As Sir Bribe & Lie circles the carcass of Rangers Lite, the following two events will be instructive on how best to launch his putsch:
1. King’s anticipated ragdolling at The Court of Session on Thursday.
2. The accounts to 30 June, 2017.
In my informed opinion, King is finished as a force at Rangers Lite. Should SB&L wish to maintain the current construct, King’s 14.57% would be a good place to start. With King over a barrel he is not in any position to demand 27.5p per share. Sir Bribe & Lie would to my mind offer no more than 18p. The same offer would be made to Park senior and George Taylor. SB&L could buy them out for just under £5m. Having breached the 30% threshold he would then publish a prospectus to hoover up as many shares as possible at 20p. With circa another £2.5m he could achieve a majority shareholding.
One could argue that £7.5m is a small price to pay for assets that Green bought for £5.5m of other people’s money. However Rangers Lite are small beer and as each season passes under the current board Ibrox will in time only appeal to the 18,000-20,000 hard core of hard-wired bigots who view the matchday experience through the prisms of supremacy and racist invective.
James Forrest, a much admired blogging peer, has noted that viewing figures for this season’s Lite v Celtic Glasgow derby were indicative of a downward spiral. Celtic’s Champions League revenue is a game changer. According to Transfermarkt Celtic’s squad is valued at £57.75m. Rangers Lite’s squad at £20.5m. The gulf in quality leads one to presume that Lite will not earn a point, nor prevail in a cup tie, against the Celtic juggernaut. Celtic have players, such as Armstrong and Dembele, that could be sold for significant profits. They also have the financial wherewithal to retain Scotland’s most improved player, Kieran Tierney. Tierney is a star in a constellation of quality players.
Primark Pedro’s clapped-out caravan squad has little appeal. Second-tier journeymen looking for a pension fillip have limited market value. Lee Wallace was the only player who commanded a bid north of £1m in the transfer window. There are too many crocks, such as Kranjcar and Rossiter, to make a material difference to the P&L.
Will the audited accounts, as anticipated, show that loans have risen from £6.25m to just south of £10m? Will there be more emphasis of matter red lines? Rangers Lite is as unwell as one of its principal shareholders. Its decline could be terminal.
Sir Bribe & Lie watched Charles Green set up Sevco Scotland with only £2 of his own capital. Green raised £22m from an IPO. This would be Sir Bribe & Lie’s preferred route to majority control. He could pay off the debts from the current ‘donors‘ in one fell swoop.
With the Lite horse headed for the glue factory would SB&L’s plans come unstuck at Hampden? Not a chance of it. Regan would be the first on his knees at the Ibrox Glory Hole.
Sir Bribe & Lie, with a flair for the dramatic, disingenuously asserted that for every £5 Celtic spent he would spend £10. A more accurate statement would be one where he highlighted that he would borrow the £10 quantum.
Funding any Rangers Lite renascence would not be easy as Lite and financial prudence are ships passing in the night. Would there be any traction in flogging the ‘Old Firm’ dead horse? I posit that any attempt by Lite to surf on Celtic’s bandwidth would be doomed to failure.
As James Forrest points out, there will be no return to the ‘Old Firm’ joint marketing deals of yesteryear. Celtic is a global brand. Rangers Lite are a small internet casino’s sandwich board. The gulf in sponsorships deals is much greater than Celtic’s squad value differential. The ‘Old Firm’ will no longer prop up the Ibrox brand despite Roddy Forsyth’s best efforts in The Telegraph.
Rangers Lite is a tainted brand. The Cold Shouldering of a football club Chairman is unprecedented. Celtic and other companies would do well to give Lite a wide berth. Sir Bribe & Lie might prefer giving the rogue board enough rope to hang themselves.
However the dying embers of the dead club continue to burn brightly in the Scottish political class. Prior to the green light for the first phase of The Celtic Village being granted, Peter Lawwell stated:
“If you have Celtic who are progressive, say, and (Sevco), who over the last five years, have been trying to re-establish themselves, we have been looking forward and they have been looking at today and tomorrow and trying to keep going. The difficulty for the politicians is to recognise that Celtic is progressive and to help us along the way because someone is going to say: ‘Well, you are doing that for Celtic. What are you going to do for them?’” (Source: The Celtic Blog).
With meeting monthly payroll demands a recurring challenge, it will take more than Sir Bribe & Lie to rejuvenate Rangers Lite. He does not have the wherewithal.
Tina Turner’ belting out ‘Simply The Best‘ at Ibrox has been replaced by Cher’s ‘If I could turn back time.’
There will be no return to the ‘Old Firm’ and Quantitative Easing at Ibrox.