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  1. Demonstration outside Ibrox: Rangers v Raith Rovers Sunday 8th February (Scottish Cup) We are looking at a demonstration outside Ibrox for Sunday 8th February prior to the home match against Raith Rovers in the Scottish Cup. The reasons for this are that we feel that today’s news of using Ibrox as security is a watershed moment. This is where a line in the sand must be drawn. We would hope that all supporters and supporters group could agree with the sentiment behind this and would give their support and endorsement to it. This is not about boycotts, dividing the support, or anything other than an act to show how important Ibrox is to Rangers and our support. The demonstration is specifically about using Ibrox as security for a loan funding for anyone. We feel Ibrox should be asset locked away for the supporters. We are holding a meeting on Monday night to discuss this and if you want to attend (as a representative for an organisation, supporters club, or as an individual) then please contact us at info@thelouden.co.uk or message us. This is a positive action to show how much we care. We all love our club – lets show it. The Louden Tavern
  2. masochists I'm switching off everything for 3 days at least
  3. SIR David Murray has broken his silence on the battle for control of Rangers by praising the efforts of Dave King and The Three Bears consortium to gain influence at Ibrox. But the club's former owner warned the club's cash position remains in a critical condition while uncertainty continues to hang over the ownership of the stricken Glasgow giants. While fans have welcomed moves by the Three Bears consortium - comprising wealthy businessmen Douglas Park, George Letham and George Taylor - and former oldco director King to amass 38.1 per cent of shares between them in recent days, Sir David fears little has changed. He claimed the stalemate between the board and those looking to take over is impeding the investment the club badly needs. Sir David, who famously sold Rangers to Craig Whyte for £1 in 2011, said: "The way I see it at the minute, and this isn't trying to be smart, is people have changed seats at the table. "But the fact of the matter is the club needs money and resources as quickly as possible. "Dave King and the Three Bears I'm sure have the right intentions for the club, but they must be in a dilemma about how they take it to the next stage when the other sides don't seem to be willing partners." He added: "I take my hat off to the people who are trying to do the right thing, and let's hope they're successful, but whatever way they are going to do it it's going to need more money." Sir David, speaking after a £20m takeover bid from US basketball boss Robert Sarver was rejected by the club, criticised the current board and its suitors for failing to come up with a strategy to take Rangers forward. He said: "I don't know what anyone is trying to do at the minute. I don't mean to be smart. What we'd like to see is Rangers in the hands of Rangers-minded people. But I wish someone would come out and tell us what their strategy is. "Is Dave King working solo? Are the Three Bears working solo? If they are, they are going to have to come up with some more money." Fans groups have voiced concern over Newcastle owner Mike Ashley's influence over the Ibrox Club. The Sports Direct boss has a 8.92 per cent stake in the business, control over the club's retail operations and has advanced loans to the company. Asked if he shared those concerns, Sir David said: "We don't know, do we? The problem you've got just now is that nobody is making statements. There is no strategy." Sir David also welcomed moves by supporters to buy shares in the club through organisations such as Rangers First but said the club's cash needs were more pressing. He also fears the club is losing supporters who may never come back. Sir David said: "What concerns me also is that a fair percentage of the hardcore [of fans] may have drifted now, and I don't think it will be like you turn a light switch and they will come back. "This will take time." http://www.heraldscotland.com/news/home-news/gers-need-cash-fast-sir-david-says.116118429
  4. ...ahead of return to Ibrox for Fernando Ricksen testimonial. MARCO Negri's time at Rangers was plagued with mystery and controversy. The Italian striker opens up on what will be an emotional return to Glasgow later this month as he gets set to play in Fernando Ricksen's testimonial match. MARCO NEGRI was an enigma. An international man of mystery who came to these shores burning as brightly as a Roman candle before fizzling out just as quickly. It was 1997 and Negri was the £3.5million worth of Italian striking talent bought by Walter Smith to fire Rangers to the Holy Grail of 10 in a row. For five months the long-haired Negri scored goals as if they were going out of fashion. Five against Dundee United, four against Dunfermline, three against Kilmarnock – 30 goals plundered before ’97 turned to ’98. Then, in the blink of an eye, it was over. A game of squash with team-mate Sergio Porrini ended in horrific injury and everything changed. Negri suffered a detached retina after being smacked in the eye with the squash ball and when he came back he wasn’t the same player. He scored only three more goals for Rangers and when Smith left, to be replaced by Dick Advocaat, Negri played just three games in two seasons until he was loaned and finally sold back to Italy. In all that time he hardly uttered a word in public. He made Howard Hughes look like Harry Redknapp. So when Negri picks up his phone in Bologna and speaks with enthusiasm and exuberance, in perfect English, about his time in Glasgow the listener is a little taken aback. Now 44, he hasn’t returned to Glasgow since leaving in November 2001 but that will change when Negri pulls on a Rangers jersey again in the testimonial match that has been arranged for the benefit of Motor Neuron Disease victim Fernando Ricksen at Ibrox on Sunday, January 25. The fact he was willing to drop everything and come to the aid of his stricken former team-mate is an indication there was far more to Negri than the public perception. But he believes the reputation he got for being mean and moody stemmed from the day that earmarked him as something special – a 5-1 demolition of Dundee United a month after joining Rangers. He said: “People saying I was unhappy came from what I call my perfect game – the day I scored five goals against Dundee United. “But before that game there was an incident with a member of the Rangers staff that I was very unhappy about. I can’t say any more than that but I was not happy going out on to the pitch. “If you look at the goals I scored against Kilmarnock or Celtic or anybody else you will see me laughing and smiling. “But everyone just looks at the Dundee United match and they think I should be over the moon because I scored five goals – but I was upset before that game.” He doesn’t say any more because he is keeping the juicy stuff for a book he has coming out in Scotland in April about his controversial life and times. But he does admit he is excited at the prospect of returning to Ibrox, although he wishes the circumstances were happier. He added: “I have to be honest and say there are many emotions. Of course it will be wonderful to play in front of the Rangers fans again. It’s a long time since I’ve played and I don’t want to let myself down. “But on the other side is the reason for the match – we are doing something for a team-mate who has a terrible illness and is putting up such a brave fight. “Fernando is struggling and we will do what we can to help. I am bringing my 10-year-old-son Christian to Glasgow for the first time and it will be a chance for him to watch me playing with the blue jersey. “I