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  1. https://twitter.com/jimwhite Jim White ‏@JimWhite 41s42 seconds ago Kenny McDowall has resigned as Rangers caretaker manager, citing personal reasons for stepping down. #Rangers
  2. THINK Friday night’s scenes at Ibrox were bad? Well, you ain’t seen NOTHING yet! Rangers fans have had to put up with plenty in the last three years. But giving up the title rights to Ibrox and Murray Park would be a step too far. The aggro after the Hearts game was totally unacceptable. But sell the rights to the stadium and the training ground and the Rangers board will see some real social unrest. Don’t get me wrong — what happened at Ibrox on Friday was out of order. There were a couple of staff I know at Argyle House who were injured when fans stormed the place. That’s completely unacceptable. The fans are right to be unhappy but there’s ways and means of showing it and what went on the other night is taking it too far. It was live on BT and people all over the country saw it. You can argue a lot of the kids who were involved in what went on looked so young they wouldn’t remember who played for the Rangers team of the 90s — me included. Leaving that aside, it wasn’t a proud night for the club. But people have their breaking points. And the majority of fans feel the way I do — that giving up the rights to Ibrox and Murray Park would be suicide. That’s not just because they’d be going to Mike Ashley. Giving them to anyone would be wrong. If Mike Ashley’s going to be around — and everything at the moment suggests he is — why can’t he work alongside Dave King? Like most people, I feel as if there’s something we’re not being told about what’s going on. The club have had three offers from various people, none of which asked for Ibrox to be put up as security, and have knocked them all back. Why? Dave King wants to call an EGM which would see most of the current board removed. There have been suggestions both Dave and Paul Murray’s backgrounds would be a problem. But if that’s the case, and the well-being of the club is the key, why couldn’t Douglas Park be the frontman? If they were to present a united front and take charge, they could pay Ashley’s loan off and all he’d have would be the rights to merchandising. David Somers told the Rangers AGM last month he had not been prepared to use Ibrox as security — but now it’s a great option for a £10million loan. Ashley’s been clever in all of this but that doesn’t disguise what the repercussions would be if he called in his loan. The downward spiral would continue and the club would be looking at a second administration. Fans are already voting with their feet — which, in this of all weeks, is a real shame. I’m desperate to go to Ibrox on Sunday for Fernando Ricksen’s benefit game. It should be a great warm-up to the Old Firm game next week. It’s an amazing cause for an amazing man who’s dear to the hearts of Rangers fans. It’s a fantastic opportunity for older fans to see the likes of Arthur Numan, Marco Negri and Jorg Albertz in action and for younger ones to see names they’ve maybe only seen on TV. I’d love there to be a full house at the game — just as I’d love to see the likes of Ally McCoist and Richard Gough being there. I take the point that it’s not about the nine-in-a-row team and that neither of them played with Fernando. But neither did I. I’m sure the Rangers fans would love to see two guys who are genuine legends being back at the club. It will also give fans a rare chance to see Marco in action. I thought he got a rough ride from people. They thought because he didn’t celebrate his goals wildly that he was a bit of a loner. That was harsh. He had a different personality, sure. But he’s a smashing lad and I’m looking forward to seeing him. http://www.cfclatest.com/2013/01/20/andy-goram-you-think-fridays-scenes-were-bad/
  3. I was unfortunate enough to have to chair a “debate” on my twitter timeline this weekend as two polarised views clashed on my timeline in response to one of my tweets. On one side we had someone who wished to lay the blame for the injuries sustained by our Ibrox employees squarely with the SOS, whilst the other expressed a desire to see a “more aggressive approach” to the nature of fans protests. Throughout the course of what was an unpleasant exchange between the two of them, it emerged that the proponent of the “more aggressive approach” was not a member of the UOF or SOS whilst the other was apportioning blame based solely on unconfirmed reports he had heard. It was a discussion which has been very much mirrored on Rangers message boards over the weekend. Some clearly saw Friday night’s events as an opportunity to tarnish the fans groups whilst others appear unwilling to accept that the behaviour of Rangers