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  1. Since it's the club's AGM today I thought I'd spend a few mins putting together our own wee message to our members this festive season. In particular, due to losing a couple of folk over the last wee while and for another couple of more positive reasons, I'm looking to expand the admin/contributor team over the next few months. For example, it's been a real shame to see the number of match previews drop off and as much as I'm really proud of our podcast output recently, I'm also very keen to retain written articles across the site/forum as much as possible. Thanks to those who have contributed same in recent times (including @Rick Roberts, @Rousseau and @DMAA) it really does help maintain a forum like this when so many people spend time on other social media nowadays. Other stuff like MotM polls, match reviews and player ratings would all be welcome too! Please, please contribute where you can...! Along with improvements to the podcast (if you haven't already, make sure you check out the superb new video format), the main site has been undergoing a redesign over the last few months which I'm hoping to launch early next year. It looks really good and will compliment the pod and forum very nicely. As such, anyone who is interested in web design, graphics or tech generally might want to get involved in that going forward and we're very lucky to have @blueflag who does a brilliant job for us in terms of tech support. We'll also hopefully have some added functionality to all formats over the next year. We already have the odd well-received competition and we'll likely be partnering up with other external organisations to help continue to fund all our activities and software via one or two promotions we think you'll find interesting. One project will benefit both this site and the club directly which you'll know more about next month. To that end, I'm pleased to say the forum software, hosting and podcast platforms have already been funded through 2021 so, whilst Gersnet continues to be a completely free and independent website , I'd politely ask all of our members to try and help that stay the case by not using ad-blockers, clicking through the odd ad and subscribing to/sharing all our platforms where you can. Finally, to the main point of this thread, if you think you have the time and skills to contribute to the site, please give me a shout by PM. Whilst I know writing articles, working on websites, starring on podcasts or producing graphics etc all takes time, any help offered is greatly appreciated and will help keep our site in place for another 20 years and more... May I also take this opportunity to wish all our members a very merry Christmas and all the very best to you and your families for 2021. Thanks to you all for your continued support of our wee site. I hope you all still enjoying using it as much as I do!
    21 points
  2. It’s Not What You Say, But What They Hear I made a mistake last Sunday. In a pique of frustration over the inevitability of much of Saturday night’s events and annoyance over some of the coverage it garnered, I sent a Tweet. As Tweets go it was quite long, and was an attempt to remind people that Rangers supporter’s who fight police officers, or themselves, on a Saturday night in town are no more representative of me, or the vast majority of our support, than the Rangers supporter’s who went bird watching, long distancing running or line dancing are. I wish I hadn’t. I’m not a prolific Tweeter and I rarely Tweet about football. If you want occasional photos of my local park, perhaps some obscure research on birds or the occasional insight into international events, maybe I’m your guy, otherwise best ignore me, I’m there to learn, not teach. Prior to Sunday I doubt I’ve ever sent a Tweet that was ‘liked’ more the a dozen times; I’m not interesting or high profile, and I’m okay with that. An hour or so after pressing ‘Tweet’ I was very surprised to learn over 100 people had liked, retweeted or positively commented on it. Almost all seemed to be fellow Rangers fans who had clearly been feeling something similar. This continued for a few hours, numbers increased and my phone battery complained. A couple of friends texted me to say they’d read it and enjoyed it, even my sister, who I didn’t know even had Twitter, called to mock me. All good so far. Then, sometime around mid-afternoon on Sunday, supporter's of the second best side in Glasgow came across my Tweet. The comments changed. I’ve not read them all, there are simply too many and life is too short, but I got the general gist and some clear themes emerged. My claim that it was a “minority” of Rangers supporters who were involved in any disorder on Saturday was widely ridiculed. Also, I’d failed to mention sectarianism, or “anti-Irish racism” as many seemed to call it. Lastly, that drunken, loutish behaviour is recurring and unique to Rangers supporters. The ‘minority’ issue is easily dealt with. I think it’s fair to say Rangers have somewhere around 500,000 supporters. It might be more than that, it might be less, but I think it’s a conservative estimate to suggest that 10% of the population of Scotland would describe themselves as supporter’s of Rangers. Some of them might be nominal, a club they followed as a child but take less interest now, others will attend every match, home and away. The only definition of a Rangers supporter I accept is that they want Rangers to win. Estimates of the total crowd numbers at Ibrox and later in the city centre vary, somewhere between 10,000 and 20,000. 20,000 people is barely 4% of our support, and it’s worth remembering that Chief Supt Mark Sutherland of Police Scotland described that crowd as “largely peaceful in nature”. Even if someone wants to complain that everyone present was breaking Covid guidelines and so at least technically in breach of restrictions, it doesn’t change the fact that the other 96% of the Rangers support weren’t. As for those who actually engaged in vandalism and violence that was a very small percentage of those present and a tiny fraction of the Rangers support. For me those are simply irrefutable facts. I don’t know what ‘anti-Irish racism’ is. As far as I know the Irish and the Scots are the same race. Having lived in both I can also say that in my experience we’re largely identical in almost every measurable way. I’m unaware of any systemic discrimination towards Irish people in Scotland, certainly not in this century at least. I didn’t mention sectarianism as I was unaware of any taking place. I wasn’t there, and I’ve not watched many of the videos that have been circulating. If there was sectarian singing or chanting then I condemn it. The anti-Catholic chants and songs still exist among a section of our support, and, away from the stadium and often after a few drinks they sometimes make an appearance. I wish they didn’t. I expect our board wish they didn’t and I can only imagine what some of our players must think. It’s embarrassing. It would be disingenuous to say nothing has changed in this regard over the years, but it would be equally wrong to say this has disappeared, it hasn’t. I can understand why someone who feels these chants are directed at them reacts with fury when they hear them. That said it surprises me to see how many people liberally sprinkle the word ‘hun’ around their timelines when questioning my views. The refrain, when challenged, seems to be that the word isn’t sectarian and isn’t an idiom for ‘Protestant’. A ‘hun’ apparently is a Rangers supporter. Unless it’s a Hearts supporter. Or maybe an Airdrie supporter, and sometimes even a Morton or Kilmarnock supporter. This is the thing about the English language, the meaning of words changes over time and between people. My children regularly describe something positive as ‘sick’, this puzzles me and makes me feel old at the same time. The meaning of the word ‘sick’ has changed. I took a trip to Belfast before Covid hit. It’s a city I know quite well having lived there for a while a few decades ago, but it’s also a city that’s going through such huge change that parts of it were unrecognisable to me. I decided to do the first time visitor thing and take a bus tour to reacquaint myself. The Belfast bus tour takes you to places that are famous and infamous. It doesn’t hide its past, you see the city warts and all. We visited various ‘interfaces’. An interface is a euphemism for a border, in Belfast that’s where a republican area meets a loyalist area. These are bleak, people-less areas, dominated by high fences and walls, where territory is clearly marked by graffiti. Much of this graffiti is sadly familiar to a Glaswegian and I’d little trouble understanding just whose territory we were leaving or entering. Something unfamiliar did catch my eye though, 3 letters that made a regular appearance as you entered loyalist areas; KAT, and 3 similar ones when you entered republican areas; KAH. The tour guide explained that KAT stands for ‘Kill All Taigs’ and KAH stands for ‘Kill All Huns’. On the streets of working class Belfast it seems that Taigs are Catholics and Huns are Protestants. Not unsurprisingly I’ve recently started to notice these initials in Glasgow too. Now I’m willing to accept that not everyone who uses the word ‘hun’ does mean all Protestants, but that doesn’t mean it’s not what I hear when it’s said. And while some might not use it that way, others clearly do. Meanings change, it’s all of our jobs to keep up with that change, not just Rangers supporters. Lastly, why is it always Rangers? This takes us directly into ‘whataboutery’ country again and I’ve little desire to spend more time there. Suffice to say that over the years I’ve seen violence, first hand, sometimes at very close quarters, perpetrated by supporters of Aberdeen, Dundee, Motherwell, Airdrie, Kilmarnock, Morton, Clydebank, Partick Thistle, Hibs, Hearts, Falkirk, Clyde, St Mirren, Sunderland, Glentoran, Linfield, Cliftonville and, believe it or not, Celtic. Rangers don’t have a monopoly on bams, but I’m not going to pretend we don’t have any either. That there was disorder on Saturday night didn’t come as a surprise to me. I’ve lived in Glasgow long enough to know that there are people in our society for who a Saturday spent drinking will greatly increase the likelihood of them being involved in violence. That hard drinking ‘get mad wae it’ culture is alive and flourishing among a section of our society. I don’t think the blame for that can be laid at the door of Rangers directors, players or indeed me. The Scottish Crime Survey of 2018 recorded that 46% of all violent crime in Scotland is alcohol related. 41% of all prisoners in Scotland report being drunk at the time of their offence, that figure rises to 60% for young offenders. The STAG Trauma Report in 2015 records that alcohol was associated with 33% of all major trauma patients, that number doubles when just recording male patients. Alcohol related death is 7 times higher in Scotland’s most deprived areas and alcohol related hospital stays are 8 times higher in Scotland’s poorest communities. Again, the figures are higher for men than woman. Despite this I’ve yet to read anyone ask what Smirnoff, Buckfast or the makers of MD 20-20 had to say about last Saturday night, far less suggest that everyone who drinks alcohol should be ashamed of themselves and demand action be taken. Rangers draw their support from across Scotland and beyond, but the post industrial heartlands of the central belt are where we draw the bulk of our support. These areas have more than their fare share of economic black spots and deprived communities. None of that is an excuse for violence or religious intolerance. Indeed the majority of people brought up in these areas aren’t violent or bigoted. But the power to change the people who are, to improve their schools, to broaden their horizons, to perhaps give them ambitions beyond the weekend, to deal with whatever demons they currently try and drown and to instil a pride or self worth clearly lacking in some of them doesn’t lie with Steven Gerrard or the Rangers board. It lies, quite squarely, at the feet of those elected to represent these communities; politicians. That’s ironic, because some of them have been very quick to point fingers of responsibility elsewhere this week. It does feel that some people see Rangers as responsible for the actions of everyone who supports them at all times. There were 54 arrests and 429 crimes at T In The Park a few years ago yet no one suggests The Stone Roses are held responsible for that. There is a limit on what the club can do and should be held responsible for. I’m surprised that even needs stated. But then maybe I shouldn’t be surprised, it’s strange that now we have so many ways of communicating with each other more than ever people still only hear what they want to hear.
    18 points
  3. I'm going to busy over the next few days so I thought I would just drop this here tonight. It goes without saying that 2020 has been a remarkable/surreal/unprecedented year so I would like to take this opportunity to wish all Getsnetters a safe, peaceful and merry Christmas. Here's to better 2021!
    15 points
  4. The big point here is how Rangers are exposing the SPFL how corrupt & incompetent they are, the other big thing here is how/why all the other clubs are terrified of challenging the bias corrupt cabal!!, Scottish football is fucked and has been since the attempt to kill Rangers and the witch hunt continues on Rangers. Since the day Rangers were voted out of the top division Scottish football was fucked, the only thing I kept saying is we need to start winning again, being successful, this is the only way we can change things! I still believe that, we have made astonishing progress under SG and that is killing all the Rangers hating Scottish clubs and Scottish gutter press!. Rangers FC just need to keep on winning, the more success we have the stronger we will be and the more pressure we can apply to the corruption that is rife in Scottish football and indeed Scotland including the Scottish gutter press. It is a wonderful time to be a Rangers fan, especially after what we have had to endure these last 10 years or so. Just keep being successful Rangers.
    14 points
  5. Apologies in advance for being the party pooper. The bubble buster. Whatever you want to call it... As a Rangers fan for over 43 years, I'm slightly alarmed at some of the celebratory language I have seen online and heard on the airwaves regarding our newly extended lead. Am I glad we sit 10 pts ahead of them at this stage of the season? I'm delighted. Am I glad that we've managed to beat our closest rivals without turning up for the game in large parts? I'm ecstatic but it's January 3rd and there is a lot of football to be played. I can fully understand many fans want to pull the trigger early on the celebrations but not this Rangers fan. The last 6/7 years are still too raw for me to relax and start popping the champagne. I've also seen too much football over those 43 years to suggest that we are home and dry. I know the pundits have all but crowned us as champions in waiting but for me it's too early. IMO draws are as damaging as defeats in a tight race. For example, would I be surprised if we drew at Pittodrie or Easter Rd in our forthcoming games. Not at all. Its happened before as these teams usually raise their game when we come to town. Poor performances in these crucial games could potentially reduce our lead to 4/6/7/8 pts. So let's be sensible and put the flares, fireworks, champagne and balloons in the cupboard until it happens. We've won nothing yet.
    14 points
  6. Kent's tracking back with McGregor and generally being around him and preventing him getting on the ball was hugely important for us yesterday. Tactically Callum McGregor is their link between defence and attack and Kent had a job to do today in helping prevent that, he did it well in my opinion. We really should step back for a moment and consider our side yesterday. I think it's now clear we've had Covid problems at the club for a while and it's affecting a number of players and senior staff in different ways. Barasic is not fit, I don't know why, but he's not and that's been clear every time he's played this season. He was rightly replaced by Bassey a few weeks ago. Yet he was called upon to perform yesterday and he did. Their young winger is a decent enough player and they were overlapping a lot on that side, Barasic had a lot to do yesterday. It also seems like Helander is a player who struggles to play two matches a week. There seem to be fitness issues with him, he may have historical injuries that need managed, he might simply not yet be over his summer exertions. Yesterday was his second game in 4 days, with nearly 7,000 miles flying too. Balogun is no right back. He might have played there before but compared to Tav or Paterson he's defensively sound but offers a lot less going forward. So much of our attacking play is dependent on our full backs linking with midfielders and forwards and delivering crosses. An unfit Barasic and a centre half at right back makes a big difference to our style of play. Add in a rookie keeper making his league debut for us rather than a commanding seasoned international and you have to say to go through that match without conceding a goal is remarkable. As has been said Kent and Roofe aren't fully fit. Both did important jobs yesterday. Kamara, Davis, Morelos and Aribo played in the heat of Thursday too. Morelos ability to draw a foul is a thing of beauty, he should have a wing dedicated to him in Kelvingrove Art Gallery where future generations can marvel at his dedication to getting his body between their centre halves and the ball before taking the inevitable dunt from behind. He helped break up the play, slow the game down at times and allow us to regroup. Plus we realised they were suspect from set-pieces as indeed it turned out. We'd no defenders on our bench yesterday. No manager in the dug out, no captain on the park. That was an important win yesterday, that was a show character above all else. Loved it.
