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. Torrevieja johnbhoy says:

    timtim says:
    08/05/2012 at 8:43 am

    (a) if the Club has not suffered an insolvency event within 90 days of the Club’s appeal in relation to the tax claim brought against the Club by HM Revenue & Customs (the “Tax Case”) being finally determined, then The Rangers FC Group will either waive the debt that it has acquired or convert it into equity by way of an issue of new voting ordinary shares in the Club.

    I suppose it depends on ones interpretation of an insolvency event – does going into administration qualify as such?
    ===========================================================================
    If we’re being picky,this clause says”the BTC being finally determined”.
    Fact is RFC are in administration without the BTC result.I just had this thought tha maybe next week D&D would be back in court asking for CW to waive debt as stated.

  2. Bhoywonder says:

    JFL on 07/05/2012 at 11:38 pm said:

    Well said. I don’t know what team you support, but that isn’t the point. All sites should be explored by everyone to gather as much information as possible in order to determine: public opinion, how to find the truth in all this and to comment on everyones valued opinion regardless of team favour or political persuation. So plenty of patience and decorum is needed.

  3. twopanda bears says:

    Another Pilgrim on message

    http://www.heraldscotland.com/sport/football/fines-or-points-deductions-against-newco-rangers-are-not-inevitable.17532906

    “Fines or points deductions against newco Rangers are ‘not inevitable’”
    “THE prospect of a newco Rangers playing in the SPL increased last night after clubs adjourned a vote on fair play sanctions.”
    __________

    Golly! – We were told it was an adjournment lasting 6 hours without information and no
    decisions.

    Poor soul is maybe confusing – Financial – Fair Play, a requisite of UEFA CL participation potentially affecting CFC + MFC participation in a few weeks – which is clearly sacrificial by the tone of this piece.

    Still, what does that matter when the MSM needs to crawl for exclusive tit-bits from the high table.

  4. Sarah Leyden says:

    Am I alone in thinking that if Bob Malcolm was paid via an off-shore EBT mechanism then Scottish football will never recover its dignity.

  5. The Sundance Kid says:

    Hoopy 7 says:
    08/05/2012 at 8:39 am

    Doncaster confirmed last night on BBC SportSound that on 30th May Dunfermline would no longer be involved and Ross County would have a vote in their place.

    Also, I think he was asked about the SPL investigation into undisclosed payments and he said it was ongoing.

    It seems pretty obvious to me that Duff & Phelps asked for the postponement so that they can get the NewCo in place before the Financial Fair Play punishments get agreed by the SPL.

    Surely that means that new Rangers get in with no points deduction and no loss of SPL income?

  6. layman00 says:

    Hoopy7

    Last night on BBC Sportsound Doomcaster was asked about the SPL investigation into unregistered payments to Rangers Players. He was asked when there would be a decision and replied that they could rule on it just now but would possibly wait til after the BTC as there may be more relevant information released from the FTT, or words to there abouts.

    Last night was the second time I’ve heard ND discuss supporters contacting him and them having to be put right on the possibility of a newco entry to the SPL. The first was the SPL survey guys and last night it was fans in general. He said that fans only see things inblack and white but once he explains the whole situation to them they become less fearful of a newco. These comments are a joke and to me it seems he is saying that a newco is no big deal and the stupid football supporters shouldnt worry their little minds.

    Have the SPL survey ever said what was discussed because ND has more or less rubbished as all ill informed idiots who dont understand the need for a newco regardless of sporting integrity.

  7. Slimshady says:

    Sarah Leyden says:
    08/05/2012 at 9:04 am
    Am I alone in thinking that if Bob Malcolm was paid via an off-shore EBT mechanism then Scottish football will never recover its dignity.
    —————————————–
    Nearly right, Sarah…..it’s the trustees of the EBT who will never recover their dignity 🙂

  8. CW Squid says:

    Is’nt it the case that the original Whyte plan of liquidation is still on track albeit that the route has been a bit more convoluted than anticipated? Aren’t these shenanigans with Miller little more than stalling tactics and Doncaster is just making a fool of himself? Do I see a fat lady holding a chequered flag? So many questions but only one answer?

  9. Don John says:

    Lots of interesting posts on the economics of the SPL with and without Rangers Newco. I think one of the items which has not been taken into consideration is the issue of “core support”. Take Aberdeen for instance. They have a healthy travelling support, probably the third best in Scotland. These fans are a major component of the core support and they are exactly the ones who will withdraw their support if there is a Newco parachute. I’m sure it’s the same with other teams’ travelling support. And it’s not just at the turnstiles these fans contribute. They are usually the first into the club shop for new strips and other paraphernalia.
    If Ranger’s contribution to home team’s coffers can be outweighed by as few as 300 on the gate per game over the rest of the season, surely it works the other way too? Only an average of 300 off the gate is going to negate the potential Newco income. However I think the lost paying fans will be far greater than that. The club chairmen are gambling on them coming back eventually but I suspect a fair proportion will be lost for ever. Anecdotal I know but my son and his pals live in Edinburgh and regularly attend Dons’ games in the central belt. They’ve all vowed to boycott in the event of a Newco parachute.

  10. tigertim says:

    The original rule changes that were being voted on yesterday contained the statement:-

    “If adopted the amendments to the Articles and Rules will have effect from and including 14 May 2012 (the day after the last day of Season 2011/2012).”

    Is this still valid?
    Will the date have been changed?

