Charles Green Lays the Path For More Players to Leave Rangers – But Here Comes “Bomber” Brown!

Mr Green is under pressure. His dream of owning the famous Glasgow Rangers was not life long, nor even a year long yet. He never envisaged, I am sure the team playing in SFL3, nor many of his top players leaving with nothing coming to the Sevco coffers as a consequence.

Equally, as discussed by Ecojon in his recent posts on the blog, his investors, thinking that they were buying into an SPL club, might be rather shocked at finding that rather than AC Milan and Barcelona, the visitors to Ibrox would be Annan Athletic and Berwick Rangers!

The twin disasters of being admitted only to SFL3 and the departure of many millions of pounds worth of players, (although he only paid £2.75 million for the rights to them) have crippled his cash flow, and the season ticket boycott urged by many Rangers FC fans is no help either.

Mr Green has commented that Rangers FC has no players, and Mr McCoist has said he only has six, although my count suggested there were over forty.

Mr Green though has accepted that three of his internationals can leave, and they do so with his blessing for their loyalty.

Messrs Bocanegra, Edu and Goian are off.

As Mr Green was quoted saying by the BBC earlier this week:-

“Goian has been very loyal, willing to stay in Division One, as have Edu and Bocanegra,” said Green.

“But you can’t expect international players to play in Division Three.”

“We’re going to lose some more now for different reasons than the others,” added Green. “But we can understand and we thank these players for their loyalty.”

Note the second sentence in the quote.

“You can’t expect international players to play in Division Three.”

One wonders what Messrs Alexander, McCulloch, Broadfoot and Wallace think about that. They are all international players who remain on the books.

Mr Green might mean one of a number of things.

He might mean that it is unfair to expect foreign internationals to play in SFL3, but for Scots ones it is OK.

He could have forgotten that he has the Scots players mentioned and therefore will now have them at his door looking for their release, against his wishes.

More likely, I think, is that he cannot afford to keep any of those players on, and would be delighted if they left. He is at the stage where cutting the payroll matters more than negotiating a high transfer fee for them. On the other hand, as long as the registration embargo is in the air, can he afford to lose players?

The players mentioned have joined Sevco Scotland as employees. If Mr Green chooses to dispense with them, the players will have rights to pay-offs for termination of their contracts. If Mr Green does not want to pay, then the players can sit, still entitled to their wages.

As Neil Alexander is paid a reputed £8,000 per week, it would not take long for his pay packet to eat up large sums from Rangers FC’s depleted coffers.

If, and at present it is a large if, Sevco Scotland Ltd receives transfer of the SFA membership it has applied for, how many of the players mentioned above will turn out for Rangers FC?

Some of them might be willing, out of loyalty, to accept wage reductions. None of them could be faulted if they refused to do so however.

Mr Green’s huge problem is cash flow. He has lost out on selling players, as a result of TUPE. Even if he received wrong advice about the position (and there is no evidence that he did) any claim would take a long time to come to fruition.

The lack of season ticket income is strangling the club, and I suspect that this year short term funding based on advance season ticket sales to a company like Ticketus would not be on the cards!

He is not helped by Mr Brown and his sniping. Mr Brown’s new plan, backed by Barry Ferguson we are told, was also reported this week by the BBC.

Former Rangers player John Brown has put £40,000 of his own money into a fans’ fund he hopes will wrest control of the club from the Sevco consortium.

He has already urged fans to boycott season tickets for the new Rangers that Sevco hope to field in Division Three.

“It is only right that as I have been out in the front of this, I should put my own money in too,” said Brown, who is to launch Rangers For Change.

“I’m not a wealthy guy and £40,000 represents a huge commitment for me.”

Brown gave up his job as a Rangers scout to lead takeover attempts after the consortium led by former Sheffield United chief executive Charles Green bought Rangers’ assets for £5.5m after the failure to avoid liquidation.

“I have meetings with bankers and lawyers arranged for the next two days and believe that, by the end of the week, I will be able to release further details of how Rangers For Change will work.”

Brown wants wealthy people and former players to each match his £40,000 donation in the hope of raising about £10m he believes could buy out the consortium on behalf of the club’s supporters.

And he claims to already have the support of former Rangers captain Barry Ferguson, the former Scotland midfielder presently with Blackpool.

Brown, a member of the Rangers team that won nine titles in a row in the 1990s, said: “I have spoken to Barry and he has promised me that he is 100% behind me.

Brown is suspicious of the motives and backers of the Sevco consortium that bought Rangers’ assets for £5.5m after the failure to avoid liquidation and retain a place in the Scottish Premier League. Sevco is negotiating with the Scottish FA to field a new Rangers in the Third Division next season, but Brown wants fans to boycott the new club and force it to sell because of a lack of funds.”

