One can but hope that The World Cup distracts the hapless SMSM hacks from a Silly Season of Lite speculation. The kind of fanciful wishful thinking that had Wayne Rooney rocking up at Ibrox. Had they checked and not swallowed Traynor’s lies wholesale they would have realised that Rooney had signed for DC United. The only former EPL pros who would be interested in playing at Ibrox would be those who could not get a U.S. or Chinese gig. Kranjcar, playing in an MLS backwater one step up from college football, is all Warburton could afford. The financial dystopia is now mission critical. The working capital of our ursine chums is hibernating.
Rooney and his ilk are professional footballers. The clue is in their title. Whether Bottle is handing out the bibs and cones matters not a jot compared to the quantum of their BACS/SWIFT transfers at month’s end. Gerrard himself plied his trade in the MLS, trousering $9m while living among the stars in Beverly Hills. One would have thought that the Beckhams would have reached out to the Gerrards notwithstanding the fact that Gerrard has a Scally accent, is as dull as ditchwater and hides the short planks in his garage as he loses out in any Stanford-Binet comparison. The senior pros at The Auchenhowie Safari Park will post an appeal on ‘WhatsApp‘ for a village missing its idiot.
As the curtain closes on another season of CFC record-breaking supremacy, with an unprecedented successive treble within their grasp, the no-deposit bottle is a Squirrel. An exercise of style over substance
‘Bottle Goes To Hollywood’ or ‘From Huyton to Hollywood’ might be the preferred narratives of the Lite hacks whose latent ‘Rangersness’ is currently soliciting a bulge in their pockets, but will they fall wanking to the floor with one hand clutching transfer porn?
Or will they manage expectations, as is the case with Traynor’s pubescent sock puppet Chris Jack?
Jack – who has problems getting a carry out as Off Licences don’t believe he’s of age –wears his Herald Group swipe card on a blue ribbon at all times even when he’s out of the office. It’s the modern day codpiece of the office classes.
He styles himself as a Group Senior Sports writer. I can but assume that it’s easy being senior to Big Fat Derek Johnstone doing The Rangers Can-Can, or a feature by that inestimable man of letters, Halloween Houston.
Jack’s rag is in terminal decline. One anticipates him being paid by the word as a jobbing hack on Metro; or do they demand that their hacks engaged in journalistic training? Jack’s credentials – attending a school with the conspicuous absence of a saint’s name in its title – might not fly outwith the Hun Micro Climate of the West of Scotland.
One would like to think that he did not miss his bed time, his Rangers pyjamas – bought for a song at a Liquidation sale – and his Huggies.
Jack’s latest was delivered by the ‘No Surrender’ carrier pigeon from Traynor’s Auchenhowie Doo Loft:
” Hi Chris. Still aspiring to being a stuntman for Danny De Vito? It seems like only yesterday that I was giving you a punt at Ibrox. Or was it yesterday? The new cattle grid turnstiles are a pain in my gout-ridden fundament.
Anyway buddy I need a solid. We need to dampen expectations. All this talk of war chests must be cut off at the knees. I should not bite the hand that feeds but King is an unconscionable prick who has the Gullibillies in a lather apropos Tranfer Porn.
The rights issue might not even get off the ground as only King has the wherewithal to underwrite it and he’s not permitted to participate. If a mysterious benefactor steps up we might all end up in the pokey.
Red Hand Nicholl has been primed to receive your call. He will parlay about not throwing the baby out with the bath water, and how a manager worth his salt will get a tune out of the current squad.
Yours in Rangers/Airdrie/Linfield and glorious victories in the El Belfastico,
“I trust that my ‘We are the People’ carrier pigeon finds you well. Cut out the short-arse patter Jim. As for solids I paid you in full with the Morelos Myth, or as I prefer to call him Count Missula. All it takes is a top six defence to turn up to render him as effective as Christopher Lee at noon. One could Velcro Morelos and a beach ball to a barn door and he would still conspire to miss it.
Anyway I met up with Red Hand in The Louden and after a few halfs of Bushmills – we don’t do Taig whiskey – we came up with the enclosed which I ran in my fanzine. Will I see you at the Masonic for the Matinee Dominoes on Wednesday? Will you vouch for me at the bar?