    13 points
  7. https://www.twitlonger.com/show/n_1sri0hv Jas Boyd · @Jas72Boyd While not strictly about Rangers, I thought it worthwhile to post it in the main forum because of the importance of the issue and to give it maximum publicity and it raises questions as to why Duffy was treated differently from Zungu, for example. Celtic Dubai trip – A timeline and where are you SPFL ? November 2020 – Celtic approach the SFA to seek approval to travel to "somewhere" and the SFA subsequently ask the Scottish Government. The JRG rules are very clear that the only way this trip would be allowed if it was to fulfil a winter training camp. 19 December 20 – Nicola Sturgeon announces a nationwide lockdown and return to Tier 4 from Boxing Day. No-one is to leave the country unless “absolutely essential” and unavoidable. 2nd January 21 – Rangers beat Celtic again. A few moments later – Neil Lennon announces live on Sky that Celtic are flying out to Dubai for a bit of “R and R”. This is NOT allowed under the JRG rules as R and R is not a "Training Camp" 3rd January 21 Photo 1 – Neil Lennon, Scott Brown, SHANE DUFFY and various other Celtic players and staff are pictured around the pool with the first 2 having a drink. Crucially, it appears none of them have face masks on. This breached JRG Rule 1. (see end) http://img4.imagetitan.com/img.php?image=23_celticdubai2-copy.jpg Photo 2 – SHANE DUFFY and Scott Brown at the Jacuzzi Bar again with no masks on. Breach of Rule 1 – There are some doubts if this picture is a photoshop or not however if you look at the Bar in front of the players, the reflections match perfectly their body positions. http://img4.imagetitan.com/img.php?image=23_hottub-copy.jpg Photo 3 – 9 Celtic players including SHANE DUFFY are pictured drinking in Shades bar watching the Chelsea v Man City game. Shades Bar is a sports bar situated in Le Royal Meridien and is open to the public. This breached JRG Rule 1 and JRG Rule 2. http://img4.imagetitan.com/img.php?image=23_celticdubai3-copy975.jpg Its important to note at this point that even if Celtic had exclusive use of the hotel, which they did not, then according to JRG Rule 2, in that scenario, the bar should be CLOSED completely so any notion it was private does NOT negate the rules. Photo 4 – SHANE DUFFY is pictured getting a selfie with a fan. To be fair, there is a bit of distance between them however again, he is doing so without his mask on which breaches JRG Rule 1 http://img4.imagetitan.com/img.php?image=23_duffydubai-copy.jpg 4th January 21 – The Celtic PR job attempts to change the narrative from this being a “trip for some R and R” which is a direct quote from the manager to it being a difficult and full training trip. Celtic claim “The training camp was arranged a number of months ago & approved by all relevant footballing authorities & @scotgov through the Joint Response Group on 12th November 2020” 4th January 21 – Photo 5 - SHANE DUFFY flies home from trip. He is pictured in Dubai airport, outwith the football bubble flying home in a commercial, non chartered airline, and not wearing his mask correctly. http://img4.imagetitan.com/img.php?image=23_duffyairport-copy.jpg 8th January 21 – Photo 6 – Picture of Christopher Jullien leaving the plane and airport emerge with his crutches. Jullien had injured himself a week before the trip and is out of action for up to 4 months. His inclusion on the trip cannot in anyway meet the standard of being “absolutely essential” and therefore he broke the Government rule, in fact law, by travelling out of the country. This backs up Neil Lennons view it was R and R. http://img4.imagetitan.com/img.php?image=23_jullien-copy.jpg All 49 staff who travelled at a total cost of over £250,000 are tested for Covid upon arrival back home. 10th January 21 – News breaks that Christopher Jullien, who travelled, in my opinion illegally, to Dubai, has tested positive for Covid. First and foremost, I wish him and anyone around him affected a speedy and full recovery. Jullien has been around players at the hotel, on a tin can in the air for 7 hours and on the bus journey back to Celtic Park completely unaware he is now carrying the disease. He had to have caught it somewhere. Was it in the bar watching the footy ? Or in the busy Dubai Airport where Celtic did NOT have the luxury of being separated whilst transiting to their charter flight or even on the plane home from one of the stewards or stewardesses ? The irony it was a player who shouldn’t have been anywhere near the trip Is not lost here. Also that day – John Kennedy is interviewed and amongst other things revealed that: a) SHANE DUFFY would miss the Hibs game as he left the bubble and requires a different round of testing. https://www.glasgowtimes.co.uk/sport/19000167.shane-duffy-remains-celtics-plans-according-john-kennedy/ b) Celtic players had made “slip ups and minor things” on their training camp in Dubai, a quite astonishing admission. https://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/football/55603267 11th January 21 – News breaks a further 15 members of staff including players and management are now self isolating due to contact with Jullien. Nicola Sturgeon counter Celtics previous claim by confirming they did not “give approval”: “We set out the rules, it is not the role of the Scottish Government. We are not formally on the Joint Response Group. It is not our role to give approval or not give approval to what a football team is doing. As I understand it, I think at the time when that clarity of the rules was given it was another country that they were planning on going to rather than Dubai and also, that was back in November. “The world and the situation with Covid has changed quite a lot since then and the club itself described the trip to Dubai as R&R.” https://www.thescottishsun.co.uk/sport/football/6518911/sturgeon-celtic-planned-to-go-different-country-not-dubai/ The SPFL bury their heads in the sand and refuse to comment all day. They remain silent. Silent that is until Hibs threaten not to play the game only to be told they MUST play the game or they will forfeit the points. A threat if you will. But the SPFL apparently go one better. They tell Hibs that they must play the game but they shouldn’t worry about their players catching Covid because if that happens, the SPFL will postpone the League Cup Semi Final for them until everyone is ok. Astounding. https://www.edinburghnews.scotsman.com/sport/football/hibs/hibs-reveal-spfl-threat-club-issues-statement-controversial-celtic-clash-3092670 Later that evening – The team sheets come out and SHANE DUFFY is on it. This is SHANE DUFFY who breached JRG rules at the poolside, breached them at a jacuzzi bar, breached them in a sports bar, breached them getting selfies with a fan, mingled with hundreds of passengers in Dubai departures whilst not wearing mask correctly, probably did the same on the plane, according to reports, went back into a English family bubble he had not been part of due to living in Scotland then flew on another commercial plane back to Scotland to play despite the management team saying he couldnt. The Scottish government days earlier announced that all people arriving in Scotland who had flown home from Dubai on the 3rd January had to isolate. This included Shane Duffy. He was no longer protected under the Elite football status. He should be in quarantine, just as Rangers new signing in October was forced to do for 14 days when he flew on a Commercial airline to sign for Rangers. https://www.dailyrecord.co.uk/sport/football/football-news/bongani-zungu-quarantine-blow-revealed-22855325 This story is going to run and run but here are a list of many questions that the SPFL specifically need to answer here? 1) In the middle of a Global pandemic, who sanctioned Celtics change of fixture to a Monday night, despite Hibernians refusal, on the grounds of a R and R trip to Dubai? 2) Will the football authorities ask Celtic about the R and R statement from Neil Lennon? 3) Why was a guy out for 3 months taken on an alleged Training camp ? 4) Why did Shane Duffy travel home and which bubble did he join in England ? 5) Whats the difference between 9 players in a Dubai bar v 8 players in an Aberdeen bar ? 6) What questions have been asked of John Kennedy in relation to minor breaches he said happened in Dubai ? 7) How do these minor breaches compare to the minor breaches at Kilmarnock and St Mirren? 😎 What changed between Saturday (SHANE DUFFY cannot play) to Monday when he did? 9) Why did Bongani Zungu have to quarantine when Duffy did not ? 10) Why has there been ZERO public comment from any official of the SPFL ? 11) Given that Aberdeen had to cancel 2 games due to the players being in a bar, how come Celtic played last night with at least 2 players on the park who were in the Dubai Bar ? (SHANE DUFFY and Stephen Welsh) 12) Leigh Griffiths party, Bolingoli trip to Spain, Frimpong flying his American girlfriend to Scotland for her to breach quarantine, multiple breaches in Dubai, Duffy breaking government quarantine rules……is it one rule for Celtic FC and another set of rules for the rest of the population of Scotland ? RULES Its important to note at this stage, there are a number of iterations of the JRG rules but the guidance for them is that they all cross over each other and that the rules “IN SCOTLAND” take precedent over any local rules as confirmed in the PHASE 3 - RESUMPTION OF PERFORMANCE (ELITE) SPORT GUIDANCE Step 4 (return to cross border competition – no spectators) issued by Sports Scotland https://sportscotland.org.uk/media/5908/phase-3-resumption-of-performance-sport-step-4-final-draft-with-annex-a.pdf Which states: “All existing government and Public Health Scotland (PHS) guidance continues to apply and takes precedent over any other standards (specified by international Competition Organisers, International Federations or governments) unless otherwise specified” The JRG RULES on clubs staying in a hotel are very clear and see RULE 1 and RULE 2 in conjunction with the points above. RULE 1 “Face masks for players and staff to be used during the stay, outside their own room, the dining room and the team bus” RULE 2 “Ban on access for players and staff to the Wellness areas, gym and other common areas such as the bar, lounges or lobby. Alternatively, if hotel is exclusive to team, these areas should be closed” Where are you Neil Doncaster? £300k + per year and as silent as the night. A job that by his own admission is only there to carry out the wishes of his members. Your members want answers. Aberdeen want to know why its okay for 9 Celtic players to be in a bar in Dubai but not in Aberdeen. Rangers want to know why Zungu had to isolate/quarantine for 14 days despite sticking to protocols but Duffy never having breached rules time and time again. They also want to know why 2 players were given 7 match bans for breaching protocol when a whole team of players is out in Dubai breaching left right and centre. Hibs want to know why they were threatened to play last night. They also want to know why you moved to their game without their agreement to facilitate this abomination of a trip in the first place. St Mirren and Kilmarnock want to know why their admission of minor breaches meant them initially losing games 3-0 yet you are completely silent on Celtics breaches as admitted by the management team. Motherwell want to know why you gave them 6 points then deducted them, without any prior notification on the morning of Boxing Day hours before a match. Hamilton want to know the same. Partick Thistle want to know if yesterdays decision was made BECAUSE of what has happened here with Celtic going to Dubai. Get your finger out of your pie hole Neil !!
    13 points
  8. https://www.gersnet.co.uk/index.php/news-category/current-affairs/1257-review-of-the-rangers-accounts-2020 Overview The release of the annual accounts on a Friday evening wasn’t a good sign. I was concerned when I downloaded them and they were worse than I had expected, showing a headline loss before tax of £17.8m but is it as bad as it seems? Yes and no. · No, the loss is funded by the directors/investors who have converted most of their loans into share capital. · No, we could have sold players to eliminate the loss if we so desired. We didn’t, unlike other clubs, and we are selling the benefit of that on the pitch. · Yes, losses of this level are not sustainable and the financing from the directors/investors will not continue indefinitely which make the require for Champions’ League football and/or regularly selling players for multi-million pound profits a requirement. What is the loss? Those who read my review last year may remember that we need to ignore notional interest that is included in the accounts as it is only there for accounting purposes and will never actually be paid. The loss before tax of £17.8m can therefore be reduced by £1.9m and is actually £15.9m compared to last year’s loss of £8.7m, an increase of £7.2m Why the increase in the loss? · An increase in staff costs of £8.9m · A decrease in the profit of sale of players of £2.4m · Increased amortisation of the purchase price of players of £1.2m (Kent and Helander) · Partly offset by an increase in revenue of £5.8m Revenue Revenue increased from £53.2m to £59.0m (+£5.8m), mainly due to our European run. We generated £20.7m which is up £6.4m from the prior year which again highlights how important a run in Europe is to us. Gate receipts and Hospitality rose 11.6% to £35.7m, despite the Covid-19 impact of playing 5 league games with no crowd and a small proportion of season ticket holders requesting a refund for the missed games. Staff costs Staff costs increased by 26% in the year, going from £34m to £43m, which was a result of bringing Gerrard to the club and a significant increase in the quality of the squad. A 79 % increase over the last 2 years sounds bad but the following should be taken into account: · Staff costs as a percentage of revenue at 73.4% is around the same level as it was 2 years ago. · The average for the English Championship, for last season was 107% and was 94% and 78% for League 1 and League 2 in the prior year, so it shows that the level we have it is reasonable, albeit based on European income, which isn’t guaranteed · Celtic’s staff costs are 25% higher than ours. Other operating expenses Other Operating Expenses (including matchday costs and the costs of maintaining the stadium and RTC) increased from £22m to £23.2m. This is disappointing considering we played 3 less homes games and the previous year’s figure was looked upon as being high due to the additional legal and professional fees of £3.6m, due mainly to the ongoing Sports Direct dispute. We are not told what this year’s legal fees were, but they may have continued to be high, to allow us to sign the Castore deal. Reducing Other Operating Expenses may impact the matchday experience for us so there’s a fine line in keeping costs under control and satisfying the fans, but it is an area where they need to keep a careful watch. Purchase of players Rangers spent £11m on players during the year. This would have mainly been on Kent and Helander. Given the sums involved, it appears that the purchase of Hagi was didn’t go through in this year’s accounts, despite reports to the contrary. This also does not include the purchases of Itten and Roofe, which happened after the year-end. Sale of players We made a £0.7m profit on the sale of players, compared to £3.1m in the previous year. I assume that Candeias would make up a majority of this year’s profit. However we need to be able to be making millions each year to sustain a break-even situation in the future. Our model looks to be largely working as we could have sold Morelos for a sum that would have allowed us to break-even, and going forward we may not be able to have the luxury to turn down 8-figure bids. Retail Retail income was £3.3m for the year which is the same as last year. However it appears that a majority of this has not been received as there is £2.3m outstanding and the club have commenced legal proceedings to recover it. The Castore deal does not start until this season and therefore is not reflected in these accounts, and hopefully that will show an area of increase. Although we are free of Sports Direct and have successfully negotiated a retail deal away from Ashley, it is disappointing to see the legal case is still ongoing and we may have to pay further money to SDI. Cash Cash has increased from £1m to £11m but I presume that this is due to the timing of the receipt of directors’ loans. We have £14.9m of debtors which is season ticket cash which is in respect of season tickets that are paid by supporters using deferred payment plans or credit cards so that will be converted into cash. The credit card companies are passing on the cash over the course of a season to limit their risk. This isn’t an issue as it’s only a short term cashflow problem and it hasn’t prevented us from spending £15m on players after the financial year-end. Funding Director and shareholder loans outstanding last year were £11.2m, an additional net £21.8m was provided during the year and £17.7m were converted into shares, leaving £15.3m outstanding at the year end. Since the year end an additional £4.5m has been provided and another incredible £13.3m converted into shares, highlighting the incredible commitment of the directors and other investors, leaving £6.5m currently outstanding, £5m of which is due to Dave King (see below) and £1.5m due to John Bennett. There is another £2.9m of loans outstanding to a third party, possibly from Close Leasing, which is presumably short-term funding being repaid once the credit card companies release the season ticket cash. A further £8.8m will be needed for this season and £14.4m for next season and Douglas Park and John Bennet have agreed to provide loan facilities to cover these amounts, which are obviously subject to player trading and how we do in Europe. Dave King funding Dave King has provided £16m of funding to the club since he came back in 2015. £11m has been converted into shares and £5m remains outstanding and is due to be repaid to him next year. It is slightly disappointing that he is charging interest at 8% on the remaining £5m, an annual charge of £400K. However, given everything he has done for the club and the level of funding he has provided in the last 5 years and also when Murray was in charge, it seems churlish to criticise him too much. There may also be tax reasons why interest had to be charged. Given that interest is being charged, there is a repayment date stated and he did not make the opportunity to convert the loans during the last couple of share issues, it appears that he will be looking for repayment of the £5m, and that it was always the intention for this loan to be part of a short-term funding exercise for it not to be converted into shares. Improvements There was £2.1m of fixed asset expenditure, presumably work done on Ibrox and RTC. This highlights that the directors are continuing to invest significantly in the club’s infrastructure (£8.6m over the past 3 years) as well as the playing squad. Sundry The club made a claim on its Business Interruption insurance for losses caused by Covid-19 and has received £1.25m, which is excellent as many insurance companies have refused to pay, but it remains doubtful whether there will be any more forthcoming. Post year-end The club has continued its spending after the year-end with £15.4m being incurred on players including the signing of Itten and Roofe and presumably Hagi (it was reported that Hagi signed earlier but the amounts do not back this up) and they will appear in the 2021 accounts. However it should be remembered that the amounts spent will be written off over the length of their contracts. The £15.4m is far higher than I expected, even if it also includes the minimal fees for McLaughlin, Bassey and a loan fee for Zungu, and it will result in another increase in amortisation charges in next year’s accounts. The future The losses over the last few years, including the one shown in this year’s accounts, are not a concern as they have been fully funded by our directors/investors and we should continue to be very grateful to them for that. However this level of funding cannot go on indefinitely. Despite the appearance of new investors (Alan McLeish, Danny McKinlay, Stuart Gibson, Neil Hosie), the well must be running dry soon. It appears that Dave King will be looking for his £5m loan to be repaid and it is unclear whether future loans from Park and Bennett will be real loans or converted to shares. Financially, it is vital that we win the league this season to give us a better chance of reaching the holy grail of the Champions League and we will need to make at least one big sale of a player. We do need to continue to get regular European group football and regularly make multi-million profits on player sales to allow us to break even and this is the business model that our directors have put in place. We know from bitter experience that we need to keep an eye on our financial position and my outlook is slightly more pessimistic than it was 12 months ago, but we looking good on the pitch and have a number of players where we could make large profits. Although the loss was large, it was fully funded and we’re one good player sale away from breaking even. We just need to keep a careful eye on the finances over the next couple of years.
