2007 - 2021

On Dave King and Karl Marx

I’m not sure how familiar the Ibrox faithful are with the works of Karl Marx, but it was himself who wrote “History repeats itself, the first as tragedy, then as farce” in his essay The Eighteenth Brumaire of Louis Napoleon published in 1852.

The quote jangled out at me as I read this account in the American finance magazine, Forbes. It details the perilous state of one of Scotland’s biggest football clubs in some detail.

The writer points out: “Tucked away in the second to last paragraph of the report, it reads that: “The Board acknowledge that the uncertainty over the level of additional funds that will be required and a lack of a binding debt facility indicate that a material uncertainty exists which may cast doubt over the Group’s ability to continue as a going concern and therefore its ability to realise its assets and discharge its liabilities in the normal course of business.”

You wouldn’t have thought that such a state could be allowed to happen (again) nor would you be aware of the reality given the studied silence of the Scottish press corps. BBC Scotland published this upbeat (unattributed) assessment on the 1 November, faithfully quoting Dave King saying, “The financial year under review was again a positive one.”

They quote King adding:

“It has been the board’s responsibility to provide financial support to the manager and that is what we have done. We have also invested significantly in the infrastructure at Ibrox stadium and the training centre.”

“Much of this work, although it is costly, goes unseen. There is a continual funding requirement to maintain our facilities if they are to remain among the very best in the world.”

This is a substantially different spin than the Forbes account.

The sports journalist, Mike Meahall Wood explains:

“The simple reality of the matter, however, is that the funding gap to Celtic is essentially insurmountable within the time required to stop the ten unless someone is willing to consciously and deliberately lose tens of millions of pounds to do so. Dave King, the major benefactor of Rangers, is currently losing upwards of £10 million a year to watch Celtic win every trophy, and no matter how big a fan of the club he claims to be, that is completely unsustainable. Now, he must find another £10 million to keep the club solvent until the end of the season.”

Rangers, he points out, have spent £9 million on legal fees alone on the Mike Ashley’s Sports Direct battle, which they lost.

With a finite amount of ticket sales at Ibrox, and a limit to broadcasting revenue, Rangers are extremely vulnerable. They have no bank credit facilities, and their only way of making money is by winning the league and entering Europe, or selling players. These two things are in opposition to each other.

Wood again:

“Rangers cannot realistically generate much more revenue from sponsorship, TV broadcasting, match day revenue or merchandising. The only route open to the club—well, the only one other than a wealthy benefactor losing money hand over fist—is to make up the shortfall via player sales, which cannot be squared with their stated goal of winning the Scottish Premiership. Titles are not won by selling your best players halfway through the season, but there is a legitimate threat that the club might not make it to the end of the season without someone departing for cash.”

The club are heavily reliant on Dave King, their chairman, who is currently censured by the Takeover Panel for financial misconduct.

The Takeover Panel found that he had committed an offence of “utmost gravity” by working with a group called the Three Bears to seize control of the top flight team. He will be “cold-shouldered” for four years – a rarely used sanction that blackballs him from the financial community, barring him from working with others on further takeovers. The Takeover Panel said a public censure “would not be a sufficient sanction”. It is only the fourth time such a punishment has been handed out during the regulator’s 50-year history.

Now these accounts show a loss of £11.3m making a total of £25m in 2 years. We should also consider that Mike Ashley’s bill for “millions” is still outstanding and Kent’s £7m fee isn’t in these figures.

The silence in the Scottish media about this situation is deafening.

Having resurrected themselves the club is now facing the possibility of repeating the disastrous unsustainable management that brought it to its knees in 2012. The rules of Financial Fair Play don’t seem to work in Scotland.

Why does any of this matter?

It matters because the SPFL and the SFA are culpable in ignoring all of this, as is the public broadcaster who are locked out of coverage or interviews with Rangers yet faithfully broadcast their games without question.

It matters because other clubs are attempting to run themselves in a manner that is financially prudent and legal.

It matters because the list of corrupt rich men who come and go into football clubs, fleecing fans before disappearing leaving wreckage in their path is a long and weary one.

