In Shakespeare’s “The Merchant Of Venice” which was written in the late 16th Century (1596-1599), Bassanio requires some cash so that he can woo Portia in style. Antonio suggests that Bassanio borrow money from Shylock,
using Antonio’s good credit as collateral. Shylock agrees to the loan but asks for a pound of Antonio’s flesh as a guarantee. Antonio agrees because he’s completely devoted to his friend.
Fast forward to the early 21st Century and the clusterfuck that is Sevco have written their very own Shakespearean tragedy:
Dave requires some cash so that he can convince The Court of Session that he’s penniless and keep the lights on at Ibrox. Stewart Robertson, who was tasked with sourcing financing of last resort – including invoice financing – suggests that he borrows from the only loan sharks that are prepared to sit down with the financially incontinent club. The Close Brothers reluctantly agree to advance some much-needed working capital but insist that Stewart relinquish Edmiston House and The (almost legendary) Albion Road Car Park should his chum Dave default on his debt.
Given that there has been so much spin being generated by Yuanker Traynor and his SMSM lickspittles, not to mention a masterclass in sophistry by RIFC Managing Director Stewart Robertson, one could be excused if one could not follow the plot.
Allow me to piece it together for you. There was no interest in Morelos from any Chinese club. The figure of £8m was a figment of Yuanker’s imagination. Note how when an injection of working capital has been sourced interest in Morelos has suddenly ‘cooled.’ Given that this squirrel was brought to the boil by Traynor a more apt description would be evaporated.
The beleaguered Lite board attempted to pawn the future sale of Morelos with Close Brothers. They pointed to interest from China. They ensured that the SMSM were singing from the same hymn sheet. They lobbied Close Brothers Premium Finance to advance them £3m, securitized on Morelos.
Sales & Marketing Director Paul Trail demurred. He did not come down in the last shower. His company had a history at Ibrox. They had provided the working capital to refurbish and renew the Ibrox catering facilities. The interest rates at that time were onerous.
This debt was eventually discharged in 2016. This opened the door for Robertson, but Trail would not play ball with The Morelos Myth. He insisted on bricks and mortar. Edmiston House was a sweetener in the deal but the jewel in the collateral crown is the car park.
Planning permission for The Club Deck is predicated on the car park being an assembly point in the event of an emergency evacuation. The owner of the car park can therefore hold the club to ransom.
The Club Deck, which cost approximately £20 million, was partially financed by a Football Trust grant of £2 million and a debenture issue that raised £8.5m. Sir Bribe & Lie borrowed the shortfall from The Bank That Likes To Swing The Lead, aka The Bank Of Scotland. Gullibillies including BBC Freemasonry’s Roddy Forsyth, bought debentures for between £1,000 and £1,650 each, which guaranteed them the right to buy a season ticket in the Club Deck for 30 years.
Call me a cynic (many have done so) but did King not assure the RIFC auditors that he would step up with a £7.2m interest free loan to keep the wolves from the door? Why pay exorbitant interest rates when the Ibrox estate was being looked after by its very own Uncle Vanya in Dave King? Why has King suddenly fallen under The Close Brothers spell? Surely he is not planning on pulling an impecunious fast one at The Court of Session? Perish the very thought. What about his personal guarantees to Campbell Dallas and Hamilton Academicals? Have Close Brothers backed the wrong horse?
Stewart Robertson has stepped up with a statement that the prevailing narrative of administration in January was wide of the mark. That being the case why did he not step up in January to issue this statement? Why was there a concerted effort to punt Morelos, Pena and Alves to get them off the payroll?
The crisis in January was real. They were running on fumes and did not have the funds to pay the first tranche of transfer fees until August. When they tried this on with Brighton they laughed in their faces.
£3m and a deep run in the Scottish Cup – courtesy of McRae and his corrupt cabal at the SFA – might just keep the lights on. However if the share issue is vetoed, as I anticipate, how can the Bent Brief’s Club 1872 invest another £1m in worthless shares?
Those who thought that Dave King was the messiah are now discovering that he is a very naughty boy; a fact not lost on the TPE and The Court of Session.
Firhill for thrills, Ibrox for Chills will soon be introduced to the Scottish football lexicon.
Have The beleaguered board procured a Provident Cheque to secure a solvent restructure?