Tag Archives: Sports Direct

Good News For Rangers (In Case You Missed It)

4 Nov

Rangers International Post Accounts and the spin from the usual outlets miss the actual news. Let no body say everything is perfect at Ibrox but the concentration on selecting figures shows at least why some Commentators are unfit to pass judgement on Finances.  The Headline Figures of £6.7 Million net losses look on the surface as terrible news for Rangers.

Sadly the devil is in the detail though and there is good news for Rangers Fans. News that unless you dig into the conditions of the Accounts then like so many in the Press you miss.

Season Ticket and Non Ticket Revenue went up 55% given that the now ended Retail Contract with Sports Direct deprived Rangers of around £3 million per year (Previous to Sports Direct Retail Deal the Retail Arm earned Net Profit of £3.2 million) and to end the contract cost in the region of £3 million then suddenly you have a £6 Million hole the red column that won’t be repeated. Think of the fans Retail Boycott, Customers who would are renowned for purchasing anything Rangers turned the Megastore and Online shop into a Ghost town.  The key dates are the Boycott was lifted a couple of months before the June 2017 report.

Remember the renegotiation of the Retail Deal was met with such enthusiasm from the Fans that Puma could not supply replica strips to meet demand. The lack of supply of Replica Strips was again only the headline as the rush to buy from Rangers Retail Outlets was akin to the Californian Gold Rush in 1880s.  This accounts for only part of the 55% increase in revenue.

Ibrox has been maintained to the highest standards again following a period of years that the infrastructure was neglected.   Even if this accounts for approximately £1 million then suddenly we find an operating loss of some £7 Million.

 

The operating Costs or if you like Buying Players on the books as £8million sees some 15 million pounds swinging from Red to Black. The Term “Soft Loans” hides the fact that these Loans are require less Service Charges than Hard Loans from Financial Institutions So whatever you consider of the Directors Bail Out to ensure their investment continues to trade then you need to think That given their intimate knowledge of accounts and their obvious wealth (gained through Business acumen) that they appreciate the need for and the continued Business strength.  Almost uniquely Ibrox Stadium makes money seven days a week twenty four hours a day.  Willie Waddell designed Ibrox to be an Office Retail Park that contains a Football Stadium and the assets of Rangers International are still under used the Car Park is available for hire 90% of the time and the Shadow of Edminson House still lies Empty behind the Coploan Road.  The plans for the former Rangers Pools Office will no doubt earn Income for the Board even if it’s a further Million Pound annually it’s still more than currently generated.

The real Headline surely is that a Corner looks like it’s been turned in G51, The Retail Deal alone will wipe out the current operating loss.  The further expansion of the other income streams and the reduced maintenance costs of Infrastructure will only improve the financial standing of Rangers International.  Take away the hidden costs of Legal teams fighting Sports Direct.  The main Fix seems to of happened in the Deals made by people who really have to be questioned on the Motives for Committing Rangers FC to Deals that did not benefit the Ibrox coffers.

Investment Direct?

29 Oct

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Mike Ashley buys shares in Rangers and supplies a temporary loan.  He owns less than TEN PERCENT of shares but has control or ownership of certain assets.  Due to his loan he decides to appoint a few key memebers of staff and two board members.  There seems nothing that wild about the Owner of the very Sucessful Sports Direct doing this.  It seems to the casual observer that a Multi Millionaire investing and lending money to a business and ensuring he has representation to protect his shares, investments and loans.

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Mike Ashley

Mike Ashley happens to have a rather sucessful resume.  Owner of a very profitable Sports retailer and owner of a English Premiership club.  The man’s money and assets are not on doubt.  Mike is not morgaging his mansions to finiance his interest in Rangers.  His credentials are public and accepted in principal by all.  The real debate is not if Mike Ashley has a million pounds but how many millions he actually does have.

So it’s with interest that the Scottish Football Association are asking for clarification on Mike Ashley’s influence at Ibrox.  It is well within The powers that be at Hampden to ask these questions and they even have a right to waive their rules and not wait until a shareholding exceeds ten percent.  What I find strange is Mike Ashley has an unimpeachable record as a Businessman and Club Owner yet he is subject to demands for clarity.  What exactly are the SFA concerned about? Mike Ashley does not want any public smear on his character or good name. He is at best ensuring his retail business has a series of assets of a big club and access to the hundreds of thousands of fans. His business needs to convert this fan base of a Fottball Club into a Consumer base for his Retail Group. At worse he is investing money into a company that is hemorrhaging money at a very alarming rate.

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Craig Whyte

Was not that many years ago that a Conman talked his way into Scottish football and the institution that is Rangers with little more than a forked tongue and a barely hidden morgage of assets.  Yet I do not remember any SFA concern yet alone anything that led to an investigation. How many others slipped in under the guise of saviours allowed to work a “long con” as Regan, Doncaster and pals look the otherway.

From a casual observers point it could be seen as SFA interfering with a Positive investment after allowing a very negative one.

What concerns can they truly have Mike Ashley has clearly invested his money and loaned money to a club.  He has the funds to do so.  Yet SFA and SPFL seek to investigate this investment rather seek a League Title Sponsor to benefit the whole of Scottish football.  Seems Neil Doncaster has put his Crayons down just long enough to look at the prospect of Rangers being well financed and stable with envious green tinted spectacles.

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The influence that Mr Ashley can impose at Murray Park and Ibrox is considerably less than he has at Newcastle United but slightly more than he has a numerous clubs and national associations. By the power of his retail empire he can if he choses to play hard ball regards the sale of replica strips and the like. The sheer size of Sports Direct means effectively in the United Kingdom Mike Ashley can hurt sales of every Clubs merchandise. He can also negotiate down the cost of wholesale items. Sports direct and Mike Ashley can effectively control a percentage of every club and nations income stream. So the prospect of the Scottish Football Association finding Mr Ashley as having undue power and influence at Rangers is indeed a moot point.

As for the motivation and reasons for this investigation I know the SFA like to be seen to be doing something at any time. A self justification of their position and salary. It is a two pronged public relations own goal though.

For Rangers Fans there is a case for suggesting why are the SFA concerned about Mike Ashley when they were not concerned about Craig Whyte, a man who took control of Rangers with genuine concerns about his background at the time and now proven almost daily in courts around Scotland. For Rangers fans it has a element of victimisation as the Ibrox club works it’s way back to the top league.

For fans of other clubs and the national team the question has to be. “why? When the game in Scotland is screaming out for investment. Are you so publicly making investing in the Scottish game such a impossibility”. It is little wonder that there is no league title sponsor two years after the Clydesdale Bank sponsorship ended and Irn Bru were dumped via the rushed reconstruction. Eighteen months on the SPFL have achieved nothing but creating a new logo!

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Neil Doncaster                                                                    Stewart Regan

The Dynamic Duo of Regan and Doncaster (remember him) seem to of melted into the undergrowth. Maybe they were buried under the Commonwealth Games Running track who knows. What we do know though is that when the silence is only broken by the likes of this investigation then in the unlikely event any blue chip company wishes to invest in the Scottish game they will hold fire until The blockers and mis-management of Doncaster and Regan leave their posts.