That Was the Week That Was

British Prime Minister Harold Wilson once famously observed in 1964 that “a week is a long time in politics”.

Very true, but seven days can seem like several years out of your life when you’re covering the Ibrox omnishambles.

At the start of last week I had a work schedule marked out that didn’t involve the Montessori at Edmiston Drive.

Oh where to start!

Looking back at the entire seven days, it could be some cruel experiment in seeing how much emotional turmoil can be inflicted upon the home crowd at Ibrox.

Prospective Sugar Daddies can be like buses – you wait for an eternity then two turn up at once.

Last week saw Dave King in town and Jim McColl break cover and give a rare media interview.

The latter was given the Brian Laudrup treatment by Jim White on Sky Sports News.

I am informed that the decision by McColl to give the interview was because he and his people felt that momentum had been lost over the previous two weeks and this was a way of getting it back.

McColl said he wanted to be a “co-ordinator’” rather than directly invest in ‘Rangers’.

One of the common traits in self-made tycoons is greed. Well, in Jim McColl that can’t be said to be true.

This guy is such a star that he is passing up a chance to make a killing in the shrewd investment that is RIFC which, of course, owns Sevco Scotland Limited, which perhaps owns Ibrox stadium.

What we have here is that rare thing – a benevolent billionaire.

In this exclusive interview with Sky Sports News which involved two weeks of negotiations, we are told he lays it all out.

Well, except that he doesn’t really.

McColl batted away Jim White’s soft ball question about why he didn’t just buy into the clumpany himself.

Moreover, he said that a new board at RIFC would make it a very attractive prospect and that investors could “…make a good return…”

So, Jim McColl doesn’t want to hog this great investment opportunity for himself. Instead, he wants to spread the amazing opportunity around for others.

What a guy!

Even more impressive is that he exclusively revealed to Mr White that he has the supporters groups onside.

Well, that in itself is something of a coup as the Ibrox clientele are a notoriously sceptical bunch.

Actually I don’t  see any achievable  objective for McColl in this play to the media.

As I have written here again and again, one gets control of a company by buying shares and buying enough of them to get control.

It really is that simple.

When he made the incredible statement that Charles Green had taken Rangers “…out of Administration…” he wasn’t challenged by Jim White.

In fact, over the past week I have heard the phrase “…taken out of administration…” several times when discussing the purchase of the assets of Rangers from administrators Duff & Phelps.

Only Jim Delahunt on Clyde consistently uses the “L” word when discussing matters Ibrox.

If liquidation isn’t in the narrative then the entire Sevco saga makes no sense.

Subsequently the hacks start to tie themselves in knots to present the same club fiction to their readers.

At the start of last week the Daily Record breathlessly told the Fitba world that Dave King had been given “the all clear” from the London Stock Exchange and the Nominated Adviser (NOMAD) Daniel Stewart and company.

It was the good news the klan were desperate to hear and the hacks were acing to exclusively reveal.

There was only one minor problem with this story.

It was pish.

So much so that a Roy Greenslade, Guardian Media Blogger and Professor of Journalism, had cause to comment.

It actually took me two phone calls to check with the Alternative Investment Market Press Office and with the NOMAD Daniel Stewart & Co to gauge the consistency of the pish being peddled by the Daily Record.

This was urine off the radar and the chaps in the Square Mile were not best pleased with the Dave King jackanory.

Then on Friday we were told the “glib and shameless liar” was offski.

Now that Mr King has done flying away to South Africa, his parting comments included his stated belief that the current boardroom impasse could take another year and that administration was a distinct possibility.

Of course Dave King is now free of any legal impediment in the United Kingdom preventing him from buying shares in any company.

Subsequently he could simply buy a controlling interest in RIFC if people were willing to sell to him.

Throughout this grandstanding, both King and McColl, clearly wealthy men, have made a decision to hold onto their own money.

Regular readers here will, of course, not gasp in surprise that an insolvency event could happen to the new Ibrox outfit.

Without a fresh injection of cash before the end of the current season will see it a damn close run thing.

The current financial director, Brian Stockbridge, has predicted that there will be £1m left in the pot by April.

