Rangers received another welcome emergency loan on Monday, from the Three Bears consortium rather than The Bank of Mike Ashley.
Rangers fans will be pleased that the new board have elected to cease the process of taking up the second tranche of Mike Ashley’s £10 million loan worth £5 million. But while the Three Bears have dipped into their pockets to provide the Ibrox side with working capital to pay the bills due at the end of the month – Dave King is nowhere to be seen.
The man who promised so much is seemingly more interested in securing his place on the board, than providing the club he loves so much with the money that they so desperately need. He has already submitted an application to the Court of Session for permission to become a director of Rangers FC and parent company Rangers International FC PLC – despite initially stating he would leave the decision up to the Scottish FA and the stock market regulators.
Speaking to the press on Monday, interim chairman Paul Murray claimed that King has not invested any money into the club yet because they ‘respect the processes of the Scottish FA’ – yet ignoring the fact that the Court of Session action isn’t really going down that route of respecting the SFA processes.
Murray, discussing King investing in Rangers, said: “He is not doing so at the moment because, as we have said, we respect the processes of the SFA and must wait until they have completed their review of Dave’s status before he can fully participate in the future of the Club.
“After that we will be inviting him to invest alongside the gentlemen who have just provided today’s facility and others who are also willing to invest.
“We can and we will rebuild the Club and this £1.5m investment is Stage One of the process. We have already made it clear we are happy to engage with Sports Direct but the Board has decided against drawing down the second £5m tranche of Sports Direct’s £10m loan.
“We are still in the process of reviewing all of the contractual relationships that Sports Direct has with the Club and we hope to conclude this review very shortly.”
So King will not invest in the club until the Scottish FA have completed their review of his status before fully participating in the future of the club. Why the hesitation? Will he only invest in the club if he is handed his blue blazer, club tie and brown brogues?
That certainly wasn’t what he peddled at the start of the month.
King claimed: “If I’m not fit and proper, I won’t sit on the board. But I will still invest and still support the club. I must have 40 companies back in South Africa that I control but don’t sit on the board. To me, not being on the board is not critical. It would not make any difference to Rangers going forward.”
So why not invest the money now rather than waiting to hear about his fit and proper person status? I thought not being on the board was not critical?
He also claimed back in March 2014, that Rangers would need around £50million to rebuild and that he would invest at least £30m of his own money.
King said: “My view of what it will take to make Rangers competitive again is bottom end £30m but probably £50m — over the next four years.
“From the discussions I have to date I think there are other people who would come with me. But I would say I would probably have to put in £30m of the £50m over the period of time. And I could probably get other people to put in £20m.
“Would I be willing to invest £30m despite what happened previously? Of course. Sure.”
Of course it has only been a couple of weeks since King and his cabal successfully ousted the previous board, but it seems that King’s past comments are already coming back to bite him as he is promising one thing and then doing something totally different.
On the amount he was willing to invest the South African based businessman changed his tune, he added: “I don’t have [all the money required]but I think if you look at money I have agreed previously is that I would go 50/50 with other investors. Between myself and the other investors I think we have sufficient to take it forward in the medium term.
“It’s difficult to say [how much]. I said about £20m in the short term but I’m concerned there’s other areas of the club where money’s needed to be spent as well. I think it’ll be north of £20m in the short- to medium-term.
“The arrangement that I’ve had in the proposals that I gave to the boards was that I would take on 50% of the funding and that I expected other individuals to take on the other 50%. That’s where your Paul Murrays, George Lethems, Brian Kennedys and Douglas Parks all come in.
“It would be a 50/50 split but I don’t see me as carrying the sole burden. Initially we thought £16m to £20m would be the right level for the next couple of years, but right now my indication is that the figure would be higher.”
In the space of a year he has dropped his overall investment by £20 million that is a huge drop, when all he wanted to do was invest and support the club.
So what has changed with King?
Of course King could just be sitting on a huge pile of cash itching to spend it on the Ibrox side. But here lies the problem with King – he has been all bluster in the past and his promises change like the weather in Scotland.
He also wanted shot of Mike Ashley then he said that he could work with him and Sportsdirect. Remember that?
In business, words are words; explanations are explanations, promises are promises, but only performance is reality.
– Harold S. Geneen