    Either way, considering that next years fixtures should be published around 16th June, what would be the last date for the SPL knowing which 12 clubs would contest next years league?

    Is the league start date in danger of being moved back here?, or will any Newco just fit in to fix any problems?, and we should all be gratefull that they did.

  11. Goosy says:

    “It took a long time to not decide anything,” said Yorkston.
    ,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,
    Missed a bit out there John

    “At the request of D&P the global experts in doing nothing we considered it for 6 hrs and decided

    to do nothing”

  12. Bhoywonder says:

    My understanding of the administrators role in all of this shambles was

    initially:

    a) to reconcile and equalise RFC (ia) accounts by reducing outgoings and promoting income. To bring financial stability to the club and in so doing, protect the interests of the CREDITORS,

    then:

    b) where (a) becomes impracticable and the club cannot be salvaged as a going concern, to sell off assets to ensure creditors interests are met by addressing secured creditor status in the first instance.

    So where are they now 3 months down the line? In the exact same situation that they were in when they first arrived, apart from offloading two worthless players. But with £2m in the bank. Not a bad return for doing NOTHING.

  13. HirsutePursuit says:

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/b01hd75h/Reporting_Scotland_07_05_2012/
    At around 1:05

    Paraphrasing, Neil Doncaster says:
    …the Rangers administrators felt that any new owner should be involved in the discussions that were being considered… the clubs agreed with that.

    So he appears to be telling us:
    1. The administrators have told him that Craig Whyte has agreed to sell his shares before the next meeting.
    ___He obviously couldn’t have been talking about the prospective purchaser of RFC(IA) assets, because whoever that is, surely has no connection with the SPL or any member club. And, of course, he knows that the eventual purchaser will have no connection with the SPL or member club even after that purchase of assets has been made. He, of course, is aware that the SPL share held by RFC(IA) is NOT a saleable asset.

    So, of course, in the context he has delivered this statement, the only possible meaning can be that D&P have told him that RFC(IA) are likely to have a new owner by the end of this month.

    2. The new owner will have RFC(IA) out of administration by the end of May.
    ___Unless RFC(IA) are out of administration by the time of the next meeting, the only competent person to attend on behalf of the club will be a member of the D&P administration team. If RFC(IA) have ceased trading before the next meeting takes place, they will automatically lose their SPL share so will have no part to play in the discussions.

    Is this really what Neil Doncaster is telling the country?

    He is a dangerous fool.

  14. Bhoywonder says:

    Goosy says:
    08/05/2012 at 9:35 am

    oops, sorry goosy…just noticed your post..spooky

  15. Ballsbustedan'a'tha' says:

    From a concerned fan, True Blue on RM….

    Genuine Bill Miller link to Alistair Johnston
    Again apologies if covered before on here but having wondered like many why Mr Miller has a sudden interest in Rangers, I decided to search around a little further and there is every possibility that what I am about to tell you could very well be of interest;

    Ooltewah, TN, (Chattanooga area) is a small area near Chattanooga, indeed so small that recent census figures show only 680 odd people (190 families live there).

    One of these residents is William Miller (or Bill as he is known, yes our potential new owner of Rangers). Now Ooltewah also has a golf course recognised to be of extremely good quality and a little golf company called Pro Golf Inc is situated there as well, where the major stockholder of the company is one Arnold Palmer. (yes the legendary golfer), a sporting goods company which manufactures and markets various leisure-industry products focused on golf, including equipment bearing the Palmer name and design. And guess who is a fellow company director and very good friend of Arnold Palmer and also a good friend of the president of Arnold’s company – Cindy Davis, who also resides in Ooltewah.
    Mr Alistair Johnston of IMG. They are all named on the same board of this sports company based in Bill’s home village!

    Now what’s the chances in all of North America for a little 600+populus town in the Chattanooga area where a famous golfer, fellow board directors and a golf company and golf course where Alisatir Johnston of IMG is involved is exactly the same place where the owner of Miller Industries resides and also right next to his own head office.

    The connection is a little town with only 600 folk, a PRO GOLF company, board directors and wealthy residents I reckon. Oh and a legendary golfer called Arnold!

    They could walk the dogs together, bump into each other collecting the papers, play a round of golf, share a pint in the clubhouse, even sponsor local events together or stay for dinner and sleepover after a barbecue.

    I will be astonised if they are not connected!

  16. Nas Na Ri Bhoy says:

    If ever you needed proof yesterday was it, “the tail is definitely wagging the dog”.

    I was at Celtic park yesterday for the young hoops end of season party and have to say well done to everyone involved my two bhoys really enjoyed their day, I was great to see John Kennedy and Mark Wilson spend so much time with the young fans.

    While we we leaving I asked one of the security guys if there was any news from Hampden he words were “it’s not long finished but no rangers in attendance, asked for it to be put back nearly three weeks”. I asked what took so long then if no meeting took place, he replied ” proper bun fight”. Take from that what you will but when I saw dungcatcher on the news last night his veneer was looking less polished………..!!

  17. Hugh McEwan says:

    The whole thing is an absolute disgrace.

    A meeting to discuss financial fair play and sanctions for liquidation has been adjourned at the behest of the administrators of the only club currently in administration, and staring insolvency in the face. Would that be the tail wagging the dog.

    We are told that someone with no intention of buying that club, but in setting up a new business and buying the assets of the club in administration (and heading towards liquidation) should be involved in the discussion. On what basis would that be, he has no more right to have input than say the owner of an SFL club with a direct involvement. Less in fact, they have a vested interest, he is a potential buyer of a bit of land.