He said that although the clumpany won’t run out of money it will need fresh injections of cash before it enters the top flight in season 2015/2016.

The central problem for Sevco is ab initio.

From the beginning, Charles Green had no sustainable long term plan to cope with his Rangers not being in the top flight.

Starting in the second tier – Stewart Regan’s ‘Plan B’ – might have been ok, but not this.

However, Charlie had to get the punters onside especially after Mr Bomber gave his state of the nation address.

It had to appear to be business as usual as they travelled to Brechin and Annan and that is what did for them.

Pretending to be Rangers signed their death warrant in the maternity ward.

By acting like the big club they entered on a spiral towards insolvency from the very start.

Poor little Sevco never had a chance.

The only thing that can stave off insolvency for the new outfit is more cash being provided from outside the company.

Regular readers here will not be surprised at the news that Sevco is bleeding money.

However it is now in the mainstream.

They do, eventually, catch up and Dave King told them that:

“Right now, the cash situation is not good. As things stand, they are going to run out of money before the end of the season and before the season-ticket money comes in.”

The mainstream media, still grieving for the good old days and the distraught, disorientated klan, see King as the saviour.

Hence, anything that could be an impediment to his involvement, like a criminal record for tax offences, must be airbrushed away.

Just as it is now accepted wisdom in the mainstream that Rangers “…exited from administration…” so did Dave King “…settle his legal dispute…” in South Africa.

Well if you call pleading guilty to criminal charges in a criminal court “settling” them then fine.

Most reasonable people call that a “conviction”.

I decided to try and assist one member of the mainstream media who seems unable utter the words “Dave King is a convicted criminal” when on air.

So I phoned this chap on Friday and told him the National Prosecuting Authority in South Africa had shared with me the relevant court documents.

I thought if he had the stuff then he would stop talking pish about King’s criminality.

For the avoidance of doubt, these legal papers weren’t leaked to me, they were supplied to me on an on the record basis.

I had used the magic word ‘journalist’ when I contacted the South African authorities.

All we had to do was arrange the logistics of the document transfer.

A Dropbox folder was shared and I now have the stuff on King across the water.

Anyone who follows me on Twitter will have seen some of the snippets I tweeted on Friday.

Despite sending this journalist the legal papers on King he still can’t say the words “convicted criminal” when discussing the South African based brogue trader.

Well I did try.

No sooner was I sharing the material with the Scottish journalist when Mr David Cunningham King had to do flying away.

“Unable to achieve consensus” may yet be another euphemism from this omnishambles.

Approximate translation: “The major shareholders told me to fek off!”

In his parting shot, King said that this saga could take another 12 months to sort out and, like McColl; he said that April could be an iffy month for the Sevco cash flow.

So in the space of seven days, we had tabloids printing feel-good pish for the klan to consume with their gullibility tablets, trained journalists unable to say that King is a convicted criminal, a “billionaire” that loves the clumpany so much he won’t invest a penny of his own cash in it and a “glib and shameless liar” feking off after some grandstanding.


Oh, and one other thing from last week.

For the avoidance of doubt, James Traynor no longer speaks for the people who might own the stadium that John Brown definitely used to play for.

He arrived with something of a flourish and his valedictory piece in the Record should be on journalism courses.

At the Ibrox Big Top Traynor’s entrance was the media equivalent of a collapsing clown car with the doors falling off and the bonnet flipping up to blind the driver.

James Traynor had worked in print journalism for almost four decades and suddenly he had the controls of the Sevco PR machine.

Cut adrift without sub-editors and the collective discipline of a newspaper it was a recipe for stuff to go seriously wrong.

It did.

If I had to attempt to sum up his reign of error as the Sevco director of miscommunication, it would be this amazing attack on Alex Thomson of Channel 4 News.

Anyway to be perfectly frank lads, I have another (non Sevco) book to write and the quicker that Scottish sports journalists start doing their job properly then the less I’ll be dragged into this sitcom.

Currently it seems like I’m stuck there without hope of parole.

So that was the week that was on Planet Ibrox.

I hope that things are quieter now for a while as I have my own stuff to get back on schedule because most of the Fitba Fourth Estate do not appear to be up to the task.

A week can be a very long time in Sevco.

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