am already a little under pressure because he is telling me I have to score a goal! “A lot of feelings I have will be unlocked when I come to Glasgow. We are coming over for a few days and I want to show my son the city and the stadium. “We will act as tourists and of course there is the game and I am doing a question and answer session for Fernando’s charity.” Ask if he regrets the manner in which his Rangers career ended and his answer is instant. “Of course,” he said. “I have regrets that my story with Rangers is not complete. “I know my time there was seen by others as being mysterious and controversial. I am bringing out a book in April and those issues will be dealt with at that time but there were injuries and many misunderstandings. And of course there was a squash ball...” The physical pain may have long gone but 17 years on the emotional scars remain. He said: “For me, my career ended the day I was hit in the eye with that squash ball on the fifth of January. “I tried to come back. Rangers were struggling a little bit as they tried to win 10 in a row and the pressure was huge for everyone. I had to rest for two months because the pressure on my eye was very high. I couldn’t train properly, I couldn’t do anything. “I was a striker, a penalty box player, and my game was all about sharpness. “That’s why I played squash – it helped my footwork and movement. “But although I got playing again it wasn’t the same. The eye wasn’t right but I wanted to play my part. “Absolutely, I regret it. It started so well. I was winning the race for the European Golden Boot and waiting for a call-up to the Italy squad ahead of the World Cup in France. “I was on top of the world and then something terrible happened. “As a player you can expect to injure your knee or your ankle or something. But believe me, I did not expect to go to a squash court with Sergio Porrini on my day off and come back without a retina in my eye. “It was terrible luck and although I am relaxed about speaking about it now, at the time it was so hard to live with.” Negri is happy now, though. And after the Ricksen match he is looking forward to representing Rangers in Australia at a summer coaching school. He said: “I’ve been doing soccer camps with a big society in Milan with players like Fabio Cannavaro, Massimo Ambrosini and Alessandro Costacurta. “Last season I did it in Portland in the USA and the year before in Seattle. “This June I am going to Darwin in Australia with Rangers to become involved in some soccer schools being run by the club. That will help me give something back to the club. “I was contacted by Andrew Power, a Rangers fan, who runs the biggest soccer school in Australia. He saw what I had done for the Milan Society in the USA and Italy and asked if I’d be interested. I said yes immediately.” Doesn’t sound much like Moody Marco, does he? Maybe in reality he never was. http://www.dailyrecord.co.uk/sport/football/rangers-legend-marco-negri-opens-4952619?
  5. an "historic" debt going back to Green has been called in according to our main hater. A lot of speculation that it's for £6.5 million, and that it's owed to Ashley although neither the amount or who it's owed to were identified by him. Anyone got any idea ?
  6. ...to the Light at the End of the Tunnel. 08 January 2015 By Alex Mooney At some point in the near future a fledgling genius will be tasked with writing the definitive story of Rangers since Craig Whyte bought the club for a pound. It will be an act of folly. No one even remotely sane would dream of trying to separate fact from the fiction. That brilliant brain will eventually flounder and fry in the process. The problems are many. For a start, a trillion words have already been written on the subject. And that's just from thousands of Celtic fans who took crash courses and became lawyers, forensic accountants, tax experts (specialising in EBTs and Sporting Integrity), and insolvency practitioners. Meticulously sifting through that vast body of 'research' alone will be a Herculean effort. If this sorry tale has taught us anything it is that the obsessed only believe what they want to believe. Objectivity is non-existent in the Old Firm battleground where agendas, conspiracy theories and paranoia rule. There is only one truth for fanatics - theirs. Any book that attempts a dispassionate account would have to substantially include the shameful witch-hunt against Rangers which I wrote about on this site two years ago. Also of interest would be the Rangers Tax Case blog that acted as a hanging judge in the EBT tribunal then vanished into the night like a skulking dog when the taxman lost. Yet, astonishingly, it won an Orwell award. Panel members who thought a blog consisting of anonymous posters peddling bile, character assassination and using Stalinist censorship was worthy of a prize should be ashamed. The great man of letters who railed against totalitarianism so brilliantly can never have been so insulted and demeaned. What a travesty in his name. Of course, the bampots are still out there on the net toiling away 24/7 in pursuit of their obsession - killing Rangers. Isn't that odd, given they insist their great rival is already dead? Even some of the more prominent Scottish indy blogs are foolishly getting in on the act. In the run-up to the referendum their mantra was inclusion - we're all in it together and together as one the new Scotland will thrive. Apart from Rangers, it now seems, and the 'corrupt' SFA and mainstream media who are in cahoots in a masterplan to covertly run the country. This is unhinged nonsense and a pitiful attempt to suck people in to a divisive and vengeful agenda that has nothing to do with integrity. Or fair play. Or the state of Scottish football. It is simply a vindictive campaign against one club. Bigots masquerading as defenders of justice fool only themselves. It is also cowardly. The Ibrox club is on its knees and struggling for life after being pick-pocketed by a bunch of chancers and incompetents. It needs the support of everyone in Scottish football - especially Celtic fans whose team have been badly affected by Rangers' absence in the top flight. Yet the keyboard warriors are not only kicking a man when he's down, they are revelling in it. The handful of mainstream journalists who egg the obsessed on - and make a shilling from it - should take a serious look at what they are condoning. This poisonous agenda has no place in our lives and they have a professional responsibility not to feed it. So good luck to any aspiring authors out there - your book on Rangers will be howled down by the haters who, I fear, will bore us to death for many long years to come. What is important now is looking ahead and charting a path out of the shambles at Ibrox rather than endlessly analysing the past three years - history, and the courts, will take care of the charlatans who bled the club dry. The only consolation for fleeced fans is knowing that the snake-oil salesmen will go to their graves, their characters forever stained. The last AGM, conducted from a gazebo on a bitterly cold December day in Govan, was utter pantomime as the bumbling board members entered stage left to boos and vicious name-calling. Dignity was conspicuous by its absence as the grey clouds gathered ominously over that theatre of screams. Onlookers around the football world must have been shocked by what they witnessed as this once mighty institution washed its dirty linen in public. How many times has it been said the club had reached its lowest ebb - only for new depths to be plumbed? Surely that grim day was as bad as it can get? With Dave King and the Three Bears entering the fray, with others perhaps, I will take the risk of this coming back to haunt me and say the club really has bottomed out - and can now find a realistic way back