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  1. THERE was a rare moment of unity between Rangers fans groups and the Scottish Football Association when the governing body blocked Mike Ashley’s proposals to increase his stake in the club last month. Then, a Union of Fans statement spoke of the SFA having “done the right thing” in observing their rules on dual ownership by refusing to approve the Newcastle United owner’s bid to increase his Rangers stake from around 9 per cent to 29 per cent. Yet, those same supporters are unlikely to be so taken by the SFA obeying their articles of association should Dave King succeed in his mission to oust the current board. King revealed his intentions on Friday night when he requisitioned an extraordinary general meeting (egm). The South Africa-based businessman, Rangers’ largest single shareholder with a 16 per cent stake, is “confident” he can muster the 50 per cent shareholder support he needs to remove chairman David Somers, James Easdale, Derek Llambias and Barry Leach from their directorship. His plan is to replace them with himself, Paul Murray and John Gilligan. And therein lies the rub. At an egm, which the current Rangers board could stall for six weeks, King could expect the support of the 20 per cent stake controlled by the Donald Park, George Letham and George Taylor consortium. In addition, he is believed to have the ear of a couple of the hedge funds with a 10 per cent holding between them, while individual supporters whose share totals add up to a further 10 per cent would back his efforts to put the Ibrox club into the hands of supporters. That is all well and good, and Ashley deserves to be removed because of his callous disregard for the club and its followers in this week’s moves to gain security over Ibrox and Murray Park. The current board maintain this was in return for the £10 million loan Rangers need to see out the season. But it is important to look beyond Ashley’s game-playing and not forget how we arrived at this point. In the independent inquiry chaired by Lord Nimmo Smith under the auspices of the SFA, the old board were criticised for failing to blow the whistle on Craig Whyte as he sent the club on the road to ruin after taking over in May 2011. King was a member of that board. And it cannot be forgotten either that the reason King was in no position to buy the assets once the old Rangers had been condemned to liquidation the following summer, and save it from the clutches of Charles Green, was that the Castlemilk-born businessman was then in the midst of a decade-long legal battle with the South African Revenue Service. He settled last year by pleading guilty to 42 criminal counts of contravening the country’s tax laws, and kept himself out of prison by plea bargaining on almost 300 other charges, which required him to stump up £41m. As far as failing to meet the SFA’s fit and proper person test, King – who lost £20m he invested in the David Murray Rangers era – does so with bells on. Indeed, it is almost as if the ruling has been written to debar individuals with chequered business careers of King’s ilk. Under section (h) of Article 10.2 that sets out the “considerations” that would be made concerning the board “reserving its discretion” as to whether a person is deemed fit and proper to hold a football directorship, it is stated “[if] he has been convicted within the last ten years of (i) an offence liable to imprisonment of two years or over, (ii) corruption or (iii) fraud.” King was liable for a stretch longer than two years had he not plea-bargained. Moreover, he is caught in a double bind over the fit and proper person rules. Because what also counts against those seeking to meet the criteria is having “been a director of a club in membership of any National Association within the five-year period preceding such club having undergone an insolvency event”. King and Paul Murray – who was sacked from the Rangers board immediately after Whyte took over – both fall down on this basis. They simply cannot be granted permission by the SFA to take up directorships in any Rangers board if the governing body stands by their own rules, which were tightened up because they had failed to act over Whyte’s dubious business past. King constantly puts it out through sympathetic media sources that he is confident the SFA professional game board would wave him through as a Rangers director in the event of gaining a controlling interest. That sounds like bluster, which, as well as the baggage, has led to legitimate questioning of King’s credentials to lead Rangers out of the mire. At times, though, it must be said he talks a good game. As he did in his statement on Friday in which he claimed that, as well as putting the club on a sound financial footing, a second “important task” would be “to conduct a forensic audit of the management and commercial contracts undertaken over the last few years to determine whether they are truly arm’s length and whether the affairs of the company have been pursued in accordance with the fiduciary obligations of those entrusted with that responsibility”. King thundered at the end of this declaration of intent that “any malfeasance will be pursued aggressively and transparently”. For the South African tax authorities, that might read like a sick joke. http://www.scotsman.com/sport/football/spfl-lower-divisions/rangers-dave-king-s-move-faces-taxing-questions-1-3664643
  2. DAVID Robertson thought Premier Division title celebrations with Rangers two decades ago were an anti-climax because they had just lost their third away league game in a row. Having just seen the Ibrox side record the same sequence of results for the first time since, he’s adamant his sheepishness then is nothing compared to the shame that should be felt now. Robertson was part of the Rangers team which limped over the finishing line to claim the sixth of their historic nine championships in a row in 1994. Without a win in any of their final five games, they were only confirmed as overall victors after their penultimate fixture as closest challengers Motherwell drew at Raith. Having lost on the road consecutively to the Steelmen, Hibernian and Kilmarnock, it was the last way Robertson and his team-mates wanted to retain the silverware. And as Walter Smith’s men marked their achievement off the back of a 1-0 reverse at Rugby Park, it was little wonder they were more muted than usual. Back then, Robertson and his colleagues could at least take satisfaction from finishing top of the table on a regular basis, but these are changed days at Ibrox. Saturday’s 4-0 Championship mauling by Hibs followed recent 2-0 losses at Hearts and Queen of the South to leave Rangers 15 points behind the Jambos halfway through the campaign. Favourites to win the league in the summer, they’ve now been written off by most as also-rans who will make the play-offs at best in the months ahead. Former left-back Robertson, 46, can’t believe how far on-field standards have fallen at his old club and insists the players have nobody to blame for that but themselves. The ex-Elgin and Montrose manager, currently coaching youths