Signs And Portents

Concerns about delisting have resulted in investors, including pre-IPO investors, seeking to bail from RIFC PLC.

As readers of this blog and the RSL blog will know, these fears were raised by Ninjaman and myself and they are very clearly now not scaremongering as some would say but valid concerns that should also be shared by every Rangers fan.

The fact is that there is no guarantee in place that a King victory in the EGM will not subsequently see the PLC delisted from AIM and thus decimate the value of shares.

Those who ploughed their money into fan share schemes such as Rangers First and BuyRangers should be troubled. They have been told that their shares give them real power in the running of the club. This power will be greatly diluted if the club is delisted.

Dave King could do a lot to calm things by making an emphatic statement that he has absolutely no intention of delisting, even if he is ruled unfit to hold office as a Director of the PLC.

I personally know people who have bailed out because of deep concerns over how Rangers will survive following a King victory at the forthcoming EGM.

Mike Ashley’s dithering and apparent lack of certainty has greatly contributed to the collapse in confidence of investors on his side, many of whom now share my own long-stated view that he will leave it too late to mount a serious challenge in the fight. It has to be said that Ashley and his generals have seriously misjudged the culture here in Scotland and this approach has left them with egg on their faces.

Great news for the King camp but very bad news indeed for those who understand how important it is to have a person of Ashley’s substantial wealth backing Rangers.

Still the argument could be made that having chased away the billionaires, the burden of running Rangers will now fall on the chasers. And I mean that literally because those fans who have agitated on behalf of King will no doubt be asked to shell out to keep the club afloat.

As for Ashley, his intentions are as inscrutable as ever. As I have said previously, if he chooses to stay and fight, he will not be budged. It could easily be said that his revenge should he lose the EGM is simply to let his opponents run the club, knowing full well they will run out of money.

A King/T3B win will result in euphoria but it will not be long before the harsh reality dawns on fans that things will not change overnight. The cold hard truth is that the new regime will have to deal with the fallout from the boardroom wars, which includes the very serious damage done to the club by their own supporters from boycotts and negative press.

There may also be a swing in terms of media support. Whilst supporting King against a billionaire who had the potential to make RFC bigger than ever was a no-brainer for an anti-Rangers press, there may be a reverting to type once King and his cohorts are inside. Facing a hostile press is something the reqs have yet to experience and this will be exacerbated by the present mood of the Rangers support who feel very much victimised by the media as it is. In short, Rangers fans will want to see a robust response from the club to such victimisation. Will they get it when the old guard dust down the blazers and take their seats? The association of that old guard with the notorious dignified silence approach of the past seems to indicate it is unlikely.

As we hurtle towards the EGM, there will no doubt be many twists and turns.

However, the signs and omens are there for all to see. With no clear leadership or commitment from Mike Ashley, the money people are bailing.

Anyone who thinks that is a good thing needs their head examined.