposite view from the other.
Mr Ashley on the other hand, my have taken some drastic action of his own by the time his turn comes around.

Maybe any problems the Sfa have will melt away, and the men in suits can breath a sigh of relief.

Perhaps the original dates were changed simply for that reason.

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Paulmac2Posted on2:24 pm - Feb 18, 2015


If anyone wants to know what they are dealing with regards MA then look no further than the reasons that led him to employing DL…

Wow

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nowoldandgrumpyPosted on2:37 pm - Feb 18, 2015


just seen this on twitter. If true does that mean they still have to pay the two hotels some money?

Andy Newport @AndyNewportPA · 20h 20 hours ago
Understand that the custom and practice of City law means that meetings at Millennium Gloucester and Grange Tower Bridge hotels will…

.still have to be called. They will immediately by adjourned. The custom of it means there has to be time to physically travel from…

…one venue to the other before the next meeting can be opened, which is why the MG meeting was 10am and GTB was at noon. Also why…
..March 4 might be viewed as too soon for the Ibrox date

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neepheid

neepheidPosted on2:38 pm - Feb 18, 2015


tykebhoy says:
February 18, 2015 at 2:11 pm
Does TRFC actually own Edmiston House and the world renowned car park? Did RIFC buy them out of the IPO proceeds or was part of the £15m+ loaned to TRFC by RIFC (from the IPO proceeds) used by TRFC to “re-purchase” them?
=======================

Yes, those properties were bought by TRFC in January 2013, using IPO money borrowed from RIFC. The accounts reflect that, and I believe the land registry entries were checked at the time by a poster on here.

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Head HunterPosted on3:00 pm - Feb 18, 2015


The Law of Difficult (Company General) Meetings

http://www.slaughterandmay.com/media/803989/the-law-of-difficult-meetings.pdf

For those of you with some time on your hands. Good explanation of how it should be done and answers some of the questions posed on here today. Should they wish to play games then the opportunity for pre-orchestrated mischief by the board is clear. Needs to be read in conjunction with their own articles to understand the full picture.

The most interesting point for me for me is that it is entirely acceptable to conduct the meeting remotely by video link. So the Board don’t even need to be in a gazebo at the other end of the stadium, they could sit in London and talk with the masses via the giant screens they recently installed at no little cost. Of course you would have to make sure they didn’t pack in at the wrong time.

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The Cat NR1

The Cat NR1Posted on3:07 pm - Feb 18, 2015


rabtdog says:
February 18, 2015 at 2:08 pm

Meanwhile, in the game of football, realism & resolve from Willo Flood…

“Celtic fear us a little bit. They can say what they want in the press, that if they do this or that then they will win the league. But up here at Pittodrie, Scott Brown was celebrating in the tunnel as if they’d won the title that day [Celtic league win at Pittodrie]. I thought, ‘Yeah, they fear us, so let’s have a go.’
“If we play to our potential we can take them all the way. I don’t know if we’ll finish above them but we can definitely have a go,” he added.

#coyr
============================
Fear? Unlikely.
Respect? Definitely.

Coincidentally, I was at the game in which Willo scored his first EPL goal.

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Allyjambo

AllyjamboPosted on3:20 pm - Feb 18, 2015


Danish Pastry says:
February 17, 2015 at 10:50 pm

Sevco schematically:

http://www.heraldscotland.com/sites/default/files/RFCexplainer.jpg
________________________________________

Thanks for that, DP. Bit confused though!

‘Rangers Explained’, presumably showing everything that is of importance down Ibrox way!

Where on earth does ‘the Club’ fit into it all? Surely they wouldn’t forget something so important to those most likely to be interested in this colourful explanation of ‘Rangers’.

Still, must be difficult to draw something that no one has actually seen, and when no paper record of it’s existence exists it’s even more difficult to form any sort of graphic! Was a really difficult task some poor guy was given there!

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The Cat NR1

The Cat NR1Posted on3:22 pm - Feb 18, 2015


Head Hunter says:
February 18, 2015 at 3:00 pm

The Law of Difficult (Company General) Meetings

http://www.slaughterandmay.com/media/803989/the-law-of-difficult-meetings.pdf

For those of you with some time on your hands. Good explanation of how it should be done and answers some of the questions posed on here today. Should they wish to play games then the opportunity for pre-orchestrated mischief by the board is clear. Needs to be read in conjunction with their own articles to understand the full picture.

The most interesting point for me for me is that it is entirely acceptable to conduct the meeting remotely by video link. So the Board don’t even need to be in a gazebo at the other end of the stadium, they could sit in London and talk with the masses via the giant screens they recently installed at no little cost. Of course you would have to make sure they didn’t pack in at the wrong time.
================================
Thanks for posting that link. Section 15 in a good read.
I’m not so sure about relying on the giant screens though.
Didn’t something happen once before that was related to video screens? :irony:

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The Cat NR1

The Cat NR1Posted on3:34 pm - Feb 18, 2015


Allyjambo says:
February 18, 2015 at 3:20 pm

Danish Pastry says:
February 17, 2015 at 10:50 pm

Sevco schematically:

http://www.heraldscotland.com/sites/default/files/RFCexplainer.jpg
________________________________________

Thanks for that, DP. Bit confused though!

