A Prayer For The Dying

titlecoffinWell, well, well. Endgame on, eah?

Or maybe not so much.

Amazing isn’t it?

Change is a funny thing. It can happen suddenly, without warning.

After all this time moping about, and watching as the club slowly bleeds, after telling fans not to buy tickets to “starve out the board” – the strategy that drove the club into the loving arms of Mike Ashley – the flags have been raised, the Sevco fans have their day in the sun and the heroes have ridden to the rescue.

Or have they?

Tonight’s news makes me smile. A group of businessmen have sunk £5 million between them into the football club at Ibrox and bought what the media typically, wrongly that is, have labelled “a controlling interest”.

Now all they need to do is take control. Should be simple enough. They certainly have enough votes to call an EGM, and with time running out they ought to get on with it, right?

Because otherwise they’ve just poured their money down a drain.

This raises a lot of questions. More than I can fit into one article. Like why now?

Why’s King, in particular, jumping in at this point in time, after he has refused to buy shares on three separate occasions, including during two club share issues since 2012?

One would be forgiven for wondering whether this has something to do with the South African government being about to re-examine his case, narrowing his involvement window?

For sure, he can’t sit on the Sevco board of directors, because the rules on that are very, very clear, and Neil Doncaster has gone out of his way to tell us recently that rules are rules for all clubs and will be applied without fear or favour.

Yeah, yeah, yeah. I’ll be returning to him in a day or two.

Tonight’s news means that the majority of the “institutional investors” from 2012 have now cashed in their chips and decided to cut and run. The only surprise is that they didn’t bail sooner. It represents a full-scale repudiation of the notion that the club is a good investment … and that doesn’t change whether “Rangers men” own it or not.

But now there’s a good chance that the Sevco fans are going to get their fondest wish; a club owned and run “by their own”.

As I’ve said before, I cannot think of anything Sevco needs less than being in the hands of the Peepil.

At the moment, without Financial Fair Play, there’s nothing in the rule book to stop Sevco-minded individuals from sinking every penny they have into keeping that club afloat, and going even further and spending every buck they have in the bank on chasing the dream.

As far as pumping up clubs with the good stuff goes, steroid use is still legal in Scottish football, and if Dave King and others want to shoot Sevco up it’s not anyone’s business but their own. We’ve been down this road a time or two before, there’s really no knowing what a fool will do with his money.

Except … none of these guys is a fool.

Latham gave Sevco money in the past, on loan, and got interest with it. King didn’t give £20 million to Rangers; he invested it at a time when he thought he might get a return on the cash. He threatened to sue David Murray after he sold up to Craig Whyte, claiming he’d been “duped” – a familiar excuse in this sorry state of affairs.

Did Douglas Park make his bundle throwing good money after bad?

There are certain realities regarding Sevco that a lot of people still seem unable, or unwilling, to face. The first is that the club is not a money-maker. Their playing squad at the present time is of remarkably poor standard, and although it’s the second biggest wage bill in the land it is not as high as the Rangers teams of old.

Yet even with a full house every week, at full prices, this club would be losing as much as £500,000 per month.

Now, factor in spending increases across the board. Millions to set up, and then run, a scouting network. Millions more on first team salaries. The stadium is in bad shape. Millions more will be needed there if the place isn’t to be condemned.

Bravo to Goldfinger and the Three Bears if they’re willing to spend what it takes to accomplish all that. I know that it’s going to be very interesting watching them try to match fairy-tale and fantasy with reality.

This is what the fans wanted. “Real Rangers men” at the helm.

If this group assumes full control those fans are not going to countenance anything less than what I outlined above.

A board that tells them the club has to “live within its means” will be condemned for it. A board which tries to impose austerity, whilst claiming that they are trying to “restore it to its rightful place” (a three year old club. I’m curious as to what that place is) will be run out of town on a rail. No supporters in Scotland are quite as ungrateful as these. The Easdales have been playing the role of benfactors these last 12 months, and they are hated.

You know, there are doubtless people out there who will see a conspiracy in this. They’ll see King’s move coming on the back of Doncaster’s statement, which itself comes on the back of the SFA’s sudden respect for its own rulebook, they will put two and two together and come up with an answer that will cast a dark shadow on the wall.

