Author: Ki87h

Fever Pitch

By Hugobaws 10/01/2018

Fever Pitch, Nick Hornby’s bestselling book follows his life growing up watching Arsenal through the highs and lows of a number of league campaigns. It’s a good football fans read, charting the emotion and at times obsession with loyalty to a team, even when that is irrational in the face of evidence that something is not right, on or off the pitch. Social Media has now reached fever pitch when it comes to the potential Administration of The Rangers*, and there’s overwhelming evidence that things mostly off the pitch are out of control.

Since the events of 2012, the Club/Company/Ethereal Entity has lurched from one crisis to another. In 2012 it was the Murray ego, in 2018 it is the Lying King. Dave King has finally tied himself up in a financial knot and looks like he will pull down the whole RIFC/TRFC edifice with him. The Auditors believe Dave King (NOAL) is good for the substantial shortfall in the Accounts, that is required to continue trading. He’s told a Judge he’s skint, but has an imminent Takeover Panel judgement to navigate. King looks likely to cost his co-investors millions of pounds, not to mention face painters and assorted ordinary small businesses, but professional reputations look like they are about to be trashed. The Auditors who signed off the Published Accounts and believed King may now be regretting their involvement.

In 2012 David Murray crashed the bus in spectacular fashion, folding Rangers (IL)* and MIM and leaving a trail of debt with the Bank not that far short of £1bn. The current predicament does not include HMRC unpaid bills, but a severe lack of cash and living hand to mouth at the mercy of a convicted criminal Chairman, was always unlikely to end well. With only Directors as major creditors this time, and soft loans dried up, the Club/Company looks likely to succumb to the same cash flow problems that affect hundreds of businesses each year.

But don’t worry, the guys in charge have experience of this type of thing. The cast of leading characters is the same; Alastair Johnston, Paul Murray, Andrew Dickson, and of course Dave King. They are all trained Accountants (maybe Dave lied about his qualifications) so what could possibly go wrong? The Auditors are Accountants, right? The plot has been re-written, but we may be heading towards a familiar ending; hundreds of Creditors stiffed, debts dumped and inaction by the Scottish Football Authorities. Players will lose their jobs and a period of austerity will signal the end to Tournament s in Florida and 5* Hotels.

Aye right.

Despite the financial turmoil, players are still linked to the Govan Club daily by a giddy MSM. In the big transfer news of the week, Carlos Pena transferred the contents of his nose to a pair of TRFC shorts on camera, as a fond farewell after going on loan to Pedro’s new Club in Mexico. The marquee signing looked exactly like that, a marquee, and The Rangers* still have to pick up the thick end of £14k wages while he chases some caravans in Mexico. Dave’s much heralded £10m transfer spending to Bankroll the mad Portuguese has been transferred to the published Accounts; £7m showing as owed in staged player transfer fees, Pedro’s legacy for a squad now being dismantled.

Austerity was also slow to kick in back in 2011/2012, in the run up to Administration of the original Rangers (IL)*. Despite Euro exits (Malmo and Maribor) and the loss of valuable European money to keep the lights on, Rangers still found time to sign new players. Mervan Celik arrived on a 3-year deal weeks before Armageddon, only for his Contract ripped up weeks later (post admin), amid claims that the £250k transfer fee hadn’t been paid. Surely austerity would kick in once they had formally entered the Administration process? Nope. Rangers Manager Ally McCoist was authorised by Duff and Phelps to sign Daniel Cousin to replace top scorer Nikica Jelavic.

“Daniel Cousin is shell-shocked at the moment, like the rest of us,” said McCoist. At this moment in time he is in the squad and still has an opportunity of getting the signing through. I’m still very hopeful we can get through the bits of red tape”.

The ‘bits of red tape’ McCoist referred to where actual rules that applied to Clubs in financial distress. The fact that the Administrators, whose job was to cut costs and get a favourable deal for Creditors thought it prudent to spend money on new players tells you everything you need to know about the mindset over at Govan.

