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  1. American football remains a minority sport in the UK, and especially in Scotland, where the urban English fascination with US culture, especially those of minorities, is less firmly felt. Even so, some of you may have read about the 'inflategate' scandal which erupted after last week's semi-finals, in which Boston's New England Patriots were, apparently, found to have deliberately under inflated the footballs used, presumably giving them an advantage. Quite how it did so I can't explain: perhaps their players are more used to handling squishy balls than the firm-tested team they beat. But the comeback against the most successful side in recent years in the NFL has been swift and bitter. Patriots' owner, Robert Kraft (presumably of the atomic-orange 'Cheesey Pasta' and suspiciously mushy, not-very-cheesy Dairylea Triangles family) has angrily stepped up to the plate, to mix our American sports, and lashed out at the coverage his side has received. Get this: “I’m disappointed in the way this entire matter has been handled and reported upon,” Kraft said, pointing directly to reports citing anonymous sources. “We expect hard facts rather than circumstantial leaked evidence to drive the conclusion of this investigation.” Sounds mighty familiar. I doubt many folk in the Greater Boston area would be thrilled at a comparison with Rangers, the bastion not only of quintessential Britishness but the Protestant Ascendancy, Conservative Values, Stout Monarchism etc etc. Just the same, it does sound familiar to the bluenose ear (now there's an image), does it not? “I am confident that this investigation will uncover whatever the facts were that took place last Sunday and the science of how game balls react to changes in the environment,” Kraft added. “This would be in direct contrast to the public discourse, which has been driven by media leaks as opposed to actual data and facts. Because of this, many jumped to conclusions and made scarring accusations against our coach, quarterback and staff questioning the integrity of all involved.” At least throughout all Rangers' travails no-one accused them of under inflating their footballs. Balls of a different sort will be needed on Sunday, when probably the least anticipated Rangers - Celtic game of all time rolls around. The air has certainly gone from this fixture, and it would be appropriate if Rangers turned up on a series of old Raleigh bikes with flat tyres. Clown horns would not be amiss either, given the standard of play we've seen. I daresay Celtic fans can't wait for it. If I was in their shoes I'd be hoping for double figures. All very defeatist and in line with the mood of gloom which not only surrounds but suffocates anything and everything to do with the Ibrox side, but I don't apologise for that. On the pitch, in the boardroom, on the stands, can anyone see any light? As a long established handwringer, I'm split 3 ways between worrying about a total doing, the off field ramblings of various boards, and the potential for embarrassment from the stands. My wishy-washy attitude to this last has never been about being personally offended: as someone of no religion I shed few tears for sensitive clerical types of whatever stripe. It's always been about what hurts Rangers; but there's no sign of anyone else giving much of a toss. An afternoon long Sash Bash awaits, say some. Oh, the joy. I just felt it would show more balls, inflated to maximum, to call for decorum before the game, rather than wading in afterward. Who knows? Maybe it will all pass off in a manner which doesn't damage the club's image, what's left of it. Can't see it, though. And it's all such a waste of energy, anyway, shouting meaningless insults which don't insult the other side and bring harm to your own. I suppose everyone - and certainly, every club's fans - is guilty, from time to time, of saying things they don't mean. Only last night on the radio, Soviet Jim Spence, the Tayside Trotsky, suggested that the 80% of football fans who don't follow Rangers are bored with the saga. He might be more convincing if he didn't spend quite so much time talking about it, mostly in the manner chastised by Robert Kraft above. I doubt the US capitalist rotter, who seems more than a little aggrieved at being questioned at all - a sense of entitlement is rarely attractive - had the Couthy Commissar in his mind when he complained about 'circumstantial leaked evidence' but if the caps fits...and if 80% of fans don't care about Rangers, they've a funny way of showing it! Certainly, football worldwide is often the refuge of the unreconstructed, simple minded soul, and a sense of social awareness has never been a qualification for media work at all, let alone in sport. Last week's superb game in the FA Cup between Arsenal and Brighton, for example, was marred only by Robbie Savage's shrieked commentary, in which he not only encouraged Brighton players to put opponents into Row Z, play long balls into the channel and hoof it clear from defence, but persistently referred to co-host Ian Darke as 'darkey'. Even allowing for 'PC gone mad' considerations, this was brutal, throwback behaviour, as if the last 30 years on and off the field had never happened. I was ready for him to suggest Albion start the second half in flares before going on strike. But the game doesn't have to be so stupid: who in their right mind wants to use Robbie Savage as an exemplar? Maybe we can set an example for whatever future awaits our club by ignoring the existence of opposing fans and trying to lift the team. Well, there you have it, the depressing thoughts of a depressed handwringer on a depressingly wintry morning. We wait to see what happens on the pitch. I am sure the ground staff at Hampden will have the balls at the right pressure. I wonder what pressure mine will be come kick off.
