If Dave King Returns to Rangers, Should the “Haters” Be Afraid?

Back in the ancient past (2010) when first stories started to appear about the tax issues faced by the Murray International –owned Rangers, and on into 2011 when the Rangers Tax Case blog first saw the light of day, stories about the financial, legal and regulatory aspects of Rangers Football Club appeared every couple of weeks.

RTC could post a blog explaining about the ongoing tax sage, and know that there might only be a need, and even material, for another two or three posts that month.

As time went on the pace of news and developments quickened.

Now we are at the stage where hardly an hour goes past without some new legal issue arising, or some further stage in the fight for control of the assets and business of the Rangers Football Club. All of that means that even professional news organisations sometimes either miss stories completely, or do not have the time for detailed analysis, as something new happens and the original report is overtaken by events. And if it is hard for a professional new operation, how much more difficult for a lone individual who does this as a hobby!

Last weekend gave a perfect example.

In quick succession the following happened:-

Mr Mather led a meeting with representatives of Rangers-supporting organisations. He reported on his discussions earlier in the week with Dave King.

  • On last Saturday Rangers official website announced that Mr King was returning as Chairman and statements from both Mr Mather and Mr King confirmed this.
  • The reaction seemed very positive from Rangers fans and most of the press coverage too was in favour.
  • However, following that news, various people wondered publicly how Mr King could take a place on the PLC Board in light of the SFA “fit and proper person” test.
  • This, in turn, prompted even more glee from Rangers fans, on the basis that anyone looking to find reasons why Mr King should be barred from coming back to Ibrox was clearly, by definition, worried about it. The news therefore had been encouraging to Rangers fans for its own sake but also for how much upset it caused to the “Rangers haters”.

Of course this all was overtaken by what then happened.

  • On Monday Rangers, at the insistence of its Nominated Adviser, “clarified” the statements about Mr King. He was not coming back to Ibrox as PLC Chairman. He maybe could join the “football board” but nothing had been decided. And the comments about there being no “immediate” need for a financial injection but that he would lead a fund-raising exercise now was also “clarified”.
  • Later on Monday Lord Tyre deflated the Rangers CEO by ruling that the AGM set for 24th October could not go ahead as a result of the unlawful failure by the Board to allow resolutions on to the agenda about appointment of new directors.
  • On Tuesday Mr Mather resigned along with Mr Smart.

This meant that some thoughts I had jotted down on the bus at the start of the week about Mr King have failed so far to see the light of day. So here goes.

Why should supporters of other teams, or “Rangers haters” as they are called by some of the Ibrox persuasion, fear Mr King’s return?

Remember the days when Ibrox Board Meetings could not be held in a phone box?

Remember the days when Ibrox Board Meetings could not be held in a phone box?

The logic expressed by Rangers fans online seemed to be as follows:-

  • Mr King is a true blue Rangers fan.
  • Mr King has previously invested £20 million of his own money into the Murray-owned Rangers.
  • Mr King lost every penny of that investment when Rangers Football Club PLC went under.
  • Mr King has reached a deal with the South African tax authorities which clears his name (more about this in a post to come).
  • Mr King can now devote lots of his money to making Rangers great again.
  • Mr King is not aligned with the Rebels or the Board but would be joining to make the lion lay down with the lamb and to encourage dogs and cats to play together in harmony, united against the common enemy (and the “common enemy” is any one or more from the following list: Celtic, Aberdeen, the SFA, the SPFL, the BBC, the Daily Record, FARE, the SNP, Dundee United, anyone who refers to Sevco, Craig Whyte, Charles Green, Imran Ahmad …. The list continues on and on and on …)

But that analysis, seen very much through blue-tinted spectacles, fails to see actually what Mr King (a) has done for the previous PLC and (b) what he is position to do for the present PLC.

