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How the banks are taking over football

By Tony Attwood

A director of Rangers FC in Glasgow, has revealed that he abandoned his plans for a takeover of the club because of the behaviour of… wait for it…their bankers, Lloyds

I appreciate that you (like me) may well have far less of a grasp on Scottish footballing affairs than on the EPL, and I’ll make my apologies in advance if I slip up in my facts along the way here. But as I see it, the director in question had invested £20m and was looking to invest a lot more and buy up the union flag flying club.

He said, “It provided no opportunity for me to sensibly come in and put money into the club knowing the new money would not be going into Rangers but to protect the bank’s position. It would have been throwing good money after bad.”

This investor with the problem over split infinitives (Dave King) also said he thought Rangers could have entered administration had they not won the SPL last year – which is quite something for a club of their size, stature and importance.

I think this situation is worth looking into a little, even with spyglasses from a long way south of the border (although Corby, my nearest town, is half-Scots) because I believe the same problem could occur elsewhere. Phil will be giving us the inside story on Liverpool next week, and I think as you read it, you might want to consider as background the behaviour of the banks.

Rangers is in trouble because its turnover is going down and down. In recent years they have had grotty performances in Europe such that they tend to leave competitions quite early, they have had the end of Setanta, which showed a Rangers match just about every other week live on TV, their sponsorship income seems uncertain, and there is a big issue over the fact that they are closing a lot of their shops (of which there are quite a few) and having closing down costs.

In fact at Rangers they only kept the loss down to that level because of sales of players like Cousin and Cuellar.

But the position of Rangers is now so dire (from what I read – and please don’t shout if you are a Rangers supporter, it is just what I read on Rangers web sites) that they are seemingly looking for extraordinary ways of covering costs. In one report I found it is suggested that they “sold” the tax relief on their losses to a company owned by the owner of Rangers.

Rangers debts are bugger all when compared with Liverpool and Man U, and their repayments on the debt at around £1m a year are chicken feed when compared with the insanity down south.

But, and this is the biggie, they owed £26m to the banks by the end of the last financial year (nothing like Liverpool but still, real money).  Their auditors are not muttering about there being a serious doubt about their ability to continue (again cf Liverpool) and yet the bank still has managed to get into a situation where effectively it is running the show.

So, as we look at the debts in the forthcoming articles in Phil’s series, let’s also remember what lies beneath.

Quite often it is something singularly unpleasant.

Generally something utterly disgraceful.

In the case of Rangers its Lloyds. In the case of Liverpool its RBS.

Yup – that disgraceful pile of dirt slithering around making disgusting noises and scuppering the future of the club is by and large, a banker.

Untold Arsenal, an Emperor among pro-Wengerian philosophical debating centres

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Making the Arsenal: the 2nd edition is about to be published. A billion thanks to everyone who helped sell out the first edition.  I love you all, you are all my friends, I’ll never forget you… (disappears into a computer keyboard while continuing to write “Kill the bankers” – the new Arsenal novel).

8 comments to How the banks are taking over football

  • Phil

    Some good info there Tony, thanks. While it’s worrying that banks are getting involved in almost the day to day running of clubs, I can understand why they want to secure their own interests. The question has to be why did they lend so recklessly, and why did clubs want to borrow so recklessly? The questions are exactly the same as those I wondered after the subprime housing malarky.

  • walter

    Is this the future for other clubs in the EPL? Who knows..

  • Marc

    Phil – the answer to your question is that people are quite simply sheep and do not learn the lessons of history.

  • Hartwick89

    It just makes me angry! Back room deals with bad intent…. That is why you should never borrow money because it is always due… It is why I never had the football you all had for your lives! N.A.S.L. goes broke! No professional football in America for decades… I tell you it hurts.. It was those same bankers and owners who set football back for years here… You think I would be writing today if I had my way in life? No way… C’est la vie

  • Hartwick89

    I was born to play the bloody sport. And, when I was 13 my life dream was given to the banks… Now I guess it is the same with the mortgage and all… I lived 45mins from NY Cosmos and was well on my way…. Those Bloody Bankers… Boys I hope you are prepared to endure what I did.. And, people laugh at American football I say look what we went through…

  • Geezer

    Well, the banks are slowly taking over everything,when you consider that when they mess up, they get unlimited “get out of jail free” cards. Big Banks=Small Government

  • Rhys Jaggar

    I’m afraid you will learn the hard way that banks like Lloyds are only interested in power games, S+M hierarchies and will do anything to stop decent people borrowing money, paying them back and then, at a time which fits their timetable, borrow again.

    Banks like Lloyds WANT people to fail, so they can lend at higher rates of interest. They WANT people on their knees, begging. Because they can make more money. They WANT to suggest that you take out loans or credit cards when it’s the wrong time to do so. Because all they care about is the bottom line.

    I truly trust that the PM and his Cabinet set up an open website for businesses and customers to tell their true stories about British banks. And at the end of it to take immediate, radical and game-changing action at the highest heights of organisations.

    Because I always thought that the term ‘loan shark’ was meant to be the dodgy drug dealer on council estates.

    Well.

    It’s not any more……….

  • Gf60

    One could argue that Lloyds may be ultra cautious in the current circumstance. The “truth” may emerge eventually in a S’African court…
    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sport/football/article-1280081/Dave-Kings-Rangers-bid-rocked-new-fraud-charges.html