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  1. IF, LIKE me, you’re proud of the Scottish Cup being the oldest national football trophy in the world you might have issues with it copying other inferior johnny-come-lately tournaments. I’m thinking of the screeching pop music, the balsa-wood stage for the winners, the celebratory bouncing, even the foliage in the managers’ lapels. You were first, Scottish, do your own thing. Don’t be bullied by the Champions League into moving from sacred Saturday to Sunday. And – favourites of this column – let’s bring back the massed pipes and drums and the Alsatian obstacle-course. Some of those changes are modernisms and maybe we have to move with the times. But every year our clubs are writing the cup’s history, a dutiful task like that of the trophy’s engraver. And when future generations of football students and anoraks open up Wikipedia at season 2013-14, what will they see? That Rangers played their semi-final at Ibrox, their home ground. Seriously, that has to be a joke. What an all-consuming tale this is. Truly, our cup runneth over. There’s stupidity, arrogance, incompetence, intransigence, fatuousness, our-club’s-bigger-than-your-club juvenalia, delusions of grandeur, you name it. Let’s deal first with the delusions of grandeur. The Scottish Football Association, who announced as far back as last October that Ibrox would host both last-four ties due to Hampden being out of action, have in the midst of the rammy tried to cite Euro precedent. The Champions League final venue is confirmed a whole season in advance, they point out, and you’ve got to forward-plan. Who are they kidding? Without wishing to contradict myself, the Scottish Cup is not the Champions League. It does not need six months of planning. George Peat, the former SFA president, recalled seasons in the League Cup where the Scottish league would have less than a week to arrange all-ticket ties. Peat said that while the SFA would have signed a contract for Ibrox he couldn’t understand why they didn’t have a plan B in the event of Rangers reaching the semis. Dundee United chairman Stephen Thompson reckoned he had a pretty good idea why: money. All current SFA chief executive Stewart Regan, pictured right, was interested in was the commercial benefits, he claimed. “Obviously looking after the sponsors is more important than it being a neutral venue.” Certainly Ibrox getting the semis and Celtic Park having the final sounds very SFA: a divvying up in the grand old tradition. But I do find it astonishing that no one in a blazer thought the cup could pan out like this. If no one did, requiring the plan B that Peat was talking about, then you have to wonder what kind of brains trust is running the game. The SFA have tried to pass the buck for being aware that Ibrox was the home of a club who potentially had semi-final aspirations back to the rest of Scottish football, saying that any concerns should have been raised at the time of the decision. It is here that the story becomes a bit murkier. You can find two different Dundee United responses. Yes, we had concerns and raised them then. No, we didn’t because it would have been presumptuous to suggest we’d be involved in the semis. But this isn’t the crucial aspect, and the second response would have been perfectly acceptable. The duty for organising one of the oldest club football competitions in the world, and avoiding the complete and utter embarrassment of one team having home advantage in their favour to reach the final, rests entirely with the SFA and it is both laughable and chilling that they appear not to have anticipated this could happen, or had a contingency plan, or were unprepared to change the venue when, as Peat says, they still had the best part of a month to do so. The bickering between Rangers and Dundee United was caused by the SFA, although the individual reactions of the clubs were fairly predictable. United laying into the game’s rulers, angry at the SFA’s tone, arguing that given the number of talented young footballers they were producing for the greater good they didn’t deserve such treatment. And Rangers, in the squabble over how many tickets United should receive, labelling their fans glory-hunters. Ally McCoist chose this moment to boast about Rangers’ bigger support. The last time United had been in a semi, against Celtic, Hampden was only half-full. His club’s fans didn’t just turn out for semis, McCoist said, but all games. Not true, of course – Ibrox wasn’t packed for the quarter-final against Albion Rovers – but the basic point hardly needed to be made: a lot of people like to watch Rangers do their special thing. The issue then became ludicrous with McCoist claiming no special benefits for his men from playing in the distinctive Govan air, with yon majestic