Now, wasn’t Mr Brown involved in an attempted by out three weeks ago where friends were offering Sevco a few million to sell on?

Mr Green might say that a fan’s buyout is unnecessary as he is offering the fans up to 50% of the club in a floatation. Would fans be happy buying Sevco out at a massive profit for Sevco? As we heard one of the directors thinks the club is worth £50 million on a bad day. It is hard mind you to see how the position could be worse now.

Until fans start to buy season tickets in numbers, how can Mr Green hope to balance the books?

Will he have to let his international players go, reluctantly, as he can’t afford to keep them?

How will this affect the season ticket sales?

Can Sevco afford the food and beverages bill for Ibrox?

Remarkably there are still these and many more questions to answer.

Posted by Paul McConville

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35 Comments

Filed under Charles Green, Football, Rangers, TUPE

35 responses to “Charles Green Lays the Path For More Players to Leave Rangers – But Here Comes “Bomber” Brown!

  1. Confused? Just wait, there’s more to come. Don’t forget to tune in next week to ‘The Rangers Soap’.

  2. David Devlin

    Surely there is nothing stopping Mr Brown offering the same amount for the club now that it has been confirmed that they will be playing in division 3?

    Mr Green offered less after the failure to obtain a CVA and it was accepted. This valued the club at £5.5m with the propect of SPL football and income.

    That prospect of SPL income is now gone and the business has to run on a severe loss of income for at least the next 3 years.

    Did Bomber miss a trick here?

    Or, in his meeting with Mr Green, did Bomber indicate that his intention was to force a sale for less after confirmation of no SPL football?

    To which Mr Green may have replied, “I’d rather turn this place to dust.”

    Just a theory, then again with this saga? Anything can be true!

  3. ecojon

    Well one thing we know, courtesy of mick – they can’t afford to keep on selling pies.

    But in a more sombre note we should all pause and each, in our own way, recognise the passing of Claudio Reyna’s son Jack and direct our prayers and thoughts to the family and friends whose anguish will be terrible at this time.

    Players may come and go and success on the footbal field may ebb and flow but it is at a time like this where we recognise it is only a game at the end of the day.

    • Ed Dunne

      This tragedy for the Reyna family certainly puts troubles of a football nature into perspective. My thoughts and prayers the tghoughts and prayers of my family are with the Reyna family at this sad sad time.

  4. Dhougal

    Paul , they’ve been pressing the “self destruct” button for ages now . I’d like to thank them for brightening up what has been a dour summer. For they have been hilarious with their one-liners ,”we dont do walking away” ,”nobody likes us we dont care” and John ‘Corleone’ Brown is a brilliant stand-up . Keep up the good work ……….
    …you too Paul …..lovin it

  5. Niall Walker.

    Morning Paul,

    We cannot underestimate how much staff redundancies will cost Mr Green, I would imagine most of the 100 or so that will lose their jobs have been at the club for some time. As you said in your post, there will be many players and coaches on old unaffordable contracts that MrGreen will get stuck with,, not forgettng the £3 million he may have to stump up before he gets a licence.
    I don’t see many clubs offering a high risk newco credit terms. I said earlier the transfer embargo privately suits Mr Geen, it keeps the wage bill down and the manager quiet.
    And finally, we have a fan base that is shattering like shards of glass for multifarious reasons, I am afraid the sums just simply do not add up.

  6. ecojon

    I said a few days ago that the transfer embargo would be lifted at Beginning of September according to the word on the streets and it reached the darkside last night who are now saying the same.

    Staff redundancy payment is no prob if you go bust as it is picked up by the Government – yea that’s right the taxpayers YOU & ME – still nothing knew about that :)

    The reason the transfer ban doesn’t suit Green is that he can’t get rid of players including presumably the MP youngsters – this is stopping him raising money. He has appointed a new shareholder to the SevGers board who has recently formed a company to represent football players and which employs an FA registered agent. Is that just an accident or are they hear in Glasgow to shift product that is sitting on the Ibrox shelves. Time will tell but, as always, Tempus Fugit as Mr Green is discovering and it doesn’t matter how many time zones he flies through the only time he has his eye on is D&P payment time in Glasgow.

    • Grabthegrass

      A transfer ban at the start of september is in effect a tansfer ban unitl 1st January 2013, although you can arrange loan deals outside this window, so doesn’t really make sense. Although I only have a very limited knowledge of company liquidation, I’m sure I’ve seen before that redundancy payments are paid even before secured creditiors and it’s only if there is literally no money available from liquidation will the government pay the statutory minimum.

