I posted last about Gordon Smith’s BBC interview where he seemed, undoubtedly by accident, to have re-written the history of Rangers entering administration.
I don’t know whether it was the Administration Anniversary celebrations that brought them out of the woodwork, but the lesser spotted baloney seemed prevalent over the last couple of days.
I turn now to Mr McCoist.
(As an aside, have a look back at the Share Prospectus. Three times it refers to Mr McCoist as “the Club’s all-time leading scorer”. Nowhere does it praise his managerial performance.)
Today saw Mr McCoist speaking to the Sun. (I cannot recall just now whether or not the Sun is on the list of publications and news outlets with which Rangers fans are in dispute).
He was quoted as follows, discussing Craig Whyte:-
“I haven’t spoken to him. There are obviously a lot of questions which remain unanswered.
“The one thing that the Rangers fans deserve is an answer to a lot of those questions. Hopefully, in the fullness of time, we will get them.
“I do believe there is still a process going on with Strathclyde Police. They are taking a great interest in making enquiries into the purchase of the club at that time. It would be wrong of me to comment while there is an investigation ongoing.
“But there is a train of thought — whether it’s right or wrong — that the football club and the people within the football club might actually be the victims of a crime.
“So we will have to wait and see what happens with that one.
“Hopefully it’s a story that will be told one day because a lot of people deserve answers.”
As we all know, Mr McCoist, as with the SFA Disciplinary Panel last year, is good at demanding answers.
Maybe, if he is looking for answers regarding Mr Whyte, he could look at the Rangers Tax Case Blog, parts of which have come back online. He could read Phil Mac Giolla Bhain’s blog or his book, “Downfall”. He could even read what I wrote about Mr Whyte on this blog. Maybe he will find the answers he is looking for here?
I do like the way that, having said he can’t comment whilst there is an investigation, he comments while there is an investigation.
As no one really seems to know what Mr Whyte, if indeed it is he, is being investigated for, I think it would be hard to be accused of prejudicing an enquiry.
But how can Rangers be the victim of a crime?
As I said on my last post, and as no one has yet contradicted when I have said it before, “Rangers” benefited from any “crime” or sharp practice from Mr Whyte or his allies.
That might seem unduly inflammatory, and indeed “hate filled” but hear me out.
Sir David Murray’s MIH Group sold its 85% stake in Rangers Football Club PLC to Mr Whyte for £1. In addition, the debt of almost £20 million owed to Lloyds was cleared too. That meant that, after Mr Whyte’s takeover at least the bank was not clamouring for its money.
What then happened?
Rangers suffered a perfect storm of ill-luck (or karma, if you so believe). They went out of both European competitions without passing “Go”. This was the catalyst for the disaster which followed. The millions which had been part of Rangers budgeting for years were not coming in the autumn of 2011. Maybe £10 million or more which would otherwise have come into the coffers did not arrive.
In previous years Rangers had used the UEFA earnings as a lifebelt, keeping the company afloat on the stormy sea of huge wages and costs. But Mr Whyte happened to be the skipper when the lifebelt deflated.
Rangers running costs were over £2.5 million per month. How could it survive?
Mr Whyte came up with the idea that, by not paying VAT and PAYE, he could re-inflate the lifebelt. I have no doubt too that this was intended merely to be a short term measure until the financial waves died down, when he would of course have made up the tax shortfalls.
Why does no one ask what paid the bills at Ibrox from October 2011 until February 2012?
Does no one wonder where the £3 million which was in Rangers bank when Duff and Phelps took over came from?
It was the money from the unpaid tax bills.
That is how Rangers benefited. By not shutting down earlier. By being able, thanks to the sacrifice of players some of whom gave up 75% of their wages for three months, and then were abused for leaving, to reach the end of the season and the point where a sale could proceed.
Mr McCoist might look at the team he manages now and ponder being in SFL3, with many, but by no means all, of his internationalist players having left. But Rangers are not where they are because of Craig Whyte. They are where they are because for years European income kept them afloat, and when, in 2011, this income was non-existent, there was no safety net (apologies for the mixed metaphor).
Craig Whyte did not help matters – he was the engine driver when the train hit the buffers. But it is a wholesale attempt to rewrite history to suggest that it was all “the big boy who did it and ran away”.
So Rangers were not victims. They were not complicit (if you separate Mr Whyte from Rangers and of course legally that is not the case).
Clearly however Mr McCoist is convinced of Rangers status as victims. After all, as he said in April 2012:-
“Rangers Football Club was a victim of what happened during the tenure of Craig Whyte. The club was not an accomplice, a co-conspirator nor a perpetrator of wrongdoing. We suffered from it and still are.”
With all due respect to the all-time leading goal scorer in Rangers history, he is wrong. Rangers Football Club was in no way a “victim”.
Posted by Paul McConville