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  1. ...........to protect their wealth/power and insulate them from the same legal system that applies to the ordinary folk. - Financial sector has an effective immunity no matter what they do and the repercussions it has. - Three sellers of illegal devices from pirate streaming organisation jailed for defrauding Premier League The operators of a pirate streaming organisation have today been jailed for a total of 17 years for conspiracy to defraud; some of the longest sentences ever issued for piracy-related crimes. https://www.thesun.co.uk/sport/football/8686263/premier-league-illegal-streamers-jail/
  2. The Company confirms that it has today drawn down the sum of £5 million from the credit facility agreement entered into between SportsDirect.com Retail Limited (SD) and Rangers Football Club Limited (RFC) and has repaid the loan of £3 million to RFC provided by Mash Holdings Limited (MASH). As a result of this repayment, all rights of MASH to nominate two persons for potential appointment to the board of directors of the Company and RFC have now lapsed. SD has the right to nominate two persons for potential appointment to the board of directors of the Company, but has not currently exercised this right. Further to the Company's announcement on 27 October 2014, the Company would like to clarify the position in relation to any rights of MASH to appoint directors of RFC as referred to in that announcement. The correct position is that MASH never had the right to directly appoint directors of RFC. http://www.rangers.co.uk/news/headlines/item/8461-company-announcement
  3. We have considered the views of many fans regarding action against Sports Direct. After to today's announcement we would be surprised if any self respecting Rangers fans spent money in his shops. Stopping him taking others money is a priority and as such we shall be starting a series of action to do this very soon. To hit his pocket via a series of actions nationally would not go amiss and as should be possible. What i suggest we do is set up a national network of Sons of Struth branches to coordinate future actions and as such would request as many as possible join us and those willing to coordinate from a local level can contact us to offer their services. sosnofstruth@aol.com As usual any action from SoS will be legal and non threatening to any staff or customers JOIN US http://www.sonsofstruth.co.uk/join-sos.html Craig
  4. THERE was a rare moment of unity between Rangers fans groups and the Scottish Football Association when the governing body blocked Mike Ashley’s proposals to increase his stake in the club last month. Then, a Union of Fans statement spoke of the SFA having “done the right thing” in observing their rules on dual ownership by refusing to approve the Newcastle United owner’s bid to increase his Rangers stake from around 9 per cent to 29 per cent. Yet, those same supporters are unlikely to be so taken by the SFA obeying their articles of association should Dave King succeed in his mission to oust the current board. King revealed his intentions on Friday night when he requisitioned an extraordinary general meeting (egm). The South Africa-based businessman, Rangers’ largest single shareholder with a 16 per cent stake, is “confident” he can muster the 50 per cent shareholder support he needs to remove chairman David Somers, James Easdale, Derek Llambias and Barry Leach from their directorship. His plan is to replace them with himself, Paul Murray and John Gilligan. And therein lies the rub. At an egm, which the current Rangers board could stall for six weeks, King could expect the support of the 20 per cent stake controlled by the Donald Park, George Letham and George Taylor consortium. In addition, he is believed to have the ear of a couple of the hedge funds with a 10 per cent holding between them, while individual supporters whose share totals add up to a further 10 per cent would back his efforts to put the Ibrox club into the hands of supporters. That is all well and good, and Ashley deserves to be removed because of his callous disregard for the club and its followers in this week’s moves to gain security over Ibrox and Murray Park. The current board maintain this was in return for the £10 million loan Rangers need to see out the season. But it is important to look beyond Ashley’s game-playing and not forget how we arrived at this point. In the independent inquiry chaired by Lord Nimmo Smith under the auspices of the SFA, the old board were criticised for failing to blow the whistle on Craig Whyte as he sent the club on the road to ruin after taking over in May 2011. King was a member of that board. And it cannot be forgotten either that the reason King was in no position to buy the assets once the old Rangers had been condemned to liquidation the following summer, and save it from the clutches of Charles Green, was that the Castlemilk-born businessman was then in the midst of a decade-long legal battle with the South African Revenue Service. He settled last year by pleading guilty to 42 criminal counts of contravening the country’s tax laws, and kept himself out of prison by plea bargaining on almost 300 other charges, which required him to stump up £41m. As far as failing to meet the SFA’s fit and proper person test, King – who lost £20m he invested in the David Murray Rangers era – does so with bells on. Indeed, it is almost as if the ruling has been written to debar individuals with chequered business careers of King’s ilk. Under section (h) of Article 10.2 that sets out the “considerations” that would be made concerning the board “reserving its discretion” as to whether a person is deemed fit and proper to hold a football directorship, it is stated “[if] he has been convicted within the last ten years of (i) an offence liable to imprisonment of two years or over, (ii) corruption or (iii) fraud.” King was liable for a stretch longer than two years had he not plea-bargained. Moreover, he is caught in a double bind over the fit and proper person rules. Because what also counts against those seeking to meet the criteria is having “been a director of a club in membership of any National Association within the five-year period preceding such club having undergone an insolvency event”. King and Paul Murray – who was sacked from the Rangers board immediately after Whyte took over – both fall down on this basis. They simply cannot be granted permission by the SFA to take up directorships in any Rangers board if the governing body stands by their own rules, which were tightened up because they had failed to act over Whyte’s dubious business past. King constantly puts it out through sympathetic media sources that he is confident the SFA professional game board would wave him through as a Rangers director in the event of gaining a controlling interest. That sounds like bluster, which, as well as the baggage, has led to legitimate questioning of King’s credentials to lead Rangers out of the mire. At times, though, it must be said he talks a good game. As he did in his statement on Friday in which he claimed that, as well as putting the club on a sound financial footing, a second “important task” would be “to conduct a forensic audit of the management and commercial contracts undertaken over the last few years to determine whether they are truly arm’s length and whether the affairs of the company have been pursued in accordance with the fiduciary obligations of those entrusted with that responsibility”. King thundered at the end of this declaration of intent that “any malfeasance will be pursued aggressively and transparently”. For the South African tax authorities, that might read like a sick joke. http://www.scotsman.com/sport/football/spfl-lower-divisions/rangers-dave-king-s-move-faces-taxing-questions-1-3664643
