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  1. A point of view on matters financial. Once again like many Rangers Supporters, I am left mystified by the comments of Walter Smith in relation to our position with our Bankers - Lloyds/HBOS - followed by the Club's decision to readily release our own and the SPL's top scorer for the second time in 6 months. I won't use the word 'sell' as Boyd went for nothing and by the time Miller picks up his severance pay off, we will have very little left. I have a background in banking and passed my exams many years ago, but no matter how hard I try, when I look at our accounts, I cannot understand why Lloyds/HBOS are behaving in such a manner towards us. Our published accounts to 30 June 2010 show that our Bank debt incorporating a Term Loan and overdraft facilities reduced by �£3.7m last year to �£22.3m (2009 - �£26.1m). This was despite paying off �£8million in historic transfer fees (which left �£1.2million still to pay). The term loan, repayable over 19 years, stands at �£19m which will mean repayments of �£1million per year + interest. So, if we had Bank Debt of �£22.3m and �£19m of that was a long term loan, then our working overdraft would be �£3.3m, which is well within the �£15m revolving credit facility (overdraft limit) that we have: �£11.7m within it to be exact. A football club's income is loaded to the beginning of the season in terms of season ticket sales, but Champions League participation this season will mean a hefty amount of Euros being lodged in our account with Lloyds/HBOS, before the season ends. Our Champions League campaign this season has guaranteed us 9.2million Euros + TV Revenue (in 2008 Celtic got 6.2 million Euros) + gate receipts, which should easily total around �£16million. On top of that, we will get a further 200,000 Euros for qualifying for the Europa League, plus TV and gate receipts and another �£300,000 Euros + TV and gate receipts should we get past Sporting Lisbon. That amount would, of course, increase with each round should we advance. Putting things into perspective. On 30 June 2010, we had an overdraft of �£3.3 million, but the previous year we managed to reduce our overdraft by �£3.7m, so assuming we have a similar year, that should be wiped out this year and leave us with a small credit balance. However, we should do better than last year, due to a better performance in the Champions League bringing us an extra 1.2million Euros in points payments, compared to last year. Also, last year we repaid �£8m in historical transfer fees, we don't have that to pay this year (maximium should be �£1.2m), so we should be well in credit at the Bank. Allied to that: Staff Costs have been steadily reducing over the last 2 years. In the year to 30 June 2008 they were �£34.3m. In 2009 - �£30.7m. In 2010 - �£28.1m. That equals reduction of �£6.2million in the last 2 seasons and a figure that will again be slashed this year. Our Net Operating Expenses in 2008 were �£56.8m. In 2009 - �£48.2m. In 2010 - �£43.8m. Which is a reduction of �£13million in 2 years and these will also be significantly reduced this year, meaning further profit. By my conservative reckoning, by 30 June 2011, we should have somewhere in the region of a �£10million credit balance at the Bank and our long term loan reduced to �£18m over 18 years. I haven't taken any of our summer transfers into consideration, due to a lack of accurate figures, but I would reckon that the transfer fees and wages for the players who left, should more or less offset the 3 who came in. Our debt to equity (gearing) ratio was reduced last year to 38% (2009 - 47%). again a sign that we are heading in the right direction, though further reduction would be helpful. Crucially, the �£15m revolving credit facility with Lloyds/HBOS, was in place till 31 December 2010 and the only possible explanation could be that the Bank have renewed this at a much lower level. If that is the case, then it could be down to cash flow, as I don't think the UEFA money is received for a few months yet. If I am correct, then it really is a shocking act by Lloyds/HBOS, given that the UEFA money is guaranteed due to what we have already achieved in the Champions League this season. Something about the whole thing stinks more than a Celtc supporters green and grey hooped top after four weeks of constant wear in the summer. There is something that we are not being told and it is now time for the Club to come out and tell us what the problem is with Lloyds/HBOS and whether or not we are being strangled due to our association with the MIH Group, as to me, it is certainly not obvious in our accounts.
  2. RST Chairman "Boycott of Lloyds can't be ruled out" 07 January by therabbitt Speaking to the BBC on the subject of Walter Smith's comments regarding the controlling influence of the bank on Rangers, RST chairman Stephen Smith was pointed in his criticism of Lloyds. Rangers are currently being held at gunpoint by Lloyds and Smith intimated that the sooner the clubs hands are untied, the better. "The sooner Lloyds are disentangled from the running of Rangers Football Club the better. I'm as worried now as I was last year when the manager felt strongly enough to publicly criticise the bank's role. Echoing the managers sentiments, the RST chairman discussed the fact that with successes in the Champions League, it would be expected that Lloyds wouldnt be holding such a stern view on the finances of the club, "We've had a successful Champions League campaign, we're guaranteed at least two more European games, yet there has still been no change in attitude from Lloyds. We're challenging for four competitions and that's why the size of the squad is a concern." In a more barbed comment, Smith backed up his managerial namesake, chosing to brand the banks treatment of the club as being 'vindictive', "If the manager's saying we need help, why are Lloyds behaving in such a vindictive way towards Rangers?" Signalling the RST's intent, Smith then refused to rule out that if the situation isn't improved, then the RST would consider finding a way to take action against the bank, "If that begins to materially affect Rangers on the park, we will certainly look to take action to try to change that. "Getting the Rangers family involved in a boycott of Lloyds Bank can't be ruled out." http://www.rangersmedia.co.uk/homepage/index.php/component/content/article/41-finances/895-rst-qboycott-of-lloyds-cant-be-ruled-outq.html
  3. Telegraph.co.uk Blame the bank, says Rangers manager Walter Smith as he looks for his players to bounce back from defeat Rangers manager Walter Smith believes that Lloyds Banking Group constitutes a bigger threat to his clubââ?¬â?¢s chances of winning a third successive title than Neil Lennonââ?¬â?¢s Celtic. They may trail their Old Firm rivals by four points after losing 2-0 to them at Ibrox last weekend but Smith is in no doubt that the financial constraints he is being forced to work under can only undermine Rangersââ?¬â?¢ prospects of triumphing at home and abroad. Smith, who will turn 63 next month, is in his final season in charge and has had to contend with the interference from Lloyds (the clubââ?¬â?¢s biggest creditors) for the last two years. However, he accused the bankers of short-termism and pointedly noted that it was their profligacy ââ?¬â?? on a far greater scale than that indulged in by Rangers owner Sir David Murray, although they bankrolled that as well ââ?¬â?? which has brought the global economy to its knees. At a time when he has guided Rangers back into profit for the last three years, significantly reducing the clubââ?¬â?¢s debt in the process, Smith believes he is due a little respite from the number crunchers who continue to treat him with the distrust normally shown to those applying for a first mortgage. ââ?¬Å?I feel as though the whole situation is a bit unfair from the football side of things,ââ?¬Â he said. ââ?¬Å?We do need a bit of help. You had the situation a couple of years ago when some boys put the banner up saying 'We Deserve Better.ââ?¬â?¢ ââ?¬Å?Of course, they meant the supporters but at times you have to look at it from our side and realise that we also deserve better for what weââ?¬â?¢ve done: and by that I mean in comparison to clubs of similar stature. ââ?¬Å?There obviously isnââ?¬â?¢t a long-term view, they are only looking at it from a short-term perspective. Whether we think itââ?¬â?¢s fair or not it doesnââ?¬â?¢t really matter because weââ?¬â?¢re not getting any kind of reaction anytime we ask: therefore we are well and truly in the hands of the bank. ââ?¬Å?We just need to get on with it. Of course, the ironic aspect, not just for Rangers but for everybody, is that the banks are telling us what we can and canââ?¬â?¢t do. Maybe someone should have done that with them a long time before they started [the credit crunch].ââ?¬Â The bankers have informed Rangersââ?¬â?¢ chief executive, Martin Bain, that they would not be allowed to reinvest any fee received from another club should one their players be sold during this transfer window. ââ?¬Å?It becomes a concern when you have to keep asking the same group of players to keep on delivering,ââ?¬Â said Smith. ââ?¬Å?Thatââ?¬â?¢s when you need a wee bit of help. Unfortunately, we are not going to get that help. ââ?¬Å?We canââ?¬â?¢t afford to bring in a loan player or anything like that. Thatââ?¬â?¢s the situation weââ?¬â?¢re in. Itââ?¬â?¢s an unfortunate one for our club but the bank are dictating the policy overall. Thatââ?¬â?¢s what we have to put up with. ââ?¬Å?If we transferred a player we might not get all the money and we have been told that. If someone left it would give us the opportunity to bring someone in on a similar wage. ââ?¬Å?But transfer-wise weââ?¬â?¢ve been told thereââ?¬â?¢s no certainty we would get the money. The wage would obviously allow us to bring someone in but if we donââ?¬â?¢t lose a player then we wonââ?¬â?¢t be bringing anyone else in.ââ?¬Â Smith also pointed out that the decision to accept or reject any offers for his players would be taken by Lloyds and not by Rangers. As his relatively small squad prepares to do battle in the Co-operative Insurance and Scottish Cups and the Europa League while also having to contend with a fixture backlog in the Clydesdale Bank Premier League, the veteran is concerned that his resources will be stretched to breaking point. ââ?¬Å?This season was always going to be a big ask for all of our players,ââ?¬Â he said. ââ?¬Å?Weââ?¬â?¢ve handled the first half extremely well, allowing for the fact a few games have been postponed due to the weather. ââ?¬Å?Now we find ourselves in a situation, after the turn of the year, that if we win those games in hand we go back to the top of the table. Considering the Champions League games, the size of the group weââ?¬â?¢ve got and other things, that would still be a fair achievement. ââ?¬Å?We have to remember that but we need to get a good reaction following the Old Firm defeat. Weââ?¬â?¢ve taken a little knock in the Old Firm game and youââ?¬â?¢re always worried about a possible hangover from that. ââ?¬Å?This is big test of character from my players but theyââ?¬â?¢ve shown in the last number of years that they are able to dig deep. If weââ?¬â?¢ve had a setback in the past theyââ?¬â?¢ve always come back from it. We have enough experience.ââ?¬Â Did Walter not slate the we deserve better campaign:confused:
  4. I realise I am not the most financially astute and usually bow down to Bluedell and his fellow financial wizards for enlightenment , but how in the hell are we not able to bring anyone in , in January , just what exactly have we signed up to with Lloyds , what exactly are the constraints that are binding us to LLoyds . If this was any other business they would be bringing in their bank manager and laying down the law or moving , we are after all making a profit , we are after all trading , unless there is something we are being told, just like the so called 20 year term loan that seems to have been thrown out the window with everything else . One more question whilst I am on this rant , do LLoyds actually want to see us progressing and making more profit .....or what exactly is their angle ....or is it Walter simply playing mind games again ........
