The name game

What’s in a name?

Well the folks in the Blue Room were only fully briefed about terms of the Ibrox naming rights contract two days ago.

As in they only SAW it in the last 48 hours.

They had been made aware of this legally binding agreement by Philip Nash some time ago.

The provenance of this contract is back in 2013 when Charlie and the boys needed to access a credit line of £2.5Million.

This overdraft facility was a line in the sand of Deloitte the auditors of the two year old entity.

Without this borrowing facility there would have been a Going Concern Warning in the inaugural accounts of RIFC and Charlie did not want that.

Part of that credit line was provided by Mr Ashley.

In return, apart from getting a substantial portion of the commercial income from the superstore, the naming rights were also thrown in.

I understand that Mr Ashley simply presented the contract that he had drawn up and it was hurriedly signed.

This was not the normal Sevco protocol as contracts signed by Charles of Normandy or his minions were usually drafted by his éminence grise Iain Morgan.

Once Charles of Normandy realised his error he did try and get it ripped up.

This was an expensive business and more costly than has been reported.

The true cost was closer to £400,000 as RIFC had also to meet Mr Ashley’s costs.

Given that he has not exercised his rights under the contract heretofore suggests that he will not.

However from the day that he does the deal runs for five years.

Moreover I am not aware of anything in the contract that would prevent Mr Ashley from selling it to a third party.

As it stands the main man at Newcastle United is making plenty from the Ibrox Superstore.

I would imagine that the people trying to keep the Sevco bus on the road would be displeased at this PR solo run today.

The outworking is that one of the few people who might have been willing to buy into the Open Offer, at least to some extent, has probably been totally alienated.

Everyone around the Ibrox Boardroom table now knows the severity of the financial situation.

They are also aware of the only realistic option.

A brutally austere Administration will reduce the cost base, but some ‘Onerous Contracts’ will remain.

Only liquidation will kill them off.

In the school of bad decisions the board really should have gone with the plan that was presented to them in February.

A two week Administration would have put them in good shape and they were well ahead in the league.

It would have been the smart move; they had working capital and some financial wriggle room.

This was the option that Graham Wallace was strongly advising.

Instead the RIFC board opted to keep the show on the road through shareholder loans from the Easdales and Laxey Partners.

Now the creditors are now beginning to line up.

The statement to the London Stock Exchange last week is unequivocal and does not need to be deciphered for anyone.

This is a company in severe financial distress.

However all that highly qualified people like Philip Nash can do is to provide well evidenced options to the people who will ultimately make the decisions.

So the naming rights are gone, but perhaps other things have been sold that The People are not currently aware of.

It would be in keeping with Charlie’s business plan to extract the maximum profit from the club that he set up with the body parts of Rangers (1872-2012).

That is undeniable.

Well that got me thinking dear reader.

It really did.

In the footie financial firmament image rights are the hot ticket at the moment.

Now that can mean cashing in on Wayne Rooney’s matinee idol good looks, but it can also mean the imagery of a club.

What if, only supposition on my part of course you understand, someone else owned the Rangers badge?

Moreover, what if the use of that image was already a nice little earner for someone other than the two year old club?

Indeed I would not be surprised if one day it became incorporated into the heraldic crest of Charles of Normandy.

Meanwhile at Ibrox they are playing a new game this week.

It is called ‘find the administrator’.

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