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  1. Talking to Rangersitis (nice meeting you btw.) on Saturday afternoon we both debated whether it can be stopped via Sandy Easdale's proxy bloc and Ashley's holdings. Few things: 1. Will it be considered a resolution or just a simple loan authorised by the board? 2. Or will Ashley and Easdale bloc this through their voting rights on special resolutions? 3. By blocking the loan if it is seen as a resolution will concert party rights be triggered 4. By calling the EGM it looks to me as though the voting percentages won't matter here and that's why Ashley's calling the EGM in an effort to prevent the vote going through at a typical board meeting Would any of our more informed Gersnetters like to set us right?
  2. Former Celtic boss Neil Lennon has been named as the manager of Championship bottom side Bolton Wanderers. Lennon, 43, out of work since leaving Celtic in May after four years in charge, succeeds Dougie Freedman, who left the Trotters earlier this month. Bolton have won only one league game in 11 so far this season. Neil Lennon's managerial career at Celtic The Northern Irishman officially takes over at Bolton on Monday, with his first match in charge being Saturday's trip to Birmingham City. Lennon led Celtic to three league titles and two Scottish Cups and took them to the Champions League last 16. Victory over Barcelona in the group stage of Europe's elite club competition in November 2012 was Lennon's highest-profile achievement at the Glasgow club. Johan Mjallby, Lennon's number two in Glasgow, also joins the Trotters as assistant manager with Garry Parker, another who served at Celtic Park, arriving as first-team coach. Lennon had last month expressed interest in vacant posts at Bolton's Championship rivals Cardiff City and Fulham http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/0/football/29589068
  3. Should be a good game tonight. THE Scotland boss arrived in Warsaw on Monday without key defender Grant Hanley and with serious concern over the fitness of little talisman Ikechi Anya. GORDON Strachan last night insisted injury-hit Scotland are not running scared of table-topping Poland in Group D. The national boss jetted into Warsaw yesterday without key defender Grant Hanley and with serious concern over the fitness of little talisman Ikechi Anya. While Hanley has been sent back to Blackburn for treatment Anya travelled with the squad but did not train at the National Stadium as Strachan went through his final preparations ahead of tonight’s showdown. The manager is likely to replace Hanley with Brighton stopper Gordon Greer – who was paired up with Russell Martin here back in March when Scotland notched a 1-0 friendly win. But even though there are no obvious replacements for left winger Anya, Strachan remained in seriously bullish mood yesterday on the back of Saturday’s 1-0 triumph over Georgia. And not even Poland’s shock 2-0 win over world champions Germany has dampened his spirits. He said: “It would be great if Anya makes it but even if he doesn’t we’re not scared of the situation. We have other people who are ready to go. “Hanley took a knock to his knee in the Georgia game and is away home. “Ikechi also had an injury and won’t train. We’ll have a look at him – he has tightness in his calf. “We’d prefer to have both players but we’ll be all right. On Sunday night I didn’t go into any real panic about it.” And so supremely confident is Strachan that he insists Scotland are here not just to take a point from the high-flying Poles but to beat them. He said: “Maybe during the game I might settle for a point but at this moment let’s go for all three.” SCOTLAND'S RECORD V POLAND Poland have entertained Scotland on five occasions before tonight. Here Record Sport gives a rundown of those games. POLAND 1, SCOTLAND 2 (Warsaw, June 1958) Celtic inside right Bobby Collins scored a goal in each half as Scotland won the first meeting between the teams. The game formed part of the visitors’ final preparations for the 1958 World Cup finals in Sweden. POLAND 1, SCOTLAND 1 (Chorzow, May 1965) Collins, now with Don Revie’s great Leeds United team, also played in this World Cup qualifier which was Jock Stein’s first match in charge of the national team. Denis Law earned Scotland a point when he equalised in the 76th minute, but the failure to beat the Poles in the group meant they finished behind Italy and missed out on the finals in England the following summer. POLAND 1, SCOTLAND 0 (Poznan, May 1980) Current manager Gordon Strachan was in the Scotland team that lost narrowly in a friendly during Stein’s second spell in charge. A strikeforce featuring Kenny Dalglish, Joe Jordan and Steve Archibald were over-shadowed by Poland great Zbigniew Boniek, whose shot deflected in off Willie Miller. POLAND 1, SCOTLAND 1 (Bydgoszcz, April 2001) Scott Booth earned Scotland a draw in a friendly which saw Craig Brown hand debuts to seven players – Barry Nicholson, Gavin Rae, Charlie Miller, John O’Neil, Kenny Miller, Andy McLaren and Steven Caldwell. Radoslaw Kaluzny headed the hosts in front, arguably from an offside position, when he beat Neil Sullivan to a free-kick, but Booth’s emphatic penalty gave a makeshift Scotland an unlikely draw. POLAND 0, SCOTLAND 1 (Warsaw, March 2014) The countries were drawn in the same European Championship qualifying group just after arranging a friendly earlier this year. The Scots gave themselves a morale boost ahead of the real thing when Scott Brown fired home a late left-foot strike, although the hosts were missing their injured star striker Robert Lewandowski. http://www.dailyrecord.co.uk/sport/football/football-news/scotland-v-poland-gordon-strachan-4433307 I can see a score draw tonight.
  4. Here's the latest offering from oor Bill....
  5. Not sure if it'll benefit us when we do eventually play under the lights of Ibrox in the CL again. http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/0/football/29562047 One can only hope!