  5. http://www.dailyrecord.co.uk/2010/12/26/rangers-could-face-double-blow-as-bougherra-and-papac-hint-at-summer-moves-86908-22807619/ Papac has not even been offered a contract and a player who has served us well and is possiby worth a few million may leave for nothing. No wonder Lloyds are so hard on us considering how incompetent we are financially. We're terrible at selling players and contract negotiations
  6. BIRMINGHAM CITY boss Alex McLeish is set to launch a sensational swoop for Rangers star Kenny Miller. Ibrox money man Martin Bain insisted recently that the club would not be forced to sell the in-form frontman during the January transfer window - despite contract talks having broken down. Rangers boss Walter Smith is still hopeful a new deal can be struck but McLeish could make a cut-price offer of �£1million when the window opens. It would be interesting then to see whether the Lloyds Banking Group would insist on a sale as Miller could go for nothing when his contract expires at the end of the season. McLeish and his assistant, Andy Watson, know all about the free-scoring striker from their time together at Hibs and Scotland and are looking for a goalscorer to join the Premiership club. Miller is also looking for one final payday before he retires and would not be bothered by the fact he has already played for Birmingham's Midlands rivals Derby County and Wolves. But Rangers fans would be gutted to see the striker leave as he has netted 20 times already this season. Brum need to boost their squad and McLeish, having missed out on a clutch of forward targets last summer, remains in need of attacking players. James McFadden is a long-term injury absentee and Aleksandr Hleb is also out through injury. McLeish's squad is thin and he accepts his team has to become more dangerous and creative. He said: "There is scope to be adding to our squad, no question about it." http://www.dailyrecord.co.uk/2010/12/24/rangers-hitman-kenny-miller-linked-with-january-move-to-birmingham-86908-22804415/
  7. RANGERS captain David Weir has accused the club's bankers of unreasonable behaviour in placing fresh restrictions on manager Walter Smith ahead of the forthcoming transfer window. The veteran defender is bemused by the policy, confirmed again by Smith earlier this week, which currently means no funds will be available to spend in January for either permanent or loan signings. With Rangers still in limbo as they await the outcome of the latest takeover bid for the club from businessmen Craig Whyte and Andrew Ellis, Lloyds Banking Group continues to dictate the financial management at Ibrox. Weir believes Rangers' bid to win a third successive SPL title this season and qualify for next year's Champions League could be seriously compromised if they are not allowed to strengthen the squad next month. "It seems illogical that we can't sign any new players in January," said Weir. "Given how successful we have been in reaching a European final and playing in the Champions League, reducing the wage bill and the squad at the same time, you wonder how much further you can go down in terms of numbers and still be competitive. "I'm an amateur when it comes to finances, but you look at the debt and the money brought in since the manager took over. You'd like to think that you could have wiped out the debt in that time with the money we've brought in. I'm obviously missing something." Lloyds last night declined to comment on Weir's criticism. Rangers' debt in their most recent annual accounts stood at �£27.1 million, of which �£22.3 million is owed to Lloyds and incorporates their long-term loan agreement with the bank and overdraft facilities. A two-year transfer embargo was lifted by Lloyds last summer, allowing Smith to spend �£5.25 million in transfer fees on strikers Nikica Jelavic and James Beattie and secure the loan signings of Vladimir Weiss and Richard Foster. That investment was offset by the sales of Kevin Thomson and Danny Wilson for �£4 million, however, while four other senior players left the club at the end of their contracts. Rangers raked in almost �£14 million from their participation in the Champions League group stage last season, allowing them to record a profit of �£4.2 million, and will earn even more from the current European campaign which has seen them finish third in their Champions League group to progress to the knockout stages of the Europa League. Weir is also concerned that they may face that challenge with their existing squad further diminished as prize assets such as Scotland goalkeeper Allan McGregor are vulnerable to potential transfer bids. "That's what the manager and his staff are fighting," added Weir. "You cannot underestimate the job we've done with one hand tied behind our back. "It's not inconceivable there could be departures next month. It's the reality of where we are at (with the bank]. It's no secret that, if a right bid comes in, then the player will go. We'd prefer everyone to remain and keep our best players to be successful, but it's out of our hands. "The tightness of our squad has been the basis of the success we have had in recent seasons, but that can change as well." Weir was speaking at Hampden, where he promoted ESPN's live coverage of SPL football over the festive period which will begin with Rangers against Motherwell at Fir Park on Sunday. He was joined by Celtic captain Scott Brown, who made his return from injury as a substitute in his team's 1-1 draw at home to Kilmarnock on Tuesday night. The 25-year-old midfielder is likely to be restored to the starting line-up on Sunday when Celtic seek to put their recent stuttering form behind them for the visit of St Johnstone. But, while manager Neil Lennon is able to add to his squad next month, Brown insists Celtic already have the strength and quality required to overhaul Rangers and win the title for the first time in three years. "Our squad is probably the best in the league, to be perfectly honest," said Brown. "We've got around 25 or 30 player who can come into the first team at any time. We've pretty much got two good starting elevens. If we went through January without buying a player, we would still be fine. "We have a big game on Sunday and we need to keep close to Rangers before the Old Firm game at Ibrox on 2 January. "There is no real concern about our form. We are looking good in training and we are dominating teams in games. We are putting the ball in the box and we just need a bit of luck." http://sport.scotsman.com/football/Bank39s-tight-grip-on-spending.6670700.jp?articlepage=2
  8. The consortium of Craig Whyte and Andrew Ellis want to complete their �£33 million purchase of Sir David Murray's shares within the next month. Craig Whyte and Andrew Ellis will hold talks with senior Rangers officials next week, as they look to step up their joint efforts to buy Sir David Murray's shareholding in the Ibrox club. STV understands the duo want the deal, worth �£33 million, to be concluded by Christmas but have conceded privately it may take until the new year to finalise the sale. The takeover, which will wipe out the club's �£27.5 million debt to Lloyds TSB, is understood to be at an advanced stage. Whyte and Ellis will also pay shareholders, including Murray, a total of �£5.5 million as part of their proposals. If the deal for Murray's 92 per cent shareholding is completed, Whyte will own 69 per cent of the club's shares, with Ellis - who failed in his own attempts to buy the club earlier this year - holding 23 per cent. As part of their plans, �£25 million will be invested in Rangers' first team squad over a period of five years, with transfer funds being made available to Walter Smith in the January transfer window if the takeover is concluded in time. News of the pair's bid first broke on November 18, with Whyte and Rangers both putting out statements to the Stock Exchange confirming a possible offer. Nearly two weeks on, evident progress has been made in a bid Whyte's solicitor confirmed as being "at an early stage". Talks between Whyte, Ellis and club officials were also yet to take place at that point. More to follow... http://sport.stv.tv/football/scottish-premier/rangers/213122-rangers-takeover-bidders-want-club-bought-by-christmas/
