DCSIMG

Tom English: Charles Green’s vision in an exclusive, (sorry, imaginary) briefing

Fans of Dallas Cowboys cheer during the pre-season NFL football game against San Diego Chargers. Picture: Getty

Fans of Dallas Cowboys cheer during the pre-season NFL football game against San Diego Chargers. Picture: Getty

  • by TOM ENGLISH
 

ALL the characters in this sketch are real, even Charles Green, outrageous though it may seem. To the interview room at Ibrox...

“My name is Charles Green. Straight-talking Yorkshireman. I say what I like and I like what I bloody well say. Right you lot, you won’t be hearing any of that David Murray stuff from me. None of that rubbish about hotels and super-casinos and pitches floating in the sky above Ibrox. No flannel, that’s the Charles Green way. Any questions?”

“Charles, you told the Associated Press on Friday that the Premier League is not hostile to Rangers moving south. Is that right?”

“That’s correct. Manchester United would take us like a shot.”

“Are you sure?”

“Certain. Give them a ring. Talk to them. Manchester United are not hostile to Rangers joining the Premier League.”

“Er, excuse me, Mr Green, my name is Phil Townsend and I’m the spokesman for Manchester United. I’d like to make it clear that we are indeed hostile to Rangers joining the Premier League. We’re not in favour of it all. We’re against it.”

“The Premier League is not hostile, that’s what I’m saying.”

“Mr Green, this is Richard Scudamore, chief executive of the Premier League. Can I refer you to my comments from the spring of this year in which I state quite clearly that there is little or no support among our member clubs for Rangers or Celtic joining the Premier League. It just isn’t going to happen.”

“Well, it should. Who’d United rather play, Rangers or Southampton?”

“Nigel Adkins here. What are you implying? You’ve already had to apologise for calling Aston Villa completely useless and now you seem to be casting aspersions on my club as well. We might be struggling but I might remind you that Aston Villa scored the same number of goals – two – against Manchester United last weekend as your lot managed against Peterhead. Useless?”

“Sorry, Southampton. I’m right about Barcelona and Real Madrid, though. They’d definitely want us in La Liga. We’d fill the Nou Camp and the Bernabeu. We’re a no-brainer for investors. Shares out soon. Register your interest now before it’s too late.”

“We would like to reply to that. I am Florentino Perez, president of Real Madrid…”

“And I am Sandro Rosell, president of Barcelona…”

“Respectfully we ask that you leave our great football clubs out of your fantasy. Gracias.”

“Thank you for your comments, gentlemen. Can I just clarify that rather than play the mighty Gers with all the extra cash that would give you, you’d sooner host a non-entity like Getafe?”

“My name is Angel Torres and I am president of Getafe. For your information, Mr Green, on the same weekend in August that your team was drawing with Berwick my team was beating Real Madrid. Get stuffed.”

“Sorry, Getafe.”

“Charles, a question from the floor. How big a brand is Rangers?”

“Whatever is bigger than the biggest thing in the world, then that’s what we are. We’ve got a potential TV audience of 500 million. Fact.”

“Er, where does that fact come from?”

“Never mind lad. It comes from research, OK? 500 million people around the world ready to pay to watch live streams of Rangers on their phones and their tablets. That’s £100m in digital revenues alone. No wonder everybody’s queuing round the block to buy shares.”

“You’re saying that seven per cent of the world’s population supports Rangers?”

“I’ll give you an example. There’s a remote county in China called Mutuo. They tried to build a road into it once but it got swallowed up by the jungle. The only way into the place is via a 200m long suspension cable dangling 100m in the air. You have to shimmy in and out. I was there last week with Imran Ahmad. Crawling with Chinese Bears it was. All they wanted to do was talk about the East Stirling game. It’s the same everywhere you go. Pitcairn Island in the south Pacific has a population of 50 and 49 of them are Rangers fans. Fact.”

“Charles, tell us about this exciting tie-up with the Dallas Cowboys.”

“Yes, that’s right. We’re expanding the brand into all corners of the planet and Imran mentioned the Dallas Cowboys connection when he spoke to Rangers fans in Toronto. We’re in talks with the Cowboys about developing commercial partnerships with them. This is big stuff. Did I mention the shares? You’d be mad not to buy.”

“Can I interject at this point? I’m Rich Dalrymple, vice-president of public relations and communications for the Dallas Cowboys. I just want to make it clear that nobody at this end is familiar with any such conversations with Rangers.”

“Thanks for coming, Rich. Time out. Any more questions?”

“Yes, over here. Mr Green, it’s Rino Gattuso. When you going to sign me?”

“We went down a different road, Rino.”

“Mr Green, forgive me and my mates for having bags over our heads but we’re the mystery players from Euro 2012 that you claimed you were thinking of signing. What happened?”

“Security!”

“Charles, I’m here on behalf of a ‘friend’ who felt that Rangers needed to sign five or six new players in the January window. My ‘friend’, who’s definitely not Ally McCoist, was wondering why you didn’t deliver more signings considering your previous comments about Rangers rolling in cash after lighting a bonfire with all those unpaid invoices?

“That was oldco Charles Green who said he’d sign loads of new players.

“Next question!”

“Charles, I’d like to talk about the mooted deal with adidas.”

“Ah yes, Imran mentioned that at the Toronto meeting in September, along with that guff about the Dallas Cowboys. Now, what happened there was that Imran was talking to adidas and adidas told him that they’d lost Liverpool and Real Madrid and that Rangers would be the biggest club they have. We would have spots in adidas stores in North America. There are massive brand development opportunities.”

“Right, but adidas didn’t lose Real Madrid, did they? In fact, they signed up to Real Madrid until 2020 in a new deal worth €32m euros.”

“Well, that’s neither here nor there.”

“And, in fact, even if they had lost Real Madrid they would have still had Bayern Munich and AC Milan, two clubs that most observers would accept are bigger globally than Rangers. So what was Imran talking about in Toronto?”

“Next question!”

“What happened to the 20 major investors you spoke about when you came to the club first?”

“What about the supposed £30m in the bank by the end of July?”

“What about your promise of transparency and yet the complete lack of it when it comes to stating who, precisely, is involved with you at Rangers?”

“And what they’re going to get in return?”

“And where the share issue money is going to be spent?”

“What about the criticism that your reign at Rangers is all about telling people what they want to hear?”

“I’ll answer that one. Nice suit you’re wearing! Look, my name is Charles Green but I’m thinking of changing it to Walter McCoist or Scot Struth or Gazza Laudrup and, if people think that’s opportunistic, well, I can’t help that. We are the biggest club in Scotland. We have no debt, no loans, no overdrafts and money in the bank. We have the product, the names and the brand and next Sunday we’re off to Elgin and 500 million people will be watching, if only they could. But we will fix that. Any more questions?

“Yes!”

“No. Thanks for coming. See you at the share launch.”

 

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