By Tony Attwood
Untold has followed the Rangers saga from the moment we picked up on the tax case issues, and noted that the press were ignoring any suggestion of odd doings by dodgy dealers that circled the club.
When there is a story, and the press absolutely refuse to follow it, you can be pretty sure there is something underhand going on.
Now of course, following the court cases and revelations the press quietly forget their silence of time gone by, and pretend they have always been there breaking the news. One day, when the truth about refereeing in the Premier League comes out, they’ll do the same agian.
But for now, let’s return to Rangers.
We’ve stayed with Rangers, not just because it is a story of dodgy dealings however, done this, but because it is a perfect example of what we have talked about time and again – of football being a home for all sorts of crooks. We’ve done the same with Leeds and Portsmouth, and noted the doings at various overseas clubs.
But Rangers also has a special relevance to Arsenal as Rangers bought shares in Arsenal during its hour of need in 1910, and Herbert Chapman instituted a long running series of friendlies between Rangers and Arsenal, starting when both clubs were champions of their respective leagues.
The trouble with Rangers however is that things come and go so fast that by the time this is published will be old hat. But still, because as I say, most of our papers don’t cover Rangers, I’ll plod along and do my best from a long way south of the border.
If you are new to this what you need to note is that in September 2014 a QC for the club said in court
“When we were last here, we heard how the share issue would only keep the lights on at Ibrox. I can tell you the floodlights are back on at Ibrox and are in no danger of being switched off. Talks are at an advanced stage with two potential investors. The club has not been in rude health for some time. But the situation is improving. The club is trading its way out of difficulties. Its current position is the envy of many English Premiership clubs.”
Now even I had a laugh at that – not just because the QC didn’t know what the top league in England was called, but also because what he said was so palpably untrue. Rangers have been living on cash injections, using (for example) the season ticket money to get them through a month or two, then borrowing more for another month, and on and on.
Now they are broke again, and have just borrowed half a million pounds from its football chairman, which will keep them going for a few more days. No more than that however because they owe our old chums HMRC a load of National Insurance payments. That is the money removed from players salaries to pay for health services etc – along with money paid by the club itself.
Next thing we’ll find is that they are behind with their VAT.
Meanwhile Ally McCoist has left, but under his contract has to be paid another three quarters of a million quid – which the club don’t have. A new manager has been installed, so they are, as far as I can see, paying two managers.
So where is the Rangers money coming from? Well, they’ve just sold Lewis Macleod to Brentford for £1 million, so that is being used as surety for the loan. And to pay the ex manager. The loan of half a million will keep the club going for another week or so.
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