As I said earlier, I have been focussed so much on Celtic and matters at our own club that I have completely missed some of the big stories over at Ibrox. One of the best has been this share issue they are issuing, in an effort to raise £6 million.
It’s a funny enough story on its own.
One element in particular made me giggle; the assurances that these will be “voting shares.”
Christ. If that’s their selling point, I don’t know why they are bothering.
How many “voting shares” are there at that club now?
A Chinese election ballot would have more authority attached to it.
The sheer number of shares they’ve issued in the last year makes every one of these virtually worthless.
Who but a mug would spend money on them? The club is selling them in preposterously large batches; the minimum buy-in starts at £500 and the highest level of “investment” – if you can call it that – is £100,000.
I wonder how many takers they’ll get, at either level?
How many mugs can there be amongst that support with seemingly unlimited sums of money?
It’s a big ask when they asking fans for season ticket cash and the ubiquitous MyGers memberships, and especially when their merchandising wing is flogging school jerseys at outrageous mark-ups.
I’ve urged Celtic to do a share issue as a means of recapitalising the club after the health crisis, and because fans want to buy more power over how things are run.
But I also suggested that it be pitched at a level where fans would actually be able to afford it … this isn’t that.
Their club is striking whilst the iron is hot; fair enough. This is clearly the optimal time to squeeze the Peepul.
But really, this is a ridiculous pitch.
The other question is, where’s the money going?
Is this existing shareholders looking to offload and get their backsides out to safety?
Phil Mac Giolla Bhain has a possible answer; in his latest excellent article, he has said that at least some of the money is going to Dave King.
Indeed, he has hinted that all of it is going to flow back to the South African’s pockets as he seeks to bail out of Britain before Ashley starts ring-fencing assets.
I would be amazed if Phil isn’t right on top of this; time and time again he’s been first with these stories.
I like to remind people of this every time they bring it up; Phil was one of the sole voices telling people that Ashley was still around Ibrox, and going nowhere.
When the press was proclaiming the great victory over him Phil was the loudest voice saying “not so fast.”
Indeed, the two parties were in court the other week, with Ashely inflicting another defeat on the Ibrox operation.
Phil draws a direct link between this share issue and Ashley’s victory in the courts, and that’s too clear a link to miss, except that our media has somehow managed to.
Phil says that the figure they are trying to raise happens to be identical to the first tranche of the repayments King is owed.
There is no confirmation as to whether this loan is securitised or not; let’s not kid ourselves, it would be strange indeed if Mr Glib and Shameless didn’t have some guarantees.
The press is never going to ask; they were beaten to a story by a certain blogger this week; they don’t have the guts to go poking about in this particular area.
Ibrox fans who have the wherewithal to get involved in this might well do so regardless of where the cash is going.
Others, with a bit more sense, will want to know it’s actually going somewhere that will make a difference to the club.
Those who can least afford it are probably also the type of Gullibilly’s who will find the cash somewhere.
You know what they say about a fool and his money.