ESPN Soccernet - Correspondents - Rangers FC
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Posted by Douglas Cameron on 06/12/2012

So as the final act commences of this never ending footballing farce we find the end result was, as this blog always told you, a business and assets deal. The club survives but the company dies.

Scottish football's pundit cabal will no doubt be letting out a primal scream around now but really it will amount to no more than the usual bluster and misinformation. The questions now remaining are in no particular order:

1. Does this in any way impact Green's ability to fund the acquisition?
2. How many players will choose to transfer across with the business and assets (i.e. the football club) to the newco? (TUPE regulations exist to give employees the right to have their existing employment transferred in such a scenario. The difference here is that the employees are not you or I doing a 9 to 5 and they may well be better walking away certain they will find a new employer and a better deal)
3. Just how great a punishment will Scotland's authorities and clubs wish to impose on Rangers Football Club for its continued existence?

The final point will be very interesting. Many viewed the decision by D&P to go to court over the one year signing ban as a mistake given it may bring a more severe punishment. That though fails to see this in the context of the other investigations currently ongoing. The principle was asserted that punishment must be in line with the existing regulations something this blog has long championed. Catch all "or any other punishment as we see fit" provisions will rightly be challenged.

HMRC's decision certainly does not simplify matters. I have bored myself banging this drum but again assuming the transfer of the SPL share and, more importantly SFA membership (since 1873), I cannot see any real argument that the club is not Rangers.

The one thing their statement does clarify though is the desire to hold individuals to account. If wrong doing is proven then those who conceived, enacted and benefited from the wrong doing should rightly be held to account. The club must accept whatever punishment the existing rules dictate are coming our way. Equally though as a taxpayer and as a shareholder (yip sad but true) it strikes me as inconceivable those who have brought about the need for the newco will not suffer significant financial and criminal consequences.

And now the end is near? No not really. Not at all in fact. Speaking personally this will only be over when our former owners are seen entering court with a blanket over their head and when Zadok the Priest once more blares out the Ibrox PA. Painful as today will be for Rangers fans everywhere it represents a small step closer to both.

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Posted by Jim Black on 06/12/2012

The club survives but the company dies?

It will be interesting to see if UEFA recognise New Rangers as the same club that won the Cup Winners Cup in 1972. Or if the SFA deem New Rangers as the same club that has won a world record number of league championships. In my opinion its a new club and has no history whatsoever. And I'm saying that as a season ticket and Bond holder.

The saddest of days.

Posted by Anthony O'Sullivan on 06/12/2012

Painful for Rangers fans indeed. The message to all sporting clubs around the world, no matter the pedigree, you need to spend within your financial means and abide by relevant regulatory requirements. If the past owners and board members are found to have flirted the rules then hopefully justice will be done. Foremost however, is that this saga can be put behind Scottish football and the SPL resumes with a Rangers newco in the top flight. Otherwise it will be boring at bat poo for a foreign Celtic supporter like myself.

Posted by Bill Hicks on 06/13/2012

HMRC say it is a policy decision yet in 2009 they were owed £404,376 from Darlington(2nd time in administration) and accepted £3.49(yes,that`s three pounds forty nine pence) if you use this ratio to the £21.7 million then £187 from Rangers would have been acceptable,so why say no to £1.95 million,HMRC were aware that Craig Whyte had asset stripped companies for 20 years and as a direct consequence prevented HMRC from collecting taxes from those companies,HMRC were fully aware exactly what Craig Whyte was going to do to Rangers when he strolled into Ibrox in a blaze of publicity,using the Darlington ratio even the worst case senario of a £97 million bill then HMRC would be offered £1.8 million which is still less than the reported £1.95 on offer through the CVA

Posted by Arthur on 06/13/2012

To correct you slightly, Rangers aren't a club in the strict legal sense, so on forming a newco which has no links with the oldco and simply cherry picks the assets, there is a complete break with the past. A club is "organisation of two or more persons, who are the members of the association. The membership may change from time to time. The members agree, usually in a written constitution, to co-operate in furthering a common purpose". What you're dealing here is companies with legal identities, very different to a club, which has no legal identity.

Rangers ceased to be a club in the late 1800s when it morphed into a corporate structure from being a true club. When this newco deal happens then the trophy count is zero and a new "club" (in the non-legal sense) will have started.

It also has no entitlement to enter the SPL as a result. Good luck to them in that front.

Posted by Douglas Cameron on 06/14/2012

Arthur I have done this to death in previous blogs. If genuinely interested check back. As I always stated the business and assets will be sold. This is ibrox, the training ground, so far as they wish the players, the name Rangers Football Club, all the intellectual property and if permitted the footballing membership. To describe that as "the club" is a pretty fair short hand. It is everything that constitutes Rangers. It is simply the old company which is liquidated.

Businesses survive every day this way. The only complication here as you point out is football registration.

You and others will have one view on 'the death' and frankly rangers fans (and anyone outside Scotland) won't care. I certainly don't distinguish between say 'old' and 'new' fiorentina.

Posted by Athur on 06/14/2012

I have to disagree. The term "club" gets used all the time these days for football and other sporting organisations. Typically these were true clubs years ago - i.e. a body of members who paid an annual fee to be a member of the "club". However the stadium, training ground, car park etc are owned by a corporate vehicle, and as only a collection of assets (no members or constitution) cannot constitute a club.

Rangers (like Celtic, Man Utd, Chelsea and any other big British club you can think of) are corporate entities. If their assets are sold then the purchaser is starting an entirely new business. The Rangers "brand" can be said to continue if that is being purchased under the deal, but this is a new football team being created.

Rangers fans are (understandably) looking to hold onto a remarkable 140 years of footballing history by saying this newco can be seen as a continuation of the same club/team.

Posted by Arthur on 06/14/2012

If we're talking about a club into loose sense (i.e. a company whose business is running a football team) then this is still a new club. A "club" isn't some sort of supernatural or ethereal form which transcends the goings on around it - it can end and be no more, as is happening here. I would say the same if it was my own team (Man Utd) that this was happening to. You may have your own view on what can constitute a club (your response above suggests you are of the view that you're absolutely right), but given it isn't the legal definition of a club it really is no more than your own personal view I would have to suggest.

In terms of the playing staff, Mr Green is either being very badly advised, or is being economical with the truth in his PR messages, if he is of the view that he can force the players to move across to newco. With a TUPE transfer the employee has a right to refuse the transfer, so why would this not also apply to a footballer, who is an employee of RFC Ltd?

Posted by Mikey on 06/15/2012

Peculiar.....the man 'saving' rangers is named Mr.GREEN.....

Well....oldco or newco doesn't matter anymore. What they have achieved in the past is history. What matters most is the next step forward (or backward) should Rangers remain in the SPL. My take is that they shouldn't be allowed into the SPL. Start from 0.

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