Tag: Rangers

The Power Of Discretion And Why Guidelines Are… King

The Scottish Football Association (SFA) decision to deem Dave King “fit and proper” to become a Rangers director has proved widely popular. It is popular with Rangers fans because they believe the South African-based businessman will help fund the club back to what they call its “rightful place.” And it is popular with other fans because they believe he can’t and/or won’t. At face value, the decision is disgraceful. SFA regulations identify specific criteria by which a putative director’s fitness and propriety can be gauged. One is whether “he has been convicted within the last 10 years of…an offence liable to imprisonment of two years or over.” In August 2013, King received the world’s most famous 41 convictions for breaches of South African tax law, all of which were “liable to imprisonment of two years…” Another is whether “he has been a director of a club in membership of any National Association within the five-year period of such club having undergone an insolvency event.” Again, King fits this criteria like a glove, having been a Rangers non-executive director throughout the “five-year period” before it entered administration in February 2012. However, the SFA has “discretion as to whether or not such a person is fit and proper…after due consideration of all the relevant facts…in its possession and knowledge, including the undernoted list which is…illustrative and not exhaustive.” This gives the...

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Neil Doncaster: A(nother) Premier League Chief Executive Under Pressure

Scottish club football’s top man, Neil Doncaster, has little other than nominal occupation in common with slimy sexist Richard Scudamore. Both are English and league chief executives. But Doncaster, the Scottish Professional Football League (SPFL) boss, now has the opportunity to fashion another similarity, the ability to get away with just about anything. Scudamore, we now know, can do what he likes, how and to whom he likes. Doncaster tried this in 2012, bending over backwards, sideways and eachways to keep Rangers in the Scottish Premier League (SPL) after their liquidation was confirmed. However, more Doncaster machinations recently emerged. On May 16th the “Celtic Research” (CR) twitter account patiently – 140 characters-at-a-time – told previously unpublished tales of the November 2011 SPL broadcasting rights deal – a hurriedly-signed extension to the existing five-year deal signed with SKY and ESPN in July 2009. The deal attracted controversies – especially a clause guaranteeing four Rangers/Celtic “Old Firm” games, which Doncaster claimed was in existence for a decade. Doncaster has not revealed the precise date of its introduction, however. CR also revealed the SPL’s, now the SPFL’s, subsidies to ESPN to show Rangers games. When SPL and Scottish Football League (SFL) clubs voted a replacement Rangers into Scottish club football’s bottom tier in July 2012, Doncaster and the SPL made it more financially viable for ESPN to transmit Rangers games. The first...

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Rangers: Split Personalities

For an awkward few days in July 2012 there appeared to be two “Rangers” football clubs on the go. One was what is now called “emerging from administration” – by going into liquidation. And the other was seeking permission to play at Brechin City in the Scottish League Challenge Cup – permission granted by the Scottish Football Association creating an entirely new membership category, specially, and so far solely, for them. There appeared to be two Rangers on the go again last week. One was in court, claiming that their finances were secure and that fans’ threats to withhold season-ticket monies were not a “major concern.” The other was lambasting fans – in a club statement published during the court case – for “creating financial difficulty for Rangers” which could “only damage the club.” Rangers are currently the subject of a covert takeover bid – albeit one hidden in relatively plain sight – by South African-based businessman and lifelong fan, Dave King. King, however, does not want to pay market rate for Rangers, or any rate at all if possible. So he is using fans’ current discontent to deprive Rangers of much-needed season-ticket renewals income, unless or until “fans” receive security over Rangers’ Ibrox Stadium (initial demands for security over Rangers’ Murray Park training complex have been dropped, for reasons as yet unclear). The vehicle for this was to...

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Rangers: Show Us The Deeds Of Novation

Test match cricket commentators are a little over-fond of saying that “the next session is crucial.” BUT… the “next session” in the “Rangers” saga looks very crucial indeed. There is no-one left to deny that Rangers desperately need money. And their early-April call for current season-ticket holders to renew said tickets by May 6th is Plan A for getting that money in before it is too late. In a direct response, South Africa-based ex-Rangers director Dave King renewed his call to said season-ticket holders not to renew unless or until they are granted security over Rangers’ main assets, Ibrox Stadium and the Auchenhowie training ground formerly known as Murray Park. In a very direct response to this direct response, the Rangers board, effectively, told King to go away and boil his head. In a very direct response to this very direct response… oh, you get the message… Meanwhile, The Rangers Football Club Limited (TRFCL) released their first annual accounts – to June 30th 2013. These garnered little attention, as the story they told was largely that of parent company Rangers International Football Club (RIFC), when their accounts for that period were published last October. However, one small chapter needed retelling and could…SHOULD help Rangers ease their current predicament. The RIFC board and King issued statements after their March 14th meeting, carrying differing but compatible interpretations of events. There appeared...

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Rangers: Crisis Over, Or Just Beginning?

It is little wonder that Scotland’s Mainstream Media (SMSM) get a hard time when, aside from any perceived Celtic/Rangers/Old Firm bias, they make such elementary errors. The Rangers International Football Club (RIFC) interim results revealed operating losses of £3.6m between July 1st and December 31st 2013, which the Daily Record and the Herald newspapers called “the seven months to the end of last year/2013.” And this from a media which spent weeks trumpeting Rangers manager Ally McCoist’s annual salary as £826,000 when this figure appeared in RIFC’s first full accounts, over big blue letters stating “For the 13 month period to 30 June 2013.” So it wasn’t as if the SMSM had no elementary errors from which to learn. Meanwhile, the results boosted Rangers fans’ campaign to have potential benefactor Dave King’s money installed at Ibrox. This from fans whose hatred of former benefactor David Murray has inspired an unofficial rebranding of the club’s Murray Park training facility as “Auchenhowie.” Learning from past errors is obviously not all-the-rage in Scotland. RIFC directors took comfort from RIFC’s reduced operating losses, from last year’s headline-grabbing £1m-per-month to £600,000-per-month. Rangers’ “enemies” took comparable comfort from the “material uncertainties” over RIFC’s ability to operate “as a going concern.” Most Rangers fans have recoiled in horror at both. Rangers are, of course, far from the only football club to put a “spin” on ghastly...

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