Float like a Butterfly, sting like a Bitch

When Stewart Robertson presented the credit facility from Close Leasing Limited as an overdraft he was lying through his back teeth. Overnight this once respected football executive became The High Priest of Pishery. When he continued by stating that it represented a vote of confidence in his rogue board, and that close leasing had come to The Rangers bearing alms, one knew immediately that he was Greenock’s answer to Hans Christian Andersen. The last time I checked Greenock was not twinned with Odense.

The full extent of the pledges made to Close Leasing Ltd (which is a finance house of last resort, not a merchant bank) is now in the public domain. The rogue board have not just hocked the family silver. They have pledged the kitchen sink. Close Leasing have insisted on a floating charge of £1,567,000 on the Stadium Catering Outlets.

The PA System has been hocked for £556,000. The Stadium Bowl Screens for £432,000. The WiFi system has been pledged at £675,000. When one adds in The Albion Road Car Park at £1.5m and Edmiston House at £800,000, the total of assets pledged, at their cost value, is an eye-watering £5,530,000.

It was rather remiss of Mr. Robertson  not to mention that in the event of default Ibrox Stadium might have to close down. The PA/Voice Alarm System would be owned by CLL and they could dispose of it as they saw fit. No PA system ergo no security certificate.

This deal smacks of desperation. There are many takeaways including the sale document for Edmiston House, which was owned by Sir Bribe & Lie’s Charlotte Ventures Ltd. Having picked up Edmiston House for a song (The Billy Boys anyone?) SB&L trousered £800,000.

What also piqued my interest was a letter to Brian Stockbridge of Sevco Scotland Limited t/as The Rangers Football Club. Colour me surprised but does this not hole HMS Continuation under the water line? It was a remittance from Summit Asset Finance apropos the PA System/Voice Alarm System.

The floating charges have laid out Lite’s dirty laundry for all to see. When Sir Bribe & Lie was in charge no-one knew that his Charlotte Ventures owned Carnegie Information Systems which invoiced the club for north of £1m year after year or Charlotte subsidiary Azure which invoiced £2.8m. Murray had a finger in every pie. If he could have monetised the air at Ibrox Sir Bribe & Lie would have done so.

To add insult to pawnbroker injury the agreement was signed for CLL by the estimable Benedict O’Mahony. I somehow doubt that the knuckledraggers will take the news that they are in hock to a ‘taig’ and clasp it to their bosom.

If only they had the £15m revolving credit facility from MIH as enjoyed by Rangers, this three brass balls artifice would not be necessary. If they had cashed in on Morelos at £12m all their troubles would have been over. However as we fast approach the end of the Chinese transfer window one notes that there has been a conspicuous absence of any interest in The Ibrox Greenhorn Ger (Tigger).

However Close Leasing mean business. They are charging TRFC 4% more than their standard onerous terms.

One wonders what King will pawn next. If his grandmother is poorly will he try to pledge Tigger Morelos? He might as well as he has pawned everything else.




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21 thoughts on “Float like a Butterfly, sting like a Bitch”

  1. I had the pleasure of meeting another reader last night. Jim is an Aberdeen fan through and through. The beers flowed as Jim gave very generously of his time and hospitality. It’s a distinct pleasure to write for readers like Jim and Left Side Red. I look forward to introducing them to each other when I next meet up with Jim to watch Aberdeen v Celtic on Sunday. Those who think Aberdonians are tight should think again. Jim made a very generous donation to our site, as has Left Side Red on numerous occasions. As we approach the end of a difficult month for donations I can but hope that others emulate these fine sons of Aberdeen and keep our site alive.

  2. With each revelation of how awful this desperate loan is you would assume that even the blindest Bear would realise that a $12,000,000 deal would have been snapped up in a jiffy if it had ever existed. They have been lied to. They are treated as mushrooms, kept in the dark and fed shit.