  2. ... and to brighten our spirits a little: Top 10 Most Successful European Football Clubs And we welcome the chase!
  3. We have considered the views of many fans regarding action against Sports Direct. After to today's announcement we would be surprised if any self respecting Rangers fans spent money in his shops. Stopping him taking others money is a priority and as such we shall be starting a series of action to do this very soon. To hit his pocket via a series of actions nationally would not go amiss and as should be possible. What i suggest we do is set up a national network of Sons of Struth branches to coordinate future actions and as such would request as many as possible join us and those willing to coordinate from a local level can contact us to offer their services. sosnofstruth@aol.com As usual any action from SoS will be legal and non threatening to any staff or customers JOIN US http://www.sonsofstruth.co.uk/join-sos.html Craig
  4. ...in Westminster speech. Jan 27, 2015 17:07 By John Ferguson DONOHOE accused Ashley of showing "scant regard for his workers" in his retail firms referring to a move to plunge USC into administration before he bought it again through one of his other subsidiaries, leaving many workers out of a job. MIKE Ashley’s credentials to invest in Rangers have been questioned by a Scots MP during a speech in the Palace of Westminster. Brian Donohoe used parliamentary privilege to question whether the billionaire Newcastle United owner was a fit and proper person to take over at Ibrox. His criticism came after Ashley plunged his fashion retailer USC into administration, only to buy it again through one of his other subsidiaries, leaving many workers out of a job. Donohoe said: “Given the way Mike Ashley has behaved, is the Sports Direct supremo a fit and proper person to be buying shares in Ibrox and appointing his people to the board? ”He has shown scant regard for his workers and thrown many loyal people on the scrapheap. “It is wrong that this individual is allowed anywhere close to Rangers. “We need transparency into the affairs of Mike Ashley and the affairs of Glasgow Rangers.” The USC deal - brokered through former Rangers administrators Duff and Phelps - resulted in the loss of 88 jobs at the firm’s headquarters in Dundonald, South Ayrshire. Mr Donohoe says that USC staff were given no advance warning when they were made redundant just after Christmas. According to Forbes magazine, Ashley, who owns just under 8.9 per cent of Rangers shares but wields a massive amount of power at the club, is worth £3.3billion making him the 293rd richest person in the world. A motion has been lodged at the Scottish Parliament by local Adam Ingram MSP which condemns the actions of Mr Ashley and calls on him to ensure employees are paid what they are owed has so far attracted support from 26 other MSPs. http://www.dailyrecord.co.uk/sport/football/football-news/not-fit-run-rangers-mp-5053298
  5. We are f----d. 27 January 2015 Rangers International Football Club plc ("Rangers" or the "Company") £10m Credit Facility and associated transfer of 26% of Rangers Retail Limited The Board of Rangers announces that Rangers Football Club Limited ("the Club") has entered in to agreements with independent.co.uk/news/business/news/sports-direct-stops-20000-staff-taking-other-work-by-using-zero-hour-contracts-9661746.html Retail Limited and associated companies ("SD"), to provide a long term on-going credit facility of up to £10m (the "Facility"). The Company's financial condition has been perilous for a number of months exacerbated by lower than expected match attendances. The Directors have implemented a cost cutting program with which they have made significant progress. There is however an immediate need for a substantial injection of capital, and the Directors have considered a number of options. The terms negotiated with SD (which are reversible in respect of the Facility) represent the optimum combination of quantum and duration of funding, allowing the Company time to arrange permanent capital which can be used for strengthening the playing squad. The Facility is structured in two separate interest free tranches. GBP 5million will be available immediately for working capital purposes and for the repayment of the credit facilities with MASH Holdings Limited which was entered into on 27 October 2014. All rights and security associated with the MASH facility will be cancelled. The Club will transfer 26% of the share capital in Rangers Retail Limited ("RRL") to SD for the duration of the Facility (the "Transfer"), which will be transferred back, at no cost, upon repayment of all outstanding sums owed by Rangers and its subsidiaries to SD. There is no specified repayment period for the first tranche of the Facility. The Facility is to be secured by (1) a floating charge over the Club's assets and (2) fixed charges over Murray Park, Edmiston House, Albion Car Park, and the Club's registered trademarks. None of the security that is being given to SD covers Ibrox Stadium, which is specifically excluded and remains in the full ownership of the Club, free from any security. SD will also have the right to nominate two directors to the board of Rangers for the duration of the Facility, any such nomination will be subject to regulatory consent pursuant to the AIM Rules and other regulatory bodies. If the entire sum drawn down is repaid, the Facility will be deemed to be terminated, all security will be released, the 26% of RRL will revert to the Company and all rights of SD to nominate Directors to the Board of the Company will cease. The second tranche of GBP5 million, which repayable 5 years after drawdown, will be used, if required, for working capital purposes and is subject to due diligence by SD prior to drawn down. The Company has also agreed that from the 2017/8 season, for the duration of the Facility, any future shirt sponsorship proceeds will be for the benefit of RRL. RRL will declare a dividend of a total of GBP 1,610,000 prior to the Transfer. The Club will use the proceeds of its share of this dividend, inter alia, to repay sums owing to SD in respect of the cessation of onerous leases on unprofitable stores entered into by a previous Rangers management team. RRL is a joint venture between the Club and SD whose business is selling merchandise both on-line and in stores. In the period ending 27 April 2014, RRL made a profit before tax of GBP 1,172,893. SD is a Related Party under the AIM Rules and accordingly the Facility is a Related Party Transaction pursuant to AIM Rule 13. The Independent Directors, consider, having consulted with WH Ireland its nominated adviser, that the terms of the Facility are fair and reasonable insofar as shareholders of the Company are concerned. The Directors would like to thank all the Rangers Stakeholders who showed an interest in helping the Company. Commenting on the Facility, David Somers said: " The Board has sought for some time to establish a long term funding solution for the Company in order to create a platform of stability to build for the future. This Facility begins this process and we very much hope that it will be augmented with further permanent capital in due course. In addition, the executive team have made strides in addressing the cost base of the Company in order to improve our financial condition and working capital profile. We very much hope that we can now move away from having to seek short term funding solutions and can focus our efforts towards investing in the first team playing squad, a return to profitability and to re-establishing Rangers in the top league in Scottish Football and in due course, to European competition. The Board now calls upon all shareholders to rally together to achieve this goal."