  6. RECORD Sport asks eight key questions about the Sports Direct Tycoon and attempts to discover the reasons behind his bid for power at Rangers. AS the power struggle within the Ibrox boardroom intensifies it would appear “Iron” Mike Ashley is spoiling for a fight. The Sports Direct tycoon last week launched a dramatic bid to remove chief executive Graham Wallace by calling an extraordinary general meeting. If Ashley succeeds in ousting Wallace and director Philip Nash it could deal a knockout blow to Dave King’s hopes of assuming control. King is preparing a £16million rescue plan along with Paul Murray and George Letham – which has the backing of finance expert Nash and the CEO. However, Ashley has increased his shareholding to 8.9 per cent, sparking rumours he’s preparing to sell Newcastle and plough some of the cash into purchasing Rangers. And if he secures enough support to remove Wallace and Nash it would almost certainly kill off any hope of King pumping money into the ailing club. The outcome of the scrap could go a long way to deciding the future of Rangers although it is abundantly clear the supporters would much prefer the South Africa-based businessman to the secretive Ashley. The billionaire Londoner is a loathed figure at Newcastle and has already had several run-ins with the Toon Army. A reluctance for making public statements only serves to increase the sense of mystery surrounding Ashley and his interest in Rangers. A hugely controversial yet influential figure, the Newcastle owner already has the naming rights over Ibrox and is reported to want control of the club crest in exchange for an emergency loan. But just who is Mike Ashley and what are his motives in football? Does he deserve the hatred he gets from some Newcastle fans and should Rangers fear his bid for power? Is he a ruthless tycoon who tramples on tradition and ambition? Or is he a sharp businessman whose challenge to the status quo, and ability to put up his own hard cash rather than borrowed money, should be welcomed? Here Record Sport asks eight key questions and attempts to discover the reasons behind his intervention: Q: Who is the real Ashley? Colleagues describe him as gregarious, enthusiastic, passionate, ruthless. Always ready to challenge the perceived wisdom and act on instinct. Loyal to those who show him loyalty. Socially he’s personable, far from being the introvert people think. Those who have crossed him are less flattering in their assessment. His business practice is to aggressively pursue opponents until he’s won the battle, leaving losers in his wake. Q: Why is he in the football business? Surely it isn’t worth the flak? Initially he claimed to be a Newcastle fan – a colleague says Chelsea and England were his teams – who wanted to “have some fun and win trophies”. But in reality he is a football speculator who has worked out the game is the perfect platform to promote Sports Direct’s global ambitions. There are more than 130 Sports Direct signs around St James’ Park – and they don’t pay for the ads. Sports Direct also made £3.4m by taking over Newcastle’s commercial sportswear business. Q: But no football club owner makes money, do they? With TV cash rolling in, a policy of selling the best players at a huge killing, and tight financial controls, he has made Newcastle one of the most profitable clubs in Europe, making £9m last year. Flush with cash from floating Sports Direct, he bought Newcastle seven years ago for a cheap-looking £133m, and has loaned £129m of his fortune to settle inherited debts and keep the club running after relegation in 2009. Q: Attempts to sell Newcastle have failed and now he is snapping up nine per cent of Rangers. Surely this comes at a price to the club? Renaming St James’ Park the Sports Direct Arena to “showcase” it for future sponsors, and bringing in pay-day lenders Wonga as shirt sponsors, show cash wins over sentiment, tradition or business morals. Ashley has also ordered Newcastle to put survival in the league over cup glory, which the club argue risks relegation. That has infuriated supporters. The Magpies owner made this public through a fans’ forum because he wanted the message out with no PR flannel, typical of his brazen, controversy-courting decisions. “Mike makes decisions from his gut instinct,” says a close business pal. “It is hard to argue because he has built up a huge empire.” Q: Has Ashley actually done any good at Newcastle? Most fans will say no, fearing the ambition and excitement have gone. But the £129m loan is interest free. A commercial loan that size would cost millions a year in interest. Just ask Manchester United and the Glazers. He instructed staff to keep the stadium full with well-priced ticket deals. Ashley also told them he hates “overpaid freeloaders” such as agents who demand the going rate of 10-14 per cent of a deal in commission. “Just because that is the way football has always done it, isn’t a reason to keep doing it for Mike,” says one source. “He’ll want it done differently.” Q: But what about the current plight? Why won’t he listen to the fans, check the terrible 2014 results and sack Alan Pardew? Perhaps out of loyalty. Pardew has gone along with all Ashley’s policies, including selling players such as Andy Carroll and Yohan Cabaye, and never taken his boss on in public. There’s a theory that Ashley can’t be bothered with the upheaval of finding another manager. “Patience is the word,” said one source. Q: So does he not care? Ashley has been a regular at games this season, sometimes flying into the city in the business helicopter with what is close to a personalised reg: G-MAOL. This could be support for Pardew, or to check out how poor the team has been, ahead of making a decision on his future. Q: Has he got the fortune to own Newcastle and a big slice of Rangers? Ashley’s stake in Sports Direct, which he founded, is worth £3billion. His holding company MASH has assets of £581m and makes an annual profit of £281m. He has the clout to bail out Rangers immediately but will exact a price for any financial help. Newcastle fans soon found his fortune won’t be used to bankroll a bid for glory. He will stabilise his “asset”, use it to help Sports Direct, and hope it increases in value over time. One source said: “Mike won’t be drinking with fans on the terraces again, and understands many of the reasons why supporters are unhappy at Newcastle, but he is doing it his way.” http://www.dailyrecord.co.uk/sport/football/football-news/rangers-power-struggle-eight-questions-4433421
  7. I WAS pleased Scotland boss Gordon Strachan called two promising youngsters up to his squad for the Euro 2016 qualifiers against Georgia and Poland. Ryan Gauld of Sporting Lisbon and Stevie May of Sheffield Wednesday deserve a chance. But I have to ask why Lewis Macleod of Rangers has not been elevated too? The 20-year-old might not be ready to play for the national side, but there would be advantages in promoting him to the Scotland set-up. Mixing with experienced professionals would make him a better player, show him the level to reach and make him hungry to be involved in future. Lewis is playing for Rangers, not Livingston or Raith Rovers, every week, and is coping with the pressure on his shoulders. I appreciate he is important to Scotland's Under-21 squad. But so were Gauld and May. Why not give Lewis the chance to show what he is capable of too? http://www.eveningtimes.co.uk/rangers/rangerscomment/rangers-kid-macleod-deserves-scotland-chance-183991n.25553730
  8. Not that we're interested or anything.
  9. http://www.thesun.co.uk/sol/homepage...n-Rangers.html MIKE ASHLEY has doubled his stake in Rangers. The Newcastle owner now owns around nine per cent of the Scottish Championship club. Investment group Hargreave Hale confirmed it was behind the sale of £853,000 worth of shares in the fallen Glaswegian giants. Ashley’s purchase came hours after Gers fans threatened to boycott his Sports Direct stores over the cut-price deal he struck for the Ibrox naming rights. A spokesman for fans’ group Sons of Struth said: “We call on Mike Ashley to cancel his contract before the October 11. “If he still retains the naming rights after this point, we will instigate an immediate series of actions aimed at his Sports Direct stores.”
