No special treatment for Sevco

In the summer of 2012 Scottish football looked down the barrel of a moral hazard.

The people who ran the game wanted the SPL to admit Sevco Scotland Limited into the top flight.

At one point it looked as if it was a done deal.

Thankfully, the No To NewCo campaign gathered the clans from Inverness to Kilmarnock and very quickly the SPL clubs caved in to punter power.

Then Stewart Regan had a Plan B.

The new entity operating the Ibrox franchise would be dropped into the First Division of the Scottish Football League.

Turnbull Hutton spoke on the steps of Hampden Park and said that the national game was “corrupt”.

The fan pressure continued and Sevco eventually started where they should have – at the bottom.

In their short life heretofore they have been, quite frankly, a shambles.

The IPO money is gone and they’re looking at the distinct possibility of experiencing an insolvency event.

Some folks at Ibrox need a lesson in consequential learning.

However, the people who should be delivering that learning are part of the problem.

No doubt, dear reader, you will recall Neil Doncaster’s interview where he blithely spoke of the Ibrox outfit being able to “shed debt”.

I cannot imagine someone in a similar position in, say, the Bundesliga talking in such an amoral fashion apropos indebtedness.

Rangers went out of business leaving 276 creditors unpaid, including the Ambulance Service and local family run businesses.

Now the usual suspects have arrived on cue, under the guise of being concerned for the young limbs of Hearts players, bleating that the sanctions for insolvency are somehow draconian.

It is almost as if someone had sent out the bat signal for the ground to be prepared for a soft landing for an insolvent Sevco.

The same people in leadership positions in Scottish football cannot be allowed to again attempt to do what they failed to do in the summer of 2012.

It is worth re-stating the basic truth that the people who run Scottish football created this mess.

We still haven’t had sight of the Five Way Agreement.

Moreover, we have no idea of the extent of the Due Diligence undertaken to assess the suitability of Mr Charles Green and his associates to take over the Ibrox franchise.

The answer to this clusterfuck isn’t to make the same mistakes again.

The solution lies in not encouraging financial incontinence, but in punishing it.

That is not “… appalling bloodlust…” Mr Jackson that it just good governance.

If that doesn’t happen then the people who govern the game will, in effect, create a system that incentivises insolvency as a strategy to operate with bigger budgets.

Of course, this would ipso facto punish clubs that live within their means.

The chatter around the boardrooms on Planet Fitba this week is that HMS Sevco is in severe difficulty and that time is running out.

Even Stewart Regan broke cover today about the task facing Graham Wallace at Ibrox.

If Sevco fail then his judgment in 2012 should be called into question.

Fortunately for him there isn’t a press pack that will hold him to account for that, as per usual they will obediently queue for a press release.

It was Regan who was effectively FIFA’s man in the room when the Five Way Agreement was given the nod.

The SFA are the governing body for the professional game in Scotland and in the summer of 2012 they were faced with a scenario they never imagined was possible.

Rangers were liquidated and a new club, in possession of the main assets, wanted to play as the old club going after the same customer base.

The football authorities should have examined Charlie and the boys very closely, but there was very little time in the summer of 2012.

Now as the money gushes down the drain in Edmiston Drive the schedule is very tight again and there is little margin for error.

If Graham Wallace and his colleagues don’t get this right then the customer base at Ibrox will have to endure administration once again.

Should that happen then Sevco will have self-destructed.

No one made them spend like a top flight outfit even though they were in the bottom tier of Scottish football.

The best predictor of future performance is past events and when it comes to insolvency events down Ibrox way the SFA have previous.

It is undeniable that they wanted to drop a debt free ersatz Rangers into the SPL and indeed they assured several potential New Co owners, like Bill Miller, that the new creation would be in the top flight.

As they look on the shambles that they helped create, the people on the sixth floor at Hampden should know that any sweetheart deal for the club created out of the body parts of Rangers, should Sevco go insolvent, is a non-starter.

The No To New Co clans may have to gather again to remind the ‘custodians’ of the game in Scotland  that the rules are extant and they have to remain in operation for all clubs in the country.

Showing ‘clemency’ to Hearts could, possibly, open the door to such a squalid arrangement to be considered in the near future.

It should be said that everyone associated with the Edinburgh club have shown a quality completely lacking at Ibrox in 2012:


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