First of all, Mr King was a director of the old PLC from 30th March 2000 until 1st June 2012. This covers the period when, under Sir David Murray, the tax schemes which led to the Big Tax Case and the Wee Tax Case were entered into. It covers the period when Rangers ran up huge debt. It covered the time when the bank insisted on having its own representative on the board, leading to the then manager, Walter Smith, saying that the bank ran Rangers. It included the time when Mr Whyte’s company bought the Murray-owned shares. It included the time when Mr Whyte stopped paying tax bills and put the company into administration. It even takes in the point of liquidators being appointed.

That, with all due respect to the undoubted business skills of Mr King, is not a great track record!

His proponents would say that it was only his need to deal with the long-running tax dispute with the South African Revenue Service which took his attention away from Ibrox. But Mr King is not simply a wealthy ex-pat, living a life of luxury on the Cape and wondering how to spend his millions. Instead he is a high-profile businessman in South Africa with successful businesses there in which he plays an active role.


There seemed to be no suggestion in the now amended statements from him and From Mr Mather that he was giving up these interests to come to Scotland and once here to devote his attention to Rangers.

Ah, the Rangers fans would say, he is loaded, so he can put lots of money into Rangers now.

Maybe he would, and indeed his statement indicated a willingness to invest now. But here comes one of the fundamental issues, at least in Scottish football, which makes it difficult for the fans ever to love their club’s owners.

Rangers fans would love Mr King to come back to Ibrox and to invest £20 million again in the company. (Not to buy out an existing shareholder, as none of that cash goes to the company, but rather to buy newly issued shares.)

Businessmen, and especially successful businessman, do not achieve great wealth by wasting their money. If they invest it, unless in a total vanity project (which Mr King’s involvement previously might well have been), they want to make a profit.

Football fans do not want their teams to make profits, or if they do, they do not want the shareholders taking out the profits in dividends. Instead they want any profits “re-invested” in the football team, either to buy new players or retain existing ones by offering better terms.

If Mr King is prepared to make such a substantial investment again, purely as a vanity project, then good luck to him, but that seems highly unlikely to me.

And if he wants a return, then he needs Rangers to make money (which it never, or rarely, did in his previous time there, despite league success and European football.)

So, apart from dropping £20 million into the Ibrox black hole, what else did he do for the oldco? Not much, it seems, due to his South African distractions.

So, going forward, how can he help newco?

Dave King - man of many talents - here caddying for Gary Player at the US Masters

Dave King – man of many talents – here caddying for Gary Player at the US Masters

His business interests are in South Africa. Whilst he clearly knows business people in Scotland, if he was to be leading a fund-raising exercise his personal connections are likely to be based closer to Johannesburg than to Johnstone!

He would not be coming to take an executive role, and even if he was, he has no relevant experience in the running of a football team. And his connections in Scottish football will, whilst being a lot better than most, will in fact be pretty poor in comparison with most people in and around the boardrooms and corridors of power of Scottish football.

The final expectation, that his return would signal peace, has also gone by the wayside. There has been little or no sign of harmony between Rebels and the ever-dwindling Board.

Mr King declared himself not to be taking sides – that now makes it hard to go into one camp or the other.

And after all of that, there remain the regulatory hurdles for him to scramble over. Would he be classed by the SFA as “fit and proper”?

A unicorn - like the SFA "fit and proper test" this is also mythical

A unicorn – like the SFA “fit and proper test” this is also mythical

(The answer to that last question is, I believe, “Yes”. But not because of the careful forensic analysis which the SFA would undertake but because only Craig Whyte has the distinction of being denied that status. Mr King, for example, had the tax issue hanging over him for almost all of his Ibrox tenure and yet the SFA never considered him not to be “fit and proper” even when he was being criticised by a South African judge in the strongest terms.)

So, if Mr King comes back, should this cause fear in the hearts of the “Rangers-haters”?


Posted by Paul McConville




Filed under Craig Mather, Football Governance, Rangers

245 responses to “If Dave King Returns to Rangers, Should the “Haters” Be Afraid?