in America, said: “I’m surprised at what has happened because it shouldn’t be hard to lift yourself to play for Rangers. “Normally when a manager moves on, as was the case when Ally McCoist left, there’s a bit of a spark but we didn’t see that at all at the weekend. The players must have it in their minds they’ve a new man to impress, whether it be Kenny McDowall, Billy Davies or someone else. “Whoever takes that job in the long run is going to want players they can count on but there weren’t many who showed at the weekend they are reliable. “It was different when we won the league in 1994. Winning cups with Rangers was great but sometimes it was hard to get over the line in the league because we were so far ahead. “I’m not saying we couldn’t motivate ourselves but we just expected it to happen at some point and knew it would come. “I remember the game at Easter Road where we lost and to then win the league without winning at Kilmarnock once again was just an anti-climax. “We celebrated a bit but with it being the club’s sixth championship, it had become a habit and we were disappointed not to do it in style. It’s not that there wasn’t excitement. The first time we won it when I was in the team it was great but that year it was just a relief to win the title. At least we could say then we had delivered that. Now I think the players will be a little bit ashamed of what is happening. “I’ve coached in the lower leagues myself so I know what it’s like. There are some places that aren’t the most glamorous to play at and can be hard to lift yourself there. “But if you’re going to Easter Road or Tynecastle, where there’s a good atmosphere and it’s like playing in the top division again, there shouldn’t be any problem with motivation. “If you can’t get yourself set to play there for Rangers there’s something far wrong. The players can feel sorry for themselves that they’ve lost their manager all they want. But they’re getting paid well and they’re playing for a huge club. You can talk about the club’s money problems but when you’re out on the field you don’t think about any of that. “That’s just an excuse. They are professional players who are getting well looked after and they have to do more. There are so many footballers who are out of work who would love to be in their position and they’ve got to do a lot better.” A total of 12 Rangers players will be out of contract at the end of the season, including Kris Boyd, Kenny Miller, Jon Daly and recently-appointed coach Lee McCulloch. Kyle Hutton, Bilel Mohsni, Steve Simonsen, Lee Robinson, Ian Black, Richard Foster, Stevie Smith and Darren McGregor are also on deals which are due to expire in the summer. Robertson is adamant if current performance levels continue very few will be kept on. He added: “If they’re showing no heart playing for Rangers in a lower league that’s not good for them. It will be hard for them to get another deal at Rangers. But if it doesn’t work out for them there, who is going to take a chance on them elsewhere? “They can come out in newspapers and say they are disappointed with how they played but if it keeps happening there are serious problems. Rangers were a bit unlucky at Hearts because they were the better team for a lot of the first half, even for a spell after they had a man sent off. But to go two goals down in 12 minutes at Hibs then not respond is not good at all and if that kind of thing is going to happen it is maybe time some of the players moved on. “In the Third Division and League One, where Rangers were strolling to titles, even a draw with somebody resulted in talk about the wheels falling off. “This is different. You’ve got to win every game and the older players should be experienced enough to bring the rest through and back into form but it isn’t happening. When you’ve got players such as Miller saying they’ve lost their bottle, that’s really sad. Him and Boyd should be helping the others.” Robertson sees no way back in the title race for his old side. He fears if Rangers’ slide doesn’t stop soon things could get worse and they could be in danger of missing out on the play-offs. Robertson said: “You would think at worst they will end up in the top four but if they continue the way they are going even that won’t be assured. Hibs are only four points behind Rangers now and Queen of the South and Falkirk aren’t far off after that. It could be a real embarrassment. They’ve got to be careful they don’t finish third or worse.” http://www.scotsman.com/sport/football/spfl-lower-divisions/money-problems-just-an-excuse-for-rangers-flops-1-3646420
  3. The November edition of the FIFA/Coca-Cola World Ranking reveals very little change in the top ten, with the top seven positions unaltered from last month and world champions Germany still out in front ahead of Argentina and Colombia. France, however, are now in joint seventh place together with Portugal (7th, up 2). In the top 20, England (13th, up 7), Romania (15th, up 6) and Czech Republic (17th, up 5) have all made good progress. Guinea (38th, up 17) have climbed into the top 50 on the back of two victories in CAF Africa Cup of Nations 2015 qualifiers, as have Mali (49th, up 9), with their rise coming at the expense of Trinidad and Tobago (54th, down 5) and Egypt (60th, down 22). As a result, the regional composition of the top 50 has shifted slightly in favour of Africa (10 teams, up 1). With the exception of CONCACAF (3 teams in the top 50, down 1), there are no other changes to the number of top 50 teams of the other confederations (UEFA: 31; CONMEBOL: 6; AFC: 0; OFC: 0). Further down the ranking, the Faroe Islands (105th, up 82) have made considerable progress thanks to their surprise victory over Greece (25th, down 7) in the UEFA EURO 2016 qualifiers. The other teams to have climbed more than 20 places are Jamaica (71st, up 42), Cuba (79th, up 33), San Marino (180th, up 28), Haiti (68th, up 25), Liechtenstein (130th, up 25), and Thailand (144th, up 21). For San Marino, their draw with Estonia - also in the EURO 2016 qualifiers - sees them climb off the bottom of the table for the first time in six-and-a-half years. A total of 150 new 'A' international matches have been taken into account for the November edition of the FIFA/Coca-Cola World Ranking, bringing the total number of matches evaluated in 2014 to 817. Sixty-one of these matches were part of continental qualifiers in Europe, Africa and the CONCACAF region, with the other 89 being friendly matches. http://www.fifa.com/fifa-world-ranking/news/y=2014/m=11/news=england-close-in-on-top-ten-2479554.html?cid=newsletter_en_20141127_newsid Scotland are up 1 to 36th but behind Israel, Iceland, Wales and Senegal and only marginally ahead of Ghana, Guinea and the Cape Verde Islands. Mohsni's Tunisia are up 9 places to 22nd, their highest ranking for 16 years after qualifying for the Africa Cup of Nations by beating Egypt 2-1 and drawing 0-0 with Botswana; whilst Peralta's (remember him?) Honduras are down 3 places to 72nd their lowest ranking for 16 years after their 6-0 loss to Japan (where he was used as a sub) and 0-0 draw with China (where he started in CMF and was subbed).