‘Rangers Explained’, presumably showing everything that is of importance down Ibrox way!

Where on earth does ‘the Club’ fit into it all? Surely they wouldn’t forget something so important to those most likely to be interested in this colourful explanation of ‘Rangers’.

Still, must be difficult to draw something that no one has actually seen, and when no paper record of it’s existence exists it’s even more difficult to form any sort of graphic! Was a really difficult task some poor guy was given there!
=========================================
The bottom left hand corner is a bit of a pick and mix.

It states that RFC PLC was established in 1873. Surely that can’t be true, as the club and company are separate and the PLC only came into being in 1899, originally as a limited company and then converting to PLC in 2000. If RFC PLC was established in 1873….Oh no it’s that feckin’ OC/NC thing again….ARRRGHH

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South0fThe BorderPosted on3:41 pm - Feb 18, 2015


nowoldandgrumpy says: February 18, 2015 at 2:37 pm
just seen this on twitter. If true does that mean they still have to pay the two hotels some money?

_________________________

I wouldn’t have thought so – the hotels themselves cancelled the meeting so certainly no money due or lost deposits for the full meeting taking place. As for having to hold a meeting at the originally specified venue to adjourn it to another time and place – I would have thought that one person sitting in the hotel foyer would achieve that administrative task.

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sickofitallPosted on3:43 pm - Feb 18, 2015


Ticketus launch bankruptcy proceedings against Craig Whyte
Wednesday 18 February 2015
Ticketing firm Ticketus have launched bankruptcy proceedings against former Rangers owner Craig Whyte.

The firm are now pursuing the Ibrox kingpin for more than £17.7 million after they successfully sued him for damages in 2013.

They claim Whyte, who bought controlling interests in the club in 2011, failed to pay up resulting in action at the High Court in London yesterday.

In a statement, Ticketus said: “Ticketus can confirm that a court session was held in London as part of the continued activity to recover funds for its investors from Mr Craig Whyte.

“[The] session was a first hearing of a bankruptcy petition, which Ticketus has brought against Mr Whyte.

“The hearing has been adjourned until a later date.

“The bankruptcy petition is a direct result of the judgment that was obtained previously by Ticketus in relation to the misrepresentation that was made by Craig Whyte during a ticket purchase agreement relating to Rangers Football Club, for which £17.7m plus interest and costs have been awarded to Ticketus.

“Mr Whyte has failed to pay the money that is due under the judgment.”

The former Light Blues owner appeared in a private court in January in relation to the Ticketus case.

The petition may be opposed and there is no bankruptcy unless the court makes an order.

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neepheid

neepheidPosted on3:54 pm - Feb 18, 2015


http://www.vanguardbears.co.uk/article.php?i=41&a=a-financial-experts-opinion-of-rangers-future

Too long to post in full, but to sum it up, for those who don’t want to give a “hit” to the VB site-

The problem I have is that it’s near impossible to analyse a business plan that either doesn’t exist or, at the very least, hasn’t been made available for scrutiny.

The presentation given by King and Murray focused on vague statements with no numbers to back up any of their ideas, ambitions or claims. On that basis, and looking back on their prior records of personal investment levels (or lack thereof) and corporate governance, I’m left with no option but to oppose their involvement at our club.

I didn’t know that King and miniMurray were touting their proposition around the city.

Anyway, the author, who seems well informed, weighs up Ashley and King, and comes down on the side of Ashley, which makes it a real surprise that the piece got published on the VB forum. Maybe they’re a bit more open to a diversity of opinion than they used to be? A welcome development, if true.

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StevieBC

StevieBCPosted on4:05 pm - Feb 18, 2015


sickofitall says:
February 18, 2015 at 3:43 pm
Ticketus launch bankruptcy proceedings against Craig Whyte
Wednesday 18 February 2015
Ticketing firm Ticketus have launched bankruptcy proceedings against former Rangers owner Craig Whyte.

The firm are now pursuing the Ibrox kingpin for more than £17.7 million after they successfully sued him for damages in 2013…
===============================================

Can anyone enlighten us here ?

I presume that operating as a spiv, there is always the risk of being sued/bankrupted.
I am guessing that the bold Craigie will have no assets in his own name, and he seems adept at utilising offshore havens such as the BVI.

Wrt his supposed claim to TRFC assets, if he is indeed made bankrupt in the UK, would he have to declare this potential claim as a potential asset/income, or would he be forced to finally declare that he has no valid claim whatsoever outstanding against TRFC ?