  9. IF Lloyds Bank had adopted the same tough approach over what it is owed by the Republic of Ireland as they have over Rangers' paltry debt, the Irish would be running around Dublin in their bare feet. For the Irish economy is in debt to the Lloyds bank of Archibald Gerard Kane and Manus Joseph J Fullerton to the tune of �£27BILLION. No, you didn't mis-read that. The Irish owe Lloyds a staggering �£27BILLION. It certainly makes the �£23m Rangers owe those bankers at Loyds look like chickenfeed. Yet Lloyds' determination to wring every last penny out of Rangers as quickly as possible, with no regard for what it is doing to the the success of the business, goes on apace. Which is in marked contrast to the largess they are proffering to that financial basket case which is the Republic of Ireland. And that begs the question I have posed more than once, and which has never been answered. Just what is it which motivates Loyds Bank and their senior bankers when it comes to putting the squeeze on Rangers? Lloyds continuing stranglehold on Rangers was once again cleverly highlighted by Walter Smith in the aftermath of his depleted team's narrow Champions League loss to star studded Manchester United. When asked if he thought he would be given any help in January, with the challenge of a run in the Europe League looming, coupled with the title defence stretching resources, Smith made it clear that in his view such help did not look likely. He will continue to have to fight off the Celtic challenge at home, and deal with the demands of Europe without Lloyds not only not helping, but actually hindering Rangers in their efforts to make money. Which is what will happen the more successful the team is. It is a strange way for the 41per cent taxpayers owner Lloyds to go about their business. Lloyds appear determined to ensure Rangers resources are restricted. The disparity of resources, if not performance over 180 minutes, beween Smith's two in a row Scottish Champions, and Manchester United, was something Sir Alex Ferguson chose to comment on too. According to Ferguson, that was at its most stark when you looked at the substitute's bench. For a start, United were able to muster their full compliment of seven, while Rangers could name only six. Fergie also spoke of the difference in class there, and considering his bench contained French captain Patrice Evra, nobody was arguing with the Laird of Govan. Given all of the above, Smith's Rangers have performed admirably in a difficult Champions League group, with United needing until the last four minutes of their second game against Rangers to score, and then only from a penalty. Valencia were outplayed at Ibrox, and should have been beaten, and while the Spaniards deserved their home win, the scoreline was not a fair reflection of the contest. Bursaspor were beaten on an wonderfully charged Ibrox Euro night, and whatever happens in Turkey, Rangers will have acquited themselves well in the Champions League. The oft malinged Rangers supporters have also done well. The singing against Manchester United was loud, long and lusty, but never stepped into the sort of territory the club's enemies were hoping for. Though perhaps, as you read this, Odious Creep - or one of his army of allies inside another Glasgow ground - are trawling through their Sky + box with sound enhancing equipment, in the hope they can dig up the murmer of somthing which can be forwarded to UEFA. Incidentally, UEFA must be close to considering setting up a department of Religious and Cultural Affairs to deal with the raft of moans they get from those of a Parkhead persusion. If they ever do, I have just the man in mind who would be perfect to take charge of it. Mike McCurry! I cannot however, come up with a name to solve the problem those bankers at Lloyds seem to have with Rangers measly �£23M debt, as opposed to the way they have allowed the Republic of Ireland to run up �£27BILLION on the slate. http://leggoland2.blogspot.com/2010/11/rangers-lloyds-and-ireland.html
  10. Chairman’s Statement I am very pleased to present the Rangers Football Club Annual Report against a backdrop of success for the Club. To win our 26th League Cup was outstanding but to secure our second successive Clydesdale Bank Premier League title at this juncture was not only a tremendous achievement but one of paramount importance to the welfare of the Club. I would like to extend my congratulations to Walter Smith, Ally McCoist, Kenny McDowall and the playing squad for their efforts. The result of that success was qualification for the UEFA Champions League this year, the net revenues from which will, in turn, provide us with greater financial stability. One of the immediate benefits of this was the commitment by Walter to manage the team for another season and Ally and Kenny agreeing to new contracts. The benefit of participating in the UEFA Champions League in Season 2009/10 is clear with our turnover increasing by Ã?£16.6m to Ã?£56.3m. This, together with measures taken on reducing our cost base, resulted in an increase in operating profit of Ã?£22.4m to Ã?£5.1m from last year’s loss of Ã?£17.3m. Retained profit for the year amounted to Ã?£4.2m, an increase of Ã?£16.9m on last year. The current year incorporates a Ã?£0.5m gain on sale of player registrations compared with a gain of Ã?£6.2m in the prior year. In terms of debt, our net cash inflow in the year amounted to Ã?£4.0m. As I highlighted last year we still had Ã?£9.2m payable in terms of historic player transfers. The cash flow in the current year reflects payments of Ã?£8.0m on these prior year acquisitions, and resulted in our year end debt in relation to the term loan and overdraft facility with Lloyds Banking Group of Ã?£22.3m. Total debt at 30 June 2010, incorporating finance leases and other loans, amounted to Ã?£27.1m. A balance has to be struck between debt reduction and remaining competitive on the playing front. To this end, we agreed a business plan with Lloyds Banking Group in recent months, and whilst we continue to look for new investment, this has enabled an allocation of funding for new players, while at the same time retaining the nucleus of the squad that has served us so well in the past two seasons. The financial results and the team’s success have assisted in stabilising the business and strengthening our balance sheet. Some caution must be exercised, however, given the effect of the recession on our core revenue streams and the implications to Scottish football of the country’s European ranking. Challenges therefore still remain but I am confident that the management team under the guidance of Martin Bain can continue to enhance the company’s financial performance whilst maintaining our team’s competitive edge on the field. Every Rangers fan, myself included, knows only too well the issues we have faced in recent times given our debt levels and the distraction of ownership speculation. However, we are now in a position to look forward more constructively and positively as we make every effort to achieve continued success for this great football club. As I did last year, it is my intention to deliver a “Chairman’s Address” at the AGM on 18 October 2010, when I will update our shareholders and supporters on major developments pertaining to the Club and provide further insight into issues of concern and interest to all of our patrons. More Info: http://www.rangers.co.uk/staticFiles/f6/56/0,,5~153334,00.pdf http://www.rangers.co.uk/page/annualreport/0,,5,00.html
  11. JELAVIC'S INJURY DO YOU remember when Kyle Lafferty cheated against Aberdeen to get Charlie Mulgrew sent off? And do you remember too, the number of times the incident was replayed on television? Can you also remember when Lafferty was sent off against Hibernian this season, and the amazing amount of airtime on television this incident was given ? Then, can you remember when Kevin Thomson was sent off against Hearts at Tynecastle last season, and the number of times his silly sideways lunge was repeated on the box? Now hit the fast forward button and let's return to Tynecastle and highlight the moment when a terrible tackle from behind - outlawed by FIFA - by Ian Black on Nikica Jelavic, injured the striker so badly he had to fly home for surgery and is not expected to play again for anything up to four months. But where have all the television replays been of the tackle from a match shown live on ESPN? That's a tricky one, for it has been hard to catch up with them, as on Monday and Tuesday night's Reporting Scotland - the licence fee funded national broadcaster - it appears we are in the midst of some old fashioned height of the Cold War Kremlin-style cover up. And as far as that modern phenomenon, which has fast become an old reliable, YouTube? Well, anyone trying to find the Black tackle which crippled Jelavic there will draw a blank, and be met with the message.... "The clip of the Black tackle on Jelavic has been removed from YouTube due to a copyright claim by the Scottish Premier League." That will be the same Scottish Premier League who have ensured Rangers must face five away matches on the weekends following their six Champions League ties. Does anyone detect a pattern here? Rangers player sins, his sin is missed by the referee, but caught on camera and his sin is shown over and over and over, again and again and again. Or, Rangers player sins, is caught by the referee and punished by him with a red card, and the sin, again caught on camera, is repeated on television over and over and over, again and again and again. As opposed to Rangers player is the victim of a bad tackle - one which many believe merited a red card ,but which was dealt with by a yellow - and is badly injured. And the result??? Blank screens! People are therefore robbed of their right as licence payers to see the clip again and again and again, over and over and over on BBC Scotland's Reporting Scotland at the peak tea time viewing hour, in order that they can form their own judgement. Rangers supporters though must be indebted to Keith Jackson of the Daily Record and Scott Burns of the Scottish Daily Express, for their interviews with Jelavic. It's taken Black long enough to issue a public apology claiming it was an accident, and that the Rangers man was too quick for him. But Jelavic, as quoted in the Record and Express, is having none of it. If the public were given the opportuinity by the BBC, the state funded broadcaster, to view the incident from all the angles - as was the case when Lafferty and Thomson sinned - then a judgement could be formed on whether Black was unlucky, and