A Look at the Sevco Scotland Website – aka Rangers.co.uk – The Spin-Meisters Take Over

In which I have a look at the Rangers.co.uk website and see that the Barnum style season ticket promotion is in full swing, and that the website is putting across the message that all is well – steady as she goes. I also offer a few thoughts about season tickets, and what power they give, which is not what people have been claiming.

Steady as she goes!

The Power of This Blog  🙂

If I had a grand conceit, I would think that a change to the Rangers.co.uk website was due to a blog post I wrote recently. However, I am not claiming the influence to effect such a change. It is noteworthy, at least to me anyway, that the small print at the bottom of the webpages no longer mentions that the Rangers Football Club PLC is being run by the administrators, but it now says the following:-

“The Rangers Football Club, a trading name of Sevco Scotland Limited (No SC425159) Ibrox Stadium, 150 Edmiston Drive, Glasgow G51 2XD”

It might have been more useful to put up a banner at the top of each page proclaiming “Under New Management – Business As Usual”. If that appears in the next few days, I will claim the credit!

The copyright notice still bears to be in the name of “Rangers Football Club 2012”. That, even if a trading name, is not the trading name of Sevco Scotland, which of course has the word “The” at the start.

It is also clear that the Rangers.co.uk website is pushing heavily the argument that Sevco = Rangers, as it was in the beginning, is now and ever shall be, Club without end.

Ironically the detail quoted above, suggesting that “The Rangers Football Club” is merely a trading name, seems to argue against the continued existence of old Rangers!

Lee Wallace

Top of the list of news stories as I look at the site today is Lee Wallace proclaiming that the old Rangers does still exist.

In the linked piece, by Andrew Dickson, there is a bit of journalistic comment before we get to the quotes. Mr Dickson writes:-

“Supporters of other teams appear to have grown increasingly eager to push the belief the Ibrox outfit is a brand new entity over the last couple of weeks in particular. That follows the failed move to take Rangers Football Club plc out of administration via a CVA and the consequent decision to liquidate it.

The reality is that while the old holding company – founded in 1899, 27 years after Rangers itself – is to be wound up, the club formed in 1872 remains. With it stays its proud history, during which it has won a world record 54 league titles and 115 major honours in all.”

Mr Wallace comments:-

“I’m still wearing a Rangers badge on my chest when I go out to train. I’m still going to be going out on a Saturday at Ibrox and nothing has changed in that respect. It’s still Rangers that I’m playing for. In that sense, they’ve absolutely not died and it’s down to all the boys who are still here to put us back where we belong.”

I like his comment that “in that sense they’ve absolutely not died”. That could be taken as implying that in some sense they had!

Mr Wallace proceeds to praise the fans, which I am sure is unrelated to the urgent need to sell them season tickets.

Lee Wallace wearing the strip of the team which probably won’t be paid in full for selling him.

The piece also contains an odd line, written by Mr Dickson. It states:-

“Rangers will almost certainly be relegated from the SPL for next season and moves into the First Division and Third Division have both been mooted.”

First of all, “Rangers” will not be relegated from the SPL. There is no such entity in the SPL. Secondly, that statement suggests that there is still some hope at Ibrox that there will be a “Rangers” playing in the SPL next season. Is that blind faith, or based upon anything more?

Lee McCulloch for Captain

Mr Dickson has written the previous piece as well. In it Ross Perry puts forward a case for Lee McCulloch to be the new captain. One is needed because the last captain of Rangers, Steven Davis, has left, having objected to his employment transferring to the newco (whichever one it is).

If you read Rangers.co.uk however, you read that:-

“Previous skipper Steven Davis has expressed his desire to leave Ibrox having said he refuses to have his contract transferred over to the new company which now owns the club.”

Mr Davis has not expressed a desire to leave. He has gone.

Pre-Season Friendly Matches Cancelled

The next piece does not fit the “brave new, but still old, world” approach of the website. It reports, by way of a very short statement, that the friendly fixed for 12th July against Le Havre has been called off, at the instance of the French side.

A statement reads: “Rangers Football Club have been informed by Le Havre that they no longer wish to play us as part of their 140th anniversary celebrations on Thursday July 12. Unfortunately the match will now not take place.”

Sadly the cancellation of the game means that “Rangers” will not get to play at the ground where Jean Alain Boumsong started his professional football career.

Jean Alain Boumsong, formerly of Le Havre and Rangers, whose transfers are rumoured to have been instrumental in the discovery of documents which set Rangers on course for the rocks.