Broomloan Stand rising up behind them and the classic criss-cross detailing by the great stadium architect Archibald Leitch so known to the team, like the tattoo on the back of a hand. “There’s very little to be taken from home advantage the higher you go in football,” he argued, before being quickly backed up by his striker Jon Daly. Sorry guys, but you’re talking tripe. Daly would not be saying “I don’t see Ibrox as being an advantage” if he was still a Dundee United player and McCoist would not be dismissing the venue as being of no significance if Rangers were facing a Scottish Cup final at Celtic Park against … Celtic. This too was among the scenarios of the SFA’s “planning” last October. They’ve avoided that, but a semi at the Big Hoose featuring its occupants is definitely happening. To be fair to McCoist and Thompson, they’ve toned down the language since the rumpus kicked off. But 12 April is currently shaping up as a dread day in the football calendar rather than one for families to enjoy. The SFA can still change the venue and they should. As things stand they’re doing no favours to Rangers save for stoking the defiance of their own fans and the conspiracy theories of the rest. They’re doing no favours to Dundee United who’ve been dealt a grossly unfair hand for sure but must be wondering if making such a stink could cause their young team to think their abilities to win are being doubted. Most of all, though, they’re discrediting the grand old Scottish Cup. http://www.scotsman.com/sport/football/spfl-lower-divisions/aidan-smith-sfa-should-change-semi-final-venue-1-3350659
  2. By Richard Wilson BBC Scotland There are still challenges to overcome, not least the continuing lack of a title sponsor for the Scottish Professional Football League, but individual clubs can still thrive. The level of debt being carried by top-flight teams is falling, and that presents an opportunity. Dundee United and Kilmarnock recently secured debt-reduction deals with Lloyds Bank. Two clubs whose financial priority had to be servicing seven-figure debts can now maximise the worth of their incomes. Celtic's interim results for the financial year to 31 December showed a surplus in the bank, while Motherwell, St Mirren, St Johnstone and Inverness Caledonian Thistle are all free of long-term debt. Hearts are due to emerge from administration with the Foundation of Hearts having taken over a debt-free club that will eventually be turned over to full supporter ownership when the purchase price is paid back through fan subscriptions. Ross County's rise up the leagues has been enabled by the largesse of Roy MacGregor. Hibernian and Aberdeen are still carrying debt, around £5m and around £9m respectively, but there is an appetite within Lloyds Bank to seek an outcome that protects the community aspect of football clubs, as seen in the deals struck with Dundee United and Kilmarnock. The effect is to present Scottish football with a chance to redraw its priorities and establish a time of financial stability. "Banks are taking more of a pragmatic view, which says that what we really want is out of this situation, so we will do a deal, if that makes sense, and if the club can sustain itself," says Charles Barnett, the professional sports group partner at BDO, whose annual review of football finances will be published at the beginning of next season. "There's been one or two clubs recently, like Motherwell, who since they got out of their [financial] troubles have regularly reported a break-even type model. That doesn't mean breaking even every year, but over a period of time, so a small profit one year and a small loss the next. John Souttar (left) and Ryan Gauld are two of Dundee United's brightest talents. John Souttar (left) and Ryan Gauld are two of Dundee United's brightest talents. "We have less sponsorship income in general around the country, TV revenues aren't going anywhere at the moment and attendances at some clubs are doing well and falling away a bit at others. It's an incredibly challenging environment. But this is an opportunity." The removal of debt burdens allows clubs to focus on reinvesting in sporting performance. Dundee United offer a prime example, since the club's youth development programme has delivered a regular supply of promising young talent into the first-team squad. Transfer fees were inevitably required for the likes of David Goodwillie - £2m to Blackburn Rovers - and Johnny Russell - £750,000 to Derby County - since United had debt payments to service. The Tannadice club can drive a harder bargain now that a group of fan investors have contributed to the wiping of £4m in debt . Clubs will covet the likes of Stuart Armstrong, Ryan Gauld, John Souttar and Andrew Robertson, but United are under no pressure to sell. This allows Scottish clubs more