We are three days away from Rangers creditors’ vote on the proposed CVA and my best sources remain strongly of the view that HMRC will vote against. As a result, on Thursday, the process to liquidate Rangers will commence and Charles Green’s company, Sevco 5088, will attempt to purchase the assets of the business.
One of the first acts of Sevco 5088 will be to apply for membership to the Scottish Premier League. They will offer the league an opportunity to retain considerable revenue streams which would be lost to the league following the liquidation of the former football club, Rangers.
Attitudes hardened towards a Newco proposition since Mr Green came onto the scene, specifically since Rangers raised an action against the Scottish FA at the Court of Session, but sentiment in football is fickle. We should ignore all public comments on the subject of Newco and concentrate our minds on the SPL vote, which will take place next week.
Two months ago the Gang of 10 clubs thought they were in an ‘Arab Spring’ moment when they met to discuss how they would use Rangers demise as an opportunity to re-engineer the league. Charles Green is aware of their feelings on this matter and is likely to use this knowledge to inform his offer to the league.
Expect Green to offer to support a change in voting rights if the SPL allow Servco a franchise in the SPL. This offer would allow the Gang of 10 to not only retain much of their existing income streams, they would actually be able to bring in additional income. Servco FC would benefit from being the first company to be able to buy a place in the top division of Scottish football. The only loser from this scenario would be Celtic.
The existing voting rights protect Celtic from several hazards. The most important two are the rights of home teams to retain match ticket revenue and a limit to the number of home games shown live on TV for any club.
You will hear lots of comment from the Gang of 10 that they are not interested in splitting home gate money but none of them have agreed to exclude this matter from the change in voting rights. More Celtic home games on TV would be welcomed by armchair fans that live abroad but would see season ticket holders suffer as kick off times are moved to accommodate TV scheduling. Neither of these matters will be addressed at this month’s SPL meeting but, if the voting rights change, you can expect to read about them soon.
If the application from Sevco is rejected, we enter a new world, where SPL voting rights will inevitably change and Scottish clubs will have to learn to cooperate with each other on a constructive basis. As Celtic fans, we will embrace that challenge, but you can be sure that a slice of your season ticket money is being offered right now by people who have nothing whatsoever to do with Celtic.