This evening’s statement from Gordon Smith, effectively claiming he was not in control of “recruitment, scouting [and]transfer negotiations” at Rangers confirms many rumours of power-struggles between him and manager, Ally McCoist, who, apparently, didn’t allow the director of football his way on recruitment matters.
Rangers made it known that wages for February were paid today and that Smith and, also now redundant, Ali Russell, will both continue to work until the end of the month. This begs the question, who else will go before the end of the month?
The first responsibility of an administrator is to try to keep the company trading. Duff and Phelps have been trying to do this. While it was a surprise (to me) to see Rangers director, Dave King, at Ibrox meeting the administrators with McCoist yesterday, King, along with other directors, wealthy fans and perhaps even the former owner, will all have been asked if they would be prepared to put money into the club to keep it ticking over until the end of the season. My information is that no one has put as much as the £1 Craig Whyte put on the table to buy the club last year.
I could break off here and tell you about the man that walked into a Bank of Scotland in 1994 and paid a huge sum of money into Celtic’s account to prevent the club going into administration. He had no guarantees from the old board, who still owned the club, and future managing director Fergus McCann was in no position to guarantee anything either, but that’s a story for another day, I’ll wouldn’t bring his name into this sorry tale. Suffice to say, in our hour of need, someone stepped forward.
It’s now a matter of cash. With wages paid until the middle of next week there is no immediate danger, but the administrators will need a pretty good reason to believe they have wages for March before they retain staff until Thursday next week.
The loss of Russell and the general state of chaos that having to work with various government agencies, including police investigators, will make the business of running a football club technically difficult. They have already missed an important action, but it’s not my job to point this out to them. Until it’s too late.
The Celtic Football and Athletic Company Ltd
I think when you have been asked the same question about six times in a few days it’s worth explaining the issue here. If a football club is liquidated it’s finished. Continuity with its history and records ends. This is not the same as a football company changing its name.
Celtic was established as a sporting club at a meeting in a church hall in November 1887, in many ways, no different than a million other football, karate and badminton clubs. It subsequently registered with the SFA in 1888. In April 1897 it incorporated as a private limited company, registering as The Celtic Football and Athletic Company Ltd at Companies House. It was the 3487th company to register in Scotland and was given the incorporation number SC003487.
In 1994 the company became a public limited company and changed its name to Celtic PLC but, of course, remained the same company, with the same incorporation number and retained the same registration with the SFA. You can check our corporate history, from incorporation in 1897, to name change in 1994 to our most recent annual return, dated 31 December 2011, at Companies House here.
On the same day Celtic changed its name to Celtic PLC, Fergus McCann changed the name of an off the shelf company, securing the old trading name ‘The Celtic Football and Athletic Company Ltd’, which is fully owned by Celtic PLC, but is not registered as a football club. I assume this was to secure our old name for the club and to protect it from potential abuse.
Don’t let anyone tell you our history ‘started in 1994’. We are very much the club of Maley, Quinn, Thomson, McGrory, Stein, Johnstone and Dalglish.