A couple of days before, the website reported that the invitation to play in a pre-season tournament at Southampton had been withdrawn. The statement was brief, but to be fair, it did provide a link to the Southampton FC site. Standing the terms of the statement from Southampton, I can understand why they did not reproduce it on the official site.

Saints can reveal that R.S.C. Anderlecht will replace Glasgow Rangers in this year’s Markus Liebherr Memorial Cup. Saints have today revealed that Belgian champions R.S.C Anderlecht will replace Glasgow Rangers in this year’s Markus Liebherr Memorial Cup, due to the well-publicised circumstances surrounding the Scottish side.

The decision has not been made lightly and has been reached with the integrity of the competition in mind, ensuring that the annual event will remain an extremely competitive experience with both Arsenal and Anderlecht bringing along a first team squad.“

Oh dear.

Chris Hegarty

The next article extols the virtues of Chris Hegarty, a 19 year old, who has signed a contract with Sevco Scotland (one assumes). It also includes the line:-

“It’s time for us to step up and go and show the fans what we can do and hopefully show them value for their hard earned season ticket money.”

Clarity on Season Tickets

And to cap off the theme, the prior article has the finance director Brian Stockbridge, offering “clarity” on Season Tickets. I have added some comments in bold.

“In view that a new company has been set up to take direct debits some supporters may have been concerned that the company contacting them was different to last season.

The new company has been set up to run a football team, not to “take the direct debits”. That seems an odd phrase, almost indicative of a split between parts of the company. Fans were right to be concerned that a different company was approaching them. It was!

“This is inevitable because of the transition from the old company to the newly formed company and we regret any inconvenience caused to supporters. There is no question of any money being taken in advance of July 6. However, supporters can be rest assured that all monies from season tickets, when they start to be collected by direct debit, will be going to the Club and for sole use by the Club.

The Club will use that money, being its takings, to pay its bills. If it makes a profit, it could be used to pay dividends to the shareholder. It will also pay the salaries of the staff, and the directors, including Mr Green. The money which belongs to the Club has to be used for the Club, even though that comprises a wide range. It looks a good statement although ultimately meaningless.

“Any season ticket holder seeking additional clarification should call Supporter Services on 0871 702 1972. Once again I would re-iterate the importance of season ticket money to the Club and while this has been a difficult period for Rangers and there is uncertainty regarding league status, we would appeal to all supporters to renew their season tickets and support the Club.”

Roll up, roll up, and get your Season Tickets! Even though you don’t know if there will be a team, and if so if it will be allowed to play football next season and indeed which level of Scottish football it will be at!

The inspiration for the push for season ticket sales at Ibrox? Roll up, roll up! Welcome to the Greatest Show in the SPL, or SPL2 or SFL1 or SFL3 or…

It strikes me that there is a lot of guff spoken about season tickets, following on from the purchase of Rangers by Craig Whyte. The complaints, eventually, were loud and long about Mr Whyte using the fans’ money. How dare he! And we still see it now, with calls not to buy season tickets for Ibrox for the coming season in case the fans’ money is misused.

But that seems to miss the point. The fans are not the owners. Nor is the football entity a bank holding their payments in trust. The fans are customers. As soon as they hand over their money, as long as the seller is able to perform the contract by having football matches for the fans to see, the supporters have no “claim” on the money. A business is entitled to use the money it gets from its customers. Every business in the world survives on that. Does Tesco pledge that the sales it generates will only be used for the purposes of Tesco? It does not need to. If Tesco decide the pay its Chief Executive a bonus of £100 million, then, as long as it follows correct procedures, with shareholder, not customer, approval, it can do so, and that is spending for the company.

If the fans want a say in how the team is run, then they need to become shareholders. However, as we have seen with the obliteration of any value the 26,000 private investors in Rangers Football Club PLC had, when someone owns 85% of the company, even a 10% shareholding, as Mr King had, is of little value. That is despite his shareholding being of a level where he could have insisted on certain things happening, like the calling of a General Meeting, even where Mr Whyte refused to do so.

What we are seeing is therefore more “spin” from Sevco to attract the ticket sales essential for the business to operate.

Clarity from the Chairman

Finally in this round-up, I come to the statement by the Chairman. He mentions season tickets. He states:-

“There is no doubt, however, that any boycott of season ticket sales can only harm the Club and the manager Ally McCoist and ultimately the supporters. Such action would only serve to help destroy the very institution that is so dear to us”.

