Now That Rangers Are Saved (Redux)

36 By Mark  |   The Ball  |   May 4, 2012  |     12

We are delighted to announce today that 200% has received an unconditional bid for the Rangers opinion piece from Mr Mark Murphy which has been accepted and he is now the preferred author. Mr Murphy now proposes to complete his article by the end of this weekend. Mr Murphy’s proposal involves the use of a specially-created article and the retention of the initial reaction piece. The strident opinions he proposes to express will be sheltered in an article and returned to the initial piece once that has been “written.” He sees this route as a necessity rather than a choice and in our view this is an entirely workable strategy. Indeed, to ensure the continuing sound operation of Mr Murphy’s mind beyond the end of today, it is in our view a compelling strategy.

Christ on a bike, where to start??? Well, whoever wrote the line in a recent Rangers Supporters Trust statement which said that the football authorities in Scotland were taking decisions “with the sole purpose of crippling Rangers” ought to be feeling pretty stupid after this midweek’s events. They won’t, of course, now that Rangers are saved. And you can bet they won’t be issuing a retraction, or thanking those football authorities for their work this week, especially Mr Neil Doncaster, the Scottish Premier League’s chief executive. Doncaster is the Scottish game’s equivalent of the EPL’s much-loved football romantic Richard Scudamore. And the comparison between the two was never more direct than during this past week.

It was certainly a more direct comparison than, to pick an example purely at random, the exits from administration by English Football League clubs Crystal Palace and Plymouth Argyle and the exit from administration proposed for Rangers by Tennessee tow-trucker Bill Miller. The first sign that Miller’s “unorthodox,” sanctions-busting bid was not only being taken seriously but set up as the way forward for the Ibrox insolvents came in Doncaster’s Monday night interview on BBC Radio Scotland’s Sportsound programme. In attempting to justify Miller’s now (in)famous “newCo” concept, Doncaster portrayed it as something approaching a “norm” in English football insolvencies. And he added that such an entity could be set up at Rangers by May 11th, the last working day of this SPL season.

He neglected to offer an example of such a speedy company set-up in English football. But then he couldn’t; because there wasn’t one. And Doncaster was relying on his Scottish interrogators knowing too little of English league football to notice what was immediately apparent to closer observers of the game – that his justification of Miller’s “newco” was based on what I believe to be a lie. I was tempted to portray Doncaster’s claims for a newco – “the accepted way that clubs emerge from administration” – as “at best, disingenuous” or “misleading” or “more significant for what it didn’t say that what it did.”

All of those are correct. But Doncaster was using this idea as a central justification for Miller’s proposals. He was involved enough in English football at the time of insolvencies identical to Palace and Plymouth (as Norwich City chief executive, Football League board member and Football League rep on the FA board) to know that such clubs did not emerge from administration BY forming a newco. And he isn’t so stupid as to have misunderstood events in England. He simply could not find a justification for Miller’s proposals, other than a wilful misrepresentation of the course of those events. And if this is the professional advice he gives fellow board members when they come to “new” Rangers’ application for the old club’s SPL share (the right to play in the league), the issue become rather more important than the mystified ramblings of an unimportant blogger.

The differences between the Palace, Argyle and Rangers situations are key. At Palace and Argyle, new companies were formed to take over the running of the club. And, as Doncaster noted, the Football League share was transferred to the new company “without any penalty.” But there the analogy ends; because the transfer of the share was dependent upon the successful outcome of a voluntary arrangement to deal with the old company’s debts – our friend the “CVA.” Had the CVA not been accepted by the requisite majority of creditors, the transfer of the share would not have taken place “without any penalty.” When Ken Bates attempted to exit Leeds United from administration in 2007, his proposals to pay creditors were challenged left, right and centre – for reasons with which I won’t detain you here. The upshot of it was that Leeds’ new company was granted the Football League share, with further sanctions applied. Leeds/Bates were given the choice of a 15-points deduction or demotion. They chose the former.

At both Palace and Plymouth, the transfer of the share from old company (in administration) to new company took place as a consequence of the acceptance of a CVA. Miller’s proposals involve that transfer taking place an indeterminate time before the acceptance of a CVA (joint administrator Paul Clark said yesterday that this could be “some months into the future”), in fact regardless of whether there is a CVA accepted or not. Doncaster’s Monday night interrogators, the two Jims Spence and Traynor, may not have picked up on Doncaster’s disinformation. And there is no reason why they should, I do not offer this as a criticism. Indeed, they were quick to pick up on Doncaster’s main motivation and gave him a properly thorough interrogation on that subject.

