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. Doon the slope says:

    CE

    They had to google Lawrence Donegan to find out if he was a Catholic? Lol.

    Seamus O’ Shaunessy must be sh*tting himself.

  2. scapa says:

    Hugh McEwan says:

    22/05/2012 at 10:37 am

    Hugh, I hope I am mis-understanding your argument. You seem to be saying that sporting integrity is really good, as long as it’s in CFC’s best interests?

    Isn’t integrity, like virginity, a binary state? You either still have it, or you’ve lost it, and once its gone, you never get it back.

  3. Goosy says:

    Relax Guys
    Consider this
    With liquidation a certainty all that concerns the SPL and SFA is the terms of admission for NewClub and which league they will play in.
    This decision is determined by whether NewClub apply to the SPL or the SFA (for an SFL spot)

    Everybody especially the SPL and SFA are waiting on the FTT result

    Which begs 2 questions

    Will the FTT result make it easier or harder for the SFA to break the RFC timeline through expulsion or suspension ?
    And

    Will the FTT result make it easier or harder for the SPL to apply sanctions to any NewClub claiming RFC history( even when the timeline is likely to be broken at a later date)?

    Its obvious

    Its easier to break the RFC timeline if the FTT rule against them

    Its easier to apply sanctions to a NewClub claiming RFC history if the FTT rule against them

    This can be argued if the NewClub application is made at an earlier date than an SPL Tribunal decision to expel or suspend RFC
    ,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,
    This forces NewClub to choose between claiming RFC history and applying to the SFA
    Or
    Accepting draconian penalties and applying to the SPL

    Its for NewClub to decide what they want

    The problem goes away as far as the SFA and SPL members are concerned

  4. Hoopy 7 says:

    Not long to go now.

    I find it staggering that no chairman or ceo of any football club has come out and told the fans exactly what is in the sky contract.

    Dimcaster is being economical with the truth and if when this is all over it is found that there is no clause in the contract which demands 4″OF” games, then he should fall on his sword.

  5. bards says:

    Peter Lawell came out and said words to the effect that Celtic can stand alone financially.

    Shirley, this means the at least Celtic have ‘crunched the numbers’ and it implies that the following is true;

    1. Celtic know they can survive without RFC(ia) or Newclub
    2. Celtic know they can survive without the ‘lucrative’ TV contracts
    3. Celtic know how much of a difference having the RFC(ia) or Newclub makes to gate money

    Theoretically, all PL needs to do now is send the excel spreadsheet, with formulas, to the other CEOs/Chairmen ?????

    Then in the SPL meeting when Fudcaster says “we all need RFC(ia)” PL can say “utter bollocks, and here is why…..”

  6. corsica says:

    Slightly off topic but there is relevance here…

    The French League finished at the weekend with an amazing escape by Ajaccio (urra!) who had to win at Toulouse (8th and going for 6th/Europa place) and hope that results elsewhere went their way. On the last day of the season, 8 clubs in a league of 20 were vying for the remaining two relegation slots! With three games remaining, even Marseille who eventually finished 10th were in danger.

    At the top, the League was won by Montpellier who have been the best team this year yet only had the 8th highest average attendance and were pushed all the way by PSG who are backed by significant Middle East money and have the highest average attendance by quite a distance (excluding Marseille). Ajaccio had the lowest average attendance at just over 6,000. Leaving aside the big three (PSG, Marseille, Lyon) and Ajaccio, average attendances range from 21,000 at St Etienne to 9,000 at Nice with the median point actually at 15,000.

    Interestingly, apart from 2 games which I can recall, no one in France really inflicted heavy defeats on anyone else. Indeed, Montpellier had a goal difference of +34 yet conceded 34 goals which means on average they just about won every game 2-1.

    So nobody running away with it and no whipping boys either.

    My point being that this is achieved in France because they have a very strict regulation system and a FFP system which is actually a forerunner of UEFA’s, having had their fingers burned previously – notably with Bordeaux and Marseille [note to Doncaster – you might want to check out Girondins de Bordeaux who were RELEGATED in 1991 due to financial irregularities including a debt of 300m francs, despite being one of the biggest clubs in France, the second oldest, the most successful club of the era and containing a number of French internationals].

    Most clubs follow a very sound business model of developing local youngsters along with seeking out and importing young, potential talent and selling them on for profit. They also charge reasonable prices for tickets; you can pick up a good adult season ticket for about £300 and a child’s season ticket for about £75 at any ground (my VIP ticket at Ajaccio costs €350) and in a lot of grounds, females get in at child prices.

    If the French League can thrive in that scenario, why can’t the Scottish League? Leaving aside the RFC(IA) argument, there is something fundamentally flawed with Scottish football and people like Doncaster, Regan and Lawwell should be grasping the opportunity to do something about it rather than worrying about a parachute for the world’s biggest cheaters (has anyone come up with anything that even remotely resembles the RFC situation?).

  7. TPE says:

    CE says:
    22/05/2012 at 11:46 am

    “Can we still call three people a consortium?”

    Good question. As the numbers within Charles Green’s consortium diminish, it may be prudent to similarly abbreviate the word itself. “Con” has an eerily familiar ring to it and may very well satisfy any cravings for accuracy.

  8. Private Land says:

    bards says:

    22/05/2012 at 12:35 pm
    Shirley, this means the at least Celtic have ‘crunched the numbers’ and it implies that the following is true;

    1. Celtic know they can survive without RFC(ia) or Newclub
    2. Celtic know they can survive without the ‘lucrative’ TV contracts
    3. Celtic know how much of a difference having the RFC(ia) or Newclub makes to gate money

    Theoretically, all PL needs to do now is send the excel spreadsheet, with formulas, to the other CEOs/Chairmen ?????

    Then in the SPL meeting when Fudcaster says “we all need RFC(ia)” PL can say “utter bollocks, and here is why…..”

    _______________________________________________________________________

    1, 2, & 3 may be true, but knowing they can survive without Rangers and wishing to do so are two different things.

    One other thing though; are Celtic willing to live without the 11-1 voting arrangements? Previous words from P would suggest that the answer to that is no.

    Next question. Can the 11-1 survive without a Rangers in the SPL?