      I thought the transfer ban only applies to registering players, not selling them – the key point probably is that the youngsters simply either aren’t very good or would not attract any significant fee.

      The other restriction Sevco have is the limit of 22 players over 21 (or is it 18). I haven’t seen a ltest count on how many spare slots he actually has, but feel like you that a transfer ban would in reality would suit sevco fine as it prevents extra wages, stops Sally from compaining and provides a lightening rod for dis satisfied supports who can blame the SFA.

      • Grabthegrass

        I meant to say at the start – A transfer ban being lifted at the start of September… Equally it would make little sense to start the transfer ban at the start of September as the window shuts on 31st August – you won’t be able to miss that if you watch any of the football websites – and hence it would have no effect.

      • Transfer ban – does that mean buying AND selling? if so, the ban starting on Sep 1 could be OK, as I presume that will allow some for earnings in the next month…

      • Grabthegrass

        @Kenny Mc Caffrey
        A transfer ban is normally an inability to register players with the league, hence a ban on buying as a ban on selling would be restraint of trade / freedom of movement which is illegal. In effect there is no selling after 1st Sept to 1st Jan as no other clubs can buy and register players, other than free agents who are not registered with any club.

    • Niall Walkker

      The transfer ban does not stop him selling unaffordable players, and its unlikely the newco will go bust before they make the necessary redundancies. I also believe the transfer embargo will stand or else the SFA will never be out of court, it sets an unhealthy precedent.

  7. Grabthegrass

    Is it just me or did we start the week with the SFA and Sevco stating that they wanted it all wrapped up by the end of the week, i.e. today. Since the meeting on tuesday there seems to have been complete radio silence on either the conditions for transfer – see Pauls excellent post earlier on what that needs to do and say – or probably more pertinent, how much money Sevco will need to find to pay off all the famous “football creditors” and now fund redundancies of the playing and on playing staff. I notice a similar radio silence about the results of Mr Greens european travels on tuesday / wednesday, especially as UEFA stated that they had never heard of him and there were no meetings planned. The figure of £3M above is common to see, but it would be good to see how much everyone agrees it is.

    Sevco may be engaging in a battle to see who blinks first, but this is a pretty high risk strategy. It’s fairly clear Regan in on his last chance – whenever in football was a “vote of confidence” actually what it says on the tin? – so he can’t afford to be seen to back down now, but the clock keeps ticking towards the start of the season and the first Ramsden cup game.

    This is getting vastly more gripping than the end of the transfer window…

  8. ecojon

    @David Devlin

    The £5.5 million was paid when there was still the opportunity and expectation that Rangers would maybe cling-on the SPL football but at worst go to SFL1.

    So why should anybody pay the same price to go to the SFL3. The real tragedy is that if any Blue Knight consortiu took over they may have kept the SPL/SFL1 option just because of the old, tried & trusty way of doing a handshake.

    Green’s problem was he was outside the circle and even the brain-dead would have been able to divine what his role is in his eternal flitting from company to company. The SFA are terrified that they are seen to help him and he disappears – the pies have already gone – what’s next?

    • JimBhoy

      I am not sure we really know what Green has paid or if there is indeed a July 31st deadline for the monies, maybe why he is trying to get the 500k loan back so he can use his exit clause who knows…

      • Grabthegrass

        None of us really know what has or hasn’t been paid by Sevco or what conditions are in place for the 5.3 million reported to be in the D&P solicitors client account. However the date of 31st July has been stated several times by D&P in their reports as the date by which Sevco are obliged to complete the “legally binding” sale and purchase agreement, although as the terms of this agreement are stated by D & P to be “confidential”, no one other than D&P and Sevco know really what it says. I’m sure I read early on in this saga that Green wanted to completely open and honest…. It appears that there are more smoke and mirrors every day.

        What happens if Sevco don’t complete by the 31st though is another question that D&P seem to be unable to answer.

  9. ecojon

    @Grabthegrass

    I can’t see it going beyond today in some ways but always remember that it isn’t just the SFA who is a main player – there is also D&P.

    I think the SFA will pass the parcel – they will announce Rangers gets it’s piece of paper today hand down a 12 month transfer ban from 1 September
    and say that discussions will continue on other matters. They might even accept the ‘investors’ – that particular issue has a big get out of jail card attached in what is reasonable due dligence for a small country’s FA when, if it comes to pass, that a group of multi-national shysters operating on a global scale have raped one of its clubs and its supporters.