So, six years on, a Club run by Finance Professionals is making the same mistakes as before; spending more than they are earning, buying players on tick and failing to pay its non-football bills. But surely the SFA will intervene? It is much more likely that the SFA will do exactly that, sweet FA, but secret meetings at Hotel Du Vin and a Four Way Agreement look likely. The spineless MSM will spin a positive picture to keep the fleeced fans on board but there will be a deduction of 15 points. Maybe Andrew Dickson, now on the SFA Congress, will use his influence at the Governing body to pass off any insolvency event as ‘imperfectly registered’ and the points deduction will not be enforced.

If Administration does not happen this week then it will only be delayed until the 21st January, when the Court Order by Lord Bannantyne on the TOP Case will come into force, and possibly see King in contempt of Court. Anyone in any doubt about how this may play out should read David Low’s excellent blog on the SFM https://www.sfm.scot/the-elephant-in-the-room/ .

“It should be appreciated that there are members of the RIFC that are members of regulated financial professions who would be further prejudiced through association with a cold-shouldered non-resident King”.

” If King does the right thing by resigning from the board, it is still important to appreciate that the ‘4 Bear’ Concert Party as determined by The Panel will continue to exist irrespective of how Kings deals with the instruction to make an offer for the shares. This is the elephant in the room that remains.”

“The Concert Party via their shares and loans will retain the same level of control they currently have, and therefore remain compelled to abide by The Panel’s rules.”

David is referring of course to the influence King has over Club 1872 and Barry Scott the new Director from Hong Kong. No matter which way he or the MSM spin this, Administration would appear the only way out, either to get rid of King, sidestep the TOP ruling somehow or to dump some debt and try and start again. As we saw in 2012, these things are never straightforward, even with a puppet MSM and a useless SFA.

What a shucking fambles.

A Pantomime is Not Just For Xmas

By Hugobaws 29/12/2017

The roar of the greasepaint, the smell of the crowd, yes, it’s Panto time again.

This Year’s Special Panto is an adaptation of the long running, ‘Sevco and the Holy Grail’, now nearing its 6th year, and playing to packed Courts across the land.

Cast;

Front of the Panto Horse 1; Paul Murray

Front of the Panto Horse 2; Alastair Johnston

Horse’s Rear 1; Stewart Regan

Horse’s Rear 2; Neil Doncaster

The Black Knight; Dave King

Sir Arthur; Lord Bannantyne

SCENE 1 THE COURT OF SESSION

Sir Arthur; “The Trusts have been willing to provide money for the purchase of Rangers shares when the respondent wished them to do so. Now, suddenly, when the respondent does not wish to comply with the terms of Rule 9 the Trusts no longer are willing to provide any money. “

With that swing of his judicial sword he cuts off the Black Knight’s right arm.

Sir Arthur; “Given the circumstances put forward by the respondent in support of his supposed impecuniosity they are of no significance. His impecuniosity is entirely self-generated.”

Sir Arthur slices off his other arm.

Sir Arthur; “It is not for the respondent to argue at what price an offer should be made. Nor within that framework is it for the respondent to argue that if the offer is made at the price of 20p no shareholder will take it up”.

Sir Arthur slices off the Black Knight’s right leg.

Black Knight; “You pansy, don’t you know I kept this up for 10 years in South Africa, and kept my legs”.

“You’re a Loony” says Sir Arthur as he slices off the other leg.

“It’s only a flesh wound” responds the torso.

Despite claims to the contrary by the MSM Lord B left no room for an appeal, but Glib likes nothing more than kicking the judicial can down the road. In any other Football jurisdiction in the world would a Governing body accept the carnage caused firstly by David Murray and now by Dave King. We’re now about to enter our 6th year of Court Cases and Appeals, with no end in sight and the two Panto Horses Arses are still bumbling on, heads up certain people’s bums.

So, the next few weeks promise to be busy in Panto land;

The Rangers* now have passed their AGM motions and intend to issue shares up to a nominal value of £1.086m, so 108m new (1p) shares to add to the 81m in circulation, around March.

What price?

Will it be the 20p, the fabled Ashley 27.5p sweetener, or somewhere in between (more than doubling the shares in circulation should result in a massive dilution, so 10p -15p?).