Financial Fair Play – UEFAs attempt to stop ‘financial doping’ and to protect clubs from going bust – operates in English divisions but is strangely absent from Scottish football.

Fans without Scarves have covered the issue here, and the concept of “moral hazard” here (“Stigma in Scottish Football- Intro and Part 1: Too Big To Fail“):

“If creditors believe that an institution will not be allowed to fail, they will not demand as much compensation for risks as they otherwise would, thus weakening market discipline; nor will they invest as many resources in monitoring the firm’s risk-taking. As a result, too-big-to-fail firms will tend to take more risk than desirable, in the expectation that they will receive assistance if their bets go bad.”

A Hampden spokesman has previously stated: “All Premiership clubs in Scotland undergo a Uefa Licence assessment.”

“The interim accounts need to be reviewed by an auditor, but a full audit is not a requirement. FFP is not relevant for a Uefa Licence decision as such.

“Clubs competing in Uefa competition are subject to FFP assessment and if found in breach can face various potential sanctions.”

By comparison Championship clubs are allowed a maximum loss of £61 million (or £15 million if no equity is injected.)

If this Rangers entity collapses, the same confused people will look around as if none of it could have been predicted, declare it to be a calamity it is for Scottish football and ‘just how could this have happened?’, when in fact its staring us in the face. For a club so obsessed with history, they seem poor students of it.

As an aside, in the preface to the second edition of The Eighteenth Brumaire, Marx stated that the purpose of this essay was to “demonstrate how the struggle in France created circumstances and relationships that made it possible for a grotesque mediocrity to play a hero’s part.”

Comments (44)

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  1. Neil Gateley says:

    What a lot of guff.
    Where’s the balance in football reporting on this site?
    Yep – that’s right, it’s non-existent.

    Where’s the in-depth analysis or even the merest of mentions of the Celtic owner’s Dermot Desmond’s in the Panama Papers or other crimes associated with Celtic which no-one is allowed to mention? This site is even more biased than the Daily Fail. There is no balance whatsoever.
    Rangers-Bad. Celtic – good. As I say – complete and utter guff.

    If Scotland is to be successful as an independent nation, and I fervently hope it will be, it will need to appeal to most tribes within Scotland and your amazing ability (as editor?!?!) to turn a blind eye to far worse deeds down Parkhead way, whilst bigging up any potential bad news re Rangers is simply helping to stoke the hatred and potentially, if anyone is stupid enough to listen to you, make the divide even greater.

    Bigotry works 2 ways.

    By all means have a go at Rangers if they have done something wrong but please stop your obsession with the alleged misdeeds of one club and look at your own doorstep for once – the picture isn’t too pretty.

    1. Dear Neil
      thanks for your comment.

      1. “Balance” doesnt come from assuming a false equivalence.
      2. The “need to appeal to most tribes within Scotland” isnt my concern.
      3. I dont know what “Bigotry works 2 ways” means.
      4. I’m not a Celtic fan.
      5. If there’s something factually incorrect about this article please state what it is, I’ll happily correct it.

      1. Neil Gateley says:

        1. Just as the likes of the Daily Fail promote their propaganda by how they report on something so it does by not reporting other issues, so does Mr. Small like to promote his small-minded agenda. It’s a pity for you Stalin’s still not about or you might have a chance of getting signed up for his propaganda machine.
        2. Yep – that’s obvious. Getting folk working together clearly isn’t your style. Ironically, football fans have, in general, more in common than they don’t and it’s pseudo like you that help prolong and worsen the divisions
        3. Your musings on football from day one of Bella Caledonia have made clear your loathing/hatred of Rangers. Sounds pretty bigoted to me.
        4. Yes I understand. You’re a Rangers hater but not a Celtic hater and you like to dehumanise Rangers supporters – yep, we get it.
        5. Do you know something Mike. You’re not that important that I’d waste my time picking up on the minutiae of your ramblings and rantings. I’ve only one life.
        6. Just allow me one small point. Mr. Small bigs up an article in Forbes magazine by Mike Meahall Wood who he describes as a “sports journalist”. As per usual Mr. Small is economical with the truth. Mr. Wood’s Twitter account reveals that his main interests are Rugby League, Celtic, Cricket and Boxing. Well – blow me down with a feather.