    Liars and cowards, that is what we have running football in Scotland. I am rapidly reaching the same conclusion as many. The whole thing is now so corrupt I find it difficult to want anything to do with it.

  18. Hugh McEwan says:

    Nas Na Ri Bhoy says:
    08/05/2012 at 9:50 am

    Jinx re the tail / dog thing.

  19. Ballsbustedan'a'tha' says:

    Ballsbustedan’a’tha’ says:
    08/05/2012 at 9:40 am

    Can anyone endorse this? AJ seems to be busy if you believe Jabba….

  20. Torrevieja johnbhoy says:

    Jock Stein once said,”Football is nothing without the fans”.
    the SPL and its clubs are saying,”Feck the fans.your opinions don’t count.the only thing we want to count is your money”.
    Scottish football must be only business worldwide that actively works at driving its customers away.

  21. jonny says:

    I remember AJ outburst of “no surrender” during an interview a while back .the outburst came out of the blue and out of context regards the interview and led me to think that it was said with a future reappearance .

  22. tigertim says:

    jonny says:
    08/05/2012 at 10:06 am

    Jonny the quote was actually “surrender no”, a bit like Jack Nicholson in The Shining with the old “Red Rum” phrase

  23. Nas Na Ri Bhoy says:

    Hugh

    Dogs tails like busses………😃

  24. timtim says:

    Mr Surrender NO pulling Bill Millers strings ? would certainly add up and explain why Miller has taken a sudden interest in Scotch Soccerball .
    Is AJ under the rules regarding f+pp entitled to be involved in a newco , no doubt a wee bending of those rules wouldnt be a problem after all its all SDM and Whytes fault
    As a marketing ploy and with assurances from Blazers and Blazer are they trying to emulate the great escape . Life snatched from the jaws of death at the final hour .
    They dont seem to know when to stopping digging the hole
    The truth will out and the shame multiplied

  25. Parson St. Bhoy says:

    Torrevieja johnbhoy says:
    08/05/2012 at 8:54 am

    (a) if the Club HAS NOT suffered an insolvency event WITHIN days of the Club’s appeal in relation to the tax claim brought against the Club by HM Revenue & Customs (the “Tax Case”) being finally determined, THEN The Rangers FC Group will either waive the debt that it has acquired or convert it into equity by way of an issue of new voting ordinary shares in the Club.
    “”””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””

    My take on it would be that the debt would only be waived if there is no insolvency event.
    There is an insolvency event . So no debt to be waived. Any dubiety would be around the word within. Is it 90 days after the result being known or does it include the 90 days preceding the result being known ? Does it mean being known to the public or known to the parties who are given prior knowledge ?
    In short I think this part of the contract was to cover a positive result in the FTT and the club not going down the Swanee.
    Would hate to think D&D read this blog and get any useful ideas to help achieve an end which does not coincide with my own wishes.

  26. PG says:

    Torrevieja johnbhoy says:

    08/05/2012 at 10:11 am

    “Scottish journalism is amongst the best in the world”.

    Not me!

  27. The Iceman says:

    Billy Dodds , of all people , hit the mentality of all involved at SPL and SFA’s level on the head when he said that he couldn’t imagine football without Rangers. That is all this is a simple attempt to preserve rangers – literally at all costs – Ballantyne and Ogilivie are the SFA, are Scottish football are Rangers.

    To the powers that be saving Rangers is not money, not rules , not about maintaining competition but is about their vision of football equating with Rangers – they will risk everything – the very existence of the game, the national team – everything for that.

    What has been beautifully exposed to the whole world and to all supporters beyond Celtic – whose fans have known this forever anyway – is the essential nature of Scottish football as a bubble in which Rangers will be worshipped, adored and venerated as the God.

    That is why Celtic are often punished bizarrely when others aren’t – the notorious poaching fine for T.B springs to mind – no other club has ever been fined for this before or since! No-one can now deny the essential corruption at the heart of the game.

    The real beauty is that this will fail to save Rangers and leave the way clear to remove their apologists from the echelons of power.. without Rangers they will probably leave anyway as their raison d’etre will have vanished. They can no longer cry “paranoia”: the truth has been laid bare and will set us all free.

    Hopefully a new Rangers will emerge – a clean, non-sectarian,financially strong and responsible club aware of its role as part of a wider game, shorn of its inbuilt advantages and air of supremacy to compete fairly and freely on a level playing field. Now that is something we all should relish.

  28. chancer67 says:

    Bawbusted an aw that
    AJ did put 3mil of his own hard earned into the Rangers at the same time as Joe Lewis.And what did he get for his money “not a lot”maybe he is trying to pull of a sting using BM as a stalking horse.

  29. Torrevieja johnbhoy says:

    PG says:
    08/05/2012 at 10:22 am

    Torrevieja johnbhoy says:

    08/05/2012 at 10:11 am

    “Scottish journalism is amongst the best in the world”.

    Not me!
    —————————————————————————————————————–
    Me neither,and I’m sure there’ll be a few more 🙂

  30. timtim says:

    The Iceman says:
    08/05/2012 at 10:25 am
    ————
    eloquent and nutshell

  31. The Iceman says:

    If Dunfermline are removed and Ross County in place – then surely that means new season has started and therefore when Rangers newco do emerge they must face the penalties outlined in the document – or is it last season when they want it to be and next season when they want it to be – or sod any rules – the Rangers are in – right – anybody arguing – I have got a chib!

