Did you catch The Daily Record this morning, about the “American takeover” and the reaction to what it published amongst the Ibrox fan sites? Excitement, drooling excitement, over a completely unknown woman threatening to push ahead with a plan their board has already rejected as utterly unfeasible and without merit.
This has caught the breath alright, because she has thrown big numbers around.
£75 million in “investment” if you believe what you’re reading.
Not that anyone should believe a word of it.
The truth is – and this is a truth their fans struggle with – as a club which has not posted a profit in the 12 years since it crawled out of Rangers’ grave there is no such thing as “investment” over there.
Investment is a word with a very specific meaning the way people with that kind of money use it. They do not mean “give it to Ross Wilson to piss up the wall.”
Investors – as opposed to those with some emotional attachment – want a return. They aren’t interested in the greater glory of the Peepul, or any of that rubbish. They will come armed with a business plan built around getting back whatever they put in … with plenty more on top of it. The Record, and their fans, seem to think it’s free money.
Even if this were not barmy, even if it didn’t fly in the face of UEFA, even if pumping that much money into the playing squad wouldn’t upend their wages to turnover ratio and put them within killing range of European governing body sanctions, the dangers of this drooling are obvious to anyone with even one functioning brain cell.
They only need to look south of the border for the collection of clubs bought by overseas “investors” without a fraction of interest in what they’re buying and who have suffered dire consequences as a result.
Almost all of these people made grandiose promises. Almost all were welcomed, at the time.
If I were in the consortium of “investors” I’d see that the quickest way to recoup the cash would be to transfer the stadium to our control and make the club pay rent, as a tenant.
Then I’d flog the stadium name to the highest bidder and stick £100 on next season’s tickets.
These “investors” have no reason to believe there will be adverse consequences; the “staunchness” of these fans is the only thing the world knows about them.
They filled grounds “on the journey” through the leagues.
They advertise this fact readily; they pride themselves on their “loyalty” even when they are being treated abysmally.
Because of that there is nothing to suggest that they would not keep doing so even if every asset was sold out from under them and the whole organisation was being run as a for-profit with funding on the team drastically cut, and a board content with a second placed finish.
Their club is not an attractive investment prospect except to the kind of people who would introduce a drastic plan along those lines.
Neither, by the way, is Celtic and this is why guys like David Lowe have warned us to ever be watchful for just these sorts of people.
As long as we are tied to Scottish football and our earnings ceiling is limited by that fact even we, with a global footprint, are not seen as the kind of organisation a major owner would come into with the ambition to build a world class club on every level.
That simply cannot be sustained within the confines of the football environment we play in.
But Ibrox’s fans, and their media allies, continue to flirt with the dangerous fantasy of a sugar-daddy owner, and it’s exactly this sort of mind-set and obvious desire for such that will, inevitably, bring the vultures.
If this was Celtic, I would want us to put as much distance between this woman and this idea and our club as humanely possible.
As usual, they are dusting down the red carpet.
If they can’t learn from England, how about learning from their own history and that of the previous club?
Because I have a feeling we’ve seen this movie before.