leeway in attempting to keep young talent in the country for longer before the financial pull of the English game eventually draws them south. Aberdeen are among those who have suffered from losing players before they establish themselves in the first team, with Jack Grimmer leaving for Fulham when he was 17 and Ryan Fraser leaving for Bournemouth at 18. Hibernian and Hearts have established a strong reputation for developing young talent, and Scottish clubs can exploit the worth of that reputation. English teams will always be able to offer higher wages, but many young Scots, like Goodwillie and Grimmer, have travelled south and seen their careers stall. To keep young talent in the country for longer, and to the benefit of Scottish football, players need to be certain that their game will develop further through regular first-team experience. That will enable them to become better and so still attract a future transfer, but clubs needs to be financially stable enough to make decisions based on sporting rather than income merits. "The stronger the club's financial position, the stronger they can be in the transfer market," says Ross Wilson, formerly head of football development at Falkirk and now head of football operations at Huddersfield Town. Continue reading the main story “I'm struggling to think of a club that has made significant investment in its youth academy and not managed to produce players” Ross Wilson Falkirk's former head of football development "But also, the stronger the club's brand becomes in terms of being regularly capable of producing young players, so they can eventually leave at a premium. "For example, Crewe Alexandria are a League One club, but when they sell players it's at a premium compared to clubs around them, because historically they have a reputation for being a strong developer and seller of players. "That could be replicated in Scotland, with clubs consistently producing players for the first team." Most clubs will have no option but to live within their means, so the ideal is to improve those circumstances. The benefactor model has been undermined following the financial collapses of Hearts, Rangers and Motherwell, while supporters are less inclined to welcome investment for the purpose of making a return because sporting performance needs to be the priority. There is also little wealth to be made in the Scottish game when external revenue streams are so modest. "No bank is prepared to lend new money into the sector in Scotland," says Barnett. "Therefore clubs have to learn to live within their means. And what's the purpose of a football club? "In my view, the objective should be to operate a balanced budget over a period of time, not making big or regular small profits." Youth development, smart player trading, all from a stable financial basis, offers Scottish football clubs an opportunity to build a sense of optimism. Supporters also tend to bond with home-grown talent, while the national team will benefit from a growing emphasis not only on academy graduates, but finding a way to keep them in Scottish football for longer so that if they eventually leave for England, they are better able to thrive at a higher level. "I'm struggling to think of a club that has made significant investment in its youth academy and not managed to produce players," says Wilson. "If you're making proper investment in it, in terms of the structure and the people you bring in, then it reaps the rewards of players being produced and being sold."
  3. (John Greechan - Scottish Daily Mail 20.3.2014) I suppose if Mr Greechan's article had appeared in the “fiction section” of the local library, perhaps he could at least offer a plea in mitigation for the fable he passed off yesterday as fact. Its not particularly difficult to establish the true facts – all that is required is a search engine on a computer : http://www.scotsman.com/sport/football/latest/rangers-newco-ally-mccoist-says-rangers-have-to-drop-into-third-division-1-2395196 http://news.stv.tv/west-central/109964-rangers-supporters-group-calls-for-newco-club-to-start-in-division-three/ Fast -tracked ? Dont make us laugh Mr Greechan. Then again as a support, we Rangers fans are getting used to our true feelings being misrepresented within the media. That's not to say Dundee United chairman Stephen Thompson enjoys popular status amongst the Rangers support, but the reasons for this are not as alluded to in Mr Greechan's article. It's perhaps worthy of re-visiting those reasons, particularly in light of recent comments by Mr Thompson, and exposing the levels of hypocrisy he is engaging in. In recent days Mr Thompson has accused the SFA of being “economical with the truth”, making statements which he classed as “awful” and “aggressive”. http://www.thecourier.co.uk/sport/football/dundee-united/who-do-they-think-they-re-talking-to-dundee-united-chief-rages-at-aggressive-sfa-statement-1.275406 Perhaps Mr Thompson would do well to remember his own comments and conduct. http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/0/football/18365480 “There's been a lack of remorse” Really Mr Thompson ? Really ?? I have spoken to hundreds of Rangers supporters online and in person these past few years and I am yet to meet one, one, who was not filled with remorse over the circumstances surrounding Craig Whyte's tenure at our club, the damage he caused and the hardship he caused for many many people. Who is being “economical with the truth” now Mr Thompson ? "Taking things to a court of law hasn't helped. That's certainly hardened views of people within the game. “ Hold on Mr Thompson, the Court Of Session found in Rangers favour – so asking for justice and being awarded it is in your eyes likely to cause a hardening of attitude against the victim ? And you have the audacity to label others “aggressive “ ? The truth is Stephen Thompson was happy to be at the forefront of the pack of wolves who savaged our club when it was down. I would imagine when Ally McCoist remarked at those swinging a kick at our club whilst it was down – many Rangers fans thought of Stephen Thompson. Much of the discussion surrounding the boycott of Tannadice certainly centred around this fact. The emotive and inflammatory language utilised by Mr Thompson, as well as those involved with the Arab Trust, have certainly done their club no favours at all. It is up to both the SFA and Police Scotland to deal with such unedifying language. The Rangers support will rise above all this nonsense and do what we do best – Support our team. Dundee United and their support would do well to follow our example. Perhaps if they did so, they would be afforded some measure of credibility when they ask for a 50/50 split of tickets.
  4. Will tonights game give us any insight as to when we play them?
  5. http://metro.co.uk/2014/03/19/scottish-cup-success-would-mean-rangers-have-had-a-better-season-than-celtic-4642294/ Thoughts?
  6. The Rangers Supporters Trust (RST) is deeply concerned by the comments attributed to the Arab Trust Chairman Stephen Hughes. Specifically that he feels Dundee United fans would not be safe at the upcoming Scottish Cup semi-final between the two sides. In making this statement, Mr Hughes does not provide any evidence to back up his wildly inaccurate claims. Unfortunately, it would appear that the Arab Trust is actively trying to create additional tension between the clubs and fans ahead of the game. Furthermore, the Arab Trust does have a history of trying to antagonise the Rangers support, having called the club and the support 'huns' on numerous occasions on their official Twitter account. We would like to point out that, in 2011, Rangers were awarded the SPL Family Champions Award at a time when the Dundee United Chairman was on the SPL board. There is also a great deal of irony in Mr Hughes' fanciful claims given that an Arab Trust board member is actively promoting a 'family only' bus travelling to the game. This would appear to be yet another unprovoked attack trying to damage the fantastic reputation of the Rangers support. Recent remarks regarding safety attributed to United chairman, Stephen Thomson are also of concern, and we would expect the Rangers board to be actively seeking clarification in this regard
  7. http://www.therangersstandard.co.uk/index.php/articles/rfc-politics/320-dundee-united-are-out-of-control
  8. 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.
  9. "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."
  10. League wrapped up, job done. I think the players will play with a lot more freedom for the last 8 league games and we could see a few more heavy scores. but it should be a chance to play a few more youngsters and rest key players for the 2 cups. The Ramsdens will take care of itself but there is no reason why we shouldn't be going full pelt for the Scottish Cup. When we go for it games Id say we are at our best and don't have anything to fear from Dundee Utd at Ibrox. Of course we have to redeem ourselves against Albion first. I suppose the players will want to go through the full league campaign unbeaten and that will be high up of priorities. So targets between now and end of May while playing nicer football: Win Ramsdens Cup Win Scottish Cup Go league season unbeaten.
  11. Over two weeks now since Neil suggested that Craig Thomson had been responsible for Celtic losing at Aberdeen. Could it be that Mr Lunny has been absent from his desk and that is why that no action has been raised against Neil. Or is is it possible that a more likely reason for this to be overlooked is that. Vincent agrees with Neil's opinion?
