The Tale of Charles Green – A Guest Post by Peter

I’ve been trying to crystalize my opinion of Charles Green and thought this might stimulate some discussion:

I’m a firm believer in exploring basic human motivation when people’s actions appear illogical or mysterious. So, let us consider the tale of Charles Green.

Charles Green, or is it Mr Gradgrind from “Hard Times”?

He boasts no Rangers connections, no Glasgow connections and no Scottish connections. He does boast of much experience in English football finance. And who can dispute the extent of his contacts in football finance e.g. Zeus Capital (Sheffield Utd, Sunderland, Man Utd). A shrewd, hardnosed and successful businessman by all accounts.
But as we all know well, making money running a football club is several time harder than alchemy.

If proof is needed ask Alan Sugar, even after all these years, he can still go from calm to fury in three seconds on the subject. We can also borrow Richard Branson’s quote “the quickest way to become a millionaire is to start as a billionaire and buy an airline (or football club)”.

So what is Charles Green doing in Glasgow?

Well maybe one day someone aiming to sell Rangers Football Club called him and said, “You know a thing or two about football finance, why not take a look at Rangers, it could be right up your street.”

He looked at the books and saw the season ticket sales, the gate receipts, the TV money, the players, the physical assets, the almost guaranteed European competitions and he thought, “Why haven’t all these people with Rangers connections snapped this up. They care about this club, what’s the catch?”

Duff and Phelps’ agent prepares to sell the Rangers acquisition to Charles Green

Being a confident and driven sort of chap, maybe he concluded that many of the Rangerati were all mouth and trousers. Big fans with an inflated sense of the history and the glory and the institution, but ultimately, with shallow pockets, little experience and few cajones.

Being an experienced and successful sort of chap, he knew what was needed: facts and figures and spreadsheets and bull-necked lawyers and creative accountants and inscrutable investors, and he knew plenty of them. And of course, all fuelled by the simple imperative of a nice, quick, crisp profit.

Being an entrepreneurial sort of chap, he formulated a bold plan with a bit of pre-pack here, a bit of re-financing there, a pinch of seed investment here, maybe a sprinkle of lease/buyback there, all mixed liberally with bluff and bluster and of course the grand finale of a flotation that would leave everyone involved and happy. What could be easier and more rewarding?

Being an English chap, he thought he knew about Rangers beyond the numbers: the heritage, the silverware, the fans, the stadium and the connections. But, how little he knew of the things the English sellers chose not to tell him, or perhaps did not know themselves – the arrogance, the resentment, the fraud, the duopoly, the byzantine institutions, the cliques, the factions, the whole language of us-and-them, and the rest.

So North he rode to the rescue in innocence, and he was warmly welcomed by the English sellers. Soon though, he found that his plans were thwarted one by one. The grease of gratitude he was led to expect from all around to smooth the wheels was replaced by the sand of suspicion and vested interests. It seemed that many he strove to help were strangely indifferent and then openly hostile to his quest.

Mr Green wonders why he he is not being made welcome

And slowly it began to dawn upon him that what he had bought was not so much a valuable football club as a central role in a clannish feud that he could not begin to comprehend. And so, as night followed day, the things he took to be facts slipped away as a vision slips through a wall.

Being a proud and powerful man, he knew the value of strength and courage and defiance. So he lashed out with vigour at those beyond the feud, whilst little by little, without realising, he retreated into himself for fear of betraying his uncertainty and confusion. He mind turned to self-preservation and a face-saving exit, but he found only frustration and threat at every turn. Even his meagre personal investment seemed in jeopardy and he pondered the wrath of his faceless benefactors in unnamed places.

Charles Green, as Johnny English, is welcomed by the Rangers Supporters Club (stated for homour purposes only)

And there he stands to this day, defiant and bullish yet mildly comical and inept – perhaps more to be pitied than scorned – more Johnny English than Thomas Gradgrind.

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13 Comments

Filed under Charles Green, Guest Posts, Rangers

13 responses to “The Tale of Charles Green – A Guest Post by Peter

  1. Ernesider

    Yes Paul. I believe he saw it as easy money. A bit of the old hubris as well. He was (as he saw himself) a pro, who knew his way around the money to be invested maze and would make a large and quick profit, where mere amateurs could not hope to succeed. Boy did he get a surprise.

    • Carntyne

      I think you should give credit to Peter rather than Paul.

      Mary was not involved.

      • Ernesider

        Sorry Peter good piece of writing.