Since Glib de-listed the stock, many of the traditional business fundamentals that would be used to value a stock – turnover/profit/financial projections/asset value – have been difficult to comprehend or just completely fudged.

Sadly, Dave has created a number of self-inflicted obstacles, to the Torso’s Grand Plan.

To get that far he must be given leave to Appeal the Court of Session judgement (unlikely).

He must hope that the Takeover Panel does not ‘cold shoulder’ him in the meantime (likely).

If he loses he will have to prove he has the £11m (plus costs) that would secure the shares he doesn’t control.

If he does this, and has gone on record as saying he is penniless, does that constitute ‘Contempt of Court’?

If he gets as far as making an offer, and given the perilous state of the Club finances, it’s likely people will accept (rip his arm off).

What looks increasingly possible, is that as The Company/Club/Ethereal Entity are trading whilst insolvent, the Creditors (Directors) may call an Administration event to protect (some of) their investment? If they go down the tubes, Creditors will get sorted first and Shareholders may get nothing.

It’s all on a tightrope, but don’t worry, Jabba Traynor will save them.

Josh Windass, the Accrington Stanley ‘ace’ gets sold for £5m to the Premiership.

Someone in England wants a right back (Tav) who cannot defend, £20-£30m.

They cash in on Pena’s stunning form, and Arsenal come calling.

Yup, there’s never a dull moment in Panto land.

 

Joseph Heller and the Ibrox Paradox

By Hugobaws 21/12/2017

Joseph Heller introduced the term Catch 22 into the English language; contradictory rules that exert control over people through confusion without openly forcing people one way or another. Psychologists call it a ‘double bind’.

This week’s publication of the final answers from The Rangers* AGM proved (if proof be needed) that Heller’s crazy airmen are in charge over at Ibrox.

Club 1872: “The most recent financial results are encouraging but highlight the staggering gulf between us and our nearest competition. Can this board please outline how they plan to deal with this substantial deficit going forward?” 

RIFC: “The majority of the deficit is accounted for through qualification for the Champions’ League group stages.

Other income streams such as retail revenue and commercial income are increasing however there needs to be a recognition of just how valuable qualification for the group stages of the Champions League has now become.

“It is worth in the region of 30m Euros plus associated gate monies.”

Boom!!

There it is right there for the hard of thinking.

  • All we need to do to survive is to qualify for the Champion’s League (Group Stages no less).
  • To qualify for the Champion’s League, we need to overtake our “nearest competition” (Timmy).
  • We can only overtake Timmy with the Champion’s League money.

Club 1872 asked the questions, and happily accepted the answers without a whimper. They brought up the published Accounts and the need for £7.2m injection just to get to the end of the season. They mentioned the managerial vacancy and the need for money to get a replacement in.

But the puppet ‘fans group’; run by a Director from the same Board being questioned was always unlikely to ask the questions that might help solve the paradox for the ordinary fan, or outside observer.

But Rangers (IL) and The Rangers* since 2012 have always been full of contradictions. Dave King campaigned on transparency and accountability only to de-list the Club from the stock exchange to hide behind a veil of secrecy.

David Murray was lauded by Alastair Johnston back in 2009, as,” one of the club’s greatest chairmen”, who “invested heavily in the club and  “demonstrated enormous personal commitment at all times”

Of course, history suggests David Murray did the opposite, taking money out of the Govan Club over a sustained period until the train hit the buffers in 2012. His personal commitment was stroking his huge ego.

 

The re-emergence of Alastair Johnston both as a Director and now as a “person with significant control” largely escaped the Scottish Football press but then so does anything significant over at Ibrox. He and new Director Barry Scott (yes, the Cillit Bang guy) have “significant control”, and Alastair may have injected some of his personal fortune to keep the lights on for another month. What is it with successful businessmen and throwing money down a black hole?

The loss of John Gilligan from the Board will be a blow to the terraces. He was interviewed on The Rangers* TV recently and finished his stint by telling the camera “We are the People”. This is the equivalent of Peter Lawwell or Ian Bankier smiling into the camera at Celtic TV and finishing with “Up the Rebs”, or bursting into a verse from “The Boys of the Old Brigade”. But John Gilligan clearly is a cretin.