  12. Meanwhile, Arab Trust board member Mike Barile says that, if Rangers do make the last four, the game should not be played on the Glasgow side's ground. The former chairman of the fans' group said: "I was active in the supporters movement when United and Dundee met in the Scottish Cup semi-final in 1987. "Both clubs were prepared to play the game at Tannadice or Dens Park on the toss of a coin, but the SFA insisted that the game had to be played at a neutral stadium. "Now there is the possibility of playing Rangers and it is okay for the game to be played at Ibrox. "Can you imagine the outcry if the SFA were to say the game was to be played at Tannadice? It is a ridiculous decision. "If it is to be Rangers we are to play then the game should be played at a neutral ground." When Celtic Park was chosen as the venue for the final in October, it was announced that both semi-finals would be played at Ibrox. Hampden Park is unavailable because of redevelopment work taking place to lay track for the Commonwealth Games.
  13. RANGERS Football Club and Media House International Ltd announce that by mutual consent their current business relationship will end on March 11th 2014.
  14. Rangers U20 team v Dundee United: Gallacher; Halkett, Hegarty, Gasparotto, Sinnamon; Dykes, Crawford, Hutton, Telfer, Stoney; Gallagher On the bench this evening for Gordon Durie's Light Blues are Kelly (gk), Gibson, Pascazio, Roberts and a trialist Halkett scored after some seventy seconds to put us ahead (Celtic trailing 1-0 into their second half)
  15. Raith v St Johnstone Inverness v Dundee Utd Aberdeen v Dumbarton Not to bothered about who goes through from the first game. Would prefer Inverness although should be beat Albion then revenge for either of these teams is on the cards from last seasons cup exits. Would be great to see Dumbarton pull a shock off. And having seeing there league position they may well do it. Aberdeen are focused on the league cup final at the moment.
  16. ...... when Albion scored. Could have been the effects mike but it sounded Richard Gordonish. He should be careful what he wishes for. Sheep might have a better chance against us than Rovers.
  17. THE League Two shocktroops will earn a bonus equivalent to 12-weeks' wages if they pull off the biggest shock of them all at Ibrox tomorrow. ALBION ROVERS will earn a staggering three-month wage bonus of £1000 a man if they manage to pull off mission impossible and beat Rangers at Ibrox tomorrow. The Coatbridge club are in their first Scottish Cup quarter-final for 80 years. A club source confirmed James Ward’s players are on a “substantial bonus” to defeat Rangers to reach the last-four stage. The part-timers stand to earn in excess of £150,000 from the tie which is live on Sky TV. The Wee Rovers also plan to refurbish their Cliftonhill stadium from their cup windfall which will see their ground capacity increase to 2500. While Rangers have met at plush five-star hotels before away games the Rovers squad will be ferried to Ibrox from various pick-up points on the team bus. Ward said: “I won’t even put the club to the expense of a pre-match meal. “The team bus will set off from Cliftonhill and we’ll pick up some players on the south side of Glasgow on the way to the game.” http://www.dailyrecord.co.uk/sport/football/football-news/albion-rovers-scottish-cup-heroes-3219404
  18. Scotland squad for the friendly with Poland Goalkeepers Matt Gilks, David Marshall, Allan McGregor Defenders Phil Bardsley, Christophe Berra, Gordon Greer, Grant Hanley, Alan Hutton, Russell Martin, Andrew Robertson, Steven Whittaker Midfielders Charlie Adam, Ikechi Anya, Barry Bannan, Scott Brown, Chris Burke, Darren Fletcher, James Forrest, James Morrison, Charlie Mulgrew, Robert Snodgrass Forwards Steven Fletcher, Ross McCormack, Steven Naismith
