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Has a bit of me. me, me running through it/

 

 

The audit is taking place now. Deloittes are doing that. We expect it to be completed by the third week of September at the latest. As part of that audit, they will have to give us a clean bill of health and we've got the cash reserves to have the 12 months going concern signed-off. This is the basis on how they do audits and accounts everywhere so there will be nothing special in this. We are really positive about the cash balance. There is a lot emphasis being put on the club and club's finances and the cash balance but, if you look at Scottish football and football in general, how many clubs in the world would love to say they own the stadium, they own the training ground, they own the parking facilities, they own Edmiston House, they have no debt, they own all the players, there is no cash owed on a player, and they have £10m in the bank? It is not a bad position. One of the predicaments is when everyone looks at where the cash has gone . . . in certain instances people are making a big play for a number. They do not take into consideration the running costs.

 

Let me give you a quick back-of-a-fag-packet summation: £22m raised at Initial Public Offering [iPO], season tickets sales for last season circa £10m gross, that's £8m net of Vat, so you have £30m. A club of this size and stature had running costs when it was acquired of over £3m a month. If you do the maths that is £36m and we have taken in £30m, so there is a deficit there. We bought Edmiston House for £1m, we bought Albion car park for £1.6m, we have taken in a percentage of season ticket sales for this season, and we have £10m. That is a very positive position, rather than a negative position that certain people in certain media outlets are taking pleasure in making it out to be rather than taking into consideration running costs.

 

Rangers will not run out of money?

 

No. Categorically no.

 

There will still have to be additional investment, though?

 

No. From a cash revenue perspective the situation is there is only a small percentage of that £10m that is season ticket money for this season. When everyone is talking about all the season ticket money, that is not the case [some season ticket money is paid by direct debit] . In that number of £10m that is not all the season ticket money, only a percentage of season ticket money. So between now and the end of next season, as part of a going concern basis, they will have to sign off that we have no need to raise cash. That will be a great barometer for the club.

 

There is, though, a running deficit of £6m so there will have to be cost-cutting?

 

Yes. A lot of this has been done. Over the last few months we have worked tirelessly at cutting costs, creating a fixed cost base that is reduced, robust and will allow us to grow as we move back up the leagues. As an example, we have taken £1m of costs out of facilities. We have brought security back in house. We've renegotiated a catering contract, we have done a new deal with Puma. They have greatly enhanced the business and the cash flow. We have had discussions with certain individuals within the building. We have restructured. We have made sure the right people are in the right place. The cost base has come down significantly and that does not include the player wage bill.

 

Is there any scope for reducing the salaries of current employees, most notably the managerial team?

 

If we look at the bigger earners, Brian Stockbridge has come out and said he is not going to take a bonus for winning the league. Alistair [McCoist] has said he is going to talk about his pay package and we have already had discussions on this and these are ongoing. He is very open-minded and positive about change, about addressing that. I have done the same. There is a lot of positivity out there. Every single high earner is taking it on the chin about where we are and addressing that and looking to build for Rangers.

 

So high earners are actively involved in discussions to reduce their own wages?

 

Yes, they are happy to discuss their salaries and look at the position Rangers are in and address that. I have not had any negative discussion with any individual.

 

Why was Charles Green brought back and did you support that?

 

I won't create any kind of conjecture within the board. Charles was brought back, Charles has left the club, he is gone and we start a new chapter. He won't be back. He acknowledges that as well. The board made a decision and I looked at the views of our fans and reacted quickly and decisively to address that.

 

Who pushed for Media House and did you support that?

 

There is slight misconception regarding Media House. Media House were here anyway. Media House had a contract here that came to an end in August and we renewed that. All we have done is carry on that contract. It is not a case of we never dealt with Media House and now they are back.

 

Are you aware of some fans' antipathy to this contract given perceived links with Craig Whyte?

 

I am well aware and the board is well aware. There was a discussion that took place at board level regarding do we give Media House another contract or do we terminate the contract? In the media there was a lot of negativity towards Rangers, a lot of negativity in various media, and we felt that having access to as many advisers as possible in the current climate would be advisable for the club.

 

The fans have been very vocal about the way that certain media have portrayed Rangers, be they written or verbal. We felt we had a duty of care to the fans to ensure we could give them the best defence against those people who want to do Rangers down.

 

What about a Media House executive allegedly denigrating John Greig in an email?

 

John Greig is a legend. I have tried on numerous occasions, through numerous people to see if he would come back to the club. At this stage, that has not happened but I would love to see him back here. I do not know anything about that but I have asked people to go digging on that and come back with a mini-report so I can judge that accordingly. But as that stands, I do not have enough information to comment further.

 

Is an egm inevitable?

 

No. We talk about the media, we talk about certain games played within the media, I worked very, very hard not to get involved in using the media tool to play games or to have a game of tennis over a fence. I have worked hard to negotiate with the requisitioners and I want personally, and the board want, the right people there. We have had discussions with a number of people we believe would be great chairmen but the biggest problem is that there is no chairman worth their salt who is going to get involved at this stage.