    I can see the press release now …………. We have learned lessons from this failure and will convene a top level enquiry, chaired by a well-known ibdependent Scottish legal figure, who will call on a number of expert witnesses to give evdence. When hus report is published in 19Canteen we will discuss it and take what action is necessary to ensure this can never happen again. We will also make the report available to Strathclyde’s finest for their immediate attention and speedy action to deal with this mess.

    Of course Strathclyde’s Finest in this context is the council cleansing department not the cops :)

    So the SFA are free and clear and will also pass another parcel to D&P who will be blamed no doubt for the eventual collapse of Rangers after the SFA had done ebverything within its power and RULES to keep it going for the greater good of the Scottish game.

    Gotta be a movie out of this – would definitely attract a Cult and a Kulled following.

    • JimBhoy

      I believe setting the transfer embargo (like before) may contravene a court order and will be deemed illegal. I think Paul commented as much in a previous blog.. The only realistic punishment is a suspension of their registration (that they haven’t got yet) or expulsion from the league. The Scottish cup ban is moot as it SHOULD only happen if they were playing in the cup already. Not to mention the dual contracts and BDO deliberating over the D&P fiasco, well and Green’s backers anonymity and of course the probable lack of Green’s green backs, all these really paint a bleak picture for the ibrox team.

      That’s not to say that there may not be a rule bending/breaking exercise to come to the play.

      I still feel UEFA/FIFA are waiting to see what Reagan does with the cheating in competition once proven that dual contracts happened. Taking trophies isn’t really a punishment for a club that is no more. Especially if some European teams (who faced Rangers in the years charged) start to look for compensation from Uefa/Fifa…

      • ecojon

        @JimBhoy

        I have given a bit of thought to the transfer embargo and, though not a lawyer, I don’t think it is illegal or in defiance of a previous court order because it won’t be an instruction but couched to SevGers so that they request it so the SFA really has no option but to be helpful. I think from memory that the previous embargo was ultra vires because not in the rule book for disciplinary offences but for transfer certificate any conditions can be applied by the SFA,

        So all the SFA need to do, if I am right, is apply a player transfer embargo on the licence transfer. I have no doubt they will have the threat of a cudgel up their back that if there is any probs from SevcoGers they will also act under the disciplinary route whose legitimate sanctions are much more severe and could see SevGers out of football.

        Other issues can all be discussed further down the line – the urgency just now is the transfer certificate as that not only affects SevGers but the whole of SFL3.

        But I agree with you that I don’t think anyone has fully worked out yet where all the ripples will reach and that must be scaring the SFA and that’s without even looking at possible dodgy mystery-investors with dodgy money to invest.

      • ADM

        Think ecojon is right (below – don’t seem to be getting a reply option against his post) – SFA can put a transfer embargo on Sevco now. Point of the Court judgement was that the transfer embargo was ultra vires as a punishment, largely because the relevant part of the SFA’s rules listed explicit punishments (expulsion, suspension, Scottish Cup ban) and – according to the Court – only those options were therefore available. What we’re dealing with now, however, is transfer of the licence where the rules allow the SFA to apply whatever conditions they deem appropriate. So – so long as they call it a condition of the licence transfer and not a punishment for past sins – they can absolutely put a transfer embargo on Sevco. However, given the need to be so careful with the language, this would mean Rangers/Sevco still hadn’t been punished other than the fine, so presumably the AT would still have to convene – Paul, any thoughts? Also, how independent is the AT? Can the SFA instruct it not to reconvene?

  10. What happens when they get the SFA licence etc but cannot afford to fulfill the fixtures? In Scottish Division 3 (which is actually Div 4)!!! That looks good on the CV, eh Mr G?

    But in any case, what happens? As with most Scottish football fans who do not support Rangers, I couldn’t care less about what happens to Green, Brown, Whyte et al; and I have had nothing but disdain for the people who run Scottish football since I was playing the game myself in the days of Ernie Walker (remember that eejit?).

    But I do care about the game – and the right of Rangers fans to have a team to support.

    I believe we may eventually have two results from this shambles, both of which I think seem pretty logical – and ultimately beneficial.

    1. Rangers fans set up an AFC Wimbledon-type club and work their honourable way through the requisite divisions – possibly becoming the (footballing) team they were again in six to eight years – but in that time bringing a massive boost to the lower leagues through increased attendances, even TV money spent where it never has been before (ie, grassroots).

    This should no doubt bring great change to how the game is run, not to mention how the game is perceived – affecting revenue and how, and on what, the money is spent.