        1. Point 5 has got to be my favourite Neil

          1. Neil Gateley says:

            I’m glad.
            A reply straight out of the Pompous Pseud’s manual (with apologies for earlier typo).
            As the saying goes, you couldn’t mark your neck with a blowtorch.

          2. Not sure why you are so angry about it being pointed out your club is in peril?

        2. Joe Erasmus says:

          Brilliant!!! I read Neil’s first diatribe then his second with the phrase ‘first as tragedy then as farce’ beating a repetitive rhythm in my ears. Neil – yer club is in very serious jeopardy mate. When I read Mike’s article I thought, hmm, he has a very good point here, One of Scotland’s two biggest clubs are about to go under AGAIN and people (all over the place) are putting their fingers in their ears (at best) or getting angry if anyone points out the simple facts. You, Neil my friend, have provided the perfect coda, to underscore the core point, of a very insightful article.

          1. Neil Gateley says:

            It is always one of life’s mysteries the sheer number of financial wizards and corporate tax experts amongst the Celtic supporting and general Rangers hating population. It is not, however, one of life’s mysteries how that self-same expertise is never used to query the dodgy financial and tax manoeuvres of Celtic owner Dermot Desmond.

    2. James Mills says:

      Neil , why don’t you direct some of your obvious anger at the way your club ( I assume that you support Rangers ) has been clearly poorly run in the last four years . Mr King , the present chairman , was part of the Board during the Murray financial shenanigans , and was on the Board when Mr Whyte ran the club into the ground .
      He , as Mike Small implies , has never read Marx as he clearly has learned nothing from the mistakes of previous Boards .

      Take off your blue-tinted glasses, Neil , and have a look at your club’s latest financial results . It doesn’t matter if a journalist is a Celtic supporter or not – the figures speak for themselves !

      1. Neil Gateley says:

        Of course it matters James – it is hardly beyond the realms that Celtic-minded “journalist” might have an agenda when writing an article about Rangers, particularly when these “journalists” never write a single article regarding some fairly dubious activities (financial and otherwise) that are related to Celtic. For example, I’ve lost count of the number of times in recent years, Mr. Phil Mac Giolla Bain, a favourite Bella Caledonia contributor (not sure if he qualifies for the name of journalist) has claimed that Rangers are going bust.

    3. Jack collatin says:

      Oh dear, here we go again.
      Let’s have balance. The Parkhead psychos are as bad as us, so that’s ok then.

      I tuned in to BT Sports to watch the cup games at the week end in the fond hope of an ‘upset’.
      On Sunday, live on our screens, full blast since the TV Techies lack the skills to turn the volume down or even off completely, we had the following song of hatred and ominous fascism.

      The Famine Song

      “I often wonder where they would have been
      If we hadn’t have taken them in
      Fed them and washed them
      Thousands in Glasgow alone
      From Ireland they came
      Brought us nothing but trouble and shame
      Well the famine is over
      Why don’t they go home?

      Now Athenry Mike was a thief
      And Large John he was fully briefed
      And that wee traitor from Castlemilk
      Turned his back on his own
      They’ve all their Papists in Rome
      They have U2 and Bono
      Well the famine is over
      Why don’t they go home?

      Now they raped and fondled their kids
      That’s what those perverts from the darkside did
      And they swept it under the carpet
      and Large John he hid
      Their evils seeds have been sown
      Cause they’re not of our own
      Well the famine is over
      Why don’t you go home?

      Now Timmy don’t take it from me
      Cause if you know your history
      You’ve persecuted thousands of people
      In Ireland alone
      You turned on the lights
      Fuelled U boats by night
      That’s how you repay us
      It’s time to go home.

