I might be totally off track but the news about the proposed renaming of Ibrox rang a few memory cells in my old noddle.
I have no intention of looking at the pros and cons of renaming or rebranding an established stadium as I truly believe it is a matter for fans to decide on unless club finances are critical and there is no option.
It would appear from press reports that Charles Green is meeting Bear reps at Ibrox tonight presumably to ‘sell’ the idea. Press reports also suggest it’s virtually a done deal with Sports Direct owner Mike Ashley.
Obviously there is a bit of history with Ashley and the fury created with Newcastle fans at the way St James’s Park was submerged in a forest of Sports Direct signs. The old name is back again but a sour taste has been left in the mouth of fans and this must worry Rangers management.
The MSM seem to indicate that the Sports Direct offer for Ibrox naming is a three year deal worth £1.5 million with a bonus if certain targets are achieved which could apparently add another £1 million.
However, back in July 2012 ‘The Rangers FC Ltd’ (TRFCL) and ‘Sports Direct’ entered into a joint venture shareholders’ agreement to operate ‘Rangers Retail’ (Rangers Retail Ltd) with TRFCL holding 51% of Rangers Retail which will produce, supply and sell branded goods including to Rangers Ibrox superstore and the club’s online webstore. Sports Direct is responsible for day to day management, accounting and retail-related services to Rangers Retail.
And this is where my memory cells jangled because Sports Direct through its affiliate ‘Sportsdirect.com Retail Limited’ apparently provided a £1.5 million draw-down facility to Rangers Retail for 5 years with interest being capitalised. Money drawn-down will be secured by a debenture from Rangers Retail over all its freehold and leasehold property.
I don’t know what freehold or leasehold property that Rangers Retail might hold to secure the debenture. But now I am left wondering whether the £1.5 million for the Ibrox stadium name change is new money or is it the £1.5 million draw-down facility previously agreed and secured by a property-backed debenture.
There are other legal implications in the Rangers Retail deal which might interest Bears as Sports Direct, in a Rangers Retail deadlock situation, has the legal right to buy-out the TRFCL shareholding in Rangers Retail for a fixed-price of 50% of the profit made in the previous 12 months.
TRFCL and Sports Direct can each appoint two directors to Rangers Retail and if they end-up in a deadlock situation the matter is passed to the senior management of TRFCL and Sports Direct to resolve and if this fails a buy-out is triggered.
Following a buy-out, Rangers Retail would pay a royalty to TRFCL for certain exclusive worldwide intellectual property rights in return for it producing kit and branded products at cost + 10%. Mandatory share transfer would also take place where either SDI or TRFCL changed control or a default event took place such as insolvency or valid termination of the intellectual property licence.
The information above comes from the ‘Rangers International FC Plc’ AIM flotation prospectus and it’s possible this may have altered in a month but I haven’t noticed any announcement to that effect.
On the situation of announcements I also wonder if I have missed an announcement on the payment of £1.5 million + Vat re the Albion Street Car Park due apparently on 15 January to the Head Tenant. I’m assuming that everything is on course with the purchase of Edmiston House where an £80,000 deposit was lodged with the balance of the £800,000 + Vat purchase price due by 28 February.
Posted by Ecojon