Dave King and the future of Rangers

Last updated : 21 May 2015 By Grandmaster Suck


He’s sphinx-like - he doesn't give much away. You probably won’t see him offering tea and buns to the season ticket queues. His delivery isn’t media-friendly - he isn’t Barnum & Bailey like David Murray or Charles Green were.  He’ll be more business-like than show business.

He also has a habit of leaving things until he thinks they need to be done - campaigners last summer were going bonkers behind the scenes wanting more visible leadership over the season ticket trust scheme but he stuck to his guns and did things his way: it’s one of the prerogatives of power but it did show a certain remoteness from the punters fighting the ground war.

So, get used to the fact he won’t be constantly in the media selling Ibrox-branded snake oil!



There are two parts to this - his personal track record per se and his travails with Rangers and also the South African tax authorities.

He got mugged by David Murray for £20m. But then again - we all got mugged by David Murray. It would have been easy to walk away and enjoy his life in South Africa after a beating like that - but he chose to come back in when the club needed him.

He first reached out to certain fans in 2010 - he realised that where the club was headed under David Murray was catastrophe central. One by one the other decent Board members came to the same realisation. Too much too little too late might be their epitaphs on that one - but I’m sure we’ve all fought a few losing battles in our time. The point is - he fought the good fight.  

He stuck in until ousted by Craig Whyte - I’ve heard the usual media suspects bleating “he stayed on Craig Whyte’s board until the bitter end” as if he was a co-conspirator. Directors have rights to see documents and demand answers - the problem with Whyte was the scale of his duplicity. And very few of those self-same critics had much to say about Craig Whyte until Paul Murray blew the gaff on him - and even then it took months for some of them to wake up and revise their positions.

His tax battles in South Africa went on for years - the scale of the numbers involved make your eyes water.   Despite being the economic powerhouse of Africa the RSA is also a country which suffers from many parts of its civil and legal life being subject to the undue influence of politics - and the politics of a Brit prospering from huge privatisations would loom large in his travails.

Journalists and those with an agenda scour for nuggets which support their contentions - they do not seek the truth, nor balance nor fairness.  They look for the biggest numbers they can find and the juiciest quotes and ignore the rest.  King came out of his litigation essentially paying back a percentage of profits and having his wrist slapped.  Did he serve a day in jail?  No he didn’t but to settle he and SARS obviously agreed on a settlement and form of words in that settlement which both could claim as victory. Guess what - where money is involved both parties in a dispute claim absolute purity.

As a sad case who actually bothers to read the opinions given with regard to things like our EBT cases I often wonder if those paid handsomely to comment on such issues in the media actually do so themselves.  Look behind the headline and work out for yourself what was actually paid and what the commitments were.



Way back when King said to a few of us that the revival of the club would be £50m over five years to do it right.  He also predicted that the money Green was raising and the way it was being spent would see us reach the top division with the bank book empty.

He also - and this is where those of you with a more romantic view of football may care to look away - said that only hard cash would solve our problems. Not promises or elaborate “kiss and wish” plans but large amounts of unencumbered capital able to put a team on the park and undertake the urgent remedial work the stadium requires.

The naysayers have been shrieking “where the %^*& is his £30million?”.  He’ll put in what is needed in partnership with people like Dougie Park, George Letham et al and ordinary Joes like you and me. I have no doubt of that. And he’ll put it in when it is needed - he’s an accountant, he’ll make his money work for him not sit unused in a Rangers bank account and then put it in when the club needs it. He said he’ll match other investors pound for pound and I trust him to do so.

Fans will play a part in this and it can be huge but two points to bear in mind - the sums we need are massive, many fans think they have already done their part with the Green investment and that share issue may actually have harmed what we can take in with future share issues.  Lastly, and many may not want to hear this, fans are the major investors in the club through sales of tickets, merchandise, TV packages etc - the number of shareholders compared to our support has always been very small.  So get used to the idea of partnership with punters like you and I giving what we can and those whose talents have provided them with great wealth contributing what they can - it might not be a democracy but it provides safety.



He doesn’t live in our day-to-day so don’t expect a public hanging and flogging of recalcitrant journalists or flute bands at half time. He has surrounded himself and worked mostly with people I trust from judging their performance in the dark days - Paul Murray, John Gilligan, Dougie Park, George Letham, John Bennett - they will all have made mistakes but for the most part they honourably stayed the course. No doubt we’ll see a few hangers-on who hedged their bets with Green, Llambias etc crawl out from under the rocks but such creatures are sadly just a fact of life.

This first twelve months I expect to be mostly unglamorous fire-fighting and problem solving rather than a land of milk and honey.



I expect it will be typically hard-nosed considering the likely state of Scottish football now and for the foreseeable future.

In real terms it will be wining the top league seven out of ten seasons once we are competitive. Before we have the hysteria kick in: this is reality not day dreaming we are talking about here. In Europe it will be to get into the groups stages of the Champions League two out of every three seasons we qualify - obviously the Scottish coefficient depends on the number of places available and the route to the group stages.

The team will be a mixture of hardened old pros bought in and mixed with an increased number of youth players - the rules changes regarding youth development now make it more sensible to invest at a higher level in youth and I expect this to expand but not to rival the Ajax model.



Early on in this campaign to free our club from the clutches of the shysters King said that fans can’t do this by themselves. He was true to a point. But rich blokes could never have done it by themselves either. It was that small army of fans who leafleted, campaigned, educated, went into the media, faced legal threats, etc who created the conditions in which a weakened and discredited  regime were forced out. Ordinary people who gave of their time and talents and cash - in a way similar to what King and his colleagues have done.

In the dark days of the campaign we said we were fighting the ground war while King and Co fought the air war. Together we won.

Now it’s up to King, and us, to win the peace and make our club truly secure and successful.