This week on Planet Fitba has belonged to Dave King.
He has made his play to the home crowd at Ibrox and it for them to respond to him.
Dave King is, currently, restricted by the Insolvency Act (1986) from being a Director or a ‘shadow director’ of any company claiming to be Rangers.
Section 216 (3) is the appropriate bit.
“It is an offence under section 216 of the insolvency Act 1986 for a person who has been a director or a shadow director of a company in insolvent liquidation, within the period of 12 months ending on the day before it went into liquidation, to be for a period of 5 years, a director or involved in any way in the management of any other company or business carried on under or known by a prohibited name, without leave of the court. A prohibited name is any name by which the liquidated company was known at any time in the 12 months prior to the liquidation, or any name so similar as to suggest an association with that company.”
However, I am informed by a senior legal source with a specialist practice in this field that there would not be any issue in getting court approval for this restriction to be lifted on Mr King.
In fact it is something of a formality.
That section of the act was inserted to prevent consumers being confused that the new company is actually the old company.
Here it is Rangers that is the “prohibited name”.
However, given that, by dint of the SFA’s contortions in June 2012 and the fictional output of the mainstream media then the consumer is already highly confused!
They believe, and desperately want to believe, that New Rangers is actually old Rangers (1872-2012).
Subsequently Mr King being involved with the new club will not add to the confusion.
Of course the Scottish Football Association’s ‘fit and proper person test’ is, an SFA source conceded to me, not a test at all.
Subsequently there is not real impediment to Mr King taking over at Ibrox.
The Rangers franchise is currently operated by The Rangers Football Club (formerly known as Sevco Scotland Limited).
TRFC is a wholly owned subsidiary of the Rangers International Football Club (RIFC) which is listed ion the Alternative Investment market (AIM).
Mr King has a clear route if he wishes to ascend the Marble Staircase in triumph.
He buys shares.
Lots of them.
Alternatively he could wait for an Insolvency Event and deal with the Administrator.
It is beyond dispute that if enough supporters withhold Season Ticket monies then this will effectively engineer a financial collapse of the new club.
However I believe that events will soon overtake that scenario.
I understand from sources already at the top of the Marble Staircase that the company is now in pre-Administration mode.
Sources have told me that plans are being drawn up for a quick controlled Insolvency Event as a means to massively reduce the cost base and exit quickly through a CVA with the company intact.
I understand that after that process has been completed that Laxey partners will have a substantially increased equity in RIFC.
According to an Ibrox insider there is a boardroom meeting on Monday and the Administration plans have to be ready for that conclave.
So this is backdrop to the Dave King power play.
I emailed some questions to Mr King yesterday and he was good enough to answer them.
I offered Mr King the choice that his answers could have been on an Off The Record basis merely to provide me with background or they could be On The Record quotes.
He intimated to me-again by email-that he was happy to go On The Record.
I did put them out on Twitter as I received them yesterday, but they are worth including here.
Q: Do believe that Rangers FC is a distressed company facing a critical cash flow crisis?
A: It is beyond doubt facing a cash flow crisis.
Q: What is your assessment of the intentions of Laxey Partners towards Rangers?
A: I have no idea.
Q: Is it your belief that the club is now trading while insolvent?
A: Not at this time.
Q: Do you believe that Sevco 5088 and Mr Craig Whyte to have a claim on the assets of Ibrox stadium and Murray Park?
Q: Is it your intention to buy shares in RIFC to wrest control of the club from the current board?
A: My statement clarifies that I don’t believe that any individual should control the club.
Q: Is there a danger that if the fans withhold Season Ticket monies that the club could be pushed into insolvency?
A: In my proposal the fans will make the cash available- but against security. That is exactly what Laxey did so the board should have no problem with that.
I believe Mr King to be a serious man and he should be treated as such.
He will forget more about business in a lazy South African afternoon that I will accrue in the rest of the years I have got on this earth.
However, if he wants to dislodge to current regime, as seems to be his objective, then he or a collection of likeminded folks will need to acquire lots of shares in RIFC.
Until then the people who are meeting to on Monday to consider their plans for a controlled insolvency event will remain in charge.
As we saw with the Paul Murray group of requisitioners favourable media coverage in Glasgow doesn’t cut it on the Stock Exchange.
Your move Dave.