    I think Celtic do now have to resuign their membership on Monday – it’s a two year notification and can be withdrawn to put pressure oin these cheating toerags – still think no NEWCO will be formed – thereafter it’s just a question of which of Kilmarnock or St Johnstone’s chairmen hand their club over to the monster as ritual sacrifice to let him continue feasting upon the rest of us!

  32. Goosy says:

    1. Private Land says:
    08/05/2012 at 12:53 am

    Goosy says:
    07/05/2012 at 11:39 pm
    Is John Greig the man to lead RFC to the promised land?
    ???????????????????????????????????????
    ________________________________________________________
    Let me explain
    If Newco is an unreformed child of RFC the decent bears remain prisoners of the lunatic fringe. These decent bears will choose honour and temporary exile to a permanent guilt. The lunatic fringe will not. They will continue to threaten and bully the SPL for favoured treatment forever more.
    So there is a fault line running through the RFC fan base.There is an opportunity to use this disaster to isolate extremists. But it needs a catalyst. Someone prepared to stand up and be counted. Someone who welcomes a new Owner on condition he publicly breaks with extremists and makes shedding the baggage the No1 priority of Newco
    Decent Bears need to rally round somebody if they are to achieve an honourable exile Right now a free parachute into the SPL is a victory for the lunatic fringe
    Is John Greig the man to lead RFC to the promised land?
    I don`t know. But let me say this:
    We can`t change the past but we can influence the future
    If JG has participated in past wrongs so much the better. His stance will be all the more credible if he admits his guilt and calls for change.

  33. rantinrobin says:

    Good article in Bella Caledonia,

    ‘Tainted League’

    May 3, 2012

    By Mike Small

    A man born in Devon who’s been involved in Scottish football for three years has just decided the fate of the game north of the border. What he’s decided is that one club can behave with complete disregard to others and face no significant sanction. The problem isn’t Craig Whyte, who’s a chancer, but Neil Doncaster, who’s a clown. Rangers chief executive Martin Bain was part of the SPL sub-committee that carried out the recruitment process, and former Rangers director Campbell Ogilvie who presided over the EBT scam for years (from which he received £95,000) is President of the SFA today. Ogilvie replaced another Rangers man, Gordon Smith, as El Presidente. Friends in high places are useful, and this is the Jubilee year, in which you and I will pay for a Royal f****** barge (“Gloriana in excelsis”) to be floated down the Thames, but this is really taking the piss.

    What’s not clear yet is the extent of complicity between the other clubs and the Doncaster. When and how we’re these ‘assurances’ made to Bill Miller. There is contradiction in reporting on this issue and it remains key. What is clear is the revolving door policy between Rangers Fc and the footballing authorities is extraordinary. If aggrieved fans want to vent their spleen they’ better examine these relationships. The huge sense of entitlement expressed by club and fan base and repeated faithfully in the Scottish media reveals a deep conservatism. For large sections of the footballing world it’s simply impossible to conceive of a league without Rangers, or any other models or structures which have brought Scottish football into the current glories. We are addicted to the stability of failure.

    Of course none of this is possible without an unflinchingly pliant set of journalists and a supplicant media. There are a few exceptions.

    As Alex Thomson wrote: “Announcing the US trucking magnate Bill Miller as the bloke-most-likely to buy Rangers FC, they refused to take questions at what was absurdly described as a press conference. Nor did they mention at any stage in this, the three really key things which have to be mentioned in connection with owning this club. Not one mention of assured creditor Craig Whyte who, he tells me, wants, £30m. No mention either for the ticket company Ticketus who may require around £27m. And the small matter of HMRC the taxman, who could end up due around £75m if the club loses a major tax hearing due any day now. Other fans will be outraged. Because what they’re attempting to pull off here is a huge tax avoidance and debt avoidance plan from the club already notorious for both.”

    This is a huckster nation, where the filthy rich can do whatever they like. It’s a business free-for-all. It’s shameful.

    It’s not just the EBTs – Rangers owe us at least £47 million – it’s the injustice of operating a league cartel (there’s no other name for the SPL now) dominated by one of Scotland’s largest football clubs that seems to be run by a gang of semi-feral businessmen whilst one in four Scottish children live in poverty.

    The Beautiful Game? Unless Europe do what Scottish football have seemingly failed to do, then the game will wither and die. Not because we don’t have great potential, not because we aren’t a nation still football daft (against all the odds, weather and facilities), but because we allowed chasing money deals and SKY tv packages to ruin an entire sporting culture. We separated the game from the fans and then let ruling bodies be dominated by thugs in suits. It will die because who in their right mind would pay money to go and see a fixed-league? Never mined being awarded for failure, this is being awarded for fraud. It will die because we said that one club could act with total reckless abandon, then walk away…

  34. tigertim says:

    I am sure that I heard on SSB, and possibly read that McCoist was flying out to meet Miller this week, after Saturdays game. Now it would appear that not only has he not flown out but has no intention of flying over to the US of A. Nor has he been in touch with Windy over the last couple of days.
    Now who would put out a load of lies concerning this?
    Who would circulate the old “Ally wants to know where he fits in”, “what is the budget and the plans for next year” story.
    Or how about “Bill needs to know from Ally where the club is going, and will he be able to motivate the players who stay”.

