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  1. rbr

    Rangers first

    Great day for the Rangers first schemem , now sitting at over 2170 members , superb , hopefully this is just the start , I know there is an off line campaign starting soon which has been funded by separate donations.
  2. PRIOR, who owns more shares than current director James Easdale, says he has no confidence in the competence or motives of the current board and is backing Douglas Park's consortium. IBROX investor Kieran Prior last night backed the Three Bears and urged them to throw every deal ever signed with Sports Direct in the dustbin. Prior broke his silence on the way forward for the cash-strapped club as he declared his shareholding to the Stock Exchange in the aftermath of the takeover bid by Robert Sarver. Prior owns more than one million shares, 1.35 per cent of the club, almost twice as many as current plc director James Easdale and more even than Ally McCoist. He allowed his stake in his boyhood favourites to be diluted after the last share issue in August because he was “unwilling to continue funding people clearly not fit to run the club”. However, his current shareholding is not for sale and he is keen to invest again in future, so long as Rangers are under the stewardship of those he feels has its best interests at heart. That’s why he’s backing George Taylor, George Letham and Douglas Park, as well as Dave King, as he offered a withering assessment of those currently in control, including Newcastle owner Mike Ashley. Prior said: “I’ve yet to meet the three new investors but I’m happy to throw my hat in with them because their credentials as men with the best interests of Rangers at heart is impeccable. “I’ve been in email contact with Dave King, an astute operator. He now has what he wanted – a stake in the club without funding the incompetence of current boardroom incumbents. Fair play to him. “I do not trust the people in control of the boardroom. Their unpopularity with the fans sets alarm bells ringing and their willingness to take shortcuts at every turn is a dreadful example of corporate governance. “I have no intention of ever backing them. Nothing they can say or do will change that. I will be voting with the fans to help re-shape the future of the club. “Rangers need a board that’s financially astute, of good business sense and logical – and they don’t have it at the moment. Hopefully, if the Three Bears and King take control the first thing they will do is hire forensic financial analysts to understand where money has been mis-spent and when the interests of individual shareholders appear to have been put before those of the wider club ownership. “I’d start with Ashley’s Sports Direct deals and if they are as ridiculous as reported I’d tear them up, throw them in the bin - and tell him to sue us and we’ll see him in court. “I’d rather not spend money on legal costs at all but if it came down to forking out £411,000 from Sports Direct on shirts the club can never sell, or on barristers and QCs to argue against those contracts in court, I know where I’d invest. “If these deals are not legally questionable – and we should seek counsel to establish if they are – then they are certainly morally repugnant. “Ashley has been mortally damaged in the eyes of fans by his own actions. The games he has played with the stadium naming rights and advertising are a nonsense. “He also appears to have reneged on obligations under dual interest rules, which is somewhat insulting to the SFA. Rangers have been punished too much by the football authorities as it is. “If he comes back to me on that, tough. I’m combative by nature – let’s get the contracts out in court where they can be examined openly and transparently. “I still don’t know why the current board haven’t resigned and the Easdales haven’t walked away. They know the value of the club would rise if they quit. “If all they want is a blazer and a seat in the Blue Room it’s disgusting. Those are not the actions of a real plc board.” Prior arrived on the scene 18 months ago and promised to look under the bonnet and, if he liked what he saw, he would invest further. Suffice to say, he didn’t see a Rolls-Royce engine. Manchester-born and London based, the former Goldman Sachs trader has spent much of the past 12 months in California, working on the launch of a multi-million dollar software firm. He rejected overtures from Brian Stockbridge to become a pivotal player on the board. He added: “He offered me board membership, all informally, when Craig Mather was chief executive. I thought Mather might have been a decent operator but maybe I was wrong. “I didn’t trust Stockbridge. I wasn’t going to try to polish his turd. I won’t be associated with anything that’s not world class. I don’t want a blazer for the sake of a blazer. “It’s important I clarify my position to supporters. I’ll continue to support good people running Rangers. “I’m intrigued by the emergence of Robert Sarver. If he wants to buy the club and elect a legitimate board that’s honest and transparent, then fine. “However, I do believe George Taylor, George Letham and Douglas Park are the best way forward. Dave King will be a key figure too. He has had issues with the authorities in South Africa but his net worth speaks for itself. “If Rangers are in good hands I’ll also increase my own holding.”
  3. ...and says 'Throw all the Sports Direct deals in the bin'. PRIOR, who owns more shares than current director James Easdale, says he has no confidence in the competence or motives of the current board and is backing Douglas Park's consortium. IBROX investor Kieran Prior last night backed the Three Bears and urged them to throw every deal ever signed with Sports Direct in the dustbin. Prior broke his silence on the way forward for the cash-strapped club as he declared his shareholding to the Stock Exchange in the aftermath of the takeover bid by Robert Sarver. Prior owns more than one million shares, 1.35 per cent of the club, almost twice as many as current plc director James Easdale and more even than Ally McCoist. He allowed his stake in his boyhood favourites to be diluted after the last share issue in August because he was “unwilling to continue funding people clearly not fit to run the club”. However, his current shareholding is not for sale and he is keen to invest again in future, so long as Rangers are under the stewardship of those he feels has its best interests at heart. That’s why he’s backing George Taylor, George Letham and Douglas Park, as well as Dave King, as he offered a withering assessment of those currently in control, including Newcastle owner Mike Ashley. Prior said: “I’ve yet to meet the three new investors but I’m happy to throw my hat in with them because their credentials as men with the best interests of Rangers at heart is impeccable. “I’ve been in email contact with Dave King, an astute operator. He now has what he wanted – a stake in the club without funding the incompetence of current boardroom incumbents. Fair play to him. “I do not trust the people in control of the boardroom. Their unpopularity with the fans sets alarm bells ringing and their willingness to take shortcuts at every turn is a dreadful example of corporate governance. “I have no intention of ever backing them. Nothing they can say or do will change that. I will be voting with the fans to help re-shape the future of the club. “Rangers need a board that’s financially astute, of good business sense and logical – and they don’t have it at the moment. Hopefully, if the Three Bears and King take control the first thing they will do is hire forensic financial analysts to understand where money has been mis-spent and when the interests of individual shareholders appear to have been put before those of the wider club ownership. “I’d start with Ashley’s Sports Direct deals and if they are as ridiculous as reported I’d tear them up, throw them in the bin - and tell him to sue us and we’ll see him in court. “I’d rather not spend money on legal costs at all but if it came down to forking out £411,000 from Sports Direct on shirts the club can never sell, or on barristers and QCs to argue against those contracts in court, I know where I’d invest. “If these deals are not legally questionable – and we should seek counsel to establish if they are – then they are certainly morally repugnant. “Ashley has been mortally damaged in the eyes of fans by his own actions. The games he has played with the stadium naming rights and advertising are a nonsense. “He also appears to have reneged on obligations under dual interest rules, which is somewhat insulting to the SFA. Rangers have been punished too much by the football authorities as it is. “If he comes back to me on that, tough. I’m combative by nature – let’s get the contracts out in court where they can be examined openly and transparently. “I still don’t know why the current board haven’t resigned and the Easdales haven’t walked away. They know the value of the club would rise if they quit. “If all they want is a blazer and a seat in the Blue Room it’s disgusting. Those are not the actions of a real plc board.” Prior arrived on the scene 18 months ago and promised to look under the bonnet and, if he liked what he saw, he would invest further. Suffice to say, he didn’t see a Rolls-Royce engine. Manchester-born and London based, the former Goldman Sachs trader has spent much of the past 12 months in California, working on the launch of a multi-million dollar software firm. He rejected overtures from Brian Stockbridge to become a pivotal player on the board. He added: “He offered me board membership, all informally, when Craig Mather was chief executive. I thought Mather might have been a decent operator but maybe I was wrong. “I didn’t trust Stockbridge. I wasn’t going to try to polish his turd. I won’t be associated with anything that’s not world class. I don’t want a blazer for the sake of a blazer. “It’s important I clarify my position to supporters. I’ll continue to support good people running Rangers. “I’m intrigued by the emergence of Robert Sarver. If he wants to buy the club and elect a legitimate board that’s honest and transparent, then fine. “However, I do believe George Taylor, George Letham and Douglas Park are the best way forward. Dave King will be a key figure too. He has had issues with the authorities in South Africa but his net worth speaks for itself. “If Rangers are in good hands I’ll also increase my own holding.” http://www.dailyrecord.co.uk/sport/football/football-news/rangers-investor-kieran-prior-backs-4937812