      We were also treated to those other traditional Scottish Battle tunes, Derry’s Walls and The Billy Boys. God Save the Queen and Rule Britannia and of course I Was Born Under a Union Star got big licks from 30,000 Loyal Sons of William, a ‘small minority’ according to the Scottish Dead Tree Scrolls, who rely on fanning the flames hatred of the two tribes of fanatical psychopaths in Glasgow to sell their tawdry little Brit Nat propaganda sheets, and hoover up loads of cash in sales into the bargain.

      On Saturday we had the other half of Glasgow’s shame, the IRA Bhoys belting out songs glorifying terrorism, death and destruction, not in Scotland, but across the Sea in the North of Ireland.
      There is a view that as Rangers are the Establishment Club, God Save the Queen and all that, there has traditionally been a ‘light touch’ approach to their financial double dealings, which seems to have carried over into the New Club according to the Forbes’ report.

      Christ, they have an Armed Forces Day and fire off cannon before games. Their fervent fans are left in no doubt what their values are. God Save the Queen, we arra Peeple and send Johnny Furriner back home.

      They are paying each other millions in wages by festering hatred.

      And for every ‘us’ there must be a ‘them’.

      For every Thatcher there must be a Scargill.

      Over in the East End they fly the Tri Colour, and chant the songs and wave banners of the Green Brigade in praise the IRA and terrorism.

      They are two fleas off the same dug; hatred and bigotry sells, well, within a five mile radius in the heart of Glasgow at least.

      The rest of us? Some five million plus of us have had enough of your petty little tribal wars, Orange Walks and Hibernian marches which cost us police resources and public money hemming the Blue Green and Orange troglodytes in, to protect ordinary citizens.

      So there is no defence of Sellick or Ranjurs in my view.
      Rangers are on the brink, yet again.
      That’s all the Forbes article is saying.
      But like the financial failing of the Brit Nat Scottish Dead Tree Scrolls, money will be found, a ‘light touch’ applied, because they are rabid Butcher’s Apron waving Blueshirts for the SE Iron Heel oligarchy, Johnson, their precious queen, and Merrie Olde England.

      Likewise, Brian Wilson sits in the Directors’ Box at Parkhead denying us Scots’ the right to independence while the songs of the Irish ‘Rebellion’ ring like a cash registers in his ears.
      Why don’t they all go home and tend their garden or mend the roof?
      And leave the rest of us in peace.

      1. Neil Gateley says:

        Thanks for your response Jack. Of all the responses to my post, it’s the only one that has actually taken the issue seriously, in a grown up manner, and is the one I have a lot of respect for.

        I would point out, however, that I did not say anything like “The Parkhead psychos are as bad as us, so that’s ok then”. What I actually said was , and please read it again, by all means call out any crap that emanates from Ibrox – but if people do that ( and Mr. Small and his cronies do plenty of that) then they have a responsibility to call out the crap emanating from Parkhead (unlike yourself, Mr. Small and his cronies choose to adopt a “hear no evil, see no evil, call out no evil”) approach here.

        So I disagree with your contention that balance doesn’t matter (though your contribution itself was balanced). Calling out the crap on both sides is surely the only possible foundation for building consensus and moving forward rather than the puerile approach adopted by Mssrs Small and Co.

        Your quoting of the lyrics of the Famine Song was an education to me – I know neither its tune nor the lyrics. Clearly it is offensive and should be binned along with all the other Loyalist and Irish Nationalist/Republican nonsense. It should all be consigned to the 17th Century where it belongs, together with all the Braveheart/Bannockburn crap. What place should all this bull have in a confident, independent Scotland in the 21st Century? – it’s all cringeworthy at best.

        Apparently, that’s not what Mr. Small and his cronies (Phil Mac Giolla Bhain and Angela Haggerty per chance?) want though as they only call out any perceived or actual wrongdoing on one side of the sectarian divide , therefore being a significant part of the problem given the platform they enjoy.

        Sectarianism in Scotland, and the West of Scotland in particular, is one of life’s wicked problems and if there is any hope of it being solved it is about time the likes of Mr. Small and his ilk grew up and tried to build a community, not trash it.

