Here you can find the Rangers reply tonight, which seems to do exactly what its supporters wanted – to take on the “haters”. I have commented in bold on the statement where I think I have something useful to say.
One detects the pen of James Traynor in the piece below, which did not seem to be the case in last night’s terse and unsuccessful statement.
RANGERS are the subject of media reports and speculation which are at best misleading and at worst malicious.
The BBC and Channel 4 News, along with the various outlets mentioned in my last post, seem to have been consistent in what they have reported regarding Orlit.
- 1. There is a claim by Orlit that Rangers owes it £400,000.
- 2. Orlit is threatening legal action – a winding up petition.
- 3. Rangers stated yesterday that the matter had been agreed and that the matter would be settled.
- 4. There was no danger to the football club.
I have missed the misleading and malicious media reports and speculation. Maybe someone can point me in the right direction?
In an ideal world, for instance, one in which journalism wasn’t at such a damning low it has to be investigated by the highest authorities with culprits facing jail sentences, there would be no need for this Club to respond.
One assumes this refers to the Leveson Inquiry, phone hacking, the News of the World and the rest. I cannot quite see how this relates to the allegation that media reports about a football team are inaccurate.
Maybe someone can enlighten me as to the connection?
However, because it has become clear Rangers cannot rely on basic honesty, decency or integrity from enough of the country’s media outlets we must speak for ourselves. We have a duty to our supporters to put the record straight.
Don’t mince words Mr Traynor (if it is you). Are you referring to the BBC, to Channel 4, to the Record, to the Herald, the Scotsman, and STV.tv? Which media outlets do not possess honesty, decency and integrity? Could it be that the writer does not want to state specifics for fear of the legal action which is hinted in this very statement?
As far as putting the record (and I wonder if that is an unconscious pun) straight, surely the most misleading aspect was the Rangers statement last night?
It is almost as if it was never made!
Rangers have been disputing a payment to a foreign company, Orlit, although it should be stressed we have never said there is no bill to be met.
Fair enough. Any business needs to ensure that it is spending money appropriately. The suggestion that two invoices have been paid and two not paid implies that, quite properly, there was some issue for discussion.
What we have said and what we are telling our supporters is that not all of the invoices submitted with regard to this bill are legitimate.
Wow, just wow.
According to the OED “legitimate” means “conforming to the law or to rules”. By definition therefore an invoice which is not legitimate is not conforming to the law.
Is this a suggestion that the disputed invoices are fraudulent?
If not, what is wrong with them. Are they over-charged? Were they conditional on an event which Rangers dispute?
Is the writer of the statement aware that the sentence above is undoubtedly actionable? (That is not to say that what is said is untrue, nor is it to take either side in this dispute. However the statement carries clear implications of dishonesty on the part or Orlit).
Clearly there has been a lack of understanding within the media about this when all we have done is refuse to be forced into paying sums we do not owe. It is as simple as that.
OK. But last night’s statement gave no hint of this, did it?
Who on earth would pay out when faced with a spurious request for money?
I can see Orlit consulting lawyers about more than the disputed debt.
No matter what anyone else says, Rangers have agreed a figure to settle this issue and it is a figure which, as we have already tried to explain, is significantly less than the initial demand.
As Jimmy Tarbuck used to say on “Winner Takes All” – “We have a difference of opinion here Geoffrey!”
According to the BBC Orlit say there is no deal. According to Mr Traynor there is. We need, talking of game shows, Noel Edmonds and “The Banker” to resolve this one!
Only the wording, which would put this matter to rest once and for all, has still to be signed off.
Here might be the key. Has the wording been agreed or is it still under negotiation? Indeed, one imagines that when the wording is signed, the money will still have to be paid.
Frankly this statement for all of its gung-ho spirit, raises more questions than it answers.
And despite what some over-excited but desperately ill-informed bloggers claim, there is no threat of this Club being closed. That is downright malicious and ludicrous.
A couple of points. As we found last year, a club is a collection of assets – therefore “the club” is not in danger of being sold. Even if the company which owns the club was at such risk (which there is no evidence to suggest is the case) the assets could be sold elsewhere.
I wonder which “over-excited but desperately ill-informed bloggers” are being referred to here.
And if their comments are stated to be malicious, then should court action not follow?
(On one view this statement from Ibrox could enrich a sizeable portion of the legal profession, both in Scotland and in Singapore! – Allegedly)
But let’s make one thing clear: If Orlit wish to instruct their lawyers to go to court then we will defend our position vigorously.
The gloves are well and truly off. “See you in court” is a phrase often uttered in TV dramas and films. Rarely is it said in real life. But the sentiment runs through this whole document.
We are absolutely convinced we’d win but we did think it would be better to avoid giving our many detractors another bar with which to beat us over the head. That’s why we made an offer to settle but we now find we are still being harassed.
Now, reading what has been said above one might think an agreement had been reached. However, here we see that it is an “offer” to settle. Has that offer been accepted? Is that the “wording” to be “signed off”?
Orlit seem to think there is no deal.