  4. Rangers board in crisis talks after emergency £500,000 loan Roddy Forsyth explains the ongoing power struggle at Rangers between Mike Ashley, Dave King and the Three Bears, and Phoenix Suns owner Robert Sarver Email Ibrox - Rangers power struggle takes new twist after Mike Ashley loses key ally in his quest for Ibrox boardroom coup Battleground: The battle for power at Ibrox took a new twist on new year's eve Photo: PA Roddy Forsyth By Roddy Forsyth11:19AM GMT 05 Jan 2015Comments27 Comments In a day of high drama at Ibrox the Rangers board is negotiating under severe pressure to save the club from financial meltdown for the second time in three years. The plc directors are frantically trying to strike a deal with the investor alliance of Dave King – a former Rangers director – and the Three Bears consortium, who last week scooped up available shares in an audacious raid. The astonishing development followed Telegraph Sport’s disclosure last night that the unpopular Ibrox regime had reached a crisis, which was confirmed today when the club’s board announced to the Stock Exchange that they had accepted an emergency loan of £500,000 from its football chairman, Sandy Easdale, to stay afloat for another few days. The Telegraph had revealed that a major announcement to the LSE was imminent, in respect of Rangers’ parlous economic situation. The trigger was a bill from HMRC for payment of National Insurance, under threat of a petition by the tax authority for the club to be placed into administration if the account was not settled immediately. Easdale’s loan is secured on the fee – believed to be £1 million - obtained from Brentford for the transfer of the highly rated 20-year-old midfielder, Lewis Macleod. When Rangers confirmed MacLeod’s sale to the Stock Exchange on Friday, the announcement said that the proceeds would “be used for immediate working capital”. The announcement of Easdale’s loan stated that the £500,000 would “be used by the Company for general working capital purposes over the next few days”. The statement added that the loan had been offered and accepted “on a fee and interest free basis and it will be secured against the income from the sale of player announced on 2 January 2015”. Related Articles Rangers board to lose power unless Mike Ashley steps in to save directors Rangers board to lose power unless Ashley steps in 04 Jan 2015 Rangers' squad could be decimated in January 01 Jan 2015 Rangers supporters’ group urges fans to displace Ashley 03 Jan 2015 Ashley's plan to own Rangers hits buffers 02 Jan 2015 Even as the Rangers board sought an agreement to avoid the club's collapse, however, a statement from Sandy Easdale's PR advisor, Jack Irvine, brought a sharp retort from King. Commenting on Easdale's secured funding deal, Irvine said: "Once again Sandy has stepped up to the plate with this half million pound loan from his own pocket. Whilst we welcomed the recent share purchases by Dave King and Douglas Park and his consortium, this unfortunately did not put any funds into the club. "Sandy was the only option for this cash injection at such short notice. The Easdale family remain totally committed to achieving a satisfactory financial future for Rangers and they hope all parties can work together in the future with that common goal."Given that Sandy Easdale rejected new funds and was a chief architect in getting the club into this mess, lending a small amount of money is the minimum he should have done. As part restitution he should make the £500,000 a donation rather than a loan." King retorted angrily and told Telegraph Sport: " The situation whereby a short-term loan of working capital is secured on recently obtained and desperately needed working capital is not only designed to stave off immediate administration, but also to keep the club afloat while the directors try to salvage what they can before surrendering to what now looks like an inevitable takeover by the fan-friendly axis of King and the Three Bears. However, three possibilities are in play. One – currently looking the least likely - is that Mike Ashley will come to the board’s rescue, having secured control over the appointment of two directors in return for £3 million of emergency funding in October. However, the Newcastle United owner had previously tried to negotiate with the Scottish Football Association to increase his stake at Ibrox from 8.92% to 29.9% but was refused by the governing body, who insisted that he should comply with his written undertaking not to go above 10%. The second option is an £18 million takeover offer from Robert Sarver, owner of Phoenix Suns basketball club. That offer was also notified to the Stock Exchange at the start of business this morning. Again, Telegraph Sport led the way in revealing that there had been conversations between Sarver’s advisers and those connected with the Three Bears consortium of wealthy shareholders, who have bought a substantial tranche of Rangers shares, as has the former Ibrox director, Dave King. Rangers’ second Stock Exchange statement today read: “The Company notes recent press speculation and confirms that it has received an approach from Robert Sarver (or a vehicle to be established and controlled by him) ("Mr Sarver") that may or may not lead to an offer being made for the Company. “There can be no certainty that an offer will be made, nor as to the terms on which an offer may be made. A further announcement is expected shortly.” Takeover rules mean that Sarver has until 5pm on February 2 to confirm or withdraw his offer, which is worth £18 million and designed to give him complete control of the club’s equity. Again, there are difficulties with this proposal. As the Telegraph disclosed, Sarver has an interest in investing in European football clubs, as opposed to a strategy based solely on a single outfit such as Rangers. A full equity bid would take time to implement, even if it found favour with the majority of investors. When King placed an offer of £16 million in October – the deal rejected by the Rangers plc board in favour of Ashley’s short term fix of loans – it was in the form of a debt and equity mix that would have lent the club sufficient money to keep it going through the takeover process. Another problem for Sarver is that, taken together, the recent share purchases by King and the Three Bears – Douglas Park, George Letham and George Taylor – constitute a little over 34% of Rangers’ stock. They have been pledged support by other disenchanted investors and have also been allocated proxy votes. The King/Three Bears axis know that they can now call upon sufficient support to outdistance the Ashley/Easdale camp by a significant margin. Having got themselves into such a favourable position they are not inclined to stand aside for Sarver although they have, as would be expected, let it be known that they will happily have him on board as a like-minded investor. This is well short of Sarver’s original intent of attaining complete control of Rangers before looking elsewhere to acquire other football interests. One obvious objection to that as a long-term strategy is that it would infringe the same dual-ownership regulations that have prompted a disciplinary complaint against Ashley by the SFA. In any case, time is now the pressing enemy of all the contending parties. If the club runs out of cash and is forced to enter administration for the second time in three years Rangers will be consigned to a fourth successive season in the lower leagues – a prospect feared by the Scottish football authorities as well as other clubs who would benefit financially from their return to the top tier, as a consequence of better sponsorship and broadcast deals than are currently available. Rangers are again teetering on the edge of a financial precipice as the principal personalities jostle on the brink to establish who will be thrust over to the rocks below - and who will be left standing to inherit whatever remains of this once immensely proud and respected club.