  4. We are running a wee competition for those who wish to join our Louden Tavern Mailing List with the winners getting a pair of tickets for this Friday’s Founders Trail Roadshow Event at The Louden Tavern: Ibrox Stadium. To enter simply enter your details into the link below and we will draw the winner at random. http://eepurl.com/30lr5 If you are currently on our email list please comment below or send us an email to notify that you wish to be included in the competition. The Event will begin at 7.30pm (with doors opening at 6pm) and there will be a fun quiz with prizes afterwards. It is a fantastic evening and really worth seeing so I would urge all Rangers Supporters who are able to come along. Tickets are available now at http://www.thelouden.co.uk/events.html We Are The People God Bless The Rangers The Louden Tavern: Ibrox Stadium - More than a Pub *We are responsible for The Louden Tavern: Ibrox Stadium, 111 Copland Road, Ibrox, G51 2SL solely and are not involved in the operation of any other premises
  5. RANGERS will compete in their first game of this year’s Dale Farm Milk Cup when they take on County Armagh at the Riverside Stadium in Drumahoe tonight, kick-off 7pm. The young Light Blues, who are in the under-15 Junior section, will then face a mouthwatering test against Liverpool on Tuesday at Ballymena Showgrounds (ko 8pm) before their third game against O’Higgins from Chile on Wednesday at the Riada Stadium in Ballymoney (ko 3.30pm). It is 21 years since Rangers participated at the Milk Cup in Northern Ireland and Jim Sinclair, Rangers Academy Director, believes it's an exciting opportunity for the up and coming talent in Craig Mulholland and Andy Kirk's squad. He said: "We are delighted to be renewing Rangers' long association with the Milk Cup having won the event during the 80's and 90's and we're hopeful that our group will enjoy the experience again this year. "The Milk Cup has over many years developed a fantastic reputation for providing a strong tournament with competitive clubs from all over the world and the quality of opposition will prove a great test for our young team. "We always look forward to taking teams to Northern Ireland where the club has a large supporter base and we know we will participate in an event which has a reputation for first class organisation." This year’s tournament kicked off yesterday with an Opening Ceremony and Nicky Byrne was the special guest. The former Westlife singer, who played at the Milk Cup on three occasions, also led a parade of competing teams through Coleraine. In total 56 teams from the world's leading professional clubs, famous football academies and National Associations from all five Continents have descended on the five local authorities of Coleraine, Ballymena, Limavady, Ballymoney and Derry City to battle it out over five days hoping to end the week as Dale Farm Milk Cup champions in the Elite (under 19), Premier (under 17) and Junior (under 15) sections. The Rangers squad in Northern Ireland is as follows: Kieran Wright, Aidan Wilson, Scott Gray, Kyle Bradley, Jason Krones, Kieran Balfour, Grant Nelson, Jamie Barjonas, Sam Jamieson, Liam Burt, Andrew Dallas, Jack Thomson, Lewis Mayo, Jordan Houston, Stephen Kelly, Zak Rudden, Matifadza Zata, Lewis Muir. For more information on the Dale Farm Milk Cup click here. http://www.rangers.co.uk/news/academy-news/item/7327-young-gers-face-county-armagh
  6. This arrived a wee while ago. Three surveys were issued comprising of Fan Engagement 2, Club Membership and Digital & Media. More than half the respondents from the initial survey said they would participate in further supporter engagement initiatives to help shape the Club’s Ready To Listen campaign. From that 50%, the uptake was overwhelming with over 86% of fans completing the Fan Engagement 2 survey, 58% completing the Club Membership survey and 66% completing the Digital & Media survey. Fan Engagement Key Findings 88% of fans see the Club’s Website as the key channel for information regarding the Club with Email coming a close second at 71% and Social Media at 60%. 64% of fans use Email as the key mode of communication with the Club and 51% via Social Media. The 5 areas that fans are satisfied or very satisfied with in terms of communication with the fans are - Club Website, Matchday Programme, Email, Social Media and Ticket Centre. Fans do not see the Hotline as an effective method of communication with less than 1% citing this effective. Fans are happy with the level of Email communication with 66% feeling the Club does not communicate too frequently. 43% of fans interact with the Club on a daily basis. Awareness of the Club’s Supporter’s Services department is low with only 21% aware and of those only 13% had used this service. Those who did use the service found it a positive experience with 60% stating it was courteous and 44% stating it was knowledgeable. The top 5 channels fans would like to communicate with the Club were: Surveys, Email, Q&A Sessions, Open Days/Evenings and Social Media Polls/Conversations. The most important channels of communication were Email, Q&A Sessions and Open Days/Evenings. The establishment of a Fan Representation Board was seen as the most effective way to improve Club and supporter engagement with 74%. The majority of fans believe the Fan Representation Board should have between 6-10 members and it should comprise members with a relevant professional expertise (83%) and Season Ticket Holders (80%). The Fan Representation Board should be re-elected and the largest % of fans at 46% felt a term of 2 years maximum was acceptable. The Fan Representation Board should meet on a monthly basis according to 65% of respondents and 78% agreed that there should be a Club representative in attendance and 93% agreed that a member of the Board should also attend. To view an infographic of the Fan Engagement survey 2 results click here. Club Membership Key Findings “Bringing me closer to the Club” (45%) and “Increasing my involvement with the Club” (41%) were deemed most important in terms of Rangers Membership, with “providing me with exclusive merchandise pack” least important (2%). Top 3 Rangers Membership benefits perceived as providing “value for money” were: Retail Merchandise Discount, Free Stadium WIFI and Exclusive Merchandise. 61% of participants felt a members-only email newsletter should be issued “Monthly”. 61% of participants felt that receiving a gift pack wasn’t an important part of a Rangers Membership. A Rangers Membership scarf was perceived the least important membership pack item (Average Score of 3.14) compared with a Membership card (Average Score of 3.74). 94% of participants think the “ability to vote on Club initiatives should be a benefit of Membership”. 95% of participants think that people on the Fan Representation Board should be Club Members/Season Ticket Holders. Priority tickets for Premium Games was perceived the most important benefit to enhance matchday experience (Average Score of 4.15), Digital Matchday programme was perceived the least important benefit (Average Score of 3.26). 54% participants have children/relatives, but 80% of these children/relatives aren’t Season Ticket Holders however 53% of them attend matches. Top 5 Rangers Membership benefits that represent value for money for kids under 16 are: Player Mascots, Retail/Merchandise Discount, Membership Pack, Online Games/Competitions and Kids Video Content. To view an infographic of the Club Membership survey results click here. Digital & Media Key Findings 99% of all respondents said that they use the Internet on a daily basis. 82% of respondents confirmed that they access the Internet via a PC or a Laptop. However, 76% also said that they use a Mobile Phone with 60% accessing via a tablet. Only 38% of respondents indicated that they watch videos about Rangers on RangersTV, with more watching video content on rangers.co.uk (59%). YouTube was the most used website to watch Rangers videos (78%). 53% of respondents said that they visited the Club website rangers.co.uk on a daily basis, with a further 35% identifying that they use it on a weekly basis. Only 5% of fans said that they used the website monthly. When asked to select a statement that best reflected their opinion of rangers.co.uk at present, 55% of respondents selected “It’s good but I also go elsewhere”. Only 1% of fans said they thought “it’s terrible”, however only 8% said “it’s fantastic and has everything I need”. 