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  1. Fraser Wishart, chief executive of the PFA in Scotland, has issued a grim warning over the possibility that at least one in three professional footballers could be released by clubs this summer. The former Rangers defender believes up to 400 players could be looking for new clubs because The SPL is scrapping the reserve league amid the effects of the recession. "We expect 300 to 400 players will be released this summer," Wishart told the Sunday Mail. "That's about a third of the work-force and many of them will be lost to the game for good. "I'm expecting a huge number of frees because of the way clubs are restructuring their finances. "Clubs are now allowing players' contracts to run down and once they've expired it's a case of offering them less money to re-sign or letting them go. "With the reserve league about to be disbanded at the end of the season as well that means there will be even more players looking for fewer jobs and it doesn't take a genius to work out there will be a large number of casualties." http://www.setanta.com//uk/Articles/Football/2009/02/08/SPL-Wishart-on-players/gnid-39227/
  2. English footballâ��s television rights bonanza was in full swing last night as Sky paid more than �£1 billion to secure its grip as the main Premier League broadcaster. The company has kept its hold on the majority of live games, 92 out of the 138 matches available, by retaining its four existing packages. With the Premier League going to a second round on the other two outstanding packages, an auction thought to involve Sky, Setanta and ESPN, the 20 clubs will be hoping to exceed the �£1.7 billion from the 2007-10 deal and set a record. The bids arrived yesterday at the Leagueâ��s legal offices and Sky, the satellite broadcaster that is 39.1 per cent owned by News Corporation, parent company of The Times, ensured that it would not lose its dominant position by keeping the premium slots, including the Sunday 4pm kick-off. Although the Premier League declined to comment, sources disclosed that Sky had kept its four packages. No figures are known, but it is believed that the company will have paid close to the present �£1.314 billion. Related Links * Clubs bank on boom as world goes bust * Setanta to broadcast Premier League * Sale pitch, then Setanta calls off the game Only once in the Leagueâ��s history have domestic live rights failed to rise, in 2004, when they dipped from �£1.1 billion to �£1.024 billion, and there was a huge leap three years later. The clubs certainly set about the January transfer window as though confident that the revenues would not drop away. Barclays Premier League clubs spent a record �£160 million, defying the credit crunch that has afflicted so many businesses. While Arab wealth at Manchester City accounted for some of that spending, it is the television income that underpins the Leagueâ��s finances. Under European Union regulations, Sky is entitled to own five out of the six packages, and with ESPN, the Disney-owned broadcasting giant, joining the bidding â�� and Setanta desperate to keep the two packages it bought for �£392 million last time â�� there will be a further round of bids. The process is kept so secretive that none of the companies knows who it is bidding against, or how many rivals are involved. Sky was always expected to step up to the plate for the 2010-13 rights. Half-year results announced last week showed operating profits up 31 per cent to �£385 million. Broadcasters remain confident in the strength of the Premier League to attract subscribers. Money from the television companies has attracted some of the worldâ��s leading stars and two English clubs, Manchester United and Chelsea, contested the Champions League final last May. It is the most popular league in the world and, having recently missed out on the rights for German football, ESPN is known to have set about securing a significant presence in Europe by winning Premier League rights. Club chairmen will receive an update when they gather in London tomorrow. They will be relieved to know that the majority of the money has already been banked. On top of Skyâ��s input, the league has also sealed a deal with BBC for the 2010-13 highlights package for �£173 million, slightly above the existing cost. Setanta will be the most anxious of the bidders, having established itself in the market through its Premier League rights. More than �£5 billion has been ploughed into the English game by the television companies since the formation of the Premier League and Skyâ��s initial �£304 million investment. From the strength of the bidding yesterday, it seems as mutually beneficial a relationship as the day it started. http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/sport/football/premier_league/article5655101.ece
  3. A couple of weeks ago our finances were apparently such that we had to sell at least one of our more valuable players. Murray said it and called for the support to see reason in a changed financial reality. Even Walter Smith was persuaded to read in public from the Murray script. Hell, the whole world knew that we were in a perilous situation. Well we didn't sell so what happens now? Was Murray simply "at it" yet again or is there something he might now want to tell us about our finances. Should he come clean and explain the consequences of not meeting his own declared necessity of raising urgently needed funds? The apparent about-face and subsequent silence makes no sense. Either he was spinning to cover up his lack of judgement or, as a captain of industry, he should explain what happens now. Or does he only make annoucements in pursuit of his own personal interest?
  4. NOTW I know but here's hoping the last bit is also true!! NEWCASTLE boss Joe Kinnear has admitted heââ?¬â?¢s made a shock move for Rangers skipper Barry Ferguson. Kinnear wants Ferguson to spearhead the Toonââ?¬â?¢s survival fight. Kinnear, who admits he may have to sell before he can buy, said: ââ?¬Å?I have enquired about Barry Ferguson, but weââ?¬â?¢ll wait and see what the outcome of that is. Weââ?¬â?¢re finding it difficult to bring certain players from clubs. ââ?¬Å?Our bids havenââ?¬â?¢t been accepted so far. The problem is two or three clubs are in for the same players. At the moment, there could be teams bidding more than us. ââ?¬Å?It would help if I could move some of the players here and get the finances in. But we have had no bids for them.ââ?¬Â Kinnear has also been linked with a Ã?£5m move for Fergusonââ?¬â?¢s team-mate, Algerian stopper Madjid Bougherra. Ibrox chief executive Martin Bain said: ââ?¬Å?Itââ?¬â?¢s all speculation and we donââ?¬â?¢t comment on that.ââ?¬Â Privately, Gers have had no indication Ferguson is keen to leave Ibrox for the second time. And they will be reluctant to sell the 30-year-old when heââ?¬â?¢s putting together a midfield partnership with Pedro Mendes. However if Newcastle offer to double the Ã?£2.5m Gers paid for defender Bougherra last July, they wonââ?¬â?¢t stand in his way if he wants to return south. Ferguson had an unsuccessful spell in the Premiership with Blackburn where he couldnââ?¬â?¢t settle and also picked up a knee injury which put him out for a year. Meanwhile, Ipswich are poised to offer Lee McCulloch the chance to start the Ibrox exodus. http://www.newsoftheworld.co.uk/scottish/scottish_sport/116509/Kinnear-wants-Bazza-at-Toon-Rangers-Newcastle-United.html
  5. Newcastle are trying to sign Rangers duo Barry Ferguson and Madjid Bougherra in a double deal, skysports.com understands. Magpies chief Joe Kinnear is looking to bring a number of new faces into the club during the winter transfer window. The Rangers duo are very high on Kinnear's wanted list and talks began earlier this week. Both midfielder Ferguson and defender Bougherra have Premier League experience with Blackburn and Charlton, respectively, and Kinnear sees the duo as ideal signings. Newcastle are looking to take advantage of Rangers' current financial situation and swoop for the duo. "I have enquired about Ferguson, but we will wait and see what the outcome of that is," said Kinnear. "We are finding it difficult to bring certain players from clubs. Our bids haven't been accepted so far. "The problem is two or three clubs are in for the same players. At the moment, there could be teams bidding more than us. "It would help if I could move some of the players here and get the finances in that way. But we have had no bids for them." Gow offer Rangers boss Walter Smith insists the only bid they have received is from Wolves for Alan Gow, who impressed during a six-month loan stint at Blackpool. "We are not looking for anything else at the moment. With it being the transfer window, there will be speculation," said Smith. "There is nothing we can do about that but we have had no other enquiries for anyone else other than Gow. "We have had one enquiry from Wolves for Alan Gow. Negotiations are ongoing and that is the only enquiry we have had for any player. "There are 28 players on the staff and we have to adjust that number a little bit and we have to wait and see what happens with that over the next few days but, so far, that is the only enquiry we have had for anyone." Smith, though, did concede the club would sell if a deal was too good to turn down. Numbers "There are obviously players in our squad that we wouldn't like to lose," he added. "We were in a situation last year when Alan Hutton was sold to Tottenham. "We didn't want to lose him but the bid was such that we had to take it from a purely financial sense. You can never say that won't happen again. "We would want to try to keep the group who have been involved in playing on a regular basis together and add to that if we can. "First and foremost, we have to adjust the numbers that we have and that's the group who haven't been taking part in a lot of the games." http://www.skysports.com/story/0,19528,11095_4738893,00.html The whole Ferguson thing is a bit of a bolt from the blue which hadn't really been spoken about that much but the Bougherra thing we obviously all know about.
