“Rangers then, Rangers now, Rangers forever” – Guest Post by Adam

“Rangers then, Rangers now, Rangers forever” is the popular phrase bandied about by all and sundry of the blue persuasion recently.

“You are deid.” “You are a new club” “You have lost your history”

Popular phrases from the green side of the city recently.

So who is right and who is wrong ?

I don’t profess to know the answer in law, but I hope to put some evidence out there to be considered and give reason as to why I think the club that I “still” support is the same club that I have cast a thousand tears, joy and otherwise, over the years. In making a ruling in law, a judge will often turn to precedents.  So with that in mind, I would like to raise the precedents of AFC Fiorentina and Leeds United.

AFC Fiorentina

In 1990, a famous Italian filmmaker Mario Cecchi Gori took over the reins at Fiorentina and after an initial period of stabilisation, started to get greedy and chase trophies he hadn’t previously won by going on a spending spree. (Does this sound familiar?) He signed up players like Batistuta, Effenberg, Baresi and the extremely talented Brian Laudrup (again, familiar?)

Unfortunately, Mario passed away in 1993 and the club was handed to his son Vittorio.  Following in his dad’s footsteps, Vittorio continued to throw the cash at the club and many more players were flowing through the Viola gates including another familiar name, Andrei Kanchelskis, who at over £8 million was deemed a rather expensive waste of money (more familiarities?)

In late 2001, it became apparent that whilst Vittorio shared his dad’s passion for spending, he didn’t have the same talent as his father when it came to watching how the pennies were looking after themselves and the club was thrown into chaos as debts of around €50,000,000 were confirmed.

Following a consultation period, in June 2002, AFC Fiorentina was put into a judicially controlled administration, was effectively declared bankrupt. The club ceased to exist.  The debts of Oldco were extinguished and they were refused a place at the table by the relevant league authorities. (Yes, I know, it sounds familiar!)

Along then came Diego Della Valle who re-established the club as Associazione Calcio Fiorentina e Florentia Viola and after discussions with the league authorities, the newco Fiorentina were admitted the 4th tier of Italian football (déjà vu).  Many of the stars of the oldco had moved on and in the first season, newco had to make do with a couple of stars and a number of average and youth players to cope with the rigours of 4th tier football. (Starting to get the picture?)

8 months later, the name was changed back to AFC Fiorentina and the club since then has fought its way back up into Serie A.

But what of its history?

Well, the official club website maintains it is still the same club, talking about its proud history.

UEFA still believe it’s the same club recognising that the club was formed in 1926.

Fiorentina then.  Fiorentina now. Fiorentina forever!

Leeds United

There are a number of theories flying about on Leeds United and the general consensus is that the holding company was never liquidated and therefore by extension, there is no comparison to Rangers FC.

To make a conclusion on those theories I used the search function at Companies House.

http://wck2.companieshouse.gov.uk/79e445ab0828aeef89439d2656312920/wcframe?name=accessCompanyInfo

According to Companies House, the Oldco holding company of the football team Leeds United, LEEDS UNITED ASSOCIATION FOOTBALL CLUB LIMITED (THE), was incorporated in 1920 and wound up on 15/02/2008.

Oldco Leeds is dead.

The Newco owner, LEEDS UNITED FOOTBALL CLUB LIMITED, purchased the asset, the football club, in 2007, some 7 months before Oldco was wound up.

The reality of the above is that it is almost the exact same as Rangers with one exception.  Rangers oldco is still not formally wound up yet of course.

But what of its history ?

UEFA still believe it’s the same club as they list their biggest win in Europe as happening in 1969, when Oldco was in charge of the asset prior to them going to the wall and the newco taking over.

The English Football League still believe it’s the same club linking to the club’s official history on their own website.

The Official Club page still recognises it’s the same club, displaying all the trophies won over the years.

Leeds then.  Leeds now.  Leeds forever!

I don’t really feel the need to go on, but I’m going to.

In a recent report released by Lord Nimmo Smith, he made some interesting observations which have been previously set out on here.

Para 46 of the report states:-

“It will be recalled that in Article 2 “Club” is defined in terms of “the undertaking of an association football club”, and in Rule I1 it is defined in terms of an association football club which is, for the time being, eligible to participate in the League, and includes the owner and operator of such Club.   Taking these definitions together, the SPL and its members have provided, by contract, that a Club is an undertaking which is capable of being owned and operated.   While it no doubt depends on individual circumstances what exactly is comprised in the undertaking of any particular Club, it would at the least comprise its name, the contracts with its players, its manager and other staff, and its ground, even though these may change from time to time.   In common speech a Club is treated as a recognisable entity which is capable of being owned and operated, and which continues in existence despite its transfer to another owner and operator.   In legal terms, it appears to us to be no different from any other undertaking which is capable of being carried on, bought and sold.   This is not to say that a Club has legal personality, separate from and additional to the legal personality of its owner and operator.   We are satisfied that it does not, and Mr McKenzie did not seek to argue otherwise.   So a Club cannot, lacking legal personality, enter into a contract by itself.   But it can be affected by the contractual obligations of its owner and operator.   It is the Club, not its owner and operator, which plays in the League.

“Under Rule A7.1.1 the Club is bound to comply with all relevant rules.   The Rules clearly contemplate the imposition of sanctions upon a Club, in distinction to a sanction imposed upon the owner or operator. That power must continue to apply even if  the owner and operator at the time of breach of the Rules has ceased to be a member of the SPL and its undertaking has been transferred to another owner and operator.  While there can be no question of subjecting the new owner and operator to sanctions, there are sanctions which could be imposed in terms of the Rules which are capable of affecting the Club as a continuing entity (even though not an entity with legal personality), and which thus might affect the interest of the new owner and operator in it.”

This was subsequently blogged by Paul and in summation he wrote, “This suggests an answer to the Rangers – alive or dead – conundrum. The Club can pass from owner to owner, although it cannot do anything legally itself, not being a legal entity. Here the club has passed from oldco to newco. Whilst the SPL do not have any jurisdiction over newco, they still have jurisdiction over the club. In this way, newco has an interest in the case, even if not a direct one.”

