Newco Rangers FC: What Lies Ahead

In February 2012 Glasgow Rangers FC entered into a period of administration. Thereafter June 12 saw the club forced into liquidation. July 12 and the Newco Rangers FC were welcomed into the fourth tier of Scottish professional football.

The wherewithal around this period and how these points have been reached for what was after all technically the world’s most successful football team has been well documented and discussed in both football and wider media circles.

This article is focused on the present and what lies ahead for Newco Rangers FC and their supporters. So fast forward to September 2012 and the new team have just beaten Elgin City 5 – 1 at home in their 4th league game of the season in the Scottish 3rd division.

Following liquidation and having lost the bulk of their senior squad for next to nothing with the likes of Steven Naismith, Jamie Ness and Steven Davis opting to move to the Premiership, Kyle Lafferty to Switzerland and Alan Mcgreggor to Turkey- a new squad is in the process of being established. Still under the watchful eye of manager Ally Mccoist new players have arrived from other Scottish clubs as well as further afield including Brazil, France and Romania in replacing these former heroes.

The club have also at this time not surprisingly and indeed correctly had to turn to their acadamy. There are many in Scotland who would suggest that the Rangers acadamy in Auchenhowie has not delivered as it should in producing a conveyor belt of young stars. To counter this the club would hint over the last few years at names such as Bary Ferguson, Alan Hutton, Alan McGreggor, Charlie Adam, and Jamie Ness.

There are like most things probably rights and wrongs on both sides of the argument. What is not disputed is now the club must raise its game in this area to a new level. And with the emergence of new talents to the first team like Barry Mckay, Ross Perry and Lewis McCleod it looks like it is one they are up for.

The importance of this transfer activity though needs also to be reconciled to the 12 month transfer ban that the club now faces starting 1st September 2012; this ban an outcome of the punishments laid down by the Scottish Football Association (SFA) as a result of their previous financial misdemeanours. On Friday night 31st August 2012 as the transfer window closed there was indeed a final flurry of activity at the club’s training centre. And this activity is a useful measure of the various issues affecting the club just now.

Club captain Carlos Bocanegra left to go on a one year loan to La Liga outfit Racing Santander. Citing as others had before him the need to protect his international place somthething that was challenging if plying his trade in the 3rd division of Scotland.

Then there were the two Heart of Midlothian boys the club tried to procure. Ryan McGowan a precocius young full back declined the overtures of Rangers and decided to stay in Edinburgh with the Midlothian club while David Templeton another excellent young player agreed to move to Glasgow.

Two things about young Templeton of interest linked to this transfer being 1. His dad a Rangers die hard tagged him with the middle name “Cooper” after the true and great Rangers legend Davie Cooper and 2. His performance the previous night for Hearts against Liverpool in the Europa Cup surely had caught the eye of a wider group of suitors. Anyway Rangers colourful chief executive Charles Green was happy to get his man as was manager Ally McCoist. The fact he scored 2 goals in his debut against Elgin City will certainly endeer him to the Rangers support.

On the Rangers support; last season the club easily cleared 45,000 at home games at their home in the south side of Glasgow. This impressive figure despite there being no realistic chance of any silverware or honours given the wider financial catastrophes that were affecting the running of the club at this time.

Fears were that the Rangers support would stay away this season. The aforementioned Charles Green and his takeover had been received cautiously by the Rangers support, mindful of the previous year’s disaster. Then there was thee fact it was third division football in Scotland that was on offer. However, the scale of support this club carries and the loyalty they have should not be lost on anyone.

In their first league game of the 12/ 13 season away to Peterhead which was shown live on TV, unofficial Sky viewing figures suggested a significantly higher television audience than the previous live match on SKY tv from Parkhead where arch rivals Celtic were being announced as champions with a tasty home encounter against Aberdeen. The subsequent viewing figures for other Scottish Premier League (SPL) games this season including the Edinburgh Hearts vs Hibs derby have been dwarfed by the Rangers audiences since.

