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  1. Rangers have no skeletons in the cupboard, but these songs do the Ibrox men little credit By JOHN GOW When the news that UEFA are looking to bring charges against Rangers for sectarian singing, there is hardly a Rangers fan who did not groan with displeasure. It's in the nature of being a supporter that you dislike bad PR for the club you love. It would be easy to metaphorically put your head under the pillow and wish it would all go away. Well it isn't going away. It was never going away. Some fans pretended it was and nothing could touch the club. They are wrong. There are people who spend most of their waking life writing about and trying to hurt The Rangers any way they can. In a world without meaning this is their raison d'�ªtre. However, let us be clear. Some of the songs Rangers fans sing have become unacceptable, and frankly bizarre, in modern society. It's not necessary to sing about Chapels and Nuns considering there are more than enough Championships, Cups and victories against Celtic to cheer. Rangers are standing at a crossroads that has two paths. The first is to blindly walk on the current course. It will be a 'death by a thousand cuts' with a long, slow degradation of Rangers reputation and standing. There will almost certainly be bans from UEFA and the SFA/SPL or Scottish Authorities will eventually be forced to make their mark. This road is exactly what many non-Rangers fans secretly desire. The second option is to embrace Zero Tolerance, completely forbid the singing of those songs and chants like 'No Pope of Rome', 'The Billy Boys' and 'The Famine Song' but also in return demand Scottish football and society stop all offensive and sectarian songs. Including the terrorist-chic of IRA songs. The charge by some fans that if these songs are banned the club will start to lose part of it's identity is false. Singing about Rangers or even your pride in Britishness is not the same as pejoratively referencing another religion or nationality. In 1960, James Handley writing in 'The Celtic Story' wrote that: until a Catholic centre-forward in a Rangers blue jersey scores a goal against a Celtic team the tension will persist. If that should ever come to pass then the rabble would be bewildered and all its fire extinguished. The notion that the mob can be ultimately educated to see the folly of its way is a hollow one, for the creatures who compose it are ineducable. Not only is the text highly inflammatory and surprisingly reminiscent of Graham Spiers, he fails to understand The Rangers support. In the end when his Catholic Rangers player scenario once again came to life, the Maurice Johnston goal did not cause depression amongst Rangers fans but sheer joy. In fact it was even sweeter because it made the Celtic fans feel worse than usual after such a late decider. In the end it has always been about the club winning Championships and beating Celtic. That is Rangers' identity. This is a crucial point. Stopping songs about Catholicism or Ireland is not the same as asking Rangers fans to stop singing about Rangers and even of Britishness. Some fans have fallen into the trap of forgetting an identity is for something and not just against something. If the fans do stop then the club can legitimately defend the support. They have done this in the past when certain journalists questioned some pro-British songs. It soon became obvious that their query was not completely driven by an anti-sectarian stance, but to a reaction against any mention of British identity. In the end they had to back down. They had no case. However if the singing does persist, Martin Bain can hardly be seen to be defending the support if fans mention Famines and Priests. No-one can. Not Bain or any other CEO in the future. It doesn't matter if fans say they are not insulting those who died in a famine. If you mention a famine you can hardly blame people taking offence. If another fan group quoted the Ibrox Disaster - even if they were not belittling the tragedy - Rangers fans would still find it unacceptable. It doesn't matter if you elaborate some response that you dislike Catholicism as a religion but have no problems with Catholics. If you sing about "No Pope of Rome" and "No Nuns and no Priests, fuck your Rosary Beads" you will not be taken seriously. It doesn't matter if you sing 'The Billy Boys' and explain that Fenian does not mean Catholic and that Celtic fans sing in praise of Fenians. Society is not a debating chamber. Ideas are transmitted crudely. Sometimes those who make the most noise win. It has already been decided Fenian means Catholic. Game over. And lets be honest, in the same way some people use Hun to mean British or Protestant and then pretend it only means Rangers fans. There is no way a sizeable - especially young - section of the support does not equate Fenian with Catholic. Now before you get the impression I am just putting on a hair-shirt after a good beating with the big guilt-stick, I would like to re-emphasise - that as well as stopping those songs seen as offensive - Rangers FC and fans should demand zero-tolerance of sectarianism and discrimination from everyone. Demand that everyone should actually follow through on their strong zero-tolerance campaigns and expose them when they don't. Continue to ask questions if you see double-standards. Ask why it is a crime to be up to your knees in Fenian blood, but not Hibee or any other blood? Politely ask why offensive songs about the Pope are worse than offensive songs praising the IRA? Ask why journalists like Graham Spiers of The Times believes pro-IRA songs are "political" and why Andrew Smith of The Scotsman thinks "any acknowledgement of the Irish Republic can be viewed as pro-IRA" and that "The British Army are guilty of acts of terrorism in Iraqw" (sic) . Demand to know why glorifying guns and violence is acceptable? Query why IRA songs are "political" but UVF songs are sectarian? (Please note I am against both.) Once questions are asked it will surprise you how many secretly support or defend the IRA, or their own form of bigotry. They get off lightly because they are never asked any difficult questions by a support too busy navel-gazing over a few indefensible songs. Only recently I came across an article by a St Johnstone fanzine interviewing the BBC's Stuart Cosgrove who said: "One time we were through at Hearts, and we were at Falkirk station on the way, on the same day Rangers were playing Falkirk. It was Huns galore - thousands of them, and there were maybe 40 of us in the CYS from Perth. We got on the train at Falkirk Station, we just opened the windows as it started moving, and gave them "Orange wankers" and all the rest of it, and of course as soon as we were moving - the train stopped and started moving back into the station! The driver must have been a Hun or something." http://www.blueheaven.org.uk/cos1/cos3.php This is an employee of the same BBC who lecture others on sectarianism. This is the level of debate we are dealing with. It only needs the light of day for it to be exposed for what it is. (Ask yourself if you hear Stuart Cosgrove in the future discussing sectarianism that you won't be better informed about him by knowing that quote.) Rangers fans welcome fans and players from all religions and nationalities. From Dubliner Alex Stevenson who went onto coach the Republic of Ireland national team to Nacho Novo of Spain and Lorenzo Amoruso of Italy. From the supporters in Rome called 'the Italian Gers' to the Dublin Loyal of Ireland. From a report that show 5% of Rangers fans in Glasgow are Catholic (4% of Celtic fans in Glasgow are Protestant) to the Gers proud Asian fans. No-one cares because they share the support of The Rangers Football Club. However, wider society doesn't see this. They only see the stereotype projected and hear nonsense songs. They naturally assume the worst. So accept the challenge. Take the opportunity to make the Ibrox experience noisy and colourful. Sing about the magic of Rangers history. If there are non-football songs make sure it is for a positive identity we can share together. Society wants Zero Tolerance so lets give it to them. Start demanding the zero tolerance of all offensive/racist/bigoted songs. Not only is it the right moral choice but it's the best action for the club. There is nothing to fear. Rangers have no skeletons in the cupboard. Let us see if others can say the same. http://www.theawayend.net/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=677:uefa-charge-is-an-opportunity-for-rangers&catid=51:features&Itemid=109
  2. From today's Sun..... And where the ultra-moronic found a surreal way to try and screw up a tribute to the 66 lives lost in the 1971 Ibrox Disaster. As the stadium fell still on ref Craig Thomson's whistle, a cough came from the Celtic End. Then another. Then another and another and lots more anothers until it was as clear as the red nose on a flu-ridden reindeer's face that this was an orchestrated effort to make a point. What that point was, we'll never know. But it seems some lame-brains just don't have the civility to shut the hell up for 60 seconds in memory of others. As the seconds ticked painfully slowly, someone in the middle of the away support started to applaud.
