Dave King And Sevco: Stuck In Lodi Again

JS65868640Tonight Dave King has released a quite unhinged, unprompted statement “updating the fans” on the club’s relationship with Sports Direct.

The statement itself is ludicrous, self-righteous twaddle.

It’s mixed with vague threats they can’t possibly hope to deliver on, but once parsed basically says “we were unhappy last time we spoke about this and we’re still unhappy and apart from that nothing has actually changed”.

That it’s come tonight is, however, enlightening.

Today someone sent me an article Keith Jackson wrote for The Daily Record, an article in which he’s asking some of the questions sites like this one were asking months ago. It’s equally instructive to note that Jackson and his paper echo those predictions whilst continuing to pour scorn on others.

For now let’s just congratulate them on having got here at all, as late in the day (and it’s later than many think) as it is.

As Jackson says in his piece, it’s been a while now since King and his cohort breezed into town on the back of good press that made you think we were witnessing a liberating army sweeping aside a corrupt and bitter regime. What happened was that they replaced a Sevco board which had been forced to take soft loans to keep the lights on. Nothing more.

Now, months on, they’re taking soft loans to keep on the lights.

But of course, these are Real Rangers Men … so that makes everything okay, right?

I love the media’s ignorant reporting on stuff involving this lot. They just never get past the notion that somewhere, out there, are a load of multi-millionaires with King Billy tattooed on their backsides.

They can’t get their heads around the simple truth; Sevco is a West of Scotland football team that continuously loses money, and no-one is willing to bail it out, far less finance the next European adventure, with their own cold hard cash.

And, sooner or later, that means the lights will go out at the Big House.

One of the great rumours doing the rounds is that they’re finally trying to cut costs and that part of this is scaling back on their public relations.

How satisfying if true.

Traynor and his buddies must have thought they were onto a permanent winner there, a long-term, lifetime, meal ticket.

I would hope all Sevco fans are delighted that’s not the case.

But of course, King, who’s always been able to afford (or at least count on) good press will know that old political adage about the media; either you feed the beast, or the beast feeds on you.

Is that, maybe, why we’re here tonight?

Has Traynor been onto his buddy at The Record and suggested the time has come – now his own contract’s been cancelled – to start digging?

It’s comi-tragic in a way. Jackson’s article talks about how quiet things are at Ibrox right now, something I’ve suggested isn’t good news (the Titanic went down in calm seas, after all) only for this to erupt tonight, out of the blue.

There’s a wee comical aphorism that we used to toss around back when I worked for Glasgow City Council in the Parks; real work plus appearance of work equals actual work.

That’s never been more true than it is in the case of those who’ve been running the show at Ibrox these past eight or nine months. Tonight looks like nothing more than the “appearance of action” in an effort to make them look busy on important stuff, just to silence the one piece of media questioning they’ve had to deal with in that time.

King isn’t a man who wants scrutiny of any kind, you see. And when someone doesn’t want people to know what’s actually going on … well, that’s when people start trying to find out what is going on. If only we could rely on our hacks to take the next, logical step.

Sevco is pretty near to being skint if it isn’t skint already.

Phil’s been writing about their financial tribulations for a while now, and one of the things he keeps on hinting at, and was still hinting at today, is how little appetite there is in the Blue Room for anyone on the board to carry this financial basket case with their own cash.

Jackson’s article “presumes” that the money will come from the so-called Three Bears.

Ha! How nice it must be to spend other people’s cold hard cash in such a way.

If it was you in that room, how keen would you be to dip into your own pockets – again – when the loudmouth in the chairman’s seat (only when he can be bothered, living as his does in another country) is yet to put his hand in his?

Not very, I’d suggest, as Phil has been saying for a while.

And if not them, then who?

Where’s the cash coming from?

We’ve already been over why it can’t come from the fans.

Tonight’s barmy rant was, when trimmed down, about how little of their merchandising wonga they get to keep, so that avenue is closed off as a serious fund raiser. Season tickets are already sold. A cup of tea at Ibrox is plenty expensive but they’d need to tie up a 500 year contract for the Women’s Institute annual get-together to make much of a difference that way (and some of where that money goes will be discussed in a courtroom pretty soon if I’m reading the landscape right).

Which leaves a share issue.

Which said court case makes impossible.

This is a monumental mess, and when even Jackson’s notoriously funky radar is bleeping you know trouble is now where people can see it, and that it’s only the tip of the iceberg peeking above the water.

The real game changing stuff is still hidden from view, but just below the surface.