He added:-

“Rangers has a loyal and extensive season ticket holder base and we would urge all fans to renew their books. In this aspect, the ownership of the Club is irrelevant. Season ticket sales are the largest single source of income for the Club and only the Club and the team will suffer if it is withheld. The money does not go to Charles Green, Malcolm Murray or any investor – it goes to Rangers.”

“The Club is funded by the new owners and working capital is in place for the foreseeable future.”

The $64,000 question is how long the funding can cover costs if season ticket sales do not pick up immediately.

 

Posted by Paul McConville

Advertisements

33 Comments

Filed under Football, New Media, Rangers

33 responses to “A Look at the Sevco Scotland Website – aka Rangers.co.uk – The Spin-Meisters Take Over

  1. This might have been a good time for the club to reveal the identities of the new owners. If Mr. Green revealed his backers the fans might be happeir about paying over their money .. or not.

  2. Why would anyone buy a Sevco season ticket right now? It could turn out to be useless – and good luck in getting the money back!

  3. Good article as ever Paul. However I must point out that at no time was Mr Barnum as entertaining as this circus.

  4. I still think the most amazing revelation on the “Rangers” website this week was Sandy Jardine’s comment: “If we don’t have money from fees for players leaving – which we are completely entitled to – then what are we supposed to build on – fresh air?”
    Aside from the apparently obligatory misinterpretation of employment law, this is a stunning admission that the long-heralded “investment” from Green’s “people” is, currently, “fresh air.”
    How did the spinmeisters let that little gem through?

  5. Spikey

    “If we don’t have the money from fees for players leaving – which we are completely entitled to”. Come on Sandy, aren’t Hearts, Rapid Vienna etc also completely entitled to their money from fees for players leaving?

  6. Johnboy

    I wonder if Mr Elias Kaisar, from the “White House” in Monaco, has ever heard of another famous Monaco resident. And I don’t mean Prince Albert.
    The true source of Sevco’s funding remains as opaque as ever. But if this season ticket boycott continues much longer, Ticketus won’t be pleased . . .

  7. degough

    The investors have pledged 30 million. D&P have seen evidence of it and have been paid 5.5 million from.it by Green.
    I am sure I read somewhere that was the deal Green agreed with D&P. So if it is true Green has 24.5 million in one of the Sevco bank accounts. He therefore is in no hurry to get season ticket money.
    Another point is that Fastpay are handling the direct debits for the season tickets. What bank account are Fastpay then passing the money on to? Would someone ask Green this question please?

  8. degough

    Fastpay are collecting the money from the season ticket direct debits on behalf of Green. What bank account are they passing the money on to? Is it the “ring fenced” bank account?

  9. michaeljamesroy

    The incredible uncertainty over where “Rangers” will play next season needs to be sorted once and for all – preferably this coming week.

    But remember, ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls, that the IA is still to reconvene and may well decide to suspend or expel “Rangers” from the league. And all “football debts” need to be met – and such de dacto preferential creditor status is likely to get up the noses of the face painter, the crystal decanter maker, not to mention HMRC and Ticketus. I know there was a proposed change to the law mooted in England last year to prevent this happening but it fell down. How the Scots courts will view this is still potentially problematic (a very useful euphemism in the circumstances!) Perhaps you can enlighten us on this point, Paul?)

    That’s assuming it is the same club (which is what is being peddled – the change to the website being an example) with history intact.

    And if it isn’t then it therefore has to apply for the space created in the league. Presumably there are several other clubs (such as Spartans, who are mentioned regularly in this context) well placed to apply. And if they are seen to be overlooked and the proper procedures not followed they will have every right to appeal to the CoS.

    When and if UEFA come to turn their beady eye towards this tiny outpost of their empire they will surely recall precedent and ask why Triggers Broom FC are not being dealt with in the same manner as Fiorentina.

    One can only hope.

    We’re crying out for clarity, not obfuscation. Obfuscation actually suits Rangers least of all: they need to sell season tickets or administration beckons for Sevco. And we know how well that turned out before…

  10. leabrannagh

    And the question beyond the $64k ? Is it administration of sevco? Does that mean assets will be sold on again or is there still a question over the floating charge over assets?

    l think I’m trying, badly, to find out if someone can pick this mess up cheaply, if sevco are squeezed? Or is it £30m with the the floating charge?

    My head is in a spin from all the spin!