  6. The Boyd Done Good As many long-term readers of my rants and posts on GersNet will testify, I have never been Boydââ?¬â?¢s number one fan. However, I have always stated that if Boyd could improve on his all-round game, add this to his undoubted goal-scoring talent, then heââ?¬â?¢s be an asset to our team. Saturdayââ?¬â?¢s game against Hibernian was in my opinion one of the best ââ?¬Ë?all-roundââ?¬â?¢ games Boyd has had in a Rangers jersey. He tracked back, he linked up play, his movement was decent and after missing a guilt-edged chance in the opening five minutes, scored a goal that only Boyd could score. It wasnââ?¬â?¢t a typical overhead kick, it was just the art of somehow getting the ball to nestle in the back of the net. Saturday was also saw us witness one of the most one-sided 1-0 victories in a long time. Hibernian came with a plan to frustrate us, get everyone behind the ball and not allow our midfield the time or space to utilise Millers clever runs. Credit to the players, they stuck to the task well, even when those in the stands were displaying signs of impatience and were reduced to cat-calling. Ferguson and Mendes showed further signs of a growing understanding and Mendes had his best game since the 4-2 mauling of the MOPES at Parkhead. His intelligent passing and audacious shooting was a joy to behold and certainly livened up the proceedings. I also thought that Papac and SW had very decent games in the full-back areas. With Hibs sitting deep, both took the opportunity to break forward and help to try to unlock the defence. I was disappointed in Hibsââ?¬â?¢ approach, as on their day, they are one of the better SPL teams and tend to play a very decent level of football. I know they had a few key players out injured, but expected them to put more into the game. It seemed that they had resigned themselves to a defeat even before a ball was kicked. You're Just Our Feeder Club This wee ditty is often sung when we play Hibs as we have over the years, signed various players from the Edinburgh club. In recent history players like Kenny Miller, Ian Murray, Steven Whittaker and Kevin Thomson have made the short journey along the M8 and joined Rangers from Hibernian. Others like Craig Patterson who went on to captain The Rangers and in my opinion, the best two players weââ?¬â?¢ve signed from Hibs are Andy Goram and Colin Stein. Both these players went on to make outstanding contributions to The Rangers and both are rightly remembered with great fondness within our support. However, whilst Colin Stein took no time to settle into the groove at Ibrox netting a total of eight goals in his first three games, whilst Andy Goram leaked uncharacteristic goals in his opening spell between the sticks. Stein with the subject of the first Ã?£100,000 pounds transfer between Scottish Clubs and went on to become a firm favourite and a permanent fixture in the Rangers line-up. His bustling style and fantastic heading ability saw Stein score hugely important goals for Rangers including a strike in the Cup Winners Cup Final in Barcalona and the goal that won the 1975 championship. If I remember correctly, he is also the last player to have scored a hat-trick for Scotland. Colin lives local to me and some may find it surprising that he is now a joiner with a local firm and was a very decent at bowls! Andy Goram recovered after a shaky start and established himself into Rangers folk-lore as one of the finest keepers we have had. The list of astonish saves is endless, but the one to deny Hugedonkey at Ibrox was one of the best saves I have ever seen. Both players have actually attended various dances at our RSC and both were a credit to themselves and Rangers Football Club. Worrying Rumours Following on from Super Allyââ?¬â?¢s thread regarding worrying and shocking rumours - http://www.gersnetonline.net/vb/showthread.php?t=9290 here are a few that I heard (from various sources over the weekend) that are as worrying : We have contacted and opened negotiations with Bobo Baldesââ?¬â?¢s representatives with a view to taking the Celtc stopper once his contract expires at Parkhead. This deal is said to be at an advanced stage and could be completed soon. Balde will see out the remainder of his contract at Celtc and move to Rangers in the summer under freedom of contract. West Brom had a Ã?£5M bid for Kevin Thomson accepted by Rangers and the deal was to be concluded in January. However, after Thomsonââ?¬â?¢s injury and West Brom losing sponsorship (with T-Mobile) this deal has been scrapped. West Brom are actually in some financial difficulty as they have lost and failed to replace T-Mobile as shirt sponsors and have gone public locally asking for local investors to invest in the club. However, I am led to believe that Birmingham City are also keen on Thomson and will test Rangersââ?¬â?¢ resolve with a Ã?£5M bid in the summer. If we get a bid from Birmingham, Thomson will be sold. Our finances appear to be a lot worse than any of us thought. Martin Bain has been tasked to make further reductions to the spiralling wage bill, hence the reason as many as 10 players will leave Ibrox in January. Kirk Broadfootââ?¬â?¢s agent was sent packing from Murray Park with a flee in his ear after inquiring about a pay rise for Broadfoot now he is an international player. It is believed that Kirk is on Ã?£2K per week and his agent asked for ~Ã?£4K and was politely told to ââ?¬Ë?beat itââ?¬â?¢. Wonder if this is why young Kirk was demoted to the bench recently. All of the above is unsubstantiated but heard this from a few people, not just one source. Get Into Them Once the turkey and the roast potatoes (am I still allowed to refer to potatoes in this sensitive Old Firm week ââ?¬â?? donââ?¬â?¢t want to offended anyone especially at this time of year) has been digested, weââ?¬â?¢ll welcome our bitter neighbours to our home for the 2nd Old Firm game of the season. The damning statistics regarding our inconsistent form says that even a Rangers win (our 2nd of the season) will still see us trailing the MOPES by a point. That is as hard to swallow as the turkey ââ?¬â?? potentially 2 Old Firm victories and still behind them in the race for the SPL. These encounters are never ââ?¬Ë?tameââ?¬â?¢, but itââ?¬â?¢s time that we crank this game up a notch or two. They have been allowed to swagger around in this fixture recently and itââ?¬â?¢s time that we reverted back to the days of Jock Wallace and got the battle fever on. Lets barrack them from start to finish, lets get on the backs of the officials, lets drown out their bile with Rangers songs (and the odd verse of the hockey cokey), lets get right fookin into them (in a non-sectarian manner you understand). The Rolly-Polly Goalie should be our prime target. This ââ?¬Ë?manââ?¬â?¢ is unstable ââ?¬â?? lets hound him. The players should also be getting into his ear at every opportunity. We should be shooting on site (praying for squigglers), barging him at cross-balls and generally making his life uncomfortable. He isnââ?¬â?¢t in the best frame of minds, so lets try and capitalize on that. Whilst doing all of the above, lets not get on the backs of our players, they need and deserve our full support. Itââ?¬â?¢s worth remembering that anything other than a victory isnââ?¬â?¢t really good enough for us. I would expect Walter Smith to now stick with the 4-4-2 formation and he could stick with Saturdays starting 11. Donââ?¬â?¢t be fooled by the MOPES claims of injury, suspensions etc, theyââ?¬â?¢ll have their strongest 11 on the pitch on Saturday, make no mistake about that. Please Santa, 3 points for The Rangers. Merry Xmas & A Happy New Year Just like to take this opportunity in wishing all fellow GersNet contributors and all Rangers fans a very merry xmas and a happy new year. Cammy F