His article says that the club will only need two or three million in external funding to get them through the season; that assertion ought to be viewed with about as much scepticism as a Del Trotter Money Back Guarantee.

Previous boards have had to source funding two or three times that in the course of a season; nothing at Ibrox is cheaper than it was then, and with all these people they’ve just added to the payroll you best believe the wage bill is climbing again at a merry old clip.

And who are these people anyway?

Oh that’s right, one is “the guy who found Raheem Sterling” because, of course, without him wee Raheem would be working in the local Greggs selling the last steak bake before Ally could get to it.

Tonight, our intrepid media is regurgitating the King press release like it’s The Ten Commandments.

Most are suggesting that this is King getting tough.

So job done then, and proof that you don’t need PR people to get good PR, not when you have a compliant media that will swallow anything.

Jesus wept … I mean, the coverage this club gets is unfailingly positive all the time.

And they wonder why crisis keeps on creeping up to the front door and kicking it in like a police raid at four in the morning.

The bottom line is that tonight Dave King has torn himself away from his latest South African self-assessment to respond to an article in a newspaper few read and even fewer believe, but which this time decided to fulfil its one basic function.

When it comes right down to it, this is an act of fear because this club hasn’t moved an inch from when he took over, in spite of all the positive headlines.

There’s a great Creedence Clearwater Revival song about a guitar player who visits a nowhere town called Lodi. He ends up stuck there for months because he hasn’t got the cash to leave again. A lot of people inside Ibrox right now can certainly relate.

Here this club is, back where it was before, unable to move on.

No amount of attempted spin can hide that.

“Oh lord. Stuck in Lodi again.”

(This site relies on your support, my friends. If every reader was able to make a donation that would keep the site going strong well into the future. Many thanks in advance.)

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.

15 thoughts on “Dave King And Sevco: Stuck In Lodi Again

  • 27 October, 2015 at 9:49 pm

    You worked for the council? What a surprise!

  • 27 October, 2015 at 10:24 pm

    Reports state that they are now considering putting off the proposed share issue until they win promotion to the top flight on the grounds that it will make them a more attractive proposition to prospective investors and allow for a higher share price. As the song goes: “Who do you think you’re kidding….?”

  • 27 October, 2015 at 11:37 pm

    It suits guys like Jaxhun and co not tae print the truth,if they did so then they’d be out of a job,asap.
    The Zombies are the only clowns out there who still buy the Wreckord and the S** and are so thick tae believe the crap the journos tell them,they never learn,they despise John James because he tells it like it is,long may their stupidity continue.

  • 28 October, 2015 at 12:09 am

    I know someone very well…who also worked for the Park\’s Department.
    Small world James.

  • 28 October, 2015 at 11:25 am

    I believe you could get the Hibees at 16/1 to win the Championship at the beginning of the season,beginning to look like a steel,would you not think…………..

  • 28 October, 2015 at 12:24 pm

    Enjoyed that read James…. As they are near skint and if no other funds are found have the SB buying fans any redress with the current board for buying a product and only getting half of what they paid for when the doors are eventually locked?

  • 28 October, 2015 at 12:47 pm

    I\’ve just found your site thanks to a plug from the Clumpany. Great read, most enjoyable. Keep on doing what you\’re doing.

    And to all you Tim\’s out there, it\’s time to stock up on jelly and ice cream because you\’ll be needing it real soon.

  • 28 October, 2015 at 1:21 pm

    Sevco, The gift that just keeps on giving. Ha.

  • 28 October, 2015 at 5:12 pm

    Excellent piece.

  • 28 October, 2015 at 5:29 pm

    Excellent article, James. Keep up the good work.

  • 28 October, 2015 at 7:56 pm

    King obviously suffers from an irony bypass.

    Yet again he jets in, throws the media a story saying basically that’s nothings changed with regards to the SD issue and off he pops back to South Africa!

    What point is he trying to make?

    Why did he not put out a statement confirming his investment.

    Is there a possibility that the 3 Bears will step forward again and provide yet another soft loan…….given King’s reticence surely not.

    There are strong rumours that monies collected by the fans could be diverted to fund the latest financial crisis.

    The SD loan of £5m remains unpaid, the 3 Bears loans of say another £5m will have to be repaid.

    With no chance of a share issue how will that be possible.

    Again as is strongly rumoured King borrowed money from Taylor to fund his shareholding……has King repaid his colleague or is this further evidence that DCK either has no money or is having a wee issue with the SA authorities that limit his ability to move cash around?

    There appears to be little, or no chance, of these loans being repaid in the short or medium term given the hand to mouth situation that the club is in.

