Tag: Rangers

Rangers: Dave King – More Than Glib & Shameless

The still potential return of Dave King to the Ibrox boardroom has provided a boost to the number of Northern Hemisphere hits received by various previously obscure South African business & finance websites. And if ‘Google’ employs people to monitor such things, those people will be scratching their heads at the concentration of search entries for “glib and shameless liar” coming from certain parts of the West of Scotland. Glasgow-born but since 1976 South Africa-based “entrepreneur” King was branded thus by a High Court Judge, Brian Smallwood, in October 2010. The comment came in a ruling on an appeal (lost) by King against part of the tax debt he recently settled by paying the South African Revenue Service (SARS) the equivalent of £44m and pleading guilty to 41 counts of what he recently called “statutory contraventions” of the country’s tax legislation. That’s “statutory” as in “law.” And “contraventions” as in “breaks,” each of which could have landed King in prison for two years. This ruling isn’t any more “news” than the disturbing revelations which emerged from Rangers’ annual accounts two weeks ago. It is available in all its 37,480-word glory on a “politicsweb” article headlined Dave King, a “mendacious witness” – another of Judge Smallwood’s King-directed gems. Indeed, veteran blogger Phil Mac Giolla Bhain quoted from the ruling in February 2011 in a piece which appears in his 2012 book Downfall,...

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Rangers: More Money Madness

The news that Rangers International Football Club plc (RIFC) lost, on average, £1.1m-per-month in its first financial accounting period, wasn’t “news” to everyone. A number of bloggers alleged to be “Rangers-haters” said “the figures don’t add up” as soon as the new Rangers set-up started playing last July. To others, this was confirmed by RIFC’s “interim” accounts in March. The declaration of £7m losses in their first seven months introduced “burn rate of £1m-per-month” into Glasgow’s football lexicon. Operating losses of £14.36m in 13 months are a “burn rate” of £1.1m per month, And Rangers’ Chief Executive Craig Mather wasn’t surprised either, declaring in the accounts’ “business review” that matters were “wholly consistent with the five-year business plan… set out to investors ahead of the Initial Public Offering (IPO) in December.” It is unknown, however, whether it was “set out to investors” that their investment would be spent within ten months and that financial experts would be predicting a need to “go back” to them for more investment to keep the club going beyond another year. The biggest news story from the accounts, was hardly news either, as executive remuneration was also set out to investors… in December. Former Chief Executive Charles Green, the IPO share prospectus noted, had “an annual salary of £360,000 (plus benefits and expenses)” and was “entitled to a non-contractual bonus of 100% gross salary...

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“The Boys From The West Of Scotland Don’t Scare Easily”: Rangers At War

It comes to something when John Brown produces the most prescient analysis of your football club’s fortunes. Last summer, the ex-Rangers man told anyone who wanted to listen (and a fair few who didn’t) that he knew “what’s going on” at Rangers, in the early days of no-nonsense Yorkshireman Charles Green’s lively leadership. “What do you know, John?” an increasingly exasperated Scotsman newspaper journalist Tom English asked time-and-again on BBC Scotland’s Sportsound ten months later. “I know what’s going on,” said Brown, every time. Brown still knows what’s going on. And it has dawned on Scotland’s mainstream media that whatever the attractions of the latest “Ibrox civil war,” Brown made the real point: “The money is disappearing like you can’t imagine.” It seems more than a week since Rangers CEO Craig Mather sought “clarification for our fans” over the SFA Disciplinary Tribunal decision not to fine Heart of Midlothian for entering administration, when Rangers received the maximum £50,000 fine for the offence last year. Mather’s claim that “there is one rule for our club and another for everyone else” was demonstrable nonsense. But it was for a reason, as a day later an Extraordinary General Meeting of shareholders was requisitioned to force his and two other directors’ removal from the board. And after days of executive name-calling by leading Rangers ‘personalities, fans themselves sought clarification on “what’s going on”...

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Leitch, The 1902 Ibrox Disaster & The Changing Values Of Safety

Football and architecture have seldom been happy bedfellows. During their prime the homes of British football were woefully under-appreciated, and this lack of attention has been mirrored over the last two decades with many grounds that meant a lot to thousands of people having been demolished and replaced with new structures that owe little to the history of the game and which will doubtlessly, in the fullness of time, be replaced themselves with newer and shinier structures. Yet the architecture of the football stadium in Britain is part of our landscape, and its shape is instantly recognisable, even if it is starting to die out, at least in the sense in which many of us remember it. Of all the people that have been involved in the construction of these icons of twentieth century Britain, one name above all others stands out, that of an architect and engineer whose designs were as instantly recognisable as could be imagined. Archibald Leitch was born in Glasgow in 1865, the son of a blacksmith. Brought up in the Camlachie area of the East End of the city and a stone’s throw from Celtic Park, he was grammar school educated and is believed to have travelled extensively before returning to the city in 1890, becoming a member of the Institution of Engineers and Shipbuilders in Scotland six years later. The tail end of...

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