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berrtyPosted on4:56 pm - Feb 18, 2015


Didn’t Whyte sell his claim to Worthington and so personally has no claim left to declare ? Could be wrong though

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ecobhoyPosted on5:19 pm - Feb 18, 2015


neepheid says:
February 18, 2015 at 3:54 pm

http://www.vanguardbears.co.uk/article.php?i=41&a=a-financial-experts-opinion-of-rangers-future

the author, who seems well informed, weighs up Ashley and King, and comes down on the side of Ashley
————————————————
The author gives only the ‘slightest of preferences’ to Ashley and concludes:

We can only make assumptions about things we know and the present protagonists involved in the power struggle for our club give little information that can be used to alleviate any of the known uncertainties. As such, we can draw few conclusions due to the lack of data that would allow us to do otherwise.

Quite simply, we have almost nothing that we can analyse and are left with a near impossible decision at the upcoming EGM. It’s a choice between multiple uncertainties and that isn’t a good position to be in, nor does it provide any comfort to us as concerned supporters.

I wish I had access to the information required to give you a more definitive answer. Unfortunately, I don’t believe it’s forthcoming.

If push came to shove, I’d give the slightest of preferences to Mike Ashley given his debt agreement and subsequent additional financial interest in the club (protection of that interest is incentive to ensure his investment is a success), as well as a greater capacity to invest larger sums of his own personal fortune in the club. However, there is no guarantee that will happen.

Hardly a ringing endorsement for Ashley and similarly not for DK & Murray. It’s a pity that no analysis was done on T3B as that might have been interesting and useful, especially for Bears wondering how to vote.

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neepheid

neepheidPosted on5:48 pm - Feb 18, 2015


ecobhoy says:
February 18, 2015 at 5:19 pm

Hardly a ringing endorsement for Ashley and similarly not for DK & Murray. It’s a pity that no analysis was done on T3B as that might have been interesting and useful, especially for Bears wondering how to vote.
================
I think he might have had the same problem with T3B as he had with the others- no detailed plan publicly available to analyse. Or maybe he just assumes that T3B and King are in reality a “concert party”.

Anyway, whatever I, or the VB expert, or anyone else think, will have zero effect on the outcome. I’m pretty sure that Ashley will already know how the vote is going to go, and will act accordingly. Unless he can split the King/T3B axis, the vote is surely a lost cause for Ashley. Which gives him two choices. Work with King after the vote to safeguard his own interests (unlikely in my view, I get the impression that Ashley doesn’t like King, but you never know), or go down the insolvency route. His fixed and floating charges already put him in a very strong position. If he can take a fixed charge over Ibrox, in return for the next £5m loan, then he will be invincible. Unless, of course, the RRM bite the bullet and start all over again, but at this point, that would be very difficult.

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Allyjambo

AllyjamboPosted on6:39 pm - Feb 18, 2015


On STV Edinburgh just now, that genius of a pundit, Gordon Smith, has just said he doesn’t know why the hotels in London cancelled the bookings for the EGM. Clearly didn’t notice the reports that the hotel managements were concerned for the safety of their staff and guests!

Clearly fits in with the SFA ethos of hear no evil, see no evil…of ‘Rangers’ supporters, at least!

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SmugasPosted on6:48 pm - Feb 18, 2015


Neeps,

First of all you assume the VB poster isn’t one of the 3B’s! Doubt it, but it would actually make a lot of sense if it was.

Secondly, don’t doubt the PR input. To flush out as many emotional DK votes as possible, make it known that the ‘thinking bear’ is only marginally going with Ashley. Possibly flush out a few more undecideds the other way?

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MaBawPosted on6:49 pm - Feb 18, 2015


Having watched the disgraceful scenes from so called Chelsea fans, it brought me back to the last Celtic Rangers game and the way our football governing authorities refused to deal with the sectarian singing.

28 Mar 2011 – STEWART REGAN has admitted the prospect of playing Old Firm … played behind closed doors if sectarian singing is not eradicated

They need to target individuals and arrest them, warn clubs that their capacity will be reduced by 10% each time the songs are sung, leading to closed door games.

If the punishment hurt the club and its fans, the sectarian nonsense would soon stop.

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StevieBC

StevieBCPosted on7:34 pm - Feb 18, 2015


MaBaw says:
February 18, 2015 at 6:49 pm
Having watched the disgraceful scenes from so called Chelsea fans…
===============================
I thought it was alleged to be TRFC fans on the train, desperate to get into Europe ?

Joking aside, it’s just incredible – to me anyway – that any club as wealthy and successful as Chelsea can still be blighted with fans seemingly stuck in a 1980’s timewarp ? [Allegedly at this point.]

And how much damage can that sort of moronic behaviour do to a ‘proper’ global brand.
How much negative PR could it be for the EPL and/or the Champions’ League ?

I’m guessing that Chelsea will do everything possible to avoid a recurrence.

Whilst at our very own SFA bunker…zzzz 👿

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Methilhill Stroller

Methilhill StrollerPosted on7:35 pm - Feb 18, 2015


MaBaw says:

February 18, 2015 at 6:49 pm

I am not sure why reducing attendance by 10% for each offense will help. Sound slike an SFA/SPL smack with a velvet glove. To be honest they are only likely to get focused on one specific match and at 10% a time it could take a few seasons of singing to close the doors. If it is going to be stamped out then one offence and make the next game/games behind closed doors as UEFA do for such offences. The lack of income would more than likely attract the attention of both clubs [and :slamb: ] quite quickly. All the above dependant of course on SFA/SPL actually being prepared to take such a decision 😆 😆 – one thing Regan proposing it to look good and quite another actually doing it. The silence from the Hampden bunker of late probably gives us all the answer!