I don’t know what to say to those people. It’s hard to argue that something about all this is just not right …

See, to an outside party, it might look as if these people are all acting in concert. Even the SFA’s refusal to entertain any more investment from Mike Ashley looks suspect in light of events since, doesn’t it?

But none of that can be the case, right?

Because otherwise the club is being set up to take another hit, and Doncaster knew this when he spoke out yesterday, to give them a nudge-wink assurance that they can drop the hammer and it’ll be business as usual.

Most of us assumed that anyway … but it means something more, doesn’t it?

It means that things have been going on behind the scenes, that people with no controlling interest in a Scottish football club – with barely a share between them – have been negotiating, in secret, with one or both of the governing bodies, behind the backs of the Sevco board to set up a power grab against them, not to mention springing a con job on the rest of Scottish football.

That would be wrong in so many, many, many ways … from the governing bodies interefering in the politics of a member club’s boardroom, playing power games on behalf of, amongst other people, a convicted tax fraudster …. to conspiring to aid a pump-and-dump which will impact on, amongst others, the commercial interests of a billionaire businessman … none of which, I am fairly certain, is within their remit as an independent body interested only in the well-being of the game … well, Hell …

I mean, Peter Lawwell, the CEO of Celtic, is on that board, along with a number of others … if it was discovered that the SPFL was supporting “regime change” at Ibrox … that directors of clubs were deciding on who got to sit on the board of another … well what then? Even if it was being done without the boards connivance, with Doncaster and a couple of others acting alone …

Can you imagine the consequences of that?

No, neither can I. Armageddon is the closest word I can think of … but it seems insignificant somehow.

I think, in light of that, it’s all the more important that we fortify against such an eventuality by lobbying our clubs hard to knock this “continuation of history” issue on the head once and for all … as well as getting some assurances from the SPFL and the SFA that they have not been unduly poking their noses into the boardroom of one of it’s clubs … because otherwise, mark my words, we’re headed for a bad summer.

If the above was true …

The whole of Scottish football, being played for fools, fans most of all, nothing more than an afterthought as the governing bodies intercede in a matter that is none of their business … to get the desired boardroom outcome that will satisfy The Peepil?

Oh we’d really be through the Looking Glass then.

Black is white and white is black.

Of course, all that assumes that Goldfinger and the Three Bears are also stringing the Sevco fans along too …

Which can’t possibly be the case, can it?

I mean, these guys are Rangers men, aren’t they? They are there to protect the interests of club and fans, not to pull a Craig Whyte switcheroo, right? Therefore, if, say, they acquired control, “looked under the bonnet” (although what they’ll find there that this site and others haven’t been saying for nearly two years I don’t know) and decided the club needs to be liquidated “for its own good” …

Well Sevco fans, surely you wouldn’t swallow that, would you?

Would you?

I know one thing for sure – the guys who have, between them, spent a little over £5 million in shares (a £1 million quid each, for all the Broxi Burgers they can eat) well, they are going to have to spend a lot more to even get through the season, and the fans better hope they have the money, otherwise all their celebrations of this evening – believing in those saviours on white chargers – are going to amount to little more than a wake, and all their hopes to nothing but a prayer for the dying.

Cause … well … you know what the alternative is, right?

Yes, you got it in one. The alternative, is you …. You, dear Sevco fans.

I hope you’ve got deep pockets, I really do.

There’s an old maxim, familiar to con-men; “You can sheer a sheep many times, but skin it only once.”

I guess that’s why they call it “pulling the wool over your eyes.”

Life might be about to get very interesting for you, not to mention expensive.

For the rest of us, we better be on our guard. The chess pieces appear to be in motion.

Who do they think we are? The pawns? Guess again ...

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James Forrest

James Forrest is a writer and blogger from Glasgow, and the author of two books, Fragments and Believers, which are available on Amazon.

10 thoughts on “A Prayer For The Dying

  • 3 January, 2015 at 12:11 am

    Power to your elbow sir hope they realise how much money is needed to get sevco within 3 seasons of the tics level

  • 3 January, 2015 at 1:55 am

    I agree broadly with your assertions….but……Uncle Tom Lawwell will help out whatever incarnation of this bastard club out to the nth degree.