  6. 26/01/15 12:13pm Chris Graham, of the Rangers' Supporters Trust, is confident that the fans will have an influence in the club in the coming weeks. http://www1.skysports.com/watch/video/sports/football/teams/rangers/9670177/graham-confident-of-fans-influence
  7. ...now there's just hatred and bitterness. KEITH looks forward to this weekend's game and tries to see through the nastiness and petty squabbles that surround it. IN the endless search for rational thinking on the subject of Scottish football – and on Celtic and Rangers in particular – social media is seldom an ideal starting point. A digital breeding ground for 
card-carrying bampots and 
extremists of all denominations, it never ceases to amaze just how much rancid hostility and barking insanity can be squeezed into 140 characters or less. Often it is a place where the very dullest of wits go to be unburdened and emptied out on to a screen. More often than not, as will without doubt be the case this week and beyond, it quickly degenerates into online loutishness and a feeding frenzy for the terminally unhinged. Already, the build-up is dominated by anger and insults. This, of course, is not to say every Old Firm fan who lurks around on the internet must slaver and breathe through the mouth. Absolutely not. On the contrary, some of them are fiendishly clever. Every now and then one will pop up quite unexpectedly on Twitter and manage to succinctly nail it. Like the Rangers fan who, when discussing what lies ahead at Hampden this weekend, offered up the following: “There’s no rivalry any more. Just hatred. It’s sad.” That’s the truth, right there. As much as these two clubs and their followers might posture and growl at one another – no matter how many full-page newspaper ads they might take out in the coming days – the reality is their two teams are about to engage in a phoney war. What was once a formidable sporting rivalry is now a fading memory. This fixture is the headline act in Scottish football’s odditorium. Yes, it may well be watched in big numbers but only because it holds all the fascination of a modern-day freak show. As a newspaper man of more than 25 years, there was nothing quite like the adrenalin rush of a Glasgow derby. The ferocity of the occasion made it completely compelling. Then, on top of all that, came the Larssons and Laudrups, de Boers and Di Canios – men whose skills would light up and shine like a thing of beauty making it easier to ignore the surrounding ugliness. Now that’s all there is left. The Great Ibrox Implosion of 2012 and events since have ravaged Rangers and reduced them to a state of irrelevance. There is no contest between these two clubs. None at all. It is hard to imagine Ronny Deila’s Celtic not winning this League Cup semi-final and winning comfortably. His team is stronger and more talented than Rangers in pretty much every department. It ought to be really quite straightforward. But even if it is not – even if somehow Rangers were to spring up and catch Celtic cold with the kind of sucker punches that floored Chelsea and Manchester City over the weekend – in a wider context nothing much will really change. Deila might find his relationship with Celtic fans so badly damaged that no amount of post-match
 fist-pumping from Pittodrie to Rugby Park can fix it. But, even so, he will deliver the club’s fourth successive league title. The summer would then be used to debate whether Deila deserves another shot at qualifying for the Champions League. Even if the general consensus is “no” then Celtic will go on about their business just the same, only with a new man in charge. That’s the worst case scenario at Parkhead. The Champions League remains Celtic’s be all and end all. Over at Ibrox, meanwhile, a once great footballing rival continues to eat its own feet off. The worst that can happen to Rangers fans is that their team might be humiliated. Maybe annihilated. But again nothing really changes. Nor for that matter would a victory, as far fetched as it might seem. Chances are they would be wiped out in the Final by either a resurgent Aberdeen or an equally thriving Dundee United. And even if by some miracle this rudderless, managerless team, which cannot stay out of harm’s way in the Championship, went on to actually lift the League Cup then so what? They’ll be looking inwards because before they can aspire to competing against their neighbours, first they must fix their own house. Where Rangers are concerned, there will be another meeting at Hampden this week which is of far greater significance to the club’s future. And it will take place tomorrow, not out on the pitch but on the sixth floor. Mike Ashley will not attend but his lawyers will be there, or at least they’ll be on the other end of a conference call, as the SFA’s