  10. ...over alleged £3.2m tax fraud. MESSI and his dad, Jorge, are accused of taking part in a plot to cheat the Spanish authorities out of £3.2million by hiding the footballer's huge earnings from sponsorship deals. LIONEL Messi was yesterday ordered to stand trial accused of a £3million tax scam that carries a maximum six-year jail sentence. The world’s greatest footballer will stand in the dock next to his father and agent, Jorge. They are accused of taking part in a plot to cheat the Spanish authorities out of £3.2million by hiding Messi’s huge earnings from sponsorship deals. It’s alleged the father and son used front companies in tax havens including Belize and Uruguay to sell Messi’s image rights between 2007 and 2009. The Barcelona and Argentina superstar has deals with companies including Adidas, Pepsi, Procter and Gamble, Danone, the Kuwait Food Company and Catalan bank Banco Sabadell. Messi and his dad thought they were in the clear after handing over a £3.9million “corrective payment” – £3.2million plus interest – last year. In return, prosecutors asked for the case to be dropped, but the Spanish treasury objected and a magistrate yesterday ordered a trial. Messi told a court last September that he knew nothing about any scam, adding: “My dad deals with all the money.” But the magistrate in Gava, near Barcelona, insisted yesterday that Messi “may have consented to the evasion of tax”. He added: “It is not necessary for someone to have complete knowledge of all the accounting and business operations. “It is sufficient to be aware of the designs to commit fraud and consent to them.” Messi has scored 248 goals for Barcelona and won three Champions League and six Spanish league titles. The four-time World Player of the Year captained Argentina to the World Cup final this summer. He reportedly earns £22m a year at Barcelona and pays £12m of his wages in income tax. http://www.dailyrecord.co.uk/news/uk-world-news/barcelona-star-lionel-messi-faces-4375534
  11. ALLY MCCOIST admits the month of September was a frustrating period for his side as disappointing league displays against Alloa and Hibs overshadowed positive performances and results against Raith Rovers, Inverness Caley Thistle and Falkirk. Monday night’s 3-1 defeat to the Hibees was a sore one for the manager and his players who gave themselves a mountain to climb by conceding three poor first-half goals in the space of 15 minutes. Nicky Law gave the Ibrox faithful a glimmer of hope when his superb half-volley flew past the visitor’s number one Mark Oxley before the hour mark but it proved too little too late for the Light Blues who now sit six points behind Championship leaders Hearts after seven games. There is, of course, a lot of football still to be played but McCoist hopes his squad can now push on in October and go on a winning run, starting this weekend against John McGlynn's Livingston. Speaking at Murray Park to RangersTV he said: “We’ve found the consistency in very short periods, sadly not long enough consistency. “We’ve had some good performances and good results, I think we’ve played the best part of 12 games, lost two and our cup form would indicate we’re still in the cups as well. “As I said our league campaign has barely started, there is a long, long way to go so we’ll continue to do our jobs, work hard on the training ground and continue to progress. The consistency and getting a good run of games is obviously the ideal scenario and that’s what we’ll strive to do.” McCoist knows his side will need to play better than they did against Hibs if they are to take three points from Saturday’s trip to Livi’s Energy Assets Arena. He said: “It was really disappointing and frustrating (on Monday) because we haven’t been defending as we did at the start of the season in these previous games. “That said we’ve had a couple of reasonable performances with clean sheets, with performances against Raith Rovers and Inverness, so I couldn’t see that coming. All three goals, particularly the first one, it was inexcusable defending. “I said at half time when you come in losing by three goals you do need a minor miracle to get back into the game. “We couldn’t find the second goal that would have given us that impotence to go on and attempt to get an equaliser so it was a poor night at the office in terms of the result. “We’ll do our jobs and look at it, look to improve from it and learn from it but it’s a league defeat and not a death in the family.” McCoist and his players have come in for fierce criticism following Monday night’s defeat but the manager knows from experience that this reaction comes with the territory. He added: “I’ve been here long enough to know what to expect, it’s alright me saying it’s an overreaction but I’m used to it. I’ve been here long enough as a player, as a coach and as a manager so it goes with the territory. “I don’t see that changing anytime in the future, it is part and parcel of a club of this size that a defeat is taken with far more seriousness than it is at the vast majority of other clubs. "But as I said I don’t see that changing, it will continue to happen so we just have to accept it and move on.” http://www.rangers.co.uk/news/headlines/item/7772-we-must-find-consistency?
  12. Forty minutes gone and City getting a lesson in how to play. City 1 - Roma 1. City's goal a penalty after four minutes, Roma a nicely crafted goal by Totti. Roma could have had more but City should have had a second penalty.
