Not the end of the world if Rangers don’t survive! Too true


I caught an online synopsis of Rangers’ owner Craig Whyte’s recent meeting with a group of the club’s fans last night.  The group report that Whyte hopes, “’Rangers Football Club Plc’ could survive any administration event but feels it would not be the end of the world if it didn’t.”

We can all agree, it sure wouldn’t be the end of the world if that particular entity didn’t survive, although I suspect Mr Whyte is alluding to the possibility of a new club emerging.  Celtic Quick News first raised the liquidation scenario back in October and explained a prepack route for Rangers Newco FC.  If a football company goes into liquidation a secured creditor, in Rangers case this would be Craig Whyte, can retain control of key assets, such as the stadium, but would not own a football club which was part of any league structure.

In Scotland any Newco FC would have to apply for membership of the Scottish Premier League or Scottish Football League.  A simple majority of the SPL board (three votes required) would be enough to vote a club into the SPL.  The board currently has representatives from Celtic, Dundee United, Motherwell and St Johnstone, as well as SPL chief exec, Neil Doncaster.  It is chaired by Ralph Topping, who only votes in the event of a stalemate.

If Rangers lose their tribunal against Her Majesty’s tax authorities (think of her underequipped soldiers), Celtic will not be the only club who will consider the commercial and competitive disadvantage they suffered while paying their taxes for the last 12 years, but they may be one of the few clubs that would survive without the sponsorship and TV income dependent on a club with the Rangers brand participating in the league.  Celtic would vote against allowing Rangers into the league but I can see zero chance of Dundee United, St Johnstone, Motherwell or Neil Doncaster doing the same.  If the board voted Newco FC into the league, the liquidation of Rangers would not be the end of the world; a football club would die but another could quickly emerge at the same location, selling tickets to the same people.

Opening positions on what sporting cost Newco FC should face for league entry were taken months ago when it was reported that Rangers would fight “tooth and nail” against a 25 point penalty on a Newco.  A 25 point penalty on the phoenix of a failed club after 12 seasons of financial benefit would be an insufferable insult.  This amounts to little more than a the loss of a single league title.  12 seasons of benefit should result in a 12 seasons of penury at the insolvency-event rate of 10 points per season.  Small cost for the enormous gift of a league place and a huge football franchise.  The SPL must also strike from the record any financially doped titles won by clubs still in existence or not.

Can you imagine if Peter Lawwell said, “It wouldn’t be the end of the world if Celtic PLC didn’t survive”!  There would be an impromptu media village outside Celtic Park that would rival the Obama inauguration in size.  Huge story sitting on a plate just waiting to be written up.  Or not.

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  1. The Lovin’ Cup will be passssed from ‘Sondy’ to The Chairman with the cry


    ‘ One Thousand years, Sir…. one thousand years!,” ringing in his huge ears……….

  2. Ernie Lynch



    Disagree! But maybe I’m being naieve and not going on the assumption that the SPL was created to allow the Huns to cheat for 12 years and then allow them to morph completely into a debt free organisation before they can go away and do the same all over again. There is nothing in the rules to stop them doing the same again. Even I, Mr Conspiracy Theory, cant imagine the Hun safety net to have been so well manufactured.




  3. Moonbeams WD,



    Yes, the rules were written on the thought that a team might go out of business once and for all. But what they failed to do was to set any sort of criteria as to how a replacement would be found. And that will allow the NewCo in.

  4. Ernie Lynch






    Surely if the rules were written to accommodate such a situation Celtic would have been party to the discussions and creation of rules/articles. Why then would it have been in Brian Quinn’s and Celtic’s interest to refrain from using EBT’s and tax avoidance knowing that at the end of day they could use the rules to recreate ourselves.



    Na. Your taking the conspiracy theory tooooo far. IMHO.





    You know and I know, that a square deal will be crafted for them to crawl back. It’ll be done off camera, tarted up and heralded as a good thing. Celtic won’t do a damn thing



    Rangers haven’t really done anything different from their usual lying and cheating, just this time they have lied and cheated the exchequer.



    But for football here, everything and anything will be drafted (probably already has) for their benefit.

  6. theweegreenman on

    Is there no other teams applying for entry to the Spl? Surely they would be more than a little upset in Newco leapfrogs them?



