As Rangers find themselves in dire financial straits, the club is once again subject to market forces, and various suitors looking to seek control of the club, with conditions to bridge an immediate funding gap caused by a combination of accumulated mismanagement, a drastic reduction in income, and a failure to spend wisely.
It pains me to say it, but what’s done is done in terms of finance, so laying blame at the door of Charles Green, of any of the other board members who have been part of the boardroom circus seems futile.
With recent significant share purchases by Dave King and the Three Bears consortium, it certainly seems that there is hope that at some point soon either or both of these groups can assume total control of the club, however, it is heavily dependent on Sandy Easdale, the shareholders he represents, and Mike Ashley.
While I find it difficult to fault Easdale for his contribution, given his free loans have been keeping the club afloat, I have grave concerns over Ashley’s intentions, while he fails to communicate with the support.
The support are still in the dark over who gets what from Rangers Retail, with the club getting ever more in debt with Ashley, while our income is unlikely to put us in a position to pay off that debt anytime soon.
While most football clubs have debt, it is something that should not be happening to our club, after events of 2012 that resulted in the club becoming owned by an allegedly debt free business.
When Charles Green floated Rangers International for £22M, on top of very healthy Season Ticket revenue, it should have been money in the bank, with some capital used to bridge the income deficit caused by being out of the Premier league.
As well as the questionably high costs of that transaction, the subsequent overspending of funds on ludicrous salaries for Directors, over-rated players and management have crippled the club at the very time we should have been preparing for life back in the top division.
There really are too many culprits to name them all but Green is most certainly the architect of the infrastructure that is damaging the club, and most definitely the architect of his own departure, long before he could be “found out”.
So, with King and the Three Bears now finding “competition” from American sports club owner Robert Sarver, this bear simply wishes they would get round a table and work up a solution that puts Rangers first, ahead of their personal agendas or finance, because they really are the only hope for our great club.
Like many bears, I have no favouritism towards or against any of the three groups of suitors. I simply want a stable Rangers.
Frankly, I am sick of hearing about Mike Ashley’s millions. Without boring you with the details, a quick google search of Ashley’s business practices will tell you that Sports Direct is his number one priority, and he has a track record of buying up ailing firms, keeping their brand name, and flinging their previously reputable merchandise on cheap tables in cheap shops.
Rangers are not Dunlop, Firetrap or Lonsdale. We do not deserve to be a once respected brand that becomes just a.n.other tainted brand in Ashley’s junk shops.
His manoeuvres at Debenhams too, were for the benefit not of Debenhams, but for Sports Direct, again done with a relatively modest shareholding - the result of these deals is that Debenhams are progressively turning over whole floors in some stores to Sports Direct.
The derivatives deal ensures that he holds power over Debenhams without the normally huge shareholdings required to exert that kind of influence.
While I imagine some bears would be happy for Billionaire Ashley to sell Newcastle and focus 100% on rebuilding Rangers until we are a European force, I’m afraid I am more than sceptical that any of this is a possibility.
I have said this previously. I have no issue with anyone making a profit out of a commercial relationship with Rangers, but only if it does not have any adverse effect on the club also making money.
If Ashley could come clean and detail out how we could both make money, I may well soften my attitude, but I’m afraid just now I believe that is unlikely.
So, where does that leave us?
Well, we have two camps who tell us they are not working together, despite doing so in the past, and one of these groups being courted by Sarver, who looks to genuinely have capital, although people said that about Bill Miller.
Time is running out for the club, and a deal needs to be worked out that gives confidence that the club is safe, debt free, and stable, and that there are reserves that can rebuild for the Premier League.
Can they do it together?