Yours in Rangers,
Chris – Herald Group Senior Sports Writer (and don’t you fucking forget it)”
The following was published in The Evening Times where Jack’s Lite obsequiousness is only trumped by his irrelevance. Red Hand Nicholl asserted:
“Hopefully, not a massive change. What I mean by that is that he will get something out of the existing squad. Yes, some of them will be gone but if he gets something out of the existing ones, he won’t need too many new players. I hope he doesn’t need eight or nine. I hope in the end he only needs three or four. He should get more out of the boys who are here. If they have anything about them, then he will do. They will respond to his demands. He might be younger, people might say he’s an inexperienced manager, but it doesn’t matter. If someone’s not doing it on the training pitch or on a Saturday for you, then it doesn’t matter if you’re inexperienced or not. It’s just a case of ‘away you go’.”
One would like to think that King will send something from his cellar by way of gratitude to Nicholl. Given how tight King is a ‘cobweb in a bottle’ will be winging its way to The Auchenhowie Safari Park as I write.
Nicholl might have been more succinct if he had stated, mimicking Scotty from Star Trek:
“Only 3 or 4 FFS Bottle. The Engine Room Subsidiary cannae hack it.”
As Jack joins his pubescent ilk under their Rangers duvets with a penlight and a Victorias Secret catalogue, he should leave his Panini scrap book on his bedside table.
There will be no Panini centrefolds coming to Ibrox.
When Charles Green engaged in an Initial Public Offering in 2012, he raised £22m. His prospectus which valued Ibrox and Auchenhowie at a combined quantum of over £100m was a leap that many were prepared to make despite the fact that he had bought them, with other people’s money, a few months earlier for £1.5m.
Charles for his next trick masked a £1.1m burn rate – due in no small part to McCoist’s £825.000 basic salary – by sweating the fixed assets further by apportioning a negative goodwill consideration of £20.45m. He turned an obvious loss into a paper profit. As this was a one trick pony the burn rate in subsequent years was stripped of its Deloitte artifice to plunge RIFC Plc into a pool of red ink. Had it not been for some deft accountancy flim flam RIFC Plc would have lost money in every year of its short existence.
My favourite detail from a 121 page Prospectus with many creative gems was The Switcheroo, viz:
“On 14 June 2012, Sevco 5088 Limited entered into agreements for no consideration to legally reassign its beneficial interest to Sevco Scotland Limited.”
There were no flies on Mr. Green. Aiden Earley and Craig Whyte were caught with their flies undone. Green exclusively owned the £2 share capital in 5088 and same in Sevco Scotland. Whyte – who tried desperately to mask his involvement – would have added value if his shares remained vital. When the CVA failed Whyte was surplus to requirements. Mr Whyte’s Reservoir Dog was inordinately parched.
The decision by Deloitte to ‘do walking away‘ from its business relationship with RIFC has ignited some feverish debate on social media. Apparently the intimidation became too much for one of their partners. They recused themselves from £594,000 of non audit work and £90,000 in fees. Not exactly chump change for any fee-earner. Negative goodwill ponies evidently don’t come cheap.
I have followed the debate on SFM doing my best to avoid the maudlin old Scouser who thinks Jesus and brass bands should be a firmament in football debate. Last time I checked Jesus did not study at The Juilliard.
One poster, I venture Steerpike in one of his many guises, is suggesting that CFC supporters were behind the febrile agitation. One could conjure up a number of legitimate lines of enquiry apropos material uncertainty with robust language. However the tone of Deloitte’s Dear John implies the use of a more industrial vernacular. Would howthe fuck can you give the bastard child of liquidated clusterfuck a going concern green light be closer to the mark?
Phil Macgiollabhain ignited the debate with a cri de couer. He would have one facing down the malcontents. He advocated SFA involvement. Would he continue to lobby for governance intervention if members of his very own Republican Twitter Army were the perpetrators of the intimidation?
I have been warned not to challenge Phil Macgiollabhain on any matter as donations, that fell off a cliff yesterday despite a week of prodigious output, would dry up. Am I not allowed to engage in the debate?
From my perspective and personal experience there are two types of threats to individuals who offend ‘the klan.‘
There are opportunistic threats as was the case when individuals burnt out a car outside my apartment. It was not my car. However when three plain clothes policemen turned up at my door they left me in no doubt that I was the target.
