A spoiler statement from a shyster board

There were two statements released late yesterday evening. The first one provided a detailed account of unsuccessful approaches to Sports Direct. This was soon followed by a statement from the shyster board. Gordo has kindly provided a pertinent comment which I have reproduced with a light edit
“As always you must read what they didn’t say as much as what they did say to make any sense of their lies. What they didn’t say was exactly how much has been made available? Who has made the loan and on what basis will it be converted into equity? You can dress mutton up as lamb all you like but at the end of the day you know the difference.This very late announcement on a Friday night again shows panic and its written all through the narrative….do they actually think people with at least two brain cells will believe them and agree this is the way forward for the club? Do they actually think people with at least two brain cells will believe that soft loans from existing ‘lenders’ is the way forward, when the truth in reality is that we can NOT attract any NEW investment? Do they actually think people with at least two brain cells will believe that this is not part of their ‘sweep and deflect’ policy and that they are getting theirs out there before anything else comes to light?Do they actually think people with at least two brain cells will believe that 20.00 on a Friday night is the correct time to release such a statement if it wasn’t to fend off the truth that is about to be exposed? Do they actually think people with at least two brain cells will believe that we are in a good place?Do they actually think people with at least two brain cells will believe they are covering us by NOT investing? Soft loans are not INVESTMENTS. They are sticking plasters to keep the lights on. Anyone with any grey matter between their lugs knows that. As for them NOT going down the ISDX route;do they actually think people with at least two brain cells will believe that it was by choice and not because they can not pass muster?
Once again a ridiculous statement of fuck all outlining fuck all and telling us nothing. The sooner MA\SD do what they need to do to get rid of this shower of shysters the better. As someone said earlier it’s time to start from the ground up with a clean slate. Which we should have done in 2012. The chance was lost then and this is the consequence. For the lemmings who do not even read anything other than the headline,this will be a great day For the others,the truth is finally coming out and their web of lies and deceit is starting to untangle.
Mike Ashley has ordered the covers off the guns and the breech to be loaded.”

The first question to consider is whether this statement is a ‘spoiler’ to the article by Phil Mac Giolla Bhain. Phil Mac’s article  conveys a narrative of frantic last minute horse trading to keep the lights on. He specifically states that Paul Murray was dispatched to SD’s Shirebrook HQ with a letter which gave the shop away and offered to make good on the reappointment of Derek Llambias and Barry Leach. This letter also offered to throw King under the bus.

Why would the board issue a statement of this nature so late on a Friday evening if there was no truth in Phil Mac’s narrative? If this statement was crafted to undermine his narrative then it failed. If anything it has added credence to his narrative.

Anyone reading this statement should now realize that King lied to each and every one of us. He promised to provide £30m over a period of four years to rebuild our club. He promised to risk his children’s inheritance to re-establish Rangers as a dominant force in Scottish football. He lied. Should any Rangers fan still cling to the fantasies of this inveterate liar then i would question whether they have the two brain cells that Gordo alludes to.

The shyster board has not even acknowledged the emergency board meeting at Mar Hall this week.Had it not been for a last minute loan of funds, October payroll was in jeopardy. Does anyone recall King’s enmity to the former board’s loan from Mike Ashley? However all this shyster board is offering is more loans.

Let’s be quite clear on their objective. They are not offering loans to control Rangers Retail. They are offering loans to control the club itself. If the lemming shareholders provide King with the latitude to issue his own shares he will carve our club up to his advantage. King has a track record of ripping off shareholders and he won’t think twice about issuing preference shares for himself and diluting the ordinary shares of others. Those stupid enough to believe his rhetoric should have a look at Micromega. King has preference shares and 76% of the ordinary shares. He has similar plans for Rangers using money from George Taylor, Douglas Park,  The Rangers Supporters Trust and Rangers First. If you give this career criminal pre-emptive rights, we are going to hell in a handcart.

King is toxic .LSE AIM would not touch him with a barge pole and his backroom deal with Peterhouse/JP Jenkins has failed to provide a listing on ISDX. Think about this carefully. What this states unequivocally is that no-one is prepared to invest in RIFC. If this is spun as good news then our fans have taken leave of their senses.

The blazer chasing Rangers First and RST will back King at the AGM. His lies won’t mean a fig to them as all they want is a sumptuous pre-match meal. They were set up to stop shysters like Whyte and Green, yet amazingly they embrace King.

