When the Takeover Appeal Board gave Dave King 30 days to make an offer to buy Newco Rangers shares at 20p per share, I didn’t think too much of it. That was 30 days ago. So either King enjoys running things close, or he does not plan to comply with the Appeal Board. The latter would be curious, to say the least.
Making an offer to buy shares and actually buying them are two different things. If all relevant shareholders decided to sell to King, he would have to pay around £11m, but this is fanciful. It’s likely that very few would chose to sell, King is being asked to go through a paper exercise.
So why has this paper exercise it not happened? As I said, it may be that he’s about to rush through a last minute offer, but if he doesn’t, the proof of funds question jumps to mind. King would be obliged to show proof of funds to before any share offer could take place. If he cannot pull together proof of funds, you get an insight into why so many are keeping an eye on finances at Newco.
Then there is the ‘so what?’ question. If King fails to comply with the Appeal Panel he would be Cold Shouldered. This term refers to the prohibition on financial firms working in related fields with anyone who does not comply with their verdict. It is an incredibly rare punishment, which has been handed out less than a handful of times.
In this scenario, King would either have to resign from Newco, blaming everyone else, in his usual manner, and sell his shares. The latter is likely to be a painful exercise. Or, if he didn’t sell up, Newco would be unable to issue shares.
The club would therefore be unable to convert current directors’ loans into shares, leaving it in a position where it is unable to comply with Uefa Financial Fair Play rules. Before you get too excited about this matter, a breach of FFP rules would not inhibit Newco’s ability to enter European football for the first time this summer.
The process would see Uefa impose conditions that, if it complied, would see the club reduce its debt. It is only if Newco failed to adhere to these conditions that their licence to play European football would be withheld.
Failure to make a share offer, or for King to sell up and leave the stage, puts Newco in a horrible situation. It either jeopardises European football, or would lead to drastic cuts in budget – which would have the same effect on European ambitions.
I know many are exasperated at how King has been lauded without any appropriate scrutiny, never mind the microscopic type Celtic executives have had to face, but he and his acolytes are doing a wonderful job. One that no one outside of the Newco family could dream of inflicting on an opponent.
Since the hour King and his concert party of Bears failed to acquire Rangers assets in liquidation, they conspired to grab control of Newco, inflicting incalculable damage along the way. It has been the stupidest undertaking in sport.
There are a few potential scenarios covered above, but you and I know exactly how this will unfold. You don’t need to be called Sherlock to figure this lot out. Dave, you’re an inspiration, I hope you hang around forever. Or at least until the inevitable….
We have two tickets to raffle for the Scottish Cup semi-final on Sunday 23 April at Hampden, courtesy of our good friends and club sponsor, Intelligent Car Leasing. Funds from the raffle go straight to our Mary’s Meals school kitchen appeal.
To enter, make a minimum donation of £5 at MyDonate here then email me to confirm your entry with the words “Scottish Cup” in the subject line. Your money will go instantly to Mary’s Meals. Competition finishes at 12:00 on Good Friday, 14 April, so you only have TWO DAYS to enter!!! Put your contact details on the email, just in case.