    12 points
  9. That's not the only failed ten in a row.
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  10. Racist Encounters in Scottish Football(Part 1). I cannot imagine my upbringing in deepest, darkest Lanarkshire in the 60s and early 70s differed much from anyone else in Scotland in those times. We are all products of our conditioning. I attended a village primary school, and only three of the school roll did not share the pigmentation of my skin. A pair of Hindu twins, who also attended Cubs with me, were present for a couple of years before being whisked off to private school. The third lad was a couple of years below, he was of African origin and adopted by white parents through the auspices of the church. Mostly, we called him "Davy". I have recounted my Amateur footballing experiences back in the day, and Davy's participation was a law of diminishing returns. He was a more than decent footballer but every time he stepped on to the pitch, the racism was overwhelming. At Fir Park Boys' Club, a Coach inquired, "where's Davy"? A couple of hands were raised, the Coach looked and said, "naw, Davy the Darkie"! I became aware that unmeant casual racism was just as hurtful. Davy was a big Rangers supporter and a regular attendee at Ibrox with both his old man and our grouping. Davy loved Dave Smith Celtic had an effective winger at the time, Paul Wilson a player of mixed parentage. I don't want to stray into Meghan Markle territory, but Wilson had a sallow complexion We Rangers fans sung a song of homage, "I'd rather be a Darkie than a Tim". It was a cause of great hilarity on the terrace steps, when our grouping, including Davy belted out the ditty. Davy sang it liked he meant it; there must have been comfort in the acceptance. Black players of the time, were Pele and Eusabio. Nearer home, the only black guy regular turning out was West Ham's Clyde Best. Davy received the comparisons, but he had a good line, "I prefer George". I am not excusing the racism existing at that time, I am recounting the times. Education is the thing, tertiary education focused my mind. The music I adored was Southern Soul, my heroes were Otis Redding, Al Green, Ann Peebles, .... etc. Davy's fave rave was the Average White Band and we attended a few of the Mighty Whities gigs together. The last time I socialised with Davy was at Ibrox for the final of the Tennent Caledonian Cup against West Bromwich Albion. It concluded with a deserving 0-2 for the Baggies and the majority of the 65,000 crowd applauded them from the pitch. Ron Atkinson had assemble a hell of a team, Batson, Cunningham, and, Regis were the epitome of speed and balance. Throw in Robson, Wullie Johnston and, Ally Robertson and you had Britain's first genuine multi-racial talented team. At that time, our preferred place at Ibrox was the far end of the West Enclosure. It was a tad higher and provided a most decent view down the ground. A dozen of us, late teens to early twenties were in early and had a great view of dozens of our fellow Bears racially abusing West Brom's black players. It was all verbal, but appalling. I would like to say we confronted some of those screaming abuse, but we didn't. A few of us apologised to Davy, he shrugged his shoulders and offered, "average white guy behaviour". I felt small and decided to be a better man. Early in my Army career, I received a letter from my Mother, it was a few weeks in arriving as I was attending the Army Jungle School in Borneo. It told of Davy's suicide. Initially, my concern was my own discomfort. A few months later, I was participating for several weeks in one of those huge mobilisation exercises in West Germany. Those exercises ran on their own timings, usually a couple of hours ahead of local time, called, 'Zulu Time'. I was asked the time by a black Sergeant and I replied, "Zulu time"? I spent a few minutes profusely apologising and explained about Davy. He laughed and told me to calm down and explained the phonetic alphabet. I returned home on leave and met Davy's old man walking the family dog. There were tears and I was told the member of the family/community that missed Davy most, was the family dog because she could not see colour. Part 2 will begin on another period of leave, New Years 1988 and Rangers announced the signing from Aston Villa of Mark Walters.
    11 points
  11. Brilliant stuff from Andy - well worth a read! Saturday brought the emotions to fore; bubbling and frothing underneath the surface which was struggling to contain the result of a decade of trials and tribulations. The phenomenal welcome, Gerrard’s journey through the sea of passion, the victory that brought us to the brink of history and the dressing room celebrations that ensued. It had everything. It was everything. The fact that our march to the title had been a lengthy procession that we could only have dreamed of at the start of the campaign did not prepare our supporters for the moment where we stood on the precipice of history. Hearts started to pound, stomachs started to churn and from somewhere deep within a valve was opened on the sounding of the final whistle at Tannadice that released the kind of joy and jubilation that I’m not sure we’ll ever experience again. Rangers is not just a football club; for many it is a way of life. We live it, we breathe it. We stood fifty-thousand strong in the fourth-tier of Scottish football while our club was on its knees in the hope that we could one day witness the crowning moment when ‘the journey’ was finally over and Rangers were back, standing tall as Scotland’s premier football club once more. The celebrations that ensued therefore were as inevitable as the opportunistic, blinkered and dishonest political outcry that followed them. Let me be clear, the breaking of lockdown regulations was wrong. Some of the scenes in George Square were wrong. What is also wrong however is holding one portion of society to a different standard than the rest. In Scotland however this seems to be par for the course. Politicians responsible for the safety and health of the country are quite correct to criticise public celebrations in the midst of a pandemic. Anything less would be a dereliction of duty. What politicians cannot do however is apply their criticism inconsistently, abdicate responsibility, shift the blame and attempt to use the weekend as a deflection from the many ongoing inquiries and scandals in which the current SNP Government finds itself embroiled. Nicola Sturgeon was quick to urge fans to go home on Sunday following the celebratory gatherings which were forming in Glasgow. Fair enough. But clearly her followers were not satisfied with her response which she was later forced to follow up with an angrier, more forceful tweet which turned her ire onto Rangers Football Club itself. This change of tack is an important one which would continue and is the focus of the dismay felt by our fans. The next day Deputy First Minister John Swinney, who is due to face a vote of no confidence in Holyrood this week, used his coronavirus daily briefing to continue this attack on the “lack of leadership” from Rangers and said that the club’s “silence was deafening”. At this point it is probably important to note that Mr Swinney is the MSP for Perthshire North and a supporter of St Johnstone Football Club. The Deputy FM was quick to congratulate his team on their recent cup success however seemed to lose his voice when it came to criticising his fellow fans for breaking the same lockdown regulations to celebrate their victory, celebrations which resulted in injury to a steward and police officer in his own constituency. What was he saying about silence being deafening? This type of selective outcry of course was not limited to the Education Secretary as during Nicola’s Sturgeon’s weekly address to parliament Patrick Harvie, co-leader of the Scottish Greens, decided to go one step further. Not only did Harvie join in the condemnation of the scenes but he went above and beyond and asked whether Rangers Football Club should be shut down as a result. Yes, shut down. Really. It seems therefore that as well as trying to win titles and trophies Rangers are now apparently responsible for maintaining public order in and around Glasgow. To even suggest that a football club be accountable for fans gathering in other areas of the city is as ludicrous as it is moronic. In line with Mr Swinney this of course only seems to apply to one club in the country, unless of course Patrick can point me in the direction of his question in parliament asking the same of Celtic or others following fans’ blatant breach of restrictions earlier in the season. These were not of small scale given the violence and injury to police officers and, while fan actions were condemned, the political focus was never directed at the club(s). Until now. We’re not finished yet. Harvie – who shamefully lied in parliament about Rangers doing nothing to prevent these gatherings – had his dishonesty matched by the embattled First Minister who proceeded to say that Rangers did not urge fans to disperse and go home, despite STV’s Twitter feed posting a video of the announcements which she claims did not exist. There is of course a good chance that she was simply unable to recollect or recall this. It seems to be a common problem these days for the FM. The unique accountability levels expected of only one club in the country did not only emanate from our devolved parliament. The politically motivated high heid-yins at Police Scotland saddled up and leapt enthusiastically onto the bandwagon and “condemned” Rangers over an alleged lack of support, particularly on messaging. This of course despite the fact that our high-profile manager publicly repeated the need for fans to stay safe and be responsible in his pre-match press conference on Friday. The police have also acknowledged that they are powerless to prevent such gatherings from occurring and that the focus is on maintaining peace and safety rather than wading in to disperse crowds. What then makes them think that if the police force – yes, the police force – cannot prevent gatherings from taking place that a comment from a football club will suddenly make them disappear. Could Rangers have done more? In a word – yes. Would it have made the slightest bit of difference? Certainly not. If the seriousness of a pandemic does not dissuade people from breaching lockdown restrictions then a tweet isn’t going to tilt those scales. We are therefore stuck arguing in the superficial, condemning things for appearances sake and in full knowledge that the events that occurred would have happened regardless. It is why we saw mass gatherings as Leeds United won promotion and when Liverpool won the Premier League. Both clubs of course were spared from the type of political treatment we have received. But the furore we have witnessed this week is the type of arse-covering, deflection tactic that has become all too familiar and perhaps it is time that those throwing stones looked inwardly first. Douglas Park was not found wanting. In an open letter to the First Minister he outlined the steps taken by the institution of which he is chairman including initiating contact with the Scottish Government, the local MP, the Justice Secretary, the SPFL and Police Scotland in addition to a timeline for these discussions. He goes on to highlight that the club did not want to be arrogant or disrespectful to our opponents in our pre-match communications and says this was acknowledged by both Police Scotland and the government. Park also claims that on the 6th March the club agreed a ‘form of words’ with the authorities but that our Celtic-supporting Justice Minister, Humza Yousaf, did not follow up as indicated. Perhaps Park’s most serious criticism however was reserved for the forgetful First Minister. Nicola Sturgeon is the MSP for Glasgow Southside and therefore Ibrox and Rangers Football Club are within her own constituency. The fact that she did not directly engage with the club, one of the largest employers in her area, on an issue which she clearly deems as being incredibly serious, Park states, shows her own “lack of leadership” and is a “dereliction of duty”. And he’s not wrong. The hypocrisy of the accusations hurled at Rangers are nothing short of staggering given the above, not that we should be surprised by any of this. In December we had one group of fans congregating, protesting, throwing missiles at their team and injuring police officers in the process. Their club was not condemned. Their club was not pilloried in parliament. Their club was not told to do more by the police. And now that same group of fans are proactively planning a gathering at their stadium to “defend” it on the day of the Old Firm clash later this month. Quelle surprise. If we are to apply the same logic to other scenarios then it stands to reason that surely Celtic Football Club were responsible for their ultra supporters group – the Green Brigade – attending a political protest in George Square last year and having to be “kettled” and marched home by police. Surely the club should have done more to prevent this attendance and behaviour from occurring? Of course, that’s nonsense. And so too is the ludicrous and inconsistent pillorying of Rangers FC. Douglas Park may well want to follow up on the lies told in parliament by Patrick Harvie and Nicola Sturgeon for accountability works both ways. Such dishonesty from elected politicians and in such a setting, particularly given the blinkered nature of its occurrence, should not remain unchallenged. Maybe we will receive a reply to our complaint before Stewart Robertson’s letter of 8th December is answered by our constituency MSP, or perhaps she will continue to treat one of the largest businesses in her area with the same disdain she has consistently shown us over the years. Maybe once these charlatans stop telling lies about us, we can stop telling the truth about them. Moreover, if and when the next Scottish Parliament election, scheduled for this May, takes place - remember this moment when you make your vote.
    11 points
  12. Also, wanted to make a point about our players' fitness. Last night Livi (understandably to a degree) were done after 60-70mins. They couldn't maintain their press and retreated into a lower block. Meanwhile, we still had both full backs galloping up and down the flanks whilst it was Kamara and Davis that were in the box to help us score. Given the number of games we've played this season (44 since August 1st last year so an average of 7 games a month) and the CV19 factor, the conditioning and fitness performance of our squad really is fantastic. We hear a lot about Gerrard, Beale and even Tom Culshaw but a bit less about Jordan Milsom and the medical staff who have clearly done as much as anyone else to help maintain this title challenge. Kudos to all involved in what remains a team effort.
    11 points
  13. By the way Morelos was a 10/10 performance. Antwerp had no clue how to play him and I think five defenders had a go over the two legs and couldn't do it.