 

They will want to wait until the egm/agm is done. If there is a middle ground, and they see that the egm doesn't happen, I believe there is the opportunity to convince the right individual or individuals to join the board and drive the club forward. The board, contrary to media and some public opinion, have, behind the scenes, been working tirelessly and well and as a unit. It is unfortunate that the egm requisitioners did not feel the need to pick up the phone. On the 31st of July I had a number of employees speaking to me, telling me it was the best they had felt for the last four or five years. Yet on the first of August, I had to pick them up off the floor. We went from on average selling 175 season tickets a day to selling three a day on the back of that egm scenario.

 

I was very disappointed to read about Jim McColl saying 'no compromise, I want Mather out.' I rang Jim McColl and said: 'What's happening?' I asked him to send me a message to state if the article was accurate. He wrote back saying: 'I was disgusted at the headline and the article . . . which was an unwarranted attack on you. It grossly misrepresented the tone of the discussions I had with the journalist. In my various discussions with you, I have found you to be a very straightforward and courteous individual, totally focused on trying to resolve the current situation.'

 

You could work with Jim McColl?

 

Happily. I have asked Jim McColl to come on board. But that is not what he wants, he does not want to do it on a day- to-day basis.

 

But you could not work with Paul Murray?

 

What I have said is that when you are looking at the board and how you are going to improve the board, I want to know what someone is going to bring to the party, whether they can positively impact on the dynamic. How are they going to positively impact on decision-making and I am talking to Frank Blin later today and will have a chat about finding a compromise and moving forward. That is in the best interest of Rangers. If Paul Murray can show me he can bring something positive to the party, I am more than happy to listen.

 

How much have you invested in the club?

 

I have a significant investment that is around £1m. This is the reason I want stability. I have two hats: one as chief executive, the other as an investor. When the fans are looking in they can rest assured that I will make the decision that is not only right for the club but is right for a large number of shareholders who are fans out there. I would not sit in this hot seat if I felt I could not make a difference and if I felt that the club was not moving in the right direction. I would have sold my shares and got out. I am not selling my shares, I am moving forward. The business is in a positive position. I do not believe the leadership in the club is in question. I am working hard and well with Alistair. Walter [smith] was very positive about me when he left, saying he hoped I would be given the chance to carry on with the job. I am positive on all fronts. I want stability. I want what is best for the fans, investors, shareholders and employees.

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Part Two .

 

Walter Smith called the board 'dysfunctional'?

 

The night before Walter left the board he came round to my house to apologise to me and my wife. He had openly said in interviews he did not feel he was a plc animal and I think that he felt the role was thrust upon him. He stepped up to the plate and did the right thing by Rangers yet again, but a lot of the decision-making and the politics, which you get in any business, he did not like it.

 

There were decisions made that he did not agree with. When you have a plc there is a voting system. I can understand how Walter found that frustrating. I can look through his eyes and see how that was frustrating. I felt for the man. I have had conversations with him since. I see him as a friend. I think Walter is not gone, he will be back here.

 

In what respect?

 

He will definitely be back here as a fan sitting in the directors' box. If I could get him back, I would have him back tomorrow because he is a great ambassador for the club, he is a genuine guy, he is very methodical and has common sense. He was always a good ally for me.

 

Was the bringing back of Charles Green a sign of a dysfunctional board?

 

Charles would never have come back if it wasn't for the egm coming in. There was never a discussion regarding Charles until the egm came in.

 

Did you have a relationship with Charles pre-dating Rangers?

 

No, I didn't know any of them.

 

Is there any scope to introduce an independent remuneration committee?

 

I have no problem with that being discussed. I came here and I took the role and I did not know what I was going to be paid. That is the truth. There were various discussions about the previous incumbent and incumbents before that and I said that if I am on something lower than anyone who has been here then that is fair, isn't it? That is what happened. If you look at the size of club and the hours that are worked - for example, yesterday I was up at 5am and on the phone until 1am the next day - I am committed to this. I want to make a difference and I will make a difference.

 

Ask anyone who knows me, I won't walk away, I will go in to bat. The fans challenged me with a number of things and I believe that so far I have delivered. I have reduced the wage bill by over £1m, I have brought in eight new players that give us a chance of progression through the leagues.

 

We have enhanced the balance sheet. We have signed the top goalscorer in the United Kingdom. All these players have come in on lower numbers than any other player before. Players like Nicky Law, if he had not been out of contract he would have fetched between £500,000 and £1m at least. We have done good business.

 

What about spending £80,000 on an egm while paying Media House to defend you too?

 

Media House already had a contract. This is a renewal. On top of that, I was the man banging the drum saying I am not prepared to have an egm separate to an agm. It is a ridiculous cost. We should not be spending and luckily Jim McColl saw sense and managed to convince the rest of the requisitioners to see sense and back down. The egm may go ahead but equally there is ongoing discussions and I would like to believe that common sense will prevail and it won't go ahead.

 

Why have you stayed?