The club is the same.  It’s an asset of the company.  In due course, oldco will be liquidated, not the club.  The club has been passed on now and the asset exists just as it always has done.

If your granny died and you sold her house, would the new owner be your granny?

This question always makes me chuckle but it is a question I have heard and read time and time again on Twitter and Facebook.

The answer of course is NO.  They wouldn’t become my granny.  But it’s such a loaded question, it’s one that should be thrown out of court as soon as it’s asked.

We all know football has strange rules/regulations but to those that ask the question above, I ask them this.

If your granny died and she owed £5,000 to MasterCard and was due to serve 10 days community service for shoplifting, then would the new owners have to pay that debt off and serve that punishment just because they bought the house ?

For those that claim there is absolutely no link from oldco to newco, they conveniently forget that newco has had to pick up some debts of oldco and also a punishment handed down.  In what other business or transaction the world over does a completely unattached company pay a price/penalty for an entity that is now dead?

Newco are paying the price of the asset’s “convictions”.

While we are at it, let’s nail one other silly association

Another favourite on the internet is using the UEFA site to prove Rangers FC are not the same club.  We are pointed to the page on UEFA dedicated to Rangers.

By some people’s calculations, the fact UEFA state that Rangers last match was 13/05/2012 means that UEFA recognise the Old Club is dead.

However, if you study the website carefully, you will notice that they only update the stats for clubs in the Scottish Premier League (and all other top leagues) and this can be evidenced if you look at Dunfermline Athletic who, due to their relegation last season, also show as their last game being the 13/05/2012.

It should also be noted that Rangers are still earning ranking points in the Club coefficient charts having picked up 0.58 co-efficient points due to Scotland’s ranking for this season.

So, taking everything above into account, leads me back to the title of this blog post.

Rangers then.  Rangers now.  Rangers forever!

PS – For those that blindly believe there is no rivalry between Rangers and Celtic anymore due to “the death” of Rangers, I would stay clear of listening to Radio Clyde where every 2nd call is a Celtic fan who only wants to talk about Rangers.  The “Old Firm” is still alive.  And they are still obsessed with each other despite what people want to think or believe.

Posted by Adam

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411 Comments

Filed under Guest Posts, Rangers

411 responses to ““Rangers then, Rangers now, Rangers forever” – Guest Post by Adam

  1. cam

    I see that a much loved journo may be leaving his employer if Bill McMurdo’s sources are accurate.
    Jim Traynor and his editor are rumoured to have fallen out due to the latters alleged reluctance to headline Mr Stokes off field frolics
    Could be interesting?

  2. cam

    Phil,Thommo where art thee? A journalist who reported on Mr Stokes and his RIRA friends funeral has been threatened and offered police protection and we just spent hours debating if Rangers are Rangers???
    Tom English’s article on Mr Stokes completely ignored??
    Lets have some integrity.Or jelly.

    • I’m not sure what the references to integrity or jelly mean, but for once I totally agree with you. Stokes actions are a disgrace to CFC. I don’t know how the club will deal with him.

    • Marching on Together

      Don’t worry. Phil is no doubt typing a vitriolic spiel raging against those who dare to threaten and intimidate journalists of whatever persuasion or for whatever reason. he will be following that up by drafting a motion to his local chapter of the NUJ condemning such intimidation, and then taking it to NUJ national conference, where he will expect it to get unanimous support.

      That’s the sort of principled journalism that we have come to expect from Phil, so personally I can’t wait to read it.

    • James

      cam
      December 3, 2012 at 1:59 am

      I wonder why all these journo’s stayed quiet when the gentleman who worked in catering got the sack for being pictured at a dead IRA members gravestone yet David Healy was pictured with UVF head man at the same time yet not a peep from anyone regarding that hmmmm not to worry Cam I’m sure you, Adam, Gordon and wee Chris Graham forgot about that.

    • James

      Leeds entered voluntary Administration on 4 May 2007, thus incurring a 10 point deduction which confirmed the clubs relegation to League One. .[16] Administration had been predicted for some time, due to crippling debts created during Peter Ridsdale’s chairmanship. For his part, Ridsdale denied any of the current situation was his fault,[17] only days after having admitted it was a mistake to allow David O’Leary to spend so lavishly on players.[18] Ken Bates, however, blamed Leeds financial situation firmly on Ridsdale and his board.[19] KPMG were appointed as administrators and within minutes of entering administration sold the club to Leeds United Football Club Limited, owned by Ken Bates, Shaun Harvey and Mark Taylor.[20] On 1 June 2007 75.20% of the creditors voted in favour of Ken Bates’ bid.[21] With just minutes remaining of the 28 day period during which creditors could challenge the buyback by Ken Bates, HM Revenue & Customs lodged a formal challenge,[22] and the club was put up for sale again.[23] After due deliberation, on 11 July 2007 KPMG revealed that once again they had chosen Ken Bates’ bid.[24]
      During the weekend of 21 July 2007, Leeds United fans decorated the statue of Billy Bremner outside the Elland Road stadium with flowers, Leeds United shirts and scarves, and notes bearing messages of support for their team, as uncertainty over the future of the club grew amid legal disputes between owners, football authorities, administrators and HMRC. Certain sections of the press predicted (or even called for) Leeds’s expulsion from the Football League, but this was considered a difficult matter for the League, since there had never been any precedent for expelling a club outside of the bottom division.
      The league eventually sanctioned the sale to Bates without the club going through a CVA under the “exceptional circumstances rule”, but imposed a 15 point deduction due to Leeds not following football league rules on clubs exiting administration.[25] On 31 August 2007 HMRC decided not to pursue their legal challenge any further, accepting Bates’ final offer.[26]

      Boom Boom Boom no liquidation for Leeds.

      • Leeds were liquidated – all you have to do to confirm that is check companies house.

        The Leeds company was The Leeds United Association Football Club Ltd, formed in 1920 with company number 00170600.

