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  1. Wednesday, 02 April 2014 13:00 Ready To Listen: Phase 1 Results Written by RANGERS FOOTBALL CLUB THE results of the Rangers Ready To Listen fan engagement survey which was launched in February have now been analysed, evaluated and reviewed. An overwhelming 35,265 of our core support took part in the first step of the fan engagement programme which will help shape the future direction of the Club. Participants in the Fan engagement survey included: 50% of adult season ticket holders 83% were matchday attendees 5% from existing supporter groups 10% from overseas With 84% of supporters seeking a review of how the Club engages with fans and 68% feeling the supporters do not have a loud enough voice, it is clear the need for enhanced engagement with the Club should be a priority. One of the key findings and recommendations from the survey is the development of a fan representation board voted for by supporters and representing the interests of all fans including season ticket holders, overseas fans shareholders and families. Indeed, 84% of the fanbase supported the progression of this concept and this is an area we now need to explore further with the wider Rangers support. Fans were also asked for their thoughts on the potential for a membership scheme and 80% were in favour of developing such an initiative. We have listened to the response from fans and are now working on the development of Rangers membership with further fan input for launch over the summer and in advance of the 14/15 season. Supporters identified the top five best performing areas of the business as: Community/Charity Work Club Social Media Club website Safe Matchday Environment Hospitality The five most important aspects of the Club according to fans are: On-pitch performance Youth Development programme Overall direction and management of the Business Fan Engagement Matchday Experience The five most important statements relating to the Club from the list identified are: Proud of its rich history and tradition Open and effective relationship with its supporters Continually strives for sporting success Youth development is key to on-pitch success High standards of integrity and professionalism The most important issues for fans right now are a need for Honesty, Integrity and Transparency going forward, this was made clear in the majority of surveys completed. However, this is not surprising given events at the Club in recent years and the Board is ready to act on that feedback. Graham Wallace commented: "The Club wants to be open about the key issues highlighted in the Ready to Listen fan engagement survey and realises areas of concern like trust, transparency and honesty will not be improved overnight. We understand that trust must be earned and certainly appreciate supporters have had a difficult few years. "There are undoubtedly areas we can improve on and it is clear fans value a greater voice and involvement with the Club. We are listening to these views and will act accordingly. The Club values the feedback received as it will help us shape and ensure a sustainable future for Rangers. "We said at the outset that we wanted to engage with the 44,000 core supporters who attend matches regularly and we were therefore delighted that over 50% of adult season ticket holders took part and 83% of respondents attend games. "We believe that with the Club and fans working together we can impact positively on Rangers future performance and will now move forward into a more detailed phase in a number of areas that were identified." NEXT STEPS More than half of the survey participants advised that they would be keen to participate further in future supporter engagement initiatives to help shape the programme. Supporters were asked if they would be willing to engage with the Club to aid the development of certain areas within the business and the response was again overwhelming. Volunteers for each area are as follows: Ticketing; 6,567 Matchday Experience; 7,876 Hospitality; 3,132 Catering; 4,477 Retail/Merchandise; 6,088 Fan Engagement; 12,289 Club Media; 6,589 Customer Service; 5,409 Membership; 8,723 This next phase of follow-up research will help to define and create a formal fan engagement programme driven by the fans with the support of the Club via a specific fan engagement survey which will be issued next week. Specific communications on other areas of importance to the fans, including those listed above, will also start to be issued from next week and over the coming weeks. Thereafter, more focused face-to-face meetings with fans will be held to engage them on their opinions and insights across these areas with a view to having key initiatives and developments in place for the start of Season 14/15. The Club would like to thank all those who took part in this initial step in the Ready To Listen campaign. Your feedback is invaluable and we look forward to working together on the next steps to help shape the future direction of the Club. To view an infographic of the survey results click here http://www.rangers.co.uk/news/headlines/item/6663-ready-to-listen-phase-1-results
  2. Statement from NARSA regarding recent events involving the RFFF: "The RFFF voted today that in the event of litigation against Craig Houston, arising from content on the Sons Of Struth Facebook page, a proposal to provide financial support will be taken to a general meeting of fans." Below is the NARSA (North American Rangers Supporters Association) response to the above statement by the RFFF (Rangers Fans Fighting Fund) from Wednesday March 26, 2014. NARSA hereby demands that the seven members of the RFFF who voted in favor of the motion to support the above proposal resign their positions on the RFFF Committee by Friday, April 4th. NARSA feels these seven persons have failed in their duty to use the funds in the manner befitting the original purpose or in the best interests of Rangers FC and the RFFF. Should any of these seven individuals remain on the RFFF Committee by end of day Friday, April 4th, 2014, NARSA and its Member Clubs will demand the immediate return of all monies donated. In addition, we propose that, as NARSA raised and donated funds in excess of $80,000 USD, we have official representation on the RFFF Committee going forward. Our representative would be the sitting President of NARSA, by default.