        1. Jack collatin says:

          While the Boards sit in their comfy seats wrapped in sheepskin coats and a skin of leather, they preside over two ‘armies’ of working class lads and lasses, deliberately pitched against each other by the Lairds, Bishops and Media, on the ancient divide and conquer principle which has served the Filthy Rich Oligarchy since Adam threw Abel out of Eden.
          Food banks, UCS, the Rape Clause, the Bedroom Tax, a Tory MP drunk and groping people, allegedly, while raking in a fortune in wages and expenses…

          The Great Unwashed are fed Sellick and Ranjurs guff on a daily basis, because they are brainwashed into believing that, despite poverty, hopelessness, and the threat of eternal penury, they are the Peeple, and the other lot are scum, or whatever.

          They are taken for fools by ex Labour MPs and shady ‘businessmen’, who are aided and abetted by the tawdry hacks in the Dead Tree Scrolls and broadcast outlets.
          I love football, but not the hatefest at Ibrox and Parkhead, and to a lesser degree at other grounds in Scotland.

          There are clearly many many psychopaths who latch on to these two teams in particular, and their evil bigotry and sectarianism spreads like a cancer throughout the terracings.

          And the top tier of society is loving it.

          There will be no storming of the Bastille or the Winter Palace as long as we can get the proles to turn on each other.

          Well, it is the law of diminishing returns.

          It is my fond hope that organised religions wither and die and have the same status as Greek and Norse mythology in the first half of the 21st Century, and the Common Herd turn their energies and rage on the true enemy, the 1% who control and manipulate the globe.
          The mass hysteria of 30,000 ‘fans’ singing the Famine Song is not unique.

          The trick is to break the spell; call it what it is.
          A deliberate and centuries old schism created by the Top to destabilise the Many.

          Rod Stewart at the Lazio game the other evening.
          Snapped celebrating with the ‘lads’, then hopped into his private plane and on to London to Party.
          Jesus God Almighty.

      2. David Allan says:

        Jack .congratulations are due ,that was the best and most accurate football rant I’ve had the pleasure of reading on Bella.

        Couldn’t agree with you more. Sublime.

        And these clubs represent Scottish Football in Europe and their bigoted fan’s choose either a Union Flag or a Tricolour whilst doing so.

    4. HengistPod says:

      Neil … you and People like you are absolutely the biggest problem that Rangers have. It is your requirement that Celtic be stopped that will end your club.

      The reasons for the 1872 version being liquidated are now very, very clear. The current version is treading exactly the same path, and yet you blindly defend their actions. This is not “supporting” your club, this is wilful ignorance, and a deliberate avoidance of what are cold facts. You may well win the League this year if DK can scrape the £10m together, but your club will go out of business. Again, or for the first time – whichever.

      The whole show, and the only route to safety, is based on winning the League and getting to the CL group stages next year. DK’s timing is just a little bit out, though. Rangers will not survive that long without selling big players, and without those players they won’t make the CL group stage.

      Big European money was needed this season, not next. At the very least, Rangers must win the Europa League this year.

      You and your pals need to turn a blind eye to Celtic. Your thoughtless pursuit of them is undeniably going to be the death of your club. It’s now at a point where that’s almost inevitable.

      1. Neil Gateley says:

        Thanks for your advice Hengist – I think I’ll give it a bye if you don’t mind. You’ve probably been listening to too many Phil Mac Giolla Bhain fairy stories.

  2. Derek Thomson says:

    “It matters because the list of corrupt rich men who come and go into football clubs, fleecing fans before disappearing leaving wreckage in their path is a long and weary one.” Yes, and Dave King isn’t one of them. Obsessed, utterly obsessed.

    1. Brian Porter says:

      I honestly think that’s a bizarre assessment. Rangers are clearly spending way outwith their means and there has to be an obvious parallel with the outcome for that club in 2012 in similar circumstances.