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StevieBC

StevieBCPosted on7:57 pm - Feb 18, 2015


Agreed, it’s taken from the DR [Gregor Kyle ?] but does anyone know if the below extract is true: i.e. that Walter Smith is involved ?
Must be b*llox, shirley… 😯

“…Former performance director Mark Wotte recently left his post at Hampden and the SFA has appointed a panel, that includes Scotland boss Gordon Strachan and former managers Walter Smith and Andy Roxburgh, to find a replacement…”

http://www.dailyrecord.co.uk/sport/football/football-news/former-st-mirren-manager-danny-5183248
===================================
“Respected and Trusted to Lead”

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BrendaPosted on8:11 pm - Feb 18, 2015


M Guidi in sparkling form tonight on SSB 😉 apparently everything’s going to be fine 😉 mr King & mr Ashley will probably work together for the good of the ‘club’ sorry but this farce just gets more ridiculous by the hour.

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Carfins FinestPosted on8:19 pm - Feb 18, 2015


I wonder how the fans of TRFC would react to a win for DK at the egm only for DK to announce that the austerity will continue for the foreseeable future. No immediate £millons for warchests, no mad spending sprees for the fans to get excited about, no endless line of superstars to chase and catch Celtic FC. No. Just more of the same that MA has introduced. Will his RRM Badge save him from their ire? Also heard on SSB that the Mega Rich Indian investor is still on the side lines waiting to invest to such an extent he may have a say in running TRFC. Does his wealth alone elevate him to RRM status?

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Tartanwulver

TartanwulverPosted on8:20 pm - Feb 18, 2015


StevieBC says:
February 18, 2015 at 7:57 pm

“Respected and Trusted to Lead”
———————————
It makes sense if you read it as a kind of reverse alchemy by the SFA, i.e. their mission being to take aspects of the game in which they are respected and trusted, and turn them into base metal.

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StevieBC

StevieBCPosted on8:21 pm - Feb 18, 2015


Brenda says:
February 18, 2015 at 8:11 pm
M Guidi in sparkling form tonight on SSB 😉 apparently everything’s going to be fine 😉 mr King & mr Ashley will probably work together for the good of the ‘club’ sorry but this farce just gets more ridiculous by the hour.
=========================================
Absolutely ! [I miss writing that 😉 ]

As King is the largest individual shareholder why doesn’t Ashley offer him a directorship, to divide and conquer the 3B’s – and defuse the EGM ?
Then, presumably the SFA will rubber stamp King as ‘fit & proper’.

…and then Ashley could use King as the buffer between him / Llambias and the angry bears when they see a distinct lack of investment on the field ?

King’s ego could be exploited to deflect from Ashley, and maybe Ashley could have a bit of sport at the same time ?

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SmugasPosted on8:37 pm - Feb 18, 2015


Don’t be rediculous. King wouldn’t have the balls to face off the bears after a 3-0 drubbing to a Diddy. Nope instead either he or some other new investor (Interpol fugitive optional) will throw more money at it. And Ashley? The freshly insulated bears ire free Ashley? Laughing his F#*¥%g ass off.

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upthehoopsPosted on8:49 pm - Feb 18, 2015


Interesting to see the VB article edging on the side of Ashley. It got me thinking back to the days of the McCann takeover at Celtic. At the time the Celtic fans were sitting watching Rangers spend millions upon millions which they were told by the media was simply because Rangers were a wealthy club. There was no new media available therefore nothing to contradict that view. Celtic fans wanted someone to come in and do the same for them. Madness when you look back but that’s the way it was.

After the McCann takeover though it was apparent within a few months that the longed for matching up of Rangers spending under Murray wasn’t going to happen. The fans backed the McCann regime nonetheless. The financial housekeeping in those days laid the foundations for the present day club. We all know what happened to Murray’s Rangers.

The Rangers fans should think about this and be careful what they wish for.

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StevieBC

StevieBCPosted on9:48 pm - Feb 18, 2015


jambocol1874 says:
February 18, 2015 at 9:07 pm
From Richard Wilson tonight on BBc website

http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/0/football/31524925
===================================================
Just a curious observation based on above %-age share holdings.
If King jumped ship then the Board would be on 50.24%. Game over.

And separately: IMO, nobody who has been involved with the RFC/TRFC nonsense in the recent past should be allowed anywhere near Hampden in any capacity, [players aside of course].

Smith has been involved as manager / NED / Chairman at both the clubs which have had such a negative impact on the Scottish game and its reputation.
And yet the SFA now seek his advice…?!
Unbelievable.