        The current Leeds Utd company is different, it is Leeds United Football Club Ltd, formed in 2007 with company number 06233875.

        The 2007 company bought the assets from the 1920 company whilst the 1920 company was in administration. The “golden share” of the 1920 was amongst those assets, and was allowed to be transferred even though the 1920 had not at the time agreed an unopposed CVA.

        As I say, if you go and check on Companies House, you will find that the 1920 Leeds company then went into liquidation in 2008.

        While you’re at it, download the final administrators’ report for the Leeds oldco (it only costs a pound), and check exactly what happened.

        Para 3.3 is of particular interest, since it confirms the administrators issued an abort certificate for the CVA . 3.4 confirms the administrators could not propose another CVA, and 3.5 confirms that “the club” was offered for sale, and ultimately sold to Leeds United Football club Ltd (the newco) on 11th July 2007. The assets sols as the club were property, furniture and equipment, stock, football players, trade debtors and goodwill.

      • Marching on Together

        Celtic went into liquidation in 1994, and Fergus McCann formed a new company Pacific Shelf to buy the assets – no sign of any club being bought then. He renamed Pacific Shelf and the new club also known as Celtic has played football since that time, cheered on by thousands of zombie Pacific Shelfonians.

        • Spuds

          Celtic NEVER went into liquidation:

          Our club – the present-day Celtic plc – has existed since 1888, and was incorporated as a company in 1897, under the name “The Celtic Football and Athletic Company Limited”. It changed its name to “Celtic plc” in 1994, when it became a public limited company, in “one of the most successful stock market flotations in British financial history”.

          Pacific Shelf 595 Ltd, is a sister company formed two months before the plc was floated on the stock market. Its purpose was, I believe, to carry on the name “The Celtic Football and Athletic Company Limited”, to simplify potential business transactions after the actual name of the club changed to “Celtic plc”.

          So when the original “The Celtic Football and Athletic Company Limited” changed its name to “Celtic plc”… the newly-formed Pacific Shelf 595 Ltd changed its name to “The Celtic Football and Athletic Company Limited”, so transactions could still be carried out using that name.

          This sister company is still in existence as a distinct entity today, and is still called “The Celtic Football and Athletic Company Limited”. It has, I believe, used the name “Celtic Football Club” as a trading name, but it is a very small company – with total capital of £2 – two quid – and exists only for convenience.

          Cheery-bye…..

  3. ocuilte

    Adam, all the stuff about other countries ignores the basic facts, you cannot buy a history that doesn’t belong to you.

    I buy a Victoria cross from an antique shop and change my name by deed poll to the hero. I buy his house to live in. I even join the army under the new name and fight in the same regiment.

    The question is can I claim that I am the hero of the Somme and wear the ribbon at formal dinners?

    No is the obvious and simple answer.

  4. arb urns

    oh dear adam why didnt you just leave it at the one blog.

    u r a numbers man heres a numbers game for you. after your recent pyrrhic off the pitch how about swallowing some of the honour and respect some seem to think your club RETAIN and say to all the creditors. sorry guys heres what we will do, ” we are rangers ” we want to retain everything ( as your post alludes) from our past. we turn over £50m pa that nice mr mure and mr rae have ‘found a way’ to reduce our debts to say £45m. we will put 10pc of our turnover into a pot for the next 9 years and you can all get your money back 100pc. THEN YOU TRULY WILL HAVE REGAINED YOUR HONOUR RESPECT AND HISTORY IN A SIGNIFICANT NUMBER OF DISSENTING EYES.

    go on adam go for it surely you can all find it within. it only takes a little inner strength. much better to regain your history than merely claim its still there. why not even say we will make the first payback out of the new share issue. be different to fiorentina and leeds go beyond and above what you claim for them lead dont follow follow……..

    adam are u still there………

  5. andy

    do you realize how stupid you all sound?? who cares?? for some Rangers are DEID and for others like myself Rangers live on. Can we leave it at that after 315 comments

  6. Adam you really shouldn’t patronize the unfortunates they are more interested in our club than they are in their own, 7,219 at the Smokies game sort of proves that to a degree, they think you are speaking to them on an equal footing, you are wicked !

    • COYBIG

      @alex (@thekublakhan)

      When does this ‘Attendance Trophy’ get handed out then? It must be worth winning, beause all I ever hear or read is The Rangers fans going on, and on, and on, and on, and on, and on…….and on, and on, and on, and on about it. I don’t know why tho, because in Scotland, Celtic have had the most fans in attendance this season, not The Rangers. It’s like Joe Bloggs going up to John Holmes and saying, “Mine’s is huge. Your’s is small.”

      And all the, “Woohoo! We’ve made a new world record! What’s that? Shh! I know we haven’t, but just go along with it. Nobody will question us. We are the people. And if we just keep repeating it, it will soon become fact.” Is so desperate, it’s laughable. This is what you’ve been reduced to? Incorrectly bragging about attendances? Really?……….Really? Ha! Ha! Ha! Wait, were’s my Christmas spirit? Ho! Ho! Ho!

      Oh, and just a wee heads up for you. It kind of spoils your wee ‘dig’ at Celtic fans, but not everyone who posts on here is either a Celtic or a The Rangers fan. Your post tho? Shows your mindset is ‘Them against us’. Don’t worry tho, that was very common in Rangers fans. It’s even got a name – Protestant Superiority Complex.

      Now, before you go off on one. It wasn’t Peter Lawwell, Neil Lennon, or even the Pope, who labeled you as a group of people who believe you’re better or more important than others. No, it was infact Walter No Surname, who said it. And we all know Walter No Surname can do no wrong, right? He’s kind of like a Protestant Jesus, ain’t he? But instead of turning water into wine. He spent millions on players, without, according to the MSM, spending a single penny. Shazam! Just like that.

    • James

      alex (@thekublakhan)
      December 3, 2012 at 8:03 am

      Yeah Adam we are obsessed just like your lot who wanted the MSM to report on celtic players and staff for months in their papers with functions attended.