  5. Demonstration outside Ibrox: Rangers v Raith Rovers Sunday 8th February (Scottish Cup) We are looking at a demonstration outside Ibrox for Sunday 8th February prior to the home match against Raith Rovers in the Scottish Cup. The reasons for this are that we feel that today’s news of using Ibrox as security is a watershed moment. This is where a line in the sand must be drawn. We would hope that all supporters and supporters group could agree with the sentiment behind this and would give their support and endorsement to it. This is not about boycotts, dividing the support, or anything other than an act to show how important Ibrox is to Rangers and our support. The demonstration is specifically about using Ibrox as security for a loan funding for anyone. We feel Ibrox should be asset locked away for the supporters. We are holding a meeting on Monday night to discuss this and if you want to attend (as a representative for an organisation, supporters club, or as an individual) then please contact us at info@thelouden.co.uk or message us. This is a positive action to show how much we care. We all love our club – lets show it. The Louden Tavern
  6. ...Atheist says terror attacks reinforce his belief all faiths are nonsense. FORMER trainee priest, ALEX MOONEY, claims terrorists are killing in the name of a god that does not exist. HOLY men calling out the names of 10 journalists before systematically killing them one by one in a Paris office – in the name of a loving god. Holy men taking seven hours to end the fledgling lives of 132 school children and setting their teachers alight in front of them in Peshawar, Pakistan – in the name of a loving god. These two barbarous acts in the last month disgust all decent people and must surely hasten an end to the absurdity of religion. Sentient beings who promote ancient fears, rituals and superstition must learn that their ludicrous beliefs are ultimately dangerous. Holy wars belong to the Dark Ages – as does all religion. There are no gods, no heaven, no hell, no miracles. There never has been. There never will be. This is way beyond reasonable doubt now. There is not one shred of evidence anywhere to prove the existence of a supernatural entity. Thanks to science the greatest story ever told is not in the Bible, or any sacred scripture, but can be found from the Big Bang onwards. If you must have faith then believe in that because it is more wondrous than anything in holy texts. But we still live in a world that is predominantly religious. At my Catholic primary school in the 50s, pupils were told their faith was the only true one. I recall one ridiculing Red Indians – as they were described then. A teacher said they were savages and heathens because they prayed to totem poles. We laughed with her. In a science class, we were given moulds and shown how to make plaster statues. By the time I was 15 I had been in a cloistered seminary for three years, training to become a priest. Hidden away from the world, we prayed a lot. One day I knelt before a statue of Jesus and as I prayed a *question disturbed me. What is the difference between praying to a lump of wood or a mould of plaster? There is none, of course. That epiphany was the end of my *vocation – and my faith in God. Yet, 50 years on, blind belief still has a hold on billions of people who cling to the hope of eternal life in a heaven. Many are becoming fanaticised. One atrocity after another is done in the name of protecting their god. Religious leaders denounce the perpetrators as “not being of the true faith” – until the next barbaric beheading is filmed live and fed to the world’s social media like some grotesque trailer for a reality show. Apologists for religion blame fundamentalism for these despicable acts. Really? Well the one thing fundamental to fundamentalism is belief in a god. In America’s Bible Belt millions of Christians, split into sects, are fleeced by charlatans and snake-oil salesmen. TV and radio stations make a fortune from pandering to deluded believers. In a clinical environment some of those who swoon before the pastors and faith healers would be diagnosed as having mental health issues. Astonishingly, though, throughout the world atheists are facing ever increasing persecution. A new report from the International Humanist and Ethical Union shows that 19 countries punish their people for apostasy – in 12 of those the sentence is death. In Pakistan the death sentence can even be imposed for blasphemy where the threshold is very low. In all, 55 countries, including several Western ones, have laws against *blasphemy. The sentence is prison in 39 countries and death in six. In Saudi Arabia, a new law equates atheism with terrorism. And the *Malaysian prime minister Najib Razak branded humanists and *secularists as no less than deviants. That this is happening in 2015 should trigger massive concern. Yet politicians and governments shy away from confronting the issue in the hope religion’s followers and its *influence will wither away as believers increasingly look at science to explain the world rather than discredited theology. While the number of believers is falling in the West there is a danger that those remaining will also become fanaticised as they are isolated. Historians 100 years on will surely wonder why so many people were deluded and perhaps conclude that some form of mass brainwashing was in play. The truth is, we don’t need scriptures or 10 commandments to be good folk. Just be fair and decent in everything you do – and that applies to people, businesses, politicians and *governments. If you want a better world then believe in that. http://www.dailyrecord.co.uk/news/uk-world-news/religion-belongs-dark-ages-atheist-4952352
