Miller Industries


After the Scottish media’s highly successful enquiries into Craig Whyte last year thwarted a disaster for a Scottish institution, Bill Miller’s elevation to ‘preferred bidder’ in the two-horse race to become Rangers’ next owner merits a closer look. On the theory that companies reflect the personalities of their founders, I thought that a check on Miller Industries Inc. might be instructive. A quick analysis of their regulatory filings makes for dull reading. That lack of interesting material alone should be a cause for celebration within the blue sections of Glasgow. In the mundane and orderly details of an unexciting business like towing equipment, there could not be a more stark contrast between Miller and Whyte.

Only last night was I told that Miller only owns 3.35% of Miller Industries, Inc.’s outstanding stock- a stake worth US$5.8m. That is not a lot of money and it fueled my curiosity. However, after just a little digging, I found that in just in this calendar year so far, he has sold about US$1.4m is shares and since June 2011 he has liquidated US$6.8m of his holdings in the company that bears his name. There are many reasons why an executive insider might want to reduce his shareholding in a business he runs- many of them personal and nothing to do with fears for the future or anything negative. Miller’s stake in MLR has been diluting ever since he sold 40% of the company in an IPO in 1994- a move that cleared company debts and netted Miller about £5m.

When Craig Whyte swept on to the Scottish football stage, we were bombarded with ripping yarns about his “off the radar” wealth and billionaire status from the cream of Scotland’s sports journalists. Contrary to hack-mythology, Whyte’s background had not been expunged from google. In fact, just a few hours investigating Craig Whyte’s background were enough to get Celtic supporting observers into a frenzy of anticipation of what was to come. The Scottish sports media appear to not have learned much from this experience. A campaign to blindly back Bill Miller is gathering pace despite few knowing anything about the man or why anyone not imbued with a taste for Scottish football would seek to acquire one so late in life.

On Miller being designated ‘preferred bidder’ by Rangers’ adminstrators, it was clear that the task of establishing the facts would once again rest on a handful of “internet bampots”. So I took a first-pass at researching Miller Industries, Inc. (MLR: NYSE). In summary, those hoping for a repeat of last summer’s hilarity will be a bit disappointed. So far, it seems unlikely that we will find a string of empty shell companies and boiler-room operations. Miller Industries, Inc. appears to be a well run, normal business. In the last few years, on the back of the largesse of the US government, it has grown revenues and profits substantially. It endured the economic collapse of 2007/08 without reporting a loss (no mean feat for any metal bashing firm during that period). Crucially, Miller Industries slashed costs and overheads to meet adverse trading conditions early enough to avoid getting swept away in the financial crisis. Today, the company is debt-free.

This company survives in a tough market that is about to get a lot tougher.  According to the company’s 2011 annual report, they do not anticipate a continuation of the US government spending on all manner of towing equipment. Uncle Sam accounted for 27% of their business last year. The prospect of losing such a massive end customer explains why the company’s share price is so low (finance jargon warning: $15.75 per share, a trailing-year P/E of 7.5 which is about half the price of the US market as a whole just now). However, overhead appears to be under control and while profits will almost certainly take a dive in the coming couple of years, this looks like a business that is used to expanding and contracting to suit demand. It should weather any downturn.

If Miller does complete a purchase of the assets of Rangers FC (In Administration)- and this has more than a few obstacles to cross before it is a done deal- Scottish football could do worse than have rational and conservative manager at the helm of what will certainly grow to be one of the biggest, if not the biggest, clubs in the land. Scottish football needs a clean break from the varying degrees of irresponsibility that began with David Holmes’ “Souness revolution” in 1986. If Bill Miller is the man to bring détente to the financial arms race that has killed Scotland’s ability to develop its own talent, great. However, there is one blindingly obvious question not getting any air in the media: why on earth would he want to?

Running any Scottish football club conservatively will not be fun or glamourous. If you invest £11m, you will be very lucky to just get your money back. Most Rangers fans (Celtic fans too for that matter) care nothing for the virtues of financial restraint. Raised on Laudrup and Gascoigne, the crowds at Ibrox are unlikely to give much time to a management team that cannot beat “the other lot” year in, year out. If success is to be measured in terms of a solid balance sheet, owning Rangers will be a thankless task.

Motivations for wanting to join the Scottish circus will either be a life-long love of a particular team or it will be financial. Presumably Miller sees a money-making opportunity that few others see. In the absence of an asset bubble or finding a fool willing to part with a lot of money for your shares, profiting from such an investment will take the form of creating annual earnings that exceed your cost of capital. This will not be the stuff that fan dreams are made from. It will mean patient youth development and lots of failed efforts to blood young players. It will mean selling stars in their prime rather than re-signing them on lucrative contracts. Even then, it is hard to imagine that the profits taken home by any club owner will justify the financial risk and effort involved. There are much easier ways to make money than in the Glaswegian goldfish bowl.

