Unsustainable Pish

It is all too easy to trip up over your earlier work
It is all too easy to trip up over your earlier work

Good Afternoon.

Drawing upon fiction when communicating with other people has one big problem. Once you start down that road you have to be able to sustain it.

Otherwise you might end up looking a bit silly.

If you aren’t really careful, sooner or later you will trip yourself up.

And the tale you previously told will unravel quicker than you can say “oh dear, that didn’t go well”.

The Clumpany was pleased to reacquaint itself with the work of Martin ‘Engine Room Subsidiary’ Williams yesterday evening.

Fresh concerns over Mike Ashley’s Rangers retail deal as Sports Direct goods figures emerge

It was quite an interesting piece about the Sevco commercial relationship with Sports Direct. Apparently there are “concerns” about the money being made by His Big Mikeness, and the lack of riches flowing into the already-bulging Sevco war chest.

For the avoidance of doubt, those ‘concerns’ belong to Sevco fans, not Martin Williams.

And they are certainly not concerns shared by HBM!


The Clumpany noted the article’s account of Dave King’s determination to change the commercial relationship with Sports Direct, but could not find any indication that Martin had approached Sevco for a comment on his progress.

It has of course been over five months since the Really Real Rangers Men swept to ‘power’ at the EGM, so you could be forgiven for assuming that it was worth asking how they are getting on in ‘sorting out’ Mr Ashley.

Oh well.

To be fair to Martin, he did actually mention the existence of that £5m loan from Sports Direct, which seems to have disappeared off the radar of other media outlets.

And Martin did provide a couple of unwitting laughs when he quoted a Sevco fans’ representative as saying

“It is clear from the accounts that the margin is not there for Rangers.  The fans are not stupid”,

…and when he referred to the fans who launched an alternative shirt and “took on Mr Ashley in the war over Rangers retail”.

War?! Aye right…

But for The Clumpany, the most interesting parts of the piece were those where Martin referred to ‘the club’ engaging in commercial deals with other entities, and making money etc. There was a reference to HBM owning 8.9% of the “club PLC”, and a passing mention of “Rangers International Football Club plc figures” but that was the only excitement for seasoned ‘company’-watchers.

Now I could have sworn that Martin was a proponent of the old fantasy that there is a split between the company and ‘the club’. A neat delusion that allows you to ‘conclude’ that the incorporated Rangers Football Club somehow survived liquidation.

This is of course utter nonsense of the first order, but it is a narrative that large sections of the media cling to for various reasons which I have discussed before.

And sure enough, when I checked back, Martin had mentioned an ‘operating company’ and the legendary ‘engine room subsidiary’ in previous pieces.

Indeed, The Clumpany had taken him and others to task, as you can see here

Definitely Pish

And here

Definitively Pish #2

But if you look at last night’s piece you will see mentions of

“the club’s entire retail and merchandise operation”

“buying Rangers merchandise, including replica kits, gifts, polo shirts and track suits from the Ashley-controlled firm for use in club outlets”

“according to the club the ‘official supplier and licensee of replica mechandise for the club'”

“the cash-strapped club”

“a joint venture between the club and Sports Direct, was confirmed by the club”

“the group’s agreements with Rangers Retail Limited and Newcastle United Football Club, amongst other football clubs”

“club chairman Dave King”

Far be it from me to put words in anyone’s mouth, but those quotes seem to suggest that a football club is indeed capable of real-world contractual undertakings and financial transactions.

It can accept money [“The previous 10-year licence agreement with sports retailer JJB Sports rubber stamped in 2006, was worth a minimum of £48 million to the club”]

It can make a profit.

And it can make a loss.

Like any business.

Like any company.

Perhaps Martin thought that we wouldn’t notice?

But we did.

We always notice.

Because we aren’t fools.

You can’t have it both ways. There’s either the fantasy way, which says “wibble” every time the liquidation of a football club is mentioned.

Or there’s the way that is based on facts, and noticing what actually happened during the course of 2012!

Facts that were unambiguously set out in 2012 in an article entitled Rangers Football Club Born 1872, died 2012.

Which was written by one Martin Williams.

Maybe he is now coming back round to his original way of thinking?

Maybe this is the start of a trend in the MSM?

And maybe I have been at the Buckie especially early today…



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