  7. by Alison McConnell SCOTLAND is facing Champions League armageddon after it was revealed the SPL winners will have to qualify for the money-spinning elite group stages from 2010 - alongside Europe's minnow clubs. This season's title winners WILL go straight into the Champions League. But the season after that both the league champions and the runners-up will face a gruelling qualifying campaign to book their passage into the group stages. Greece have leap-frogged Scotland in the co-efficient table after Olympiakos thumped Hertha Berlin 4-0 last night, meaning Scotland have just one more season on a golden ticket into the group stages of the Champions League. And, with Panathinaikos awaiting their fate in the Champions League draw later today, Greece will consolidate that twelfth spot in the provisional UEFA co-efficient table. Only the top 12 countries enjoy automatic entry into the group stages. advertisement However, while the regulations for the revamped Champions League qualification format have not yet formally been published by UEFA, it is more than likely that the champions of the 13th placed nation - at this time that is Scotland -could still gain automatic entry if the Champions League holders also qualify through their domestic league position. That means that if, for example, Manchester United were to win the Premiership and the Champions League, then the SPL winners would go straight into the Champions League through the back door. So, in that event, it is vital that Scotland hang on to 13th spot. That slot is currently under threat by Belgium who have two clubs left in the Uefa Cup. A combined six more victories from Standard Liege and Club Brugge would take Belgium above Scotland. Denmark too are an outside threat with Aalborg still in the Uefa Cup as well. Celtic and Rangers know the serious hazards that lie in wait in the qualifying stages. Celtic were put to the sword by Artmedia Bratislava in 2005 and had to go without European football for a full season, while this year Kaunas heaped the same fate on Rangers. And the bad news is that it is only going to get harder. Uefa President Michel Platini wants the qualifying games for the Champions League to be revamped and that mean is an even tougher route to the Champions League group stage. Given the financial incentives available, it would be a nightmare for both Celtic and Rangers if they were to miss out on Champions League football. Despite missing out on both the last 16 of the Champions League and the latter stages of UEFA Cup this season, Celtic still stand to make around �£15m from their participation. And in the current climate when the gap between the top teams and the rest is particularly galling, it is vital that these kind of finances are brought in in order to help strengthen teams. Missing out on that money on a regular basis would be a disaster for the Old Firm who are struggling as it is to bridge the chasm. http://www.eveningtimes.co.uk/sport/display.var.2476602.0.0.php
  8. I think he makes some valid points here, Manu could on any given day certainly have the capability to beat most teams in Europe by the same scoreline. Financially, again we cant even compete with newly promoted teams to the EPL. The top 4 are certainly a class apart, I'd love to see a statement from Ince if the next time they play Manu and they get beat 3-0. Would it still be men against boys?
  9. I know we've had a few debates about finances recently but im hoping this grim picture painted by one of them is more in hope than in fact. While income and expenditure both turned slightly against Celtic last season, it was bonanza time at Ibrox where Rangers published record turnover as a result of the double bounty; Champions League group stage income followed by a run to the Uefa Cup final in Manchester. Celtic turnover (t/o) was �£75.237m compared to Rangers �£64.452m, but Rangers outsource their merchandising operation, including only a licence payment from JJB Sports in the figures, whereas the Celtic figure includes total income from merchandising sales. Celtic earned �£16.092m from merchandising sales, contributing a margin of �£4.8m in a financial year without the release of a new home shirt. When Rangers signed the JJB deal in 2006 they revealed they would earn �£3m each year, plus �£1.45m amortised in the Profit and Loss account (P&L) but paid at the start of the contract in 2006, criteria was in place to provide for bonus payments should unspecified targets be achieved. It was, therefore, with some astonishment that no bonus payments were earned, despite the unprecedented proliferation of Rangers merchandise walking the streets ahead of the Manchester riot. I understand that the bonus is dependent on progress to the latter stages of the Champions League, which ironically would have sold a lot less kit for JJB; it appears Rangers had overlooked a clause for Uefa Cup progress. The big area of interest from a financial statement is the indication of where a company is heading next. Celtic will earn at least �£70m this season but if they finish higher than bottom place in the Champions League group stage they should reach �£75m. By contrast, Rangers are looking at financial Armageddon. In 2004-05 they earned �£34.48m (from continuing operations), a whopping �£30m less than last season, but 2004-05 included four home European games, each with TV rights, compared to only one this season. �£34m will be the upper limit of their income potential this season; it will be less still, unless a good run in the domestic cups includes high-earning home games, a whole �£40m less than what I expect from Celtic and still �£28m less than the Celtic figure adjusted for comparable merchandise income. Celtic salary costs were �£38.981m, a �£2.5m increase on the previous season, compared to �£34.339m at Rangers, up a massive �£10.1m on 2007. The latter figure will in part reflect incentive payments for European progress, although the clutch of new signings who arrived at the club in 2007 will make up the bulk of the increase. In a masterstroke of business acumen, Rangers chief executive, Martin Bain, appears to have included the Uefa Cup in bonuses to be paid, but not on bonuses earned. I was delighted to learn that Rangers pay more for the remarkably unpopular Bain (�£668k) than Celtic pay for 'Self Appointed Football-Integrity Judge and Jury' (W.Smith), Peter Lawwell (�£514k). Although perhaps Bain's remuneration also reflected Uefa Cup progress. You would think that with such big numbers flowing into his own bank account the whole 'What will be get if we do well in the Uefa Cup?' question would be at the front of his mind when he negotiated with JJB. Football club's P&L income figures do not include player sales, with are recorded on the balance sheet, so Rangers sale of Cuellar will bring in �£7.8m more than the income figure, which itself will be offset in cash terms by the �£1.45m banked back in 2006 from JJB. Before they start to spend on extravagances like footballers, clubs have considerable costs to pay. Rates, electricity, property maintenance, policing, to name only a few, cost Celtic �£15.395m. Rangers figure was higher than this, perhaps as a result of exceptional items resulting from the run to the Uefa Cup final, so the previous year's cost of �£16.262m will be a better indicator of costs this year, which is just �£18m less than their anticipated income available for football and other operations. By