In England, reports from the SPL’s annual general meeting (AGM) last Monday focused exclusively on the postponement of the vote on new financial regulations governing insolvency situations. This postponement, Doncaster told the two Jims, was because “a lot of passions… are running high” and in order to “let some more clarity” (I.e. some clarity) emerge from Ibrox over the next few days” before the SPL could “think again” (very Scottish, Neil). (Handily, of course, this also meant that Miller’s clarity-camouflaging proposals had an extra week to enter fait accompli territory before any new rules could make the headlines again).

But even in Scotland, the key issue to deciding Rangers future in the SPL was tucked away a little. As the Scotsman reported on Tuesday: “Doncaster has admitted that continuing uncertainty over Rangers’ participation next season is hampering efforts to finalise the new £80m TV contracts with SKY and ESPN.” The Scotsman quoted Doncaster’s reference to “long-form commercial contracts following the initial agreement” after he had said that the SPL had “agreed terms for a new five-year deal from the summer.” Traynor had a translation for this: “Is there a written clause in that contract with SKY and ESPN that says that Celtic and Rangers must meet four times a year?” “Yeah, we’ve been clear about that situation,” Doncaster replied, referencing the current deal. But pressed on whether the Rangers uncertainties put the new deal under threat, Doncaster got exceptionally evasive, adding: “I think it’s your job to speculate, it’s my job to solve the problem.”

He made a curious statement for the time of year: “Speculating about where we might be next season doesn’t do anyone any good” (it might not be harmful a fortnight before the end of this season, though. And Spence and Traynor segued into the then-potential application for membership from a Miller-concocted newco. Forgiving Traynor his, well, Traynor-esque reference to the all-new financial prospect of “further liquidation,” he hit the proverbial nail full-on with: “Provided (a newco emerges) before the end of the season, there will be no further sanctions and they will remain in the SPL?” Doncaster did nothing to correct the impression that that was, indeed, the plan. “The new rules that were due to have been discussed today would have imposed certain sanctions,” Doncaster noted. “Even if they do it before the end of the season?” Traynor inquired. “Well, no, but that would have come in on the first day after the season.”

I haven’t inferred from Doncaster’s use of “would have” that the postponement of the vote on the new rules will delay them beyond day one of the close season. Nonetheless, however long the interim period until they do take effect, Doncaster stressed that sanctions were at the SPL board’s discretion “under the current rules.” And this will tell a tale. At the time of writing, the SPL clubs are due to vote on the new rules on Monday May 7th. Between now and the season’s end, we are being led to expect by financial and football administrators alike, the SPL will receive an application for one of its shares from Miller’s new stand-alone entity (joint administrator David Whitehouse’s words, not mine).

It would make sense, of course, for the board to apply its discretion in favour of whatever the clubs decide. And even if the vote comes after Miller’s membership application, you would expect a consistency of thinking from an organisation ruling “without fear or favour” – Doncaster’s words not mine. But this begs the question as to why Doncaster’s media briefings earlier this week, in the aftermath of Monday’s meetings and radio interview, so stressed the idea of a “newco” taking a league share without sanction. Especially when that “idea” was “at best, disingenuous” or “misleading” or “more significant for what it didn’t say that what it did.” Miller has, of course, told the administrators that he has been given “comfort” by the “football authorities” over Rangers’ SPL place next season – although joint administrator Clark offered the somewhat vague “it is my belief that that is one of the assurances he has received, yes.” The tow-trucker’s “demand” for no further football penalties was dropped as part of yesterday’s events.

And, as noted above, Doncaster will, presumably, be offering his “professional” advice on newcos in England to the board as it applies its discretion to new Rangers’ application for SPL entry. You suspect, then, that there may be a key difference between the board’s discretion and the clubs’ decision, despite the two being applied to identical situations. And you don’t have to be a Celtic fan to believe that that isn’t right.

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  • May 4, 2012 at 7:45 pm


    There is a comparison with an English club regards Rangers becoming a Newco – Darlington. Except that, as Darlington moves forward without debts & also without a CVA, they face expulsion from the Conference and having to play in Tier 8 or lower. Because Darlo have breached the rules & are facing the consequences.

    One law for one…

  • May 4, 2012 at 7:49 pm

    Mark Chalcraft

    Rangers are well beyond farce. The administrators try to convince the world that this doesn’t involve liquidation, without explaining how a company stripped of all assets & future income will achieve a CVA (it won’t because this is a liquidation).