to the top. Mike Ashley's involvement is puzzling. Did he ever have a genuine strategy for the club apart from selling the merchandise for a quick buck? The billionaire recluse could easily have bankrolled a recovery with loose change from his back pocket but chose not to. So why get involved at all? Perhaps he doesn't know either. Maybe all that money has gone to this head and made him a stranger to himself. What he must also do now is make himself a stranger to the club. Rangers returning to rude health is conditional, of course, on the new investors and board members being up to the task unlike their inept predecessors. But that shouldn't be a problem if they follow basic business rules. A plan to revive a football club isn't that difficult to understand - you reduce expenditure and increase income. That's it. It's called, dare I say it, Doing a Fergus. There can't be a Gers fan anywhere in the world who wouldn't welcome such a character coming into their club right now with a five-year plan. All it needs is an honest broker. The first step on the long and winding road is getting the fans onside - all of them. Without their backing there is no future. The only way that can happen is for the new regime to be open and honest. Supporters know there are massive problems and tough times before things get better. They can take that. What they cannot bear is being kept out of the loop. Trying to fool them with clever soundbites won't work. There has to be truth. Even if it's bad news, fans will respect the board for that - and back them. But you can't just ask for trust - it has to be earned by not treating them as outsiders. They are all part of the Rangers family so must be viewed as such. The fans also have a massive role to play among themselves. Once an honest regime is in place it will be time to heal the splits and unite. Common cause has to be found to get the club back to where it should be. Filling the stadium and buying season tickets has to be a priority. A solid future for the club takes precedence over personality clashes and point scoring. Trying to say with any certainty when this saga will end is fraught with difficulty but pressure is building on the board. They are running out of time and money. And even the dumbest of them must realise there is no club without the fans - who have lost all patience with those whose tenure can only be regarded as a complete failure. They must step aside soon. Once that happens the real rebuilding will begin and everyone in Scottish football can get back to some sort of normality. Bring it on. http://www.therangersstandard.co.uk/index.php/articles/current-affairs/334-telling-the-rangers-story-from-whyte-to-the-light-at-the-end-of-the-tunnel
  7. A Spain based motor tycoon who wants to buy Rangers is building a £5 million mansion close to Glasgow, The Sunday Post can reveal. Businessman Douglas Park, 64, has submitted plans to erect an eight-bedroom villa near Strathaven, 20 miles from Ibrox. Work is under way on the father-of-three’s new home, which will boast a spiral staircase, home office, gym and steam room as well as a gargantuan master bedroom, according to plans lodged with South Lanarkshire Council. Since separating from wife Isobel in 1999, the tycoon has spent most of his time in Spain. But sources say the car giant plans to move back to the UK – and to help seize control of Ibrox. Alongside George Taylor and George Letham, Park is a member of the so-called Three Bears, who announced on Hogmanay they had bought up 19% of the club. They are in pole position to take control of the side after a £36m bid package by American Robert Sarver was rejected. Last night a source said: “Things are going very well for Dougie. He’s Rangers daft and has flown all over Europe to follow the team. He is close to several Ibrox legends. It’s the same with his three sons. His business is thriving and has his sons help run it so he doesn’t need to be around as much. “He owns a house near the one he is building but it is far smaller and he’s rarely there. “Building this is different. It’s a sign he’s going to spend more time in Scotland – and that will hopefully involve playing a major role at Ibrox. They need him in the boardroom.” The Three Bears are reportedly in cahoots with former director Dave King, 59, who owns 15% of the club. Last night, Craig Houston, of Rangers supporters’ group Sons of Struth, said: “After the turbulent last few years we’d love to see Dougie Park in charge.” Park has built up his thriving business from humble beginnings. He is now recognised to be one of Scotland’s shrewdest businessmen with an estimated personal wealth of £78 million. He started in 1971 with a fleet of three buses, ferrying football fans all over Scotland. That led to contracts providing team coaches for Celtic and other clubs, including Rangers. As the empire grew, he diversified and now owns a large number of car dealerships, including the exclusive rights to sell McLaren and Maserati sports cars in Scotland. Mr Park was unavailable for comment last night. http://www.sundaypost.com/news-views...-park-1.781167
  8. From Sun website - By JONNY BOYLE Published: 1 hr ago STEVIE SMITH admits Rangers are dreading next month’s powderkeg Old Firm clash with Celtic. The Ibrox side face the Hoops in the League Cup semi-final at Hampden on Sunday, February 1. Smith understands why the Rangers supporters are worried about being on the end of an embarrassing result against their bitter rivals given their recent form. And he admits Kenny McDowall’s squad aren’t looking forward to it one bit either. He said: “I started thinking about the Celtic game as soon as it got drawn, to be honest. “But with the results we have been having and the way we have been playing, I don’t think we can think about it too much. “We have got to take every game as it comes. I know that sounds like an old cliche but maybe if we were playing well we could look forward to it a bit more. “But we aren’t. “Everybody has got their opinions and are entitled to them. "The fans will probably be dreading it because in the big games this season, we haven’t done well. “We know that but we will deal with the Celtic game when it comes.” Meanwhile, boss McDowall — whose side face Alloa tomorrow — admits the club’s scouting department needs a complete overhaul. He said: “Since the club went into the trouble that we are into, we have been operating without a scouting team. “The whole thing has got to be addressed at some point but at the moment there is nothing. "We have two people doing match reports for us. Obviously they do a bit of scouting for us as well. “We have got contacts in the game ourselves and that’s what we’ve been relying on. “This is such a big club and these things should all be in place. Hopefully we will get back to being the way we should be.” Rangers revealed this week they would need an emergency cash injection before the end of the month or face another financial crisis. But McDowall insists he’s purely focused on football. He said: “That side of it I’m not involved in at all. I’ve been told to take the football side, which I’m doing, and that’s it. I’m carrying on regardless. “I’ve had discussions with the chief executive but it has purely been about football matters. I’m quite happy to do that. “I don’t think there’s any point worrying about the off-field reports. I’ve been told to do a job, I’m doing that job as best I can, and I’ve got to carry on.” German boss Felix Magath has been linked with a share purchase in Rangers. But he moved to play down reports he could be set for a role at Ibrox. He said: “I don’t want to comment on my stock dealings, that’s private. “I spent the Christmas holidays in London and actually visited someone in Glasgow but I don’t want to comment on whether there has been talks with the club either.”
