You’ve Got To Pick A Pocket Or Two

moody460So, the Sevco Rangers £4 million share issue was a “success” was it? That’s what they’re calling it anyway, the club and some of the media.

I daresay it might even look like one, inside the walls of Ibrox.

Maybe it was, in the same way, I imagine, that some of Epirus’ generals must have thought they’d done alright at the Battles of Heraclea and Asculum.

Their leader, Pyrrhus, knew better, telling one of his more switched on officers that “If we are victorious in one more battle with the Romans, we shall be utterly ruined.”

On the surface of it, one would think it’s not been altogether bad for them. They’ve raised some money, they’ve kept on the lights, and they’ve got enough to lumber onwards to the end of October and maybe into November and December.

But without a massive influx of cash, this club is going to sink like a stone, and please note; that is millions just to get through the season, to continue to shamble through the wilderness like a George Romero zombie. That’s the best they’re going to get, and they need to adjust to that.

They need to stop thinking about being competitive. They need to focus only on survival. Selling them on that is hard, a little like trying to sell a fat guy on pizza flavour Rivita instead of the 12 inch stuffed crust Meat Ultimo.

McCoist has tried it, though not very hard. (Selling them on austerity. Not the Rivita.) He might have wailed like a big wean about not being able to sign a new starting eleven every year, but he knows the days of Laudrup’s and Gazza’s are over forever.

He’s a curious fellow, is McCoist. He preaches this mantra of “we don’t do walking away” when the club is at its lowest ebb and now that they’re a couple of seasons at most from the top flight he’s singing a song about the clock running down on him at Ibrox.

This surprises me for a number of reasons. He knows he has a cast-iron contract, and that no-one can fire him without handing him a chunk of change. He’s watertight, especially with the club in dire straits. They can’t afford to get rid of him.

Granted, he’s no longer a young man, but unless a Greggs diet stops him in his tracks he’s got years to go in the game, and if he wants it, I suspect that he can get through much of it sitting in the dug-out at Ibrox unless there’s a dramatic change of the tide.

I find it equally curious that he’s talking about this at a time when he’s “invested” what he calls a “right few quid” in shares.

This piqued my interest. Yesterday, when I was reading that, I found myself humming a song. When I realised I was doing it I found it amusing, because it’s from the movie Oliver, and I made it the title of this piece because it seems so right on the nose.

“in this life, one thing counts … in the bank, large amounts … I’m afraid these don’t grow on trees … you have to pick a pocket or two.”

So whose pockets were picked to get Sevco Rangers through the next few months?

McCoist “invests” in new shares as the club scrapes across the line, and in the same week he starts talking about how a time will come when he’ll get sick of the pressure he’s under and head for the hills. Am I the only one joining the dots?

It may just be that I’m reading the landscape wrong. But, for just a minute, put yourself in the shoes of those on the Sevco board of directors who know what has to be done.

The club is in a bad spot and it’s in that position partly because it has a top heavy management structure, a tendency to live beyond its means and a team that’s far too expensive. There are people on the board who are behind the man in the manager’s office on these issues and are highly resistant to the idea of making cut-backs. They want to protect the brand, by making it look as if the old Rangers is still alive and well.

So what do you do if you’re on the other side, the sensible side?

Well, what you can do is approach the manager and lay it all out for him. Even after some of the key players have put down a few quid to try and get the share issue to succeed, because otherwise they are writing off their investments up until now … well, you’re still coming up short of the percentage required by the Stock Exchange to make it legitimate.

Without hitting that mark, the shares can’t be traded and the club will not be able to pay its bills for the coming months.

So you tell McCoist what that means. It means administration. Ta-ta to some of his co-workers in the management team. His playing squad will have to let go five, six, more, first team stars in order to start breaking even. It means the training ground is up for auction, and if you’re really in the mood to confront him with Armageddon you tell him that his own salary will need to be cut and, in the final extremis, the stadium might need to be sold in a lease-back deal.

You present all this to him as fait accompli.

There’s nothing else for it, you tell him. Except …

I suspect – I am not stating this for a fact, mind, I am just saying I suspect it and I think it’s possible – that McCoist has been told if he made up the shortfall there would be no need for any of those things. That it would buy the club time, which would give them a fighting chance.

It would also have been possible to sell him on the idea by reminding him that at 20p each the shares were grossly under-valued compared to what the fans paid. It’s entirely possible that McCoist could come out of this with a tidy profit.