  3. One thing that is glaringly obvious here is that Lite are “all in” with a last ditch attempt at stopping 10IAR.
    When you contemplate the finer of this Close Bros agreement and the ramifications it seems insane not to have voluntarily entered admin.
    Stopping 10 is the only possible explanation.
    It’s akin to one of those blockbuster movie scenarios (e.g. Alien) where the self -destruct sequence is initiated as the only remaining option to kill the beast.
    I noticed the SFA talked about a proposed restructure which conveniently aligns with the 10IAR timeline
    Belt and braces by the corrupt 🧐🤔

  4. As per your usual high quality JJ.

    Is not the WI-FI System the subject of a court case?

    Did the Wi-Fi installers and servicers not have their kit ‘ring-fenced’ for protection against exactly the pawn operation just started?

    I may stand corrected of course.

  5. As far as I can see not a mention of the other assets securitised against the Close Bros loan in the Daily Radar or world renowned ET, not to mention the Beats socila media sites.
    So no one thinks that putting up the catering equipment, WIFI system, public address system and the big screens as security on the loan is a big deal?
    This is confirmation that King/NOAL has failed to deliver the promised funding noted in the accounts which allowed Dallas Campbell to sign off on them.
    Accounts are signed off by auditors in good faith heavily reliant on information provided by the Directors and this is stated in the notes to the accounts clearly putting the onus on the Directors to be honest and up front on all matters.
    Apart from King/NOAL not stepping up to the plate we can rest easy that everything else is just tickety boo.
    I would be very worried if I was working for a business where the MD announced, in the light of rumours to the contrary, that all was well and the business was adequately funded for the forseeable future only to find several weeks later that assets had been used to secure loans, including assets which were part of the infrastructure, without which there would be no catering, no PA system, no WIFI, no big screen telly and no access to the club deck.

    1. Hi Joe, I spent 18 years as an auditor for some big firms. While what you say is essentially true regarding good faith, ISA 570 requires the auditors to obtain sufficient appropriate audit evidence about the appropriateness of management’s use of the going concern assumption in the preparation of the financial statements.

      After the outcry against the auditors when City Link collapsed on Christmas Day, every auditor worth his salt knows that when relying on a letter of intention, you really need to make sure its legally binding. In that case the audit was signed off on the basis of Better Capital indicating that it ‘intended’ to fund the losses until turnaround, only to quickly turn around after getting the clean opinion and say ‘now its our intention not to’. Throw into the mix Mr King’s criminal history and the fact no less than a judge warned that his word should not be trusted without objective evidence to support it.

      No, I’m afraid the auditors don’t get off the hook here. They are a small outfit to whom this is an important and high profile client. I’d question even their independence on this engagement.

      1. TJ as you will be aware audit firms are loath to walk away from clients, good, bad or indifferent as it hits the partners where it hurts, in the pocket.
        When the notes to the accounts included the narrative that King/NOAL would fund the losses going forward I assumed that the auditors would have cast iron guarantees and proof of funds particularly given who they were dealing with.
        Would be very remiss of them not to and would leave an open goal to aim at for any creditor who suffers a loss if it all goes tits up.

      2. To a degree thats what I meant in my last paragraph. Bigger firms do walk away when the risk is too much. Its already happened to the new company actually. Smaller firms are less likely to do so through financial incentives which leads to a potential independence issue. Audit firms normally shouldn’t take jobs on due to lack of independence if the job breaches certain % thresholds of turnover for the partner and firm. What % this is depends on the firm.

  6. What assets will be left when administration occurs? One would imagine, if the football governing bodies permitted players to be ‘financed’, then every single one would be hocked in a bizarre game of top trumps.
    Ironically the current board, having castigated Easdale, Ashley and others, are engaged in asset stripping that will leave a hollow shell, but then they have the expertise of a career criminal to call on.
    From football’s governing bodies? A deathly silence. One of the benefits of having RRM embedded in Hampden.

  7. Excellent piece Mr James. Well worth the £20 I just sent.

    Do I detect a wit at the top table of Close Brothers? “Sevco Scotland Limited t/as The Rangers Football Club”? And, I can imagine, “Get that smart young lad with the Irish name up here to sign this”.

    Keep it up.

    JJ: Thank you.