  11. Pensionerbhoy

    I thought I would be a long time bored with all the reports and explanations of the ‘Rangers’ saga. Each story appears so repetitive that one would expect it to have long penetrated the North West Highlands’ ancient granite never mind a human skull. A massive wave of intelligence has gone right over thousands of heads lost in a cloud of denial and blindness. It reminds me of my school days when teachers believed that ‘repeat after me’ was the the pinnacle of learning not realising most of us students refused to listen or pay attention. I ought to tell Paul and all the other ‘internet bampots’ to give it a rest. However, being a right tight Scot, I am extremely satisfied with the ‘Long Distance Learning’ courses in a whole variety of subjects being provided free gratis by these new-found professors of elucidation in law, philosophy, truth, justice, integrity and the specialist subject, the dissection of Scottish’fitba’. I never thought I would be nearly seventy before I received an education that was not only interesting but actually practical and worthwhile.

  12. mick

    well presented paul ,its all out civil war this week with brown and co desprate to snatch the cash cow from green,the spl sfa and sfl bigwigs shifting the goalposts to suit sevco and going agianst the whole of scotlands wishes of division3 for sevco thou personally am hoping for no league for them and to top it all of its the season ticket money has come out all the dodos fans bank account pmsl its kaos l

  13. mick

    for hundreds of years rangers types have divided and conquared no there is all out civil war and kaos at ibrokes all the little teams are cueing up to put the boot in its no sfl a reckon its curtian time soon all there games are cancelled and they have no team tesco ikea b&q distribution center greggs morrisons theres massive payout on land deal when they run out of cash they will have no choice

  14. ecojon

    I am really amazed at the failure of the bulk of the Scottish print media to investigate the standing of all the individuals and companies who have been mentioned by Greene and Murray as investors in their ‘Enterprise’.

    The press silence is worthy of a report to Lord Leveson’s Inquiry. There is also the slew of comments from Greene that continually thrown up loose ends which a good tug at would, I believe, unravel some juicy tales.

    But the bulk of the media just sits and parrots swill from the Greene Camp and footballings ‘suits’ with little or no critical analysis. I hope that possibly the Sundays might have a go but being realistic Scottish Journalism in general, especially print media, is in a worse state than the soon to be liquidated Rangers.

    I have a feeling that any spotlight being turned on the shareholders would be very enlightening and it would be interesting to see whether they chose to disappear back into the shadows. I am particularly intrigued by the investors apparently from the Near East and Far East and Greene’s belief that the footballing market there is prime commercial territory. There is no doubt that – leaving current world economic conditions on one side – that the increase in personal disposable wealth in these areas could be milked to the advantage of top European Football Clubs. But does Greene actually believe that Rangers falls into that category and more to the point do the Eastern Investors still believe that or would they rather invest in clubs that are in top flight Euro competitions with all the TV marketing and branding exposure that brings.

    Of course Greene could argue that Rangers will be back in Europe in say 5 years but who knows what shape Scottish football will be in by then or what structures it might have. One thing I am certain is that Greene and his investors don’t have the capital necessary for any kind of long-haul and I can’t help but think that if DM couldn’t afford it then neither can Murray who obviously had a wealth level way beyond Greene. It’s also worth remembering all the millions that were injected into Rangers by people like Dave King which also went down the plug-hole.

    • Den

      Without some openness from Greene and co and in the absence of any probing by the media it is impossible for the ordinary Rangers Fan to know if there will be a Football Team to support next year to support.

      One thing for sure, if he keeps his money in the bank then it cannot be squandered in another scam as in the previous two administrations. He has the option to pay at the gate for a while to see how things pan out.

      Openness starts with who the Investors/ Shatreholders are. What their stake is and how much money is available to keep Rangers afloat. In the absence of any information and given the history at Ibrox I would assume that there are very few of them and cash is short, and there must be a good reason for them wanting to stay anonymous if they exist.

      Sometimes generous benefactors like to remain anonymous. Most often evasion and misdirection is used by those with something (a lot) to hide. With no evidence to the contrary I would assume the latter.

      The Eastern market is huge and growing and if Rangers or any team get a part of it they will reap the benefits. The chances though, are so low as to negligible.

      The market is dominated by English, Spannish, Italian, German Leagues and a few others will come and go ahead of the Scottish. Rangers have nothing to offer in terms of performance or history. It is pipedream and if you invest your money based on that, sorry but you need a responsible adult to help with your Finances.

