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Hampden Latest



I’m confused by the latest developments in the Rangers administration story.

From what I can gather, an American, who it is doubtful has ever even met a Scotsman or watched a fitba’ match wants to buy Rangers.

No, sorry, that should read he wants to buy Rangers assets for £11 million (they are worth several times that) and leave its liabilities in administration. He wants to do this without striking a deal with either the club’s majority shareholder or Ticketus.

As if Rangers’ creditors (including HMRC) are going to settle for £11 million.

Furthermore he wants guarantees in place that if he succeeds in performing this conjuring trick, that the SFA and SPL will not punish any newco club with points deduction, relegation or forfeiture of any historic honours won by Rangers.

The very fact that this guy is even being given any credibility by the administrators or those in the corridors of power in Scottish football is a disgrace.

From here it looks to this blogger that if a deal is done to let this guy take over Rangers it could very well be the end for them and will surrender any remaining credibility for Scottish Football.

If it does happen it will be because there is a collective will to save Rangers at any cost, even if the cost is greater to the wider game in Scotland.

Duff and Phelps continue to make £600 per hour out of this nonsense.

Edited to add : And yet overnight the situation has become even more confusing. The SFA has imposed a life ban from Scottish Football on Mr Rhyming Slang. Presumably they have concluded that he is to be held up as the man to blame for the whole mess. They have also banned the club from signing new players for a season. It would seem that scuppers any remaining hope of Rangers avoiding liquidation and that Duff and Phelps have trousered a couple of million quid for nothing. Trebles all round!

Bill-ing, Sharks circling the sale, Blue Knights and the Grand Old Duke of York

Not to mention Uncle Tom Cobley and a partridge in a pear tree.

I wrote here, here and here about the whole Rangers debacle and I think I made quite a few points which have turned out to be prescient.

I used the analogy of the car salesman enthusiastically extolling the virtues of an old wreck, quoting interest from several parties and regarding the out of date tax disc irrelevant to the sale.

Having been at the stage of the car salesman trying to close the sale by inviting me into the office for a tepid coffee from a machine and posing the question “Can we deal then?” I think I can spot the stage the Ibrox administrators are now at.

Last night joint administrator David Whitehouse whose name is surely destined to join that of Craig Whyte in the Glasgow vernacular of toilet based rhyming slang, said: “We have made it crystal clear to them all (the bidders) that to announce a preferred bidder we need definitive, unconditional bids on the table”

The very idea that astute businessmen would put an unconditional bid on the table for an insolvent company with unknown but possible debts of more than £130 million and then, having to sort out a deal with the major shareholder who makes Bernie Madoff look like Mother Theresa are surely remote at best. Add to this the fact that there is no certainty of what further penalties would be faced by the football authorities and the words “definitive and unconditional” look even more ridiculous.

I wrote on March 13th that:

“I still wonder if liquidation is the end game here? Is all this talk by the administrators just that to get the club to the end of the season? Really the only way that HMRC and Craig Whyte wouldn’t matter to a new owner would be in the setting up of a phoenix company, post liquidation*.”

*Since then Duff and Phelps have accumulated nearly £1 million in fees.

In a sub plot, former director Paul Murray, in the style of the Grand Old Duke of York marched his Blue Knights down the hill at the start of the week but now seems to be marching them back up again. A bit like Rangers status in the SPL, they seem neither up nor down at the moment.

Sale shark Brian Kennedy’s bid has once again been rejected, Bill Ng (pronounced Bill Ing) who despite being Malaysian describes himself as a “Rangers man” apparently specialises in restructuring debt ridden companies. Has anyone ever seen him and Craig Whyte in the same room?

Bill Miller the American “tycoon” has had his cards on the table for some time in that he is only interested in the “newco” scenario.

Time for some sporting integrity and re-establishing of honesty and values in football methinks. It has been on the slide for a long time and the current goings on at Ibrox only serve to reinforce the whole unsavoury farrago.

One commenter here made the point recently that all these shenanigans illustrate how far sport has moved from its origins in having local clubs competing against one another.

If anything good can come of this whole saga, I’d like to think it would be that supporters of Rangers and other SPL clubs might consider giving their local club some support instead of chasing the impossible and some might say amoral dreams of big businessmen.