  1. lordmac

    all i have heard, and read the last few days is i love DAVE KING, we need DAVE KING, a always liked DAVE KING. the bottom line is this, when the rangers where up for grabs. Walter, ally,and co wanted others to buy rangers, so when the spivs got it cheap and got it valued in land mass
    they could not fail but to get some shrewd guys on there side, buying a company that will still have 50,000 fans turn up, is remarkable and i don’t think even Manchester united fans would turn up if there club was to be liquidated, what the rangers are doing it for, is pride, Charlie did not know right away, how things where going to pan out, but it was a bonus to him to see such loyalty, and then he went down the other route, that being able to get £350,000 wages lol plus a bonus into the bargain
    and all that he had to do was say the right things, with threats being the norm, charlie decided its time to get of this boat, but make a few guys directors to make his exit more plausible, deal himself a few more shares tie them up with a different part of the floatation, and bingo
    job done ride away but not to faraway as when the real spoils will be dealt out once more. shortly. can you imagine buying all those asset for under 5.5 million and be given 1.5 million to the 3 musketeers in wages the first year then to be given a further 1.2 as a bonus between them making it
    750,000 each , with this in mind it now only cost them what 2.8 to buy rangers
    and the best bit, use the fans money to buy of greens and co creditors lol

    • robertg

      We’re back to “Yes! Yes! He is the Messiah. And I should know, I’ve followed a few.”

      To save some folk the wear and tear on their keyboards, “He’s not the Messiah, he’s a very naughty boy!”

      I actually genuinely think he is interested in putting Sevco back on an even keel. Which is bad news for the triumphalist Bears looking for him to throw money at it like Sir Dodgy with what turned out to be the taxpayers cash.

  2. Fra

    Is the end game in sight??? It’s beginning to look like it.

    They’re getting battered from all angles. The spivs have cleared off and are sitting watching from a distance. As soon as it’s over, the big hoose belongs to them.

    DKs not allowed back, the BHOYS are questioning the validity of the license. The SFA are shitting themselves and Hectors not giving up

    Haven’t the spivs played a blinder. All for almost no outlay.

    Guffaw guffaw guffaw. HAPPY DAYS

  3. Ed Paisley

    My goodness, that FT article is unfortunate for Rangers. Riduculing the AIM and the role of Nomads. Someone at the LSE must be fizzing mad at Rangers because they are single handedly bringing the important AIM market into disrepute. This is an important market for emergent companies – it was created in 1995 to allow smaller companies to raise capital and expand without the regulatory demands of the full market. It is an important driver of economic activity that cannot be allowed to be undermined by a single high profile delinquent (criminal?) company.


    Hee hee hee
    Haw haw haw
    Cheating shitbags

  4. JohnBhoy

    The Double-Standard Daily Ranger.

    Hibs score against Celtic from an offside position. It happens, but is that the focus of the Daily Record’s headline? Of course not. “Neil Lennon Rant…”.

    Terry Butcher is upset during and after the Inverness v Thistle game. Does Terry’s anger at a perfectly disallowed goal (his player touched the ball twice in a dead-ball situation) merit a similar headline? Of course not. “Corner controversy at Caledonian Thistle as Inverness lose their 100 per cent home record after dodgy call from linesman”.

    • Eastside

      The Sevconians spent another weekend worrying whether their brand new Club, would be joining their old Club in the Chapel of Rest. The SMSM knew they needed something to distract their wee minds from reality, what better way than a full page image of a snarling Neil Lennon to cheer them up? It never fails as a distraction tactic for the gullible.

  5. R. MacGeddon

    Interesting Leggoland today – concerning threats, innuendo and more sinister goings-on from the present (or recently departed) incumbent Blue Room Mafia. Good auld Leggo finishes with a flourish of fighting talk! Maybe he’s going to answer the door in his skids!

  6. Gortnamona

    Cam is a sectarian racist rat and scumbag

    Even Neil Lennon was a Protestant Rangers’ Scumbag like yourself, you say you wouldn’t like him. Well I could hardly blame you.

