Sell fans a ticket, you owe them a game of football. Whether the standard or result it good or bad, it’s a relatively easy commitment to keep. That’s what fans get in return for spending money on a ticket.
Sell people shares, you owe them a share certificate. That’s what shareholders get in return for coughing up for shares.
Borrow money from fans and you owe them much more than a game of football or a share certificate. In many instances that money will have come from people who had to forgo things to provide you with the loan. You owe them a duty of care that their loan will be repaid, or converted with their agreement.
It beggars belief that an unsecured loan has been offered to Rangers International by fans group, Rangers First. If, as claimed, the obligations to Sports Direct have been met, the club will have both the ability and the incentive to pass the securities previously held by Sports Direct to the fans group. The club’s IP, training ground and ancillary assets should now be unencumbered, who better to have security over these critical parts of the club than a fans group?
Unless, of course, the obligations to Sports Direct have not been met. Or someone else has their eye on the assets.
The claim that Dave King would match Rangers First’s loan took me by surprise. This was counter to everything I knew and expected of him. His swift denial was more consistent with expectations.
There is an axiom in football: Any club who has enriched a PR individual to the tune of £500k in the last year is making a serious attempt to divert it’s fans attention. Celtic’s PR machine deals with the efficient communication of football information and financial reports. Nothing whatsoever is spend attempting to lead the news agenda. This often leaves us on the receiving end of that agenda, but we have nothing to hide. Which is the way it should be.
Few sights in business or football can be more alarming than when purportedly wealthy people borrow money from poorer people. The warning signs are writ as tall as the Ibrox stands. This time there is no hidden Ticketus deal people can claim they didn’t know about.