    I think that sporting integrity will have to be purchased in this case. It will only be applied when that spreadsheet you speak of has more zeros in the bottom line under the column, “no parachute”.

    I can live with that though. I don’t believe that the clubs themselves have integrity, but if the fans keep them honest, then the sport is still honest, and worthy of patronage.

  9. Goosy says:

    Re 2 contracts investigation

    The reason why the SPL are delaying their 2contracts investigation is because expulsion or suspension of RFC is likely to follow This will be reinforced by an adverse FTT result

    Expulsion means no NewClub can ever claim RFC history
    Suspension means no NewClubcan claim RFC history for 12 months

  10. Stu. says:

    Hugh McEwan says:
    22/05/2012 at 12:11 pm
    2 0 i
    Rate This

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

    Really? Then why is Doncaster coming out with his guff?

    As was pointed out a few days ago (by Arabbest, if memory serves correctly), Celtic are the only club who can actually stop this from transpiring without help from other clubs. If Aberdeen say ‘We’ll resign from the league if this goes ahead’, no one would give one. However, If Celtic threaten it, then the New Club would get nowhere near the SPL. The whole arguement about commercial necessity would be redundant, as Celtic are the commercial powerhouse in the SPL.

    Now given that Doncaster could give banal, ambigious replies to questions, but instead chooses to talk explicitly about a new club in the SPL next season, that sounds to me like Celtic aren’t making their feelings about it clear enough, or, unfortunately, they’ve made their feelings all too clear…..

  11. CE says:

    Private Land says:
    22/05/2012 at 12:21 pm

    —————————————————————————–

    Agreed Private L, one of the worst things that could happen is if participants in our ‘grand coalition’ against the evils of RFC(IA) divided along party/team fault lines. Apologies if it seems I’m fermenting anything like that, I just thought Mark Dickson was hit with a fairly low blow over HMFC’s winding up orders.

    I commend your bravery and foresight in speaking out against your own BoD when no others were(in fact you took quite a lot of flak from your own fans initially, but it seems the argument is moving our way now), but equally, if people do not share our view point(in wishing their clubs to speak out in favour of sporting integrity), whilst disagreeing , I respect their right to hold and argue that opinion.

  12. F.M. says:

    Tried to post this comment from TBB (The Battered Bunnet) in its entirety, but it is in moderation, so am posting the link. Excellent post. http://www.celticquicknews.co.uk/?p=9133&cpage=9#comment-1431861

  13. Long Time Lurker says:

    Given that there is no offer on the table for exit via a CVA and that the contracts for the first team players will revert to their normal levels on 01 June, RFC (IA) must be operating on fumes at the moment – they cannot have much cash left.

    At what point could the Court intervene, or is any intervention dependent on HMRC asking the Court to review the situation.

  14. Sprotson says:

    Gretna

    I’m starting with Gretna because they are perhaps the most relevant being the most recent SPL side to go into administration (except RFC), in 2008. Gretna gained promotion to the SPL in the 06-07 season and played in the SPL in 07-08, ground-sharing with Motherwell.

    Key points;
    * The club had accumulated debts of nearly £4m by late 2007. However the clubs assests were valued at less than £1m. HMRC were owed £600k, it was a HMRC winding-up order that placed Gretna into admin.

    * On 18 February 2008 it was revealed that Gretna staff, including players, had not received their wages on time, prompting the manager & assistant manager to resign.

    * The club went into administration on 12 March 2008

    * The club couldn’t afford to pay their players wages, the SPL stepped in and paid the players wages so that he club could fufill it’s SPL fixtures.

    * club captain Chris Innes was made redundant on 25 March 2008, The following day, 22 players, including eight members of the senior squad, along with coaching staff and the former owner’s son were also made redundant.

    * On 8 May, the administrator set a deadline of 17 May for a buyer to be found, or the club would be liquidated. No buyer was found, all remaining staff were made redundant. On May 29 the SFL relegated the newly relegated Gretna from Division 1 to Division 3.

    * With no ground, staff, players or a competition to play in, Gretna resigned from the SFL and the club was dissolved.

    Conclusion & comparison:

    Gretna owed HMRC alone an amount which was roughly the valued of the business entire assets (600k) and 4m in total. For such a small club, which had never even played in the SPL when this debt was accrued, this debt was colossal and could never be paid back. Gretna’s crimes extend beyond the tax man and the other creditors they ripped off for 4m. They ripped off their own staff, making redundancies to even their captain during the middle of the SPL season. They would have made a mockery of the SPL by pulling out of the league completely until the SPL put their hands in their own pocket to pay the wages of the players.
    No further punishment was given to them beyond the standard 10 points deduction by the SPL during the football season. They were not fined, not given a transfer embargo, did not receive further points deductions. However after Gretna made their entire work force redundant and put the land/stadium up for sale to someone looking to buy for non-football reasons – the SFL relegated them to the 3rd division. Which served no purpose, as the club was inevitably dissolved due to not having any staff or a ground to play on.

    —————

    Portsmouth

    Key points;

    *In December 2009, it was reported that Portsmouth had failed to pay their players wages for a 2nd consecutive month.

    *Portsmouth owed HMRC £12.1m in unpaid PAYE, NI & VAT. Subsequently HMRC filed a winding-up petition in December 2009 and Portsmouth went into administration.

    *Portsmouth received a 9-point penalty for going into Administration, in accordance with Premiership rules at the time.

    * Portsmouth went on to play in the FA cup final but were denied a licence to play in Europe the following season for being a club in administration.

    * Portsmouth total debt was approx. £135m. A CVA was agreed in the summer of 2010 and brought Portsmouth out of Administration for their new season in the Championship.

    * Despite huge debt to creditors, a massive debt to HMRC, and the non-payment of tax, paye, vat & ni, Portsmouth received no further sanctions beyond the 9-point administration penalty. They did receive a transfer embargo before going into administration, which I will cover in more detail later.

    *On 23 November 2011, a Europe-wide arrest warrant was issued for Portsmouth owner for alleged asset stripping of a bank with Lithuanian authorities threatinig to seize all his assets (including PFC).