comparison, Celtic will have in the region of �£45m available for football and other operations when adjusted for the merchandise sales difference. Net bank debt at Celtic was �£3.52m compared to Rangers' �£21.559m but while Celtic are set to come out of debt in May (barring an exceptional expense in January), Rangers net year-end debt is likely to rise beyond �£30m unless significant steps are taken to sell players in January. Celtic are in an exceptionally strong financial position. They can survive the vagaries of football fortune, or economic downturn, without the threat of cutback should income dip. Conversely, Rangers are in dire trouble. This year will not be financially the worst Sir David Murray has bestowed on his club, but it will make for horrendous reading to any prospective buyer of the club and provide further evidence that they are hopelessly adrift of financial security. Winning the league this season and qualifying for next season's Champions League will not provide succour from their structural problems, it would only result in a temporary slowdown in decline. Rangers debt has risen inextricably, and is set to continue to rise, at a time when bank facilities have become more difficult and expensive to acquire. Should new HBOS owners, Lloyds TBS, take fright at the property-to-football conglomerate, Murray International Holdings, which includes Rangers, frankly, the consequences are so dramatic, I don't think we should discuss them, as I have trouble sleeping when I get too excited. We live in a time when things which simply cannot happen, happen. When some of last year's most credit-worthy companies in the world have gone into receivership; when one of the centuries-old pillars of the Scottish business community crumbled in days. No company dependent on a significant increase in its debt is safe. Rangers Football Club, 1873 - 20??
  10. JT has resigned as President of the Rangers Supporters Assembly. Here is the email that he has sent out: Hello all. Recent incidents have encouraged me to evaluate the ââ?¬Å?relationshipââ?¬Â of the Assembly and Rangers F.C., to say this has given me cause for concern is a considerable understatement. There have been a number of events in recent weeks that I have taken into account and would now like to share my concerns with all of you. 01. Reduced allocation of away tickets to Supporters Clubs. During a brief conversation with the club, I agreed that Season Ticket Holders should be given an increased proportion of away match tickets. Sometime later I was asked if I was happy with the contents of a letter the Ticket Office intended sending out to Supporters Clubs. I rejected the first letter but agreed to the contents of the second attempt. The letter that was in fact sent out differed considerably from the one agreed to. The full details of the very considerable cut in club allocations had not been included in the letter I approved and when I spoke to Jim Hannah, I learned that he too had been unaware of the content of the final letter sent to clubs. Had I been aware of the level of cut back I would never had agreed to the proposal hence my reason for asking the club to reconsider. I have no doubt that the Assembly was mentioned in an effort to deflect blame and criticism and you also have to speculate on the convenience of not providing me with sight of the full letter before sending it out. 02. Rangers demands for a 5% handling fee on away match tickets. Whilst I agree in principal that Rangers are entitled to be compensated for handling away match tickets, I most certainly do not agree with how they tried to force it on other SPL clubs nor their timing in doing so. I also have to say that I find it unbelievable that the club did not see fit to discuss this with the Assembly prior to ââ?¬Å?forcingââ?¬Â the other clubs to agree. Ticket distribution is arguably the most important issue to supporters other than the success of the team and yet they chose not to discuss this with us it therefore begs the question would do they see fit to discuss with us. I have looked at each club who has responded to Rangers demands in turn and would comment as follows: Falkirk . In general appeared to work okay. Aberdeen . They agreed to pay Rangers a handling fee, however for the first time in years, Aberdeen decided to implement a price increase. Conveniently they went up by Ã?£1 which amounted to a 5% increase. I wonder why? To make it clear to all why they did this, they offered a Ã?£1 discount to their own supporters for a future fixture. So who paid the handling fee and which club is looking after their supporters interests? Hibs. They have decided to sell tickets direct as Falkirk did. Yet again we are faced with a price increase which will no doubt mean Hibs have covered their additional costs and again at our expense. To make matters worse, in spite of Rangers stating they would only handle ticket sales if they received a handling fee they have purchased 300 tickets which will no doubt be distributed to those and such as those. The phrase ââ?¬Å?them and usââ?¬Â springs readily to mind. St. Mirren. They have agreed to Rangers request to pay a handling charge and will allow Rangers to distribute as normal. They have however been very clever. The only stand we have sole use of is the West Stand behind the goals and they have increased the price by Ã?£2. Prices for he North Stand, which we share, has remained unchanged at Ã?£20, in other words only Rangers fans will pay increased prices which Iââ?¬â?¢m sure will go a long way to paying Rangers demands. Kilmarnock . Although I have not heard officially, I am reliably informed that Kilmarnock will agree to Rangers demands and to offset the cost, will be increasing prices by Ã?£1. To sum up the situation. Rangers have achieved their goal. Clubs who agree to the demands will pay Rangers and those who donââ?¬â?¢t will cost Rangers nothing but guess who will be paying for all of it? The very fans Rangers claimed they were trying to protect. A job well done I donââ?¬â?¢t think. 03. Worldwide Alliance Expenses. Those of you who attended the Alliance A.G.M. will no doubt recall the Treasurer, Sam Morton, reporting on his balance sheet and highlighting the fact funds were very low and required an injection of money from Rangers F.C. The fact was that Rangers had not provided the Alliance with funds to cover expenses for three years. Jim Hannah informed us that as far as he knew there was no budget for this and that I would have to take this up with the Club. Not long after the A.G.M. I emailed Donald McIntyre requesting clarification. On return from my holiday, I received an email from Jim Hannah, on behalf of Donald McIntyre, informing me that the Assembly would now be responsible for Alliance expenses and that it should come from the Assembly grant. I have responded to Jim stating that in my opinion this is not feasible as it would then legitimately allow the other organisations involved in the Assembly to claim expenses to cover the cost of their own meetings. I have asked that he raise this with Donald McIntyre and await the response. 04. Assembly Grant. During the conversation with regards to Alliance expenses, I learned that Rangers had reduced the Assembly grant from Ã?£30k to Ã?£20k as from 1st. July 2008. Some months ago, I met with Irene Munro who informed me of Rangers desire to reduce the level of support. I refused point blank to accept this and in fact stated that even if I agreed with the request this would not be a decision I could make as it would need to go before a full Committee at our A.G.M. No further discussions have taken place so it would appear as though Rangers are basically saying take it or leave it. They have attempted to soften the blow by saying we can keep the Ã?