  3. .......but I'll be happier sitting among our fans, says Dundee United chairman Stephen Thompson. THOMPSON talks to HUGH KEEVINS as he stands firm in the face of the latest controversy over Scottish Cup semi-final tickets. DUNDEE UNITED chairman Stephen Thompson has paid a heavy personal price for holding strong opinions. Assailants have done community service for their threatening behaviour. His mobile phone number is changed as soon as it falls into the wrong hands. And even the salubrious surroundings of the Old Course Hotel at St Andrews were recently unable to provide him with a sanctuary from the problems connected with being the high-profile chairman of a successful football club. The glib summary of anti-social behaviour as it relates to people in the public eye is that abuse “goes with the territory”. Thompson sees it as the cost of defending his club’s position, which is why he was again thrust into the limelight with his protests over the choice of Ibrox as the venue for Dundee United’s Scottish Cup semi-final with Rangers on April 12. It’s not that the man who succeeded his late father Eddie as Tannadice chairman six years ago, having been a board member for five years before that, goes out of his way to look for trouble. When you’re in charge of a club that’s eaten up £6million of your family’s money, you don’t look for a show of gratitude that will never arrive. However, you do feel entitled to have your say if you feel aggrieved about something relating to the object of your highly expensive affection. As we sat in the boardroom at Tannadice, Thompson said: “I would have had a different, less stressful life if the club hadn’t been my dad’s passion, which I have inherited. “The money devoted to Dundee United could have set my family up for generations to come after the sale of the Morning, Noon and Night business we ran. “Now it’s millions of pounds that will never be seen again. But that was years ago and I don’t even think about it any more. “I know I’ll never get gratitude because that’s not how football works and I’m not in the game for gratitude in any case. “But I do love the club and I still go to the game with my scarf on, the way my father did.” But when United go to Ibrox for their cup tie, Thompson will sit in the Broomloan Stand housing the bulk of the club’s travelling support. It’s what you might term a strategic withdrawal in the interests of good order since Thompson is still, wrongly, held up to be a leading protagonist in the move to have the Ibrox club relocated in Scottish football’s bottom tier after they went into liquidation. He said: “I didn’t put Rangers in that position. I wasn’t even the first person from another club to speak out about what should happen when the newco asked to be allowed to stay in what was then the SPL. “I think Vladimir Romanov at Hearts was the first one to do that but he lived in Lithuania and I lived in Dundee. And people need to take their anger out on someone. “It hasn’t been funny over the past couple of years and when I got verbal abuse at the Old Course Hotel recently I did find myself wondering again why I’m in this business. “There’s been a price to be paid on a personal level but when Rangers’ situation was being discussed by the SPL clubs I had to listen to my team’s fans. “They were telling us they wouldn’t buy season tickets for Tannadice if United voted to let Rangers stay in the SPL. And pre-season sales that would normally have been around 4000-strong were reduced to 1500 tickets sold. The fans had made their intentions clear. “But that was two years ago and we have to move on. “I’m not snubbing the directors’ box at Ibrox on April 12. There will be a representative of the club in the boardroom before and after the match. “I’ll be in with the United fans because it’s something I do from time to time. I think I’m a down to earth man in that respect. I’ll be happier there on the day.” Winning the Scottish Cup is something Thompson experienced against Ross County at Hampden in 2010. And his memory of that time allows the listener to understand why the chairman this week campaigned to give his team the best venue and the most substantial backing he could in order to help them reach another final. He said: “My father saved this club. When he took over in 2002 we were shedding money at a frightening rate. “At our agm on Thursday night I was able to stand up and announce a profit for the third time in the past four years. We had a debt that peaked at £7m and now stands at £2.1m. Dundee United are in control of our own destiny and one of my ambitions is to be in charge here when we owe nothing to anyone. “For the first time in my 11 years as a board member I’m not worried about money but the game isn’t just about the club’s accounts. “When we brought the Cup back to Tannadice after beating Ross County my wife and I were the last two people to leave the ground following the open-topped bus drive through the city. “We put the Cup in the front seat of a taxi and the driver happened to be a devoted Dundee supporter. He asked me if he could touch the trophy and I said, ‘Yes, of course.’ “The Cup went to every primary and secondary school in the city. It was in every ward of Ninewells Hospital because just seeing it had this effect of making people happy. “You can forget the way football does that to people.” But even if United win access to another final at Rangers’ expense it won’t allow the chairman to exit the consequences which are attached to success. For the first time, Thompson has spoken about the possibility of losing his much talked-about youngsters and his manager, Jackie McNamara. He said: “My father would have loved watching this team with Andrew Robertson, Gary Mackay-Steven, John Souttar and Ryan Gauld. “We sold 650 half-season tickets because they were so good in the first part of the championship and people wanted to see them. That’s unheard of for us. “We’re not under any pressure to sell players because there’s no bank debt at the club any more and therefore no need to reduce borrowings on an annual basis. “But if the right offers come in then players will inevitably go because they’ll want to broaden their horizons and we’ll have a responsibility to the United fans who gave the club ‘friendly’ loans to see they get their money back in a percentage of the transfer fees. “Jackie’s a managerial talent and he’ll move on one day as well, although hopefully not for a few years yet. “We’ve never talked about it between us but if Jackie does move it will be because he has continued to be successful with Dundee United.” And what about the chairman who freely admits to having been turned into an insomniac by the demands of high office? The man who went to see Manchester United play Liverpool last Sunday with a ticket bought in a charity auction and suddenly realised he was enjoying himself because the final score didn’t matter to him. He said: “I don’t sleep properly because I’m always thinking about the future of the club. Uptight is the norm for me. “At the end of my father’s first season in charge we had to avoid defeat to Inverness to stay in the top flight while knowing relegation would have cost the club £2m. That’s the pressure you live under. “My belief is there will be some form of regionalised European league within the next five years and I want United to be ready if that opportunity arises. “There’s no given right to be anywhere and no rightful place for any club. You have to earn whatever you get. “I’ll keep going until we are debt free and have money in the bank. “I’m like my dad because I’m all or nothing and I stick to what I believe in. “I could keep schtum about certain things but I won’t because I need to be true to myself when I’m the majority shareholder at Tannadice.” That’s 53 per cent of the action and 100 per cent of the hassle when it comes to the events of this week.
