For There’s Not A Team Called The Glasgow Rangers –Might JUST Be The Answer
Normally, a Saturday 3pm fixture resulted in the excitement of waking up, eating your breakfast – unhealthily fried- and reading the paper for any team news for the day ahead. There wasn’t a day went by that some footballing controversy wasn’t in the papers, usually irrelevant but not to those of the opposite persuasion outraged as they flicked from the back page headline to the no doubt Heinz blotched page where the story unfurled.
Those days are gone.
There is often a need to romanticise football in Scotland, the World in fact. Nostalgia plays a large part as even the most mundane of characters wax lyrical about the goal they witnessed the previous week, such guile, such craft.
Those days are gone.
Today football is a minefield of politics, economics and powerful lawman ship just to negotiate your way through the waves of woe and financial incrimination.
The problem is widespread. In England, we have over £1Billion being pumped in by Sky TV to finance the English Premiership – the self-proclaimed ‘Best league in the world’. A rather fetching title – one that hardly fits the product at times. With the exception of perhaps Arsenal, the remaining teams in the division are either crippled by debt, paying out far more cash than they bring in or owned by megalomaniac billionaires that use the club as a real life ‘Football manager’ – throwing in endless amounts of their own cash to finance their own ego. When things are going well – no one asks the questions. Chelsea, Man City – two clubs financed by such lavish wealth yet not once has the general public or English media raised the question: What if they just walked away?
Of course, physically walking away from ownership of a company is not particularly easy, then again – if you live in the Middle East or Russia perhaps it may just be. The more appropriate question is: What if they just stop pumping in their cash? Even with TV revenue and other sponsorship/season ticket money – neither of those clubs could afford to maintain paying the wage budgets that they currently do. It is financially impossible. Unless yet another rich businessperson decides to talk over the club then the club is on the road to abominable ruin.
The other clubs, the Bolton’s of this world – they are living on the cusp of a wave. Reliant almost entirely on large TV deals to finance their existence.
Many of such clubs could perhaps, just for once, poke their eyes north and take one look at Rangers Football Club.
In a different way, Glasgow Rangers have lived out with their own means to finance the success that the club naturally have had in the past twenty years.
At first, and arguably their most successful period this was funded by the millions of Sir David Murray. Not unlike the Man City model he self-financed the club. To the tune of millions. Nothing wrong with that….it’s lucky or at the period of time it is. In later years, and through a not quite as successful period the club attempted to chase its tail: it allegedly decided to partake in tax avoidance to fund their lucrative deals for, some may argue, substandard foreign imports.
A nice sum up of the case is available here, as there is no point me covering ground already well covered by others….I am not the cooncil.
The outcome is where we are today, a club with an undecided future. The entanglement of creditors, potential creditors and legal enwranglment is a headache to most in the profession let alone the everyday fan. Let’s remember, it is the fan that will ultimately suffer in such circumstances. For many, their club is their life. The bragging rights, the celebration the euphoria. Football is such an important part of people’s lives, no matter if they support the Old Firm, Barcelona or Partick Thistle. Football affects people.
The everyday fan has religiously paid their season ticket cash, up front – to their club for many years on blind faith. Many of them making other sacrifices in order to feed their addiction. In such a circumstance it is hard not to sympathise for people whom, through no fault of their own, now need to try and comprehend the legal minefield that their club is involved in. Why? Because if they don’t then the everyday workings of their club become a complete mystery to them. Especially those that are only old enough to remember the glory days of past.
As a fan, I understand the history of the club. I understand the need and the desire to hold on to that. As someone that understands law, business and the current situation facing the club – I beg to differ.
Personally, I fear the worst from the impending Tax Tribunal. On the other hand I find myself ‘hoping’ for the worst. WHY? Well, because, if Rangers are faced with a crippling debt, completely unmanageable then inevitably the club will be dissolved. All assets sold and all reliabilities gone, forever. That is the beauty of limited business.