68% of fans felt that the content on rangers.co.uk appeals to both ardent fans and casual fans, however only 13% felt that the site was first with news. Less than 50% of people said that they could find everything they wanted easily (40%) and that it was visually appealing (45%). 44% of respondents felt that match reports were timely, factual and accurate, 45% felt they were objective and 63% felt that they were of a good length. Regarding picture galleries, 66% felt they were easy to use, but only 32% felt that they captured the emotion. 85% of fans confirmed that they do not subscribe to RangersTV, with 56% of those who do having a RangersTV Standard subscription. Price was the most significant factor for people who have subscribed previously to RangersTV and cancelled, with 41% not wishing to pay for video content at all and 34% indicating that the subscription is too expensive. Regarding video content on RangersTV, match content was what fans wished to see most, with 88% wishing to view Live Matches. Other areas they would like to see include Archive Matches (59%), Interviews (61%), Highlights (66%) and Documentaries (63%). Only 46% of respondents indicated that they buy the matchday programme and of those, 49% said that they do so every game. 63% of fans said that the reason they do so is because it’s a collector’s item. People who don’t buy the programme said that the reason for doing so was that they didn’t feel it was value for money (72%). 57% said that they would be interested in a digital version of the programme. 75% of respondents said that they use a social media platform with Facebook (79%) and Twitter (68%) the most used. 39% of respondents either agreed or strongly agreed that Rangers engages well on Social Media, with 32% either disagreeing or strongly disagreeing. 46% of fans felt that the Club provides news effectively via Social Media with 26% either disagreeing or strongly disagreeing. To view an infographic of the Digital & Media survey results click here. Next Steps More focused face-to-face meetings in the form of focus groups will now be facilitated at the stadium with fans who had expressed a wish to continue their involvement in this initiative. The first set of focus groups will take place next month on Fan Engagement with a minimum of 4 groups being held. A representative sample of Rangers fans will be included in each group to share their individual views and will be invited to participate on a first come first served basis. A range of topics will be covered and this will be outlined in the initial correspondence for each focus group. These initial focus groups will be followed by further focus groups on Club Membership and Digital & Media in the coming weeks and months.
  7. RANGERS are behaving as though their 120-day business review will have to be crowbarred out of their directors' hands. The more cynical of this club's supporters would not be surprised if the update was delivered in encrypted text this Friday, such has been the apparent reluctance to let the findings out into the public domain. Friday will be day 128, incidentally, and all that has been promised is "update" rather than any extensive illumination of the Ibrox strategy. This is what football has come to: thousands of fans desperately waiting for breaking news on what they would once have dismissed as bone-dry financial strategies. Maybe Graham Wallace, the chief executive, didn't realise he was creating such a hostage to fortune when he announced this business review at the annual general meeting in December, but its significance has mushroomed Directors and fans are in a Mexican stand-off over season tickets. If Wallace placates the masses, damage will be done to the Union of Fans/Dave King attempt to persuade thousands to break the traditional supply chain and instead put their money into a trust fund. But on all available evidence so far it's hard to see what Wallace can deliver which will remotely placate them. Wallace is probably shrewd enough to know what's coming his way when the information is released. In the four months since he bought himself time by announcing this review, Rangers have divested themselves of two figures most of the support considered to be toxic: finance director Brian Stockbridge and public relations adviser Jack Irvine. The club also secured a shirt sponsorship deal with 32Red. Hip, hip hurrays all round? Well, yes, for a moment. Each of those moves was significant, yet they have had no lasting effect on the swirl of negativity around Rangers or the hostility and suspicion shown towards the board. Wallace's own popularity and standing has steadily eroded. At the time of the annual meeting supporters were able to distinguish between him and the rest of the unpopular board. Now, much less so. What can he say in this review that will make the critics pause and say, "actually, yeah, that's not bad, this could win us round"? Three days ago it became personal towards Wallace when his salary and bonus was openly questioned by supporters group The Union of Fans. Maybe £315,000-per-annum really is the going rate for high end football club chief executives these days, although Rangers continue to seem like pushovers when it comes to doing deals with just about anyone. But if Wallace is on another of those 100% Ibrox bonus deals, as his critics clearly believe, fans will see him as being a continuation of the chain of ****s and opportunists when they had hoped he would come in and cleanse the club of them all. What seems likely now is that Wallace's update will exasperate and irritate those fans further, hardening their opposition to the board and deepening their resolve to starve out the incumbent regime by withholding season ticket money. The collapse of King's cordial working relationship with the directors is significant, given that he surely had some sort of insight into Wallace's intended strategy. Positions are entrenched. No fair-minded supporter will reject Wallace's findings on a stubborn point-of-principle. Perhaps he will surprise them and come up with a plan which seems imaginative, ambitious and realistic. But it's only two months since this Rangers board had to go cap in hand for £1.5m in emergency loans just to see the club over the line until the next season-ticket money. At the end of last year the board suggested the players take a 15% wage cut: that was rejected and, since then, nothing more has been heard of it and no other cuts have been publicly proposed. Wallace is on record as saying costs are too high. Money continues to haemorrhage from Rangers. If Wallace's update acknowledges that the club needs either severe cuts or substantial external investment then the latter will be embraced by those who champion King and find it unfathomable, and deeply suspicious, that his apparent willingness to invest has not been encouraged by the Rangers board. What freedom does Wallace have here? This review has been sanctioned by Sandy and James Easdale and the rest of the Rangers board. Would it ever see the light of day if it delivered findings they didn't like? When Rangers said the update would be announced on Friday April 25 (which will be day 127, incidentally), fans immediately clocked that they would have only the weekend to consider it before deciding whether or not to cancel the auto-renewal of their season-tickets (which may not be enough time if it that has to be done in writing). That was either a calculating move by the club or an unthinking one, but either way it looked sleekit and did nothing to build bridges with the support. Wallace and chairman David Somers have both spoken of the need to be more open and transparent with )supporters but done next to nothing to back it up. Wallace will be heard before the week is out, though. His job may pay well, but it's an unenviable one: this week he must calm and win over supporters implacably opposed to the regime he represents. http://www.heraldscotland.com/sport/opinion/wallaces-strategy-update-may-be-too-late-to-win-over-rangers-fans.24005492?utm_source=headlines&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=email%2Balert
  8. Nah not buying this. Planes don't go missing No wreckage found No distress calls from the pilot 2 passengers alive and well but had passports stolen. Vietnam say it crashed in sea / Malaysia deny it. Bizarre stuff
  9. The silence of normally loud mouthed, so quick to condemn Scottish Press over the green and grey hordes attempt to get their homage to dead terrorists into the charts is deafening. The cowardice displayed by the media mirrors the cowardice of the terrorists rather aptly. Anyone for a helping of double standards? *Please move this admin if not appropriate for here.