Why are the media not grilling Miller on why he would want to be involved at all? How did he hear of the Rangers opportunity? What is his exit plan? (I mean no slight on the financial prospects for newco-Rangers in particular. Celtic are also an investment for the emotionally attached rather than a safe bet).

Miller is obviously not a poor man. Yet, he does not appear to have the f-you money required to casually drop £11m on a strange game in a small far off land.  One would imagine that someone would require 10-20 times this amount in net worth before you could consider risking £11m in cash in such a speculative venture. I have seen no evidence that Miller’s personal wealth comes close to £100m (but I have not finished looking). Rich? Yes. Gamble on a foreign sports club rich? I am not so sure.

In the absence of convincing answers to these questions, suspicions about the real motivations behind Miller’s move will continue unabated. Some think that this is an attempt to pressure Whyte to accept a nominal offer for his shares in a CVA before they become worthless. Other theories point to Miller being a front for someone else. As with Whyte a year ago, when the basic story just does not make sense people should keep asking questions.

About rangerstaxcase
I have information on Rangers' tax case, and I will use this blog to provide the details of what Rangers FC have done, why it was illegal, and what the implications for what was (updated) one of the largest football clubs in Britain.

7,275 Responses to Miller Industries

  1. redetin says:

    Ed says:
    22/05/2012 at 9:09 am
    Was astounded to hear donkey Doncaster on the radio this morning saying that the dual contracts investigation was “ongoing” and that “they will report in due course IF there is a prima facie case”. Why would it take so long?
    _________________________________________________________________

    My suspicion is that these simple investigations are turning up more than we are being told. I hope that Mark Daly’s documentary will turn over some of the stones (secret e-mails and documents, according to the BBC blurb).

    I am convinced that the Nimmo Smith enquiry and the Strathclyde Police investigation, once they got into e-mail trails, company records and interviewed one or two key people, were going to find some pretty damning material. The SFA Note of Reasons opens up a multitude of further questions that any investigative mind (other than our usual suspects) would love to delve into. I only say this from experience of technical auditing in oil and gas.

  2. Althetim says:

    Following Neil Doncasters’ utterly ridiculous statement that forming a newco is a way out of administration, I exchanged a couple of emails with David Ogilvie (ND’s proxy) from the SPL. David repeats ND’s assertion that there is little distinction between a CVA or New Company resolution to Rangers(IA) current predicament. Strictly from the point of view of best return for the creditors, he is of course correct. Perhaps this was ND’s angle all along – should we give him the benefit of the doubt?

    Aye, right.

  3. Timalloy says:

    Regarding tomorrow’s Mark Daly documentary, I fully expect a “spoiler” on STV news at 6pm tonight, just like they did last time. Murray’s lapdogs in the press will be desperate to mitigate his “misdeameors” so expect STV, who are already linked with Rangers to come out with their own “special” saying don’t believe the BBC

  4. hugozhackenbush says:

    My fear in all of this is that Doncaster, in his role as head of a private members club (which the SPL is), is merely testing the water on behalf of his members with these remarks.

    I find it difficult to believe that if he was not accurately representing the members with his words, that he would not be taken to task by them. In other words, could he be saying exactly what the SPL clubs are asking him to say?

    Better, for them, if he takes the flak and they avoid all the hassle from their supporters. I’ve said it before, but Celtic’s silence on this issue is of great concern. Are we seeing Celtic and the majority of these clubs putting commercial interest ahead of sporting integrity?

    There is plenty of doubt in my mind.

  5. rantinrobin says:

    These Doncaster statements are bringing Scottish football into serious disrepute.

    Friends in other places,primarily England say to me ,’You have a rigged league,What do Rangers have to do to get kicked out ? etc’
    You cannot have a governing body making remarks about the maintenance of a New Club in the premier division without sanctions.
    The very fact that Doncaster can go on air unchecked speaks volumes about the way our football is run.
    We are now into serious laughing stock territory,and what is more fans will walk away from the SPL in droves should this nonsense dialogue continue for much longer.
    I think many fans already have made the decision not to renew season tickets. We are truly sickened by the pathetic,gutless management of the most serious and fraudulent scandal ever to hit our game.

    Enough!

  6. Dons Fan says:

    Allthetim

    Am i missing something but if it’s a NEWCO then the creditors get 0p in the £1 but if CVA they will get something????

  7. Night Terror says:

    john clarke says:
    22/05/2012 at 8:54 am

    I have no doubt that [Celtic] have been quietly and privately signalling to their fellow members that Sporting Integrity is key to the future, and will have produced convincing figure-work that the SPL can and would survive without what had once been one of their strongest and most powerful members.

    What are you basing this on? Everything I’m hearing from the SPL suggests the numbers do not stack up and that Celtic are not having much to do with the diddies.

    I’ve never felt more dispirited during this whole affair.

  8. Althetim says:

    Dons Fan

    The creditors will get nothing from a NEWCO – they will get whats left of the proceeds of liquidating the OLDCO. If this is greater than the amount offered in a CVA proposal than that is clearly in their best interests.

