How to Save “Rangers” – A Possible Strategy?

 

Some months ago, when I was a novice in the affairs of Mr Whyte and the increasingly complex dealings of Rangers Football Club PLC (now in administration) I wrote a piece on Scotzine.com confidently predicting that Rangers would never go out of business.

As with many of my predictions, that will, I think, prove to be wrong.

Therefore, in an effort to redeem myself, I wondered how someone could seek to save “Rangers” in light of its present predicament. I am looking at the practicalities of doing so. There will be some who think that, as a matter of principle, “Rangers” should not be saved. That is a discussion for elsewhere.

I am happy for people to comment below, and if anyone wants to detail their own plan and have it as a post on here, they can email me at scotslawthoughts at aol.co.uk.

 

There are four ways of saving “Rangers”.

1                     Take over the existing company.

2                     Buy the assets of the existing company from the administrator or liquidator.

3                     Buy an existing Scottish football club and rebrand it as Rangers.

4                     Set up an entirely new company.

 

The purpose of this piece is not to do an in-depth analysis of all four. Instead I want to explain briefly why 1-3 are unlikely to work, or at least would not be preferred options.

 

Take Over Rangers Football Club PLC

The company is in administration. The majority owner is Rangers FC Group Ltd. There are no signs that Mr Whyte, who owns it, is ready to walk away without any return.

In addition, even if he was, there are various bills already owed, and the First Tier Tribunal has still not pronounced its verdict in the Big Tax Case.

It is not unreasonable to think that it could take an investment of around £100 million (this being a back of the envelope calculation) to get near to clearing the decks.

A benevolent billionaire could try to do so, but generally these creatures are thin on the ground.

I am working on the premise that anyone who wants to save Rangers is not a person of limitless wealth. This applies whether they wish to take part as a fan or as a businessman.

Therefore I do not see any value to someone taking over the existing company.

 

Buy the Assets of the Existing Company from the Administrator or Liquidator

This seems more practical. After all, the assets can be bought without the debts.

But what assets are there?

Murray Park and Ibrox. Various players’ registrations. The trademarks and goodwill of the company.

What liabilities are there, even if the financial debts are left behind?

In light of the present mess involving the administrators, Mr Whyte etc it is likely that litigation regarding this will run for years. Liquidation can be a quick process, but, especially where matters are complex, they can take years to sort out.

All that time, if there are competing claims for property, assets can sit in limbo.

As well as the threats of litigation dragging things out, there are also issues regarding disciplinary matters. An effort to buy over all the assets, and keep the oldco’s history, ground, strip and players could find itself caught up in ongoing investigations into the second contract issues, as recently put into the mainstream by Hugh Adam.

The possibility that football rules could have been breached systematically renders an ongoing and lengthy investigation almost certain. If “Rangers” under this option claims the oldco’s history, then it will also have an interest in arguing that, for example, any titles won in the past with allegedly ineligible players should not be stripped.

In addition, any newco buying the assets could well find itself with a major problem with Ticketus. Depending on the precise terms of the “sale” of the next three years’ season tickets to that company, they could argue that any football matches played at Ibrox by “Rangers” need to honour the Ticketus season ticket rights. Honouring such a deal would be very expensive for a newco already shelling out for the assets.

This is still a possible route, but  by no means the most effective one.

 

Buy an Existing Scottish Football Club and Rebrand It as Rangers

Various possibilities have been suggested here. St Mirren, Cowdenbeath, Morton, Airdrie United and even Motherwell have been mentioned as possible teams to be the cocoon from which a new Rangers would appear.

This still raises some of the problems above, and also has the practical and PR issue of having “killed off” an existing team.

If we take it that Ibrox’s fate is to be decided, either in the Court of Session or the High Court in London, and that this will take some time yet, taking over a team with a ground close to Ibrox might be a possible solution. I think though that the reaction to this would be a huge problem, as indeed would the fact that all the staff of the team being taken over would come across. There would potentially be high costs in (a) getting rid of existing staff and (b) bringing in new players, managers and back room staff.

As above, if the newco seeks to put on the mantle of the oldco, it has to deal with the fallout from that. Liquidation might wipe out the debt, but not the moral issues.

 

So What Is The Answer?

As I said above, I am not claiming that this is the only solution, but as an independent viewer it looks to me as if it is most practical.

The first thing is to indicate what sort of person would have, as far as I am concerned, the best chance of succeeding.

There are regulatory and legal issues that cut down the field of available directors of a newco.

On one hand, the possibility that investigations into Rangers’ financial affairs could go back over 20 years means that, potentially, anyone closely connected with the club over that time could find themselves at best embarrassed by disclosures, and at worst suspended from football or even in a dock. (I am not making any accusation of criminality here, but, as I said, looking at the worst-case scenario.)

This would apply to directors and executives, but also to players and managerial staff. Even if people connected with Rangers were entirely innocent of any wrongdoing, it could very well be the case that they benefited from increased pay through “second contracts” or EBT’s. The taint would be there, even if the person was an entirely innocent recipient of the pay.

In addition, there is the “fit and proper” rule. Article 10.2 of the SFA’s Rules deals with this.

The Rules lay down factors to be considered in deciding if a person is “Fit and proper”. Being a director of a football club within the five years prior to the club undergoing an Insolvency Event is one of the factors for the SFA to consider in determining fitness.

Entering administration in the way Rangers have is an Insolvency Event.