  10. Folks, There's a fair number of Gersnet users who have been members of the forum for quite a few years and during that time have changed their email address without updating it in their forum user settings. For that reason, could everyone please go into their forum user settings and make sure their Gersnet account is updated with their current email address. Many thanks! ~Z
  11. Rangers directors have been accused of being “hell-bent” on denying shareholders their right to vote on the composition of the board after the club dismissed a resolution to appoint four new members. The Rangers board claimed an attempt to install Paul Murray, Malcolm Murray, Scott Murdoch and Alex Wilson, in a proposed vote at the club’s annual general meeting on October 24, was ‘’unlikely to be properly constituted under s338 of the Companies Act 2006’’. However, the group seeking change insists it submitted its request in a “perfectly valid” manner. The row follows an earlier agreement which saw a group of dissenting shareholders, led by Clyde Blowers chairman Jim McColl, drop demands for a general meeting to vote on a resolution to remove chief executive Craig Mather, Brian Stockbridge and Bryan Smart and install Paul Murray and Frank Blin, in return for a guarantee that the club’s AGM be held before the end of October. An earlier compromise deal fell through. Current directors could be voted off at the AGM but the board announced it considered the new resolution invalid and “vexatious” because no amendment to the terms of the withdrawal of the original request had been discussed beforehand. In a statement to the London Stock Exchange, Rangers said: “The board is also concerned that the contents of the proposed resolutions may also be either ineffective or frivolous as any director appointment must comply with the company’s articles of association and is subject to prior regulatory approval.” The club also claimed that the request, which was received on Friday, arrived after notice for the AGM had been sent to the printers. The club’s annual accounts, which revealed operating losses of £14.4million, were published four days later on Tuesday. In a statement released to Press Association Sport, a representative of the dissenting shareholders accused the board of being unreasonable and insisted their aim was to strengthen the board with “successful professionals who are lifelong Rangers supporters”. The statement added: “We confirmed to the board that we would meet the reasonable additional costs and expenses of including these nominations in the AGM notice. “We heard nothing from the board all weekend until their lawyer, Field Fisher Waterhouse, was in contact at lunchtime on Monday requesting a large volume of information to authenticate our notice and to inform us that, in any event, ‘the AGM documentation was sent to the printer for printing and posting on Friday’. “This is despite the fact that we now know that the accounts were not signed until Saturday and the results not announced to AIM until this morning!! “For the avoidance of doubt we have submitted our notice using a perfectly valid legal process. “The process of authenticating the notice could have been discussed at any time over the weekend and the process of printing and posting could have been adjusted at any time especially given the fact that we agreed to meet the additional costs. “Since yesterday we have provided all the relevant authenticating materials we believe are required. In addition we have even offered to pay for an additional document to be sent to shareholders after the main notice has been posted. The board and their advisers have blocked these offers.” The statement continued: “In our opinion the board has acted in a wholly unreasonable fashion by denying the shareholders the right to vote on new directors who would undoubtedly strengthen the board. “At all times we have sought to minimise the cost and disruption to the club from this process. We agreed to combine the AGM and GM and we agreed to try and find a compromise with the board on appointments. “The current directors and their advisers blocked those moves and are now blocking this latest attempt to strengthen the board. “It is extremely disappointing and frustrating that matters have come to this point. You have to ask the question why this board is so hell-bent on denying the shareholders a democratic vote on who they want as directors at the AGM?” The group also noted Rangers’ announcement that Strand Hanson, who they accused of blocking the compromise deal that would have ensured no board members would have been removed before the AGM, had been replaced as nominated advisors by Daniel Stewart, the third firm to fill that role in 10 months. And they dismissed reports they were considering a sale and leaseback of Ibrox and Murray Park, as well as a staff cull, as “wholly inaccurate”. Malcolm Murray is a former chairman of Rangers who left the board in July following a fractious relationship with former chief executive Charles Green. Paul Murray is a former director of oldco Rangers who was removed from the board shortly after Craig Whyte’s takeover, which he had opposed. http://www.newsletter.co.uk/sport/football/rangers-directors-under-fire-1-5546431
  12. Can't get a picture uploaded here at work,but it reads SAVE BRENDAN LILLIS. ALEX KANE: Should Lillis be shown compassion? Published on Monday 8 August 2011 08:38 IN 1977 Provisional IRA member Brendan Lillis was sentenced to life imprisonment. Passing sentence, the judge said: ââ?¬Å?No doubt if you had not been caught you would have continued your bombing campaign for an indefinite period.ââ?¬Â As a member of the Provisional IRA, Lillis would have read and signed up to the terms and conditions of the IRA Green Book; conditions which embraced paragraphs about the moral and political superiority of their terror campaign, loyalty to the IRA and particularly the paragraph which said: ââ?¬Ë?It is these strong convictions which bond the army (the IRA) into one force and before any volunteer decides to join the army he must have these strong convictions. Convictions which are strong enough to give him confidence to kill someone without hesitation and without regret.ââ?¬â?¢ How much compassion should society show to an ill prisoner who was a member of an organisation whose members had the confidence to kill without hesitation and regret? How much compassion should it show to an emaciated cripple who is probably physically incapable of posing a threat to anyone? In the case of Brendan Lillis, the answers are not as clear cut as you might think, for in 1993 he was shown some compassion and clemency when he was released from prison on licence after serving only 16 years of his life sentence. Yet in October 2009 his licence was revoked after he was arrested in a field behind a house where police had just foiled a tiger kidnapping. He was charged with conspiring to kidnap, falsely imprison and rob three people in the house, two of whom were employees of the Northern Bank. Ill health since then has left him unfit to stand trial. But itââ?