It’s a recurring theme of the Rangers and Sevco sagas that a soothing balm of nonsense must be applied by the MSM at regular intervals. Aside from being really easy to do and requiring no imagination whatsoever, it helps to protect the 500 million fans from the fretting that might accompany the realisation that
Rangers died through its own actions; and
Sevco is circling a plug hole that can only be blocked by stuffing it with never ending-amounts of cash.
Perish the thought that a bit of investigation and truth-seeking should actually result in Sevco fans (and the ‘interested’ fans of other clubs) actually knowing what is really happening…
A regular contributor to the massaging of Sevconian feelings is Derek Johnstone. A man whose ‘columns’ remain a substance-free zone, and which make the thoughts of Barry Ferguson in the Record seem like ‘War and Peace‘…
His latest offering in The Evening Times is a case in point
“Rangers right to play waiting game as Ashley bids to have £5million loan repaid“
The alarm bells ring when you read the first words after the headline:
“RANGERS will have to pay Mike Ashley the £5million he loaned them earlier this year at some stage”.
Bloody Hell!!!! Who knew?!
Well, maybe it’s news to 500 million Sevco fans who thought the failure of Rangers to repay 276 creditors was ‘no biggie’…
Possibly the only valid point in the piece is when DJ points out
“Now is the chance for Dave King, Paul Murray and John Gilligan to stand up and say: “Yeah, we do have the funds.”
“If that is the case, and I am positive it is, then it should be handed over. If it gets Ashley off their back and recovers all of their assets, then, of course, it should be.”
Many observers – including yours truly – have remarked that it is high time that the ‘new’ regime demonstrated that it has a plan and some money to invest.
But having said that His Big Mikeness has given them the opportunity to demonstrate their credentials, DJ then contradicts himself by saying
“Ashley calling a general meeting isn’t going to achieve anything because he won’t receive the backing he needs”.
Getting the backing at the EGM is completely beside the point. HBM is making the new regime squirm regarding the £5m. He is also applying pressure in respect of numerous other important matters which DJ ignores – such as the whereabouts of a Nomad for RIFC, the delisting from AIM, and the terms on which money was borrowed from the Three Bears.
DJ says he is positive that the new regime has the necessary funds to keep Sevco, but presents no evidence to back up his assertion.
This is a classic example of blind optimism masquerading as credible narrative in our MSM. Keep an eye out for it! It is all over the place!
DJ then moves on to demonstrate his forensic knowledge of Sevco’s financial dealings:
“The loan deal struck back in January meant that Ashley got his money paid back on a specified date.”
Wrong, DJ no date was specified in the announcements. That doesn’t mean the loan agreement didn’t set out various calling-in/ repayment scenarios…
“As I understand it, the only way he can receive cash any earlier is if Rangers renege on some part of the deal.”
“But if nothing untoward has happened and the deal that was agreed stipulated that he got it back later this year, then why should they pay him now?”
And there’s the rub!
“As I understand it”
“If nothing untoward has happened”
You most probably don’t understand it DJ (and I don’t claim to either!), and you most probably don’t know whether or not something untoward has happened.
The fact that HBM has got his legal chaps to take the public step of calling for an EGM suggests that he may think there are grounds for action. He could be wrong of course. However, HBM isn’t big on public gestures so it is certainly interesting that he is acting.
He has shareholder rights that he is entitled to exercise. Whether their use is inconvenient to the Board is utterly irrelevant. If they have a good story to tell in response to his questions, and the money to move Sevco forward then HBM’s Requisition should be of no concern. And the meeting (if it goes ahead) should be plain sailing.
But DJ’s upbeat guff keeps on coming:
“There is no hurry to pay him now when they are wrestling with all kinds of other issues; he will get his money back eventually”
“As far as I can see, this is a bit of unnecessary pressure being applied to the board by Ashley”
He’ll get it back eventually?
This isn’t borrowing a fiver off a mate. This is borrowing £5m from a multi-billion listed company, run by an extremely effective multi-billionaire!
But we aren’t finished there…
DJ then regurgitates the narrative put out by the new regime ever since they ‘took over’: that they are taking time to look over the finances and contracts of the ‘club’.
How long does it take? And why the need to borrow money to keep the lights on given the talk of ‘investment’ prior to the EGM?
DJ tells us that (shockingly)
“[Ashley] managed to negotiate some great deals which suited Mike Ashley and Sports Direct but not, in my view, Glasgow Rangers”
The last time I looked, it takes two sides to sign a contract (Ralph Topping, take note…), and Sevco presumably entered freely into their deals with HBM.
Unless you believe in a crazy fiction that a football club exists entirely separately from the people, finances and contracts that make it work, then you can only laugh at what DJ is saying…
Still, if it all gets tasty, there may be cause for Sevconian hope:
“Ashley has certainly got power, but whether he has got power in the courts is another thing”.
Finally we are treated to the Official Delisting Narrative:
“The reason for that is simple and was given at the time it was announced. It is because so many complaints were made about the company under the previous regimes. It was no great surprise the club was delisted”.
Really? After all the pre-EGM noise about the prospects of securing a Nomad following WH Ireland’s resignation?
Perhaps DJ could arrange for documentation confirming this to be shared with HBM, and all will be well.
Who knows the truth about the Sevco Nomad, or the delisting, or the terms of the Sports Direct loan?
I don’t, but I am pretty certain we won’t get it by reading the vacuous feel-good puff pieces of DJ and others in our MSM. They might give Sevconians a warm glow, but a warm glow doesn’t pay the bills or put a football team on the pitch.
To get to the truth, I am generally inclined to ‘follow the money’. And right now in the Sevco saga, that seems to mean following the actions of His Big Mikeness.