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About Me




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  1. Born Under a Union Flag: Rangers, Britain and Scottish Independence (Luath Press) will be an interesting read for those yet to open its cover, and I would strongly suggest you do. It allows the reader access at times, to the mindset of the authors of the various chapters, some of which will challenge you, some may even alarm you, but having drawn me in, it was one of those books I had to read from start to finish without interruption. It may seem strange for an avid Unionist to highlight a chapter written by a pro-independence author, Gail Richardson, but I do so for 2 reasons : (1) Gail asks questions relating to the motto of a group of which I am a member – Vanguard Bears (2) Of all the pro-independence chapters within the book, Gail’s was unique in that it offered a cohesive, rational and positive argument for independence which was free from negative subjective experience often cited by her peers, nor did it seek to demonise Britain as a justification for exercising a yes vote, in short it offered vision rather than vilification. I use the word “demonise” deliberately. When Alan Bissett argues that Britain is responsible for, amongst other things, “the mass slaughter of World War 1” you can perhaps begin to understand why I suggested in the opening paragraph that you may be challenged, even alarmed by its contents. Gail opens her chapter with a question : Do the Loving Cup ceremony or the portraits of Her Majesty the Queen hanging in the home dressing room at Ibrox not qualify as traditions ? Both are long standing practices at our club, with club historian David Mason, opening this year’s Loving Cup toast describing it as “A very important tradition in the history of Rangers Football Club since 1937”. Furthermore are they merely traditions or, additionally, a powerful statement of identity i.e. this is a club which values the traditions of monarchy ? The foregoing example serves as welcome introduction for another area of such debate which is often overlooked by many. Gail asserts : It is madness. But what about the flip side of that coin ? What about the instances where the beliefs and values come from within the club itself ? Are they in themselves not statements of identity ? If the historical commentators such as Graham Walker and Bill Murray are to be believed, and there is no good reason not to, then Protestant identity evolved due to a number of factors, primarily though that the Protestant indigenous Scot sought a football club which reflected their faith and culture in the same way that the newly formed club, Celtic, reflected the faith and culture of the Irish immigrant population. If Gail is guilty of overlooking symbolisms and traditions which emanate from within the club, perhaps because they don’t quite fit with her assertions and beliefs, I confess, I could be equally as guilty of reading something into symbolisms from within the club because they do happen to fit with my particular assertions and beliefs. I have difficulty accepting however that Church and Boys Brigade Parades, the holding of the Orange Order Annual Divine Service at Ibrox, our refusal to play football on the Sabbath, the welcoming of Kings at Ibrox, Armed Forces Days, amongst other things, are not statements of identity. Furthermore these take no account of the erroneous, which again have their formation from within the club itself. Gail makes reference to Rangers signing policy, I would add to that the comments of Rangers vice chairman Matt Taylor in 1967 when he stated in interview relating to it, “part of our tradition....we were formed in 1873 as a Protestant boys club. To change now would lose us considerable support.” However mis-guided, however ham-fisted, however opposed to true Protestant ideals and values the foregoing examples are, I would suggest they are a clear attempt to attach a Protestant identity to our club from within the club itself. I cite these examples not to usurp Gail’s questioning of their relevance today in an increasingly secular Scotland, but to demonstrate that the club itself over the years has actively encouraged an identity with which it is often associated, therefore to suggest that it’s our supporters who have projected their beliefs onto the club and asked them to uphold them is incorrect. When Gail states : “I’ve said that I don’t believe Rangers Football Club is a Protestant club or a Unionist club.” how does such a statement equate to a football club who have just released their 3rd strip which has as its centrepiece, the flag of the Union itself ? Particularly in view of the current political climate in Scotland. Strangely, the answer to Gail’s original question comes from an unlikely source, in chapter 3 of the book. Harry Reid, an Aberdeen supporter speaking of the demise of Rangers identity under Sir David Murray: And later in the chapter : Harry continues: Later in the chapter Harry emphasises the importance of any football club seeking to expand its aspirations, remaining true to its core fan base. There is really not a lot I can add to Harry’s quotes. The values, traditions and people Harry alludes to are very much at the core of what we at Vanguard Bears, seek to defend. I hope this article not only answers Gail’s questions, but also challenges her to examine her own vision of our club, as much as her chapter from the book caused me to examine my own.