  9. Just heard that one of them has loaned the club 500,000 pounds to keep things ticking over. Anyone else heard this
  10. Has anybody heard how many of theses have been sold?
  11. It was to become the stuff of legend, the type of story normally reserved for a Roy of the Rovers comic book sketch. Ranger’s manager Willie Waddell was to take the ultimate gamble, replacing his injured and iconic inspirational captain, John Greig, with a raw 16 year old youngster who had made his professional debut only weeks earlier against Cowdenbeath. It was a particularly brave decision given the setting was the 1970 Scottish League Cup Final and Rangers opponents were arch rivals, Celtic. 90 minutes later the manager’s decision was to be completely vindicated as the 16 year old Derek Johnstone scored the only goal of the game, sending the light blue legions amongst the 106,000 crowd into rapture and thus heralding the end of a 4 year trophy drought. Who would argue that fortune does indeed favour the brave? Today’s Rangers fans yearn for that kind of bravery amongst our current management. The highly publicised departure of young starlet Charlie Telfer and his criticism of the lack of opportunity for youngsters at Ibrox should set alarm bells ringing. Sour grapes or valid criticism? Well despite League One being done and dusted early doors, Telfer only featured once, coming on as a substitute in the 4-0 defeat of Stenhousemuir. Was completing a season undefeated in a lower league really more important than the continual development of our youngsters? Alarmingly, the Telfer story is not an isolated one. Last year, centre half Stuart Urquhart, a captain of the Scotland Under 17 side, having held his own at Dumbarton whilst on loan (2 divisions above Rangers at the time) chose to depart the club despite not having any clear destination. His subsequent snapping up by Steven Pressley at Coventry City, himself a product of the Rangers youth system, adds a touch of irony to a fast developing farce. That orchestra of irony reached a crescendo this week with the departure of Lewis Macleod, one of our few “blooded youngsters,” in order to keep our club afloat. Those of us at Ibrox yesterday, watching the toiling of Lee McCulloch, were left to wonder if a nurtured and blooded Gasparotto, may well have spared some of the raised blood pressure caused by the inadequacy of our failing captain. The same could be said of Sinnamon as an alternative to Foster or McKay instead of Smith. In an age of “gardening leave” it’s clear our club is in dire need of a bold, green fingered horticulturist with a proven aptitude for the development of young seedlings.
  12. They're worried, make no mistake about it, not one single positive thing in Merlin's latest propaganda, which fills me with yet more confidence for our future - Transparency Required January 1, 2015 / billmcmurdo The remarks of Colin Kingsnorth upon Laxey’s sale of their shareholding in RIFC do not bode well for the future of the club. Kingsnorth seems to have a personal issue with Mike Ashley and hopes that the group he sold to will ramp up the opposition to Ashley in their new position as shareholders. With these intemperate comments, Kingsnorth has thrown petrol on an already ravaging fire and possibly kicked off a whole new era of turmoil at the club. Ashley’s position as Rangers’ major creditor, coupled with his having Derek Llambias in place, means that he still wields considerable power in the Ibrox boardroom, despite having a lesser shareholding than the Three Amigos. The problem for Rangers fans is what happens if the incoming group decides to go to war with the other factions for control of the club. This would make the boardroom battles of recent times look like an infant spat. If Ashley decides to fight for control of Rangers then things could get very nasty indeed. The Amigos as predicted took advantage of the plummeting price of Rangers’ shares to secure their stake. This has left a bitter taste in the mouth of many Rangers supporters considering it is the actions of those activist groups like the UoF and SoS who support Amigoco that have driven the share price down. It also doesn’t help that Taylor, Letham and Park have bought shares from an existing shareholder and that the monies do not go directly toward the club at a time when RFC is screaming for income. Let’s be fair – if people like Mike Ashley can be criticised for buying shares this way, so can the Amigos. Good for the goose, good for the gander and all that. There are also many fans who question the concept of chasing away a billionaire for people whose combined net worth comes nowhere close to his. The possibility that further bitter infighting could rip Rangers apart cannot be discounted. Imagine, for example, if Mike Ashley chose to take on the pointless rules of the SFA regarding his own shareholding with the Three Amigos supporting the SFA and conspiring against Ashley. An unthinkable prospect as there isn’t a Rangers fan alive who thinks that the SFA will act in Rangers’ best interests. Questions must be asked of the new shareholders – again, in the interests of parity with Ashley. Some of mine would be:- What are their plans – if they have any – to help raise revenues in the future? Short, mid and longer term would be great. What are their intentions in respect of control of the club? Do they intend to oust other factions and wrest control? What are their plans for the management, coaching and playing side of the club? How do they intend to take on the club’s many detractors in the media and elsewhere? These are broad stroke questions but more pointed ones would be how would they propose to deal with the present gardening leave situation of the manager and who specifically do they want on the board? It would also help if we could get a definite answer on whether or not George Letham is on the RST board. All in the interests of transparency, of course. The new shareholders will surely be willing to have exacted upon them the same demands for transparency and openness they expected of others. Mile Ashley’s seeming reticence to share his own plans has not served him well and only breeds suspicion. The Three Amigos would do well to heed this because they can definitely expect to be grilled repeatedly should they fail to be transparent in their own dealings. After all, we have been taught to expect much better from real Rangers men…