  4. The quality and passion of posters in my Comments section is well-known. The haters gnash their teeth but many Rangers fans admire the community of loyal bluenoses we have on here. Every now and then we get a belter post that simply has to be given a wider platform. Here is one from The Kilty – a regular poster who always has something constructive to say. If it were me, I’d get 30,000 leaflets printed with this on it for the next home game:- For some ungodly reason Rangers fans all see themselves as corporate business men and tax experts. Rangers fans, unless they are shareholders, have no inherent right to be given any transparency. The business dealings of the club have nothing whatsoever to do with any season ticket holder or ticket buying fan unless they have, as I said, become a shareholder in Rangers International Football Club plc and that is the bottom line. The Board only need answer to the shareholders. For some reason this notion of fan power and a false importance have been placed on the rank and file, along with their lust for knowledge that quite frankly many could not understand, including myself. This may spring from bad business conducted by the club in the past but it still does not give any fan the right to have any commercially sensitive information divulged to them. I am sick hearing phrases like “Who are BPH?“ and “We want transparency” as well as “Where did the money go?” We also hear “The Rangers performance was rubbish – we need better players” which then leads to “These players are getting paid too much” and the old favourite of “The board are ****s” with moans that they took bonuses. Unless you are a shareholder, none of that is any of your business. I have heard the standard excuse: “Well ah paid ma season ticket money so am entitled” but sorry, thats not the case. There are a vast multitude of Rangers fans that spend more per week from their wages in Tescos and Asda and some on beers and spirits so by the same argument if I spend £50 a week on Tennents lager I should say who is on the board of the company. My Mrs spends easy £80 a week in Tescos – do you think they would tell me who their investors are ?? Or that I could get a group of my pals together and stand outside with blue cards waving them so that they would listen? As for King, what he is doing is nothing short of trying to muscle his way in using blackmail. Is that what the norm is now? Get off to a great start, take control by default but when he doesn’t do as the fans want, is he a **** or does he have to go too? It has been said often and ignored just as much that you can take a whale out of the pool and put it in a bowl; it’s still a whale with all the needs of that whale. Rangers are that whale, stuck in a fish bowl. Did it cost any less to run Ibrox last year compared to the year before? Did Murray Park suddenly become a free enterprise zone ? We are in the same position as many companies are in and that is experiencing temporary cash flow problems. Many forget with all the transparency gurgling and ****s out pish that these men on the board have ensured we are debt free. All that on the back of reduced season ticket prices due to the division that was being played in. Rangers don’t need transparency, they need STABILITY. That’s what makes teams win by good margins and that’s what makes the share price rise. It’s what gets sponsors, it’s what makes individuals and corporate investors want to part with their investment cash. At the present time no one wants to put money in just to get told what to do by delusional fans or have pathetic displays of disloyalty to men who put their hands in their own pockets to buy into our Club. Im sorry but at the end of the day your ticket gets you in to be entertained at a football match – that’s where it stops unless, as I said, you are a shareholder in the management company. If you are not entertained, don’t go back; that’s your choice. I know that emotions etc complicate things but that is the bottom line.
  5. .....in radical shake-up if they win next election DEPUTY Labour leader Anas Sarwar told the Record the party will repeal the Offensive Behaviour at Football act as part of a radical shake-up in the way hatred at matches is tackled. THE SNP’s hated football bigotry laws will be scrapped if Scottish Labour win the next election, we can reveal today. The party’s deputy leader Anas Sarwar has told the Record they will repeal the Offensive Behaviour at Football Act as part of a radical shake-up in the way hatred in the terraces is tackled. The Labour announcement will increase pressure on Scottish ministers as it comes just two weeks after Celtic demanded an urgent review of the 2012 Act, which the club described as “unhelpful and counter-productive”. Significantly, the party’s move to scrap the legislation would not be opposed by Scotland’s leading anti-sectarian charity, Nil by Mouth. The SNP’s laws are meant to target sectarian abuse inside stadiums, on the internet and among supporters travelling to and from matches. But Glasgow Central MP Sarwar said yesterday: “The Offensive Behaviour at Football Act is not fit for purpose. “It has proved to be ineffective and unpopular, not least because sectarianism runs far beyond our touchlines and terraces.” He said if they win power at Holyrood in 2016, Labour would tackle sectarianism with “renewed focus” by “ensuring that the police get the support they need, and the well-meaning majority of football fans are respected”. He said the party would focus on “education and prevention, not politics”. Last night, Nil by Mouth campaign director Dave Scott said: “This law has been highly controversial, with courts, police, clubs and fans themselves seeming unconvinced of its effectiveness. We should remember that there are alternatives to legislation.” Community Safety Minister Roseanna Cunningham has ruled out any review of the Act until a study by Stirling University researchers on its effectiveness is completed by August next year. http://www.dailyrecord.co.uk/news/politics/scottish-labour-pledge-scrap-snps-3262872
  6. http://www.dailyrecord.co.uk/news/politics/scottish-labour-pledge-scrap-snps-3262872 Not a surprise...
