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  1. 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/
  2. http://www.therangersstandard.co.uk/index.php/articles/current-affairs/314-laxey-loan-alternatives-ignored
  3. http://metro.co.uk/2014/02/10/should-fifa-take-the-world-cup-away-from-brazil-4297792/ Thoughts?
  4. It is widely known that Dave King has settled his issues with the SA tax people. There are also many, many reports that he plead guilty to approx 41 charges which resulted in a massive fine. My question is.....did these charges result in a criminal prosecution & resulting in a criminal record, or was it simply King effectively agreeing to paying the outstanding monies on 41 separate counts with the remaining charges/claims being dropped???? King has been referred to in many reports as a criminal....how accurate is this description???
  5. http://sport.stv.tv/football/clubs/rangers/263136-ally-mccoist-id-have-bet-on-ibrox-not-being-picked-for-league-cup-final/
  6. .....they're not even in my top five THE former Wigan boss reckons Rangers lack of strength in comparison with other teams makes them an unlikely candidate to win the Scottish Cup in May. OWEN COYLE reckons Rangers shouldn’t even be among the top FIVE teams fancied to lift the Scottish Cup in May. Ally McCoist’s side are joint second with Dundee United in the betting to win the cup with tournament sponsors William Hill. Rangers have the second biggest budget in the country but Coyle insists that doesn’t automatically mean the League One side are likely to win major silverware. Gers face Dunfermline at home on Friday night with a quarter-final place at stake and Coyle said: “I don’t think they’d be one of the first five favourites for the Scottish Cup. Of course they can win it with a bit of luck but in terms of the strength of their team against the others I would have to say it is unlikely. “Coisty is a pal of mine, as is Durranty, we did our pro licences together. But I don’t see their team as one of the cup favourites. “I did the Airdrie v Rangers game for TV a few weeks ago. “Rangers started well but never got the second goal and then made heavy weather of winning it. “If I was judging it on that then I’d say they have some very good young players coming through but I don’t think they’d be one of the first four or five favourites for the Scottish Cup.” The former Wigan, Bolton and St Johnstone boss reckons the Scottish Cup has taken on extra importance this season for the Old Firm as they romp their respective leagues. But Coyle believes that if both Glasgow sides get through this weekend then McCoist will want to avoid drawing Neil Lennon’s team in the last eight. He said: “I can’t put myself in the position of being Rangers manager just now and facing Celtic although on any given day anybody could win it. “But the odds, with Celtic being so strong, are that they would win the game. “There’s no getting away from how dominant Celtic are at the moment. They are on their own just now. “Both Celtic and Rangers have the league effectively tied up and the Cup is now a focus. “I’m sure the Celtic players will be desperate to finish the season with the double again. “But it’s also there for everyone else to go and have that big day out at the Final and win the Scottish Cup. Celtic have already lost to Morton in the League Cup so it’s certainly not a foregone conclusion.” http://www.dailyrecord.co.uk/sport/football/football-news/owen-coyle-rangers-shouldnt-second-3112770
  7. From BBC website. In case you are wondering where the League Cup final will be played, The Scottish Professional Football League will make a decision later this week. It will, however, be held in Glasgow, so my detective work suggests that is either Celtic Park or Ibrox Stadium. The Scottish FA has, of course, already chosen Celtic Park for the Scottish Cup final with the national stadium at Hampden Park unavailable at it prepares to host the athletics at the Commonwealth Games. Should we not tell them Ibrox is not available ?
  8. Our intrepid PZJ is in need of assistance – anyone with a modicum of search experience would be most warmly welcomed. That GCC geotechnical report for Westhorn and other sites, alluded to in my previous blogs on behalf of PZJ – has proven it's adept ability for elusiveness. “They seek it here, they seek it there”... On the 16th October, 2013, PZJ wrote to GCC as follows : "I have asked, and you have constantly failed to provide solid proof, that the geotechnical report be fully disclosed to the general public for perusal." GCC responded as follows : “As advised in our earlier letter to you of 11 September 2013, in accordance the decision of the Court of Session set out in Glasgow City Council and Dundee City Council v Scottish Information [2009] CSIH 73, you have the right to the information set out in a requested document, but not to the actual document itself. We therefore provided you with an extract from the geotechnical report and set out the basis upon which a valuation was agreed for the site. I agree with the decision that was made in our earlier response to release an extract of the report to you “ Only that extract was never received in the subsequent correspondence. PZJ's attempts to obtain same thereafter were met with a stony wall of silence. Perhaps we should all come to PZJ's assistance and ask for an extract into the geotechnical report regarding Westhorn – one which reveals the level and nature of the bio-checmical (or otherwise) contamination at Westhorn as calculated by the Council's surveyors. This can be done be sending an e-mail to foi@glasgow.gov.uk But I’m afraid there is more work for those of you with a penchant for searching and finding things, as PZJ appears to have found another anomaly in his investigation. The London Road School was acquired by GCC as part of a Compulsory Purchase Order (dates and costs have been requested under FOI). Having decided in due course that they no longer required this land, GCC were bound by what is known as Crichel Down Rules http://www.bllaw.co.uk/services_for_businesses/commercial_real_estate/news_and_updates/the_crichel_down_rules.aspx to offer first refusal on the subsequent sale of the property to those from whom the land was acquired – in this case Celtic FC. A GCC Executive Committee document dated 19th January, 2007 confirms same. This is further confirmed by a later GCC Executive Committee meeting. http://www.glasgow.gov.uk/councillorsandcommittees/viewSelectedDocument.asp?c=e%97%9Di%93ny%8A Note section 4 of this report where it refers to the London Road School. GCC Executive Committee of 19th January 2007 approved an option for Celtic PLC to acquire the former London Road Primary School at a cost of £300,000 with the price being uplifted from the date of the option contract ( 01 April 2009) until the date of settlement. Celtic PLC has