  13. ......He might be a lunatic but he's OUR lunatic. AHEAD of tomorrow's Championship clash between Rangers and Hibs, Ally McCoist hails his controversial Tunisian defender and Hibs strike star Dominique Malonga considers a Congo international call-up. HE flits between bombscares and brilliance. His manager describes him as Champions League-class in the art of inducing heart attacks. But deep down, Ally McCoist knows he has a player in Bilel Mohsni. And deep down he knows if he can coach the comedy capers out of him, he won’t have him for long. Because he reckons the 27-year-old Tunisian is good enough to play for anyone at any level without them. The Rangers boss said: “He genuinely could. He’s quick enough without being lightning, he’s certainly powerful enough, he’s good in the air, comfortable with both feet. “There’s definitely a player in there. His national team manager would agree with that as well. He has been playing and playing well. They went to Cairo to play Egypt and won 1-0 so it is definitely just a concentration thing. “He made a mistake against Inverness at Ibrox, there were a couple during the game the other night – he just switches off when he thinks it is slightly easier than it is. Easier said than done but if we can nail them, he has far greater qualities than deficiencies.” McCoist loves the fact he has someone of charisma in his team, an opinion divider, something he feels has been lacking. He said: “He might be a lunatic, but he’s OUR lunatic, and an extremely likeable lunatic! I jest, of course. He is a smashing guy. “The crowd love him but are equally frustrated by him. You have to appreciate as well that away from the football he is an absolute diamond. He is wonderful with kids, wonderful with supporters and the whole package makes him a big loveable character that everybody wants to do well. “They get frustrated with him at times and pull their hair out. He is the type of player who pops up with a great tackle after making a mistake in the first place. “But I love the fact he has become a bit of a cult hero/menace for our fans. “It has given him something, given the supporters something and given the club something. We have had good boys who have got the job done, but our fans maybe haven’t had someone they can identify with or discuss for an hour in the pub afterwards over a pint.” Meanwhile the outspoken star has been taunting Hibs ahead of their meeting at Ibrox tomorrow. Mohsni himself revealed the manager had tried to persuade him not to over-complicate defending and not to dribble his way into trouble. And he insists he’s trying to curb his natural instincts. He said: “I was taught to pass so when I kick the ball and clear then it’s because the manager has told me to be solid and not take risks. “It’s not pretty, I don’t like it either. But this is the job and I have to do it. “Against better players, you know that one mistake can cause a goal. I made a mistake against Inverness and was lucky they did not score. “The manager says I gave him a heart attack in that game. I’d like to be more concentrated and solid and maybe next season we can pass the ball more and enjoy it.” McCoist believes the further up the ladder they make it, the more the calibre of football would bring out the best in his stopper – but the scares are still there. He said: “I was hopeful the step up in the league this year would see him naturally defend at a greater level of consistency, but he still has a few wee points when he switches off. “He has to handle that. He is a great threat for us going forward from set plays but as a centre-half you are in the team to defend. He has to cut out the errors. “He made a couple of mistakes against Falkirk in midweek but also played the ball of the night with the outside of his right boot to play in Dean Shiels. That’s the kind of thing we don’t want to take away from him. “We don’t want him to lump the ball out the park but he needs to defend. At the same time he has to concentrate and work on his use of the ball.” http://www.dailyrecord.co.uk/sport/football/football-news/rangers-boss-ally-mccoist-ibrox-4337624?
  14. Unloved owner in the North East should concentrate in taking over at Ibrox – it would be perfect for both Newcastle United and Rangers. Given the problems he has had at Newcastle United and the resentment he has caused during his seven years as owner, it may seem curious to suggest Mike Ashley is the ideal man to buy Rangers. Newcastle were a mediocre mid-table club when Ashley bought them and that is all they remain, yet Ashley could still be the ideal person to restore Rangers to its former glory. Most Newcastle supporters cannot wait to see the back of him. Although there is appreciation for the work he has done to improve the club as a business there has – with the exception of one fifth-place finish in 2012 – been little, if any, progress as a football club. There is animosity on both sides, Ashley is still bitter about the way supporters turned against him in the aftermath of Kevin Keegan’s resignation back in 2008, while they are convinced he is content for a proud club to be stuck in a monotonous mid-table wasteland while he uses it to promote his other business interests. The refusal to take cup competitions seriously is a wound that will not heal. Rangers fans also have their misgivings about Ashley’s intentions. So do the Scotland Football Association, who do not like the idea of one man owning two clubs, even if they play in different domestic competitions. Yet, if Ashley wants to buy Rangers, the SFA should let him. I don’t think there is a conflict of interests, just as there isn’t with Manchester City’s owners starting an American franchise, New York City. The opposition of the SFA to him increasing his stake to more than 10 per cent is a major barrier. He would, in theory, have to sell Newcastle first, but he has denied he wishes to do so. At least, he has denied he wants to at the moment. In a statement published on the Newcastle website, it was said Ashley will consider selling Newcastle at the end of next season, which interestingly is the earliest Rangers could be back playing in Europe. Uefa rules stipulate two teams owned by the same person cannot play in their competitions, which is reasonable enough as they could meet in a competitive fixture. That should not matter now if Ashley moves to save Rangers. Ashley would be an unusual fit for the knight in shining armour role. He is more market trader than chivalrous hero, but just because he has made his billions selling cheap sportswear should not disguise he has been phenomenally successful because of his business brain. Just because an idea is simple does not mean the man who came up with it isn’t a genius and few are better at making money than Ashley. Of course, being clever and innovative in business does not automatically mean you will be any good owning a football club and Ashley hasn’t been for Newcastle. The division between followers and leader saps its strength. The bitterness will not go away, there have been too many callous calls from Ashley, too many mistakes and too many perceived insults for Newcastle’s supporters to forgive and forget. Newcastle are paralysed by the lack of ambition in the boardroom. Many believe the only cure is a new owner and a new start. Ashley, though, is able to provide Rangers with exactly what they need, a secure financial footing and stability in the boardroom. He has the money to end the threat of economic meltdown and, as he has shown at Newcastle, he can turn a loss making business into a profitable one