Newco – Yey or Nae ?!?!?

The ‘no to newco’ campaign is now well and truly in full force with fans of all SPL club clamouring the see a ‘newco’ Rangers ousted from the top tier of Scottish Football and to the bottom of the professional leagues: all in the name of ‘sporting integrity’ of course. Pffft

The guise of ‘sporting integrity’ is all very convenient and you will never pursued me that for many, this is all down to plain and simple hatred of the Ibrox outfit, and if I am honest then I am completely okay with that fact. If someone wants Rangers to be booted out (not technically accurate as they are not currently IN) because they ‘hate Rangers’ then that is perfectly acceptable in my view – I just wish they would stop being so cute, and borderline sanctimonious about the ‘sporting integrity’ factor.

If ‘sporting integrity’ is so vital – then I can only presume that those same people will be falling over themselves to see their own players sit out lengthy bans the next time they decide to take an audacious tumble in and around the penalty area; or if they steal a few extra yards at a free kick. Petty? You are damned right it is petty but if you are going to peddle ‘sporting integrity’ into such high regard then you cannot ‘pick and choose’ when it should apply. It should apply ALWAYS and for EVERY instance of cheating; not just financial.

So the debate shall rage; do Rangers deserve to be allowed straight into the SPL? On the simple fact that they club has officially ended, and been reborn it makes perfect sense that the same club should start at the bottom of the professional leagues.  That, for me, is basic common sense. If you leave the queue at Tesco to pick up something from the freezer aisle you cannot expect to come back to the checkout and reclaim the spot in the queue. So why should that be any different in the football leagues?

If we take that argument in its purest form, then starting out life in division 3 is the only way that this situation should be viewed. There should be absolutely no argument about it.

The reason that we all have the argument in the first place is down to, ironically, the one thing that has put Rangers in this position in the first place. Money.

There is no arguing that the majority of the interest in Scottish football circulates around two clubs: Rangers and Celtic. Only a small minority outside of their respective areas give a toss about the other 10 SPL clubs let alone the 30 teams in the lower divisions.  Even interest in Rangers and Celtic has dwindled now that the days of attracting quality players have dried up. Not to mention the simple fact that Scottish Football on a whole suffers greatly due to its glamorous counterparts in the South.

When it comes to cash – the emphasis on such is now paramount, rightly or wrongly, to the Rangers saga.

SKY TV is the only company that invest moderate cash into the Scottish game. The company has already stated that it will look to re-evaluate such funding should Rangers be missing from the top tier of Scottish Football for longer than a season. That is rather fundamental.

Let us take a club such a Dundee United. The club has debts that it can just about service in its current form. The loss of TV revenue – not to mention two full houses against Rangers at Tannadice could cost the club in excess of £1million pounds. Their turnover is approx. £6million so therefore a 6th of the whole company’s turnover is lost without Rangers. If this was planned ahead – by a few years, then appropriate cost cutting measures could be implemented to restructure the clubs budget and deal with such a massive loss. Although I am sure the Dundee united boss has had one eye on the Rangers situation, and be aware that this was always a possibility – he would not have had enough time to effectively re budget the company and can therefore not afford anything other than the status quo.

This situation is the same for Kilmarnock, Hearts, and Aberdeen. Other clubs like Inverness would stand to lose HALF of their annual turnover through Rangers departure from the top flight.

Other clubs such as Celtic, Motherwell and St. Mirren are in a far better place to quickly re budget for the season ahead but this is mainly due to the act they do not have large, over hanging debts that they cannot just up and leave.

The next problem that we face is the precedent factor. Perhaps, with such large debts – Mr X thinks that the ‘newco’ route could be a profitable path for his OWN football club. The fact that they know they would be omitted from the SPL would make such a far less attractive measure. However, voting to keep Rangers in the SPL would set the precedent the other way: his own club could then benefit.

These are just two of the reasons why clubs are between a rock and a hard place when deciding upon Rangers future.

