The Big House and the price of dignity

You may recall this piece of mine from November last year.

Sources inform me that the some of the chaps who would later comprise the New Regime at Rangers International Football Club (RIFC) considered its terms at the time and simply dismissed it.

However, I am told that they are now of a different mind.

Indeed, they are now fully aware that your humble correspondent was accurately reporting the state of affairs at the Big House.

I am told that their own survey and has largely concurred with one carried out for Big Mike.

Quite simply the repair and refurbishment bill for Ibrox is exorbitant.

There are some within the New Regime who consider that a Rangers playing anywhere, but Ibrox isn’t really Rangers.

However, the smart move is a new build on a new site.

With only one major revenue stream (Season Tickets) the New Regime cannot hope to fund the millions it would take to turn Ibrox into a top class venue.

On the financial front behind all the puff pieces, the reality isn’t as rosy as that which is being presented to The People.

Sources tell me that Mr Warburton has been informed that any activity in the January window will have to be self-financing.

The ex-Brentford supremo certainly has an eye for a player and has excellent contacts among the big clubs in London.

He has been accessing players that might come to Sevco on loan with the particular EPL giant picking up 100% of the wages.

A free player is a nice move.

However, Sevco would have to cover the living expenses of the EPL starlet while he is Glasgow, and there’s the rub.

There simply isn’t the operating cash to cover that cost without someone coming off the wage bill.

As well as his prowess as a manager the New Regime have also been accessing Mr Warburton’s knowledge of the Square Mile.

Well-placed sources have informed me that Sevco’s man in the dugout was recently asked to contact his City mates in an effort to raise finance.

If this had generated any financial assistance for his new employers, then we would have heard about it.

Indeed, the decibel levels in the tabloids would have reached a new Level.

Instead of bringing their stenography to new Levels the hacks in Glasgow might want to seek out Mr George Taylor of Morgan Stanley.

He is, of course, one of the Ursidae Triumvirate, who effectively financed the March putsch.

It was remarked to me by a Square Mile chap that given his organisational and geographical stand point Mr Taylor could easily access finance in Asia to stabilise Sevco.

Indeed, it was put to me that:

“The finance needed would amount to mere rounding errors among the finance houses of Hong Kong and Tokyo.”

What has seemed to evade the stenographers is the fact that the chaps who put in the money (Letham, Park and Taylor) are not the chaps at the top of the Marble Staircase (Gilligan, King and Murray).

Now there is a possible story right there.

However, it would need to be worked journalistically, and that doesn’t include obediently waiting for the next Press Release.

What the New Regime require now is external finance.

The business is not generating enough revenue to cover the cost base.

One well-placed source estimated that the current cash pot could be empty by the end of October.

I reminded him is that is exactly what the situation was with old Rangers in 2011.

However, as we now know the Suave Billionaire decided to forego playing PAYE and National Insurance, which got Rangers to the start of February.

For the avoidance of doubt, I am not, of course, suggesting that the New Regime would embark on a similar ruinous course.

It is undeniable is that the New Regime has admitted that they require external finance to continue in operation.

However, actual quantum is an important factor, so I contacted a City chap to crunch the numbers for me.

As part of his calculations, he gleaned information from RIFC published accounts, and he also factored in the cuts to the players wage bill etc.

His best estimation was that RIFC/TRFC would probably need £12m to get them to May, but they would require £13.5-£14.m to get them to June.

This was based on the educated assessment that cash would be close to running out by the end of October.

As with all of these calculations he reminded me of various caveats that could throw out these figures and the timescale.

However, finance and numbers are his professional world.

I simply asked him questions on your behalf dear reader.

It is, perhaps, something that the stenographers should try one day.

Until then their observable obedience to the world of Sevco spin appears to be Off the Radar.

My Square Mile chap also reminded me of the small matter of RIFC having major assets secured by a £5m loan to Sports Direct.

Moreover, he pointed out that the current Chairman of RIFC has stated that he doesn’t feel the pressing need to pay it back!

Given that publicly stated position then it is difficult to see the chaps at RIFC approaching any lender for a line of credit in those circumstances.

For the avoidance of doubt, the current operation at Ibrox is a loss making business without a credit line from a bank.

No amount of regurgitated spin from lamb addicted stenographers will change that essential truth about this Rangers.

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