  7. ...to the Light at the End of the Tunnel. 08 January 2015 By Alex Mooney At some point in the near future a fledgling genius will be tasked with writing the definitive story of Rangers since Craig Whyte bought the club for a pound. It will be an act of folly. No one even remotely sane would dream of trying to separate fact from the fiction. That brilliant brain will eventually flounder and fry in the process. The problems are many. For a start, a trillion words have already been written on the subject. And that's just from thousands of Celtic fans who took crash courses and became lawyers, forensic accountants, tax experts (specialising in EBTs and Sporting Integrity), and insolvency practitioners. Meticulously sifting through that vast body of 'research' alone will be a Herculean effort. If this sorry tale has taught us anything it is that the obsessed only believe what they want to believe. Objectivity is non-existent in the Old Firm battleground where agendas, conspiracy theories and paranoia rule. There is only one truth for fanatics - theirs. Any book that attempts a dispassionate account would have to substantially include the shameful witch-hunt against Rangers which I wrote about on this site two years ago. Also of interest would be the Rangers Tax Case blog that acted as a hanging judge in the EBT tribunal then vanished into the night like a skulking dog when the taxman lost. Yet, astonishingly, it won an Orwell award. Panel members who thought a blog consisting of anonymous posters peddling bile, character assassination and using Stalinist censorship was worthy of a prize should be ashamed. The great man of letters who railed against totalitarianism so brilliantly can never have been so insulted and demeaned. What a travesty in his name. Of course, the bampots are still out there on the net toiling away 24/7 in pursuit of their obsession - killing Rangers. Isn't that odd, given they insist their great rival is already dead? Even some of the more prominent Scottish indy blogs are foolishly getting in on the act. In the run-up to the referendum their mantra was inclusion - we're all in it together and together as one the new Scotland will thrive. Apart from Rangers, it now seems, and the 'corrupt' SFA and mainstream media who are in cahoots in a masterplan to covertly run the country. This is unhinged nonsense and a pitiful attempt to suck people in to a divisive and vengeful agenda that has nothing to do with integrity. Or fair play. Or the state of Scottish football. It is simply a vindictive campaign against one club. Bigots masquerading as defenders of justice fool only themselves. It is also cowardly. The Ibrox club is on its knees and struggling for life after being pick-pocketed by a bunch of chancers and incompetents. It needs the support of everyone in Scottish football - especially Celtic fans whose team have been badly affected by Rangers' absence in the top flight. Yet the keyboard warriors are not only kicking a man when he's down, they are revelling in it. The handful of mainstream journalists who egg the obsessed on - and make a shilling from it - should take a serious look at what they are condoning. This poisonous agenda has no place in our lives and they have a professional responsibility not to feed it. So good luck to any aspiring authors out there - your book on Rangers will be howled down by the haters who, I fear, will bore us to death for many long years to come. What is important now is looking ahead and charting a path out of the shambles at Ibrox rather than endlessly analysing the past three years - history, and the courts, will take care of the charlatans who bled the club dry. The only consolation for fleeced fans is knowing that the snake-oil salesmen will go to their graves, their characters forever stained. The last AGM, conducted from a gazebo on a bitterly cold December day in Govan, was utter pantomime as the bumbling board members entered stage left to boos and vicious name-calling. Dignity was conspicuous by its absence as the grey clouds gathered ominously over that theatre of screams. Onlookers around the football world must have been shocked by what they witnessed as this once mighty institution washed its dirty linen in public. How many times has it been said the club had reached its lowest ebb - only for new depths to be plumbed? Surely that grim day was as bad as it can get? With Dave King and the Three Bears entering the fray, with others perhaps, I will take the risk of this coming back to haunt me and say the club really has bottomed out - and can now find a realistic way back to the top. Mike Ashley's involvement is puzzling. Did he ever have a genuine strategy for the club apart from selling the merchandise for a quick buck? The billionaire recluse could easily have bankrolled a recovery with loose change from his back pocket but chose not to. So why get involved at all? Perhaps he doesn't know either. Maybe all that money has gone to this head and made him a stranger to himself. What he must also do now is make himself a stranger to the club. Rangers returning to rude health is conditional, of course, on the new investors and board members being up to the task unlike their inept predecessors. But that shouldn't be a problem if they follow basic business rules. A plan to revive a football club isn't that difficult to understand - you reduce expenditure and increase income. That's it. It's called, dare I say it, Doing a Fergus. There can't be a Gers fan anywhere in the world who wouldn't welcome such a character coming into their club right now with a five-year plan. All it needs is an honest broker. The first step on the long and winding road is getting the fans onside - all of them. Without their backing there is no future. The only way that can happen is for the new regime to be open and honest. Supporters know there are massive problems and tough times before things get better. They can take that. What they cannot bear is being kept out of the loop. Trying to fool them with clever soundbites won't work. There has to be truth. Even if it's bad news, fans will respect the board for that - and back them. But you can't just ask for trust - it has to be earned by not treating them as outsiders. They are all part of the Rangers family so must be viewed as such. The fans also have a massive role to play among themselves. Once an honest regime is in place it will be time to heal the splits and unite. Common cause has to be found to get the club back to where it should be. Filling the stadium and buying season tickets has to be a priority. A solid future for the club takes precedence over personality clashes and point scoring. Trying to say with any certainty when this saga will end is fraught with difficulty but pressure is building on the board. They are running out of time and money. And even the dumbest of them must realise there is no club without the fans - who have lost all patience with those whose tenure can only be regarded as a complete failure. They must step aside soon. Once that happens the real rebuilding will begin and everyone in Scottish football can get back to some sort of normality. Bring it on. http://www.therangersstandard.co.uk/index.php/articles/current-affairs/334-telling-the-rangers-story-from-whyte-to-the-light-at-the-end-of-the-tunnel