  2. .............that he is ready to buy into Gers. EX-IBROX chief Charles Green has been linked to a £10m investment involving the American financial guru but Soros' hedge fund bosses are bemused by the reports. SOURCES close to George Soros have rubbished claims he is ready to buy into cash-strapped Rangers. Former chief executive Charles Green has been linked with a £10million investment involving the US-based billionaire , one of the biggest players in the world financial markets. However, documents seen by Record Sport and passed to the Union of Fans confirm senior officials at his Soros Fund Management have been left bemused by the reports. They insist they’ve never heard of Green, have no interest in doing business with him or any desire to invest in Rangers. Other members of the Soros family also play the money markets but the billionaire’s dealings are all done through his powerful Fund Management group and they are denying a relationship with Green. Soros Fund Management is one of the most successful hedge funds in the world and was founded in 1969 by Soros, who is worth an estimated £15billion. The 84-year-old is the 26th richest man on the planet. Rangers’ board have plans to raise £4m from a share issue to ward off further financial chaos. Union of Fans spokesman Chris Graham said: “It’s no surprise to hear Charles Green’s claims of investment from George Soros and Soros Fund Management have been rubbished. “Most sensible people take anything Green says with a large pinch of salt. “It would make little sense for Soros to be interested in loaning money to Rangers at this time and even less for him to make any genuine approach through a man as discredited as Green. “A man of Soros’s means has no need of someone such as Green. “It is time for Green to stop interfering in Rangers’ business and hopefully others can step in to clean up the mess he left.” Green told the BBC this month: “I’ve got a number of people ready to invest in Rangers.” Green, who yesterday posted a video of himself taking part in an ice-bucket challenge after being nominated by ex-Rangers keeper Allan McGregor, was unavailable for comment when contacted by Record Sport. http://www.dailyrecord.co.uk/sport/football/football-news/rangers-boardroom-latest-sources-close-4087794
  3. It's the question all Rangers fans want the answer to: "What exactly were the so-called movers and shakers of Scottish football up to, behind closed doors, during that long dark summer of 2012?" Are Rangers supporters correct to be suspicious of their meetings, their motives and their thinly-disguised malevolence? You bet we are - detailed and dogged investigation has proven our own suspicions of two years ago to be correct. Over the next few weeks, Vanguard Bears will vindicate all of those Rangers supporters who harboured suspicions. What went on was scandalous. We have the proof, we've seen the agreements with our own eyes, we have heard first-hand accounts of the double-dealing in all its devious, dastardly detail. We will start by showing you an excerpt of an early draft of the now infamous "5-Way Agreement" and later we will detail the machinations behind it. Please note in particular clause (I) on page 2 - "guilty until proven innocent" springs to mind - also note the subsequent EBT Sanctions on page 3 where the stripping of trophies is mentioned. This should get the ball rolling. Coming soon – Who runs Scottish Football? Low Level Paper Gatherers? Surely not! Read more - http://www.vanguardbears.co.uk/the-five-way-agreement.html
  4. Here's the Daily Record on Craig Whyte in November 2010: "Financial whizzkid Craig Whyte stands on the brink of pulling off the biggest deal of his life... Record Sport understands self-made billionaire Whyte has entered into the final stages of negotiations to buy control of the club he loves from Sir David Murray... A deal worth around £30million is now believed to have reached such an advanced stage that sources say Whyte, a high-roller who splits his time between a home in London and the idyllic Castle Grant in Grantown-on-Spey, could even have the keys to Ibrox in time to fund a major refurbishment of Walter Smith's top-team squad in January... By the age of 26, Whyte was already Scotland's youngest self-made millionaire. Now, 13 years on, and in charge of a vast business empire, his wealth is off the radar." Here's the Daily Record on Craig Whyte in October 2012: "A private investigation commissioned for Rangers showed Craig Whyte had a record of tax avoidance, failed companies and double dealings – before he was sold Sir David Murray's majority shareholding... The report, prepared by private investigators Titon, described Monaco-based Whyte as a 'fuyant' – French slang for an evader or manipulator. It warned there was no evidence to back claims circulated by Whyte's spin doctors that he was a billionaire with plenty of cash to finance Rangers. In fact, it said, there was no evidence he was even a multi-millionaire. The report talks of "the questionable source and extent of his reported wealth". And here's the Daily Record on Craig Whyte in August 2014: "The taxman was chasing Craig Whyte for £3.7million before he took over Rangers. HMRC focused on Whyte's personal finances and made several failed attempts to get him to pay his dues before, during and after his catastrophic reign at Ibrox... Documents seen by the Record show: * The authorities instructed debt enforcers to chase Whyte with a bill for almost £4million and threaten him with bankruptcy in May 2011, the same month that he bought Rangers... * Yet when he struck the notorious deal with Ticketus for funds to finance his Rangers takeover, he gave the firm a personal guarantee he was worth nearly £33million... At the same time he was able to run up a further £15million in unpaid taxes and penalties during his nine months in charge of Rangers. Whyte had bought Rangers for £1 from Sir David Murray in May 2011, while agreeing to wipe out the club's £18million debts... A sizeable proportion of Rangers fans still hold Murray at least partly responsible for the club's demise, arguing he should not have sold to Whyte, whose reputation had already been questioned." Perhaps the fans should be holding the Record to blame as well. When the paper was reporting on Whyte's hyped wealth it failed to mention the fact that serious questions were being asked in the blogosphere about the veracity of his claims. How could the Record know that Whyte was a billionaire with "a vast business empire" and wealth "off the radar"? And when it did know otherwise, why did it take so long to inform Rangers' fans? And why no apology to its readers? Note that 2012 reference to spin-doctors, as if it was all their fault rather than that of the paper's journalists for accepting what they were told without checking. The age-old problem of sports reporting was the willingness of journalists to act like "fans with typewriters" (or, nowadays, fans with laptops). The reporting of the Rangers' saga over the past five years has been a classic example of reporters being no more than stenographers for PRs offering them stories they didn't care to verify. http://www.theguardian.com/media/greenslade/2014/aug/06/daily-record-rangers
  5. Suspect the Daily Record will make for interesting reading tomorrow. Will make us even more frustrated though. #justicefortherangerssupport Glad to see what looks like some things HMRC would rather stay unsaid are going to finally come to light. A couple of tweets tonight. Story here: http://www.dailyrecord.co.uk/sport/football/football-news/ex-rangers-owner-craig-whyte-being-3992415
  6. Regular Gersnetters will know, Stuart Cosgrove is all over BBC Radio Scotland like a rash. He does a 30 minute piece on a Thursday afternoon with John Beattie and Eamon O'Neill, on news coverage of current affairs. A couple of weeks past, Establishment Stu' was invited to comment on Jeremy Clarkson's latest racist faux pas and he lowered his voice to state, "I do not want to return to a society where people can say offensive things without consequences". Compare and contrast with Establishment Stu's piece in a St Johnstone fanzine, "One time we were through at Hearts, and we were at Falkirk station on the way, on the same day Rangers were playing Falkirk. It was Huns galore-thousands of them, and there were maybe 40 of us from the CYS from Perth. We got on the train at Falkirk station, we just opened the windows as it started moving, and gave them 'orange wankers' and all the rest of it, and of course, as soon as it was moving - the train stopped and began moving back into the station. The driver must have been a hun.". A year or so later, the News of the World reported, "Scots radio star Stuart Cosgrove was booted off a station platform by cops for singing anti-Rangers songs, particularly, 'have you seen a handsome hun'? Establishment Stu' utilised his then Daily Record column to reply, he culminated his piece with the question, "can anyone truly say they have seen a handsome hun"? What are the consequences for Channel 4's Director for Diversity, a man who recently breathlessly informed BBC Radio Scotland he was lunching with the Lord Advocate?
