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Analysis: is Blue Knight Paul Murray fighting a losing battle?

Hugh Macdonald

Wednesday 21 August 201

 

THE shifting quicksands of the Rangers saga have consumed a variety of personalities.

 

Charles Green, the bluff Yorkshireman from central casting, joined the ranks yet again of those who have been banished from the drama on the south side but a more significant character now has a leading role in what will happen at Ibrox.

 

The name of Paul Murray was absent from a Rangers statement in the wake of the dismissal of Green as a consultant but it does not require the combined skills of Interpol to deduce that he forms a block to any immediate resolution to the boardroom problems.

 

To summarise the plot so far, if somewhat crudely: there is a move from outside the boardroom to remove Brian Stockbridge, Craig Mather and Bryan Smart and replace them with Frank Blin and Murray. A club statement last night read: "This board has been working tirelessly to find an intelligent solution to the request for a general meeting and all of the directors are open to sensible and reasonable additions. For instance, the board are not against Frank Blin becoming a director but do have reservations about other proposals.''

 

When it comes to Murray, some on the board have more reservations than the Apaches. There was a feeling of relief that Green had gone, a belief among his opponents that a metaphorical stake had finally been placed through the heart of the significant shareholder, but there was also an anxiety about his almost diabolical powers of recovery.

 

The most pressing difficulty for Rangers, however, centres on Murray. The opposition group could make a compromise by suggesting Blin, former executive chairman of PricewaterhouseCoopers Scotland, is joined on the board by A.N Other. Jim McColl, part of the outside group, would not consider such a role but the more intriguing aspect is the willingness or otherwise of Murray to relinquish his attempt to join a board that needs stability.

 

The indications last night were surprising concrete given the fluidity of events at Ibrox. First, it seems there exists a strong aversion to bringing in Murray from among existing board members. Second, there was no sign of Murray issuing any sort of statement saying he would fall on his sword to facilitate peace, at least for the present.

 

The objections are believed to be both personal and on matters of business. The accountant was part of the board before Craig Whyte bought the club and is seen by some as part of the problem rather than part of the solution. One City source said: "Murray had his chance to influence matters when he was on the board and then had his chance with the Blue Knights. There is no mood among some on the board to bring him back into the fold.''

 

The private concerns are shrouded in claim and counter claim. The Rangers story has been extraordinarily messy with dirt thrown in all directions. Information has leaked steadily. Murray, rightly or wrongly, has been suspected as one of those who have used media outlets to his advantage. If true, he would stand in a crowded dock as the briefings have come from almost every source, every faction.

 

However, the fog of war has cleared just a little over Ibrox. Green has been sacked, disposed of by an increasingly frustrated and determined Mather. There is now an opportunity for compromise and even, heaven forfend, resolution of the boardroom struggle. This could come in a variety of forms. Two options are most likely. The first is Murray stands down and the McColl group is allowed to bring in Blin and an unspecified ally. The second is that Murray, backed by McColl, stands his ground and maintains his attempt to come on to the board. This eventuality would be fast-tracked by the approval of a vote at the extraordinary general meeting.

 

The crux of the matter is this: if the McColl group is sure of the support of a group of shareholders, it will feel it has no need to sacrifice the candidature of Murray. McColl and his cohorts will flex their muscle and the Blue Room will undergo yet another change of cast. Mather, it must be presumed, would not wait to be pushed and Stockbridge and Smart would face a limited future.

 

There are a couple of possible twists, of course. This is a Rangers story, after all. The first is Murray could step aside temporarily, peace could break out and he could then be brought on board at a later stage. The second is that the present board finds enough support to win any vote. There is also the possibility of hearing the less than dulcet tones of Green joining the increasingly raucous debate. He may be gone but no one will be surprised at another scene-stealing interruption from the former chief executive.

 

However, the narrative is now about Murray. Will he walk away or will he pursue his ambition to be on the board?

 

History suggests it be latter option. The arithmetic will decide whether the erstwhile Blue Knight finally lands his prize.