On the other hand, the clubs are under pressure from their own fans who would like this opportunity to dump Rangers from the SPL and teach them a lesson for years of pillaging their way to titles that were (allegedly) won through tax evading scams or the more recent failure of paying P.A.Y.E to the government coffers.

The fans are the life blood of any club, as much as Chairman X does not want to lose the TV cash that Rangers help to bring to the table or their travelling fans twice a season; he certainly cannot afford to lose his OWN fans either.  Take Motherwell, their average attendance is about 4000 fans out with a major game. If 1000 of those fans decide not to turn up then you are looking at sums of money that are equally as damaging to the clubs budget as the loss of any revenue that comes from Rangers.

The distaste from the clubs home fans should surely hold major sway with their own boardrooms.

Leaving sporting integrity, and the simple fact that clearly Rangers need to be punished – in footballing terms – for their actions; we are left with a financial ‘rock and a hard place’ situation for club chairmen.

Do they take the risk, vote Rangers in and hope that their own disgruntled fans will sooner rather than later decide that they cannot live without their team and continue their contributions or, do they go with their fans wishes and in turn lose out on the money that is generated by Rangers involvement? It is a difficult choice.

I think what Chairmen need to do is to be honest with their fans, do the calculations and explain the story. Do not treat you own fans as stupid – tell them the ‘score’ if you will. I do not know, but if a chairman turned round to his supporters and said “ yadda yadda yadda we would lose X amount of money and it would have xyz effect on the club and therefor for our own interests we need to vote YES to Rangers” then their fans would have to stand back and evaluate their position. The choice should then be left to the fans in which direction their club should go, it is the only way to keep the majority of your own fans happy.

On the flipside, if a chairman was to say “we have done the sums, we don’t need Rangers or their money due to our own prudent financial work and therefore we are saying NO” then there is no Rangers fan that could have a complaint.

If chairmen choose to ‘cut off their nose to spite their face’ then I can see the argument for Rangers being entered into the SPL. However, if clubs can evaluate their situation and show they do not ‘need’ Rangers in the top flight then they should vote for Rangers to go to the back of the line – as is the natural progression of things.

There has been a hybrid argument raised that Rangers should be allowed entry but only with major changes to the SPL set-up. A change to the voting structure (Celtic wouldn’t like that, it is one thing Rangers and Celtic like to cosy up together in) and more importantly – a re- distribution of wealth.

The voting structure (11/1) has suited Rangers and Celtic for a long time. It prevents the other clubs from evening the cash pot in the league amongst other things. A change to this structure would arguably even the playing field in Scottish Football but this structure has been held very preciously by both Rangers and Celtic since its formation. On that basis, and that basis alone (forget any financial arguments) that Celtic would be very likely to vote ‘Yes’ to Rangers entry into the SPL – unless of course it was in some way evident that the vote would be going in Rangers favour anyway and then Celtic would perhaps be inclined to vote ‘no’ to appease some of their fans. If it were a deciding vote so to speak; the story may be very different.

The argument – funnily enough from non- old firm fans, that the wealth should be distributed evenly is not one that holds much weight with me personally. I can see the argument but at the same time – Rangers and Celtic bring a lot more food to the table, so allow them the feast. The last time I checked this was not a bastion of communism. This approach allows others to ‘slack’ in their own efforts and relay even more than they already do on the larger clubs for finance.

Anyway, that is just some of the arguments and decisions that need to be made, and made quickly, for next season,

Personally, for Rangers ‘newco’ to prosper it must come from a position of integrity. It must also be humble and take whatever it is given by the SPL and SFA. If that is division 3 then so be it. If it is anything higher – then great. There should be no noise, no complaining and no outrage. Arrogance in the Rangers rank has previously lead to greed and it was that greed that lead to the destruction of the club.

A fresh start, with strong morals and investment in Scottish talent is the only way that Rangers can once again succeed -and do so properly.