confirmed to the Council it wishes to exercise this option. Celtic PLC has agreed to pay £300,000 plus RPI from the 01 April 2009 until the date of settlement. The RPI has been calculated by City Property at £57,000 (to 31st October 2013) resulting in a total sale price of £357,000. The RPI figure will require to be further uplifted following formal agreement on the date of settlement. The RPI is based from ist April 2009 until 31st October 2013. There is no mention or explanation regarding the apparent ignoring of the previous commitment to the 3 year option of 19th January 2007. But the confusion does not end there. On the 8th October, 2013, PZJ wrote to GCC seeking clarification on the London Road School. He revived the following response on the 12th November, 2013.. “You have been advised in previous correspondence from the Council that the former London Road School site has not been sold to Celtic Football Club. As you are now aware, an option to purchase has been granted to the football club and expires in April 2014” Therefore anyone who can find minutes of a GCC meeting approving an extension on the previous 3 year option to buy from 19th January, 2007, and the grounds for such an extension being granted – your help would be greatly appreciated. foi@glasgow.gov.uk
  9. Those of us who have been following PZJ's investigation into allegations of State Aid offered to Celtic FC by Glasgow Greater Council, will be aware of a common theme emerging – an apparent failure or reluctance by GCC to provide information relating to abnormal conditions on some of the sites surveyed. Earlier this month I commented on the strange tale of the District Valuer brought in by Glasgow City Council to provide valuations in respect of several portions of land being considered for sale by GCC some of which were eventually sold to Celtic. Alas it's not only the District Valuer who is being kept in the dark with regard to these abnormal conditions but also our very own PZJ. His request for the geotechnical reports relating to the abnormal conditions present at these sites has been refused by GCC. On the 16th October 2013 he asked GCC for the geotechnical report to be released and was met with the following reply :- “As advised in our earlier letter to you of 11 September 2013, in accordance the decision of the Court of Session set out in Glasgow City Council and Dundee City Council v Scottish Information [2009] CSIH 73, you have the right to the information set out in a requested document, but not to the actual document itself. We therefore provided you with an extract from the geotechnical report and set out the basis upon which a valuation was agreed for the site. I agree with the decision that was made in our earlier response to release an extract of the report to you. “ In keeping with many local authorities Glasgow City Council is committed to improving transparency and engagement :- http://www.gcvs.org.uk/news_and_information/news/2188_councillors_vote_to_improve_transparency_and_engagement in fact it claims to be “groundbreaking” in it's approach to openness http://data.glasgow.gov.uk/ However it is neither transparent nor groundbreaking to hide behind previous decisions of the Court of Session in order to prevent the disclosure of information. It only serves to highlight ones suspicions and concerns as to what is actually contained within the report . Surely a complete disclosure would negate once and for all any suggestion of impropriety over this sale, and in addition completely usurp any wild and unsubstantiated claims the abnormals had been exaggerated in order to reduce the price. At Westhorn for instance the abnormal conditions were agreed at £3,515,000. What exactly does that relate to and what is present in or on the land which reduces £4,190,000 worth of property to a measly £675,000 ? One is almost minded of the case of Erin Brockovich.
  10. http://www.sportinglife.com/football//news/article/26854/9012286/violence-mars-hoops-clash Violence mars Hoops clash Last Updated: November 6 2013, 23:34 GMT Celtic's Champions League trip to Ajax has been marred by a clash between supporters and police in the centre of Amsterdam before kick-off, following which 15 fans have been arrested. Amsterdam Police told Press Association Sport that fans armed with bottles and sticks attacked plain-clothed police in an incident described as "coming out of nowhere". Eight police officers were injured with one knocked unconscious following the fighting in Dam Square, in the city centre. Police said the majority of those arrested were Celtic fans, although it is believed that supporters from other clubs were also involved. "At the end of the afternoon a large group of Celtic supporters attacked police officers in plain clothes," a spokesman told Press Association Sport. "Eight were injured and one was knocked unconscious. "A few of them had broken noses and needed stitches above their eyebrows and on their lips. "Bottles and sticks were used in the attack which came out of nowhere. "There were 15 arrests, mostly Celtic supporters." Celtic lost the match 1-0 and face an uphill battle to reach the knockout stages of the competition. Amsterdam Police said it expected the number of 15 arrests to rise during the night and that a final figures would be "high". It is thought that fans from other European clubs were involved, although police said they "had kept themselves covered". Celtic supporters had been urged by the club to be careful after an attack on Hoops supporters in a city-centre bar on Tuesday night. Thousands of Celtic supporters flooded into Holland for the Group H game at the Amsterdam ArenA. A statement on the Celtic website said: "Celtic Football Club is urging all supporters in Amsterdam for tonight's UEFA Champions League tie with Ajax to be extra vigilant following an unprovoked attack on Celtic fans last night "The attack in the city centre by an element of the Ajax support resulted in a number of arrests. "Celtic are urging all supporters to be extra vigilant in the city centre and at the Amsterdam ArenA, and to only stick to the advised areas for safety reasons." At the pre-match media conference on Tuesday afternoon, Ajax coach Frank De Boer expressed hope that the tiny percentage of fans he describes as "crazy" would not disrupt the game. UEFA opened disciplinary proceedings against the Dutch club after some of their supporters clashed with police and stewards at Parkhead last month during a match which the home side won 2-1. The case will be dealt with by UEFA's control and disciplinary panel on November 21. De Boer admitted that some Ajax fans remain a concern when asked if he was confident of the game passing off trouble-free. "I am confident in that but you never know," said the former Rangers player. "There is always some crazy people (who) try to disturb something but hopefully it will not happen."
