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Scottish Leagues


Things look up for Raith

They'll be dancing in the streets of Raith after the annual general meeting of Raith Rovers reported an improved financial picture. The Kirkcaldy club is supported by former prime minister Gordon Brown who is the local MP.

The club presented its annual accounts for the year to June 2013, which showed a profit of £81,350 – the first time the club has returned a profit since the formation of New Raith Rovers in 2005.

Rangers players turn down pay cuts

The Rangers squad was asked on Thursday to consider pay cuts of around 15% until summer 2015 as cost-cutting begins in earnest at Ibrox. The request, put to the players as a possible alternative to some having to be sold, was widely rejected.

One objection that is understood to have been raised in a dressing room discussion is that the directors making the proposal were still on full pay and were in part responsible for the club's current problems.

Rangers board sees off challenge

As anticipated, the Rangers board has seen off a challenge by rebel shareholders. The board defeated attempts by a group of shareholders led by former chairman Malcolm Murray to gain seats, with a comfortable majority.

About 1,800 shareholders greeted the club's board with chants of 'out, out, out' at the AGM which was held on a specially constructed stage at Ibrox stadium.

About a third of shareholders voted against the reappointment of finance director Brian Stockbridge - the only remaining director of the club's original board. His long-term future remains unclear, however.

Rangers board should survive

Shareholders will vote at an annual general meeting on Thursday to choose between Rangers' current board and a requisition group led by Paul Murray and Malcolm Murray.

The current board are thought to be safe. Sandy Easdale, who holds 26.62 per cent of the shares, Laxey Partners (an Isle of Man hedge fund with 11.64 per cent of the shares), Artemis, Mike Ashley and Richard Hughes of Zeus Partners will back the current leadership. Their votes would produce a total of 54.67 per cent.

Football club uses crowdfunding

The first club in the UK to use crowdfunding as a means of raising revenue to improve facilities at its ground and grow its fan base has generated £10,000 in the first week. Scottish League One club, East Fife FC is using a novel form of investment that seeks to attract small sums from a large number of people to raise, up to £100,000 to fund the development of a new club shop, a bar/café and a 750 seater-stand.

Should Celtic have splashed out?

Would Celtic have avoided an early exit from the Champions League, and a failure to get a consolation place in the Europa League, if they had spent more on transfers?   Possibly, but an alternative view is that they have followed a prudent policy of living within their means.

A more fundamental question is how far a team can develop commercially and on the pitch within Scottish football.  But that is a question that has been asked for a long time and has never found an answer.

Why did big investors take stakes in Rangers?

Football clubs are not generally seen as good investments. They don't usually pay dividends and the chances of making gains through capital appreciation are not good with a few rare exceptions. The Glazers might bring it off with Manchester United, given that the money for the purchase was largely borrowed.

The main motivation for investment, usually involving foreign buyers, is for a trophy investment which brings with it prestige, an enhanced profile or political insurance.

Rangers chief executive quits

The chief executive of Rangers quit today after less than six months in the job, deepening the off-field problems facing the club as it tries to recover from financial collapse. Rangers made a loss of £14m in the 13 months to June.

Rangers said that CEO Craig Mather had left by mutual consent, giving no reason for his departure. He appears to be the victim of a struggle for boardroom control of the club which listed on the AIM stock exchange last December.

More pillaging than the Vikings at Rangers?

A critical analyis of the audited accounts at Rangers suggest that they reveal a level of pillaging comparable to that carried out by the Vikings (although presumably not with the same level of violence or with gold encrusted swords).   It's all a bit duller these days and executed by men in grey suits not wearing helmets.

New concerns about Rangers finances

New concerns have been raised about the finances of Rangers and fans have expressed a fear that the club could enter administration again.   The club has been losing around £1m a month and although there is still £11m in cash, that amount could be quickly eroded.