  7. Regulatory Story Company Rangers Int. Football Club PLC TIDM RFC Headline Statement re: Annual results Released 16:55 07-Jul-2014 Number 6537L16 RNS Number : 6537L Rangers Int. Football Club PLC 07 July 2014  Rangers International Football Club plc ("Rangers" the "Club" or the "Company") Statement re: Annual results for the 13 month period ended 30 June 2013 The Directors confirm that following the issue of shares announced on 1 July 2014 pursuant to the exercise of options by a former Director, there are now no outstanding share options or convertible shares held within the Group. The Directors note that Note 30 to the accounts for the 13 month period ended 30 June 2013 was incorrect to the extent that the options to which the share announcement on 1 July 2014 relate were not included. For further information please contact: Rangers International Football Club plc Graham Wallace Tel: 0141 580 8647 Daniel Stewart & Company plc Tel: 020 7776 6550 Paul Shackleton / David Coffman Newgate Threadneedle Tel: 020 7148 6143 Graham Herring / Roddy Watt / John Coles This information is provided by RNS The company news service from the London Stock Exchange END STRUGUCAMUPCGAM London Stock Exchange plc is not responsible for and does not check content on this Website. Website users are responsible for checking content. Any news item (including any prospectus) which is addressed solely to the persons and countries specified therein should not be relied upon other than by such persons and/or outside the specified countries. Terms and conditions, including restrictions on use and distribution apply. ©2009 London Stock Exchange plc. All rights reserved http://m.londonstockexchange.com/exchange/mobile/news/detail.html?announcementId=12008964
  8. And there we were all this time just calling him a prick ... http://vanguardbears.co.uk/ Conversational Implicature & A Not-So-Hidden Agenda Written by: NathanRobert86 Friday, 4th of July 2014 Oxford philosopher Paul Grice wrote at length about the way sentences in context can be used to communicate meanings which go beyond the strict meanings of the words deployed. That is, the information conveyed in a complex sentence is not simply a function of the words which make it up, but is heavily influenced by the background context of the utterance, and the way it is "framed" by the author. Put succinctly, we often use language to convey a meaning which goes beyond the words used, and must be inferred. Grice called this phenomenon "conversational implicature", and I think an understanding of the concept can go a long way to exposing the pernicious agenda of the mainstream Scottish media regarding Rangers. To begin, let me give you one of Grice's famous examples in order to illustrate the phenomenon in a more concrete manner. Imagine you are a Philosophy professor, and want to know whether a colleague's student is suitable for use as a teaching assistant. You ask the colleague, and they send you the following note in return: "Mr. X's command of English is excellent and his attendance at tutorials has been regular. Yours, etc." When contextualised as a note about a philosophy student, it is clear that what your colleague means to convey here is that the student isn't a particularly good philosopher – the traits highlighted in the note are not particularly relevant to being a good philosophy student – so the natural inference taken from the utterance is that the student is lacking in philosophical acumen, without the words actually saying as much. Now I shall move into territory relevant to Rangers. I argue that journalists are deliberately using conversational implicature to smear the club, while avoiding the controversy of a direct assault. To highlight this, I will look at Keith Jackson's June 10th Daily Record article entitled "Rangers directors hold showdown talks in London as they try to stave off more financial chaos at Ibrox". As I suspect most of you will be aware of, Mr. Jackson's use of emotionally charged language is not a mere coincidence. Understanding Grice's theory lets us understand why that is – Jackson is smearing Rangers by contextual implication. For example, take a look at the following passage: "RANGERS directors were locked in showdown talks in London yesterday as they attempt to stave off more financial chaos. Record Sport can reveal brothers Sandy and James Easdale travelled to meet with representatives of shareholders groups Blue Pitch Holdings and Margarita Holdings before staging further discussions with the rest of the Ibrox regime yesterday afternoon." Two phrases here are especially important because they are what I call "loaded" i.e. they are designed to evoke a particular connotation via use of emotional/politically controversial language: 1.Stave off more financial chaos 2.The Ibrox regime Jackson uses phrase 1 to imply that the club is in a catastrophic financial position, and that the relevant talks are merely a stop-gap measure designed to simply defer an inevitable financial collapse. Of special note here is the use of the word 'chaos', which catastrophises the situation without evidence. In phrase 2, the loaded word 'regime' is used to paint the directors and shareholders of the club as dictatorial and untrustworthy by its common usage as a descriptor of oppressive political institutions. Here is another important passage from the same article: "Meanwhile, generous fan George Letham, who stumped up £1m in emergency cash to keep the club out of trouble in February, has still not had his loan repaid." Here there are three loaded phrases which are designed to have a clear implication with regards to Rangers Football Club: 1.Generous fan 2.Emergency cash to keep the club out of trouble 3.Still not had his loan repaid In the context of the article, phrase 1 carries the implication that the Rangers board is taking advantage of the good nature of its innocent fans (i.e. He describes a 'generous' fan in the context of an institution he paints as financially devious). Phrase 2, and in particular the term 'emergency' is used by Jackson to reinforce the notion that Rangers are in a catastrophic financial position by means of its emotive force; despite the fact that no one outside of the board is privy to the reason the loan was actually secured. Phrase 3 follows on from 2, and implies, through use of the term 'still', that the club is untrustworthy and simply taking advantage of Mr. Letham for its own gain. The article in question, and the passages I attempted to break down are just a small sailing of what is a common theme in Scottish sports journalism with regards to Rangers Football club. That theme is the use of loaded phrases to paint Rangers in a decidedly negative light via Gricean implicature. That is, while writers like Jackson don't baldly state that the Rangers board are untrustworthy and taking advantage of the club's fans, they certainly imply it by deliberate use of words which carry a strong negative connotation. Put simply, the insertion of words loaded with a negative connotation within the context of Rangers Football club conveys an association of the former with the latter without having to directly state it. As such, the lesson I hope we can take from Grice – that phrases carry information beyond the mere meanings of the terms involved, provided by context and connotation – can and should be applied to our repertoire of tools used to critique the media. While the usual suspects may attempt to avoid critique by stating that they did not "say" that Rangers are [bankrupt, bigoted, untrustworthy etc...] they may very well be implicating the club in the manner described by Grice. And understanding one's enemy is the first step to defeating him. Be vigilant, and challenge what is suggested by miscreant journalists. Where there is a will there is a way.
