It was governments who first pioneered the idea of releasing bad news on a Friday night, so as to avoid a media firestorm over the weekend when people want to relax and the press itself has unplugged. The practice became popular in business later on, where the 6pm Friday announcement is designed to give investors and shareholders time to digest bad tidings without it affecting the stock price; open trading on Monday and it’s a different story though.
Part of the tactic involves the release of “top line” information, which the half of the media which is paying attention then regurgitates. No analysis is offered, and that’s wholly intentional. Not that our media would bother to analyse anyway. When the club published its six month accounts – unaudited of course – the top line information was that they’d made a profit, which turned out to be rank nonsense for anyone who simply looked at the data.
I thought at the time that their debt was likely to be around £7 million for last season. I wasn’t far off the number. The figures for this year will be higher; £4 million in additional funding is needed before the season ends. That tells its own story.
I haven’t had time to drill down into those numbers; even the bloggers can’t be bothered to do that on a Friday evening as “obsessed” as they think some of us are. I glanced through them and then again this morning, but even without a close reading and a comparative analysis there are things in there that stand out a mile.
And the first is that Scottish football is getting taken for a ride here and wholly deserves to be. That club is engaged in an orgy of spending what it cannot afford. Directors are funding huge losses year on year; this is exactly what financial fair play regulations are designed to prevent. Scottish clubs are again being cheated by a financial doped club out of Ibrox.
And they seem content to be. Aberdeen braces itself for a cut-price move for their manager and not a soul cares that the club, on its own, couldn’t afford to poach McInnes and his backroom team. King tells a court that he is skint and then basically tells the Sevco fans through the chairman’s statement that he’ll be paying the bills to keep on the lights.
I would bet that neither of those things is true, but the club will limp through the season and they’ll get through another news cycle and when they come knocking at Pittodrie Stewart Milne will throw up his hands and say he’s powerless to resist.
I have no idea how Sevco fans feel about what they’ve been handed here, a tissue of evasions, distortions, half-truths and perhaps even outright lies; what I know is that there’s nothing in those accounts about paying off Warburton and his people – surprise surprise, another King lie exposed – and that all of a sudden the “great victory” over Mike Ashley cost them £3 million.
This is a club that has no interest in living within its means, and whether they limp through this campaign or not there is almost certainly trouble waiting for them somewhere down the road. UEFA cannot indefinitely ignore this nonsense and as I’ll show later should they get involved the consequences for the club will be catastrophic.
The consequences will be equally serious if King is thrown off the board.
But none of that will bother our intrepid governing bodies much, right? I mean, these accounts only show that Sevco is sitting on a time bomb of debt and future trouble such as that which sends clubs into administration and beyond.
Why would they care about such a thing, except they keep on telling us the game “needs” a strong club out of Ibrox?
Well, we’re not going to get one.
I’ll be doing a more detailed analysis later … believe me, there’s plenty of interest.