judicial panel gets down to the business of dealing with the Sports Direct tycoon’s interest in all matters Ibrox. His legal representatives will ask for more time – possibly months – to fully consider the charges which centre around their man’s influence in the boardroom. The SFA’s lawyers will argue that no such lengthy delay is necessary to prepare Ashley’s case. It is likely that the whole process will be stalled for two to four weeks. Meanwhile, Ashley is expected to further tighten his stranglehold with another wad of emergency cash, as much as £10million – a great deal more than Rangers require in order to survive until new shares are released. This entire deal appears to be designed to suit Ashley more than to satisfy the needs of a club that may find itself saddled with a huge debt mountain to one man. These are the issues Rangers must tackle before they are even remotely ready to go toe to toe with their city rivals. And even though clarity may be provided when the shareholders vote at an egm a few weeks from now, potentially smashing the current regime and rebuilding the boardroom, there are no quick fixes. For the time being then, this rivalry has had its day. But the hatred rages on. If only it were confined to the land of the hashtag. http://www.dailyrecord.co.uk/opinion/sport/keith-jackson-celtic-v-rangers-5043134
  8. Former Italy midfielder Rino Gattuso wants to be Rangers manager one day. Current Rangers team boss Kenny McDowall is working his 12-month notice having handed in his resignation. And 37-year-old Gattuso, who spent a season with Rangers as a player, this month applied unsuccessfully for the vacancy at Hamilton Academical. "My dream is to maybe one day to have the chance to work for this club," he said after attending a tribute match for former defender Fernando Ricksen. "I played today, but manager is a different job. I am sure 100% that this is a big club." Gattuso did not wish to comment on his application to manage Accies after Alex Neil's switch to Norwich City. Hamilton last week appointed former captain Martin Canning as player-manager and insisted that they had already decided they wanted the defender to succeed Neil before they received expressions of interest from the Italian among others. After yesterdays game I would love this to happen! even in a charity game he had more fight in his little toe than our team all season!!! he would shake the team up and get the journey men working for their over inflated wage packet........
  9. US-BASED coach persuaded Pheonix Suns owner to mount £20m bid and reckons Ibrox board failed the club by rejecting the offer. DAVID ROBERTSON last night insisted Rangers have blown a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity by ditching a takeover bid from American millionaire Robert Sarver. The former Ibrox full-back also accused the board of failing to act in the best interests of their club by rejecting a £20m offer from the Phoenix Suns owner. Sarver opted against a further attempt to do business after his approach to gain a controlling stake was kicked out by the directors who failed to find the required 75 per cent shareholder backing. But Robertson is adamant Rangers’ loss will be another club’s gain and insists they have looked a gift horse in the mouth. The 46-year-old played a key role in pitching the idea of an Ibrox bid to the Phoenix Suns owner. Robertson’s role as head coach of Phoenix FC allowed his path to cross the American financier’s and he admits it should have been a twist of fate that would have shaped an exciting future for the Light Blues. He said: “I run a club in Phoenix and his kids play within the club, I coach one of his kids. “He’s just like any other parent, he stands on the sidelines and cheers his kids on. He’s a down to earth guy and has been generous to our club. “It’s a good relationship I’ve got with him. It was actually by chance that he was talking about buying a football club and I mentioned Rangers. He took a big shine to it. “If you look at his interviews then that’s the type of guy he is. He’s by the book and straight talking. He’s not going to go around doing anything dodgy behind the scenes. He’s out in the open and he put in a couple of offers that have been turned down. “Rob’s the type of guy who wants to make a bad situation good. He would do whatever it would take. He was prepared to invest a lot. “Rob’s got the know-how of a pretty big sports franchise to implement a lot of stuff. “I know Rangers as a club – even on the business side of it – are not operating to full capacity. “Whoever ends up in control of Rangers, there’s got to be a good solid plan. It’s got to be long term.” As one of the best defenders of his generation, Robertson’s six years at Ibrox brought six titles and countless trophies