Anonymity is a useful shield to ward off opportunistic attacks.
It’s no deterrent to the paramilitaries who have targeted your humble correspondent. These Orange Order members are ‘juiced in’ to police intelligence via their handlers in Special Branch. They know my identity and the address of my parents. These individuals are not cyber bullies. They are not sending bullets in the post. One of their number has killed on at least 38 occasions.
I’m not ‘heroically anonymous.’ Facing down faceless assassins with my pen evidently does not go far enough for the more ‘heroic’ in the social media milieu.
I have no need to consider The Thirty-Six Stratagems or The Art of War when anonymity and flight are my only recourses.
I digress. I opened this piece with an outline of a successful rights issue. There are those who believe that the Gerrard revolution will be underpinned by June’s foray into the unknown.
It may be worth recalling that in 2004 Sir Bribe & Lie initiated a £57m share issue, designed to wipe out a debt burden which had seen Rangers downsize their previous on-field ambitions. £51m was raised from the share issue, but £50m of this was underwritten by Murray and effectively transferred off Rangers’ books into his company, Murray International Holdings (MIH).
June’s rights issue will not be underwritten by either of the three bears or King. They are prohibited from any form of participation. These shares are not supported by any stock exchange ( LSE AIM for Green, Ofax for Murray) and as such their price is not derived from RIFC Plc’s performance. Alastair Johnston, illegally prompted by King, will pluck a figure from the ether but I would be inordinately surprised should the offer be fully subscribed.
I contend that on a See Saw featuring Charles Green’s IPO on one side and Lite’s get out of UEFA jail free card on the other, the independent directors would be up in the air, jockeying to avoid a hard Sir Bribe & Lie landing.
The panic procurement of a managerial ingenue smacks of desperation. Notwithstanding the boost to season ticket sales that would have indubitably flagged had King not pulled this rabbit from his hat, there is nothing to suggest this will end well. In a discussion of Gerrard’s education as a coach on the English FA’s Pathway Programme Gerrard asserts that their Four Corners Model which looks at the four key areas of player development viz: technical/tactical; physical; psychological and social – as key to his coaching education so far.
“I’ve learned an awful lot about the individual player and the four corners. I’ve also gained valuable coaching experience.”
What Gerrard failed to mention is that he’s so thick that he needed the support of a PFA tutor to gain his badges.
No matter how efficacious these courses are they cannot imbue any former player with man management skills. Alex Ferguson (what a relief that he received medical treatment so promptly) became a legend as a manager at Aberdeen and Manchester United, winning every club honour in world football despite the conspicuous absence of coaching badges. Late in his career Sir Alex participated in a coaching programme when UEFA made their pro licence a prerequisite. Mourinho gained his pro licence under the tutelage of Andy Roxburgh at Largs.
What both men have in spades is man management experience. They know when to put an arm around a player and when to throw hot tea at them as was the case in the Aberdeen dressing room when Strachan questioned Ferguson’s tactics. Both know when to sell a player and how to build teams around a core of players with a winning mentality.
One can teach the basics of man management in the classroom but it’s the hands-on experience that counts. Gerrard has been dealing with kids to date. Kids who adore him. When he arrives at The Auchenhowie Safari Park he will be faced with a different kind of animal. Senior pros who know that he does not have the first clue on how to get a tune out of them. Caixinha and Murty did not impress the ‘WhatsApp‘ group. The former was dismissed and denigrated with the pejorative epithet of ‘fuck off‘. Gerrard will impress even less, particularly when they twig that his ‘bottle’ nickname is well earned.
Alex Ferguson would not let any player win an argument, even if he was in the wrong. Players smarter than him were quickly put in their place. Maslow’s Hierarchy of Prepotency may be all the rage with the FA but this won’t cut the mustard at Auchenhowie. Ferguson and Walter Smith put the fear of god into their players and fourth officials, for good measure, with tonsillar invective. Bottle’s soft Scouse tones will be lost in translation.
My Auchenhowie mole has been in touch to confirm my exclusive that someone in the Lite supply chain is paying for the Gerrard experiment. It’s the kind of kickback that harks back to the days of Sir Bribe & Lie, where every supplier either had to co-opt him on their board or pay him a handsome tribute.
It was racketeering in the raw, deftly overlooked by Murray’s placemen at the SFA.