 

Everyone who knows me knows I am not a quitter. This is a stressful job but my wife said to me that this is the most relaxed she has seen me looking for the last two years. I feel positive about where I am. The number of fans who stop me on the street, send letters in stating they believe in me, believe that I will make a difference. I have not picked a side. I have played with a totally straight bat. I have tried to do the right thing by the club even though it has cost me money. I have ensured there is transparency. I am principled. I won't tell people I will do a job and then sell them down the river. That is not me.

 

But, equally, if an egm comes along and I get voted off then I am a big lad. I will take it on the chin like a man and I will have to go. I am quite pragmatic. If people don't want you and then vote that way, then that's fine. But, as it stands, the majority of people that I speak to are all supporting me.

 

What would you have done differently?

 

In the early interviews I was learning my trade and you make certain statements and you think: 'Why?'

 

You learn something every day. There are always things you could have done slightly differently. I believe that if the requisitioners could turn back the clock and just ring me then I think they would. But once you start the process, the process is in motion. I am a quick learner, though, and I will continue to drive the club forward honourably, positively and in an ethical manner.

 

So no share issue on the immediate horizon?

 

No. We do not need to raise cash.

 

What is the vision?

 

I want a majority of fans to have a voice. We have spoken about introducing a membership scheme and giving more people a voice. It should never be about who shouts loudest. Then fans can influence things that happen at the club, whether it is the colour of the strip, the food we serve, the half-time entertainment. I have nothing against fans having a bigger say in the running of the club. We have to get the mechanism in place to facilitate that. I want to introduce - and we are in tentative and early discussions with the council and the police - a fan zone. We have a lot of travelling fans who do not have anywhere to go when they arrive. At Edmiston House we have two trains of thought, with and without a casino partner. The likelihood is we will knock it down and rebuild it and it would be a mega store, casino and banqueting facility. We are continually restructuring, bringing in new business partners.

 

I want to drive revenue towards youth development so we can get the best talent in the country and further afield. These are all things that are moving ahead.

 

How far are Rangers from European football?

 

This is why the business plan is imperative. When - not if - we get back to the top flight then it is not a case of finishing second or third. That is not good enough for Rangers fans. I know that. We have to win. We have to generate revenues, build year on year. There is a lot happening behind the scenes on youth talent so we are building for when we get back. We have the perfect foundation. This club has no debt. We have a clean bill of health. We have cash in the bank. We have to build organically and methodically to get back to the top flight to compete. To win. We have to win. Alistair knows that. We need to win.

 

Who is the ideal candidate to be chairman?

 

We want someone who understands the plc world. They have to understand Rangers and what it means to so many people and have a clear mind so that they can make decisions that are both rational and objective. There are a few names in the hat. They are very well-regarded in the business world and a couple of them are well-regarded in a footballing sense.

 

We will get the right man. But they do not want to walk in now. They want to wait until there is calm.

 

http://www.heraldscotland.com/sport/football/exclusive-interview-mather-and-commander-has-firm-hand-on-the-ibrox-tiller.22009270

 

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You're right, there is a lot of 'me,me me' in this Q&A. I think there has to be because he's using this platform to further sell himself to the fans. However, he does give us a bit of vision for Rangers' future. He's giving us a similar type of speech that Whyte and Green gave us to a point, but I find myself wanting to believe that he's genuine. Maybe I'm just weary after the last few years, but still cynical enough to adopt a 'wait and see' attitude. I do hope he brings all the factions together and can do the best for Rangers. We'll see.

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Don't remember them making all this fuss about cost when the Easdales were trying to force an EGM. I would liked to ask him why we have two PR companies both earning thousands of pounds a month from the Club. I don't see how it enhances the Club's image when MH are issuing threats against the representatives of a substantial, number of share holders.

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I dont think his reponses to Media house and Green questioning fills me with any confidence - seemed to dodge the actual question posed to him.

 

i have often wondered what folk (Walter and McColl) have seen in Mather throughout this entire charade - for the life of me i just cant seem to shake this impression that he is not the man we need!

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Don't know whether I am missing something? Mather suggests that McColl has apologised for a misleading newspaper article, attributed to him. Mather also says he.could work with McColl. However, Mc Coll's position remains that he wants to see the back of Mather along with Stockbridge and Smart. Some response from McColl and/or his representatives on what Mather has said would be helpful. The MH explanation is confusing. We were led to believe that the club had dispensed with their services but Mather is now saying that is not the case.

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Did you have a relationship with Charles pre-dating Rangers?

 

''No, I didn't know any of them.''

 

Really Craig?

 

"I met Charles Green a while ago and we have a few common contacts," said Mather. "He put the idea to me, and I've always been a lover of football.

 

"I've been to a number of the Old Firm clashes and I remember going there as a younger boy and having goosebumps listening to the roar, and I couldn't imagine that it would never happen again.

 

"That was how it started. I had various meeting with Charles and the team and had a look at the facilities at Murray Park - and it went from there."

 

http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/0/football/18893159

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