    * On 24 January 2012, Portsmouth were issued with a winding up petition by HMRC for over £1.6 million in unpaid taxes, and on February 17th Portsmouth FC went into administration for a 2nd time.

    *On 11 April 2012, reports from administrators PKF has as revealed that Portsmouth owe £58m debt, players are due £3.5m in unpaid wages & bonuses, and HMRC due £2.3m

    * Portsmouth received an automatic 10-point deduction for going into administration, but received no further sanctions, fines, points penalties or embargos.

    * The English FA helped Portsmouth FC by giving them parachute payments early.

    Conclusion & comparison:

    Portsmouth debts to HMRC are similar in scale to Rangers if you exclude the tax case, which still has not been concluded. Rangers went into administration when HMRC filed a petition over unpaid VAT, PAYE & NI in the region of a reported £9m. Portsmouth, it was £12.1m. Portsmouth confirmed debt from administrators was approx. £135m. By comparison the total RFC debt is still speculative but could reach a similar level in a worst case scenario of losing the big tax case. Unlike Rangers however Portsmouth failed to pay players for 2 consecutive months and have large outstanding debt to players for unpaid wages. Perhaps the greatest comparison between both clubs however is that both have found themselves under the ownership of assets strippers who have been accused of fraud and being investigated by the authorities. Portsmouth received no further points deductions, embargos or fines for going intro administration twice, beyond the default points penalties.

    —————

    Leeds

    Key points;

    * Leeds entered voluntary administration on May 4, 2007, thus incurring a 10-point deduction which confirmed the club’s relegation to League One.[1][2] Administration had been predicted for some time, due to crippling debts created during Peter Ridsdale’s chairmanship. For his part, Ridsdale denied any of the current situation was his fault,[3] only days after having admitted it was a mistake to allow the then-manager David O’Leary to spend so lavishly on players

    *It was revealed that a large amount of Leeds’ debt was owed to many ex-players whom left up to three years prior to the club entering administration, £18 million of the £35m was however owed to three companies,[12] and £6 million owed to HMRC

    * HMRC claimed it was owed £7.7m total in unpaid tax & VAT.

    * LUFC ltd was a company formed in 2007, and purchased LUAFC (traditional leeds) via a creditors vote. It was allowed to remain in league 1 but at the expense of a further 15 point penalty on top of the 10 already received. The move was opposed by HMRC, who ultimately had to accept Ken Bates final offer for a reduced amount.

    Conclusion & comparison;

    In similar fashion to many other clubs struggling financial, Leeds had notable debt to players for unpaid wages & bonuses. They also owed substantial amounts of tax & VAT to HMRC. Leeds received no further fines, embargos or points deductions for going into administration. Leeds were however, hit with a further 15 point deduction for effectively following through with a form of newco (LUFC ltd 2007 purchased Leeds United).

    —————

    Dundee

    Key points;

    In 2003, due to the clubs failure to sell on players as anticipated, insufficient income was raised to fund the large wage bill, under owners Peter & James Marr, resulting in a £23 m debt, they were forced to go into administration

    Despite this huge debt, Dundee survived by selling their stadium in 2003.

    In September 2010 Dundee was again on the brink of going into administration due to a £420,000 unpaid tax bill. During negotiations with HM Revenue & Customs, the club’s offer to pay £100,000 immediately was rejected.[11] On the 14 September it was announced that the club would be going into administration.

    Dundee were given a whopping 25 point deduction & given a transfer embargo from signing any players while still in administration.

    The SFL board said in a statement: “Clubs have to realise that they can’t treat their Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs tax obligations as something akin to a credit card.”

    DFC were “disgusted” with the decision, the claimed the SFL ‘wanted’ them to survive, but their action were contrary to this, and couldn’t understand why the punishments were so severe.

    Conclusion & comparison;

    Unlike RFC, DFC were not hit with a fine whne dealing with the struggles with administration. They were however given a transfer embargo. The transfer Embargo however was temporary and lifted when DFC came out of administration, which could be argued is a rather pointless punishment, as I don’t think any club has ever signed a player while in administration. I don’t even think administrators have such power. DFC were hit with a huge points deduction, which I can only imagine is due to finding themselves in administration for a 2nd time. Dundee fans will no doubt feel aggrieved that Portsmouth were only given a 10 point penalty for going into admin twice in 3 seasons. The statement released from the SFL is the first indication we have of the Scottish footballing authorities attitude to having debt with HMRC, which we now seem to have established they believe to be only outdone by match fixing. You have to wonder why England don’t come down so hard on clubs who owe HMRC.

    —————

    Crystal Palace

    Key points;

    Went into administration in 1999

    went into admin a 2nd time in January 2010 after failing to pay players & tax, and faced a winding up order from HMRC.

    Conlcusion & Comparison:

    Yet again another club in the UK who have went into admin after being unable to pay HMRC & it’s own staff. The club was given a 10 point deduction but no fines or further sanctions. It was given an embargo before administration, like Portsmouth, but this was before administration.

    —————

    Examples of Transfer Embargos

    Portsmouth – Before entering administration for the first time, the financially struggling Portsmouth were given a temporary transfer embargo by the English FA until football debt was paid by Portsmouth to other clubs, as it was missing payments due for transfers and failed to pay players on 3 occasions. Portsmouth threatened legal action against the FA, but the ban was lifted in January when repayments were made, thus allowing Pompey to sign players in the January transfer window.

    Crystal Palace – Crystal Palace received identical punishment to Portsmouth. Before enetering administration they failed to make a payment of 650k to Norwich for a Player. They settled the debt within a month and the embargo was lifted.

    Dundee FC – Dundee received an embargo while in administration. They came out of administration, and the embargo was lifted, allowing them to rebuild once more.

    FC Sion – Sion were given a 2 year transfer embargo for signing a player who was deemed still to be under contract with another club. The player in question was also handed a ban from playing for his national side.

    Chelsea – FIFA deemed Chelsea ‘guilty’ of inducing Kakuta to break his contract Lens in 2007 and were handed a ban on signing players for 2 transfer windows and the player was banned for 4 months. Chelsea won their case however in the Court of Arbitration of sport and the ban was lifted. They did however, have to pay compensation to Lens.

