As we near 4pm on Day 23 of the running of Rangers Football Club PLC (in administration) by Duff & Phelps (D&P), the story becomes by the day ever more remarkable.
By my reckoning D&P, who have publicly stated that there is a £1 million per month short fall in income, have, after over three weeks, had four members of staff leave.
These are Gordon Smith and Ali Russell from the executive side and Gregg Wylde and Mervan Celik from the playing staff. D&P pointed out correctly that they could not force anyone to accept a cut in salary. However, the sanction the administrators have is to make redundant any employee who does not agree a wage cut.
So far, at any event, they have not tried to force the issue.
It does make one wonder though about the advice some of the players are getting. Refusal to accept a pay cut could lead to being made redundant and therefore being able to sign as a free agent for any other team, with the associated signing on fees.
If D&P want to run the Club until the summer transfer window and to maintain players so they can be sold off, one wonders how effective that would be. Where will the money come from to keep the doors open? And what is the point if an emasculated Rangers is left to a new buyer?
We can only await with interest the next announcements from the administrators!
In other news, Gary Withey, the Rangers Company Secretary, has left his law firm, Collyer Bristow. He has not been in recent contact with them, nor has he been in touch with D&P, as far as one can tell.
D&P have been able to have a sum in excess of £3 million, held in the Collyer Bristow, transferred for safe keeping to another solicitors’ account, under supervision of the court.
That will not be a quick battle. If the funds were held in the name of Rangers Football Club PLC, then they would need to be paid over to D&P.
If the funds are in the name of another party, as must be assumed to be the case, then it is unlikely that that other party, whether Rangers FC Group Ltd, Liberty CApital Ltd, Mr Whyte, HMRC, Uncle Tom Cobley or whoever, is going to let it go without a struggle.
Of course as proceedings are ongoing in the High Court ion London, it will not take too long before a large chunk of the frozen money is used up in legal costs.
The court battle regarding this sum continues tomorrow.
We have also had the privilege of various of the main players issuing statements.
Messrs King and Whyte, Mr Murray and Sir David of that ilk, have all spoken directly or through spokesman.
I will, when I have more time, do my usual comma by comma analysis, to assist the insomniacs, but a couple of quick thoughts now.
There has not, despite Mr King’s well known tax problems in South Africa (in connection with which he denies any guilt), been an issue about him being a fit and proper person till now. The added issue he now has to face, as does PAul Murray, is being a director of a football club within the five years prior to it having an insolvency Event.
One wonders how Mr King intends to explain himself with that one?
As if the lawyers surrounding this matter are not making enough money, now Mr King wants to sue MIH/Sir David! There is no time to detail just now what I think of that, apart from saying that Mr King seems to want to put himself in the neither Whyte nor Sir David camp.
Mr Whyte says he expects a CVA to succeed and from his conversation described on the front of the DAily Record, for RAngers to owe no tax once the TAx Tribunal reports its decision. That too is worthy of longer comment than I can manage now. Both suggestions seem, to be polite, a trifle unlikely.
St Mirren have decided to follow the example of D&P by issuing a statement saying nothing!
The situation becomes ever more bizarre, and there remain many things to comment on, once various real life matters are resolved.
No one could have thought that, one year ago, RAngers would be on the point of liquidation, being investigated by SFA and SPL, with their Chairman condemned in court as “wholly unreliable” and with court actions flying about here, there and everywhere.
Liquidation is inevitable.
Unless D&P have a very good explanation for their conduct, I suspect they will face very serious questions about their decisions.
Mr Whyte, despite his bravado, is unlikely to return to Ibrox.
One wonders if his spokesman was asked about meetings of the Trustees of the RAngers Charity FOundation. A meeting with Messrs Whyte, Bain and Greig would no doubt have been fiery!
The OSCR investigation into the RAngers Milan charity match might be interested in that.
I should say, as a post script to that matter, that I raised it as it seemed to be an anomolous decision by the RCF to forego the majority of the donation to it from the game.
If, as commenters suggested, the game had been cancelled, as D&P were unwilling to fund it, and then it had been re-instated as a match to raise money for RAngers, with an add on of there still being a charitable donation, I do not see how there could have been a problem.
However, that is not what happened and what has lead to the latest inquiry. The problem, if problem it was, was capable of being fixed very quickly. It was not.
Anyone maliciously inclined to RAngers could have sat on their hands till after the game, and at that stage it would have been too late to fix the problem.
Instead the publicity given to the matter provided RCF and D&P with more than enough time to deal with the matter. It is now in the hands of the OSCR to decide if they have.
Lots more to come – but back for now to real life!