Thursday, 27 April 2017

Where's the money, Dave?


After the optimism of that surprising win over Aberdeen which was followed up by another clean sheet and win over Partick, the unrest caused by the continuing fall out from the Old Firm debacle has caused a huge amount of soul searching by fans looking for the answer somewhere.

More and more now the board is being held to account for a great number of the problems surrounding the performances on the pitch, and for the first time since he took office, chairman Dave King is under a touch of pressure from fans infuriated at the feeble quality of the squad and who do not envisage this summer seeing a spending spree.

The fact is Dave King promised fans the Earth in 2015. He categorically stated multi multi millions would be invested, with a ballpark figure of £30M being thrown around with gay abandon, and more and more fans are now beginning to wonder if money will ever seriously materialise with major expenditure on players.

When King made a statement in February, it was greeted with mild dismay;


"£18 million of the originally estimated £30 million investment has already been made."

Yes folks, King, who sold us a dream, has confirmed that two thirds of that grandiose £30M has already been spent – as we know we spent circa £500k in January 2016 and then another £3M the following summer. It begs the question; what did the other £14.5M go on? It clearly was not on players.

We know there have been renovations and upgrades, with repairs asunder, but truthfully fans want to see players worthy of the shirt arrive; instead it is being implied all monies are simply going into keeping the lights on and fitted correctly.

It is not the vision King sold us. His verbose strongly stated that Rangers would be the second best team in Scotland pretty quickly;

“For Rangers to become the second top club in Scotland should be achieved at fairly short notice."

Well it is over two years since he and his men took charge and we are nowhere near it yet. Instead Rangers fans are suffering an awful dichotomy of expectation over where Rangers should be and where they are; and it really is causing friction.

And it is even sad our ambition is simply to be runners’ up at the moment. The fact is many fans peddled the King line, buying into everything he said and attacking other fans who did not. And £18M later with only Joey Garner to show for it, Rangers are in a worrying cul-de-sac.

There is the question of ‘judging’ based on the upcoming summer business, but do fans really expect serious signings when the press are linking the likes of Kyle Lafferty and Kenny McLean with a move to Ibrox? This is not to suggest McLean is a poor player, but unless Rangers are going to bid big cash, it is unlikely to happen.

And it all comes back to money. Fans were promised the moon and frankly it has not been close to being delivered. Rangers are nowhere near the second best team in Scotland and the decision to appoint Caixinha raised more than a few eyebrows at the time and is now being plain questioned following his weird start to life at Ibrox.

And that all falls back on the board. It is not just Dave King and his promises, but the whole board who do not seem to be impressing anyone. If it is not Stewart Robertson and his u-turns it is the complete media silence of Paul Murray this season, when he was only too happy to have a chat last. If it is not rumours of board friction it is stories of players being unhappy with the managerial regime. If it is not that it is something else.

And the problem is next-to-nothing is being delivered on the pitch to paper over these behind the scenes cracks.

We get asked on this site to discuss King and the board frequently; in fact among supporters in general it seems to be an increasingly regular topic of ire. And generally it is a subject we do not broach as much because the last time we got heavily involved in the politics we were slammed. For the record we cut the old board slack early on, initially gave Ashley our benefit of the doubt, then as time wore on and no progress took place there was clearly a groundswell for a change – which we totally supported.

For the record, as anyone who was with us 3 years ago will testify – we never wanted King and his men and strongly campaigned against them. But as fair supporters when they seized power we gave them the chance to prove us wrong. And in fairness to them it has not been diabolical – far from it.

It just is not what they promised. After two years of their stewardship a plan looked like it would be in place, with healthy levels of investment to boost the infrastructure of the club, expand the merchandising systems and most importantly get in the big players to push for top two.

The merchandise issue is understandably a problem of legal gravity – the retail sector remains Mike Ashley’s and we accept there is not a lot King can truly do to resolve that one. It means for the foreseeable future we simply cannot buy shirts if we want that money to only go into Rangers. But therein lies a problem – King implied strongly the issue could be resolved this summer, and a proper shirt launch provided – but do we believe him?

As for infrastructure – repairs have been carried out, yes, and there have been improvements, but nothing mind blowing. Ibrox and Murray Park remain more or less as they did before King came along.

But it is the players, is it not? There is where the promises of big money, decent players and a Rangers to be proud of simply have not materialised. Instead we have seen circa £4M on players and that is really about it.

This is not to advocate £100M or crazy money. But Willie Henderson is dead on. We do need to spend around £50M to get a quality of squad that can push Celtic.