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valentinesclown

valentinesclownPosted on10:02 pm - Feb 18, 2015


I read that Mr King does not want fans to attend the EGM in case it gets out of hand and somehow it gets postponed (what behavior from those attending would result in such an outcome?). The AGM not so long ago was a disgrace to the club. IMO it seems that somehow Mr King does not trust shareholders to behave responsible, which is a absolute shocking state of affairs. Yet apparently Celtic fans are somehow responsible for getting the London venue changed! I do not care either way about the outcome of this EGM but I really hope the club does not return to the top flight as I like Mr King do not trust the fans of the Govan club to behave responsibly full stop. Their behaviour over the past 3 years has been shocking and I know people will say it is a minority, really? It was not a minority at Hampden just a few weeks ago. IMO they have a free licence from the SFA which is also shocking. This behaviour would be tolerated in ANY other country I am sad to say and there has to be some sort of hidden reason for this. Why do we have to tolerate this? Why do we tolerate our SFA?
On a lighter note Mr Guiddi on SSB stated that as a possibility Mr King and Mr Ashley could get together around a table and work together to move Govan club forward.

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RyanGosling

RyanGoslingPosted on10:03 pm - Feb 18, 2015


To be honest nobody I’m aware of is really demanding warchests, outside of the tabloid media. No doubt some fans do think that King would fire a load of money in, he certainly hints at it often enough. But it won’t take warchests and flagship signings, all it will take to get fans on side is some openness about goings on at the club and the sense that ticket money and retail sale revenue is going to Rangers, not the pockets of faceless investors through “interesting” contractual arrangements. I’m not convinced that is deliverable, but if it was then I think we’d all take a bit of austerity and living within our means. I’m sure I heard the other day that the wage bill is less than 40% of turnover, I’m sure I’ll be corrected if I’m wrong. That seems healthy enough to me. It is not the playing budget that is the problem.

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MaBawPosted on10:20 pm - Feb 18, 2015


Ryan we keep hearing about the amount of money that has been lost to the game because of RFC not in the top division. A new sustainable Rangers will not have the Murray money to burn and under MAs income streams its possible, they may not have a much bigger budget than Aberdeen or Hearts.

Quite a few of the radio phone in punters talk of spending money to get back to the top.

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easyJamboPosted on10:58 pm - Feb 18, 2015


Hardly unexpected news:

STATEMENT: The RFB were contacted today by email from Mr Llambias to say that he was disbanding the current Rangers Fans Board and would revisit it after the EGM. The RFB have noted this and whilst awaiting developments will at this time continue to work together with the fans for the betterment of our great Club.

https://www.facebook.com/rangersfansboard

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MaBawPosted on11:47 pm - Feb 18, 2015


a good article by Alex Thomson. It does not paint a good picture of Scotland, at least , the west of Scotland. IMO The SFA should be moved out of Glasgow and those associated with West of Scotland clubs, should resign from the SFA. A new board, a clean slate – At this time, those in charge do not seem willing to enforce rules to all.

Scottish football will never move on until we have change at the top of our league and governing body.

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Big PinkPosted on7:33 am - Feb 19, 2015


Very quiet last night. 🙂

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Danish PastryPosted on8:30 am - Feb 19, 2015


Some quintessentially bizarre headlines today:

‘Bishop Returns to Ibrox’. Nothing to do with the Mass as Murray Park, though.

and,

‘Sevco Board Sack the Fans’.

PS @BigPink, you could have been listening to SSB — it was surreal last night. A caller points out that pundits are trapped into the ‘we need Rangers’ thinking; then made very good points about the financial reality behind the David Murray years, the financial burden to society that liquidation caused and the present Ibrox chaos harming the image of the game.

Not long before counter argument from caller stressing the benefit Colin Stein’s £100,000 transfer was to Hibs (whit? was that no pre-Brezhnev?) and various other big buys (entirely missing the point of previous caller that later big spending was with borrowed money, never paid back). You just switch off and converse with the cat (my cat is quite chatty, btw).

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upthehoopsPosted on8:39 am - Feb 19, 2015


MaBaw says:
February 18, 2015 at 10:20 pm

Ryan we keep hearing about the amount of money that has been lost to the game because of RFC not in the top division. A new sustainable Rangers will not have the Murray money to burn and under MAs income streams its possible, they may not have a much bigger budget than Aberdeen or Hearts.

Quite a few of the radio phone in punters talk of spending money to get back to the top.
=========================================

It looks increasingly likely that King will win the EGM vote and I think we all know what will follow. Crowds at Ibrox will surge upwards and there will be weeks of feverish media talk reminiscent of the Murray days. King will be granted a status in the media way beyond what someone with such serious criminal convictions deserves. Money may well be spent, but where will it come from? The major banks all have significant public shareholdings now and there is no way it would be tolerated them throwing money at Rangers like happened before. People with serious money look for a return or security before parting with it, and surely the Rangers fans must know this. I don’t know how much King really has but I don’t believe he’d be willing to throw tens of millions into a black hole which would only make Rangers even more unsustainable than they are now.

Celtic are a strong club with a quality board, and they also have credit facilities with a major bank. They are not going to be so easily swept aside as they were for a part of Murray’s Ibrox reign. There is also the prospect of Aberdeen to consider, and possibly a Hearts in the top league which will only get stronger.