Some external to Scottish football might query why level 4 profesional football is being shown live on TV in Scotland and across the globe. Would it happen in any other country? Probably not. Scotland is often a complex nation though and this set of circumstances with Rangers and their fragile relationship with Scottish football heirarchy epitomises this complexity.

Suffice to say that without the Rangers games on TV under SKY/ ESPN (3rd division or not) there was likely to be no contract for any football in Scotland including the SPL to be shown live on the big satellite stations. The irony of  SPL bosses after throwing Rangers out of their league having to urgently negotiate with them to get a contract for their own TV rights to be completed was not lost on the majority of football fans in the country.

It is fair to say then that the match against the men from Elgin City emerged on the backdrop of great and newly invigorated optimism amongst the Rangers support. A sell out in their first home league game of the season against East Stirling had already been testamanent to that. My goodness more fans were at Ibrox that day than were at all other professional games in Scotland combined.

46,000 plus subsequently turned up to the Elgin game and although this was a slightly lower figure than the previous week it was still the highest crowd in Scotland over the weekend beating Celtic’s home match the previous day against Hibs; should also not forget in assessing this statistic the Rangers-Elgin City game was live on ESPN with a strange 4:30pm kick off time obviously to suit TV schedules.

So despite two draws and poor performances away from home against first Peterhead and then Berwick, the crowds have continued to attend at Ibrox. The football has been good and the fans have had their money’s worth.

After four league games Rangers sit in 3rd spot in the league with 8 points. They also have three cups to look forward to: Scottish League Cup, Scottish Cup and Ramsden Cup.

There is no doubt in most people’s mind that they will be promoted this season from the 3rd division and probably stand a good chance of winning at least one of those aforementioned cups.

There is in all likelihood a period of five years or so before they will be back challenging for the big titles and playing again in Europe.

Until then away from home in the lower leagues their fans will continue to have a great time on the various journeys they have to complete while visiting the small provincial clubs and grounds that make up the lower divisions. There will as evidence already shows be shocks on the way for them- both good and bad.

And of course alongside this the fans will stay loyal, Ibrox will by the looks of things be routinely packed and the visiting teams will more than enjoy themselves on their trip to the big city.


Written by James Redfern

Follow him on Twitter @jaycraig1

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  1. Cleveland Celtic

    September 3, 2012 at 15:36

    Oh – would I saw the headline “What Lies Ahead” I thought the article would be about the big tax case….

    • mcbride

      September 3, 2012 at 16:06

      Oh…and I thought there might be 1 celtic fan more interested in their own club than rangers……clearly not.

  2. SFTB

    September 3, 2012 at 16:18

    “Thereafter June 12 saw the club forced into liquidation. July 12 and the Newco Rangers FC were welcomed into the fourth tier of Scottish professional football.

    The wherewithal around this period and how these points have been reached for what was after all technically the world’s most successful football team has been well documented and discussed in both football and wider media circles.”

    No, it actually hasn’t.

    No-one has explained the holes in the plot. No-one has explained how normal commercial practice has been usurped and a liquidated club has been allowed to carry on as normal with a pretended continuity of history via some newly invented fiction about selling the history to the existing owners with the debt dumped.

    No-one has explained why, if they were indeed the same club continuing, why TUPE regulations were used by their players and union reps. No one explained why a club, without established funds and accounts, did not suffer a continued 10 point penalty that the old club had. Above all no-one has explained why the old club existed alongside the new one, as it is yet to be fully liquidated, except by inventing this laughable club/company duality and equating the history of an incorporated club history with that of a liquidated club.

    If you read what passes in the Scottish Press for business analysis of this situation, you will not see one explanation which would satisfy a business Administration module at Standard Grade, far less commercial law.

    We have been sold a pup for fear of social unrest and football financial armageddon but really in order to preserve a Zombie institution.

    And you too, want us to imagine a rosy future by looking over there( A full Ibrox crowd and a challenging (??) Sevco team but ask us not to look over there (where BDO are looking at the books , Lord Nimmo Smith is investigating illegal contracts, and the Fraud Squad are hovering) because that vista does not fit in with the rosy narrative.