  11. http://www.dailyrecord.co.uk/sport/football/football-news/keith-jackson-harsh-treatment-hearts-3015628?utm_source=twitterfeed&utm_medium=tw IS the treatment of Hearts fair? Absolutely not. Must it continue unabated and without mercy? Sadly, there can be no other way. What we are currently witnessing at Tynecastle is unedifying, bordering on inhumane. Gary Locke has been forced into a position where he has no choice but to flog the life out of his youngsters who are now dropping to their knees in the utter exhaustion of fighting what has been, from the outset, an impossible task. They are only half way through but Hearts are goners already. And the more squeamish may very well feel like looking the other way for the second half of this season as they stagger and stumble towards their own demise. This is heartbreaking cruelty in every conceivable way. But Scottish football must not be allowed to avert its gaze. Not for one single second. Rather, it should be strapped into a seat and forced to sit through every gory moment of this collapse. Scottish football has done this to Hearts and now it must watch every last consequence of its actions, no matter how harrowing it may become. Promising young players may be left broken in spirit and body. They may be cast aside and unable ever to fully recover from the traumas of this campaign. So be it. Locke too may never be the same again given what he has had to endure in this, his first ever managerial post. Already his credentials for the job are being debated and dissected. In some cases, he has been dismissed as some wet behind the ears, lame duck of a boss who has neither the know-how nor the work ethic to save Hearts from their fate. This picking on Locke is savage and unnecessary and almost wholly unfounded. After all, how can any reasonable assessment be made on Locke’s qualities or otherwise as a manager when he has been placed in a position which leaves him almost entirely unable to manage? Unlike his peers, he can neither buy new players nor even loan them, which means he must make do with what little he has on the books. And yet, so sparse is his squad that Locke is not afforded even the most basic managerial prerogative of choosing a starting XI. He has no choice but to count heads and send them out. No matter if these players are suffering from loss of form or even fitness. Locke’s only option is to run these youngsters into the ground until the time comes when either Hearts are unable to fulfill their fixtures or, in order to keep up the pretence that they are still a functioning football club, filling up maroon shirts with school children and sending them out to be humiliated by grown-up professionals. All in the name of sporting integrity. Under these circumstances it is simply not possible to judge Locke’s managerial merits one way or the other. He is not managing Hearts. He is merely enabling them to keep up this pretence until the club has taken its last breath in the top flight. Anyone who cannot acknowledge that their fate was predetermined before he had given them his first team talk must be a fool. Yes, Locke is learning on the job and will have made mistakes along the way. Of course he will. But by depriving him of so many of the fundamentals of football management, we make his human error almost redundant. The truth is, there was never any hope for Hearts. That was part of the deal. When this club limped over the line last season to stay in the top division at the expense of Dundee, they knew administration was on its way. We all did. It’s all been a charade ever since. The new rules which were drawn up to deal with insolvency events were designed not just to punish offenders but to throttle them. It had to be this way because of the appalling blood lust with which Rangers had been treated the previous year. Had level heads been applied to the financial meltdown at Ibrox then Rangers would have been helped back up from the gutter in which Craig Whyte left them. Instead, they were trampled down and kicked to the kerb. The urge to maximise the damage Whyte had done quickly became overwhelming and, in many cases, it was led by downright malevolence. Neil Doncaster, the chief executive of the then SPL, wished to apply some logic and reason to the debate for no other reason than it made business sense to protect Rangers. Perish the thought, maybe even to help them in their darkest hour. But he was shouted down by the baying crowd that had gathered around him. And now, as a result of this mob mentality, Hearts are paying the heaviest of prices for the roguish actions of their own former owner. There would be uproar among Rangers supporters in particular if it were any other way. This residual need for revenge is understandable. They believe their club was wronged and so they will demand parity across the board. Even if it reduces Scottish football to a bloodbath. In fact, so bitter have some of them become that they would wish it to be so. They make no attempt to hide their delight at the suffering of others and nor should they be expected to as Rangers is their only concern. But if Scottish football is to correct itself then it must transcend this kind of small-minded tribalism. For the greater good, it must also be prepared to accept that mistakes have been made and that, now they are being repeated, the youngsters of Hearts are being brutalised. With more than half a season gone, they have still not unshackled themselves fully from the 15-point penalty with which they set out. Twenty-two games into this mission impossible, with just 16 more to go, Hearts are marooned on minus two. Locke is unable to call for reinforcements. It’s about to become unwatchable. But watch on we must. And maybe when it is over – when Hearts have been crushed, lying there, limp and lifeless on the floor – then Scottish football will have cause to reflect and to confront itself. To ask itself how it got into such a dark and mean state of mind. To look inside itself in search of empathy and common sense. And then to find a better way for the future before more vulnerable clubs and more innocent young players are forced to suffer as Hearts have this season. Yes, there must still be stiff deterrents in order to keep the game safe from the next Whyte or the next Romanov. But there must also be a realisation that the current penalties are draconian and hurting all the wrong people. While Whyte and Romanov escape unscathed, the players and supporters they left behind continue to pay for all of their sins. And while so many old scores are being settled, Scottish football continues to hate itself to death.