  5. RST Statement on Share Purchases The RST is delighted with the news of the past few days which now sees around 35% of the club’s ownership in the hands of trusted, Rangers’ supporting businessmen. With the shareholdings of the RST, other fans and individuals such as Ally McCoist, Walter Smith and Malcolm Murray, we believe that we are inching closer to the point where those who care about the club can command a 51%+ shareholding. However, now is not the time to rest on our laurels. The club requires significant investment beyond the money that fans already contribute via season ticket and matchday income. It is our firm belief that the fans have a huge part to play not only in supporting the club financially but also overseeing its well-being through a substantial shareholding. RST board member and Buy Rangers contributor, George Letham, is amongst those who have taken a large holding in the club. We will continue to work closely with him, George Taylor, Douglas Park and Dave King in an effort to rebuild Rangers on and off the park. We believe that the time has come for grass roots fans to shape the direction of our club along with wealthier supporters. As part of the Union of Fans, and independently, we have campaigned long and hard for change. That campaign has not always been easy and tough decisions have been taken, but at every step along the way we did what we believe is right for Rangers. We are extremely proud of having stood side by side with those determined to force change under extremely difficult circumstances. The RST is 100% committed to a successful Rangers, run for the benefit of the Rangers community and not nameless shareholders and their representatives. To achieve that we need the help of every Rangers supporter. We appeal to everyone with Rangers at heart to join the RST and work with us and wealthier fans to build a strong and vibrant community around our club – a community that can make sure that the damage done to the club over the past few years is never repeated. Please visit http://www.therst.co.uk and join us. Let’s get to that magical 51% mark and take our club back. - See more at: http://www.therst.co.uk/news/rst-statement-on-share-purchases/#sthash.edhZcxVV.dpuf
  6. I am seeing a rumour that Dave King has purchased Artemis shares "Dave King has purchased just under 12 million shares from Artemis. Equates to 14.57% of club."
  7. That McCoist will be given his job back as manager? The thought of it fills me with dread
  8. http://www.londonstockexchange.com/exchange/prices-and-markets/stocks/exchange-insight/trade-data.html?fourWayKey=GB00B90T9Z75GBGBXASQ1
  9. ...after Mike Ashley loses key ally in his quest for Ibrox boardroom coup. Battle for power at Ibrox sees significant shift after Three Bears consortium acquires the largest single equity block in the troubled club. By Roddy Forsyth 6:17PM GMT 31 Dec 2014 Mike Ashley has lost the ally whose support was crucial to his boardroom coup at Rangers. The significant shift in power at Ibrox came on a day of share trading which saw the Three Bears consortium acquire the largest single equity block in the beleaguered club. The consortium’s purchase of 13.29 million shares from Laxey Partners ends a two-year long involvement at Ibrox by the hedge fund, which is registered in the Isle of Man. The Three Bears – wealthy supporters Douglas Park, George Letham and George Taylor – have also tabled an offer of £6.5 million to underwrite a share issue designed to raise £8 million and head off an imminent funding crisis. Without Laxey, Ashley could not have removed Graham Wallace, the former chief executive, and Philip Nash, the former finance director, in the coup that gave the Newcastle United owner effective control of the Rangers board. Wallace and Nash were the only two members of the five man plc board – the others were chairman David Somers, James Easdale and Laxey nominee, Norman Crighton – who had prior experience as executives at football clubs. Wallace and Nash judged that it was not in Rangers’ financial interest to accept an offer from Ashley in September of loan funding in return for control of such assets as the club’s crest and trademark. Ashley took his revenge by purchasing shares privately to increase his stake in the club to 8.92 per cent, having pulled back from underwriting an August share issue designed to ease Rangers’ cash flow. When the next financial shortfall became apparent, Ashley made his move – detailed by Telegraph Sport on October 8 – by demanding an extraordinary general meeting to remove Wallace and Nash. To succeed, Ashley required the support of Sandy Easdale, the football club chairman, whose personal stake of 6.21 per cent of shares was added to his position as proxy for others, including Blue Pitch Holdings and Margarita Funds Holding Trust, to give him control over a block of 27.15 per cent of the shareholding. Along with Ashley’s shareholding, this amounted to 36.07 per cent, well short of the majority required to win the vote at an EGM. However, with the support of Laxey, Ashley could command 52.39 per cent to ensure the removal of Wallace and Nash. At first Laxey – led by investment bankers, Colin Kingsnorth and Andrew Pegge – supported the two executives. With Crighton on the board, the anti-Ashley faction held a 3-2 majority. It was at this time that Somers sent the now notorious email revealed by Telegraph Sport last week. In the email, Somers pleaded with an Ashley representative to keep Ashley’s takeover bid on track, because the board was minded to favour a rival offer from former Rangers director Dave King, whose success would put an end to the chairman’s tenure. However, Telegraph Sport can also disclose that Crighton went on holiday later on October and, in his absence, pressure was put on Laxey to support Ashley’s offer of £2 million emergency funding (later increased to £3 million) in return for two board seats, which became available when Wallace and Nash were removed. Crighton, the last of the old board, resigned on December 10. At the turbulent annual general meeting staged at Ibrox on December 22, at least one major shareholder – thought to be Laxey – voted against Somers’ re-election as chairman. Acquisition of the Laxey block has put the Three Bears in a position of significant strength at Ibrox and the consortium is now the largest single holder of Rangers shares. While Sandy Easdale is still allied with Ashley, he and the billionaire owner of the Sports Direct retail chain – through which Rangers’ merchandise is sold – control 27.15 per cent of the club’s equity. That is sufficient to give the pair right of veto on important issues, but a power shift has occurred – and for the first time in recent months, it does not favour Mike Ashley. It also raises questions about representation on the board because Laxey had one director, while Ashley – with a little more than half the equity of the Three Bears – has two. Another issue is the viability of Dave King’s £16 million debt-plus-equity offer, rejected by the Rangers plc board in October. The South African businessman has maintained is still on the table but two of the Three Bears – Letham and Taylor – were also members of his consortium. Telegraph Sport understands that there could yet be an alliance of the two groups, should the Three Bears' underwriting offer be accepted. http://www.telegraph.co.uk/sport/football/teams/rangers/11319782/Rangers-power-struggle-takes-new-twist-after-Mike-Ashley-loses-key-ally-in-his-quest-for-Ibrox-boardroom-coup.html
  10. BBCBMcLauchlin ‏@BBCBMcLauchlin 1m1 minute ago George Letham, George Taylor and Douglas Park offer Rangers £6.5million alternative to Mike Ashley investment#bbcsportscot
