The Sun today presented the latest instalment of the ‘money from Asia heading to Ibrox’ story, with a figure of £20m quoted. This has been kicking around all season and my information is there is that potential investors with cash took a look as far back as October.
The problems at Newco are clear, documented in their accounts, and by Dave King at their AGM. The club’s annual losses run to eight figures, the liabilities of various litigation defeats could easily top £10m, it is heavily dependent on shareholder loans and the principle shareholder, Dave King, will not fund beyond this season.
What was missing from The Sun piece was specifics. If your information amounts to “a mystery Asian investor and a Hong Kong-based backer”, you don’t have enough to substantiate the story. Forgive the pun, but this sounds like Chinese whispers. “£20m”, “Hong Kong”, “Asian” is all a bit generic. If they had even given us something like, ‘A fan, originally from Paisley, who made his money in the Far East’ I would have thought their information was possibly on a par with mine.
£20m could well be the figure to plug the immediate shortfall. I expect the globe has been searched for a funder to take advantage of this unique opportunity. That we are four months on from the AGM and still working on hearsay is an indication of just how unique an investment this is.
Due diligence will be a problem, as we discussed last month, Newco have run out of road when it comes to Uefa Financial Fair Play regulations. New money can pay for old debts, or failed legal cases, but it cannot fund football operations. And who wants to pay for King’s hubris?
King looks increasingly like a motivated seller, maybe his old pal, David Murray, can give him some advice on how to find worthy buyer for an iconic football club? If you know of anyone, drop the club a line using commercial@…..