  19. ......we've even had agents in Africa contacting us. WARD and his League 2 troops are looking forward to a money-spinning Scottish Cup quarter final at Ibrox and he has revealed how their giantkilling story has gone global. ALBION ROVERS boss James Ward last night revealed his side’s Scottish Cup heroics have been creating shock waves in Africa. Ward admitted his part-time League Two men have captured the imagination worldwide after making it through to the quarter-finals for the first time in 80 years. So much so that Rovers have been inundated with DVDs and CVs from agents representing players around the globe. Ward has been busy sifting through a pile of applications from players desperate to play for the club, who face Rangers at Ibrox in the last eight of the competition on March 8. And he told how lifelong fan Paul Reilly, who works in Africa and doubles up as one of the club’s photographers, had the locals hailing his team after viewing their exploits on Sky Sports. Ward said: “Our Scottish Cup story has gone global. “The response the club has had to reaching the quarter-finals for the first time in 80 years has been unbelievable. “We have been sent YouTube clips from agents representing players from South America, USA, Africa as well as Europe “All of a sudden everybody wants to play for Albion Rovers and think we are an attractive proposition. “I have had a couple of DVDs and CVs from players in Africa – they must have thought Coatbridge was like the south of France but they have been put right. “I even had one player offering to pay for his flights from France for the chance to play with us. “When it was explained what we pay and that we are a part-time side I don’t think he was quite so keen. “I am watching these DVD and YouTube clips thinking, ‘What am I looking for here?’ “Our story has even reached Africa as one of the club’s photographers, Paul Reilly, was working there when we beat Motherwell. Paul was telling the locals all about us – they had never heard of us. “Sky Sports was on TV and suddenly we were on after beating Motherwell. Paul was shouting, ‘That’s Albion Rovers, that’s my team’. “The Africans were all going crazy and cheering us on.” But Ward sounded a note of caution and insisted that the club are unlikely to pursue any of the DVD or YouTube leads. However one Norwegian player who is studying in Scotland has been handed the chance to impress. He said: “I don’t want people getting the wrong impression about Albion Rovers. “If we are fortunate to make money from the tie then I want the club to use it for good purposes moving forward and not to sign the wrong type of player which would be an unsustainable model. “It is nice to get the chance to cast your eye over players and I will watch them in case there is something we may have missed but I am very wary of this kind of thing. “People suddenly think Albion Rovers have had a major windfall but we have no idea what kind of money we will make from the Rangers game. “We have many more things to consider before we start thinking about signing players from other countries. “We have looked at a player from Norway who has a decent CV and is studying in Glasgow. “He used to play for Viking Stavanger and has trained with Hearts but they were not able to sign anyone. “A part-time player who is a student is much more in line with us than us bringing in a player from South America.” Ward insists he doesn’t want his side’s Scottish Cup journey to end at Ibrox. He said: “People think I am mad but we want to beat Rangers – there is no point in going there if we did not think we could win the tie.” **** Albion Rovers chairman John Devlin insisted that playing Rangers live on Sky Sports in the Scottish Cup quarter-final at Ibrox was like winning the lottery. The part-time League Two minnows are set make over £150,000 from the March 9 tie. Devlin said: “It’s akin to a lottery win and a bonus ball. In the context of what we’re used to working with it’s life changing and lets us to prepare for the future.” Full schedule for the Scottish Cup quarter-finals: Saturday March 8 – Raith Rovers v St Johnstone, (12.15pm, Sky Sports) Sunday, March 9 – Inverness v Dundee Utd (12.30pm, BBC); Rangers v Albion Rovers (3.30pm, Sky Sports). http://www.dailyrecord.co.uk/sport/football/football-news/albion-rovers-boss-james-ward-3164871
  20. Don't have much to go on, but apparently King is predicting our financial meltdown again in another Keith Jackson article....