    11 points
  14. Having watched three of the five since they were 12 years old I found it particularly disappointing. I don't think Dapo has ever been in the first team bubble, so the other four shouldn't even have been in contact with him. Rightly or wrongly Nathan and Calvin will still be looked on as assets, whether that means a way back or they will be moved on we will have to wait and see. I would imagine it has ruled out any chance of Bongani's loan move being made permanent. Dapo's contract is up in the summer, his loan move to QOTS was a chance to impress, be that Rangers or in the shop window for another club, it would appear that chance has gone. I believe Brian was offered/signed a new contract recently, could be withdrawn it hasn't been signed. Nathan's parents were a presence at virtually all his games over the years, I would like to have been a fly on the wall to witness their reaction to events, especially watching Thursday's game.
    11 points
  15. Michael the Mouth. This week, Michael Stewart has fallen out with a fellow Jambo. No, not Craig Levein this time, it's Guardian Journo, Ewan Murray that irritates the Mouth of Peter. Auld Reekie's Desperado has been riding the trail, constructing and repairing Peter's fences. He has come to his senses, bellowing Sellik's trip to Dubai has been a PR disaster, demanding a bright light be shone in SPFL dark corners, and hoping the perceived perception keeps him on the side of the angels. The epiphany continues and those that cannot see a redemptive Michael, like Ewan Murray, shall be swatted away. Of course, Craig Levein explained he disliked Michael right from the start, stating he watched him train and he continually blamed youth players for his mistakes. "Michael is a bully" rings true with another boy in maroon, Ewan has accused Michael of false memory. He Tweeted a question, "what did you have to say about the unfair and unjust actions of the SPFL in April, May, June, and July"? Michael parried and thrust back, "well, apart from hammering the SPFL every Saturday on the radio, in my column, and on here, not too much". Ewan countered, "where are these columns and tweets, you didn't hammer the SPFL every week on the radio, what nonsense"? Compassionate or arrogant Michael ended the discourse with, "Can anyone assist this individual? He seems to have lost his way. Without being too derogatory, he has become a rather tiresome and ill informed person who is a mouth piece for others, fighting their proxy wars". On reading this Twitter spat, I thought the three year old thread, 'Pacific Quay Musings' can answer the veracity of both boys' in maroon. During the four months quoted, BBC Radio Scotland hosted ninety minute/two hour discussions every Saturday on the suspension of Scottish football because of Covid and the awarding of the various titles and relegations. Pages 230 onward cover those months, particular attention on page 233, post dated 040520. Ewan Murray is correct, Michael did not hammer the SPFL, why would he given he was on his way to working for Sellik TV for a dozen weeks. In fact, Michael eulogised and lionised Neil Doncaster, Murdoch MacLennan, and Rod McKenzie. One Saturday, Michael told us how valuable an asset the Chief Executive, Chairman, and Secretary of the SPFL were to Scottish football. When reminded of their collective remuneration, and no league sponsorship; he was quick to swat. In fact, the following week in a ninety minute discussion, Michael appeared as one of a well rehearsed trio of Alloa's Mike Mulraney and Neil Doncaster, making a plea to the Scottish Government for more monies to aid Scottish football in it's journey through Covid. Claims of bullying, Dundee registering their vote, then changing it at the last minute, e-mail votes landing in spam bins, and demands Rangers publish their dossier began and would not dissipate. Dundee's John Nelms would not explain their actions and when the Dossier was published, Michael led the ridicule, he concluded : "Rangers have acted in bad faith" "Rangers behaviour has been absolutely disgraceful" "Neil Doncaster and Rod McKenzie are victims" 'Only those that understand semantics actually understand" "Neil Doncaster is a thoroughly decent guy". It's the arrogance of Michael Stewart, it's on a par with Lawwell and ra Sellik. He has been Peter's mouthpiece and has fought Sellik's wars as their proxy. On Monday evening, Michael was back at Sellik Park for BBC Radio Scotland, covering the Hibs match. At half time, the Edinburgh side brought on Lewis Stevenson as a substitute. Michael told the listenership, "Lewis is the first player out with the old firm to have won both League Cup and Scottish Cup winners' medals with the same club". This went unchallenged. There's the problem, an unchallenged Michael suffers from false memory syndrome, he believes he hammered the SPFL? Finally, and I have to thank Ian1964 for this gem of an extract from Roy Keane's autobiography : "The only time I laughed in my training times, we had this wee rat called Michael Stewart, the worst footballer anyone has seen. I remember Fergie telling him how shite he was and he actually pissed his shorts, in front of us all. I chuckled for days" Take note Ewan, stand up to the Bully, present the facts and Michael will once again piss himself.
    11 points
  16. Jim McLean - An Appreciation Our last match of the 1983/84 season took place on the 14th of May away at Tannadice. I remember very little about the match itself other than the facts that Rangers won and that there was a rousing rendition of ‘Rangers are back, Rangers are back’ from the away support situated under the old covered terrace along Sandeman Street. Season 83/84 was one of major change for Rangers. For only the 9th time in our history we changed managers when John Grieg, arguably our greatest ever captain, resigned following a run of poor results and vocal supporter unrest. Ironically we replaced the eighth manager in our history with the seventh, Jock Wallace. There were 14 days between Grieg resigning and Wallace being appointed, during those 2 weeks former Rangers player, supporter and Govan boy, Alex Ferguson, signed a new, improved contract with Aberdeen amid much speculation that he was top of Rangers wanted list and Dundee Utd manager, Jim McLean, travelled to Glasgow for an interview for the job, returning to Dundee and announcing he didn’t want it. It might seem strange to some that the death of a man who never played, coached or managed our club should warrant any comment in a Rangers supporter’s website, but for me Jim McLean actually had a profound and long lasting influence on Rangers, despite the lack of any formal attachment. The feeling of rejuvenation our supporter’s felt at Tannadice that May afternoon wasn’t a delusion. Following Wallace’s appointment in November Rangers only lost 2 matches for the rest of the season and won the League Cup, defeating Celtic in the final. Dundee Utd finished one place above us that season, so beating them in that final match felt significant, like laying down a marker for the following season. It wasn’t, but we didn’t know that at the time. The other aspect required to understand the context of that victory was just how good a side Dundee Utd were back then. Dundee United weren’t even the best team in their street before appointing Jim McLean as manager. People with greater insight than I will be able to explain how he transformed Tayside’s second team into Scottish Champions and a genuine force in Europe. Much will be written about his methods, his perpetual sense of injustice and his volcanic temper. What shouldn’t be overlooked though is the magnificence of some of those Utd sides. Dundee United had width and speed, they played fluid, attacking football and featured players you hated and coveted in equal measure. As surprising as it might seem now, visiting Tannadice in those days wasn’t an unpleasant experience either. I never felt the hostility that exists now. Perhaps their supporters, unaccustomed to success, were simply enjoying the ride. Perhaps back in the 1980s, during enormous social upheaval, we all realised we were more alike. Whatever the reasons it feels like a long time ago now. McLean was one of 3 brothers born and raised near Larkhall in Lanarkshire. It was a footballing family, his grandfather had played for Rangers, his father had played Junior and McLean and his two brothers, Tommy and Willie, all played and managed professionally. Tommy, the youngest brother, was the the best player, winning the league with Kilmarnock before joining Rangers and enjoying a long and distinguished career. When Jim McLean was interviewed for Rangers manager, his brother, Tommy, was the caretaker manager. Tommy McLean was assistant manager to Greig, and while not really in the running for the manager’s job at the time, his presence must have played a part in his brother’s thinking. Many theories exist as to why both McLean and Ferguson didn’t want the Rangers manager job, most of them are without substance. What can be said though is that Rangers were at a low ebb. Our scouting and player development was poor and the creativity our board showed in planning and building the Ibrox Stadium we recognise today was sadly absent when looking at football matters. It sounds arrogant, but the inability of a club like Rangers to attract the manager of Dundee Utd was a seismic blow to our standing. McLean, then in his mid-forties and at the height of his mercurial powers would have transformed Rangers, had he been allowed. At Utd he had complete control of the football side, it’s unlikely he’d have ever got that at Rangers. Ultimately his loyalty to Dundee Utd and his family, who were settled in the city, is admirable and should be recognised as such. McLean’s refusal led to the second Wallace era. It started well but ended badly. Wallace was unable to craft a side from the ingredients he inherited. Despite some success his tenure went the way of Grieg as crowds fell and mediocrity normalised. There had been a change in the Rangers boardroom too during this time and Wallace’s dismissal, whilst sad, was largely welcomed by the support. The imagination lacking in his appointment a few years before was very much present in the choosing of his successor; Graeme Souness. This is where Jim McLean’s influence on our club is most significantly felt. Souness was wise enough to know he needed someone beside him who understood Scottish domestic football intimately. He chose well, he chose Walter Smith, Jim McLean’s assistant, confidant and consigliere. It’s impossible to overstate the influence McLean had on Walter Smith. Smith was signed from Junior football for Utd by McLean’s predecessor, Jerry Kerr, but it was under McLean that he became a first team regular. Smith stayed there for 9 years, returning for a further 2 as a player following a couple of seasons at Dumbarton. On retirement from playing at the end of the 1970s McLean took Smith onto the coaching staff and he eventually became Dundee Utd’s assistant manager. Smith’s time as a coach coincided with Dundee Utd’s most successful spell. Winning the League Cup twice, reaching the semi-finals of the European Cup and of course winning the league itself. McLean and Smith achieved this with a side largely made up of home grown players and cast-offs. Perhaps the greatest tribute you can pay that United side is that during a period when Scotland were rich enough player-wise to overlook European Cup winning captains for caps, Dundee Utd supplied 5 players to our World Cup final squad for the Mexico finals in 1986, more than any other team. Rangers only supplied one player, two if you include Souness. Smith’s tenure at Rangers needs little embellishment from me here. His long time assistant, Archie Knox, was also a disciple of McLean having played under him in the 70s. I mean no disrespect to McLean’s memory when I point out that Dundee United’s decline as a force in football started after Smith left. There was a time in Scottish football, and it doesn’t feel all that long ago to me, when any one of five clubs could realistically expect to win the league and when an away win at Tannadice was something to be really savoured. Jim McLean belongs to Dundee United, and it’s their supporters who will feel his loss, but we shouldn’t overlook his influence on Rangers, both directly and indirectly. The last 30 years would have been very different without him. Sincere condolences to the family and friends of Jim McLean, a genuine football legend.
    11 points
  17. The bheasts would be better off paying for us to go to Dubai for a winter training camp!
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  18. When you and Bluedell got married which one of you was the bride? To be fair I'm sure you both look good in blue, everyone does.
    11 points
  19. We could get rangers_syntax to ask them some obtuse, confusing questions while buster prepares a lengthy dossier on their misbehaviour. Failing that, we could get Rousseau to bore them to death with stats. After that, if they're still standing, I'm sure no one would be mad enough to take on Bill in a debate.
