There are two questions to look out for when The Rangers provide information on their public offering share issue:
Are the public being offered shares at the same price as investors who sign up prior to the public offering?
In 1994 Fergus McCann offered you shares in Celtic at exactly the same price he paid, giving fans the same value as the consortium which acquired the club from the old board. Will Charles Green do the same? A £20m offering will dwarf the existing share pool but, if the new shares are worth a lot less, the existing shareholders will be able to retain control and the majority of benefits.
How will the prospectus explain to investors the potential consequences of the SPL Commission, and any future investigation if the First Tier Tribunal report, due this month, finds that Rangers did not pay their social taxes as Fifa regulations require?
The SPL Commission into the improper registration of players at Rangers, whose SFA membership the new company acquired, will, if Rangers are found guilty, impose sporting and financial penalties on the successor club which is benefiting from its membership.
If guilty, this will involve the return of prize money for each of the 12 years which are under scrutiny. The league awards prize money to each member club from TV income with the top two clubs earning a significant slice. This alone could consume the majority of funds from the share issue.
Sporting penalties would also be a consequence of a guilty verdict. There is no reference point in world football for issues on this scale, so speculation on what the penalties would be can only be regarded as such, but, if The Rangers eventually win promotion to the SPL, they are likely to face points deductions for multiple years, making it difficult to gain access to lucrative Champions League revenue streams.
The latter question will considerably influence when the new company can hope to break even and allow an informed estimate to be placed on the scale of working capital requirement.
Former directors of Rangers, including Sir David Murray, remain confident HMRC will not succeed at the First Tier Tribunal, but the possibility remains that the verdict will go against the soon-to-be-liquidated club, leading to a fresh wave of football penalties.
The Rangers should now issue potential investors with enough information to decide if this week’s Forbes Magazine article questioning the club’s feasibility is accurate. It should be quite a read.
Although the Sevco consortium promised a share issue since before they bought the assets of Rangers today’s announcement has the appearance of something carried out in haste. The domain name for investors to register interest (www.rangersshareoffer.com) was only registered yesterday and there is no web site yet. Visitors are presented with an alert from their browser informing them that the web site they are visiting has a problem with its security certificate.
Why the hurry?[calameo code=000390171a36dad35d58c lang=en page=4 hidelinks=1 width=100% height=500]