  13. That McCoist will be given his job back as manager? The thought of it fills me with dread
  14. http://www.londonstockexchange.com/exchange/prices-and-markets/stocks/exchange-insight/trade-data.html?fourWayKey=GB00B90T9Z75GBGBXASQ1
  15. Thought this worth sharing from FF: "Lifted this from another forum, some things we didn't know about players, training etc!! Training seems like a hoot! http://www.hat-trick.fr/sebastien-fa...st-jimmy-bell/ You’ve been here for two years now. What does “Rangers” mean to you? (After a long time spent thinking) Well it’s easy to say this and a bit of a cliché, but it’s a religion. There’s football here which is one thing, but then there’s Rangers, the fans, and everyone else associated with the club, it’s amazing…even after the club was relegated to Division 4, people kept their jobs at Ibrox or at Murray Park. And they are just so proud to work here, and they so proud to say “I work for Rangers”. When you are a professional player, you tend to move from club to club, it’s part of the job. It’s not easy to really absorb the culture and ethos of a club, apart from those who stay for years and years and really become ingrained in the fabric of the club, like Lee McCulloch. Sometimes, the supporters shout at you or get angry. But you can’t let it get to you, you can only do your talking on the pitch. They’ve had so much good football over the years that I think they sort of have a right to be angered, to be honest. In any case, playing at Ibrox is far from easy. There’s so much pressure. You can be winning 2-0, but if you misplace just one pass you’ll be whistled. I mean I heard a few boos at the Gerland (Lyon stadium), but never like the one’s you get here sometimes! (laughs) Did it take you long to learn what it meant to play for a club like Rangers? What did you expect when you came over? No, I didn’t expect it to be honest. I knew Rangers were a massive club, but I didn’t know how they were perceived by the other Scottish clubs. The Glasgow clubs really are hated by the other Scottish clubs. It’s incredible! What’s more, you have to understand that I was a but unsure about coming over here in the first place. I said to my agent: “You’re kind, but I’m not sure if I want to be dropping down to play in Division 4 in France” and he said “It’s Division 4 in Scotland”. He said: “Seb, please, just go over for a few days, check out the facilities and the stadium, you’ll soon change your mind.” On the first day of my trial I trained with the reserves, and it went well. That night, I went to see the first team play in the League Cup again East Fife. It was a Tuesday night, we won 4-0 and almost 40, 000 fans were there. It was…mad, just mad. I called up my agent and said: “If you can sort it out for me, I really want to stay here!” Everything you do and say is reported on and scrutinised at a club like Rangers. Has the press had an influence on the atmosphere at the club? First of all you need to understand that the press and its reporters here are a million times worse than in France! I’m sure I’ve seen the word “crisis” used to describe our club just about every day of the year, even when we win. Taking this into consideration, I do think that it’s had an influence. I must say, not on me personally. To be very honest, I don’t read the papers, apart from when they discuss politics or cover stories from France. But at the level of the club more generally, they have definitely had an influence. Ten days ago, an old team mate of McCoist’s, John Brown, said to the Sun: “You are a disgrace!” The coach brought us the article and he had an argument with Kenny Miller. After we got beaten by Hearts, apparently Miller had called up a journalist wanting to speak to him to tell him the manager had made some bad decisions, although it turned out that he hadn’t. McCoist got so angry: he threw the paper, he stamped on it, he was shouting and screaming! It’s the first time I’ve ever seen him like that. Blacky brings the Sun in every morning, and we read it. McCoist reads all the papers every morning in his office at Murray Park, which by the way is enormous (laughs). I think that its mainly at the level of the club staff that the papers have an impact. In your eyes, who represents the soul of the club? Jimmy Bell the kitman. He’s been here since 1972, I think. It’s amazing that he was taking care of McCoist and Durrant when they were players, and now its them who are in charge. It’s an amazing story and an amazing history, one which you wouldn’t get at many clubs at all. Jimmy’s got his own room in Ibrox where he displays all the Rangers kits and all the Rangers photos that he’s collected over 40 years. In his office at Murray Park, there’s a room, which we are forbidden from entering (laughs), which has all of his souvenirs, his trophies…it’s his very own museum! When it looked like they might be re-possessing Ibrox, he had to pack up all his stuff because he was scared that it would be taken off him. He is really the soul of the club, its him, its Jimmy. He’s a great guy, even if he’s always sulking. You need to get to know him…I remember when I arrived on trial, I didn’t speak English. “You don’t speak English, ****ing French!?” he said (laughs). But I mean really nasty to me! But nowadays, along with Bilel, he tells us loads of stories, loads of jokes. He’s really a top guy, he’s golden. I’m trying to help our readers understand the complete devotion that Rangers inspires in people. To give us more of an insight, is it true that one of the players has got the logo of the club tattooed on his calf? Yeah its Danny Stoney! He’s a good lad who we’ve loaned out to Stranraer. He’s got a tattoo that’s blue, with red around it, and five golden stars in the middle. It’s amazing, simply amazing. When I was at Lyon, even though I was also a Lyon fan, I would never have got a Lyon tattoo. It would never have crossed my mind! It’s just a different type of relationship to the club here. At Lyon, if I’d have got a club tattoo while I was at the academy I’d have had the piss taken out of me! “Suck up!” they’d have said. Here, it is praised! But by contrast, at Lyon if you change your hairstyle or your clothes, people will talk about it. Here, no one cares! The outfits people wear here, and I’m talking about the players, are just….Take Lee Wallace for example, I’ve never seen him wearing jeans (laughs)! At Lyon, you dress well to be stylish or whatever, but here, not at all.