    10 points
  20. https://www.gersnet.co.uk/index.php/news-category/current-affairs/1383-ftq-rangers-independence-and-the-culture-wars In recent weeks, we’ve seen the demonisation of Rangers supporters - barely caveated with ‘a small sections of’ - by prominent politicians. Anti-Catholic and Anti-Irish bigotry. It seems like a fool’s errand to try and bring logic to a situation like this, because we live in an era of culture wars across the Western world where rationality is no longer the common ground. It is entirely about power. I won’t waste your time giving you a history of the academic roots of this - it stems from claims that don’t have zero merit, but do not stand up to scrutiny. The point for us is that Scotland is not immensely diverse. The intersectional activism that we see here happens at the juncture of Catholicism and Palestine. The analogies drawn between anti-Catholicism and racism by our prominent leaders are prima facie ridiculous. You don’t die in the culture you were born. Sometimes your culture is something you have to overcome. Religion is a choice, not an arbitrary characteristic like skin pigment. Every choice a person makes is one for which they can be realistically held responsible, and it’s acceptable in any free democratic society to disagree with the choices people make. And let’s be honest here - as people more eloquent than me argued, like Stephen Fry and Christopher Hitchens in the IQ Squared debate - that Catholicism is not a nice religion. No gay people. No condoms in Africa. Not to mention historical crimes, and ongoing ones to do with children. Now what I’m expressly not saying is that it is okay to hate or discriminate against Catholics - fresh and blood human beings - but it is perfectly okay to object to an objectionable religion, and judge people - morally - who choose to follow it in knowledge of all that it stands for. Catholics are free to do the same - an indeed, theologically, do so, as they are the only real mediation between God and man. So let me quickly say: F**k the Queen. A basic political statement, yes? Not illegal. Though wait. Symbolic head of state. Head of a church. However, is the same not also true for the Pope? Who holds sway over billions? I’m not saying you should be saying these things - not by any means. I’m just saying, the analogy is perfect. However, I hear you say: Catholics are in a minority in this country, so it deeply hurts their feelings. So what? I was once called a wee proddy bastart and kicked in the head for having a Rangers scarf in my pocket - fly kicked, so it left a footprint, which was funny - and did I go into a fit of self-pity because I’d been persecuted by a sectarian attack? No, I got kicked in the head by a ned. Life’s hard. Also, the idea that Catholics are a persecuted minority is bordering on laughable: they are represented strongly across media, academia, in the judiciary, and in our illustrious politicians, as Tom Devine pointed out in a recent article for The Herald - not that I’m implying he’d endorse anything said here. They are a success story of immigration. They endured many horrors that should not have happened - history is brutal, you may have noticed as history still happening - but the worst they are subject to now is hearing words their precious ears can’t handle hearing. That’s just not grown up. It is, however, strategically placed in a broader context. It’s what Nietzsche would call slave morality. If you consider the etymology of words like ‘good’ and ‘evil’, you find out that good meant, at least for the ancient Greeks, things like noble, desirous of what is excellent, high minded. ‘Bad’ meant common, plebeian, simple. However, he noted that there was a route for the common and simple to win power by holding on tightly to their weakness and not letting go. Forming a herd that was more vocal and overwhelming, and inverting the values such that to be weak and commonplace and easily hurt became the means by which even a minority could dominate the majority. Ironically, Christianity.- both Protestantism and Catholicism - is what gives it its modern force, despite its roots in more modern conceptual thinking. It’s why it works, it’s why they use it - and that’s all it is. A strategy, to gain more power / votes / whatever, by making your weakness a virtue. It’s why you can dominate the SFA and still feel like there’s a conspiracy against you while you dump your opponents - on which you rely - to the bottom tier of the leagues. So what about all the nasty songs then? I realise I’m in a minority, as it’s just prudent to modernise, but we’re talking logically here, not tactically: the bad songs that are now illegal to sing should not be illegal in any country that values free speech. Anything that is more than words should be punished to the utmost letter of the law - whether it’s denying a job, or being assaulted. I want to know a bigot when I hear one. To do that, they need to be able to say bigoted things. Then I can form my judgement. Do I think the Bad Songs are bigoted? Sure. They’re also historical, and have a context, and a culture. Still, bigoted. Should they be illegal? No. Quite obviously not. Words should never be illegal. And to remind you: bigoted is not racism. Catholicism is not an immutable characteristic, it’s a choice. You have the choice to say: “Proud to be a fen!an, come try and get this blood, see how far you get.” And this is coming from someone who left an Old Firm at half time because I was near the Celtic fans and just hated the bigoted back and forth. We should be aiming to transcend bigotry. However, let’s be honest here - we don’t have Protestants chasing down Catholics and giving them beatings on the finer points of the Catechism. We’re dealing with working class people, who want to sing the songs that sound the most intimidating, with some dislike of a particular religion thrown in. Sure. It’s a religion that - according to most statistics - many Catholics are finding it hard to love themselves. Will we be better off when it’s gone? Yes. Is the right way to go about it by bans on speech and demonisation? Of course, prohibition has always worked. You’re willing to sacrifice something more precious - freedom of expression, freedom to dislike people’s choices - to protect the ears of those who use being offended to gain power? Not a worthwhile strategy, not good for the country, not good for even Catholics. Now, I’m not going to go to the other side of the city and their anti-Protestant anti-British sins, or their under-reported un-wailed-about group actions. Whataboutery will get us nowhere. Because they can say what they like. I’m adult enough to hear words and not burst out crying. The bigger question is always: Cui Bonos? Who benefits from the demonisation of Rangers supporters. Who benefits from stoking up tensions? Nationalists. Now, everyone can have their own opinion on whether Scotland should be independent, many Rangers fans want independence. All good. However, the core difference between Protestantism and Catholicism - theologically - is that one invented the idea of the individual, and the other is collectivised. It’s why you can guess what a die-hard Celtic fan thinks about almost any issue before they’ve opened their mouth. They are a similar range of fans, don’t get me wrong, we’re the same cross section of society. But a genuine supporter to die-hard, with 99% predictive power: Palestine? Pro its liberation. Constitutional monarchy? Not a fan. U2? Just kidding. Independence? Therein lies the rub. On average - though, like I said, we’re not grouped by much more than love of a club - Rangers fans are unionists. All this demonisation isn’t to harden the Celtic support’s backing of independence. That’s locked in. It’s for the swing vote. The perpetual wee-man syndrome of Nationalism annoys me personally - also the idea that there could be a cuddly nice nationalism that isn’t principally based on an irrational hate of someone or something. Story for a different site and article. However, the dog and pony show of pretence offence was for the swing vote. Look what happens when people with union flags start getting on top again? Violence, horror, taking Scotland backwards. Have they forgot this is Scotland? Like neds fighting on a Saturday night after hours of boozing is crazily out of the ordinary? Taking Scotland backwards? We’ve had years of one party rule - anyone who has any read the Scotland Act knows that the Scottish government has the power to do almost anything it wants except start a war or any other aspect of foreign policy - and the country is a shIthole, from the NHS to education, to anything to which your mind can wander. It’s because they don’t care about those things - not really, they care about stoking up enough persecution complex that we vote to leave Evil England so we can be ruled by someone further away. Also for people who’ve not studied law: EU, not super democratic. All we have is prohibitions on free speech and a divided country, because ideology matters more to these people. You might be saying: anti-Irish, you mentioned that at the start. That’s immutable. Sure, but it’s a valid point of view to want Ireland to be one country. It’s also a valid point of view to want to maintain the union. That’s by the by - Rangers fans don’t hate Ireland, it’s a lovely place to visit. They dislike Irish nationalism, and that foreign flags are being flown in this country - in which their living is made, and that has brought them such success, with historical persecution acknowledged - to spite those who actually patriotically believe in it. Our feelings weren’t hurt though. But it’s not about that - it’s about the fact that hating Irish nationalism is a valid political opinion. It’s a f*ck-you to the hypocrisy of the thing. And they can point our contradictions and so on. Not all Irish people are nationalists. Also, Irish isn’t a race. Take it at its worst: if you can’t say: “Oh, that’s weird”, to someone who shouts “F Ireland”, you just need to work your way back up through nursery and try again at being an adult in the real world. This isn’t an apology for bigotry. I look forward to the time when we’ve transcended all this nonsense, but in the interim we’re creating cures worse than that which we’re fighting.
    10 points
  21. Humza Hates H-u-ns. I thought I would wait a week to see the extent of PQ's limit of exploitation? As stated two posts up, there has been a significant change of phase, Michael Stewart defined it, "sectarianism is racism". It's a stick fashioned to beat Rangers supporters. UEFA have already closed an Ibrox stand and PQ is heavy with anticipation. There are no shortage of volunteers wanting to be seen wielding the stick. Hitting H-u-ns fills the usual suspects with a feeling of immense well being and as we have seen on numerous past occasions, a guaranteed good career move. The prepared ground at PQ is very safe H-u-n skelping ground. So safe, both the First Minister and last week's Justice Minister, Humza Yousaf had no hesitation, they stepped on and added a few skelps. Humza revealed BBC Scotland asked him to comment on the doctored video sourced from, 'WullieWanker'. Humza pushed the limit of exploitation right into the Thornton Suite, suggesting Rangers players sang sectarian(racist) add-ons and demanded if the video was proved to be validated, "those players involved should be shown the door". Police Scotland decreed no criminality, Humza is back on the Sunday Show this morning; this time as Health Minister continuing to push sectarianism is racism and last Saturday was all about anti-Irish racism. The National Broadcaster and the Scottish Government have accepted Call it Out's narrative, the leaders of the organisation, Jeanette Findlay and Angela Haggerty are regular contributors to all means hosted by BBC Scotland. The safety of the PQ ground is such that the man who has just spent three years as Justice Minister has NEVER been asked for comment on the list of malicious prosecutions of former Rangers owners currently going through the High Court, likely to cost the public purse in excess of £300 million. Further, he has NEVER been asked as to the progress on an official inquiry initiated by himself, on the disappearance of all evidence against nine fellow Celtic supporters who hanged effigies by the neck, from the North Stand above dozens of 'Kill All H-u-ns' flags. Three years and counting. I welcome the Club's attempts to take Humza to court over comments made, but I fear it could be a difficult and costly way to go. However, several of the Rangers players being accused by Humza courtesy of WullieWanker, are practising RCs. They have sensitivities and the Club as their employer must protect those sensitivities. If we leave it to Call it Out to address the sensitivities of Rangers numerous catholic players, we will waiting longer than a Humza instigated inquiry to reach publication. Discipline? This is a subject I find myself returning to frequently. What is it about individual and collective discipline that an element of our support cannot grasp? Being a Rangers supporter carries responsibilities. Marching from Ibrox to George Square twice in a two months period, initiating tens of thousands of pounds of pyro', banging drums and, chanting love for Rangers can just about be explained away as, "exuberance". There is a well established precedence. Here's the but and it's a big BUT. As soon as you bellow, "fcuk the pope", you are fcuked. Like the vast majority of Rangers supporters, I did not attend and there's no doubt that elements of the 25,000 that did trap, let us all down. If you have an issue with the pope and there's plenty, find a better way to present it. Pope Francis was a parish priest, Monseigneur and, a Canon during the Facist Military Junta that governed Argentina for eight years in the late 70s to mid-80s. Thirty thousand people were disappeared, mostly taken up in choppers and dropped into the Andes. Francis said nothing. Over a thousand children of those disappeared were put up for adoption to approved families, Francis said nothing, ............ etc. I am sure Angela will listen if you call it out? Here's an example of good discipline that will not impress, but should be acknowledged. The Green Brigade have had several opportunities this last fortnight to get active in support of their preferred prejudices, they have deferred, hunkered down knowing any actions would have ran interference upon the constant artillery targeting Rangers and Rangers supporters. Of course, they have been told not to run interference and have adhered. The Club saw the ambush waiting and they liaised with both the Council and Scottish Government to avoid the trap. The Club asked for ten thousand fans to be contained inside Ibrox on each of four days, essentially repetitive trophy presentations. This was akin to two seasons past, the creation of the Fanzone. Then, the SNP led Residents Committee of Cessnock and Ibrox told Rangers they were more interested in the health and well being of children and not interested in booze'n'burgers. Ibrox is the ground of tactical importance and on both occasions, the council and Scottish Government took the decision to deny containment. They wanted the march because they knew considerable political capital could be made. We can all understand the emotions involved. We have been battered from pillar to post during what our enemies refer to as, 'the Banter Years'. There is a decade of frustration to be exercised and numerous targets to be engaged. In the past, I would advocate leadership. Having experienced five years on the RST Board exercising said leadership, I realised there is an element of our support that do not want to be led. In effect, nihilists determined to bellow, 'fcuk the pope'. On Friday night, the young team did something wonderfully creative, an aesthetic unseen before; they lit up both sides of the Clyde with flares, for a distance of a mile. Right in front of PQ too. Less is more, why not leave it at that? Even the Bouncy of the Squinty, a fantastic piece of vibrance, leave it at that? No, we over egged it, marched along the Broomielaw and invested George Square for a second time. Where is the discipline, where is the leadership? Imagine marching your troops into a square where you can be easily contained, cordoned and, controlled. Police Scotland will enjoy shooting fish in that particular barrel for months to come. Five March. Five March is a restaurant on the western side of Charring Cross. It's proprietor, Joanna Nethery was on the Sunday Show last Sunday. Prior to Humza levelling both barrels, the discussion topic was Glasgow remaining in lockdown and how this was effecting the hospitality sector? Joanna was upbeat and articulated a dichotomy on Lockdown extension. The compensation available was inadequate, "it doesn't touch the walls" but the First Minister's leadership throughout the pandemic, "absolutely wonderful, she has led the country faultlessly". Joanna's smile was beatific whilst praising Nicola. I have read and listened to the reactions of numerous Glasgow restauranteurs on extended Lockdown and they are bitterly invective at Nicola's continued draconian stance. There is no empirical evidence linking the virus spread to folks attending prepared restaurants. It would appear Joanna was speaking alone. You make a couple of calls and are rewarded with information. Five March is so named because it commemorates the fifth of March 1770 - the Boston Massacre. The Army fired into a Colonial demonstration, killing seven protesters. This was the catalyst for the American War of Independence. A pretty obscure name for a Glasgow eatery? However, Joanna and partner, Kevin Small believe England treats Scotland as a colony. It's a delicious secret for those in the know. Go back a dozen years, the original PQ Gang Hut was based in the Admiral Bar in Waterloo Street. Down stairs at the Waterloo was where Phil McFournames held his briefings and presentations. The eclectic mix attending shared information and took decisions, it was good to be a man in the know. Now, we know BBC Scotland is biased against independence because there was an impromptu demonstration of four thousand Nationalists carrying laser printed placards of Nick Robinson, who had annoyed Salmond or Sturgeon during the 2014 Referendum. It's heartening to see PQ acknowledging the old management team of the Admiral Bar, Joanna and Kevin whilst advertising the new Gang Hut eatery and turning up the volume on a very specific message. Worshipping at the altar is not enough, you must be seen to be doing so. I was thinking about opening a restaurant celebrating Scotland's colonial past, the Darien Scheme, anyone want to book a table?
    10 points
  22. So here the journey really does end, nine years after the clubs in the SPL and SFL took an unnecessary decision to put the country's foremost club in it's place and share the kudos of lording it over the "bigheads and bigots" at Ibrox. No one will ever convince me that what Rangers was put through was motivated by anything other than envy and bigotry, nowhere more so than amongst the Scottish nationalist and pseudo-Irish communities. There should be no doubt either that many of those who pulled the rug out from under us were quite prepared to see Rangers extinguished altogether. You just know that after nine years of struggle and disappointment, there are still many in Scottish football who see this, our day of glory, as their failure and a profound disappointment. You might think this is a day of renewal and forgiveness when we should put the past behind us but I think not. If there's one thing we should never forget as we enter a new era for Rangers, it's the fact that those we have to share this league with and those who administer the game are the same people and clubs who would have destroyed our club. For me, that day nine years ago ended any respect I had for the rest of Scottish football and that's a fence that will never be mended. You might like to think there are one or two who will see the league trophy raised at Ibrox and feel a tinge of guilt or remorse .... but I doubt it. Enjoy the day, celebrate to the full, it's been a very long time coming. But never lose sight of why we went through all that pain and for God's sake don't be the people who line up to criticise bears who want to take to the streets to mark what is our equivalent of reaching the summit of Everest.
    10 points
  23. What's the purpose of Rangers? It's a serious question. Why do Rangers exist, why do we continue nearly 150 years after a handful of teenagers fancied a game of football instead of mucking about in boats? Arsenal, Manchester Utd and Liverpool now exist to provide a handsome income for their main shareholders, sports clubs are their livelihood and they'll follow the path of greatest profit. Chelsea and Man City are more complicated, they can be seen as vanity projects, as 'sports-washing' to put a respectable shine on some people who otherwise might not have the best PR in the west. But it's important for their owners that their clubs are always at the top, whether that's for ego or profile reasons. Barcelona and Real Madrid are intertwined with politics and identity in Spain, both seen as representatives of competing ideologies, and important vehicles for the political and business interests of the people at the top of them. It's similar in Italy too for their big 3 clubs. What are Rangers for then? Our current owners don't seem to be interested in politics and if they're looking for a livelihood they've made a terrible error. In reality I suspect it largely boils down to them wanting the team they support to do as well as possible. Maybe ego and profile play a small part too, but largely it's about the football I think. I've really enjoyed the last 3 years football wise, and I realise that a huge part of that has been down to getting entertained again. Watching Rangers play decent passing football, properly competing in European competition again, developing players into fan heroes and, of course, winning the league. But even last season and the season before, despite the collapse in the league, I enjoyed watching Rangers. We had players that were capable of exciting you and a style that was very pleasing to watch, even if it didn't always prove successful. I realise that's pretty much all I want from Rangers; entertainment, excitement and hope. I want to believe we can win the league or the cup, I want to see us play football that's not kick and rush or punt it up the channels, I want more than that. And I want moments that lift me off my seat, that make me shout out loud, that make me want to post on message-boards and jibber on podcasts. I don't think I'm alone in that either. Football changes. In 1888 Rangers had a rivalry with Vale Of Leven, who were a top side at that time. Within a few years Vale had dropped out of the newly introduced league system. They've been a Junior team for nearly a century now. For much of our history the Glasgow Cup was a competition we took very seriously, both as a club and as a support. It's been a youth competition for nearly 20 years now. Arguably the greatest achievement in our history is winning the European Cup Winners Cup, yet it's not existed as a tournament for over 2 decades now. Football changes, no matter how much I don't want it too. In the future the competitions we enter will change and the rivalries we'll have with clubs will change too. I think, as a club and a support, we have to be open to change. Much as I lament the ending of the old European club competitions, much as I blame the Champion's League and the EPL for most of the problems football now faces, I have to deal with the reality of where we are today. I can be entertained playing in the Scottish leagues, but something needs to be done to improve the standard of player and of football being played. That might involve some pain for us. We might need to share revenue more evenly with our fellow clubs, we might need to increase the number of sides in the league, play each other fewer times, introduce incentives for home grown players. What's not practical is continuing as we are in Scottish football. The standards have been dropping gradually for 30 years, that needs to be arrested soon or we'll need to start seriously looking elsewhere. I'm not against leaving Scotland either. Whether that's a UK wide league, a European League, a hybrid all-the-medium-sized-countries league, whatever, I'm open to it. New rivalries can be created, new trophies can be won. But, and I think this is important, whatever we do we should do it so we can keep entertaining our support. So we can create new heroes, play scintillating football and, hopefully, win things along the way. It should never be about chasing money and money alone. I never want to see us in a league where finishing fourth is a celebrated achievement. I never want to see us in a league where failure isn't punished by relegation. Rangers need finance, I understand that, and I understand that better players command higher salaries and so on. But Rangers don't currently have the best players in the world, indeed you could argue we never have, but they can still thrill and entertain us, that's what Rangers should be about.