    Celtic will keep downsizing in his race to the bottom to meet them….not the other way around,which would be impossible for those afflicted with Rangersitis to sustain.

    The only hope that Scottish fitba would then have is that a well coached Dundee United or Aberdeen or Hearts or Hibs would burst the bubble and expose the ‘Old Firm’ cartel for what it really is in Peternomics deluded vision.

    The guy is a charlatan and I wish he would get tae feck outta Paradise and take Ian Bankier with him.

    Champions League…..We’re having a Lafffffff!!

  • 3 January, 2015 at 2:42 am

    These protagonists are devious/clever businessmen who have many ideas how to dodge bullets and tax too, I expect the huns to survive unless there is another arab spring amongst Scottish – and not just Celtic – fans.
    As you say, the chess men are being positioned, but who will enact the fait accompli?

  • 3 January, 2015 at 4:29 am

    Seem to remember the squeals and cry’s from the hacks in the media and the fans that the last thing they needed after the Minty years and the Sir Cragies reign was a ” Rangers man in charge” which ushered in the Cheeko revolution, we seem to have gone full circle on that one.

    Only a few weeks ago the fat controller was being hailed as “good for sevco” and they say a week is a long time in politics? fickle people indeed.

    It was rumored as far back as September that a deal had been done with the Scottish football beaks to allow the very scenario you allure to (apparently the use of hamdem as an alternative venue had been agreed)

    The idiots trying to run our game (into the ground) are quite clearly getting all their ducks in a row to expedite this oh so obvious rouse.

    The take over panel of the AIM board should be asked to look at this, also the fact that King has recently attempted to manipulate the share price by advocating a season book boycott which has driven the price south allowing for him to pick up shares to his benefits… this cannot be legal. FCA please take note.

    If King and the 3 bears are acting in concert and the SPFL/SFA are complicit we should expect another round of visits from the boys in blue.

    If the fat controller does walking away he might just be doing king et al a huge favor. The club could be admin/ liquidation bound where by the new kids on the block can through their hands in the air and declare ” it wisny us it was fat mike that did it, we only have the clubs best interest at heart….honest”

    Bless the hacks,the SPFL, the SFA, next they’ll be telling us that banks cant survive without bank robbers or dodgy bankers and traders. Scotland….a parallel universe that defies all know laws of physics…. not to mention though’s of honesty and integrity.

  • 3 January, 2015 at 1:06 pm

    Ryecatcher ……methinks thou dost protest too much, and have been doing so since you first ‘came onto the scene’ …….. I would suggest you are either a hurtinhun, or negatonian with a personal gripe / agenda ……. having said that, ‘carry on up the Kyber’


    You are to be commended for your contribution to Truth & Justice ……. Excellent article, and so true…

  • 3 January, 2015 at 2:05 pm

    Rob, thanks mate, spontaneous laughter …..Banks and Bank Robbers, wish I’d thought of that one.

    James as usual finger on the pulse stuff…….I’m of the opinion that we are all being conned by Doncaster et al….I firmly believe and agree with you that meetings have taken place over the festive that amount to another 5 way agreement….this time some of the parties involved have changed……but the outcome will be similar…..rules will be bent or ignored to keep the carcass in business…………a team will survive playing in blue but not necessarily out of Govan……what guts me more that anything is that our club could be involved in such a sham …….I’ve a lot of time for PL and how the Board have steadied the ship since Fergus departed the scene ……but if we are complicit in this then it’s Season Ticket in the bin time …………

    BTW Happy New Year, your writing has been a source of inspiration for me this year, keep it up chap:-)

  • 3 January, 2015 at 2:59 pm

    Why is everyone so suspicious? I’m sure it’s all above board and legal. All this cynicism has ruined my day. I was having a lovely time playing with the toys Santa brought me.

  • 3 January, 2015 at 9:12 pm

    67 Heaven….

    Methinks your ‘scene’ is definitely a different one that I inhabit or frequent, mate.

    Open your mind and your eyes will surely follow.

    Hail Hail

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