  9. http://www.dailyrecord.co.uk/sport/football/football-news/rangers-investor-sandy-easdale-reported-3705160#.U58hYzngjDE.twitter[/A LEADING Rangers fan has reported Ibrox investor Sandy Easdale to the financial authorities over alleged insider dealing. Mark Dingwall, former spokesperson of the Rangers Supporters Trust, claims Easdale made a paper profit from buying shares on the back of knowledge in a statement to the BBC to which he should not have been privy. Dingwall, moderator of the followfollow fan website, has written to the Stock Exchange, Financial Conduct Authority and Rangers NOMAD Daniel Stewart asking them to investigate. In his correspondence, which has been seen by Record Sport. Dingwall also claims Easdale, who has a conviction for a £1.5 million VAT fraud, is effectively acting as a shadow director of Rangers International FC plc, the parent company of the football club. His brother James Easdale is a director of Rangers International, but Sandy is chairman only of the Rangers football board. Dingwall was prompted to act after Sandy described the club’s finances in a BBC interview on April 24 as “fragile” ahead of the release of the club’s eagerly-awaited 120 day business review. Dingwall has written: “I wish you to investigate the possibility that Mr Alexander James Easdale is acting as a shadow director of Rangers International Football Club Plc and has used knowledge derived from such a position to enrich himself via the buying of shares in the company. “Mr Easdale is a director of the wholly-owned subsidiary company, The Rangers Football Club Ltd, but with apparent access to RIFC Plc financial information. “He made a public statement on April 24 this year - prior to the 120-day business review issued the next day by RIFC - stating the financial position of the club was ‘fragile’. “Mr Easdale appears to have attended an RIFC Board meeting (and his brother is a member of the RIFC Plc Board) that day and certainly appears to have knowledge of the content of the commercially sensitive 120 Day Review prepared by the company. “On April 24 the share price was 26p. That day after he made his statement it fell to 22p. “Mr Easdale bought 57,043 shares at 23p on May 1. By May the 8 the price had recovered to 27p. “It is also noteworthy that Mr Easdale holds the voting rights to, but does not own, shares representing a further 22.10% of RIFC Plc. “I believe that, if he does have privileged financial information, those shareholders he holds proxies for may also have access to it or otherwise benefit from that knowledge.” At 23p, Easdale’s share purchase cost him £13,119.89 - £1,700 less than it would have on April 24. Had he chosen to sell the shares on May 1, when the price reached 27p, he would have made a profit of almost £2,300. Rangers and Sandy Easdale declined to comment.
  10. “There must be some kind of way outta here Said the joker to the thief There’s too much confusion I can’t get no relief Business men, they drink my wine Plowman dig my earth None were level on the mind Nobody up at his word” Where is it we are trying to get out of ? I would respectfully suggest a rock and a hard place. As many of you know I’m not often given to profanity – but quite simply – what an absolute clusterfeck. There is a civil war engulfing us with our boardroom the battleground. As in every conflict the collateral damage is considerable. On one side we have a board who have failed to impress, fail to convince the Rangers support they have our club’s best interests at heart and on the other side we have the challenger in the shape of Dave King, who appears to be being given considerable latitude in his own failings and lack of clarity, as a consequence of his previous investment in our club. And of course that collateral damage I referred to is manifesting itself not only in a season ticket boycott, but also in the form of a “protest shirt” whose purpose is to deliberately prevent incoming revenue from the sale of club merchandise. It’s easy to say that such ventures deprive the board of money and as anti-board protesters I’m sure that provides the conscience with a fairly robust moral platform for such action. But at what point does it not only deprive the board, but also our club and a manager wishing to strengthen a squad ? Having deliberately deprived the board of regular and essential revenue are we then to hold them to account for failing to enhance our playing squad ? Good Lord. Before anyone starts harbouring feelings of sympathy for the current board allow me to remind you of the 3 critical questions I tweeted about the other week, which as yet remain unanswered. 1. Why did our club have to secure additional funding after CEO Graham Wallace assured us only weeks earlier there was sufficient money in the account. 2. Why have the board not moved to dispel allegations by the Daily Record that our credit/debit card facility was removed re season tickets due to the financial incompetence of the board and not as was suggested in the review – due to threats of an imminent boycott. 3. Why does it appear the Rangers Football Board, or persons serving thereon, have the ability to overrule the PLC board, when circumstances dictate. At the forefront of much of the angst against the current board have been the Sons of Struth. Since its inception this group have campaigned on a platform of opposing any sale or leaseback of Ibrox Stadium. Perhaps this groups 3 original aims and objectives are worthy of a refresh. 1. Keep the stadium in the club’s name to avoid Coventry situation 2. Have clear accounts which prove the proper running of the club 3. Have a board that keep the club off the front pages and who themselves are beyond reproach. To date however the Sons of Struth have not shared with the wider support the circumstances which gave rise to their fears which suggested our stadium may be subject to a sale and leaseback. Why cant those demanding transparency of others lead by example ? Surely if there is evidence which suggests this current board are planning such an option for our stadium it is something which should be shared with the wider support not only made available to a select few ? In fact would the sharing of such information not in fact be in this group’s interests in convincing the undecided within our support of the unsuitability of the current board ? I have spoken previously of our need for our support to find an enthymeme – a point where there is common agreement and we can move on from. Surely the status and destiny of our 2 biggest assets – Ibrox and Auchenhowie – can provide such a point of common agreement. All along the watchtower Princes kept the view While all the women came and went Barefoot servants, too Outside in the cold distance A wildcat did growl Two riders were approaching And the wind began to howl How long before the Princes stop being onlookers, or begging for the scraps off the master’s table ? When will we start campaigning on behalf of ourselves and the vision and aspirations we have for our club instead of using our energies and efforts to do the bidding of others ? When will we realise that the way outta here is to take control of our own destiny, and rely upon ourselves rather than upon others ? As Buy Rangers, Rangers First and Vanguard Bears continue to do that which Dave King seems to find impossible – buy shares in our club – its becoming less and less a question of “if” but rather a question of “when” ? Many music critics have commented on how Dylan’s All Along the Watchtower mirrors the words of The Book Isaiah Chapter 21 :- Prepare the table, watch in the watchtower, eat, drink: arise ye princes, and prepare the shield./For thus hath the Lord said unto me, Go set a watchman, let him declare what he seeth./And he saw a chariot with a couple of horsemen, a chariot of asses, and a chariot of camels; and he hearkened diligently with much heed./…And, behold, here cometh a chariot of men, with a couple of horsemen. And he answered and said, Babylon is fallen, is fallen, and all the graven images of her gods he hath broken unto the ground. I truly hope I live to see the day when Babylon falls at our club.
