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Keith Jackson: Is Dave King ready and able to ride to the rescue of Rangers

WITH the cash crisis at Ibrox heading towards a critical point KEITH wonders what the South African-based businessman is waiting for before making his move. 27 Jan 2014 08:03

Dave-King-arrives-in-Scotland-for-talks-over-Rangers-2530349.jpg Dave King arrives in Glasgow for talks on Rangers in October but he hasn't yet invested

Tony Nicoletti/Daily Record

ANOTHER week, another load of twists in the great Rangers Rubik’s Cube. Yet more puzzles created by this conundrum of a football club.

On Friday night it was announced that Brian Stockbridge had finally left the building, a development which itself posed more questions – some obvious, others not so much.

First, why on earth did it take so long for the penny to drop that the accountant in chief – and part-time home video enthusiast – had such apparent difficulty with numbers?

And then, more intriguingly, what was the real story behind the repayment of Stockbridge’s £200k bonus?

And did he, as was reported on Saturday morning, walk away with a year’s salary paid up in full?

On the one hand, Stockbridge stood up at the club’s agm in December and stated bonus money had been handed back. It’s widely understood this was done at the insistence of the club’s largest shareholder, Laxey Partners, in return for their backing at the vote.

Last week Graham Wallace, the recently appointed CEO who is battling to tidy up the mess, also went on record to confirm this money had been returned to the Rangers account. And that it was done so in advance of that December 19 agm.

All of this would doubtless have come as some comfort to the club’s supporters who ran out of patience and trust in Stockbridge many moons ago.

So let’s ask again then. What exactly was it that Stockbridge did to deserve leaving Ibrox with a full year’s salary in his tail?

And while we’re at it, here’s another question: What do the players in Ally McCoist’s dressing room – who were being asked to consider cutting their own wages just the other week – make of this?

Dave-King-2366968.jpg Most Gers fans want former Ibrox director Dave King to help salvage the club

The big question now is where Rangers go from here because what I’m hearing from inside Ibrox is that Stockbridge may have got his numbers wrong when he predicted the business would be down to its last million pounds by April.

The true extent of the club’s short-term funding gap may be much deeper than that, according to certain sources.

In fact, they made need a huge injection of money just to get to the end of next month.

Which is why Dave King’s re-emergence at the start of last week was both timely and intriguing.

Timely because his cash could help avoid any imminent crisis. But also intriguing as the Rangers board seem reluctant to ask him for any of it.

Now this really is a riddle. Is King really the man to mend this basket case? And if he is, will the current regime allow him to? Or are they determined to keep him out?

King appeared to leave logic at the door when he called for Rangers to carry on spending last week, despite previously warning of the possibility of Administration II.

But, on closer inspection, his mixed messages were perhaps not as absurd as they seemed.

When he says McCoist’s playing budget is not what is sinking the current regime, he is absolutely correct. Yes the wages he and his players have received to conquer the fourth and third tiers of Scottish football have been ridiculously over the top.

But – at less than 30 per cent of the club’s turnover – they should not be endangering the club’s financial health. Far from it. In fact, this spend falls well within the ideal model of good housekeeping.

So while it may have been unnecessary and even foolish to spend so much to win these leagues, what’s done is done.

And now, at a time when Rangers are finally nearing the top end of the divisions, it seems almost every bit as ludicrous to start taking money away from McCoist who must wonder if his world will ever make sense again.

One week he has accountants walking through his dressing room carrying clip boards and brandishing big red pens.

JS29491550-2851254.jpg Graham Wallace (left) has rid the club of finance director Brian Stockbridge

The next he’s taking his players to Carnoustie for lunch and afternoon naps ahead of an away game at Forfar in a league that is already won. When this column revealed details of that road trip, it was taken by some as an attack on McCoist. Not so.

Rather, it was an attempt to highlight the topsy-turvy, incoherent decision making going on above his head.

So let me state again, the real culprits behind this club’s overspending have been based in the boardroom, not the dressing room.

And now Stockbridge has gone but King remains on the outside looking in. Why exactly is that?

There are some Rangers fans who understandably struggle to comprehend why he has not stepped up to the plate long before now.

If King really has the collateral and the cajones to go with it, then what is he waiting for? Because the very last thing this club needs now is another flirtatious time-waster.

He’s either serious about saving Rangers or he isn’t.

However, there are others very close to King who are adamant that this man is not only the real deal but the club’s only viable chance of salvation.

Their hope is that new shares are released and that King is then able to buy up control – with his money going straight into the club’s coffers.

But there is concern too that King’s road might be blocked by those who seek to cling on to positions of power.

Will the Easdales, Blue Pitch and Margarita, for example, be prepared to have their own holdings diluted in order to let King get his foot in the Ibrox front door?

Meanwhile, Rangers are running out of money fast.

Some short-term funding may have to be secured just to keep the floodlights on through February, March and April while the longer-term issues are being debated and resolved internally.

But Wallace had better act swiftly to pull this thing together because all the while Rangers supporters are in danger of becoming disenfranchised from their own club.