      King, a convicted criminal and denounced as a liar, ousted the previous board and was found to have done so illicitly acting in concert. Ironically, Rangers were on a reasonably sound footing at the point King arrived and close to breaking even.

      Since then the losses have mounted year on year and King has taken Rangers on a disastrous course that has seen him receive the cold shoulder, expose the club to further losses in an as yet to be realised settlement with Ashleigh while the club borrows from Close Bros, pretending that it’s a loan facility.

      The losses are unsustainable. It’s all or nothing for King, and while the club is surviving it can’t possibly be a viable business model. Stopping Celtic has become the sole focus rather than achieving stability.

      I’m a St Mirren supporter, and while it’s a small club, it’s stable and well managed. I recognise the value of having a strong rivalry in Scotland that underpins the league, but what King is doing just looks bonkers to me. While you can argue he doesn’t meet the description of someone out to fleece the club, I’ll be astonished if Rangers don’t at the very least end up in administration because of King’s stewardship.

    2. Neil Gateley says:

      You are indeed 100% correct Derek – the Rangers haters are utterly obsessed.
      They are so sick that they didn’t mange to kill Rangers off that they can’t let go.

  3. JOCK says:

    pure biased timmy propaganda no mention of us also joining the barclays bank in the same week who I’m sure done their financial assessment on the business and deemed it to be viable. Your article should be about the great work King has done with the club instead of trying to smear all things rangers

    1. “pure biased timmy propaganda” – quality comment

    2. Kevin says:

      Barclays, like Metro have offered no credit line to a consistently loss making business, ran by a glib and shameless liar.
      None of the above stated by tims or propaganda.
      Factual reporting can’t be agenda driven.

  4. Derek c says:

    The writer must earn money in order to be able to live and to write but he must by no means live and write for the purpose of making money..another Marx quote .. which sums up this headline grabbing article.. let’s make a couple of bucks out of rangers..not dissimilar to other authors who have made a tidy couple of quid writing books on the subject of rangers f c .the silence of the Scottish media is deafening is one of the flawed arguments in this article ..it was on the front page of the largest selling tabloid in the county..and the bbc(blatantly biased coverup) article on this announced turnover had risen by 63 percent to 53.2 million up from 32.6 million which is hefty for a team not winning a league.. again pouring water on you need to win the league..selling one player Morelos and your into a profit..but I’ll leave the battle of the statistics for the upcoming (yawn) election.which interestingly while we are on Marxism (who over 25 is??? )will see the demise of corbyn..unable to defeat a complete buffoon like boris..that’s how turned on voters are by those ideals..the editor may not have to appeal to all tribes in Scotland but the snp( broad church don’t make me laff)most certainly have to .. especially as most rangers fans are working class .. to get her totalitarian regime over the line..but only then will the gloves off fun begin!!let the battle commence!!!the editor has now fell into the george rangers Galloway and Chris rangers Sutton obsessed swamp which he will swim in till the next headline to turn heads..he’s in fine company !! I look forward to reading about Partick thistles financial affairs next week..or the lord provosts knickers..but alas it will be more of the same guff..

    1. Millsy says:

      Perhaps you would care to explain to the investors of Club 1872 why their shareholding in the club they love has been reduced from over 10 % just over a year ago to a smidgen over 6% by Mr King’s endless share issues , despite their having sunk a considerable chunk of their hard-earned into the coffers during that period ?

      I also have a book on punctuation that I can let you have for a mere 2 million old Rangers’ shares !

      1. Derek c says:

        Despite their having sunk a considerable chunk..good English ..I’ll dip into the cover up fc biscuit Tin to buy my punctuation book.. it’s awash with cash trousered from false gate receipts during Their 9 and a row years.. (title stripping anyone??)(sporting integrity?)and was significantly topped up latterly until the day of Hillsborough when that cash cow was brought to an abrupt halt.good ole Kelly’s n whites made Charles green look like a saint.or I could always look under the carpet at club 1916..I’ll find more than loose change under there..

        1. millsy says:

          Can I have this translated into English ?