  11. http://sport.stv.tv/football/clubs/rangers/275976-spfl-pay-broadcaster-up-to-250000-per-season-to-show-rangers-games/ The Scottish Professional Football League is contractually bound to pay BT Sport up to £250,000 per season in return for the broadcaster airing Rangers matches. STV understands that under the terms of a renegotiated TV deal following the removal of Rangers from the top flight in 2012, a clause was inserted making the league liable to additional production costs incurred setting up at lower league grounds. It is understood the league agreed to the insertion of the clause in order to guarantee broadcast contracts which were essentially null and void after Rangers were expelled from the then-Scottish Premier League and were subsequently admitted to the bottom tier of the Scottish Football League. The SPL paid the Scottish Football League £800,000 for one season's worth of rights to show Rangers games but that deal was absorbed when the league bodies merged in 2013. It is not known how much has been paid out to BT Sport and ESPN, who were the holders of the contract for the 2012/13 season, to date. The overall payment is capped at £250,000 per season. In a statement to STV, SPFL chief executive Neil Doncaster said: "The support given to Scottish football by our broadcast partners, in 2012 and since, has been fundamental to the ongoing health of the game in this country." It is understood the league thought it necessary to agree to the deal in order to protect revenue from broadcast contracts. Nevertheless, the revelations in short mean the SPFL pays a broadcaster in order for Rangers games to be shown on television. BT Sport said in a statement: “[We] were delighted to inherit the SPFL rights from ESPN at the beginning of this season, however we cannot comment on contractual details.”
  12. AT one point during a highly unsatisfactory and short-lived reign as Rangers chairman an increasingly exasperated Walter Smith made an observation to the directors of the club’s PLC board. It went something along the lines of: “I’ve lost more votes inside this f****** boardroom than I ever lost games out there on that pitch.” It was Smith’s way of saying he had reached the end of his tether. An admission the board over which he presided for little more than two months was dysfunctional beyond repair. But there was a deeper issue which troubled Smith to such an extent he felt compelled to do walking away. He had come to realise that, no matter what changes were made to the personnel around that table – even if there was a day when they all sing from the same hymn sheet – ultimately their voices would not be heard. It had become clear the board of the Rangers International Football Club PLC was not calling the shots inside Ibrox. Rather it was those who made up the so-called “football board” who were really in charge. This all-powerful football board is also known as Rangers FC Ltd. It was previously known as Sevco Scotland. Over two years it has been home to many a colourful character, including Charles Green, Imran Ahmad, Brian Stockbridge and more latterly, current chairman Sandy Easdale. Of them all, only Easdale has not sat on both boards. Then again brother James has been keeping that seat warm. Smith’s frustration with this entity became overwhelming. It’s understood even basic requests to see details of commercial contracts signed on the club’s behalf were repeatedly turned down flat. In other words it does what it wants. So perhaps what has gone on over the past few days inside Ibrox – as yet more splits and schisms have emerged – should come as no surprise at all. Last week, as season-ticket renewals continued to splutter along at an alarmingly slow rate, PLC chief executive Graham Wallace reached out to supporters groups with an olive branch. He invited them for peace talks knowing supporters wanted assurances neither Ibrox nor Murray Park would be pawned off to stop the club from plunging into a financial abyss. These discussions – which involved Wallace, Sandy Easdale and Norman Crighton – have backfired quite spectacularly. Blown to pieces by the obligatory bombardment of statement and counter statement. Claim and angry counter claim. A statement was issued by Rangers on Saturday which more or less accused their own fans of telling lies. As PR strategies go this might have left Gerald Ratner shaking his head in disbelief at its sheer crassness and stupidity. It read: “In some of our discussions with fans it was indicated that there was a wish for the board to confirm that our statement of intention not to grant security over Ibrox could become a commitment that would last for 12 months. “This has subsequently been discussed by the board and the board confirms that it will not be seeking to effect a sale and leaseback or grant security over Ibrox during that period of time.” While the inclusion of the words “over that period of time” will have raised more than a few eyebrows it was the complete omission of Murray Park which ought to worry the fans most of all. It now seems even more likely the club’s £14million training ground will be used to raise funds and keep this basket case of a club afloat. The statement said: “Whilst the board is reported to have offered legally binding undertakings during a fan group discussion in relation to Ibrox and Murray Park, this is not the case.” Late last night, bang on statement o’clock, the fan groups hit back by issuing their own withering media release. This one can also be filled in the box marked “Liar, Liar, Liar”. The Union of Fans insist it was Wallace’s proposal to offer up legally binding assurances Ibrox would not be flogged off as part of a sale and leaseback agreement or used as security against a cash loan. And the statement said: “Given what Mr Wallace proposed regarding Ibrox, we asked that the same arrangement be put in place to safeguard Murray Park from the same fate. “This was met by more substantial opposition from the board representatives, in particular Mr Easdale, who we would like to emphasise is not a PLC board member, and Mr Crighton. “They said they wished to retain ‘flexibility’ over Murray Park. However, by the end of the meeting they had also agreed to consider granting the same undertaking as the one they suggested for Ibrox. This, we were told, was also to be discussed at the PLC board meeting on Thursday, May 15.” The upshot of it all is those running Rangers now appear to be at war with those who claim to represent their supporters. At a time when the club needs season-ticket money urgently just to make it through the summer. And then there is Wallace, who now finds himself in the firing line of supporters and fellow directors alike. He has angered Easdale by trying to broker some sort of conciliatory agreement with the fans. And he has infuriated the supporters by failing to deliver on the deal. The CEO has already survived a whole series of hairy moments during his own short time at the club. Some of them ought to have been resignation issues. But if Wallace really has now lost the trust of the man at the top of the “football board” then it may only be a matter of time until he follows Smith out of that boardroom for good. http://www.dailyrecord.co.uk/sport/football/football-news/keith-jackson-graham-wallace-borrowed-3568105?utm_source=twitterfeed&utm_medium=twitter