  3. I know this is a bit late but have admin planned to change the background or banner to something as a mark of respect to the dead from the Ibrox Disaster?
  4. http://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/b00x53wd/The_Ibrox_Disaster/
  5. The disaster game was my first ever OF game and thankfully i was only allowed to go because i could use my uncles season ticket for the main stand. I remember the stairway pressure only too well in other games although obviously not to the extent of the disaster day. It really was an accident waiting to happen. I remember my father always telling me to cross my arms to protect my chest and make sure I stayed on my feet. Probably useless advice when it did go wrong. I remember the shouts when the pressure was getting really bad trying to stop more people coming on to the stairs. This was not a one game occurrence but played a part in all games. How no one realised what could happen if things did go wrong long before they did i will never know. To say people see it as if it is a medal to be at the game i feel a bit unfair as the shock when we got home to see on the news the bodies lying on the pitch was also a huge emotional blow. To know just an hour or two earlier you were standing, or sitting in my case, looking at the pitch where the bodies then lay put me and i would imagine all supporters in an emotional state of shock. Yes we attach ourselves to that game but not as if we won a medal but because we felt for the supporters with whom we had just a short time earlier supported our team together, and who were then lying lifeless on the pitch. God bless them.
  6. RANGERS FOOTBALL CLUB ANNOUNCES DETAILED PLANS TO MARK 40th ANNIVERSARY OF IBROX DISASTER A special memorial service will be held at Ibrox Stadium at 11am on the 3rd January which will be attended by family and friends of those who lost their lives, as well as representatives of Rangers and Celtic, the emergency services, dignitaries and politicians. The stadium will also be open to supporters who wish to pay their respects at the memorial service. Details of the memorial service include: �· The service will be held at the Govan East corner, the location closest to Stairway 13 where the disaster occurred �· Supporters who wish to attend and pay their respects will be seated in the Copland and Govan stands �· Members of the public who wish to attend and pay their respects should arrive by 10am in order to be seated ahead of the relatives attending the memorial service.
  7. Inspired early on by what the guys set up and done for the Markinch lads I felt it would be a good thing to honour the memory of the only female victim of the Ibrox Disaster, Margaret Ferguson by way of a memorial bench and hopefully restoring the memorial plaque at her grave in time for the 40th anniversary. I dont have exact figures at the moment but am in communication with Falkirk Council. The thread will be updated daily as to amount being raised and communication with surviving family and the council. Donations can be made here if anyone wishes. http://tinyurl.com/32bdlyy Margaret Ferguson from Maddiston was 18 when she died in the disaster. As fate would have it she slipped out the house to go to the game with a friend whilst her family went to the Falkirk game and they returned unware Margaret was caught up in the tragedy at Ibrox. Only a fortnight earlier she had made a doll for Colin Stein's daughter and taken it to his house. I also hope to start an Ibrox Disaster Memorial Grove to all 66 victims at http://www.treesforlife.org.uk/groves/index.html which is planting and dedicating trees helping to restore the caledonian forest !!
  8. RESTORED memorial stone unveiled in Fife town More...
  9. Just in case anyone hasn't seen this disgraceful statement from them over the weekend - with regard to the 40th Anniversary of the 1971 Ibrox Disaster: http://www.celtictrust.net/TheIbroxDisaster.htm They even had the date wrong yesterday but the italicised sections I've highlighted tell you all you need to know about these vile, vile people. To use a subject like the Ibrox Disaster to point-score over Rangers fans is nothing short of disgusting and their hypocrisy, as usual, astounding. For those that don't know, their chairwoman Jeanette Findlay is also banned from some media because of her previous public support for the PIRA when interviewed by Nicky Campbell. Unfortunately, Celtic are still all too willing to work with this organisation. - Link to Radio 5 Interview http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/fivelivebreakfast/2007/11/celtic_controversy.html - Link to Daily Record article http://www.dailyrecord.co.uk/news/scottish-news/2007/11/21/celtic-disown-rebel-fans-chief-in-ira-row-86908-20137880/ For those who wish to complain, please do so through official channels - Supporters Direct are clear in their constitution and it is beyond time this organisation was black-balled from a government backed initiative. http://www.supporters-direct.com/page.asp?p=3408 enquiries@supporters-direct.org
  10. BOSTON has sparked fury with a campaign to halt a unique Old Firm derby in the city after claims that Rangers fans could run riot. Celtic and Rangers could land a �£1million-plus close-season bonanza with a friendly in the US. But the Boston Globe - one of America's most-respected journals - is leading the bid to have the game at Fenway Park called off. It has accused Gers supporters of causing mayhem and violence at home and abroad. In a stinging editorial, it falsely claims "tensions between Celtic and Rangers fans" caused the Ibrox Disaster in 1971. The astonishing attack has been slammed by the SPL champions and has sparked a fierce backlash from angry Gers fans. The Boston Globe wrote: "While it is recognised that not all Rangers fans involve themselves in such activity, one can't help wonder how the city of Boston will fare after a Fenway game, should the Rangers faithful feel the need to express themselves, as they did in Manchester in 2008. "Following their team's defeat in the UEFA Cup Final, the blue-clad fans left parts of Manchester in a shambles and forced the local constabulary to don riot gear to restore order. "But Rangers have a long history of violence on their travels, dating back decades. "Who can forget their pitch invasion in Barcelona in 1972, which earned the club a one-year ban from European competition? The same fans brought their particular brand of fanaticism to Romania last year, clashing with police who were forced to use tear gas. "With Spanish police reporting Rangers violence in 2006 (Villarreal) and 2007 (Barcelona), the list goes on and on. "Most notably, disaster struck at Rangers' Ibrox Stadium in 1971 following a crush-barrier failure. It is widely accepted that the tensions between Celtic and Rangers fans played a major part in the 66 deaths. "Celtic, by comparison, can be charged with, well, not much at all. If their arch-rivals have dragged the name of Glasgow through the mud, it must be said that Celtic fans have done their best to restore the good name." Angry Rangers insist they will demand a retraction from the newspaper. Advertisement Quantcast A spokesman said: "Rangers fans can be assured the reference in this article to the Ibrox Disaster, in particular, which is both inaccurate and offensive, will be taken up with the newspaper." Stephen Smith, of the Rangers Supporters' Trust, said: "The remarks about 1971 are disgusting and entirely inaccurate." Celtic, meanwhile, have added another date to their American tour. They will face Seattle Sounders on July 18. Read more: http://www.thescottishsun.co.uk/scotsol/homepage/sport/spl/2952064/We-dont-want-your-yobs-Gers.html#ixzz0mSt3rvUX