I struggle to find even ONE fan to agree with me on the matter, but for me it makes sense. A new club, Rangers by colour, Rangers by Geography, Rangers by nature. But with a more realistic approach. Let’s not pretend otherwise, any new Rangers would command the brand loyalty of the current team. Whilst Celtic exists in Scottish football there will always be a need and a desire for a Glasgow/South-Side/Lanarkshire/Scottish….Rangers.
There is no stopping the club playing at Ibrox, after all who is going to realistically buy the stadia in such times of austerity. If Craig Whyte has his in his plans then the only realistic bidder for the stadium and surrounding area would be himself. Remember Ibrox, or the front of such is a listen building, so any plans for re-development would be rather more difficult than simply wiping the land. Also, Ibrox is based in…let’s just say….not the most desirable area of Glasgow and development I would not imagine on the forefront of any potential buyers plans.
The players – well….are any of them really a massive loss? A new Rangers would need to be financially manageable – with a good, sensible wage budget. I’m not sure than any of the current crop, on their large salaries would fit the mould so to speak.
The ideal would be, with the large amount of season ticket holders Rangers would invariably maintain, coupled with other sponsorship and commercial interests the club should still be able to attract and pay players to not just compete, but easily dominate the rest of Scottish Football with the obvious exception of Celtic.
As things stand, steps back are going to be taken anyway no matter what. Would it not be better to take a step back with a clean balance sheet then move forward fighting the quicksand of survival for what? Five stars above your shirt?
Not in my book.
All of Rangers current problems are related to their finance, both on and off the field.
The shouts from the stands are the same every week, “X isn’t giving 100%, and we need a new winger/defender/striker”.
In the past week there have been approximately 10 trialists at Rangers. Whilst I do not condone the panic signing of someone that is rubbish my fear is that, even if Rangers were o unearth a gem there would be no further signings. Trialists leaving after a day? Of course they are, they come to Scotland and find out the possibilities of Rangers and steer well clear. Who wants to sign for a club where an 18month contract could be terminated after only 3 months? No one.
The sad fact is I do not think Rangers would have the cash to offer a deal at present anyway. The trialists are to show or to front to the majority of supporters that it is business as usual at Ibrox and we are just being unlucky in our quest. I doubt this very much. To me, it is an attempt to paper over the cracks and barge the door before the inevitable. Survive another day without backlash.
The current crop of players, are they shirking their responsibilities? I wouldn’t say so. I would say you have a team of players that are living in fear. Davis, Edu – the rest of the squad. One serious injury for them with the prospect of no contractual security could mean a long time without a club and therefore wage-packet. Whilst I fully appreciate that those guys probably won’t struggle short term with their finances they will still want to maintain a playing career at a reasonable level. It’s very hard to catch the bandwagon the further away it gets, and an injury may just do that for you.
Of course they are half hearted; it’s more a case of self- preservation than desire.
Jelavic has a virus? I somehow doubt that personally, I would say it is more a case of Jelavic needs to be sold before the deadline on Tuesday and no chances can be taken regarding his fitness before then.
The truth is, or more to the point –my fear is; that failure to sell Jelavic for cash before the January deadline could result in the catalyst for Rangers demise.
It is with a heavy heart that I raise the entire above subject, but with an acceptance that it is the most advisable way forward. Yes, I over simplify the process of restarting the club but as simplified as it may be – it’s still the final outcome.
Division 3, no Europe for 3 seasons minimum, so what? It is a small price to pay for a lifelong membership of following your team and your dreams.
But Celtic will win everything? So what, it’s happened before with Rangers there and it will happen again. Celtic can only defeat what is in front of them and more power to them if they enjoy a period of success. After all, their club seems to be financially stable and with a loyal fan base: good luck to them.
In an ironic twist of words to the Rangers support, our time will come…again. It’s about patience, perhaps this time though we will do it without crippling our very being. The club, and its support – could only be strong for it.
I doubt many will agree…….