Nevertheless, it looks, to me, as if it was McCoist’s money that got them across the finish line. That it was his pockets the directors picked to give them a chance of seeing them through to the AGM.

How does he feel about that? How would you feel? I think it’s probably the reason he’s been greeting about the pressure and talking about packing up his tent and heading for pastures new.

In the meantime, there are no real answers here to the wider problems which confront them. Having paid off Imran Ahmed with cash they didn’t have, rather than risk a court date later, they’ve diluted a pot of money that wasn’t strong to begin with.

The more you examine them, the more you realise they are a club living on borrowed time.

The shambles involving the Malaysians has, again, demonstrated this organisations total lack of credibility in The City. Even if Sevco Rangers itself was not a black hole for cash, even if there was some profit to be made in seeing them “restored”, it will never be realised now. They’re talking about going to institutional investors for £10 million on the back of what we’ve seen this week?

There’s more chance of Alex Salmond being elected the next leader of the Scottish Labour Party.

In the places where it counts, in the boardrooms and investment houses, the horrendous image of one of their club directors, a guy who’s done time, a guy with a fraud conviction, sitting down for lunch with a guy on Interpol’s Most Wanted List is going to haunt them for years and years to come. No investor will touch them. No bank will lend them money.

The man the media and much of their support is similarly relying on is, himself, a fraudster and a crook, a man who bought off the South African government because the alternative is jail.

They are about as credible an investment as a “Dry Clean Only” raincoat. They are finished.

Today the price of a Sevco share has fallen to 19p. A box of Freddo Bars is worth more than a Sevco share certificate.

This really is an institution on hard, hard times.

Crisis swirls around them like a storm that won’t quit. The vultures are circling, and for the first time since all this began Ally is talking about walking away.

Can you read the writing on the wall?

(We are proud to announce the publication of our new football magazine, All In The Game, which is available to buy from Magzter, by clicking on the symbol below. Alternatively, if you want a copy and you want to help the site along, you can make a donation at the top or bottom of the page, depending on your device, and we’ll give you a subscription equal to it. We want to make this publication, and this site, into a campaigning platform, and we can only do that with your help. Thanks in advance, and love and respect from the team here at OFOG.)


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.

17 thoughts on “You’ve Got To Pick A Pocket Or Two

  • 16 September, 2014 at 5:13 pm

    James, I can almost feel your desire for a Sevco insolvency indeed I can almost taste it.
    You need to take some chill pills and relax, your blood pressure will return to normal.
    I dont want admin I want them gone FOREVER.
    They will make it through the season and into the top league by begging borrowing snd stealing.
    We need to make sure that when they arrive WE ARE READY .

  • 16 September, 2014 at 6:19 pm

    Where’s Keiron Prior when you need him !

    P.S. #SayYes

  • 16 September, 2014 at 6:48 pm

    Could not happen to a better set of scumbags.

  • 16 September, 2014 at 7:36 pm

    Just vote NO Declan ………..Just vote No ! you know it makes sense .

  • 16 September, 2014 at 9:21 pm

    Declan??? nah don’t see a Declan up there!! Its tick tock time again for the wallopers nae luck. 🙂

  • 16 September, 2014 at 9:43 pm

    Hi James
    Here’s the thing about the super sleekit one : he does not give a damn about anyone but himself.Unfortunately he isn’t smart enough to hide this characteristic from the adoring hordes.Street wise,yes,but smart ? Definitely not.
    All that fake bonhomie,hail fellow well met,everyone’s pal is the best acting job since Marlon Brando played Stanley Kowalski (feel free to insert own personal favourite performance:-) )
    We saw the real version at his press conference
    when he’d obviously had some sort of warning/telling
    off from his paymasters.His rage was palpable even as he walked onto the dais.I for one could not have loved it more.I personally look forward to the day he gets his just desserts,and believe me it is coming.The Sevco implosion will,I believe, leave no reputation unsullied and if Phil Mac is to be believed
    then Sleekit will be unmasked for the delectation of us all.Couldn’t happen to a “nicer” guy. HH James,
    keep up the good work.