Jelavic even more unlucky. Or not! That would be justice. For Black, and for Jelavic. For, as I have often stated, for justice to be done, it must be seen to be done. One reporter, who has the inside track at Ibrox, says that senior Rangers sources are seething with anger. The speculation is one senior source is Walter Smith. He spent over �£4m of the meagre transfer budget afforded him by the club's Lloyds Bank paymasters on Jelavic, and the striker was showing every sign of forming an intelligent and lethal partnership with Kenny Miller. There was also - in a sort of perverse way - the bonus of the fact he is ineligble for Europe, meaning Rangers were hoping to look to Jelavic as an injection of fresh legs to the team for the next four away matches they have been ordered by the SPL to play immediately after Champions League ties. His loss in the Champions League - a tournament Rangers cannot possibly hope to win - was therefore balanced by the rest he would have ahead of SPL games, as the champions bid to retain their domestic crown. That benefit would have been seen next when the first Old Firm game of the season takes place at Parkhead a few days after Rangers must face the team settling Spain alight right now, Valencia. Now Jelavic - as a result of the injury he suffered following the tackle by Black, - will not only miss that match, but may still be sidelined when Celtic visit Ibrox on January 2. His injury may turn out to be a Marco Negri moment for Rangers. Whether that proves to be the case or not, in the interest of justice - for Black as well as Jelavice for it would give the Hearts man a chance to prove his claim of his lack of malice - the incident in which the Rangers man is the injured party should be given the same television prominence as those occasions when it has been the Rangers player who has been the sinner. Over and over and over, again and again and again. Pretty hard to disagree with any of that
  12. Rangers chief executive Martin Bain has received a Ã?£165,000 pay rise in the past year. Mr Bain, the highest-paid director at Ibrox, received a 35% increase in his salary from Ã?£468,000 to Ã?£633,000, according to the clubââ?¬â?¢s latest annual accounts. His wages for the 12 months to June 30 included Ã?£55,000 of contributions to a money-purchase pension scheme. The accounts also showed total boardroom pay at Rangers increased from Ã?£695,000 to Ã?£832,000. The SPL champions said their long-term loan and overdraft facility with Lloyds Banking Group stood at Ã?£22.3million at June 30. This was down Ã?£3.7m from a year earlier, a situation enabled by the clubââ?¬â?¢s Champions League participation. Chairman Alastair Johnston said in the annual report: ââ?¬Å?A balance has to be struck between debt reduction and remaining competitive on the playing front. ââ?¬Å?To this end, we agreed a business plan with Lloyds Banking Group in recent months, and while we continue to look for new investment, this has enabled an allocation of funding for new players, while at the same time retaining the nucleus of the squad that has served us so well in the past two seasons.ââ?¬Â Rangers moved from an operating loss of Ã?£17.3m to a Ã?£5.1m profit in the year to June 30, as Champions League participation helped boost its turnover by Ã?£16.6m to Ã?£56.3m. Net operating expenses decreased by Ã?£4.4m to Ã?£43.9m, reflecting reduced salary levels and efficiencies. Rangers Supporters Trust spokesman Stephen Smith praised Mr Bain for his work, but questioned whether such a pay increase was merited. He said: ââ?¬Å?An increase of salary like that canââ?¬â?¢t ever be justified.ââ?¬Â
  13. WHEN even such a clever man as Alistair Darling admits to being hoodwinked by them, then you know just what they are. Bankers! But there is something about one particular banker which perplexes me. Why is the man responsible at board level for the activites of Lloyds Bank in Scotland so seemingly reticent? And why is the nation's media so shy about telling us the life story of Archibald Gerard Kane, the banker who can call the shots over the debt owed to his bank by Rangers? After all Archie, as he's known in that ''bible'' of the famous, Who's Who, or Archibald on the Lloyds website, is a classic rags to riches story. The sort of' '' lad of pairts'' tale usually so beloved by our newspapers and broadcasting organizations. And, given his relationship with that other great Scottish institution, Rangers, I find it hard to comprehend just what is going on. On numerous occasions I have mentioned this to a number of senior people in journalism, and none of them has been able to give me an answer for the silence. So, for their benefit, and for the information of those interested in such stories, here is what I know about Archie Gerard Kane, as his entry in Who's Who calls him. Kane, it tells us, was born in the 16th June, 1952, and his parents were Archie and Rose . He was, by his own admission, from a poor background. In an interview with Alasdair Northrop in the serious and respected Insider Magazine on June 11th this year, Kane reveals how, for the first six years of his life he and his parents shared one room in an aunt's house in Hamilton. Clearly he still feels an affinity with Lanarkshire as his public address is listed as being Bellshill. Those humble origins were nothing out of the ordinary in those days, as I grew up with my mum and dad in a room and kitchen in a Maryhill tenement in the 50s and 60s until I was 12 and we moved next door to a two room and kitchen. Therefore I understand his comment about those years of: ''When you are young you don't think much about it.'' Quite right! In the interview he went on to praise mother, Rose, as the driving force in his life, adding:''My mother encouraged me school-wise, and to go to university. My dad did everything from being a bus driver, to a wages clerk on a construction site and was well read and knowledgeable about politics and history.'' For the rest, the interview , as you would expect given the nature of the Insider Magazine, is as dry as dust, concentrating on the world of high finance and banking. Certainly Kane is a man well qualified to talk about such subjects, despite having no banking qualifications, having studied accountancy at Glasgow University, emerging with a BAacc. For, as well as being the executive director on the Lloyds Board, responsible for Scotland, Kane has 41 different relationships with his fellow board members in nine different organizations across six different industries. Who could possibly argue against such a busy bee being worth the few quid short of �£1.5M he trousered last year from a bank which was rescued by the taxpayers? As I said, a classic rags to riches story, the sort usually documented in minute detail in newspapers and on radio and television in Scotland. Yet, despite extensive research, there appears to be nothing known about Kane since he and his mum and dad moved out his aunt's house when he was six in 1958, until he graduated from Glasgow University, probably some time around 1972-ish. Maybe some of his old school pals or fellow undergraduates, who sunk of a few pints with him in the Men's Union can fill us in. Somebody must remember him. Strangely there are no newspaper reports of this local boy made good returning to his primary school in Hamilton as the guest of honour on prizegiving day. Nor the hint of him addressing the present day pupils at whatever secondary school where he studied so hard, encouraged by mother, Rose, to win a place at Glasgow University. In fact Who's Who is as much in the dark about this period in the life of the man who holds sway over Rangers, and who works for a taxpayers' funded organization, as I am. Prime minister David Cameron lists his school as we all know, as Eton, and Gordon Brown tell us he went to Kirkcaldy High School. Tony Blair even goes so far as to list Durham Choisters School before he went to Fettes, while Nick Clegg is a product of Westminster School. Good grief, even shamed Fred the Shred - Sir Fred Goodwin, - owns up to having gone to Paisley Grammar School. Of course perhaps Kane is ashamed of his humble origins. After all, Edinburgh is Scotland's banking centre, and when the folk there ask what school you went to, they are trying to uncover your social status, revealed by whether or not you attended a fee paying school. If that's the case then shame on you Archie Gerard Kane ,though I find that hard to believe of a man who, despite having come a long way has still admirably kept his Lanarkshire roots. I know a wee bit about Lanarkshire, as my dad, Andrew was born and bred in Coatbridge, before having the great good sense to marry a Maryhill lassie and move there. So I know only too well the obsession of Lanarkshire's young men with sport in general and football in particular. Which is why I find it strange that in Who's Who, Kane lists his hobbies as golf, tennis and ski-ing. Hardly tastes he would have cultivated growing up in Lanarkshire in the 1950s and 60s. But then again, as former Chancellor Alistair Darling has admitted, they are slippery customers. Bankers! http://davidleggat-leggoland.blogspot.com/
  14. That Lloyds wanted all their money now, we'd be signing no one, and Bougherra, Davis, and Miller would all be leaving? I'm not taking the piss, i'm genuinely curious as to whether there was ever any truth in it? Think it came from either FF or RM and the source was Delmonte(?)