  7. Lifted from FF From Sun Journo Andy Devlin on Twitter
  8. "The Union of Fans and it's representatives would like to take this opportunity in wholeheartedly thanking the many volunteers who helped distribute the Blue Cards for today's display in support of new investment from Dave King. We would also like to thank the overwhelming majority of the support who took the decision to participate and show their support in the display. (To the naked eye well over 80% of those in attendance). In the main the cards were very well received and even those of dissenting voices were civil in either not taking cards or as is their right, not participating in the display. Once again your support & participation is very much appreciated. Union of Fans" ** Blue Card thread locked again* or I would have put this there. *I can hear conspiracy clogs whirring into action even as I type
  9. ......Rovers have got more class. HUGH says Albion Rovers' display helps put Ibrox title win in perspective and says Old Firm fans should be asking why their teams are not in today's League Cup Final. THEY tell me Ian Black drives to and from Murray Park in a bright red Bentley. It should go with his bright red face because the painter and decorator turned midfield huffer and puffer has managed to alienate himself from the Ibrox support in the same week that Rangers won a title. That takes a bit of doing. The process of alienation, that is, not the title success. When squad members are earning enough to drive Bentleys while playing against part-time teams it’s hard to see this championship as a triumph to be discussed in the same breath as others Ally McCoist has been associated with. But disaffected season-ticket holders? That’s another matter altogether. Former Ibrox director Dave King hasn’t moved a rebellious muscle yet and he’s beginning to look like a shoo-in to win the battle for hearts and minds in the debate over where Rangers go from here at board-room level. And if his trump card is the backing of the fans then a Bentley driver asking the support what more they want after successfully “earning” a replay against Albion Rovers is a perfect start in the propaganda stakes. That and Rangers director Sandy Easdale talking about taking fans to the Court of Session for abusing him. There’s commercial suicide and then there’s commercial cynicism, of course. Celtic have lulled their fans to sleep on the back of a season prematurely ended by a championship won with the same unbalanced ease with which Rangers have dismissed their so-called challengers. The Hoops have beaten what is put in front of them and done exactly what they should’ve done in the Premiership. No more, no less. Just like Rangers. But Celtic can always keep their support on side by ticking the begorrah box. The latest edition of the club’s magazine, published last Wednesday, has Neil Lennon super-imposed on the flag of the Republic of Ireland. Above this image is a message wishing everyone a happy St Patrick’s Day from the champions. St Patrick’s Day doesn’t actually take place until tomorrow but who’s counting? And before those who are always waiting to be scandalised reach for the laptop to send the abusive email, my grandparents were from Ballymote in County Sligo and I’m as proud of my family roots as the next member of the Irish diaspora. But no matter where you’re from I’m sure a lot of Celtic supporters would rather their club magazine was talking about this weekend’s League Cup Final instead of camouflaging the fact they won’t be there. The reason why neither Celtic nor Rangers will be there this afternoon is that the former couldn’t get past the mighty Morton at home with the additional benefit of extra time. And even a team with a Bentley driver in it couldn’t find a way past part-time Forfar Athletic – after Rangers also got an extra half hour at Station Park to see if they could find the right gear. So good luck to Aberdeen and Inverness for having made it to the final and selling almost 50,000 tickets to remind us that there’s still life outside the Bentleys and the begorrahs. And well done to Albion Rovers for earning a replay against Rangers and a host of admirers at the same time for deciding to share their financial windfall from that match with the less fortunate. The idea of the Coatbridge club giving away £10,000 to Radio Clyde’s Cash For Kids charity appeal would once have been thought preposterous. But when they came into a few bob by dint of their own efforts on the park the Rovers asked “What do you need ?” instead of “What more do you want?” like a member of the other team annoyed by people having the audacity to criticise their performances. I got a text from someone anxious to point out that Rangers drew with Albion at Ibrox in 1935 when Bill Struth was the manager. My reply to that is, it was an embarrassment then and it’s an embarrassment now, begging Albion Rovers pardon. So sue me for having an opinion.