  • 16 September, 2014 at 11:17 pm

    Is this Sevco Rangers the same Rangers who hold the lead in trophies won over Pacific Shelf Celtic? Or should that be HMS 402 Celtic? Or indeed The Celtic Football & Athletic Co Ltd Celtic? Your really hung up about companies that become the new owners of football clubs (SFA’s own words). Never mind,just log onto SPFL Rangers where you’ll see no mention of Sevco,but WILL see a club officially listed as founded in 1872 together with a world record 117 major honours. And another thing i don’t quite get. What exactly IS this obsession with Scotland’s most successful football club? To the extent you all even complain and whine to the Advertising Standards Authority? Incase you all er “forgot” how that went may i remind you:
    “We consulted with UEFA and the SFA” who both of course confirmed that Rangers are the same old club. If you want to torture yourselves by reading the whole adjudication just type in ASA Rangers in Google and click the ASA link..i really think you all should seeing as it was YOUR obsessed support who made the “complaint”. The jealousy and bitterness reeks from the support of Pacific Shelf Celtic..but tbh we Gers take pleasure from that. Good result tonight btw,Rangers looking to make it LC 28. (We’ll go with the governing bodies chaps not HMS 402 Celtic fans on the net) 117 and counting!

  • 16 September, 2014 at 11:30 pm

    Well said Debs. The fact that the very administration they all crave for is actually a double edged sword for them makes it laughable. Because Rangers would face a 25 pt deduction (not 15) the reason being of course that the football governing bodies see Rangers as the same club hence this would be viewed as a second on the one hand they would be happy on the other seething lol. But tbh it’s all irrelevant anyway as i very much doubt a second administration will occur now the board have some breathing space. Maybe if these Pacific Shelf supporters paid more attention to their far from convincing start to the season,as well as the downsizing going on at their club,and actually bothered to attend games at the Emptihad rather than obsess over Scotland’s most successful football club which does not even (yet) play in their division it may help matters for them. And who knows,maybe help them lead a more relaxed life and be able to sleep better at nights by simply supporting their own team. Go click on SPFL Rangers bhoys and give yourselves an education on success 🙂

  • 16 September, 2014 at 11:44 pm

    Is it the same Rangers?

    No it’s not. Satisfied with the answer?

  • 16 September, 2014 at 11:45 pm

    Enjoy living on the past glories of a dead team Lisa.

    The future’s Green and White. As opposed to Green and Whyte.

  • 17 September, 2014 at 2:05 am

    See what happens when women talk about football? You might as well have asked their weight, they’re in denial about that as well.

    Isn’t there dishes needing washed or a sash needing ironed?

    2 ‘women’ posting on a Celtic blog at 11.30 at night, and they’re saying we’re obsessed???

    They must have ran out of batteries……

  • 17 September, 2014 at 7:06 am

    Glad to hear from the two ladies that Sevco 2012 are seen as the same old club by UEFA .
    I look forward to the ban from UEFA for unpaid social taxes .
    Get the purses opened ladies

  • 17 September, 2014 at 9:12 am

    The old club that was rangers became incorporated in the 1890’s.

    That means it became ONE entity ie no separation of club and company.

    This entity was liquidated in June 2012 – no separation of club and company.

    At that point the entity that was rangers ceased to exist.

    To put it simply for sevconians liquidation = death.

    What’s left now is sevco 2.

    None of this is complicated unless you’re a deluded zombie.

    Celtic on the other hand became a PLC under Fergus but remained the same entity with the same company number.

    Simple really unless you’re one of the deluded patsies who pretend to have a club that’s more than 2 years old.

    If you don’t believe me check out Graham Spiers view on the subject.

    Zombies. More to be pitied than scorned, although it’s great fun doing both.

    Enjoy your terrible twos you muppets. You won’t see three.

  • 17 September, 2014 at 1:42 pm

    Lisa, Debra
    If they really are the same Rangers then the questions you should be asking are:

    Why no seeding in the 12/13 league cup after finishing the previous season in the premiership?

    How did the SFA justify relegating you from top tier to bottom?

    Why the need for a membership transfer?

    Why the need for an application to join the league?

  • 17 September, 2014 at 4:04 pm

    I see Ally’s on another super duper cup run just like all the other ones, he must be getting tired if lifting up all these trophies.

  • 17 September, 2014 at 7:47 pm

    Lisa and Debra running to form,ignore the real crux of the message and it will go away.
    You can fool some of “the people” all of the time was never truer than it is today.
    It goes even further when suggesting that they are on their way to lifting another LC. Ally will need to be careful that he doesn’t get a hernia with all the cups he’s had to lift.

  • 19 September, 2014 at 4:23 am

    The draconian sevconians original and tribute act are and were built on hate which I find truly sad. Should be embarrassed about bumping ambulance service and the like. Pure brass neck but they’re proud of that. Thick as two planks a wood. Football’s a better place without them. SHAME ON YOU. HH

Leave a Reply

error: Content is protected !!