  8. We're spending another season in the Championship. No doubt about it.
  9. BBCBMcLauchlin ‏@BBCBMcLauchlin 1m1 minute ago George Letham, George Taylor and Douglas Park offer Rangers £6.5million alternative to Mike Ashley investment#bbcsportscot
  10. I thought I would start a fresh thread on this as it is starting to be discussed on other threads. I think it needs a thread of its own as it is a separate issue from others (feel free to delete Admins if you think otherwise) http://www.dailyrecord.co.uk/sport/football/football-news/dave-kings-dream-owning-rangers-4875145 As I read this case, it appears that the SA Sunday Times started an investigation of their own regarding a 'rogue unit' within SARS that acted in an 'illegal' manner when investigating certain tax cases. An independent panel was set up to investigate the Sunday Times' claims and they came to the conclusion that there was a case needing investigated officially. Now here is where 'others' put their spin on it. Dave King and other high profile tax case protagonists have done nothing wrong here. and are not under any new legal investigation at this point. [As I read it] in the articles I've read, this panel have urged high ranking SARS officials to set up a unit to investigate themselves. But furthermore evidence seems to be appearing that the SA Government have been aware of this unit for quite some time and may actually have sanctioned it. Bottom line for me is that Dave King (and others) will not lose any sleep over this whatsoever, and there is absolutely no chance of Dave King being restricted either in his movements or business while this rumbles on (if it does!). It will take years and years for this to come to a head, or it will just go away. There is no story at the moment regarding Dave King and this issue. Unless of course you want there to be (Jack?).
  11. http://www.telegraph.co.uk/sport/football/teams/rangers/11312941/Rangers-chairman-David-Somers-could-face-probe-by-Stock-Market-regulators-for-his-role-in-Mike-Ashley-bid.html Rangers chairman David Somers could face probe by Stock Market regulators for his role in Mike Ashley bid David Somers feared a successful rival bid by David King would mean the end of his chairmanship and also ensure the departure of the Easdale brothers Stock Market regulators have been asked to investigate the conduct of Rangers chairman David Somers during the battle for control at Ibrox between Mike Ashley and Dave King. The move follows the Telegraph’s disclosure of an email from Somers to Mike Ashley’s representative, Justin Barnes, over the proposed terms of a Sports Direct contract which the Rangers chairman feared would tip his fellow directors into supporting a takeover bid by King, a former Ibrox director. In the email, Somers expressed his fears that a successful bid by King would mean the end of his chairmanship and would also ensure the departure of Sandy Easdale, the Rangers football board chairman, and his brother, James Easdale, a Rangers plc director. Somers also threatened to vote for a Stock Exchange announcement to the effect that Rangers would terminate the Sports Direct contracts by which the club’s merchandise is sold through Ashley’s retail chain. In response to the Telegraph’s revelations, King told BBC Scotland: "His actions could be considered a breach of the Companies Act. It would seem from the email that Somers didn't like Ashley's initial proposal, yet that was the option the board finally went for. "It also seems that Somers was prepared to threaten to cancel Rangers' retail agreement with Sports Direct to prompt Ashley to provide an alternative that would protect the positions of himself and the Easdales. Ashley owns less than 10 per cent of the shares, but now seems to control the club.” King – who is based in South Africa - assembled a consortium which proposed a £16 million debt and equity takeover deal. This was rejected by the Ibrox board after Ashley refused to meet King during his visit to the UK in October. Somers has stated that, although King claimed that his consortium had eight members, not all of their identities were disclosed to the Rangers directors. Somers has also insisted that, finally, the choice for a board whose club was close to running out of cash was to accept the offer of a loan from either Ashley or Sale Sharks owner Brian Kennedy. In the event, the chairman has said, the vote went in Ashley’s favour because the Newcastle United owner offered better terms. However, the Telegraph understands that the contents of the email between Somers and Barnes has perturbed the Scottish Football Association, which announced on Wednesday that it had rejected Ashley’s proposal to increase his Rangers shareholding to 29.9 per cent, which would give him almost total control of the beleaguered club. The request was made in person by Derek Llambias, Ashley’s lieutenant, who was appointed as Rangers’ chief executive last Friday – days after disciplinary charges were brought by the SFA stating that the billionaire businessman had exceeded the terms of an undertaking limiting his influence at Ibrox. The SFA’s refusal has cast serious doubt over the viability of a share issue due to be launched by Rangers in order to raise £8 million needed to meet the club’s financial needs for the next year. Had the SFA agreed to Ashley’s request, he would have underwritten the equity issue but it is now unclear how it will go ahead, if indeed it does go ahead. There are also questions to be answered about why votes were cast by board members against their own proposal, at Rangers’ annual general meeting on Monday, for an open share issue, rather than one principally confined to existing investors, such as Ashley. Meanwhile, one Rangers shareholder has written to the AiM investigations office, as well as the club’s LSE nominated adviser (NOMAD) and Ian Davidson, the MP whose constituency includes Ibrox, asking them to probe Somers’ conduct. The shareholder wrote: “On Tuesday 23rd December, the Telegraph newspaper online carried a story by journalist Roddy Forsyth, regarding an e-mail sent by the Rangers International Football Club Chairman David Somers to members of the board and surprisingly non-members, including a representative of Sports Direct - Justin Barnes. “The e-mail not only indicated the Chairman’s preference for investment by Mike Ashley of Sports Direct, it actively encouraged this investment, in order, it seems, to secure the Chairman’s position and that of other board members and strangely enough a non-member (one Sandy Easdale), who seems to be party to PLC Board internal communications and - if the e-mail is to be read correctly - acting as a shadow director. “A major concern for shareholders such as myself is, does activity such as this construe a “Concert Party” arrangement between board and non-board members with regards to overall boardroom influence?” The shareholder goes on to ask if Somers’ email is in breach of AiM and corporate governance practice and if it triggered a legal threat from Ashley to the Rangers chairman and/or other directors. The Telegraph understands that other Rangers shareholders are prepared to add their complaints to that already lodged with the financial regulators. All of which compounds the stormy backdrop against which caretaker manager Kenny McDowall – who was ordered by Llambias to take charge of the team after Ally McCoist was placed on gardening leave – must prepare the Rangers players for a tough fixture against Hibernian at Easter Road on Saturday. Rangers have lost twice to Hearts and once to Hibs and Queen of the South, their principal rivals for promotion to the Scottish Premiership. They now trail Hearts by 12 points and currently they look set, at best, for the Scottish Championship play-offs – with 12 Ibrox players out of contract at the end of the season.