  21. Rangers captain Lee McCulloch feels his team could be on the verge of a special season as they chase silverware on three fronts. Rangers set up an Ibrox William Hill Scottish Cup quarter-final against Albion Rovers with a 4-0 win over Dunfermline on Friday, the team they lead by 23 points at the top of League One. Ally McCoist's team also have a Ramsdens Cup final against Raith Rovers to look forward to on April 6 and McCulloch, who recently claimed Rangers deserved more credit for their record this season, is desperate for any silverware. "It's a good chance to put a cup run together," said McCulloch, who was promoting the club's quarter season tickets. "We are in another cup final, that a lot of people have forgotten about, and we are doing very well in the league, if you are looking at the stats. "We have a chance as players, management, to have a very, very successful season. "Scottish Cup, league, Ramsdens Cup, any success you have got to grab with two hands. "When you are playing at a club like this, you are judged on success and what you win. You are not judged on the amount of appearances you have. It's all about 'What have you won'?" McCulloch recently argued there was a "very thin line" between League One and the Scottish Premiership and he feels the cup action, with only three top-flight teams having booked their place in the last eight so far, has vindicated him. "Yes, it does," he said. "I think that was blown out of proportion slightly. "What I was saying was that there wasn't as big a gap as people were making out from some of the SPL teams to the so-called lower-league teams. "I didn't insinuate anything about Celtic. What I meant was maybe the bottom six of the SPL." And McCulloch feels League Cup finalists Aberdeen should be considered favourites ahead of Rangers, despite the Ibrox club's bigger budget. "You've got to look at Aberdeen, already in a cup final and doing really, really well this season. So, for me, you would probably say Aberdeen. We know what we have got to do. We have a chance to progress and that's all it is. "I'm delighted to get a home tie but it's going to be a difficult game. "They've got a good manager and a decent team and no doubt they will make it difficult for us. It's a game we definitely don't think we have won already." http://sport.bt.com/sportfootball/football/scottishfootball/scottishpremierleague/treble-chance-delights-mcculloch-S11363875143069
  22. As the draw is to be made after the Dundee Hibs v St Midden game, I just thought I'd start a thread on it. What will be the best draw for us?, I want Albion Rovers @ Ibrox:rfcbouncy:
  23. http://sport.stv.tv/football/clubs/rangers/263136-ally-mccoist-id-have-bet-on-ibrox-not-being-picked-for-league-cup-final/
  24. .....they're not even in my top five THE former Wigan boss reckons Rangers lack of strength in comparison with other teams makes them an unlikely candidate to win the Scottish Cup in May. OWEN COYLE reckons Rangers shouldn’t even be among the top FIVE teams fancied to lift the Scottish Cup in May. Ally McCoist’s side are joint second with Dundee United in the betting to win the cup with tournament sponsors William Hill. Rangers have the second biggest budget in the country but Coyle insists that doesn’t automatically mean the League One side are likely to win major silverware. Gers face Dunfermline at home on Friday night with a quarter-final place at stake and Coyle said: “I don’t think they’d be one of the first five favourites for the Scottish Cup. Of course they can win it with a bit of luck but in terms of the strength of their team against the others I would have to say it is unlikely. “Coisty is a pal of mine, as is Durranty, we did our pro licences together. But I don’t see their team as one of the cup favourites. “I did the Airdrie v Rangers game for TV a few weeks ago. “Rangers started well but never got the second goal and then made heavy weather of winning it. “If I was judging it on that then I’d say they have some very good young players coming through but I don’t think they’d be one of the first four or five favourites for the Scottish Cup.” The former Wigan, Bolton and St Johnstone boss reckons the Scottish Cup has taken on extra importance this season for the Old Firm as they romp their respective leagues. But Coyle believes that if both Glasgow sides get through this weekend then McCoist will want to avoid drawing Neil Lennon’s team in the last eight. He said: “I can’t put myself in the position of being Rangers manager just now and facing Celtic although on any given day anybody could win it. “But the odds, with Celtic being so strong, are that they would win the game. “There’s no getting away from how dominant Celtic are at the moment. They are on their own just now. “Both Celtic and Rangers have the league effectively tied up and the Cup is now a focus. “I’m sure the Celtic players will be desperate to finish the season with the double again. “But it’s also there for everyone else to go and have that big day out at the Final and win the Scottish Cup. Celtic have already lost to Morton in the League Cup so it’s certainly not a foregone conclusion.” http://www.dailyrecord.co.uk/sport/football/football-news/owen-coyle-rangers-shouldnt-second-3112770
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