    10 points
  24. That was the week that was. I am just old enough to remember BBC broadcasting, 'that was the week that was'. It was mid-sixties grainy black and white TV. Ned Sherrin created it, David Frost hosted, and an army of household names wrote the satire. John Cleese, Peter Cook, Dennis Potter, Roald Dahl, Bill Oddie, Erik Sykes, Denis Norden, Frank Muir, ......... etc. Even as a Primary schoolboy, I got the ridicule reserved for Apartheid, the class system, the racism of the American deep south, and all involved in domestic politics. The only part of the show that irked arrived at the conclusion, Millicent Martin sand a topical song in a cool jazz style. The show was the pre-cursor for the next quarter of a century of TV/Radio satirical shows. The Frost Report to Spitting Image and everything in between, owe their existence to 'that was the week that was'. Peter Cook launched the satirical magazine, 'Private Eye' on the back of the show, a case of mutual support. Further, Cook also had a nightclub , 'the Establishment' for several years, predicated on the growing sense of ridiculous. Everyday phrases such as, "tired and emotional" and "Ugandan affairs" emanate from the show. Our attention was drawn to MPs' expenses scandals, conflicts of interest, and their abilities to evade the revolving door. In new, modern Scotland we have no satire. Most Journos and commentators are cheerleaders for the current Scottish Government. Principles mean nothing to professional politicians, no one resigns because their considerable lifestyles won't allow it. As for comedians, Janey Godley is the epitome, does regular voiceovers of the First Minister's speeches and Angela Haggerty's one year old son, Francis; and is duly rewarded with a weekly column in the Herald. No doubt, her daughter, the privately educated Ashley Storrie will be a nepotistic beneficiary? This is the new, modern Scotland of entitlement, privilege, and woke sensitivities. This time last week, the newspaper front pages and broadcast current affairs shows were still being dominated by the fall out from Salmond's trial on sexual misconduct. Another two SNP MPs were subject to further charges of sexual misconduct, Chief Whip Patrick Grady and one other, as yet unnamed. The Holyrood Inquiry into Salmond had just been stymied by the First Minister's 8 hours of, "I don't know", "I can't recall and, "I would have to check my Diary". Nicola's husband and SNP Chief Executive these last 20 years, Peter Murrell was desperately seeking a case of, 'Events dear boy, events'? It arrived, courtesy of ra Sellik's inability to notch a goal at Tannadice. Rangers had won their first Premiership title in a decade. Rockets flew, fireworks exploded, and joy took to the square. Such detonation lit the fuse for the pile on. BBC Scotland deployed Sports Correspondent, Chris McLaughlin. He worked the leverage of UEFA. Creepy's brother told of watching eyes and the very real threat(in his fevered thought) of cancelation of Hampden's involvement in the upcoming Euros. Gary Robertson led the current affairs onslaught, every politician was asked, "have Rangers done enough"? Glasgow was under siege, Rangers supporters had prevented Nurses getting home after their shifts, Rangers supporters had prevented the homeless accessing the soup kitchen, and Rangers supporters had vandalised memorial benches in George Square. In three days, from Monday to Wednesday, BBC Scotland dedicated comment and phone-ins entirely to Rangers supporters' excess. Momentum was needed, feed the fire and the FM stepped forward, expressing her anger and anguish. John Swinney pointed the finger, Rangers were to blame. Humza Yousaf agreed with the Dear Leader, Rangers were found wanting and he Hectored a senior Polis Officer into adding his signature to a condemnatory letter. Despite video evidence twice showing other channel commentators in Edmiston Drive being drowned out by a bellowing Ibrox PA asking supporters to return home, Rangers did nothing. More momentum needed. SNP controlled Glasgow City Council utilised their PRO, Gerry Braiden's contacts at his old blatt, and Catriona Stewart et al delivered a seven page expose on events. Sellik could not see green cheese, they screamed, 'we're half of nothing' and warned next Sunday's old firm game could be called off by the authorities. Stuart Cosgrove and Professor Eamonn O'Neill hosted their Podcast with Angela Haggerty as guest. The conclusion, Rangers supporters behave the way they do, because of entitlement. Oh, and a wee bit of satire, they liked Police Scotland's statement, "we are the people"? A whole week and Salmond's name has disappeared. Derek MacKay MSP must be wondering why the "h-u-ns and typical orange wankers" did not ride to his rescue? Anyways, Rangers must wise up, when an election is pending we cannot present ourselves as targets. There is a truth, the Nats like nothing better than being seen to be sinking the boot into Rangers and Rangers supporters. It's their preferred good look. It's a lesson we must learn, the football is a tactic and the football does not matter. The trumping strategy is condemnation of a majority of Bears celebrating with Union Flags. Oh, the hatred? The national broadcaster is determined that Rangers will never be portrayed as bringing anything good to Scottish life. We do not carry the standard, we do not improve the coefficient and the nation cannot be beneficiaries of any Rangers effort. Rangers securing the title has been the unifying force for the Scottish Government, BBC Scotland, Glasgow City Council and ra Sellik. Yesterday, Cosgrove summed it up, "If I complain about the actions of Rangers supporters in George Square knowing fellow Saints fans gathered at McDairmid to celebrate the League Cup win, then it's whataboutery. They don't get it, people with no interest in football see what happened in George Square, it's a disgrace". That was the week that was sans satire. It is fitting Cosgrove has the last words. He puts out considerable effort in self portrayal, a loner liking nothing better than sitting down to read. In his occasional garrulous moments he betrays daily relations with Angela Haggerty, Kevin McKenna, Gerry Braiden, Eamonn O'Neill, .... etc. This week and incidents like the IRA murder of fellow Journo, Lyra McKee highlights his absolute adherence to separate development. Stuart speaks with all the confidence of a supporter of Scotland's second most successful team in the last decade and he knows BBC Scotland will never tire of relating that fact. PS. A couple of bon mots from last week. Firstly, it's Friday evening and Michael Stewart is in the Sportsound studio with Ricky Foster. The Host offers his weekly man of the week nomination. Three names : 1. Steven Gerrard winning the title and favourite to lead Rangers into the Europa Cup last eight. Undefeated in both tournaments so far. 2. Alan McGregor only conceding nine goals in 32 league games and that save against Slavia. 3. Derek McInnes for enduring 8 seasons at Pittodrie and winning a League Cup. Ricky Foster cannot decide between Gerrard and McGregor but settles on Greegs. Michael chooses McInnes, no doubt because of biomechanics? Secondly, Friday night and it's The View from the Terrace. Now, five regulars appear on this hour long TV show. Craig Telfer(Stenhousemuir) hosts, three others, Craig Fowler(Hearts), Joel Sked(Hearts) and, Shaughan McGuigan(Raith Rovers) discuss and Robert Borthwick(Hearts) handles the social media content. I enjoy the show, they don't miss us when deserved, but happily they stick it on ra Sellik just as often. Generally, they know football, particularly lower Division stuff. Anyways, they are praising Rangers Culture's social media work last week, listing all the detractors one by one this last decade and ripping them eg Spiers and the "quietly terrified" quip. Shaughan McGuigan offers, "Ah love it, they've nailed every Celtic supporter from Rod Stewart to Jim Spence"(Jum's Tweet : "Celtic signing Shane Duffy has secured ten-in-a-row"). Satire Shaughan, satire. That was the week that was.
    10 points
  25. In the run up to the 1986 World Cup the Scotland squad had a pre-tournament training camp in America prior to the tournament. It was being used to acclimatise the players to the heat and altitude they'd face in Mexico as well as to allow the management team of Sir Alex Ferguson and Walter Smith to work on tactics, shape and so forth. Rod Stewart, at that time living in Hollywood, threw a party and invited all the players. When Ferguson heard he forbid any players to attend. Needless to say a few quite fancied attending a party in Hollywood surrounded by starlets and an escape party was created and an escape and return was executed. One of the members of this party was Graeme Souness, at that time captain of Scotland, one of the most decorated players and senior members of the squad and also the new Rangers manager. Needless to say Ferguson found out and wasn't too happy. You get a group of guys together and impose rules on them some will look to break them, that's normal behaviour in my experience. Whether it's a works golf outing or a group of well paid professional footballers, there will be some who break the rules. I mean do we really think this isn't going on at every club in Scotland? I'll bet it is, the problem Paterson has is no one cares if 5 Livingston players and their girlfriends get together, no one would even recognise them. How many members of this forum have 'bent' the rules over the last 10 months? Those of us with teenage children, can we all really say that they've followed every rule by the book? Let he who is without sin and all that. This has almost certainly cost Zungu a contract, that's a big punishment. Paterson and Bassey could have realistically played a decent amount of first team football in the next two months. Paterson, had he come on last night, played well and continued to play well for the rest of the season could have even forced himself into the Scotland Euros squad this summer, right back is a problem position for Scotland after all. That's gone now. I get the anger and the disappointment, they did something stupid, something really stupid. I just don't think it should cost them their jobs, I don't see how that helps them or us.
    10 points
  26. With that in mind, I've kept a close eye on the recent debate on historic child abuse within Scottish football. Some of the names involved in the subject were familiar to me and I also played for three years at Hutchison Vale, one of the club's highlighted in the yesterday’s SFA report. I was also fortunate enough to play with Dundee Utd for a few years and for Scotland at under 15 and under 16 level. Included in this were travelling to and playing at places such as Northern Ireland, Wales, Italy, Sweden, France, Holland and more. I played against teams from Cameroon, the USA, the Czech Republic, Italy, Thailand and more: enjoying a post-match craic with our opponents, shared language or not. I was managed by Jim McLean, trained with Duncan Ferguson and played against Thierry Henry. I was that good as a 'keeper, I even allowed Phil Neville to score against me at Ibrox. But, hey, so did Stefan Klos. All this happened over a number of years but I never witnessed genuine abuse; sexual or otherwise. Verbal 'bullying' was perhaps as bad as it got and that was something we all dealt with in our younger years at school so wasn't unique to football. You made a mistake; sometimes you got support from your coach and team-mates, sometimes not. We were big boys and could handle it. Fun might have been poked at the lad with the dodgy first touch or fashion sense but it didn't matter on the park. At that point we were a team and everyone stuck together. Background or personality didn’t matter and rarely did I ever witness anything get out of hand. And I was treated brilliantly by almost all the people I worked with. There but for the grace of God it seems… With more specific regard to the SFA’s report, as a young teenager, sexual abuse wasn't something I knew much, if anything, about. I’ve always felt my upbringing was probably as normal as one can have: a loving family, a council house and an estate full of friends (and enemies) with few worries as we explored life with the relative freedom most kids have. I was naïve enough to think when you're in your mid-teens, you don't really worry about much other than homework and a new spot appearing before a school disco. I didn't understand for others it was physical, mental and sexual abuse. But that immaturity was exactly why we all need protecting at that age. Even now, as a father of two kids approaching their teenage trials and tribulations, I don't think I'll ever fully realise how tough it must be for some young people. Times appear somewhat different now and kids seem to be older than their years but other complexities develop: social media and online threats mean regular reminders to my girls explaining the dangers out there are a necessity. Embarrassing such talks may occasionally be but happen they must. Decades past may not have seen parent/child relationships so open or so liberal. Reading the horror stories from people I knew from my time in the game make that clear and it's tragic that so many have suffered and continued to do so because the education wasn't there and modern (though still imperfect) safeguards weren't in place. To that end, culpability can genuinely be tricky to apportion. First and foremost, the blame lies with those that blighted the sport (and society as a whole) but if there's a case to answer for others involved then answer it they must. And the colour of the shirt or standing in the game should not matter to us either. When I stopped playing football twenty years ago, I bought a season ticket for Ibrox as I finally had the time to follow follow my childhood team and I still love doing this two decades on. The pride I have in my club is immense and whilst times have been tough for the last ten years, our form this season and the chance of renewed success has taken away some of the stress and frustration of being unable to attend games because of the pandemic. No matter, I love supporting my club whether at Ibrox or from my RTV subscription. However, that doesn’t mean I can’t see the faults within it. Be it historic bigotry, financial mismanagement or abuse of young people, I’d argue it is a key part of being a supporter to question the club and look for improvement in all areas. In that vein, slowly but surely, the club is becoming more inclusive over the years and I’d like to think that post-2012, today’s and future custodians will be more mindful of its fiscal obligations. I’ve also no doubt the child protections and safeguards we now have are second to none. Even so, Rangers is not perfect and it’s not a weakness to admit such. In that sense, how Rangers react to their part in the SFA report is important. Yes, the club have every right to use legal care in their approach and to protect their (our?) reputation. But we also have a moral duty to examine any allegations and act accordingly if, as may be the case, there were genuine failings under our responsibilities. If that is the case, and where such failings are proven, apologies must be made along suitable reparations. We must do the right thing and be seen to do so. Let us lead from the front on that: no prevarications about Oldco or pointing the finger elsewhere, just solemn acknowledgement where appropriate whilst ensuring we have processes in place so such abuse can never happen again. When our club almost ceased to exist in darker days ten years ago, supporters were keen to cement the idea of Rangers ‘then, now and forever’. That was an admirable slogan during a difficult period to try and ensure we all moved on together. It’s certainly a message that resonated with me and one we should return to if or when any historic abuse failings are discussed. And doing that should be a priority not an after-thought. The past may not always be something we can be proud of but if there’s an opportunity to address our mistakes, grab it we must. We cannot control what happened to these people then but we can do so now and forever.