within a few years. The crucial difference between Rangers and Newcastle is that being a stable business in the Premier League is not enough to compete with the top clubs. Ashley stopped wanting to put his own money in to sign players and cover losses when he fell out with the fans and you cannot blame him. However, a stable business is all that is needed to return Rangers to the top of Scottish football because they are capable of generating far more income than their rivals. Only Celtic can rival Rangers in terms of gate receipts, sponsorship prestige and media interest, so all Ashley has to do to restore the old order is remove the spiral of debt repayments. Emotionally, no matter how much he tries to put a brave face on, the abuse Ashley receives as Newcastle’s owner must take its toll. There are only so many times you can be told you are overweight and not wanted. Ashley has broad shoulders and claims he is not particularly bothered what people think and say about him, yet he has also shown a thin enough skin to ban all three local papers for offering their supporting for a protest march calling for him to sell up last season. Ashley has still managed to make a project turned sour work for him. The exposure has been good for his retail chain, proving once again that there is no such thing as bad publicity. Even when he changed the name of the ground, provoking fury on Tyneside and beyond, Ashley ignored it and watched his other business interests prosper. Premier League exposure is one of the most powerful marketing tools around and Ashley’s sport shops are undoubtedly better known now than they were when he took over. Yet, although he has described the relationship between his sport shops and Newcastle as extremely beneficial for the former, it is still only responsible for a tiny fraction of its vast profits. He would barely notice if he lost them and there is every chance he can make even more if he buys Rangers. Not only do they have more fans worldwide than Newcastle, they are also far more likely to win trophies and success is a good thing to be associated with. Under his steadying hand, Rangers would almost certainly return to the Champions League, watched by huge television audience across the continent. Europe is the most obvious market place for Ashley’s other business to expand. They look made for each other, but Ashley has not made a move yet. http://www.telegraph.co.uk/sport/football/teams/newcastle-united/11121232/Newcastle-United-owner-Mike-Ashley-perfect-for-Rangers.html
  15. Liverpool are one of seven clubs under investigation by Uefa for potential breaches of financial fair play (FFP) regulations, European football’s governing body announced 
yesterday. The Merseyside club were absent from European competition last year and only recently submitted detailed accounts to the governing body, which dictates that losses must be restricted to £35.4 million over a two-year window. Liverpool are one of seven clubs under investigation by Uefa for potential breaches of financial fair play (FFP) regulations, European football’s governing body announced 
yesterday. The Merseyside club were absent from European competition last year and only recently submitted detailed accounts to the governing body, which dictates that losses must be restricted to £35.4 million over a two-year window. Liverpool reported losses of £49.8m for the 2012-13 season, and £40.5m for the ten-month period before that, and join Monaco, Roma, Besiktas, Inter Milan, Krasnodar and Sporting Lisbon in being subjected to investigations relating to “potential break-even breaches”. A Uefa statement read: “The CFCB (club financial control body) has opened formal investigations into seven clubs as they disclosed a break-even deficit on the basis of their financial reporting periods ending in 2012 and 2013. “These clubs will need to submit additional monitoring information during October and November upon the deadlines set by the CFCB, subsequent to which an additional communication shall be made and conservatory measures may be imposed.” Liverpool face no immediate sanction as they prepare to provide further details to Uefa throughout the next two months, though the provisional withholding of Champions League funds lingers as a potential next step. The Reds are thought to be confident they will avoid such penalties by virtue of lucrative new commercial deals and writing off some previous losses. FFP allows certain spending streams, including youth development and stadium expenditure, to exist outside of its strict guidelines and Liverpool will argue that a £35m chunk of their 2011-12 deficit was attached to former co-owner Tom Hicks’ aborted plans for a new stadium on Stanley Park. Manchester City and Paris St Germain were the clubs hit hardest by Uefa last season for breaching FFP rules – they were each fined £49m and handed restrictions on transfer spending and a reduction in Champions League squad size. Uefa has also announced that prize money has been held back from five clubs – Bursaspor, CFR Cluj, Astra Giurgiu, Buducnost Podgorica and Ekranas – as a result of non-payments to other clubs, players and/or tax 
authorities. Reflecting on the recent work of CFCB and the FFP regulations, the Uefa statement continued: “The introduction of the Uefa club licensing and financial fair play regulations has already had a very positive impact on the scale of overdue payables, as they have decreased from 57 million euros in June 2011 to eight million euros in June 2014. In addition, aggregate losses reported by Europe’s first-division clubs in the 2013 financial year have gone down to 800 million euros from a record-reported deficit of 1.7 billion euros in 2011.” Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers said the club are comfortable with the Uefa investigations because they support the FFP system. Rodgers said: “It’s obviously something that will be dealt with by the directors. It’s something we’re comfortable with because we’re great advocates of financial fair play. It’s ongoing with the club.” Rodgers is neither surprised nor alarmed by reports linking Real Madrid with a bid for Raheem Sterling. The 19-year-old forward, whose contract at Anfield runs until 2017, is one of the brightest talents in the Premier League and has had an impressive start to the season. “It shows that he’s playing exceptionally well,” said Rodgers. “I think you could probably link Raheem with every club in the world at the moment. He’s a fantastic young talent. I’ve nothing really to add to it. There’s obviously lots of speculation every day about players coming and going here at Liverpool. “He’s a wonderful boy who’s developing very, very well here. I think him and his representatives and the people close to him know how comfortable he is here and I’m sure at some point in the future, whatever contract we’re looking to work with will be sorted, but he’s still got three years left and there’s no rush from my perspective.” Sterling is likely to be a key figure for Liverpool in tomorrow’s Merseyside derby against Everton at Anfield, when both teams will be looking to get back to winning ways in the Premier League. Rodgers has not ruled out having Daniel Sturridge available, with the England striker having been sidelined by a thigh strain suffered on international duty earlier this month. http://www.scotsman.com/sport/football/english/uefa-probes-liverpool-over-potential-ffp-breach-1-3553588