Yet so many people hold this fickle notion that King taking control means the glory days are back. Ashley won’t be dismissed easily, especially if King refuses to repay the loans on demand or tries to rip up the retail contracts.

My last words are that King and Paul Murray will still have to prove their suitability to hold directorships. In my opinion there is more chance of me scoring the winner for Celtic against Inter tonight than them being refused, especially where the spineless cowards on the 6th floor at Hampden are concerned.

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tykebhoyPosted on9:15 am - Feb 19, 2015


On Walter being on the panel to find a new performance director http://www.scotsman.com/sport/football/spfl-lower-divisions/walter-smith-on-panel-to-select-wotte-replacement-1-3665194 . Presumably it has escaped the SFA that the last person Walter thought could match or improve the performance of a squad of players was Ally. We all know how that worked out. Just saying like.

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SmugasPosted on9:27 am - Feb 19, 2015


As regards immediate funding for RFC, I would expect that if King wins (still not the foregone conclusion in my eyes, but I don’t see how Ashley can win long term without the fans and that means King in some capacity) he will put in money and probably run some kind of fan issue whereby he matches their investment. No doubt some Malaysian wannabe will turn up with a million or two also. Then, I would expect some kind of mechanism whereby his (king’s) initial investment miraculously gets returned.

Of course there’s the minor hindrance that the damn thing needs 8m just to survive annually and I can’t work out if King knows this and bluffs well, or genuinely believes that a top 2 finish in the SPL (as was) will fix this even temporarily.

Its only £8m of course because Ashley remarkably leaves his £10m in, retains his scrotum crunching security and milks his contracts, legitimate and otherwise. Expect a long running stand off with Mike threatening to call in his loans and King threatening to torch SD stores, or at least whatever the RFC dignity theme park will allow. Regrettably, with the lap dog media on his side there’s only one ‘winner’ but of course the winner ‘wins’ an 8m pa black hole and nobody knows this, and will play it better, than Mike. You want to win on the park? Then you twist. You don’t want to twist? Fine, then I’ll stick. Either way, Ashley wins in my eyes regardless of how the media spin it.

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bad capt madmanPosted on9:27 am - Feb 19, 2015


Tykebhoy – I’ve always suspected that Walter deliberately chose a successor who was even worse than him at finding/nurturing talent and who would not show him up by being a brilliant tactician so ensuring Walter would not lose his favoured status.

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ecobhoyPosted on9:35 am - Feb 19, 2015


easyJambo says:
February 18, 2015 at 10:58 pm

Hardly unexpected news:

STATEMENT: The RFB were contacted today by email from Mr Llambias to say that he was disbanding the current Rangers Fans Board and would revisit it after the EGM. The RFB have noted this and whilst awaiting developments will at this time continue to work together with the fans for the betterment of our great Club.

https://www.facebook.com/rangersfansboard
——————————————————
It certainly wasn’t unexpected but I question the timing and the motivation.

There’s no doubt that the release of the minute was a burning bridges moment and in real life you invariably only get one chance of doing something like that.

The RFB appear to have been fully aware of the consequences of their action and decided that ‘Club’ came before ‘Board’ and I wonder if any active football fans – of any team – would make a different choice.

We rightly demand transparency in all things these days and the RFB certainly provided that for their fellow supporters and as I said previously I applaud their courage. They did break conventions but I won’t judge them on that and leave that to Bears to do so.

So they were going to be canned but why do it now? the matter could simply have been left hanging after all the ‘Club’ has a lot on its plate at the moment with a contentious egm and possible Hampden Enquiry into ownership issues.

Issuing the banning order now IMO is either a fauly knee-jerk reaction or calculated to infuriate Bears even further than many other recent moves.

Given the previous experience of Ashley’s lieutenants it would seem unlikely they would be that rattled as to make an elementary mistake. No IMO it looks more like an attempt to poke sticks through a Bears’s cage and provoke a frenzied reaction.

I have always leaned towards a Liquidation solution being employed by Ashley but now I seriously begin to look at an Aim Delisting and returning Rangers to a Private Limited Company.

It could be the answer to so many of the issues that face Ashley – always assuming he is still in for the long-haul. Seems to me it all depends whether he decides – perhaps on the toss of a coin – whether to walk away or stay.

There are obvious pros and cons in both decisions with many arguing that Bears might do walking away but Ashley never has and never will and there’s merit in that argument.

But I think Ashley will have recognised by now the difference not simply between the Toon Army and Bears but the difference in the culture, media and football governance in Scotland.

The longer this mess continues the more City Analysts might question Ashley’s wisdom at becoming involved and whether the price of reputational damage which might be involved is actually justified by the profits achieved.

I think this is Ashley’s conundrum and we have to re meber that Rangers means nothing to him and those carrying the personal and emotional strain are his men at the coal face.

So Delisting seems a bold way of dealing with a club whose supporters have been proven incapable of behaving in polite society although there will always be a whiff of Burning Reichstag conspiracy theories.