    Comparison & Conclusion:

    In the cases of Portsmouth & Palace, the ban is a logical punishment. While the club are missing payments due to other clubs for transfers, they were banned from making further signings until such debt has been paid off. I conclude from this, that this was not a ‘punishment’ to hinder the club, but more a move to force the hand of these clubs as a method of calling in the debt to the clubs owed money. How does this compare with Rangers? Well Rangers owe money to the likes of Hearts for Lee Wallace & Rapid for Jelavic. But then on the other hand are owed money from the likes of Everton for Jelavic. As far as I am aware, Rangers have not defaulted on payments to other clubs for such transfers. We also have not been afforded the luxury of Portsmouth & Crystal Palace of “settle your debts then you can buy”, which may have been entirely possible with new owners.

    In the case of Chelsea and Sion, the punishments seem to ‘relate’ the crimes. They broke the laws on player transfers & breached contract laws, so subsequently their punishment is not being allowed to sign anymore for a while. Punishment to fit the crime I guess. This isn’t comparable to RFC as we have never been found guilty of illegal dealings in the transfer market.

    And finally, Dundee. The SFL hit them with an embargo until they came back out of administration. Perhaps you could argue this is pointless. I doubt very much an administrator even has the power to sign a player. That would be the decision for a football board, not an administrator who’s job is to get the best return for creditors… he’s hardly likely to be adding to the playing squad. Dundee had the ban lifted as soon as they came out of admin, so in effect the ban had no bearing on the club. It did not hinder them going forward post-administration.

    —————

    In conclusion, of all the football clubs I have researched that have suffered insolvency events, none of been hit anywhere near as hard by their own footballing bodies. This includes teams from abroad. 5 La Liga teams have suffered administration in the 11-12 season, unpaid wages caused the season to be delayed by 2 weeks as the players went on strike. La Liga don’t even have a 10 point penalty for administration.
    The SFA as in the case of Rangers & Dundee seem to be almost offended by the fact that a football club could have outstanding debt to HMRC. Yet in the case of Portsmouth, in the last 3 seasons they have been chased by the taxman for around £15m in unpaid PAYE, VAT & NI, they owe huge sums to players in wages, made backroom staff redundant, and been in administration twice. Had they been treated as harshly as Dundee or Rangers for such crimes they would be long gone.

    I’ve not been able to find any precedent for a football club who have been given a transfer embargo as a punishment for suffering an insolvency event bar Dundee & Rangers. Precedent for transfer embargos seems to be common punishments for not playing fairly in the transfer market. The SFA have stated the embargo placed on Rangers is for the non-payment of tax. It also serves no purpose but to further hinder a club in it’s hour of need.

    I’ve found nothing in my research that would suggest a club has ever received a fine for suffering an insolvency event.

    The ‘crimes’ of Rangers are nothing new. We’re not the first to find ourselves in administration at the hands of a HMRC petition for tax debt, nor will we be the last. Our punishment however, is cruel, and couldn’t contrast greater to that of the last SPL side to go into administration with huge tax debt, and a playing squad decimated by redundancies. Rather than fine & punish Gretna further however, the SPL paid salaries for them.

  15. Doon the slope says:

    Hugh

    Spot on.

    PL made a very timely statement, just before Rangers went into administration, that Celtic did not need Rangers. It was designed to pre-empt the weeks and months of guff we have since been subjected to, that the sun will not rise in the morning, that the river Clyde will flood killing millions and that a plague of luminous green frogs would engulf Scotland laying waste to everything in its path, were Rangers to disappear off the face of the earth.

    Does PL have to make this statement every week? It obviously didnt have much effect first time round.

  16. Stu. says:

    Reposted because it was stuck in moderation for some reason!…..

    Hugh McEwan says:
    22/05/2012 at 12:11 pm
    2 0 i
    Rate This

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

    Really? Then why is Doncaster coming out with statements like the one he made today?

    As was pointed out (by Arabbest, if memory serves correctly), Celtic are the only club who can actually stop this from transpiring without help from other clubs. If Aberdeen say ‘We’ll resign from the league if this goes ahead’, no one would care. However, If Celtic threaten it, then the New Club would get nowhere near the SPL. The whole arguement about commercial necessity would be irrelevant, as Celtic are the commercial powerhouse in the SPL.

    Now, given that Doncaster could give bland, ambigious replies to questions, but instead chooses to talk explicitly about a new club in the SPL next season, that sounds to me like Celtic aren’t making their feelings about it clear enough, or, unfortunately, they’ve made their feelings all too clear…..

  17. CBQ says:

    Look at the picture of Dimcaster on this BBC article from last night, wherein he opines that a Newco RFC could enter the SPL with no sanctions and no penalties.

    Look at the face of the man who runs the SPL.

    Is it not a face to which the application of a great big slap, or a large fish or a cricket bat would bring much satisfaction?

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/0/football/18148989

    How did it ever come to this?

    Three words

    The Old Firm….

  18. Stu says:

    Reposted due to moderation!…..

    Hugh McEwan says:
    22/05/2012 at 12:11 pm

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

    Really? Then why is Doncaster coming out with statements like the one he made today?

    As was pointed out (by Arabbest, if memory serves correctly), Celtic are the only club who can actually stop this from transpiring without help from other clubs. If Aberdeen say ‘We’ll resign from the league if this goes ahead’, no one would care. However, If Celtic threaten it, then the New Club would get nowhere near the SPL. Celtic ARE the commercial powerhouse in the SPL.

    Now, given that Doncaster could give bland, ambigious replies to questions, but instead chooses to talk explicitly about a new club in the SPL next season, that sounds to me like Celtic either aren’t making their feelings about it clear enough, or, unfortunately, they’ve made their feelings all too clear…..

  19. oldgold says:

    Has anyone thought of the consequences of sfa/spl making any decision before the btc ruling is announced, if the sfa/spl decisions were not to supported by the corresponding btc ruling.

  20. Stu says:

    Also, the Hearts winding up orders and late wages – Yes, they were subject to them, but lest we forget, they did actually stump up in the end. Of course it’s not good that they were so late in paying their bills, but the point is that they actually did pay them, unlike certain others….