Think back to the last great squad we had. Bocanegra, McGregor, Papac, Whittaker, Edu, Davis, Aluko, Jelavic, Naismith yadda in 2011. These were international players of the calibre Rangers fans expect but they did not come cheap.

In order to regain a team of that class the same kind of money needs to be spent – and evidently it simply will not be.

It is not that we have a huge problem spending within our means – we do accept we do not want to go down the same irresponsible road. Our problem is with King’s promises that we will throw big money into the club – then it just does not seem to happen.

To defend King, he did say:

“The Rangers fans have had a very difficult time. I think we are going to have a couple of tough years. There is a very substantial gap between Rangers and Celtic at the moment. For us to narrow that gap - as we surely will do – it has to be done on a judicious basis. It must never get to the situation where we put Rangers in financial distress chasing something that can be managed in a far more commercial and sane basis."

He is right, we do not want financial chaos again. The problem here though is his promises. He says on one hand how the next two years will be tough, but equally promises to pump in £30-50M?
This does not sit well. And if we have only spent £18M (of which £4M went on players) in two years then it was patently untrue as well.

Again, I am not wanting us to boast big spending – I am simply highlighting a paradox between what King promises and what he urges. And what he then does.

As things stand Rangers are not just years off a title challenge; the harsh reality that unless Rangers find a way to get on financial parity with Celtic, we are destined for years of upper midtable mediocrity. The only way back to the top is fundamentally with hard cash. And if fans do not want us to spend that kind of cash and end up in danger, and who could blame them, then the way things are now probably is more or less how it will be for the foreseeable future.

And that is tough for Rangers fans to take.

Equally do we want the board to just spend the money and give us the kind of Rangers we expect? Well they did promise…

It is worth noting the last three managers, Pedro and Murty included, all have very similar records in the SPL. Roughly half the matches are won, 27% are drawn, and the rest lost. Which is basically the record of an upper midtable SPL team.

Unless something drastic changes, that is yer lot for quite some time.

29 comments:

  1. Very good wread with some great points for & against Ibroxnoise. The battles and arguments between Ashley supporters and King supporters still a touchy subject - sad thing was we turned on each other.. I will be honest I've watched the goings on at Rangers from a distance as was sick of the infighting caused by it all..

    Let's be honest here how many thought Rangers would win the PL this yr? King might not be the best and fittest of Chairman but he's better than Whyte or Ashley I have to say..

    A couple of years of suffering might have to be endured if the Club is to survive long term. Other option is to spunk money the Club can't afford and well the rest isn't worth thinking..

    I remember a Celtic fan claimed my mate was a glory hunter like all Rangers fans! My muckers reply was this - I was a season ticket holder before the Souness era and you was still in nappies now fuck off...

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  2. I applaud your article here and appreciate that you will, as everyone else who questions, get slaughtered...its the attitude that seems to prevail with many now and one of the reasons we are still alienated and castigated by others, yes they always hate the 'big boys' but the behaviour of some has turned banter into bile, and it needs to stop!!

    There will be NO big investment from King so lets put that out there from the onset...how do I know that? Well it isn't hard, SARS, on letting him buy his freedom, have first call on every pound/rand or bawbee he wants to move out of SA, or manipulate under his host of offshore hide-holes...so breaking SARS regulations will see him in jail, but that's only if the Court of Session here doesn't get him first for his Concert actions...don't think that one has been forgotten guys...it will rear its ugly head very very soon and if it does go how many believe, we will be sucked in by association and condemned to a financial melt down like no other....this isn't me dramatizing things, this is me spelling out what may happen, yes worst case is an incredibly hard one to take....but any sanctions imposed on us could break the camels back!!!

    King has done nothing but cause friction and grief with everyone and anyone who could, would or should be able to help us out of the hole we are digging. Following a criminal blindly down a dead end route isn't clever, warnings were given, eyebrows raised and much gnashing of teeth by those who knew just what a shitstorm he would bring....well there has been no shocks and no surprises for those who knew what he was like and have had an interest in his 'dealings'....

    All they, and I mean all of those custodians of our once great club have delivered is.... more debt, mutton dressed as lamb, but more debt in any way you look at it....not just debt...but debt at market rates, fuck we should have went to Wonga instead, more honest and reputable than King in Concert...at least you get a monthly statement of just how much your debt is growing with Wonga.

    What does the future hold? Well, lets see...another few very lean years of humiliation, denigration, the ground and training facilities coming under scrutiny for safety and suitability...more Pedro's and Taverniers dancing in and out, at budget prices of course, and a further drought of silverware....oh and that's just the footballing side. Can you see us catchin up with them in the foreseeable future? I cant, not with this shower at the helm....hell we cant even have a rights or IPO or any other form of investment...its set up for ST monies and loans....that's it, no other way of us getting investment, unless we by a lotto win, hey we should put on a Euro Millions ticket on every week, have as much chance with that as you do King bailing us out!!!