as well as three Scotland caps. After flying back to Glasgow to start his SFA UEFA Pro Licence course, it allowed time for the former Aberdeen player to provide a detailed analysis of the origins behind Sarver’s bid but he is adamant a quick trip to Google would have done the trick. He said: “With technology these days it doesn’t take you long to work out what a good guy he is. “He’s got a heart foundation. My daughter goes to school in Tucson, University of Arizona, and he’s got the Sarver Heart Foundation, so he does a lot of charity work there. “He’s also a winner. The Phoenix Suns are on a fantastic run at the moment, Rob’s got all the infrastructure. He’s obviously got the wealth to invest in a football club and at some point he will. “You’ve got to meet tough guidelines with the franchise every year, every week. Whatever club he ends up at, he can certainly bring all that. “Even just the Phoenix Suns alone, he has had the franchise for 10 years. He has invested a lot of money in every single aspect of that franchise. “I’ve had a few conversations with Robert but it’s mainly just about my views on Rangers as a club. “The one thing he has said is he loves the passion that the club has and that the Rangers supporters have. He has had loads of messages and thank you notes, he’ll definitely remember Rangers for a long time.” One of the more reasonable suggestions for Robertson was to expect a call from someone from the Rangers board on a fact-finding mission about Sarver. He said: “No one called, I do feel if they were looking for info then it’s surprising. “I had a lot of people contact me at certain points from the media but I’m so much away from it that I didn’t want to get involved.” Cynics may suggest Robertson’s initial motivation for inviting Sarver to attempt a salvage operation at Rangers could have been to try to carve out a coaching return to Ibrox but he says there’s no hidden agenda. He said: “That was never spoken about. I’m not the type of guy who goes out to try to do something like this to get an opportunity. “He has taken a big shine to it and all the conversations I’ve had have been about my knowledge of Rangers.” There is frustration both as a friend of Sarver’s and also as a former Rangers player that the takeover has not been realised but there are no hard feelings for Robertson, only a suspicion the Ibrox board have a selfish motive not to relinquish control. He said: “It’s a difficult situation. He needed 75 per cent and they felt they couldn’t have got that. The shareholders really could have made it happen. “I don’t know how far he would have gone but he’s such an honest guy, whatever he says you can take as gospel. “He had visions of getting Rangers back to where they were. He has never been negative towards Rangers or anything but he’s disappointed the way it has turned out. “I talk to him now and again. He’s never going to give too much away. But he was serious about Rangers.” ● David Robertson was speaking at the SFA’s UEFA Pro Licence course. http://www.dailyrecord.co.uk/sport/football/football-news/ex-ibrox-star-david-robertson-says-5042436
  10. Celtic striker Leigh Griffiths has been arrested in connection with an incident at a pub. The 24-year-old Scotland international was charged and cautioned with an offence under the Offensive Behaviour at Football and Threatening Communications Act. The charge relates to an incident at a pub in Edinburgh last year. A Police Scotland spokesman said: "We can confirm that a 24-year-old man has been arrested and charged." The arrest came before Griffiths played for Celtic in their SPFL match against Ross County in Dingwall on Saturday afternoon. The club declined to comment. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-30965522
  11. Stuff some block out time and again when talking about us and postmen, plummers and co. for these last few years. Stuff, that happens time and again, all over the place. And today again ... CHELSEA 2 - Bradford City 4 (that's the English third tier team) MANCHESTER CITY 0 - Middlesbrough FC 2 (that's the English second tier team) SOUTHAMPTON FC 2 - Crystal Palace 3 Cambridge United* 0 - MANCHESTER UNITED 0 *(that's the English fourth tier team) ... so none of the EPL's top four have made it to the next round against lesser opposition, only ManU with a chance to go through. It does not mean much with respect to our players failing time and again to play some decent football, or our managers to show some sort of imagination. Yet, it does show that time and again big names and hilarious money paid for and on players will not guarantee you success. If a third tier team is set up and drilled well enough, it can cause quite a bit of a shock. And while I'm at it, Falkirk did beat Hearts at Tynecastle today, rather unexpectantly.