  13. It is still 0-0 after 30odd minutes, Twitter feed here Starting line-up: Kelly Pascazio - Halkett - Gasparotto - Sinnamon Crawford - Hutton - Murdoch - Telfer Gallagher - Burrows Subs: Simonsen, Gibson, Stoney, Dykes, Ramsay, Roberts, Finnie
  14. Sunday Herald is first paper to back Scottish independence Saturday 3 May 2014 The Sunday Herald has become the first Scottish newspaper to support independence The paper declares its editorial position this weekend with a front page designed by Alasdair Gray, the famous artist, author and advocate of a Yes vote. In its editorial, the Sunday Herald states: ''Scotland is an ancient nation and a modern society. We understand the past, as best we can, and guess at the future. But history is as nothing to the lives of the children being born now, this morning, in the cities, towns and villages of this country. "On their behalf, we assert a claim to a better, more decent, more just future in which a country's governments will be ruled always by the decisions of its citizens.'' The paper supported the SNP in the 2007 and 2011 Scottish Parliament elections, but has said it will not automatically favour the SNP or other parties in its news reporting of the Yes campaign during the referendum, and will remain independent and balanced in its reports. The Herald & Times Group, publisher of the Sunday Herald, The Herald and the Evening Times, is giving the titles' editors freedom to take their own editorial position on the constitution. The company is non-political and neutral. The Herald has not declared an opinion on the referendum question. It will be up to its editor to decide when and if to do so. HeraldScotland incorporates content from both print titles and also publishes a balanced range of online-only articles relating to the referendum. Our readers' forum is a neutral commenting facility and our moderating team will remain impartial in the independence debate. To read the Sunday Herald editorial in full, buy tomorrow's print edition or come back to HeraldScotland from early on Sunday
  15. Firstly allow me to clarify something – the content of this blog and the information shared is done so with the express permission of the Union of Fans – following a full and frank discussion between myself and Chris Graham. Those who are interested in the finer details and legal aspects of the Season Ticket Trust are probably going to be disappointed; any queries you have will have to wait until the ST Trust website is up and operational. What I did ask however was this: If the board acquiesce to UOF demands who will then hold first charge/security on the stadium rights to our club ? The answer, as many undoubtedly suspected, is Dave King and Richard Gough, under the auspice of Dave King’s new company, Ibrox 1972 Ltd. Quite simply as far as The UOF are concerned it all boils down to a question of trust, and they trust King more, far more, than they do the current board. It is all hypothetical of course, dependent on their scheme being successful, the Rangers board acquiescing to their demands and relinquishing the security for both stadium and Auchenhowie. Many will have realised by now this would mean handing over the security of our club’s 2 biggest assets to 2 men who currently are not even shareholders in our club. They will not be accountable to the board or to shareholders, which at least in theory, is the current status quo. I hope for the sake of our club, should this scenario ever come to fruition, that the UOF have exercised sound judgement in their assessment of Dave King, otherwise it will qualify as a blunder on a scale of magnitude with the ill-fated Men of Troy. As the current board and King, with their respective aide-de-camps, battle vigorously for not only our hearts and minds, but also our season ticket monies, the whole debate has become extremely polarised, the language and tone war like, with little opportunity for either constructive or conciliatory dialogue. The problem is however that the dominant voices in the debate do not necessarily reflect the feelings of our support. Keith Jackson touched on this last week in an article when he referred to the silent majority of the Rangers support – the ones who have no interest in off-field politics and whose sole interest is turning up each week to see the Rangers. Furthermore the polarisation of the situation and debate fails to take cognisance of fans who have no confidence in the current board but who are equally unenamoured by Dave King. Rather than choose between the two best prospective candidates it is more akin to choosing the lesser of 2 evils. A particularly sad indictment of where we currently are as a club. To date, the considerable failings of governance by our current board which I highlighted in a previous blog, remain unresolved. In particular the veracity of the 120 day review remains under question as a consequence of claims by the Daily Record regarding the withdrawal of credit and debit card provision. Before we file these claims as the ranting of a “Rangers hating rhag” perhaps we should check the filing cabinet – look under “BBC & Craig Whyte”. I can only re-iterate the warning of a previous blog – we cannot afford to make the same mistakes of the past. A few have commented on the madness of the situation facing us as a support. With trepidation, and a tinge of embarrassment, I quote from Dan Brown’s book Inferno, “Madness breeds madness” The Rangers support should bookmark this moment in time, with its paucity of choice, for a future date, when next we sit down with any conviction to consider the merits of fan ownership.
  16. http://www.dailyrecord.co.uk/sport/football/football-news/police-probe-launched-after-rangers-3464370 Forgive me, but I think things have just taken a particularly unedifying turn for the worse.
