Tag: Rangers

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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Rangers FC & The Self-Importance Of Being Sandy

My limited experience of writing on football finance and club takeover and ownership issues has taught me one thing; that no matter what the specific issue under those headings, the Rangers Football Club will always supply an extreme, and invariably extremely daft, example. As I was writing my last article, about Birmingham City’s sledgehammer-on-nut legal action against the Often Partisan website, a similar story was escalating in Glasgow. The Rangers “situations” have introduced all shades of individual characters to Scottish football, and have spawned almost as many fans’ protest groups. One of these “characters” is Alexander “Sandy” Easdale, co-owner of the Greenock-based McGill’s bus company with his brother James and sole executive director of “The Rangers Football Club Ltd” (TRFCL), a wholly-owned subsidiary of the pretentiously-entitled “Rangers International Football Club” (RIFC), the ‘parent company’ of all things Ibrox. One of these fans’ protest groups is Sons of Struth, named in honour of Bill Struth, Rangers’ pioneering manager between 1920 and 1954 and generally regarded as the most important man in the history of the old Rangers. The Sons (SOS) are more a Facebook page than a formal group. But they have had a high-profile in recent fans’ protests, through spokesman Craig Houston. And Houston has been the specific recent target of lawyers representing Easdale, who has long taken issue with the way he and his brother have been portrayed...

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Birmingham City & Rangers: A Bad Week To Be A Bluenose

Both sides of what could soon be a proper international border, it is tough being a “Bluenose” just now. The odds against Rangers seeking the financial sanctuary of administration, or the sale and leaseback of major assets, as solutions to their latest book-balancing difficulties get shorter each day. Meanwhile, the semi-mythical “Owners and Directors Test” in England’s Football League looks like being failed at last, although Birmingham City President and major shareholder Carson Yeung has had to spend years laundering money in Hong Kong to do so. These are the bare facts of the Rangers’ situation. They have averaged 40,000-plus crowds since entering Scottish Football’s fourth tier in August 2012. Last season, their gate income dwarfed the rest of their division combined, as it has this season in the third tier. They received £22m from an initial public offering (IPO) of shares in in December 2012. But that money and all other income…has gone. So Rangers have had to borrow £1.5m from hedge fund managers Laxey Partners and club director Sandy Easdale for “general working capital purposes,” or they would be insolvent. If income is as closely-linked to on-field success as the experts in such areas suggest, Rangers should have guaranteed annual promotion while making profits significant enough to allow them to challenge bitter rivals Celtic as soon as they reach the top-flight. The explanation for their failure to...

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