If enough of them should chose to keep their hands in their pockets this summer then another huge hole will appear in the club’s future funding.

And then this endless puzzle of the Rangers finances might become impossible to solve.

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If the current Rangers structure remains in place this summer then I will not renew my ST - something that I have renewed for 32 consecutive seasons now. I will simply pay at the gate very week because I am not financially committing my money to Laxey, Blue Pitch et al.

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The whole clubs a fucking shambles. From board room to dressing room :(

We went to a boozer before the game on Saturday (a rangers boozer just along from the ground) and the boozer remained busy rather than emptying before and during the game. Most folk just seem scunnered with it all.

We had one wee bastard rape the club and it now seems the previous boards whilst not "raping" us were just as bad at dealing with funds. For us to have been told by "staunch Brian" last summer that we may be down to the last million by April should have had everyone's alarm bells ringing.

I don't understand how our non playing staff wages can be bigger than the playing side, that's pretty fucking mind numbing. Rangers are in massive trouble of losing the next generation of fans in all honesty. The EPL is down the road and the big yin, we spend most of our time discussing new CEOs and board members rather than new players.

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If the current Rangers structure remains in place this summer then I will not renew my ST - something that I have renewed for 32 consecutive seasons now. I will simply pay at the gate very week because I am not financially committing my money to Laxey, Blue Pitch et al.

Serious question. Can you please explain how Laxey and Blue Pitch are getting your money.

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The whole clubs a fucking shambles. From board room to dressing room :(

We went to a boozer before the game on Saturday (a rangers boozer just along from the ground) and the boozer remained busy rather than emptying before and during the game. Most folk just seem scunnered with it all.

We had one wee bastard rape the club and it now seems the previous boards whilst not "raping" us were just as bad at dealing with funds. For us to have been told by "staunch Brian" last summer that we may be down to the last million by April should have had everyone's alarm bells ringing.

I don't understand how our non playing staff wages can be bigger than the playing side, that's pretty fucking mind numbing. Rangers are in massive trouble of losing the next generation of fans in all honesty. The EPL is down the road and the big yin, we spend most of our time discussing new CEOs and board members rather than new players.

(tu)

The look on the aulder bears faces during the game was heartbreaking.

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The whole clubs a fucking shambles. From board room to dressing room :(

We went to a boozer before the game on Saturday (a rangers boozer just along from the ground) and the boozer remained busy rather than emptying before and during the game. Most folk just seem scunnered with it all.

We had one wee bastard rape the club and it now seems the previous boards whilst not "raping" us were just as bad at dealing with funds. For us to have been told by "staunch Brian" last summer that we may be down to the last million by April should have had everyone's alarm bells ringing.

I don't understand how our non playing staff wages can be bigger than the playing side, that's pretty fucking mind numbing. Rangers are in massive trouble of losing the next generation of fans in all honesty. The EPL is down the road and the big yin, we spend most of our time discussing new CEOs and board members rather than new players.

They aren't, £7 million is first team only.

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I don't understand how our non playing staff wages can be bigger than the playing side, that's pretty fucking mind numbing.

The constant drip of this 30% figure is misleading fans. The first thing to consider is what you class as "non playing". For me "non playing staff" in a football club are all the people behind the scenes that work around the stadium and Murray Park to keep the places running. For me "playing staff" is all football related staff so i include every single player at all levels, coaches, physios, sports scientists and all managers, again at every level of football in the club.

If you work to this principle then last year:

"playing staff" was around £11m

Directors was £1.6m

Non playing staff was £5.3m

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The whole clubs a fucking shambles. From board room to dressing room :(

We went to a boozer before the game on Saturday (a rangers boozer just along from the ground) and the boozer remained busy rather than emptying before and during the game. Most folk just seem scunnered with it all.

We had one wee bastard rape the club and it now seems the previous boards whilst not "raping" us were just as bad at dealing with funds. For us to have been told by "staunch Brian" last summer that we may be down to the last million by April should have had everyone's alarm bells ringing.

I don't understand how our non playing staff wages can be bigger than the playing side, that's pretty fucking mind numbing. Rangers are in massive trouble of losing the next generation of fans in all honesty. The EPL is down the road and the big yin, we spend most of our time discussing new CEOs and board members rather than new players.

With the playing staff on 7 million and the board by all accounts on barely 700 grand, there are some hard questions that need to be asked.

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The constant drip of this 30% figure is misleading fans. The first thing to consider is what you class as "non playing". For me "non playing staff" in a football club are all the people behind the scenes that work around the stadium and Murray Park to keep the places running. For me "playing staff" is all football related staff so i include every single player at all levels, coaches, physios, sports scientists and all managers, again at every level of football in the club.

If you work to this principle then last year:

"playing staff" was around £11m

Directors was £1.6m

Non playing staff was £5.3m

We've been told it's down this year so maybe 9? When they say playing staff I'm like you I include all coaches etc. Still seems quite excessive 5.3m for non playing?