  12. by ANDREW SMITH A BUMPER crowd is expected as Celtic bring in the bells at home to Partick Thistle on Wednesday. With free tickets dished out and buses laid on, who knows, the Parkhead ground may even be at least half full. It hasn’t been that way recently. Indeed, the past two league games are the first back-to-back such encounters to have attracted crowds of less than 30,000 while the championship has been a live issue since the stadium became a 60,000-seater arena in 1998. Then, accurate attendances were given out. Now, these require freedom of information requests, with the club aggregating the number of paid-for-seats, which amounted to 46,000 for each of the victories over Hibernian and Hearts this month. If that appears undoubtedly healthy then what is not is that around 20,000 season ticket holders – around half the entire figure, in fact – are electing to think better of occupying seats they have already parted with their money for. It will be pointed out that the weather and time of year led to a dip in attendances throughout the country but that doesn’t explain what is driving down Celtic’s capacity to have punters come out to watch them. In the year-and-a-half the top flight has been devoid of the Rangers brand, Celtic have made great play of the fact that they have a standalone strategy not dependent on rivalry with a club playing out of Ibrox. And, having turned a debt into cash in the bank and posted a near-£10 million profit last year, they are making good on their assertion. Yet the declining interest from Celtic fans in watching a procession to their third championship demonstrates that they would struggle to operate at their current level if there was never again a team called Rangers in the top flight. The last two home games offered a glimpse of what would be the norm if the club operated in an environment in which they had no major – even from a numerical and cultural sense – rival. The 20,000 no-showers among Celtic’s season ticket holder base probably retain their tickets currently for two reasons: they received a £100 reduction on them last summer and it will probably be only 18 months before there is a Rangers to ridicule and lord it over in the Premiership. Without that promise of ding-dong derby days, most of these fans would probably chuck their tickets. In a non-Rangers world, then, Celtic would have a rain-or-shine hardcore of around 25,000. When they won the last of their nine-in-a-row run of titles in 1974, that was roughly their home average, as it was when they hit rock bottom in 1994. To live within the means that a 25,000 season-ticket-holder base generated, there is no way Celtic would operate with the £30m playing budget they have at present, or spend even sums of £2m on a couple of players every summer. Such a reduced season-ticket-holder figure – with child and younger person reductions taken into account – would bring in around £8m. Celtic’s ticket sales for the Champions League last year alone were £10m. In the Martin O’Neill era, season tickets sales coined in £23m. Celtic are too cautious to rely on Champions League income every year to prevent major losses. However much their club’s supporters may want to be in denial about it, then, with no Rangers permanently in their domain, Celtic would undergo serious downsizing and most home games the club’s stadium would be morgue-like. In turn, a lower spend on player wages would inhibit the calibre of individual that could be recruited, which would result in the team being weaker and potentially more vulnerable across the three rounds of Champions League qualifiers they require to negotiate to reach the group stages. It is perhaps surprising just how quickly almost half Celtic’s season ticket holders have canned watching domestic games. Two years ago, their team wasn’t even champions. The apologists would claim that the club’s treatment of the now dispersed Green Brigade and its perceived attempts to “sanitise” the support has helped turn off sections of the support, but few are buying that. In the Glasgow domain, for a great many it is quite clear that hatred of the other side fuels interest more than love of their own club. And without this adversarial outlet, it is noticeable how the stuggles of both Celtic and Rangers have become internalised. When it was put to Celtic manager Neil Lennon that some of his supporters appear to have short memories, he said: “And a self-destrcut button. And it’s not helpful.” The Irishman said he “can’t look at” the possibility that some Celtic fans have turned to navel gazing about their club as a more satisfying pastime than actually attending games. “My objective is to take the team forward,” Lennon said. “I am aware of the point being made because it is almost as if they need something to fight or argue about. But I can’t do anything about that.” In terms of the lowly 25,000 crowd estimated to have turned up for the 12.15 visit of Hearts last Saturday, Lennon pointed to mitigating circumstances beyond climate. “It’s the first time we’ve had a home game televised for a while and it’s Christmas as well which might have had a big effect on the crowd. We are always looking to give fans value for money and we’re always looking to bring a player in who might capture the imagination as well. But we’re 16 games unbeaten and we can’t do much more than that. Our away form has been very good but it’s a little bit different at home where teams camp in for long periods of the game. I know it’s up to us to try and break them down but we try to give the fans value for money at home as well. “I don’t think [what has happened with the Green Brigade] has had any effect. There might have been a Champions League hangover as well. We’re out of that competition now. I would expect over the festive period the crowds will pick up again and we have Partick Thistle on New Year’s Day and I would imagine there will be a decent crowd for that one.” A “decent crowd” these days, is very different from what it was five years ago. http://www.scotsman.com/sport/football/latest/poor-attendances-suggest-celtic-need-rangers-1-3249508
  13. .......three years after causing referee row that led to strikes MCDONALD has been instated as a Development Officer at Hampden after his 2010 Tannadice blunder forced him to quit the game completely. Former refereee McDonald is back at the SFA, three years after quitting amidst Tannadice row CONTROVERSIAL former referee Dougie McDonald is back working for the SFA as a Development Advisor. McDonald quit as a Category One whistler in November 2010 after coming under intense pressure for lying to Neil Lennon about changing his mind on a penalty he had initially awarded to Celtic against Dundee United at Tannadice. The aftermath of that shook the game to its core and the incident resulted in his assistant referee that afternoon, Steven Craven, resigning. Weeks later refs chief Hugh Dallas also quit the SFA and the whistlers went on strike as they felt they weren’t protected enough by their Hampden employers. On the day he stood down, McDonald claimed Category One refs had been treated in an “outrageous way” and blasted the SFA for a “lack of support”. Such an attack would normally lead to someone being banished from Hampden but McDonald is back on board. The 48-year-old is highly rated and referee chiefs feel his input and advice to young officials will be invaluable. http://www.dailyrecord.co.uk/sport/football/ex-official-dougie-mcdonald-back-2969113
  14. I wrote the above paragraph a few weeks ago in an article which was published in the inaugural launch of WATP magazine. Much of course has changed during that time with the coming and going of the AGM, and the confirmation of our board of directors. Even as a fence sitter throughout all of this, I cannot hide my inward disappointment that Brian Stockbridge remains on the board. But perhaps in that regard I am being unfair to Mr Stockbridge as I don’t have in my possession the information which allows me to make an informed choice. I don’t know for instance whether he, in his role as financial director, was merely rubber stamping the overly generous bonuses previous board members had arranged for themselves, nor for instance what part, (as has been claimed in this overloaded propaganda war) nominee Malcolm Murray had in the setting of such bonuses. That will always be the case of course so long as the Rangers support remains dis-empowered and disenfranchised from the systems and processes I alluded to several weeks ago. But the system and process which determines the make up of the Rangers board has spoken, and furthermore it has spoken in a way which is democratic. We may not all like the results it has delivered but that, I’m afraid, is life. Of course, we can attempt to usurp that democratic process. and there has already been talk of boycotts with regard to season tickets and club merchandise, and I have no doubt such action will make those who clearly wield power – institutional investors – sit up and take notice. Notwithstanding the damage such boycotts would cause to our club, perhaps we should also consider the damage such action would cause to democratic process and what kind of “notice” would be initiated within institutional investors ? If the democratic process to elect a board is usurped by way of boycotts, a refusal to accept the decisions that process has delivered, do you think this will instil confidence in any future investment in the club from others ? Ask yourself this – would you invest heavily in an institution where your majority shareholding and the decisions you make relative to that investment, through proper process, can be overturned by the militant actions of others with a lesser shareholding ? I don’t like where our club sits at present, nor do I have complete confidence in those who are charged with taking us out of our current predicament and to another place. But given the choice between giving them a chance as opposed to damaging both club and destroying confidence in that democratic process – then I know which one I will choose. Season Ticket renewed.