Therefore everyone of its directors in the five years prior to 14th February 2012 needs to pass the test, with this mark on their record.

That means that Paul Murray and Dave King (even ignoring Mr King’s other issues with the tax authorities in South Africa) still need to convince the SFA of their bona fides.

Even such a part of the Ibrox furniture as John Greig would need to do so.

It therefore seems to me that, in fact, the ideal candidate to take a new Rangers forward would be someone with no formal connection with the club for at least the last 20 years.

I want to make it clear that I am not suggesting wrongdoing on the part of any individual members of Rangers’ board over the years, but having palpably clean hands would be a great advantage. This is especially so as the quicker the project gets off the mark, the better. In addition, such a person would not have to undergo the SFA assessment process. With Mr Whyte to date several months have passed without a decision.

So we are looking for someone with significant, but not Bill Gates like funds, with a good track record in business and without any particularly prominent skeletons rattling in the cupboards. I won’t run off a list of names because (a) I don’t know enough of the Rangers’ wealthy fan base to make any useful comment and (b) I would not want anyone to think that the omission of a likely name implied rattling skeletons!

Of course the person could be a businessman in it for a profit, but making football clubs profitable enough for the risks involved seems an impossible task. In addition, someone with known Rangers’ connections would re-assure wavering fans.

We therefore have our prototype buyer (or head of the consortium). Let’s call him Mr Newboss.

 

What Should He (or She) Do Next?

Mr Newboss first needs to show he is not the same as the old boss.

There is also a need to hit the ground running as I suspect that other serious bidders might appear, such as Paul Murray’s group.

The first thing I would recommend to Mr Newboss is to announce support for a Truth and Reconciliation Commission. A full and frank explanation of what has gone on in Scottish football, and especially at Rangers, over recent years. Maybe call it a Leveson Inquiry for Scottish football?

Let us get light into all of the dark corners. Have a spirit of perestroika and glasnost.

Get the “guilty men” before a judge in an inquiry where they can be questioned.

Who could object to that?

Secondly our proposed owner would need to make it clear what the newco was not. Even although legally it would not be Rangers 1873, he ought to make clear that this is a New Rangers. A club looking to take the best of Old Rangers’ traditions, and to dispense with what some refer to as the “toxic” elements of the past.

This might alienate some of the Old Rangers support, but I suspect that there are many who would support that, and indeed there might be some who would be happy to back a Rangers not perceived to have the reputational problems of the oldco. In any event, this plan does not require a 50,000 home crowd every week.

Mr Newboss needs to get a new company set up ASAP. As of 5 minutes ago, the name Glasgow Rangers Football Club 2012 PLC is available.

The only things still to be done therefore are (a) find a ground (b) find players (c) find a competition to play in.

 

The Risky Approach?

Mr Newboss needs to pre-empt matters. He needs to strike quickly.

He should announce his intention to take his newly formed “Rangers” and seek to enter the Scottish Football League for season 2012-2013 in Division 3.

Why do this rather than aim for the SPL?

A move to the SPL would face a great deal of opposition. Such a “parachuting” would be contrary to SPL rules. There would be a great deal of resentment amongst other fans, and indeed it is unclear that there would even be a space. If a member of the SPL goes into liquidation, there would be no relegation. Is the champion of Division 1 going to accept missing out on promotion to let newco Rangers straight back in to the SPL? Not likely.

In addition, newco, even if in the SPL, cannot play in Europe for three years, even if it qualified. Why not use the time in the “sin bin” rebuilding?

An acceptance that newco starts in Division 3 would also be a sign of a new mood – an acceptance that the rewards for success need to be earned, rather than assumed as of right.

It would also assist with the thorny issue of players and ground, as I will mention below.

Why is this a risky approach?

It depends on being launched before Rangers Football Club PLC is necessarily in liquidation. It might even be seen as the coup de grace, or a mercy killing.

Mr Newboss needs to get a head start over other competitors for the badge.

Some Rangers fans might turn away from a newco idea if they think Mr Newboss killed it off. Many though would see that the actions of Sir David Murray and Craig Whyte are what have led to the club’s predicament.

Mr Newboss needs to send of his application to the Scottish Football League, together with a cheque for £1,200. If accepted, then a further £1,200 needs to be paid as an entrance fee. This would permit the company to become an Associate Member of the SFL, but most importantly, once accepted, a place at the bottom of the pyramid is theirs.

At the same time as applying to the SFL, newco would apply to the SFA too. This is cheaper – the fee is one payment of £1,000! The absence of “tainted” directors would make that much easier too.

The SFL can’t admit newco till there is a vacancy, but striking early would allow a build up of momentum, which would be used to defeat competing claims for the slot, whether by a top Junior side, a Highland League or Borders team.

For the sake of travelling costs, a team in the Central Belt is more economical for 3rd Division teams to visit, rather than Highlands or Borders.

In addition, coverage of the SFL, apart from a smattering of games on BBC Alba, is by sfl.tv. A newco “Rangers” would attract attention and coverage, and might result, even if only for three years, in a TV deal which would generate significant sums for the remaining members of the SFL. In addition it is almost certain that a newco would attract a far bigger following than any other SFL club, and therefore the SFL membership would benefit through increased gates twice a season.

It is hard to see such an approach not succeeding in gaining entrance.

 

What About a Ground and Players?

The SFL requires a team either to own a ground, or to have at least a five-year lease. However, that can be waived as a result of short-term issues, such as the building of a new ground, or re-furbishment of an existing one.

