Keith Jackson has succeeded James Traynor as the “big cheese” at the Record Sports Department (for which read Football Department!)
He wrote a piece yesterday (Monday) which has the temerity to suggest that the Rangers share issue might not be as successful as many have said it will be. Clearly Mr Jackson’s sources must be wrong, bearing in mind all that has been issued officially and unofficially from Ibrox about the IPO.
And I can exclusively reveal some gross errors in his piece today. You can find the article here.
Some extracts are below, but I recommend you read the full piece.
THERE’S a touch of the Boycotts about Charles Green. And it has nothing to do with not taking tickets for Tannadice.
For six months this eccentric, torn-faced Yorkshireman has been strutting around Scottish football, smashing almost everything and everyone for six.
His aggressive, sleeves-rolled-up batting style has been fun to watch and, at times, pretty spectacular too.
It must be said, when it was announced only 10 or so days ago that he had secured £17m worth of reasonably blue chip institutional investment in his planned flotation, many a flat cap was doffed in Green’s direction. This was arguably an even more impressive success than his snake charming act on the masses.
Those same supporters now eating out of the palm of his hand have only until 1pm tomorrow to make good on their promises to buy shares in Green’s Rangers. To put their money where their mouths were a few months ago when around £22m was pledged in the online land of lah-de-dah.
If ever there was proof of the dangers of taking the internet’s word for it, then this is surely it. Because, as things stood over the weekend, the total stumped up by these supporters was closer to £2m than £22m. Maybe not even that much.
A total of £10m worth of shares was ring-fenced by Green for fans. But the word from those who know inside Ibrox yesterday was that the uptake has been slow.
In fact, the truth is Rangers will be delighted to break through the £4m barrier in the final few hours of trading. So, unless there is a late stampede to hand over bundles of £500s – a week before Christmas – Green will be left with quite a significant hole in his plans. And someone, somewhere will have badly miscalculated.
Also, Green may have blundered on TV last week by apparently stressing there was very little need for the club’s fans to dig deep. He said unsold shares would be quickly gobbled up by his institutional investors, who wanted to plough around £25m into the club but were scaled back to £17m to satisfy demand from fans. “If there’s any left over I’ll even buy ’em myself,” was how Green put it. But this may have backfired on him because, if anything, it allowed fans to feel as if their larger-than-life chief executive had it all covered.
Green won’t be there with his cheque book to make up the difference. He’s not here to spend his own money. He prefer others to spend for him. Barring a late and intense flurry of investment from supporters today and tomorrow, he’s going to be left with a whole load of unwanted shares on his office desk and a sizeable chunk missing from his budget.
He had better hope his assembled squad of big-money backers in London are indeed prepared to pick up the slack to the tune of up to £7m or suddenly, what had been shaping up as a major success story could become a minor source of embarrassment.
Did you spot the errors? They are glaring and cast doubt, with the greatest of respect to Mr Jackson, on his credibility as an all-round man of sporting knowledge.
“THERE’S a touch of the Boycotts about Charles Green. And it has nothing to do with not taking tickets for Tannadice. For six months this eccentric, torn-faced Yorkshireman has been strutting around Scottish football, smashing almost everything and everyone for six. His aggressive, sleeves-rolled-up batting style has been fun to watch and, at times, pretty spectacular too.”
Now, whilst the great Sir Geoffrey Boycott might have been fairly called eccentric at times, and indeed torn-faced occasionally, he is a Yorkshireman who would be shocked to be accused of being a “six hitter” and the possessor of an “aggressive” batting style!
In his 108 Tests, 193 Test innings and 8,114 Test runs, Sir Geoffrey cleared the boundary ropes 8 times. Yes – only 48 of his 8,114 runs came by way of a six. Mind you, Sir Don Bradman, who was an aggressive batsman, only hit 6 sixes out of 6,996 Test runs. As Mr Boycott has been telling listeners to the marvellous Test Match Special in India over the last few weeks, “The Don” worked on the basis that, if he did not hit the ball in the air, he could not be caught out!
Boycott indeed made his highest Test score of 246 not out at Leeds against India in 1967, only to be dropped after the match, which England won, for scoring too slowly!
Even though this event was 45 years ago, it still clearly rankles with Mr Boycott, as anyone who heard him answering Mastermind-style questions on himself during a tea interval in the recent Third Test could testify.
Mr Boycott however does have certain similarities with Mr Green, and significant differences too. He is outspoken, as is Mr Green. However, whilst Mr Boycott rarely if ever tempered what he said to suit his audience, or the politics of the situation, Mr Green is a master of “playing the surface” perfectly. His public utterances are finely tuned to fit the audience to which he is speaking.
Boycott speaks as he played the game – with a straight bat. And this makes him one of the best sporting broadcasters around. However, he would deeply resent any accusation of aggressive batting – Yorkshire people are not known for their frivolity – and Mr Boycott would have viewed that style, with the exception of his stunning hundred in the Gillette Cup final in 1965, when he scored 146, with 3 sixes and 15 fours, as the White Rose county beat Surrey, as anathema.
So, Mr Jackson, you need to brush up on your cricket if you want to use it for the purpose of analogies!
As for your comments on the share issue Mr Jackson – well, we will have to wait till after 1pm today to find out how wrong you might have been.
Posted by Paul McConville