  15. Nice to see Celtic showing why Scottish football is so vibrant and dynamic at the moment. Trying not to be too Jim Spence-like in my praise, but it's clear that only getting gubbed 3-0 by Milan is a clear sign of how healthy the SPL is. Surely that's the case. It can't be otherwise....
  16. Fire up the rolls & slice, pour a cuppa and enjoy/suffer the latest epistle from your local Handwringer in Chief. Liberal democracy is a good thing. It certainly has its faults, but overall a system which allows you to disagree with it without consequence is always preferable to one which imposes penalty on speech or thought. You might think, given the experience of the 20th century, that this is a lesson humanity has finally learned, but alas the lesson of history is that mistakes are seldom, if ever, absorbed. These thoughts came to mind last week as I re-read my copy of Clive James's wonderful 'Cultural Amnesia', a collection of essays on the effects of totalitarianism on humanity and the humanities in the last century. As always with Mr James, it is genius written with the lightest of touches: the best kind of teaching. You can pick up a copy for about £3 on Amazon and I'd heartily recommend it: http://www.amazon.co.uk/Cultural-Amnesia-Necessary-Memories-History/dp/039333354X The defence of freedom of speech was quite the hot potato this week, with some idiot celtc fans feeling the need to compare a 14th century bandido with a 20th century murderer. As if the 700 years in between hadn't taught the Irish anything; no, they were fit to be subjected to medieval methods of warfare. If only they could see how insulting they are to the people they stupidly profess to defend! And in fairness, loud had been the opprobrium from on high within Parkhead. Mr Lawwell don't like it, Mr Lennon don't like it, and surely the final nail for celtc fans, even Mr Spiers, he don't like it. But what is it they don't like, exactly? Well, the timing and the place. Not the picture of a mentally unbalanced killer with a persecution complex added to a natural penchant for psychosis on banners, but the doing of it in such a way as to embarrass celtc fc. In what was probably a throwaway but nonetheless revealing comment last week, Mr Spiers was of the opinion that 'there are rights and wrongs about the IRA but the football is not the place' to discuss them. I have spend a few days trying to think what the 'rights ' of the IRA were and have drawn a blank. Perhaps some other readers can write in with their solutions to this problem. A free bus ride around Belfast town centre, loudly setting out your thesis, will be the prize. On the rare occasions I think about Ireland, I guess that in the long run of history, it will probably end up as the one country. Not exactly plan 'A' to make you popular in amongst the Vanguard Bears, but there it is. But if it happens, it will be through democracy, not violence. Terrorism is always wrong. So here's where poor Clive James is roped in to educate the wretched Mr Spiers and his pals in the east. Terrorism is always wrong. Whether it be Bobby Sands or, as we discovered last week, some madmen in the British Army running about acting like an Argentine death squad, it is always wrong. And using it to score cheap points is always wrong, and not just on the grounds of timing - on the grounds that rehabilitating terrorists in the way that celtc fans and the BBC have done this week ('IRA hunger striker' is so much less aggressive than 'terrorist murderer', isn't it?) is dangerous to democracy. As the lessons of the 20th century showed us, we need to be on our guard against those who would deny free speech. It may seem hypocritcal to ask for free speech and then deny it for the Green Brigade, but with the freedom to speak comes the need to speak with responsibility. No more throwaway remarks about 'rights and wrongs', some things are always wrong. You don't have to be a cynic to wonder where the Scottish Journalist's Book of Adjectives to Describe Current Buns went this week: no 'vile', no 'songs of hate', no 'embarrassment to Scotland in the 21st century', 'no sectarian bitterness', no quotes from Peter Kearney about how awful it all is. Just 'rights and wrongs' and 'maybe the wrong time and place'. We can only hope that such lunatics as Bobby Sands never return to our shores to demonstrate to the likes of Mr Spiers just how thin the divide between liberal democracy and terror in our society is. Hopefully he will get 'Cultural Amnesia' for his Christmas - one way or another, he, and the celtc fans, need to get the message: terrorism is always wrong. But, as always, there's a but. And while it has been lovely to bask in the reflected inglory of the other mob this week, we must be careful what we wish for. For should the amazing happen and Vincent Lunny actually dare chib celtc for once, you can bet he will be on uber-Orange alert for something to even up the score. And we will give him the ammo he needs, I fear. 'What's the handwringer moaning about now?' I hear you ask. Well... 'Super Rangers' for a start. It is going to have to go, and it would be better if we did it rather than had another war. But even that is a bit old hat, and I'm not keen to have that same argument over again. What's bugging me is maybe something that Lunny wouldn't notice, but a super sensitive handwringer such as myself does. When big Daly got us off the mark against Arbroath, about 50 Bears chose to express their happiness with a burst of The Sash. You may think that a coincidence: I don't. I think it was a classless and tasteless riposte, along the lines of 'Aye, well, you may have scored, but don't think we're going anywhere!' At least they left out the add on, which about 10 Bears didn't at kick off. Nevertheless, what a nice touch to thank a model professional. I hope they get over it, and soon. Now, I actually think that reducing the idiot rump of our fan base to about 70 or 80 away fans is something pretty amazing, and the club and most of the fans ought to be congratulated for it. But they won't, you know they won't. In a society which falls over itself to avoid offending the sensibilities of IRA supporters you know that as long as one Bluenose yells FTP we will be hauled up. We could easily lose the musical two fingers to Jon Daly, and we should lose the forbidden line in Super Rangers. It will make them look worse, and that's always good! And especially, we could lose the UVF tribute lines....terrorism is ALWAYS wrong, remember. Weirdly, in Scotland support for terrorism seems to be considered slightly less offensive than what I stubbornly believe is meaningless yells from football fans with a drink in them. You'll never persuade me that the Green Brigade were all steaming when they rattled up what must have been the least catchy slogan last week, and you'll never persuade me that the vast majority of 'sectarian' events in Scotland are little more than Rangers-Celtic tittle tattle. But that's how the chips are falling, thanks in part to liberal consciences like Mr Spiers'. We can't let distaste for the like of him push us away from defending liberal democracy, but there are one or two things we could do to make it better. It may make you feel slightly sick to actually have to tell people this is 2013: it should do. But Mr Lawwell, Mr Lennon, Mr Spiers, and our own hero-worshippers: terrorism is always wrong.