There are some difficult decisions for fans of Scottish football, Chairman of Boards and all else involved in the decision making process of Scottish Football. Decisions must be made on the true interests of the clubs and the game in general. For some that will involve a decision based on integrity, for others it will be financial.

I am not, and never have been, the sort of person to proclaim that Scottish Football without Rangers is finished. However, with big decisions to be made – the face of the game could dramatically change. Not overnight, not in a season – perhaps not even in two seasons; but it will change. The decisions to be made now are pivotal as to the direction of that change. With such huge investment south of the border, the SPL will be the league to suffer when attracting new spectators to the sport. Naturally all children’s eyes will be turned to the glitz and glamour of the premiership giants, especially now that we can guarantee even MORE coverage of their game on the TV. There is absolutely nothing that Scotland can do besides making our own game more attractive; the only question being: will that process be helped WITH Rangers, or WITHOUT.

The jury shall soon return its verdict………………………..

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5 Comments on “Newco – Yey or Nae ?!?!?”

  1. k Says:

    Wot about getting rid of sky?


    • I have heard of this idea before however it must be said that there has been no figures to suggest that the idea would work or be financially viable due to interest. However, personally i have no idea if it would work or not. It is always an alternative if the idea could get off the ground but i fear that may require some financial investment to happen; something that is all to scare in Scottish football at the moment.

  2. The Big Man Says:

    > The ‘no to newco’ campaign is now well and truly in full force with fans of all SPL club clamouring the see a ‘newco’ Rangers ousted from the top tier of Scottish Football
    and to the bottom of the professional leagues: all in the name of ‘sporting integrity’ of course. Pffft

    To be clear, this is about a new company, asking to take on the share of a defunct company, where the share grants the new company higher income than if they don’t receive it.

    This has little to do with Rangers Football Club, other than that it was their share that is now up for grabs.

    It’s wrong to associate any sort of history with this share, it’s purely a mechanism that allows for voting rights in a company (the SPL), except perhaps, the share seems to be a “golden share”, granting a larger representation on the voting…this bit I’m not totally sure how it actually works.

    Why no “history with this share”, well, when teams are relegated or promoted from the SFL, they don’t assume the history of the previous incumbent.

    > The guise of ‘sporting integrity’ is all very convenient and you will never pursued me that for many, this is all down to plain and simple hatred of the Ibrox outfit, and if I am honest then I am completely okay with that fact. If someone wants Rangers to be booted out (not technically accurate as they are not currently IN) because they ‘hate Rangers’ then that is perfectly acceptable in my view – I just wish they would stop being so cute, and borderline sanctimonious about the ‘sporting integrity’ factor.

    I’ve commented before, but this is definitely about sporting integrity, if money is the overriding factor in any decision in football, then we might as well give up any pretence of sport, we are teetering on the brink, both nationally, and worldwide, you only have to look at the insane penalties handed out to Niklas Bendtner for displaying a commercial on his shorts compared to the penalties for racist behaviour amongst fans, or the fact that the Brazilian government was forced into a climbdown by FIFA over the issue of sales of alcohol (you can bet this is Budweiser) in stadia during the World Cup.

    > If ‘sporting integrity’ is so vital – then I can only presume that those same people will be falling over themselves to see their own players sit out lengthy bans the next time they decide to take an audacious tumble in and around the penalty area; or if they steal a few extra yards at a free kick. Petty? You are damned right it is petty but if you are going to peddle ‘sporting integrity’ into such high regard then you cannot ‘pick and choose’ when it should apply. It should apply ALWAYS and for EVERY instance of cheating; not just financial.

    Sure, I’ll be honest, I’ve sat watching a game, and a player from the team I support has won a penalty, perhaps questionably, and my heart sinks a little inside, yeah, it’s great when someone steps up, especially in a tense, close game, and scores, but a little bit of me hurts, I’d rather a game was won fair-and-square.