King stated that the club was comfortably funded for the next six months during his penultimate visit. He then crept into Scotland this week to rattle his collection tin at Taylor and Park.

Ashley has now decided to make his move. Should King blatantly defy the cease and desist warning, then he will be dragged into court and taught yet another expensive lesson, at our expense. Are we prepared to let this career criminal spend more of our season card money to defend his lies and his singular inability to pay his debts?

The letter presented by Murray was a last ditch attempt to preempt Ashley’s cease and desist order.

The statement that funding is in place is the precursor to Ashley dismantling this board. He knows that they are planning to dilute his shareholding to less than the 5% required to hold them to account via an EGM.

Keep a close eye on the football strips tomorrow. Will a poppy emblem replace the usual crest?

Is there any truth in the rumour that King was summoned to the board meeting at Mar Hall to surrender his shares in lieu of funding from Taylor and Park? King has failed to raise funds or deliver on his promised investment. I would not be surprised if the money behind this board have clipped his wings.

Has King been thrown under the bus?

A narrative has emerged that corresponds with many of the points that I have made in regard to the crisis facing the King concert party.Cease and desist is featured in this narrative.Paul Murray’s failed attempt to gain access to the second tranche of £5m is confirmed.  Richard Gough’s failure to raise funds from NARSA also gets a mention.

However this narrative goes much further than I have. The most controversial aspect of the article by Phil Mac Giolla Bhain is an alleged offer to throw King under the bus and form a new board consisting of Murray, Gilligan, Llambias and Leach. There is also a claim that George Letham made a final pitch to SD for the £5m.

Ashley and Forsey were not prepared to even meet with Murray. Having shown their critical lack of liquidity and bared their soft underbelly to the UK’s most successful retail shark, what happens next will be in Ashley’s court.

Conflict of interests

Dave King has never publicly recognized the part played by Traynor in his underfunded and now unraveling coup d’etat. He does not want us to know why Gordon Waddell and Chris Jack openly promoted season ticket sales in articles either praising Warburton & Weir, or in Waddell’s case crticizing CFC. However, when the accounts for fiscal ending 30 June, which should have been published on 1st October, eventually see the light of day, I wonder under what heading Traynor’s sterling efforts will be recognised? A cynic might suggest that they will be buried under a generic heading of operational expenditure.

I am also minded to ask under what heading King’s concert party’s misadventures in litigation will appear? Who paid for King’s petition to the Court of Session? Given that King is noted for his parsimony, it would be fair to assume it was Rangers. We must also consider his concert party’s £400,000 reverse at The High Courts of Justice and his forthcoming costs defending against Green’s iron-clad compromise agreement. The bill since King appointed himself chairman of Rangers is currently north of £600,000 and should Green’s Court of Session costs fall due, every month since King darkened our door has cost the club £100,000. King’s appointment could be considered as an onerous contract.

As I referred to in my previous article, Mike Ashley has decided that King will pay for his free ride of his £5m capital. Will King meekly comply with the cease and desist instructions? I would be inordinately surprised if Rangers take the field on Sunday with anything other than the Ashley-owned crests on display. I posit that if this is the case, the clerks to Adam Lewis QC, at Blackstone Chambers, will be arranging a call between David Forsey of Sports Direct and Mr Lewis. The telephone calls instructing Mr Lewis cost Rangers £20,000 when SD took out an injunction on King’s concert party.

With all this expensive litigation to address due to King reneging on debts, is it any wonder that the commercial relationship with Level 5 has come to an end. Traynor had hoped to build Rangers into a £1m account, but it would appear that solicitors acting on King’s instructions have a much higher priority.

Traynor will be upset by the loss of RIFC income, but his new client Ladbrokes Online Gaming will be pleased. Rangers are sponsored by 32 Red and had Traynor & Kerr continued to represent Rangers there would have been a clear conflict of interests.

As most of the fans sit down to watch the sport in Edinburgh on Sunday, watching Rangers £5m spend on payroll prevail against the minimal budget of Hibs, interested observers will be preparing for another one-sided engagement off the park.