led to the injuries of the two elderly Rangers employees. Considering the incident which led to the injuries occurred both after and away from the location of the organised protest it seems unreasonable to link the unsavoury incident to the main protest where thousands of bears demonstrated in an emotional, exuberant yet exemplary peaceful manner. Those who maintain they saw no violence or assaults at the latter incident, may well be correct, but you cannot ignore the fact that as a consequence of whatever happened at Argyle House two elderly Rangers employees, George and Liz sustained injures. And that is not, and never will be, acceptable. I’m sure all of us in the Rangers support would wish them both a speedy recovery. I’ve been harping on for months now, almost like some PC Brigade acolyte, about some of the unhelpful derogatory and inflammatory language being used. If we claim as a support that such language dehumanises our support when it is directed against us, does the same argument not work the other way ? Or would anyone care to argue that terms such as “rats” is neither derogatory nor dehumanising ? What is clear from Friday is that those wishing to exercise their right to peaceful protest now goes way beyond the ranks of members of the UOF and SOS. This places an added responsibility on protest organisers to ensure that all participants are clear about both the nature and aims of such protest. The briefing message needs to be clear, consistent and unequivocal that all such demonstrations against the board are to be peaceful in nature. I am also firmly of the opinion that a “more aggressive approach” will be self-defeating. Our board are worthy of utter contempt for their actions, but that does not in any way, shape or form justify violence or threats of violence towards them. Supporters protesting in a peaceful and responsible manner against avarice, broken assurances and opportunistic businessmen playing Russian roulette with our club will capture the imagination – behaving in a manner befitting thugs wont. Furthermore it will turn away many bears who will just not entertain such behaviour. Protesting and demonstrating is one of the few immediate options available to us as a fan base, it is imperative we use it responsibly and do nothing which usurps either its effectiveness or ability to unite our fan base behind a common cause. The proposal which sees Ibrox being used as security against loan is very much a crossing of the Rubicon for the Ibrox support, and has galvanised and unified us as a fan base. Let’s not cross our own Rubicon in the way we protest against it.
  4. ...in Glasgow bars over fears of violence. PUB giants Wetherspoons will black out the League Cup old firm clash and employ extra security staff in all nine of their Glasgow bars on February 1st in a bid to reduce the risk of match day violence. BRITAIN'S biggest pub chain will black out next month’s Old Firm game over fears of violence. Wetherspoon’s say the League Cup semi-final – live on BBC Scotland two weeks today – will not be shown in their pubs in Glasgow . And despite the blackout, all nine of the bars will have extra security staff on duty when Celtic and Rangers meet for the first time since April 2012. Police are visiting pubs across the country to gather intelligence so they can have officers in the right places if violence breaks out. Senior officers want to know how many pubs are showing the game, what type of customers they attract and if they have ever had trouble before. Wetherspoon’s spokesman Eddie Gershon said yesterday: “Wetherspoon’s will not be showing the match in any of its Glasgow pubs. “The decision was taken about a week back.” “The police have been to the pubs to advise that the game is on and ask what measures the pubs are taking. On the day of the match, door staff will be in place where required.” Wetherspoon’s, who have more than 75 pubs in Scotland, say area managers will decide if their bars outside Glasgow will show the game. Police fear the 1.30pm kick-off time for the February 1 game will give fans time to drink before the match and possibly fuel trouble. They confirmed officers are visiting pubs to interview staff but insisted it was normal practice before a big game. One area police are targeting is Ayrshire, where there are large numbers of pubs used by both Celtic and Rangers fans. Superintendent Neil Kerr of Police Scotland’s Ayrshire Division said: “Officers are visiting licensed premises to establish where the game is being shown. We do this for any high-profile events, including past Old Firm matches.” Pubs have been magnets for violence on previous Old Firm match days. Nine police were attacked and injured at the Rowallan bar in Thornliebank, Glasgow, after Celtic beat Rangers 3-0 in February 