 

http://www.heraldscotland.com/sport/football/analysis-is-blue-knight-paul-murray-fighting-a-losing-battle.1377061992

Edited by Zappa
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The reason that Murray has said nothing - so far- is because McColl has told both him and Blin to keep quiet while he (McColl) handles the negotiations.

 

Personally, I think that Mather may well survive and keep his job. He has been cleverly sitting on the fence and he does have a significant shareholding in his own right. I also think Stockbridge might survive although I think he is grossly overpaid for what he does.

 

Quite clearly, Blin is welcome. It is a bit hard to say no to that kind of pedigree. Who A.N. Other might be I have no idea although I am willing to listen to offers if Rangers need me. However, I feel that Paul Murray may end up being a casualty of war here.

 

The big issue is who might give way. McColl clearly wants the Green camp out of Ibrox and that probably means Smart and possibly the Easedales. McColl will want to give Blin and A.N. Other a majority on the Board otherwise why bother? So I don't think this is over as yet. The bargaining has begun. Let us see where it goes.

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I hate to sound paranoid, but the writer of that piece is a chronic celtc apologist and about as objective on our future as Jim Spence.

 

I'll take anything he says with a big old bag of Saxa.

 

Added to which, it's all been said (and better) on here already. No need for this kind of parasite these days.

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BTW, could it be that McColl uses Murray here as a "red herring", knowing full well that some on the board will object to him. McColl's main aim is to get Blin on board though and he could thus "easily sacrifice" the red herring to get his prime objective. Just saying ...

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BTW, could it be that McColl uses Murray here as a "red herring", knowing full well that some on the board will object to him. McColl's main aim is to get Blin on board though and he could thus "easily sacrifice" the red herring to get his prime objective. Just saying ...

 

No point in getting Blin on if he is in a minority.

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At the end of the day it all comes down to potential board numbers. There's no point in accepting one person on the board if you're going to be outvoted on issues.

 

Murray may well be sacrificed for someone else: I'd actually see that as a strength rather than a weakness if McColl (and Murray for that matter) conceded there may be a more suitable candidate whom would be more readily acceptable by investors and fans. Remember, fans will be asked to invest again too next year if a share issue does go ahead.

 

There will be another couple of days of negotiations ahead before the EGM is ratified or not, We can be sure both factions will be eager to do a deal to avoid that while also continuing to tot up their backing to deliver a majority at any future meeting.

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No point in getting Blin on if he is in a minority.

 

I'm still not entirely convinced whether there will be a majority/minority problem in months to come. People like to point out at Green's side here and his opposition there. By the looks of it, Green and Ahmad will be out of the equation soon enough, so why would e.g. the Easdales work in opposition to Blin? At the end of the day, they all, whether Bluenoses or money-grabbing investors, will want the club to move forward and improving in results on all levels. Would they object to a shrewd business brain looking to achieve that?

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Getting rid of mini would be a massive boost to this 'group'.

 

Yeah, rightly or wrongly he's become a bit of a Mark Dingwall type figure.

 

There has to be an acceptable alternative out there somewhere - someone who ticks the "Proven Business Ability", and "Rangers Comes First" boxes, but who hasn't tarnished his/her reputation by getting involved in mudslinging or previous failures.

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The analysis of the piece is an exercise in the obvious.

 

Last month, I listened to the Herald's Chief Sports Writer on Cosgrove and Cowan telling the listenership he was bored of the machinations at Rangers. Why the obsession with a third tier club, Scotland's Euro ambitions can be satisfied by ra Sellik, Andy Murray provides a more positive image to aspiring Scottish youngsters, ...................... etc. Today, he is penning a piece on Paul Murray's waning ambitions, Spiers is in the same paper telling us Chuck was misunderstood and a bit of a Curate's egg, and Richard Wilson provides summation and conclusion. In short, ra Herald's three lead football stories are all about the Rangers.

 

Is there a direct correlation between ra Sellik's failure against Shakhter Haughmagandy and their three main sports stories involving the on going crisis at Ibrox? Certainly, it has lifted the gloom for the usual suspects in the comments section; three times the contributions to Rangers stories as opposed to their beloved green'n'grey hooped horrors.

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