¬â?¢s worth bearing in mind that no-one campaigning for his release is doing so on the grounds that he is an innocent man, unlawfully and unfairly detained. I am not a vindictive man. If I were an MP I would not be voting for the return of capital punishment, even in the cases of terrorism or child killers. I accepted the early release of republican and loyalist prisoners at the time of the Good Friday Agreement because I believed that it would probably help to create a more stable and peaceful Northern Ireland. It was, of course, a calculated risk and I said so at the time. I also accepted the possibility that some of those released from prison would end up in the assembly and executive. To my mind Lillis was given the opportunity to begin a new life back in 1993. He knew the terms and conditions of his release, just as he knew the terms and conditions of the IRA Green Book when he joined it back in the early 1970s. I have no idea if he was involved in any criminal activity between his early release and his re-arrest in 2009, although it seems reasonable enough to conjecture (if he actually is guilty, of course) that he didnââ?¬â?¢t just get a phone call out of the blue asking him if he fancied going back to a life of crime and risking having his licence revoked. So, letââ?¬â?¢s go back to the earlier questions. How much compassion should be shown to someone who seems to have turned his back on the chance to reform and rehabilitate himself? How much compassion should be shown to a man who has been confined to a bed in the hospital ward at Maghaberry prison since January and who has been, so we are told, increasingly frail since he was returned to prison in October 2009? Others have posed another question: isnââ?¬â?¢t there the risk of creating another republican martyr if Lillis is allowed to die in prison? Compassion has a role to play in every area of life: it is one of the civilising aspects of our existence. But compassion has to be earned. It isnââ?¬â?¢t a right (although the ninnies of the Northern Ireland Human Rights Commission would probably love to make it so!). Compassion cannot be guaranteed just because someone is too physically ill to remain an active or potential threat to individuals in particular or society in general. Early release should never be an expectation for those who become ill while serving a sentence. Just look at the remarkable recovery made by the Lockerbie bomber after his release! And there are other examples, too. What about the prospect of making a martyr for republicanism? The 10 dead hunger strikers achieved absolutely nothing. They may be venerated in some republican circles, but the sight of a hobbled Sinn Fein shackled to the DUP makes a mockery of their so-called sacrifice. Anyway, for Sinn Fein and dissident republicans, martyrs tend to be two-a-penny: capable of being invented, elevated or simply hijacked as and when the occasion demands it. To be brutally honest about it, I have absolutely no doubt that some of those campaigning for early release are doing so for their own ends rather than for his. And there are probably others who hope he does die inside, hoping to exploit his death and funeral for political and propaganda purposes. David Ford has a very difficult decision to make. If the decision were mine, I would have huge reservations about a ââ?¬Ë?compassionateââ?¬â?¢ approach, not least because Lillis himself and some of the people supporting his release have displayed no compassion in their own previous activities. Similarly, releasing him because of the possibility of martyrdom sends a very dangerous message. It may well be the case that Lillis needs specialist treatment. So be it, transfer him to a hospital where he can get 24-hour supervision and attention. But that doesnââ?¬â?¢t require his ââ?¬Ë?releaseââ?¬â?¢, pardon, freedom or a get-out-of-jail-free card: if he can be made well enough for trial then let him be tried. Surely clearing his name and proving his innocence is just as important to him and his family as getting him back on his feet again? Illness and death are inescapable facts of life and in this case it seems to me that Brendan Lillisââ?¬â?¢s circumstances and present location are mostly of his own making. His illness is not linked to his offences (proved or alleged) nor his imprisonment. Personally, I cannot make a credible argument for either compassion or freedom in his case. Neither the cause of justice or mercy would be served by releasing him. http://www.newsletter.co.uk/community/columnists/alex_kane_should_lillis_be_shown_compassion_1_2942637
  13. Blackburn are facing a transfer crisis - with their Indian owners told to cut the club’s overdraft before they can buy. The devastating news comes after the chicken-farming Venky’s group planned to make a handful of signings and try to make their outfit into challengers for the Champions League. Venkys bought Rovers for around Ã?£25 million from the late Jack Walker’s trustees and agreed to take on the Ã?£18 million overdraft in the form of a mortgage. However the bank have now demanded that the figure is now reduced - with the cash from the sale of Phil Jones to Manchester United claimed and kept away from boss Steve Kean. It is a hammer blow for young chief Kean and the owners who have lined up players and missed them since the decision was taken a fortnight ago. Rovers wanted to break their transfer record and sign a striker like Mirco Vucinic, Papiss Cisse or Jermain Defoe for fees around or over Ã?£10million. But now they are looking for cheap deals, swaps or free agents. Kean also wanted to sign Belgian star Axel Witsel, but Rovers were outbid by Benfica. Moves for Monaco defender Cedric Mongongu, Portuguese winger Vieirinha and Paraguay striker Nelson Valdez are also in doubt. The Rovers boss may now have to sell again - on orders of the owners and the bank - with skipper Chris Samba a likely departure. Both Tottenham and Arsenal are poised if the price is right. And the decision has rocked the Venky’s chiefs. Instead of plans to put money in for signings, which they pledged to Kean and the fans, they are now having to look after the bank first in a crippling development. Read more: http://www.mirrorfootball.co.uk/transfer-news/Blackburn-Rovers-face-transfer-crisis-as-Phil-Jones-to-Manchester-United-money-used-for-overdraft-and-Chris-Samba-could-leave-for-Arsenal-or-Tottenham-Hotspur-article771592.html#ixzz1SRDZ01wI Sign up for MirrorFootball's Morning Spy newsletter Register here