2011, and a female officer suffered life-threatening injuries. Convicted drug smuggler John Healy, 56, and son Jason, 24, were among six men charged over the violence but the case was dropped after police evidence was lost. There were 280 arrests after the game as trouble flared across Glasgow. Suspects were taken to stations up to 50 miles away because cells in Glasgow were full. One of the most notorious Old Firm encounters was the “Shame Game” of March 2, 2011. Three Rangers players were sent off in the Scottish Cup replay, 12 yellow cards were shown and Celtic manager Neil Lennon and Rangers assistant boss Ally McCoist squared up to each other at the end. Strathclyde Police detained 187 people throughout the day, including 34 at the game, and 40 more suspects were held for domestic abuse offences. First Minister Alex Salmond held a summit with Rangers and Celtic bosses days later. And in 2012, as a direct result of the Shame Game, MSPs passed the controversial Offensive Behaviour at Football and Threatening Communications (Scotland) Act. Police then dealt with a record 119 domestic violence cases after an Old Firm game in March 2012. Donald MacLeod, chairman of the Glasgow Licensing forum, said most Glasgow bars will show the February 1 game despite the Wetherspoon’s decision. He added: “Pubs are already required to put strict safety measures in place on match days as a condition of their licence. “This includes providing properly trained and badged stewards “The vast majority of fans watching Old Firm games in pubs do so peacefully. Only a small minority cause trouble. Crime in pubs and clubs is down and most incidents take place in the street. “I’d be more concerned about the easy availability of cheap alcohol in off sales before the game, or even the night before.” Craig Houston of Rangers fans’ group Sons of Struth said the Wetherspoon’s move was “strange” and “could backfire”. He added: “Normally, when you get trouble after an Old Firm game, it’s late at night – not when the game is being shown in a pub. If they’re really that worried about customers’ safety they would shut the pubs at night, but I don’t see Wetherspoon’s doing that. “It seems strange they are penalising fans who can’t get a ticket and want to have a pint and enjoy their game. “If Wetherspoon’s don’t want football in their pubs, fans can decide where they go in future for a drink. It could backfire on them.” http://www.dailyrecord.co.uk/news/scottish-news/pub-chain-pull-plug-showing-4998413
  5. masochists I'm switching off everything for 3 days at least
  6. ...to the Light at the End of the Tunnel. 08 January 2015 By Alex Mooney At some point in the near future a fledgling genius will be tasked with writing the definitive story of Rangers since Craig Whyte bought the club for a pound. It will be an act of folly. No one even remotely sane would dream of trying to separate fact from the fiction. That brilliant brain will eventually flounder and fry in the process. The problems are many. For a start, a trillion words have already been written on the subject. And that's just from thousands of Celtic fans who took crash courses and became lawyers, forensic accountants, tax experts (specialising in EBTs and Sporting Integrity), and insolvency practitioners. Meticulously sifting through that vast body of 'research' alone will be a Herculean effort. If this sorry tale has taught us anything it is that the obsessed only believe what they want to believe. Objectivity is non-existent in the Old Firm battleground where agendas, conspiracy theories and paranoia rule. There is only one truth for fanatics - theirs. Any book that attempts a dispassionate account would have to substantially include the shameful witch-hunt against Rangers which I wrote about on this site two years ago. Also of interest would be the Rangers Tax Case blog that acted as a hanging judge in the EBT tribunal then vanished into the night like a skulking dog when the taxman lost. Yet, astonishingly, it won an Orwell award. Panel members who thought a blog consisting of anonymous posters peddling bile, character assassination and using Stalinist censorship was worthy of a prize should be ashamed. The great man of letters who railed against totalitarianism so brilliantly can never have been so insulted and demeaned. What a travesty in his name. Of course, the bampots are still out there on the net toiling away 24/7 in pursuit of their obsession - killing Rangers. Isn't that odd, given they insist their great rival is already dead? Even some of the more prominent Scottish indy blogs are foolishly getting in on the act. In the run-up to the referendum their mantra was inclusion - we're all in it together and together as one the new Scotland will thrive. Apart from Rangers, it now seems, and the 