  17. VoiceAndColour footballfansceneUK 1h #Aberdeen fans with banner outside #Hampden today in protest against corrupt SFA & SPFL leaders. pic.twitter.com/DlSq47Y6g3 https://twitter.com/VoiceAndColour/status/407131705959411713/photo/1/large
  18. http://www.vanguardbears.co.uk/article.php?i=137&a=vb-calls-for-peter-lawwell-to-resign-from-sfa
  19. AS the row over Peter Lawwell's Celtic AGM comments rumbles on, KEITH JACKSON reckons its time both sides of the Old Firm stopped the grandstanding and concentrated on their own priorities. LIKE Alan Partridge, Scottish football is bouncing back. In just 10 months Gordon Strachan has taken this team of ours and stopped it from being a laughing stock. As a result of all his hard work, Scotland are no longer driving from Norwich to Dundee in their bare feet, gorging on assorted Toblerones. Friday’s 0-0 draw with the USA at Hampden may hardly have been inspirational but even so it was yet more proof that Strachan has us on the road to recovery. His players are not losing games against supposedly vastly superior opponents, even when performing well below their own best standards. That’s progress and it comes at a time when things are looking up. All over the country, talented young players are emerging at club level and thriving with the responsibility of first-team football. Stuart Armstrong has just earned his first call-up to Strachan’s full squad while Ryan Gauld and Stevie May will soon be knocking on the door. At last, after years of internal vandalism, we’re getting our own house back in some sort of order. It’s not immaculate but no longer does it make us cringe with embarrassment. Until, that is, someone goes and mentions the Old Firm. I did it once but I think I got away with it. Oh no wait, that will be the sound of a thousand emails cascading into my inbox. A deluge of dementedness. “Don’t call us the Old Firm. We don’t want anything to do with that other mob.” They may hate the living daylights out of one another but what they do share – in fact what binds them together – is the capacity for ferocious bampottery. Every comment passed in public about one side or the other is picked apart forensically by supporters of both. Often the throwing of these titbits results in an online feeding frenzy, where all reason and logic are the first to be devoured. It has been this way since the invention of the internet. But, just lately, the landscape around Glasgow’s uneasy neighbours has become noticeably darker and poisonous. Which is why Peter Lawwell, of all people, should have displayed better judgment than to poke a big stick into this hornet’s nest at Celtic’s agm on Friday. By gratuitously branding Rangers Rory Bremner FC, Lawwell sent this bitter little world into meltdown. Lawwell’s words were a nod and a wink to the most extremist element of his club’s support and, in a way, a green light for them to pursue their own dubious agendas. Sound familiar? It should do. Because it was not that long ago that a certain big-handed Yorkshireman was doing precisely the same thing to win over the masses at the other side of this never so deeply divided city. It’s called grandstanding and, at a time when emotions are so volatile and feelings so raw, it’s a dangerous road for either of these two clubs to be going down, never mind both of them at once. In opposite directions. The sooner this pair remember that their purpose in life is to play the game, not the galleries, then perhaps the rest of us might be able to get on with the business of helping Scottish football back towards a state of good health rather than constantly being forced to rubberneck by these ceaseless attention seekers. And yet no sooner had Lawwell pressed the button on Friday (successfully diverting attention away from an awkward internal debate about paying his employees a living wage in the process) than Rangers responded with a blast of their own. You could almost hear them inside their Ibrox bunker working out the strategy, above the clicking of a PR guru’s Cuban heels. “Right, where’s that statement slaughtering Celtic and Lawwell. That’s genius. Punters will love it.” Talk about stage-managed rabble rousing? It’s almost as if the current remnants of this Rangers board are being given PR advice from the very same strategical experts who presented Craig Whyte to the world as a billionaire and told him how to go about winning friends and influencing people. Oh, wait a minute. They are. Yes, the very same people who said the Daily Record was lying when it first revealed what Whyte was up to with the club’s season tickets – a full seven months before his ruinous business plan tipped the club into administration. Whoever said motivation doesn’t grow on trees clearly hasn’t gone for a stroll down Edmiston Drive since Whyte stuffed the taxman for £15million under the cover of dark arts. That’s the truth of the matter. Whyte plunged Rangers under and his scandalous behaviour has left a black mark on the very soul of this football club which continues to operate at Ibrox, in blue shirts with the same badges and crests. Whyte was a near-death experience all right but Rangers live on. The real nature of the problem facing Rangers today is not that they have ceased to exist (they are still here after all) but rather they have become unrecognisable from their former selves. And to that end, Lawwell had a point. Like Bremner’s Tony Blair, today’s Rangers are a flimsy impersonation of the real thing. But none of that is the business of Celtic’s chief executive, who would surely be better off concentrating on his own club’s continued dominance, especially now that BT Sport are doubling the value of a ticket into the Champions League. Lawwell was right when he said Celtic are now a stand-alone club. They have proved they do not need Rangers in order to survive and to prosper. The less of UEFA’s loot they have to share, the stronger they will become. Rangers, for their part, face a struggle just to keep HMS Ibrox from sinking for a second time. Let them both get on with it, preferably as far apart from one another as is possible in this twisted little world. In the meantime, just don’t mention the Old Firm.