  7. allyjambo

    Adam, are you suggesting that Rangers Football Club PLC – owned the assets, owned the players, paid the players and staff, created massive debt in order to win trophies, but the only function of an undocumented entity called Rangers Football Club was to own the history and trophies won by the assets of the PLC? Wouldn’t that make Rangers Football Club a parasite? Living and thriving off the hard work of others, including unpaid creditors; and is it now the case, that like most other parasites, when it’s host dies, it finds itself another body to live and thrive off?

    I don’t intend arguing re the Fiorentina and Leeds cases, what you say may indeed be true, but I would imagine that in both cases they got away with it because no one thought to question it, not because it was legally correct. I think too, that Lord Nimmo Smith’s assertion that ‘The Club’ was in fact the member of the SPL, and not the PLC, is a double edged sword for Rangers. I believe he has created a situation whereby, if the SPL Tribunal find old Rangers guilty of the mis-registering of players (cheating), then any penalties will be handed down, and attached, to the ‘Club’, and not to the PLC, leaving Green with the stark choice of either accepting the penalties, unconditionally, or accepting that Rangers Football Club died along with the Company and that The Rangers FC is, indeed, a new club. I wonder too, if Fiorentina or Leeds United Football Clubs had had similar penalties attached to the entity ‘Club’, would they still be claiming to be ‘the same club’?

  8. I’ve been reading this blog this year although I have no interest in football. I have been interested in how ordinary Rangers supporters could have their club sold out from under them without realising what was going on.

    The issue of whether Rangers still exists seems to be a non issue to me. For many Rangers supporters (and many Celtic supporters) it seems the football is a side issue. It is all about belonging to a ‘family’.

    Rangers supporters see that family as Rangers – the team is just a focus. If the fans are still there than Rangers is still there. As long as there is a focus then Rangers will still be there because it is not simply a football club, it is a way of life.

    Sad that, but that’s how it is. Perhaps that’s why I have no interest in football, who knows?

    • robertg

      Joe McGrath – I am a long time Celtic fan and have to agree with you. The Club is the people who support it. To me, its continuation is different to the ‘If you buy Brad Pitt’s house does that make you Brad Pitt?” question. It is more akin to “if you buy Brad Pitt’s Ford Fiesta from him, can you say you own the service history?”

      This whole debacle is an ugly and indelible stain on Rangers’ history *(whether it ended or continues) and their fans will need to live with it, together with the taunting that will inevitably continue.

      • Marching on Together

        “The Club is the people who support it.” Absolutely spot on.

        “We consider that a football club is not simply the legal entity which controls it, but that it is the community formed by the fans and players working towards a common goal. We therefore reproduce the honours won by what we believe was, and will always be, ‘our’ club, in our community.” from AFC Wimbledon’s web-site

        • jimmy white

          The clue is the A.F.C. before wimbledon, that’s why they begun their new life (not again) in non league football, wimbledon never did cease to exist, they were taken over, had a name change to M.K. Dons, Dons being wimbledons shortened name and moved 60 or seventy miles up the road to where they could attract a bigger following, so in effect wimbledon did not ever die but the fans left behind decided to start again, so i don’t know where the comparison is except that one was wimbledon and the new one now is wimbledon, with A.F.C. in front, but who has the history? The one in milton keynes or the one in southwest london? Or if you like, who are the real man u.t.d., manchester united or f.c.united of manchester, after all, both sets of fans claim to be the true red devils fans, united of manchester claiming to take back their club from those they see (in their eyes) to have ripped the soul out of their club and like the wimbledon fans started anew in the lower leagues, at the moment M.K Dons have the history of wimbledon and wimbledon have but a few years, Manchester U.T.D. have the history and United of Manchester like wise have but a few years, so in your eyes all four sets of supporters have all the history, if we accept this type of viewpoint where will it all end? Lets keep it simple shall we, man u and m.k have all the history, pretty simple really, rangers are no longer the same club but like the other two clubs they can carry on believing otherwise but don’t expect others from outside of the new club to accept this, rangers died and became sevco for a short while before becoming THE rangers, all the same they will always be sevco to me.

          • Marching on Together

            The fans of AFC Wimbledon and the fans of MK Dons, and the football authorities all accept that it is AFC Wimbledon which has the history of Wimbledon FC.

            • jimmy white

              The fact is, is that that makes no difference, the history legally remains with m.k. dons, history shows that wimbledon became m.k. dons, just as it shows they won the f.a. cup and played in the top flight, wimbledon are a new club and never even played at plough lane, the company and the original club are now in milton keynes, wimbledon fans accept this and are proud of what they achieved by by rejecting the morphing of their club and moving it elsewhere, maybe something decent rangers fans should have done all be it under different circumstances but in a round about same way, i am fairly certain that the public would have appreciated this, respected it and sympathised, most importantly accepted that it was rangers of the fans, belonging to the FANS of what was the original rangers and not some shady greedy rip off merchants club.

  9. Bryce Curdy

    Adam makes a good case for the SFL3 club being technically the same as the former SPL club. I have read equally strong arguments putting across the opposite view. It would appear that the Scottish footballing authorities side with Adam.

    If many fellow Celtic fans are being honest on an emotional level we do see them as one and the same. I, for one, certainly took the same delight on their elimination from the Ramsdens Cup, League Cup and defeat to Stirling as any of their previous humiliations.

    • James

      You agree with Adam ha ha ha the same SFL website which list Airdrieonians FC as formed as 1965 but they were formed from (1872 – 2002)
      The same corrupt directors and owners who had shares in oldco ha ha ha brilliant comedy gold.

    • carl31

      Then why were they playing in the early rounds of the Scottish cup if they are considered by the authorities as the club that finished second in the SPL last season?

  10. Marching on Together

    Having read through 300+ posts mainly of utter rubbish, I will post for the benefit of Mick and his fellows who think that the Leeds and Rangers situations are different. I write as a Leeds United fan of 40+ years, who advised various supporters groups at the time of the administration of Leeds United in 2007, as to what was actually happening and what it all meant i.e. I know what I am talking about.

