WARNING: This post contains scenes of wild conjecture; however where “official” sources have been cited they have been quoted more-or-less verbatim or (at worst) paraphrased slightly.
It seems you can’t your eyes off the ball for 2 seconds given the way things are developing! On Wednesday I thought I could do with a break so set about editing some of the 4000+ photos clogging up my hard-drive. Took a few days. And what did I miss? I’m still playing catch up.
Because I kinda left things hanging the last time, I may have given the impression that Duff & Phelps are the only ones who stand to gain from liquidation; this is of course not true, as I will try to explain.
There are many people asking, “What if liquidation has been the point from the start?” There is more than enough evidence to suggest that may well the case; the CVA proposal issued just prior to the Judicial Review being perhaps the most derisory offer ever made, bar the time I invited the local good-time girl to, ahem, “keep me company” on the promise of £2.50 and 10 Benson’s (Oh sh*t, did I say that out loud? Just as well my mum wouldn’t know the Internet from a hairnet!) & had/has no chance of ever being accepted – would you agree to sign away a debt on the promise/threat that “If you don’t take this you’ll get nothing”?
I’ll come back to the CVA later, but first we need to ask the question “Why request a Judicial Review when it was obvious to most right-minded people that the transfer embargo was a compromise that was in fact a far more lenient punishment than Rangers* deserved?” Was it simply naivety? I don’t know about you, but I can give no credence whatsoever to D&P’s claim that they were “unaware of the can of worms they were opening” by petitioning the Court of Session, strictly against/ FIFA statutes. £1.8m in Lawyers fees and nobody thought to read the rulebooks? Aye, right ye are.
To my mind there are 2 answers, one of which only a few short days ago would have sounded no more than the ramblings of a grade-a conspiracy theory fruitcake (you know, the kind who line their walls with Bacofoil etc; I most certainly do not!) But with each new day another revelation comes along which only serves to reinforce the impression that there is much much more to this sad state of affairs than can be discerned from a cursory look, and that the end may be at last near. So here goes:
The 1st reason is quite simple: perception/appeasement – as long as D&P appear to be doing everything they can to save the club then, when things eventually do go tits-up, there’s no way they’ll get the blame. No siree, it will all be laid at the door of the SFA/UEFA/the BBC/the schools/the Pope etc etc.
Secondly, (and this is where you may start to question my sanity, but bear with me): to D&P, or rather Messrs Clark & Whitehouse, the outcome of the JP was immaterial; the appeal was what may best be described as an “inciting incident.”
If I have it right (And please let me know if I don’t; I went to the library & borrowed a few heavyweight – in every respect. – business law books, and it wasn’t until I had almost popped my hernia lugging them home that it dawned on me that, as my library is in SE London, they were about as much use as a chocolate fireguard…) in a Judicial Review the Judge either grants or denies the petition based on his interpretation of the evidence, there is no middle ground; this is not arbitration. (I wonder, had they known exactly the very narrow point being argued, would the RFFF still have ponied up the cash?)
So as I said the outcome wasn’t important to D&P; it was all about the consequences of the Petition being lodged, namely: putting the SFA’s nose out of joint; hacking off the Appeal Tribunal & attracting the attention of UEFA/FIFA. (Please note that I mean no disrespect to Lord Carloway & the other tribunal members, and do not for a minute think that personal feelings will have any bearing on the eventual outcome. It’s not likely M’Luds Carloway & Glennie will end up having fisticuffs in the golf club car park…)
Had Lord Glennie upheld the Appeal Tribunal decision, (which I would argue was their preferred outcome,) D&P could right away declare that, with big-name players heading for the door & the inability to sign new players over 18, the club was no longer viable & therefore they had no alternative but to liquidate. This in turn would mean that Charles Green gets to buy the assets (Ibrox, Murray Park etc) for the knockdown price of £5.5 million, which would of course be swallowed up by Administration & legal costs.
If Lord G found for D&P – which of course he did, much to the consternation of everyone involved (by everyone I include D&P, but not the poor deluded currant buns) – this would, they hoped, bring the wrath of the acronyms crashing down upon their heads & lead to suspension at the very least, which in turn of course would lead to aforesaid liquidation. After all, hadn’t Stewart Regan reminded us all that the Petition was a violation of both SFA & UEFA rules, and would be dealt with? This would of course take a little longer but hey, 200 grand a day…
The SFA however inexplicably decided that they would take no further action with regard to the civil action, with Stewart Regan saying “There is a consideration that we have within our articles where going outside of the Scottish FA’s articles and going to a civil court technically could have breached the Scottish FA’s articles. However, in light of Lord Glennie’s comments and having discussed the matter with Fifa, it is not our intention to take any action. We are aware of the reasons why Rangers did what they did and we will not be pursuing them for that.” This sets a very dangerous precedent – does anyone think that D&P won’t appeal if the AT wallops them?
Think I’m havering, off my meds again? Consider this quote from a (not exactly delighted) Paul Clark outside the CofS: “Both we, and the SFA, will have to study the full ramifications of the judgment when it is published and either side has 21 days in which to decide the next course of action or whether they wish to appeal.” Come again? You would think that, if they had any hope of turning the AT decision over, they would have their strategy mapped out beforehand, wouldn’t you? This is where the wheels start to come off for D&P.
So what happens next? Well, it’s back to that ridiculous CVA, and we have to listen to the nonsense that this is “The best outcome for creditors.” Paul Clark’s statement when asked how creditors could be expected to vote on a CVA that didn’t actually contain any figures is very telling: “They can – they don’t have to know (the amount available), “You show me the rule where they have to know. What I’m saying is that although there can be a certain level of distribution you can also have a situation where you’ve just got a certain level of assets – which is what we’ve got here – albeit it’s not a known level. But we know the assets will go into the pot.” Dripping with contempt for the creditors? Or maybe it’s just me?
So, let’s say the CVA is voted down, then what? The plan was, liquidate & sell the assets to Charles Green who forms a “newco” as said but – and this is a big but because I’m still not sure what exactly happened last week as I’ve been unable to track down a link (my researcher is a total d*ck!)– It sounds like the CVA has been re-issued after some alteration by HMRC, to the effect that, should it be rejected, D&P are kicked to the kerb & BDO come in to handle the liquidation. Have I got that right?
If so, it looks like the other shoe is about to drop, because surely if BDO are to liquidate, Mr Green’s purchase is a no-go? You would think they will do it properly, break-up the assets & sell them to the highest bidder (?) Again, if I’ve got this wrong, I’d be grateful for clarification.
Just noticed the time, so I’ll knock it on the head for the minute, but there is definitely a part 3 on the way; suffice it to say the word “newco” figures heavily…