  15. Everyone thinks Rangers are skint and boring but Celtic are making all the right moves in pre-season. Sound familiar? by Alexander Anderson on 13 August 2010 As the new SPL season dawns, why can everyone be sure Rangers will ensure this season finishes the same as last? Because we have exactly the same situation as at this point last year. Rangers are champions, Celtic are chasing. There's a new man at the helm at Parkhead with all sorts of romantic notions having pushed his installation, there's Walter Smith still at Ibrox. There's lots of money being spent on new Celtic signings, there's none being spent at Ibrox. But there's also the small fact that yet again Celtic are out of the Champions League group stage, Rangers are already in it and therefore the big UEFA TV money will be coming to the blue half of the city. Rangers are settled, disciplined and cohesive. Celtic are a team of under-pressure strangers. And we all know how both clubs fared from this start point in 2009. Only a last-minute goal in a replay at the home of Scotland's new third force prevented The Gers completing a domestic treble. Instead they had to "settle" for a second straight SPL title, won at an absolute canter, and an historically sensational CIS League Cup final win over a St Mirren side with a two-man advantage when they fell behind. A few days later, as Rangers made that Scottish Cup exit to a destiny-fuelled Dundee United, news came through that St Mirren had coped surprisingly well in their first match after their Hampden tragedy. The Paisley Buddies played against a full Celtic side for 90 minutes in the SPL, and stuffed them 4-0. Tony Mowbray, the man who'd come to Parkhead as the new guru of glam at the outset of 2009/10 was gone within 24 hours. It was a season where even the bad stuff had great repercussions for Rangers fans. The Gers went crashing out of the Champions League with three straight home hammerings. But the fact they conceded only one goal per away game, losing only one of those games, vindicated the defensive formation which took them to the 2008 UEFA Cup final with a series of home draws. There'll be no more blind calls for Rangers to aimlessly cede possession against European opponents at Ibrox. Furthermore, the unnecessary fan backlash after the freakish 4-1 loss to Unirea Urziceni sowed the seeds for Walter Smith's best tactical move of the season. In a radio interview a few days later he played The Rangers Supporters Trust off against the Lloyds Banking Group to make two organisations he dislikes to create the media storm which took all the pressure off him and his players. Neil Lennon's next big game is the Europa League play-off. It may actually benefit Celtic to have drawn Utrecht, whose home ground's atmosphere makes it the Tynecastle of Holland. This way the green-and-white hooped ones can go crashing out of Europe altogether and not see continental competition become a further drain on their slim domestic chances, as it did last season. Celtic need the confidence from a Europa League group place but the money they'll gain is negligable in comparison to what Rangers will make in the big boys' competition. And the greater long-term gain is to be made in qualifying for next season's Champions League. The financial disparity between the two clubs will soon be closed. Skint Rangers may be, but only by their own standards, only by Champions League standards - this does not mean they can't lay on the excitement in Scotland. Last season Rangers won both Old Firm games at Ibrox. They went down at Pittodrie but that just set in motion a run of form which blew the league away. Within the space of a few December days Rangers beat Dundee United by an aggregate of 10-1, home and away. Having gone a man then a goal down before coming back to beat Hearts at Tynecastle in August, The Gers returned there in spring to win 4-1. They claimed the title with a second win at Easter Road, the first one being achieved with a 4-goal backlash after Hibs scored the fastest goal in SPL history. And for those who think defending like an open barn door is a more "honest" form of football, what about the champions' 4-1 loss at St Johnstone? Doesn't get much more "stylish" than that. Neil Lennon has endured two meaningful games as Celtic manager, in terms of competition. He lost both spectacularly. But if we take Braga and Ross County out of the equation, Lennon has enjoyed one win in his short tenure which Celtic fans will see as significant. Beating Rangers 2-1 last season long after the title was in Ibrox hands. Basically, Rangers lost the last derby of the season at Parkhead in exactly the same style they'd won the first one at Ibrox. But the reaction couldn't have been more different. Celtic had more of the ball at Ibrox, had a penalty claim turned down, lost 2-1 and then all hell was let loose in the media as refereeing conspiracies and those nonsensical accusations about "style" came flooding out the away dressing room. Nothing was mentioned of the fact Rangers lost three key players in the 24 hours leading up to the game and two more before half-time. At Parkhead in springtime, Rangers had more of the ball than during any trip to the home of their biggest rival in the last decade. Kenny Miller was sensational, scored a great goal and was denied a stone-wall penalty. Rangers lost 2-1 as Celtic burst out of their strait-jacket twice to score. No one at Ibrox complained. Rangers people understand football. They understand the breaks do indeed even themselves out and, most of all, they know that winning football - as long as it doesn't involve outright cheating - is the most stylish football of all. Everything else is just window dressing. And that's all Celtic's 2010/11 campaign is. Their new management team, their striker signed from Scunthorpe, their belief Rangers are lucky and their idea that Neil Lennon - who played for the club for half a decade - is some sort of "through and through Celtic man" or that that has anything to do with his ability to manage: All just window dressing. The ribbons will be staying at brox, on the handles of the SPL trophy. http://www.sportingo.com/football/a14023_why-parlous-rangers-will-trump-celtic-third-successive-spl-title
  16. Hardly a day passes by without another player being linked to Rangers - be it in the unofficial media such as newspapers or forums - or even via official comment from Smith/Bain and stories on the club website. Given we've not paid a fee for a new player since Maurice Edu in 2008, yet have raked in millions since then from Champions League money and player sales, that would suggest we do have some sort of budget to strengthen our squad. Indeed, different figures have been mentioned - ranging from a couple of million to �£5million and beyond. Of course the club are consistent in trying to play down such figures and definitely don't seem keen on alluding to any kind of budget - even although they have confirmed (or alleged) reasonable transfer fees and wage packages for potential players. For example, Chris Eagles was supposed to be close to arriving on a deal worth around �£2million and �£15K per week over 3 years. That totals up to not far from the unsubstantiated �£5million 'warchest' oft talked about amongst the support. On the other hand, many fans are rightly cynical when it comes to such issues. Time and time again we're told money is available yet no players come in. Further to that, the hard luck stories are run out when the window eventually closes - 'he didn't want to come', 'we couldn't match another club's offer', 'SDM's private jet is under repair' etc etc. As such, it's difficult to argue with such people when the facts tell us we have the weakest Rangers squad (in terms of numbers) for over 20 years and an overall dearth in quality that will affect our competitiveness for the rapidly approaching season. Therefore, the issue perhaps comes down to two different scenarios: 1. Do we indeed have a reasonable total budget (say �£5million for fees and wages) and are bluffing a weak position to maximise our activity? 2. Or have MIH/Lloyds/HMRC, absorbed all of income limiting us to another Jerome Rothen type loaning signing if we're lucky? I'd like to gauge your opinion so we can come back at the end of August and see who has been proven right! Are we bluffing or have we already folded? :box:
  17. Pre-season training has started then and season 2010/2011 is now upon us. Are we really ten years on from the luxuries of the Advocaat era? A new decade it is then and comparisons with the money spent at the start of the last one certainly can't be made. No de Boer, Konterman, Ricksen, Lovenkrands, Christiansen, Miller or Flo arriving this summer as they did in 2000. Nope, no �£30million war-chests for Walter! Our financial cloth is cut differently now and the SPL is no longer a place for �£4million+ signings of rising continental stars or established Premiership talent. Instead, Ibrox in particular, seems to be concentrating on home-grown potential with a wage ceiling of an amount that doesn't appear to let us compete with our closest rivals across the city. Indeed, with Celtic being linked with a decent calibre of player (only the most optimistic of bears would argue Campbell, Ledley and Bullard wouldn't improve their squad) and Rangers being linked with, well, no-one of any real note; some negativity and panic is starting to set in across the community. When one adds the almost daily quotes coming direct from the club (not even from guessing journalists) that we are prepared to listen to offers for what seems any player, it is easy to get sucked into this whirlpool of trepidation. But let's look at the facts before we slit our wrists and write off our chances of a 54th title. I think it is pretty obvious our activity in term of players coming in is going to be minimal but as long as we don't lose any more players then we should still be competitive enough as new players will arrive eventually. Of course, if any key players do go such as Bougherra, McGregor or Thomson then that would be worrying but I'd still like to think we'd use part/most of any such income to bring in further replacements. Obviously Lloyds the wolf will want his share but reducing debt should be just as important an aim as anything else this decade. It would also be good to 'bank' some money for the rainy days ahead. Does this mean a Jos�© Gon�§alves is an able replacement for a Madjid Bougherra? Of course not but just how many Boumsong's, Cuellar's and Bougherra's can we expect to find year on year? In saying that, if our manager has one virtue it is that, as a former defender himself, he can spot a good centre-half and the former Portuguese under-21 international does have some untapped potential in the same way Bougherra had. On a Bosman he also fits our financial limitations while leaving any real money for much-needed creative players. Fortunately, sound-bites coming from Murray Park suggest the manager is more than aware where we need depth and improvement. Midfield and wide areas appear to be his priority and, despite the claims of fiscal paucity, I'm pretty certain we'll have our targets - affordable and interesting ones at that. After all, whose to say, we're not letting Celtic blink first so we know our opposition before we make our own purchases? I'd like to see new players brought in early to allow them to settle but if we save money by having to wait, then we may just have to be patient. I think it is pretty obvious I'm trying to be positive here but I'm also not daft. Recent times tell us our transfer activity inwards will be minimal while players will leave to accommodate the bank's interest. Nowadays that is a given. However, it is important to remember our financial situation is improving and we do still have a (albeit refined) squad capable of being competitive in the SPL. Furthermore, Walter Smith would not have signed a new contract just to be handcuffed again. It is easy to panic with the positive press speculation Celtic are getting (what's new there?) but as it stands they have only brought in a couple of average full-backs while they have lost five of their first choice players who played in the last Old Firm game and are looking to sell more. Have they really improved their squad? What are we afraid of in their team? Is Neil Lennon's undoubted love of their club and competitive nature enough to compensate for his undoubted managerial inexperience and mental fragility? Above all, the last ten years should have taught us Rangers fans to be resilient when it comes to off-the-field speculation. We're the champions here and we still have the best team. So, let's have a bit of balance and avoid getting caught up in a melancholy that has no merit as it stands. After all, even the financial excesses of ten years ago didn't guarantee league titles. Keep calm and carry on. :robbo:
  18. metlika


    Here is a question and I wasn't sure where to put this. So Lloyds are our bank and are holding a lot of cards with us with our debt probably below �£30m now. I was just wondering what other clubs use them and if they are practically being held to randsom by them, mainly looking at EPL clubs? Is it because we don't actually get great income from the SPL that we are being owned like this?