Cease and Desist

The conflict between Mike Ashley and King’s concert party has escalated. If informed speculation is accurate, Sports Direct Retail Ltd  (SD) have now issued a ‘cease and desist’ interdict against RIFC. King’s inability and downright refusal to honour the £5m owed to SD, has forced their hand. The terms of the loan facility included ceding control of the intellectual property, the training facility known as Murray Park, Edmiston House and The Albion Road Car Park.

The car park, which affords access to, and emergency egress from, the Club Deck, is a prerequisite of planning permission. An SD cease and desist order effectively mothballs 7,000 seats. The intellectual property, the badges and crests, must also be removed from the players’ shirts or in some way obscured from view.

Of course this could be settled with a late offer of £5m that King claimed he had access to. But he was, as we have come to expect, lying. King, who led the underfunded unsuccessful coup d’etat, will naturally oppose this interdict and find himself instructing significantly inferior counsel to Mr Ashley’s retained counsel, Adam Lewis QC. Mr Lewis is without peer in sports tort litigation.

Of all the theories as to what prompted King’s clandestine emergency board meeting, I find this one to be the most persuasive. The terms of the loan facility, which King breached when losing the AIM listing, ceded control of all the fixed assets with the exception of the stadium.Mike Ashley is King’s landlord.

Of course, when RIFC comply with this interdict, having thrown good money after bad in litigation, should King still continue to renege on his corporate debts, the ultimate sanction of appointing receivers could then come into play.

Avoiding squirrels

I have received a number of challenges from informed contributors in regard to my position that wages were paid today.I had no doubt whatsoever that George Letham would step forward with a loan if required to do so. I am persuaded that he and King sat down for a breakfast meeting in London prior to the latter’s flight north. Four individuals have made comments that are consistent with the narrative that follows:

“I have to agree with jimw2, James C and Wessex on this one JJ. Your supposition (hope) that Rangers can make it to end of season is predicated on more soft loans being made available but I don’t see this happening. Wealthy businessmen tend to be wealthy for a reason. They know when to call it a day and they know not to let the heart rule the head in the world of business and finance. Any further soft loans would be throwing good money after bad and merely serve to stave off the inevitable. Christmas is coming and the fans (those in their right minds – not the GASL supporters) will be praying for their miracle, however I fear that as soon as Lord Tyre rules in favour of Big ‘Ands Charlie – well that will be a Jenga block too far! Making it to Christmas might be wishful thinking, never mind end of season.”

The fact that Xmas is just over seven weeks away will not be lost on Mike Ashley. Sports Direct (SD)will be alive to the revenue streams prior to Xmas, Boxing Day and the January sales. I posit that SD earn more during  a window of six weeks than at any time during the year. A profit before tax of just over £800,000 was made last year, on a turnover of £7.8m.

However there is a boycott being waged against Sports Direct by the various factions that constitute the majority of the Rangers support. If Ashley were to move now, when the board are drowning in a sea of debt, he could force the current board to either find £5m or call in the receivers. I referred to this in my previous article. If he chose this option it’s game over for the current board. I get the distinct impression that Ashley is enjoying the sport of seeing King dance to his tune and might just carry him for a few more rounds.

Charles Green’s litigation fees could escalate to £5m if Lord Tyre chooses not to cap them at The Court of Session. Green, who is facing up to ten years in prison for each of his three major charges, will not stint on hiring the best legal minds in Scotland.

So in summary, If Ashley is playing with King, allowing this corporate puppy to chase his own tail, and Green’s fees are capped, then the career criminal can make a pitch to Park & Taylor.

Five individuals will decide Rangers fate, namely Ashley, Green, Tyre, Park and Taylor.

King is just a squirrel who is light on nuts

Has Ashley made his move?

When Dave King goes out of his way to avoid the media you know that there’s a crisis at Ibrox. I was one of only two individuals given a ‘heads up’ on King’s arrival and I was the only one to run with it.The emergency board meeting took place at Mar Hall Hotel and Golf Spa, a five star establishment only six and a half miles from Glasgow Airport. King would have flown overnight from Johannesburg in his first class cabin, which costs circa £5.5k, and arrived at London Heathrow at 6.20 in the morning. I assume he took a meeting at Heathrow, or an adjacent hotel, as he did not arrive in Glasgow until lunch time. I posit that he sat down to a breakfast meeting with George Letham. Mr Letham is King’s conduit to George Taylor and Douglas Park.

