It is always good when the Scottish mainstream sports media steps forward to reassure us that there is nothing happening at Sevco for the Clumposphere to get excited about.
If we are told that there is nothing to see by the folk who
- told us that Craig Whyte was a billionaire,
- asserted that all eleven Sevco players were assaulted or spat at after the 2016 Scottish Cup final; and who
- were praised by the newest Ibrox club for their courageous journalism.
…then there is clearly no reason at all for us to grab our Squirrel Spotter’s Guide and take up a monitoring position with binoculars, laptop and large glass of Buckie and Bleach.
Absolutely none whatsoever.
We will all simply go and watch Coronation Street, or do something equally exciting instead.
And so it was with last night’s sudden and somewhat incomprehensible announcement from Ibrox that three of the world’s leading businessmen have left the board of The Rangers Football Club (TRFC), and will instead focus their energies on furthering the progress of humanity as part of the board of Rangers International Football Club (RIFC)
Regular readers will recall that RIFC is the holding company thing, which cradles the engine room subsidiary operating company thing (TRFC), which runs the ‘club’ that no one can describe or has ever seen. TRFC used to be called ‘Sevco Scotland’, and was nearly ‘Sevco 5088’.
And all of it is ultimately called ‘Spartacus’.
Here is the ‘company announcement’ in question:
FOLLOWING a recent review, there have been some minor changes to Rangers’ internal governance structures.
At the time that the previous board was removed, there was a dual reporting structure that duplicated non-executive director roles at the holding company (RIFC) and at the operating company (TRFC). This structure was not in accordance with best practice and appears to have been put in place by the previous board to accommodate the inability of Sandy Easdale to sit on the holding company board.
The TRFC operating board has now been fully functioning for some time and with the imminent appointment of a Director of Football the RIFC board believes that it is appropriate that the TRFC board continues to function independently of the RIFC board within the mandates and budgets set by RIFC.
Consequently, the non-executive directors appointed by RIFC to the TRFC board will now exercise their roles solely as non-executive directors of the holding company, RIFC. The executive management of the Club will then form the board of TRFC.
Article Copyright © 2016. Permission to use quotations from this article online is only granted subject to appropriate source credit and hyperlink to http://www.rangers.co.uk
Social media being what it is, and Sevco being the never-ending source of entertainment it is, Twitter naturally went into overdrive following this statement. May people wondered and speculated what all this might actually mean given the backdrop of various issues which still affect the world’s most successful* ‘club’ , not least
- the going concern warning in the accounts,
- the ongoing litigation with Sports Direct; and
- that quite spectacular recent ’20p’ ruling from the Takeover Appeals Board.
But thankfully the Daily Record was on hand many hours later to give us the inside story of the statement, courtesy of an… errr… insider. And it was all very reassuring:
Here are some extracts from the piece:
The Daily Record can reveal the truth of the matter is a lot less dramatic and can be explained as follows.
When chairman Dave King and his allies first secured control of Rangers in March 2015 the club’s hierarchy was split across two different companies, the main RIFC board – formerly referred to as the PLC board – and the TRFC board which was commonly known as the football board, in charge of day-to-day operations.
The RIFC board is headed by King as chairman and also includes another five non-executive directors, Murray, Gilligan, Park and his father Douglas as well as John Bennett. Ultimately, these are the men who control the last line of the club’s decision-making process and are in charge of hiring and firing.
But Murray, Gilligan and Graeme Park also held seats on the board of the TRFC, alongside two paid executives, managing director Stewart Robertson and administrative director Andrew Dickson.
And it’s been recognised for some time that these dual roles did, in fact, represent a conflict of interests.
With a director of football set to be added to the TRFC board it was felt that now would be an ideal moment to draw a distinct line between the two bodies.
Which is why the positions of Murray, Park and Gilligan on that secondary board have now been terminated.
A source explained: “Basically, this is no more than a tidying up of the club’s internal structure in the interest of sound corporate governance.
“It means there is a distinct line between the board of TRFC which will be made up entirely of executives and whose job it will be to run the club on a day-to-day basis.
“But the performance of these paid employees will in turn be monitored and judged by the directors on the RIFC board. It made little sense to have non-executive directors with a foot in both camps having to judge their own performances.
“The changes, while not essential, are in the best interests of the club’s corporate governance. To suggest this is part of some kind of dramatic restructuring of the boardroom would be quite frankly absurd.”
Phew! So it was all “no more than a tidying up of the club’s internal structure in the interest of sound corporate governance.” I for one am impressed by the ability of the Sevco hierarchy to manage the smaller issues at the same time as grappling with some huge and potentially existential ones!
The Clumpany has no evidence with which to dispute the account which has been offered, and says ‘fair play’ to all involved for ‘doing their thing’ as best they can. However, I do take issue with folk who take umbrage at the level of interest the likes of me have expressed in this and other stories. After all, my experiences of following the ‘intense’ way that Sevco seems to try and manage the news coverage of its magnificent operation could make anyone suspicious that there might be more to this story than initially meets the eye.
Call me cynical. I won’t mind, I have been called a lot worse…
However, I found the use of the term “conspiracy theories” in the Record headline to be laughable. It is a clearly pejorative term which suggest that those taking an interest in developments could be crackpots, lunatics and weirdos. Now, that might be true for some of us on an individual basis, but it is unfair to badge a whole group of people who simply take a keen interest in the national sport, its governance and the unique contribution of Ibrox-based outfits to it over the years.
We take an interest because this sort of thing has – time and time again – been shown to have a bearing on the running of a game about which we care a great deal. None* of us think that aliens are orchestrating developments to make Sevco great as a prelude to an invasion (*NB one of my Twitter followers might do…), nor do we scour the front page of the Daily Express for a Sevco dimension to the car crash which killed Princess Diana. And as for Elvis still being alive but hiding away so that he can watch Sevco TV in peace… why on earth would he watch Sevco TV when he is best friends with David Tanner and Neil McCann, and can get a similar experience during their weekly dominoes night?!
However, we do like to examine what is happening at Sevco, why it is happening, what it could mean, and what might happen next. Whether others like it or not, this sort of questioning attitude – if pursued politely – is a very healthy thing to have in the ongoing debate about Scottish football.
Now, if you will excuse me, I am away to do further work on my book about how Mr Custard assisted the CIA in assassinating John F. Kennedy.