It is of course Panto Season. Anyone with an interest in the unfolding story over in Govan will know that there have been multiple Chairman, CEO’s and Directors since liquidation in 2012, so Companies House announcements are not unusual.

What is unusual is that we now have three of the original (pre-liquidation) Directors of Rangers (IL)* re-united (four if you count Andrew Dickson) in full glare of the game’s administrators. Like killers returning to the scene of the crime, but with the police acknowledging them and hoping they are not about to do the same again.

 

The People’s Front of Judea

By Hugobaws 13/12/2017

Chris Sutton struck a raw nerve as well as a few funny bones last week on BT Sport, when he slaughtered the Ibrox Board in the wake of the Derek McInnes debacle. “They are like the People’s Front of Judea” jibed Sutton, in reference to the chaotic liberation movement from Monty Python’s hilarious ‘Life of Brian’. Neil Lennon buckled under the strain of the image, and all but lost it on camera.

After a 6-week media fuelled tapping up campaign, The Rangers* ran out of road and were forced to put up or shut up. When they made their move, the egg duly landed Dave King’s face. Stewart Milne and his Manager held their ground under the media onslaught, awaited the official approach and said no, but with dignity. The Rangers* responded with all the class of a Chris Graham cartoon; a Club statement that oozed arrogance and spite, ‘endorsing’ McInnes decision to stay at Aberdeen as the Govan job was too big for him.

Credibility is quickly giving way to disbelief over at Ibrox, and even die hard TRFC fans would have been embarrassed at the new depths being plumbed by King. Questions have been asked about the financial position at the Club for some time now, but fans believed that £1m would not be a stumbling block for Dave and his offshore fund of cash NOAL to get their number one target.

Behind the spin and deflection lies the truth. Football is a seasonal business, and cashflow is key to the survival of all but the biggest and richest clubs. It is a matter of public record that TRFC are losing money at a rate that is unsustainable, and Directors ‘soft’ loans have been used to pay bills/salaries as they fall due.

Confronted by such cash flow challenges many businesses turn to specialist finance houses that will pay money up front in turn for a slice of some future revenue stream. Invoice Financing/Factoring style finance arrangements are nothing new, but if reports are true that RIFC/TRFC are going down that path it can only spell trouble.

The Donegal based blogger with impeccable sources has suggested that RIFC/TRFC are borrowing against future payments due for sold players. The complication is that the payments are tied to number of appearances by the players, which pushed such an arrangement beyond recognised practice and dramatically alters the risk profile of the deals in favour of the finance lender. As the risk increase, the lenders slice of the projected final invoice increases and RIFC get a reduced percentage.

The RIFC would of course have called a Board meeting to discuss options before considering this type of high risk borrowing. My sources tell me that they approached the SFA for financial help only to be rebuffed, and these are the leaked minutes of the meeting.

Attendees; Dave King, Paul Murray, Biggus Dickus, Stewart Robertson, Donald Park.

DK; SFA b*stards, they’ve taken everything we had and bled us dry.

PM; Taken everything from our fathers and our father’s fathers.

PM; And our father’s father’s fathers.

DK; And what have the SFA ever given us in return?

BD; The 5 Way Agreement

DK; Ok apart from the 5 Way Agreement

DP; A Euro License that belonged to someone else.

DK; Ok apart from……

PM; The Referees

DK; Ok apart from……..

SR; A free reign to break FFP rules

DK; oh f*ck off

The Board Meeting ended with AOB, reminding people that The People’s Front of Judea should not be confused with Sevco.

A Lack of Leadership and Governance

By Hugobaws 7/12/2017

According to Time Magazine, Donald Trump moved quickly on election to have eight of his companies campaign to develop luxury real estate projects in Saudi Arabia, one of his favourite rogue states. Trump of course is a buffoon of the highest order and we expect him to use high office to further his own business interests now he is the POTUS.

A conflict of interests is not illegal but it sure as hell is unethical.