The news that Lite, which as King asserted is running at a loss by design, gained a UEFA licence was inordinately surprising. The beleaguered board have no intention or the wherewithal to break even so how can they possibly be FFP compliant? Was Andrew Dickson on the SFA’s licence committee again? One gets the distinct impression that the odious corrupt cabal at Hampden will do anything in their power to create a strong, competitive ‘The Rangers.’
We are still awaiting Tony McGlennan’s report on the high jinks in 2011 from a club where cheating had become the norm. As Hugh Adam asserted in 2002 they knew that they were cheating but carried on regardless. The SFA were in their pocket and the senior officers at Strathclyde police were jockeying for the security gig when they retired. Is McGlennan going to throw the book at King, Johnston and Dickson or toss a loafer into the team bath so that they can lather up their next lies?
It would appear that even when the cheating is established, the Establishment club is immune from punishment. Scottish football governance is akin to South Africa during apartheid. Those of the ruling classes were never brought to book.
Gerrard’s much needed excision of the dross at The Auchenhowie Safari Park will make Hercules’ travails at The Augean Stables seem routine. I venture that every player on Lite’s books would not be good enough to earn a place in any Liverpool Academy team at any age group. I wonder what Bottle will think of Pena and Morelos, the coke snorting Beavis and Butthead of the Lite team? One would like to think that cocaine, which can be delivered faster than a pizza in Glasgow, is not undermining their performance. Gascoigne swore by it as a pick me up after a night on the tiles. Then as now the SFA’s drug testing is as effective as a three-legged greyhound at Catford. I chose Catford Stadium as it closed down in 2003, as did all Scottish football governance when EBT’s were being mass produced.
The SFA’s collusion with Ibrox is the most unedifying aspect of Scottish football. As Rangers broke every rule in the book the SPL set up the LNS commission to exonerate them. A £250,000 fine for fifteen bent titles. At £16,666 per trophy it was money well spent. The stench of Apartheid lingers to this day.
Any way you slice and dice it Lite should not be participating in Europe. The only saving grace is that the dross’ Progres will be limited.
Note to Gerrard: Should it all go Pete Tong on your first foray into Europe as a manager don’t remonstrate with supporters from the shrubbery. Just remember that your appointment is predicated on the crushing imminence of ten-in-a-row. Europe is a sideshow. Ten-in-a-row will see the house of cards collapse, should the Sevco project last this long. Note the use of house Bottle, not deck as per your intellectually challenged leader.
Hibs ignominious defeat to Hearts at the dairy farm that is Tynecastle – where the grass is kept long to provide the HMFC players with cud fare – has left Neil Lennon at so much of a loss that he is considering his position. Levein took great pleasure in engineering Hibs Scottish Cup exit and undermining their runners-up aspirations. HMFC are an appalling team with players like Naismith who thinks he has a licence to stamp on Scott Brown’s family jewels and to maim James Forrest with a shocking over the ball lunge to his left ankle. Naismith was acting under instructions from Levein who had briefed the media that his players needed protection from Brown and with Madden’s cards firmly in his pocket, set Naismith the task of maiming two of their most influential players. I would not put it past Levein to figure out that Hibs would end up in fourth and that Motherwell could dash their Europa League prospects with the assistance of the conspicuous absence of Brown and Forrest. Levein, who once set out a Scotland team 4-6-0 with no forwards, not even a false number 9, is a grumpy old man who loves nothing more than to piss on other teams’ parades. Except of course at Ibrox where his team down tools faster than a striking Red Clydesider.
As to who will finish second, who cares? The game at Celtic Park has a draw – Celtic’s eleventh this season – written all over it. If Hibs turn up with their beach towels and deck chairs on Sunday then one anticipates Lite being second and Dave King turning up to milk the plaudits.
As the season ends with a whimper, matters off the field are ending with a bang. Courtesy of the Hibs team playing in the manner of one with suntan lotion in their eyes, Lite have an automatic Europa League qualification spot. I am reliably informed that UEFA are asking for invoices to support Lite’s burgeoning submissions apropos redevelopment costs. There’s a gnawing suspicion that they are gilding this lily. Is it time for Lite’s UEFA fixer Campbell Ogilvie to pull a few strings?
