Now the weekend has passed, Rangers-related activity can re-commence full steam ahead! Mr Green met today with the fans’ representatives. There has been no word as to whether or not he has now taken up day-to-day management responsibilities, as suggested in the (possibly erroneous) CVA proposal. See my earlier post about that.
What did he have to say today? As before, my comments are in bold beneath Mr Green’s statement.
He said: “I had a very constructive meeting with the Rangers Fans’ Fighting Fund today and we discussed a wide range of issues. We are united in recognising that a successful outcome to the CVA proposal is extremely important for the club, our fans and many businesses who have dealings with Rangers. Approval of the CVA would give everyone a huge boost of confidence.
There are two schools of thought. The first is that Mr Green genuinely wants a CVA to be approved and sees this as the best way forward. On the basis that his consortium is lending the money to Rangers to fund the CVA and charging interest on it, it is also, it seems, the best financially for him.
However the second and revisionist, or realist, school suggests that he knows that a CVA as proposed is almost certainly unacceptable to HMRC and that, in fact, the cheapest deal for him is a newco asset purchase, for a total of £5.5 million. Thus the debt, oldco penalties and Big Tax Case are left with the oldco. Mr Green them tries to march back through the front doors of the SPL saloon claiming that, even though it looks rather different, it is still the same Rangers. Like the Clint Eastwood style gunslingers of the movies, he is challenging someone to take him on, and to go for their six-shooter. He hopes that, even though the piano stopped playing and all the chatter stopped when he walked in, after a pause and following a couple of glares from new Rangers, everything will continue as normal again.
But, to achieve this end, he cannot be seen to be abandoning Rangers to its fate. For all of the talk that a newco would “own” the history of oldco, the stated desire to have a CVA work suggests, even as Craig Whyte’s email to David Grier prior to administration starting did, that the feeling is that the history rests with oldco. Or, to put it another way, if oldco stays in existence, there can be no question about history and past titles. As Mr Green says, “a successful outcome to the CVA proposal is extremely important for the club…”
Therefore Mr Green has to be bullish about a CVA as preferred option even where it is not, in a business sense, necessarily the best way to go.
However, I am less sure that businesses owed money by Rangers would agree that a CVA is extremely important for them. They stand to get little or nothing. A “successful” CVA for Rangers is almost by definition, at the figures proposed, an unsuccessful one for the creditors.
“I provided the fans with further details of my consortium’s vision for the future of Rangers. Understandably, supporters are wary given the recent past at Ibrox but I will continue to have dialogue with the fans and inform them every step of the way.
Transparency and clarity were demanded by Mr McCoist. Good to see that Mr Green is following those principles. Maybe he can tell us who his backers are; where the money is coming from; who will run the club with him; what his exit strategy is…
“We will be taking Rangers forward to better days and one idea I put forward today is my plan to rename Murray Park.
Does this move Rangers forward to “better days”? I have already seen mention of deckchairs and the Titanic. However, if he wishes to signal a break with the past, then can he be faulted for the idea? No. But also he cannot pretend that it is a major step either way, can he?
“Following discussions with the supporters, we will be asking season ticket holders to vote on whether to rename Murray Park as either the Moses McNeil Academy or the Davie Cooper Academy. We will be asking supporters to vote when they renew their season tickets.
Brilliant! As there remains significant dubiety about Rangers’ position for next season, which has delayed sale of season tickets, how can Mr Green persuade the fans to put their hands in their pockets? After all, as he is planning, he needs this money to meet Trading costs if the CVA is accepted. It might be enough to persuade the waverers to get out their chequebooks and credit cards – renew the season ticket, and at the same time, in the spirit of Nikita Khrushchev at the Twentieth Communist Party Congress in 1956, remove the title of the now discredited former Supreme Leader. Next we will be seeing Sir David airbrushed out of photos of Rangers’ “Nine in a Row” triumphs. (I jest of course.)
Will the chance to honour one of the founders of Rangers, or the great Davie Cooper be enough for fans to overcome their concerns and buy season tickets now? On the other hand, might he have offended some fans by restricting the choice to McNeill or Cooper? Will there be a clamour for a wider franchise? Will fans write in votes, so that Smith, Greig, McCoist, Wallace (Jock, not Rod) and the heroes of the past can have a shot at glory?
“We also discussed the situation with the SFA player embargo and I made it clear that the club’s position remains that we want to see a satisfactory outcome.
Maybe he is in charge now, as he is making clear the club’s position. However, the embargo is gone already.
Of course he wants to see a satisfactory outcome. I would like six lottery numbers to be correct.
What though are Rangers doing? By now he, D&P, or both will have spoken to the lawyers about an appeal. Will they appeal the decision not to send the matter back to the Judicial Panel? If so, then it will not be concluded until into next season. As the embargo has been quashed, Rangers would not be affected by it pending an appeal (once they got out of administration, as a team in administration, with the attempted exception of Daniel Cousin and reserve goalkeepers, cannot register new players at all).
This might help them bluff their way into the “saloon” described above, and once they are in with a seat at the table, who is going to tell them to leave? We don’t have a Gary Cooper, James Stewart or John Wayne character in Scottish football just now.
“We hope that in trying to achieve this there is general recognition this has become a difficult and complex issue for everyone.”
I like to look for consensus, and clearly Mr Green is of the same view. It is undoubtedly the case that “this has become a difficult and complex issue for everyone.”
I hope, in my own small way, to make it as comprehensible as possible. Let’s see therefore what will happen next!
Posted by Paul McConville