Neil Doncaster

On the first day of 2015 saw Neil Doncaster convey immortality on Rangers.

Holding Company Vehicles may come and go, but that club is not of this world.

It simply cannot die.

Unlike Gretna or Third Lanark liquidation is a mere administrative matter down Ibrox way.

According to Mr Doncaster Rangers are the club that cheated death.

The man who is handsomely remunerated to run the Scottish Professional Football League (SPFL) stated, as an assertion, that the club currently playing at the stadium John Brown played for is in fact Rangers.

Well I’m sure there are 276 creditors who will be delighted to hear that.

Except those foolish ones who did business with the Holding Company Vehicle and not the club.

I put this question into the BDO Press office late night:

“Does BDO have any opinion on Mr Neil Doncaster’s assertion that Rangers FC still exists and continues to trade?”

I also supplied them with the link to this BBC ‘interview’ and told them where the funny bit was.

For the avoidance of doubt it’s all funny in a shambolic way, but the real farce starts at 08.09.

I also put this question into the Celtic Press Office:

“Does Celtic football Club agree with Mr Doncaster that the club currently playing football matches at Ibrox is Rangers (Est 1872)?”

Here the utter nonsense of what Doncaster spouted, unchallenged by the Beeb’s diffident Chris McLaughlin, is dissected by the Rev Stuart Campbell from Wings Over Scotland.

Doncaster referred to the ruling by Lord Nimmo Smith as the argument winner on this.

Well perhaps if he had been able to see the qualitative difference between the Discounted Option Scheme (that paid Ronald De Boer and Tore Andre Flo) and Employee Benefit Trusts   that replaced them then some of his Lordship’s reasoning would not have been so speculative.

However he could only work with the information that was provided to him by lawyers acting on behalf of the SPL.

No sooner than the interview had been broadcast then the law of unintended consequences kicked in.

This morning I learned of litigation in the pipeline because of Doncaster’s wisdom.

I understand that one Ibrox debenture holder is in the process of instructing his solicitors to take legal action against Sevco.

He wants refunded for the four season tickets he bought over the first two episodes of ‘the journey’ and recompense for pain and suffering.

The basis of this embryonic legal action is the on the record assertion by Mr Doncaster.

He has already written personal letters to BDO, SFA, SPFL, and HMRC apropos Doncaster’s comments in the BBC interview about the current Rangers being the same club as the old one.

The chap in question is professionally trained as an actuary.

Numbers are his thing.

He also knows Scots Law and is well versed in the corporate jurisprudence of Scotland.

For him Doncaster’s assertions were an insult to his intelligence.

Incidentally he got off the journey this season.

Edinburgh based he takes himself and his youngest to Tynecastle.

His own take on Doncaster’s motives for making this statement and the timing was interesting.

He styled it as something of a valedictory gaffe and that it could be the move of someone wanting the hell outa dodge.

The crisis of 2012 was all about preserving a Rangers, any Rangers, into the top flight and Doncaster was central to that plan.

Thankfully that failed.

Because it would have been to allow Rangers (1872) to effectively get away with financial doping and the improper registration of players on an industrial scale.

It was only the Scottish Spring initiated by the ‘No To NewCo’ campaign that stopped Sevco being dropped into the SPL.

Then Plan B was to put the new club into League 1 -the second tier of Scottish football.

Turnbull Hutton led the SFL clubs in revolt on that one.

On the steps of Hampden he spoke truth to power and the hacks gawped at him.

Mr Doncaster tried to persuade them, but the SFL clubs were having none of it.

Now in 2015 Mr Doncaster doesn’t not seem to be able join the dots on this.

Perhaps one reason for his failure to attract a major sponsor to the league is that the events of 2012 tainted the product.

There is a lack of commercial income not because there is no Rangers in the top flight, but because people in business saw a rigged competition.

The (thwarted) machinations of the folk on the sixth floor at Hampden that summer stated quite clearly to the rest of the Fitba world that the Ibrox brand was more important than the rest of the clubs.

The warning was stark.

Without Rangers they would all die a slow lingering death.

Well actually the Fitba crowds at Aberdeen, Dundee, Edinburgh and Perth say otherwise.

As the clock ticked in the summer of 2012 Charlie and the boys could smell fear and the people entrusted to guard the integrity of the national game in Scotland blinked.

Sevco Scotland Limited was born and we had to learn a whole new lexicon like ‘Holding Company Vehicle’ and ultimately ‘Onerous Contract’.

One of the first acts of Charlie’s new creation was to do the Cain and Abel act on his lesser known brother Sevco 5088.

Craig Whyte thought he could trust Charlie.

At one point during the administrative mayhem of that summer Mr Doncaster admitted that, and I’m paraphrasing, ‘a mechanism doesn’t not exist for we’re trying to achieve here’.

Now I do not know if Mr Doncaster was on a solo run yesterday or stating the official position of the SPFL.

However, I think that the following people should make their collective and individual positions clear:

Eric Drysdale (Raith Rovers), Ken Ferguson (Brechin City), Duncan Fraser (Aberdeen), Mike Mulraney (Alloa Athletic), Eric Riley (Celtic), Stephen Thompson (Dundee United), and Ralph Topping (Chairman).

It is worth remembering that the people who tried the ‘NewCo into the SPL’ wheeze back in 2012 are still on the sixth floor at Hampden.

Mr Doncaster, who had been largely silent on the old club new club issue for almost three years,   finally broke cover.

Supporters of many clubs reacted with anger last night and want answers from their own clubs on this matter.

I think it will take more than a quip about Rory Bremner to make this one go away.

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