    > So the debate shall rage; do Rangers deserve to be allowed straight into the SPL? On the simple fact that they club has officially ended, and been reborn it makes perfect sense that the same club should start at the bottom of the professional leagues. That, for me, is basic common sense. If you leave the queue at Tesco to pick up something from the freezer aisle you cannot expect to come back to the checkout and reclaim the spot in the queue. So why should that be any different in the football leagues?

    For reasons I’ve outlined above, this is disingenuous, it’s not Rangers who are “to be allowed straight back into the SPL”, it’s a new company who wants to take on the share of a defunct company, yes they may play at the same stadium, yes, they may have some of the same players, and the same manager, but it’s just a company who wants to transfer a share, arguably it should be open to bidding in an open market.

    If there was a standard mechanism for a transfer of a share, it would already have happened, but there isn’t, from this we may reasonably assume that it’s not so much a transfer, as a new request for allocation of a single share.

    > If we take that argument in its purest form, then starting out life in division 3 is the only way that this situation should be viewed. There should be absolutely no argument about it.

    > The reason that we all have the argument in the first place is down to, ironically, the one thing that has put Rangers in this position in the first place. Money.

    > There is no arguing that the majority of the interest in Scottish football circulates around two clubs: Rangers and Celtic. Only a small minority outside of their respective areas give a toss about the other 10 SPL clubs let alone the 30 teams in the lower divisions. Even interest in Rangers and Celtic has dwindled now that the days of attracting quality players have dried up. Not to mention the simple fact that Scottish Football on a whole suffers greatly due to its glamorous counterparts in the South.

    There has been a financial arms race, between Celtic and Rangers over the past 26 years, fiscal oneupmanship, that has led to the demise of Rangers, Celtic have competed at times, and been chided by the media for the “biscuit tin mentality”, while Murray in particular was lauded for his “for every five pounds Celtic spend, we’ll spend a tenner” quote, the same media who are saying that the SPL needs a club of the size that Rangers was, weren’t particularly scathing of the suggestion that Rangers would leave Scottish football behind, helpfully leaving behind a side that could compete in the SPL, but their main ambitions lay elsewhere.

    > When it comes to cash – the emphasis on such is now paramount, rightly or wrongly, to the Rangers saga.

    > SKY TV is the only company that invest moderate cash into the Scottish game. The company has already stated that it will look to re-evaluate such funding should Rangers be missing from the top tier of Scottish Football for longer than a season. That is rather fundamental.

    Who cares? For far too long clubs have tried to compete with the financial cartel between Celtic and Rangers, the 11-1 voting structure was not an accident, and most everything in the SPL has been geared to financing the arms race between the two top clubs, there has to be a readjustment of the finances of SPL clubs, this is unavoidable, whether or not a new club of the size of Rangers is allowed into the SPL or not, we just can’t continue careering along the road to meltdown.

    >Let us take a club such a Dundee United. The club has debts that it can just about service in its current form. The loss of TV revenue – not to mention two full houses against Rangers at Tannadice could cost the club in excess of £1million pounds. Their turnover is approx. £6million so therefore a 6th of the whole company’s turnover is lost without Rangers. If this was planned ahead – by a few years, then appropriate cost cutting measures could be implemented to restructure the clubs budget and deal with such a massive loss. Although I am sure the Dundee united boss has had one eye on the Rangers situation, and be aware that this was always a possibility – he would not have had enough time to effectively re budget the company and can therefore not afford anything other than the status quo.

    I’d like to see evidence for these figures, if correct, you’re saying that a 6th of Dundee United’s entire annual turnover comes from two games (and half of that isn’t guaranteed due to the league split mechanism), that also implies that roughly a third of their turnover comes from four games (again, half of that isn’t guaranteed).

    Even if this is correct, it’s clear that this is an insane business strategy.

    > This situation is the same for Kilmarnock, Hearts, and Aberdeen. Other clubs like Inverness would stand to lose HALF of their annual turnover through Rangers departure from the top flight.