    2. Big Boss says:


      Leaving tribal issues to one side can I just point out your “turnover” while indeed being increased …..(good point) is fuelled and financed by watered down share issues, (very bad point) very very soft loans form “investors” or friends of the club (very bad point) and very very hard loans from Close brothers …..(extremely bad point) and qualifying for EL league stages last year. (very good point) season tickets for next thee years have already been spent (Extremely bad point)

      Turnover does not equal success not matter how it is painted

      In summation, when you look at the Good, the Bad, the Very bad and the Ugly, the figures speak for themselves as most people but not “The People” can see !

      Relations of mine work in the banking sector, one based in the square mile in London (deals in investigatory large company accounting) and another based in Edinburgh in similar employment, both big Rangers men both with major concerns at whats happening to the point where one stated that unless Rangers win the league and qualify for Champions league 2/3 years consecutively they are doomed at any point along the way.

      That would also need to include all possible investment that would come in by association with these events and sustainable wealthy backing not of the Dave King kind.

      The figures printed show an improvement in turn over but do not include Kent transfer, Mike Ashley, and various other battles in court at moment, not to mention the fact that current kit suppliers are considering their position in the wake of the MA case, and the need to find circa £10m to see out the season

      Add all that to the figures ……………………..

      1. Neil Gateley says:

        Even if all this were true , the Rangers playing squad is worth many, many Dembele dollars.

        It is a trifle strange, that in the same week the Rangers financial results were released, there is a deafening silence regarding Dundee United’s financial results, with a trading loss to turnover ratio that must be way in excess of that of Rangers.

        1. anton de grandier says:

          Neil,why dont Rangers borrow money on the commercial markets,from the banks, like most clubs do?Why this reliance on Directors loans and Loans from such as Close Bros?

  5. florian albert says:

    Suppose Rangers supporters were offered a deal; you can win the league this season, thus stopping 9-in-a-row, let alone ten, but – as a result of overspending – the club would subsequently go bust, as in 2012.
    How many would take it ?
    Quite a lot, I suspect. Such is the nature of football.
    Seeing your main rival fail is almost as important as succeeding yourself.

    1. Joe Erasmus says:

      I think you are absolutely right Florian Albert. I think loads of Ranger’s fans would take this deal. But this is exactly the kind of madness that Mike’s highlighting. What ensues is a situation where one’s hatred of one’s opponent is so strong that one would kill one’s self in order to hurt them. It is an indictment of the human condition. As I say, I personally know Rangers fans who would take the deal you are proposing. But what you then end up with is a cycle, Rangers have to bankrupt themselves every 9 years in order to stop Celtic reaching a specified number (which has become symbolically significant) of league titles. It’s madness. It is ruining football.

  6. SleepingDog says:

    If it is cheating in principle to use unearned income to win at sport, where do you draw the line? At a monetary amount? At sport? I imagined that such practices might be banned under anti-money-laundering legislation, never mind UEFA Fair Financial Play. Yet this is the recurrent motif of our times, from private education, through all kinds of corrupt practices and up the Great Games of states and empires, whose bankruptcies may yet usher in a new age, possibly even one of level playing fields.

    Perhaps we should have a football league where each team practised a different political-economy, and let them contest ideology on the pitch. Workersoftheworld United 4, Capital City −11…

    1. Neil Gateley says:

      You’ve probably a good point there Sleeping Dog – I reckon PlanetDownThe Pan Athletic would win that league. By the way, I reckon that Mssrs. Murray and Whyte were, at best, Highland League level in terms of tax evasion/money laundering compared with Dermot Desmond’s Champions League level talent but will we ever have any analysis of scenario in Bella Caledonia? Not a chance – it doesn’t fit with the agenda.

  7. Graham T says:

    I posed a hypothetical question the other day to Rangers supporting friends who had no interest in their club accounts.

    I asked them they would feel if in the last few seasons Aberdeen had started to run up huge losses each year and had been buying players their accounts said they couldn’t afford. Then this hypothetical Aberdeen team rocked up to Ibrox and beat a Rangers side living within its means 5-0.

