The Save Sevco campaign

This time last year the people who run the national game in Scotland were in a bit of a fankle about troubling financial news coming out of Edmiston Drive.

Plus ça change, plus c’est la même chose…

It became apparent that the plan was for New Rangers to be parachuted into the SPL as if nothing had happened.

This was a way of, as Neil Doncaster said, “shedding debt” and starting again.

Both Bill Miller’s people and Charles Green’s Sevco chaps were assured that their Rangers would be in the SPL.

Although Mr Doncaster did concede that “there was no mechanism” for what was being tried it seemed a done deal.

Desperate times call for desperate measures and the chaps on the sixth floor at Hampden were, well, desperate!

The rules and regulations of Scottish football were not set up to cope with a situation where the establishment club would be liquidated.

However Stewart Regan and Neil Doncaster thought they had a way to keep Old Firm Plc. on the road.

The best played plan was scuppered by an uprising of fans.

They used social media and were motivated by a righteous anger about the stitch up that was unfolding in front of their screens.

The fact that Charles Green’s Rangers played in the SFL 3 this season is down to the guid folk on Planet Fitba putting manners on their betters at Hampden.

Since then the mainstream media in Scotland had made a bad situation worse.

They averted their gaze from the Rangers story in 2010 and 2011.

Now the succulent hacks remain wedded to the Old Firm paradigm.

Subsequently, for them it is vital to peddle the myth that liquidation of Rangers last June didn’t really amount to much.

This is what the klan wants to hear and it does lead to a quieter and, it has to be said, a safer life.

They should have been all over the machinations of Doncaster and Regan to shoehorn a new club into the SPL last summer, but instead they remained docile and obedient.

Now there are enough fragments of chatter to suggest that the Sevco cash flow crisis could become a drama.

This should not come as a surprise to any regular readers here.

Any suggestion that all might not be well in the financial realm of Sevco is enough to have some of them in toddler mode.

Their response to the Orlit story was…err…slightly emotional.

Those folks in the Far East remain unpaid and that one hasn’t went away you know.

The meeting of SFL clubs last week at Hampden to consider their response to league reconstruction may have been something of a watershed moment.

Charles Green was in fine form.

I spoke to two people who were in that room and they both corroborated each other.

As a small experiment in Scottish media docility I waited for a couple of days to see if it would break in the mainstream media.

It didn’t…

I then put out the basic points on twitter on Saturday night to, hopefully, catch the Radio Scotland show that had Neil Doncaster on.

The basic information that I put out about the SFL meeting at Hampden viralled across the fitba internet and reached the show’s anchor.

When asked about it on radio the Englishman did not deny that Charles Green had alleged at the meeting at Hampden that the SPL was “insolvent and trading illegally”.

Doncaster said that although it hadn’t been said to him directly he believed that it had been said by Mr Green at the meeting.

This was factually correct.

Charlie had said this at the morning session before Doncaster was there.

However when the SPL man did appear he was asked from the floor by an SFL chairman is he would care to comment on that accusation.

Charlie also ranted (that is how it was characterised to me by two men who were in the room to hear it) about the SPL wanting money off of his club.

What also happened at that meeting before Doncaster turned up was that Mr David Longmuir went through a power point presentation that basically accentuated all the negative aspects of 12-12-18.

When Doncaster then came into the meeting to speak to them about the SPL’s view of things he was asked by the Chairman of an SFL 1 club to speak to Longmuir’s   doom laden presentation.

He did this and took an entirely different view of each of the points on the slide show.

Doncaster was also asked, by the same chairman, about the SPL trading illegally.

The former Norwich supremo simply dismissed this as nonsense and wasn’t challenged on this from anyone in the room.

Now, here is what we DO know.

Charles Green’s Rangers is currently trading at a loss.

Their burn rate is in excess of £1 million per month.

It is clear that massively increased revenues and/or punitive austerity measures will be needed to stave off a Sevco insolvency.

Getting players off excellent contracts will be difficult and that is a major part of their cost base.

The new club is bleeding money and something has to give.

League reconstruction, at SFL level, seems to have become a “SAVE SEVCO!” campaign.

This is the only framework within which to look at the apparent volte face of many in the Scottish Football League regarding the format that was presented in January.

The 12-12-18 if implemented this year would mean, of course, that Charles Green’s Rangers remains in the bottom tier of Scottish football.

They are not disadvantaged by this in that they will arrive in the SPL at the same time as if the status quo were to remain extant and they progress through the leagues based on sporting merit.

I believe that a substantial season ticket price increase next season remains vital to the new club’s financial health.

Subsequently, if there is no league reconstruction this year and New Rangers will be in SFL Division 2 next season then they will be able to ‘justify’ a price hike.

It would, of course, be even better for Sevco if they received an invitation to a newly formed SPL 2.

In that situation an entire year would be shaved off the time that Charles Green’s Rangers would have to wait to get back into the top flight there would also be more prize money.

Given what transpired last summer the guid folk of Planet Fitba are wary of what is being hatched at Hampden.

Therefore I’m not surprised to see the clans gathering again for the fight.

Last summer people who had been dismissed as stupid customers by those running the game found their strength as supporters.

It was a game changer and now they have to ensure that the primacy of sporting integrity that they secured last summer is not lost.

Indeed, it was a journey of discovery for many in Scotland and it was uplifting to see.

Turnbull Hutton on the steps on Hampden spoke for the essence of the national game.

If Sevco are in a cash flow crisis then, just like Rangers before them, that is their own doing.

They are paying too many players too much in wages.

Queen of the South have just romped SFL2 with a football budget of £300,000.

Indeed last September the men from Dumfries put Sevco out of the first competition the new Ibrox club ever played in, the Ramsden’s Cup.

So the new outfit is hopelessly bloated and top heavy for the league they are playing in.

They are the authors of their own misfortune.

We know that 276 creditors, including the ambulance service and small local family run businesses, were shamelessly dumped on by the club that claimed to have the title deeds to dignity.

If the company that bought the body parts of Rangers is now also heading the same way then it is for them to sort out their own mess and not influence a self-serving gerrymandering of the national game to suit just one club and the newest one at that.

Moreover, if Doncaster and Regan want to salvage ANY credibility from this fiasco then they cannot have any hand, act or part in the Save Sevco campaign currently being run from another office at Hampden.

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