    Windy has no intention of buying the club or the assets of the club, this is more bollocks.

    What time do D & D return to court on Friday?, can’t see the same level of untruths being told to the judge.

  35. ClydesdaleBhoy says:

    I thought that I was quiet good at puzzles until last night when the penny dropped and I put all the rumours and events together and came up with the answer = HMRC will.

    Why no action by the SPL yesterday to deal with RFC(IA), would you when you know somebody else will.
    answer = HMRC will.

    Why no report on the two players that have been named for having two contracts from the STC that has already been proved would you when you know somebody else will.
    answer = HMRC will.

    Why has Ragan(sfa) and UEFA been quiet of late, because they know someone else is going to make it much easier for them to apply the rules after they have done the deed.
    answer = HMRC will.

    D&D, MBB, SDM = RFC(IA) have been trying to wind up Hector for the past year to do the deed, alas he not for walking away early, he is waiting until the BTC is finished before he makes his move to “wind them up”
    answer = HMRC will.

    Now put all the rumours together, the press are sitting on a big story, HMRC have appointed someone to do the big L, Sally and the MSM has started saying the 3rd div will do, every decision keeps getting put off, and now RTC has started telling us how many of each team had EBT’s.

    Putting 2+2 together the result is out and something is holding it up being published apart from the 7 days notice, it would not be Sally’s army wanting names removed and kept secret, it couldn’t be as they don’t do that do they.

    Sorry if I have added 2+2 and got 5

  36. Andypandymonium says:

    Doncaster & Regan were brought in as the supposed answer to rampant cronyism in Scottish football. They have clearly failed. Sympathies with Dunfermline today………going by the rules being laid down by SPL and SFA, their mistake was in not spending ludicrous money in an attempt to stay in the top tier. Sporting integrity? That’s for losers…….

  37. Parson St. Bhoy says:

    Torrevieja johnbhoy says:
    08/05/2012 at 10:11 am
    “”””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””
    Parochial pish. Guilty by association.

  38. fireinmyboots says:

    Just a wee suggestion with regards to the introduction of a “newco rangers” into th SPL.

    Would it be more helpful and more accurate to refer to them as NEWTEAM.

    This will then help to clarify that this NEWTEAM has no accepted connection to Rangers FC other than being the new owner of some of the late lamented club’s assets (but none of its debts or shareholding). The Newco is now clearly Rangers FC Acquisitions Ltd which will be the holding company for the NEWTEAM which so many chairmen are desperete to bring into the SPL.

    There should be no punishment or cost for any team newly entering the SPL this would be unjust.

    There should be no possibility of entry into the top level of football in any country for a team which did not even exist ant the end of the previous season.

    If the chairmen just follow the rules as they exist and stop trying to manufacture a safe passage for a non existant club into their league, then there is no decision to be made.

    The going will be tougher.

    Suck it up, this is sport.

  39. Good Morning.

    Let me start out straight away by pinning my colours to the mast. Just in case anyone doesn’t know, I am a Celtic Fan. That means that I support and feel an association with a particular club that just happens to play football, and it is called Glasgow Celtic. This is not the forum for spouting my beliefs and preferences for what I describe as the Celtic Ethos—I have written elsewhere at length on that—but suffice to say part of my affiliation to Celtic has deep seated roots in certain charity work and a way of life. It has nothing to do with football…. And certainly nothing to do with my religion before that is suggested.

    However in sheer footballing terms,I have followed Celtic FC all of my life, and it is a journey which has taken me to many strange and varied places. All over Scotland, England, Europe and beyond. As a 6 year old, I was the youngest Celtic fan who travelled to Buenos Aries to watch the infamous second leg of the 1967 World Club championship match in the Estadio Presidente Juan Domingo Peron, and I was there again at the ill-fated decider across the River Plate in the Estadio Centenario in Montevideo. There will be better travelled, more experienced Celtic fans, and there will be those who can recount more facts and figures, who have attended more games, who go to Dinners and functions, and are members of this or that Supporters Club—all of whom may well be able to claim some kind of better status or greater love of things Celtic…… But I would give them a run for their money.

    However, this post is not about following Celtic…. Not at all. It is about following something much more basic. It is called…. Football.

    You see as well as following Celtic, at various times in my life I have taken mad notions to go and watch other football teams. As a teenager from the West end of Glasgow, 2:30pm on a Saturday would often see me and a pal start the long walk up Wilton Street from one end to the other to get to Firhill just in time for kick off. I Had a pal who played in the first team at the time and he would leave tickets with the redoubtable Molly for me every week, and as often as not if Celtic were “away” I would be at Firhill for thrills to shout on Partick Thistle. Sometimes I would be there even when Celtic were at home if fate dictated that I couldn’t get to Celtic park.

    Then, even later still, I found another footballing home from home at Holm Park Yoker. There were a variety of reasons for this. First, I was originally a Bankie, and Yoker kind of spanned Clydebank and the West End. Second, I again knew ( and had played with ) some of the guys in the team. Third, by that time I had a working relationship with the late Willie Blaney who was an office holder at Yoker Athletic and at the Scottish Junior Football Association, and fourthly for a brief period I personally or the firm I worked for ( can’t remember which ) was the company secretary to the company which ran the social club or the club itself.. the detail is lost in the mists of time.

    However, the real reason that I sometimes went to Holm park, was that if the football was rubbish, or even if it wasn’t, You could wonder out of the ground and go for a pint in the Lovat Arms at half time… or any other time for that matter….. and then go back into the ground if you chose.