  15. James Tweedie

    I would expect to see redundances in the non playing staff very shortly to reduce running costs. What would be the position of anyone made redundant under these conditions (i.e. contract moved to new company)?. Is the new company liable for full redundancy payments calculated including time spent in employment by oldco, or are the employees expected to leave with nothing?.

    • mick

      quite a sad though its a legal mess ,a wonder if they will struggle with seek employment on merit rather than the handshake ?sevco is a new company so a recken no money and he might have them on sort term deals

    • John

      As I understand it, TUPE requires that staff who have agreed to transfer to the new company under their existing contracts should be treated as having continuous employment dating from their date of starting with the old company and should have all of their statutory and contractual rights, including redundancy payments, protected.
      But we all know what SEVCO thinks of TUPE.

  16. mick

    hopefully this week the police will make a other statement and an aresst is likey soon wit a buzz all thats going to be the ebts the taxcase the uefa the fifa all the audited accounts greens backers outed as ????well we will have to wait and see on that score theres still lots of shxx to hit the fan sevco or the hun dolly the sheep is doomed

  17. The Prince of Goalkeepers

    Hi Paul, did you ever clarify which company the players were TUPE’d to from RFC (IA)? If Sevco 5088 ltd, will further TUPE activity be required to move them to Sevco Scotland? Can different players be registered to the one of the two different Sevcos under SFA/SPL rules?

  18. Gobsmacked

    Buying a season ticket under the current circumstances should be considered an investment. In 20 years time a fully intact book (since at the moment they have no league to play in) could be worth a few bob, maybe consider getting Greene to sign it !! Hope you are considering putting all this into a book Paul, but I think you will have to emphasise it is not to be put in the Fiction section. Perhaps a title ; “You can fool some of the people all of the time”

  19. degough

    Posted Today, 01:21 PM on Rangers website.
    BRIAN STOCKBRIDGE, Finance Director of The Rangers Football Club, issued the following statement today.

    “Over the last few days it has become apparent that there is confusion regarding direct debit arrangements for season tickets.

    “This has arisen primarily because new direct debit arrangements had to be put in place following the creation of the new company.

    “Supporters have given us valuable feedback on this issue saying they are unclear on whether their direct debit instructions were tied to the old company in administration or the new company.

    “All direct debits would have been paid to the new company from July 6 and all season ticket funds are to be used solely for the benefit of the Club and its supporters.

    “However, it is clear from feedback from supporters that there remains some concern about the transfer of direct debit instructions from the old company to the new company.

    “The uncertainty resulted in some misleading media coverage which only added to the confusion and caused issues for service providers.

    “For the sake of clarity and to give reassurance to fans, the Club will not take any direct debit payments for the forthcoming season.

    “We are working with our bank, Metro Bank, to ensure those who wanted to pay by instalment are still able to do so. The Club will issue a fuller communication within the next few days to all season ticket holders confirming the ways in which they can pay for their 2012\13 season tickets.

    “The Club apologises for any inconvenience to supporters but it is of paramount importance that supporters renewing season tickets have absolute clarity on the arrangements in place.” -End

    Looks like Fastpay told them they cannot transfer the direct debit renewals from the oldco to Green.

  20. degough

    “Metro Bank is Britain’s first new High Street bank in over 100 years. We offer banking focused on the customer through unparalleled levels of service and convenience. With our unique, customer-focused retail business we reinvent the rules of retail banking, making every effort to remove all stupid bank rules from our day to day services to offer simpler and more convenient banking to you. ”
    Wonder why Green had to go to them for an account?

  21. degough

    Sorry. All on Pauls next post.

  22. ocuilte

    How can Chris Heggarty sign for Sevco when they have no license?

  23. If, and it looks more and more likely that it will be, that Sevco f.c play next season in the Third Division I would not be surprised that they do not gain promotion right away. We all saw their so-called ‘strong team’ struggle against Arbroath last season and many of these so-called small teams have a very ‘in-your-face’ style of football that many of the SPL teams can’t handle. So no guarantee’s for Sevco f.c.

  24. Are fans being asked to complete new direct debit mandates / instructions? Surely a new company, with a different bank account or facility could not could not demand money from customer’s accounts, with such an instruction? If Old Rangers PLC had been taken over in its entirety, then no problem. However, if assets were acquired (even including customer lists) this shouldn’t be possible. It would surely be impossible (data protection act anyone?) for bank details to be given by the liquidators to a new owner of assets, without the express permission of customers.

    Why would a bank honour requests for money, from a new company, that doesn’t have the correct mandate set up?

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s