Rangers death watch update.
Rangers death is not yet confirmed. The best visual for their existence is that bit from Inception where the van has been driven off the bridge and is veeeery slooowly falling to the river below. Death is all but assured.
There have been some opaque dealings that would ostensibly create a new club (I-can't-believe-it's-not-RangersFC) and no-one is sure what the relationship between the old and new companies is. No-one is quite sure who owns what remains of Rangers assets (ie/ Ibrox Stadium and player contracts) No-one is quite sure what will happen with the club’s as yet unquantified liabilities, which could be as high as 130m pounds. No-one is quite sure what administrative penalities ought to be applied or to which company/"club". This is all still playing out in the background.
The main story has moved on to what to do with their supposed phoenix company that will operate the club in the future and where Rangers/I-can't-believe-it's-not-Rangers should play next season. That story is very very ugly and is revealing depths of conflicts of interest and dereliction of duty that only Italian football could equal. The individuals who run the SPL, the SFL and the SFA are trying to engineer Rangers /I-can't-believe-it's-not-Rangers into as high a league as possible. They are painting doom and gloom scenarios for the SPL without Ranger’s pulling power.
All of the relevant rules that have been applied to other liquidated clubs would prevent Rangers from playing professional football next season. In fact, they would be prevented from being capable of applying for league membership for 3 years.
99% of non-Rangers Scottish football supporters are aghast at the way things are being handled and have no confidence in the people who run their game. They would rather accept the alleged financial hardships and have justice be done than the sport be corrupted for one club’s benefit. Even a slim majority of former Huns accept this.
Anyway, this article explains it well (because it’s from an English paper – the Scottish papers are so caught up in trying to keep Rangers alive and in top flight football they’ve lost perspective on what footy’s supposed to be about).
Rangers in crisis: SFL to cast judgment on Rangers – and the Scottish game's authorities
On Friday morning representatives of the Scottish Football League's clubs will descend on Hampden in order to save the national game from the people currently charged with running it.
By Ewing Grahame
Ostensibly, they will convene to decide whether to allow Charles Green's reanimated Rangers to join their organisation in the First Division or, which is looking increasingly likely, the bottom tier. There is much at stake.
At the last count 17 clubs had expressed their intention not to catapult the newco into the First Division.
That is not an outcome favoured by Stewart Regan and Neil Doncaster, the chief executives of the Scottish Football Association and the Scottish Premier League respectively.
For weeks now they have attempted, with threats and bribes, to persuade the lower orders to comply with their opinion. Which is that, according to Regan, Scottish football will die “a slow, lingering death” (presumably opposed to a fast, lingering death) if Green's Sevco Scotland Ltd is forced to begin life in the Third Division.
One would have expected Regan, as the figurehead of the ultimate governing body, to have remained neutral on this issue.
Instead, following the SPL's decision to refuse to allow the oldco's membership share to be transferred to I-Can't Believe-It's Not-Rangers, he opined: "In the event there wasn't a Rangers, that's got dire consequences for the game and for Scottish society, generally.
"The economic impact and social unrest are all things that could result as an impact of having no Rangers. That matter will be considered next week by the Scottish Football League and, hopefully, there'll be an outcome whereby Rangers will be accepted into Division One of the SFL; which would allow some financial stability for clubs in the country."
It could be argued that the possibility of social unrest (a risible claim, at best) should be of little concern to a man who lives in Yorkshire. However, Regan's statement to the SFL clubs last week, that “we have to put the rule book aside” on the subject of the reborn Rangers was truly breathtaking.
For a man charged with maintaining the probity of the national game to disregard the Scottish League's constitution with such contempt was quite staggering.
His stance would also appear to remove two of the options remaining for the SFA's independent Appellate Panel. On May 29, at the Court of Session, Lord Glennie upheld Rangers' appeal against a 12-month transfer embargo, ruling it to be unlawful and returning the issue to the Tribunal.
Richard Keen, QC, acting for Rangers, argued successfully that the embargo was outwith the powers of the Tribunal, pointing out that a fine, suspension or expulsion from Scottish Football or a ban from entering the Scottish Cup were the sanctions open to them.
With Regan clearly of the belief that the fabric of society would collapse should Green's newco suffer suspension or expulsion from the game (and a fine having already been imposed), that would leave only a ban from the tournament Rangers have failed to win in each of their last three attempts.
Incidentally, the Judicial Panel handed out its punishment on April 23, the Appellate Tribunal upheld their decision on May 16.
Lord Glennie's decision came just 36 days after the Judicial Panel delivered their verdict. Since then 45 days have elapsed with no sign of the Appellate Tribunal meeting again.
Then again, it's now 25 days since Rod McKenzie, of Harper McLeod, the SPL's lawyers, deduced that there was “a prima facie case to answer” in respect of improper registration of players. That investigation, too, appears to have been kicked into the long grass.
Regan and Doncaster, meanwhile, have cobbled together a set of promises in order to persuade SFL clubs to do their bidding and install the club formerly known as Rangers directly into the First Division.
These incentives include a 16-team top tier with play-offs, a one-off payment of £1 million for First Division broadcasting rights and a merged, restructured body renamed the Scottish Professional Football League.
In a joint statement by the three ruling bodies on Wednesday announcing this brave new world, it was claimed that these discussions have been taking place for over two years.
However, only 12 months ago Doncaster and SFL chief executive David Longmuir were telling a Supporters Direct conference at the national stadium that there was no prospect of a 16-team SPL in the foreseeable future because it would cost the game £20 million.
On Friday, in what is likely to be a long and heated meeting, the choice facing the clubs is effectively between short-term financial pragmatism and that much-maligned concept, sporting integrity.
Sevco is not a football club. It is an off-the-shelf company which has never been a member of any league or association, cannot provide audited accounts or even details of their backers.
There also remains the possibility that Rangers' liquidators, BDO, may seek to annul the transaction which saw the Green party take control of the Light Blues.
Yet Doncaster, who faces the awkward task of renegotiating the TV deal with Sky after making it clear how woeful the SPL will be without Rangers, is keeping his fingers crossed that greed will prevail.
The SFL clubs must ensure that it does not. Should they admit Sevco into the First Division Scottish football will become a global laughing stock, its credibility extinguished.
Green's newco could cleanse itself of the sins of the fathers by beginning at the bottom. Rangers' demise also provides a valuable opportunity to restructure the Scottish game. In the happy event that justice is done on Friday, then Regan and Doncaster should have no part to play in that rebuilding.