Dave King Press Conference

Dave King today held a press conference which left many supporters perplexed and exasperated as to why no appointments have been made with only a month to go before the survivors of last season’s now squad report back for pre-season training.

While many journalists neglected important issues such as the appointment of a CEO, a financial director or the implementation of a scouting structure, he did give a progress update on various issues – even if they were somewhat vague.

Courtesy of Talk Sport
Courtesy of Talk Sport

The rumour mill had spun into overdrive in the past 24 hours after some bookmakers moved Mark Warburton into heavily odds-on favourite to be the next Rangers manager while others even suspended betting. However, King gave little away, simply stating that we have a five man shortlist who the committee (presumably Paul Murray and John Gilligan) are interviewing and an appointment will hopefully be made next week.

Many are unhappy with that timescale but I think it is vital that we do our homework on the candidates as thoroughly as possible as this appointment is paramount to returning the club to the top of Scottish football. We don’t want to rush the process and then in a year’s time be back in the exact same situation having to rebuild yet again as that would be catastrophic for a club our size.

King reiterated his previous statement with regards to the creation of a Director of Football role by saying that he feels it would be “counterproductive” to employ someone in that position at this present moment due to the uncertainty and unstableness of the footballing side of the club – this to me suggests that Warburton is their preferred choice as he has previous experience in a similar role at Brentford and would come with knowledge of player development, youth structure, recruitment and a sound understanding of the economics and budgetary limitations at football clubs.

The main reason for calling the press conference was to announce the launch of the 2015/2016 season tickets. A modest 5% price increase will see juveniles pay £53, concessions £210 and adults £312 for the eighteen Championship home games – hopefully the play-off debacle will be an irrelevance this time round. I think this is a reasonable ask of supporters as we clearly have to subsidise the loss of revenue promotion would have guaranteed by altering our pricing strategy accordingly.

Courtesy of Rangers FC
Courtesy of Rangers FC

King claimed that he hopes to sell out all season tickets. The only worry I have is that there wasn’t a hook contained in the presser which would entice disillusioned fans back to Ibrox. But if we can shift 36,000 season tickets with Charles Green in charge then we should be able to reach near that figure with Rangers minded people patrolling the marble staircase.

Another less pressing matter, but something that Mike Ashley has taken umbrage with, is the issue of the club’s parent company being delisted from the AIM stock exchange. King declared that further talks with presumably the ISDX – the market which the oldco’s shares were traded on and the market Arsenal are currently listed on – have taken place. As he admitted, this can be a complicated and protracted process especially after the turbulence surrounding the company’s share price but he seemed confident that this is a mere formality.

Renegotiation talks have begun with Sports Direct over the onerous contract entered into by the previous board, which in the short-term has to be high on King’s agenda.

With no mention of the old buzzword ‘war chest’, King did say we would spend “whatever it takes” to win promotion this season, which struck me as an ill-advised comment considering the tens of millions the charlatans haemorrhaged previously.

The eleven out of contract players: Robinson, Simonsen, McCulloch, Faure, Foster, Smith, Mohsni, Hutton, Black, Daly and Boyd, have left the club which leaves a depleted squad in great need of quantity as well as quality.

However, King was clear that there is a three year plan in place, during which he and the other investors such as the Three Bears will cover the annual deficit. When questioned on his projected level of investment, King didn’t stray from his earlier figure of £30m, but did say the rate at which the funds are invested may have to be accelerated to ensure we win promotion and have a squad capable of challenging Celtic in a year or two.

Courtesy of The Daily Mail
Courtesy of The Daily Mail

The investment will not be limited to just the playing squad and bridging the financing gap, there will be an overhaul of the scouting department and practically every area which has fallen into a state of desuetude. The ultimate aim however is to have a self-sustainable model at the end of the three year period, echoing Paul Murray’s sentiments some months earlier.

With a mobilised fan base stretching into every corner of the globe, season tickets and merchandise should be the cornerstones of any self-sustainable business model, not a reliance on a sugar-daddy. This is why it is vital that fans return in their droves and support schemes such as Buy Rangers and Rangers First as, although we trust that King and the rest of the new board have the club’s best interest at hearts, it is still important that we have a say in the running of the club and hold those in charge accountable.