  16. By Alan Brazil, 21 September 2014 9.00am. It’s one of the biggest mysteries in football. Why on earth aren’t clubs beating a path to Neil Lennon’s door? Since the Irishman left Celtic in the summer, the likes of Norwich City, Southampton, Huddersfield, Crystal Palace, Cardiff City and now Fulham have all ditched their manager. Lennon has been linked with all those clubs – and has expressed an interest in the other two – but he’s still out of a job. For me, that’s bonkers. This is a man who has masterminded a Celtic victory over Barcelona in the Champions League, and taken the Hoops to the last 16 of the same tournament. He’s a man who has won three League titles and two Scottish Cups as a manager. He’s also a guy who, for my money, has one of the best football brains around. But still nobody seems particularly interested. It’s mind-boggling. It would be easy to argue that the reason for English clubs’ reluctance to back Lenny is the lack of credibility Scottish football has south of the border. It’s very sad, but it’s a fact that people in England look down their noses at the game in Scotland. But if that is the main reason for Neil Lennon STILL being a passenger on the managerial merry-go-round four months after leaving Celtic, then why on earth was Paul Hartley coveted by Cardiff City? No disrespect to Paul, who I think is a very good, up-and-coming manager. But his CV isn’t as impressive as Neil’s at this point in time. Yet it was the Dundee manager’s name at the top of Vincent Tan’s list of potential replacements for Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, not Neil Lennon’s. After Hartley knocked back the Bluebirds, Lenny emerged amongst the front-runners, but I can’t believe he wasn’t leading the pack from the very beginning – especially given his relatively high profile in the media these days. There was a time where you probably could have said Neil had a bit of an image problem. Touchline altercations, being sent to the stands, touchline bans. All of those things were fairly regular occurrences, particularly early in his managerial career. But in his increasingly regular media appearances, I think Neil has gone a huge way towards proving he’s not THAT person. He’s on TV on a near-weekly basis, and I’ve had him on my radio programme plenty of times. He has always represented himself brilliantly. By managing his profile the way he has, he has positioned himself as a thoughtful, articulate student of the game, rather than a touchline-prowling firebrand. That transformation, taken in tandem with his achievements as Celtic boss, ought to make him a prime candidate for plenty of Premier League clubs – and EVERY Championship side. It really shocks me that it hasn’t turned out that way yet. But I believe that eventually, the tide will turn in Neil’s favour. All it will take is one club to take a chance and appoint him as manager and I think the folly of all the clubs who ignored him this summer will be exposed. Whether we’ll be able to add Cardiff and Fulham to that list or not, we’ll find out soon enough. http://www.sundaypost.com/sport/columnists/alan-brazil/the-lack-of-interest-in-neil-lennon-is-mind-boggling-1.586211
  17. Now he is delighted to see the 20-year-old Gers star continue his superb comeback from injury and illness by shining for club and country. Macleod has become a key part of Ally McCoist's plans since making his Light Blues debut three years ago. He helped them clinch the Third Division and League One titles, but missed the closing stages of each campaign. After fighting his way back to full fitness, the midfielder has shown his class in the Championship and netted the only goal on Tuesday as Gers beat Premiership outfit Inverness Caley Thistle in the League Cup. McCoist has refused to heap extra pressure on Macleod's shoulders but Wotte reckons he is as good as any of his peers in Scotland. The SFA's Performance Director said: "We were very pleased with the comeback of Lewis, who wasn't able to play for six months. He is a very talented player. "Lewis is of the level of Ryan Gauld, who is now at Sporting Lisbon. Lewis was with the Under-18s and Under-19s when I started and I said he was one of the gems of his generation. "Then he got his setbacks because of a heart condition and a virus. They kept him out for over six months, which is always very hard to take for a young boy. "But I think Lewis has a great future in front of him. These players have composure. We tend to judge players by their ability but their ability also has to be good when under pressure. "Boys like Ryan, Lewis and Aberdeen's Ryan Fraser can perform under pressure. They are in control of situations. "They have such good technique that they can dictate what the ball is doing instead of the ball dictating what they do." Macleod's fine form for Rangers was rewarded on the international stage earlier this month when he was recalled to the Scotland Under-21 squad. He then scored in the 3-0 win over Luxembourg after starring against Slovakia just days before. Macleod has proven he can handle the pressure of playing week in, week out for Rangers, and Wotte is delighted with the starlet's progress. The Dutchman said: "I was very encouraged to see Lewis back with the Under-21s. I think Scottish boys are very strong-minded and have a great mentality. But sometimes you have to manage the game and take better decisions. Decision-making is key at the top level. "When I came to Scotland everyone told me that we needed more technical players. I said yes, we have to drill the skill, but we also need to train the brain. Technique is always number one, but the decisions players make are very important, too." http://www.eveningtimes.co.uk/rangers/wotte-relief-to-see-return-of-rangers-star-lewis-181018n.25357429 How much did Ryan Gauld go for ? Interesting what Wotte says about "train the brain"
  18. thought it was on council tv but cant find it
  19. ........the only way to truly hurt the board is to stay away from games. GORDON argues that if fans really want to get rid of the Rangers board then they must cut off all financial support to the club. IT'S TIME for Rangers fans to pee or get off the pot. They either want regime change or they don’t. They either realise the power they wield or they don’t. The red card displays, the eternal and infernal statements, they show willing but ultimately achieve nothing. Sticks and stones and all that. But does anyone really think the occupants of their boardroom give a toss about what anyone says about them? They can’t hear you. They’re too busy counting your money. And all you’re doing is facilitating them. That’s the problem. The power of the Rangers support lies in its size, its strength but most of all in its unity of purpose. If half of you stick and half of you twist though? You’re playing right into their hands. Giving them just enough to keep their tiptoes on the bottom of the pool and their nostrils poking above the surface. That’s what 23,000 season tickets was in the summer. It was a message, it was five figures down – but it wasn’t enough for the fans, and just enough for the board. Same with the walk-ups. The drip-feeders. Around 20,000 for Hearts, another 11,000 for Clyde, 9000 each against Dumbarton and Queen of the South. You’re handing over your cash at the turnstiles and it’s going straight into a black hole. I understand there are plenty who just want to go to the football on a Saturday, who don't care about what goes on behind the scenes. They’re probably the silent majority. But maybe they need to start listening to the loud minority. Nine months ago, before their agm, was the first time they really threatened this lot with what they called ‘disengagement’. I said then