    Leeds United oldco went into administration in May 2007. A CVA was proposed, and voted upon by creditors and achieved marginally more than the 75% necessary. Before the end of the statutory 28 day period HMRC raised court action to block the CVA, as they objected to Yorkshire Radio being included as a creditor on the basis that it was a connected company and it was a fiddle (probably correctly). The administrators KPMG took the view that the best way to obtain value for the creditors was an asset sale, and invited bids. The one fronted by Ken Bates was accepted, and the assets including the club transferred to Leeds newco. The CVA was withdrawn by KPMG in August 2007, and HMRC withdrew their court challenge on the eve of the hearing, as there was no longer any CVA to object to.

    The Football League agreed to transfer the FL golden share from oldco to newco, but imposed a 15 point penalty due to Leeds not having come out of administration using a CVA. Oldco went into liquidation in Feb 2008.

    So, oldco goes into administration (same as Rangers), CVA tried and blocked by HMRC (same as Rangers), asset sale including the club to newco (same as Rangers), oldco goes into liquidation (same as Rangers), same club lives on with history intact (same as Rangers).

    • allyjambo

      Thanks for that information, MoT, it confirms that LUFC were indeed liquidated but the newco have carried on as the old club. For clarity, can you tell us/me whether or not there was any challenge to, or even a discussion of, the legitimacy of the new Leeds United being considered the same club? Or is it just a case that they continue to show their trophies won, in programmes etc, and to date, no one has questioned this? From a personal point of view I hope the validity has been verified, as my club, Hearts, are currently surviving, more or less, on the donations of their fans and, should the current ‘company’ go bust, it would be comforting to know that it has been established, either by an FA, or by legal precedent, that the entity of the ‘club’ will carry on. I’d really appreciate your input on this as I have been unable to rationalise, myself, how this could be (see my post above) and if a body, like the FA, have actually made a ruling on this it would make Hearts’, the football club that is, future so much rosier.

      • Marching on Together

        “can you tell us/me whether or not there was any challenge to, or even a discussion of, the legitimacy of the new Leeds United being considered the same club?” None whatsoever. As I have pointed out it was only when exactly the same scenario engulfed Rangers, that some people started to claim that that killed the club. We continue to show our trophies as part of an unbroken history.

        If the fans of Hearts believe that the club still exists under any new corporate entity which owns the club, then that is all it takes. As the SFA, SPL and SFL and Lord Nimmo Smith have demonstrated, Rangers continue to exist as the same club.

        Good luck with your fundraising. I have a soft spot for Hearts, and have had business dealing both with Wallace Mercer and Chris Robinson in the past, who at least both had their hearts in the right places.

    • Good summary of the Leeds position, MoT – and one which can be verified by any doubters if they download the final administrator’s report (29th November 2007) in respect of the Leeds old company. It confirms the position is exactly as you say (paras 3.4 – 3.6).

      Leeds aren’t the only English club in a similar position to Rangers. Two other examples are Rotherham and Luton Town:

      Rotherham were ROTHERHAM UNITED FOOTBALL CLUB LIMITED(THE) Company No. 00158654, Date of Incorporation: 09/09/1919
      The entered Admin in 2006 and I believe transferred their assets to a newco then -ROTHERHAM UNITED FC LIMITED Company No. 05764000, albeit with oldco agreeing a CVA at that time.

      In any event, and more importantly for the present discussion though they subsequently went into Administration for the second time in 2008 and this time were unable to agree a CVA:

      http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport1/hi/football/teams/r/rotherham_utd/7543195.stm

      but the league allowed the “golden share” to transfer on imposition of footballing penalties to a newco. The 1919 company was dissolved on 07/06/2011. The 2006 company was liquidated on 07/02/09.
      Rotherham are now ROTHERHAM UNITED FOOTBALL CLUB (RUFC) LIMITED Company No. 06550400, Date of Incorporation: 01/04/2008

      When Luton went into Admin in 2007, the outcome was liquidation after an asset/business sale to the Luton Town Football Club 2020 Ltd, without any CVA – making it not unlike the RFC situation.

      From Companies House, Luton Town Football Club Ltd (04977080) went in to Administration in November 2007, and then liquidation in November 2008.

      Luton Town Football Club 2020 Ltd (06133975) was incorporated in March 2007 (its name at that time was Tayvin 375 Limited – name changed to the current one on 8th January 2008)

      Moreover, the truth is that in just about every major football administration in England in the last 15 -20 years, the club has come out of administration owned by a new company. Generally what happens is that there is an asset and business sale to a new company, and the purchase price of that sale is used to allow the old company to agree a CVA. The old company then ceases to trade and is left to wither and die.

      The first Rotherham admin referred to above is an example of this. Another good example of this is Plymouth Agyle:

      The original Plymouth Argyle company was The Plymouth Argyle Football Company Limited, formed in 1910 and with company number 0110819. It is not trading, and is overdue to lodge accounts and Returns.

      Plymouth Argyle’s assets were bought by Green Pligrim Ltd, formed 2011, company number 07796376, which subsequently changed it’s name to Plymouth Argyle Football Club Limited. This company now runs the club.

      The final administrator’s report of 3rd March 2012 for the Plymouth oldco confirms that there was a sale of the business from the oldco to the newco on 31/10/11 (6.17.) It also confirms that it was a condition of that sale that the “golden share” in the league be transferred to the newco, and that this happened (7.1 and 7.2)

      Perhaps most interestingly, the report also confirms at para 9.1.2 that the expectation is that the Plymouth oldco will now be wound up by HMRC.

      • Marching on Together

        Thanks duplesis. Some sanity at last. You have repeatedly posted these facts, and welcome they are, but for some reason they seem to be ignored by others on here. I have never had the time to sit down and analyse these other clubs, although I do have some knowledge of the Rotherham United situation, which is as you state, as they joined with Leeds in the appeal against the 15 point deduction that Leeds suffered, as Rotherham feared that they would be next.

    • lordmac

      but the part you have missed out was and is soon to be clarified, they did not use illegal signings, and had signed of account, Rangers haven’t.

