Home > Uncategorized > What will follow on?

What will follow on?

The sad collapse into administration of  the once mighty Rangers Football Club is a very large event indeed. Last night I invited my dear wife, a native of Tyneside, to imagine a scenario in which Newcastle United and Sunderland both went bust at the same time. ‘This is bigger,’ I told her and I meant it. I am no lover of Rangers, nor have I ever been. Yes, I recognise that many fine men have represented the club over the years; indeed I was at school with the sons of a couple of Ibrox giants, and one is a friend to this day. While its sectarian past is  not to be overlooked or condoned, there were many among its followers who stood above all that. But alongside them, out-numbering them, I have seen the arrogance of the others, I have heard the bile they spewed at their opponents in what is, in the words of the late Jock Stein, ‘only a game at football’, and I have witnessed the violence of which they have always been capable.

While it will be good for the soul of the club that it is humbled, as were Celtic thirty and more years ago when they failed to plan for the post-Stein era and became a shambles until they were rescued by a man who realised that any institution with a multi-million pound turnover must adopt sound business principles, it is to be hoped for the sake of the Scottish game as a whole that what is now conceivable, namely the liquidation and disappearance of Rangers FC, does not come about. No-one would benefit from that; indeed the nation would lose, economically and socially. But it is possible. Those who believe that the club is protected in some way by the ‘listed building’ status of the Ibrox main stand would do well to look at what happened to Highbury Stadium after Gers’ old friends the Arsenal moved to the Emirates.

There is no way out of this without the creditors . . . and they include all of us who are stakeholders in HMRC . . . taking a severe hit. I hope the administrators can achieve the rescue and restructuring that is their remit. They have some interesting questions to ask the failed management, that’s for sure. For example, why did they not meet their basic obligation to hand over PAYE deducted at source to HMRC? What did happen to the £24m that Mr Craig Whyte is said to have borrowed against three years of season ticket income? Why do its creditors include several other SPL clubs?  Why the hell was the club on the verge of signing a well past it 35-year-old for £7500 a week, knowing that administration was imminent? Above all, how did things get so bad?

All professional football clubs these days are ‘brands’ and Rangers, globally, are among the biggest. So why is it that successive owners of the business have failed so spectacularly to cash in on that brand value? I am not a big fan of transAtlantic ownership of British football clubs. Indeed, a green and gold scarf hangs in my cupboard. But one thing North Americans do bring to the party is commercial awareness and international marketing expertise. Is that the way forward for Rangers? Possibly. For sure, it’s a thousand times more attractive a prospect than continuation in any sort of restructured form under Mr Whyte and his associates. Dare I say this? Hell yes! Rangers need another Fergus McCann.

Categories: Uncategorized
  1. GILLIAN
    February 15, 2012 at 3:18 pm

    Hello
    Radio 2 Jeremy Vine currently being broadcast…. next debate Rangers FC
    Take care
    Gillian

    • February 15, 2012 at 4:50 pm

      I always take care to avoid Jeremy. Nothing against him, but some of the people his producer allows on air are not to my taste.

  2. Patricia wright
    February 15, 2012 at 4:20 pm

    Just pray that Mr. Trump doesn’t get interested!!!

  3. February 16, 2012 at 11:13 am

    Glad to hear it. By the way I omitted ‘rabid self-publicist’ from my list of his virtues.

  4. Patricia wtight
    February 16, 2012 at 11:18 pm

    But you used “bumptious” which describes him to a tee!

  5. Patricia wright
    February 17, 2012 at 12:45 am

    But “bumptious” is practically perfect for a start!

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