Had it not been for a lack of Progres on the park this season questions would have been asked at Nyon in regard to Lite using prospective UEFA income to assuage auditors’ material uncertainty concerns. Those questions are now being asked. If UEFA are not satisfied with their responses Lite will be excluded.
I can exclusively reveal that Sandy Easdale has written to the Takeover Panel to ascertain how any rights issue could proceed with the ever present influence of two of our ursine friends – George Taylor is not a director – and the Limpopo Liar. Could Douglas Chins ‘R’ Us Park’s son be perceived as independent when everyone knows he does his father’s bidding?
King’s press conference was a GIRFIUY to the Panel. King has stated categorically that it’s just a process that he has to go through. That there will be no offer. What are the Panel waiting for? The press release is the smoking gun. Contempt of Court proceedings must inexorably follow.
The Gnomes of Nyon – who are partial to a bung – will do King a favour if they kick out Lite’s UEFA application. Following his team might find King on the receiving end of a European Arrest Warrant.
On a final note I have been informed that ‘Clotted’ Weir has been replaced by Scott Mullen at The Herald and Times. A friendly hack who is aware of my endearing epithet wanted me to know. It would appear that others found Stewart’s stewardship somewhat lumpen. He added:
“Don’t know why and it’s made fuck all difference.”
A concatenation of No, Shit and Sherlock comes to mind.
As Aberdeen and Rangers Lite shared the points in a hard-earned scoring draw in pursuit of a guaranteed Europa League qualification spot – with Lite at times emulating the hammer throwers at the dairy farm that is Tynecastle – the real UEFA action is off the park. Traynor will be apoplectic with rage at the following tweets by Richard Wilson which confirmed information that was posted on my Twitter timeline as a response to my King Q&A piece.
Let’s restate the known ‘knowns.’ In the last available audited accounts, and not the interim accounts wish list, the auditors included the following clause apropos material uncertainty
“We draw attention to note 1 to the financial statements concerning the Group’s ability to continue as a going concern. In order to continue operations for the next 12 months the Group is dependent upon raising additional finance to cover the projected cash shortfall of £4m in season 2017/18 and a further £3.2m in season 2018/19. Failure to secure additional funding would result in the existence of a material uncertainty which may cast significant doubt as to the Group’s ability to continue as a going concern. The financial statements do not include the adjustments that would result if the Group was unable to continue as a going concern. Our opinion is not modified in respect of this matter.
Furthermore Campbell Dallas make the following assumption:
“The forecast assumes the Club will challenge for the European places in the Ladbrokes SPFL Premiership in 2017/18 and participate in European competition in the season thereafter.”
Close Brothers Asset Finance, Alastair Johnston and Barry Scott covered this year’s shortfall, but next year’s conservatively estimated £3.2m is coming down the pike. This does not include the asset finance deal, which takes the material uncertainty to north of £6m. Now that Lite don’t have Regan batting for them they don’t have a proven liar making representations on their behalf, unless of course Sandy Bryson has stepped up to the plate.
Of particular note is the sustained losses of £18.85m in the past three fiscal years. Lite will try to fob off as much as possible as stadium refurbishment costs, failing to mention that all the scaffording has been provided free of charge.
But the real kicker is RIFC Plc’s inability to convert debt of circa £20m from the concert party into equity. When added to the Close Brother’s debt, the grand total exceeds the UEFA maximum debt threshold of 25,000,000 Euros. RIFC plc are currently running a debt level north of 26,000,000 Euros.
King was of course lying about the Section 9 mandatory offer having no impact on the member club. The concert party of Messrs King, Letham, Park & Taylor are prohibited from participating in the rights issue. They have no means of transforming their debt to equity.
An associate of mine, with a direct line to the Panel, has confirmed that a rights issue can proceed if underwritten by a NOMAD and that King, Park, Letham & Taylor play no part. The Panel are however considering their position and may raise an injunction against the so-called independent directors. If King sold at 27.5p it undermines the mandatory offer price of 20p.
There is a factor that no-one else has considered. King has been ordered to make an offer for all stock not held by the concert party. Should he comply after the rights issue he could face the purchase of up to an additional 108 million non concert party shares at 20p. £21.6m if fully subscribed.