  12. "The intention will be to settle the absolute minimum with creditors before they can cash their chips and make money off the ground, most supporters thus feel the club may as well go bust so that at least a phoenix team may be able to take the stadium. But the incumbents have a history of doing this at other clubs and are well connected. The club has had 4 chairmen in 6 months as they pass it around dodging winding up orders and pesky owners and directors tests, I'm sure they'll come through this somehow still in possession of whats left of the club. A friend of mine is a Darlo fan, watching his team cease to exist was pretty tough but in the end he was relieved when their farcical former incarnation came to an end. I don't think it's an easy task to come back but enough teams have to show it can be done." For fans of a certain age, Ronnie Radford's 'rocket' speaks of an entirely different world of football. Mud bath pitches, genuine cup shocks, a pitch invasion not immediately followed by FA investigations and/or police reprisal, even the flared trousers of the kids take the viewer back to an era when daytime TV was more Open University than Loose Women, Mash and Fray Bentos was an aspirational dinner, and football was a stable certainty, with even the most badly run club more or less safe from extinction if they had any fans at all. Sadly for Hereford, the times have seriously changed. Banned from any and all football activity by the FA owing to failure to complete paperwork - rather than the various questionable practices by various questionable owners, the usual 'Al Capone' approach to oversight taken by enfeebled football authorities - the present era of free ownership by speculators rather than fans has led to an on field decline and a boycott by the vast majority of supporters, dismayed at the hollow shell their beloved club has become - this sounds familiar to the Rangers fan. It's come to the point where the FA ban is hailed as good news, at least to this Guardian commenter: "This news has been welcomed by myself and 90% of my fellow Hereford United fans. The club's demise this season has been heart-breaking and the response from the authorities has been either non-existent or completely toothless until now. It's good to see that the FA have finally acted but it's taken far too long." Late Friday has brought the news that, owing to the owner being stuck in traffic with a guarantee of funding, the club has in fact been wound up. It's the sort of farce that Bears are all too familiar with, and sends out the message that, should your owner be incompetent enough, extinction is all too possible. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-hereford-worcester-30542821 Why football authorities are so slow to protect their game is mystifying. Hereford might not be up there, financially, with Chelsea or Man City, but in football the whole is very much the sum of the parts, a lesson forgotten too easily by too many. Trying to sell a top league with no substrata will not be so easy as it might sound: if we have no Hereford, before long we have no Chelsea, at least not as we know it, for we lose the FA Cup, the League Cup, eventually losing entirely the interaction between 'giant' and 'killer'. If you have a lack of clubs who can aspire to the Premiership, the Premiership ceases to be aspirational. For some, replacement with an UltraEuroSuperLeague sounds very appealing, but shrinking the game to a super elite is no basis for a sustainable future. Lose the Body of the Kirk & you must reinvent yourself: and re-invention comes with no guarantee of success, as the Church of Scotland could attest. And just as important as a coherent national structure is a coherent model of ownership. Like much of Britain since the 70's, football has seen a decline in any form of social responsibility and a lurch into unfettered capitalism. Allowing teams to be owned by anyone who happens by with a chequebook - or whatever they have now - then belatedly issuing punishments which further damage the club rather than the dodgy owner is not common sense or natural law but it's symptomatic of Britain nowadays. You can see this kind of withdrawal from the social sphere all over the UK. The choking of funding to local government has seen the loss of effective town planning, resulting in ugly, empty and unattractive urban centres people would flee if only they could. In 2014 Britain, absolutely nothing is sacred, nothing is off the table, and mere football clubs going to the wall not just possible but starkly likely. "The club is still in the hands of conmen with another date at the High Court coming up on Monday (the 7th time...or is it the 8th...or 9th) that the club has been back there. Winding-up orders have been staved off due to the mysterious shifting around of funds by even more mysterious 'investors' and the involvement of shell companies." Iffy owners and bizarre financials