    Its not all about cash, its about doing things right, doing things proper, doing things the old way, the Rangers way, anyone else remember what that used to be? Cant remember a week when King, owners from days gone by, ex chairmen, ex managers, players or current incumbents were not involved in at least one Court, High Court or Court of Session fiasco....is that what you want our team to be? The most toxic in financial institutions and courts throughout the land? Well that's all you are going to get from this....2yrs in and still 2nd rate, 3rd best and a mere month or two from extinction....yes Mr King, you have done a wonderful job!!!!!

    GSTQ

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    1. Gordo

      You're switched on with all that's happening at Rangers and what King's done more so the impending case regards the takeover.. What can be done to save Rangers?

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    2. Bilco

      Sadly there is no easy fix I don't think. There is no hiding place for criminals in todays world so we need to put distance between us and him, the others need to isolate him and get him out, perhaps even that's too late now, the CoS ruling will be hard, whatever people may have said about the Takeover Appeals Panel and the powers it could wield, what they forgot to mention that it had the law of the land on its side to enforce its decisions and King in its sights.

      We need to attract honest money into the club, and that doesn't mean I mean only Ashley, but while we have King as chairman we will never be trusted and will not attract the kind of investors we need, yes the German system may work very well for us, but the other 50% must be backed by someone or a collective with money who can attract a NOMAD, get us re-listed on the LSE, raise funds through shares/rights issues, attract investment in sponsorship, kit, and retail deals, which may mean negotiating or working with Ashley, but working with people and not against.

      We needed to clean up our acts after the Murray, Whyte & Green fiasco's, but we did the complete opposite and jumped into bed with a convicted fraudster....the only way to improve is to clean up our act and be once again the club we grew up with and the club we looked up to.

      So much is coming out in the Whyte trial, you should all go read what's being said and who is really responsible for landing us in the state we are in now, Murray and King, what a combination. One should have his knighthood rescinded for his corruption and the other should be in jail for his....Whyte has a lot of info to come out about them, he has been hung out to dry by Murray, I don't think he, or Donald Findlay will hold back on what they have and use it against them when required, watch this space, the revelations of who knew what and when is very interesting...read the timelines and you will see what I mean....yet another court case we are being ripped apart in....

      GSTQ

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    3. What a heap of nonsense to be polite in what you have written.Facts without King and the three bears we would have been heading for another administration situation at best. Do you honestly believe Ashley and the other mysterious consortiums' have got Rangers at heart.We will be back were we belong and I would rather put my faith in King and the three bears rather than Ashley and his mob as there is no alternative as nobody is knocking on the door wanting to buy Rangers. Lets concentrate on what's happening on the pitch and trust King and the board to do what is right off the pitch.

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    4. Big Bear

      I agree with what you've said regards King v Ashley - Blue Pitch Holdings and the other leeches..King also trying to get a better deal for Rangers on the Merchandise front which is a massive loss of income to Rangers..The board who sanctioned that deal with Sports Direct did they have Rangers at heart - did they baws?! If memory serves me well at one point our Merchandise was in the top 5 Worldwide with Man Utd at the top..

      Everybody is talking about the lack of investment in the team - that said the operating costs of Rangers must be huge factor in that 30 million. Lawyers don't come cheap so they've got to be cautious as regards of the outcome of that one..

      The thing that worries me with King is the Takeover Panel and implications from that on Rangers because of it...King said why offer to buy them out if they don't accept that price ( which is understandable ) - he could've still offered to buy them anyway to appease the Panel yes.,.

      Better to have put a bid in anyways the shareholders don't have to sell the shares at that price - he didn't that's what worries fans I think mate..There must be a reason why didn't or couldn't make that offer in the first place - why would you drag Rangers through the courts if you could prevent it?

      Nobody is willing to invest in Rangers simply because of that Merchandise deal with Sports Direct..

      As for on the pitch Dodoo must start against that mob 🇬🇧

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    5. Gordo....how did DM think it was all going to end with the racking up of huge losses financed through BoS borrowing? I really don't know what was going through his mind....

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  3. I am sick to death of all the so called financial wizards, who are first class at spending other people's money .
    Money has been spent on the playing staff it's not only transfer fees to pay but the wages as well .
    Money has been spent on Ibrox and the training facility so money has been spent.
    I along with thousands of Rangers fans put our money where our mouths are and bought shares .
    Thank God for Dave King and the 3 bears because without them god only knows what state the club would be in .
    I know this won't be popular, then then the truth is not always popular.

