Because it is.
I firmly believe that there is an “insolvency event” around the corner. It may be months, it may be a year, but it’s coming.
Although there are reassurances emanating from the NewCo board, the figures don’t seem to stack up.
Losses of £14m and wage bills that would frankly choke a horse must surely have the fans asking where it’s all going and what is the strategy? Where’s the business plan for the next 5 years? Fergus McCann had a five year plan when he took over at Celtic. He stuck to it religiously, letting nothing get in the way, and he swept the changes.
Money was afforded to the correct projects, namely the stadium re-development and the arduous task of re-building a team in shadows of Rangers.
What the blue half of Glasgow tend to forget is that we, as Celtic fans, suffered dark days then, and they watched it all with what was at first mockery, and then wariness. You might say they had an obsession with Celtic back then, and we were told on a daily basis of how rotten the team was and how we were beggars.
Yet, unknown to us, Rangers were paying their players EBT all the time; an enticement to the Scottish game, without which these players would not have crossed any borders.
Their over-spending in pursuit of success cost them dearly and it’s happening all over again. Why in God’s name would you pay SPL wages in the third tier of Scottish Footbal?
Is the strategy to accrue enough points that they can still go up, even if the insolvency event happens this year? But what price the team then? They’d need to rebuild from scratch again next season. It is a crazy strategy, if that’s what it is.
Let’s face it – Rangers will coast this division by a silly amount of points. There are no plaudits to be gained here. However well you dress it up, it’s buying a title. If the current Celtic team was put in that division, I’d expect the second string to win every game.
And the man who, until last week, was Scotland’s richest football manager, is receiving every bit of credit for it.
No wonder Ally’s not walking away. It looks like he’s taken a drop of around 50%. which if reports are correct, would still put him on a comparable salary with Neil Lennon at Celtic, who has masterminded Celtic’s path to the Champions League two season’s running. If I was Lennon I’d be chapping Lawwell’s door on Monday morning.
Let’s not kid ourselves about what’s really going on at Rangers. The fan’s season ticket money is not financing the race back to the top. Right now, the club’s financial welfare is being put a risk to fund the reputation of Ally McCoist.
Forget for a moment his own wages. No manager in Scotland’s third tier needs a wage bill of nearly £8 million per annum. There are plenty of managers out there who would have felt perfectly comfortable taking on these teams with a tenth of that figure. McCoist is trying to protect his own job. He’s trying to fireproof himself from criticism by building a team so expensive they could win the league going through the motions.
For sure, this doesn’t benefit the club. He talked some months ago about building a team which could compete with SPL clubs right away, and he was granted the latitutde to do exactly that, except now he’s saying that the team will have to be rebuilt again next year, at even greater cost, so they can “compete with Celtic” in their first season back in the top flight, should they make it.
Looking at Celtic’s wage bill, and expenditure overall, one can see how insane the level of spending would need to be at Ibrox to support this “ambition.”
In all of this, the Rangers fans are being spoon-fed huge amounts of bullshit by the incumbent Ibrox board, sometimes on a daily basis. Some of it is sugar-coated to appeal to the masses, but If anyone, with any form of intelligence, believes the spin that the cheeky chappy and all round good guy Ally McCoist took a pay cut for “the good of the club” then I have a bag of beanstalk beans to sell them.
McCoist is a wide-boy. He’s well known for his love of money. He’s driven by it; as are most footballers and managers. What makes him different is that he continues to profess his love for his “beloved” Rangers. He doesn’t do walking away. No-one would for that kind of money, money a man of his limited talents will not get anywhere else.
Be honest; can you see this man employed by any other football club after this debacle? Cancelling the Dunfermline game because three first team players are on international duty stinks of fear, from a man who knows that this is it for him, this is his shot, and who deep down understands he’s not got what it takes.
Yet McCoist, we can at least understand. He did what any one of us might have done in the same circumstances. Others have to answer the question as to why it was allowed.
Now, McCoist was allegedly on a temporary contract before administration and liquidation wied the old club away, so therefore under TUPE law his contract didn’t need to be transfered as was. It could have been re-negotiated.
