I got it wrong on Malky MacKay. In August I wrote, “Malky’s unforgivable sin is not racism, homophobia or anti-Semitism, these matters are often overlooked as ‘banter’, after all. He’ll not get another job because he blew millions on players who were useless to Cardiff. That’s the only kind of offence football really tales notice of.”
Then up stepped Dave Whelan, a man who is widely respected in the sports retail and football, largely for not being Mike Ashley, but who has watched his club slip from the Premier League and now sit in a relegation spot in the Championship.
Football is harsh enough without clubs creating their own distractions. Wigan and Malky are unlikely to prosper.
So Craig Whyte faces up to four weeks in jail if/when he is arrested. You have to wonder what his police interviews will reveal. Craig doesn’t strike me as someone to take a fall for anyone.
Redundancies are sometimes necessary for a company losing money and without the resources to pay bills, but Newco Rangers cutting the payroll by 10, none of them from the well paid football department, is pointless tokenism. Savings made will keep the lights on for only a few days more, so why do it?
I have some sympathy for their new management. They need to make significant cuts into football costs, but those costs are contracted to the end of the season, or beyond, these cuts are perhaps a gesture towards what’s ahead.
Management have a problem, how do they meet commitments to creditors and protect shareholder value? No bank has ever extended credit to this club, and I suspect HMRC have them on a short leash. There will be some trade creditors, but they are likely to be of the face painter variety. By far the biggest creditor, and therefore most influential after an insolvency event, is Mike Ashley. He would be in a position to appoint an administrator, and to approve any settlement.
Dave King continues to play an important role, encouraging fans not to support or spend with the club. I fully endorse his views.
King still thinks he is playing poker but his hand has been called and we all know he’s all out of aces. His rantings are not part of a coherent plan. His calls could precipitate the end, but he has no way of transforming this into a new dawn.
Remember to keep an eye on the long-term fundamentals, you cannot operate a large football club with the size of Newco’s infrastructure without regular Champions League income. Nothing that has happened in the last three years has changed this.