  12. A SCOTS MP is to raise questions in the Commons about whether Mike Ashley is a fit and proper person to run Rangers and other clubs after he was accused of deplorable behaviour over his treatment of workers at his collapsed clothing firm. Central Ayrshire MP Brian Donohoe says he will use parliamentary privilege to question the credentials of the billionaire Newcastle United owner to run top flight sides. Business Minister Fergus Ewing has already expressed "extreme concern and disappointment" at the conduct of Mr Ashley's Sports Direct, which owns USC, after it went into administration this month with the loss of 88 jobs in Dundonald, South Ayrshire. http://www.heraldscotland.com/news/home-news/mike-ashleys-credentials-to-run-football-clubs-to-be-questioned-in-parliament.116853857
  13. ByPAUL THORNTON The Sun Published: 18 minutes ago CHEEKY Celtic fans are planning to light the blue-touch paper on next week’s long-awaited Old Firm clash - with a full page ad explaining why Rangers are a new club. Sections of the Hoops support have clubbed together to take out the message in a Sunday newspaper one week before the tie. The lengthy message sets out why some Celts reckon the Gers are a different outfit from their historic rivals following the oldco’s liquidation in 2012. After organising through forums and supporter sites a group of dozens of fans have clubbed together a four-figure sum to place the statement. The message states: “As Celtic supporters, we regrettably recognise that our club had an association with Rangers (1872) through the collective descriptive term, The Old Firm. We believe this term is now redundant following the liquidation of Rangers (1872). “On 1st February Celtic supporters will support our team in the semifinal against a new club, which came into being in 2012. “This will be the first ever meeting between the two clubs and the purpose of this statement is to place our position on record so that Celtic supporters can enjoy the occasion for what it is and without playing any part in what we see as the Rangers ‘club continuation’ fiction.” The stunt is sure to wind-up Bears who were buoyed by Lord Nimmo Smith’s report which saw Rangers retain their titles in 2013. At the end of December SPFL chief executive Neil Doncaster firmed-up that view when he insisted the team were “absolutely” the same club. He said: “It’s the same club, absolutely. “The member club is the entity that participates in our league and we have 42 member clubs. “Those clubs may be owned by a company, sometimes it’s a Private Limited Company, sometimes it’s a PLC, but ultimately, the company is a legal entity in its own right, which owns a member club that participates in the league. “It was put to bed by the Lord Nimmo Smith commission some while ago – it’s the same club.” Bosses at the paper where the ad is due to run contacted Police Scotland to make sure it would not spark trouble between the supports. Last night the force said: “We are aware of the advert.” Rangers declined to comment. But Union of Fans spokesman Chris Graham said: “We’ve been over this time and time again. The football authorities have said it’s the same club and Lord Nimmo Smith has said it’s the same club. “I don’t think Rangers fans are paying any special attention to the online crackpots among the Celtic support who continue to put forward this notion. I’d have thought they’d have better things to spend their money on.”