    Thank goodness football fans are partizan and they will never accept this obvious fabrication, this game of “where’s the pea?” and who, indeed has taken said pea.

    • walsa

      September 3, 2012 at 20:23

      You are a tube

    • algieb

      September 3, 2012 at 23:54

      Good to see celtic supporters more interested in rangers than their own club bigotry alive and well these people need to develop brain cells.

    • rw

      September 4, 2012 at 08:15

      I put a post on the other week about how Mr McCann bought Celtic via a newco and was advised by a Celtic fan that Celtic oldco still runs behind newco so you can answer that then SFTB, as for financial armageddon thats is why celtic sorry I mean SPL went to Sky with rights fir Rangers games so it is ……….

      • Frank

        September 5, 2012 at 15:44

        Fergus McCann did indeed buy Celtic (via a shelf-company).
        Green however – rather simply – chose NOT to buy Rangers… he chose only to the main assets in a fire-sale once liquidation of the club was guaranteed.
        This difference cannot be ignored.

        If every other Scottish club behaved like Rangers FC did, the professional game in Scotland would cease to exist – with clubs racking up debts, going into liquidation to avoid repayment & then simultaneously attempting to re-invent themselves as a new entity.

        The football authorities have wisely allowed the speedy creation of a new Rangers FC – but a degree of realism/humility/gratitude is required by all those connected with the Sevco/new Rangers entity.

  3. Sam Dunbar

    September 3, 2012 at 17:39

    more typical bile from the people across the other side of glasgow may i remind you that you support a club that tried to hide child abuse CHILD ABUSE IS MORE WORSE THAN ANY ALLERGED TAX CASE YES ALLERGED BUT OF COURSE YOU BEAD RATTLERS ARE TOO BIGOTED TO SEE THAT BUT OF COURSE CHILD ABUSE IS PAR FOR THE COURSE FROM YOU LOW LIFE SCUM

    • algieb

      September 3, 2012 at 23:57

      Well said these morons have very short memories even shorter attensoin spans.

    • seany67

      September 4, 2012 at 00:09

      Typical of the tax dodging supporters of the club formerly know as rangers.such hypocrites the world has never seen .undying loyalty to a queen they would’nt pay tax’es too.invite crippled service to there stadium but with hold revenue that would aid there treatment.then blame everyone else for clubs predicament.all the while flaunting title that where gained by unpaid TAX monies.sure they can bring up a pervert that was’nt wearing a bowler hat.that’ll fix things.

    • Willie Maher

      September 4, 2012 at 08:05

      Sam Dunbar ,is English your second language pea brain. You managed to spell the same word wrong twice in the space of three words you poor bigotted soul..Also next time try some punctuation,thats full stops ,Capital letters ,commas etc in case and I doubt you do know. You might not come across so ignorant and stupid.”More worse “thats gold you idiot.Finally ,you sound like you are accustomed to child abuse,which are you abused or the abuser …and one more thing …before you start with your Irish Catholic rubbish I am an agnostic Australian.For your uneducated,undeveloped mind agnostic means non religious. Cheerio Mr IQ 23

      • DM

        September 4, 2012 at 12:35

        Agnosticism can be defined in various ways, and is sometimes used to indicate doubt or a skeptical approach to questions. Ergo does not imply non religious, as usual pulling someone up for grammer and missing the main message. Also for the record if you apply the Not Rangers Sevco debate then Celtic are Pacific Shelf and have never won the European Cup and the Spl is an off shot of a company set up by Fergus Mccann in 1997. No brainer why Rangers can’t get a fair hearing from the SFA or SPL.

  4. wolfhill

    September 3, 2012 at 20:10

    i think rangers and their fans should be congratulated in the way they have kept this club alive with the challenges they have faced in the last year. They seem to have a never say die attitude and i can see why their global support is growing!

  5. SFTB

    September 3, 2012 at 20:21

    Sam Dunbar

    Child abuse is indeed vile and all those who failed to deal with it, whether with Jim Torbett or at Kincora, deserve criticism and more. Interesting that your lot focused on Jock Stein, one of the few who acted, however inadequately.