  20. I suppose this is blogger’s equivalent of the Samurai tradition of Seppuku – their unique suicide rite. At journalism college one of my course tutor’s used to invariably preach about the successful narrator knowing, and writing to the very heart and soul of their audience. This article will do quite the opposite and some may find the content uncomfortable, however I feel it asks a question which needs to be asked. The boardroom battle for control of our club has seen a thorough examination of the character and integrity (or alleged lack thereof) of the various candidates vying for control. It would be fair to say the Rangers support is well versed in the personal character strengths and weaknesses of the Murrays, the Easdales etc. The apparent weaknesses of the “other sides” candidates have been given maximum exposure during the ensuing debate, with the morality factor at times appearing as important as the size of the wallet they, or their backers, bring to our club. All is fair in love and war. Waiting in the wings is a man many Rangers fans would view as our club’s “Messiah” – Dave King. Almost as important as his money appears to be his ability to unite the fragmented factions within our support for he appears to have the unanimous backing of all. Perhaps the eventual winner in our boardroom battle will determined by which side, if any, Dave King decides to ally with. Such unanimous support for King has spared him the moral examination so many others have been subjected to in our boardroom struggle. With the exception of course of the Scottish Press. Let me make one thing clear – the Scottish Press have long surrendered the right to exercise moral judgement with regard to our club. They surrendered such a right long ago with their silence over 5 way agreements, their silence over unlawful transfer embargo’s imposed on our club and their desire to join with the haters in labelling us “cheats”and thus trampling over our right to a presumption of innocence until proven otherwise. This discussion is by invitation only, and those out with the Rangers support are not invited, cordially or otherwise. But it is nonetheless, a discussion which has to be had. Judge Southwoods assessment of Dave King in his tax battle with the South African authorities was damning. I’m sure most of you have read it, but to spare you the false morality of the Scottish press it can be found here : http://www.moneywebtax.co.za/moneywebtax/view/moneywebtax/en/page259?oid=56208&sn=Detail Are we satisfied as a support that the coat bearing glib and shameless will be discarded should Dave King return to Ibrox in any capacity ? Will an alleged disrespect for the truth be at odds with a support demanding transparency and clarity with regard to the governance of our club ? Or are the characteristics described by Judge Southwood exactly what are needed at our club in a battle where our enemies are not playing by the rules ? These are difficult questions but we will need to wrestle with them at some point. Failure to do so is just not an option.
  21. Hibernian forward Rowan Vine faces disciplinary action after remarks directed at Celtic boss Neil Lennon . Scottish FA compliance officer Vincent Lunny says Vine made "offensive comments on Twitter suggesting the use of violence". The incident took place following a 1-1 draw between Hibs and Celtic. Vine has until 15 November to respond to the notice of complaint and a principal hearing date has been set for 28 November. Lennon, who said he was "not surprised" that Vine had been cited for his comments, had criticised Hibs' defending as "shocking" and "reckless" in the draw at Easter Road. Responding on Twitter, Vine said: "I hardly touched the boy and there were no 'reckless' tackles in the game. "Might get me mate Alan Shearer to send him another size 9 Umbro Speciali in the dish if he don't pipe down." Vine went on to admit that he had never met the former England captain, nor Lennon, personally despite his reference to an incident during a Newcastle-Leicester match. Responding to a tweet from Lennon asking "did I read that right?", Vine replied: "Was light-hearted, just thought your comment was poor, thought it was a good physical game. "Apologies obviously if you've taken offence." http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/0/football/24870112
  22. http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/0/football/24737531 Not to mention this is actually completely wrong (it was 2011), this article is yet another example of BBC Scotland blowing a raspberry to their Trust and editorial guidelines.
  23. Have just read in sunday express website that Neil Doncaster and a delegation from celtic ( lieswell ), are currently in China to promote the Scottish leagues. Is it just me being paranoid or is their some kind of friendship between the S.P. HELL and septic. Surely not. Question is why can the other teams in the so called big league not see that the sphell are only puppets put their to try and promote septic and F--K the rest. This makes me so angry i will need a beer to calm down.