    If this is allowed what’s to stop us getting massively into debt and doing the same as TFOD?



    The whole thing stinks IMO.

  7. Som mes que un club on

    Craig Patterson says Killie have done great this season to still be in the Scottish Cup….



    Today is their first tie in this years competetion.




  8. Gordon_J



    See addendum above.



    Why hasn’t every club/member of SPL followed Huns route to success if they all new the reason for article 14 was to accommodate them being liquidated and NewCo’d back in. I’d imagine the rules will have been adapted from those of the old Premier League and the assumption would have been that the transfer of a share would accommodate filling the vacated share with a team from a lower division and that an SPL team being liquidated was never thought to be a possibility.



    Still. My overall point is to question Paul67’s assumption that it is the board who will pass judgement on the transfer of a share rather than a General Meeting of all members passing a Qualified Resolution requiring a minimum of 90% backing. This is a FACT (not a CQN FACT) a real proper Black & White ( was tempted to type WHYTE) SPL rule/article FACT as the rules/articles stand at this time. The rest is opinion created by the ambiguity of who the share can/cannot be transferred too.




  9. The Honest Cover-up on

    fergus slayed the blues says:


    7 January, 2012 at 12:11



    Thanks. A tasty wee side plot in this spectacular mess. Craig Whyte had better get his PR boys briefed on hushing that. I suspect the club deck debenture holders will be harder to placate or ignore than the Paisley Road knuckle draggers. They may be small enough in number though so as not to cause any concern for Whyte.


    Was astounded yesterday when I logged on to Rangersmedia expecting to revel in their panic and rage about Whyte’s “not coming out of administration would not be the end of the world” comments. Instead the bulk of them were commending Whyte on his honesty and backing him “a hunner ‘n’ ten percent”. One of them even commented that they thought Whyte was using the Solicitor’s tactic of making his client anticipate the worst possible outcome so that they were pleasantly surprised and impressed with their lawyers skills when the result was better!


    They really do not have a clue.

  10. fergus slayed the blues on

    RRC: says:


    7 January, 2012 at 12:54


    1 minute


    I take it you live above a very quiet shop


    hail hail

  11. The Battered Bunnet on

    Morning All,



    Been offline last couple of days, so just catching up on the chat.



    I’ll be very interested in the views of BRTH on this point, but the transfer of an SPL share is not in the gift of the share holder. It is in the gift of the SPL collectively. To be quite clear, Oldco cannot transfer its SPL share to Newco.



    The SPL rules thereafter are a bollox. There are a series of formal licensing requirements from financial probity to stadium regulations and SFA membership, all with the proviso that the SPL can deign to overlook any or all short comings in an application if they see fit:



    The Board may in its absolute discretion waive, relax or grant a period of grace in respect of any Club’s or Candidate Club’s requirement to comply with any part of the Membership Criteria.



    For example, you’ll recall Falkirk being denied entry to the SPL a few years ago because their stadium wasn’t up to the required standard.



    You’ll also recall Gretna being allowed entry despite having no stadium to speak of.



    The SPL by its own rules cannot grant a membership (or share) to any entity that is not a member of the SFA. One would think that the candidate club, in this case Newco, requires the pre-qualifying membership of the SFA before an application to the SPL can be considered.



    The SFA’s own Articles then govern SFA membership. Article 6.1 applies:



    A club or association shall be admitted as a registered member automatically by reason of its being admitted as a member of an Affiliated Association or an


    Affiliated National Association, or in the case of a club through membership of or participation in an association, league or other combination of clubs formed


    in terms of Article 79.



    In other words, a club will be automatically admitted as a member of the SFA if it is a member of a recognised league, but in the case of the SPL, you cannot be admitted to membership unless you are a member of the SFA. This appears to be a procedural Catch 22.



    We then default to membership application criteria, and Article 6.2 requires all applicants to sumbit to Associate membership in the first instance, and only full membership may be applied for after a period of 5 years of associate membership.



    Seems that without solving the 6.1 conundrum, Newco cannot be accepted as a full member of the SFA for 5 years.



    Of course there are exceptions to this, for example the case of Inverness Caley and Thistle merging to form a new legal entity, albeit I have not researched the detail on this one.



