Tag Archives: Jim Traynor

Quick! Get the CVs in to Ibrox for CEO and Communications Director Jobs!

And so James Traynor sails off into the sunset…

As reported on the official Rangers website:-

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.

Mr Traynor in happier times with a man now being airbrushed from Ibrox history

Mr Traynor in happier times with a man now being airbrushed from Ibrox history

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.

As STV.com reported:-

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:-

Rangers Board Members and Executives gather for a series of meetings

Rangers Board Members and Executives gather for a series of meetings

(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.

Audit Committee
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.

Nomination Committee
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.

Remuneration Committee
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.

Updated: 31/10/2013

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



Filed under Corporate Governance, Rangers

The Rangers Ban on the BBC – NUJ Code of Conduct and SFL Rule 71.4.1

Two weeks ago we saw the reaction of Rangers to the publication of the “Rangers masterplan”. The reaction might be seen by some as rather extreme.

The day after the publication, the BBC had sent its journalists along to Ibrox for the Third Division title-winning celebration.

Amongst the BBC staff on site at Ibrox were Chris McLaughlin and Chick Young.

As the day progressed, the BBC reported that Mr McLaughlin had been told to leave and that Mr Young too had been removed, although he was told that he could stay to watch the game but could not broadcast from the ground.

One might wonder why they were allowed in to the ground, except of course that barring the BBC from the ground pre-emptively might not have been as attractive to the customers as turfing them back out. Continue reading


Filed under BBC, Rangers

Rangers Response to the Orlit Claim – “Unworthy of Further Comment” Last Night – All Guns Blazing Tonight

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. 1.      There is a claim by Orlit that Rangers owes it £400,000.
  2. 2.      Orlit is threatening legal action – a winding up petition.
  3. 3.      Rangers stated yesterday that the matter had been agreed and that the matter would be settled.
  4. 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? Continue reading


Filed under Charles Green, Orlit Enterprises v Rangers, Rangers

Guess Who the Record Condemned as “Morally Bankrupt” with “Indefensible Greed” for Using “Sleight of Hand” to Avoid Taxes?

Whilst the First Tier Tribunal found, by a majority, in favour of MIH in the EBT case, the judges on all sides were of a mind that the scheme used was an artificial one for the purposes of reducing tax bills. The majority found that the form triumphed over the substance, whilst the dissenting judge favoured the reverse. These issues will be dealt with again, should HMRC decide to appeal.

As the majority commented:-

“The terms of the Appellants’ internal memos and communications anent the operation of the Remuneration Trust were highlighted by Mr Thomson. This had been a major feature emerging from HM Inspectors’ investigation. While these are suggestive of “aggressive” tax avoidance, we are conscious that they were composed by lay persons without specialist legal experience.”


“We are unable to make further Findings-in-Fact in support of there being an orchestrated scheme extending to the payment in effect of wages or salary absolutely and unreservedly to the employees involved”.

Dr Poon, in the minority said:-

“I disagree that the legal form of a transaction with its corollary legal effect is conclusive as a dictum in applying the Ramsay principle, and make extra Findings-in-Law regarding Ramsay and its application to the present case.


“I am guided by ‘the ultimate question’: ‘whether the relevant statutory provisions, construed purposively, were intended to apply to the transaction, viewed realistically’. To that end, the facts that inform me regarding the realistic nature of the transaction are more widely characterised than the legal form of the transaction.


“Secondly, in following the edicts for any trier of fact laid down in Heaton v Bell [1970] AC728 at 748B [Lord Morris], ‘The quest must be to find the realities of the arrangements that were agreed,’ and at 760E [Lord Upjohn], ‘having ascertained the real nature of the transaction, you cannot … disguise it by using camouflaged clothing’, I have highlighted areas of conflicting evidence and drawn my conclusions as to what I regard as the real nature of the transaction.”

It is fair to say that there was no attempt, as far as I am aware, by MIH to suggest that this was a scheme devised for anything other than tax purposes. Continue reading


Filed under Daily Record, HMRC v Rangers

“Succulent Lamb” Still Alive and Well? – “Green won’t leave Rangers till they reach Champions League”

Back in March 2011 a new blog appeared on the Internet – Rangers Tax Case

The soon to be award winning blogger wrote, in his first post:-

“My motivation to write is born out of the willful ignorance of the Scottish media on this story.  While they reprint unbelievable PR fiction related to Rangers as news, Scotland’s Fourth Estate has gone to great efforts to ignore the tax story.”

That unquestioning press coverage became tagged with the phrase “Succulent Lamb”. One of the prime purveyors of such lamb was seen as James Traynor of the Daily Record.

Since those far off days in 2011, many things have changed, and in the football arena no one could have predicted where Scottish football and the Ibrox club would be now.

Reassuringly though some things never change. Remember that RTC was concerned with the Scottish media printing “unbelievable PR fiction related to Rangers as news”?

Today’s Daily Record has the following piece under Mr Traynor’s by-line. My comments are in bold.


CHARLES Green has scrapped plans to make a quick Ibrox exit and vowed to stay on until Rangers are back in the Champions League. The man who took the club from the scrapheap admitted last night that he has become so attached to Rangers that he can’t walk away. Continue reading


Filed under Charles Green, Daily Record, Press, Rangers, SFA