    And, once Rangers are back at the top table, there will with little of the sectarian guff (well, of course there will still be some – evolution takes a while), as it will be even more diluted by then, not least because…

    2. Celtic eventually join the English league in their Div 2 – team and fans welcomed with open arms by a league who have always been sh!t scared of inviting both Glasgow clubs (which they always thought they must, to avoid a holy war – that’s the way they’ve always viewed Glasgow football, guys), but have always loved having one of them as visitors.

    They’d work their way through those divisions in a few years (being able to afford better and better players as their revenue increases – AND attracting more TV money for themselves and those divisions) before hopefully joining the Premiership and then, well, Sky’s the limit.

    Bit of a dream? Well, better than the nightmare we have now.

    • Grabthegrass

      I think option 1 would more likely be a Fans consortium buy a Div 2/3 club and re-name it. After all the RFFF has supposedly £600K in it which would get you a few of the clubs in the SFL. AFC Wimbledon actually took over 8 years simply to ascend to league 2 status despite having an average crowd far higher than most of the rest of the teams at that level. Taking over an existing club much as Airdrie Utd did is a far faster way to climb the tree…

      Both option 1 and 2 imply total dissapearence of Sevco Rangers as a football club (the tesco option as I think it’s known) as any new club would not be able to afford any of the costs of running Ibrox on Div 2/3 income.

      • Jjoining the English channel means starting at the foot of the English pyramid. The only way Celtic could join from the championship is if sky brokered a TV deal so big every team in the whole of the FL agreed to let celtic in. Unfortunately, such a deal itself is a dream too far and unrealistically impossible. The FA would never allow it, nor allow for a disrupt in the promotion/playoff in its pyramid.

        The pyramid is made up of 8 levels.

      • ecojon

        Never mind the FA – The SFA would bang a complaint into Uefa/Fifa and they would veto even without an SFA complaint IMHO.

      • Stuart

        The reason why AFC Wimbledon took 9 years, not 8, to reach league 2 is because they started from the bottom of the pyramid, which is the joint 11th division. 7 promotions in 9 years is a record.

      • Stuart

        Sena, There are the four “league” divisions with 7 non-league levels starting with the Blue Square Bet Premier below them. 11 levels in total. Check below.

        http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport1/hi/football/eng_conf/7201054.stm

  11. Anyone up for clubbing together and making an offer to BDO for certain media rights ..LOL … BDO may decide to undo D&P / CG deal, and will want to maximise returns for creditors – might be worth covering a base just incase ? – Actually not a bad idea ! – gets something back to creditors (no matter how small)-possibly a % of any profits also to go to creditors (smaller creditors if possible as they are the real victims here). Just a thought, probably not possible – but hey ho, best to get off my mind ! Even if it sparked a frenzy for big media players to follow through, might give BDO another revenue stream for creditors.

    Keep up the great work Paul and posters, great stuff.

  12. JimBhoy

    I think this is all part of the plan, maybe not the original plan but the new one which pretty much took over after an unprecedented left turn due to fan power…

    Been saying for a while that if they are able to kick a ball they will only do so til the end of the year max…

    I for one would like to see Rangers on the comeback trail in a season or two hopefully with a new philosophy and some songs about their club past and present and not about fighting and famine.

    Interesting thought though… All the players who benefitted from the EBTS should put in with Bomber the monies they received tax free thru the scheme and buy the club back… What ‘deceitful’ irony..!

    • Bill Fraser

      Minus the income tax and NI that is due, of course!

    • Stuart

      Paul started his blog querying Green’s ability to maintain a cash flow. It’s all very well for Bomber to try to raise £10m to buy the club, but where is Bomber’s cash flow going to come from if he gets it?

  13. Ernesider

    Like children fighting over a toy. They won’t stop until they have torn it apart. And when the damage is done, it always the other one’s fault.

  14. JimBhoy

    Good analogy and if i add one more Reagan must feel like he’s chasing hens up a close with all that is going on and all that will inevitably fall to him.

  15. John Pollock

    The incredible irony in all of this is that the fans are now harming their chances of survival as much as messers Whyte D&P et al. What as mess. They should be looking in the mirror and saying to themselves be careful where you aim!

  16. ian lewis

    I can understand the SFA delaying granting a license if there is doubt about the ownership or financial backing for newco.However if it is about newco accepting certain debts and penalties of oldco I would think the SFA is leaving itself open to a restraint of trade action because legally newco has no liability inthese matters.

    • Grabthegrass

      I agree that the SFA must have complete understanding about the ultimate beneficial owners, but in terms of the other stuff, because Sevco are applying for an transfer from oldco, this implies acceptance of all that oldco were responsible for in terms of their membership of the SFA. If they were applying for a new membership, I agree they could have grounds for complaint, but not for a transfer.

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