£10k we did not use last year. Big of them when it is us who have saved the money from being used and in my opinion a totally irrelevant gesture. Each of the above items on an individual basis is in my opinion sufficient to illustrate the lack of respect the club has for the Assembly. When you consider them as a package then I think it is a fair assumption that they only value our input when they need us to show a united front or when trouble is brewing. The Assembly was formed in an attempt to bring the club and its supporters closer together. The above, I would suggest, shows that this is not happening. You could in fact argue the opposite is happening and that indeed the club are driving an ever widening wedge between us with their actions. To be perfectly honest, I do not believe the people involved in making the decisions highlighted above have the best interest of the Supporters at heart. Taking all of the above into account, I wish to inform you of my decision to resign, with immediate effect, as President of the Rangers Supporters Assembly, Chairman of Rangers Worldwide Alliance and Chairman of the Scottish Delegates. I would like to thank you all for the time and effort you put in on a regular basis, I appreciate it even if the club so obviously doesnââ?¬â?¢t, and also for the support you have given me throughout my time in office. Over the next few days, I will clear the Assembly Office of my belongings and also ensure the finances are in order. Obviously as Vice President, Andy Kerr will take over my duties and I would like to offer him my best wishes. Jim
  11. Reading some posts on here there seems a strange attitude towards SDM where people think he's more interested in locking down the finances than any success on the pitch. The ironic thing is that the biggest thing SDM has been guilty of is OVERSPENDING for success... I'm no Murray fan but it's just ridiculous to suggest he wants Rangers to fail and is somehow happier when money comes into the club than the winning of trophies or European success. Some seem to be arguing he's happy we're out of Europe so he can sell Cuellar... The mostly glaringly stupid part of this strange concept is that success brings money into the club. We gained far more money with our run in Europe last season than the sale of any players. People say Murray is reluctant to spend but he's been doing so at a rate of about 20% of turnover - that's massive. But when you get down to it, it seems to me that it's obvious that SDM wants Rangers to be a success on the field for many, many reasons. He probably craves it far more than most supporters as it's far more personal for him. Even if you don't think he's a supporter, any success reflects favourably on him and massages his ego. It makes him look successful himself and gets him much respect in the business world. Flops like Tuesday, make him look bad. If he's merely trying to sell the club for as much money as he can get, then success on the pitch helps enormously. Not only is a successful club more attractive to buyers, the money coming in makes the books look a hell of a lot better. Successful clubs are less likely to hemorrhage money, as the fans are falling over themselves to buy tickets as are TV companies and advertisers. The two things he doesn't want is a massive debt or to fund it out of his own pocket (just like the fans) as he's already had to put 50M of his own money up. I think that was more than enough for him and he doesn't want to go down that road again - especially when the fans are unlikely to help. If we won't go that extra mile with our own money then you can't expect him to put MILLIONS of pounds in. It's also amazing how many people assume that SDM is "syphoning off" money and talking about a "missing �£30M". This just seems pure ignorance as the accounts are properly audited and published every year, as per stock exchange rules. SDM might make money out of Rangers by subcontracting his companies but he doesn't steal it or line his pockets with money from Rangers accounts. The man doesn't even take a wage, while most Chairmen take a six or seven figure sum. So you may not like SDM in the slightest and there are times when he looks like he has his own agenda and pulls the wool over our eyes, but to hold the premise that he doesn't want Rangers to be successful is just laughable.
  12. Last night was an emberrasment for our proud club. Made a laughing stock all over europe. I'm sure you were all angry and disgusted like myself. Now that the dust has settled, remember Celtic a few years ago, they got put out the same stage in the champions league as we did last night. Since then they have wen't on to win 3 league titles in a row. Let's get behind our boys now, no quadrangle to go for this year but the domestic treble is still up for grabs. To be he honest with you if you offered me the domestic treble to sacrafice the champions league i would of bite your hand off ! Yes the finances will take a hard blow but hopefully last year's european run can cover that. As for our spending money looks like we could afford a few more million unless Sir David dips into his own pocket, which i highly doubt but i hope he doeas. I hope to god Cuellar doesn't go to recoup our losses. When you woke up this morning you were probably mad at Rangers for a terrible night, but just remember that you are a Rangers fan, be thankfull for that and not being a bit of scum from the darkside of Glasgow. Let's move on from last night and hope it's a minor blip and give Rangers the support on Saturday, we will follow through thick and thin. Need to take the good times with the bad times. Let's all hope we are forgetting about last night with at least the league in May. We Are The People Ranger's Till I Die
  13. So have we signed a player for 3 million who is maybe going to be bit part next season and isnt near the finished article!! He looks more than 6ft 4 in this picture: http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport1/hi/football/teams/r/rangers/7461356.stm
  14. What is WS transfer funds ?,if rumours are corrcect it's 10mill,if this is true then I don't think it's enough,how many quality players can we get for that ?.I really hope he gets more than than that to spend,we have had enough of signing mediocre players and I for one think the fans deserve to see some quality after too long watching average players pull on the Rangers FC jersey.I know our days of signing Laudrup,Gazza,Albertz and the likes are gone,and I also appreciate the fact that we need to keep our finances in order,but we have just had a financially successfull season and I think WS should be given a decent amount of money to bring the SPL title back home,also we the fans deserve a team worth watching and bragging about,especially so we can stick two fingers up to all the Rangers HATERS !!!!!!.Sir David Murray.................get yer finger oot and give WS some proper backing because WE ARE THE PEOPLE.
  15. Hi guys, I know its unlikely, but I am really struggling to make the game tomorrow due to uni and finances... Got a project due and can't really afford the time it would take to go to the game. Sadly head has to rule the heart sometimes!! (especially in my final year - UEFA cup finals excluded if we get there!) I would be selling a seat in section c1 of the North Stand row XX so not stuck at the front behind the running track bit behind the goal! Face value is �£22, but would sell for �£15 if anyone is interested!