      • Marching on Together

        So? That has no bearing whatsoever on the corporate structure of either club. If Rangers have been guilty of playing players who have not been properly registered, then they should lose each game 3-0.

    • carl31

      How was the ‘club’ defined in the asset sale documents? Was it goodwill same as Rangers? Did the new club start from the bottom, same as Rangers? Was there a legal compulsion on the newco to pick up football debts, or was it voluntary as part of a deal with the footballing authorities, same as Rangers?

      • Marching on Together

        Carl31

        The club was defined as the goodwill, the player registrations, the trademarks, and all the other things that make up a club, same as Rangers.

        They did not start at the bottom. The difference with Rangers is that they were kicked out of a one division league (the SPL), without provision for relegation in these circumstances. it was up another organisation (the SFL) if they accepted them, and on what terms. Leeds were in the top flight of a 3 division league (the Football League), so the FL were content with ensuring they went down a division.

        In England there is the football creditors rule which does not exist in Scotland, where it is an obligation for all football creditors to be paid 100% before anyone else (a rule imposed by the FA, the Premier League and the Football League), so yes, all of Leeds oldco’s football creditors were paid in full.

    • Spuds

      Except Leeds weren’t liquidated

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Leeds_United_Football_Club_Limited
      On 31 August 2007 HMRC decided not to pursue their legal challenge any further therefore accepting Bates’ final offer.

      Saying it enough times doesn’t make it true…

  11. Merciatic

    The fact is a football club became a limited company which became a plc which eventually became liquidated. David Murray didn’t buy a club and a holding company and neither did Craig Whyte. The holding company idea only surfaced once the threat of liquidation became a reality. “Rangers then rangers now, and rangers forever.” This is your new religion. You might as well say Rangers the Father, Rangers the Son and Rangers the holy Ghost.

    • Marching on Together

      The club dying idea only surfaced once the Celtic hordes realised that it was Rangers. Up until then it had never been heard of in British football.

        • There wasn’t an asset and business sale to the new company in the case of Airdrie and Airdrie United though.

          • Marching on Together

            So? There wan’t an asset sale in the case of Wimbledon, yet AFC Wimbledon, are a continuation of Wimbledon FC, if you ask their fans.

            • duplesis

              Just pointing out that Aidrie isn’t a valid comparison with Rangers, Leeds, Rotherham etc, since the circumstances were different.

              I agree the Airdie case has more in common with the Wimbledon scenario.

            • Marching on Together

              Duplesis

              Fair enough.

      • allyjambo

        Oh dear, I’ve just written a serious response to your previous post and now I find, that with a name that includes the Rangersesque ‘Marching’, you now talk of the ‘Celtic hordes’ as though you consider anyone who doesn’t align themselves with Rangers to be a Celtic fan. Not a sensible thing to say if you wish to be taken seriously here, as opposed to some sites where the standard of posters could legitimately be described as ‘hordes’. And though your facts may be right about Leeds United, you should get them right about whether or not the issue of a liquidated club having to restart as a new club has been heard of before. As has been mentioned before, think Airdrie!

        • Marching on Together

          Marching on Together is the Leeds United official club song and anthem dating from 1972. Long before it might have developed any Rangers connotations.

          I do not usually use such language as ‘hordes’, but having read all 300+ posts of mainly absolute drivel and deliberate lie-telling by many on the thread whose only rationale was to glory in what they thought should be the demise of Rangers, that was an appropriate description. It does not of course cover all Celtic fans, far less those fans of other clubs. FYI, I have no liking for Rangers, and have been to many Celtic matches in order to support Celtic.

          • allyjambo

            Thank you for your replies, and my appologies for taking your nickname out of context. Unfortunately you have been unable to provide me, as I suspected would be the case, with any comfort with regard to what would happen to my football ‘club’ in the event of liquidation. In my opinion, it is only something that could be settled if argued within a legal context or, at the least, as the result of an FA tribunal. Perhaps in the Leeds United situation the new owners were happy to to take any penalties, if there were any, attached to the ‘club’ and not to cherry-pick all the nice bits, and so there was no need to come up with the answer to ‘old club/new club’ question. It may well be, that should the tribunal find Rangers guilty as charged, and Lord Nimmo Smith’s assertion that the ‘club’ and not the company is the member of the SPL and so carries any punishment meted out by that body, that we then see Charles Green arguing that, not only are they a new company, they are also a new club. Should, however, Charles Green accept the tribunals findings, and any sanctions attached to the ‘club’, then I will be happy to accept that the club, and any club thereafter, continues after the liquidation of the company.

            • Marching on Together

              I can understand your worries about Hearts. especially as this fear has been brought about by mainly Celtic fans with a death wish for Rangers putting about that if a club goes into liquidation, then the club dies. When Hearts were in financial difficulty prior to Romanov pitching up, there was no talk then of Hearts ceasing to exist if the company went into liquidation

              There is no settled precedent to declare finally once and for all what will happen. All I can offer is past practice across the UK, where it always has been the case that if the fans believe that the club has continued, then that is what has happened. Duplesis has given further examples.

              As I have demonstrated with my own club, the essentials were the same as for Rangers, yet no-one, despite everyone hating us, seemed to think that we had ceased to exist.

              I can offer further the views of the SFL, SPL and SFA who clearly think that according to their rules club and the company which own the club, are different things. Lord Nimmo Smith agrees.

              As for what will happen with the Rangers tribunal, that IMHO is a red herring to the new club/old club debate. Rangers newco had to accept as a condition of SFA registration that they would accept whatever penalties were handed down to Rangers oldco for the dual contract investigation.

  12. Tam O'Neill

    The stench of denial coming out of Ibrox is chocking the lot of us. The rest of the world accepts Rangers are dead and the club playing at Ibrox is a new club. The problem is that they got away with murder for years, given their role as the “Establishment” team and now they are being held accoutable they don’t like it!!!!. If they are not a new club then why are they restricted from playing in Europe for 3yrs???. Liquadation mean no more, gone, cease to exist. Given the oldco chequered past and in particular over 100yrs of having a religious siging policy you would think that a new beginning would be embraced, clearly not. Move on and deal with it!!!.

