One of the joys of being a professional adviser, whether in law, PR, Human Resources or the affairs of a publicly quoted company, is finding out what your client has decided to do without first asking for help. A friend of mine who worked for a major company delivering employment law advice to a wide range of employers, ranging from small firms to large PLCs, told me that 90% of her work involved clients phoning and the conversation going as follows:-
Client – Here is a situation we have. We have already done x. What should we do now?
Adviser – You should not have done x. As a result it will be far harder to resolve your problem. You have just made things worse. For future reference, maybe you should ask your adviser before you decide to do something?
One wonders if a similar discussion has taken place between Rangers and their Nominated Adviser over the weekend?
On Saturday, to the delight of the massed ranks of loyal Rangers fans, Craig Mather and Dave King revealed that Mr King was returning to the Board as Chairman. RIFC PLC has been without a chairman for several months now and Mr King’s return was looking as if it might heal the rifts between the existing Board and the Rebels.
And now we come to today…
Another day another stock market announcement from RIFC. Today’s suggests that even if Mr Mather took PR advice, either from the in-house communications department or outside advisers, he didn’t check with their NOMAD.
But after all, why should one need the NOMAD’s advice when announcing that the PLC will have a new chairman who will be making a substantial investment and who is going to lead a new round of fund-raising, even though there is no need for an IMMEDIATE cash injection? How could that be at all described as market-sensitive and require a Stock Exchange announcement?
The preamble read to today’s announcement reads:
The Board of RIFC notes recent and misleading speculation in relation to David King, a former director of Rangers Football Club. On Saturday 12th October RIFC published statements on its web site from David King and Craig Mather in order to prevent the escalation of false rumours. RIFC was advised by its Nominated Adviser that there were regulatory implications arising from these statements, and accordingly an amendment was subsequently made. The full text of those amended statements is set out below.
In the rush to get out the good news of the return of Dave King the CEO managed not to consider that news of a new chairman bringing possible new investment and leading further fundraising, though not for immediate needs, could be market sensitive. It couldn’t be, could it, that the desire was to get this news out to thwart the Rebel court application due to be heard later today, or at least to help the Board in the PR battle?
It is bad enough that the statement starts with that public recognition of the error in how the news was released on Saturday.
But even worse and tucked away at the foot of the announcement comes the real sting.
At the insistence of our Nominated Adviser, the Board needs to make it clear, for regulatory reasons, that the Board of directors referred to above is The Rangers Football Club Limited, the wholly owned subsidiary of The Rangers International Football Club PLC. Although we welcome the support of Dave King, no decision has been made to appoint him as a Director. There are regulatory matters which would need to be resolved prior to any such appointment. The Directors also expect that in the medium term future, possibly coinciding with the return to top league football in Scotland, it may be in the best interests of the Company to raise further capital. However, there is no requirement for short term funding, and as such neither the Company nor RIFC are actively seeking finance. Nonetheless, we are committed to exploring a future involvement by Mr King in the Club.
Yes. Mr King is not returning, at present, to the PLC but (possibly) to the “football board” – the former Sevco Scotland Ltd!
How could anyone have got the impression that anything else was meant. After all, in the original statement Mr Mather referred to Mr King working wiith the Board, and listed those on the PLC Board. Mr King referred to further find-raising. This was obviously NOT a reference to the share IPO for the PLC but to the private fund-raising which went on for Sevco Scotland Ltd before the PLC ever came into being. And as for Mr King depending on the shareholders supporting him – well the only shareholder in The Rangers Football Club Ltd is RIFC PLC!
I have no doubt that the plan is for Mr King to come back as chairman of the PLC as soon as it can be managed. However this fiasco has demonstrated once again that, when it comes to running a PLC, the Directors of Rangers International Football Club PLC have not grasped every one of the fundamentals.
And now to await today’s court hearing …
It never ends, does it!
Posted by Paul McConville