  9. oldgold says:

    Unless Doncaster says that his statements or views are his own why shouldn’t we take it that they are endorsed by the SPL clubs in general or as a whole. To many people seem to think this man Doncaster is some sort of fool, that is foolish.

  10. Exiled in Deepest Kent (@ExiledinKent) says:

    rantinrobin says:
    22/05/2012 at 9:55 am

    Rantinrobin,

    Completely agree as it is a standing joke with my friends down the pub wondering how can that backwater i.e. Scotland behave like some sort of “banana republic” or suchlike in keeping the cheats (and they ARE cheats, no matter what the MSM try to airbrush out of history) in the SPL at all costs.

    The Sky deal thing is red herring as ESPN would gladly take over the entire contract so as to sign up subscribers at £6.95/month for their service. How would viewers fund this? Why, by cancelling their Sky Sports package, of course. Do you thing Sky will want this to happen all over Scotland as well as the rest of the UK for the exiles?

  11. the taxman cometh says:

    As far as I can see the unsecured creditors will get hee haw no matter if it’s a new club or a CVA, the meagre pot will be spent on admin fees and secured creditors.

    As for Doncaster the proof of the lie in his attempt at spin is this: if there is no discernable difference between CVA and new club then why all the effort at CVA.

    No CVA = No Rangers 1872/73

  12. De Profundis says:

    john clarke says:
    22/05/2012 at 8:54 am
    6 0 Rate This
    It is easy to overlook the fact that at the moment, the SPL members are not actually faced with making a decision!
    RFC(IA) could conceivably come out of Administration still entitled to membership. Only then would the SPL have to make a decision on sanctions.

    The most sensible and reassuring comment so far,
    BTW I can’t get the weeding done because of all this, hope it ends soon.

  13. Tic 6709 says:

    For God’s sake people,stop all this nonsense.They are FINISHED,there is no hope,no cavalry coming over the hill playing the flute.I cannot believe that some of you still have doubts.Have you not been reading these wonderful posts.Get a grip people,it will soon be all out there for everyone to see.Mordor is falling and the Orcs will soon have nowhere to go.Have faith. HH

  14. jockybhoy says:

    The Bone Man on 22/05/2012 at 9:22 am
    I find your post a little contradictory – given you post that we don’t kmow the main parties’ stance on: league membership, spl membership, new club, tv contracts, big tax case, etc, what can clubs say definitively? Doncaster, duff and dufferer et al are shooting from the lip on a host of unknowns and looking more stupid by the day.

  15. rantinrobin says:

    Exiled at 10:09 ,there is nothing worse than being told by English friends that your game is rigged.
    Well yes actually there is, it is being told by an Englishman that whatever I can do to rig your game for profit, I will.

    And if that means maintaining a club who has used taxpayers money to compete unfairly for the desire of ‘winning’ then so be it.

    Truly the pits!

  16. The Iceman says:

    My issues with Lawwell are not on the need for public utterances but upon his not making it clear to the SPL and Doncaster that NEWCLUB in SPL is a total non-starter and getting Doncaster to iterate this in public or at the very least getting Doncaster to take a vow of silence on the subject.

    I think it inconceivable that Doncaster is paving the way here without at least the tacit support of Celtic as the strongest and most powerful shareholder in the SPL. Lawwell could also have issued a press release stating that rules must be followed to the letter without fear or favour and without exception. thus indicating his position and the only reasonable position without taking the rap for RFC’s demise.

    If that were his only concern that he be blamed then why not have Doncaster eloquently say nothing at all on the topic as it is still under consideration. No Doncaster is paving the way here for the parachute..

    I still believe, as it happens, thet liuquidation with no newclub is inevitable – I just feel that the position adopted by Doncaster and by omission and in the absence of an alternative statement, of Lawwell is despicable.

    If Rangers ( or son of Rangers) somehow emerge in the SPL as a NEWCLUB next season then Scottish football is dead and as Celtic are a part of Scottish football they will be dead like evreyone else.

  17. Not The Huddle Malcontent says:

    Althetim says:
    22/05/2012 at 10:02 am
    1 0 Rate This
    Dons Fan

    The creditors will get nothing from a NEWCO – they will get whats left of the proceeds of liquidating the OLDCO. If this is greater than the amount offered in a CVA proposal than that is clearly in their best interests.

    —————————————————-

    lets be perfectly clear and honest here. the creditors are getting NOTHING whichever way this goes.

    D&D and CLose brothers have 1st dibs, then the floating charge holder – so unless liquidation nets £40M plus for teh assets – it’s all going to those 3. the CVA is nowhere close to it, so it all goes to those 3

    NO ONE else gets a penny

    so……….the CVA will fail, newco is the only option…..that might be easy in the business world, but in the environs of the football world, it’s not so easy just to shed your skin and re-emerge ready to play.