    • andy

      you must be boring yourself with this drivel……ok we are deid are you happy can you go back to your sad little life and i will continue to enjoy watching my deid club

  13. garry

    Yawn! Now where’s my shovel there’s an entity to be buried!!!! Cam I believe phil n tomo have there own sites. Maybe you can find them there. Google could maybe help you with that

  14. Gawd, where to start. Firstly thanks for the post Adam, it and the large number of comments made for interesting reading.

    Its fair if understated to say that opinion is divided 🙂

    There is a team playing at Ibrox which seems to fill the hopes and desires of the Rangers support. If they are happy enough with that then who am I to argue. I wish them well.

    In the often petty world of point scoring between rival fans the banter is likely to continue for as long as a team is playing at Ibrox.

    Then, I accept. Now, I also accept. Forever, lets think about that.

    Nothing lasts forever. But of course forever in the context used is not meant to be literal. Lets just say it means for a very long time.

    So how long will Rangers last?

    I hope Rangers fans are giving this question serious thought, I fact I’m sure that are.

    Some though IMHO seem to be getting a little distracted. Full houses at Ibrox must seem reassuring but they provide no guarantee of future existence.

    Rangers ‘forever’ is not yet a done deal.

  15. Felpan

    As Newco did not and have no intentions of paying off the 50 odd million of Rangers dept then we can only conclude it is a new club with no history, No ifs or buts.

  16. arb urns

    adam oh adam wherefore art thou o’adam…. please comment on my little numbers game above…. you said previously you could run em up pretty smartish…

  17. allyjambo

    Marching on Together,
    Thanks again for your reply (for some reason the ‘reply’ button is not coming up under your reply to my post). The new club/old club issue was being discussed over the possible liquidation of Hearts long before the Rangers saga rose it’s very ugly, but entertaining, head, scotching any claims that it’s only been introduced mainly by Celtic fans.

    When it suited those trying to ‘save’ Rangers the spectre of the end of their club and history was at the forefront of the campaigns of most of the suitors, including Green, and only altered with Miller’s ‘incubator’ plan, then again once the CVA failed Green himself introduced the idea.

    I think you’ll find too, that Lord Nimmo Smith’s assertion about ‘the club’ was in relation to the SPL membership only, as their rules refer only to the member club, while the other organisations’ rules refer to the member company. I am unaware that any of the governing bodies you mention have actually made a statement, one way or the other, of how they view the issue, and I suspect they are waiting to see if Green/The Rangers stick to the 5 way agreement before making their position clear.

    As to the agreement made to accept whatever penalties are handed down being a red herring with regard to deciding this issue, I’m afraid the honourable Mr Green has already questioned the validity of the infamous 5 way agreement and has made noises suggesting he will refuse to accept any penalty passed on to his club as a result of the agreement. I suspect, in the event that the tribunal goes against Rangers, his adherence to the 5 way agreement, details of which have never been published, will depend entirely on just how severe any sanctions are. Should he refuse to accept, he might well take the matter to the Court of Session, where a definitive answer would undoubtedly follow.

    Again, thanks for your replies, I’ve enjoyed our discussion. Other things beckon so I might not be able to continue should you reply, but hopefully this issue might be resolved soon, with a definitive answer, to the satisfaction of us both.

    • Marching on Together

      I certainly did not hear any of the discussion over newco/oldco at the end of Chris Robinson/Leslie Deans’ tenure at Hearts, and I was living in Edinburgh at the time, going to some Hearts games (when Leeds were not playing), and surrounded by mates who were jambos. However, it is your club, and if you say it was so, I will accept that.

      I pay no attention whatsoever to anything Green says, as IMHO he is a balloon of the highest order, and a disgrace to the County of Yorkshire. I think it is fairly well established that what he says is adjusted according to which way the prevailing wind is blowing, and he is happy to contradict himself repeatedly.

      As for the other governing bodies, the SFL must have accepted Rangers as the same club, as their rules require new clubs to have been in business for three years (demonstrated by producing the relevant accounts) before they could be considered for membership.

      Green will never go to the Court of Session if penalties are imposed. Leeds tried the same trick, and although under FA rules they had to go to an FA arbitration panel it was chaired by a High Court judge. Leeds tried to argue that they were forced into accepting the 15 point penalty as a condition for the Football League agreeing to the transfer of the golden share, but that was laughed at by the judge. He pointed out that this was purely a matter of contract, and Leeds could have refused to sign it (if you want I can give you chapter and verse from the judgment as I have a copy somewhere). Green and Rangers had exactly the same opportunity, and the only way in which the 5 party agreement would be kicked out by a court is if Green/Rangers were not given the opportunity to take legal advice before signing it. All this stuff from Green is just bluster to pump up the troops. Watch him crumple when it comes to it.

      Anyway, good debating with you. Makes a change to have someone rational on the other end.

  18. Chris

    Adam.

    Why did Chuckles proclaim the history and everything else would be down the drain without the CVA?

    Why did Brian Kennedy, Craig Whyte and everyone else who actually wanted the club to go on say similar?

    Why did the company never once list the club as an asset?

    Why is Chuckles even now offering a stake “in the club” to fans when it’s an accepted fact that shareholders don’t own the assets of a company?

    Why did the company repeatedly throughout every year and every missive to shareholders equate itself with the club without anyone ever pointing out it wasn’t the club?

    Because it was the club.

    The club incorporated. It became a company, then eventually it was liquidated.

    Why did Whyte have so much power as the majority shareholder even in admninistration if D&P could just sell the club as an asset?

    They couldn’t and didn’t. They sold the stadium and some other assets to Chuckles who formed a new club and applied to the SPL for the old clubs league share, and to the SFA for the old clubs membership.