have become part and parcel of the game, from Premiership to Pontins League, if that still exists. A big name is no guarantee of safety: in Scotland, Rangers currently tick most of the nightmare boxes Hereford were opening, like some nightmarish advent calendar, while the Scottish FA veer between anger, contempt and hamfisted appeasement in their attitude to the various owners who take the stage, but never actually achieve anything that might either kill or cure the Ibrox side: they, too, have adopted the light touch which in actuality is the expression of their powerlessness, so desperate are they for the financial benefit the club brings to overlook financial lunacy. This is not mere arrogance: the League Cup in Scotland, without a real sponsor for several seasons, suddenly gets one at this year's semi-final stage, with a much needed six figure sum going into the game. I'm sure the fact that one semi-final features Rangers playing Celtic is complete coincidence. Aping the attitude of Hereford's owners, Rangers treat their paying customer with total contempt. Last week, Rangers board member Mr Sandy Easdale took the opportunity to berate fans for not celebrating hard enough that naming rights to Ibrox Stadium, originally 'sold' to Mike Ashley of Newcastle Utd fame for the princely sum of £1, had been reclaimed. That this secret and stupid deal was rescinded only after a fan outcry apparently bypasses Mr Easdale; they should celebrate that the club was dragged into acting in the best interests of itself. His words: "We've gotten these (rights) back and the fans haven’t celebrated enough on this topic." The expression 'beyond parody' comes to mind. On the pitch the team is terrible. At least when Hereford's 'owner' Andy Lonsdale did the dirty on Feltham FC, by dumping rubbish on their pitch, he wasn't paying the rubbish £10,000 a week. [http://www.getwestlondon.co.uk/sport/football/football-news/bedfont--feltham-president-plays-7296079] There is an alternative to this ongoing horror story, though. It's nihilistic, dangerous and offers no guarantee of success, but at least it - unlike the present conditions - does have a potentially positive outcome. "Follow my team AFC Wimbledon and start again. You won't regret it and you won't feel like your being shafted each week by a rich owner with no understanding of a clubs place in the community." I find it astonishing that, as a Rangers man of 30 years and more, I can contemplate the death of my club, on the basis that the present incarnation is so hateful that either a rebirth, or nothing, would be preferable. It's certainly a scorched earth policy, but there have to be limits: currently Ibrox stadium is fast approaching decrepitude, a state of affairs completely unacceptable at a club where 66 people died in the 1971 disaster. Money comes in and disappears. Chairmen come and go, directors likewise. Majority shareholders emerge, only to retreat to offshore shadows. There seems no future. At a recent fan board meeting, one representative delivered an excoriating warning to the club that their attitude and provision toward disabled fans will see them barred from competing in UEFA competitions unless a serious amount of money is invested, now. Setting aside the grim mirth that the idea of the present Rangers team competing in Europe occasions - frankly, Hereford would probably put up a better showing - what UEFA decrees now, domestic bodies follow sooner or later, and Rangers will not be 'Ready', mocking the club's increasingly ironic motto. Rangers are so far from any kind of stability it's not true, and it's sad to see a club so far away from an even keel still spout the same rubbish about business reviews, plans going forward, all in it together, Champions League: the bullshit merchants of Glasgow are no more believable than their Wyvern equivalents in Hereford, just less honest. Coming back from the position Hereford and Rangers find themselves in is not easy, nor is it guaranteed, so I expect many if not all Rangers fans will consider a course of voluntary self-destruction, with only at best a 50-50 chance of a rebirth afterwards, insanity. Well, I'm certain I don't want to see the current mess go on any longer, and I'm selfish enough to believe that if it's not good enough for me, it shouldn't be good enough for anyone else. But I don't know that I've ever been entirely sane on the subject of my team: it was always about love, not reason. At present I am in the cowardly position of having little feeling for what is currently calling itself Rangers, but not having the guts to call for a completely new start, irrespective of history or heritage. "We're all hoping the end might, finally, be in sight." Whether the end turns out to be a new beginning, though, that's another question.
  13. Hearing that training centre is a major risk of being sold, any info on this from fellow bears, Has the chap Sinclair left club?