    Give it a rest you two faced bit of shit, I have heard that mealy mouthed cant from others of your ilk many times before.

  7. Old Cartha Bhoy

    At some stage in the very near future, the Easedales will need to offer some proof that they speak for the other shareholders who hide behind other names…have the Brothers Grimm never been challenged/asked for proof thay they represent that majority interest? Can Paul or others advise what they would need to offer by way of evidence in that regard?

    As I have said before, and while a poor website is no demonstration of wealth or business acumen, the McGill Buses website is amateurish in the extreme! Who would have thought running ancient buses between Largs and Johnstone was such a money maker!

  8. Sevco United

    Wait a minute here. Something fishy is going on.

    Ed Paisley
    October 15, 2013 at 10:32 pm

    “I’m a St Mirren man so I impartial in this whole Celtic/Rangers bun fight.”

    Ed Paisley
    October 20, 2013 at 7:46 pm

    “Neil – please try and control your emotions a little more, especially on the world stage, but you are loved by the Celtic supporters almost to a man because we know that you are an intelligent, compassionate and straight-batting guy. We are lucky to have you at our club.”

    Strange words from an impartial St Mirren fan. Indeed. 🙂

    • Gortnamona

      How many times do you have to be told you stupid hun? Celtic, the Club and supporters are admired respected and loved by all decent sports people.
      Your Shower of Thugs and Malcontents are universally loathed.

  9. Gortnamona

    10th Feb. 2013
    It’s hard to believe it’s been a year, though, right?

    It feels about 10 have passed since that day when Duff and Duffer sat and squirmed their way through that first announcement in the media room at Ibrox.

    In the interim, Charles Green has gone from the devil incarnate to messiah, creaming a lovely earner for himself from their share issue along the way.

    It remains to be seen whether he’s in it for the long haul or not.

    What’s clear, however, is that the support are – and while they may buy tickets forever, they surely can’t keep buying the snake oil.
    Gordon Waddell

    • Eastside

      The gullible Orcs have bought so much Snake Oil in such vast quantities, they are now in danger of submerging the entire City of Glasgow in the stuff.

  10. Steven Brennan

    Sevco utd
    Ed is a st Mirren supporter and has said so many times, I think he is also a supporter for clear fair play and like yourself is on here( a celtic minded site) having a wee laugh at the expense of Sevconia.
    If you read his post he doesn’t actually say he is a celtic supporter. But if you interpret it that way fair play to you.

    • Sevco United

      Spoken from the heart, “WE are lucky to have you at OUR club”

      I dont really think there is any other way to interpret that statement to be honest Steve. 🙂

      • Steven Brennan

        I accused you of being a sevco fan, but took your word that you are not and apologised.
        If you dont believe Ed thats up to you.
        And for the record I don’t believe DeNiall isn’t a sevco supporter, so its double standards all round.

        • Sevco United

          Im not a Sevco fan and nothing have written would suggest otherwise, in fact, quite the contrary.

          If at any point, i have referred to Sevco as “WE” or “OUR” then you reserve the right to change your mind on that.

          For the record, and you may have missed this, I have called Niall/Steerpike out as a Sevco fan. And its for the EXACT SAME reason that Ed Paisley is a Celtic fan. Referring to Sevco as “we” and “our”

          So, there are no double standards anywhere actually……well apart from you. 🙂

      • Eastside

        Nothing to do with any recent comments Sevco Utd, but I have a wee inkling that you are a member of the SMSM. When reading your posts with that in mind, your comments make a lot more sense. Just a thought.

  11. lordmac

    sevco TRY TURNING YOUR SM TO MS first

  12. wastrel

    I never thought I`d be gratefull to this lot for, well, anything! ever!
    but this last 2 years has been the most amusing, in my life anyway, talk about payback! if someone had predicted this the day ray wilkins hit that astonishing volley I`d have had him/her (Hi Maggie) carted off to the looney bin!
    honestly loving every minute of it.

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