    The old clubs company reference on companies house tells the tale, it was listed with a type code for a sports club, not a holding company (that was Wavetower, or TRFCG (Group))

    That’s the deal you make when you incorporate and sell shares in “the club” which Rangers did for many many years. It’s a one way deal unless you can buy back all the shares and delist, and meet any liabilities outstanding of course. The old club couldn’t meet it’s liabilities so it was liquidated and Chuckles is running a brand new club formed in 2012 which has taken over the SFA membership of the old club.

    Planning to buy shares in a holding company are you? Thought not. Neither are your fellow bears, they all want to own a part of the club. Just like all those Celtic shareholders, except our club is still going strong and has been for 125 years.

    You’re obviously a smart guy, but its laughable to see how desperate you are to avoid an uncomfortable truth. It’s gone, let it go peacefully. It could’ve been saved, even by Chuckles and Co if they were willing to meet the price (i.e. the debts) but they weren’t. Far easier to let the old club die and just reset the lie over and over to yourselves that its the same club.

    Quick question: when a player signed for Rangers, who were they contracted to? Every one of them played for Rangers Football Club Plc.

    Not once, not once in over 100 years was there ever a distinction made between club and company, not even when the Bloo Knights and Chuckles were fighting it out. Funny that. Then of course came Chuckles response to the Dave King “don’t support the CVA” cry

    “If people actually listen to him and do what he’s recommending — which I can’t think for a second they would — then all the history and tradition that we’ve been desperately trying to preserve would be just swept down the drain”

    Down the drain. Gone. But hey, you keep on believing Chuckles and his “get the bears onside” phrase if the day toilet paper quotes.

    • Felpan

      I also remember one of the former players saying, I signed to play for Rangers, but this is a new club and I don’t want to want/have to play for this club! But hay I suppose he was a Tim with an agenda as well!

  19. Chris

    Phrase “of” the day of course 🙂

  20. James

    DEATH … Hearts could face closure
    Jambos are seven days from death
    By ROBERT MARTIN
    Published: 6 hrs ago
    6

      
    CRISIS-HIT Hearts could be dead in a week.
    The club warned yesterday that next week’s home game with St Mirren could be the last in their 138-year history unless their fans cough up the cash to keep them going. The Jambos have been given seven days by HMRC to pay a huge tax bill.
    If they fail to stump up the £450,000 owed in PAYE and National Insurance contributions, they face liquidation next Thursday.
    Even if they manage to find the cash the club’s future remains in doubt.
    Funds have now run out at Tynecastle following owner Vladimir Romanov’s decision to end his day-to-day backing of the club.
    Hearts have failed to pay their players on time for the past two months.
    A statement from the club insisted: “This isn’t a bluff. This isn’t scaremongering. It is reality.”
    Hearts have called on every supporter to invest an immediate £110 to buy shares in the club.
    They have also asked followers to buy advance tickets for the next three home matches with Saints, Aberdeen and Celtic and sell out the stadium.
    The statement warned: “This is not so much a request as a necessity.
    “Without the support of fans there is, as we issue this note, a real risk that Heart of Midlothian Football Club could possibly play its last game next Saturday, November 17, against St Mirren.”
    Yesterday’s HMRC demand is not related to the £1.75million bill the Jambos are already contesting with the First Tier Tax tribunal regarding players being loaned to the club by FBK Kaunas.
    The Jambos have found themselves in similar situations in the past with the club paying off three similar tax bills to avert winding-up orders at the turn of the year.
    But this time the club has already admitted it has few funds readily available to meet the latest HMRC demand.
    The club admitted it can no longer rely on Romanov to pick up the tab.
    SunSport understands the Hearts owner has no plans to travel here.
    Right-hand man Sergejus Fedotovas insisted crisis talks remain ongoing with parent company UBIG, of which Romanov is majority shareholder.
    He said: “There is not much more I can add to the statement but the future of the club is in the hands of the supporters.”

    Hearts’ Scottish Cup fourth round tie with Hibs on Sunday, December 2, is live on Sky Sports.
    The BBC will screen the Highland derby between Ross County and Inverness the previous day, at 12.15.

    Read more: http://www.thescottishsun.co.uk/scotsol/homepage/sport/spl/4633042/JAMBOS-ARE-SEVEN-DAYS-FORM-DEATH.html#ixzz2BbvRYSou

  21. James

    Marching on Together
    December 3, 2012 at 12:53 pm
    The club dying idea only surfaced once the Celtic hordes realised that it was Rangers. Up until then it had never been heard of in British football.

    Marching on Together
    December 3, 2012 at 2:52 pm
    Marching on Together is the Leeds United official club song and anthem dating from 1972. Long before it might have developed any Rangers connotations.
    I do not usually use such language as ‘hordes’, but having read all 300+ posts of mainly absolute drivel and deliberate lie-telling by many on the thread whose only rationale was to glory in what they thought should be the demise of Rangers, that was an appropriate description. It does not of course cover all Celtic fans, far less those fans of other clubs. FYI, I have no liking for Rangers, and have been to many Celtic matches in order to support Celtic.

    Yeah your a Celtic fan my arse.

  22. George Murray

    All these learned legal and otherwise precedents are all very interesting, but I prefer to take the word of that great soccer and business philosopher Charles Green who stated quite clearly and unambiguously that if the CVA failed and the club was liquidated then everything of value, including the history was lost forever.

    Strange how only a matter of weeks later he found that history on a stall at the Barras for £1 and on another stall he found a stadium, training ground , players and goodwill for around £5m (not forgetting a car park).

    Get your heads around it – they are dead – and the club which now plays at Ibrox is a new club – I am not sure of its name – it changes from week to week – last week they went international – the basis for this no doubt is that they cross the Border to play Berwick.

  23. Ray Hepburn

    Paul…your reminder that the newco has picked up some of the debt of the oldco and , a number of penalties, which were levelled at the oldco. It should also be recalled that the the newco was blackmailed by the SFA, into settling debts, which they had not incurred, something that an authority, charged with fostering the playing and spirit of the game, should be totally ashamed of.

  24. Alexander Doherty

    Why do people talk about rangers is from some longing for the past when there was a team called rangers
    Look forward to the further New Pope and maby a new rangers. More chance of new Pope

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