  18. patnajoe says:

    Just contacted SKY to cancel Sports and ESPN ask why I told Greg that the perception being put out by MSM and the Donkmiester that Sky would cancel contract if not 4 OF games per season his response this was news to him contract signed and 1 year into 3 year deal and I shouldn’t listen to Numpties such as HK and like. I suggested if this was case SKY might wish to contact SPL and the MSN and put them right also got the impression response was scripted looks as if they might have had a fair few calls similar to mine.

  19. jockybhoy says:

    Rantinrobin/exiled in kent – well at least your friends have a grasp of what’s been going on. Mine (mostly tottenham fans) are all of the opinion that something should be done to save rangers, after all, without them scottish football would go bust. I am working my way through white hart lane one yi, er I mean, totty, fan at a time…

    They were amazed when I told them Enic got burned for 40m…

  20. Hugh McEwan says:

    Mark Dickson says:
    22/05/2012 at 7:52 am
    4 0 i
    Rate This

    Lawwell (& other SPL chairmen)

    =========================

    Peter Lawwell isn’t an SPL Chairman, he is the CEO.

    I am at a loss to understand why, when people call for Chairmen or owners to make a stand on this they call for Peter Lawwell to do the same. Are all chief executives, or whoever holds the equivalent post at a club to do the same, or is it just Peter Lawwell.

    The Celtic board will decide what is in Celtic’s best interests, I am entirely confident they have no real concern what fans of other clubs think, or even demand, they should do.

    I find it absolutely extraordinary that Hearts, who have had three winding up orders in the last six months feel that they should take the integrity stance. Pay your bills on time and then come back and tell everyone else what they should do. Don’t force people to have to go to Court in order to get you to pay your debts and others may be more interested in listening to your opinion.

  21. Mark Barry says:

    Beerbelly says:

    22/05/2012 at 12:27 am

    2) Mr Lennon – best sticking to team matters, which is his domain, and has mainly done so, but will be expected to speak for the players and the fans once the “cheating years” are confirmed. If he chooses his words carefully, which he is capable of, he can make a devastating impact.

    Also no.9)

    Will Mr Lennon time his telling of what Mr McCoist said that night at Celtic Park to when they have died, or will it now never see the light of day?

  22. Mark Dickson says:

    Nice cop out Hugh :thumbsdown:

  23. andypandymonium says:

    Doncaster is the CEO of a membership organisation. He is hired and fired by the board of the same organisation. I think we have to assume he is speaking on that board’s behalf otherwise he would have been pushed out in front of the media some time back to correct his flawed opinions. He has not been.

    I have no doubt that all the toxicity surrounding RFC (IA) is set to kill that company. I am now incredibly worried that none of this will have any lasting implication for the next regeneration of this morally and financially corrupt institution. If that is the case then those fans who still believe that sporting integrity is sacrosanct must do the decent thing and not attend another SPL fixture until such time as these wrongs are righted.

    As the late, great Mr Stein was well known to say; “football without the fans is nothing”. We the fans must take back our beautiful game from these charlatans. Now is the time for us to stand together as one.

  24. Arabest says:

    Deeply concerning that Geoff Webster reports ‘newco in spl next season’ as a fait accompli, and ND pronouncing unchallenged that there is no difference between cva and liquidation. Last nights Dundee’s Evening Tele carried beneath a MELTDOWN’ headline, an apocalyptic warning from a Dundee Utd fans group, (Arab Trust) that no Rangers in the SPL would result in a fall in turnover of £1.3 million (30%). The figures breakdown as £300k from visiting fans and £1 million from TV.

    Now, to use a phrase which I hate, and have not heard for years, we know ‘which foot DC Thompson’s kick with’ (apologies for that, but is seems appropriate in this instance) and sure enough a closer look at the Trust statement is a plea for Sky/ESPN to come clean with some figures that challenge those above.

    Are we seeing the last hurrah of the Bears? Or are they really the peepil? This week is really getting interesting!

  25. Mark Dickson says:

    How difficult is it for the leaders of Aberdeen, Celtic, Dundee Utd etc to come out publicly and state that they fully support sporting integrity?

    It’s their own supporters they have to convince – those whom they want to renew or purchase season tickets.

    It’s got nothing to do with hearts fans or hibs fans or anybody else.

    It’s about securing the good faith & trust of their OWN fans – those who want to see more unequivocal and less ambigious statements from their club leaders be that owners or chairmen or chief executives.

    Obviously the bigger the clubs the are greater the overall influence on public opinion they hold.

  26. CE says:

    Hugh McEwan says:
    22/05/2012 at 10:37 am

    ======================================================================

    Hugh,

    Are you seriously ‘at a loss’ as to how everyone treats Peter Lawell as His Master’s Voice? Due to Dermott Desmond’s vow of silence, this is the role CFC have created for him.

    And are you saying any fans whose club has ever paid a debt late is untitled to an opinion on RFC(IA)? I had a bank charge 15 years ago, is it ok if I express my opinion? Most be awful lonely up there on the highest of moral ground.