  11. ...while fans are queuing up to bail them out. WHY the hell are Rangers selling their best player for just £1million when they have fans who are willing to put £6.5million into the club?. It's an absolutely ridiculous state of affairs. No wonder the Gers fans are going berserk. It's obvious to me this is a reaction by the club to the SFA blocking Mike Ashley from increasing his stake to 29.9 per cent. The club is desperate for money. I said a few weeks ago that it wouldn't surprise me if clubs came in for Macleod and Lee Wallace in the January transfer window. It is well known in the game that Rangers need funds. So clubs will try to get players on the cheap. But Brentford! For £1 million! It is obvious Rangers are in a serious predicament. Because what does selling the midfielder do for their chances of winning promotion back to the top flight? I just don't know why the club aren't accepting people who have put money on the table with open arms. George Letham, Douglas Park and George Taylor have offered to underwrite the share issue to the tune of £6.5 million. They are genuine supporters who care about the Ibrox club and they have provided proof of funds. Anybody who wants to invest in the SPFL Championship club just now has to be a fan given the state they are in. They don't want to make a fast buck. Apparently, the club is ready to open negotiations with the trio over representation on the board. But for me there is no discussion needed. Ashley's attempt to buy control of the Ibrox club has been rebuffed by the SFA. So the club has to get money from somewhere else. Why aren't they accepting this substantial injection of cash straight away. Why are they offloading Macleod? Do they have something to hide? Are there things they don't want these guys to find out about? I personally am not interested in who is in charge Rangers. I just want them to function as a unit with everyone involved working together. I want to see the club run they way it should be run - on and off the park. If this consortium's bid isn't accepted there is a very real danger that more fans won't bother to turn up for the Championship game against Dumbarton on Saturday. Attendances at the matches against Cowdenbeath and Livingston this month were below 20,000. What will they be this weekend after this development? The people who are running Rangers have to understand they need the supporters onside to get out of this mess. If Letham, Park and Taylor came in then I am in no doubt that fans would have more faith in the board and more of them would come back. I know for a fact that young Lewis didn't really want to leave Rangers. Certainly not to Brentford. I am in no doubt that the 20-year-old has been told he has to join the English Championship club to raise money. Yes, it is a higher level than he is currently playing at. But I think he could do far better than the Griffin Park club. The money Rangers will bank from the sale of the Scotland Under-21 internationalist, too, will do them for a month. What do they do after that? They have lost one of their best performers, one of the few individuals they have who has a bit of quality. Do they go back to Mike Ashley and get more loans? Are we the Loan Rangers now? http://www.eveningtimes.co.uk/rangers/rangerscomment/rangers-are-flogging-the-family-silver-while-fans-are-queuing-up-to-193047n.115344368
  12. PANIC-stricken chairman David Somers pleaded for someone to save Rangers from financial meltdown in the New Year – by sending out begging letters at 4am on Boxing Day. Record Sport understands Somers sent the emails to a number of wealthy individuals in a bizarre early morning attempt to raise the millions needed to keep the Ibrox club in business in January. The cash appeal – which indicates the high level of boardroom concern at the club’s latest plight – was launched just two days after the SFA blocked Mike Ashley’s plan to plough around £8million into the club by taking his holding up to 29.9 per cent. And the apparent urgent nature of this latest move has shocked those potential saviours who woke on Boxing Day to discover they had been contacted by the man at the head of the crisis-hit regime. It’s understood Somers asked all the various parties, including Sales Sharks owner Brian Kennedy, if they would be prepared to step into Ashley’s shoes by underwriting a share issue and snapping up more than 40 million new shares. Failing that, Somers asked if any of them would be willing to lend large amounts of emergency cash to the club on a secured basis. As of last night, there was no indication that Somers had been successful with either request. Last night the Rangers chairman could not be contacted. The move came after a trio of wealthy Rangers fans, Douglas Park, George Letham and George Taylor, put together an offer of £6.5m to underwrite the anticipated emergency share issue in an attempt to win control of the club back from Sports Direct magnate Ashley. A separate offer of £16m in funding from South African-based businessman Dave King remains on the table despite being rejected by the Rangers board two months ago when they chose instead to accept a drip feed of crisis loans from Ashley. http://www.dailyrecord.co.uk/sport/football/football-news/rangers-boxing-day-begging-letters-4891366 +++++++++++ Please give us money - someone who doesn't want to see the books, that is. Hic! No 50 million from BPH then No war chest from benevolent Billionaire MA then No money for wages unless they sell MacLeod then
  13. ...if Ibrox board snubs Three Bears' £6.5m bail-out. THE Rangers board was today warned that even more fans could turn their backs on the Ibrox club if they block "The Three Bears" consortium. By Matthew Lindsay Gers fans George Letham, Douglas Park and George Taylor have offered £6.5 million to underwrite an equity issue early next year. The move comes after the SFA prevented Mike Ashley from increasing his stake in the Glasgow giants to 29.9% last week. Letham, Park and Taylor were part of an eight-strong group fronted by Dave King who had a £16 million rescue package turned down back in October. Rangers chairman David Somers said King and his associates failed to provide proof of funds and reveal the identity of the investors. But Letham, Park and Taylor have satisfied both of those criteria - and have impeccable business credentials as well as being bona fide fans. Crowds have plummeted at Ibrox this season amid growing dissatisfaction at the way the SPFL League One champions are being run. Their last two Championship games at home against Cowdenbeath and Livingston have attracted less than 20,000 spectators. And Drew Roberton, of the Rangers Supporters Association, reckons crowds could fall even further if "The Three Bears" were prevented from increasing their shareholdings. He said: "I certainly wouldn't rule out the possibility of some more people saying: 'Enough is enough'. "I think we are down to the hard core of Rangers fans on match days at Ibrox now. "I think we are down to the people who will go regardless of what is happening on or off the park. "If the board decline them then they will probably hide behind stock market rules or some such. "But they would have to come up with a very good reason why and try to convince people they have a long-term plan. "It is difficult to see what plan they have apart from self-preservation. "If the two Georges and Douglas fail then it wouldn't go down well with the fans - and I don't know how the guardians of Scottish sporting integrity (the SFA) would look upon it." Roberton added: "I know George Letham to say hello to. He is a nice guy. "I have no doubt the three gentlemen involved have the best interests of the club at heart. "My view, and the view of the Rangers Supporters Association, is that it's not important who runs the club it's how they run the club that matters. "And I have no doubt that George Letham, George Taylor and Douglas Park would help to run the club for the benefit of the club." Rangers expressed disappointment at the SFA refusing to allow Sports Direct owner Ashley to increase his stake above 10% in a brief statement on their website on Christmas Eve. They also revealed they would go away and consider all other options - and Roberton refused to rule out the billionaire businessman taking even greater control at Ibrox. He said: "I am kind of of the view that if Ashley wants to increase his stake in Rangers he will. "At the end of the day, I don't think there's a lot the SFA can do about it." http://www.eveningtimes.co.uk/rangers/rangers-fans-chief-fears-new-supporter-boycott-if-ibrox-board-snubs-192879n.115246847