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  4. I do not trust King one iota. The man is a complete liar. I agree with Bilko about us fans, as fans we don't need to be turning on each other, it doesn't help matters. This site seems to get enough flack to last a lifetime too. The IbroxNoise lads do a great job and get criticised regardless at times but who never seem to get much credit when they're spot on.

    Back to what I was going to say. The sheer amount of money that needs to be ploughed into us is scary. We need cash and we need lots of it! Until that happens or until we do some magnificent scouting were we can pick up top notch players for peanuts then we aren't going to achieve much. Then again you pay peanuts; you get monkeys.

    It's a bitter pill to take. We are used to sitting top of that table. We all want to be successful but don't want to end up in the financial dire straits that we were in.

    We can but hope for some generous financial input and a Chairman who we can trust & who puts their money where their mouth is.

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  5. Well wrote mate, like you said, unless investment is made on a very substantial level then it is harsh reality time that some fans cant comprehend, £18M later with only Joey Garner to show for it, where is the rest? certainly not even a penny has went on RangersTV, they cant even get HD or a scoreboard, even ThistleTV has this FFS. Unless big changes happen then I certainly wont be doing my bit by buying a £200 overseas pass again. Dont want to watch that shambles anyhow anymore.

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  6. Here is the problem, a reasonable article, just like the current board it unfortunately goes nowhere, just like our club while King is at the helm. Our hope, one will happen very soon (come on, I challenge you to post this time) King is soon to go, very soon. The hope then diminishes unless we are able to get Ashley back in or someone else with serious money, worst case it will all fold again due to King's inability to deliver on his promises to us, Gordon is spot on in this regard.J

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  7. I still believe that these are the right men running our club but with so many issues on going there hands are tied n can't manoeuvre court cases,dodgie contracts set up by old board and gagging etc they can't talk about certain issues they wud like. Our only descent income is season books, who wants to pay a club a few million to put there name on there top when no ones buying them n put ther name out there things like that is making it hard to get investment. Am sick to the bck teeth of all things negative coming from my club I just want to see it bck to our rangers ,but a just don't think they can manoeuvre fans rightly asking questions but they can't answer the majority of them due to on going legal matters. It's been a long time in the gutter but I see it being like that for a long time yet. Going to leave my judgement until Ashley's out the way n all these court cases are out the way n we get a clear run then I'll judge the boards decisions.

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    1. I agree. Money was spent on Barton, Krank, Rossiter and Garner and Warburton et al. Plus a very big payroll.That has to be horribly disappointing and after realising the Ashley noose around their necks was even tighter with little room to obtain financial income.Once we are free and clear of Ashley and litigation we judge the board. The very thought of the Fatbastard Ashley being associated in any way with Rangers fills me with disgust.
      Willie Henderson can call for a 50 million cheque. Make it 100 million Willie and I'll pass the bunnet round too. There is no money in the SPL and without Europe Scottish football is as exciting as a damp squib.
      The Green and Shite could very easily get pumped in their first qualifier next season. Hey, it could happen as soon as tomorrow. What they did get was value for money with a few players. Rangers got absolutely sweet fuck all. And the difference is there for all to see.

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  8. U can complain. But I've not read anything in a while about anyone wanting to invest in rangers. We spend more than we make, have players on big contracts that shouldn't even be playing Sunday football, and then then the amount of money that has been wasted on players I.e Barton who must have got at least 3/4 of a million between wages, pay off and signing on fee.
    And there seems to have been a lot of money spent on back ground stuff and staff. As fans all we see are the players but there's more staff at a club than the players.

    At least we have no bank debt ATM which helps but I don't see any rangers fan shelling in big money unless someone wins the lottery. But I don't think we need to spend 50milliom, celtics team hasn't cost that so why should we spend that?

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    1. Stuart

      I think the Willie Henderson figure of £50m isn't far off the mark. Yes the Celtic team isn't fantastic and cost a fraction of that, but they are building on a stable base and thats what we need the finances for...running a club of our size with the overheads it has costs more than we take in through season books....that's before wages, transfers, stadium refurb, Auchenhowie upkeep, new scouting setup, new coaching and it goes on and on ....we may have no debt to the banks, but every loan against equity is debt so please don't think we are debt free, when SD wanted to do that there was uproar, yet King slips it under the radar lol ....we are in more debt now than any time in the past few years....a million a month overspending is 12m per year...and they are loaning it at 'market rates' which is the same as a bank would charge...we have a huge debt burden and its touch and go if we get a license to play in Europe, that's how bad it is