Newco can’t ask, straight away, to play at Ibrox. That would involve it in the almost inevitable Ticketus litigation. Season 2015-2016 is the earliest they could seek to play there, and, if things go according to plan, that would be the newco’s first season in Division 1.

What in the meantime?

Mr Newboss could approach Queens Park and the SFA to use Hampden. However that can be a cavernous stadium if not nearly full, and Mr Newboss wants his team to be playing in a lively atmosphere.

Therefore are various grounds where temporary groundshares would be possible in and around Glasgow, and all for far less than it would cost to rent Hampden!

Whether this would be Firhill or Broadwood; Strathclyde Homes Stadium at Dumbarton or St Mirren Park; Airdrie’s home ground or one of the stadia used for rugby in Glasgow, this would be perfect for a Division 3 or 2 Rangers.

It would also give the fans the chance to experience a different set of surroundings, emphasising the breaks from the past, whilst initiatives such as the Rangers Charity Foundation, for example, can act as positive connections with Rangers’ heritage.

In terms of players, the SFL rule 115.2 only allows a maximum of 22 registered players over 21 years of age. There is therefore no need for Mr Newboss to go hunting for huge numbers of players straight away.

The route to take would be the Gretna/Livingston/Dundee one, but without the crash landing.

A mix of old heads and youngsters, of a quality one or two decisions above where they are playing, and a wage bill higher than the direct competition, would be the best springboard up the divisions.

As a comparison, Aberdeen, in the SPL, have has wage bills averaging just over £5 million over the last three years.

I am sure that some recent Rangers stars could be coaxed back to a newco, perhaps as player coaches. Management staff, as long as untainted by the Murray/Whyte years too would come on board.

The aim would be to build crowds watching the newco succeed as it climbs the divisions. This would lead to them reaching the SPL, if there is no re-structuring, in 2015-2016. By that time the Ibrox legal battles should be over.

If not, it would be possible to look then to move to Hampden temporarily.

What should have emerged by then is a profitable and debt free (apart from an overdraft for cash flow purposes) outfit, with a support built of old and new fans, and cleared of the more troublesome elements.

Whether some fans like it or not, the Scottish Government wants to clamp down hard on “offensive” behaviour at football.

I am no fan of the new Act, which came into force on 1st March, but it is there and the Government is looking to apply it. What better way for newco Rangers to make its mark, and to emphasise its meaningful point of difference than to make clear that the behaviour which has blighted some Rangers games in the eyes of UEFA and the football authorities here is no longer tolerated.

 

What Would This Cost Mr Newboss?

This is undoubtedly the cheapest of the four options mentioned.

There is no need for a ground to be purchased straight away; no need for a huge stadium to be rented; no need for a 40-man squad packed with internationals.

This would be the chance for a club to start off from scratch following UEFA’s Financial Fair Play principles.  

The newco would have a huge financial advantage, and a legitimate one, caused by the fan base available to them.

It would also be appropriate for Mr Newboss to declare that his team would restrict wages to a specified percentage of income – its own informal salary cap.

This would allow the newco to build up financial reserves for its progress up the league, and instead of Rangers being a shorthand term for financial mismanagement, be a beacon for what prudent finances actually should be.

This would also lay the groundwork for a share flotation as the newco moves ahead, to give its supporters the chance for a meaningful role in the Club.

 

Can This Happen?

It could…

It is a chance for someone, or a group of someones, to start a team with no debt, and none of the challenges linked to oldco.

The vocal fans whose behaviour causes concern might keep themselves attached to the team, or else walk away. It would be seen as best for Scottish football if the “offensive” Rangers fans left the game, as it would with “offensive” fans of other teams.

I have just listened to the end of Rangers’ loss to Hearts on the radio, with the commentator talking of sectarian signing policies, and sectarian singing. This is a once in a life time chance to break that thread, but I am sure that, after a few years, newco Rangers fans would be claiming a link back to the oldco’s honours, in the same way as Airdrie United has appropriated the history of Airdrieonians, rather than of Clydebank, which strictly and legally, it should have inherited.

So the challenge is clear.

Whereas Mr Whyte had to find (from whatever source) £18,000,001 to buy Rangers, Mr Newboss would need far less than that and would have the chance to make an historic change to Scottish football.

 

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44 Comments

Filed under Administration, Craig Whyte's Companies, Football, Rangers, SFA, SFL, SPL

44 responses to “How to Save “Rangers” – A Possible Strategy?

  1. Great piece, and as a Rangers fan, whilst not wishing to lose the history of the club, it is certainly the “right” thing to by forming a newco. I think given the revelations that have been pouring out of the club recently, Rangers have to humbly accept what is inevitably coming and forming a newco and applying to get into Division 3 and not the SPL is the correct path to take.

  2. Thank you Dave.
    Not sure how many of your fellow fans would agree, but I am sure “Mr Newboss” would like to know!

  3. Albert

    I would be extremely surprised if some group had not already “run the numbers” on purchasing an existing club. It’s all there, in black and white.

  4. John

    I agree with your analysis Paul, starting afresh in Div 3 is the most cost effective, unproblematic and sustainable basis going forward for New Rangers. I’d only disagree on where they would play. If it was me I’d pull out all the stops to get my hands on Ibrox. Whilst they would struggle to have that in place for 12-13, I reckon with all the regulatory and legal machinations ahead, having a club in place by then is a forlorn hope anyway, there just isn’t enough time.