  16. Yesterdays performance was nothing short of disgracefull. Tactics, team selection and formation were way off again and the one man to pick up the can and take the blame is Walter Smith. His undying loyalty to Whittaker and to a lesser extent Thompson knows no bounds and as for playing ferguson out of position behind boyd, well only walter knows the answer to that one. Did we have a game plan yesterday? If so what the hell was it? And why did walter leave it so late to change the personell after hibs scored? even stevie wonder could see that nothing was going right. seems to me that walter is sacrificing the SPL for the CL at the moment. weaker squads for the SPL are a common occurence now and we can only expect our best players for the European scene. It looks like (at least to me) that there is a hidden agenda here. Making it past the group stages in CL would be a major boost for the clubs finances and our manager seems to see this as our top priority. But even that doesnt explain walters mystifying team selections in the SPL. He only said during the week that boyd is not a lone striker and needs a partner only to leave him isolated against Hibs. And a 4 4 1 1 formation at home with Ferguson as Boyds wingman ? And where the hell is Novo & Gow? Ive been impressed with Novo any time hes played this season and surely Gow must be knocking on the managers door for a piece of the action. Buffel too must be in with a shout. Dont think they could do any worse than some at the minute. If walter continues to play underachievers he will do the more damage than good. i single out whittaker in particular as he has been the biggest culprit. It certainly looks as if his nerves are shot and is fast becoming a target for the boo boys in the stands. This guy needs a spell on the bench. he contributes nothing to the team and you can see the confidence draining from him with every touch of the ball. If walters not careful he could finish the players Ibrox career by chrismas. Just a quick note for Walter. There was a touch of arrogance in his interview after the game that gordon strachan would have been proud of. Dont be smart with the fans Walt. You got it wrong again and you should put your hands up and admit it. Everyone can see it so dont take us all for fools mate.
  17. 1. Question about SDM selling: He says not to anyone who would asset strip and they would need to have funds to take club on. 2. Was sale of retail division a mistake: no - bottom line profit and not too turnover important 3. Mad old lady asks if players will stay whole year: everyone laughs 4. Tommy Daniels asks about Scott Mcdonald transfer; Walter says enquiry made but they would not release at the time but was made available for transfer in the summer then Celtic came in 5. Gary Lynch called into question length of time for questions being cut year on year: SDM says they will stay as long as they need 6. Badge on shirt: why no name of Rangers - Bain says will look at for best one 7. Question about Murray to Norwich: best to let go to free up budget - SDM nips in to say 10m spent net backing Walter - Brown transfer would have screwdriver up wage structure 8. About agent involved with Boumsong and other deals: Murray says club is clean and paperwork in order - confident all dealings stand up to scrutiny 9. Questioner asks why as head of the Rangers family SDM does not defend his brothers and sisters: Murray says media advisers campaigns and legal fees mean cost of defending clubs reputation has cost 700k in last year 10. Bain just said he is going to SPL board this afternoon to defend club over ICT issue. 11. Murray just accepted principle of democratically elected director of the club and process in place in time for next AGM and club issuing consultation paper within the month 12. Punter asked if club ashamed of our identity with remove of the union flag from many areas: Murray denied absolutely 13: Increased capacity: Murray says plans in consultation to expand footprint of land around with development and capacity will come into that 14: Travel abroad: what guarantee of protection from foreign police - new security adviser praised for attitude; number in Belgrade city to ensure safety 15. Questioner wants club to strive to 20/20 vision always being in top 20 in Europe on and off the pitch: Murray talks down and says finances depend on being in champs league 3 out of + seasons otherwise problems - Murray calls for 'realism' 16: Policing and safety in Scotland questioned (Dundee Utd in particular): Bain says feedback taken note of and presented to clubs and authorities 17. Eddie brown from Springburn says brand not being exposed enough in USA and isn't not available: Bain says 10k kids in Rangers soccer camps in Toronto in recent years - SDMurray seemed to say better return on money promoting within UK 18. Betty aAuld from Troon asks last question - about u21 rule: Bain says various clubs not happy and is being discussed by sub committees THE END Lasted one hour.
  18. http://www.gersnetonline.net/newsite/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=472&Itemid=2 Already, much has been written about the start of the season. Some of it is based on our reasonable start; some of it on the challenges we continue to face; and some of it understandably on past issues. What disappointments me most of all is the continued theme of negativity throughout all these topics. While one can empathise with these feelings, I think itââ?¬â?¢s time we tried to move on from the last 2 years of non-success and the last 7 years of inconsistency. Obviously, although that in no way means we should be ignoring the continuing problems we face in some areas, Iââ?¬â?¢m firmly of the opinion positivity breeds success and such an attitude can only help our club. Letââ?¬â?¢s look at matters on the park first. Ten new signings, 5 decent results and 5 clean sheets resulting in our early position at the top of the SPL and an increased chance of our progression to the financial pot of the Championsââ?¬â?¢ League rainbow. Considering the number of new players, the short summer of rest and the fact we lost out on a few targets, all in all itââ?¬â?¢s a satisfying start. Obviously, itââ?¬â?¢s not without its concerns. Walterââ?¬â?¢s tactics continue to be best described as overly cautious, the team are playing too deep (especially at Ibrox) and the lack of a genuine creative player is all too evident. However, in this bearââ?¬â?¢s opinion, the good far outweighs the bad. Our central defence looks as solid as itââ?¬â?¢s been since the days of Richard Gough. Carlos Cuellar appears to be a better version of Jean-Alain Boumsong and David Weir gives the aura of an experienced teacher lending his skills and discipline to the younger players. Alan Hutton and Allan McGregor continue their development and both being called up by Scotland highlights their consistency. Sasa Papac has also contributed very well to our decent start and while Kirk Broadfoot has been less assured, heââ?¬â?¢s coped well with being thrust into the pressure cauldron of the CL qualifiers at both right and left full back. In midfield, weââ?¬â?¢ve seen much flexibility. Our wide players seem agreeably interchangeable and while creativity is certainly short; we do seem able to enforce our play more effectively in the latter periods of games. Organisation and hard work seems the key here and although frustration can result for the fans, discipline and patience is as much a part of football as gung-ho attack. Kevin Thomson goes from strength to strength; Barry Ferguson and Brahim Hemdani bring their usual composure while DaMarcus Beasley and Nacho Novo have made chances and scored goals from deeper areas. Last and certainly not least, the much maligned signing of Lee McCulloch has shown that the big manââ?¬â?