  10. Martin Williams ‏@Martin1Williams 31s #Rangers Dave King "Message to fans is..if we don't hold board to account then we will have a couple of unnecessarily difficult years ahead" Martin Williams ‏@Martin1Williams 1m Dave King "I am absolutely confident that Craig Whyte won't have a future at #Rangers going forward" Martin Williams ‏@Martin1Williams 1m Dave King "There are powers behind the throne at #Rangers not represented on board" would prefer him an other likeminded people involved Martin Williams ‏@Martin1Williams 2m Dave King believes there is a "guiding hand behind" #Rangers that is not currently sitting on the board. But doesn't name names. Martin Williams ‏@Martin1Williams 3m Dave King says "what is very important" is transparency must come first, before any future investment. Martin Williams ‏@Martin1Williams 4m Dave King says trying to avert "another financial crisis" at #Rangers & that board is relying on fans' "fierce loyalty" to come up with cash Martin Williams ‏@Martin1Williams 5m DaveKing says "it is obvious" #Rangers is "running out of money" & was happy go be a significant investor but board has since "done nothing" Martin Williams ‏@Martin1Williams 9m Dave King says real aim to get "proper transparency from #Rangers & would like not to have to set up fund for season tickets. Martin Williams ‏@Martin1Williams 11m Dave King says will meet the #Rangers board and insists his statements about "financial crisis" of club was "nothing controversial"
  11. Forget The Barmy Army – Be The Rangers Army Apparently 5,000 have signed up to Dave King’s barmy army which plans to hold Rangers to ransom by drip-feeding season ticket money to the club. I use the term barmy army because, as hare-brained schemes go, this one has to be up there with chocolate fireguards in the dumbest ideas in history table. What makes Dave King or anyone who is following him believe that they will be sold a season book on such preposterous terms? Which makes giving Dave King your season ticket money a donation to Dave King’s Ego Fund. The reality is that Dave King is asking fans to give him and his Union of Fans their money instead of Rangers Football Club. It’s like me trying to buy a car from the Honda dealer by giving my money to the Ford dealer. Or ordering a Chinese meal and telling the delivery person that the money is with the Indian takeaway. No wonder Celtic fans are peeing their pants with laughter, although their claims that Admin 2 is around the corner are based on fables from other fantasists. It’s funny how all the cretins who claim Rangers died are now affirming the opposite by averring that the club is about to go into a second admin. I blame the sectarian schools. I see one or two on the forums have raised the possibility that Dave King’s real objective in his crusade is to claw back some of the £20 million he claims to have lost investing in Murray Sports. It’s no secret that King was quite bitter about his previous involvement with the Murray regime, even to the extent of claiming Rangers should apologise for the use of EBT’s and should make financial reparation to other clubs. This was seen at the time as an attempt to lash out at David Murray and as evidence of a deep-seated grudge held by King toward the former owner. It has been put to me by an astute observer of matters Rangers that the securing of Albion Car Park and Edmiston House against loans recently made to the club may be a means of protecting these assets in the event of King’s convincing enough people that it really does become dangerous to the club’s future. My own view is that many will sign up to King’s barmy army but will see sense when the season ticket renewal comes around. King may be left with a hardcore of fans intent on undermining the club’s progress but their refusal to renew their books will be a means of excising them from the club’s support. Hopefully others will come forward to take their place. My view on this blog is simple: Give Graham Wallace the required – and agreed – 120 days to conduct and complete his thorough review of the club’s fiscals and logistics. Then examine his proposals. For the time being, get behind the club and the team. Rangers fans like to talk and sing about being loyal and true. It’s time to walk the talk and rally round the Rangers for the Rangers army is coming down the road. http://billmcmurdo.wordpress.com/blog-2/
  12. Just in case anyone fancies doing this while raising money for charity! http://www.gersnet.co.uk/index.php/latest-news/225-football-aid-2014-play-at-ibrox
  13. GORDON backs Hearts' incoming chairwoman to revive the club while lamenting the damage done by the would-be saviours at Ibrox. THE definition of altruism: When the answer to the question “What’s in it for you?” is “Nothing”. That’s Ann Budge for you. Sixty-five years old, self-made multi-millionaire, family woman, treasures her privacy and relative anonymity, sees her Saturday afternoons as sacred time with her daughter and grand-daughter in Section D of the Wheatfield. What could possibly be in it for her to commit herself to four or five years inside the washing machine of Scottish football? Nothing. Not a single thing. Which is why Hearts fans should be eternally grateful that she has. And, as I wrote back in September, Rangers fans should be peering east, mournfully lamenting what they could have had. The deal to take Hearts out of administration and forward is the result of months of good leadership, good governance, good PR, good organisation and, most of all, good intentions. And what they’ve emerged with is the perfect template for the handover from tyranny to the terraces. Make no mistake, Budge’s role will not be passive. She’s no figurehead. She’s real. Incongruously, for fan ownership to succeed in the long run, they’re going to need her to be a strong individual, making hard-headed decisions that would be impossible to arrive at if the club were being run by committee. Her job is to hand Hearts over in the best financial health she can create in as short a time as possible. And the only way that won’t happen is if Jambos fail to live up to their end of the bargain. That’s why they’re lucky to have her. She’s the anti-Craig Whyte, the anti-Charles Green. As executive chair, she’ll be working five days a week pro bono. She’ll be arriving at conclusions plenty may disagree with but the one thing no one can dispute is that she’s doing it for anyone’s benefit other