Nil by Mic

Ah, those pesky pitch side microphones are causing trouble again.

Clearly the best thing is to remove these offending objects to preserve the peace of the Queen’s underclass.

This is a clear indication that the authorities have little idea about what to do about tens of thousands of chaps indulging in a fascist sing-along.

In the Best Small Country In The World ™ apparently fondly remembering a fascist street gang leader and a member of Ku Klux Klan is apparently no biggie.

For sure it is embarrassing to Scotland PLC, but only when the outside world gets to hear it.

I spoke to an experienced SPFL match delegate after the recent match at Ibrox where Hibernian were the visiting team.

The delegate at Ibrox that day was also in the veteran category, an ex-police officer.

He stated in his report that the discriminatory chanting was not confined to once section of the stadium, but rather it was all pervasive.

He confided to my source that the Security Chap at Ibrox had admitted that the singing of ‘The Billy Boys’ had been “wall to wall”.

The response of the media is to save the rest of us from hearing it by removing the audio equipment.

Of course, microphones are useful devices, and increasingly journalists use them to augment the trusty notepad.

In many cases, the digital recorder has replaced the paper and pen altogether.

The tools of the trade may change, but the core task remains the same:

Asking questions in the Public Interest and holding the powerful to account.

I emerged this morning blinking from a two-day shift down the word mines.

I was heartened to learn that ‘Rebellion’ has not only sold out Friday and Saturday (March 11th and 12th) but that the entire show is now 50% sold.

The box office folk assure me that this is unprecedented, so that was an affirming piece of news.

I can exclusively reveal that Thursday (March 10th) is almost sold out now as well.

Back on the Sevco beat a buddy in Scotland messaged me to inform me that the good news narrative emanating from Ibrox was even further off the reality radar.

I took in some breathless stenography this morning and apparently the New Regime will spend the ‘guts of £1million’ this week.

Well if that is the case then someone from the Daily Stenographer really should be on their way top Ibrox with a microphone.

As previously discussed here, the recent RIFC accounts (Page 31) stated that a “conservative amount” of revenue would be generated from player sales.

That means within the period of the accounts that is until June 30th.

Therefore, it is only this transfer window that is in play to generate that revenue.

Cash flow remains king at Ibrox.

I am grateful to a number crunching buddy who sent me the following:

“Looking, at last, years audited accounts, the cash outflow from operations was £12.2m to June 2015. This compares with an outflow from operations of £5.7m in the year to June 2014. This amount represents the normal cash flow costs of running football clubs before loans or issuing shares or player trading.

“Normally the cash flow in the second half of the year is worse for football clubs, as, although the season ticket monies start to come in for the following season towards the end of the financial year to June 2015, most of this is by direct debit payable in instalments. In last year’s accounts at 30 June 2015 season ticket commitments were £6.2m, but only £900k was paid in cash, and £5.3m was still owed by the supporters. Clearly, the sooner that renewal details can be sent out, the more likelihood there is of receiving some cash.”

My Harlequins mate buddy from the Square Mile was also rather surprised that Management Accounts were presented in a court situation.

He, patiently, explained to me that such a document is usually only used for internal purposes.

Moreover, he told me that because they were not audited, then there was no third party verification as to the accuracy of their contents.

He said that he expected that all of the RIFC directors would have seen these Management Accounts and signed off on them before they were presented to a judge as evidence.

Once more the microphone thingy could come in very handy is the grasp of an intrepid stenographer.

Suitably armed with his voice collecting marvel they could advance to contact with any of the RIFC directors.

Once within microphone range, they could ask them about what input or oversight they had with these Management Accounts before they were presented to court last Friday.

My rugger pal said that the great unknown about the current state of financial fair play at Ibrox was the nature of the monies used to pay off Sports Direct.

His working assumption was that it had been some kind of loan.

Therefore, the terms and conditions of that facility are a crucial bit if information.

Of course, the New Regime took power in March promising a new era of transparency.

As regular readers here will know Big Mike did not accept any of the conditions originally attached to the RIFC offer to pay back the £5m.

I understand that these were dropped by the New Regime, and Ashley was happy to have his money back.

You may recall that the original stance of the victors of the March Putsch was that the Sports Direct loan was no biggie.

This change of heart by the chaps in the Blue Room has not been adequately explained.

Moreover, they haven’t had to fend off a microphone-wielding journalist.

There are some great story lines to be explored in the Ibrox shambles.

Here are a few:

How was the money raised to pay back the £5m to Sports Direct?

Is it a loan?

What are the terms and conditions of that facility?

The contract between Rangers Retail and RIFC remains in place.

Consequently, what does this means for the long-term financial health of the business?

Does the Ashley still have the advertising deal in place with the club?

Has the seven years noticed period in the Rangers Retail Deal been triggered by the RIFC board?

Well, dear reader, I can help with the final interrogative on that list.

My information is that, as of a week ago, it had not.

Of course, some intrepid stenographer could check that one out if they were so minded.

So many questions and all those turned off microphones.

If I didn’t know any better, I would think they were all sitting around awaiting the next award winning press release.


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