If the Bears are being set-up then their gallows are being built at Ibrox where a nice riot on 4 March could I believe lead to AIM Delisting. After all Ashley doesn’t need the market to raise capital – he can fund Rangers out of his loose change.

The other parties can’t do so afaik and that’s the ultimate trump card Ashley holds but there are timing issues as to when he plays his other cards and even the danger of some Jokers being played by other players although I’m sure he already has a strategy in place to deal with losing the egm.

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ecobhoyPosted on9:43 am - Feb 19, 2015


Smugas says:
February 19, 2015 at 9:27 am

Not so sure the black hole is only £8 million. The RFB minute reveals a presumably current cash burn of £1.2 to £1.5 million a month IIRC.

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wottpiPosted on9:43 am - Feb 19, 2015


RyanGosling says:
February 18, 2015 at 10:03 pm

The wage to turnover ratio seems good and it may be that there are enough hardcore fans willing to accept a bit of austerity to keep some money coming in through the door, however the problem is that the follow on from the Murray days is that with, Whyte, Green, Wallace, Somers and now the King in waiting there is continual talk about getting back to the top and competing in Europe.

I usually have no problems with people aiming high but I believe this is just stoking up a bag full of trouble should such lofty ambitions not be achieved or look like being continually in the distance.

History tells us that fans of all clubs are a fickle bunch and numbers can dwindle significantly if things do not go well on the park. For Celtic and Rangers this can just mean being mid table. I for one would fear that the balance will not be met between the cash available to build a competitive team and the needs of the glory hunters out there.

Perhaps if more folks were of your mind, in just wanting the club to survive for the time being and get on an even keel, then the future would be brighter but in my opinion the need for instant success is going to be a bit of a burden and can see further unrest down Govan way in the not so distant future.

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ecobhoyPosted on9:51 am - Feb 19, 2015


arabest1 says:
February 18, 2015 at 2:04 pm

“It is not the Rangers way to threaten individuals on a personal basis and there should be zero tolerance for this.”
————————————————————–
Personally I have never felt it to be individual on a personal basis but much wider as in a club, cultural or religious basis.

That is why action is required as a priority from the Scottish Government to eradicate the problems on all sides and I don’t mean by tinkering about with what songs are acceptable or not. That is simply window-dressing and as witnessed at hampden when enough breal the law it would appear the police, football authorities and the Scottish Government bury their heads in the sand.

Tbf I don’t actually blame the police – they need not only to be given clear legislation to work with from Holyrood but also know that they will receive the backing necessary from politicians to do their job without fear or favour.

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SmugasPosted on9:55 am - Feb 19, 2015


Eco,

You say potato I say potato, its still a potato.

(Ok that sounded better in my head than it looks on paper!)

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ecobhoyPosted on9:55 am - Feb 19, 2015


I just heard on the news that the Frenchman who was assaulted and abused by Chelsea supporters as he tried to board the Paris Metro has lodge a police complaint.

Every time I look at the clip my heart goes out to the guy for his courage and dignity. He is quoted as saying something like that if he hadn’t attempted to board the carriage then what would he tell his kids: that he couldn’t get on the Metro because he was black?

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jimmciPosted on9:57 am - Feb 19, 2015


I see a few posts commenting on Guidi’s comments on SSB laughing last night. He really is a joker. As I recall he’s been so impressed by each and every leader as the first strode up the fabled staircase, none more so than Mr Wallace.
Last night he was again on superb form discussing potential new managers.
Candidates from him were the out of work Stuart McCall and Billy Davies – so far, so good. Then came Derek McInnes – the manager of the year.
Why would Derek go to Ibrox just now leaving a vibrant Aberdeen? Well, he’s a Rangers man, Guidi gushed, he understands the club and with a budget three times what he has today……..
Is this show for real or simply a replacement for the former Rangers News?
Truly unreal but sometimes amazingly funny.

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borussiabeefburgPosted on9:58 am - Feb 19, 2015


http://www.independent.co.uk/voices/comment/chelsea-fans-video-its-racist-and-disgusting-but-the-reaction-should-make-us-proud-10054657.html

The journalist of the above article is a Scot, I believe. Used to be with the Scotsman, and led the BBC referendum coverage.

The article is going along fine, when, suddenly:

“Take Glasgow. Rangers are traditionally Protestant while Celtic’s roots are in the Catholic Irish immigrant community. Back in the 1970s, sectarianism was expressed in violent mayhem. Terrace chants had little to do with football, and there were hundreds of arrests at every match.

There were improvements after Rangers, under Graeme Souness, signed their first Catholic, Mo Johnston, in 1989, a more seismic event in Glasgow that year than the fall of the Berlin Wall. Fans who still believed in the idea of Orange supremacy soon found themselves cheering on a side containing a majority of Catholics. Success has a way of breaking down the barriers of bigotry.”

…..and he continues…….

“More recently, though, financial calamity has struck, and Rangers were relegated to the bottom tier of Scottish football. Supporters believed there were forces out to get them. That has found expression in the old ways in some sections.