    At the same time, they make no mention of Craig White, owner of said assets, Ticketus, purchaser of rights to said future income or HMRC, who await the opportunity to expose one of the biggest corporate tax scams in recent memory.

    The media is fed meaningless PR (i.e. lies) from Rangers, the SPL are desperate to preserve cash over integrity or decency with no regard for UEFA’s reported “concerns” and we’re expected to buy into all this as if it’s for the good of football that this rotten “institution” is rescued from its own stupidity?

    In that case, I’m off to set up an EBT.

  • May 4, 2012 at 8:03 pm



  • May 4, 2012 at 8:13 pm



  • May 4, 2012 at 8:23 pm


    Sometimes, I wish there was an option above ALL CAPS, just so people could really get their message across.

  • May 4, 2012 at 8:31 pm


    @Trueblue…..if that’s the best comeback you’ve got [all without a shred of evidence] then you are pathetic to say the least. Wake up and smell the coffee, your club is either going to be stuck in the lower divisions for years or you’ll get voted into the SPL with no ability to sign anyone over 18 years old, no European football / money and much reduced SPL money……..!!
    If you want to get out of this mess … PAY YOUR BILLS like everyone else has to and stop cheating..!!

  • May 4, 2012 at 8:39 pm


    with people like Trueblue supporting them i think the whole of Europe will breathing a sigh of rlief at not having the mindless hordes on their doorsteps for a few years. They are not called the “Huns” for nothing.

  • May 4, 2012 at 8:40 pm


    Typical rangers fan. You arent happy that people dont buy the garbage coming from your club so you resort to comments about child abuse. Get a life

  • May 4, 2012 at 8:43 pm

    i am craig whyte

    true blue calm down haha,gettin a bit hot there big man why dont you just go kick yhe shit out yir misses or is she still sore from sunday .look it cost me one whole pound to bring the people! down would have went to £1.50 but there you are but listen YOUR DEAD DEAD DEAD stupid hun.stupid stupid hun go back to murderwell your grandkids will be celtic fans hail hail

  • May 4, 2012 at 8:48 pm


    TRUEBLUE,,is it not time you crawled back under your rock you slime ? Anyway,the article was refreshing and it is a pity that the MSM are not so candid or lucid !

  • May 4, 2012 at 8:59 pm

    Robert Hughes

    To Mr Trueblue as an English obsever of the goings on I have noticed your comments on several blogs. All of them are secterian and/or racist rants and I will be reporting them to the Police. So now you may be able to assemble some prison knowledge from personal experience.

  • May 4, 2012 at 9:32 pm


    Did you think that all up by yourself trueblue?. Bless. It’s blatantly obvious rangers will be allowed straight back in. The ruling bodies are petrified of the consequences otherwise. Is it right?? Most definitely not, but as stated rangers have stolen approximately £20 off every man, woman AND child in the country and will walk away relatively unscathed and debt free (Or just about). Given the farce that Scottish football has become I find it hard to believe SKY and ESPN are combined offering £80 million for that level of football, but money talks I guess. Hang your head in shame Doncaster.

  • May 4, 2012 at 9:59 pm


    Give back the titles ye cheated to win

  • May 4, 2012 at 10:09 pm

    Ian Thompson

    I think you will find that the Leeds CVA was only challenged by the Inland Revenue who did it in the very last hour that they could

  • May 4, 2012 at 10:26 pm


    To the second poster, two wrongs will never make a right. Whatever happened at Celtic (and I say this as a fan of a lower league SPL club) in the past is of no relevance to Rangers’ current case. If Celtic scammed back then, well that is surely wrong and the Inland Revenue (or whoever was responsible back then) should have looked into it. That they did not is no reason why Rangers (and any other club in their situation) has to be let off scot-free now.

    As for abusing the writer, I am pretty sure he knows the ins-and-outs of tax issues more than either you or I. It is one of this site’s strengths.

    We will see what happens in the fullness of time. I suspect Rangers will be allowed to remain in the SPL (no matter how far the rules have to be bent in order for it to happen) and I strongly suspect that, despite what some of their supporters think, Celtic would be treated favourably if it was they who were currently in the dock (as the other half of the SPL’s cash cow). If it plays out like many suspect, the SPL will be a laughing stock amongst those from other shores (well, the ones who take heed of the Scottish game anyway!).