  11. Just finished this fairly enjoyable book by Neil Drysdale - thanks admin for running the comp. A few thoughts:- Large tracts of the book make little reference to Smith. I know autobiographies are supposed to give a bit of background to the events in the subjectââ?¬â?¢s life, but much of the first half of the book in particular is about Souness and his rifts with various players. I also found it rather unfortunate that there were constant references to sectarianism (on 16 pages) in what is supposed to be a book about football, not society. We get the old chestnut about Sir Alex refusing the managerââ?¬â?¢s job because of our ââ?¬Ë?sectarianismââ?¬â?¢ and he even hints this may have been why Jim McLean also turned us down. Thereââ?¬â?¢s also the diatribe from the Hamilton fan who talks about how horrible we were to them and how we screamed sectarian abuse at their players when they beat us in the cup in ââ?¬â?¢87. And there are various interviews with fans with ââ?¬Ë?f enianââ?¬â?¢ splashed liberally throughout, sectarian chanting in Osasuna, UVF chanting in Manchester and at times the book reads like a Spiersesque hatchet job. Apparently refs favoured us in the 9IAR season as well. Perhaps Iââ?¬â?¢m being harsh on the author as he does mention Celtic fans making jokes about the Ibrox Disaster and defending the Enniskillen bombings but again, what has all this got to do with Walter Smith? Iââ?¬â?¢d certainly like to know a bit more about Drysdaleââ?¬â?¢s background. Smithââ?¬â?¢s playing career aside, from a footballing point of view thereââ?¬â?¢s not a huge amount of stuff we donââ?¬â?¢t already know but that said, I did enjoy reliving the events of the 90s and being reminded of some great times (on the other hand the chapter on last season is excruciating). Then again, I read the following quote from a fan about the AEK Athens shambles with weary familiarity: ââ?¬Å?...he screwed up big style that night. The defence was all over the place, and we read later that they had never played together in that formation before. Well, that is just daft isnââ?¬â?¢t it?ââ?¬Â The UEFA Cup stuff was hard to read, and I cringed at Smithââ?¬â?¢s comment after the final about it being ââ?¬Å?the end of the beginningââ?¬Â in rebuilding Rangers, when I look at the sorry state we are in at present and the tough times ahead. What I also enjoyed about the book was when Drysdale looked at Walter Smith the man and not the football icon, since Smith is notoriously unemotional and gives nothing away in front of the camera. I love the quote: ââ?¬Å?He quickly found himself drawn towards Rangers with their history, their reputation as giants within the British game, and their cussed refusal to become trendy. Why else, with the advent of the Swinging Sixties and Beatlemania and social revolution effecting a transformation in the ideas of young Scots, would Smith be so fascinated by the Calvinist tradition which permeated Ibrox?ââ?¬Â Reading the book was also the first time I had read Smithââ?¬â?¢s speech at the 1997/98 AGM when he announced his retirement. While Iââ?¬â?¢m not Smithââ?¬â?¢s biggest fan as current manager, his credentials as a Rangers man are indisputable, which is why I will always back him over the Rangers-hating scum which pervade the media and society in this country. The book is let down somewhat by a series of glaring errors. Ian Durrant apparently scored the winner away to CSKA Moscow in 1992, Walter was appointed Scotland manager in December 2006, and Dave Bowman becomes the slightly more exotic Dave Beaumont. Perhaps Iââ?¬â?¢m being pedantic. All in all a worthwhile read, and better than a lot of the dumbed down crap that pass for football books these days.
  12. Rangers fans sceptical of SPL agenda The Rangers Supporters Trust has questioned the motives of the Scottish Premier Leagueââ?¬â?¢s unacceptable conduct policy as it awaits the latest report on fansââ?¬â?¢ behaviour, this time during last weekendââ?¬â?¢s Old Firm derby. SPL match delegate Alan Dick may mention some sectarian chants and songs that appeared to come from the away support during Sundayââ?¬â?¢s goalless draw at Celtic Park, but RST spokesman David Edgar is hoping for a balanced verdict, and insists Rangers fans are not alone in singing ââ?¬Ë?offensiveââ?¬â?¢ songs. Dick reported Rangers to the SPL in August 2007 under similar circumstances following the Ibrox clubââ?¬â?¢s trip to Inverness and, while there was no action taken, there was a warning of sanctions should there be any future complaint. Rangers have campaigned in recent years to rid the club of its sectarian baggage but the SPL would come under pressure to punish them if they are presented with evidence of more transgressions. However, Edgar has said another black mark against the supporters would leave the SPLââ?¬â?¢s agenda open to question. ââ?¬Å?While it is difficult to comment until weââ?¬â?¢ve seen the report, we are looking forward to an even-handed and consistent approach to the application of this legislation,ââ?¬Â Edgar said. ââ?¬Å?We find it hard to believe that Rangers fans are the only fans in the country who have ever sung an offensive song; yet we are the only ones who have been reported under the rules. ââ?¬Å?There were instance of distasteful chanting coming from both ends on Sunday but, yet again, the focus is only on one set of fans. ââ?¬Å?It therefore becomes very difficult for the supporters to understand what is going on. ââ?¬Å?Are the rules genuinely in place to eradicate offensive chanting or simply to punish Rangers? ââ?¬Å?What about Aberdeen fans singing about the Ibrox disaster or Celtic fans singing about Nacho Novo and the IRA? ââ?¬Å?We are committed to ridding Scottish football of all genuinely offensive chanting and Rangers fans have responded magnificently over the last couple of years. ââ?¬Å?However, we are left with wondering if this is a rule for all the SPL clubs or a rule simply for Rangers.ââ?¬Â Rangers escaped punishment for the Inverness affair after the SPL board took into account the clubââ?¬â?¢s efforts to eradicate unacceptable conduct by some of their supporters. The incident at the Caledonian Stadium 18 months ago came just nine days after the launch of Rangersââ?¬â?¢ ââ?¬Ë?Follow With Prideââ?¬â?¢ campaign, which was aimed at cleaning up the clubââ?¬â?¢s image by ending sectarian and other abusive chanting. However, the club had previously been fined on two occasions by Uefa for offensive chanting in Champions League and Uefa Cup matches, amounting to in excess of Ã?£21,000. Rangers assistant manager Ally McCoist played down speculation that the Ibrox club will be up on yet another SPL charge. McCoist, who will take control of team affairs for tomorrowââ?¬â?¢s Homecoming Scottish Cup trip to Forfar, said: ââ?¬Å?I donââ?¬â?¢t know enough about it. ââ?¬Å?I donââ?¬â?¢t know what the delegate said in his report; Iââ?¬â?¢ve not seen anything so I wouldnââ?¬â?¢t comment on it.ââ?¬Â http://www.irishtimes.com/sports/soccer/2009/0217/1224241324757.html
  13. Silversmith ââ?¬â?? The Biography of Walter Smith ââ?¬â?? Neil Drysdale (Birlinn ââ?¬â?? http://www.birlinn.co.uk) I had been looking forward to reading and critiquing this book for sometime and have to say that, in the main, Neil Drysdale doesnââ?¬â?¢t disappoint. His biography of Walter Smith is excellently written, well put together, historically correct (unlike some official publications) and is an honest assessment of the ex and current incumbent Rangers manager. There are a few minor complaints regarding the content of this book (which Iââ?¬â?¢ll cover later) but overall, this is a fantastic read and I would recommend the book to all Rangers supporters. Walter played for and was Dundee UTDââ?¬â?¢s assistant manager under Jim McLean and has also managed Everton and Scotland, however, as the vast majority of his managerial career was served at Ibrox, the book dedicates most of its pages to his two stints as Rangers manager. The book also serves as a brilliant insight into the ââ?¬Ë?privateââ?¬â?¢ aspects to Walter Smithââ?¬â?¢s characteristics which have served him well in his professional career. When reading about Walterââ?¬â?