And into this situation, one return to the Seventies is being contemplated north of the border. After one vicious clash too many – the Scottish Cup final of 1980, where Rangers and Celtic fans fought on the pitch at the final whistle – alcohol was banned at football matches. Jim Murphy, the new leader of Scottish Labour, and a teetotaller, incidentally, is suggesting it is time to overturn this policy.

His argument? Rugby fans can do it; English football fans can do it; Scottish football fans in corporate boxes can do it too. Why not the working man?”

Yep, Rangers were relegated to the bottom tier of Scottish football.

Say it often enough. I’m away to write to him.

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ecobhoyPosted on9:58 am - Feb 19, 2015


Smugas says:
February 19, 2015 at 9:55 am

Eco,

You say potato I say potato, its still a potato.
(Ok that sounded better in my head than it looks on paper!)
———————————————————-
Looks more like a roast or deep fried potato to me 😆

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bfbpuzzledPosted on10:07 am - Feb 19, 2015


SSB again callers revealing what they believe to be the intentions of the two Asian criminals to bring back the days of yore by spending more than would solve Greece’s financial woes. I know it is a very Scottish satire programme (is it?) but the lack of insight and judgement is ludicrous as is the response from the Resident satirists that it does not matter who funds TRFC. That is not the solution that is the problem.

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wottpiPosted on10:10 am - Feb 19, 2015


ecobhoy says:
February 19, 2015 at 9:35 am

I suppose the big thing is what is it that Mike Ashley is after?

If the aim is to corner the strip and merchandising market of multiple football clubs then while he may have got away with dissing the fans at Newcastle, hacking off the Bears could be seen as a further warning other clubs that the man and his money should be kept at arms length.

I would guess most EPL clubs don’t need Ashley’s input so it is the lower English divisions and possibly European clubs where he will want to get his foot in the door.

While we often dismiss the worldwide appeal myth we know that news travels fast between fans and the lack of engagement with Bears added to the Newcastle situation begin to be a problem.

If it is all about selling strips then he has to keep punters onside or it is all a bit of a Ratners.

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SmugasPosted on10:16 am - Feb 19, 2015


Eco,

OK can’t resist.

Still wonder if its a tatties con.

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Billy BoycePosted on10:16 am - Feb 19, 2015


Martin Williams in today’s Herald:

Fresh financial papers for Rangers Retail reveal that from January 27, the Sports Direct founder and owner has been the “ultimate controlling party” of Rangers Retail, which handles the club’s merchandising and stores. It confirms the switch has been made from the previous controllers, the club holding company The Rangers International Football Club plc.

The accounts reveal that while Rangers Retail turnover quadrupled from £1.2 million in the year to April 2013 to £4.8m in the year to April 2014, profits only doubled from £434,312 to £877,662. That is because the costs of the sales soared by eight times that of the previous year from £546,656 to £4.2m.

It is understood most of that money has gone to Sports Direct as Rangers Retail is buying Rangers merchandise, including replica kits, gifts, polo shirts and track suits from the Ashley-controlled firm for use in club outlets.

Sports Direct confirmed to the Herald that Rangers Retail has provided over £3.8m to Sports Direct in the year through such sales.

Notes filed over Rangers Retail with Companies House reveal: “This transfer in ownership is a result of a loan issued by Sportsdirect.com Retail Limited to The Rangers International Football Club plc initially for £5 million.”

Mr Ashley’s control over retail and trademarks comes as a by-product of his £10m emergency loan to Rangers made last month.

New documents have come to light that show that a host of Rangers and club-related trademarks and logos including the famous

RFC Scroll crest and the Ready logo are being held by Mr Ashley and Sports Direct as security against that loan which is payable on demand.

Details provided by the board to the Rangers Fans Board reveal that Mr Ashley gave up the stadium naming rights he bought for £1 in 2012 in favour of 25 per cent of the Ibrox advertising rights.

When Rangers Retail, a joint venture with Sports Direct, was confirmed by the club under then chief executive Charles Green in August 2012, it was promoted as enabling Rangers “to once again control its retail operation and give supporters the chance to buy direct from the club and in doing so, continue to invest in its future”.

Rangers Retail run the club’s entire retail operation, including the Rangers Megastore, and hold the rights under licence to the club’s famous crests.

When details of the Ashley loan first emerged, the RIFC board admitted it was forced to pay Sports Direct £1.6m, its share of a Rangers Retail dividend, over the “cessation of onerous leases” in relation to the closure of club shops.

Under the previous 10-year retail agreement with JJB struck by Sir David Murray in 2006, Rangers accepted an initial £18m from the sports firm, while it was also guaranteed a minimum royalty fee of £3m per year until 2016.

As a result, JJB held exclusive rights to design, develop, source and retail merchandise associated with the club.

It has been confirmed that Mr Ashley has been called to give evidence before the Scottish Affairs Committee regarding the role Sports Direct played in the treatment of workers at its fashion chain USC.

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SmugasPosted on10:22 am - Feb 19, 2015


Just out of interest, does the picture accompanying the herald article on RR consist of a needle, a thread and a kipper?

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