  19. Rangers director Dave King finally breaks his silence today on the cash crisis that has engulfed the club he loves. The South African-based tycoon has kept his own counsel during the last few troubled years as the banks clamped down on Rangers. But starting today and ONLY in Record Sport the man who has already invested �£20million in the Ibrox club speaks out from his luxurious Johannesburg base. King rarely grants interviews but the multi-millionaire, who is still regarded as the only man who can come to Rangers' rescue, sat down with the only paper capable of gaining access to him. And he didn't hold back: * In our sensational two-day series he reveals how Rangers were left teetering on the brink of administration. * King out lines his hopes for Rangers in the years ahead and REFUSES to rule out the possibility of investing further in the club . * He insists the Andrew Ellis deal was NEVER a realistic option. * King claims Walter Smith's latest title success SAVED Rangers. * He ACCUSES Rangers' bankers of attempting to asset strip the club . * He identifies and pays tribute to the real resistance HEROES behind the scenes in the fight to keep the club alive. The 55-year-old kicked off his astonishing insight into his Rangers love affair by revealing he is mulling over new support for the club and is developing a five-year plan to turn around the financial situation at Ibrox. Ex-pat King invited Record Sport into his South African home for his first in-depth interview with a Scottish paper and suggested he could be willing to make available some of his reported �£300m fortune for the club he first grew to love growing up in Castlemilk. Asked if he was in a position to invest in the club again, King said: "I wouldn't say yes to that today. However, I wouldn't rule out taking a greater role in the club going forward. "Things must settle for a couple of months first. There are a lot of emotions that must die down and I wouldn't mind spending time with David Murray when I'm next over just to see what it means to him now. "I've had discussions with people such as Douglas Park and he says if the time is right and things settle he is willing to invest in a proper, commercial basis. "There are enough people out there with money to put together a funding group to get the club to a position it should be in. "It needs enough money to bring the debt down to a sustainable level, new money to take away some of the historic problems and enough money to create a kitty for the manager for five years." King has outlined the battles with Lloyds as they fought to protect their investment in the Murray Group, Rangers' parent company, which reached crisis point last year due to the global recession. He maintains it was the stubborn approach adopted by the bank that prevented him f rom launching a takeover bid last autumn. He said: "I looked at buying the club in the third financial quarter last year. "I felt the position adopted by the bank was inflexible and commercially aggressive against the club. Their demands were excessive. "It provided no opportunity for me to sensibly come in and put money into the club knowing the new money would not be going into Rangers but to protect the bank's position. It would have been throwing good money after bad." Silly Rangers have been taken off the market by majority shareholder Sir David Murray after a move to buy the club by London property developer Ellis stalled. King added: "I knew the El lis deal would not be concluded as soon as it was announced. I have my own ability to do due diligence and that deal would only have happened under very silly circumstances. "I don't think he's a silly investor but my assessment told me there was no possibility of Ellis structuring a deal that could have made sense for him." King acknowledged the right of the bank to demand its debt be repaid but believes they also share a responsibility for allowing Rangers to dip into the red to the tune of over �£30m. He said: "I recognise the responsibility of the bank to recover the money owed but they should have recognised a greater share of responsibility for participating in the funding levels Rangers received. "Walter securing the SPL title and the Champions League money saved the day. The bank are now much more willing to listen to considered argument, plus we have the benefit of that Champions League cash which has bought us this 12-month period of calm. "I'd describe Rangers as being in a comfortable position at present. We've had the operation and we're home. However, we're going to have to look after our health carefully." http://www.dailyrecord.co.uk/football/spl/2010/06/25/dave-king-rangers-and-me-86908-22358553/
  20. Sir David Murray today said Rangers will ride out their financial troubles ââ?¬â?? and could yet still attract a buyer. Murray announced on Tuesday he was taking the club off the market after three- and-a-half months of discussions with London-based property developer Andrew Ellis ended without a deal being done. The Ibrox owner said today that an improved relationship with the bank, Lloyds, and a continuing revival of his metals business helped explain his decision. He said there had been ââ?¬Å?some major improvementsââ?¬Â in the health of his business empire since the low point. ââ?¬Å?At that time our bank went out of business, the price of commercial property collapsed, the football club had just lost to Kaunas, and the price of metal collapsed,ââ?¬Â Murray said. ââ?¬Å?We have a working relationship with Lloyds, who didnââ?¬â?¢t know us a year ago and are backing many of our ventures, some in the pipeline. There is stability in our business.ââ?¬Â Murray said Rangers had produced six months of good financial results and there would be a small profit at year-end. He added: ââ?¬Å?The budget is approved, supported by the bank, the facility is supporting a little bit of money to spend.ââ?¬Â Murray declined to comment on his ongoing commitment to Rangers, but repeated that he would only accept an offer that was ââ?¬Å?in the best interests of the club, its shareholders and its fansââ?¬Â. When asked if Rangers is no longer a sellable proposition, Murray said: ââ?¬Å?The answer to that is it will be if it is run efficiently in a cost-effective manner ââ?¬â?? that is the way it will survive and be attractive to someone.ââ?¬Â http://www.eveningtimes.co.uk/sport/editor-s-picks/david-murray-rangers-will-survive-1.1035472
  21. I make no apologies for posting Edgars view on events, you can make up your own mind as to the validity or otherwise of that view. My own take is that it is very very worrying that this person and his cohorts continue to attempt to ingratiate themselves with main players, in my view he has no concept of the reality of the past or present situation, the comment about the man who owns the club said it all for me and you are well aware of my views on Minty. Unless people and in particular those who presume to represent start from a factual basis, we the supporters that is, shall remain adrift in a sea of misinformation and divided factions. davidrst Establishment PR Man Join Date: 29-07-2006 Location: SFA Offices assigning officials Posts: 660 Murray, Ellis and the Trust -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- In response to a run of texts and PMs, here's what we know and my personal tuppenceworth: Ellis - spoke to him through the early weeks of the takeover. We did some digging and couldn't see where his money was coming from. Kept polite in the media in case we were wrong - it has happened before, after all - but remained sceptical. A few well-kent posters on here tried to calm the hysteria but were accused of anti-Ellis scaremongering. C'est la vie. Ellis seemed a nice bloke but never had the cash. I posted a while ago that a deal would be agreed or not agreed that weekend. it was, and he was given a deadline to find the cash. As I'm sure you have gathered, it passed. Murray - I don't think he has any grand plan. That's giving him too much credit. This situation has never had any long-term plan. It has been month-to-month and sometimes week-to-week. Murray was completely out of the picture at Christmas. Rangers increasing success led to a softening of attitudes at Lloyds, a diminishing influence for Muir and a superb performance from Johnston and Bain. They decided a month ago on a course of action and are now following it. Murray's intentions? You'd need to ask him. His situation with Lloyds is better and he has a bit more room for manoeuvre. Trust - Came very close to a deal for backing for a fans buy-out. It didn't happen. We haven't stopped working on it and never will. Is it close? No. Future - This is it for the foreseeable. No point getting angry about it. It just is. If you wake up in the morning with a toothache, you can spend all day moaning about it, but it won't change the fact you have toothache. You be the judge, Edgar claims a deal was done, the LSE announcement says different, how this rewriting of events is clarifying anything is lost on me, smacks more of waffle to me. http://forum.followfollow.com/showthread.php?t=663453
