Oh what joy to see yesterday’s press conference and subsequent interviews with the Komedy King!
This was Moonbeamery made into an art form.
Say some random upbeat stuff about how things will all come together, and everything will be ok.
If the utterances of Mr King had any central message it was surely that:
“If we have one Big Final Push at pretending to be Rangers, it might just work out this time…”
Spending whatever it takes, “over-investing”, not focusing on debts already accrued, fighting it out with Celtic to win the league, and regular European football etc.
It was straight out of the “How to Run a Rangers Entity with Hilarious Consequences” handbook of the 1990s and 2000s.
And it seemed to have very little to do with running a football club in the second tier of Scottish Football. Particularly one with a decimated squad, no permanent manager, £8m of debt, limited retail income, and encumbered assets.
Just trust us to get the job done, buy 45,000 season tickets, and we’ll be alright…
The late Rangers FC failed to sell that many in its final years. The legendary Charles Green didn’t manage it, even when offering a complimentary cup of tea and the prospect of a ride on a monorail.
But maybe the siren call of the Real Rangers Men will work some very special magic this time round. Forty-five thousand times over.
A cursory glance at the MSM this morning confirmed that critical faculties had been pretty-much disengaged, and King’s message to the fans was communicated unencumbered by analysis or criticism.
There were some highly entertaining headlines about levels of “investment’, the number of candidates for the managers’ job, and the budget for players.
And how we laughed!
But the highlight of the coverage was undoubtedly an extraordinary Q&A with King which was carried by various newspapers, including the Daily Telegraph under cover of a short piece from our good friend Roddy Forsyth.
A few weeks ago, The Clumpany wrote a blog entitled “The Perpetually Self-Spoofing Entity”. I should have waited and just posted the Q&A instead. It is already the stuff of legend!
I won’t spoil the joy to be had by Clumpaneers digesting every last syllable of the Moonbeam Manifesto at their leisure.
However, there were a few particularly tasty quotes from King which say so much about the prevailing attitudes in Sevconia and the apparent state of planning.
These are worth a quick look right now, and certainly add to the excitement ahead of Friday’s EGM…
What do you see when a managerial candidate wants to see the budget?
“There’s no budget.”
I will just leave you to take in the implications of that comment for a few moments.
But a manager will ask what the top line is
“And I’m telling you there isn’t one. The limit is getting players. There’s no upper limit. I can say that because we’re talking in a sensible environment where the guy knows what he’s doing. He’s not going to go and sign Ronaldo”
If the new man says he wants to spend a million on a player now, what would you say?
“I can wait a year and maybe get him for nothing, but if you want him now we’ve got to pay a transfer fee and if it made sense we would pay the transfer fee.”
On the £5m Sports Direct Loan
“I don’t see the Ashley loan being a loan in isolation. In fact, I don’t see it as a loan, quite frankly. It is one of those situations we will certainly discuss with his people but I don’t think the club should be repaying the loan. If we have to, we will. But I’d much rather see funds going into the club, rather than repaying that loan”
“That’s part of the broader commercial discussion we will have with them. One way or another, we will cater for it. It is an interest free loan, it is free capital for the club and I think it should stay on that basis”
Where do you even begin with this?! Let’s ask His Big Mikeness…
Meanwhile, the Clumpany has written to its bank manager saying it shouldn’t be repaying any loans. I am expecting the S̶h̶e̶r̶i̶f̶f̶ ̶O̶f̶f̶i̶c̶e̶r̶s̶ reply very soon.
On underwriting a share issue
“It will depend on the appetite of other investors. It is something I will discuss with the Three Bears Consortium and my understanding is that it is something they might like to participate in.
“As far as I’m concerned, the funding going forward will still be a team sport between myself, the Three Bears and other investors.”
Seriously? Over three months since the EGM swept them to ‘victory’ and they have no idea quite how a share issue will be underwritten?
There was however one particularly astute observation in the Q&A:
The fans have heard all this before
Which is perhaps why it is really important not to just stick to the same old tired ‘Rangers’ script, eh Dave?
“But ultimately, I’m going to be judged – and quite rightly so – by whether I deliver on my statement of intent. It’s not a promise because one cannot make a promise like that. But the statement of intent is that we are going to provide the funds. If I stop providing the funds then the fans can come and say, ‘You let me down.’ But providing the funds does not necessarily guarantee success.
Maybe if you started actually providing the funds, Mr King, the fans would buy-in to your intentions. Just a thought…
So all in all, it was amazing stuff!
But if anything really set the seal on the seriousness of the Big Sevco Plan, it was the reappearance of everyone’s favourite “football finance expert”, Neil Patey.
And he didn’t hold back!
The Clumpany hopes you have pen and paper to hand as you will want to make a note of his insights!
“Long term it’s not a sustainable model for a club to spend more than it is making”
“You can only make losses for so long”.
These are revelations that will live long in the memory and which already have academics re-writing MBA courses around the world!
But I wonder whether the rulers of the Magical Land of Sevconia will pay heed to Mr Patey, or simply adopt the “whatever it takes” strategy?