After the failure to launch season ticket renewals at Ibrox in the wake of the Ramsdens Cup final last week, by Friday morning marketing staff, PR people, web designers and printers would all have been primed to press the button this morning, after the anticipated humbling of Dundee United in the Scottish Cup semi-final.
Things started to go wrong later Friday, when Dave King popped up with an intervention. King, who was a director of Original Rangers in the years up to and including their liquidation, appears intent on sending the Newco Rangers to an equally liquidated state. Should we erect a statue to this guy?
For those of you in doubt, his latest questions to Newco Rangers board are priceless:
“Does the board agree it is unfair to ask fans to buy season tickets before they consider the business review?”
No club in the country is asked to submit business plans to supporters before asking them to renew season tickets. What’s more, there is an assumption by King that spending plans should be expansive, exactly as they were at Original Rangers, when King & co presided over the club’s failure.
Newco’s (even newer) management should be allowed to match expenditure with income. This is the message that fans should be asked to back, the days of empire are over. Anyone who tries to undermine a breakeven strategy at Newco is practically ensuring another failure.
“Does the board agree that, given the present financial position of the club, it is appropriate to provide Ibrox Park and Murray Park as security against season ticket advances?”
This is an interesting one. King suggests Newco offers Ibrox up as security (Murray Park is largely irrelevant). If they are boxed into a corner and concede this one, those in a position to utilise that security, which in Dave King’s plan would be Dave King, would have an incentive to see Newco liquidated.
“Does the board agree that in the latter half of December 2013 it was in discussions to obtain finance that would be needed prior to the end of the current season?
“Does the board agree that in the latter half of December 2013 it provided public assurances to the fans that the club had sufficient cash to last until the end of the current season?”
King has been there before and will know more than most how financial forecasting works; there is a clue in the name, it’s forecasting. If a company seeks contingency borrowing for less than 5% of its expenditure (or 2 weeks costs), earlier projections could not have been that far off.
None of this matters right now. Newco’s manager failed to win two hugely important games and that is the prism through which fans will evaluate the performance of their club. King could accuse them of being responsible for his own role in Original Rangers liquidation and some would believe him.
Season ticket sales are the most fundamental aspect to the health and wellbeing of every Scottish football club. This is true even at Celtic, with or without Champions League revenue. Ticket sales will have a greater impact on Celtic’s season ahead than Champions League qualification.
Right now some hedge funds and the Easdales own Ibrox. Ideas of bully them into submission will fail, although it will be enormously entertaining. Go for it, Dave, we’re 100% behind you.[calameo code=000390171b8e5a2cffbcc lang=en page=114 hidelinks=1 width=100% height=500]