    I think the Rangers fans will need to find someone else to watch next season.

    • Fuzzy Dunlop III

      Surely “New” Rangers playing at Ibrox in Division 3 is a non-starter? The crowds would be relatively small so any income received from gate receipts would be paid to Ticketus and Whyte has already flogged off the catering at Ibrox, so the new club would have virtually no income whatsoever for 3 years. They couldn’t afford the upkeep of the stadium never mind players wages. That doesn’t seem like a sustainable model to me.

  5. tecumseh

    wouldn’t it be easier,cheaper and less bother to find cure for the common cold . . .or launch a maned flight to the nearest Black Hole . . .???

  6. wattyler

    Maybe stupid but…
    Just a little thought for revenue and to show this is a new club with a good ethos, a tv documentary/reality show following this club.
    Im sure SKY or any other would pay a fair bit for it.

  7. gunnerb

    “the first thing I would recommend to Mr Newboss is to announce support for a Truth and Reconciliation Commission. A full and frank explanation of what has gone on in Scottish football, and especially at Rangers, over recent years. Maybe call it a Leveson Inquiry for Scottish football?”

    So you are asking Mr Newboss to almost immediately deprive himself of financial support from some the wealthiest of the bretheren? It would take a brave soul indeed, given the incestuous nature of parts of the higher echelons of Scottish financial and business institutions, to attempt to go it alone.Too many of the old guard still in influential positions to not strangle this bastard at birth.

  8. redetin

    The Finance Bill 2011 proposes that HMRC will require a security from companies where there is a risk that PAYE or NI contributions are at risk. I wonder if this will be applied to football clubs, specifically to a club that has morphed into another.

  9. Pat McVey

    Starting a fresh in Div 3 is the only viable option and once the grief passage has been negotiated it will be accepted as so (acceptance being the final stage).

    I like the T&R idea, wrote a piece about it on CU

    http://celticunderground.net/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=596:nothing-to-see-here-timmy–move-on&catid=45:season-2010-2011&Itemid=80 (note final comment)

    but the problem at that time was admitting wrongdoing.

    However the weight of evidence that wrong doing took place is mounting so that stage should be easier to negotiate. I am sure many of my Rangers supporting friends would plead a degree of being ignorant of what was truly being done in their name and not appreciating the impact on the feelings of the Celtic who have thought for generations something was wrong.

    The admission of wrongdoing though is an essential requirement for the correct kind of environment to emerge in which a more forgiving attitude could take root. (for what forgiveness is read here

    http://www.internationalforgiveness.com/what-is-forgiveness-faq/

    A recent topic of discussion on RTC was UEFA’s declared stance on sporting integrity. This will kill off any SPL parachute idea. Wrongdoing has taken place, significant wrongdoing. Justice must be served but in a way that allows reparation and restoration without undermining sporting values and integrity.

    A Newco in Div 3 addressing some of the sectartian issues (like The Famine Song that oldco never condemened) would get my support and encouragement.

  10. Paul, a stadium, players, some cash, fans and a place in the SFA are all required, but more than anything, this plan needs leadership.

    Hmmmm.

  11. ramsay smith

    Paul67
    March 3, 2012 at 8:20 pm
    ‘Paul, a stadium, players, some cash, fans and a place in the SFA are all required, but more than anything, this plan needs leadership.’

    Cometh the hour, cometh the man

  12. Michael

    am thinkin’ a daein’ loads a things fur rangers:

    – a weekend in a bath a beans :: the Who did that fur somethin’
    – grow a moustache and call it mojohnstontonvember
    – orange dunking :: stick your face in a barrel of cold water and try to Graham Spear a lovely Seville orange
    – Cycle-a-thon – see how much I get for the St Ettienne bike on ebay
    – Football Match :: Ask another team to play a match in our aid (e,g, AC Milan Auld Yins). Organise a raffle at half time and get prizes donated by local businesses. Ask Sono Aluko to pay a fee to play and buy a small cup for the winning team.

  13. Burnley78

    Paul 67

    Leadership and a dose of humility needed.

    Traits not too common at old Rangers IMO

  14. BMCUWP

    All very reasonable,Paul,though I can’t help thinking yer laffin’ up yer sleeve as you post!

    Good to see more respected people such as yourself getting across the message that liquidation is inevitable,and that Newco is virtually impossible in time for next season.

    There is one wee problem with your scenario though,IMO.

    That is,there will be a vacancy next season under your scenario. This will be available to the likes of Whitehill Welfare,Spartans,etc. It will NOT be available the following season unless Newco buy another club first.

    That would just be another expense at the start-up stage,even were it possible.

    Me? I don’t think it is;I think they are gone for good.

  15. Goosy

    There`s a wee guy in a bunnet sunning himself somewhere who knows how to turn a wreck into a prized asset
    I`m sure he would have the cohonies to run Newco for 3 yrs.. , get the Big Hoose back and sell Newco for a profit to the supporters
    He would have one big advantage over everybody else
    He would not get the support of the sectarian element

  16. Alasdair Allan

    This piece is well argued and certainly takes into account a lot of what has happened regarding Rangers.

    But it misses a very important fact, Rangers FC are Rangers FC the history, traditions and indeed the very value of the institution are part of what makes it so. Makes fans pay money to attend. Make it so important that every other club in Scotland builds a stadium 4 times larger than it needs cos it will host the team twice a season.