There wasn’t much concrete information to be gained from the press conference but it did give the fans a degree of transparency which we have been craving for a long time now.

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6 thoughts on “Dave King Press Conference

  1. Great read as its in line with my overall assessment ,fans have been given “Visions for the Future” till it’s coming out of our ears over last 3 seasons but I will give this board a degree of trust I never afforded the others all be it I bought my ST of 28 yrs each time,the shackles of transfer windows means we have to overspend initially to ensure a good start and not take a chance on youth and good lower division players with a blend being preferred option.
    A new manager NOW may just have enough time to determine the level of last minute intake to ensure reaching the next transfer window in top position

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  2. Plenty of contradictions in there Mr King????? We also appear to be back to the old spend, spend, spend culture which led the club into liquidation. Look at Hearts, they spent a fraction of what was spent at Ibrox and won the league by a country mile!!!……………what bit of this don’t you get? “0ver investing” may get you nothing but trouble, but it’s what the supporters want to hear and I guess when you are trying desperately to flog season tickets, telling people what they want to hear is all that matters. I’m not convinced at all by all this.

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    1. The spending culture under Murray got us into debt but it was the unpaid PAYE along with the overhanging Big Tax Case which led to liquidation. We were paying £2,5m to the bank each year, so don’t let people tell you it wasn’t manageable. We had a poor manager who had no vision and simply put together a bunch of overpaid SPL players without planning for the future, That’s why we lost to Hearts – who aren’t anything special. You seemed to have missed the bit where he said that there is a three year plan with the aim of running at a profit by the end of the third year. The idea of overspending this year is to guarantee promotion as another year in the Championship would be disastrous. In an interview with Traynor he makes it clear that he is hoping to bring in 6 or 7 players but if the new manager identifies someone who has sell-on value and will prove valuable to us over a few years, he’s willing to release funds which were planned to be invested in later years. Of course he’s got to play to the gallery to convince some, but the fans need to buy season tickets now more than ever.

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  3. I think it is fair to say that Rangers overspent wildly in the last 3 years and it didn’t guarantee a place in the Premiership, having lots of money helps but will guarantee you nothing. My point was that you don’t have to spend colossal sums of money to win the Championship, Hearts did it on a shoestring budget, what you do need is a manager who knows what they are doing ( I take your point about McCoist) and players who can handle the pressure of needing to win week in week out. I wrote here on a number of times over the past season, that the players were clearly not capable of dealing with mental pressure at Ibrox, you could see them crumbling visibly. On a wider note, I wasn’t all that impressed with King’s presentation, he just didn’t seem entirely comfortable with the whole thing??……….a final point, he stated not for the first time, the club has no debt?? yet Mr Ashley is looking for his £5m back, am I missing something here?

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    1. While our wage budget may have been between £6-7m, it was only 27% of our turnover which is why Ally’s comments that “we were the envy of any club in world football” was justified.
      I think you are missing a few points with regards to the Sports Direct deal. We are debt-free thanks to the IPO cash raised but due to the previous boards swindling more than £70m in three years we have burnt through virtually all of it. And while Ashley’s loan may be interest free, the Three Bears and Brian Kennedy offered more capital which would have been converted into shares instead of paying back, meaning. Ashley’s loan was not in the interest of the club, it was solely to benefit his company as it gave him security over Auchenhowie, our trademarks, our badge and meant that it further diluted our share of the merchandise profits to just 75p of every £10 spent.
      Paying back the £5m would give us security back over our assets and would mean Sports Direct would receive 48% of the profits which is the positive. But gaining just over half of the profits isn’t nearly enough so by repaying the loan we would be giving up all leverage we have when it comes to renegotiating. The Three Bears have already had to supply a £1.5m loan to fund us in the short-term so why would we want to hand over £5m which could be used to invest in the club? Watch King’s interview with Traynor on Level 5 or read his interview in The Telegraph, much more informative.

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  4. The cat may well be put among the pigeons with the story breaking tonight, that Sports Direct and Rangers International FC will be represented in the High Court in London tomorrow morning, a day before the General meeting. What this is all about is anyone’s guess, but when someone like Ashley is owed £5m, and has just resigned from the Board of NUFC???? I suggest you hold on to your hats!

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