    10 points
  27. 'One Game at a Time' - a hackneyed old phrase or a necessary strategy going forward? Starting this Thursday, the 26th November we play Benfica at Ibrox in a Europa Group stage match. Ending on the 30th December, we play St Mirren away in our last Premiership game of the year. It's a total of eleven games in thirty-four days. Do the arithmetic, that's one match every three days. We have a large squad, we are playing extremely well, and our mental approach appears to have improved. This run of matches will be a real test, knocks, strains, and injuries will kick in. Suspensions, refereeing decisions, and the fickle finger of Covid all await. Let's break it down, six league games, two at home, four away. Three Europa Cup fixtures, two at home, one away. Hopefully, two League Cup ties, one definitely away on plastic, and another(probably Livi' away), a quarter-final midweek on the 15-17th December. The six League matches are : Ross County and Dundee United, both away, followed by Motherwell at home. St Johnstone and St Mirren are also away, with Hibs at home squeezed in between. After Benfica, we have Standard Liege at Ibrox finishing against Poznan in Poland a week later. Inevitably, Rangers supporters will want to compare and contrast with our separated brethren's fixture list. I think we must desist. We must set out our plan, and adhere to it. All members of the squad should be informed they have a significant part to play. This includes players who are receiving little or no game time recently. I don't think prioritising competitions will work either. Gerrard must win silverware, we must progress in the League Cup. Our finances demand further advances in Europe. The League speaks for itself. I am tempted to ensure Europa Cup qualification occurs as soon as possible, certainly by the end of the next two games, both at Ibrox. The League Cup tie at Grangemouth on plastic should see a few changes. Falkirk are a club two divisions below and we have a record of serious injury on such a surface. On current form, all the league fixtures are comfortably winnable, but the merest hint of a wrong attitude, two or three of them could degenerate into battles. Gerrard and McAllister's ability to micro-manage will be tested. The games are coming thick and fast, the reward at the conclusion will be a visit to Ibrox from ra green'n'grey hooped horrors on the 2nd January. Will Neil still be manager? Let's take it one game at a time.
    10 points
  28. Why would we want Shane Duffy prevented from playing? We should be doing everything we can to ensure that man starts every match for Celtic. I'm in the 'stand back and let this play out without comment' camp. We're 21 points ahead, 12 if they win their matches in hand, they've lost half their players for 10 days and even the First Minister is publicly calling them liars. Their squad is weaker than at any point in the last decade and their best players want to leave. Add to that the fury consuming many of their own support and the clear lack of leadership and discipline inside their club. We will never have a better opportunity to win the league than what we have now. We're playing outstanding football, this is in our hands, we can only blow it from here. I urge everyone at Ibrox to ignore the circus across the city and focus entirely on ourselves. Just keep winning, nothing else matters.
    10 points
  29. For decades psychologists have studied why humans are reluctant to accept randomness as simply part of life, instead are inclined to believe that we can, at least to some extent, predict, influence, and control the world around us. Of course there are many, many aspects of life we can influence and control, but there are just as many we can’t, so we create mechanisms to deal with these. For millennia different societies have reacted to low or reduced personal control by strongly endorsing a belief in the existence and influence of external controlling powers. These feelings manifest themselves in many ways. The Aztecs made human sacrifices in the hope they would prevent earthquakes. The ancient Greeks built shrines to their gods in their homes, convinced that their gods would be angry and punish them if they didn’t. Today, you probably know someone who believes 9/11 was staged or who is convinced Covid is a hoax and vaccines are a scam perpetrated by ‘big pharma’. Psychologists believe that when randomness imposes itself on our lives we react by reintroducing order as we best understand it. This can manifest itself as simple superstitions, rituals or global conspiracy theories that draw us in. For some it’s easier to believe they are being threatened by evil scientists than by a naturally mutating virus they can neither control nor see. This is called compensatory control. I’m guilty of this. My first thought on Wednesday evening as I saw the Rangers side enter the pitch at St Mirren was ‘we never play well in white socks’. I was right. Rangers should always wear black socks with red tops, everyone knows we play better in them, that’s a sacred cow in my belief system. I’ve had a few of these over the years. I own about 5 Rangers scarves, but only my white bar scarf is lucky. Like thousands of others when I leave the stadium I must touch the top of the exit with my left hand, it’s very bad luck not too. Also, I never, ever leave a match early, if I did it would create a karma cataclysm I’m not sure the club could withstand. In the past I’ve found myself wearing the exact same clothing to match after match as clearly that particular sartorial combination was contributing to our good run of form. I’m not alone in this. I once knew a Hamilton Accies season ticket holder who followed them home and away. He missed two matches in a row through illness and Hamilton won them both. They lost the next match he attended and he and his friends agreed he was bringing them bad luck and he didn’t attend another match that season. Following Hamilton was a huge part of his life, but he knew his presence was causing them their problems that season. The major flaw with compensatory control however is that it’s not based in reality. I hope Rangers are wearing black and red socks again against Motherwell this weekend, but let’s be honest that wasn’t the reason we lost to St Mirren and it won’t have any bearing on Saturday’s result either, no matter what my addled mind might tell me nearer the time. I’ve watched Rangers lose far more matches in perfect black and red socks than I have in white ones. There’s a helplessness that comes with being a Rangers supporter currently. Actually being present at a match provides some level of tangible contribution. I might not be able to control the midfield from a seat in the enclosure, but I can shout obscenities at the opposition right back that he can actually hear, so that’s almost the same thing, right? Watching all of our matches on TV just underlines how little control I actually have. The dog has learned to go to another room so she’s not startled by my random volcanic outbursts following a misplaced pass or over hit cross. My Rangers impotence is very real this season. Saturday’s match is a chance for our side to make amends. To show that Wednesday night was simply a slip, not a fall. Motherwell come to Ibrox in poor fettle, 3 straight losses and a draw in their last 4 matches is relegation form. Indeed, were it not for the awarding of Motherwell 6 points for two Covid postponed matches earlier in the season they’d be 3rd bottom, clearly the scientists behind the Covid conspiracy are based in post-industrial Lanarkshire. We last played them in late September when we ran out 5-1 winners. If you could pick opposition to play when you need to bounce back from a setback then this current Motherwell team is it. A struggling side, in poor form, at home; surely it’s just a question of how many we’ll score? But this is football and as we all know random, inexplicable things happen in football, things we can’t control or explain. How did last season’s Rangers side crumble in January after comprehensively beating Celtic at a full Parkhead at New Year? Why did we lose to St Mirren on Wednesday? Are Rangers mentally fragile, have sides finally figured out how to nullify our marauding style of play? Are we destined to become the Scottish version of Keegan’s Newcastle? I don’t think so. We learned on Wednesday that a 20 year old with only 4 first team starts in his entire career isn’t as effective as the first choice left back for Croatia. We also learned that Cedric Itten isn’t yet as good as Alfredo Morelos and that every Rangers starting 11 should have at least one of Jack, Davis or Kamara on the pitch. We also learned that lapses in concentration and weakly surrendering possession will see us punished. None of these things should come as a surprise to us though, we surely already knew this. Every manager in Scotland, including Motherwell’s, will be studying how St Mirren were able to frustrate us. As such I expect Barasic to return to left back and Kamara and Davis to the centre of our midfield. I’m not sure how badly injured Balogun is but it wouldn’t be a surprise to see Helander make a return to the side either way. I think we’ll persevere with Itten, Kent and Roofe, but a start for Defoe wouldn’t be a big surprise either and Hagi must be due another chance soon too. Motherwell have two first choice picks for Scotland in their defence but will be without Hastie up front who is currently on loan from us. Motherwell will aim to frustrate us, close us down and try and prevent us playing our quick passing game. They’ll have taken heart from the St Mirren result, it’ll be interesting to see what we’ve taken from it. We can expect plenty of possession, we might need patience and resilience too. Rangers fans have been damaged by the events of the last few years. We got used to mentally preparing ourselves for the worst. It was easier that way when it inevitably happened. So the last 4 months of undiluted, high octane winning football were greedily enjoyed, momentarily quenching a burning desire to see Rangers return to the pinnacle of Scottish football. But I’m an addict and while I’ve greatly enjoyed my weekly hit of out-classing every opposition we’ve met, I need it to continue every week. I can’t go cold turkey, not at Christmas. In a year that’s carried more anxiety than any for decades football is not providing an escape, I find myself approaching a home match against a below average Motherwell side like it’s a cup final. When we last won the league, back in 2010/11, we lost 5 league matches, in 2008/09 we lost 4. Every side loses matches, it’s how they respond to them that matters. So far we’ve not lost a league match this season, yet the jitters have already set in with many in our support. One setback and we’re nervously watching through our fingers instead of sitting back and enjoying the ride. I suspect anything less than a victory on Saturday will cause psychological damage to the players and the support. While this side has a style and vim about it that Walter Smith’s sides could only dream of, it doesn’t yet have his side’s inner steel. It’s not a compensatory control to say we need that, every side that wants to win the league needs a strength and desire that’s greater than it’s opposition’s. Our manager knows better than most that one slip in the league can define a season, this weekend is not the weekend to make ours. Saturday will tell us if this side is on the road to greatness or not. To be on the safe side make sure you wear your lucky shirt and don’t use the same mug or glass you had on Wednesday evening, just in case.
    10 points
  30. You reap what you sow. When you allow your support to hang effigies from your stadium, don't be surprised when one day that effigy is you.
    10 points
  31. If Club 1872 is a truly a members organisation then surely it would ask the members how they want their donations spent? They should ask the following question to members. How would you like your donations to be invested in Rangers shares A - all my donation/s used to purchase shares directly from Dave King's holding. B - all my donation/s used to purchase new shares directly from Rangers. C - 50% of my donation/s used to buy shares directly from Dave King and 50% of my donation/s used to purchase shares directly from Rangers. It's a relatively easy option to set up and maintain which gives members a true choice.
    10 points
  32. Depends which player it is and who's responding. If it's Tavernier, @der Berliner would have him hung, drawn and quartered. If it's Kent, @DMAA would use it as another example of why Kent's not good enough. If it's Barker, @ian1964 will have the taxi drawing up at Auchenhowie. If it's Morelos, it's another example of a disciplinary issue. If it's Kevin Thomson, @craig would be saying he's actually great with his kid, and the virus probably started it. Say what you will, though, Josh Windass would never be caught in this type of situation. 👀
    10 points
  33. Played 13 league games and conceded 3 goals having visited Parkhead, Pittodrie, Fir Park, Rugby Park, Tony Macaroni & Hamilton. As well as playing Sunday, Thursday, Sunday. We are unbeaten in all competitions, through to and playing well in the Europa League group stages conceding only 1 goal in the process (banking circa £5M in the thus far ). Sometimes we as fans need to take a step back and a deep breath and look at the season as a whole rather than the last hour of football played. We look different mentally this season, we have tweaked our system and it may have taken a little something away from our flare players, however, I am more than happy at where we are at the moment both domestically and in Europe.
    10 points
  34. When did we become such a good side that we can put in a 5/10 performance in a European group match and win the game and don’t allow our opponent a shot on target? I was in Luxembourg just 3 years ago, watching the worst result in our entire history, under the worst manager in our history, and I could only dream of nights like tonight. Thanks Rangers, any win in a European group stage will never be undervalued by this bear.
    10 points
  35. Managers are taught various things while sitting their licences. One thing that gets a lot of focus is media management. Neil Lennon demonstrated this superbly last week when he took a public swipe at Maurice Ross. The media loved that story, it dominated the back pages and the football news cycle for a few days after. It's clever management from Lennon because it took the focus away from him, his players and their run of results (2 losses and a draw is apparently grounds for dismissal in some quarters now). He was at it again yesterday when post match he had a go at the referee accusing him of having a poor match although he was unable to provide specifics when pushed on it. While not drawing the fire away as much as the Mo Ross outburst it has helped muddy the waters slightly and given the media something to write about other than Celtic shipping 3 goals two matches in a row. I mention this because the next logical step in this deflection is falling out, publicly, with a journalist or media channel. This often helps galvanise support behind the manager seeing as so many are distrustful of the media these days, and again it fills airwaves, blogs and columns as opposed to perhaps more pressing on-field matters. Of course if Lennon really was angry with Ross he could have called him up and told him so, but that's not what this is about. Celtic are feeling some pressure for arguably the first time in 10 years. Rangers haven't yet stuttered (although there's still a long way to go), Celtic's form is poor, their summer buys haven't yet gelled and they're feeling a draft financially for the first time in a decade or so. Should things continue in this manner expect a circling of the wagons down Parkhead way. BBC Scotland though can't afford to alienate Celtic, losing access to one half of the big two is careless but losing access to both would be problematic and difficult for senior management to ignore. So I expect a softening in criticism towards Lennon, perhaps fire aimed at specific players instead, referees certainly and perhaps the SPFL and SFA should events offer them up. Many of us have wondered how Celtic would react to some sustained pressure. When Deila's Celtic side were played off the park by Warburton's in the cup semi Celtic responded by replacing the Norwegian with Brendan Rodgers. That seems unlikely this time for various reason. Money for one, plus this Rangers side isn't just out of the Championship and filled with free transfers from the English lower leagues, we're significantly better than then. It's a dilemma for BBC Scotland, well you reap what you sow, eventually.
    10 points
  36. Rangers only successful European season ranks as one of it's most intriguing and fascinating. There is a puzzle wrapped enigma in the triumph because it was neither expected nor predicted. Typically over the decades, Euro success arrives after a period of domestic dominance. Ajax, Bayern, Liverpool, .............. etc are all examples. It's the crest of the wave epitomised by Nottingham Forest, win the Second Division, win the First Division, win the European Cup, successfully defend it; all in four short years. Rangers were at the end of five years of domestic doldrums. The League Cup had been secured by DJ's famous header at the end of October'70 but the season was completely overshadowed by the Disaster at Ibrox on the 2nd of January'71 in which 66 died and 145 were injured. Rangers finished the League season in fourth, behind champions, Celtic; Aberdeen and St Johnstone finished second and third. We had been knocked out the Fairs Cup at the first attempt by Bayern Munich and, progress in the Scottish Cup came after a semi-final replay single goal victory over Hibs. The old firm final ran to a second game too. Jim Denny made his debut, played well and, we lost 2-1. After the match, I was walking down the Polmadie Road with a couple of schoolmates, one offered a thought we had qualified for the European Cup Winners Cup? Yep, given our separated brethren had won the league, meant as defeated cup finalists we were destined to participate in a trophy for cup winners. The Rangers team that evening was, McCloy, Denny, Mathieson, Greig, McKinnon, Jackson, Henderson, Penman, Stein, MacDonald and, Johnston. Colin Stein finished the season as the club's top scorer on 12 goals. Polmadie Road bottomed out along with the optimism. A new season(71-72) dawned and aspiration levels were sky high, we sang, "bring on the Celtic". The League Cup section draw had awarded our wish, with both Morton and Ayr United providing ballast. We experienced a five Saturdays sequence whereby we played the champions on three occasions, all three at Ibrox. It was home and away League Cup sectional games(due to construction of a new main stand at Parkhead, the game was transferred to Ibrox) and the season's first old firm league match. We lost 0-2, 0-3 and, 2-3. We were out the League Cup on the first day of September and had lost our first two league games, the aforementioned 2-3 defeat to Celtic was replicated at Firhill. We had drawn the French cup winners, Rennes in the first round of the ECWC. The Bretons were due to play their second ever European tie against Rangers, a club that already lost two ECWC finals against Fiorentina and Bayern Munich. We have seen the Rangers debit column, the credit one was paltry, two pre-season victories against Everton(2-1) and Spurs(1-0) and, securing the Glasgow Cup against Clyde(2-0). The French club were lying second in their championship and the most popular local newspaper, 'Ouest France' saw no fear claiming, "Waddell, raised in the Protestant traditions of the club was hurting because his club were declining at the same time as the rise of Catholic Celtic". It was the first but not the last such comparison during our Barca' quest. Tomorrow on the 50th anniversary of our visit to Rennes, we will follow follow Rangers on their first steps to European silverware.