  21. CE says:

    Doon the slope says:
    22/05/2012 at 12:50 pm

    —————————————————————————————–

    We didn’t have the SPL CEO speaking absolute p1sh every day three months ago. Again, I hope I’m wrong, but I think it is inconceivable that Doomcaster would publicly air views diametrically opposed to CFC’s.

  22. WOTTPI says:

    oldgold says:
    22/05/2012 at 12:57 pm

    If the BBC’s Mark Daly does a decent job on Wednesday night and shows that the EBT’s and payments are outwith the football rules as laid down by SPL/SFA/UEFA/FIFA then it doesn’t matter about the BTC/FTT.

    The football authorities will need to act because once broadcast, surely Daly will pass on the infomration to them. They will then have no excuse for not bringing their ongoing investigation into the public domain. A lack of action will be seen as stalling in favour of the status quo.

  23. Mark Dickson says:

    The only effect clubs keeping their own counsel and/or acting quietly behind the scenes is that allows bufoons like Doncaster almost free reign to dominate the agenda – relatively unchallenged – and attempt to shift peoples perceptions towards his warped viewpoint.

    Secondly it is also clearly having negative financial consequences for them if some teams fans are reluctant to renew on the basis of wanting more clarity from their club regards their position on the Rangers crisis.

    We are left hoping that Daly’s BBC documentary and other possible findings like the FTT(T) or SPL enquiry possibly coming out prior to next weeks SPL vote making the newco position completely untenable.

  24. twopanda bears says:

    Hypothetically speaking – Leaving aside Financials / Legal realities for a moment
    Surely any NEWCLUB would need as part of – SFA / UEFA acceptance criteria?

    – New Articles of Association – Aims and Values / Mission Statement and so on
    And what these future aims and values look like? Who would write up these and who would approve?

    MD?
    FF?
    RST?
    VB?
    KNIGHTS?
    GREEN?
    RM?
    Others?

    It’s a serious question – They can’t just dust off the 1872 / 1899 version – “As you were” and carry on.

  25. Essex beancounter says:

    jockybhoy

    My yi* neighbours and friends would be most upset at this rascist slur…but as I have said on previous posts, they are either not fully aware of the situation and its implications or are simply not interested.

    Anyway after the Cheski result, most of their little heads are down and will be down for some time…like most of next season…!

    PS one of those yi*s called me a ti* the other week…disgraceful!

  26. F.M. says:

    From CQN: Paul67

    Green’s failure to make an offer more telling than Doncaster drama
    Posted on 22 May, 2012 by Paul67
    There are so many plot lines in the epic story that Scottish football has become it’s easy to lose track, especially when the chief executive of the SPL insists that he still doesn’t know if Rangers have a case to answer in connection with improperly registered football players – a completely untenable position on week 11 of the inquiry.

    He should know. If he doesn’t, he should resign and allow someone else to pick up the baton.

    While this drama has dominated headlines the important storyline happened off-stage. 11 days ago the Blue Knights consortium, fully aware of how time-critical events were, said their accountants needed to be place at 9am on Saturday 12 May for Rangers to achieve a CVA. Even more importantly, they also said that a Newco would not work.

    If the Blue Knights men were in place on 12 May creditors could have voted on a CVA this time next week. As it is, creditors still have nothing to vote on, the prospective buyer has not been able to put a deal to them.

    Green’s failure to produce an offer since being appointed nine days ago, alongside missing his own deadline to announce a creditor’s meeting on 6 June, are the most important acts in this month’s play, so far. He has to find funders who are able to see a return on investment which Paul Murray and Brian Kennedy tell us does not exist. It’s worth noting that both of these men will be far closer to the financial realities of running Rangers than anyone Green will find in Bangalore.

    Unless a consortium can be pulled together that will offer money for the assets of Rangers FC, the company will expire next week when it runs out of money. No CVA, no Newco, no matter what Neil Doncaster does.

    Don’t be surprised if Mr Green walks away soon.

  27. oldgold says:

    WOTTPI says:
    22/05/2012 at 1:06 pm

    Unfortunately this whole sorry saga is beginning to consist of nothing more than if and wait and see, with little or no action whatsoever. My own feeling is that the inertia surrounding this case is not going to bode well for anyone except the target club. The btc is taking an extraordinary length of time for the announcement to be made, I have heard others say it may not be announced until the verdict is delivered in the HMRC case at the high court in London against the Football League.
    If that is the case it shows the contempt our game and to a greater extent our populace is held in by those over the border.

  28. Sugar Daddy says:

    After the outcry on the leniency of proposed new club sanctions ahead of the first meeting Doncaster’s pronouncements, are in my opinion, just a bit of softening up ahead of the vote.

    Its tried and tested PR eg. Company X says may need to make 1,000 redundancies = disaster. Company X actually makes 500 redundancies = not as bad as it could have been (except for the 500).

    It changes debate from how severe sanctions should be, to should there be sanctions at all. I would suggest he has been largely successful judging by today’s comments on here and he’ll be feeling pretty good about things right now.

    He is also right. There are currently no sanctions and until the SPL vote for sanctions there wont be any.

    I would much rather see an SPL chairman table alternative harsher sanction proposals rather than the 2 yr/10pts/75% reduction in revenue currently on offer than make any statement on sporting integrity.

    RFC(IA) will phoenix into a new club. The SPL chairman are gambling vast majority of fans wont stay away for too long. Posts on here about “reluctantly” renewing season books or “not punishing my club” over Rangers suggest they might be right. A flood always starts with a trickle.

    Clubs are going to take a financial hit whatever they decide. Therefore common sense would suggest taking the smallest hit possible.

    I agree sporting integrity should win out, trouble is you cant pay off your overdraft with it.

  29. Still dubious says:

    The SPL is a private members club with a bar steward who’s prepared to tell the world and his wife about how he’d solve the problem of a member that’s run up a huge tab – but it’ll be up to the club committee to decide what to do.

    All Mr Doncaster is getting is a 15 minute media tart career. Maybe he’s trying to put himself in the shop window for a better offer, advertising his services to say, FSG and Liverpool.

    Or even Charlie Green . . .