  27. rantinrobin says:

    There was a poll taken on this site as to whether the Chairmen should ‘come out’ on the new club issue prior to the vote on 30th May,thus nailing their colours to the mast.
    The thumbs up had a clear majority.
    Yorkston , and Petrie have clearly stated a favouring of sporting integrity.The chairmen all should now.
    As to the concerns raised about Rangers fans marauding their way along Duke St seeking Lawwell’s head ,why on earth should we be considering the actions of the bullying masses ?.We have Police to deal with anti social behaviour.
    As Hugh rightly points out Lawwell is CEO but clearly there are concerns from Celtic Park as to the future as I have heard Neil Lennon ,twice, express his concerns about Season ticket renewal.
    I am a Celtic fan but the glory of this site is that it has brought people together who all favour sporting integrity and I do not think silent positioning,prior to a vote is clever.
    Don’t wait on the FTT,the EBT or anything else just come out and say NO to NEW CLUB in the SPL.
    It would make a difference to the argument.A very big difference.

  28. Not The Huddle Malcontent says:

    patnajoe says:
    22/05/2012 at 10:30 am
    7 0 Rate This
    Just contacted SKY to cancel Sports and ESPN ask why I told Greg that the perception being put out by MSM and the Donkmiester that Sky would cancel contract if not 4 OF games per season his response this was news to him contract signed and 1 year into 3 year deal and I shouldn’t listen to Numpties such as HK and like. I suggested if this was case SKY might wish to contact SPL and the MSN and put them right also got the impression response was scripted looks as if they might have had a fair few calls similar to mine.

    ===============================================

    Patnajoe

    this is a good point……and maybe an interesting ploy…..

    the CURRENT sky deal does indeed have a couple of years to run, however, the SPL have made a lot of noise recently about a NEW IMPROVED deal from SKY – and that this deal must include 4 OF games

    Could it be that SKY has put a new, improved deal on the table (replacing the existing one) – RFC exist and we get our 4 OF games – then £18M a season. No RFC, no new deal and 2 years of the existing £13M a season deal

    Maybe Sky want to put pressure on the clubs and the league to ensure RFC are reborn into the SPL

    when was the new Sky deal announced (and by who?)
    is the reason it is unsigned is because Sky want to know if RFC exist or not – if not, it’s business as usual for 2 years

  29. Lemmy says:

    With regard to Doncaster’s latest verbal masturbation.

    Is it possible the SPL are protecting RFC(IA) in case their house of cards tumbles down? The only previous dual-contract issue in Scotland I can recall is Kachoul at Livingston. Hopefully this didn’t set a worrying precedent.

    In 2005 the SPL (upheld by the SFA), on the advice of their lawyer Rod McKenzie, determined that there was no unfair advantage in this practise. They said it was just a technical registration issue and fined Livingston only £15k despite FIFA Article 71 stating a points deduction was the correct punishment. The player had been signed as an amateur but paid on a separate contract.

    I.e. it is OK to pay out-with the football contract as it’s just an over-sight not to include the payments in the documents registered with the SFA.

    Livingston even said they received advice from the SPL and SFA: “we were advised to give him a job unrelated to football and that’s what we did by giving him a job in our commercial department.” Of course, as the SPL found, he never did any work for the commercial department.

    It’s possible the Livi manager, Richard Gough, was well aware of dual-contracts!!!!

    I wonder if the SPL were worried way back then about a complaint arising against RFC(IA). Not surprisingly the SPL board included John McClelland and, like today, they dragged the situation out for 6 weeks without saying anything about their findings. They delayed so long there would have been no way to issue Livi a points deduction and therefore relegate them.

    Maybe the only hope for fairness is that D&P carry on their strange actions that seem destined to kill RFC for good.

    (Interestingly, the man who made the complaint against Livi was John Yorkston who also backs no new clubs in the SPL)

  30. Edgar Blamm says:

    I asked The Guardian’s Paul MacInnes (Football Weekly podcast contributor, Norwich fanatic, and seemingly a pretty cool guy) what he thought of Neil Doncaster’s tenure at Norwich City.

    His response (via Twitter) was:

    @EdgarBlamm well we used to call him Doomcaster and he nearly drove the club into the ground. Other than that, cracking!

  31. rantinrobin says:

    And whist I am on the subject,it is an absolute disgrace that we have a society in which people have threatened individuals because of their affiliations.From Neil Lennon,Paul McBride to the Raith Rovers director. Absolutely disgusting.
    I will nail my colours to the mast,I actually think our culture and our footballing world would be a lot better off without Rangers at all.
    Incidentally I like to think I am a reasonable,realtively cultured and educated man.I support Celtic, I am not a catholic but I love the club.I am a fan.

  32. rantinrobin says:

    that would be relatively cultured

  33. the taxman cometh says:

    From a Celtic supporters perspective, the admission of a new club taking the place of RFC(IA) to the SPL would be the end of anything remotely like sporting integrity.