If £6m in working capital is raised, this will be swallowed up by the trading deficit and by paying off Close Brothers in February 2019, leaving the one green bottle that is Gerrard in danger of accidentally falling. Gerrard is both green by club allegiance and in both coaching and man management. Kids schooled at the Liverpool Academy from the age of six are much more malleable than the fractious pros at The Auchenhowie Safari Park, where El Buffalo Morelos roams free.
King’s headless chicken is coming home to roost. Is it any wonder that he insisted that his coterie of hand-picked SMSM lickspittles did not go to print until Monday evening at 11pm as he did not want his whereabouts revealed until he was reclining in his first class bed en route to Johannesburg?
Prior to what may well be one of my longer blogs I take pause to acknowledge a significant milestone. Our site has now breached the 20,000,000 hits threshold. I would like to thank all of you who provide your thoughts and provoke intelligent debate on our speakeasy. My most heartfelt thanks goes to those who make it possible. Those who step up every month to keep this site vital. Some of my more generous sponsors have not contributed of late which resulted in a temporary withdrawal of my internet facilities. This blip aside this site has never been more popular. The current run rate is indicative of a one million hit month. This is the big league inhabited by the big hitters of social media. Paul & David at the excellent CQN. James Forrest, the bloggers blogger, and the most popular and best supported of all in the alternative 4th Estate, Phil Macgiollabhain. I venture that the Snack Media sites – The Celtic Blog, Video Celts – where advertising is king, will continue to do well. Other sites, other than Phil Macgiollabhain’s, with no advertising income, will struggle. As the majority of my readers did not vote for this site, I won’t have a seat at the Snack Media table this year or any other year. One should note that I no longer mention my award in 2016 in my Twitter and WordPress profiles. A new football blogger will soon receive the accolade for 2018. It’s his/her time, not mine. I will continue to be your humble correspondent for as long as your support empowers me.
In a day of celebrating our site, it would be appropriate to provide an exclusive as this site is renowned for breaking new ground. My source, who has yet to let me down, who predicted that Gerrard would be signed sealed and delivered before anyone else, had an insight that he has just shared. He asserts that Gerrard is on the same package as Rodgers which one is led to believe is circa £2m plus bonuses. However here’s the kicker or would kickback be more apposite? He further claims that his salary will be paid by a mystery benefactor whose firm may or may not be engaged in a lucrative refurbishment project at Ibrox. The individual who provides many millions of pounds in scaffolding – pro bono – is the kind of RRM he suggests that I have a close look at. There’s never a dull moment at The Ibrox Zoo and Auchenhowie Safari Park. The monkeys, who were in a state of some agitation recently, seem particularly exercised by the arrival of Bottle & Macca. £2m per annum buys a lot of bananas.
I’m quite partial to a Williams banana from Ecuador and Mozambique. I’m less partial to the King William banana from south of The Limpopo who invited some of the SMSM for tea and Club Oranges yesterday. In jj passim : A King’s Ransom I predicted the following themes:
1. An ‘investment’ broadcast from The Dave King Party.
2. The Takeover & Mergers actions are mean-spirited, counterintuitive and do not represent the best interests of Rangers (sic) and its shareholders.
3. I have kept my promises to save Rangers (sic) from those who did not have our club’s best interests at heart.
4. The launch price for the equity is a mere 25p. This is a discount on the JP Jenkins listed price of 27.5p.
5. We must do our utmost to support the most exciting and innovative new coach in British football.
With the exception of four I called every point right. It’s admittedly not rocket science but no-one is as unpredictable as King. Even my Consigliere who has five decades of experience in the media and who has been in King’s company on several occasions cannot fathom him. He could share The Loving Cup with you one moment, then stab you in the back the next.
As has become a custom on this site I will provide all his answers in full – the questions are self-explanatory – and translate them for our readers.