that if they truly believed that was the way to go, then they all had to have the stomach for what would effectively be the euthanising of their club. A mercy killing. That the short-term pain would be acute but they’d appreciate what they’d done in the long term. But their disunity, their lack of a core belief, has crippled their true effectiveness. And here they are in the wake of that begging-bowl share issue, back at square one. So what choice do they have? They play Inverness at Ibrox in the League Cup on Tuesday. They don’t have another home league game for more than a fortnight when they play Hibs. For a club who, by their own admission, are living hand to mouth, two empty stadiums through to the end of September with no walk-ups, no hospitality, no catering, no nothing, would be financially catastrophic. But THAT’S the only language they speak. They were described to me the other day as being like wild dogs around a carcass, stripping it to the bone. When do they leave? When there’s nothing left for them. As long as there are morsels of meat to be picked off around the edges, they’ll hang around. A grasper like Imran Ahmad, for example. Only persuaded to take his leave this week by tossing a juicy chunk of what was left in his direction. So if the fans really want to do their club a favour, the place should be a morgue on Tuesday night. Will it hurt? Of course it will. But if you believe there’s a cancer, the only way to get rid of it is to cut it out – and hope. Ever since December and that car crash agm there’s been a suspicion that Rangers would have to go the grave again for a second resurrection. Is there a fear of what follows? Again, of course. But this is where a properly unified support has some control. Because much in the same way as the wild dogs won’t hang around, another pack won’t bother stepping in unless they think there’s another meal ticket to be had. Who’s going to invest in a club with no regular income? Any owner needs approval. He needs customers. So the only way to make anything out of Rangers now is to turn it into the business it SHOULD have become when they went belly up in the first place. Trimmed-down costs, sustainable plan, 40,000 people through the gate every week, build yourselves back up, develop players, sell the odd one for more money, challenge, win, get into the Champions League, get your share of that gigantic European pot… Sound familiar? The antithesis of what happened, when £70m walked in the other direction in just 18 months. Who knows, Dave King may have played the smartest game of all because he knows now he could yet be their only option, and that would have the approval of the rump of the rank and file. And don’t worry, the irony’s not lost – the uproar at the Easdales hanging out with Interpol’s most wanted, yet the open-armed embrace for a guy who’s spent more time dealing with South African courts in recent times than with affairs at Ibrox. But there may yet be plenty more pain before that scenario has a chance. Two weeks ago I said they had two choices. Neither of them attractive. Keep the regime afloat week to week, or not a penny more. Seems to me they only have one left. http://www.dailyrecord.co.uk/sport/football/gordon-waddell-rangers-fans-must-4257414
  20. MIKE ASHLEY is preparing to become the front-runner in an effort to save Rangers from another financial collapse. The Newcastle United owner has made positive moves to sell the St James’ Park club and bring to an end a troubled seven-year reign on Tyneside as he turns his attention to Ibrox. There is already interest in United – even at the asking price of around £230million – and any quick deal would allow Ashley to immediately focus on the Gers. News of the Sports Direct chief’s enthusiasm for stepping up his involvement with Rangers comes on the day fans are expected to hear how successful the board’s latest share issue – aimed at raising £4m – has been. But, whatever happens, it appears Ashley is keen to switch his football and business from Tyneside to Clydeside. Gers fans are now of a mood where any transparent ownership of the club would be welcome, even if there would be reservations over precisely what Ashley has in mind. He has been notoriously reluctant to splash the cash at Newcastle during his time in charge of the Premier League club, although Rangers wouldn’t need anything like the investment in players the English club require to compete against Arsenal, Chelsea and Manchester City. Ashley, of course, already has a stake in the Gers, along with the naming rights for Ibrox. But, until he sells Newcastle, he is pre- vented from increasing that to more than 10 per cent by SFA rules. UEFA regulations also stipulate the same person cannot own two clubs that might meet each other in European competition and, while neither Rangers nor Newcastle are playing in Europe, they could in the future. Now it seems Ashley wants to take charge of the Gers alone with, clearly, one eye on a potential return to the Champions League and the opportunities that would afford. But right now his focus is on selling the Magpies quickly – and the £230m asking price includes repayment of the £129m he is owed in the form of interest-free loans. Ashley paid just £134m to purchase Newcastle from Sir John Hall, above, and Freddie Shepherd in 2007. And, while the club has not officially been put up for sale as the uncertainty could destabilise the business and unsettle the team, there is interest from North America and the Far East in buying a club that posted a post-tax profit of £9.9m for the last financial year. That, however, has not been achieved without incurring the wrath of a lot of people concerned at his lack of investment in the team, a controversial shirt deal with payday loans company Wonga and a series of internal cost-cutting measures. The £40m spent on players this summer was paid for almost entirely by the sale of Yohan Cabaye to Paris Saint-Germain and Mathieu Debuchy to Arsenal. http://www.scottishdailyexpress.co.uk/sport/football/509766/Newcastle-s-Mike-Ashley-set-to-bid-for-Rangers
  21. Mike Ashley is poised to end his seven-year reign at St James' Park as he aims to increase his stake at Rangers. Mike Ashley is willing to listen to offers to sell Newcastle United as he looks to bring an end to a troubled seven-year reign at St James’ Park. Ashley has become involved in the running of Rangers and is interested in taking complete control. However, he has been prevented from increasing his stake to more than 10 per cent by the Scotland Football Association as he already owns Newcastle. Uefa rules stipulate the same person cannot own two clubs that might meet each other in European competitions, and while neither Rangers or Newcastle are playing in Europe, they could in the future. Rangers are standing on the precipice of administration for the second time in three years and Ashley recognises the opportunity it presents. The billionaire, who made his fortune through his Sports Direct retail chain, has already secured naming rights to Ibrox in return for a stake of nine per cent, although he has not yet taken up that option in order to avoid creating any animosity towards him. Should he take control of Rangers and stabilise the business, he knows there is huge potential to grow if, as should be the case, they return to the Scottish Premier League and, eventually, the Champions League. Related Articles That has increased Ashley’s desire to sell Newcastle to a new investor and he could be willing to offload it for around £230 million, which includes repayment of the £129 