    The support would have two choices, one to boycott the whole SPL charade or to boycott away games and bring the whole debacle to the ground

  34. jammy dodger says:

    The SPL can only sign a deal with Sky which guarantees 4 OF games per season if both Celtic and Rangers are guaranteed their place in the SPL regardless of results. Such a deal would mean moving to the American franchise system, and so far as I am concerned, the end of my interest in Scottish football. I fear this might be the endgame of what is being played out here, though.

  35. WOTTPI says:

    The whole fiasco is of course wrapped up in legal nicities that lawyers like Doncaster just love.

    Lets face it if Rangers had just got into a bit of a cash flow problem combined with a wee bit financial mismanagement then people may have been more symapthetic.

    Similarly if the sums involved had been smaller then people may have been more accepting of the situation.

    Given the current economic situation many supporters are perhaps thinking that in terms of the financial position that could be their club.

    However we are not talking about ‘small clubs’ the likes that Doncaster refers to where revenue streams may be limited and it is a constant battle to play every week. We are talking about a club that has been attracting circa 50,000 at every home game for a good number of years. A club that claims futher 10’s of thousands of fans in the UK and worldwide who don’t go to Ibrox every second week. A club that gets the lion’s share of revenue from the Scottish game and a bit extra from European football evey year.

    With all that revenue available to them we are still talking about sums heading over £100m and the deliberate non payment on PAYE NI and VAT to the taxman. Add to that they don’t even pay there newpaper bills.

    Despite all of the above my guess is that what is sticking in the craw is the issue of improper contracts and player registrations.

    While all these issues are connected in legal terms, they are for the time being, separate.

    It has to be remembered that nothing has yet been proven given the appeal to the FTT and the lack of progress in the SPL investigation. The CVA or liquidation has not been resolved and could still go a number of different ways.

    The lawyers can call it what they want, they can wrap it up in fancy words, they can try and separate out the various issues and hope that the different timelines for each aspect to get resolved will dilute the overall effect. However if Rangers are found to have ‘been at it’ with regard to payments and player registration the world will know they were cheating.

    Lets hope that Mark Daly does a good job and blasts through the legal nicities and leaves us in no doubt as to what was going on and how the rules of football and sporting integrity have most likely been abused.

    When the facts come to light about the EBT and player registrations if Rangers are not given an appropriate punishment then the games a bogey and Doncaster and the SPL chairmen can say what they want because few people will be listening. The game as we know it will be dead.

  36. The Bone Man says:

    jockybhoy says:
    22/05/2012 at 10:18 am

    Hi Jockybhoy

    I may not have made it clear, and I apologise for that. What I’m getting at is that the unknowns that you point out should be sorted out to allow the spl teams and fans to sort out where they stand. If you see what I mean? Probably not because I don’t either 🙂

    Basically, people (SFA, D&P, and so on) should be doing their jobs instead of delaying the inevitable and not allowing everyone else to get prepared for the next season.

  37. CE says:

    Getting back to the matter in hand, so Old MacDonald has walked away from Nanny McPhee’s ‘consortium’. Can we still call three people a consortium?

    Gleamed this little nugget from his parting shot, “These part-ownership schemes happen a lot nowaround the world.” Do they really? Anywhere in UK Football(as Doomy likes to call it)?

    Total spivs, is this really the best Haudit and Daudit could come up with?

  38. Trimm Trab says:

    The simple fact is that all of the SPL Chairmen (Lawwell included, Hugh) are quick and loud enough to give us their opinions when they have a message they want to get across to us and others.

    The silence is both deafening and damning.

    Doncaster is coming across as a complete muppet but its possible he is just being used as cannon fodder. This is position my company has put me in recently a few times in dealing with customers despite me disagreeing with the argument I have had to put forward.

    Lets hope we are plesantly surprised next week but I would say the signs are not good.

  39. Mark Dickson says:

    [quote name=’DETTY29′ timestamp=’1337683450′ post=’2929176′]
    All I’m asking at the end of this sorry debacle is that the SPL doesn’t end up one of the most corrupt leagues in the world.

    Some of the accusations against Rangers are horrific and the SPL especially appear to be doing everything to sweep their ‘crimes’ under the carpet and hope it all goes away.

    It’s not a shame, it’s a fekn disgrace.
    [/quote]

  40. John Mac says:

    Forgive my ignorance but can someone remind me why the Close Brothers get first dibs along with Dumb and Dumber?

  41. Althetim says:

    CE says:

    Total spivs, is this really the best Haudit and Daudit could come up with?
    ———————————————————————————————–

    Have a read at Alex Thomsons’ latest article. Tristan Loughrey really takes the proverbial biscuit. It’s a pity his “bid” was rejected, it would have provided much hilarity. As wide as the Clyde.

    http://blogs.channel4.com/alex-thomsons-view/revealed-rejected-bid-buy-rangers/1593

  42. CE says:

    If you can bothered venturing into the cesspit, the Mark Daly thread on RM is a heady mix of wild threats, confused idiocy, and comedy gold.

