Scottish Soccer and the Troubles with Rangers FC

In a throwaway line in the intro to the Queens of the Stone Age album Songs for the Deaf it is said, “I need a Saga. Where’s the Saga?” Well, the Saga, my good man, is to be found in Glasgow at Rangers FC.

Actually, apologies, it is now The Rangers Football Club, a consequence of the club being liquidating and being sold on to become a ‘newco’ in a completely different guise.

Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs (HMRC) are the largest current creditor at the club, due to the team’s indiscretions with the tax man, and yesterday they rejected a ‘Company Voluntary Agreement’ (CVA). Had the CVA –a move which allows partial payment to be agreed upon with creditors for a prolonged period of time following insolvency –been accepted the consortium led by Yorkshire-based businessman Charles Green would have offered up the equivalent of a loan to the club for some £8.5m.

Understandably the HMRC found this offer derisory and in a swift meeting, estimated at 10 minutes, it was decided that the CVA was a no-go, liquidation would take place and a newco would have to rebrand and move forward.

As if this situation was not as grim as first perceived there are other issues which will render this Saga an Epic.

Now the fate of The Rangers lies in the hands of the other Scottish Premier League clubs. Their representatives must vote on whether a newco can remain in Scotland’s top flight.

Many have come out and said they will take their time, eating into any new club’s pre-season training, and assess what their fans will be thinking about the matter. At least eight clubs must OK them staying in the SPL, which is rather tricky when many want them pushed to the 3rd Division and Aberdeen fans unfurl banners proclaiming “We Love HMRC!”

On top of this the players union now need clarification on the future. Under normal insolvency cases staff would happily transfer contracts from one brand to another, particularly during an economic downturn, however, with professional soccer players they have options.

During all of this mess the stoic and usually upbeat manager Ally McCoist has been worn down.

Disheveled and heavily bearded McCoist entered the meeting yesterday, only to emerge without saying a word to the press shortly after. Now rumors circulate that he has walked from the club. It would be understandable, considering his long and mainly glorious association with the club.

So The Rangers replace Rangers and the fate of the team lies with the teams so used to being in Rangers FC’s shadow. They will weigh up their options, although allegations of Sky Sports Television representatives threatening to pull funding if half of the Old Firm drop away may color some opinions.

Who knows? The only thing certain is that this will continue to drag out until any gram of respectability has been washed away in a sea of remorse and the good men are all gone.

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