    Kind of suggests that you are more concerned with getting at the “turncoat” than really concerned about the widespread evil of child abuse.

    Pretty vile behaviour to protest so-called Celtic or catholic child abuse solely. Par for the course with some, though, eh?

  6. usabear

    September 3, 2012 at 20:43

    rangers are fighting for survival at the moment and prob need all the help they can get from soccer fans everywhere. Good luck to them.

  7. andy

    September 4, 2012 at 11:08

    Pacific shelf ring a bell lol

    • SFTB

      September 4, 2012 at 20:02

      Yes it does.

      It is the name of the company that incorporated the original Celtic company and its original listed number when Fergus took over.

      Now, do some research on the difference between an incorporated living company and a liquidated dead one.

      Just because someone told you that there was a duality between club and company do not make it true.

      Why was TUPE involved?
      Why did you not have a 10 point penalty on starting div.3?
      Why were you not seeded in the League Cup given it is supposed to be based on your club’s finishing position last year?
      Why was there all that effort to avoid liquidation and the loss of 140 year’s history?
      Why did the press and Sevco fans stop talking about that once someone sold them a fiction?

      Enjoy handing over your money to Mr. Green’s backers in the share flotation

      • DM

        September 5, 2012 at 10:19

        Its also worth noting that Rangers were a football club before Rangers Plc 1899 was formed, they were a club during this period and they are still Rangers now the holding company has changed. Much as this will annoy most celtic supporters a football club is more than the sum of the holding company.

        • SFTB

          September 5, 2012 at 19:44

          It saddens me more than it annoys to see,otherwise intelligent men, swallowing this recently invented commercial fiction.

          David Murray and Craig Whyte were the chairman of the football club and attended SFA and SPL meetings. The business of the plc was to field a football club and it accrued ruinous debt in doing so. The original football (and rowing) club were incorporated into a company set up and later became a plc. The original club was contained within this incorporated set, just as Celtic still are, up until your liquidation (death) which will be pronounced soon.

          Six months ago Rangers fans knew the difference between a future in administration and continued trading till you escaped, and liquidation which was to be avoided. at all costs, to preserve history.

          The current Sevco fans seem to have swallowed some memory erasing pill so, just to remind you, here are your own words

          • DM

            September 6, 2012 at 15:42

            “The original football (and rowing) club were incorporated into a company set up and later became a plc”. This also means they can be unincorporated “SIMPLES”. ” The business of the plc was to field a football club” the business of the plc was to RUN a footaball club, the PLC went bankrupt the club was sold, no brainer.

          • Frank

            September 6, 2012 at 21:08

            That last post by DM (6th Sept) – absolute nonsense at best… unmitigated lies if being blunt.

            ““The original football club was incorporated into a company set up and later became a plc”. This also means they can be unincorporated”.
            OF COURSE IT CAN – BUT IT WASN’T – never unincorporated, so when the PLC goes bust, so does the business.

            “the PLC went bankrupt the club was sold, no brainer.”
            UNTRUE – THE CLUB WAS NOT SOLD – the administrators merely sold the plc’s assets.

            Please at least observe the facts.

            Rangers fans have been offered a lifeline via Sevco – which in turn was granted amazing concessions by the Scottish footballing community.
            Be thankful.

            In a nutshell – the football club became a plc for commercial reasons, and years later was allowed the to go into liquidation, sacrificing its accumulated history to avoid paying its accumulated debts.
            You have a new club – support it – but learn from your past mistakes.

  8. Paul

    September 4, 2012 at 15:44

    I wonder when the penny will drop with the bares that Sevco have not put a penny into the club. Season ticket money currently paying the wages and Templeton purchased with the money received from Southampton.

    I cant wait for the share issue when ‘The rangers’ will be left high and dry, once the Sevco investors have their money…

  9. DhenBhoy

    December 10, 2012 at 13:06

    Why can’t Green float the company without having to change the name to RIFC …

    Because the stock exchange would not allow him due there being a soon to be liquidated company with that name, Sevo .. Ragers – Rankers International ,,, what name season 2013/14