¢s Calvinistic views and ideals, his strong family ties and his love for Rangers Football Club, it is easy to see why he treasures his time at Rangers and as well as treasuring our traditions and history, he also installs these great values into anyone and everyone who is employed at Ibrox. The book starts in poignant fashion as it details the happenings in and around Ibrox on the day of the Ibrox disaster where 66 of our brethren were tragically killed whilst watching The Rangers. Walter Smith was in attendance that day and the events and aftermath of this tragedy stayed with him forever. This opening chapter is brilliantly written and is worth purchasing the book for in itself. Whilst reading any account of that tragic day, I always get goose-bumps and a lump in my throat. Drysdales account is no different. The book then goes on to tell of Walters playing career that saw him play for junior football with Ashfield whilst serving his time as an electrician. He then played professionally for Dundee United and Dumbarton. In his earlier career with Dundee United, Walter also held down a fulltime job as an electrician. After playing 250 games for Dundee United he was invited onto the coaching staff by then manager Jerry Kerr who coincidently, played for Rangers after the 2nd World War. The book also gives an insight into how Walter missed the opportunity to move to Ibrox when Jim McLean refused the Rangers managers job the subsequently led to the return of Jock Wallace and then the Souness revolution, which Walter Smith would play a hugely influential part. As youââ?¬â?¢d expect, the vast majority of the book is dedicated to the Souness revolution and the nine-in-a-row era. This vastly successful part of our history is well documented, but again, Drysdale manages to document the successes whilst also questioning the obvious failings during this period. Near constant failure in Europe, an ageing team kept together which limped to 9-in-a-row and failed in itââ?¬â?¢s quest to achieve 10-in-a-row. All of the detail is in the book, all major games discussed and all through the book, events are punctuated with interviews / comments with the main protagonists. As I said in the opening of this review, there are a couple of minor points that concerned me and these are the old sectarianism chestnut. In the book, the Mo Johnston signing is detailed as is the outpouring of sectarianism for a tiny minority of Rangers supporters. To his credit, Drysdale does mention the fact that only 1 solitary season ticket book was handed back. However, all the furore surrounding the MoJo signing is blamed (mainly) on the Rangers support. There is no mention of the fact that MoJoââ?¬â?¢s family were attacked and his father assaulted by Celtic supporters. No mention that Johnston cannot return to the country of his birth due to ongoing death threats he receives from Celtic fans. Another contentious subject that is glossed over (it merits two lines in the book) was the vile racist abuse Mark Walters received on signing for Rangers both at Parkhead on his debut, then the following week at Tynecastle. There is also no mention of the fact that the racist abuse wasnââ?¬â?¢t consigned to the terraces with Walters being subjected to racist abuse on the pitch as well. There are also the tenuous and tedious remarks regarding Andy Goramââ?¬â?¢s unfounded links to the UVF. As I said, none of this should take anything away from the book, just something that I thought should be raised. After detailing Walters stints as Scotland and Everton manager, the tale end of the book looks at last seasons quadruple attempt which ultimately fell tantalizingly short. The author is obviously supportive of our attempts to have the season extended and puts in print what most of us think of Scotlandââ?¬â?¢s governing bodies. Walter Smithââ?¬â?¢s and Martin Bainââ?¬â?¢s public comments regarding this, and Celtics shameful approach to our request is also highlighted and supported. All in all this was a fantastic read and one that I would recommend to one and all. If asked to rate this book, I would say 8 out of 10. In closing the cover of the book states that this biography is ââ?¬Ë?a timely portrait of a man chiselled in the traditions of Rangersââ?¬â?¢ and the book certainly does deliver on this promise and it is hard after reading this book to argue that Walter Smith isnââ?¬â?¢t ââ?¬Ë?one of usââ?¬â?¢. I closing, I will quote Walter Smith; ââ?¬Ë?This Club is different; This club is Rangers Football Clubââ?¬â?¢ and the author ; ââ?¬Ë?It doesnââ?¬â?¢t matter how tough the task has proved, because Smith strives under scrutiny and being presented with challenges at Ibrox, the place where he and his grandfather thrilled to the sight of blue-clad warriors giving their all for what they sincerely believed to be the greatest club in the world. And, as Walter Smith will tell you, Rangers remain just thatââ?¬â?¢. Cammy F
  14. RANGERS fans everywhere will spare a thought at today's Old Firm game for the victims of the Ibrox Disaster on January 2. 1971. John Greig and Sandy Jardine lay a wreath at the Ibrox Disaster memorial in 2007Back then, an awful accident on Stairway 13 at the end of the Rangers-Celtic derby resulted in the death of 66 supporters while 145 were injured. It remains the worst tragedy in Scottish football and the events of that day and those which followed are indelibly etched in the minds of the players involved at that time. John Greig and Sandy Jardine both played that fateful day when Rangers came from behind to level Jimmy Johnstone's opener through Colin Stein. At the final whistle, a horrific crush developed on Stairway 13 - the quickest exit to the Copland Road tube station - and fans began to fall and suddenly became trapped as others fell on top of them. It turned into the blackest day in Rangers' history and the victims of that day shall never be forgotten. As has become tradition, a wreath will be laid at the memorial to the Ibrox Disaster victims and other supporters who have lost their lives at the stadium on the nearest home game to January 2. This year that falls today and the ceremony will take place ahead of the match. RIP
  15. Business As Usual The Rangers v Aberdeen game at the weekend was business as usual on so many levels. Rangers continued their dominance against The Sheep at Ibrox, now over 17 years since Dolly has won at Ibrox, the Red Scum yet again were allowed to sing their vile and repugnant songs with impunity and the officials continued their corrupt like refusal to enforce the laws of the game. Firstly, weââ?¬â?¢ll address the Rangers performance for the weekend. Whilst the 2-0 win was convincing and welcome, the performance, especially the first 45 minutes was shocking. We were devoid of ideas and looked very sluggish. In saying that, Ferguson was unlucky with a header from distance, Boyd had a couple of opportunities and it was refreshing given Aberdeenââ?¬â?¢s record at Ibrox, witnessing the officials turning a blind eye to handballs in the Aberdeen penalty area (more of this later). We did improve in the 2nd half and once we got the opening goal, we appeared to settle and apart from Mendes clearing from his own goal-line we were relatively untroubled. Boydââ?¬â?¢s well taken 2nd goal killed the game off as a contest and we eventually ran out easy winners. Once again we left a Rangers game discussing the officials refusal to enforce the laws of the game and all the major decisions going against Rangers. Firstly, anyone who watched the Celtc game in the early kick-off would have witnessed Boracââ?¬â?¢s assault that (unsurprisingly) lead to a yellow card. Only a Celtc player would have escaped a red card for this offence, and yet again, more evidence that the officials in this country are bordering on the corrupt. Then we role up to Ibrox to witness more baffling decisions where we should have had 2 penalties (at least) and Diamond was allowed to elbow Lafferty with no action taken. It canââ?¬â?¢t be coincidence that the only people inside Ibrox on Saturday that didnââ?¬â?¢t see all three offences were the officials? Surely they canââ?¬â?¢t be that ineffectual that all three of them missed all three controversial incidents? Are they really ineffectual or are they corrupt? This serious question has to be addressed as at the moment, the evidence points to them being something other than ineffectual. Aberdeen Ultras and Irony Off the pitch, Kenny McCaskill was present to witness the vile and repugnant chants emanating from the visiting fans but he appeared to be nonplussed and in no mood to take any action against these fans. It appears that the authorities are only interested in what WE sing ââ?