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If the current Rangers structure remains in place this summer then I will not renew my ST - something that I have renewed for 32 consecutive seasons now. I will simply pay at the gate very week because I am not financially committing my money to Laxey, Blue Pitch et al.

Did you commit money to David Murray, Craig Whyte etc before? No, you committed it to Rangers. The club needs up front working capital, have whatever views you want on the boardroom but people not renewing will only kill us.
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We've been told it's down this year so maybe 9? When they say playing staff I'm like you I include all coaches etc. Still seems quite excessive 5.3m for non playing?

It does and i think some of the bigger expenses are being dealt with or have been dealt with.....Traynor for 1. Also that approx 12% of the total is Taxes and NI etc. The staff bill will most certainly be nothing like that if you annualised it from today. (tu)

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The whole clubs a fucking shambles. From board room to dressing room :(

We went to a boozer before the game on Saturday (a rangers boozer just along from the ground) and the boozer remained busy rather than emptying before and during the game. Most folk just seem scunnered with it all.

We had one wee bastard rape the club and it now seems the previous boards whilst not "raping" us were just as bad at dealing with funds. For us to have been told by "staunch Brian" last summer that we may be down to the last million by April should have had everyone's alarm bells ringing.

I don't understand how our non playing staff wages can be bigger than the playing side, that's pretty fucking mind numbing. Rangers are in massive trouble of losing the next generation of fans in all honesty. The EPL is down the road and the big yin, we spend most of our time discussing new CEOs and board members rather than new players.

Stockbridge never actually said that though it's one of those things that have been taken out of context and it's stuck. Plus he's gone now anyway.

I gathered people were staying in the pub mainly because they couldn't be arsed with the football itself rather than to do with the boardroom, although obviously I wasn't speaking to everyone.

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I am going to get the dictionary out anch check the definition of journalism.

This shambles is barely beyond the double decker found at the north pole style of journalism.

No quotes from anyone involved, written whilst sitting on his toilet and simply to give Declan something to try and read

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That's a poor, speculative article which directly contradicts two things Graham Wallace has stated, and it's also very badly written.

  1. In fact, they made need a huge injection of money just to get to the end of next month.
    Can't believe a professional journalist made this error, didn't catch it on even the briefest of perusals, and that it made its way through the editing/proofreading process. I'd be embarrassed if I'd left such an error in one of my amateur articles.
  2. Wallace stated that Stockbridge left without any big pay off.
  3. Wallace stated that the Club would not run out of cash by the end of the season and that there was no risk of this at all.

So, poor writing aside, is he saying our new CEO is wrong or lying? Then again, could it possibly be that someone the media has just made something negative up about our Club? Surely not!

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That's a poor, speculative article which directly contradicts two things Graham Wallace has stated, and it's also very badly written.

  1. Can't believe a professional journalist made this error, didn't catch it on even the briefest of perusals, and that it made it's way through the editing/proofreading process. I'd be embarrassed if I'd left such an error in one of my amateur articles.
  2. Wallace stated that Stockbridge left without any big pay off.
  3. Wallace stated that the Club would not run out of cash by the end of the season and that there was no risk of this at all.

So, poor writing aside, is he saying our new CEO is wrong or lying? Then again, could it possibly be that someone the media has just made something negative up about our Club? Surely not!

What the club said was; "no ex gratia benefit or bonus has been offered or paid " nothing about any payment he was due.

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What the club said was; "no ex gratia benefit or bonus has been offered or paid " nothing about any payment he was due.

(tu)

My reading is that he will have received £200k last week which will mean in total £316k in the accounting year to 30th June 2014.

The £200k paid back will mean a net £116k and im unsure if they will be allowed to show that under Directors pay or put the £200k paid back elsewhere. (tu)

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Stockbridge never actually said that though it's one of those things that have been taken out of context and it's stuck. Plus he's gone now anyway.

I gathered people were staying in the pub mainly because they couldn't be arsed with the football itself rather than to do with the boardroom, although obviously I wasn't speaking to everyone.

Some with the football side, others with both.

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Fuck that must be some expensive youths we have

We have 29 youth players, youth coaches, 1st team coaches, managers, physios, ground staff, etc all to pay too mate.

140 full time and 80 part time staff work for us, thats a fair chunk of wages.

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I do have an issue with my Season Ticket money going in to the pockets of Mr. Irvine & MediaHouse. Although I suspect that contract may be terminated in the near future. Any ideas Bawsburst?

I believe Walter Mitty and associated brainstormers are inventing a wheeze whereby they will ring fence your monies after fans purchase season tickets, how they quite intend to achieve this will be the stuff of legend.

Your hard earned will surely be safe under this master plan, do you think any of the various WM's will broach the master plan to GW over Jaffa cakes and cream tea at impending cabinet meetings ?

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I do have an issue with my Season Ticket money going in to the pockets of Mr. Irvine & MediaHouse. Although I suspect that contract may be terminated in the near future. Any ideas Bawsburst?

Sometimes you have to put the club before those you dislike.

Still waiting on your clarification, by the way.

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