        Funny what comes into ones head, but CharlesGreen’s situation brings back to me a joke, the only part of which I can remember is the last line, in which a guy is standing up to his neck in shite repeating the words “Don’t make a wave”

  2. Pensionerbhoy

    Nice piece. I only wish he were as humorous a character as your article makes him out. I am convinced, based perhaps more on my experience of ‘businessmen’ than fact, that he is more a devious Uriah Heep than either a Johnny English or a Thomas Gradgrind, manipulating rather than using all around him with an eye to securing dubious personal profits. Money and power drives these men and they view ethics like garlands of garlic, mere hindrances in their bloodsucking business exploits.

  3. ADM

    Very much inclined to agree with Peter. Think it’s certainly the case that Charles Green is currently wishing he’d never heard of Glasgow Rangers…

    … and perhaps in particular that he’d never heard of Bomber Brown…

  4. ecojon

    What I find hard to understand is just how bad a press that Green has earned so quickly and I would say deservedly so in many ways. He totally failed to appreciate that Rangers fans were sick to the back teeth, after the experience of Murray and Whyte, and just wouldn’t believe anyone unless there was total transparency.

    So once Rangers fans started turning on their ‘saviour’ this really saw Celtic fans jostling to get into the bloodletting having already become very energised by the whole rangers collapse.

    Sadly Green with some of the comments he has made has stoked old fires between rival supporters and on this basis alone I would regard him as unfit to be a Sottish club owner let alone that of Rangers.

    It’s also interesting that D&P reveal in their report that they have engaged the services Media House PR founded and run by Jack Irvine – the ex Scottish Sun editor who launched David Murray’s Sunday tabloid newspaper which crashed and burned shortly after launch. Media House are the top Scottish crisis PR agency and I am amazed they haven’t cleaned-up the Green image but perhaps they are only there to protect D&P with Green left to swing in the wind or more liuke hurricane.

    Many people come to Scotland with the attitude that they can show us how things should be done – they usually disappear back across the border without a whimper still not sure where they went wrong and I suspect Green may end up in that boat.

  5. Ernesider

    Email from Scotland – late February:

    Hey Charlie. There’s a nice little earner coming up should be right up your street. Getting Glasgow Rangers out of the manure is the project You’ll be a real hero maybe even a “Rangers Legend.” Round up a few of your well heeled friends and get them in on it. Sure fire winner as you will have all the local football heavyweights on your side. Smallish CVA (less than ten big ones) should be more than enough to pay off the tax crowd and others, then its back to business as usual. But take your time as still have to see off the local yokels and usual chancers. Food is terrible and the bars worse, but the pay is not bad. Hope you won’t forget me when your relaxing on your new yacht.

  6. mick

    good article and topic agian due to the sale being an under value figure this gives lots of scope to the land sale sernario ,should it come to that hes a strude fox sniffing round the carcuss picking at the remianing fattie bits as murry and whtye took all the meat ,thats if the bdo doesent step in ????

  7. beanos

    enjoyable read. as another poster said, your character is far more likeable than the real one.

    the cynic in me says this guy has no intention of running a football club. he’s just playing this thing out. i wouldn’t be surprised if sevco never kicks a ball. either he sells out to someone else or it all goes properly tits up and its a property fireslae.

  8. Charles Green bought the old Rangers for a pittance, thinking of a quick turnover and profit, his plan was wholly dependent on this. With the imminent arrival of BDO – bricks will be in underpants for anyone associated with Ibrox, past or present.

  9. Celtic Twilight

    A superb piece of writing! Perhaps one might suggest an even more telling comparison would be with Mr Micawber.

  10. Richboy

    Thanks Peter, great post with lots of humour.

    I feel that everything now depends on BDO and their agenda. If they really look into everything that has gone on since 1998 then Rangers, David Murray, Whyte, all of the Directors/Managers/Players and D&P have many years of sleepless nights ahead of them. Mr Green and his backers should also be very concerned in regard to “gratuitous alienation” and the possibility of third division football.

    I do not feel that any of the above should be concerned about punitive actions from any of the governing bodies as they seem to be prostrating themselves at the altar of “the people”.

  11. D&P announced yeterday that the SFA & UEFA had refused SEVCO FC a licence?if so what is point in tomorrows vote?no licence=no footy team imo?also can someone please help.When DO BDO (LIQUIDATORS) take over from D&P? And can they sell assets to pay creditors?(ibrox,car park&training ground.)also why have HMRC not announced verdict on appeal of EBT,S?is their still a few years yet to run wi this corruption to our game?thanks in advavce.god bless.

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