The maelstrom surrounding SevGers has reached fever pitch with heightened anticipation it could be financially destroyed in days – so perhaps this is the time to look to the future.
In doing so, in a curious twist of fate lies ahead whereby the very existence of SevGers could once again lie in the hands of the SFA, and I don’t think either realise it and I doubt if the Bears could survive another episode of the nation’s favourite soap which has dispelled this year’s summertime blues.
Despite previous mouth music Green will accept the transfer embargo, promise to clear football debts and somewhere down the line, titles will be stripped. In return a slight SFA fudge over ‘fitness’ of mystery investors – apparently shunted to D&P who can’t wait to get outta town.
But SevGers get the all-important SFA blessing with survival over the next few months hinging on radically slashing operating costs, increasing shareholding investment and most urgently selling as many season tickets as possible.
So everything in the garden is rosy then? I’m afraid not because I reckon SevGer still won’t be able to cover their operating shortfall and the once anticipated cushion of a £30 million flotation on the Alternative Investment Market planned by Green is evaporating along with a possible £3 million commission as negative publicity engulfs Ibrox and SFL3 financial viability fails to attract short-term investors looking for a quick buck.
Murray Park is the only readily saleable asset that SevGers have which could conceivably get them through an SFL3 year and provide a small financial residue to boost player numbers in SFL2. Auchenhowie is a great location for houses even in a depressed market and planning isn’t really a problem.
As well as a welcome cash injection a sale would reduce SevGer running costs and help get SevGers director Craig Mather’s new sports agency and Paul Stretford busy moving product in the shape of younger players who are surplus to requirement especially as Ally is busily signing players more suitable to the SFL3.
So all done and dusted then? Not quite! Be patient we’re nearly there 🙂
On 6 July 2012, the Standard Security for £500,000 formerly attached to the oldco was transferred to Sevco Scotland Ltd whose directors are Charlie Green, Brian Stockbridge, Imran Ahmad and Malcolm Murray. I believe the security held by the Scottish Sports Council triggers a financial penalty if football activities ceased at Auchenhowie to cover the money originally invested in building the facility by the Sports Scotland Lottery Fund (£500,000). The Scottish Executive also invested £150,000.
In reality the £500,000 ‘penalty’ would be a mere bagatelle in any land grab where a property developer or housebuilder bought Auchenhowie for building purposes despite Lottery Cash stipulating community access for football training and, in particular, use of the indoor football hall and new generation synthetic grass pitch.
But the SFA could hardly sit back if a member club like SevGer tried to flog-off Murray Park given the essential role the complex plays in Scottish Football and as part of the Football Academy network designed to develop youth talent throughout Scotland, with the emphasis on identifying, coaching and developing young players, particularly those who have the potential to progress into the first teams of Scotland’s professional football clubs.
Additionally, the SFA have the right to use the facilities for agreed periods to assist them in the delivery of community and youth development initiatives, coaching courses and referee development courses.
Have the SFA reached any position on such an event or, as usual, will they bury their heads in the sand waiting till the Scottish footballing landscape does indeed become a desert.
I’m not an accountant and have a strictly layman’s ability in understanding the ins and outs of company paperwork and there are some basic things I can’t understand. I can see that when the £500,000 charge was originally attached to the oldco by the Scottish Sports Council that the failed Rangers had tens of millions of pounds in turnover and in assets and looking at the cashflows passing through would have been able to repay the money if the need arose.
But looking at Sevco Scotland Ltd, apparently the new Rangers vehicle, with its £2 shareholding capital I am left pondering the Public Purse Interest if it went bust. Would the taxpayer, let alone the Sports Council and Scottish Executive, get their money back or would it all disappear like the oldco pies? Perhaps there is an insurance policy which covers charges like this?
Auchenhowie was the first custom-built complex of its kind in Scotland and at the opening David Murray, Rangers Chairman, commented: “It was crucial that we made a significant investment in youth development to safeguard the long-term success of the Club and ensure we can compete at the highest level in Europe.”
It feels quite sad looking back and comparing Murray’s vision to where Rangers is today and wondering whether its future role is merely to provide housing units and ignore the dreams of Scottish youth.
Posted by Ecojon