    Following Yoker also took me to games at Pollok ( now there is a Glasgow Derby! ) and all sorts other other places. I have frequented the grounds at Auchinleck, Giffnock North, Petershill, Maryhill and various other junior and Amateur grounds……………….. even as far as Carnoustie Panmure…. but I am still a Celtic fan.

    I wonder how many of a certain age who read this or any other blog, remember being utterly entranced by the 1970 World Cup where we may have known the name Pele but where we were introduced to the wondrous football of Jarzinho, Gerson, Tostao, Carlos Alberto, Everaldo, Clodoaldo, a dodgy Goalkeeper called Felix, and the magnificently moustachioed and wildly eccentric genius nicknamed “The little king of the park”- Roberto Rivelino?

    Or who will admit to taking a huge intake of breath when you first saw Johan perform the Cruyff turn, and then endlessly practice it in the play ground for years to come… and I do mean for years… like still doing it in my 40’s only to just about give up in my 50’s!!!

    Who watched the last World Cup final and wondered at the passing of the Spanish Midfield, and willed that style of football to defeat the more cynical and physical approach of a Dutch team that bore no resemblance to Cruyff, Neeskins, Haan, Rep, and company nor Gullitt, Van Basten, Reikard & crew.

    My point is this. Football fans may well own an allegiance to one team or another, but all football fans will watch the game played properly and openly. We want to see football, and football played well and competitively. That is part of supporting a team—whether you win lose or draw—and a part of having an interest in the game even if you are a neutral in terms of the teams playing.

    That love of and interest in the game is what bridges otherwise bitter divisions and rivalries. Apparently you will be hard pressed to find a Madrid fan who does not want Carles Puyol as captain of Spain despite his heroic status at Barcelona, and apparently you will struggle to find a Catalan who will not support Vincente Del Bosque as manager of Spain despite his long and successful association with Real Madrid.

    Football is football. Football fans love football- it is a love affair that stretches beyond the love of a team or club. A love affair that gives you goose bumps if like me you have been lucky enough to walk in to the Bernabau, the Camp Nou, The Meazza, Old Trafford, Old Wembley, Hampden.. and yes Firhill or Holm Park.

    That is all a long way about bringing me to the SPL.

    It seems to me that everyone concerned- fans (even Rangers fans), chairmen, journalists- are all of the view that Rangers FC just cannot go unpunished as a result of the way that the club has been run, both recently and in the past two decades. However, the reluctance to administer real and proper punishment is based on not the justice of the situation, but on the fear of the cost of proper justice to other SPL clubs. The views of SFL clubs seem not to count too much.

    In determining that cost, it would appear that the view of the Clubs’ bank may well be the determining factor. Both bank and club seem to be afraid of the financials in the event of Rangers not being in the SPL, and presumably that fear has its roots in the potential downturn in TV Income and the loss of the Rangers travelling support.

    While it has been said that some Football Directors do not understand business and living within their means, I would have to argue that it is even more the case that Bankers do not understand both football or the football fan.

    That must be true, as the banks (Ok then HBOS) gave absolutely ridiculous sums to football clubs over the years. Sums which were never sustainable, and so showing a complete misunderstanding of the football business. To be frank. HBOS funded the Murray Mint to such an extent that it effectively killed off all of the opposition other than Celtic. The same bank then funded other clubs to levels which were unsustainable in the sense that those clubs were never going to be successful as a business because they lived in a land where one of their competitors were so hugely funded to achieve success that every other club was only funded to fail—in both footballing and business terms.

    In turn that “borrowed” success made Rangers so commercially successful in the eyes of sponsors and TV etc that the remaining clubs are afraid of losing the monster that has been unlawfully and arguably illegally created. They are afraid to stand on their own even though the cost of keeping this unfairly enhanced business monolith is ultimately to their cost, reputation in sport and the cost of their league’s standing in the eyes of the fans. In short, they are afraid to exist outwith the shadow of the financial bully. Financially petrified, terrified and castrated.

    Now, their bankers are looking at how they get their money back, and seem to be putting pressure on Club Directors to allow a Rangers New Co back into the SPL, for fear that without a Rangers of some sort the clubs will go bust!

    There are a few problems with that scenario.

    For a start, who is going to bust the clubs and what would they get out of it?

    If the Rangers debacle has taught anyone anything, it is that the fixed assets of a football club ( stadia ) tend to be worth bugger all in a fire sale, and that there are very VERY few people in Scotland who are prepared to invest heavily in a football club. If no business person in Scotland is prepared to take a punt on a cash cow like Rangers after a 4 year exposure to the market by the owner, where is the sense in busting a provincial football club? Imagine the bank force the liquidation of Kilmarnock FC? Eh what will Ernst & Young or PKF get for Rugby Park?? Does such a course of action make any sense for the Bank’s shareholders?

    Further, as someone whose business is business, I am firmly of the view that the best way to recoup the banks money from any football club in debt is on a slowly but surely basis. That comes from filling seats, not from a small share of a pathetically low TV contract. Anyone who has read my “Good Morning Fatty” article on CQN Magazine will know how one businessman with experience in the EPL argues that the business of Football is all about bums on seats—not about a share of TV income. Relying on TV income in his eyes spells inevitable financial failure each and every time.