¬â?? all other fans are free to sing what they want. A quick question that Iââ?¬â?¢d like to ask the Aberdeen Ultras (and general fans) is what their adopted hero Che Guevara would have to say regarding there disgusting chants mocking the dead (Ibrox Disaster song), the socially unfortunate and poverty stricken (In Your Glasgow Slums), the disabled (their new David Murray song and booing of the disabled Olympians)? Personally, I think the great Socialist thinker Che Guevara would be spinning in his grave and would cringe in the fact that these reptiles were celebrating others misfortunes in his name. FCUK You Celtc Youââ?¬â?¢ll Never Win Away I canââ?¬â?¢t be the only Rangers fans who thinks that the above chant will be redundant after tonightââ?¬â?¢s Champions League games. Celtc travel to Aalborg knowing that a defeat will see them eliminated from Europe completely and need a victory to ensure that their European participation isnââ?¬â?¢t ended before the final group game. We all know that they have one of the, if not the worst away record in the CL, but tonight offers them their best chance of gaining 3 away points. Itââ?¬â?¢s heartening to read that our unbiased media have put this awful away record down to nothing more than a ââ?¬Ë?jinxââ?¬â?¢. Funny that, I thought it was all down to terrible performances, terrible team and tactic selections etc. Hopefully their ââ?¬Ë?jinxââ?¬â?¢ will strike again tonight, but as I said above, I believe that they will have too much for the Danes. In saying that, at least they canââ?¬â?¢t count on the assistance of the officials to get them out of sticky situations. Cammy F
  16. Nearly More Crucial Points Dropped I canââ?¬â?¢t quiet believe what I witnessed at Ibrox on Saturday afternoon and I believe that I am entitled to expect more from my football team than we were served up, especially after the promising start to the game. Having surged into a 2-0 lead after 10 minutes whilst playing some very attractive football, instead of ramming home the advantage, we took our foot off the accelerator and thankfully, St Mirren didnââ?¬â?¢t respond to our lacklustre display until the final 10 minutes. Even given St Mirrenââ?¬â?¢s reluctance to capitalise on our growing deficiencies, they almost claimed a point from the game. Some of the ââ?¬Ë?footballââ?¬â?¢ I witnessed from Rangers in the 2nd half was amateurish in the extreme. We are unable to retain possession from throw-ins, we insist on bringing every player back for corners (which encourages teams to thro more men forward which in turn results in more pressure and when we clear the ball, it comes straight back at us ââ?¬â?? no out ball), we contrived to miss chance after chance (Miller and Novo being most capable), then for long periods of the game, we were unable to string 2 passes together. All this resulted in our opponents growing in confidence and realising that we were there for the taking. The game should have been over as a contest in the first half. If we had continued in the same vein as we started the game, we could have destroyed St Mirren and avoided those nervy scenes as the end. We must improve significantly for our upcoming fixtures. We must learn to put games beyond our opponents when we are on top. We have Aberdeen at Ibrox, Hearts at Tynecastle and DUFC at Tannidice looming on the horizon and if we offer them the chance to take points from us, they will gladly oblige. As our next game as against our foes from the frozen north, I hope all Rangers fans that make their way to Ibrox on Saturday take their singing voices with them. This is one of the few remaining games that guarantees and generates a decent atmosphere and undoubtedly, Sheepy will regale us with their vile Neil Simpson and Ibrox disaster songs. Lets ensure that we drown them out and sing our heroes onto victory. Beyond Inept, Bordering on Corrupt So once again Celtc are the beneficiaries of a dubious decision on Sunday that enabled them to defeat a plucky Hamilton side who looked ââ?¬Ë?untroubledââ?¬â?¢ until the refereeââ?¬â?¢s assistant intervened and convinced the referee that it would be a good idea to award Celtc a penalty for a foul committed clearly outside the penalty area. If this wasnââ?¬â?¢t a serious issue, it would be laughable. Celtc are now getting these types of decisions on a weekly basis, and whilst this is obvious to one and all, the SFA, SPL or referee supervisors are doing NOTHING about it. In fact, they appear to be happy with this level of incompetence, or given the level of ââ?¬Ë?incompetenceââ?¬â?¢, then they appear to be happy with this level of corruptness. Now, we understand that officials get things wrong ââ?¬â?? they are only human after all. However, to continually get these decisions so wrong, then there is something else afoot. As I said above, I believe that Celtc have benefited from a dubious decision in almost every SPL game this season (whether its them getting a penalty, a dubious goal or the opposition being reduced to 10 men, having a perfectly good goal chopped off), and we have been on the wrong side of these type of decisions in almost every SPL game weââ?¬â?¢ve played in. This hasnââ?¬â?¢t been happening just this season, there was evidence of this at the business end of last season as well. As well as the footballing authorities reluctance to highlight / investigate these ââ?¬Ë?one wayââ?¬â?¢ dubious decisions, our unbiased press have also decided to stay shtoom (for a change). In the run up to Helicopter Sunday, Rangers were awarded a penalty at Tynecastle that TV replays proved was a correct decision. After this game, the media asked for everyoneââ?¬â?¢s comments on the decision, including Celtc manager Martin Oââ?¬â?¢Neill. One commentator even went as far as to state that the SPL title was ââ?¬Ë?tainted by the stench of cheatingââ?¬â?¢. Thatââ?¬â?¢s right folks, after one correct decision, the SPL titled was tainted by cheating. The assistant referee involved was hounded for days and weeks. His family were attacked in the street, his personal details were posted on internet sites, there were double page spreads on the ââ?¬Ë?red topsââ?¬â?¢ and Celtc demanded that said official wasnââ?¬â?¢t to officiate any of their games. Isnââ?¬â?¢t it amazing that after the furore that surrounded this ONE decision that nothing has been said or printed about the weekly decisions that are now going Celtcââ?¬â?¢s way? Sir David Murray / Martin Bain Given the evidence of the above, you, like me, may be surprised that SDM or his lap-dog Martin Bain havenââ?¬â?¢t entered into this debate and asked the relevant bodies, the relevant questions. OK, that was slightly tongue in cheek, as we all know that unless either of their names has been tarnished, or if they are asked to blacken our reputation any further, theyââ?¬â?¢ll not say anything to anyone. I still canââ?¬â?¢t fathom how both still have the support of the majority of Rangers supporters after asset stripping of our beloved club. However, if the rumours reaching me are correct, January might just be the month that reverses that support. Given our dire financial state, coupled with our failure to reach a European competition on this season, we desperately require to raise some money in January. We are likely to receive bids for Mendes (Redknapp wants him at Spurs and Mendes has a release clause in his contract ââ?¬â?? yip, well done again Mr Bain), Marseilles will bid for Bougherra and I believe that Mr Redknapp may also bid for McGregor is his bid to land Shay Given from Newcastle fails. If you are as sceptical of our custodian as I am, nothing will come as a surprise in January. If you arenââ?¬â?¢t as sceptical as myself, well, youââ?¬â?¢ve been warned. Cammy F ââ?¬â?? Support The Dublin Loyal - WATP
  17. http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/scotland/glasgow_and_west/7722919.stm Rangers FC should ensure these items are bought and kept safely for future generations to remember the tragic events of that day.