1. Takeover Panel:
“It got to a point where I agreed with the Takeover Panel that while I wouldn’t make a formal offer, one of my trust companies would make a formal offer and that the Takeover Panel would accept the company offer as being the offer coming from me personally because they know that I am never going to make an offer. They accept that. They asked me for proof of funds which we gave them. They then asked for the funds to be ringfenced in a separate account, an escrow, to make sure the funds could only be used for the purpose of the shares. We agreed to that. They were placed into a trust account, (with) proof of funds given to them. Then about two weeks ago the Takeover Panel approached me again and said they were unhappy now with the funds being held in South Africa and they would like them relocated into the UK to be held in a UK bank account in sterling. I said: “I am happy to do that.” But as you know I don’t have facilities in the UK, I would have to open a bank account, which I have agreed to do. I said: “That now requires an extension of the offer period. I can’t get the money into the UK, open bank accounts, do the various KYC (know your customer) things you have to do with the banks in time to make the deadline.” They didn’t grant the extension. That is where we are stuck right now. I have gone back to them and said: “I am going to take that under review because this is something you only asked for two weeks ago.” I am not a UK resident…my business interests are not in the UK therefore I have to open bank accounts and that does take time. That is really where we are right now. They have proof of funds in rand in South Africa, but they want it relocated to the UK. That is where we are at the moment.”
JJ: Liar, liar call the fundament fire brigade. Jesus H ‘Christ The Redeemer’ (is Gerrard paying attention) how does he get away with it? How stupid and credulous does one need to be to draw a salary as a sports reporter in Scottish football? Did the hun hacks not realise that King has a 14.57% interest in RIFC Plc. Correct me if I’m wrong but is this not a UK business interest? King bought the shares via London broker Cantor Fitzgerald and then transferred them to a BVI trust. This is a UK business relationship.
As for KYC and an extension to open a new bank account, how disingenuous can King be? He has an account with Barclays Bank in London. The majority of his funds are held by Barclays in Guernsey. He also has an account with HSBC in The Bahamas. I’m certain King would have no problem arranging a London account on their recommendation in very short order.
King has been yanking the Panel’s chain for over a year. The Panel are the UK’s watchdog. What King does with Laird in South Africa in Rand is of no interest to them. What part of £11m in a UK escrow account does he not understand?
Later in the Q&A the following dialogue is instructive:
Have you had an indication of how many existing shareholders will accept your 20p offer?
King: I think pretty much nothing. Nothing. The offer will not go through. It is not going to happen.
Can you clarify that statement?
King: There has to be a level of acceptance. It has no chance of being accepted. The offer is a technical thing that I have to do to comply with and I am doing my best to do it within the circumstances we have got. At the end of the day, it will mean nothing. It will not happen. It is a process we have to go through.
Some of the penny shareholders might think it’s time to cash in though?
King: The penny shareholders are not enough to get it across the line. You need the majors, there has to be a level of acceptance. The small guys can’t make it happen.
What is the level of acceptance?
King :It is going to have to be 50 per cent of the non concert party shareholders, so you need the Easdales, all the Beaufort Nominees, the Blue Pitches, the Margaritas, to sell at 20p and they are not going to do that.
I know for a fact that the Easdales would bite his hand off. Jack Irvine, their adviser, was unequivocal on their position. As for those denied voting rights for not kissing King’s arse the decision to sell would be a no brainer. Under King’s stewardship the stock has been delisted. The company has lost £18.85m million. There is no possibility of a dividend. An offer of 20p is the best offer they will ever receive for this distressed stock. King knows full well that he would be throwing bent money after bad, saddling him with worthless toxic stock.
Are the Panel paying attention? The only question to ask of King was:
Why are you acting the cunt with the City Watchdog? They have crushed much bigger spivs than you. It might not affect the member club, but the impact on its holding company will be devastating, irrespective of whether your fellow concert party carpetbaggers are sympathetic to your plight.
The following question grasped the nettle:
There could be severe sanctions – you could be cold shouldered. Won’t that have an implication on the club, as well as you as chairman?
No. First of all, the assumption is they’d achieve that. I don’t think they will. I have spent a lot of my life with people telling me what they are going to do to me. Twenty years. I’m still here. I wouldn’t assume who is going to win that fight. Secondly, sanctions themselves on me would have no impact on me. I don’t do business in the UK. I don’t deal with any institutions. I don’t have public companies in the UK. I would make no difference to me in practice. I would make a decision whether I was comfortable with it or not. And if it is a question of fighting then I’ll… Sanctions would make no difference to me and it would make no difference to Rangers.