  14. Celtic boss Neil Lennon is in talks with free agent Neil Danns about signing on a free from Crystal Palace ââ?¬â?? ahead of rivals Rangers. Midfielder Danns is discussing terms after Lennon stepped in for him. The star has also spoken with Rangers but has better money on offer from Celtic. Read more: http://www.mirrorfootball.co.uk/transfer-news/Celtic-to-beat-Rangers-to-Crystal-Palace-free-agent-Neill-Danns-article751200.html#ixzz1PzfWK5EK Sign up for MirrorFootball's Morning Spy newsletter Register here
  15. It has been claimed that FARE. which is headed up by Piara Powar, are the organisation which reported the Rangers support to UEFA. Piara Powar was previously at Kick It Out, and I thought that it may be interesting to look at a couple of issues that occurred when he was at KIO. June 2007 - their newsletter has the following - "It has taken 25 years for a professional Jewish Football League player to break through - so meet Joe Jacobson, proof that this community does not stop at owning clubs and trading players." It seems that Piara Powar has no problem with stereotyping Jewish people as club owners and agents. I would have thought that an anti-racism charity would have issues with stereotyping based on religion, but perhaps it's OK. October 2008 - Rangers introduce a programme to educate girls in India. A worthy cause and quite correctly reported by KIO, but unfortuately they could not resist a dig at the Rangers support, turning a positive into a negative. "Rangers FC might have a following that is not afraid of singing offensive songs in Scotland, but in India the club are working with UNICEF to help educate girls in poverty." Every football club's fans sing offensive songs but Rangers were obviously singled out by him, although he did not clarify which songs that were being referred to when questioned on this. It is quite sick to use a children's charity issue to have a dig at a particular support, but Piara didn't seem to have an issue with it as it wasn't "incorrect".
  16. Kilmarnock manager Mixu Paatelainen has revealed discussions have begun over a new deal for Cameron Bell. More...
  17. Footballer disciplined over Queen comment A PROFESSIONAL footballer from Londonderry has been reprimanded by his club after sectarian comments against the Queen appeared on the internet. Dean Jarvis, 18, a Roman Catholic who plays for Aberdeen Football Clubââ?¬â?¢s youth team, ââ?¬Å?rather stupidly put an ââ?¬Ë?ftqââ?¬â?¢ at the end of a message on his Facebook siteââ?¬Â, a spokesman for the club said. The comment appeared last month as part of a discussion about Protestants in relation to the popeââ?¬â?¢s visit to Scotland. The messages were posted on Jarvisââ?¬â?¢ Facebook page between September 16 and September 19. On September 16, Pope Benedict conducted an open-air mass at Bellahouston Park in Glasgow. During the thread, other Facebook members, including another member of Jarvisââ?¬â?¢ team, made further sectarian comments including ââ?¬Å?No prods in Bellahoustonââ?¬Â. Last night, East Londonderry MP Gregory Campbell hit out at the youth player ââ?¬â?? who is also a Northern Ireland youth international ââ?¬â?? for ââ?¬Å?allowing this sectarian debate or discussion to be carried on his siteââ?¬Â. ââ?¬Å?He needs to be extremely cautious about what he allows on his site and the football club who are his employers ââ?¬â?? and who have taken acton against other players on sectarian issues ââ?¬â?? should take action in this instance as well and ask for an explanation and an apology.ââ?¬Â Last week, it emerged that two Aberdeen FC stars ââ?¬â?? Michael Paton and Zander Diamond ââ?¬â?? had posted sectarian comments on Facebook, again around a discussion on the popeââ?¬â?¢s visit to Scotland. Aberdeen Football Club confirmed that the postings have now been removed and the players ââ?¬Å?spoken toââ?¬Â. Last night, Aberdeen FC spokesman Dave MacDermott said: ââ?¬Å?I personally spoke to Dean when he was over in Germany last week to explain exactly why this is not acceptable. ââ?¬Å?He rather stupidly put an ââ?¬Ë?ftqââ?¬â?¢ at the end of a message on his Facebook site. ââ?¬Å?Perhaps we need to educate the youth team a little more. But we have instructed them about showing respect to faiths etc etc. We obviously have to tighten up on it and reiterate it more often.ââ?¬Â Mr MacDermott added: ââ?¬Å?What we can do, which we are doing, is in no uncertain terms bring disciplinary action because it is bringing Aberdeen FC into disrepute.ââ?¬Â http://www.newsletter.co.uk/news/Footballer-disciplined-over-Queen-comment.6577972.jp
  18. Guys, As most of you know, during the season, I email out a weekly HTML newsletter with the pick of the posts/articles/news from each week. If you have anything of note you'd like added for future editions, have any suggestions for content or fancy writing some much-needed articles for the site; please get in touch. We're always eager for feedback on any issue as well as help in terms of improving the site and forum as a whole. In this week's issue: - Flag Day Match Preview - Join Our SPL Predictor and Win a Rangers Strip - Annual Subscriptions for the Wee Rangers Club now due - Download our Gersnet Smartphone App - View our online museum - View the covers of the latest issue (253) of Number One Fanzine http://www.gersnetonline.co.uk/newsletters/newsletter130810.html http://i35.tinypic.com/30ur8lk.jpg: Front cover Back cover :robbo: :spl:
  19. http://www.gersnet.co.uk'>http://www.gersnet.co.uk Featuring an accessible Web 2.0 compliant design and all the popular features from our previous incarnation (and more), we look forward to you using our new main site. In 2010, Gersnet celebrates an incredible ten years as part of the online Rangers community. From the early days as a simple HTML based site, to the addition of our forum, online museum and CMS facilities; our site retains a valued contribution to supporter led independent debate. We have several features to make Gersnet the complete interactive experience for the online fan. Comment in-situ on all our articles; keep abreast of our news on Twitter (Facebook coming soon); while every fixture is analysed with man-of-the-match polls and every player's data available to view. Of course, our ever-popular forum (using the very latest VBulletin 4.0 software) compliments all of this and should be an essential daily read for old and new members alike. When you join up for the forum, keep an eye out for our weekly HTML member newsletter which has all the latest site info for our members in one easy-to-read document as well as exciting competitions on a regular basis. Finally, as our main site says, Gersnet is always eager to invite contributions from any Rangers fan - be it player comments, club critiques or articles about our heritage. Please feel free to get in touch This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it if you'd like to get involved! Here's to the next ten years and beyond! We are the people! http://www.gersnet.co.uk