    “that’s just wrong”, “there would be an investigation”, “it wouldn’t be allowed in the first place” etc etc were some of the responses.

    I then told them that was exactly what Rangers were doing. That whilst every other club was trying to be self sustainable and well run Rangers were operating in a manner that was akin to financial doping, the same as the Rangers that went bust.

    They didn’t believe me so I’ve directed them to the accounts and I’m still waiting for a response.

    1. john learmonth says:

      Can’t we get both Celtic and Rangers to join the english premiership?
      That way they’d both have plenty of cash and the english would have their delightful supporters to ‘entertain’ leaving Hibs to clean up in Scotland (hopefully)

      1. Craigy Whyte says:

        That’s pie in the sky stuff , particularly Hibs cleaning up in Scotland 😉

        1. john learmonth says:

          We can but dream….
          Incidentally i don’t think any article on BC has aroused such passionate debate
          Haven’t we got better things in Scotland to worry about than the fate of a football club?
          As we’re quoting Marx (and i paraphrase)
          ‘Football is the opium of the people’

          1. Jack collatin says:

            what john says…

  8. "Stevie" to the world. "Timmy" to the Sevconians says:

    Deafened by the thunderous sound of Sevco wagons being circled – without wheels of course, as those long ago fell off

    1. Neil Gateley says:

      Just as Stevie picks up on the word “Timmy” , I’ll pick up on the term “Sevco” – experience has told me there is no point debating any point with anyone using that term – I’ll pass.

  9. The Certain Day says:

    I don’t understand the relevance of this, there will be dozens of major firms companies in a perilous state, but don’t know why Rangers and the fans always get it in the neck from nationalist bloggers / sites. I am a fervent supporter of our movement and now have a passing interest in Rangers (keen supporter in my youth) , lay off them there is more to be celebrated than condemned, plus one Scotland many cultures is very relevant here.

    1. Neil Gateley says:

      Good point TCD – one nation, many cultures.

      Yes, there’s a huge amount of work to be done at the extremes of both these 2 particular cultures (and the extremes of most cultures) but the demonisation and dehumanisation of one sub-culture by the usual suspects makes matters worse. People need to start looking more for common ground and the good points of different cultures.

      1. Me Bungo Pony says:

        The reason Rangers FC “get it in the neck” on pro-indy sites is because they are seen (and portray themselves(both fans and Club)) as one of the “pillars of the Union”. As such, they leave themselves open to comment and criticism on some indy sites. Celtic FC do not see themselves as “pillars of the Union” so do not receive such criticism. It has nothing to do with some imagined Celtic FC bias.

        As a self proclaimed “pillar of the Union”, what they say, do and claim becomes fair game in the political discourse of the country. It appears the gloss and glory surrounding the resurgent club may only be a thin veneer with little of substance to sustain it. Of course this is of good cheer to those on the other side of the political (not sporting) spectrum. If Rangers FC fans don’t like it … just ignore it. I don’t understand why you are wasting your time calling the clubs critics out on a site such as this. You wont convince anyone everything is fine and dandy down Ibrox way. You should be more worried about how a club with such a large fan base, brand and stage has come to this juncture so soon after the last time. It cannot be denied many tens of millions of pounds were wasted, lost and paid out beating the likes of Montrose, Albion Rovers and Stranraer in getting back to the SPL.

        I write this as a ‘Well fan whose club followed the same unwise path Rangers FC are currently on and almost paid the ultimate price for it. It was not “all over the newspapers” beforehand but filled the front pages when the doody hit the fan. The same will happen IF Dundee Utd are in a similar shape. No one is interested right now (except perhaps Utd fans though none I know seem worried (I’ve lived in Tayside for decades now)) because they are just a “provincial” football club with none of the political pretensions Ranger FC exhibit. If the doody hits their fan then no doubt the media will be all over it.

        1. I think the other thing is the target is often not the club but the governing bodies, who, often as not seem to fail to regulate the game or protect the game from sectarianism, fair play and good governance and thereby threaten the whole league and the future of the game.

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