(The Tyson Zone is an idea from an old Bill Simmons mailbag on ESPN.com. It is thusly defined:
“The Tyson Zone is the status an athlete or celebrity reaches when his or her behaviour becomes so outrageous that one would believe any story or anecdote about the person, no matter how shocking or bizarre.”)
Amid all the delays and deadlines and real bids, fake bids, conditional bids, accepted bids, last-minute bids and revamped bids one thing has occasionally slipped from view in the race to rescue The Rangers.
Craig Whyte is still the owner and still the man who has to be placated, made an offer he can’t refuse or bribed sufficiently to spend the rest of his days in a country free from extradition treaty.
Your guess is as good as any other as to whether his shareholding can be secured, whether Duff and Phelps can solve this problem (is he truly not an ‘impediment’?) or whether any deal involving Ticketus can really move forward while they continue to announce plans for (and we’re entering legal jargon here so beware) ‘a square go with the bam’.
The following appeared on the website this evening, the source involved has been accurate of late but one needn’t necessarily believe it all to be 100% true in order to appreciate that (based on some leaks of late in the press) it’s unlikely to be far from wholly accurate.
High-placed source within one of the bidding groups claims Whyte’s demands are as follows:
- Ticketus to agree to no legal recourse after the transfer of shares
- A shareholding to be retained 'in his family' (not sure of the significance of that - any clever legal Bears explain?) Shareholding of between 20-25%.
- A lifetime non-executive directorship.
- His dealings in the takeover and last 12 months to be fully exonerated by whoever takes over.
At a push, one might believe that the first one could, as it were, fly.
From there we begin the descent into a mad world where reality not only doesn’t bite, but the cuddly animals talk to the master.
As with most aspects of this affair there’s more than a suspicion of a giant game of poker being played, with the hands of those involved often disguised to the point where one suspects some extra cards may be hidden up a sleeve or in a hat.
Were, let’s say, TBK to be named preferred bidder they will have to deal with Whyte and most likely would anticipate having to find a way to make him disappear while giving him enough cash to seek the favours and company of some fine ladies. Bill Miller claims he would sling a deafy to Whyte and Ticketus, although this could be filed also under bluff and poker braggadocio.
But if you’re dealing with someone who is unreliable, unpredictable and so stubborn and removed from reality (he really believes he could come back to Ibrox and sit in the Directors’ Box!) then this is an incredibly difficult situation.
It may, in the end, be a case simply of naming a figure high enough but the indications are that Craig Whyte’s bizarre and byzantine behavioural traits show no sign of change.
It might also be helpful – in one of the daily updates to the delays and deadlines – if Duff and Phelps could help us out with some information on all of this, instead of saving the potentially bad news for a day that will never come.