And so James Traynor sails off into the sunset…
RANGERS today announce that Director of Communications James Traynor has left the Club.
I was expecting a wee bit more actually. Why did Mr Traynor, well-respected wordsmith and, to coin a phrase, true “master of the inky trades” not get the chance to share a few words with the supporters of his now former employers?
After all Craig Mather (remember him?) got 445 words, most of which were quotes from him, on the occasion of his departure.
But Mr Traynor gets a dozen.
I suspect that the excellent lawyers for Rangers (in its various manifestations) have been very busy over the last few days with a document which will run to rather more than twelve words, in the form of a “Settlement Agreement” detailing the basis upon which Mr Traynor has surrendered the club tie and “walked away”.
One would expect that the Chief Executive would want to ensure that “what happens in Ibrox stays in Ibrox” and that suitable confidentiality clauses are included binding Mr Traynor not to spill the beans on what he has experienced within the hallowed portals.
And, as one of Scotland’s finest sports journalists over many years, Mr Traynor would be more than capable of shedding light on the machinations and manoeuvrings of the various characters in this saga. That suggests therefore that, to ensure he keeps quiet, there would be some additional recognition of this in his severance package. If not, I suspect Mr Traynor has a best-seller almost ready to hit the shelves!
Will he seek to return to the Record or the Herald or to the BBC? How likely is he to be welcomed back after he has been critical of almost every media organ in his time at Rangers, and he made it clear he was finished with football reporting, having been far happier to turn gamekeeper. We shall see…
I suspect he might be singing the following song, made famous by Johnny Paycheck, as he leaves the “Blue Room” behind for the last time.
Will Rangers replace Mr Traynor? Will the mantle of media overlord pass to Jack Irvine and Media House?
Whatever happened to the statement about Media House which was disclosed to the Rangers fan groups by Messrs Mather and Stockbridge and was imminently due for public release?
I mentioned above that the Chief Executive would want to ensure that the terms of departure were properly regulated.
However, and even more bizarrely, Rangers International Football Club PLC does not have a Chief Executive.
It does not even have an interim or acting CEO (at least according to official announcements I have seen).
When Mr Green departed, Mr Mather took over as acting CEO almost straight away. It then turned out that, after an extensive process scouring the football and business worlds for the best possible person to get the job full-time, he was actually sitting in the CEO’s office already! How lucky Rangers were for that to happen!
And so this week saw the Financial Times carry an advert for applications for the role.
The advert for the post stated the role has a “wide and varied remit” and requires a “candidate of exceptional quality and experience who is comfortable in a high profile environment.”
It also listed several key responsibilities, including leading and developing the “strategy” of the business, developing and overseeing Rangers International’s commercial activity and liaising with the club’s supporters, the football authorities and shareholders.
The advert states the salary for the role is “negotiable + benefits”. Mr Green earned almost £1m for his ten months as Rangers International chief executive, which included a 100% bonus on his £360,000 annual salary for winning the Scottish Third Division.
Rangers state in the CEO advert that they are looking for an “exceptional business leader in sport with a commercial approach and the ability to innovate” and “proven track record of success within sport”.
The Ibrox club are also seeking an “outstanding motivator who can maximise the talent and potential of employees and drive the club back to pinnacle of Scottish and international sport” as well as a candidate with “strong interpersonal skills”.
So it is time I think to blow the dust off the CV and to fire it in – after all, if I am appointed to be the CEO of Rangers, then I will probably have to stop blogging about them – and that might be the way to silence me!
Or else I might agree to the Director of Communications job – if that involves writing the posts on the website, then I am already up to speed with that!
But on a serious note, then how on earth can RIFC PLC still be seen as operating in an appropriate manner under AIM/Stock Exchange rules?
The company has:-
- NO CHAIRMAN
- ONE EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR
- ONE NON-EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR
- NO ONE ON THE REMUNERATION COMMITTEE
- NO ONE ON THE AUDIT COMMITTEE
- NO ONE ON THE NOMINATION COMMITTEE
- NO CHIEF EXECUTIVE
- NO ACTING CHIEF EXECUTIVE
- NO SIGN OF THE RE-ARRANGED AGM
(To be fair the Committee issue was addressed on Thursday when the website was updated to read as follows:-
In accordance with best practice, the Company has established audit, nomination and remuneration committees, with written terms of reference for each that deal with their respective authorities and duties. The full terms of reference of all the committees are available from the company secretary or can be located here.
New audit committee members including a chairman will be decided once the board of RIFC has been strengthened by the appointment of new directors, as set out in the announcement of 16 October.
New nomination committee members including a chairman will be decided once the board of RIFC has been strengthened by the appointment of new directors, as set out in the announcement of 16 October.
New remumeration (sic) committee members including a chairman will be decided once the board of RIFC has been strengthened by the appointment of new directors, as set out in the announcement of 16 October.
The primary decision on the continued presence of RIFC PLC as a traded stock rests on the Nominated Adviser. The lucky man within Daniel Stewart who has the job of handling this is Paul Shackleton. He last week described the situation as “a minefield”.
When the person responsible for ensuring that the required standards which must be complied with to allow a company to be traded publicly is calling the situation “a minefield” how much longer can the shares be open to trade without a suspension of dealing?
Maybe someone can ask Mr Shackleton how he is doing getting through the minefield!
Posted by Paul McConville