    In the case of Airdrieonians, having been dissolved, the application by a new entity, Airdire United, to the SFL was rejected in preference to the application from Gretna FC, a club previously a member of the English FA.



    Clearly, there exists a mechanism within the rules governing membership to permit clubs not previously members to gain membership to the SFA and the SFL simultaneously.



    All of which means that practically, the rules will be applied to whatever circumstances to ensure that the desired outcome is achieved: The outcome will be predetermined.



    The SFL will have a vacancy when Oldco is dissolved on account that the bottom placed club in the SPL will not be relegated, while the top placed club in division will be promoted to the SPL. One would consider it likely that the SFL would be keen to invite the marketing opportunity that is Newco into their ranks.



    Simultaneously, the SPL will doubtless look at the commercial impacts of losing Oldco Rangers from their business proposition, and come to a view. If the SPL waives the membersip criteria and invites Newco to join, Newco will automatically obtain SFA Full membership. Similarly for SFL membership.



    All that is required fundamentally is the consensus to invite Newco to apply to either league, and provided the application is submitted in order, Newco are back in the professional game, in one league or another.



    I see talk of admitting Newco to the SPL but with a points handicap running over a number of seasons as some form of retrospective penalty for decades of corporate and sporting malfeasance of Oldco.



    Personally, there is a natural injustice in penalising Newco for the sins of its father.



    Moreover, I see no merit at any level in artificially creating a competitive disadvantage on Newco when the eseence of a prospering league is fair competition itself. Fair competition has been absent since Oldco commenced its unlawful tax and payments strategies in 1997. It ill behoves us to react to this by applying further unfair practices.



    Commercially though, a market which permits malfeasance and corporate irresponsibility, resulting in an improbably huge bankruptcy, to pass without penalty is not a credit worthy proposition. The moment the SPL admits Newco to direct membership, the SPL becomes a discredited entity and an unbankable market. Stephen Thompson for example may crave the new SKY/ESPN deal, but he’ll have a fight on his hands to dissuade his bank from calling in his £5M overdraft summarily. Ditto 6 other current members. Faces will be shorn of noses in jig time.



    Equally, the principles of fairness and meritocracy, at the very heart of competitive sport, ought not be cast aside on a commercial expedient. Oldco will be dissolved. If there are people with the financial resources and inclination to incorporate Newco to cater for the obvious market to watch a team in Blue strips playing football at Ibrox Stadium, good luck to them. The starting point is an application to fill the vacancy in the SFL.



    Behind Rangers’ financial disaster is a collective mindset that needs to be transformed. The mindset of Newco supporters will reflect Oldco’s without the humility and self respect gained from achieving promotion by meritocratic means. Two or three years of renewal touring Links Park and Gayfield will repair the damage to the club and the game.



    The mindset in Scottish Football more widely needs to recognise that the consequences on the game from Rangers’ dissolution are the consequences of a collective mindset that permitted, perhaps encouraged, the behaviour that precipitated this sorry mess.



    The message must be: All Change. Carrying on as if nothing much had happened will kill professional football in Scotland as a credible competition and a bankable entity. The self interest of majority shareholders at the SPL clubs must not be permitted to issue the death warrant of our game.




  12. Ard Mhaca ,An bhfuil tú ann ?


    I see Sky news have taken to calling the Irish premiership The “Northern Irish” Premiership.


    Now we know for sure there’s someone from the lodge (not Turf )working there


    Cad a síleann tú ?

  13. RRC: says:


    7 January, 2012 at 13:13


    Has everyone gone to shops?





    I think they’re all on the podium chasers starting blocks

  14. Moonbeams WD @ 12:51,



    In theory any SPL club that went out of business could have used the same provision for immediate readmission as a Newco. Either no one has thought of doing this or they decided that other clubs wouldn’t wear it. It’s a different situation for the huns of course.



    Assuming that a club ceases to be a member of the SPL there would be a number of options open:



    They could continue as an 11 team league. They could have a season without relegation with the division 1 champions still being promoted. They could have some sort of play off scenario, eg bottom of SPL v second in Division 1. Or they could let a new team join.