  8. Benedict O’Mahony, come on JJ, surely someone at Close Bros is taking the piss.
    Is this a not so subtle reminder that if the catering equipment is removed then Eggs Benedict won’t be the only thing missing from the menu?

  9. With Benedict being their saviour now maybe they should go all in and sign the Burnley keeper.the hack scribblers having to pen, Pope saves the rangers ,Pope prays the rangers stop 10inar,Pope magnificance at Ibrox, et al would top the lot how long would Sandy bryson put off registering pope as a trfc player due to imperfections.

  10. In light of this new information it would be very interesting to hear what Stewart Robertson has to say about RIFC overdraft now! Perhaps a member of the Laptop loyal will ask him? This very much looks like the beginning of the end. Securitised against operationally required assets means the lender of last resort has control until their debt is paid and theres no wriggle room. In a normal world Close Leasing would be paid immediatley on receipt of season ticket money even though extending the repayment time until Feb 19 makes no difference to the cost. If CL are not paid from ST money then the clock is ticking because without a substantial windfall of cash there will be no funds to pay them when the loan becomes due. Cold shoulder? No Share issue and if the well of shareholders loans is now dry and RIFC are in hock to CL then we move on to the next step in this saga. Where does RIFC go from here?
    3 years from the concert party take over the business has ran out of cash and break even is impossible. CCK has mortgaged everything to secure something from this season. Everything is predicated on on field success this season. the pressure on every brother to help must be akin to 9IAR. As you’ve mentioned before it is perhaps time for SIR Bribe and Lie to step up and save the Big Hoose. There must be considerable pressure on him from the Establishment to make good bearing in mind the fortune he trousered from his ownership of RFC as well as the debt he left everyone else with when he passed it to CW and equally the cooperation of brothers which has ensured his family fortune has grown considerable since the demise of RFC. Just cant see what his motivation would be though? Buy the CL debt, take control by the back door get rid of CCK and his gang but then have to use his own money to stabilise and make RFC competitive and challenging? Thats a price too high for SIR B&L. Timing of the repayment of the Close Leasing loan will be key.

  11. If only there was a large independent fans group, full of inquisitive professionals, who would question the board about these documents regarding that they are all responsible for passing this on to the next generation.

    I thought there was a protest in protestant.

    What are the odds the 1872 chaps somehow have to get involved financially. How’s that spun?

  12. All of this coming out along with the knowledge that they have already played all of the top six teams (or will have) in the league at ibrox? it can only mean that the establishment want the other 5 teams to put aside their own finances and give rangers a free run of games, and much needed money coming in, at ibrox .
    Will it mean we have to bring out mr mcrae’s balls again for another balls-up?

  13. How many times can they spend that season book money?

    This loan with costs will come in somewhere around £4m = about 13,000 season books. Add in the players loans…there can’t be much left.
    Given they are already spending next season’s revenue to keep the lights on this year I wonder if the admin event will happen then, rather than this season?

    Depends on how Sevco like their cold shoulder served….i assume it’s a succulent lamb shoulder 🤔

  14. As far as I’m aware Robertson is one of many in the Ibrox hierarchy who are paid up members of the highly respected ICAS.
    When he made his statement about financial stability did it not cross his mind that when the security paperwork was lodged at Companies House his credibility would be trashed forever?
    Are we to believe that Close Bros came calling desperate to get their mitts on a car park, an abandoned building, some catering equipment, a PA system, some big tv’s and the WIFI system?
    The latter is a story on it’s own. With transparency thin on the ground we have to assume that the legal dispute has been settled.
    I think the principle argument between the parties was that Newco claimed that the system capacity wasn’t sufficient whilst the supplier was adamant that they got what they paid for.
    Has the WIFI system been restored? Has the capacity been upgraded or has remained as was?
    It was a big talking point between the Bears at the time but seems to have dropped off the radar.
    Any idea how matters were resolved?

  15. King’s two big days in court next week appealing the Court Of Session judgement.
    Stand by for Robertson repeating his previous mantra that it’s Dave’s problem and will have no impact on the club!

  16. Robertson never stated it was an overdraft – that was the papers in particular the Daily Record that labelled it as such.

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