  22. [ame=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NezGumiJRXg]YouTube- Goin' Nowhere (1994)[/ame] Don't think I've ever quoted 'Status Quo' or searched for them online before but given the news of last night; this song, the words and the band name were just perfect for the way I was feeling about our club and the protracted ownership saga of recent times. It was only less than two months ago that Rangers won the title and yet already the effect of that has worn off. Sure, the management team committing to another year and the club highlighting some of the financial pressure from the bank was easing helped keep the close season boredom at bay for a while longer but last night's news that any takeover attempt was over has brought on that familiar summer depression. A poor World Cup so far hasn't helped so, yes, my head is aching! The status quo it is then. Andrew Ellis and his mysterious backers won't be buying Rangers. Sir David Murray remains as majority shareholder. Lloyds Bank continue to have important influence in the running of the club. We have little room for manoeuvre in a financial sense. The futures of key players are unclear. Martin Bain asks for patience in terms of new signings. 40,000 Rangers fans renew their season tickets regardless and show renewed loyalty to the club. Have things ever been different? Where are we goin' then? Improving relations with the bank and �£5million budgets notwithstanding, what is the future for Rangers under Sir David Murray? Is it more of the same uncertainty and short-termism we've seen in the last ten years or so? Can we really expect more success with this strategy or is continued inconsistency the biggest challenge facing us? What part can the fans play in the future - after all we remain the single largest annual investors into the club? These are all fair questions and the same ones (and more) have been being asked now for several years. I don't think it is unreasonable to have strong expectations of the club administration and challenge them to improve their contribution. Therefore, at what point will the club recognise the supports' ongoing and undiminished commitment by involving us more closely than they do now? Let us play our part and we may be more appreciative of just how difficult it is to run a football club. We need improved representation and opportunities exist financially in that respect as well. One of the biggest frustrations of the last year or so has been the amount of leaks and rumour-mongering coming from within the club. If it isn't one director leaking information to his favourite journalist, it's another meeting with supporters he obviously considers more important than you or I. I'd understand that if it was the same message being conveyed but often it is the polar opposite which is completely unhelpful. A division on the board of Rangers Football Club seems apparent and that is then reflected throughout the fan-base. Is that a reflection on the leadership of the new chairman or the AWOL status of our continued owner? Someone must take responsibility. Of course, the fan-base itself isn't exempt from criticism. Petty online community rivalries persist; supporters groups lack transparency and innovation; while we lack the kind of leadership to put forward our concerns in a credible fashion able to change the way the club deal with us. At what point do we realise we need to organise ourselves more effectively and work together (past differences or not) to find common ground? After all, a cursory look across the fan community shows opinions are not as split as some would have you think and surely we all want the best for the club? Thus, in the frustration of no change in ownership represents a new opportunity for all the key players. First and foremost we need an owner who can take us away from the 7-10 day long term planning his appointed chairman talked about at the club AGM late last year. If Sir David Murray is genuine in his intentions for the club and if the club really isn't for sale any longer, he must lead from the front. Not via distanced spin and rhetoric which the support have grown wise to but via stepping in and showing us the kind of ambition we seen in the 1990s. Money may well be tight but that doesn't mean changes can't be made for the better. What shouldn't be forgotten amongst the inevitable negativity above is that we've won the league titles for two seasons on the trot. To do that under the challenges we've faced is something to be positive about so we do have the chance to build upon this success from a position of relative strength. Do we treat this juncture as an obstacle or as a catalyst for change? To conclude, we may not be re-building under new ownership but the old guard can show us they're just as capable despite the mistakes of recent times. To that end, I'll try and finish in a progressive fashion with another lyric from the song in the article title. Is Sir David Murray and Rangers Football Club up to the challenge?
  23. from RM reiterating what we always knew here. Serious question....what exactly was Smith up to and why, was he spittin the dummy because Muir was advising against giving him to much money to waste, or was he firing bullets for another takeover faction, whatever it was Smith owes Donald Muir an apology at the very least and the supporters an insight into his allegations. It's the evening of Saturday the 13th of February 2010. Placards are being readied; banners are being kept under lock and key, their contents a matter of whisper. Flurries of internet activity, text messages and phone calls being exchanged on an hourly basis, the preparations are nearing completion. A section of the Rangers support was ready to protest. The night before the day when lovers the world over are preparing to reach their arms around their significant others and remind themselves of the affection and love they have in their shared bond. In the world of Rangers, it was the eve of one of the most important games in the 2009/10 season. The midweek before, we had endured a stuffy draw with Motherwell leaving the supporters frustrated at not being able to capitalise on the hapless and deteriorating performances of Tony Mowbray's Celtic. Come Saturday however, Celtic drew with Aberdeen in an epic eight goal encounter leaving Rangers with the impetus to beat Hibs on Sunday and surge the club to a ten point lead over our greatest rivals and potentially onward toward a second successive league title. Purely on the football pitch, Valentine's Day was to be a pivotal moment in the season; however, this was also being echoed off the pitch amongst supporters and the tone was certainly not of free love blowing through the Govan air. Ever since the turn of the year there had been speculation brewing from many different quarters about the financial circumstance that Rangers was perceived to be in - swimming against a tide of debt, facing a future stripped to a skeleton. Forty days to find a buyer or face an existence on par with St Mirren was the whisper that became the 'news'. Troublesome noises were reverberating from a Scottish media with a taste of blood in their mouths; threads and articles were being scrawled with haste from commercially run forums acting as judge, jury and executioner, cynically you could say to profit from advertising hits; 'fan chiefs' were popping up on the radio to offer their views on the turmoil yet, the default position adopted by almost all Rangers fans was one of bewilderment and a genuine thirst to just be told the truth. Rangers were being portrayed by both friend and foe as a pauper on the street corner, crippled by financial pressures being ramped up by Lloyds Bank, waiting for its remaining possessions to be stripped almost personally by the devil incarnate; the so called "enemy within", Donald Muir. Donald Muir was appointed to the Rangers board without much fanfare in October 2009 and introduced as having "more than 25 years' experience of strategy implementation and business transformation activity internationally in a variety of industry sectors". He has a bulletproof reputation in the city as a turnaround specialist and therefore he undoubtedly had the confidence of the bank to make a positive impact on the club. He was brought in by Sir David Murray who at the time was subject to mounting rumours of a badly recession-hit MIH; however we were told publicly that he was not appointed by the bank and does not get paid by them. But of course that doesn't stop conjecture and speculation - after all, never let the facts get in the way of a good story. I digress; let's get back to the narrative. So there we stood in the few days running towards the weekend of Valentines day; staring into the void of uncertainty and muddied waters - with rumour of financial meltdown aided and abetted Lloyds with Muir cast as the treacherous puppet master. Pressures were being ramped up by media sources across the country through a number of mediums. Some of the Rangers support decided to get proactive. Tired of waiting for answers, a group of fans decided to get out there and make things happen for themselves and by proxy, for everyone else. A protest was hastily arranged. Despite reported investment, public relations at Rangers has been poor for a long time, there's no doubt about it. In many respects, the Rangers' Board deserved the Protest that was hashed together first over the internet and then by a thrown together steering committee with bears from different walks. Had there been a bit more involvement of the support, a bit more openness, a bit more clarity from the club, there would have been no need for the support to seek answers through these pound the street means, as these, to me at least, have always whiffed of the unwashed. The spreading wings of the protest could have been clipped with ease however, nipped at the bud. Our incumbent Chairman could have done the type of televised interview that our former Chairman was sometimes so adept at when it came to the crunch and he decided to pull his head above the parapet. But that didn't come. Johnston is the strong silent type and is almost always straight down the middle. Even a dampening official press release would have put some minds at rest. But that didn't come either. So the supporters decided that they had no other option but to take to the streets. However, somewhere along the line the plans for the protest became distorted, a machine gun style quest for answers from everyone, someone, became more focussed and Muir became the target once again for many. One of the Rangers forums going as far as to invoke a filter making the phrase "enemy within" automatically appear whenever his name was typed - their eggs were placed firmly in their basket on this issue. Message boards were awash with arguments about the motivation of the protest. Some arguments carried old baggage, yet most inquisitive minds just wanted clarity about what exactly the protest was aimed at, never mind what was going on at the club. Petty swiping became prevalent; with different 'camps' emerging with people who were for a protest and some that felt it was unnecessary. One the eve of the protest these camps were at a standstill, the protest was to carry on regardless, as was their prerogative and the people who thought it unnecessary got on with preparing to head to Ibrox to support the team as they did week in week out. However, it was at this precise juncture that two articles appeared on this website. One entitled "Rangers Protests ââ?