Maybe the wiser reaction would have been to insist that the allegedly illegitimate and spurious invoices would not be met with payment of even one penny. Clearly, as the statement goes on to say, the threat of legal costs would be of little value against such a well-funded company. Why not spend a few pounds to gain the moral high ground of being seen to stand up for itself against this “foreign” company? One suspects that an unequivocal statement that the bill would be contested vigorously would have met with great approval from the fans.
And even the detractors would only have had a “bar to beat them over the head” if the defence turned out to be “spurious”?
The thought process seems to be that if we have £22m from the recent IPO we should just pay up. Bizarre. Why should we? Of course we can pay the amount demanded – it is, as we’ve already stated, a small amount – but it is ridiculous to hand over more than is due.
I suspect that the first sentence of the above paragraph might be analysed to the nth degree. It does not say that Rangers has £22 million, but that “if” it has £22 million. I do not think this is the “smoking gun” to establish the theories that the IPO did not raise the full amount of cash claimed. Value can be received for shares in various forms – cash is merely one of them. I think though that too detailed a focus on this sentence will lead to an incorrect conclusion.
As I wrote last night, the emphasis on this sum, stated to be £400,000, as being a “small amount” might not be the most tactful, or indeed legally wise, thing to say.
The money belongs to Rangers and we will not give it out to anyone who comes along with invented invoices.
Interestingly (although I will not explore the issue at too much length here) it seems that the comments referred to would be actionable in Singapore. They are made about a Singaporean company and, being on the internet, might be deemed to be published there.
Two possibilities arise.
Singapore’s Defamation Act would cover a civil claim for damages were such to be made by Orlit.
More significantly the Singaporean Penal Code criminalises defamation in certain circumstances.
Section 499 states:-
Whoever, by words either spoken or intended to be read, or by signs, or by visible representations, makes or publishes any imputation concerning any person, intending to harm, or knowing or having reason to believe that such imputation will harm, the reputation of such person, is said, except in the cases hereinafter excepted, to defame that person.
The penalty is a fine, up to two years’ imprisonment or both.
Is it likely that Rangers will be sued, or the author prosecuted, in a Singaporean court? No. It is highly unlikely. However, it is always instructive to have a look at the laws of another jurisdiction!
That would be reckless in the extreme and suggest that nothing has been understood from the past when Rangers were in effect mugged by money grabbers.
“Mugged by money grabbers”!
If this is not written by Mr Traynor, then the writer has his style to a “T”!
Who are these money grabbers? Name names! I am sure Rangers fans want to be clear about who these people were!
We are here to make sure that does not happen again. We do pay our bills on time and we have always been prepared to pay this one.
“We have always been prepared to pay this one”!
This one which is spurious, illegitimate and invented? Always prepared to pay it? Something has been lost in translation, methinks.
There are many people and journalists who will choose to disbelieve this truth but that is up to them. They will continue to attack Rangers no matter what we say but this statement is not for them.
Oops. Sorry then.
I can only speak for me. Despite what some readers believe, it is not my default position to “attack” Rangers at every turn. However, even the most staunch and loyal “Bluenose” must agree that, over the last couple of years, there has been a huge amount said and done by people within the organisation which is very much worthy of comment.
And who has repeatedly said the Mr Green deserves to be Businessman of the Year for his financial dealings and ability to appeal to his own customer base? Me!
It is for our supporters. They deserve to know and understand the exact and precise state of play,
Except this statement does not tell us the “exact and precise” state of play, does it?
And then comes the “Mission Statement”…
Rangers will not be closed. This Club will never run up crippling debts and we will not pay over-inflated salaries to players.
However, we will have a sensible pay structure which won’t threaten the club’s existence. That is what we believe the fans want.
Having said that, Rangers are rising and we will return to the top flight where we will be competitive again.
We are still very much at the beginning of a long road back and although there will be potholes to be negotiated, nothing will stop us.
Rangers are no longer soft touches. We will not bow to or run from bullies and we will not be pressured into handing out even £1 if it is not merited.
We are sorry if this, or the fact that Rangers are financially healthy, isn’t what people want to hear but this is the new reality.
It is for others to come to terms with that and also our continued revival. It would, however, be a pleasant change if we could be left alone to get on with our business.
I don’t know about you, but I can imagine the above section being read in a Churchillian voice, almost in a “We will fight them on the beaches” manner, as the strains of “Land of Hope and Glory” play in the background.
It also seems to jar rather with the words of Mr Green, only a couple of weeks ago, where he wanted to extend the hand of friendship to others and rebuild bridges. The statement above seems designed to bring crashing down any rickety bridges which have so far been rebuilt.
Will it appeal to the writers and readers of The Rangers Standard?
To Bill McMurdo?
To the denizens of the various Rangers fan-sites and message boards?
Of course it will.
Does it reinforce the “no one likes us, we don’t care” siege mentality?
Is it another brilliantly framed way of appealing to the core support? Very much so.
Is it a sign that Mr Traynor’s influence is driving out the previous involvement and philosophy of Media House? Looks like it.
Does it mean that there are likely to be more things to write about connected with the football club owned by the company owned by the PLC down Govan way!
Posted by Paul McConville