Good Evening [And well done to Celtic, once again!]
Yesterday, The Clumpany’s favourite attempted newspaper offered some truly insightful commentary into the prospects of the Sevco finances and team following the RIFC AGM. RIFC is – of course – the sling which holds a broken arm which attempts to wield a ‘club’.
The piece was written before it was announced that Resolution 11 had not been approved by a sufficiently-large majority of shareholders in order to pass. [See here for humorously-explained details…]. Nevertheless, the Evening Shark-Jump’s article was so wide-ranging that the Resolution’s failure did not render it redundant.
The opening paragraphs give a fair indication of the delights on offer:
“CASH is king at Ibrox. Rangers need more of it and Mark Warburton wants more of it.
How much the board can generate and how much the manager is given to spend will shape where Rangers are heading on and off the park not just in the next few months but in the coming years.”
Really? It’s not just a case of shouting “We are the people” and hoping for the best? Perhaps with some really ‘understanding’ creditors and bizarre interpretations of the rules thrown in for good measure?
“A few hundred supporters and shareholders gathered to get the latest progress report on the Ibrox rebuilding job.”
I am always amused by the assertion that the current board are doing a ‘rebuilding job’. In what way? I peruse the article’s mention of works being done at Ibrox and No-Longer-Murray Park, and I note that Sevco are now plying their trade in the top tier for the first time. However, I also see a large pile of debt building up, an openly-admitted deficit spending plan and reports of the stadium being in need of serious repair works, and ask “rebuilding job: in what way? When?”.
To an outside observer it perhaps looks more like keeping the lights on and everything else ticking over. As best as they can.
As I said after the AGM, anyone thinking of investing in Sevco might wonder whether a genuine programme of rebuilding might include Sevco putting its finances on a stable footing by living within its means for a lengthy period.
Sadly, the Evening Shark-Jump piece does not consider this possibility, although I am sure the staff there think about it all the time. In private.
“The board will soon get the ball rolling on the next wave of cash sourcing at Ibrox and it is likely to be the same familiar faces that are footing the bill this time around.”
Will they? When? How?
“While Rangers are hamstrung by the Sports Direct deal and revenue from their retail division remains as low, there is a requirement for the likes of King, Douglas Park, George Letham and George Taylor to put their money on the table.”
At the risk of repeating myself… Rather than blame His Big Mikeness for a deal to which Sevco were also a signatory, how about they accept reality and live within their means for a while?
“Many continue to question King’s famous conjecture about £30million being required but that cash was never going to be utilised in a lump sum, and it certainly wasn’t going to be solely spent on players”
How does the author know that it was never going to be utilised in one lump sum? How does he know it wasn’t going to be spent solely on players? This is one of the problems with not asking forensic searching questions to get things on the record: you end up second-guessing things at a later date and can’t hold people to account!
Having considered the ‘big picture’ [I’m being kind there…] the piece moves on to consider the money which might be available to The Warbmeister in the January window and [*gasp*] even ponders whether he might be the best man to spend it!
“For now, Rangers will have to speculate to accumulate if the gap to their Old Firm rivals is to close.”
I am not sure what this ‘Old Firm’ thing is. I suspect it has something to do with pitiful, pandering, liquidation-denial. However ‘speculate to accumulate’ (a term synonymous with gambling rather than prudent living) is bang on the IOU!
To be fair, the piece does at one point veer perilously close making ‘a reasonable observation’:
“Rangers have not got value for money when you consider the returns for the outlays, and that is why Warburton must get his next deals right when he is trusted with a January transfer kitty.
He has not spent large sums compared to his predecessors but the fees of £1.8million for Joe Garner, £500,000 for Michael O’Halloran and £250,000 respectively for Jordan Rossiter and Joe Dodoo are beyond what his other Premiership counterparts could afford.”
But the next line is truly excellent.
“And there are no clubs, other than Celtic, that could have brought the likes of Joey Barton, Niko Kranjcar or Clint Hill on board this summer.”
Delete Celtic and insert “been mad enough to have brought…” and I think that assessment is just about right!
On we go…
“If it is accepted that Celtic should be clear given their financial muscle then the same should apply to Rangers and the rest of the pack. Too often this term, the gap on the field hasn’t been as wide as the balance sheets should suggest..”
Leaving aside the fact that this is the same author and attempted newspaper which concluded a pre-season article with the phrase “they are going for 55” I am struck once again by the commentary being based around what Sevco spend. Not what their balance sheet actually shows. Which is whopping great losses that some might argue constitute a form of financial doping that skews the competition and puts Sevco’s existence in jeopardy.
You might think that a sports article from a paper which caters (at least in part…) to readers who wish to see Sevco thrive would be at the forefront of querying whether the game and the ‘club’ are at risk of disaster.
Finally, the piece staggers to a conclusion with what could almost be considered a punchline. It paves the way with some typical aspirational guff based around the lie that Sevco are Rangers:
“But the Ibrox board and crowd will demand results and progress to prove that Warburton’s side are on the right track and are capable of making an impression in Europe next term and challenging for the Premiership title.”
And then it goes for the throat!
Like a feeble going-for-the-throat-type-thing which misses and bumps it’s own head on the sideboard instead 😉
“If not, that would leave many questioning what Warburton should be given in the summer for another foray into the market. Some may even ponder whether he is still the man who should have access to the chequebook.”
You have to wonder whether not having access to the Sevco chequebook is any sort of sanction at all!
Sevco Official: “I’m sorry Mark, but performances haven’t been good enough. So as a punishment you can’t have access to nothing”.
Warbo: “That’s fine. Can a have a cup of coffee?”.
Sevco Official: “No. We have run out of coffee and I have been instructed not to give you any. Let that be a lesson to you”.
NB Other recent offerings from The Clumpany include