  18. Apologies for neglecting these recently, but I'll try to get rantings posted from now until the end of the season Nacho Novo Wasnââ?¬â?¢t it great to see wee Nacho score the goal that secured us a last 16 UEFA Cup tie Werder Bremem? The wee man was culpable of squandering a guilt-edged chances at Ibrox and it was fitting that he rammed home the goal that won us the tie on away goals. The wee man may not be the most skilful of players, but he gives you 110% every-time he pulls on a Rangers jersey. Werder Bremem will pose a real threat and will be as good as, if not better than the likes of Lyon, Barca and Stuttgart. It will take a gargantuan effort for us to win this tie. I know that a club like Rangers should be participating at this level annually but in my humble opinion we have more pressing matters on the domestic front as we strive to ensure that we donââ?¬â?¢t complete a 3rd trophyless season. In fact, we have actually done reasonably well European wise in the last three seasons whilst struggling domestically. That is the challenge for WS and his team ââ?¬â?? to ensure that we can regain domestic dominance whilst also challenging on the European front. Groundhog Day So once again the Red Scum were sent back to the frozen North with their fleecy tails between their legs. A visit to Ibrox must feel like Groundhog Day for those who chose to follow Abergreen. Some may say that it is only their hatred for us (only rivalled by Celtc) that drives them to continually turn up to Ibrox and witness their team being dismantled twice a year. Saturdayââ?¬â?¢s game was a very decent game of football and credit to Aberdeen who contributed to the entertainment in the first half. They created numerous chances before we managed to impose ourselves in the game and in the end, we ran out easy winners. Hats of to the impressive Christian Daily and Steve Davis who have illustrated in recent weeks that a stint in the EPL can greatly improve your footballing ability. Anyway, lets all regale the Red Scum with a wee song : 1 year since you won, since you won at Ibrox 2 years since you won, since you won at Ibrox 3 years since you won, since you won at Ibrox 4 years since you won, since you won at Ibrox 5 years since you won, since you won at Ibrox 6 years since you won, since you won at Ibrox 7 years since you won, since you won at Ibrox 8 years since you won, since you won at Ibrox 9 years since you won, since you won at Ibrox 10 years since you won, since you won at Ibrox 11 years since you won, since you won at Ibrox 12 years since you won, since you won at Ibrox 13 years since you won, since you won at Ibrox 14 years since you won, since you won at Ibrox 15 years since you won, since you won at Ibrox 16 years since you won, since you won at Ibrox 17 years since you won, since you won at Ibrox THE SILENCE OF THE SHEEP SINCE 1991 Daniel Cousin So as expected, Cousins projected move to Fulhum has fallen through and the Big Man is back at Ibrox. I for one will continue to give Cousin all my support if and when he pulls on the Rangers jersey. SDM, Martin Bain and McKay have left Cousin in an unenviable position. Everyone knows that you cannot play for 3 clubs in one season and by accepting the bid, they were setting Cousin up for a fall. Hopefully heââ?¬â?¢ll knuckle down and continue to put the ball in the back of the net and help us in our quest for trophies this season. Oh and so much for SDM stating the McLies wouldnââ?¬â?¢t be getting any scraps from our tableââ?¬Â¦.. So The Paranoia Begins Seven short days since Tommy Burns told the world that referees have a tough job and that they get things wrong on occasions (talking about the terrible decision to give diving Naka a freekick that won them the game at Love Street), suddenly the sound-bites from the Towers are oh so different. The Holy Goalie was at it again at the weekend and was gesticulating to the Hibs fans during and after their 2-0 victory and received a booking, where in all honesty, he could and probably should have received a red card. Now, we all know that The Holy Goalie has ââ?¬Ë?formââ?¬â?¢ and is hardly an ââ?¬Ë?innocentââ?¬â?¢ but Chesney will have you believe differently. So instead of claiming that referees have a tough job, suddenly they are all anti-Celtc and the whole of Scotland rejoices when they are defeated. Keep cranking up the pressure Rangers, as wee strapon is ready to implode. Andy Walker Now, I donââ?¬â?¢t like this little weasel for reasons other than he played for ââ?¬Ë?ra selickââ?¬â?¢ but had to laugh and his latest offerings in his media column. He was having a go at Celtc fans for their offensive songs directed at Gazza (no mention of their sectarian and pro-IRA chants) and the Abergreen fans for their songs relating to Ian Durrant (no mention of their vile chants about The Ibrox Disaster and Richard Gough). However, he couldnââ?¬â?¢t pen an article relating to offensive songs without referring to us. He claimed that we sing sick songs about Big Jock (who knew btw) Steins family. I have been following Rangers for too long to remember but for the life of me, canââ?¬â?¢t recall any offensive song relating to Big Jock (who knew btw) family. Andy, like many of your ilk, you are a lying scumbag. Cammy F ââ?¬â?? Support The Dublin Loyal - We Are The People