    Again, let’s assume that Celtic and Rangers fans travel to Inverness in equal numbers (I can see no reason that this wouldn’t be broadly accurate), when Inverness dropped down, they lost close to 100% of their revenue?! I’m not sure where you’re getting your figures, but this seems either wrong, or a recipe for disaster.

    > Other clubs such as Celtic, Motherwell and St. Mirren are in a far better place to quickly re budget for the season ahead but this is mainly due to the act they do not have large, over hanging debts that they cannot just up and leave.

    > The next problem that we face is the precedent factor. Perhaps, with such large debts – Mr X thinks that the ‘newco’ route could be a profitable path for his OWN football club. The fact that they know they would be omitted from the SPL would make such a far less attractive measure. However, voting to keep Rangers in the SPL would set the precedent the other way: his own club could then benefit.

    Moral hazard…the possibility of the replacement for Rangers voting against a club who had voted for them to enter the SPL is madcap, but a definite possibility…more worryingly, perhaps that’s the sort of deals being done behind closed doors this week, “You vote for us, and we’ll vote for you”, if you were a chairman of a club that made that pact with the new club, wouldn’t you seek to take advantage of it as soon as possible? Before the wind changes?

    > These are just two of the reasons why clubs are between a rock and a hard place when deciding upon Rangers future.

    > On the other hand, the clubs are under pressure from their own fans who would like this opportunity to dump Rangers from the SPL and teach them a lesson for years of pillaging their way to titles that were (allegedly) won through tax evading scams or the more recent failure of paying P.A.Y.E to the government coffers.

    > The fans are the life blood of any club, as much as Chairman X does not want to lose the TV cash that Rangers help to bring to the table or their travelling fans twice a season; he certainly cannot afford to lose his OWN fans either. Take Motherwell, their average attendance is about 4000 fans out with a major game. If 1000 of those fans decide not to turn up then you are looking at sums of money that are equally as damaging to the clubs budget as the loss of any revenue that comes from Rangers.

    > The distaste from the clubs home fans should surely hold major sway with their own boardrooms.

    > Leaving sporting integrity, and the simple fact that clearly Rangers need to be punished – in footballing terms – for their actions; we are left with a financial ‘rock and a hard place’ situation for club chairmen.

    In the new fiscal driven world, fans are an inconvenience for some, if football clubs could get all their money from TV, and not have to have a stadium, I suspect they would.

    > Do they take the risk, vote Rangers in and hope that their own disgruntled fans will sooner rather than later decide that they cannot live without their team and continue their contributions or, do they go with their fans wishes and in turn lose out on the money that is generated by Rangers involvement? It is a difficult choice.

    > I think what Chairmen need to do is to be honest with their fans, do the calculations and explain the story. Do not treat you own fans as stupid – tell them the ‘score’ if you will. I do not know, but if a chairman turned round to his supporters and said “ yadda yadda yadda we would lose X amount of money and it would have xyz effect on the club and therefor for our own interests we need to vote YES to Rangers” then their fans would have to stand back and evaluate their position. The choice should then be left to the fans in which direction their club should go, it is the only way to keep the majority of your own fans happy.

    > On the flipside, if a chairman was to say “we have done the sums, we don’t need Rangers or their money due to our own prudent financial work and therefore we are saying NO” then there is no Rangers fan that could have a complaint.

    > If chairmen choose to ‘cut off their nose to spite their face’ then I can see the argument for Rangers being entered into the SPL. However, if clubs can evaluate their situation and show they do not ‘need’ Rangers in the top flight then they should vote for Rangers to go to the back of the line – as is the natural progression of things.

    > There has been a hybrid argument raised that Rangers should be allowed entry but only with major changes to the SPL set-up. A change to the voting structure (Celtic wouldn’t like that, it is one thing Rangers and Celtic like to cosy up together in) and more importantly – a re- distribution of wealth.