    I have read on Dunfermiline FC forums that they achieved Higher attendances in certain SFL games than they did in the SPL. Games against Raith Rovers and Cowdenbeath brought a local Derby edge and so attendances were higher than for say the visit of St Mirren or Inverness in the top flight. Just watch the attendances at Inverness when Derek Adams & Co come to town next year!

    At times this year, Motherwell had big increases in attendance when they dropped the entry price, and Hibs enjoyed their highest attendance of the season last night in the relegation decider against the Pars. Over 14,000 were at Easter Road last night when the game was A) Important and of Consequence and B) was not on the TV.

    Again, my point is that football people will come and support a football club or watch a football match if there is something to play for, if there is an edge to the game, if the game is not on TV and most importantly THE RESULT MATTERS. You do not need Celtic or Rangers to make the games viable and profitable in Scotland, you need your own fans to care in the competition. When Hibs did suffer their relegation a few years ago, more fans turned up to watch a Hibs team actually winning in the SFL. Bums on seats makes football- nothing else.

    Does anyone think that Hampden will not be full on 19th May because there will be no Celtic or Rangers? I know fans who support neither of the Edinburgh clubs who are talking of going just for the sake of the atmosphere and the spectacle—if they can get a ticket.

    With respect to the Banks, if you influence the structure of the league for fear of a TV contract, and in so doing you leave the football fan—fans of all clubs—believing that in certain ways competition in the game is predetermined and not open to proper sporting integrity, then you will succeed in nothing more than chasing customers away from the market. You defeat the very business model you should have been lending against; you make your security less valuable and the possibility of actually getting your money back far more remote. That is what the bank has already done by supporting the Murray lead Rangers so heavily. Fact.

    There are clever money men among the Directors of the clubs of the SPL, and I would hope that in this time of crisis someone from say a club like Celtic, would prepare a business plan for the poorer off clubs and the league as a whole which in turn could be shown to the banks so that the business idiom and argument presented by the bank can be challenged. Given that Rangers Football Club does not have a bank willing to provide ANY facilities, such a proposal would not present any conflict of interest. In fact, a business plan which preserves sporting integrity, increases overall competition, improves the chances of prize money, increases the likeliehood of fans coming to grounds over all and so improving the league must be a better business bet than a league with an already poor TV contract featuring a weakened Rangers , which kills sporting integrity and which tens of thousands of league customers have openly stated they will not financially support.

    Any other business with access to such considerable market research would not ignore it—could not ignore it—- and any executive who had possession of such research should be expected to resign if he or she acts in the face of such clear evidence from their customer base. In fact ignoring such potentially damaging market research could in theory result in Directors being held to account by Shareholders who suffer loss as a result.

    However, the reality is that the football fan doesn‘t really want to know about legal actions, Directors accountability, Adminsitrations, Liquidations, Hive ups, Hive Downs or any of that sort of thing.

    The football fan wants to know about a game called football. A Game where the rules are applied to one and all, without fear or favour, without being influenced by outside forces such as bankers, lawyers, insolvency practitioners, courts or whoever. Where the same rules of entry, admittance and play can be relied upon by the common man whether he be at the Camp Nou or at Holm Park Yoker.

    The Financial and commercial mistakes of the past are what have lead us to this mess in the first place, and it makes absolutely no sense to allow them to shape determine and dictate a drab commercial but televised future especially where they have been shown to be wrong in a business sense and where they result in the football fan feeling that the very fundamental basis of fair competition in football has become extinct. That will only drive fans away.

    In the early 80’s when Aberdeen and Dundee United were at their zenith the attendances at provincial clubs were far better than they are now. Games at Celtic Park with those clubs were full of excitement, were eagerly anticipated and were full of that buzz that is needed in football. At that time, Rangers were a far weakened force in Scottish football, and it was that situation which lead to the Souness revolution and ultimately the introduction of David Murray and his “resurrection” of Rangers Football Club.

    Does anyone think that the Murray plan has improved football? Does anyone think that the same plan has really improved Rangers overall? I doubt it.

    I believe that in football and financial terms you only need to look back to look forward. I know things are hard all round financially. I know it is a tough decision. I know that some but not all Rangers fans will not agree with me. Yet I genuinely believe that in this instance you have to trust and appeal to the customer, the football fan. Rangers will recover and survive and even prosper if run properly and in a true sporting sense.

    The SPL clubs and all of Scottish Football should just play the game. Play it fairly, with integrity. If you do that then the fans will come. Sell your soul and the only people filling the grounds will be ghosts, troubled souls and insolvency practitioners by the busload.

  40. rantinrobin says:

    Graham Spiers‏@GrahamSpiers

    I think I know what’s about to happen. The SFA/Rangers appeal is set to reduce RFC’s punishment – cue wilder shrieks of SFA/SPL ‘cowardice’.
    ——————————————————————————————————————————-

    So Spiers joins the McCoist School of spin and influence in advance of major decisions which will have a massive bearing on whether our game will live or die.It will surely die if you ignore the fans plea for integrity Graham.

    Dear me what kind of piffle are our journalists being reduced to?

  41. HirsutePursuit says:

    Hugh McEwan says:
    08/05/2012 at 9:58 am
    16 0 Rate This
    The whole thing is an absolute disgrace.

    A meeting to discuss financial fair play and sanctions for liquidation has been adjourned at the behest of the administrators of the only club currently in administration, and staring insolvency in the face. Would that be the tail wagging the dog.