'corrupt' SFA and mainstream media who are in cahoots in a masterplan to covertly run the country. This is unhinged nonsense and a pitiful attempt to suck people in to a divisive and vengeful agenda that has nothing to do with integrity. Or fair play. Or the state of Scottish football. It is simply a vindictive campaign against one club. Bigots masquerading as defenders of justice fool only themselves. It is also cowardly. The Ibrox club is on its knees and struggling for life after being pick-pocketed by a bunch of chancers and incompetents. It needs the support of everyone in Scottish football - especially Celtic fans whose team have been badly affected by Rangers' absence in the top flight. Yet the keyboard warriors are not only kicking a man when he's down, they are revelling in it. The handful of mainstream journalists who egg the obsessed on - and make a shilling from it - should take a serious look at what they are condoning. This poisonous agenda has no place in our lives and they have a professional responsibility not to feed it. So good luck to any aspiring authors out there - your book on Rangers will be howled down by the haters who, I fear, will bore us to death for many long years to come. What is important now is looking ahead and charting a path out of the shambles at Ibrox rather than endlessly analysing the past three years - history, and the courts, will take care of the charlatans who bled the club dry. The only consolation for fleeced fans is knowing that the snake-oil salesmen will go to their graves, their characters forever stained. The last AGM, conducted from a gazebo on a bitterly cold December day in Govan, was utter pantomime as the bumbling board members entered stage left to boos and vicious name-calling. Dignity was conspicuous by its absence as the grey clouds gathered ominously over that theatre of screams. Onlookers around the football world must have been shocked by what they witnessed as this once mighty institution washed its dirty linen in public. How many times has it been said the club had reached its lowest ebb - only for new depths to be plumbed? Surely that grim day was as bad as it can get? With Dave King and the Three Bears entering the fray, with others perhaps, I will take the risk of this coming back to haunt me and say the club really has bottomed out - and can now find a realistic way back to the top. Mike Ashley's involvement is puzzling. Did he ever have a genuine strategy for the club apart from selling the merchandise for a quick buck? The billionaire recluse could easily have bankrolled a recovery with loose change from his back pocket but chose not to. So why get involved at all? Perhaps he doesn't know either. Maybe all that money has gone to this head and made him a stranger to himself. What he must also do now is make himself a stranger to the club. Rangers returning to rude health is conditional, of course, on the new investors and board members being up to the task unlike their inept predecessors. But that shouldn't be a problem if they follow basic business rules. A plan to revive a football club isn't that difficult to understand - you reduce expenditure and increase income. That's it. It's called, dare I say it, Doing a Fergus. There can't be a Gers fan anywhere in the world who wouldn't welcome such a character coming into their club right now with a five-year plan. All it needs is an honest broker. The first step on the long and winding road is getting the fans onside - all of them. Without their backing there is no future. The only way that can happen is for the new regime to be open and honest. Supporters know there are massive problems and tough times before things get better. They can take that. What they cannot bear is being kept out of the loop. Trying to fool them with clever soundbites won't work. There has to be truth. Even if it's bad news, fans will respect the board for that - and back them. But you can't just ask for trust - it has to be earned by not treating them as outsiders. They are all part of the Rangers family so must be viewed as such. The fans also have a massive role to play among themselves. Once an honest regime is in place it will be time to heal the splits and unite. Common cause has to be found to get the club back to where it should be. Filling the stadium and buying season tickets has to be a priority. A solid future for the club takes precedence over personality clashes and point scoring. Trying to say with any certainty when this saga will end is fraught with difficulty but pressure is building on the board. They are running out of time and money. And even the dumbest of them must realise there is no club without the fans - who have lost all patience with those whose tenure can only be regarded as a complete failure. They must step aside soon. Once that happens the real rebuilding will begin and everyone in Scottish football can get back to some sort of normality. Bring it on. http://www.therangersstandard.co.uk/index.php/articles/current-affairs/334-telling-the-rangers-story-from-whyte-to-the-light-at-the-end-of-the-tunnel
