A comfortable 3-0, home victory for Neil Lennon’s men at Parkhead in March 2012, was the last time an Old Firm fixture was played in the then Scottish Premier League, and many wondered, would one of football’s closest rivalries be ended.
The Rangers Football Club were placed into administration on February 14th 2012 and were ultimately deducted ten-points on the ladder. Rangers eventually conceded the title 20 points behind Champions Celtic. That wasn’t the end of the story.
At the conclusion of the 2011/2012 season, the club failed to reach an agreement with major creditors through a CVA (Company Voluntary Agreement) – the major obstacle being The HMRC – The United Kingdom’s head tax office, and this subsequently resulted in Ranger’s eventual liquidation.
It was incomprehensible for the SFA, television broadcasters Sky and the clubs massive support base that there would be no more Rangers in the top flight. Much Sky Sports television rights deal for the SPL depended on the generation of interest of Rangers and Celtic rivalry, and since 1985, they have been the only two clubs to win The Scottish Championship, since Alex Ferguson’s Aberdeen side in 1984/85.
The SFA and SPL had fought tooth and nail, to place the now new club The Rangers Football Club PLC straight back into the first division, but the rest of the league vetoed this move, 10-1 and they were placed in the lowest division, level 4 (Third division) in the league system.
Only left-back Lee Wallace, goalkeeper Neil Alexander and veteran Lee McCulloch remained at the club, with the rest transferring to a number English Premier League and First Division clubs.
If Rangers thought that their destination couldn’t be located anymore southerly given the disastrous takeover by convicted crook Craig Whyte, the emergence of the mercuries Yorkshire businessman Charles Green and his associate Imran Khan, put forth a 5.5 million pound offer for the club to then administrators Duff & Phelps to acquire Ibrox, Murray Park and the rest of Rangers associated assets. This move was thought to put the disaster of Craig Whyte’s tumultuous reign to bed.
But the two men, like the comedy characters; Turner and Hooch, with the crooked intent of Bernie Madoff’s Wall Street salesmanship, somehow managed to spend a whopping $70 million pounds over a three year period, even though Rangers were competing in the Third, Second and First Divisions. The likes of Elgin City, Arbroath and East Stirlingshire are hardly any world-beaters.
Dave King Takes Over Boardroom At Rangers After Extraordinary EGM.
The extravagant amounts of money spent during Rangers campaigns in the lower leagues prompted the prospect of an unthinkable, second term in administration.
Enter Dave King, a former director of the Rangers board under the directorship of Craig Whyte’s administration, owning a 14.9% stake in Rangers, called an extraordinary EGM and formed a voting bloc with shareholders known as: The Three Bears; Douglas Park, George Letham and George Taylor who offered the club a 6.5 million pound loan offer and backed King’s consortium to win control of the club.
At the other end of the scale, English billionaire Newcastle United owner, Mike Ashley owning a 8.9% stake in Gers – and hugely unpopular amongst his own fans, then offered The Board ₤10 million pound rescue-loan deal using Murray Park and Edmiston House (The clubs training ground and former ticket turnstiles) as security. This was accepted by the board who dismissed The Three Bears offer, as well as a counter ₤20 Million pound offer from American businessmen and Phoenix Suns owner Robert Sarver, which included a ₤6.5 million pound emergency loan deal to pay-off already existing loans tied to Mike Ashley. This was rejected by the board largely under the influence of Ashley’s henchmen on the board at Rangers; Barry Leach and Derek Llambias.
Shareholders at the meeting called by King, who owned 14.5% of shares in Rangers International Football Club plc, voted Derek Llambias and finance director Barry Leach off the board. The voting bloc then added former director Paul Murray and John Gilligan to the board, and appointed prominent shareholder Douglas Park, as a director.
Kings EGM received about 85% of the vote and was meet with a chorous of support outside Ibrox after the meeting by Rangers supporters. After claiming victory, he said “For someone who’s grown up with a Rangers club and a Rangers tradition, I always believed it would always be there. I picked it up from my father, and in turn from his father and it concerned me that even though I’m not living in Scotland, for those that are here, you had a situation where that seemed to be breaking. There was a real danger if this continued that you could end up with a lost generation, because there is a time for fathers to take their sons to football matches, and develop the same love for this great club.”
Dave King alongside Paul Murray and John Gilligan celebrating with Rangers supporters after the result of the EGM. Source SNS Group.
“We want Rangers to get back to its rightful place in Scottish Football.” That means competing amongst Celtic for the title, as well as within Europe. He even went as far as to say that it is of no use to be competing with the Dundee United’s and Aberdeen’s mid-table in The Premiership.
“The club is pretty much broken. It’s broken in many areas. Pretty much everything has to be looked at, from scouting issues to player contracts to upgrading Ibrox facilities.”
Issues have now been raised about Mike Ashley’s existing Sports Direct contracts, which vaguely stipulate to Rangers Merchandise sales. Ranger’s fans spent a total of 7.6 million pounds during the 2014/15 season, and the club’s share of that spending is a paltry £590,000. That means that for every £10 spent by Rangers fans on merchandise, the club receives only around 75p.
The club have atleast appointed a new manager, former Motherwell boss and Rangers legend, Stuart McCall until the end of the season. It is hoped that this will breathe a new breath of fresh air into the club, who have dropped 12 points in their last 8 games. McCall was quoted as saying, “Promotion with Rangers would be my best achievement.”
Source: BBC News
They probably won’t be able to catch champions-elect Hearts, who sit 22 points above them with almost 10 games left in the season. Their objective should be to catch the other Edinburgh side, Hibernian who are five points above them in 2nd place on 52 points, albeit with Rangers having 2-games in hand.
Rangers potential promotion to The Scottish Premiership might just renew interest in a league which has been floundering for the past few years, and this could potentially include a new and much needed television rights deal for the SPFL.