    Without that history, there is no Rangers. And the way it is constructed there is no Scottish football. Dunfermline can’t pay theyre wage bill because of less than £100k of revenue is missing. The knock on effect will be enormous.

    As the law is structured the administration process can indeed last years and it should if necessary. To alllow Rangers to continue and allow Scottish football to survive.

    • Alasdair,

      In the circumstances outlined by me administrtaion cannot run for years as the administrators would not have funds to run Rangers on anything more than a shoestring (and in fact they would not even have that either), and by that I don’t mean Alexander rather than McGregor or Healy rather than Lafferty.

      If there needs to be a newco Rangers would you and your fellow supporters pin your colours to a re-branded “new RAngers” as I suggested, or if one or more of the “Old Guard” from the last 20 years returned, even though this could lead to them and the newco being embroiled in litigation, scrutiny and speculation for years, would an old style newco get your support?

      You will agree that the perception of many people is that the RAngers brand is toxic (I am not saying that it is, merely that it is perceived that way by many). Would it be acceptable for Mr Newboss to seek to dicth the negative history whilst retainign and celebrating the positives? Or would you consider that there is no baggage of that sort to be left behind, even if doing so would create public support for a new RAngers?

      • col333

        What about setting up the new company in England. Going into the conference, and playing your games at ibrox. It would come with a tv deal in the conference with a new rangers, it would bring the opportunity of moving up the leagues similar to the idea posted earlier about joining the sfl and moving up from division 3. The end goal being to get into the premiership [the land of milk and honey]

    • pat77

      Alasdair, Just a thought on how authorites handled the banking crisis and financial regulation one before that. Arthur Anderson have gone as a result of Enron and Lehman was allowed to perish – the remainder of the indusrty was given help to restructure and survive.
      One solution for Scottish Football is a bailout by the Scottish Government. However, as the catalysts and culprits, Rangers are allowed to persih, whereas the Government loans clubs such as Dunfermline modest sums to allow them to restructure their finances in the medium term.
      Respite for the victims and retribution for the offenders – seems like a solution to me

      • Mick

        This is the best solution of all scenarios currently being promulgated.

        It represents Justice.

        Strangely though it has never been promoted by the Scottish Government, football authorities or press. Only we hear Rangers must survive. Well I believe Rangers must pay what they owe. Only then can we talk about whether Rangers survive.

    • ParmaHamster

      Alasdair.

      In thirteen lines you’ve managed to highlight the very reasons why Scottish football will the better for the demise of Rangers FC in their current existence. Scottish football will survive and very probably thrive without this Rangers. Bear in mind that £100k of revenue is money that Dunfermline have been, simply put, chiselled out of by your club.
      Another Rangers FC, shorn of the “history and traditions” you speak of, will in time add value to Scottish football. Are you prepared to wait that time to see THAT club return to what undoubtedly will be a place at the top table again, because any other incarnation is doomed as long as it clings to the past.

  17. BMCUWP

    Mr Allan.

    Your post is everything that is wrong about your club,set into a few paragraphs.

    WATP,we will never die,yeez ur f’d withoot us.

    Beat it. We’ll take our chances.

  18. Carntyne

    How would a Rangers NewCo manage to just step into the 3rd division of the SFL?

    Would one of the current 3rd division teams have to be booted out?

    Since the NewCo is just that, if there is a vacancy in the 3rd division wouldn’t there be many other teams who have been around for years who would have a better claim to that vacancy?

    The argument that the NewCo would have 40-50,000 fans is fanciful.

    We’ll see just how many Rangers fans turn up at Ibrox for the rest of the season, (if they last that long) once ten or eleven of their top players have their contracts cancelled, never mind how many would turn up for 3rd division dross.

    I definitely think someone will attempt a NewCo, but that it will be destined, like Gretna, to fail.

    Rangers fans reason for living, the majority anyway, is “wee arra people” triumphalism and all the sectarian baggage that goes with it.

    With no prospect of that in the 3rd division I don’t think the attendances would be enough for the NewCo to prosper.

    I have tried to see all the scenarios for the possible continuance of Rangers as a football Club, but each time I arrive at the same conclusion regardless of which route they may try to go down.

    Liquidation, and soon, then the Newco, if any, limping along until lethargy kills them off.

    Most Rangers fans will regard this as unthinkable, but for the last year they have stuck their heads in the sand about the rumours of Rangers difficulties, laying the blame for those rumours at the feet of mischevous Celtic supporters.

    Well, Armageddon has arrived.

    • How would a Rangers NewCo manage to just step into the 3rd division of the SFL?

      Natural progression – one in one oot formation. Everyone would move up a position with Rangers fitting in at the bottom.

      Would one of the current 3rd division teams have to be booted out?

      No – as above

      Since the NewCo is just that, if there is a vacancy in the 3rd division wouldn’t there be many other teams who have been around for years who would have a better claim to that vacancy?

      No – because if given the option of a Highland league team, a Borders team or any other Junion team. Rangers would be the best, centrally located option for anyone. Even without 40/50’000 fans their attendance will still be somewhat larger than the 500-800 that currently view lower league football.

      The argument that the NewCo would have 40-50,000 fans is fanciful.

      We’ll see just how many Rangers fans turn up at Ibrox for the rest of the season, (if they last that long) once ten or eleven of their top players have their contracts cancelled, never mind how many would turn up for 3rd division dross.

      For both of the above, only time will tell.