than Hearts. There’s a legal agreement that she has to hand the club over to the Foundation as and when they hit their pre-agreed targets. She can’t change her mind, can’t flog them to a predator who fancies the place for himself when they’re back on an even keel. What that means is the fans have to create the bank of last resort for the club with their membership scheme, the financial cushion for the months where there’s a shortfall, where the season ticket money has run dry and the commercial income is a struggle. All they have to be able to do is prove that in the absence of support from an actual bank, they will never get back to the day when the wages won’t be in the bank. And there’s no reason they can’t. At the moment the Foundation of Hearts bring in £130,000 a month in direct debits. That’s £1.5million a year as your slush fund. The season tickets, corporate and commercial income, sponsorship, catering and anything else they can raise funds from provides their working capital. If they do all that? If they create a model that washes its face? There’s no reason why a club of their stature, with their support, can’t be golden in four years’ time. And in the meantime? What a Championship it’s going to be next year. A tale of two clubs from two cities whose stories over the past two years may as well have come from two different planets. The team who’ve done everything right to get out of administration against the team who’ve had every wrong imaginable done to them. Rangers will be looking at Hearts and thinking, “If only...” To be fair, their Supporters’ Trust still have faith they can make it happen. But when they needed the kind of altruism Budge offered Hearts, they got shafted. Twice. When they needed a Jim McColl, he ran shy. And when they needed unity of purpose, they fragmented. Even now, their intentions may be there. But neither the Easdales nor Dave King as a potential investor seems prepared to engage in the idea that the club need a move towards fan membership and ownership for the long-term good. They’re still saddled by the “What’s in it for me?” brigade and as long as the answer is “plenty”, they’re fighting a losing battle. But you know what? Despite the fact that Hearts’ total budget next year will probably be around the £1million mark, less than 20 per cent of Rangers’, if it’s spent well, they could challenge the assumption the Ibrox club will stroll through that league the way they’ve strolled through the last two. If they can get 16,000 inside Tynecastle every week, create a cause the way Hibs did when they went down in 1998, the way Rangers’ fans did when they went into the bottom tier? Keep the best of their kids, get a few course and distance guys in to help them when the embargo goes? Get a little momentum going? It’s going to be a hell of a race. http://www.dailyrecord.co.uk/sport/football/football-news/gordon-waddell-altruistic-ann-budge-3151057
  14. ............but sheriff says he should not have been dragged into court 19 Jan 2014 07:36 ADAM RICHMOND walked away from court without a criminal record after a sheriff gave him an absolute discharge, prompting criticism of the law that led to his arrest. A STUDENT held after chanting abuse about the Pope and the Queen at a football match has been convicted under controversial anti-sectarian laws. But Adam Richmond, 19, walked away without a criminal record after a sheriff said he should not have been dragged into court. The case has sparked a fresh wave of criticism over the Government’s Offensive Behaviour at Football and Threatening Communications Act, driven into place two years ago after a bad-tempered Old Firm match and designed to clamp down on sectarian abuse at games and online. Football fans, lawyers and civil liberty campaigners have branded the legislation unnecessary and confused after cases have been questioned when they reached court. Richmond was arrested after police heard him singing “F*** your Pope and f*** your Queen” as Partick Thistle played Celtic at Firhill in October. Thistle fans sing the song to distance themselves from Rangers and Celtic. At Glasgow Sheriff Court, he was found guilty by Sheriff Norman Ritchie QC of behaviour likely to incite public disorder by singing sectarian and offensive remarks. But he told the teenager: “You are not the sort of person who creates the problem and needs this legislation.” He then discharged him absolutely. That means Richmond, from Penilee, Glasgow, has no criminal record despite being found guilty. Yesterday, solicitor advocate Chris Fyffe said: “I struggle to see the point of this Act. One of the major concerns was it had an extremely long reach and was very vague in its terms. “This seems to be being borne out to a certain extent by some of these decisions, suggesting there is a reluctance on the part of the sheriffs to find one person in a crowd of 3000 guilty. “Because of its vagueness, you can have a situation theoretically where somebody is saying something which is, on the face of it, offensive – it doesn’t have to be sectarian or racist and people do shout things at football matches – so there’s a potential there for criminalising football fans for what they have been doing for the past 150 years. “These cases seem to be reflecting the concern a lot of lawyers – and not just defence lawyers but sheriffs as well – are having regarding this legislation. “What it really seems to be doing is focusing on football behaviour as opposed to what many people see as the real concern, which is sectarianism in Scotland. “It seems we are criminalising people who are letting off steam in a relatively secure environment.” Product design student Richmond was told he was a credible witness until he was asked about singing the song, when his evidence turned “decidedly lukewarm” and his confidence “evaporated”. The Thistle song is supposed to celebrate the club’s neutrality from Old Firm bigotry with the line: “We hate the boys in royal blue, we hate the boys in emerald green, f*** your Pope and f*** your Queen.” Richmond told the court that the song is only sung when Thistle play Celtic or Rangers and the lyrics represent taking a stand against religion in football. Richmond, who has been going to games with his dad since he was six, said: “To me, from my understanding of the song, I don’t see how it can be offensive.” But anti-sectarianism charity Nil By Mouth said they hoped that Richmond had learned his lesson. Campaigns director