Here’s the question: Potential investors offer to underwrite £6.5m worth of shares, around 30% of the club’s equity, at circa 16p per share, and require 2 seats on the board, what do you do?
Money is welcome, but the existing shareholders may consider this particular offer poor value. The first £3m will go to repay Mike Ashley’s loan, acquired on easy terms and due payable in April, leaving you with a net inflow of £3.5m. But you’ve flogged 30% of the club to get it.
There’s also the small matter that a net improvement of £3.5m is not enough to save the farm, in fact, it will only keep the doors open for another five weeks. Five weeks, for 30% of the company. Is this in the best interests of the shareholders?
If you’re advocating the position of the fans, you’d take the money. You don’t care how much of the club is given away, or that you’re only kicking the ball down the street 5 weeks. In fact, you want ever-more of the club to be traded in this exchange, as you don’t trust the current controlling shareholders. The shareholders will see things differently.
Throughout this episode an arrogant attitude has existed towards those who put their hands in their pockets in 2012, or since, and funded Rangers International FC PLC. I’m not saying I’d be any different if it was my club, just observing that any attempt to present a solution to the club’s gargantuan problems without recognising – and suitably compensating – the controlling shareholders, will fail.
Ashley can allow his £3m loan to rollover in support of an alternative offer, perhaps from an anonymous offshore entity, respecting the value the shareholders paid when their club needed help most.
I know it’s counter-culture for these types, but why not just offer to buy-out the shareholders at a high-enough rate that they’ll accept? Like Fergus did back in ’94. None of these guys are there for the seat in the gazebo, it’s about cash – if you want the club, don’t try to shame them into handing it over, pay them!