Martin Bain asks for government help as Rangers prepare to sell Kenny Miller


Taxi time

Rangers have asked the Scottish government to help them bring foreign stars to the SPL!

Previewing the Champions League draw from Monaco in an interview with The Sun Martin Bain has spelt out the consequences of losing direct entry to the Champions League and appealed for government backing.

In the middle of the worst economic crisis in 50 years and with the police, education and health service facing major cutbacks the notion of public subsidies for football clubs is a non-starter.

Failing to see the obvious contradictions in his argument Bain talks up Rangers move for Nikica Jelavic which is likely to be funded by the sale of Kenny Miller before the current transfer window closes.

The Rangers chief said: “Our government has to sit up and recognise that if the co-efficient continues to diminish, and big clubs are not given assistance by the national team and infrastructure, that the whole Scottish economy suffers.

“These big Champions League games have created income from TV rights for clubs. But they have also brought fans into our country. And those fans have spent money.

“This isn’t just a football problem. It’s about tourism and has got many wider social ramifications.”

It’s almost laughable to think that either the Edinburgh or London governments will be having sleepless nights over the plunging co-efficient of Scottish football.

Less than 5,000 travelling fans from Stuttgart, Seville and Unirea Urziceni travelled to Glasgow for last season’s Champions League matches with none of the games sold-out.

For over a decade the SFA have been asking the government to invest in grassroots football but have only the indoor facility at Toryglen to show for their efforts.

Government subsidy for professional football clubs is a non starter and would spark a public outcry against a background of the biggest public spending cuts in a generation.

Rangers financial difficulties are well known and self inflicted after years of overspending yet Bain feels that football deserves special assistance.

This season will be the last in which the SPL champions gain automatic entry to the Champions League with Bain fearful of the consequences of losing out on a £14m windfall from UEFA.

He claimed: “This is not just a problem which will affect Scottish football – it’s one which will affect the Scottish economy.

“All Scottish clubs will find it harder to be at the top table after this year. It will be tough to repeat the romantic folklore nights which we have dined out on for so many years.

“We face a real threat, unless something is done by government, of a change in our whole culture. I can’t over-emphasise the point.

“Our government has to sit up and recognise that if the co-efficient continues to diminish, and big clubs are not given assistance by the national team and infrastructure, that the whole Scottish economy suffers.”

While pleading for government help Rangers are preparing to donate £4m to the Austrian economy to provide employment for a Croatian striker!

Nikica Jelavic should have his case for a work permit heard by the SFA today with the striker widely reported to have signed a four year contract that could be worth £20,000 a week.

As Rangers state their case to for signing Jelavic Scotland striker Miller is likely to be sold to help finance the deal.

Bain admitted: “We had to decide whether to go the way of quality or the way of quantity.

“We have gone down the fork of quality and pursued our targets. With a limited resource, we have managed to land the targets we wanted.”

With less than a year to go on his current deal Miller has been asked to take a pay cut which he has refused to consider.

Bain claimed: “We have made Kenny a second offer and we feel it’s a good offer. We’d like him to stay, there is no doubt about that. Talks have been amicable and constructive. We are waiting to hear from Kenny.”

Any seasoned football watcher is able to read between those lines and realise that Miller’s days are numbered with the striker likely to join Kris Boyd and Kevin Thomson out of Ibrox.

There may be a case for government investment in football for primary and secondary school children but in the current economic climate the timing of Bain’s plea for help couldn’t be more detached from reality.

As the football authorities prepare to rubber stamp Jelavic’s work permit application they can hardly turn to the government for hand-outs to boost the economies of Austria and Croatia.

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  • Chris Reilly says:

    Maybe if Rangers had been up front and paid their taxes the Government would be in a better condition to help out Rangers.

    Won’t it be ironic when the Taxman Comes to Rangers the establishment club and imposes a fine that could just put a large gaping hole in Dignity FC.

  • jocky bhoy says:

    Spot on – Rangers use of dodgy off-shore accounting procedures to help players get out of paying their fair share of income tax is known to all.

    Anyway, Mr Bain, the Huns are effectively are being helped by the government already – the government has a major shareholding in Lloyds/HBOS who control the Huns.

    And the little money they do have they are sending over to Austria anyway – no exactly helping stimulate the Scottish economy.

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