So there you have it. The City Watchdog are authorised to blackball King. Is he going to waste more of Lite’s money challenging their right to implement The Cold Shoulder? King has spent 40 years being a career criminal. Twenty years racking up 323 indictments. He keeps beating raps, usually by foul means. However this is a fight that he cannot and will not win. If he chooses not to fight and continues as a pariah, will the SFA grow a pair and throw him out of football? Not a chance. Anyone with skin in the game to deliver betting sponsorship and improved broadcasting revenue will always be welcome by the corrupt cabal at Hampden. King could be sent down for two years – the maximum tariff for contempt of court – and still be passed fit and proper by the SFA. It’s a close run thing between Regan and Ogilvie for the title of the most bent administrator of Scottish football. Gordon Smith, who swept the Rangers EBT arrangements under the shag pile after HMRC arrived with a court order in 2009, deserves an ‘honourable’ mention.
King’s next answer is so surreal that I’m half expecting a Salvador Dali signed print in the post:
If you’ve got the money, why did you agree a £3 million overdraft with Close Brothers?
It’s a significant achievement. For this club to normalise relationships it’s important. Clubs don’t operate without this facility. No club in the world does. Rangers were in a situation where we were denied facilities. So what we’re proving to the world now is that we can get facilities. We want facilities – I’d love to get an overdraft facility. It shows a normalisation of Rangers. It’s our single greatest achievement. To me, the best thing we did was getting that Close facility. That was huge for this club, that we could actually go out into the market place and finally get a third party to give us that facility. That was enormous for the normalisation of this club.
The tacit acknowledgment that it’s not an overdraft is the only positive takeaway from King’s bong talk. Hocking the family silver, including the kitchen sink, being spun as an achievement as he spunks season ticket money in punitive interest charges takes one’s breath away. Should King wish to extend this facility, and The Cold Shoulder is inevitably applied, he will find out that his premium will be increased exponentially if not summarily withdrawn.
I’m not going to waste any more time on the Morelos Myth other than to say that any so-called businessman who would not welcome £8m in the bank is a glib and shameless liar. Traynor manufactured this lie at King’s behest. It fooled no one save the SMSM.
King, now in stand-up mode, kept his best wise cracks till last:
How can you make up the gap to Celtic?
King: We appoint a manager who can win games, with more resources, and we take one league away from Celtic. We only need one league. We don’t need two or three. We need one. Once we take one away, it’s a pack of cards.
King anticipates a rights issue in June. He believes that £6m can be raised. He believes it can proceed minus his participation. As it changes the shares dynamic I expect the Panel to petition The Court of Session to prohibit this rights issue until such time as King makes a mandatory offer. If he does not make this offer, and it’s evident that he is hard set against doing so, there will be no rights issue. On the balance of probability Gerrard will be potless.
King is desperate to stop ten-in-a-row. But as for closing the gap, let’s have a look at the prosaic facts behind King’s fantasy. Celtic’s revenue in their most recent audited accounts is instructive:
In the past four years Celtic have gained £38.5m from player sales. Rangers Lite by comparison Lost £6.6m on a turnover of £29.2m, with £450,000 lost on player sales.
Should Lite attempt to trade their way to closing the gap, their squad’s value at 20,800,000 Euros is dwarfed by a squad worth circa 3.5 times this quantum.
Celtic would not collapse in the unlikely event that Bottle & Macca represented Scotland in the UEFA Champions League. They could offset the shortfall with player trading.
However of more significance is that they could and would spend more if Lite threatened their CL hegemony.
In the cold light of day, once King’s marijuana smoke clears, Celtic will pit their seasoned successful manager with a superior squad against a coaching ingenue with a fractious squad of has-beens and assorted dross. This won’t end well for King and Gerrard.
Ten-in-a-row is looking more likely by the day. King stated that he is Lite’s banker of last resort; that he will invest £50m, which one assumes is inclusive of the £20m that he invested with Sir Bribe & Lie. He fails to mention the £15m he received in dividends. How remiss of him.
King is not Lite’s banker of last resort, he is their bank robber of first resort.
King would have us believe that his rights issue will yield £6m for Bottle & Macca. However as Paul Murray and Barry Scott are fully aware, King is lying through his back teeth. The following is instructive.
One wonders what part of:
During an offer period, the offeror and persons acting in concert with it must not sell any securities in the offeree company except with the prior consent of the Panel. The Panel will not give consent where a mandatory offer under Rule 9 is being made.
does King not understand. His invited guests today were easily misled. Murray warned against King’s recklessness.
As for Gerrard, how does it feel to be sold a pup?