A sad day for one of the country’s biggest fitba’ clubs but something that in all honesty has been coming for a long time
I wrote here about the scenario that now looks likely to face the football club formerly known as Rangers.
The standing joke in this locality in recent weeks is that Dumbarton could be playing two divisions above Rangers next season.
That’s looking more likely this morning.
After Bill Miller got a proper look at the books and realised that not even a wealthy towing magnate could pull Rangers out of their current mess, that
desperate and incompetent irrepressible double act Duff and Phelps are back.
They have three, no make that four new bids for the car apparently. Singapore businessman Bill Ng says that his phone had “over 30 missed calls from Glasgow” and that he was now being offered the club for half his original bid.
I was struck though by this headline in the Scotsman:
Surely if this particular criterion was known earlier there would have been many more bidders?
For a resume of the story so far clicky
Not to mention Uncle Tom Cobley and a partridge in a pear tree.
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enthusiastically extolling the virtues of an old wreck, quoting interest from several parties and regarding the out of date tax disc irrelevant to the sale.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.