    We are told that someone with no intention of buying that club, but in setting up a new business and buying the assets of the club in administration (and heading towards liquidation) should be involved in the discussion. On what basis would that be, he has no more right to have input than say the owner of an SFL club with a direct involvement. Less in fact, they have a vested interest, he is a potential buyer of a bit of land.

    Liars and cowards, that is what we have running football in Scotland. I am rapidly reaching the same conclusion as many. The whole thing is now so corrupt I find it difficult to want anything to do with it.
    ==========================================
    Neil Doncaster may spin it like a poor-man’s Peter Mandelson, but the adjournment may, in the end, be RFC(IA)’s downfall.

    In my view, the proposals the chairmen are/were considering, were being shoe-horned in to specifically allow a clear path for the Newco/Oldco switcheroonie. Without these rule changes, the existing rules will form the framework for action once Rangers die.

    We all seem to have forgotten :

    H5 Club ceasing to play and be a member of the League
    If any Club in the League ceases to operate or to be member of the League for any reason, its playing record in the League may be expunged and the number of relegation places from the League shall be reduced accordingly.

    This rule is extant and, it appears, will remain in place when RFC(IA) go under.

    Ignore the MSM/Doncaster spin. There is no reference in rule H5 to being applicable only during the playing season. If Rangers die before the new season kicks off, Dunfermline will not be relegated and there will be no available space in the SPL for Clone Rangers.

    As it stands, with RFC(IA) failure to submit audited accounts (and their consequent failure to meet even the entry requirements of the National Club Licencing @ section 8.1.1)
    http://www.scottishfa.co.uk/resources/documents/ClubLicensing/PartTwo-NationalClubLicensing/8%20%20Legal%20Admin%20&%20Finance%20Criteria%20(2).pdf Dunfermline will have a strong case for holding onto their SPL share until RFC(IA) – NOT Clone Ranger FC – provide evidence that they are able to start the new season.

    If I were John Yorkston I would already have prepared an application for an interim interdict to prevent the forced transfer of their SPL share before start of the new season.

  42. paulmac says:

    Hoopy 7 says:
    08/05/2012 at 8:39 am

    When does the season officially end? Maybe a stupid question but I ask it with reference to the potential vote on 30th May. Are Dunfermline members of the SPL until the season ends, if so and this is for example 31st May then should Dunfermline not have the vote?

    While I remain sceptical about Dunfermline, given who their ultimate owner is (Masterton,SDM’s chum), Ross County will only vote one way.

    May all be academic if the FTT decision comes out.

    Also what about SPL investigation, not one person asked when that would be completed and a report issued.
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    I believe Dunfermline would be fully justified in seeking legal redress against the SPL if their relegation is enforced by the SPL whilst at the same time a Newco is permitted to leapfrog them into the SPL..indeed I believe every team in the SFL first division would be entitled to seek compensation for being disadvantaged, especially the club finishing 2nd this season.

  43. Goosy says:

    The Iceman says:

    08/05/2012 at 10:25 am
    Billy Dodds , of all people , hit the mentality of all involved at SPL and SFA’s level on the head when he said that he couldn’t imagine football without Rangers.
    ,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,
    Is that the same as
    ” he couldn’t imagine heaven without hell?”

  44. joe mccormack says:

    Dunfermline should have their lawyers on this pronto.

    Being relegated would ordinarily be bad enough but to be relegated whilst HM’s Cheaters and Robbers FC is being kept in the league by a combination of apologists, liars and the failure of the SPL/SFA to do their job is beyond the pale.

    Till this is resolved for the good, and future, of Scottish football( no to Newco) no one should buy a season ticket and let their club know why.

  45. scapa says:

    James Cook‏@BBCJamesCook

    D&P: “At no time has any request for information from the police been denied nor delayed in any way.” #Rangers #RFC

    For a bit of light releif, the man with the wee white bricks has being going after D&P and Strathclyde’s finest again

  46. troubledfan says:

    apologists ?? 🙂

  47. tigertim says:

    rantinrobin says:
    08/05/2012 at 11:10 am

    Graham Spiers‏@GrahamSpiers

    I think I know what’s about to happen. The SFA/Rangers appeal is set to reduce RFC’s punishment – cue wilder shrieks of SFA/SPL ‘cowardice’.
    ============================================
    Have the SFA announced when they will hear Rangers appeal and revue judgement?
    Haven’t seen it mentioned anywhere for some strange reason.

  48. HirsutePursuit says:

    From my earlier post:
    As it stands, with RFC(IA) failure to submit audited accounts (and their consequent failure to meet even the entry requirements of the National Club Licencing @ section 8.1.1)
    http://www.scottishfa.co.uk/resources/documents/ClubLicensing/PartTwo-NationalClubLicensing/8%20%20Legal%20Admin%20&%20Finance%20Criteria%20(2).pdf Dunfermline will have a strong case for holding onto their SPL share until RFC(IA) – NOT Clone Ranger FC – provide evidence that they are able to start the new season.

    If I were John Yorkston I would already have prepared an application for an interim interdict to prevent the forced transfer of their SPL share before the start of the new season.
    [corrected for clarity]
    =======
    Sorry, should have said that the evidence of RFC(IA)’s ability to continue would have to include an acceptance from the SFA of their audited accounts after the 31st March deadline (which falls, I think, on the licensing committee) as valid.

    Since RFC(IA)’s audited accounts have still not been submitted, that may provide them with a small problem. 🙂

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