  14. The Blue shirt is here! From the same team that brought your the Red and Black shirt and the Fernando shirt. Due to popular demand we have taken the decision to produce a shirt in blue in time for Christmas. The shirt is produced on a Nike base with the Lion proudly emblazoned on the breast. We have 500 in stock and ready to roll in time for Christmas. Each buying option online is linked to a stock control system which means we can’t oversell a size. You can buy safe in the knowledge that every penny of profit will go to buying a shares stake for fans in the club. For overseas purchasers - click on the button where it says UK £32.74 and a drop-down menu will appear with the various delivery zone options. The shirts are available from http://www.TheLionBrand.co.uk
  15. http://www.dailyrecord.co.uk/sport/football/colin-duncan-fares-not-fair-4697316 "THE widespread condemnation which followed Wigan chairman Dave Whelan’s alleged racist and anti-Semitic outburst last week was understandable. His Alf Garnett-esque comments in the wake of appointing Malky Mackay manager added to the outrage . Mackay is subject to an FA probe, investigating texts and emails of a racist, sexist and homophobic nature. The anti-discriminatory bodies didn’t miss Whelan who could now find himself in the dock alongside his manager. Football Against Racism in Europe were among the many campaign groups who, quite rightly, took the pair to task. Yet where was the outcry from bodies such as FARE when this month Aleksandar Tonev was hit with a seven-game ban by the SFA for racist conduct? The Celtic midfielder was found guilty by an independent tribunal of abusing Aberdeen’s Shay Logan, reportedly calling him a “f*****g black c***.’ What happened to showing racism the red card? There was not so much as a yellow from their executive director Piara Powar who is also on FIFA’s anti-racism task force. Surely if you are the head of an organisation which vows to fight all forms of racism you cannot pick and choose which abhorrent acts to condemn. And while not for one minute playing down the severity of Mackay and Whelan referring to Chinese people as “Chinks” surely, on a sliding scale, calling a fellow professional a “black c***” is far more offensive? When John Terry and Luis Suarez were found guilty of similar racist offences Powar and his colleagues couldn’t have been any more critical. Yet not a word when Tonev was found guilty of “excessive misconduct by the use of offensive, insulting and abusive language of a racist nature”. Regardless of the fact no hard evidence was presented – it was one Aberdeen’s word against Celtic’s – the case against Tonev was proved. Last year former Rangers chief executive Charles Green was fined by the SFA for “offensive and racist comments” in an interview that referred to former Ibrox commercial director Imran Ahmad. Celtic striker Leigh Griffiths also has a racism charge hanging over his head after being caught on camera singing inappropriate songs along with fellow Hibs supporters. Again this seems unworthy of FARE’s intervention. Powar’s name may be familiar to Rangers fans as his organisation was forced to deny claims of a “deliberate and targeted campaign” against the Ibrox club three years ago. Rangers were disciplined, and correctly so, by UEFA after it emerged supporters sang sectarian songs during the home and away Europa League clashes with PSV Eindhoven. On both occasions they were reported on the basis of submissions from FARE, rather than the UEFA match delegate. At the time Powar said: “There are explicit suggestions emanating from Rangers FC of ‘a deliberate and targeted campaign against the club’. “The FARE network is focused only on our core mission of tackling discrimination in football and encouraging social inclusion through the game. We have no axe to grind with any club.” In 1999 Rangers defender Lorenzo Amoruso racially abused Nigerian striker Victor Ipkeba during a European clash with Borussia Dortmund. Again the incident was not included in the UEFA delegate’s report but Powar, then with anti-racism group Kick it Out, demanded it be investigated. Fast forward to 2013 and former Celtic player Paul Elliot had to resign from his positions within the FA and Kick it Out after he branded ex-Charlton defender Richard Rufus a “n****r” in a text conversation. Powar was quick to Elliot’s defence insisting: “I can understand the concern over the use of the n-word, whoever uses it, in whichever context. “However, I cannot accept it is racist to use it between two friends and business colleagues in a private text. “Racism and other forms of discrimination are not simply about words. It may be difficult for some to accept the difference between those words used with discriminatory intent and those that are not.” But when the League Managers Association misguidedly dismissed Mackay’s comments, which were also sent by text and email, as friendly banter Powar’s private text argument suddenly didn’t hold water. He tweeted: “Wow! The LMA defending the indefensible. Why would you put out something so utterly ridiculous? Because you haven’t a clue.” Now this is not about Rangers and Celtic but about what is fair and what isn’t. And when it comes to removing the ugly stain of racism it would seem FARE is not always FAIR"
  16. I note from Bill McMurdo that the fans group he's involved with are now asking for up to £15 from Rangers fans to be members of the Rangers Supporters Loyal: http://www.rangerssupportersloyal.co.uk/membership/ Other than the difficult to understand McMurdo, who else is involved with this group and handling our fans money?
  17. ...Hibs and Hearts back to the top. GORDON STRACHAN claims Scottish football might need to engineer change to get Rangers, Hearts and Hibs back into the top flight. Speaking on Sky’s ‘Goals on Sunday’ programme, the Scotland boss said getting all three promoted is for the good of the game. This season only one team is certain of climbing up from the Championship. One other team could gain promotion via the play-offs but one club is guaranteed to spend another term in the second tier. Strachan reckons the hype at the impending Old Firm League Cup semi-final shows how much the game has missed the Glasgow derby. And he reckons finding a way to “manipulate” the leagues to get all the big guns back in double-quick time would be a good move. He said: “Somehow we have to get these three teams back. People say you can’t manipulate it, but I think you must to get them back in the Premiership. “Then the game will grow again, with the crowds and money and excitement.” On the Old Firm cup-tie, he said: “The top league has missed Hearts, Hibs and Rangers, so to get that fixture back is fantastic, as all the talk is administration and all the rest of it. “The phone-ins are filled with all these kind of things. We need Rangers back. They were punished and something had to happen but it’s left Scottish football short.” Rangers started again in the bottom tier while Hearts dropped out of the top flight after administration and a 15-point penalty. Hibs’ abject failure last season saw them relegated via the play-offs. SFA and SPFL chiefs may secretly agree with Strachan, but finding a fair way to do it would be hard to do. http://www.express.co.uk/sport/football/530715/Gordon-Strachan-league-engineering-Rangers-Hibs-Hearts