      GSTQ

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    2. Celtic claim no debt. But they owe Desmond over 40 million. It's the same boat but the press like to throw it in rangers face. Celtic don't even pay there manager ATM and a number of the players. Desmond has to give them the cash each month to pay them, which he has done for years.
      The way I read the comments yesterday is that rangers need 50million on transfers, which I don't think we do. But the last accounts showed that because of our backing (the fans) the losses are now only at a couple of million a season now. I do think if we get a good clear out this summer we can save a bomb. And instead of looking at bringing players from England we should shop local. We're paying English size wages to players that aren't good enough. Theoretically If we could buy the Aberdeen team we could double there wages and still save 1/3 each month, prob enough to break even next season. And they are a far better team than what we have on the pitch. The players just aren't worth the money there on and are our biggest expense. Wasted money but we can think that triplet that ran bk to England

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    3. Gordo

      Where are you getting the million a month overspend from? Yes the Club have been getting soft loans to operate at certain times but any business does that..You can be waiting on payments coming in or you have a quiet period in business like retail in shops. Operating costs like suppliers wages and services for buildings. If Rangers are operating at yearly loss then the Shareholders can have the Chief Director removed from the Board it's that simple. That's going by English Law so it might be different in Scotland but I'd doubt it...

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  9. *sigh* Ibrox noise, not many of the fans trust King, but i have to ask where else is all this money going to come from....The fact you mention Ashley is embarrassing and makes me think you have a dog in that race, because he couldn't give a shit about us and only cares about SD....so lets get rid of King...and then what? No one has wanted to invest in our club for years, and until we start earning a profit and stand on our own two feet they never will.

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  10. King and the Board are the ONLY option fro us at the moment . Thank God they did what they did or our great team would have gone totally under , with Ashely and the rest of the trash . The took thousands out of Rangers when the club needed the money most. Once we get Ashley dealt with we can look forward . WATP

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  11. Good piece, touching on all the salient points. My theory is that, to be successful in Scotland and to compete at any reasonable level in Europe, we need external funding. By this I mean a benefactor who is able to, and prepared to, contribute funds of at least £10m a year without expecting a return other than on the field. The fan ownership model is ludicrous for any team with ambition to compete at the highest level. The Scottish game is bereft of money, not attractive to major sponsorship (or real sponsorship income), and therefore needs this external funding. Celtic are miles ahead of us on the pitch and financially, and yet can't properly compete - and this when they have no competition on the pitch or in the financial world of the game. There are tough times ahead for Scottish football, and all the rhetoric coming out of the SFA, SPFL and the media about our games improving fortunes is just empty bluster. Finally, until we can get rid of Ashley, and finally put the tax case to (eternal) rest, we won't attract any serious investors - and this includes King!

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    1. Agree with much of that, but we are in no way liable for the tax case.

      All we need is it to be possible for external investors to buy shares. It is king that has deliberately stopped this to maintain control.

      If there was another open share issue then we could attract significant investment in the club - but that is impossible due to King.

      Really wish more fans could understand this. It is not simply my opinion, it's the reality of where we are.

      The status quo means Celtic continuing to be unapposed and waltzing on beyond 10 in row. There is no manager in world football who could change this without investment.

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    1. Fan ownership is the way forward with such a huge fan base we could buy what players we wanted and no one on the board takes wages not even £1 never mind half millions we could do this

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  13. King clearly thinks the club spending money on day to day operations counts towards this missing investment money

    Only one way to solve this, withold season ticket money until well see some of kings money. He's making a fool of the fans here, and many are too foolish to notice.

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  14. The 'glib and shameless liar' will never part with his own money. Accept that as a fact and move on.

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  15. Most of us agree there is not going to be tens of millions invested so we will have to generate our own money through successfully scouting and selling players for profit.

    It is the single most important thing that will help us close the gap...

    ...SO WHERE THE HELL ARE ALL OUR SCOUTS????? Scandalous neglect for such a vital department

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    1. I agree good scouting and selling players for profit that is the way forward.

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  16. Watched the game today Sat. and would like to suggest that the manager should have a field day in the transfer window getting new players.
    Players to go---TAVERNIER--KIERNAN--HALLIDAY---GARNER--WAGHORN--and of course players on loan--TORAL--HYNDMAN--
    I would suggest that the manager looks to Europe for players that have a will to win, because so far ,Rangers have not shown much, of course they also don't seem to have a lot of technical skills either
    There are probably some others which he can clear out, so next season ,hopefully , we will have a decent Rangers team with ability

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