David Scott said: “The use of this type of language at a match is no longer acceptable no matter what the context. “Fans at all league clubs are warned on the back of their ticket and before the start of games that offensive singing or chanting is not allowed. “Clearly, if this man wants to keep religion out of football, he should not have been singing what he did.” When we contacted Richmond at his home, he declined to comment. But a family friend said: “Adam has never been in trouble in his life. This has been hanging over for him for months and has been a terrible strain. “He was the only one arrested even though he was in a group of about 300 fans. “Adam has been told he will not have to declare this as a conviction when he goes for a job, which is a real relief. “This is a song that the Thistle fans have been singing for years without any previous complaints. “There is no intention of causing offence. All it really does is poke fun at Celtic and Rangers fans.” Partick Thistle declined to comment on the case. http://www.dailyrecord.co.uk/news/scottish-news/student-convicted-under-controversial-anti-sectarian-3037633
  15. Rangers: Manager Ally McCoist instructed to cut wage bill By Alasdair Lamont Senior football reporter, BBC Scotland Rangers manager Ally McCoist has been told he will have to make cuts to his playing budget. McCoist has been in discussions with Graham Wallace recently as the chief executive undertakes a comprehensive review of the Ibrox finances. Wallace told shareholders at the annual general meeting in December savings would need to be made. And the players' wage bill at the League One side currently stands between £6m and £7m per annum. A spokesman for the Rangers board told BBC Scotland: "The CEO Graham Wallace outlined his strategy at the AGM and nothing is going to deflect him from getting Rangers back on an even keel. "Graham and Ally are reviewing the football budget, as part of the overall business review and it would be inappropriate at this time to discuss any figures." The news comes on the day that three million shares worth around £750,000 were traded in Rangers International Football Club plc. The share price dropped as low as 24p early in the day before rallying slightly to close at 28.5p. That is a fall from the 90p price at the launch of the share issue just over a year ago. Earlier this week, McCoist signed off on a pay cut of around 50%, which he agreed to in October. And consultant Philip Nash has been brought to Ibrox to help oversee the financial overhaul.
  16. Liverpool played "absent friends" over the anfield tannoy at half time today, in memory of the 66 who died in the ibrox disaster. The song is from the hillsborough ibrox memorial groups new charity cd that was released just last week. http://www.liverpoolfc.com/news/late...r-hillsborough True class from Liverpool F.C.
  17. Cheque for £2000 passed to Connal Cochrane of the Rangers Charity Foundation earlier this week. Suffice to say we're all delighted with that so can only thank everyone who has bought the book for their support. http://www.amazon.co.uk/Follow-We-Will-Fall-Rangers/dp/1908373687/
  18. http://footballtaxhavens.wordpress.com/2013/11/24/celtic-fc-getting-sucked-into-the-labour-party-co-operative-bank-scandal/
  19. PETER Lawwell will know that such is the relationship between Celtic and Rangers that he cannot make a joke at the expense of his rivals from across the city without there being a reaction, especially a bad joke, especially a joke that plays to the galleries and is a little cringe-making for a man in his lofty position in the Scottish game. By the sounds of it, there was much talk about Rangers at the Celtic agm on Friday. A question from the floor about why so many still call them Rangers, another question about why Rangers were given their licence to play after the tumult of summer 2012 and yet another about whether Celtic’s assets were owned by the club, the inference being that Rangers’ assets are not. This one was answered by Ian Bankier, the chairman, in a way that summoned up an image of John Brown outside Ibrox and his “Show us the deeds” speech. All of this jolly japery might have gone well with some Celtic supporters but it will only have reinforced the view in the minds of their counterparts across the city that a chunk of the Celtic fanbase are obsessed with Rangers (and vice versa). When the Parkhead agm contains so many references to the blue side of Glasgow then you can see their point down Ibrox way. Obsessed? Lawwell had a chance to kill that charge stone dead when asked about the Rangers new club/old club saga. He could have said: “That’s got nothing to do with us, we are Celtic and we’re doing very well thank you very much.” Only he didn’t say that. He said that “Rory Bremner can pretend to be Tony Blair” meaning that the Rangers we see now is only imagining itself to be the Rangers of the past 140 years. It was so unnecessary and Rangers have complained, inevitably. Their support will have demanded, in thunderous union, that the complaint be lodged and Lawwell will have expected it. He’s been around too long to believe that his “wee bit of humour” defence was going to be accepted at face value among Rangers people. This stuff is toxic. The question of Rangers – new club or old – is one that gets under the skin of most fans at Ibrox and Lawwell knows it only too well. Once he said what he said he would have known what was coming next. The thing is, Lawwell is no longer just the chief executive of Celtic, he is now on the professional game board (PGB) of the Scottish FA, a double-act that makes him one of the most – if not the most – powerful man in the domestic game. When he pokes fun at Rangers’ identity he does rather call into question his role on the PGB, a body that is supposed to above such petty squabbling. A few weeks ago he said that if it ever felt compromised in an SFA vote about Rangers – he was talking specifically about Dave King’s mooted application to become a director of the club – then he would consider stepping out of the room and playing no part in proceedings. In the minds of Rangers people, his Rory Bremner gag might confirm that Lawwell will always be compromised on anything to do with Rangers and, frankly, you can see their point. There is another aspect to this, too. Lawwell wants Rangers back in the Premiership, not because he cares about what happens at Ibrox but because it would be