  17. RECORD SPORT can reveal the league’s top brass have ordered an urgent investigation into an alleged rule breach in Killie's 3-0 defeat to Celtic at Rugby Park last month. KILMARNOCK could be plunged into crisis with the SPFL set to probe a claim that a staff member forged a player’s signature in order to play him against Celtic. Record Sport can reveal the league’s top brass have ordered an urgent investigation into the alleged rule breach which relates to the champions’ 3-0 win at Rugby Park last month. And, if 
found guilty, Killie could be hammered with a range of sanctions including a possible points deduction which could condemn Allan Johnston’s team to a nerve shredding relegation play-off. It could also provide a Premiership lifeline to 
St Mirren, Ross County, Hibs and Partick Thistle and save them from going down. SPFL chief executive Neil Doncaster refused to comment last night when Record Sport contacted him about the dramatic developments. But we can confirm Doncaster has been briefed about the accusations of 
foul play and has personally ordered a 
full-scale inquiry. The SPFL have not yet established which player is at the centre of the allegations. It’s understood 
the SPFL probe will 
consider a claim that a Kilmarnock office worker witnessed another staff member forging the player’s signature in the lead up to a game against Celtic last month that the champions won 3-0. It is alleged that 
the SPFL contacted Kilmarnock to alert them to the fact that a player’s signature was missing from a page of paperwork and that, unless it was submitted, the player could not be registered in time for the game in question. It’s then claimed 
the missing signature was added but not by the player. And – if this accusation is proven to be correct – then Kilmarnock could face the prospect of a points penalty which would almost certainly tip Johnston’s team into the dreaded play-offs. The SPFL’s rule book demands that member clubs act in the utmost good faith at all times. But Doncaster’s team will also investigate whether a more specific rule break, relating to registration of player’s regulation 72 which states: “Any Club which, in the opinion of the Board, unfairly traffics or deals in the Registration of any Player or otherwise abuses in any way the Registration, transfer, or Compensation systems shall be dealt with as the Board may determine.” A source told us: “A wide range of sanctions, ranging from a slap on the wrist to expulsion, would be open to the SPFL board if these allegations are found to be true. But in this instance a points deduction would be 
one of the more likely outcomes. “Points deductions would normally be considered if a club played an ineligible player – even if it was simply down to an honest mistake with paperwork. “But in this case, it could be argued that the club not only fielded an ineligible player but also that a deliberate attempt was made to deceive the SPFL office bearers. If that were to be the case then it would be treated as a very serious matter.” It’s understood the complaint was also made to club chairman Michael Johnston who pledged to carry out an internal investigation. Record Sport attempted to contact a spokesperson for Kilmarnock but no-one from the club was available to comment. http://www.dailyrecord.co.uk/sport/football/football-news/kilmarnock-scottish-professional-football-league-3449000
  18. RANGERS are behaving as though their 120-day business review will have to be crowbarred out of their directors' hands. The more cynical of this club's supporters would not be surprised if the update was delivered in encrypted text this Friday, such has been the apparent reluctance to let the findings out into the public domain. Friday will be day 128, incidentally, and all that has been promised is "update" rather than any extensive illumination of the Ibrox strategy. This is what football has come to: thousands of fans desperately waiting for breaking news on what they would once have dismissed as bone-dry financial strategies. Maybe Graham Wallace, the chief executive, didn't realise he was creating such a hostage to fortune when he announced this business review at the annual general meeting in December, but its significance has mushroomed Directors and fans are in a Mexican stand-off over season tickets. If Wallace placates the masses, damage will be done to the Union of Fans/Dave King attempt to persuade thousands to break the traditional supply chain and instead put their money into a trust fund. But on all available evidence so far it's hard to see what Wallace can deliver which will remotely placate them. Wallace is probably shrewd enough to know what's coming his way when the information is released. In the four months since he bought himself time by announcing this review, Rangers have divested themselves of two figures most of the support considered to be toxic: finance director Brian Stockbridge and public relations adviser Jack Irvine. The club also secured a shirt sponsorship deal with 32Red. Hip, hip hurrays all round? Well, yes, for a moment. Each of those moves was significant, yet they have had no lasting effect on the swirl of negativity around Rangers or the hostility and suspicion shown towards the board. Wallace's own popularity and standing has steadily eroded. At the time of the annual meeting supporters were able to distinguish between him and the rest of the unpopular board. Now, much less so. What can he say in this review that will make the critics pause and say, "actually, yeah, that's not bad, this could win us round"? Three days ago it became personal towards Wallace when his salary and bonus was openly questioned by supporters group The Union of Fans. Maybe £315,000-per-annum really is the going rate for high end football club chief executives these days, although Rangers continue to seem like pushovers when it comes to doing deals with just about anyone. But if Wallace is on another of those 100% Ibrox bonus deals, as his critics clearly believe, fans will see him as being a continuation of the chain of ****s and opportunists when they had hoped he would come in and cleanse the club of them all. What seems likely now is that Wallace's update will exasperate and irritate those fans further, hardening their opposition to the board and deepening their resolve to starve out the incumbent regime by withholding season ticket money. The collapse of King's cordial working relationship with the directors is significant, given that he surely had some sort of insight into Wallace's intended strategy. Positions are entrenched. No fair-minded supporter will reject Wallace's findings on a stubborn point-of-principle. Perhaps he will surprise them and come up with a plan which seems imaginative, ambitious and realistic. But it's only two months since this Rangers board had to go cap in hand for £1.5m in emergency loans just to see the club over the line until the next season-ticket money. At the end of last year the board suggested the players take a 15% wage cut: that was rejected and, since then, nothing more has been heard of it and no other cuts have been publicly proposed. Wallace is on record as saying costs are too high. Money continues to haemorrhage from Rangers. If Wallace's update acknowledges that the club needs either severe cuts or substantial external investment then the latter will be embraced by those who champion King and find it unfathomable, and deeply suspicious, that his apparent willingness to invest has not been encouraged by the Rangers board. What freedom does Wallace have here? This review has been sanctioned by Sandy and James Easdale and