  16. BRENTFORD are ready to spark a January transfer scramble for Rangers star Lewis Macleod. SunSport understands the Championship side are poised to make a £1million move for the Ibrox kid. And that could see a host of English clubs enter the bidding for the Scotland squad member. Macleod has caught the eye of Championship promotion hopefuls Bees. Rangers legend David Weir is No 2 there and is fully aware of the 20-year-old’s potential. But several other English clubs, including Premier League strugglers Burnley, are keen on the midfielder. Blackburn were also set to make a bid before being hit with a transfer ban.
  17. @Ryanfinnie22: Happy to say I have left Rangers after a year of ups and downs great bunch of boys though will miss them a lot. Time for a new start... ⚽️❤️
  18. He's a COWARD, he doesn't like a 50-50 and tackles from behind. SCOTTISH football journeyman and no stranger to a hard tackle, Chic Charnley has lashed out at Rangers bad boy Ian Black. CHIC CHARNLEY didn’t need to take lessons when it came to being one of Scottish football’s bad boys. He was sent off 17 times in a tempestuous career that began in 1982 and finished in 2003 when he made his final SPL appearance for Partick Thistle 18 days short of his 40th birthday. Rangers midfielder Ian Black has been booked 33 times and sent off twice in his 101 games for Rangers but, according to Charnley, their disciplinary record is about all they have in common. Charnley, right, was as hard as he was skilful but has no time for Black, whom he regards as being deficient in both departments. The 29-year-old was hooked by interim manager Kenny McDowall just 34 minutes into the 4-0 defeat by Hibs at Easter Road after a booking for a scything foul from behind on Scott Allan – a challenge that sums him up so far as Charnley is concerned. He said: “Black is just a coward. His fouls are either from behind or the side or they’re late – you don’t see him going in for many 50-50s. “On the other hand, he always seemed to be complaining about the rough treatment from other players in the lower divisions but if you dish it out then you need to be able to take it. “I know Kenny McDowall well from playing alongside him for St Mirren and I know what he’s like – he wouldn’t have missed Black in the dressing room especially after he kicked the dugout after being taken off. “That sums up Black’s attitude. I’ve never rated him as a player anyway but I particularly dislike the way he struts about the pitch as if he is somebody. “He should never have been at Ibrox in the first place. I know Ally McCoist’s hands have been tied since they went bust but, even now, he isn’t good enough to play for them. “He would never have got near the squad for any of the teams Coisty played in.” Sky pundit Andy Walker was also critical of the foul on Allan, which forced McDowall to sub the player before he was red-carded. Walker said: “That’s not the way to show that you’re brave. It’s typical of Ian Black. The jersey seems too heavy for him. “He can’t be trusted – he can’t keep his composure.” Charnley also believes the former Inverness and Hearts man should have been binned when it was revealed in August, 2013 that he had been caught betting against Rangers in a game he had played in. He said: “How can you do that? His feet shouldn’t have touched the ground when that came out. “Listen, we all used to put a coupon on at the weekend when I played but it wouldn’t have crossed anyone’s mind to bet against your own team. “I know football has changed but if anyone in John Lambie’s team had been caught doing that he’d have had them up against the wall by the throat. “As for my record, I did some daft things and sometimes my reputation preceded me but I was still playing at 40 because I loved the game. “Black’s contract with Rangers is up at the end of this season and if they let him go – and I’m sure they will – I don’t think anyone will want to sign him.” Charnley played for 12 senior clubs in Scotland, England, Ireland and Sweden but never made a secret of being a lifelong Celtic supporter. But he takes no pleasure in the plight of the coaching staff at their rivals. He said: “Ally had to deal with a lot of stuff that no one else ever had to contend with. “Kenny is a good pal of mine and I know he’ll be hurting – my heart goes out to him. “I really feel for Ian Durrant, too. The people running that club have no class and they’ve proved it by the ridiculous way they’ve treated him. “They’ve demoted him to youth team coach in an attempt to force him out. It’s a liberty. “However, once this whole episode is over and done with, I have no doubt that the three of them can manage another club and be successful.” http://www.dailyrecord.co.uk/sport/football/football-news/chic-charnley-slams-rangers-hot-4891416
  19. http://www.telegraph.co.uk/sport/football/teams/rangers/11315517/Rangers-are-facing-an-impending-crisis-on-and-off-the-field.html Rangers go into 2015 in a state of crisis greater than anything they have faced since they began their attempt to march through three divisions and regain top-flight status in Scotland. The weekend defeat by Hibernian at Easter Road not only effectively ended their frail hope of challenging Hearts for automatic promotion to the Scottish Premiership, it also confirmed that the Ibrox side are in poor shape for the play-offs. Rangers trail Hearts by 15 points and to put themselves in a position where they could be promoted without having to take anything from their final fixture – against the leaders at Tynecastle – they would have to make up more than a point per game on Robbie Neilson’s players throughout the second half of the season. The evidence of the league meetings with their most likely play-off rivals – Hibs and Queen of the South – is that Rangers would struggle in a play-off sequence against them. They have been beaten home and away by Hibs 7-1 on aggregate and if the games against Queens had been a two-legged tie, the 4-4 score would have seen Rangers lose on away goals. Of course, past results are no guarantee of future performance – a dictum that applies in football as it does to the stock market – but Rangers are in disarray in both arenas. Kenny McDowall, having been told that he will replace Ally McCoist as manager until at least the end of the season, uttered a harsh truth after the 4-0 weekend defeat by Hibs. “At the moment I am just going to have to work with the squad that is there. I can’t just invent players,” he said. Derek Llambias has not yet cut the playing strength in his drive to reduce the £8 million annual deficit at Ibrox but a dozen or so players are out of contract at the end of the season and have no idea whether or not they will be offered continued employment. It can be argued that this should be a motivational tool and that those footballers should be performing as though their careers depended on the outcome – which, in some cases, will be true. Related Articles Rangers' post-McCoist era off to a shocker 27 Dec 2014 Miller laments Rangers' defensive waekness 27 Dec 2014 McCulloch: 'Let’s do this for McCoist' 26 Dec 2014 SFA 1, Mike Ashley 0 24 Dec 2014 However, when Terry Butcher warned Hibs’ below-par players last season that they would have to step up or ship