  14. Rangers Supporters Trust has demanded that the club keep its promise to answer questions about Mike Ashley. By Roddy Forsyth 7:59PM GMT 29 Dec 2014 Comments4 Comments The Rangers Supporters Trust has demanded that the club keep its promise to answer questions about Mike Ashley which shareholders were unable to put to the board at last week’s stormy annual general meeting. David Somers, the Rangers plc chairman, was widely criticised for curtailing the proceedings before questions could be posed about the Newcastle United owner’s dealings with the club, especially in relation to his Sports Direct retail chain. Somers promised that he would respond by email to questions which were not addressed at the AGM. One question follows the Telegraph Sport’s disclosure that when Ashley gave up the naming rights to Ibrox Stadium notoriously acquired for £1 from Charles Green’s Sevco consortium – he got substantial commercial and advertising concessions within the ground. The Rangers board is exploring its options for fresh funding after the rejection by the Scottish Football Association of Ashley’s attempt to increase his shareholding in the club from 8.92% to 29.9%. It is understood that one possibility – again cited by Telegraph Sport – is to maintain cash flow by a series of emergency loans from Ashley, secured on assets. Ashley has already provided £3 million in loans but Rangers need another £8 million to see them through 2015. They have an offer of £6 million from three wealthy supporters, Douglas Park, George Letham and George Taylor, conditional on board representation. However, Ashley could choose to defy the SFA by increasing his stake in the club despite their refusal to sanction it, a course of action that could lead to the governing body to withdraw Rangers’ license to play football. In the meantime, the RST’s questions include the following: “Can the Board outline the terms of the recently announced new commercial arrangements with Sports Direct? Specifically, can the board confirm if future years’ shirt sponsor revenues will be for the benefit of the club or for the benefit of Sports Direct and does Sports Direct have the right to choose a shirt sponsor after the end of 32 Red three year sponsor period? “It is a widely held view that Mike Ashley tried to undermine the recent share issue by initially offering to underwrite it, then withdrawing this offer, and publicly announcing he would not be taking up his rights, only to then go out in the market the following week and buy further shares in the market for the same price. “This appears to have been a clear strategy to undermine the success of that share issue. On what basis does the Board consider it appropriate to enter into further business relationships with an individual who was clearly attempting to undermine the financial position of the club for his own advantage? “Can the board confirm if it is in discussions with Sports Direct or any other Mike Ashley company to sell a further stake in the Rangers Retail business? If so, what percentage stake is being considered for sale and at what value? “It has been reported that Derek Llambias will earn a salary of £150k as CEO. Will Mr Llambias advise shareholders if he is also entitled to other benefits (housing costs, car allowances, pension) and in particular if he is eligible for any bonus payment? If he is eligible for a bonus then on what basis will this be earned? Has he moved to Glasgow? “Is the Board considering using Murray Park as security for further loans from Mike Ashley, Mash Holdings or Sports Direct affiliated companies? If so, how much is the Board seeking to raise from this asset? “The club appears to have granted considerable additional stadium branding rights to Sports Direct and Mike Ashley companies. Can the board outline exactly how much additional advertising inventory has been given toSports Direct/Mike Ashley and what value or consideration has been received for this? “The club needs major investment. Why did the board not seek to persuade Sandy Easdale to vote his proxy block of 26% to support a new share issue? As Mr Easdale did not support such a new issue, blocking muchneeded fresh investment, is his position on the football board untenable? “Mr Llambias you sat in front of around 200 fans at Ibrox, next to Charles Green, and told us of the benefits and "millions of pounds" the naming rights for Ibrox would bring to Rangers. Did you know at that time that your boss, Mike Ashley, was getting those rights for £1? Why should any Rangers fans trust you when your first interaction with us was to mislead us on behalf of Mr Ashley? “How much did the club receive per £10 spent by fans from retail sales through Rangers Retail in the June 2013-June 2014 financial year? “What has Mike Ashley been given in return for giving up the naming rights that Charles Green handed him for £1? “Can you explain why the board took Mike Ashley’s loans and gave him control of the running of the club despite it clearly being contrary to SFA and UEFA rules and therefore inevitably opening up the club to a charge? “Can the board confirm why, after 40 odd years of service, loyal employees are being cast out the door with the minimum possible redundancy pay and a paltry two weeks’ pay as a 'goodwill' gesture?” http://www.telegraph.co.uk/sport/football/teams/rangers/11316773/Rangers-fans-demand-answers-from-board-over-Mike-Ashleys-involvement-with-club.html
  15. http://www.telegraph.co.uk/sport/football/teams/rangers/11315517/Rangers-are-facing-an-impending-crisis-on-and-off-the-field.html Rangers go into 2015 in a state of crisis greater than anything they have faced since they began their attempt to march through three divisions and regain top-flight status in Scotland. The weekend defeat by Hibernian at Easter Road not only effectively ended their frail hope of challenging Hearts for automatic promotion to the Scottish Premiership, it also confirmed that the Ibrox side are in poor shape for the play-offs. Rangers trail Hearts by 15 points and to put themselves in a position where they could be promoted without having to take anything from their final fixture – against the leaders at Tynecastle – they would have to make up more than a point per game on Robbie Neilson’s players throughout the second half of the season. The evidence of the league meetings with their most likely play-off rivals – Hibs and Queen of the South – is that Rangers would struggle in a play-off sequence against them. They have been beaten home and away by Hibs 7-1 on aggregate and if the games against Queens had been a two-legged tie, the 4-4 score would have seen Rangers lose on away goals. Of course, past results are no guarantee of future performance – a dictum that applies in football as it does to the stock market – but Rangers are in disarray in both arenas. Kenny McDowall, having been told that he will replace Ally McCoist as manager until at least the end of the season, uttered a harsh truth after the 4-0 weekend defeat by Hibs. “At the moment I am just going to have to work with the squad that is there. I can’t just invent players,” he said. Derek Llambias has not yet cut the playing strength in his drive to reduce the £8 million annual deficit at Ibrox but a dozen or so players are out of contract at the end of the season and have no idea whether or not they will be offered continued employment. It can be argued that this should be a motivational tool and that those footballers should be performing as though their careers depended on the outcome – which, in some cases, will be true. Related Articles Rangers' post-McCoist era off to a shocker 27 Dec 2014 Miller laments Rangers' defensive waekness 27 Dec 2014 McCulloch: 'Let’s do this for McCoist' 26 Dec 2014 SFA 1, Mike Ashley 0 24 Dec 2014 However, when Terry Butcher warned Hibs’ below-par players last season that they would have to step up or ship out, the result was the collapse which saw the Easter Road team relegated. There has been no indication that McDowall can add to his strength during the January transfer window and, in any case, the fact that Rangers have the highest player salary bill in Scotland outside Celtic hardly suggests Llambias could make a case to Mike