¢s industry and commitment all over the pitch will serve us well for the next 2 years. Up front is less clear at this stage. It appears that all our strikers appear to be struggling with the lone striker role as well as finding an understanding when 2 forwards are actually deployed. Kris Boyd is short of confidence and Jean-Claude Darcheville works hard with few rewards though fortunately, Daniel Cousin has shown that he seems to have the right mix of target-man, pace and finishing qualities to get the nod. Certainly, our conservative outlook to our tactics and formations hasnââ?¬â?¢t helped the development of our forward line. With time Iââ?¬â?¢m confident that will come. All in all, our signings have started well enough and while their reputations are mainstream rather than spectacular, we should be encouraged at how theyââ?¬â?¢ve gelled quickly and helped attain this decent start. Not to mention the likes of Webster, Whittaker and Gow who have not yet had their chance to impress. Off the pitch, well, weââ?¬â?¢ll start with investment first. The playing squad needed Ã?£10million spent on it and we seem to be approaching that figure. Indeed, Iââ?¬â?¢d imagine qualification for the CL Group Stage will see another 2 signings. A much needed creative influence (despite the returning Buffel) and another left-back (if the rumours about Stevie Smithââ?¬â?¢s lack of progress are to be believed) should be the main targets. While none of us have reason to trust David Murray, he does deserve praise for belatedly matching the supportââ?¬â?¢s ambitions. One just wonders why this didnââ?¬â?¢t happen last summer. Perhaps, given PLGââ?¬â?¢s poor transfer market performance, itââ?¬â?¢s just as well for our finances he didnââ?¬â?¢t receive the same kind of kitty. Unfortunately, the spectre of sectarianism reared its ugly head again 2 weeks past. While the matter was again sensationalised and exaggerated by parts the media, it was good to see the Rangers fans (via the Trust, Assembly and Association) unequivocally condemn the minority of yobs with the offensive add-ons. Given the progress our wonderful support has already made in the battle against bigotry, Iââ?¬â?¢ve no doubt weââ?¬â?¢ll continue to show our detractors that we can win this war and give those of other clubs who have similar problems food for thought in their own fights. Thus, with the club AGM being held next Thursday, the board will be feeling a bit more confident of facing the shareholders. Let them not rest on their laurels though. Much improvement is still required at the club and 5 good results and even CL qualification should not hide that. Whilst this article urges a positive outlook, the chairman and the board of directors must invoke further decisive change at our club. Firstly, changes at board level must be sought. The debt has risen again and some directors appear bereft of ideas to change this. John McLelland, Dave King and Alistair Johnston should be doing much more to innovate, invest and improve all aspects of the club. If they canââ?¬â?¢t, itââ?¬â?¢s time they were replaced. We have several talented high net worth fans here in Scotland who have shown through their own business operations that they can provide this outlook. Are they ready to step up to the plate? Similarly, itââ?¬â?¢s imperative that the club appoints a fan to the board at last. While reasonable dialogue has been ongoing in recent times, rhetoric and open-ended commitments must be turned into real supportersââ?¬â?¢ representation. A democratically elected executive board member is an important stage to the fans being more involved in the decision-making of the future. Given our tremendous loyalty and unwavering financial commitment of the last 135 years, our rightful place at the table must be offered. Other challenges remain as well. Our PR continues to be well below average and our marketing and branding unacceptably poor despite the financial considerations of the JJB deal. We must also consolidate on our under 19s successes of last year and look to improve our training facilities and youth system to match the very best in the world. If Hibs can bring through and make millions on young Scottish talent, then so can we. Rangers are the world most successful club ââ?¬â?? do we want to keep that proud record? Thus itââ?¬â?¢s from the top of the league and off the back of a good home result against a dangerous Red Star team that I issue this rallying call. Yes, letââ?¬â?¢s ensure the relevant questions about the running of the club are still asked vociferously. Yes, letââ?¬â?¢s ensure the players (new and old) are aware of what we expect from them. Yes, letââ?¬â?¢s ensure the manager is constructively criticised to aid improvement. But, letââ?¬â?¢s start to look forward ââ?¬â?? not back. If we donââ?¬â?¢t do that, we start to put the positives in shadow, the light will fail and the vultures will circle again. Rangers are the proudest, most successful team in Scotland. Our fans are second to none ââ?¬â?? to none ââ?¬â?? and we seem to be emerging from a dark, dark time slowly but surely. None of us want to repeat the last couple of years. We want a brighter future and we want to be the best. Letââ?¬â?¢s show it by being positive and concentrating not on the negatives but by doing what we do best ââ?¬â?? being loyal; being proud; being steadfast and being supportive. We are the people!
  19. The last two dismal performances have highlighted the character in our current squad - or complete lack of it. People have complained that Walter Smith's return has not exactly resulted in total football, but it has to be said that it would have taken a magician to turn the sow's ear into a silk purse. What Walter has done is turn the offending ear into a reasonably servicable, if scappy looking, leather wallet. There is definitely some skill in the squad and the odd bit of fight, which has been brought out in them by a man who has instilled a great purpose about "achieving" second place. It seems the players will play for Walter given enough of a goal, but not when that goal is gone, and they won't play for another man whose goals they don't share. This to me suggests a lack of intrisic character in these players, and that their motivation does not come from wanting to excel themselves but has too many other complexities. The trounble is that, we don't have the finances, or even the attraction to bring in another whole new squad but have to make do with these spinless players, and instead augment the team on a limited budget. So it seems to me that Walter, not only has to look for fit, skillful players, who can fit in the team and adapt to the SPL, he also has to find players who are driven by an inate desire to win. Who also find losing, totally unacceptable and who are willing to expend every last calorie of energy on the pitch to avoid defeat. With a few changes to the team with these kind of players, this character may rub off on some of the others. On the positive side, I think Walter recognises this and you can't get more character and professionalism than a player like Weir. What we need are more players with that attitude. I think players who are not too bad are: MacGregor Hutton Weir Hemdani Novo while the worst are: Svensson Ehiogu Burke Sionko Adam Buffel Boyd Although some of them might just be lacking in ability. The jury is out on Papac and Thomson but I would find it hard to defend them on their depth of character shown so far. Ferguson has been an enigma and at various times been committed or AWOL. I think he'd pull up his socks a bit if he had a few more highly talented and experienced players around him, whom he can't bully and who show him up when he's poor. I think it's fair to say, he's been a failure of a captain in the last two years and I would really like to see a new captain brought in, but can't see it happening. I can't see how Brown would have helped with this aspect so it might be best if his 4.4M fee was spent elsewhere. Here's hoping that Smith brings in some character and the new goal of winning the league inspires our present insipid lot.