  24. When the cracks open, the light gets in. NO one likes admitting they are lost. We’ve all took a punt at a crossroads and ploughed on, only to have that growing gnawing feeling we’re going further in the wrong direction. When you start seeing cows rather than buildings it finally dawns on you there’s nothing else for it, you’ll need to go back. Turning round is sore for the ego – but a far better option than charging on into the wilderness. Let’s face it, this new-but-really-the-same Scottish football set-up is heading in the wrong direction. We need to go back. I know the idea of going back to reconstruction talks is about as appetising as a roll ‘n’ cowpat but whether we like it or not we have to take another bite. It’s just isn’t working. The Premiership is all over before Halloween. Talk about scary. We might as well hold the end-of-season dance this weekend. The title race is over. Not that it ever really started. Same in League One. Relegation is pretty much a done deal in the top division as well. Even Hearts fans know they have more important battles to win. All that’s left is heavily-weighted relegation play-offs and the scrap to see what teams get to start pre-season the earliest to prepare for a European tie in deepest darkest Belarus. Not great is it? And we can’t say it hasn’t gone unnoticed. The Christmas decorations will be getting dug out soon and we still don’t have a title sponsor. Big companies won’t touch our game with a bargepole. They’re not interested and it won’t be long before everyone else feels the same. The one positive from those endless meetings in the last 18 months is we have one body in charge. It’s as easy to change the format of our leagues now as it is to change the curtains at Hampden, so let’s just do it. Fans have constantly been told we can’t afford a bigger top flight but wait and see, it won’t be long before we’re told we can’t afford not to have one. It doesn’t take the gift of second sight to see what’s around the corner. Scottish football is heading back down the rabbit hole. Next season we are likely to have a First Division – or Championship in new money – that includes Rangers and Hearts. Dunfermline could be in there too as well as St Mirren or Kilmarnock. Chuck in Falkirk, Hamilton, Dundee and others and it’s going to look like a mirror image of the division above. There will be weekends when attendances in the second tier outnumber the first, which would be bonkers. Scottish football will never have a better chance to have a bash at a bigger top flight again. So let’s just go for it. Ram the top two divisions together and do the same with the bottom two. Have a top 20 and bottom 22. Can’t hurt to have a go. I’d bet there would be a queue of sponsors who put down the bargepoles and get all touchy-feely. The Old Firm would be back. We’d have derbies in Edinburgh, Dundee, Fife and the Highlands. A 38-game campaign and freedom to play without constant fear of the drop, no split and a proper spread of money. Tempting, isn’t it? Ah, but... of course there’s a but. The undoubted howls of protest. It’s a leg-up for Rangers and a bailout for Hearts, they’ll say. Well, they’ll need to grow up. Rangers have had two years on the naughty step. It’s time to let them back in. If we need to wallop Hearts further to appease the rest then we can take more points off them next year too if need be. But what would be the point? There’s been enough self-harm in Scotland. There’s time to mend wounds and patch up the product. We’re all in this together. We need to turn round before it’s too late to find our way back. http://www.dailyrecord.co.uk/sport/football/football-news/michael-gannon-scottish-football-never-2659293
  25. Ringing fugitive on Interpol wanted list not unusual in new world of Rangers KEITH tells how trying to make contact with a man on Interpol's most wanted list is hardly unusual in the weird world which Rangers now inhabit. IT’S not every week you speak to someone on Interpol’s most wanted list. In fact, after 20-odd years writing about football for a living, this was something of a first. Not that it was actually much of a conversation. “Hello, Mr Rizvi,” “Hello, who is this?” “Keith Jackson from the Daily Record newspaper in Glasgow, I want to speak to you about your involvement in Blue Pitch Holdings.” “I think you have the wrong number my friend, I would ahem (click)...” “Mr Rizvi? Rafat? Hello?” “BEEEEEEEEEEEP!” That was about the size of it. Hardly earth-shattering stuff. In fact, the only truly remarkable thing about this conversation is that it needed to take place at all. But this is the way of it at Rangers in 2013 – this club has long since disappeared through the looking glass. Vanished into a world which is as much about the fugitives as it is about the football. I phoned straight back but Rafat Rizvi, or whatever this plummy-voiced gentleman calls himself these days, didn’t answer. So I followed up with a text message, offering to speak on or off the record and pointing out that the identities of those anonymous investors behind Blue Pitch and Margarita Holdings were likely to be made public soon. Again, no response. Perhaps he was just busy. Then again, perhaps men who are on the run from the authorities over a £600million bank fraud, facing a potential death penalty in Indonesia, don’t do protracted conversations. Not with press men at any rate. Which would be fair enough were it not for the fact the future of Rangers hangs in the balance all over again and that there are many thousands of supporters out there who are beside themselves with worry and who are asking for one simple thing from their club, the truth. Remember that? It’s not easy where Rangers are concerned. This is a club which currently employs more spin doctors than it does directors, a business which is engulfed in a cloud of its own toxicity. A company which attempts to confuse its own customers with an unrelenting barrage of spin and counter-spin. The truth? So many lies and so much misinformation has been spread in the name of Rangers that the truth has become a complete stranger. It has been twisted and distorted to such an extent that it has become almost unrecognisable. And it has to stop, for the sake of the fans and for the greater good of the Scottish game in general. It is time for Rangers to reconnect with the truth. Which is why it would have been nice had Rizvi stayed on the phone for a longer chat. He might have been able to clear up many of the issues which continue to distress these supporters and cause them sleepless nights. Just who are Blue Pitch for example? These mysterious offshore backers of Charles Green, who financed the Yorkshireman’s takeover, buying up Ibrox and Murray Park for a £5.5m snip thanks to the stupendous generosity of administrators Duff and Phelps. It would also have been of interest to ask Mr Rizvi, a long-standing associate of Green and shamed former commercial director Imran Ahmad, if he could shed any light on some of the names of those behind the equally mysterious Margarita. Between them, Blue Pitch and Margarita hold a 15 per cent stake in the club and their voting power – which has been handed over by proxy to the Easdale Brothers – could swing the balance whenever this club finally allows its shareholders to vote on the make-up of the boardroom at its long awaited agm. Could it be that Brian Stockbridge, for example, is to be found standing behind Margarita’s door? Just asking because if the financial director was to be among these penny-a-share investors then it’s no wonder they are attempting to block the changes that would ultimately lead to Stockbridge’s removal from power. Right? Here’s another thing. Did you know Stockbridge and James Easdale last week signed off on a robustly worded warning to the club’s entire workforce, making it clear that information leaks from inside Ibrox will not be tolerated? That’s right. Stockbridge, who infamously filmed former chairman Malcolm Murray worse for wear at the end of a long night out, and Easdale, who endorsed the return of a certain spin doctor to the club. The hypocrisy is mind boggling. In fact, it smacks of yet another hamfisted and ever so slightly sinister attempt to suppress the truth. The fact that their internal memo has already been leaked out on to the internet is a delicious irony. Much has gone on behind the scenes of this club in recent times which defies belief. Senior, trusted and hugely respected figures have been horribly intimidated. These people too have a story to tell. Just like Rizvi. It would do Rangers a world of good if one day the whole truth emerges from this distasteful debacle, no matter how unpleasant or even inconvenient that truth might be. The truth is all that can pull Rangers back from this world through the looking glass and allow it to look at itself in the mirror once again.
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