    Great posts this morning – sporting integrity can’t be bought, and it can be won back (see Corsica on the French League: and note the tiny attendances). But like any virtue, it’s got to be practiced. Of course, there’s nothing to stop clubs that want to punish Rangers coming up with a scheme to ‘persuade’ the fearful that the path of virtue is the right one. I think that Private Land was maybe alluding to that sort of outcome?

  30. corsica says:

    I heard an interesting rumour this morning that Mr Green may be interested in Everton and his interest in RFC(IA) is an attempt at smoking out some investors to back him on that…would make a lot more sense than buying into RFC(IA).

  31. tigertim says:

    For over a year I have read many comments that this is not a Celtic website.
    I have read how all voting in the SPL should be equal.
    I have read that other clubs could survive without Celtic & Rangers.
    Now we end up with a stream of posts all wanting to know what Celtic and Peter Lawell, in particular, are going to do about something that may or may not happen and how it is the “big ” clubs responsability to do this.
    As if every club will have the same view on this as Peter Lawell. Indeed some will probably deride him for speaking out and maybe even isolate Celtic, remember the GOT (Gang of Ten) meeting not so long ago. Some people on here thought that was a great idea also.

    Apart from Petrie and Johnson where are the rest of the quotes?
    Maybe if someone were to say something they may end up on a disrepute charges, like McCoist & Jardine.
    We have a debate week after week with whether or not Celtic Season ticket holders will renew or not, what about the rest of the supporters? are all teams not renewing at the moment?

    This is not a Celtic problem, this is a Scottish Football problem, therefore ask your own team what their plans are and how they are going to vote.
    This is not confined to the SPL either, will Dunfermline, Dundee, Falkirk, Partick Thistle fans be happy to see a New company with no prior license or history overtake them for a place in the elite of Scottish Football?

    Either they all speak with one voice or the game is rigged and finished in Scotland.

  32. Mark Dickson says:

    In a wide-ranging interview, Romanov repeated his dislike of the “monopolies” that exist in the Scottish game.

    And, on the live issue of whether a “newco” Rangers should be admitted to the Scottish Premier League, he said: “To keep sporting integrity is very important.

    “Football federations should be independent, run according to the country’s laws and regulations.”
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/0/football/18125426

  33. Gwared says:

    F.M. says:
    22/05/2012 at 12:46 pm
    First time I have ever doffed my hat to a bunnet. Excellent post F.M.

  34. noname says:

    I am sorry for posting something similar again but points deductions and limits on ability to benefit from payments from the SPL are not penalties. They are a cost, a price to pay, for being allowed into the top flight in Scotland without having to qualify be the same means as everyone else. Ask almost any SFL club if they would like to join the top flight for that price – they would bite your hand off.

    So let’s drop (preaching to the converted) any notion that a Newco will suffer any penalties. They may have a price to pay and they can decide if they want to pay it or not.

    In addition, if the shares in the SFL and SPL are to be transferred to a Newco then the real penalties (transfer embargo plus anything else coming out of the potentially “fraudulent” registration of players) should attach to those shares and be borne by the Newco buying them.

    For the avoidance of doubt. No to Newco. No to newclub. Pay your debts. No dignity and no shame.

  35. ignatius says:

    I am wondering which bottle of port I will open after documentary tomorrow night
    Dows crusted 2004
    Warres traditional lbv 2000
    Taylors 1985
    Smith Woodhouse 1983
    Quarles Harris 1977

    Am saving the Croft 1935 either for final death or alternatively for my parents 60th next year.

  36. Hoopy 7 says:

    Are D&P sitting on a BTC decision?
    Strange that we have heard nothing from them or their mouthpiece Green and that no CVA has been proposed to the creditors.
    Do they know or have they accepted that it is all a waste of time?

    Where is the money coming from to keep the show on the road?

    In my opinion nobody needs to worry about Dimcaster, he is a fool, and if there is anything worse than a fool it’s an educated fool.

    It will be alright on the night, as they say. Hopefully tomorrow night.
    Cheers

  37. Michael B says:

    Just a thought, possibly irrelevant ramblings. What if..

    Neil Doncaster is very aware that the Newco route into SPL membership is very arguable and challengeable if entry refused solely upon past financial problems. I’m sure that RFC (IA) would argue this citing the EPL rules & regs (after all, the SPL was set up to ‘model’ on the EPL), possibly seeking Interdict to prevent SPL starting the league without them. I may be wrong, but do Civil cases ultimately appeal to House of Lords/ supreme Court level, if ruling at that level, then possibly the rule would be that SPL should follow EPL practice given that they have emulated that league. At that Point, SFA may defer to the judgement arguing that the result may be the same, if SFA were to block membership to RFC Newco/club. SFA may even seek UEFA guidance on the matter, given the recent history with SION(?).
    Now that would establish that SPL / SFA trying to help RFC (IA) regards the FINANCIAL aspects.

    NOW,

    GLORY BE!!! RFC (IA) lose the BTC.
    They are then found guilty regards dual contracts, mis-registration etc. at that point, SPL and SFA could say
    Look chaps, we accepted the financial side of things , as after all these are turbulent times, BUT, COME ON, these are SPORTING issues, We cannot help you again, sorry, you have to pay the price………’

    At that point, everyone could easily point the finger to SDM saying, these happened under his stewardship, but we cannot differentiate between RFC & SDM, after all, we didn’t with Craig Whyte, Sorry fans, but thems are the breaks.

    Then RFC (IA) or NEWCO/CLUB have to consider their own future.

    That way, financial problems haven’t caused the severe punishment, it was SDM’s implementation of his wage structure, and strictly speaking that would then have been ruled as unlawful by FTT, so the registration issue becomes the crux of the matter.

    SFA & SPL get to stand back from the decision.

  38. Trimm Trab says:

    tigertim says:
    22/05/2012 at 1:32 pm
    —————————–

    “Now we end up with a stream of posts all wanting to know what Celtic and Peter Lawell, in particular, are going to do about something that may or may not happen and how it is the “big ” clubs responsability to do this.”

    I think you will find a lot of these posts are between Celtic fans. You lot do appear to be overly defensive over your club which I would put down to a superb marketing job your club has done over the years with this “Celtic Family” type stuff. Aberdeen has done its best to alienate us rather than make us feel part of the club hence we have no problem putting the boot in when we see fit.