    > The voting structure (11/1) has suited Rangers and Celtic for a long time. It prevents the other clubs from evening the cash pot in the league amongst other things. A change to this structure would arguably even the playing field in Scottish Football but this structure has been held very preciously by both Rangers and Celtic since its formation. On that basis, and that basis alone (forget any financial arguments) that Celtic would be very likely to vote ‘Yes’ to Rangers entry into the SPL – unless of course it was in some way evident that the vote would be going in Rangers favour anyway and then Celtic would perhaps be inclined to vote ‘no’ to appease some of their fans. If it were a deciding vote so to speak; the story may be very different.

    This voting structure has ensure that the top two teams in the SPL in season 2011/2012 took away the vast majority of the money, which in turn means that they are more likely to take the majority of the money in future seasons, so it snowballs, it’s this kind of thing that awes me about the Rangers situation, they had more money than anybody else, were paying less tax than anybody else, but still ended up deeper in trouble than anybody else, I haven’t seen anybody else break down the numbers involved, but somewhere along the line, they would have been better fuelling the undersoil heating with fifty pound notes…it would have been cheaper.

    > The argument – funnily enough from non- old firm fans, that the wealth should be distributed evenly is not one that holds much weight with me personally. I can see the argument but at the same time – Rangers and Celtic bring a lot more food to the table, so allow them the feast. The last time I checked this was not a bastion of communism. This approach allows others to ‘slack’ in their own efforts and relay even more than they already do on the larger clubs for finance.

    The MLS in the US has a different structure, the league owns all the players, and a lot of effort is made to balance the teams, sure, franchises make more money than others, but that’s in the same way as some McDonalds make more money than others…through the hard work of their owners, and through good fortune of location, of course the MLS ensures that there aren’t collisions between franchisees, they make money, because their clubs make money.

    > Anyway, that is just some of the arguments and decisions that need to be made, and made quickly, for next season,

    > Personally, for Rangers ‘newco’ to prosper it must come from a position of integrity. It must also be humble and take whatever it is given by the SPL and SFA. If that is division 3 then so be it. If it is anything higher – then great. There should be no noise, no complaining and no outrage. Arrogance in the Rangers rank has previously lead to greed and it was that greed that lead to the destruction of the club.

    Yip, nobody better at that than David Murray…

    > A fresh start, with strong morals and investment in Scottish talent is the only way that Rangers can once again succeed -and do so properly.

    > There are some difficult decisions for fans of Scottish football, Chairman of Boards and all else involved in the decision making process of Scottish Football. Decisions must be made on the true interests of the clubs and the game in general. For some that will involve a decision based on integrity, for others it will be financial.

    > I am not, and never have been, the sort of person to proclaim that Scottish Football without Rangers is finished. However, with big decisions to be made – the face of the game could dramatically change. Not overnight, not in a season – perhaps not even in two seasons; but it will change. The decisions to be made now are pivotal as to the direction of that change. With such huge investment south of the border, the SPL will be the league to suffer when attracting new spectators to the sport. Naturally all children’s eyes will be turned to the glitz and glamour of the premiership giants, especially now that we can guarantee even MORE coverage of their game on the TV. There is absolutely nothing that Scotland can do besides making our own game more attractive; the only question being: will that process be helped WITH Rangers, or WITHOUT.

    Special cases breed arrogance…let’s make the structural changes necessary, and if the new Rangers take a place (not ‘their’ place) in that, then that’s great.


    • Yeah i take all of that on board, very measured reply.

      Very little to say back to it, i’ve gave my opinion as you have yours and somewhere i think we find some even ground.

      All i need to add is that in response to the ‘no to newco’ i have perhaps tarnished the actual campaign itself at the start of my piece by associating it with those who are just saying ‘no to newco’ for other reasons. That is actually where i was coming from.

      As for the figures that i have suggested for Dundee United and Inverness, Those figures (6th etc.) included both TV revenue AND away gates from Rangers & Celtic alluding to such a massive part of their income in previous seasons.

      Anyway, thanks for the reply. Relevant and well thought out response.

  3. k Says:

    Hey Big Man; like GjbM iCan find common ground, but com’n i’m sure dundee utd are just fine.


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