Sometime in the next three or four weeks we’re going to be treated to one of those media spectaculars I really enjoy; the annual “spinning of the audited accounts”.
Sevco is due to publish its official figures for last season, when the totality of the mess will be revealed and we’ll get our first peek beneath the bonnet at what Total Chaos looks like.
I reckon they are going to be horrendous.
If you recall, they posted losses in the six monthly unaudited version but somehow managed to convince our hacks they’d made a profit.
Now, I know nobody in the Scottish newsrooms has the intellectual heft of Stephen Hawking, but the ability to extrapolate facts from a piece of paper with hard numbers on it is surely not beyond their limited skills, is it?
Well it was that time; most of them duly wrote what they were told, and didn’t bother to actually fact check it … but with the full figures there’ll be a problem.
I expect turnover went up. I expect costs did too though.
I expect the loss to be on a par with, if not bigger than, the one they made last year.
That will be impossible to hide.
The top-line figures are going to jump out at you like a mugger in an alley.
We will be told there are extenuating circumstances; the club had to push the boat out as it was their first year back in the league and blah blah blah.
It will all be nonsense; a club that posts losses year on year on year just isn’t getting it, isn’t learning anything, isn’t improving its business practices one iota.
Eventually there will be consequences, and they might arrive sooner than most people think.
Because right now the Association, in particular, has a lot of eyes on it, and with Financial Fair Play back in the news only complete morons would ignore the enormous implications of losses from last year folded into the losses from the year before that, folding into those which are almost inevitable from this summer of fun and games.
I don’t accept that Sevco spent £8 million or anything near it, but they spent more than they ought to have, more than they could afford.
Even the SFA – especially the SFA – cannot continue to ignore the fact that this club is about as far from meeting UEFA’s criteria as it’s possible to get from such a small country as this one. The SFA will be wary of gilding the lily.
Problems at Ibrox inevitably result in problems at Hampden these days, but this one is a shared catastrophe and every journalist worth the name has to be asking, when those results come out, where it leaves the club in terms of its license requirements.
It would be scandalous if something this big was ignored; it’s literally the elephant in the room and with Celtic already pressing for an inquiry into historical issues the SFA sure as Hell can’t afford to create a new one.
No-one has adequately explained how Sevco got a license for this European campaign; I cannot wait to hear what bollocks they come up with if they are granted one next year.
Sevco will publish these shortly before their AGM where they will push, once again, for a motion allowing a share issue.
It is smoke and mirrors.
To get one they would need to find a stock market that would admit them – with King on the board, no chance – and then put together a prospectus at the cost of around £500,000 or more. They’d need to find a nominated advisor, a broker … complicated stuff.
And at the end of it, what? The fans would spend money, but how much would go to the team and how much would be paid back to the directors who’ve spent the last couple of years keeping the lights on with their own cold, hard cash?
Jim Traynor hangs around Ibrox like a fart that’s smarter than the air conditioning.
He and his little gang of scribes are going to have to work overtime to try and make the coming numbers look and sound better than they are, but this time too many people are watching, at Celtic Park and in Nyon, for what his club does next … and what those at Hampden do in response.
You think UEFA has missed the significance of an SFA inquiry into whether Rangers should have had a European license?
You think the penny hasn’t dropped?
Sevco has a number of more immediate problems, of course, including the small question of how they will get through to the end of the year without external financing. It appears that the cash has all but run out if it hasn’t run out already.
Just think how dire it would be if they had to pay win bonuses, right?