  19. http://www.rangerssupporterstrust.co.uk/rstsite/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=156&Itemid=1 Once again the Trust has another interesting competition for our members. We have two copies of two different books up for grabs. First up is: * SILVER SMITH: THE BIOGRAPHY OF WALTER SMITH BY NEIL DRYSDALE Walter Smith is one of the most successful and respected managers in the history of Scottish football. At Rangers he helped them to nine successive league titles, a domestic treble in the 1992-93 season and both the Scottish Cup and League Cup three times. At international level he restored pride and faith in a faltering national team, being named Scot of the year in the 2006 Glenfiddich ââ?¬Ë?Spirit of Scotlandââ?¬â?¢ awards. But half-way through the qualifying rounds for Euro 2008, he controversially resigned to return to Rangers. From the Ibrox Disaster, to his days as a professional player and on to a dramatic future, this is the story of a man driven by a passion for perfection and success. Hardback Ã?£16.99 ISBN 978 1 84158 629 8 Next we have: * RANGERS: 100 HEROES OF THE MODERN GAME BY DEAN HAYES From Willie Waddell to Barry Ferguson, Rangers: 100 Heroes of the Modern Game is a fascinating compendium of facts and figures and a superb tribute to the men who have brought skills, thrills and glory to Rangers Football Club in the modern era. All the great players since 1946 are here, including Ally McCoist, Jim Baxter, Graeme Souness, Paul Gascoigne, Andy Goram, Brian Laudrup and many, many more. Each player is profiled with detailed statistics given on every aspect of their careers. Meticulous research, perceptive analysis and vivid storytelling make this a must-have for any Rangers fan. Hardback, Ã?£12.99 ISBN 978 1 84183 125 1 Both books available from http://www.birlinn.co.uk, free p&p in the UK - for overseas please add 30%. To enter, simply tell us who Walter Smithââ?¬â?¢s assistant manager was during his first spell at the club. Simply contact us with your answer, your membership number and postal address. All entries must be received by Wednesday 5th December. Good luck! :cheers:
  20. http://www.gersnetonline.net/newsite/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=464&Itemid=2 Quite incredible, isnââ?¬â?¢t it? Two difficult matches played; one decent CL Qualifier win at Ibrox and one solid away win against a physical side we couldnââ?¬â?¢t beat last season. Celtic also only draw at home after spending nearly Ã?£8million and we get a decent CL draw while they get a stinker! A great week surely?! Nope, instead of being able to gloat about being above Celtic for the first time in about a year (possibly longer), weââ?¬â?¢re once again having to fire-fight the stories of sectarianism from small sections of our away support. Despite being fined by UEFA twice and despite knowing that the SFA were keen to cement those censures with their own; the mindless minority continue to tarnish our clubââ?¬â?¢s reputation again. What are they trying to achieve with this stuff? Do they even have any answers to that question? They think they do but none can satisfy the concerns of the good, honest majority of bears who do realise that all these yobs are succeeding in doing is silencing our fans and suffocating our club. Take away our vocal support at games and remove the 12th man. Take away our points and second place may even be beyond us. Take away our money and, well, take away our very existence. Of course we get the usual replies from the type of person who wants to defend the ââ?¬Ë?F.T.P.ââ?¬â?¢ nonsense. ââ?¬Å?Iââ?¬â?¢ll sing what I want, where I wantââ?¬Â; ââ?¬Å?Weââ?¬â?¢re being persecuted anyway so who cares if we get sanctionedââ?¬Â; ââ?¬Å?Other teams get away with itââ?¬Â and that old chestnut, ââ?¬Å?Youââ?¬â?¢re not a real bearââ?¬Â if you want to remove the moronic add-ons to our favourite songs. One can understand some fansââ?¬â?¢ frustrations when it comes to certain aspects of the overall debate. Yes, there is nothing wrong with ââ?¬Ë?The Sashââ?¬â?¢ and ââ?¬Ë?Derryââ?¬â?¢s Wallsââ?¬â?¢ per se. Yes, we do appear to be the only club being pursued for this kind of offensive behaviour. Sure, some fans are too quick to castigate their own for being proud of the kind of ideals that they may not share. However, continuing to chant ââ?¬Ë?F.T.P.ââ?¬â?¢ at the end of a culturally expressive song has no relevance to any of these valid questions. Neither does it answer them. Indeed, it only makes our side of the argument weaker. I find it incredible that any Rangers fan cannot see that. Now, there is no doubt the whole sectarianism, discrimination and offence issue (or is it charade?) must be questioned. The fact the SFA have still not clarified what is defined by these terms and what kind of punishments will be issued is extremely disappointing. The same questions exist about who will be censured, what for and exactly what will the censures be. Even so, it would be astounding if Rangers continued to be the only support highlighted for their indiscretions. As such, fans of other clubs shouldnââ?¬â?¢t poke too much fun this week. Nevertheless, the Rangers support cannot afford to waste energy on our feelings of persecution ââ?¬â?? no matter how valid. Quite simply, we must isolate the idiots and remove them from our club. Pride, loyalty and dignity are all virtues of our club and the support. We should use those positives to modernise and ensure our club takes precedence. Rangers First indeed! Do the yobs who shout about ââ?¬Ë?F.T.P.ââ?¬â?¢ and ââ?¬Ë?fen!ansââ?¬â?¢ do so for the good of Rangers? I sincerely doubt it. After all, we (rightly) complain when fans of other clubs sing about the Ibrox disaster, the IRA and injuries to our players while referring to us as ââ?¬Ë?hunsââ?¬â?¢ and ââ?¬Ë?DOBsââ?¬â?¢. These issues are all worthy of complaint and they will surely tick the SFA Observerââ?¬â?¢s ââ?¬Ë?Thesaurus of Offenceââ?¬â?¢ in the coming season. As such, the best way to turn the attention away from us isnââ?¬â?¢t to deny our problems exist nor to blame others, but to face our challenges and win our own battles. In the last year weââ?¬â?¢ve been doing that and we can rightly be proud of the strides already made. However, the hardest part is still to come. Sometimes the last step can be the most difficult to make. But we can make it. And, as usual, we can make it together ââ?¬â?? united, proud, loyal and dignified. After all, at least weââ?¬â?¢re prepared to admit our problems. At least weââ?¬â?¢re prepared to make the changes asked of us. At least weââ?¬â?¢ll have the strength of character to improve while others deflect and deny. And weââ?¬â?¢ll emerge from this test to be stronger than ever. Weââ?¬â?¢ve never failed in the challenges placed upon us ââ?¬â?? not in over 135 years of success and prestige. Weââ?¬â?¢re not going to start now. We wonââ?¬â?¢t let the minority pull us down. We are the Rangers. We are the people. This particular opponent may not be green, red or maroon but it can be beaten. And it will. Ready.
