For many to see Rangers go into administration last week was a sad day. As we know football clubs are much more than businesses and much more than watching 22 men kick a ball around a park for 90 minutes; they come with large numbers of supporters who care passionately about the fortunes of their club. They feel the club belongs to them as much as it belongs to the actual financial owners. I think there are two business continuity lessons from Rangers going into administration. Firstly I think the administrators have recognised that there are lots of stakeholders of the club including the employees, creditors, general public, HMRC and supporters and have made a lot of effort in having daily Q&A sessions to try to keep all these stakeholders informed of what is going on. I think this shows good practice at incident management.
My second point, which I think is more important, is that the Rangers administration came to many as a surprise, while to others this was an obvious conclusion and entirely foreseeable. Football clubs like any business if they spend more than they have in income will eventually go into administration. When the new Rangers owner Craig Whyte came in, there was great hope that he would be able to inject lots more money into the club and sort out its financial problems. The new owner neither seemed to have the money, business plan or the willingness to turn the club around. With each twist of the tale up to administration, there was a lot of hope that the club would be saved, but to many this looked like a car crash in slow motion with the end inevitable.
I think the Rangers situation is very, very similar to the crisis in the Eurozone. Each time the Greek Government is forced to vote for a new austerity measure or there is a European summit, there is a claim that this will be the one which sorts out the crisis but deadlines come and go and the crisis does not seem to be sorted. Is the end of the Euro in its existing format inevitable and should we be planning at least for a Greek fall out of the Euro and possibly the collapse of the whole Euro currency? I think in hindsight whatever happens with the Euro zone, we should think about how it will affect your organisation as I think some break up is inevitable.
Just a post script on this one, these are two well known incidents which have been on our TV and newspapers for weeks. Could your organisation be susceptible to a less high profile incident and with hindsight should you have seen it coming?