DCSIMG

Tom English: Playing out the saga at Rangers

Picture: Robert Perry

Picture: Robert Perry

SOMEBODY at Rangers said the other day that the story of the club’s power struggle – the disappearing directors and the abject lack of corporate governance – had become so farcical that it was almost beyond parody at this point. Almost.

This, therefore, is an exclusive – sorry, invented – interview with some of the key players in this tortuous saga.

“James and Sandy Easdale, thanks for granting us an audience. I know you don’t like the limelight…”

“Can I interject here, please…”

“And you are?”

“Just call me The Source.”

“The Source?”

“Aye. Can you direct all your questions to me, thanks. Sandy and Jamesie don’t have anything to say.”

“We can speak for ourselves...”

“No, you can’t. Leave it to me. I am The Source.”

“OK, well, since you’re here Mr Source, can I begin by asking you about the alleged belittling of club legend, John Greig, in an email. As you know, this caused great anger among the Rangers support and nothing seems to have been done about it…”

“Yes, Craig Mather is looking into that. He’s going to get to the bottom of it and the person responsible will face some very serious punishment.”

“But Craig Mather has left the club.”

“Exactly.”

“Pardon?”

“He has looked into it and he was just about to make a statement when, unfortunately, he agreed to stand down.”

“So what about John Greig being called an idiot? What about an apology to the greatest player who ever wore the Rangers jersey?”

“Uhm, we’re moving on, what’s past is past. We’re looking to a bright new future. In order to change the subject away from John Greig I’m going to allow you to ask the boys one question. Fire away…”

“Jamesie, let’s start with you. Since the board members are dropping like flies, how quickly can you bring in new people? It’s just you and Brian Stockbridge left on the plc board now…”

“Sorry, this is The Source again. I have to jump in here. New people will be added pronto. Top drawer people. Top, top drawer. It’s unfair on Stockbridge because he’s taking all the flak now that Mather has gone. We need to get a few more guys in there that the supporters can target. We need to beef up the defensive wall in front of Jamesie and Sandy. Bit worried that the fans will start pointing the finger at the boys soon, so we need to bring in more bodies to draw the heat. God forbid that the Daily Record run a front page picture of Jamesie’s and Sandy’s home like they did with Stockbridge’s. That would be atrocious.”

“Jamesie, if I can ask you about the proxies you and Sandy are said to hold on behalf of some institutional investors such as Blue Pitch Holdings and Margarita Holdings. Nobody knows who Blue Pitch and Margarita really are. There is a fear that Charles Green and Imran Ahmad are stuck in there somewhere. There’s an even greater concern, as expressed by Paul Murray and Alastair Johnston last week, that even Craig Whyte might be involved somehow. Can you clarify exactly who Blue Pitch and Margarita are?

“Whoa, whoa. It’s me, The Source, again. You see, this is what I mean by the need for more Stockbridges on the board. This is precisely the kind of thing we want to avoid. The supporters are perfectly within their rights to give Stockbridge some welly but asking the Easdales about who’s lurking in the shadows of the institutional investors is not on. That’s below the belt.”

“So you won’t tell us who is behind Blue Pitch and Margarita?”

“If I did then I’d have to kill you. Hahaha.”

“Jamesie, let’s go back to you. What do you think of Dave King?”

“No, Jamesie, I’ll handle this one as well. Round these parts we call Dave King ‘The Convicted’. Guilty on 41 counts of breaking income tax law in South Africa. Could have gone to jail for a thousand years if he didn’t have the readies to buy himself out of trouble. Just saying. Carry on…”

“So, Jamesie, would you welcome Dave King into the club?”

“Apologies, I have to jump in one more time. What Jamesie is going to say is this: ‘He’s a great admirer of Dave King as a businessman and in an ideal world we would love him to have some involvement’. The thing is, though – and this is off the record – he’s got no chance. Stock market regulations won’t have him. The SFA won’t countenance him either. The man almost brought South Africa to its knees over that tax battle. Fit and proper? You gotta be kidding. We’d have an easier job getting Craig Whyte back in the door. But that’s just for background. On the record: ‘The Easdales would love Dave King to come on board’. Off the record: ‘He’s got more baggage than Samsonsite!’

“Hang on, though. Sandy over there is a convicted criminal. He did time in jail. Isn’t it a bit rich for The Source to be slamming King while defending a man who went to prison for fraud?”

“This is Sandy. Not this shit again…”

“The Source will handle this, Sandy. That was so long ago that I can’t believe you’re bringing it up. What relevance has it to the here and now? None. Dave King is the guy you want to hammer, not Sandy. Remember. On the record: ‘Dave King. Smashing guy. Good Rangers man. Would love him to join us.’ Off the record: ‘Not fit and proper. Didn’t pay tax. Disgrace.’ It’s very important that you get that message out there.”

“The fans are desperate for Dave King to come in…”

“That’s why it’s very important you get the message out there.”

“But if Jamesie and Sandy have all these shares and proxies then Dave King can do nothing, right? Even if he’s allowed on the board or some of his people, like Paul Murray, are allowed on the board, the Easdale boys will always have the balance of power.”

“Yes. I am The Source and I can confirm that that is true.”

“So King’s best play is to either buy the boys out…”

“For the record, they’re Rangers ’til they die, they bleed blue blood, they’re in it for the long haul…”

“Yeah, yeah. Sure. Or else King waits a while for Rangers to become financially distressed again. And then he makes his move. Investors could abandon ship. There could be millions of cheap shares on the go. The Easdale boys are wealthy but they can’t prop Rangers up on their own. Cue: Return of The King.”

“The Convicted, you mean.”

“Whatever. Any chance of hearing from Jamesie or Sandy at this point?”

“This is Jamesie. Go ahead…”

“Jamesie, who are the people behind Blue Pitch and Margarita and why are you and Sandy refusing to be transparent on any of this?”

“I have to go. The Source will deal with that…”

 

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