    Unfortunately Lawrence Donegan of the Guardian looks like he’s be added to ‘the list’.

    lawrencedonegan ‏@lawrencedonegan

    “BBC doc on Rangers in 2 days.hear it has chapter&verse on EBTs- names, contracts, amounts. apparently, scale of ebt (ab)use is “eye-popping”

    RM poster – “Had to google search to see who this Lauro Donny fellow is. Golf correspondent for The Guardian apparently??? Also went to an RC school, there’s a surprise.”

    Let them Die SPL!

  43. PG says:

    John Mac says:
    22/05/2012 at 11:54 am

    they’re a secured creditor

  44. WOTTPI says:

    Arabest says:
    22/05/2012 at 11:02 am

    Of course DC Thompson appear to do the usual and quote the full £300k and £1.3m but do not take into account the revenue from visiting fans of the club which repalces Rangers (if it were Dundee then that loss is wiped out) or what cash (albiet possibly lower) a different TV deal may bring in. Therefore the loss to Dundee Utd will not be the 30% quoted.

    Why is it the press never paint a balanced financial picture but go for the ‘Big number’ headline.

    Todays nonesense is that M&S’s profits have fallen – shock horror!!

    They have STILL MADE £658m pre tax as opposed to the £781m last year and this is the first fall in profits for three years.

    If they have not done a Minty Moonbeams and squandered the profits from the last three years they should have a war chest to ride out things while monitoring the situation and taking actions to get them back on track.

  45. Smartie1947 says:

    Jammy Dodger @11.35

    Am I missing something here? It is not up to the SPL to sign a deal with Sky, it is up to Sky to sign a deal with the SPL.
    If Sky don’t fancy the product, ie a league without Rangers in any manifestation, they won’t sign a deal.
    That then leaves the field open for alternative broadcasters to fill the breach. As for the current contract, it may or it may have not, a clause re 4 OF games in it. If it does Sky may have the option to walk away but at what cost in terms of adverse publicity. With ESPN/Disney and even Al Jazeera threatening competition for the lucrative EPL contract, does it make any commercial sense for Sky to be seen to be pulling the plug on a trifling, in money terms, contract over 4 OF games?

  46. Hugh McEwan says:

    Trimm Trab says:
    22/05/2012 at 11:51 am
    0 0 i
    Rate This

    The simple fact is that all of the SPL Chairmen (Lawwell included, Hugh)

    =================

    Peter Lawwell isn’t the Celtic Chairman.

    No matter how many people say he is, it’s simply not the case. He isn’t even an elected member of the board. As I understand it he is a full time employee of the club.

    This situation is clearly a matter of strategy for the club, that falls to the board and to the Chairman. So whilst Peter Lawwell may speak on it he certainly won’t be making the decision on what happens. Unless people really believe that the likes of Iain Bankier, Eric Riley, Dermott Desmond etc will leave it up to Mr Lawwell just to deal with.

    Whatever comes out of Celtic in relation to this is coming from the board as a whole, and has been discussed and agreed as a strategic position.

    I can tell you this. Celtic are damned if they do and damned if they don’t on this. Celtic speaking on this matter would not be treated in the same way as the Chairman of any other club expressing their opinion. It would be perceived as an attack on Rangers, and would be used as a rallying call for everyone else. That is the last thing Celtic should be doing just now.

    However I am quite sure they are making their feelings clear, just not in public.

  47. F.M. says:

    Apologies if this has already been posted. But and excellent post from TBB
    From CQN:

    The Battered Bunnet on 22 May, 2012 at 11:23 said:
    There is a battle engaged in Scottish Football. It is not a battle for on-field success, trophies and triumph. It is a battle for the essence of the Game.

    It is my good and lasting fortune that my Father took me along to Celtic Park as a kid. Every other Saturday meant parking at the top of Kinnear Rd, the short walk across London Rd and up to the stadium. We’d meet my Father’s uncle, Joe, always well stocked with Coca Cola and chocolate bars, Fry’s chocolate Cream generally, and make our way into the main stand to watch the Celtic.

    The Celtic of my childhood was the team of the Quality Street Kids: McGrain, Hay, Connolly, Murray, Dalglish, Wilson. And Billy McNeill. Always Billy McNeill. A gazelle was Billy, according to Uncle Joe.

    I remember seeing Dixie Deans banging in 6 against Partick Thistle, and Hamish McAlpine taking a penalty for Dundee United. I remember learning the geography of Europe by the teams we played in the European Cup: Ujpest Dozsa, Turun Palloseura, Jeunesse Esch.

    Teams seemed to be defined by their Goalkeepers at that time. Evan Williams or John Fallon, Denis Connaghan or Ally Hunter, Roy Baines or Peter Latchford.

    I remember the fear for Jock Stein following his accident, and the muttering around me the following season that ‘the Big Man has lost it’ as we watched a team in which Ronnie Glavin tried to make us forget about King Kenny and succeeded only in reminding us what we were missing.