Ashley for greater funding in that department. In any event, Ashley now has troubles of his own at Ibrox. His long-term strategy of making the club dependent on his funding – emergency loans secured on assets – has given him control of a compliant board but the grand plan has run into obstacles. Llambias told the club’s Fans Board that it would be “very difficult” for the directors to regain the trust of the support. Yet at the subsequent annual general meeting David Somers, the Rangers chairman, produced an ill-judged display of bluster that has wholly alienated him from the fans. The outcome was cemented by The Telegraph’s disclosure of an email in which Somers pleaded with an Ashley representative to keep the Newcastle owner’s takeover process on course – in the face of a competing £16 million offer by Dave King – so that he could remain chairman. The AGM also featured the bizarre spectacle of club directors proposing an open share issue of £8 million and then voting against it, a tactic that can only be explained by a mistaken belief that the Scottish Football Association would grant Ashley his request to exert complete control at Ibrox by increasing his shareholding to 29.9 per cent. The SFA’s refusal to do so has generated a challenge to Ashley’s hegemony from the consortium of wealthy Rangers supporters – Douglas Park, George Letham and George Taylor – who have proposed an offer to underwrite the share issue to the tune of £6.5 million. The question for Ashley is whether he maintains his own percentage stake by putting more money into the club – and having to agree to the consortium’s demand for board seats – or find some way of presenting alternative funding which would dispense with the need for the share issue. Either way, the immediate outlook for a dysfunctional club is turbulent. Ashley and Rangers must answer SFA disciplinary charges that he has extended his influence beyond the terms of the written undertaking he gave. And – perhaps most ominously of all – in five weeks Rangers face Celtic in a Scottish League Cup semi-final. That is a prospect which – after Saturday’s collapse – has Ibrox fans fearing the damage that could be inflicted by their greatest adversaries.
  16. ...they are also entering the eye of a potentially devastating storm. AS Rangers hit rock bottom, KEITH looks back at another nightmare year for the Ibrox club and warns that 2015 could be even worse. ANOTHER horrible Ibrox annus. Yes, Rangers have been blighted by a long list of them in recent times but, even so, 2014 will go down as a year of unrelenting trauma which has brought this basket case back to the brink. The New Year is not yet upon us but already Rangers are running out of time. There are just days now for the current regime to extricate itself from an impending insolvency because, having loaned £3million from Mike Ashley just to limp into the festivities, they are left with little more than pockets full of spare change. And so 2015 will begin in almost exactly the same way as 2014, with a bunch of bedraggled directors scrambling around at the top of the old staircase desperately attempting to secure lifesaving hand-outs. Only the names and the faces change but the crisis which these men have bestowed upon this club remains constant, as does the shadow it casts across the landscape of the Scottish game. Granted, it might not have reached as far north as Inverness where yesterday Aberdeen’s red army rolled into town to battle it out for second place in the SPFL top flight. And yes, the good people of Dundee are enjoying their football more this season than they have done in a long time. With Hearts back in such rejuvenated form that they took 7500 fans to Livingston with them on Saturday and Hibs are also taking impressive shape under Alan Stubbs. There are undoubted green shoots. In fact, it could be that the worst of the nuclear winter is over. That Scottish football is adjusting and getting used to life without a relevant Rangers. Ironically, it is Celtic who are pining the most, even though they are the one club in the country with the financial muscle to withstand just about any kind of unilateral collapse. Life without a significant other has taken its toll on the champions, who continue to dominate the domestic scene while doing little more than going through the motions. Only in such an environment of apathy would professor Ronny Deila be able to continue his experimental approach to the science of winning football matches. In more normal circumstances, had the Norwegian returned from the lab with a 0-0 draw at home to Ross County he would have been feeling more than just the heat coming off his bunsen burner. It is precisely because Delia is operating in a vacuum, devoid of the intensity created by ferocious competition, that he will continue to make unnecessarily hard work of winning this title before shouting ‘Eureka’ when the job is done. But over time Celtic may nurture new rivalries, especially if the North East revival should build up a head of steam. And that’s probably just as well as the next few weeks seem set to determine if Rangers are ever to become recognisable again or if indeed they are locked into this downward spiral of perpetual self harming for good. Or at least until they reach an inevitable end. Right now it would seem like a mercy killing if this Rangers, in its current form, was to be released from its misery. It’s as if they exist now only to humiliate themselves. It was four years ago that Craig Whyte began battering on the doors of the boardroom and ever since his pointy buckled shoes first stepped across the threshold, the place has become a sanctuary for scoundrels. Between them these people have unleashed a chaos like no other. A toxic slurry of administration, liquidation, groping Yorkshire hands, secret videos, missing millions, police probes, arrests and now impending court cases. Is it any wonder that for many Rangers fans the actual football has long since become an irrelevance? But there are thousands more who continue to focus only on what they see on the pitch. And on Saturday, as Kenny McDowall began his duties as caretaker manager with a 4-0 thrashing at Hibs, they too hit rock bottom. Finally, perhaps for the first time, all sections of this club’s fractured support are united in utter dismay and embarrassment at what their club has become. And as Rangers stagger forward into another year they are also entering the eye of a perfect and potentially devastating storm. The numbers are dropping away to such an extent that a business which was already broken and suffering unsustainable losses, is exposed like never before. In its current state, it may even be irretrievable. The next few weeks will determine the fate of this club. An offer for £6.5m worth of funding has been tabled by three wealthy Rangers fans, Douglas Park, George Letham and George Taylor, and proof of funding has also been provided. But although this appears to offer an easy solution, it is far from a done deal. First, it will require the approval of a board which, up until now, has gone to extraordinary lengths to keep such well-meaning investors at arm’s length in order to cling on to control. Also, this cash offer may well be conditional not just on two seats on the board but also upon Park, Letham and Taylor being allowed to look under the bonnet of Rangers and examine the actual depth of the current financial crisis. If so, it is entirely possible that any one of this trio may be sufficiently horrified as to be scared into having some serious second thoughts. Then there is the unpredictably enigmatic Ashley. Just where exactly does he stand in all of this, after bulldozing his way into control of the boardroom, where his man Derek Llambias now sits at the head of the table as CEO? Is the Newcastle United owner prepared to roll over and obey the commands of the SFA who have taken an aggressive stance against his attempted power grab? Or is he about to turn his tanks on Hampden and take what he wants in any case, underwriting a share issue and increasing his stake to 29.9 per cent? His total lack of feeling for Rangers coupled with his contempt for governing blazers