In October last year, with Rangers riding high in the league and with Craig Whyte enjoying messianic worship at Ibrox, Celtic Quick News published an article with a few predictions:
“In the event of Rangers facing financial Armageddon…. a prepack offer from a new company, for example, Rangers Newco FC Ltd, would offer an administrator a deal for all assets of the club, including stadium and offer to meet outstanding player wages. Deals like this seldom offer unsecured creditors much but even a small percentage might realise more cash than the administrator would gamble on raising in an unstructured sale.
“In such circumstances, the administrator could accept as little as £4m for the unsecured creditors.
“In normal business Rangers Newco FC Ltd would begin trading and this would be the end of the story but football is not normal business. Rangers Newco FC would own a stadium and would employ some footballers but they would not be part of any league structure. They would need to apply for membership to the Scottish Football League or Scottish Premier League.
“In this scenario, the death of Rangers Football Club would leave a vacancy in the SPL, presenting several financial, logistical and sporting challenges…. current TV contracts and sponsorship deals could be jeopardised, while future contracts would be worth a fraction of their current values.
“There is, of course, a resolution to this problem.
“Rangers Newco FC Ltd could present an offer to the SPL. The new company, with its stadium and thousands of potential supporters, could. … adopt the place of Rangers FC, complete their fixtures and allow every other team in the league to fulfil commercial obligations.
“ If [enough]clubs stand against them, they would have to apply for membership of the Scottish Football League, but, having researched this story for several days, I expect Rangers Newco FC Ltd would get enough support to pick-up the place of the defunct Rangers FC.
“Celtic fans, as well as those from Aberdeen, Hibernian, Dundee United and St Johnstone, together with fans from Motherwell, who could become genuine championship contenders [they were pushing us hard at the time], and from those clubs who would avoid relegation if Rangers failed, must insist their club votes against any prepack company parachuting into the league.
“Watch the media coverage of these events carefully. If and when the decision time comes, the case to acquiesce to Rangers Newco’s demands will be overwhelming. Sincere ‘impartial’ observers will do their upmost to convince us all we must do whatever necessary to save Rangers for the good of the Scottish game. Some voices will even tell you Celtic need Rangers Newco. Whatever part of my club is dependent on Rangers I am willing to lose.”
Pretty much all of the above came to pass but the position of the SPL clubs is noteworthy. As recently as last month Celtic were the only club prepared to vote No to Newco. In the months since Rangers went into administration in February the crescendo of fans voices slowly became impossible to ignore. Clubs which were set to vote yes, were left with no choice but to observe their ultimate paymasters.
It was a phenomenal grassroots campaign.
Kelvinbhoy asked me to pass on his thanks for the fantastic response to his appeal for kids bikes for underprivileged children. Well done to all who helped!