      I definitely think someone will attempt a NewCo, but that it will be destined, like Gretna, to fail.

      Based on what?

      Rangers fans reason for living, the majority anyway, is “wee arra people” triumphalism and all the sectarian baggage that goes with it.

      Same for Celtic then. If we are going to generalise then the shoe clearly must fit the other foot also.

      With no prospect of that in the 3rd division I don’t think the attendances would be enough for the NewCo to prosper.

      Perhaps. Does that mean that Celtic in the SPL without Rangers and someone to vent THEIR sectarian bile at will also fail?

      I have tried to see all the scenarios for the possible continuance of Rangers as a football Club, but each time I arrive at the same conclusion regardless of which route they may try to go down.

      Liquidation, and soon, then the Newco, if any, limping along until lethargy kills them off.

      Based on what?

      Most Rangers fans will regard this as unthinkable, but for the last year they have stuck their heads in the sand about the rumours of Rangers difficulties, laying the blame for those rumours at the feet of mischevous Celtic supporters.

      No they have not – some have, yes. But not everyone inside Celtic Park has developed themselves in a Degree of Company Law either. Many people outside of ‘cyberspace’ are still oblivious to the ongoings at Rangers.

      Well, Armageddon has arrived.

      And i presume that makes you a very happy chappy. Well, good for you.

      I rarely bite at these things but some people just exist for the sole reason of noising up others. I don’t mind that when people are at least informed and understanding of the complexities of a situation and who is to blame. To gloat ( and lets not pretend that is not what you are doing) at a loss of living for many is…to be frank, very very sad.

  19. TheBlackKnight

    Shirley the question should be, is this “toxic brand” worth saving?

    • Mick

      I can’t agree with this DK.

      The issue is about using taxpayers money to fund a football team. Rangers should pay what they owe. Once that’s done they should see what they have left, and if they have enough to run a football club, then they can get on with it. No rules should be broken or changed, existing rules should be applied. It’s called justice, and it’s how our society is supposed to work

  20. thomas cochrane

    good riddance,get lost,they got what they deserved,unless you start from scratch the same nonsense will occur the mindless morons must be discouraged,the wrongdoers at the top must must never again get a foot in the door they are morally bankrupt.start over and have a public share issue and let the fans have a chance to buy in at the very roots of the venture,the size of the uptake will show the appetite for the thing.real fans rich or not so rich would im sure rally round,but to my mind it all depends on the outcome of hmrc good luck to all concerned…..

  21. Just thought I would add my condolence’s to the family of Paul McBride

    RIP.

  22. There is another major issue apart from the way that Rangers 1873 has been run for the last quarter of a century and that is the issue of how its affairs have been not only tolerated but supported by those with the responsibility for ensuring that all is in order.
    It is far too early to discuss the prospects of New Rangers within the Scottish football structure when that structure itself must be held to account for its stewardship of a long series of perceived irregularities. The very few of these irregularities which have been addressed, such as FarryGate and the Dallas-DougieDougie controversy, have already shown that an enormous amount of resistance needs to be overcome to produce anything approaching a just outcome.

    In the particular case of the DougieDougie affair, what I saw was nothing short of absolute solidarity among referees (past and present), disgraceful partiality in the media (especially the Establishment BBC), a desperate rearguard action from the SFA old guard (in which George Peat was particularly active) and a shameless refusal from football clubs in general to condemn the guilty party (a referee who clearly lied to a club manager about a contentious decision). In defence of the indefensible, all of these parties recklessly and irresponsibly concentrated their energies on vilifying Neil Lennon in order to deflect the blame away from where it truly belonged. The entirely foreseeable consequences of that gross irresponsibility escalated to the point where not only Mr Lennon but several other members of the public required police protection. Meanwhile employees of the Royal Mail are still potentially risking their lives when they handle packages which are addressed to men and women, some of whom have only the most tangential connection to Celtic Football Club.

    The Jim Farry scandal does not appear to me to have been an exceptional event which, once it had been dealt with, left the SFA in good standing. For a start, it had been investigated twice in internal SFA procedures (in which Mr George Peat was again active) and no fault had been uncovered. Yet, before an independent tribunal had even had the chance to finish hearing all of the submissions, the evidence compelled the SFA to finally face the reality of its own inadequacies and Mr Farry had to fall on his sword for his unacceptable conduct. Somehow, those who had twice failed to discover these shortcomings when left to their own devices emerged from the fiasco in the same positions of authority and responsibility in which they had started. This same organisation and these same people are supposed to have been fit to carry on scrutinising and overseeing the affairs of Scottish football with due regard to the principles of justice and fair play when they couldn’t even find fault with their own secretary for a glaring piece of maladministration which had been drawn to their attention on two occasions. In this light, I would have no reason to believe that they would do any better if, for example, a prominent member club was registering players who had improbable contracts or even dual contracts which contravened the rules.

    In all of these cases, the members of the fourth estate have been spectacularly reluctant to hold the authorities to account in the public interest. They have failed to investigate. They have failed to ask the questions which needed to be asked. They have failed to focus attention where it badly needed to be focussed. They have proved themselves to be willing to turn a blind eye to the Establishment’s failings while attacking those who have asked awkward questions.

