“How is it,” someone asked me, “that Sevco, who the bloggers claim is on the brink of administration, can keep on bringing in players?”
It’s a legitimate question. And it has an easy answer. They can’t, but they’re doing it anyway. People act surprised. But this is what Ibrox clubs have always done. Even sitting on the volcano, pre-administration in 2012, Rangers were still spending money. They tried to sign a player – Daniel Cousin – whilst that process was going ahead.
People are looking for rational patterns of behaviour here, but that’s their first mistake. “It doesn’t make sense,” the guy told me. Who says the world – who says that club – has to make sense? They are encased in a bubble where reality doesn’t penetrate, in a country whose media doesn’t scrutinise it and who’s governing bodies don’t care.
Who’ll be the victims of this scam? Us? Not likely.
We’re so far in front of them there’s no catching us for the foreseeable future. Aberdeen, Hibs, St Johnstone, Hearts … let them raise the issue with the SFA. Let them be the ones who complain. They’re the ones who will suffer for Sevco’s egregious act of financial doping.
Let them worry about it.
I’m going to do a piece later on which will explore what’s happening at Sevco, but this is an issue much bigger than them. It’s an issue for football itself. It’s why I mention the other SPL clubs. This kind of thing shouldn’t happen anymore, and especially not in Scotland. We already saw one club from Ibrox circle the drain and swirl down the plughole. In the aftermath, the SFA should have brought in Financial Fair Play. Someone didn’t want it.
And there’s your answer; when the clubs can’t be forced to vote for something that’s in their own best interests, that would keep some from doping up at the expense of the rest, which would let chairmen run things sustainably, then why should you be surprised at those in our game who still let their clubs fall into ruinous financial Hell?
This is as old as the sport itself. Since time immemorial, football clubs have spent more than they earn. They’ve continued chasing glory at the expense of fiscal stability. Why should Sevco be any different? I agree they should be, because of what happened to Rangers, but if you’re expecting rational behaviour from the Real Rangers Men in charge then that’s the problem, not anything going on over there. They’re doing exactly what I expected them to.
Talk about stupid.
Of course, I could also make an argument that in bringing in these loanees to the end of the season they could be getting ready to cut their losses on the half of the playing squad they don’t want. An administration allows them to pay these guys off whilst maintaining the barebones of a team which might even be able to snatch a mid-table place. The promise of signing these guys as a “jam tomorrow” solution might even sell enough season tickets to the Gulli-Billy’s that the lights will stay on for a few months into the next campaign.
Disaster is going to strike Ibrox. Look, it’s not even up for debate. Any halfway sentient person knows this for a fact. We’re not making this up; it’s all there in their accounts. They are a loss-making business without a credit line from a bank. The more they spend the more their own directors have to pay to meet the shortfall; something will give eventually. It is a mathematical and fiscal certainty. The only question is about the timing.
But yes, they are increasing the wage bill. They probably freed up £10,000 from the Pena deal, but the return of their own loanees plus the signings of four others can’t have helped their overall balance sheet. Bear in mind, they’ve also hired coaches and other staff lately.
It is ludicrous.
It is senseless.
It defies gravity.
But it does not surprise me at all. This is football, and football is its own wee universe of perverse behaviour and stupidity. The key law is “Spend! Spend! Spend!” and Sevco wouldn’t be the first club to spend what they haven’t got.
They won’t the last club either, even if they are, by far, the stupidest.