If I stopped any guy in the street wearing a Rangers scarf and asked why anyone should invest in Rangers I’m sure he wouldn’t give a fig about any of its recent legal identities and reply: “To preserve the club and its history”.
It really is that simple to the true supporter of any club, and yes, there might be a dream that if the fans actually owned the club that would better achieve and maintain the main objective. But fans ain’t stupid, they know the millions that have got to be found from the pockets of rich, club-minded owners to keep it running.
So let’s return to the Govan Miracle in early May when an unlikely Rangers Moses in the shape of Charlie Green rolled into town with a promise that the fans could own Ibrox under his stewardship and a £30 million Alternative Investment Market floatation which would earn Green £3 million.
Let’s not trawl over the detail of how we have got to where we are which is that the money-lenders aren’t just in the Temple – they own the Temple.
And that’s what I want to examine – the expulsion of the moneylenders. Timing is all with Moses Green – and I’m sure another Ibrox Moses must be birling in his grave at the moment. Can SevGers pay D&P the £5.5 million by the end of the month and how long will it then last?
To struggle on it will need to sell at least 20-30,000 season tickets and probably divest itself of assets which largely consist of playing staff and the freehold of Ibrox and Murray Park. Yea some revenue saving could be made through trimming operating costs but not nearly enough and many are, by and large, fixed.
So let’s look at Ibrox Park – that to me is the end game move when all else lies in ruins and provides the exit ace in the hole. It could be sold to a fresh Blue Knight consortium or Tesco – to the investors who have no emotional bond to Ibrox or interest in the club and its history they sell to the highest bidder and return to the mysterious Orient when they came – maybe richer maybe poorer.
Isn’t the Albion Car park an asset?: Yes and no. It is legally tied up in a finance agreement and the club (SevcoGers) won’t gain right, title and interest to the car park until 2023. Are you tuning in on your Marconi receiver Bomber?
What about the players:? Well it would cost money to sack them or make them redundant so that’s a NO NO. But their wage bill must be reduced so some have to be sold including those who have stood with the fans and haven’t walked – there is no other way and investors usually have no interest in loyalty unless they can make money out of company ‘Goodwill’. Anyone can think what they like about Bears but I still can’t get my head round D&P estimating oldco’s Goodwill at £1 – is that all that Rangers huge and committed support, at home and abroad, are really valued at?
Interestingly D&P stated in their initial report: ‘The January 2012 management accounts show carried forward Goodwill on Acquisition of £620,000. The realisable value of goodwill will be dependent upon the exit route from Administration’. I think the fact that D&P reduced the Goodwill to £1 points to what kind of car-crash exit route is looming.
So what’s left? Ah yes – Murray Park! It really is at risk being a good long-term investment but in the short-term a money-burning furnace for transient shareholders.
Indeed there was a glowing description in the initial D&P report which stated it was a: ‘Modern fully equipped training centre covers approximately 15.8 hectares. It was opened on 4 July 2001 after a £14m redevelopment. The training centre is regarded as one of the best in Europe.’
So what is the legal position with Murray Park?. Many think that it can only be used for football-related purposes and that was true but is no longer as I will explain shortly. But if anyone doubts what I say let me point out that one of the first things D&P did was have it valued on both an existing and alternative use basis. As a matter of interest the same basis was used for valuing Ibrox Park.
At Murray Park there were two fixed-term standard charges over the ground – held by Kelvinside Academy War Memorial Trust and The Trustees of Kelvinside Academical Club Charitable – which restricted use to sporting purposes although this could be altered by payment to the charge holders of percentage of the uplift in value. However, that is now all academic as the charges have legally expired according to D&P.
However, the Scottish Sports Council has a 20-year standard security for £500,000 over Murray Park for money advanced to the oldco. This is no big problem and wouldn’t affect the sale of Murray Park as the charge would be paid off and in this dire time of government cutbacks the SSC might well welcome the cash boost. So a sale is WIN WIN for some keen to raise money in the short term but disastrous in the long term financially in the loss of saleable young talent and also club and fan dreams to produce their own players to excite the Ibrox faithful. In a wider sense its sale would also be a sad blow to Scottish Football.
And some people may wonder why the Murray Park gates have been opened and a wolf allowed into the enclosure in the shape of the latest Ibrox shareholder who, among many other interests, runs a newly formed Sports Agency involved in representing and selling football players. How surprising 🙂 but as continually shown in this saga – everything is about timing. Perhaps the new board member is an honourable man and I have no evidence to suggest otherwise but it would certainly be in his commercial interest and that of SevGers if he could turn a few pennies flogging players and youngsters.
Having said that I’ve run out of time and haven’t found the black hole that Mick’s’ pies disappeared into but let’s keep munching away till we get to the bottom of Piegate.
Posted by Ecojon