  20. Its one of those typical, standard interviews from a fed-up player or more likely his agent. Maybe he will be for the off after all to boost the transfer kitty? That might make sense with Weir being first choice and us having a few candidates who could come in alongside him. Besides, if Webster is going to cost us �£500,000 or so, we could pay for him from Svensson's fee and have money to spare. Taken from the Daily R*cord:
  21. This is pretty out of the blue
  22. Ok Murray has quite fairly taken a lot of criticism but thinking about our managerial hirings and "firings" it really does seem he listens to the fans. When GS left SDM tried to keep him, and insisted it was the biggest mistake of his life. The fans were also sorry to see him go and wanted him to say. He appointed WS as manager which although wasn't the most exciting thing for the fans, it had continuity and after he won the treble and did well in Europe the fans were happy. He got rid of WS when the fans weren't happy about Euro results despite being on very good term with him. We were spoiled with domestic success and gave WS a lot of criticism and most thought it was a good time for him to move on especially as the team was stagnating and WS looked a bit jaded with the job. He then brought us the big name that we craved, DA, who looked like he could do well in Europe and the difference was night and day in that arena although we always looked like we just needed a couple more quality players to actually do something. That's what we craved and that's what SDM provided but unfortunately it was from borrowed money and he didn't keep a good eye on the finances. DA was very successful to start but the more he didn't quite make it the more desperate he got before losing the dressing room. After a barren season and things looking bleak we started to want rid of DA and lo and behold he was punted upstairs by SDM and replaced with what many fans wanted: A promising Scottish manager who knew all about Rangers. We really wanted a bigger name but we didn't realise the extend of the debt but he is still liked by many fans. He was SDA's third manager to be instantly successful and the third manager to completely peter out and give us a barren season. We became so dire that there was a clamour to replace him from the fans and although SDM backed him, to be fair it was only because he had already lined up his replacement but had to wait on him. PLG was another dream ticket for the Rangers fans who lapped it up again, another masterstroke. The fact it didn't work out is more down to PLG than SDM and you can't blame the chairman for that choice. But the fans reacted again and so did Murray, this time immediately and now he's bringing in his 5th dream ticket in a row. We all respect WS and believe he's improved as he's shown with Scotland and we love AMC and would like to see him as a future Rangers manager. We again want a Scottish influence who are Rangers men and we've got it. So you can't fault SDM for getting rid when the fans wanted it and bringing in very popular choices. It looks like the fans do have power after all, or maybe DM is actually a bit of a fan too, or perhaps he just thinks the same as us, or alternatively he wants to be seen as some kind of hero but spoils it all with his bullshit, bad chairmanship in other ways like not allowing fan representation on the board, and many other faults.
  23. http://www.gersnet.info/fmrangers/newmain/280606.html Recently, there has been a lot of talk on the online community about club finances and where it stands in this regard. Firstly, Iââ?¬â?¢d like to make clear that I am in no way a financial expert but the claim in the title is simply from reading between the lines regarding various stories and issues over the last year or so. My main evidence submission, curiously missed by many, is a Sunday Times business article from 2 months ago by John Penman (link available below). Seems to me Mr Murray is trying to tell us something which makes this subject so interesting worth while discussing. Last year we made, conservatively, around Ã?£12million from our exciting Championsââ?¬â?¢ league campaign. A few months back the chairman also announced the ââ?¬Ë?selling of the jerseysââ?¬â?¢ (literally) by outsourcing our successful retail operations to JJB Sports for Ã?£18million. Thatââ?¬â?¢s around Ã?£30million of investment which should bring our ongoing debt to around the -Ã?£10million mark ââ?¬â?? probably less. In other words, the club is on its most secure financial footing for a good number of years. Looking at the ever-decreasing share price you might find that contradicts this somewhat. However, that could be explained by a falling market (which is partly true) and/or someone selling shares at a fair rate. Who owns 91.8% of the shares again so has a few spare to sell? Indeed, further evidence, from Murray himself, indicates the club is available. Interviewed recently in the ââ?¬Ë?Sunday Timesââ?¬â?¢, regarding his biography; Murray says he has his ââ?¬Ë?sights on leaving the club in someone elseââ?¬â?¢s handsââ?¬â?¢. That may not be imminent but that shows his ââ?¬Ë?ambitionsââ?¬â?¢. Several other aspects of Murrayââ?¬â?¢s current business strategy and his personal life point towards a man changing his goals and his way of life. He recently sold his Murray International Metals group for Ã?£120million and has moved aggressively into the property scene. His Premier Property Group owns shopping centres and office buildings all over the UK. It has just embarked on a Ã?£50m speculative office development in the heart of Glasgow and its MIH parent group has borrowed nearly Ã?£500million to fund more ventures. Murray also announced his engagement this year and his intention to buy at least one more vineyard to the one he owns in France. A man making many changes then and important ones at that. Some may argue that the exciting appointment of Paul Le Guen, one of the finest young managers in World football, is a signal that he intends to take Rangers back to the forefront of the UK game. Iââ?¬â?¢d counter that this appointment and the other staff changes made within the club recently are only to attract a potential buyer. Certainly the minimal (but fiscally prudent) alleged transfer budget afforded to Le Guen doesnââ?¬â?¢t indicate a chairman prepared to go out on a limb to achieve his footballing ambitions. It shows a chairman keeping finances tight while having the club on a sound footing at every level (financial and staff), and importantly for this article, ready for sale. So who would take over the club? That is the main question here, since it appears to be a case of not if Murray will move on but when, who will take over? It wonââ?¬â?¢t be any of his sons as Murray doesnââ?¬â?¢t want them to have the same emotional and time rollercoaster he has had during his tenure. Although a Russian billionaire (Vladimir Lisin) has moved into an estate next door to Murrayââ?¬â?¢s in Perthsire such a buyer also seems unlikely. Murray rightly questions the hunger and attachment such a buyer would feel so perhaps the eternal links to Tom Hunter may be more likely. However, Hunter himself recently sold his stake in JJB Sports for Ã?£72million and his West Coast Capital investment company is also currently working with other such vehicles to move into other corporate areas. As such, an investment in Rangers by Hunter also looks off the mark. Perhaps we could look towards the background of Donald McIntyre, the new Rangers finance director for clues. McIntyre, a Chartered Accountant, has held senior financial positions within Stakis plc, Hilton Group plc, Hewden Stuart plc and latterly as Group Financial Controller at Macdonald Hotels Limited. Maybe one of these companies might be interested in a football investment particularly when you consider the ongoing RFC casino project. Vegas Sands who are in partnership with RFC for this leisure expansion may provide the biggest clue yet but are they a red herring? Also in the frame is the Rangers Supportersââ?¬â?¢ Trust. Their recent ShareSave initiative enables all fans to buy a stake in the club while proxying their holding to the Trust. Itââ?¬â?¢s only the initial stages of the project but already it seems successful and interest is high. Itââ?¬â?¢s also backed by the club and high net worth investors are taking part. Thus, while the RST may not be a buying contender per se, their increasing holding and undoubted increasing say of late means the may form a large part of any future boardroom changes. No matter the names suggested its all speculation at this stage but interesting nonetheless. Certainly, from the fansââ?¬â?¢ point of view, any new owner would still have over 90% of the shares. This has to be addressed in order for us to be able to influence the clubââ?¬â?¢s eventual new owner and avoid some of the problems weââ?¬â?¢ve had with the current one. Many fans are fed up with David Murray and have advocated an ownership change for several years. It seems that change is coming then ââ?¬â?? maybe not today, maybe not next year but it will happen sooner rather than later. Only then, will we know just how good a chairman and owner David Murray really is. Sources: ââ?¬Å?Reaping rewards from life's touchlineââ?¬Â http://business.timesonline.co.uk/article/0,,9070-2157688.html Rangers Supportersââ?¬â?¢ Trust ShareSave scheme http://www.rangerssupporterstrust.co.uk/ss.html
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