  • May 4, 2012 at 10:52 pm


    Show details
    True Blue , you are about to get1 hell of a shock wen Bogus Bill ” Does Do Walking Away ”  …. You supremacist types are gona be ill …
    W A T P   Where are the players ?
    W A T P.  We Avoid TAX Payments ….
    W A T P   We Are The Paupers
    Grow up son your clubs in its death throes ,

    for help in dealing with this click the link

    You type of folk are always @ stage 1 , BUT
    In all fairness the good folk of Manchester , Barcelona & Pamplona can also vouch for your superiority in stage 2 …….  

    The whole of Scotland will  benefit from your demise , you will ONLY be  welcome back in your Newco GUISE if the Anti Catholic/Irish hatred is consigned to the past were it belongs

    Otherwise be DRAGGED ” Kicking & Screaming ” into the year 2012

  • May 4, 2012 at 10:53 pm


    There is way too much hysteria about this. The basics of Bill Miller’s plan look sensible to me. A CVA can be pursued and there will be more time to do this as the newco continues on. Both options are covered: CVA and no CVA. Over £11 million is there for the creditors with possibly more money to come in. Meanwhile Rangers have already received four punishments and may well get more.

  • May 4, 2012 at 11:13 pm


    poster 2

    half the crowd in they days didnt pay…kids were thrown over the turnstiles and a lhell of a lot double shuffled….how can you add that to the attendance…although that wouldnt have happened at ibrox, would it? i mean, you have always paid the dignified way

  • May 4, 2012 at 11:19 pm


    The CST are meeting Mr Donacster next week. Theey are aware of his mnisrepressentations on air and in other mattersof rules interpretations.

    Both CST and CSA are discussing their stance but hope other sclub’s suporters are doinfg the same.

  • May 4, 2012 at 11:31 pm



    Three owners in a row who dodge tax.

    Now that’s history.

    Rangers can’t win without cheating, they can’t even survive without cheating.

    Now that’s dignity.

  • May 4, 2012 at 11:38 pm


    Poster number 2 – watp…explained in full here:

    There are many decent RFC(IA) fans around. You clearly aren’t one of them.

  • May 5, 2012 at 12:00 am


    Trueblue, You have just confirmed all my thoughts on state education,because your are obviously an educated person,Excellent article,I really do hope, trueblue,and others ,as educated as him/her,would wake up and smell the coffe!!!

  • May 5, 2012 at 12:00 am


    Trueblue, You have just confirmed all my thoughts on state education,because your are obviously an educated person,Excellent article,I really do hope, trueblue,and others ,as educated as him/her,would wake up and smell the coffe!!!

  • May 5, 2012 at 12:12 am


    Trueblue is simply voicing the standard response of Rangers fans eerywhere, when faced with facts. They’ve repeated the mantra “Deflect and deny….Deflect and deny” until it has become so second nature that they not only can repeat it verbatim in their sleep, but they actually believe its endless repetition will drive away the evil spirits.

    If it fails however, then someone else can easily be blamed, as in “But THEY do it too!”. And of course as a final resort to derail any discussion and avoid being proved wrong, there’s always the particularly erudite and highly-favoured assertion”Big Jock knew.” This is usually screamed, and is normally accompanied by bulging veins on neck and forehead, and a fair amount of froth in tje orners of the lips.

    When dealing with knuckledraggers and neanderthals, it’s a good idea to keep all of this in mind, and to speak (type) slowly and softly, so as not to send them into that state known as permarage. The onset of this condition is predicated by excessive use of capital letters and plaintive cries of WATP, which freely translates to “We Are The Paupers” although claims have been made that the meaning is actually “Where Are The Pounds?”

  • May 5, 2012 at 1:50 am

    jocky bhoy

    Trueblue. Thanks for your comment. Trying to score some sick point at the expense of abused children. No wonder the fans.of every other team in Scotland are praying for your teams demise you headcase.

  • May 5, 2012 at 6:23 am

    Bluenose wullie

    Jocky Bhouy another Ass H— WHO DOES NOT LIKE THE TRUTH IT,S YOUR PEOPLE who like to sweep everything under the carpet where are they because we dont do walking away P—-. W.A.T.P.

  • May 5, 2012 at 7:04 am

    irish celt

    well said jocky bhoy these sick filthy sectarian cretins have nothing on us thats y they have to dig up stuff like child abuse

    ! the sooner they go under the better! thank god for david murray!