    Ashley appears to be the only player capable of keeping the lights on. ……..Stand by for an about turn in the rhetoric coming from Ibrox as the 3 Bears take stock of the situation they find themselves in and come to the conclusion that they don’t need King, in fact King’s presence is doing more harm than good.

  • 29 October, 2015 at 1:44 am

    Loans given and not paid back as yet. The terms used to describe these are Short Term, Medium Term & Long Term so what timescales do these short, medium and long term loans fall into. I suggest it would not seem out of place to suggest that short means 3-5 years, medium 5-7 and long 7-pick a number (from friends). Remember these are business loans so the pay back timescales may be subject to change depending on the amount of money required. if they ever get a credit line from a bank and apply for a loan? I dread to think how long it will take them to pay these the loans back and what timescales the bank would give them, a lot shorter than loans from friends.

  • 1 November, 2015 at 4:38 pm

    Further soft loans will be made available as and when required proclaims TGASL.

    It’s no coincidence that the accounts are to be published this week so will the auditors be suitably assured that they can sign off the accounts without a going concern warning.

    Given the high profile of their client, where the previous auditors did walking away, the continuing annual losses, the forthcoming legal cases and associated costs, have the auditors taken King at his word or have they asked for proof of funds to cover the projected shortfall and finance trading for another year?

    I would suggest the latter must be the case and the guarantee of future funding must be cast iron otherwise the bean counters could be putting their reputation on the line.

    Phil is blogging that the TGASL statement may have been made public prior to or without one or more of the prospective saviours knowledge.

    Perhaps the auditors to be on the safe side should have a word with the individuals concerned to confirm that they are on message and then exactly what quantum they are prepared to throw away…….sorry co invest I think is the term I was looking for.

    The latest losses, £8 to £10m at a guess, given that nothing much has changed from the previous financials, needs to be addressed.
    Yet no one appears to have a plan to turn the business around otherwise soft loans will be required ad infinitum.

    Apart from winning the SPFL then qualifying for the Champions League group stages there is no plan apparent to stop the bleeding.

    How far away are they from that?

    Quite a bit I would suggest.

    Getting turned over by St Johnstone at home, who themselves didn’t get past the 1st qualifying round in the Europa Cup, nor failing to get a result at Easter Road today against an improving Hibees augurs well.

    To take the SPFL title from Celtic will need real investment in the playing squad in transfer fees and wages. Although income will increase in year one of the return to the top league this will not be sufficient to stem the losses, in fact they will increase.

    Just can’t see King’s co investors hanging around for too long when they realise it’s their money that’s going to fund the deficit…..in perpetuity.

  • 2 November, 2015 at 12:29 pm

    Further compare and contrast.

    The Magic Hat is defending his decision to cancel a Saturday game at home to Dumbarton and move it to a midweek slot in winter.
    Not a word of criticism from the media, not a peep.

    When the club is financially strapped moving the game will mean there will be thousands who can’t/won’t travel midweek, some will have already made and paid for travel an accomodation.

    No offence to Dumbarton but I’m certain that Rangers could pick any selection from their squad and still win comfortably.

    Not one of those who started against Hibs at the weekend have been called up….not a one!

    If McCoist in a similar situation had pulled the same stunt he would have been slaughtered but nope The Hat, and Dave King, can do no wrong.

    This decision is indefensible, It’s not even open to argument.

    Rangers v Dumbarton at Ibrox…..game rescheduled, 5 Gers non starters at the weekend called up by their respective countries.

    Wow, Warbs really does have faith in the squad he has assembled!

  • 2 November, 2015 at 5:29 pm

    The Rangers journo attached to the ET,one of them, who copy and pastes every word coming out of Ibrox, has done it again.
    His latest effort has Warbs defending his decision to cancel the home Dumbarton game on the coming international weekend and move it to a Tuesday night in December.

    Not a peep from Chris as to how inconvenient this might be for the Gers support.
    Not a peep about the financial hit they will suffer as a result.
    Not a peep that Hibs will get the chance to cut the gap to 2 points, and if this is future policy on international weekends Hibs may find themselves in pole position.

    The most telling factor for me is that Warbs has made great play of not bringing in 5 or 6 new players in January as it could upset team morale.
    However how would you feel as a squad player not getting a regular game that the manager does not trust you to do a job on lowly Dumbarton at home?

    Not a single player who started the Hibs match on Sunday has been called up.

    Defensible, definitely not.

    An insult to the rest of the squad, most definitely.

    It’s Dumbarton, no offence, not Real Madrid!!!

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