¬â?? Donald Muir, the Saviour Within?" and another given the title "State of the Rangers - This is the truth, the whole truth, & nothing but the truth". In all honesty, the protest went largely un-noticed, all the bluster soon was yesterdays news; a damp squib with some predictable and pointless banners alongside some genuine and impassioned requests for clarity. One thing that did happen was that the authors of both of the aforementioned articles were immediately given treatment by fellow Rangers supporters that Muir had became accustomed to ââ?¬â?? their characters being sniped at from faceless internet assassins whose identities, allegiances and motivations were easily unmasked from behind their monikers. The "State of the Rangers" article contained the assertions of one of the staff members of this site and the information obtained was completely contradictory to the narrative that had been pushed by the media and by some factions of the dissenting Rangers support. In summary, this article pointed to the following bullet points of information: ââ?¬Â¢ Rangers will not be downsized next season and the bank doesn't run Rangers. There is a business plan agreed and the bank will be serviced with a repayment of Ã?£1 million per year towards reducing the debt ââ?¬Â¢ The budget for player's salaries will be the same next season as it is this season. ââ?¬Â¢ Contract offers have been made to Boyd, Novo & Broadfoot and, if they wanted to, they could sign them tomorrow. ââ?¬Â¢ If Rangers win the league and therefore qualify for the Champions League there will be a budget for the manager to strengthen the squad, but at the moment he cannot buy players until he sells to keep in line with the business plan. If we take a cursory look at the statements made in the press recently by Alastair Johnston, Martin Bain and Walter Smith since the end of this season - every one of these four key assertions has came to fruition. In fact, it reads much like a summary of the news that has came from the club in recent weeks. The million pound repayment was not news to some at the writing of the article as it had been outlined in the end of year accounts a matter of months before. The bank were, and still are, satisfied with this agreement; the doubts that this was not the case and that the bank were going to call in all the debt at once was only ever a rumour - hearsay designed to cause mischief and to worry our support when the facts of the matter were there for everyone to see. What of the budget for next season? Well an exact figure has not been outlined, presumably as there is no such thing as a fixed budget for Smith to work from. It's all relative - spend more on wages and new contracts, have less for transfer fee's and visa versa - common sense really. But in terms of a ballpark figure, Ã?£5 million seems to be the universally agreed banding that Bain and Johnston confirmed which is based on a percentage of the guaranteed Champions League monies. As predicted. For clarity; "We have agreed with Lloyds that we can spend some of the Champions League income and we also hope to maintain wage levels as they currently stand and reinvest any transfer proceeds that we might have." Martin Bain (26/05/10)
  24. Though we will no be spending millions , neither will we be forced to reduce our current wage bill , which can only be a good thing and hopefully now that some players have left will give Walter some leeway to resign the important ones whilst getting reinforcements in. On the subject of the club's debt, Bain explained: "We have been engaged in direct and constructive discussions with the bank about how the club can operate in the foreseeable future, given the improved financial position since last season. "We will, of course, continue to look for new investment in Rangers but, in the interim, there is a plan in place for the club to operate on a stable basis. "The club recognises that Lloyds Banking Group is looking for structured debt reduction at the club. Equally, the bank recognises that the club needs to be managed at a level where it is in a position to deliver success on the field and meet supporters' expectations. "In broad terms, we will invest some Champions League revenue and general profit from this year in the playing squad. "We will be able to maintain our wage levels as they are and, if any players decide to leave, we will be re-investing proceeds back in the squad."
  25. Now, I'm the first to highlight caution when it comes to believing what you read in the papers - not least when it is Graham Spiers writing about Rangers. Hyperbole, imbalance, mischief and trouble should accompany any by-line when this particular member of the broadsheet (I use the term loosely) fraternity dares to debate our club. However, in his article today, there appears to be a few direct quotes from our current chairman Alastair Johnston which suggests his commentary is, in this case, authentic and worth discussing. Therefore, it isn't a surprise that the article in question has raised a few eyebrows while once again stirring the ever-simmering pot of ownership suspense at Rangers. Essentially, as many Rangers fans fear, it appears Mr Johnston is concerned about the uncertainty of the Andrew Ellis bid to buy the club. Indeed, reading between the lines, one would be forgiven for picturing Johnson speaking through gritted teeth over the likelihood of Ellis being the next owner of Rangers. Johnston may not be the judge but he's certainly part of the jury which has yet to be provided genuine evidence of a worthy bid for the club. So who is the judge then and where are they? The answer to that is initially easy to answer but, as usual, when it comes to the financial background of Rangers, slightly more difficult to put a finger on. Empirically speaking though, Sir David Murray remains the owner of Rangers as he's majority shareholder of the club and majority shareholder of MIH. Thus, he still makes key decisions for both organisations - albeit with an increasing say for the Lloyds Banking Group and with the guiding hand of turnaround specialist Donald Muir beside theirs on the tiller. Is it any wonder the direction seem to change daily? Therefore when Alastair Johnston takes umbrage about Andrew Ellis not affording him the respect of a meeting to discuss all the above, Ellis can rightly point out Johnston's unimportant position in the food chain. To be fair to our existing chairman though, he is correct to ask why dialogue seems to frighten the Ellis camp. Indeed, every Rangers fan should be asking suitable questions of any bidder. All in all though, once more, there is nothing new in Spiers' article - doubt, cynicism, concern and suspicion are all facets of this issue which until it is resolved will continue to be prevalent; no matter our place in the Rangers family. To that end, it isn't Johnston's concerns about the Ellis bid that worry me today but the fact our chairman is flying back off to the Land of the Free without making clear our budget and strategy for next season. At the Rangers Assembly meeting of last week, we were told a 'limited', improving budget was likely but we have had no official confirmation of this. During the same meeting the Assembly were asked to convey the message that season ticket monies were essential for club operations. Once again it appears our loyalty is the single most important financial investment into the club. And once again, it appears this call has been heeded with sales currently matching those of last year. So far so good! Yet, despite this incredible loyalty and act of trust in people like Mr Johnston, his board of directors and Sir David Murray, we're no closer to solving this year-on-year challenge of self-funding. Unbelievably our legendary manager seems no closer to signing a new contract. Worryingly, we have several out-of-contract players about to leave on free transfers leaving our squad more depleted than ever before. Disappointingly, we have even more players whose contracts are running out next season but whose future seems equally uncertain. Frustratingly, we have no way of knowing if any further income will be used to improve our squad for next season. Annoyingly, we don't know if key players need to be sold (or want to leave). Interestingly, we have signed a few unknown young players but our youth system and scouting network appear disjointed and underfunded. Disgracefully, we have a tax 'query pending' which no-one seems to know what will cost us down the line. Laughably, we have an UEFA 'elite' class stadium with huge TV screens which dominant the arena but, erm, don't work. Are we talking about the operations of the world's most successful domestic club or Fawlty Towers FC? Farcical doesn't begin to describe the status quo. Now, while Alistair Johnston may be the chairman, it is unfair to suggest he is at fault for all the problems above. However, he is part of the problem as, like many others, he seems unable to provide a distinct path towards a brighter future for our club while asking for our money at the same time. Of course, that criticism should go above him to the very top as it can't be easy to work with your hands tied behind your back. What will it take then to stir Sir David Murray from his stupor? Certainly, continued calls for clarity and leadership from various parties go unanswered so where else can a doubting support go than to the custodian of the club. Unfortunately for us, he seems to be too busy playing his own money games of which luck is determined by external parties. Has he opened all his boxes already or is the Banker laughing on the other side of the line? At what point do all these people stop making a mockery of Rangers and at what point does the unwavering commitment of the Rangers support get rewarded by treating us with respect instead of disdain.
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