    But while I was a Celtic fan from childhood, there was one thing I loved more, one thing that I found before I found Celtic: Football. I remember my first proper ball. My first pair of proper boots. When the TV had Scotland V Brazil in the 1974 World Cup, I lasted only the first half before I was out the back pretending to be Rivelino.

    Cruyff. Beckenbauer. Muller. Jairzinho. I couldn’t spell them but they were first picks in my Subbuteo Allstars team. As, oddly, was David Harvey.

    I was, and remain, a Celtic supporter, but I’m a football fan at heart. To me, Celtic is an expression of the Game I love. It’s a game that reaches out beyond the touchlines of the pitch and changes the way we look at life. There are moments in football that live forever. Nakamura against Manchester United. Zidane against Leverkusen. Suker against Denmark. Strachan against Denmark. Narey against Brazil. Gemmill against Holland. Dalglish against Clemence. Boruc against Saha. Goalkeepers again…

    All moments for me when something remarkable happened. When a player found a moment that brought together years of training and dedication, with a spark of wonderful, precious imagination and created something new. Unique. Inspiring.

    The battle now engaged in Scottish football sets the values of the Game, its magical ability to create these moments, against the value of money and its malevolent desire to determine the outcome.

    The depths to which Rangers sank in pusuit of the Game’s prizes trashed the values of the Game in ways we are not yet fully aware of. Tax Evasion, Rule Breaking, Corruption amongst them.

    We know that the implosion of the Murray Group caused massive financial problems at Rangers, such that in October 2009 the Board debated putting the club into Administration.

    We know that had Rangers not won the league that season, delivering £20M of Champions League revenue, the Bank would have very likely closed it down.

    We are told by Executives and Media alike that we cannot have a Game in Scotland without Rangers, and irrespective of insolvency, dissolution, rule breaching and mala fides, Neil Doncaster is determined that there will be a Rangers team in his SPL next season.

    If a Rangers team is so important to the Game in Scotland that we are prepared to permit and retrospectively condone all manner of ignominy and dishonesty, ignoring or rewriting the Rule Book in the process to let them play, what happened in Tony Mowbray’s season in charge of Celtic, when a Celtic title win would have closed Rangers down? Was the unprecedented rise in ‘honest mistakes’ that season merely a ‘statistical outlier’ or attributable to a ‘special cause’?

    Was a Rangers Title win too important for the influencers of Scottish Football to allow any other outcome? When you stash £49 Million in a complex offshore Trust framework, beyond the reach of auditors, there is no telling where the money ended up. Forget match fixing. We are looking at Championship Fixing.

    These of course are outrageous suggestions: That the outcome of a match, a Championship, may have been determined by events and actions hidden from view, but this is where we are in Scottish football. If Rangers’ many offences against the Game are acceptable now, what was unacceptable then?

    If Rangers can get away with those things we know about, it is human nature to consider the things we don’t know, and at that point the integrity of all players, managers and officials is suspect.

    And there’s the rub. Above all, we need to have certainty that whatever happens on the football pitch is down to the collective talents, ability and tactics of the 2 teams. As soon as rules are applied according to the financial value of the outcome, we no longer have competitive sport. We have staged entertainment.

    This is Neil Doncaster’s proposed Newco SPL. At least Big Brother and The X Factor allow the public to determine the outcome. In Neil Doncaster’s vision for the SPL, the outcome is determined by the Business Model, the Financial Forecast and the TV Executive. For Neil Doncaster, Football is subservient to Franchise.

    The Game is unscripted. Beautifully improvised. Dramatic. Ephemeral. If there is a ‘Rangers’ team playing in the SPL next season you will know that The Game in Scotland has been lost.

    TBB

  48. Bawsman says:

    My hope is that Mark Daly comes out with some overwhelming details on the length and depth of their cheating which makes the small details such as er? who owns the Club/stadium/Murray Park/season tickets/players etc.

    Closely followed by the whuuuuuump!!!! of the BTC Bill landing to void ALL arguements about allowing this disgusting club to emerge unscathed.

  49. Private Land says:

    CE says:

    22/05/2012 at 11:09 am
    ______________________________________________________________

    If Celtic has an agenda, as you and I suspect they do, to allow Newclub into the SPL, then it is pretty obvious that it would be in their interests if fans on this blog started to divide down partisan lines, forgetting their common interest for the sake of defending their clubs’ honour and impuning that of others.

    There are people who earnestly believe that dignified silence of club chairmen is the way to go, and others who equally earnestly believe that they should speak out. There are also those who resort to finger pointing and mock incredulity in an effort to divide.

    I hope we don’t fall for it.

  50. Mark Dickson says:

    Hugh (& others)

    There is an easy way for Celtic/other SPL clubs to speak out and not make it be percieved as an attack on Rangers.

    All they have to say is “To all our supporters who might be holding back on renewing/buying ST for next season we urge you to renew and be firm in the knowledge that [your] club fully supports sporting integrity in the SPL and Scottish football”.

    That says everything it needs to say and also to whom it is directed ie their own clubs fans.

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