out, the result was the collapse which saw the Easter Road team relegated. There has been no indication that McDowall can add to his strength during the January transfer window and, in any case, the fact that Rangers have the highest player salary bill in Scotland outside Celtic hardly suggests Llambias could make a case to Mike Ashley for greater funding in that department. In any event, Ashley now has troubles of his own at Ibrox. His long-term strategy of making the club dependent on his funding – emergency loans secured on assets – has given him control of a compliant board but the grand plan has run into obstacles. Llambias told the club’s Fans Board that it would be “very difficult” for the directors to regain the trust of the support. Yet at the subsequent annual general meeting David Somers, the Rangers chairman, produced an ill-judged display of bluster that has wholly alienated him from the fans. The outcome was cemented by The Telegraph’s disclosure of an email in which Somers pleaded with an Ashley representative to keep the Newcastle owner’s takeover process on course – in the face of a competing £16 million offer by Dave King – so that he could remain chairman. The AGM also featured the bizarre spectacle of club directors proposing an open share issue of £8 million and then voting against it, a tactic that can only be explained by a mistaken belief that the Scottish Football Association would grant Ashley his request to exert complete control at Ibrox by increasing his shareholding to 29.9 per cent. The SFA’s refusal to do so has generated a challenge to Ashley’s hegemony from the consortium of wealthy Rangers supporters – Douglas Park, George Letham and George Taylor – who have proposed an offer to underwrite the share issue to the tune of £6.5 million. The question for Ashley is whether he maintains his own percentage stake by putting more money into the club – and having to agree to the consortium’s demand for board seats – or find some way of presenting alternative funding which would dispense with the need for the share issue. Either way, the immediate outlook for a dysfunctional club is turbulent. Ashley and Rangers must answer SFA disciplinary charges that he has extended his influence beyond the terms of the written undertaking he gave. And – perhaps most ominously of all – in five weeks Rangers face Celtic in a Scottish League Cup semi-final. That is a prospect which – after Saturday’s collapse – has Ibrox fans fearing the damage that could be inflicted by their greatest adversaries.
  20. ...they are also entering the eye of a potentially devastating storm. AS Rangers hit rock bottom, KEITH looks back at another nightmare year for the Ibrox club and warns that 2015 could be even worse. ANOTHER horrible Ibrox annus. Yes, Rangers have been blighted by a long list of them in recent times but, even so, 2014 will go down as a year of unrelenting trauma which has brought this basket case back to the brink. The New Year is not yet upon us but already Rangers are running out of time. There are just days now for the current regime to extricate itself from an impending insolvency because, having loaned £3million from Mike Ashley just to limp into the festivities, they are left with little more than pockets full of spare change. And so 2015 will begin in almost exactly the same way as 2014, with a bunch of bedraggled directors scrambling around at the top of the old staircase desperately attempting to secure lifesaving hand-outs. Only the names and the faces change but the crisis which these men have bestowed upon this club remains constant, as does the shadow it casts across the landscape of the Scottish game. Granted, it might not have reached as far north as Inverness where yesterday Aberdeen’s red army rolled into town to battle it out for second place in the SPFL top flight. And yes, the good people of Dundee are enjoying their football more this season than they have done in a long time. With Hearts back in such rejuvenated form that they took 7500 fans to Livingston with them on Saturday and Hibs are also taking impressive shape under Alan Stubbs. There are undoubted green shoots. In fact, it could be that the worst of the nuclear winter is over. That Scottish football is adjusting and getting used to life without a relevant Rangers. Ironically, it is Celtic who are pining the most, even though they are the one club in the country with the financial muscle to withstand just about any kind of unilateral collapse. Life without a significant other has taken its toll on the champions, who continue to dominate the domestic scene while doing little more than going through the motions. Only in such an environment of apathy would professor Ronny Deila be able to continue his experimental approach to the science of winning football matches. In more normal circumstances, had the Norwegian returned from the lab with a 0-0 draw at home to Ross County he would have been feeling more than just the heat coming off his bunsen burner. It is precisely because Delia is operating in a vacuum, devoid of the intensity created by ferocious competition, that he will continue to make unnecessarily hard work of winning this title before shouting ‘Eureka’ when the job is done. But over time Celtic may nurture new rivalries, especially if the North East revival should build up a head of steam. And that’s probably just as well as the next few weeks seem set to determine if Rangers are ever to become recognisable again or if indeed they are locked into this downward spiral of perpetual self harming for good. Or at least until they reach an inevitable end. Right now it would seem like a mercy killing if this Rangers, in its current form, was to be released from its misery. It’s as if they exist now only to humiliate themselves. It was four years ago that Craig Whyte began battering on the doors of the boardroom and ever since his pointy buckled shoes first stepped across the threshold, the place has become a sanctuary for scoundrels. Between them these people have unleashed a chaos like no other. A toxic slurry of administration, liquidation, groping Yorkshire hands, secret videos, missing millions, police probes, arrests and now impending court cases. Is it any wonder that for many Rangers fans the actual football has long since become an irrelevance? But there are thousands more who continue to focus only on what they see on the pitch. And on Saturday, as Kenny McDowall began his duties as caretaker manager with a 4-0 thrashing at Hibs, they too hit rock bottom. Finally, perhaps for the first time, all sections of this club’s fractured support are united in utter dismay and embarrassment at what their club has become. And as Rangers stagger forward into another year they are also entering the eye of a perfect and potentially devastating storm. The numbers are dropping away to such an extent that a business which was already broken and suffering unsustainable losses, is exposed like never before. In its current state, it may even be irretrievable. The next few weeks will determine the fate of this club. An offer for £6.5m worth of funding has been tabled by three wealthy Rangers fans, Douglas Park, George Letham and George Taylor, and proof of funding has also been