the rest of the Rangers board. Would it ever see the light of day if it delivered findings they didn't like? When Rangers said the update would be announced on Friday April 25 (which will be day 127, incidentally), fans immediately clocked that they would have only the weekend to consider it before deciding whether or not to cancel the auto-renewal of their season-tickets (which may not be enough time if it that has to be done in writing). That was either a calculating move by the club or an unthinking one, but either way it looked sleekit and did nothing to build bridges with the support. Wallace and chairman David Somers have both spoken of the need to be more open and transparent with )supporters but done next to nothing to back it up. Wallace will be heard before the week is out, though. His job may pay well, but it's an unenviable one: this week he must calm and win over supporters implacably opposed to the regime he represents. http://www.heraldscotland.com/sport/opinion/wallaces-strategy-update-may-be-too-late-to-win-over-rangers-fans.24005492?utm_source=headlines&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=email%2Balert
  19. FORMER Rangers manager the late Jock Wallace was one of Scottish football's best known and successful coaches but after leaving Rangers he endured a challenging relationship with his old club. SNS Group Former manager Jock Wallace gets a rousing reception from the Ibrox crowd.JOCK WALLACE won 10 trophies and two Trebles in his two spells as manager of Rangers. It was a haul that made him a hero in the eyes of the Ibrox support long after his second stint ended in 1986. Wallace never spoke about his reasons for leaving Ibrox weeks after delivering the Treble in 1978. Nor did he publicly voice his dismay at being sacked in 1986 before short spells at Sevilla and Colchester brought his grand career to an end. But there was one incident – on Saturday, April 2 1988 – that cut big Jock to the core – the day he was escorted out of Ibrox by stewards. Rangers had lost 2-1 to Hearts and Wallace was standing outside the Blue Room looking for chief executive David Holmes. He was approached by a red-faced commissionaire, who said: “Excuse me, but I have been instructed to escort you off the premises.” Wallace asked the security man to repeat what he had just said and he did, word for word. Wallace replied with the question which under normal circumstances is the preserve of those of an egotistical nature – but on this occasion it was fully justified. He said: “Do you know who I am?” The commissionaire replied: “Yes, Mr Wallace, I do.” Wallace asked who had given him his instructions, and he replied “Mr Hood” – referring to Rangers’ operations executive Alastair Hood although he was conspicuous by his absence at that moment. A furious Wallace marched up to the members’ lounge and told his wife Daphne they were leaving. The irony was assistant manager Walter Smith had left complimentary tickets for Wallace and his wife. When the match finished he was making his way to the top of the marble staircase to head home when he was stopped by a steward and asked to look in to the members’ lounge. There he met the comedian Mr Abie, former player Billy Semple and a host of other long-standing friends. He stood chatting for 10 minutes, while Daphne did the same with a group of old friends. Wallace decided then to seek out Ally McCoist, who hadn’t played due to injury, and made his way to the Players’ Lounge. He met Terry Butcher, who told him Coisty was still in the dressing room. Big Jock then met the club’s vice chairman Jack Gillespie who took him by the arm and led him to one of the executive suites. Everything was relaxed and friendly and Gillespie took him down to the foyer where he asked if McCoist was around. Wallace stood chatting to Sandy Clark, Davie McPherson, Davie Cooper and McCoist. After a few minutes, he went back up the marble stairs, intending to return to the Members’ Lounge. But bumped into Willie Waddell and his wife, and a few other familiar old faces. Again he enjoyed renewing old acquaintances. He checked to seeif his wife was okay then went back out into the foyer to see if he could find Holmes. It was at that moment that he was approached by the commissionaire and thrown out of his beloved Ibrox. The only thing on his mind was getting the hell out of there. He shouted on Daphne and told her they were leaving. She knew that something was amiss and asked why the rush. Daily Record Jock Wallace in the Rangers trophy room Wallace said: “I’ve just been told to leave the premises and that’s what we’re doing.” Wallace was then reportedly forced to endure the humiliation of walking through the Members’ Lounge in front of so many people he knew, under escort, on his way out the door. Later, he said: “I have never been so angry or disgusted with anything in my life. “I was flaming mad and felt so sorry for my wife, who had been such a help to me in my days at Ibrox. She didn’t deserve this. She was shattered when I told her why we were leaving.” Wallace drove straight home and took his phone off the hook. He was in no mood to talk. He said: “I knew more than anyone there are no-go areas inside Ibrox but I had been invited into one of these areas by the vice-chairman. “I thought it had all been an awful mistake – a blunder if you like.” Ironically, a few days later, Wallace was given complimentary tickets for a Celtic match by his old adversary Billy McNeill and enjoyed the banter with the Hoops fans. The teasing was relentless but good natured. Wallace replied “I’ve been flung out of better places than this” – referring to his exit from Ibrox – and the Celtic supporters loved it. Wallace always steadfastly refused to criticise Rangers, even when he was sacked in 1986. But this was different and he was in no mood to protect the club after such a humiliating experience. More than a month had passed when Wallace decided to speak out. Perhaps he hoped that an apology would have been forthcoming. When it wasn’t, he said: “Until now I’ve kept my mouth shut, but my anger will not go away and I don’t think it ever will. “I will never again ask Rangers for a ticket for a match. I’ve supported the club since I was a kid. “I was a founder member of the Tranent Rangers Supporters’ Club in 1952. “I’ve visited supporters’ clubs all over the world and have honorary memberships in places like Melbourne and Toronto. “I have never criticised Rangers but I cannot ignore the dreadful treatment of Daph. “They may have thrown me out of Ibrox but they won’t stop me watching Rangers. “I took Daph, my daughter and her fiance and his parents to a match with Aberdeen at Ibrox and paid £30 at the turnstiles. “The guy at the gate said: “Mr Wallace, you should never pay to see Glasgow Rangers.” Never a truer word was spoken. http://www.dailyrecord.co.uk/sport/football/football-news/jock-wallace-rangers-legend-left-3434821?
  20. Chaps, I'm not looking to troll or create tension here, but for the life of me I can't work out why any bear can trust or support the current board. I've seen nothing from the board that can help balance up my own feelings and each passing week sees more shit rolled at supporters. So, in the spirit of good debate, what are the good points of the board which gets them support, albeit a small minority, but support all the same from fellow Bears. What are the positives from board.
  21. I am hearing that both Keevins and Guidi have been rationalised, let go, elbowed, received their jotters, .................... etc from the Mirror Group. More to follow.
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