In my previous article I looked at the crises that were coming to a head for the protagonists in the underfunded hostile takeover of Rangers. Traynor had to be paid off and Charles Green’s iron clad contract looks likely to prevail. However the latter only becomes a concern as of 12th/13th November. Contingency planning could have been engaged in by conference call. Traynor could have been dealt with by a ‘Dear Jim’ e-mail and a payment plan.

One of the problems that I and many other commentators have with King is that we are always looking for a subtext. He is a ‘Glib and Shameless Liar’  whom should not be taken at his word on any matter, unless supported by objective evidence.

When our career criminal chairman issued his rant at Ashley, the assumption was that he was frustrated with the returns from Rangers Retail and Ashley’s reluctance to part with the second tranche of £5m. However what King said was that Ashley continues to ‘litigate against King and that he will not be cowed by his expensive counsel.’

Mr King was of course referring to Adam Lewis QC of Blackstone Chambers, who wiped the floor with King’s counsel on the 11th June. Only a very stupid man would have leaked details of a confidential contract to The Daily Record. If King was running any other UK plc, this decision, which cost RIFC circa £400,000, would have resulted in a motion of no confidence and his enforced resignation. King, who has only a fleeting familiarity with corporate governance, brazened it out and chose to avoid the embarrassing EGM on the 12th.

If Adam Lewis has not been paid and Mr King is reneging on a High Court order, the bailiffs would be on their way to Edmiston Drive.

Of course there is a more persuasive alternative. Has Ashley decided to move on his £5m debt? Currently the first available date for a one day hearing at The High Courts of Justice Chancery Division is Tuesday 1st December, for any listing that is filed prior to close on Friday of this week. Would I be reaching too far to suggest that Mike Ashley has decided to swat the corporate gnat who has been annoying him with whining letters?

Ashley will have to hand a spreadsheet prepared by Mr Llambias for cash projections in RIFC’s  Q2. He knows that if he moves now he can crush this shyster board and bring them to their knees. Ashley knows that Douglas Park and George Taylor should be pursued for £5m now prior to Charles Green putting his bite on them.

Something much bigger than Traynor or Green prompted King to take the red eye from Johannesburg.

An Emergency Board Meeting

King did his best to fly under the radar. No-one was informed of his itinerary. The press pack were blindsided. However he was spotted by a CFC supporter who formerly commented on the LSE AIM shares chat portal. He informed me that he had been picked up by three women in a blue Mercedes. When I received his tweet I had no reason to doubt its authenticity. His comments on the LSE were always measured and informed.

I chose to tweet this information to my 2,500 followers (@sitonfence) and as a consequence King was exposed. There was no other reason for King to be in town. There was no game to attend and no photo opportunity with our armed forces. It was a crisis meeting. If Rangers had been ‘comfortably funded for the next six months’ there would have been no reason to board a plane. The rant at Ashley was a subtext to his emergency board meeting.

King had a slew of problems to address. Traynor had to be silenced. The first question was how much he would accept as a down payment on his outstanding invoices. I assume they came to an agreement that effectively removed any threat that would have been posed by a rogue PR element. Keith Jackson’s article, that strayed from the core message, was probably perceived as a shot across the bow by Level 5.

James Blair would have provided an accurate assessment on RIFC’s exposure to Green and its short term impact. October payroll, due tomorrow, was not in jeopardy but the cash position going into November is perilous. The home games and Training Cup SF would not be enough to address November’s payroll, so a short term loan would have to be arranged. They would attempt to defer Green’s costs until December if possible and ask their own counsel to give them latitude to pay RIFC’s costs. King would have asked for a report on the fundraising activities of Richard Gough at NARSA and whether Paul Murray had any joy with an approach to Ashley for the second tranche of £5m. Mr Murray was evidently unsuccessful, hence King’s rant.

Of course there is nothing King can do to in any way alleviate the crisis. His bank account is as empty as his rhetoric. All he could do was stiffen the resolve of his board and hope that they can make it through to January when the Rangers First CIC income will start its trickle into the Metro Bank Account.

When the press contacted Murray,Gilligan, Blair and Robertson for a quote from King, the latter issued his rant. He had shifted the agenda. The press were not discussing his clandestine attendance at an emergency board meeting. They were discussing Ashley. If the Evening Times wanted to do a follow up piece, Craig Houston would be on hand to reiterate the core message of fighting the good fight.

Sadly only a few of us know what was really going on.