commercially beneficial for Celtic. And when they do get back, and when Sky or BT get ready to up their investment in the Scottish game because the Old Firm derby is once again on their horizon, will Lawwell talk of Rory Bremner then? Will he say to TV partners: “Lads, put away your wallets, this is not the same Rangers, the Old Firm game is dead. They’re only an imitation act over there at Ibrox. Don’t bother giving us more money.” No, he won’t. Lawwell seems to have an adaptable view of Rangers. Depending on who is acting the question, they’re either the same Rangers or new Rangers. He seems to flip-flop between two entirely different positions. All the headlines, post agm, have been about the Rory Bremner joke, which is unfortunate, because there was a far more interesting section of the meeting on Friday, a topic that was written about by my colleague, Andrew Smith, in yesterday’s Scotsman. It was to do with the resolution that sought support for “taking all necessary steps” to make the club a living wage employer, thereby ensuring that all staff are paid at the very least £7.45 an hour instead of the minimum wage of £6.31. This resolution was shot down by the Celtic board, who said that it would cost them too much money, about £500,000. All you hear from Celtic’s top brass is how well they are doing financially on the back of Champions League success and player sales so to come the poor mouth as soon as somebody raises the issue of paying their workers an extra £1.14 an hour is a bit much. Especially since they had earlier trumpeted that no club took their responsibilities to the community more seriously than Celtic while also saying charity and fairness was in the club’s DNA. Cue video of the Brother Walfrid story. Brother Walfrid was an inspirational force for good, but as Smith pointed out yesterday: “If you know your history when it comes to Celtic… it will not be lost on you that his [Walfrid’s] vision was sold out within ten years, when the club became a plc, stopped making charity donations of any note and started paying fat dividends to directors… Walfrid later distanced himself from what the club became.” It might suit Lawwell to get himself embroiled in the Rory Bremner situation because the alternative would be that more attention might be paid to the rejection of the living wage resolution, “one of the grubbiest and divisive decisions made by a Celtic board”, according to Jeanette Findlay, chair of the Celtic Trust. Findlay has, it seems, much support from fellow fans on the issue. And that is to their credit. Their passionate arguments have been drowned out by this Rory Bremner affair. It’s sad, but this is the way of things between Celtic and Rangers. How embarrassing if the SFA have to sanction the newest member of its professional game board for an avoidable cheap shot a veritable five minutes after his appointment. Findlay, and others, would argue that the real mortification can be found elsewhere, however. http://www.scotsman.com/news/tom-english-the-way-of-things-between-celtic-and-rangers-1-3191758
  20. http://www.heraldscotland.com/news/h...ibrox.22647991 FORMER Rangers chairman Malcolm Murray has called on new Ibrox chief David Somers to ensure democracy at next month's crunch annual general meeting. The chartered accountant and investment manager was appointed acting chairman of Rangers International Football Club plc last week and will oversee what is likely to be a stormy shareholder summit on December 19. Mr Murray, former Blue Knights leader Paul Murray and businessmen Alex Wilson and Scott Murdoch are bidding to win seats on the Ibrox board. They have the backing of fans after high-profile protests by supporters in recent weeks. Malcolm Murray said: "The worries [the fans have] are very valid but there is light at the end of the tunnel. The penny has dropped. "As a leading fan said to me this morning, it is as though a plague of locusts have descended on Ibrox in the last five years and they won't leave until they have picked all the flesh off us. "We won't allow that to happen, we can't. "The only ones that leave are the ones that go through the revolving doors with a very large cheque. That has got to stop. "That is why the AGM exists. We have got to hope that the new chairman is totally independent and will make sure that we have democracy to get that done. "The fans need the money put back in the club, that is not where it is going. We will make sure that happens in the future, when we win at the AGM." Rangers fans kept up the pressure on the current Ibrox hierarchy with a demonstration ahead of the team's Scottish League One victory over Airdrieonians on Saturday.
  21. I have just read that our former player has motor neurone disease
  22. It's pretty safe to say we have won our second title on the way back up, and yes the road has been smoother this year compared to last. Yet I personally feel uninspired by how it is being accomplished, and I'm interested in what the consensus is. When we agreed as a support that we would rather start at the bottom than be handed some 'charity' i.e. a halfway house (did you notice the clamour of the press to praise the Rangers support for that? No I didn't either) I think we all saw an opportunity to create a football philosophy, a new ethos, away from the pressures of playing in the same league as them. OK, after a while last season, it was clear that it wasn't going to be that easy. So get the first season over and then start to see something new. No? Am I just in the wrong mood but are there any signs that we are going to accomplish any of this by the time we get back to the top? Already Ally is talking about "needing millions to do better than top six"!!! I watched our route one football to beat East Fife. I watched Nicky Law excited at the start of the season talk about how we were going to play a very high line due to our superior fitness and always be on the front foot. Nicky started on fire, scoring great goals, and then what? Ally tells him to lie a bit deeper and the rest is there to see.... If it is better than my mood is telling me then I'm open to criticism - no problem. Can anyone say hand on heart though that these won't be wasted years?
  23. Apologies for the non-RFC thread but I hope you can take the time to read the information below and spend a minute or two casting your vote for the charity which a friend of mine created.
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