The simmering Derek ‘Will he/won’t he’ McInnes saga looked like boring us all to tears until he appeared to throw two matches against his prospective new employer. Aberdeen’s form has dipped since Pedro Caixhina was resigned in October and the chance to open up a 12-point gap on their nearest rival was blown as Level 5’s Red Top Squirrel Squadron disrupted Aberdeen’s season.

The wholly unethical tapping up campaign came to a head last week when Level 5, in the guise of Jim (Jabba) Traynor stuck his middle finger up at the SPFL’s Neil Doncaster by using his other client (the League sponsors) Ladbrokes to tweet a picture of Derek celebrating The Rangers* first goal against his own club last week with a ‘well done’ Derek message.

Of course, Dave King needs a RRM to help ease the unrest over the last two botched managerial appointments, and smooth the path for the latest fleecing of his customers through the proposed share issue yearly next year. But RRM are short in supply these days, and Bomber Brown is busy, having been headhunted after a Global search for coaches by TRFC’s new Director of Football, whatshisname.

The saga rolls on and the media sock puppets are now screaming for McInnes to rip up his own contract to deny Aberdeen £1m compensation, so he can join his boyhood heroes. A complete lack of integrity seems to be part of the DNA of the majority of our MSM, all appear to be TRFC cheerleaders. They are using their professional lives to drive the agenda of their favourite team, no impartiality, a complete conflict of interests. Sadly, the SFA and SPFL chiefs bury their heads in the sand and ignore clear breaches of rules and ethics.

An SPFL spokesperson Mr Dung Neilcaster was questioned last week about the Ladbrokes tweet. When asked he said, “We get lots of money from our sponsors so Jim Traynor can do what the hell he likes to disrupt member clubs”…..and ran off down the corridor.

A Handy (but not complete) List of Conflicts of Interest in Scottish Football

  1. SFA employ referees and let them officiate competitive games involving the klub they support.
  2. BBC (impartial/taxpayer funded) fondness for ex-Rangers (IL)* EBT recipients who have a vested interest in favouring one club.
  3. SFA’s botched attempts at engaging with fans; Supporters Direct Scotland (SDS) are funded by SFA.
  4. Club 1872 (TRFC’s impartial fans voice) is funded by fans subscriptions, but is run by a RIFC Board member who reports to the lying King.
  5. Stewart Milne allowing Derek McInnes to remain in the dugout and prepare his team for matches against his prospective new employer.
  6. Level 5 are a PR company with two clients, TRFC and Ladbrokes. Ladbrokes hand SPFL sponsorship cash and everyone turns a blind eye to Traynor’s manipulation of the media narrative, bending of rules.

You get the picture.

The Madness of King Dave

The Madness of King Dave

By Hugobaws 29/11/2017

In Allan Bennett’s film adaptation of “The Madness of King George”, the 18th century British Monarch slowly loses his marbles; mistreated by his Doctors, he’s strapped to a chair while Handel’s ‘Zadok The Priest’ plays in the background. Among his many symptoms, the Doctors discover the King is excreting blue urine. Continue reading “The Madness of King Dave”

The Death of Murty Mania

The Death of Murty Mania

By Hugobaws 21/11/2017

The SFA spokesperson was quite unequivocal about the outpouring of banter on the terraces at Ibrox. “I’m afraid we have no alternative but to ban the song; it contains no references to Popes or Fenian blood and therefore has no place in Scottish Football”. The song, “Let’s all Do the Murty” is characterised by jubilant TRFC fans inverting themselves on their seats in the stands to imitate the Manager’s famous upside-down celebration. It was fun while it lasted. Continue reading “The Death of Murty Mania”

Omerta

Omerta

By Hugobaws 14/11/2017

Roberto Savioni lives his life surrounded by armed Police Officers.

His book Gomorrah is a brutal real-life story of the Camorra, southern Italy’s version of the Cosa Nostra, and their influence on life and business in the Naples region. Savioni grew up in Naples among the gangs, and is one of around 10 Italian journalists who have written about the mafia and who are under permanent protective guard. Investigative journalism often carries a heavy price. Continue reading “Omerta”