may be such that he is prepared to call their bluff where threats of revoking the club’s licence to play football is concerned. Ashley may well believe they simply would not dare but this would be the ultimate high-risk strategy and, given the millions he makes from selling Rangers merchandise, it might prove too big a gamble to take. Even for a man with the deepest of pockets. But, despite his wealth, there seems little logic in Ashley continuing to throw millions of pounds of loans into an ever-widening black hole just in order to keep Rangers breathing while its customers revolt against him. It may be a great deal easier to have the club tipped back into administration, one which he would be able to control as the club’s major creditor. Either way the SFA have drawn a line in the sand where Ashley is concerned. They have seen proof of funds from Park, Letham and Taylor and are satisfied that Ashley is not, as the Rangers board describe him, the only show in town. If Rangers chose to proceed with Ashley then the SFA’s Judicial Panel will step in and thousands upon thousands will be drained from the game’s coffers and given over to lawyers all in the name of sorting out yet another Rangers-made mess. New Year, same old story. But, one way or the other, January is likely to bring a defining moment to this exhausting narrative. http://www.dailyrecord.co.uk/sport/football/football-news/keith-jackson-rangers-stagger-another-4886939
  17. Hamilton Academical extended their lead at the top of the Scottish Premiership with an emphatic win over a lacklustre Aberdeen. A double from Tony Andreu set a roaring Accies on their way as they put Aberdeen to the sword with ease. And a late finish from Mikael Antoine-Curier rounded off a display that proved Alex Neil's outfit are well worth their place at the summit. The win opens up a four-point gap between them and Dundee United. Alex Neil's home side came into the match in buoyant mood, having recorded their first win at Celtic Park for 76 years in their last outing, and they looked up for it from the off, zipping the ball around with pace and confidence as they looked to stamp their authority on proceedings early on. They very nearly found an opening, as Danny Redmond picked up an Antoine-Curier pass to send in a delivery looking for Dougie Imrie but, luckily for Derek McInnes' men, Mark Reynolds was alert and able to get it behind for a corner. With the visitors struggling to find a rhythm, the Lanarkshire club continued to press, looking dangerous with every pursuit. And, they got their reward when Andreu capitalised on slack defending to open the scoring. Following a flowing team move and hesitant Aberdeen defending - with Ash Taylor failing to clear his lines - an Imrie assist gifted Andreu a simple finish. Going behind shocked Aberdeen into action, as they began to stem the flow of attacks and make strides of their own. And, they could have easily levelled terms through Adam Rooney, the ball cannoning down field allowing the striker to get himself clean through, but he scuffed his shot, making it easy for stopper Michael McGovern to mop up. Next up, David Goodwillie had his moment to shine, after Barry Robson set him up in with a pinpoint pass but the impressive McGovern again pulled off a solid save. The tide was turning, however, it still looked like Aberdeen's weak defending could be their undoing every time they were asked questions. They almost found themselves further adrift when Andrew Considine missed a ball through to give Imrie a sight at goal, but his blushes were spared by the quick thinking of Jamie Langfield, who rushed from his line to dispel the danger. Soon after, the New Douglas Park faithful were calling for a spot-kick, after Antoine-Curier juggled the ball just inside the box and claimed for a handball against Robson, only for referee Kevin Clancy to wave away protests. As half-time neared, the trailing 11 had an opportunity to restore parity when Goodwillie managed to make room on the wing and float in for the busy Rooney but he was unable to connect and, in the end, McGovern had enough time to gather. The second half started in the same frenetic fashion of the first, with both teams pushing forward with intent. And, despite Aberdeen seeming to have gained momentum after coming close with a Reynolds header that looped over, their good work was soon undone as they found themselves two down. It was Andreu at it again, rounding off a sweeping charge by slotting in an assured cutback from Redmond. That knocked the wind out of McInnes' players, and they continued to be under the cosh, young midfielder Redmond, linking well with Jesus Garcia-Tena, proving the orchestrator for much of the threat. The Reds needed a spark, and that quickly came when substitute Niall McGinn entered the fray. He was at the heart of a move that almost ended with the deficit being halved, as he headed a cross back across the box begging for a conversion, but the free Rooney could not get the vital touch. Northern Irishman McGinn then came within a whisker of netting himself courtesy of a well-struck set-piece, but he could only watch on as it sailed wide. For all that Aberdeen huffed and puffed, they could not find a way back, and the hosts rounded off a perfect evening when Antoine-Courier connected with Ali Crawford's delivery to calmly slot home, giving them their 10th win in all competitions this campaign and fifth clean sheet on the bounce. Att: 4,093 http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/0/football/29563365
  18. One club/stadium noticeably missing when you search Greater Glasgow for Sport>Football on http://www.visitscotland.com/en-us/info/see-do/searchresults?prodtypes=ACTI%2CATTR%2CENTE%2CRETA%2CTOUR&refined=1&refine-place=on&src_area=4651&refine-location=&loc_address=&loc_place=&loc_polygon=&src_location=&loc_placeprox=&src_pcproximity_bands=50%7C20%7C10%7C5%7C2%7C1&src_pcproximity_dist=50&refine-category=on&src_category=cg038&refine-name=on&src_name=football …#RFC@ofvoid
  19. Sunday, 23 March 2014 15:45 48-Hour Wait For Duo Written by Andrew Dickson RANGERS hope to find out the extent of damage done to Nicky Law and Ian Black in today’s win at Brechin inside the next 48 hours. Midfielder Law went off in the first half of the 2-1 success in Angus after hurting his back and he was replaced by Sebastien Faure. Black then had to be carried off on a stretcher after he went to shoot and connected with the sole of an opponent’s boot instead in the second period. The ex-Hearts star left Glebe Park on crutches but Gers are hopeful his foot will just be badly bruised rather than anything more serious. It remains to be seen if he’ll be fit enough for next weekend’s trip to face Arbroath at Gayfield but that will become clearer as the week goes on. At this stage, it appears Ally McCoist is more optimistic of having Law available for the meeting with the Red Lichties. After the final whistle sounded on a success which takes Gers 32 points clear of Dunfermline in League One, he hinted the Englishman’s withdrawal was a precaution more than anything. McCoist – already without key men Andy Little and David Templeton in the coming weeks - said: “At this moment in time they are both toiling. “We won’t really know how they are for another 24 to 48 hours. Blackie’s got a sore one. He went to strike the ball, the lad went to block him and I think everyone in the crowd heard it. “It looked and sounded like a sore one so he’ll ice it just now and we’ll reassess that one tomorrow morning. “Nicky is very much the same. He just felt he twisted his back a bit on a run through in the first half and we weren’t taking any chances so we took him off.” http://www.rangers.co.uk/news/headlines/item/6597-48-hour-wait-for-duo
  20. Yep Ally, full pre-season this year, good winning momentum at the moment, settled team by the looks of it. Now just 'go for it' in this game. There would be nothing worse going out of this tie at a wimper. If we give all and play fast attacking football but go out I would accept it as it gives a measure as to where we are but going out in poor fashion just turns attention onto Ally's ability to put a good team out again.