    We can discuss anyone else if you like but Celtic appear to have the only fans on here “trying” to defend its clubs position(or lack of) – personally I cannot see why Aberdeen (or anyone else) dont come out and say they are against this NewCo thing unless they hold a view thats contrary to what the fans want. I know people are holding back purchasing Season Tickets at AFC and have informed the club of this – i and many others have emailed the club and some have returned their ST packs with a note in them. If the club were to make the right noises people will possibly purchase and certainly not blame the club if the NewCo thing happens – so why hold out on us?

    Only Hibs and Dunfermline look to be standing tall on this – the rest “appear” to be taking us into oblivion.

    Maybe im putting 2+2 together and getting 5 but thats how I view it at the moment.

  39. Smartie1947 says:

    corsica says:

    22/05/2012 at 1:30 pm

    0

    0

    Rate This

    I heard an interesting rumour this morning that Mr Green may be interested in Everton and his interest in RFC(IA) is an attempt at smoking out some investors to back him on that…would make a lot more sense than buying into RFC(IA).

    Everton’s a nice club. They live within their means. Their chairman earned his money honestly,putting bums on seats. They pay wages they can afford and probably even tax them. They have no known lunatic fringe support, their fans are welcomed in other cities. Even Jelavic can prosper there.
    What have they done wrong to warrant the attentions of Mr Green?

  40. WOTTPI says:

    F.M. says:
    22/05/2012 at 1:13 pm
    From CQN: Paul67

    The whole Green multi investors thing had me going back to the ‘Drangon’s Den’ scenario.

    I know its just prog for the TV but it shows how these guys minds work.
    These guys all have multi millions but are always looking for a return.

    Sometimes they take a punt on a proposal but look to share the risk with another dragon or alternatively ask for a bigger share of the pitcher’s company than what they are offering. In some cases they want both to cover themselves.

    You can see that they are always wanting to start getting some return for their investment pretty quickly.

    Therefore with Green saying he has 20 investors offering around £425k per head then it has to be a ‘punt’ given the percentage of shares being offered to each.

    All in all it looks like Euro football is going to have to wait, therefore a major revenue stream is not available. The product that is on show in the den (McGregor, Davis, Naysmith etc) is to top notch model. However to save costs the actual product that will be available to the investors will be of a lesser quality. If they want it to get to that level again they will need to invest more and quickly.

    I have long thought that their is merit in Green’s beleif that one day their will be a European League run on an American Franchise basis. However even if they were invited it is likely only one Glasgwo Team would be accepted.

    So unless they are willing to wait a long time these 20 or so guys are not going to see ay return for their investment. Perhaps that explains why the likes of McDonald pulled out. From pictures he looks a fit 70 year old but, not wishing any ill on the man, could easily pop off in the next few years.

    As Theo and Duncan keep saying, “I have tp ask myself – do I really want to be putting my kids inheritance money into this product?”

  41. slimshady61 says:

    I think everyone is unduly worked up here

    As CQN points out, the big story is not Doncaster but Green; the big story is Green’s “no story”

    No offer to put to creditors, it had to arrive in creditors’ hands today in order to make the 6 June, D-Day deadline, but with every passing hour it becomes less likely that there ever will be such an offer.

    It is put up or shut up time for Green – the company presently in administration will run out of money in early June and as I understand it, the administrators risk personal liability if they continue thereafter without an exit.

    On Friday week the players all go back onto the big money.

    Green now has nowhere to hide, it’s time to see the colour of his money, if indeed he has any. Perhaps he has finally seen the light that the Blue Knights saw several weeks ago? Perhaps the twenty, fifty, two hvndred overseas investors are too busy looking at their TV screens and watching the Eurozone go down the pan, with UK plc not too far behind it? Is this really a sensible time for someone outwith Europe to consider investing large sums of money into that region? I doubt it, as I have doubted it all along.

    All Doncaster’s nonsense re newco means nothing unless there actually is a Newco in existence, willing and able to enter a league and fulfil its commitments.

    As things stand, the chances of such a newco emerging anytime soon are very remote and getting remoter by the day.

    A deadline now needs to be set by the SPL for any Newco to come forward, heedless of whether it is with or without penalties.

    If that deadline is not met, Dundee need to be invited into the SPL forthwith, the TV and sponsorship deals concluded and the fixture list issued no later than the third week in June as is normal.

    As someone posted elsewhere, it is now day 92 of the administration, the company has no visible sign of an exit, the big tax case has still to report, the club is banned from signing new players, the existing players of any value will start to leave in just over a week’s time – their livelihood is very much at risk and their agents will be telling them that in plain words of one syllable or less.

    And with the fine, warmer weather now here, the corpse will finally start to smell.

    What’s not to like?

    54 (reasons to be cheerful) to 0

  42. WOTTPI says:

    slimshady61 says:
    22/05/2012 at 1:59 pm

    A fine post but while I think Dundee may be a better replacement in terms of fans visiting Tannadice, Pittodrie and McDairmid Park why bring up Dundee? Surely Dunfermline should just stay up or at the very least be offered a play-off with Dundee for the spoils.

  43. yakutsuki says:

    Sorry Scapa, must disagree with your earlier (12.29) point.

    I think it’s a bad analogy, let me give an example pertinent to this blog.

    If the MSM held their hands up, admitted to the wrongs of the past. (I know, I know!), told us
    all of their guilt and remorse re succulent lamb, etc and started to report in a real just and ethical way.

    Suppose they started to campaign for a level playing field for all and support for Neil Lennon?

    Suppose they reported on sectarianism and condemned it at every opportunity.

    Suppose they started conducting real investigative journalism on the above matters, and shone
    a bright torch into all the dark areas of our society?

    Could we not then say they had integrity? Or do we just condemn them out of sight for
    past deeds?

    I know it’s quite an extreme analogy, (I can always dream) but I for one feel that it’s not as
    ‘black and white’ as “Virginity”.

    If someone’s past sins have been admitted with true humility and change behaviour as a result,
    I have been brought up to keep an open mind and not condemn.

    Sorry to ramble, no posted for a while.

