Buddies Or Enemies? St Mirren Get Dragged Into The Rangers Story

The timing was perfect – two-and-a-half years ago. Stewart Gilmour had been St. Mirren chair longer than anyone else in the club’s then 132-year history. He had overseen a ground move which, with the help of Tesco (other supermarket chains are available), had left the “Buddies” debt-cleared. And, perhaps conscious that the Scottish professional football model wasn’t over-conducive to debt-freedom, he and a consortium of fellow directors put their collective shareholding, a controlling 52%, up for sale in September 2009. Yet this takeover saga is still far from over and is making bigger headlines than ever… now that it has a link to the Old Firm. A takeover bid by supporters under the auspices of a Community Interest Company (CIC), a ‘social enterprises’ business model, has encountered numerous problems since its two driving forces, Richard Atkinson and Chris Stewart, joined the Saints board in June 2010. And it lost significant funding last November. However, a restructure into a “supporters’ co-operative” breathed new life into the bid whilst another bid, led by Buddies’ directors Ken McGeoch and Paul Davies, appeared as little more than a footnote in the overall story. Then, on March 7th, about ninety-four statements were released by various Rangers ‘people’, which were ostensibly in response to a 1500-word “liquidation is inevitable” rant from Ibrox non-executive director Dave King but may actually have been part of an early...

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