  20. Guys: Hope you all received and enjoyed your all-new weekly email newsletter. If anyone has any ideas for that, or wants to contribute to its content, please let me know. You can view it here: http://www.gersnetonline.co.uk/newsletters/newsletter210809.html We're also hoping to redesign the main Gersnet site over the coming weeks as well. Anyone with relevant expertise interested in contributing to that, please give me a shout! Remember, Gersnet is your site/forum and we'll always try our best to accommodate your ideas, suggestions and feedback. We're especially interested in people who want to write the odd article and we have a private forum for those who want to share ideas with each other. As well as get the editing 'hairdryer' treatment from our peers! In addition, our Rangers Archive is still an excellent source of reference for everything to with our club. However, again it is only as good as the content within it, so we're always looking for new items pertaining to our club's magnificent history. If anyone fancies being part of the team that looks after that section of the site, please let me know. You can view the archive here: http://www.therangersarchive.co.uk Finally, please feel free to pm myself or the other admin if you think you have something to offer the site beyond the usual very welcome generic posting. We look forward to hearing from you! Cheers, The Gersnet Team! :spl:
  21. Right guys, I think the best way for us to do this is for our chums at the BBC to take care of the logistics (may as well put our license fee to some use)... As such, please sign up for the Gersnet Predictor League here: http://www.bbc.co.uk/scotland/sportscotland/predictor/ You'll have to create an account (takes a few secs) and I suggest you retain the same user-name as you do here and put Gersnet_ before it. You can then join our 'Gersnet Predictor' mini-league (password = gersnet) and get predicting. The rules are self-explanatory and the winner at the end of the season will be sent a Rangers strip of their choosing (thanks to Craig for donating the prize!).... Should be good fun and I'll make sure everyone is reminded to make their predictions in the revamped weekly email newsletter. :spl:
  22. ‘Hatred (or hate) is a word that describes intense feelings of dislike. It can be used in a wide variety of contexts, from hatred of inanimate objects (e.g. vegetables) to hatred of other people, or even entire groups of people.’ Was I the only one disappointed at the media and general all-round furore that greeted Wayne Rooney’s comments that he ‘hated’ Liverpool Football Club? This statement was published on the official Manchester United website in an in-depth interview with the player. Rooney supported and broke through the ranks at Liverpool’s neighbours Everton before being transferred to Liverpool’s deadliest rivals. Is it any wonder that he has a dislike for Liverpool? This hate from the red half of Merseyside will have ingrained into Rooney whilst growing us as a ‘blue’ and I’m betting that the Liverpool support would be more annoyed if Rooney stated that he didn’t hate them. Football rivalry has been around for over a century and whilst not being entirely healthy, it is what makes football special and creates the passion that sees millions flock to football stadiums all over the world on a weekly basis. As a Rangers fan, I hate Celtc, in fact, I despise them with every fibre of my being. Why, well, they are our fiercest rivals, nothing more sinister than that. I have family and friends who support Celtc and who have no issue with my dislike of their club. They have the same intense dislike for the club that I love. I find that harder to believe, how could anyone hate The Rangers! The worrying issue regarding Rooney’s comments was the reaction to them in the media. Wayne Rooney is a professional football player who is plying his trade at the top of his profession. Should that make him above statements about hating Liverpool? Again, I certainly hope not. Would I be concerned to read that Artur Borac and Neil Lennon hate Rangers? Off course not. Would I lose any sleep over it? Off course not. There is a tendency in society for people finding offence where this is none. As Rangers fans, we have first hand evidence of this but we are up against an especially sensitive type of ‘mopery’ where even the children’s song ‘hokey cokey’ is considered sectarian and out of bounds. I hope that we haven’t entered a stage in our culture where every sound-bite is scrutinized to the ‘n’th degree’ and criticised, just for the sake of criticism. Rooney’s comments were withdrawn from the Manchester United website in the aftermath of them being projected into mainstream media outlets and the backlash that these comments caused. However, I believe that Liverpool answered Wayne Rooney in the best way possible, given the result on Saturday. The flip side to this argument is the hatred shown by certain fans that has nothing to do with football, but so-called politics that attach themselves to supporters of certain clubs. In the week that Rooney’s comments caused so much discussion, supporters of a certain club openly flaunted the death of two British Servicemen and the severe injury of innocent bystanders without a peep in the mainstream media. It is time this country got its priority’s into perspective and instead of defending any off the cuff comment that they fear will upset some minority and look at where the real hatred and where the real problems lie. http://www.newsletter.co.uk/news/Cel...zza.5081563.jp
  23. Guys: Just in case you haven't seen this new feature (or have problems with HTML newsletters in your email client), you can view this week's newsletter via the following link: http://www.gersnetonline.net/newsletter241008.html If you would like to have articles/posts considered for inclusion within it, please let me know before the Friday of each week. Any feedback/suggestions for further content is obviously welcome also! Cheers, Frankie
  24. Guys: Just in case you haven't seen this new feature (or have problems with HTML newsletters in your email client), you can view this week's newsletter via the following link: http://www.gersnetonline.net/newsletter241008.html If you would like to have articles/posts considered for inclusion within it, please let me know before the Friday of each week. Any feedback/suggestions for further content is obviously welcome also! Cheers, Frankie
  25. Guys: Just in case you haven't seen this new feature (or have problems with HTML newsletters in your email client), you can view this week's newsletter via the following link: http://www.gersnetonline.net/newsletter241008.html If you would like to have articles/posts considered for inclusion within it, please let me know before the Friday of each week. Any feedback/suggestions for further content is obviously welcome also! Cheers, Frankie
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