  • May 5, 2012 at 8:18 am


    @ bluenose Wullie,

    Yes thats right no walking away, just like SDM, Mr. Ng, Paul Murray, Brido and their “RichButCan’tFind500K” mates the Blue Fairy Lights. No walking away, ever.

    I suppose you are quite happy that the crown is being stiffed for c.100Mm and all those little creditors who supplied the club in good faith?

    You reap what you sow.


  • May 5, 2012 at 8:23 am


    Bluenose + trueblue – spelling and grammar not strong points for you eh? I’d blame the schools.

    Watch the YouTube link above – it gives you an indication of how the world sees you

  • May 5, 2012 at 8:26 am


    @ bluenose wullie, your a vile rat .. It’s not been hidden under any carpet unlike Bancorp boys home ….forget about. That 1 eh !!!! Anyway take your blue tinted glasses off scumbag .. Rangers football club should an will be a non entity from the end of the season .. An I for 1 will be glad that they die , because like you 90% of your supporters are bike thugs an scumbags .. You have been an always will be Scotland’s shame … An u can girfuy u are not the ppl .. Jelly n icecream when rangers die .. No flowers please … An succulantcarcass ..

  • May 5, 2012 at 9:59 am


    a newco means the business continues trading with a new owner – liquidation means no company at all – if a newco takes over which it will and a team called rangers plays at I brox there is no LIQIDATION – simple matter of law — celtic fans forget they were also on the brink and saved by fergus mccann ( our bill miller ) — do people really think the SPL will kiss goodbye to 80 MILL sky money and render the SPL uncompetitive—no chance and Miller would not have proceeded if he hadnt agreed in principle with the SPL , SFA HMRC et all — the worlds most successful club will be back and scottish football can be very relieved

  • May 5, 2012 at 1:19 pm

    mick f

    This is one of the best written articles on this subject. If you go to Ibrox for the truth you’ll be bullied or threatend into accepting they make the rules & everyone will just have to accept it. Thst’s one of the main reasons Doncaster is SCARED to say anything critical about Rangers. If the actions of gers fans are allowed to win the day then it’ll become their way to control the game, would be just as well giving the SPL/SFA to Rangers & let them do what they want. SCOTTISH FOOTBALL has to stand up & do the right thing.

  • May 5, 2012 at 2:45 pm


    You muppets really think that rangers are the only team to have used trusts to reduce bills, you will be shocked to know alot of teams in the epl are very very scared of the outcome of the tax case as a pecedence wait for it!! Don’t tar people when your own league use them on a weekly basis. The english will be ignorrant til it comes out and beleive me i know they use them. heed my words then we will laugh at you as their will be sanctions.

  • May 5, 2012 at 6:11 pm


    Lets look at some facts, Rangers are in adminstration Fact, they have not been liquidated Fact They have been deducted 10 pointsFact Rangers have been punished more than (under appeal)any team entering in to administration Fact Motherwell were deducted 10 points but received no other punishment fact. then Motherwell will never challenge Celtic for the SPL title. Until Rangers went into administration there were no rules to decide how a newco would be treated.

    There should be a cap placed on the salaries say 60% of turnover as evidenced and proven(for the season 2012-2013 it should be for accounts to june 30 2011 and these should be submitted 1 month before the first game) to the league

    Turning to the supposed polls which say that 95% of Fans wont go back to SPL games if a Newco Rangers is allowed back in the league, lets just think which team has the largest number of fans apart from Rangers and are well known for poll rigging and have most to gain from Rangers’s absence from The SPL. I better not say their name as that is apparently sectarian or racist. None their fans are neither of those aparrt from the guy arrested for abusing Kyle Bartley on the internet.

    Newco or not Rangers will survive and the sweetest part of it all is that it will stick in the throats of those who wished us dead

  • May 6, 2012 at 7:05 am

    Mark Chalcraft


    Personally I’m well aware of the rumours about Premier League clubs using EBTs. Actually it’s the main reason I take a close interest in Rangers, and I hope HMRC go after those clubs with equal gusto.

    Arsenal were one such club, though there willingness to settle up means they will not be on the radar.

    One of the reasons why this site is so good is it covers all manner of financially stricken clubs with dubious practices, with not a hint of bias.

  • May 6, 2012 at 10:57 am


    Yes, Rangers will survive – too many rule-benders in high places in their pocket for it not to happen.

    But Scottish football will be finished within 3 years. When this charade goes through, I will only go and see my team if they resign from the SPL and play in the SFL.

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