  21. One would be forgiven for thinking this Saturday was considered an exciting day because of the last Old Firm game of the season at Ibrox. After all, thousands of us will descend on our spiritual home to once again support our team in one of the worldââ?¬â?¢s greatest derbies. Unfortunately, word reaches me that, among us after an enforced period of ââ?¬Ë?gardening leaveââ?¬â?¢, shall be the one and only Graham Spiers ââ?¬â?? ex-ââ?¬Ë?Heraldââ?¬â?¢ Chief Sportswriter and new ââ?¬Ë?Timesââ?¬â?¢ columnist - well the Scottish version (with itââ?¬â?¢s, erm, ââ?¬Ë?compactââ?¬â?¢ readership anyway). Ergo, considering the SPL title has already been won and lost, perhaps all the excitement will occur when reading Spiersââ?¬â?¢ pre and post match musings? Itââ?¬â?¢s been a while since weââ?¬â?¢ve read this charlatanââ?¬â?¢s brand of half-truths and ill-informed rhetoric so can Scotlandââ?¬â?¢s self-appointed sectarian sheriff make a valiant return at the place where he made his name (and essentially lost his job) singling out Rangers as the sole perpetrators of sectarian offence in Scotland? The stench of hypocrisy will of course be evident as Spiers cheers on his favourite ââ?¬Ë?remarkable human beingââ?¬â?¢ Neil Lennon who will play in his last Old Firm match. Spiers has always had a lot to say about the bigotry problem but does strangely prevaricate when it comes to the double standards of the Scottish mediaââ?¬â?¢s best-loved victim. One rule for some and one rule for another certainly applies when one considers Spiersââ?¬â?¢ partiality (or lack of). Itââ?¬â?¢s also very interesting to note the Scotsport (yes, that high-quality football analysis show!) pundit has also spent the last few months writing a book about the Paul Le Guen saga. As if we werenââ?¬â?¢t all tired enough of what happened in the first half of this season, it appears in ââ?¬Ë?PLG ââ?¬â?? Lââ?¬â?¢Enigmaââ?¬â?¢ (Mainstream Publishing) our favourite failing hack will discuss why the Frenchman couldnââ?¬â?¢t succeed at Ibrox. Despite no official status and little or no relations with anyone at the club or Monsieur Le Guen, Spiers feels the need to bore us with his usual variety of self-appointed opinion based on little knowledge of how the game works. A ââ?¬Ë?Samuel Johnsonââ?¬â?¢ prize winner or car boot sale door stop? You decide! So what can we expect from Spiers in his new book and more importantly his new job at ââ?¬Ë?The Timesââ?¬â?¢? Well, ever since his ââ?¬Ë?Scotland on Sundayââ?¬â?¢ days in the mid 90s Spiers has enjoyed putting the boot into our club. From scurrilous attacks on club legends like Jock Wallace, Davie Cooper and Bill Struth to unfair and inaccurate ramblings about the support at large, Spiers wrote article after article on sectarianism and specifically Rangers. Some argued these articles were necessary to remove the problems we faced. However, the intensity and frequency of the pieces when compared to clubs with similar problems just wasnââ?¬â?¢t conductive to such a valued campaign. If one looks at some of the language in the Spiersââ?¬â?¢ archive, the conclusion can be reached that this wasnââ?¬â?¢t a man attempting to fix a problem, but more a coward throwing insults in favour of sensationalism. I donââ?¬â?¢t think many Rangers fans have ever denied the challenges we face as a support but surely itââ?¬â?¢s the responsibility of the critic to offer solutions to help us successfully face these challenges? Itââ?¬â?¢s also imperative that we are not singled out in order that the whole problem of bigotry is attacked ââ?¬â?? not just one part of it. Unfortunately, Spiers has never done either to any great extent. Yes, heââ?¬â?¢s taken part in one conference about the subject (no solutions offered though) and yes, he has written the odd article about other clubs; but never once to the same extent as his regular attacks on Rangers. As such, can we expect any different this Saturday? The problem of bigotry and discriminatory singing is still part of Scottish football. Rangersââ?¬â?¢ fans though have made huge strides in the last year and have successfully removed much of the problem chants from the away support. They have done this not because of the likes of Spiers and his ilk but in spite of them. Meanwhile, the clubs with similar dilemmas that Spiers has chosen to minimise or even deliberately ignore, still have their problems. From sectarian and terrorist sympathising songs from Celtic fans, to songs about the Ibrox Disaster from Aberdeen fans, to racism from Motherwell fans, to homophobic chants from Hearts/Hibs fans; bigotry is still rife in the SPL from many clubs out with Rangers. This summer will see a new SPL rule introduced to punish clubs for such singing. This may go some way to helping remove these problems but only if the rule is applied across the board and from a neutral perspective. The questionable Scottish media will have their part to play regarding this and Graham Spiers (love him or loathe him) will be at the forefront as usual. Will we be reading an informative, impartial and accurate Graham Spiers this weekend? I genuinely hope so but I also doubt it. After all, these valuable virtues donââ?¬â?¢t always help make journalistic careers. But, as we saw when Spiers was sidelined at the Herald, not having them can also end and/or limit said careers. Whatââ?¬â?¢s it to be, Graham? http://www.gersnetonline.net/newsite/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=402&Itemid=1
  22. CammyF

    Saturday

    We all know that we welcome the Always Ultras and Dolly on Saturday and as usual we will be treated to their vile and repugnent songs about Ian Durrant, Davie Cooper, Richard Gough and the Ibrox Disaster. They warmed up for Saturday by directing this filth at Motherwell (confused) fans. As a support, we must get behind OUR team from the first minute to the last (remember the last AFC game at Ibrox?) and outsing this bunch of mutton-molesting, sheep loving, fish gutting arseholes...! So come Bears - you're club needs you. Cammy F
  23. A NIGHT RANGERS WILL NEVER FORGET 10:00 - 26 August 2006 As the latest clutch of mostly uninspiring European matches found their way onto our screens this week, a radio phone-in debated one of football's mysteries: how is it that Glasgow Rangers have won just a single European trophy? That victory arrived on May 24, 1972, at Barcelona's Nou Camp, when Rangers produced a glorious performance in the first hour of the Cup Winners' Cup final to lead Moscow Dynamo 3-0. Although the Russians rallied and scored two late goals, it wasn't enough to deny a group of players whose names were to be etched into the club's folklore. Author and journalist Paul Smith had a distinct advantage in his quest to interview Rangers' 11 European heroes in his entertaining To Barcelona and Beyond, for his father Davie was widely regarded as the man of the match on that epic night. Smith has written an intimate and, at times, moving portrait of the lives of the eleven before, during and after their European experience. Unlike the current Rangers team, as cosmopolitan a bunch as there is in British football, the 1972 vintage were all Scots. Most played for their country and, in an era when Scotland produced a good proportion of Britain's finest footballers, players such as John Greig and Colin Stein remain legends for club and country. Smith's stories of lesser lights including goalkeeper Peter McCloy and full-back Willie Mathieson highlight the strength of an unusually loyal team bond which has lasted more than three decades. Of course, there were also mavericks. Alfie Conn moved to Tottenham soon after the European triumph having been deemed surplus to Ibrox's requirements. Despite playing fewer than 40 games for Spurs, he became a cult hero, fondly remembered as the player who sat on the ball during a particularly fraught encounter with Don Revie's Leeds. Conn played in the North American Soccer League, as did Willie Johnston, two-goal hero in the final. Johnston's career post-Barcelona included one of the most notorious episodes in World Cup history. He failed a drugs test following the embarrassing 3-1 defeat to Peru in Scotland's opening game of the 1978 World Cup. Despite his protestations of innocence and his exemplary career, it's a millstone which he has had to carry around with him for nearly 30 years. On reflection, there seems to be too little recognition for the team that won Rangers' only European trophy, which seems bizarre considering the quality of opposition they had to overcome. In addition to Moscow Dynamo, effectively the Russian national team, they dispatched Rennes and Sporting Lisbon in the opening rounds before defeating a very strong Torino outfit in the quarter-finals. Yet perhaps their greatest victory was the 3-1 aggregate win over Bayern Munich in the semi-finals. Bayern were about to embark on a hat-trick of European Cup triumphs and half the side, including Franz Beckenbauer and Gerd Muller, were to become part of the West Germany team that won the 1974 World Cup. Poignantly, Rangers' triumph arrived little over a year after 66 supporters died in the Ibrox Disaster and it became a fitting memorial. Nevertheless, Uefa deemed the exuberant celebrations of Rangers' supporters on the Nou Camp pitch a suitable case for punishment. The club was banned from defending its trophy the following season. Meanwhile, that second European success has yet to arrive??? What memories!!! Dave Smith one of my schoolboy heroes. I wish we had him and Tom Forsyth in the team today.
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