    There is a climate of systemic rottenness which must not escape detailed and rigorous scrutiny before a New Rangers can take its part in Scottish football. Before any consideration is given to the mechanisms whereby this new club might come into existence, the gross inadequacies of the structure in which its parent self-destructed must be completely eradicated. It is pointless to continue to pretend that this is a problem which relates to a single club’s mismanagement. The problem must be confronted in the round. Only after that process is complete, even if it takes years, should there be any consideration given to what new clubs – if any – need to be formed to take part in a Scottish football authority which can be seen to be fit for purpose.

    Otherwise, all that will happen is that the cracks of a rickety, structurally unsound edifice will be papered over.

  23. R Mageddon

    After the initial serious review of the options on the table, there has been a lot of understandable but short-sighted pleasure expressed on these pages at the plight of Rangers. All of the options cited for saving the club are messy, risky or long winded and this raises the very real prospect of an SPL and potentially even a Scotland with no Rangers. Before you skip down the page feeling yet another warm glow inside, take a moment to consider the implications for Celtic and the SPL at large.

    Pros
    Almost guaranteed title win (sorry Hearts, Motherwell etc.)
    Top European slot
    Bragging rights – 10 in a row?
    Game cleaned up
    Sectarianism redundant from football

    Cons
    Almost guaranteed title win – no excitement
    Quality on the field would drop i.e. top team only ever just good enough to beat their week in week out league opposition
    Even bigger jump in quality from SPL to CL or Europa
    Qualification for final stages even less likely
    Reduced gates
    Smaller audience i.e. Rangers fans who stop following football and neutrals who lose interest
    Fall in TV and advertising attractiveness

    If Paul’s recommended option becomes fact and the SPL loses both the fan-base and the competitive edge that Rangers currently bring to the party, the status quo cannot remain for anyone.

    Scottish Football and even the SPL will most likely survive the loss of Rangers however it will be a very small and second rate affair compared to the national game that most of us still enjoy, warts and all.

    Consider the business that is Celtic Football Club. Averaging out the past 5 years financial results (to smooth a very lumpy and unpredictable business), Celtic have managed a profit of £3m p.a. A trading loss of £1m p.a. has been masked by average profits on transfer dealings of £4m p.a. Fans should be under no illusion that this is a fragile position. The game/industry/business offering does not need to become much less attractive for the £71m that Celtic generate from gate receipts, TV and advertising and merchandising to drop in a way that will necessitate significant cost cutting. In simple terms the quality of players on the park will need to be further reduced to balance the books.

    With no Rangers around, this might not stop the league titles rolling in, but it will be a hollow and empty victory if there is no-one outside of Parkhead left who cares.

    • Mick

      All of your pros and cons are conjecture and are as likely to be correct as incorrect.

      The arguments for breaking or bending existing rules to conserve the status quo of Rangers in the SPL are tantamount to appeasement.
      Transgressors should receive their punishment.

      If tax avoiders/evaders should receive no sanction, the same could be applied to all or any law breakers.

      In the meantime, I hope Duff & Phelps are making arrangements to pay the taxes which were withheld from our country’s exchequer – they seem to be needed at the moment We’re all in this together apparently

  24. NUFCNTIC

    I’m a Celtic fan, and I must say that this is all very sad. Celtic posted a profit of £180,000 for the current financial year (don’t quote me on that) Of course, this is peanuts for a club the size of Celtic. But, they have been financially prudent in reducing their debt down to £7m (don’t quote me on that either) and in so doing abiding by the law of the land. I can vividly remember when Celtic were in the same insolvency boat as Rangers over a £5m overdraft owed to the Bank of Scotland and were going under with the biscuit tin for security. But along came Fergus (the hated) McCann and all was resolved; new stadium, new players, new manager and coaching staff…oh, and Henrik Larsson. The debt was considerably different to that of Rangers, but the end scenario looked the same. But the mantle was put back in place.

    What am I getting at? I had a friend who was a Rangers supporter who was executed in Easterhouse because he sang the Sash. Two Celtic supports passing Bridgeton Cross following a Celtic match were attacked and one had his throat cut. He died through his injury.

    I left Scotland to raise a family in England because I didn’t want my future children (very presumptuous of me) being exposed to this bile. So, I agree totally with Paul. Any Newco would need to be rid of this sectarian “history” and be a football club, not a platform for religious hatred. Don’t get me wrong, Celtic fans (the vast majority) are the exact same. I know because I attended Old Firm matches as did my older brother who was an Army officer. He didn’t like what he was hearing from the terraces….say no more.

    It would be great if we could all remember that, first and foremost, these two clubs are businesses; they do not own anyone, we are not obliged to attend matches or hold allegiances as I’ve proven, but we should do so because we love our team and the great game….and that’s all it is, a game of football. So to all the “ordinary” staff that may lose their job as a result of this misguided loyalty which is the bedrock of this club, I have the sincerest sympathy, I am struggling to find work at the minute, and I know how it will feel for them.

  25. Alexander Kerr Murphy

    Hi Guys,
    I really try my hardest not to comment, BUT, as yet another Day passes and no cost cutting in put in place at Ibrox, I ask only what happens now, Duff and Duffer, oops, sorry, Duff and Phelps, seem not to realize their role as possible saviours of the Club or maybe their role is to be a Patsy for CW ( allegedly )

    Where is the FSA in this Case, is it not the responsibility of Administrators to act in the interests of the Creditors ??

    Yet, Dumfermline, get 85 K it seems, from who ?? CW ? HMRC so far get nil.

    I am really struggling to get to grips with this Case, not sure who is acting in whos interest at this moment, the only winner I can see is CW, not HMRC, RFC or Scottish Football.