  21. .....for putting fat-cats ahead of fans as Scottish Cup semi-final row erupts. TANNADICE chairman Stephen Thompson says governing body has snubbed his request to switch game from Ibrox in order to keep corporate customers happy. DUNDEE United chairman Stephen Thompson last night tore into the SFA for putting fat-cats ahead of fans as a row over the Scottish Cup semi-finals erupted. The Tannadice side had written asking for a switch of venue from Ibrox when the draw for the semis was made – if Rangers make it past Albion Rovers tomorrow. That request was denied in writing but the reasons given, and the split of the stadium, have infuriated the Tannadice owner. If United have to face Rangers they will be given just 13,100 of Ibrox’s 51,082 capacity. However, Thompson’s bigger concern is the fact the SFA chose the venues for the semis and final before they knew the last four. And he’s unhappy they’re trying to justify it by claiming it was the best way to keep their commercial customers happy. Speaking to MailSport last night, Thompson said: “I want to stress that this is IF Rangers make it to the semis. The last thing I wanted to do was be disrespectful to Albion Rovers. “This is also nothing against Rangers. It wasn’t their decision and this isn’t their issue, it’s the SFA’s. “Our request was refused but the reasons given were totally unsatisfactory. We asked for a neutral venue for the sake of sporting integrity, which was their big buzz phrase two years ago when the Rangers stuff was going on. “But they claimed other countries within UEFA set stadia in advance for semi-finals and that precedent has been set. “Their letter also claimed that, by deciding in advance, it has enabled them to maximise commercial revenues and keep their sponsors happy. “So they’re saying commercial customers and sponsors are more important than the fans of the clubs taking part? I can’t have that.” http://www.dailyrecord.co.uk/sport/football/football-news/dundee-united-chief-blasts-sfa-3248125
  22. "Now to the story from Jim Spence. He reports that Dundee United have been refused their request to have their Scottish Cup semi-final on 12 April moved to a neutral venue, if their opponents are Rangers. The Tannadice club made an official request to the SFA that the match be played at a neutral venue, but say the governing body has rejected the request, citing examples from Uefa as a precedent for a club playing a semi-final on its own ground. Dundee United chairman Stephen Thompson said: "This of course is all dependent on the result of Albion Rovers v Rangers. If it is to be Rangers, then we are not happy with the fact that it is not a neutral venue. A semi-final or final should be at a neutral venue. "This is not an issue with Rangers, it's with the SFA and putting commercial and sponsors' interests before that of fans. We wanted to play the match at Celtic Park but that was flatly denied." Thompson also said that he would not be sitting in the directors' box at Ibrox for the match if United do meet Rangers, but would instead be in with his own supporters. United say they have been given a maximum ticket allocation of 13,100 for the semi at Ibrox if their opponents are Rangers and say that initially they were offered only 11,000 tickets. Albion Rovers meet Rangers next Monday night at New Douglas Park in the quarter-final replay for a place in the last four. An SFA spokesperson said: "The clubs were informed of the venue just after the first round of the cup, due to Hampden Park being out of commission because of the Commonwealth Games. "There were no issues raised then at that early stage."
  23. A LEAGUE One title may have been toasted a mere five days ago but it is tomorrow’s Scottish Cup quarter-final replay against Albion Rovers that will determine how this season is remembered for Rangers. In the unlikely event of the fourth-tier part-timers ousting opponents that operate with the second-highest wage bill in the country, their campaign will be captured in that moment. Rangers’ Nicky Law is fully alive to what is on the line at New Douglas Park. “The tie does define our season, because if we lose it, I don’t know what the reaction would be... but I am guessing obviously it wouldn’t be good. With all due respect to Albion we should be winning and bad as we played in the first game, we had chances to do so then.” Progress to the semi-final and an Ibrox meeting with Dundee United would see Rangers “looked upon differently” and not as favourites, Law acknowledged, for just about the first time in a season. “I think Rangers at full strength in the SPL back three years ago lost to Dundee United at home, so you are never guaranteed to win the Scottish Cup.” United have, in fact, eliminated Rangers from the Scottish Cup three times in the past four years. The off-field wranglings over ownership and never-ending concerns over the viability of the club will eclipse anything that happens on the field short of Rangers becoming the first third tier team to win Scottish Cup. But Law would argue that such is the hostility towards the football produced by the Ibrox men, even that redemptive outcome would not spare them from criticism. “If we could win the cup it would be fantastic. I’m sure a few people wouldn’t enjoy it if we did – we would probably be called the worst side in history to win the Scottish Cup I would have thought,” he said. Law doesn’t spare his own team from criticism. Since the turn of the year he believes Rangers’ form has been poor. In mitigation, a subconscious switching off was always likely when the Ibrox men were so far ahead of the opposition. There is reason to believe that the superior players in the Rangers squad will perform to a higher level when faced with full-time opponents of greater abilities in the Championship next year. The candid Law is of that mind. “In that league there are better players and hopefully teams will be 4-4-2 or 4-3-3 and have a go,” he said. “That should make the games better and also make it better for us. No offence to this league but a lot of the boys are too good for this level and it will be good to test ourselves against better teams.” Despite being unbeaten in the league, Rangers have come to be seen as fallible. Albion Rovers manager James Ward has not blanched at stating his side will make the semi-finals. But while McCoist could rest players against Dunfermline yesterday with the league won, Ward had to run with players who were going down with cramp even in the latter stages of the Ibrox encounter. All of which makes Ward’s conviction that his men will prevail sound like a motivational technique. “James is a great man, absolutely,” said McCoist. “He’s positive and that’s the way he should be. It’s up to us to make sure he is wrong. But I thought his team did him proud on Sunday and he is saying exactly the type of thing you would hope your manager would say. I can understand his psychology and fair play to him. I’m obviously hopeful there would be a bit of Ally MacLeod in there.” A man who, it should be noted, made his name with a domestic cup success against a Glasgow club. http://www.scotsman.com/sport/football/latest/rangers-season-defined-by-scottish-cup-says-law-1-3342254
  24. I know we still have a lot to play for this season, however I can't help thinking about how competitive next seasons league is going to be now that we have achieved our target of winning the title. I for one am already looking forward to more competitive and open games,for sure it will be more interesting than the top league!. How do you think we will do next season with this current squad?, I think we will need to strengthen for sure, defensively would be my priority, and also get rid of the players that are not going to make it. I would also like to see a couple of young players pushing through from the youth team, we have Lewis Macleod & Aird pretty much regulars when fit and available, but the likes of Gasparotto & Halkett who are being spoken about a lot, maybe these two should get some first team games this season and see how they perform leading to next season?. Of course there are still issues off the park which will dictate how things go with regards to signings hopefully Ally will start to target some players?. It could be very exciting next season,looking forward to it.
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