    9 points
  37. Another fine article by @Rick Roberts:
    9 points
  38. This is fairly niche and perhaps not of interest to everyone. It's also fairly long. I stumbled across it online and found aspects of it quite interesting. I'd always wondered about Callander FC, our first recorded opponents, I'd no idea the strong connection between the town and football. I know a couple of Airdrie fans who might be surprised at the origins of their club! https://scottishfootballorigins.org/2021/08/26/glasgow-before-the-explosion-the-role-of-migration-and-immigration-in-the-development-of-football-cultures-in-the-city-prior-to-1873/comment-page-1/?unapproved=129&moderation-hash=2b5d585235928cae397edb2cf6fe4e96#comment-129
    9 points
  39. Exciting stuff! Lots of credit to @Rousseaufor doing another incredible job of administrating this, this season. Good luck to everyone who can still win!
    9 points
  40. Ra Hoops trudge off the hallowed turf a well beaten outfit. A fitting OF swansong for Lego and The Bravest Man in Football reverts to type and blames the referee for his side’s woes. Couldn’t happen to a more deserving bunch. We toyed with them at times and had a gear or two to slide into. Their rebuild job is sizeable to say the least, as you could argue that they need practically a whole team of new players. If Stevie, Ross and the board get it right in the summer, there is a great opportunity to put some daylight between us and them. Enjoy the rest of your day brothers and sisters, I know I will.
    9 points
  41. Steven Davis has played 57 times (for club and country) this season. What a hero. That is all.
    9 points
  42. Murder Polis! "Murder Polis" was a scream often heard on Music Hall stages. A character, usually the principle character shouted, "Murder polis" as an ironic comment on happenings. It was an exaggeration of mundane events, skewering those intent upon making a mountain out of a molehill. In west, central Scotland, a minor altercation such as a 'stairheid rammy'(dispute between tenement neighbours) was often encapsulated as, "it wiz Murder Polis". As Stuart Cosgrove lectures Rangers Supporters, Murder Polis is an example of comedic exaggeration. If we take our minds back five years past, the Scottish Cup final had a most exciting conclusion. An injury time corner awarded to Hibs saw the Edinburgh side's Skipper, David Gray header the game's winner. Mayhem ensued, we were informed several thousand Hibees invaded the pitch in a state of exuberance; we were also told by our own club, that the majority of the Gers players on the pitch, were assaulted. A dozen players' statements claiming being punched, kicked, and spat upon, did not wash. No Hibs supporter was convicted of assaulting a Rangers player. A lot of Bears exiting Hampden that day saw the Police sitting inside their vehicles, walking down Battlefield Road, I counted eight Police transits full of Officers flicking through their mobiles. Where were the Police whilst battles were erupting on the playing surface of the national stadium? Such wondering thoughts reached a crescendo later that night, as we realised the gravity of the match aftermath? The Sunday Mail provided an answer on it's front and several inner pages the next day. Journalist and Sellik season ticket holder, Jane Hamilton utilised a fellow season ticket holder, Calum Steele to tell the readership exactly where the Polis where? Calum Steele was also the General Secretary of the Scottish Police Federation. Calum had political ambitions, he was a cheerleader for the Nicola Sturgeon led Scottish Government. Calum thought Police Scotland was a good idea and supported Police Scotland's attempt to take over the British Transport Police officers based in Scotland. Calum told Jane of his members' experiences at the final whistle. Apparently, Rangers supporters aped the actions of Northern Ireland Loyalists, we threw our children directly in front of speeding Police vehicles urgently responding to events inside Hampden. Calum was in no doubt, this was a deliberate action to negate Police action. Now, Rangers supporters made a complaint to IPSO(Independent Police Standards organisation) and it was upheld. the Committee found the nespaper had taken insufficient steps to take care over the accuracy of the article. ie the Journo, Jane Hamilton had only quoted one identified source(Calum Steele) who was not present at Hampden, and quoted several unidentified sources(all police officers) who were present but only wanted to address general concerns reference Police actions. The conclusion was most damning, "the claims within the article had been published in such a way that they gave the significantly misleading impression that they had been corroborated by multiple independent witnesses". Eight days after Rangers secured the Premiership title, BBC Radio Scotland's Sportsound invited the current Heid Bummer of the Scottish Police Federation, David Hamilton to appear on the show. You see Calum Steele is now the President of EuroCOP, representing the interests of nearly 250,000 EU Officers. Calum recommended David Hamilton to succeed him in Scotland. We know Police Scotland is a politicised force and we know Nicola is only advised by folks who proffer advice she wants, needs to hear. Anyways, David Hamilton did not equivocate, Rangers and Rangers supporters are to blame. Again, we are a few weeks from a Holyrood election and a real political need existed to remove the Sturgeon/Salmond spat from the front pages. Sincerely, I wish those long term posters on this forum who support Nationalism, would return and debate why being seen to sink the boot into Rangers and Rangers supporters is a recurring theme to the Scottish Government? It has become a habit, even today the FM was speculating on Rangers supporters spreading Covid? David Hamilton is another Nationalist using his Designation to stick it on Bears. PQ are happy to oblige. David Hamilton is the brother of Duncan Hamilton, Alex Salmond's Solicitor. Duncan Hamilton is a former SNP MSP. David Hamilton's best mate is Angus Robertson, former leader of the SNP grouping at Westminster. David Hamilton constantly abuses his Twitter account with overtly political statements. David Hamilton's personal ambition is to be a SNP Parliamentarian. I could go on. Suffice to say, David Hamilton has worked out the path of least resistance in climbing the Scottish greasy pole to success. Both David Hamilton and Calum Steele are Murder Polis, and their comedic exaggeration is no laughing matter in new, modern Scotland.
    9 points
  43. A fantastic article by Rick Roberts. Well worth a read. https://uppingtheoutput.home.blog/2021/03/02/somebody-elses-problem-comment-on-the-sfa-independent-review/
    9 points
  44. Say it again, the RTV programme and presentation is head and shoulders above anything currently on offer anywhere in the UK. I have a huge amount of time for Tom Miller, his knowledge of the club is amazing, and he speaks well. We've had him at a few supporters club functions and he has been brilliant. However, Clive Tyledsley just sounds more professional. Over the season Neil McCann has shown he is the best pundit in the country and is in a different league from anyone else. He is always ably backed up and the different co-analysts have made RTV unmissable on home match days. No substitute for being at the games, but it has been exceptional all season thus far.
    9 points
  45. 10 games left to go, 6 of those at home. Net 15 point lead. Still unbeaten. Yes, we were utter gash today and we now know we can’t play a midfield 3 of Kamara Zungu & Aribo. Lesson learned. It also shows that taking Morelos & Roofe out the team is a big ask. Put the above 2 statements together and we didn’t show up. Tell me a team that would expect to win an away game without the quality of Davis, Jack, Arfield, Morelos, Roofe. Gerrard took a gamble today with his team selection to give important players a break with one eye on our ipcoming schedule, and it didn’t work out. He has earned that gamble with the lead we have established, so to give 2 points away is probably in the big picture worth it for us. 3 of our next 4 games are at home where we are 100% so let’s just put this down to a failed punt and move onwards and upwards.
    9 points
  46. 22 points clear, unbeaten in the league dropping only 4 points in the process, qualified for Europa League knock out stages - let's hope the embarrassment keeps coming over the coming weeks and months.
    9 points
  47. I’ll guarantee Rangers won’t be awarded any title
    9 points
  48. When I was a snotty nosed, scabby kneed young Gaspard, Lucozade was sold in the apothecaries the bottled wrapped in orange cellophane and only to be purchased and administered in times of ailment, like TB, Cholera, Leprosy etc. Its great rival was Fergusade, similar livery but more yellowy than orange. Think it may have been deployed when the maladies were less severe, Hookworm, Pertussis and such like inconveniences.
    9 points
  49. I've just listened to the podcast. Thanks to Stevie for carrying it out, but, for me, it raises more questions than it answers. 1. How will C1872 having 25% prevent the events of 2012 as was claimed by Laura? I don’t see how it would prevent any such events. It wouldn’t have prevented Murray selling to Whyte and I don’t see how it would have prevented any of Whyte’s actions. 2. How would Dave King have prevented Murray giving “the clubs’ shares” as security if he’d known about it? Murray didn’t give the shares as security, but that’s not overly relevant, but the club needed funding and there was a floating charge, so I’m not sure what King would have done. 3. Given the above 2 questions, is the phrase “never again” meaningless? 4. When Laura says that directors of C1872 have no more power than the ordinary members, is that true? 3 directors have proposed this scheme. 3 members could not propose it or propose an alternative scheme. We are not getting a vote on it so the claim that the organisation is “member led” is also not true. 5. C1872 had the option of taking part in the clubs’ share issues as confirmed by Laura so why didn’t they want to take part in them and attempt to raise funds for them? Why has Dave King taken the priority? 6. Did C1872 deliberately wait until they understood that the club was not going to have any more share issues before deciding to go ahead with this fund raising exercise, given that they had offers to take part in the previous share issues? 7. Is Dave King breaking confidences and potentially affecting the price of shares by stating that any future share issues will be above 20p? 8. Is Dave King privy to the minutes of any board meetings since the last one he chaired in March? Given the Covid 19 crisis, the new funding issues and the lack of player sales not drastically changed the landscape and the funding of the club? 9. Is it C1872 policy that they would prefer the club to sell players to provide funding rather than C1872 buy new shares, as Laura suggests? Is it disingenuous to suggest that the club does no need funding, when it clearly does, especially when King says that he expects his £5m plus interest to be repaid in 10 months’ time. 10. When Laura says that the fans need to step up and take responsibility, why have C1872 not been encouraging participation in the share issues? Is there not a contradiction? 11. If Laura claims that buying shares is not a key decision then is refusing to buy shares in the club not a key decision? 12. Both King and Laura claim that the accounts are healthy when they show that the club continues to need investor support to meet its liabilities. Would they not accept that they are misleading fans in overstating the strength of the balance sheet? 13. Why are C1872 ignoring their own constitution by not bring a potential £13m investment to the members to vote on? Is a £13m outflow not a “decision relating to a matter which would have a material effect on the assets of the Company” What level of outflow does Laura feel is material? 14. Has there ever been an AGM of C1872?
    9 points
  50. Goodbye Donalda, Hello Steve. Half a century past, there was an annoying chart single(weren't they all) by Cliff Richard, 'Goodbye Sam, Hello Samantha'. The gist was Cliff leaving the boys behind in favour of girls. Also, he waved cheerio to both Joe and Lou for the delights of Joanne and Louise. Confusing really, given Cliff's public admittance of asexuality, the colostomy bag, and his then decade long correspondence with both Kray twins. In the hypocrisy stakes, it's small potatoes compared to the Beeb's tolerance of Jimmy Saville's predatorial behaviour and subsequent cover up. Auntie Beeb is a continuum, soon to be a century of principle. You pay your license fee and look what you receive in return; several national radio stations, dozens of regional radio stations, plus a similar division of TV provision, and the jewel in the crown, the world service. Outstanding value, not replicated any where else in the world. The vast majority of those employed by the BBC believe in public service broadcasting, proud to provide the service. There have been historic notable exceptions, the afore mentioned Saville and the Beeb's live coverage of the Police raiding Sir Cliff's Berkshire home. Did the BBC satisfy public interest? Last month, BBC Scotland announced a substantial loss, the two year old BBC Scotland TV Channel was crashing and burning. The flag ship show, 'the Nine' was on occasion attracting under 5,000 viewers.Voluntary redundancies were required and a couple of dozen well kent, most experienced broadcasters decided to take the packages and run. Gordon Brewer, Isabel Fraser, Brian Taylor, Reevel Alderson, Kenneth MacDonald, Bill Whiteford, ...... etc left the PQ building. Chief Political Editor, Brian Taylor departed in a spirit of bonhommie, still flashing his Arab credentials, but not referring anymore to his time at St Andrews Uni' with Alex Salmond. Bill Whiteford withdrew, continuing to fly the flag of principle high. Bill Whiteford presented Drivetime for two decades, interviewed all the political heavyweights with the same gusto, he wanted to inform his listeners. Educated in Aberdeen, living in Stirlingshire, his interests are hillwalking and motorbikes. I have never heard him express any interest in football. On Friday morning, he presented his last show and his guest was newly appointed Director of BBC Scotland Steve Carson. He succeeded Donalda MacKinnon. Listeners questions were interspersed with those of the Host, and BBC bias was soon to the fore. Whiteford set up Carson by reminding him Rangers had won their Europa Cup game the night before 1-0, further the club's Europa record so far, was a perfect six points. Bill continued, "why would Rangers supporters listen to BBC Scotland when we give them no coverage, we have no interviews with the manager or the players"? He pointed out a competitor, STV had the interviews exploiting a local good news story. At this point, I should mention Whiteford had Tweeted his farewell message, "that's me aff then" alongside two photographs, one of the PQ Clydeside building and the other being the American Embassy in Saigon in 1975. Depicted is the last Huey helicopter leaving the roof of the Embassy. As the rotary wing began to flare, Steve Carson began to splutter. He grasped for, "it's a matter of huge regret" and, "we are making every endeavour to resolve". Choppers have a real whine going as the wing bites purchase from the air, not nearly as high pitched as Steve Carson answering a perfectly reasonable question. Rangers supporters, particularly the elderly, the infirm, those in remote areas, .... etc all pay their license fees, why NO SERVICE? The Gang Hut cabal will love Steve as much as they admired Donalda. He was Head of TV at RTE, married long term RTE Presenter, Miriam O'Callaghan, they have eight children. I suspect uttering regret, endeavour, and resolve will be Steve's comfort blankets? The situation at PQ is akin to the Saville/Richard situations, a cabal have been allowed to deliberately manufacture a situation whereby only those taking the rite of passage get a slice of the economic pie. Inside BBC Scotland, rattling it into the H-u-ns improves your standard of life. Well done Bill Whiteford, a principled man.
    9 points
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