But that’s not to say all of Rangers problems are behind them. Uefa has said that Rangers and Newcastle Utd can’t play in the same competition at any time while they have a link of ownership which they now do through Mike Ashley owning 10% of Rangers.
But Mike Ashley is the one who is putting in a million quid every month or so to keep the club afloat. Without his money there would be nothing in the kitty to pay the players – which means all the season ticket money has already been spent – and we are not yet in December.
Come the end of December the club will need Ashley’s money again, and each month there is no alternative funding. Which means Ashley has total power. Without him there is no club, and each time, I guess, he is taking on more and more in the way of fixed assets and the like to guarantee his debts. He is, one might say (although of course I am not a financier and I might be quite wrong on this) getting control of the club while being told he is not allowed to have control of the club.
If Ashley doesn’t keep this up the club could go down the drain again. That would mean them losing 10 points or more and so having even greater difficulty than now of getting back into the top league in Scotland. That approach could give even more power to Ashley without him actually having to invest further and further into the club.
On the other hand it would make promotion more difficult if not impossible, but Rangers are still getting around 35,000 average for league games. One more year of that wouldn’t matter too much – because Rangers can’t expect to challenge at the top of the Premier League without new players, which they can’t afford to buy and whom they can’t at the moment afford to pay.
So what can the SFA do with such a club? Throw it out? Unlikely indeed. The fact is that the SFA is as powerless to do anything about Rangers as the FA in England is to do anything about Man C or Chelsea if they don’t like them. The clubs are more powerful now than the FA – especially in England where the FAs own funding is so ludicrously precarious and its credibility vis a vis Fifa, its world cup bid and the Sport England funding which has been withdrawn, is so low.
But administration still looks a possibility for Rangers given that the club lost another huge sum for the financial year ending in June 2014 and it seems to have no chance of doing anything other than this year on year.
At the moment, the focus is on Rangers, and we really don’t know too much about other clubs that are in financial trouble – but you can be fairly sure that they are out there. It is just that the media won’t talk about them.