  18. Wee Eck trying to keep his new recruits, maybe? ... http://www.express.co.uk/news/uk/518145/Salmond-slammed-for-tax-dodger-s-charter Salmond slammed for ‘tax dodger’s charter’ over chasing votes ALEX Salmond was last night on a collision course with cash-strapped councils over plans to ban them from chasing poll tax cheats. By: Paul Gilbride Published: Fri, October 3, 2014 New laws will stop officials using the voting records of millions of Scots from the independence referendum to recover debts. His announcement comes after councils began combing through the recently updated electoral roll looking for people in arrears. Opposition MSPs branded the First Minister’s proposals “a tax dodger’s charter” as it was revealed a staggering £425million is still owed. And local government body Cosla said the plans were “one of the oddest decisions ever” to come from the Scottish Government and hit out at the lack of consultation. The controversial Community Charge was introduced north of the Border by Margaret Thatcher in 1989 – a year before England. It was scrapped and replaced by the council tax in 1993 following a mass civil disobedience campaign. Mr Salmond yesterday told MSPs it was misguided for town halls to use current records to chase debts from decades ago. He said: “After 25 years it is about time that the poll tax was finally dead and buried.” Last month’s vote on Scotland’s future saw voter registrations soar to more than 4.2 million. Council chiefs believe some were returning to the electoral roll for the first time in a quarter of a century after dropping off to avoid paying poll tax. Although councils cannot pursue debts that are more than 20 years old, the period is extended by a further two decades if efforts have been made to chase up the payments. Mr Salmond said the total collected in 2013 from poll tax debt in Scotland was £396,000. He added: “It is, of course, within the law for councils to use current information to assess council tax liability and, given the council tax reduction scheme protects 500,000 of our poorest citizens, the tax is being applied in a proper and fair way. "However, the relevance of information from the current electoral register to the position of debts from 25 years ago is difficult to fathom, except through some misguided political intention. “It is the Government’s intention to bring forward legislation to ensure that councils can take forward no further action to recover ancient poll tax debts.” This is a move geared towards winning a few extra votes, and is nothing but a tax dodger’s charter Tory welfare reform spokesman Alex Johnstone Aberdeenshire Council, which covers Mr Salmond’s constituency, is among the authorities which is using the records to go after outstanding tax. Tory welfare reform spokesman Alex Johnstone said many Scots paid the tax in good faith, subsidising those who could afford to pay but chose not to. He said: “Are those hard-working people going to be reimbursed too under this initiative? If this is the Scottish Government’s approach on tax collection, why should anyone bother paying any tax at all? This is a move geared towards winning a few extra votes, and is nothing but a tax dodger’s charter.” Over the four years of the tax’s existence, councils billed Scots households for £3.678billion and it was previously estimated £325million was still to be collected. Cosla president David O’Neill said the arrears now stood at £425million. He said authorities had been under “a very strict obligation to collect every penny of outstanding debt owed”. “Indeed, we’ve been told in the past that until we did this, we should not be asking for any additional money from government. “It seems very odd that now we have an improved tool at our disposal in the form of an expanded electoral register that may help us maximise collection rates, it is the self-same Government that tells us they are going to legislate immediately to prevent us from using it.”
  19. “But our leaders didn’t just lie to us. They terrified us with spectres of mushroom clouds: they attacked our patriotism if we questioned them; they insulted our intelligence if we said we doubted them; they mocked our reservations; they withheld information; suppressed facts; invented threats and deceived us into backing an illegal war which has left tens of thousands of Iraqis, Britons and Americans – who should be alive today and with their families – very, very dead indeed.” (Neil Mackay – The War On Truth) Despite the recent experience many Scots will have had for having their patriotism attacked for merely daring to question, Mr Mackay’s book actually deals with the Iraq war, where amongst other things, he explores and displays considerable understanding of the various mechanisms and machinations used by the UK and US governments to sow the seeds of a lie. In explaining how the lies were told Neil Mackay tells it from the perspective of the US/UK governments and asks the question “So how are we going to twist the truth – some would call that a lie – and make it look as if Saddam was up to his sweaty little armpits in illegal weapons” I would ask you to bear that quotation in mind for the remainder of this article. Neil Mackay, author of The War of Truth, is the same Sunday Herald journalist who wrote the following article. http://www.heraldscotland.com/politics/referendum-news/george-square-trouble-the-night-our-readers-became-reporters.1411314286 Some of you may recognise some of the phraseology used by Mr Mackay within the article. In fact the “statement on Vanguard Bears website” is not actually a statement at all; it is the re-production of an article I wrote on my blog some days before entitled “2 sides of a coin” – which appeared on some other Rangers forums and was subject of discussion. http://immortalrangers.wordpress.com/2014/09/19/2-sides-of-a-coin-2/ Despite the fact Vanguard Bears followed the caveat I asked of any forums publishing my work i.e. that it is reproduced verbatim, without any additions or deletions, you will notice that Mr Mackay has engaged in some fairly extensive and selective editing . Mr Mackay claims in his article “Yesterday it posted a statement online reading: “Our voice is on the rise, we must by actions, not words or political soundbites, ensure our Union is defended.” There is a particular twist to this however – some may even call it a lie – but allow me to share with you the unedited version which I originally wrote, was reproduced verbatim, and is still displayed on my blog. “Our voice is on the rise, we must by actions, not words or political sound bites, ensure our Union is defended, by attacking the root causes of social injustice and poverty within our society.” Remind me what you wrote in The War on Truth Mr Mackay ? “they withheld information; suppressed facts; invented threats and deceived us” Perhaps the original unedited version doesn’t produce the kind of terrifying spectres Mr Mackay was seeking to portray. I’m sure Scots of whatever political persuasion found the scenes at George Square unedifying, I know I certainly did. Of course the Sunday Herald, and it’s pro-independence stance has been of considerable financial benefit with the newspaper boasting a doubling in circulation figures. It seems the truth certainly can be bought at a price, and that has got to be the most unedifying aspect of all.
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