I blogged yesterday on what I thought, to be frank, was a fanciful though theoretically possible, scheme. Bill Miller, the US trucking magnate, would buy the assets of Rangers, pit them into his “incubator company”, and have “Rangers” turn out at Perth for the last game of the season on 13th May. This would challenge the SPL to cancel the game. If they did not, then he might have a shot at arguing that newco had already been admitted to the SPL, and thus could start next season free from administration and additional points penalties.
It would be a huge gamble to do so on a wing and a prayer, and I wondered, idly, if perhaps some version of this scenario had been engaging Mr Miller and the SPL in discussions over the last week.
Last night Mr Doncaster, Chief Executive of the SPL, appeared on Sportsound. On each hearing I gain the impression that some more straightforward version of my “Switcheroo” plan might have been canvassed with him, and not fully ruled out.
To be fair to him, I am transcribing his broadcast so as to ensure that the full terms of what he said are recorded, and I do not want to comment unfairly upon him due to a misheard word on my part. I will therefore leave detailed analysis of what he said until, probably, tonight.
Many sensible people commented on my post yesterday as to why the “Switcheroo” plan would be a non-starter. This was for various different reasons such as UEFA sanctions, Registration requirements, SPL licences, insurance for players, TUPE regulations, HMRC pursuit etc etc.
I think that all of the criticisms of the plan have validity.
That therefore brings me back to the comment by Mr Whitehouse which headed up my post yesterday. Why did he say that the “side route” plan could allow the new owner to take control by 11th May?
Presumably Mr Miller’s plan, which he was good enough to outline previously, remains to transfer all of the assets of Rangers Football Club PLC to his newco. If he only moved the fixed assets, Ibrox and Murray Park, then one wonders what the point of the exercise is.
To have “Rangers” out of administration requires (a) a successful CVA to be agreed before next season starts, which I think is impossible (Niall, I will come back in detail to your through analysis of why it will happen) or (b) an entity to be playing as “Rangers” which is not in administration.
Mr Miller’s plan is clearly consistent with (b).
Therefore, he must envisage purchase of all assets, including players’ registrations, and transfer of all of these to newco, prior to the end of the season.
In that case, how does he get round the Grand National size and number of hurdles as described by commenters yesterday?
Mr Doncaster’s comments last night seemed to be suggesting that there was only a very “fine difference” between a newco and a company exiting administration via a CVA.
As I said, I don’t want to criticise him unfairly without having all of his comments together for analysis, but, frankly, that comment, which he did repeat, is, to quote many leading theologians, “a load of fetid dingo’s kidneys”!
All of which leads me to add 2 + 2 and end up with 7.
But, and I leave these questions for people to ponder today:-
1 Why did Mr Whitehouse mention having the deal done by 11th May, prior to the end of the season?
2 How do he and Mr Miller envisage transferring all the assets, including players etc to a newco mid-season?
3 Has this been discussed between Duff & Phelps, Mr Miller and the SPL?
4 If so, has it been ruled out, accepted, or given a “nod and a wink”?
5 What will the SPL do if Mr Miller completes his purchase on 11th May – will it rubber stamp the game on the 13th, or cancel it as newco Rangers, legally, have as little right to play the game against St Johnstone as the Dukla Pumpherston Sawmill & Tannery Charity XI?
6 Have there been any discussions with Hibs or Dunfermline about the status of a relegated club, if Rangers, as presently constituted, fail to make it to the end of the season?
The SPL could deal with my arrant nonsense very simply, by spelling out how a team could change hands to a newco mid-season, and how this would be approved or rejected.
Will Mr Doncaster do so, or has his media blitz ceased for now, at least until next Monday?
What discussions have there been amongst the SPL clubs about such a scenario?
As has been the case almost every day since Mr Whyte first was driven up Edmiston Drive, we will end the day with even more questions that we started it!