  44. tigertim says:

    Trimm Trab says:
    22/05/2012 at 1:49 pm

    I think you will find a lot of these posts are between Celtic fans.
    =======================================================
    I agree with you. I was just putting out there that PL is not the enemy and any quote at this time could be construed the wrong way. Thanks for the info on AFC supporters and their response to Season Ticket renewals. I would imagine in some instances this is even more vital for other clubs than it is to Celtic as cash flow will be a bigger issue although squad size will of course be decidely smaller.

  45. duggie73 says:

    Say you were a SKY executive.
    You wouldn’t want to be seen to be takiing the decision either to disbar a new Rangers from the SPL, or to ditch the integrity of the game.
    So you would tell those in the SPL who you were negotiating with that the terms of a new deal were commercially sensitive and not to be released.
    In effect you leave the parachute vote to the SPL clubs- as it should be.

    Unfotunately that does mean that it is possible to spin a bleak financial future for SPL clubs without “Rangers”…the TV money is significant…however it is just daftness to assume that £ will be forthcoming from any TV source in the event of no “Rangers” as the Dundee United fan group appeared to, and in the absence of any other figures of what revenue would vary is nothing other than a partial and misleading picture.

    And on whether clubs’ reps should speak out…it’s far more important that the vote goes the correct way at the time that it’s taken rather than placate the terminally jittery prior to the event.

    If it is beyond someone to see that a non-commital public stance gives a strong position yay or nay at the time of the vote in the presence of financial and integrity-related evidence not publicly released more rhetorical power, then this particular post will likely not make you see that either, and I apologise for wasting your time.

    Sorry Mark Dickson.

  46. Thornlyboy says:

    slim: Cruel – but I like it. However, as the famous dialogue in Julius Caesar has it (paraphrasing):

    Caesar: Well, the Ides of March are come.
    S’sayer: Aye, Caesar, but not yet gone.

    So, I refuse to believe anything in this mad melodrama. By 4o/c Green could have come up with his proposal, which failing, another ‘buyer’ could have emerged. (‘Surely not’ I hear you groan.) We can only hope that the tank being on empty the bus will come off the road.

    As for OldCo, NewCo or NoCo, I’m with Cato:

    Delenda est Carthago!

    If you don’t know the reference, it’s worth looking it up. Cato was an old bast*rd, but once the Romans had fixed on a course of action they pursued it relentlessly. SPL chairs please copy.

  47. Arabest says:

    I agree WOTTPI, but find it hard to see how a playoff could be a goer, all the players are on holiday, (the Dundee players would need to get the bus from Carnoustie ) for such an important fixture to be sprung on both clubs would be a big ask considering the lumbering bureaucracy that is Scottish Football. Shirley DAFC have a solid case, that they should not be relegated in these circumstances. Then again Dundee have a case too.

  48. tigertim says:

    yakutsuki says:
    22/05/2012 at 2:13 pm

    If the MSM held their hands up, admitted to the wrongs of the past. (I know, I know!), told us
    all of their guilt and remorse re succulent lamb, etc and started to report in a real just and ethical way.

    Suppose they started to campaign for a level playing field for all and support for Neil Lennon?

    Suppose they reported on sectarianism and condemned it at every opportunity.

    Suppose they started conducting real investigative journalism on the above matters, and shone
    a bright torch into all the dark areas of our society?

    Could we not then say they had integrity? Or do we just condemn them out of sight for
    past deeds?
    =================================================================

    Suppose the MSM did everything you say after Rangers were no more, would this be because they have learned the error of their ways or because Rangers no longer exist???

  49. BillericayBhoy says:

    I am getting sick of hearing how next (and subsequent) year’s income will be affected by no RFCIA in the SPL.

    We all know that if they are not part of the set-up that it will have some impact, whether or not there is an impact from the BSkyB contract is an unknown until some one has the proverbials to tell us what exactly is in the contract.

    The CEOs and Chairmen of the remaining clubs will be faced with lower income (although for 11 of the 12 that would be in the SPL they will receive a larger portion of the prize pot if one of the perennial top 2 is removed). They must then learn how to manage a buisiness; it’s what being a Director of a business is all about. I have had to do it over the last few years and many on here will have also had to do it, or have faced the impact in their own workplace with job cuts, salary freezing or even reductions – football clubs should feel themselves immune to this.

    Cut the cloth accordingly, wage bills as the vast part of the cost side of any football club’s budget will need to be reduced. So do it! Squad sizes may need to be reduced. So do it! Don’t kid everyone that the business needs RFCIA or any other club, they don’t. What you do need is good fiscal management, the main reason why we are all here.

    It’s what they have had to do in the past as the relative income in football in Scotland has reduced and TV contracts have been rewritten (think of the Setanta debacle).

    It is also what they will have to do in the future, once the carcass is finally put out of its misery! If they don’t we will be back here again in the future talking about the demise of another club through financial mismanagement.

  50. Ground Zero says:

    This whole farcical episode should be a defining chapter in the history Scottish football. Scottish football should be performing detailed introspective thinking and radically changing the rules and regulations to ensure that sporting integrity and financial fair play are the heartbeat of Scottish football going forward. For example, who has decided that a club can be threatened with strict sanctions for late payment of players, but another club can escape sanction for non-payment of PAYE/ NI contributions – which for me is far more serious offence.

    As far as league football in Scotland is concerned, I would prefer a single governing body, called the SFA. All rules and regulations should be reviewed and tightened up, not with a view for letting particular clubs circumvent sanctions, but to provide a robust, unambiguous set of rules for all clubs to follow and clear set of sanctions for non-compliance. These should be defined as a best in class, a model for other authorities to aspire to.

    An assessment into the true financial impact that the current level of tv coverage has on the top flight as a collective and individual clubs should be performed. Proper, long term planning should be undertaken to increase the level of attendance across the board. For example, could average attendances increase enough after X amount of years watching more home grown talent performing predominately at 3 o’clock on a Saturday to compensate for loss of tv income? Could, say a 15% share of attendance money for away teams make a difference to increase the long term level of competition in Scotland? Is there a better way to harness the advantage of having the richest league in the world on our doorstep? These are the type of discussions and studies being performed by the football authorities in Scotland, not how to dress up any situation to ensure there are 4-off old firm matches a season.

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