6% gets you a seat on the Rangers Board? What if you have 12%?
The club this morning notified the Stock Exchange that the proposed deadline for an EGM had been put back with the agreement of the proposer.
You can check it out for yourself here - http://www.investegate.co.uk/rangers-int-f-c--plc/rns/update-re-general-meeting/201306060700114152G/
In and of themselves such boardroom manouvres are as old as the hills. A combination of supposed corporate governance mixed in with a lot of greed and ego.
The proposal that Blue Pitch Holdings and it’s allies should gain two seats on the board in the form of Messrs. Easdale and Morgan prompts the question - why?
For a start Blue Pitch Holdings is owned ultimately by Arif Naqvi, in turn represented by Mazem Houssami and to be fronted on the RFC board by Mr Morgan.
Blue Pitch are also firmly in the camp of the departed directors Mr Ahmad and Mr Green. Along with other allies this group can supposedly call on the support of between 30 and 50% of the shareholdings depending upon the issue to be voted on.
That would have been the case a few months ago but events, dear boy, events - have got in the way.
It may have escaped Blue Pitch but the departures, not to say sackings, of Ahmad and Green change everything - not least their credibility and by extension the credibility of anyone associated with them. If they imagine you can run a football club under the spotlight of the media and hundreds of thousands of fans (or customers as they no doubt regard them) the way they run other businesses then I suggest they’ve a bit of a shock coming.
Trust, belief, hope - all those things matter to a football club - front it with Walter Smith and most of the people will trust - front it with blow-ins from the City of London and the romance is lost.
A few weeks ago some Rangers fans were so blind in their support for Mr Ahmad and his group that they had taken to repeating a mantra on social media ahead of a club Board meeting, it went something like this - ‘Walter is irrelevant, he’ll do what the shareholders tell him to do. Walter represents SPL2, Martin Bain as Chief Exec, bowing down to the media and kissing Regan’s bum.’
Well, well, well. Walter was so irrelevant that he ended up as Chairman and not as a former director.
The point is - it’s easy to be blinded - indeed some are even blind to Walter’s faults. My advice is always to be guided by first principles in difficult situations. The idea that outsiders love Rangers more than they love a pound note would be laughable if it wasn’t so pathetic.
Mr Morgan wants a seat on the board because Blue Pitch Holdings - whoever they actually are - hold around 6% of the shares.
Depending on how good my arithmetic is I reckon the ‘ordinary fans’ hold around 12% of the shares. Shares bought at the full 70p - not discounted to 1p, 10p, 35p or even free as is the case with other shareholders.
In reality those ‘ordinary fans’ are pretty extraordinary - so much so that collectively they are the goose that lays the golden egg - who provide the mountains of cash that actually keep the club afloat year after year after year.
We’ve seen it at a hundred clubs - directors want your money but they don’t want your opinions, those might interfere with the sweetheart deals they award one another. But come a crisis guess whose pockets they want to dig deep into?
As well as being the most important financial resource the club has ‘ordinary fans’ have around 12% of the equity. If Blue Pitch with 6% think they deserve a seat on the Board what about the punters? Two seats at least I think.
‘Ordinary people’ decide who governs the country, they fight in our Armed Forces, they have built political parties, trade unions and charities. If the ordinary working man and woman can be represented on the boards of multinational companies and pension funds worth billions is anyone really trying to argue against them being on the board of a football club?
After the repeated farces and tragedies of the last ten years that have befallen Rangers a dollop of commonsense in the boardroom would be no bad thing.
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