Tonight, VideoCelts has a story up that Sevco fans have run into a wee problem with the bank. MBNA, a banking organisation which has had links with Ibrox operations going back 20 years, and which has helped many fans pay for their season tickets, has withdrawn support for Sevco.
It used to be that fans could have their own “Rangers” branded card. Now that’s over. A lot of the fans were so happy with this arrangement that they banked with the company just to have it. On top of that, a small percentage of every transaction went to the club itself.
As of July, that arrangement is at an end. The bank, which has just been bought by Lloyds, is terminating the relationship. Fans will still be able to use the card but from this point on the club will get zero income from doing so.
The internet is awash with fans posting letters telling them that the current arrangements will not stand in the next campaign and the question is being asked; what does it mean? It’s easy to get carried away and start speculating, so let’s have a go at it.
There are things that this could mean, of course, many of them. Sevco fans know that we’re going to do this, and they’re trying to tell themselves that this move is entirely benign, but we all know that’s unlikely to be the case. This is Bad News whatever the cause.
Some have convinced themselves that this means that “the club has something up its sleeve.” Quite why anything the club is doing should cause a bank to cut a long-term business tie with Ibrox operations I do not know. They can convince themselves as they like that this is somehow good news, but most of them are not really that stupid.
The most benign explanation relates to Lloyds.
They know enough about how things work at Ibrox to want nothing to do with the place. As they’ve just bought the company I would not be terribly surprised if they insisted on the link being severed at once. What does that mean? It means that even six years on from the scandals and the disaster of 2012, Ibrox is still toxic in the eyes of the City.
And that might have nothing to do with Dodgy Dave King.
Because another explanation is that this is the start of the Cold Shouldering, and that is all too possible and Sevco fans must be able to smell it. Those who’ve kidded themselves on that the Cold Shoulder won’t have any impact on the club had better think again; the stink of it will taint everything over there, whether they want to accept it or not.
Another dark possibility is that this is the start of an even darker process; this website and others ran a story last month about a missive being sent to banking institutions warning of an arrestment of some sort at Ibrox.
That story reared its head briefly and went away again just as quickly, but there was ample information in the public domain which suggested that it was more than just internet tittle-tattle. Several people claim to have seen the circular, and some of them are people who I trust and whose word I take seriously.
All this continues to amaze me. At any other club a story like this could be readily dismissed as much ado about nothing; at Ibrox you cannot do that quite so easily. That I was able, just sitting here, to suggest three possible meanings, all of them negative, all of them plausible, is telling in itself.
That club is a basket case organisation with more trouble on its hands than an one armed guy with a bad dose of the crabs.
They don’t call it “the gift that keeps on giving” for nothing.
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