    As I said before the Financial Services Mafia seem to be at work, No Action
    taken, we will only know the true cost 5 years down the line when all the bonuses have been paid, Shame on you Duff & Duffer, sorry Duff and Phelps, you seem to be making money whilst RFC dies and CW makes money.

  26. Jonbhoy

    Good article in the Telegraph to day from Ewing Grahame (is he a real person ? 🙂 ) One of the items discussed is the PART payment of the 80 odd K to Dumfermline, reason cited is that oif no payments was forth comong then the SPL woul dbe in a position to impose non payments sanctons on Rangers. D&P therefore agreed to pay some of the dosh owed now and the rest on April 13th apparently.
    Looks like D&p had to make some payment in the interests of not jeopardising the already precarious position of RFC.

  27. Johnobhoyo

    How to save Rangers?
    Get a group of crooked administrators in. Then let a couple of non-entity fringe players go to make it look like a “cull”. Meanwhile the high earners and other monkeys create the charade that there have been swingeing wage cuts so that they are kept on.

    RFC then go into liquidation. the assets are hived down to a debt free newco led by the blue knights consortium. Mr Doncaster and the assorted other crooks parachute newRFC back in to the SPL. Playing at the same stadium, with the best of the previous squad.

    End result, debts extinguished, HMRC and other creditors shafted and the rancid, poisonous, cheating cretins are back ruining Scottish football with their new improved brand of unsurpassed dignity.

    • Alexander Kerr Murphy

      Johnobhoyo, are you really suggesting that Duff and Duffer are your working in the interests of CW in this latest soap opera ? Shocking news, maybe we have a Mr Burns, ( Fergus ) coming over the horizion ?

      At least young Wylde has the balls to walk away, that is really admirable for such a young man, least said about Chairmen of Banks the better, RFC are certain to be a newco, then what happens will seen to be very interesting, one thought though !
      AMC is meant to be the Manger of RFC, but does not want to involve himself in Redunancies Situations, having the experience of Closing Factories of more than 300 People ingraved on my soul, it was netherless, part of my Job as a Manager, and for the long term good of my company, as an Exectutive, bad news and difficult decisions are part of the Job, I mean, how much loss would Kerkar be to RFC ??

  28. Johnobhoyo

    AKM – if it walks like a duck, quacks like a duck and pishes likes a duck – then it usually is a duck. Unless you are an administrator of the glorious glasgow raingurrs who are taking fees believed to be around the £600k per month mark yet have done virtually nothing to alleviate the cashflow problems that has led the club into administration (in fact that they have made it much worse). Whilst creditors such as HMRC, Dundee Utd, even the effin Strathclyde polis whistle for their dosh, Messers Phelps and Whitehouse again are letting highly paid diddies like sally and davo dictate who goes and who stays.

    An utter disgrace. HMRC were all too eager to issue the hertz with a winding up order, why are they so reticient with RFC?

    It seems overpaid duds like Prince Edward and Alastair are far more important to the administrators than paying the taxes to HMRC and Strathclyde Police. Shame on them and shame on RFC.

  29. Johnobhoyo

    David Whitehouse : “Very disappointed” that no deal reached with some of the players. Is this an effin hostage negotiation or something? Is there a classroom full of 5 year olds being held against their will by Kylie Lafferty and Mo Edu inside Murray Park?

    You millionaires will have to find other clubs – that’s what these guys should be saying to the players.

    This is beyond a joke the way these eejits are going about their business.

  30. Alexander Kerr Murphy

    Now, Johnobhoyo, as a leading member of the commensense Brigade, also a member of the what the hell is the Illeagle Aid Forum, do you really think think that only the Accountants and Lawyers plus CW will actually make money out of the RFC debactle ?

    Of course not, the so Called Scottish press, who worshipped at the SDM Alter will also prosper, but the SPL will probably fade away, then, my friend, there will be nothing to debate.

    We spend 1000’s of Millions defending people not born in the UK, to the Benifit of this very Blogger and kin, if not directly, and the tree huggers ??

    Having spent years in Asia, it is simple, China wants to build a road ( rail ) link, then it happens, people are compensated and move on, sometimes, I am sorry to say, against their will.
    Progress is not halted by Tree Huggers or Lawyers, that is the way it should be, anyway sorry for the dicretion, , I agree, that 600,000 per month
    probably can put a Team on the Park at the new X- Box Arena, ( TM for AKM ) but Accountants and Lawyers are greedy by nature, so I really do not expect them to give up 75% of their Salaries !!!

  31. Jim Harkins

    Assuming Paul’s “newco in Div 3” idea were to come to pass, one pledge which the new club could make would be to support home products.
    There seems little point in being the dream team of 75% of Scottish schoolboys (you may break the formal link with the sectarian past but you won’t break the cultural strand – but see below) if virtually none of them can make the team because it is “easier” to bring in a ready-made import. And, as we have seen, the local game can’t afford quality imports. Well, not legally.
    Mutatis mutandis,the same thought applies, obviously, to the alternative pole where they regularly celebrate a winning youth team only to let the players drift away. The same must be happening across the country.
    What if Rangers, fielding a (predominately) native side, took the pressure off everyone else to engage foreign players who, at the end of the day, add little of the dream factor which football should give?
    So far as sectarian history is concerned, the newco could include all schools in their scouting and coaching: no pledges, no monitoring, simply do it. The problem is in the home, not in the school or on the playing field.

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