  14. If loans are given by Ashley Ibrox will not be used as security -Sky Sports News.
  15. ...snubbing bids to help sacked Scots workers. RANGERS shareholder Mike Ashley has been accused of deplorable behaviour after he repeatedly rebuffed attempts by ministers to offer help to warehouse employees who his firm had abruptly made redundant. Business Minister Fergus Ewing has expressed "extreme concern and disappointment" at the conduct of Mr Ashley's Sports Direct, the parent company of clothing chain USC which the billionaire allowed to go into administration this month costing 88 employees their jobs at its base in Dundonald, Ayrshire. It has emerged that the Scottish Government made a series of urgent but unsuccessful attempts to contact bosses and offer help to the employees, leading an MSP to question whether Mr Ashley was a fit and proper person to own Rangers. It is understood that representatives from PACE - a Scottish Government initiative which offers advice to workers made redundant - travelled to the warehouse after attempts to make contact with company bosses were ignored but were denied access to the site to speak directly with employees for several days. Workers are believed to have not been offered redundancy pay from the firm, while some are owed cash dating back to mid-December. Sports Direct representatives also refused to return phone calls from the highest levels of the Scottish Government. Despite Mr Ewing writing to Mr Ashley and requesting an immediate response, he only received an acknowledgement of his letter. Scottish Enterprise chief executive Lena Wilson also attempted to make contact with Mr Ashley before Dave Forsey, the CEO of Sports Direct, wrote to Mr Ewing on January 14, a week after the first attempts to make contact with the firm, confirming that USC had been put into administration. Ms Wilson received no response, despite numerous attempts to follow-up her letter. MSP Adam Ingram, whose constituency includes the Dundonald warehouse, accused Mr Ashley of showing "complete contempt" for his employees. "He's got £10 million in his pocket to try and take control of Rangers but he won't pay his workers wages they are due or make any redundancy payments," he said. "He's refused to respond to the minister when he's been trying to get help for the workforce, who only found out they were losing their jobs when nine Sports Direct container lorries arrived to strip the warehouse of stock. "It's deplorable behaviour and calls in to question whether Mike Ashley is a fit and proper person to own a football club according to the SFA rules. He is not someone I would want taking over any Scottish institution given how he's treated these workers." It has been confirmed that another of Mr Ashley's subsidiaries, Republic, has bought USC from administrators. The entrepreneur, who also owns Newcastle United, this week pocketed £117m after selling a 2.6 per cent stake in Sports Direct. According to Forbes magazine, Ashley, who owns just under 10 per cent of Rangers shares but wields a huge amount of power at the club, is worth £3.3billion making him the 293rd richest person in the world. A response to a parliamentary question reveals the PACE team was urgently trying to make contact with the firm throughout January 7, when news of the redundancies broke. Mr Ewing's office and PACE made repeated attempts to contact the company the following day by email and phone with no success, while the issue was also raised on First Minister's Questions. Mr Ewing wrote to Mr Forsey the following day, before Scottish Enterprise began efforts to make contact with a senior figure at Sports Direct and appeals were sent directly to Mr Ashley. After the attempts to contact Sports Direct were unsuccessful, PACE representatives travelled to Dundonald on January 8 where they spoke with representatives and left 150 copies of a guide for affected employees. They were eventually allowed on-site to give presentations to workers on January 13. A motion lodged at the Scottish Parliament by Mr Ingram, which condemns the actions of Mr Ashley and calls on him to ensure employees are paid what they are owed has so far attracted support from 22 other MSPs. Sports Direct declined to comment. http://www.heraldscotland.com/news/h...rker.116682728
  16. Guest

    A poem for our time

    A POEM FOR OUR TIME If Rabbie Burns lived in our time, there is a good chance he would be a football supporter. As an Ayrshireman, tax inspector and a Mason, there is a good chance he would support the Gers. Wee sleekit cowran TIMrous beasties, O' what a panic's in thy breasties, Ye needna gang awa so hasty, Big match coming up, very tasty, Yees tried to knock us oot, but we're still here, Yees canny run, yees canny hide,yees can only fear.
  17. Not much yet, but here we go ... Rest later or from behind the pay wall of The Sun
  18. Surprised nobody posted this for a wee bit of footy chat amidst the boardroom and financial chaos. Our old pal Craig Thomson, the news just keeps getting better!
  19. Grant Russell ‏@STVGrant 17s18 seconds ago None of the 55 games Steve Simonsen is accused of betting on were Rangers matches. Chris Jack ‏@Chris_Jack89 47s48 seconds ago Rangers keeper Steve Simonsen issued with a notice of complaint for breaching SFA gambling rules. Has until 29/1 to respond. Hearing 12/2
  20. On Sky Sports a bit earlier, you can skip the first 1.30 odd mins as it is about Easdale's spokesman and his comments on Paul Murray Chris Graham on SSN and Irvine's comments noted Well spoken of Chris Graham and the more people are being made aware of the distrust between the support and the board plus Ashley, the better.
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