provided. But although this appears to offer an easy solution, it is far from a done deal. First, it will require the approval of a board which, up until now, has gone to extraordinary lengths to keep such well-meaning investors at arm’s length in order to cling on to control. Also, this cash offer may well be conditional not just on two seats on the board but also upon Park, Letham and Taylor being allowed to look under the bonnet of Rangers and examine the actual depth of the current financial crisis. If so, it is entirely possible that any one of this trio may be sufficiently horrified as to be scared into having some serious second thoughts. Then there is the unpredictably enigmatic Ashley. Just where exactly does he stand in all of this, after bulldozing his way into control of the boardroom, where his man Derek Llambias now sits at the head of the table as CEO? Is the Newcastle United owner prepared to roll over and obey the commands of the SFA who have taken an aggressive stance against his attempted power grab? Or is he about to turn his tanks on Hampden and take what he wants in any case, underwriting a share issue and increasing his stake to 29.9 per cent? His total lack of feeling for Rangers coupled with his contempt for governing blazers may be such that he is prepared to call their bluff where threats of revoking the club’s licence to play football is concerned. Ashley may well believe they simply would not dare but this would be the ultimate high-risk strategy and, given the millions he makes from selling Rangers merchandise, it might prove too big a gamble to take. Even for a man with the deepest of pockets. But, despite his wealth, there seems little logic in Ashley continuing to throw millions of pounds of loans into an ever-widening black hole just in order to keep Rangers breathing while its customers revolt against him. It may be a great deal easier to have the club tipped back into administration, one which he would be able to control as the club’s major creditor. Either way the SFA have drawn a line in the sand where Ashley is concerned. They have seen proof of funds from Park, Letham and Taylor and are satisfied that Ashley is not, as the Rangers board describe him, the only show in town. If Rangers chose to proceed with Ashley then the SFA’s Judicial Panel will step in and thousands upon thousands will be drained from the game’s coffers and given over to lawyers all in the name of sorting out yet another Rangers-made mess. New Year, same old story. But, one way or the other, January is likely to bring a defining moment to this exhausting narrative. http://www.dailyrecord.co.uk/sport/football/football-news/keith-jackson-rangers-stagger-another-4886939
  21. Never thought I would see the day I posted on a football site on Xmas morning. However, morose at a houseful of snoring teenagers who refuse to get up at 6 am and behave like they did when they were wee, I have done a tribute to Ian Durrant. Merry Christmas everyone, may your mince pie forever be moist. Winter can be the cruelest season. Among footballers, Ian Durrant could certainly testify to that. This most gifted of Scottish players, an attacking midfielder some decades ahead of his time, was cut down in his prime in early winter, October 1988. A 'tackle' from an Aberdeen player (mentioning the name of the individual concerned would only confer a gravitas upon him which he doesn't deserve) saw the usual welcome for grace and skill in Scottish football: physical assault. Both as player and coach Durrant suffered torment on Rangers behalf; there can be few circles of Hell he is unfamiliar with after his more than 30 years at Ibrox. Just as that early winter 26 years ago saw the only real world class talent this country has produced for two generations crippled by the mediocrity which dominates then as now, the long delayed winter of 2014 has seen him unceremoniously dumped from his job as assistant manager to Ally McCoist to a role in charge of the club's under-20's. Winter can be the cruelest season. This demotion might not prove to be a bad thing, if Durrant is minded to accept the role. Always a larrikin, the performances of the first team over the last few years certainly suggest he, along with McCoist and McDowall, wasn't suited to training experienced pros. A big kid himself, he could conceivably be more effective at working with other kids. Even so, this demotion is not a classy way to treat a man who, had things been different, would almost certainly have moved to England and thence on to Europe - he was that good - and who was and is a Rangers fanatic. But if Durrant deserved better from the club, he also deserved better from the fans. No-one can argue that the team he helped create was rubbish, but some of the criticism was ridiculous. Durrant, like McCoist, only ever wanted to do the best by Rangers. Those who posted dark hints about money grabbing, uselessness and standing with arms folded did the man a huge disservice: when Ian Black puts yet another pass straight out of play, what coach on earth can teach him how to pass? A crap player is a crap player. Of course, the solution would be not to pick such dreck, which the management team singularly failed to do, but that wasn't Durrant's decision to make. Even so, a fan base which regularly slates Steven Naismith for betraying the club which 'stood by him' during injury - a spurious argument indeed, given the legally binding contract both sides signed - but which then turns around and berate someone who stood by the club for decades, has got some issues of consistency, to say the very least. Players need to stand by the club, they insist: but what about the other way, club to player? Or even more close to home, fan to player: what about that relationship? It only lasts as long as the times are good, does it? To suggest any player be immune from criticism would be ludicrous, but there's ways of criticising without forever destroying the special bond between fan and hero, especially when that hero was and remains a fan. Well, if the board is dysfunctional and at one remove from the fan base, I suppose it's hardly surprising that the support is dysfunctional and at one remove from club legends. On the whole I suppose this is a small matter, and there are far greater issues for Rangers fans to be thinking about, as the annual family pig out/fall out approaches. But we can't look back on Durranty's time at Ibrox with any great pride now, the way he's been treated. For some fans - not all - cutting one of our own a little slack and tempering criticism with respect was too much to ask, and that's deeply depressing. I hope anyone under say 40, who might not remember the slight, elusive midfielder with the huge mop of curly hair in action, will take to Youtube to see what the fuss was about. As much a reflection then of the national preference for hackers as he is a reflection now to our own failings, Durrant is something of an unlikely Alighieri, experiencing the various circles of Hell available to the Bluenose: McCoist an even more unlikely Virgil. But both have been through an inferno on our behalf, as players and then as staff. The least they deserve is our understanding.
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