So who, in their infinite wisdom, awarded a “rookie” manager the princely sum of £825,000 per annum plus bonuses?
McCoist is quoted as saying “I just signed it”. Of course he did. He probably couldn’t believe his luck, and it’s emblematic of a club which has learned nothing from recent history. At Ibrox they purely and simply do not get it, everyone from the men in the boardroom to the supporter in the stands.
The days of big signings are over. Probably forever. If Celtic is run even semi-competently the chances of the Ibrox club catching them in the next decade is somewhere between slim and none, barring a sugar daddy waltzing into the picture, a man with pockets as deep as the Pacific Ocean, and no interest in recieving a penny of it back. These men are in short supply as it is. When you attach pre-requisites like being a “Rangers man” and with a love of militarism and Britishness, the potential saviour pool begins to dwindle to the point where you could hold the annual meeting of potential investors in a phone box.
If the Rangers fans are gullible enough to believe that the last two years have not happened, that things can return to the way they were before, then they need a huge kick up the arse to get them to pull their heads out of the sand.
Craig Mather’s consistently defends Rangers against accusations of financial profligacy on with an all too familiar sound blast.:
“We have money in the bank and we are debt-free.”
There is absolutely no credence to what he says. None.
Rangers are debt-free not by choice but by necessity, and as part of the administration/liquidation process that saw them fold like a house of cards.
And it appears they are building a similar model, only with a new deck.
They have no credit line available and are operating without it, because no bank would give them one. Do you think these numbers make it more, or less, likely that that’s going to change any time soon? The club is operating on a pay-as-you-go basis.
Basically they are dipping into their savings (IPO, season ticket money etc.,) which is fundamentally flawed. They will only have so much funding for so long.
It’s akin to losing your job and claiming dole money, but knowing full well you have a few quid in the bank to see you through a few months, and so continuing to live like it’s not really happened. But it’s what happens as those few months draws to a close that makes car crash telvision. Most people in that situation would tighten their belts. They’ll buy supermarket own brand Cornflakes before feasting on Kellogg’s.
Not at Ibrox. The spending goes on, just like before.
The present accounts published were to June 2013. It’s now October and the money in the bank will have depreciated over that time. How many ex-SPL players are on £7k a week?
Let’s say it’s four. That’s just under £30k a week, or £120k a month. This is on just four players who form part of a squad of around 28.
No-one who can use a calculator can believe this is sustainable.
Mather also failed the Rangers fans by papering over ludicrous salaries to Charles Green (just under £1m) and Brian Stockbridge (more than £400,000) and, of course, the astonishing £825,000 to the Cheeky Chappy (surely this irks the Rangers crowd).
McCoist will wriggle out of this one. He plays the persona of the unwitting innocent victim to a tee . From the demand to know names of SFA committees that were already open to his club to “I just signed it”, no-one gets an easier ride in the press than this guy.
Frankly – he’s played on his legendary status as a player and kidded the Ibrox faithful for years now, and his media friends have gone right along with it.
Let’s put it into perspective. He’s been awarded more in remuneration than Alex McLeish, who was taking on Martin O’Neill in his pomp.
The best bit in all of this is that some have actually praised McCoist and Stockbridge for “helping” out the club by taking these cuts. That’s like stealing the last tenner out of your old dear’s purse (someone you profess to love no doubt), going to the pub and putting the change back. Meanwhile, she’s scraping to put dinner on the table.
Rangers biggest problem is that they want to pretend they’re the Rangers of “bygone days of yore” when the grim reality is that they’re a lower league club founded only a year ago.
I have no sympathy. There has never been any real contrition shown. They’ve stuck to the “We Are The People” ethos and believe they are immortal. You’re not. You only live once and the re-incarnation looks doomed due to the financial mismanagement that’s been unleashed in the pursuit of Allys managerial rep. The arrogance knows no bounds.
Whatever happened to learning to walk before you run? They’re dancing about like a Bambi on rollerskates with the fans watching through their fingers, hoping they don’t fall.
But they will. Because they’ve learned nothing.
It’s happening all over again.
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