million he is owed in the form of interest-free loans. Ashley paid just £134 million to buy Newcastle from Sir John Hall and Freddie Shepherd in 2007. Although the club have not been officially put up for sale as the uncertainty could destabilise the business and unsettle the team, Telegraph Sport understands Ashley would like to sell if he can find someone with the financial muscle to take the club forward. Anyone who claims they are interested in negotiating a price will be asked to pay for the use of a box at St James’ Park for 10 years up front to prove they are serious bidders. Ashley has tried to sell up twice before, but was unable to find a buyer willing to match his asking price. He failed to offload it in the face of angry supporter protests in 2008 immediately after former manager Kevin Keegan resigned. He tried again in 2009 at the knockdown price of just £100 million after relegation to the Championship, but nobody was willing to take on a club that was losing hundreds of thousands of pounds a month outside of the top flight. However, the previous attempts to sell were made during a global recession and Ashley is aware the economic landscape has improved dramatically, particularly in the United States, where interest in “soccer” has never been higher. It is thought that Ashley will look closely to see if there are potential buyers on the other side of the Atlantic. Newcastle are in excellent financial shape thanks to the prudency of the Ashley regime and posted a post-tax profit of £9.9 million for the last financial year. That has done little to persuade fans he is the right man to lead the club and there have been persistent accusations of a lack of ambition. Although Ashley sanctioned around £40 million worth of player recruitment this summer, that was paid for almost entirely out of the sale of Yohan Cabaye to Paris Saint-Germain and Mathieu Debuchy to Arsenal. Ashley has been unwilling to invest any of his own money since Newcastle returned to the Premier League and has overseen a dramatic overhaul of the books, securing an increase in commercial revenue, which includes a record shirt-sponsorship deal with loans company Wonga. This has been done in conjunction with a series of cost-cutting measures, including player wages, which fell from £64.1 million to £61.7 million in the last financial year. That represents 64 per cent of the club’s turnover, well below the Premier League average of 70 per cent. The business is in good shape to sell. Whether Ashley can finally sever ties with a project that turned sour after just 12 months remains to be seen, but he gains little enjoyment from owning Newcastle other than the free advertising it allows for Sports Direct. Although he attended the club’s last home game, the 3-3 draw with Crystal Palace, his visits to St James’ Park have been increasingly rare since supporters turned against him six years ago. He is not the only one in the firing line. Alan Pardew, the manager, also looks vulnerable after a poll in a local paper showed 85 per cent of fans no longer want him to be in charge and there is a growing risk the ill-feeling will manifest itself in more vocal protests against Southampton this weekend. One group of supporters has even set up a website called ‘Sack Pardew’. Pardew remained in his dugout during the final home game against Cardiff last season as he was booed and jeered every time he stepped into his technical area. http://www.telegraph.co.uk/sport/football/teams/newcastle-united/11088540/Newcastle-United-for-sale-as-Mike-Ashley-eyes-Rangers.html
  22. Mike Ashley to up his stake in Rangers to 9.9% through the current share issue. Source SSN” Sources close to Mike Ashley say there are no immediate plans to invoke the naming rights at Ibrox stadium #Rangers @charlesp_sky: It's understood Ashley views his interests in Rangers as purely strong commercial ones which he intends to protect
  23. Regarding Mike Ashley, the question of dual club ownership and the rumoured '10% rule', for anyone interested in reading the exact rules in the current 2014/15 SFA Handbook (Articles of Association/rules & regulations) just have a quick read of Article number 13. titled "Dual interests in clubs" which starts on page 90 of the Handbook PDF document. http://www.scottishfa.co.uk/resources/documents/SFAPublications/ScottishFAPublications2014-15/Handbook%202014-15..pdf
  24. Market News alert Rangers Int. Football Club PLC Read the London Stock Exchange announcement...
  25. ST JOHNSTONE are reeling after being handed a €18,000 (£14,230) fine after a fan waved a Palestinian flag, while Legia Warsaw have been hit by a UEFA charge over a banner attacking the governing body and Celtic The Polish side fielded an ineligible player in the final minutes of their 2-0 win over the Glasgow side at Murrayfield. Uefa awarded Celtic a 3-0 win, allowing them to progress on away goals to the play-off round, where they lost to NK Maribor. Fans of the Polish champions displayed a large image of a pig imposed on a Uefa badge and the slogan “Because Football Doesn’t Matter, Money Does.” The banner, surrounded by lit flares, was shown before Legia’s Europa League play-off victory against Aktobe of Kazakhstan last Thursday. Uefa rules prohibit messages of a political and ideological nature being displayed in any football stadium. Uefa said its disciplinary panel will judge the case on Thursday and potential sanctions could be applied when Legia open their Europa League group campaign at home to Belgian side Lokeren on 18 September. After Uefa’s ruling on the Celtic game, the Court of Arbitration for Sport denied Legia’s urgent appeal to be reinstated. It has still to consider the club’s request for compensation from Uefa for lost earnings. St Johnstone were charged after a fan displayed a Palestinian flag at one of their Europa League games. The Uefa match delegate spotted the banner being waved in the east stand during the 2-1 defeat by Spartak Trnava at McDiarmid Park. A St Johnstone spokesman said: “We have been told by Uefa that we’ve been fined €18,000 for the display of a Palestinian flag and pro-Palestine chanting at our game with Spartak Trnava. “We’ve asked them for a written judgement on this and are waiting for it to arrive. “Obviously it’s disappointing that this has happened but we need to see what the actual case is before commenting further.” The fine was handed out by the same Control, Ethics and Disciplinary Committee which will hear Legia’s case this week. Irish side Dundalk have already indicated they intend to challenge an identical €18,000 fine after Palestinian flags were shown at their Europa League tie against Croatians Hajduk Split. Reports in Ireland claimed Dundalk were stunned by the severity of the fine and have sought advice from the Football Association of Ireland over an appeal. Celtic have previously been fined €50,000 (£42,000) for a huge fans’ banner depicting IRA hunger striker Bobby Sands and Scots warrior William Wallace, which was shown at a home Champions League match against AC Milan last year. It is the third time in four seasons that Legia have faced Uefa punishment. The governing body responded to fans’ racist behaviour by closing a section of Legia’s stadium at a Champions League play-off last season. At a home Europa League match against Hapoel Tel Aviv three years ago, fans displayed a “Jihad Legia” banner in Arabic-style script across one end of the stadium. http://www.scotsman.com/sport/football/spfl/st-johnstone-and-legia-warsaw-fined-by-uefa-1-3527044
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