Scottish Football, Sevco

Do It Again!


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Graeme Souness: Rangers must find Mark Warburton more money – so the Ibrox club can challenge Celtic

When The Clumpany read the above piece by the Herald’s Matthew Lindsay – which contained an unhealthy slice of liquidation-denial – I thought of the Beach Boys’ hit ‘Do It Again’. In that typically-catchy song, an encounter with an old friend leads to reminiscing about having fun in the old days, and to a suggestion that they should be revisited.

The song starts like this:

“It’s automatic when I talk with old friends
The conversation turns to Gers we knew
When their debts were large and wrong and to ‘cheat’ was the place to go”

Well I think it starts something like that… Perhaps surfing also gets a mention somewhere along the line…

The Beach Boys – ‘Do It Again’

When asked about Sevco’s current situation – which is one of languishing in mid-table following some distinctly ropy results, including a hammering by Celtic – Souness came out with an almost inevitable reply. Echoing the sentiments of former Rangers manager and RIFC Chairman, Walter Smith, Souness called for … more money to be spent!

Fancy that, eh? Fancy suggesting that the way out of a tight spot is to spend more money. Especially when you are a former manager whose tenure heralded the start of a period of gratuitous spending and financial doping which ultimately led to

  • broken rules
  • unpaid taxes
  • an army of stiffed creditors; and
  • Rangers’ death.

It is spectacular stuff which seems to say “You remember that thing which was tried before and which blew up in everyone’s faces? Well, let’s do it again!”

Here are his comments:

“Souness admits that he wants King and his fellow directors to make increased funds available so that Warburton can assemble a team capable of competing with their city rivals for the Scottish title.

‘I would liked to have seen, like all Rangers supporters, the owner spend some money and give the manager a real chance,’ said Souness. ‘It looks like they are spending what they generate so he is running it as a business. If you are him or a director, that is something you have to run with. But if you are a supporter it is not great.

I am a supporter and like every supporter I am not interested in the bottom line, as long as we stay solvent. Find the money from somewhere and give the manager a chance.’”


“The owner”.

“It looks like they are spending what they generate so he is running it as a business”.

Where to even begin with this? Mr Souness appears not to understand the concept of a public company in which the largest shareholder – a certain Mr King – only owns 14% of it.

He also seems not to have noticed previous ‘going concern’ warnings in accounts and the fact that RIFC/ Sevco are trading with the help of soft loans which may (or may not) be converted to equity at some point. That most certainly isn’t only spending what they generate! It is maxing out… and then some!

And as for Souness’s assertion that “like every supporter I am not interested in the bottom line”… that is the kind of complacent perspective which could ultimately allow a ‘club’ to go under faster that you can say why didn’t anyone warn us?”.

As with so much Ibrox-related commentary,  the hilarious phrase “find the money from somewhere” doesn’t do the fans any favours whatsoever. It simply reinforces the fatal delusion that someone should and will throw lots of money at delivering success, and the origins of that cash don’t really matter. It makes it very easy to understand how almost anyone turning up at Ibrox with vague promises of huge spending could be welcomed with open arms by the fan base and (of course) the media.

After the way Rangers died, you might think that outsiders such as their legends and the Sevco fans would be acutely aware of the need for a sustainable strategy based upon the actual  funds available. You might think that, but you could be wrong! Bizarre as it may appear, some (not all) seem to want to pretend that we are in the midst of the Sir David Murray years all over again.

Personally speaking, I wouldn’t mind seeing a repeat of the side-splitting closing scenes of that particular movie. However, it would hardly be fair on the majority of ordinary Sevco fans who just want to go and watch the football rather than revel in some sort of triumphalist superiority complex and lord it over everyone else – no matter what its cost. And it wouldn’t be fair on the rest of Scottish football, which would face huge disruption once again, and be pressured into welcoming a third Rangers* ‘for the good of us all’.

Will any Ibrox legends or media cheerleaders ever level with the fans and extol the virtues of prudent, sustainable living?

Probably not. Because the idea of a Big Man with access to big money and an even bigger reckless streak is so much more alluring. Put bluntly, why worry about cold hard facts when you can believe in a warm, soothing fairy tale for a little bit longer?