    If they decide that a new team can join, surely there has to be some sort of call for applications? Otherwise there may be legal implications – I’m no lawyer but there are regulations on competition and cartels at both Uk and EU level.



    There is, in my mind, no logical, moral or sporting argument to allow NewCo into the SPL. There is an economic one that many clubs will subscribe to. And I think that will hold sway.

  15. macanbheatha says:


    7 January, 2012 at 13:02,



    Sky News.The answer is in the question, a chara. It’s like the Sun Newspaper on TV in my opinion, I never watch it.



    What annoys me more was BBCNI or UTV News last night talking about the Irish Open and then asking the question about if this then could lead to ‘The’ Open arriving in the six counties, instead of referring to it as the British Open.



    Your own’s the worst-:)



    Ta me ag imeacht anois.



    Árd Macha



  16. fergus slayed the blues on

    RRC: says:


    7 January, 2012 at 13:01


    You are either Usain bolt or a shoplifter


    hail hail


    stickyfingers csc :-)

  17. Prior to the ‘bunnet’ buying, saving and revitalising us in 1994 were the combined Scottish media wringing their hands and bemoaning the likely fate of Scottish football should Celtic FC follow in the wake of Third Lanark A.C and go out of business. I can’t recall any debate on the disaster that awaits Scotland’s national game should we go under. Was all well with Scottish football financing then, were teams flush with Money?



    Why did no one listen to Fergus when he warned that Sir Moonbeams financial largess would lead the club to disaster? Am I being too cynical?



    What Fergus did



    • The share issue, and the successful switch from a private limited company to a PLC


    • The rebuilding of the stadium. When he was ridiculed for building a 60,000 seat stadia Fergus simply replied “they will come”


    • The Season Tickets sales success


    • Overtaking Rangers on an attendance basis


    • Expansion of the commercial base of the Club


    • The “Bhoys Against Bigotry” campaign


    • Overtaking Rangers on a revenue basis


    • Planning for the youth academy (donating £1.5m)


    • Taking on the SFA and UEFA publicly in the Courts



    What Will the MMB do?



    End Rangers FC?

  18. FSTB



    I am fast, but not that fast.


    One pack of rizlas and back



    However, I should point out, I returned to see bankiebhoys post about going.


    I was away more than one minute I would think

  19. Árd Macha says:



    I don’t know what point you are getting at but the The Open Championship is the correct name for the “British” Open.

  20. The Battered Bunnet says:


    7 January, 2012 at 13:01



    I have come in late to the posts/debate on what should happen with the orcs being allowed or not allowed into the league IF they go into liquidation.



    My tuppence worth, what it is worth. The whole sorry mess is of the orcs own doing. In my opinion IF they go into liquidation, it is as simple as…your out, ta ta, thanks for the memory and all that…



    I want them gone, finito because that is exactly what they deserve after their cheating us, every other club and the taxpayer.



    Sod the argument scottish football needs, balderdash, scottish football should kick them out and perhaps they will maybe get some respect.



    Keep the Faith!



    Hail Hail!

  21. Rrc, we were reading then re-reading TBB’s excellent post.



    TBB – Bang on the money for me, very well articulated and mirrors my thoughts and opinion on this whole situation. There is far more at stake here than rfc 2012 continuing, the whole of the Scottish game is at risk, as I said yesterday the SPL and SFA need to think very carefully what decisions are made when the time comes. If the wrong decision is made, at best they will leave themselves open to litigation while potentially finishing the game in Scotland as a meaningful sport.



    MWD – I agree it would be collusion if the board know it must go to a full vote. You’re the man to point that out in writing to them.



    Paul67 – MWD is correct, it would be worth getting this point across to our board from a trusted source. Even a hint of collusion will signal the end of our club as we know it. That would be a travesty of justice.







  22. oglach says:


    7 January, 2012 at 13:23



    Actually that should read MBB – not MMB – oops

  23. BjMac..



    Having put the rizlas to good use, I have now also read TBBs post.



    Call me cynical but I cannot see THE HUN starting in div. 3



    Scottish football is a dead man walking IMO

  24. MWD



    I would also sign a letter stating if there was collusion I would no longer attend, while that board was in place. And to be clear, collusion is also doing nothing to ensure justice is achieved.