  7. From Sun website - By JONNY BOYLE Published: 1 hr ago STEVIE SMITH admits Rangers are dreading next month’s powderkeg Old Firm clash with Celtic. The Ibrox side face the Hoops in the League Cup semi-final at Hampden on Sunday, February 1. Smith understands why the Rangers supporters are worried about being on the end of an embarrassing result against their bitter rivals given their recent form. And he admits Kenny McDowall’s squad aren’t looking forward to it one bit either. He said: “I started thinking about the Celtic game as soon as it got drawn, to be honest. “But with the results we have been having and the way we have been playing, I don’t think we can think about it too much. “We have got to take every game as it comes. I know that sounds like an old cliche but maybe if we were playing well we could look forward to it a bit more. “But we aren’t. “Everybody has got their opinions and are entitled to them. "The fans will probably be dreading it because in the big games this season, we haven’t done well. “We know that but we will deal with the Celtic game when it comes.” Meanwhile, boss McDowall — whose side face Alloa tomorrow — admits the club’s scouting department needs a complete overhaul. He said: “Since the club went into the trouble that we are into, we have been operating without a scouting team. “The whole thing has got to be addressed at some point but at the moment there is nothing. "We have two people doing match reports for us. Obviously they do a bit of scouting for us as well. “We have got contacts in the game ourselves and that’s what we’ve been relying on. “This is such a big club and these things should all be in place. Hopefully we will get back to being the way we should be.” Rangers revealed this week they would need an emergency cash injection before the end of the month or face another financial crisis. But McDowall insists he’s purely focused on football. He said: “That side of it I’m not involved in at all. I’ve been told to take the football side, which I’m doing, and that’s it. I’m carrying on regardless. “I’ve had discussions with the chief executive but it has purely been about football matters. I’m quite happy to do that. “I don’t think there’s any point worrying about the off-field reports. I’ve been told to do a job, I’m doing that job as best I can, and I’ve got to carry on.” German boss Felix Magath has been linked with a share purchase in Rangers. But he moved to play down reports he could be set for a role at Ibrox. He said: “I don’t want to comment on my stock dealings, that’s private. “I spent the Christmas holidays in London and actually visited someone in Glasgow but I don’t want to comment on whether there has been talks with the club either.”
  8. Thought this worth sharing from FF: "Lifted this from another forum, some things we didn't know about players, training etc!! Training seems like a hoot! http://www.hat-trick.fr/sebastien-fa...st-jimmy-bell/ You’ve been here for two years now. What does “Rangers” mean to you? (After a long time spent thinking) Well it’s easy to say this and a bit of a cliché, but it’s a religion. There’s football here which is one thing, but then there’s Rangers, the fans, and everyone else associated with the club, it’s amazing…even after the club was relegated to Division 4, people kept their jobs at Ibrox or at Murray Park. And they are just so proud to work here, and they so proud to say “I work for Rangers”. When you are a professional player, you tend to move from club to club, it’s part of the job. It’s not easy to really absorb the culture and ethos of a club, apart from those who stay for years and years and really become ingrained in the fabric of the club, like Lee McCulloch. Sometimes, the supporters shout at you or get angry. But you can’t let it get to you, you can only do your talking on the pitch. They’ve had so much good football over the years that I think they sort of have a right to be angered, to be honest. In any case, playing at Ibrox is far from easy. There’s so much pressure. You can be winning 2-0, but if you misplace just one pass you’ll be whistled. I mean I heard a few boos at the Gerland (Lyon stadium), but never like the one’s you get here sometimes! (laughs) Did it take you long to learn what it meant to play for a club like Rangers? What did you expect when you came over? No, I didn’t expect it to be honest. I knew Rangers were a massive club, but I didn’t know how they were perceived by the other Scottish clubs. The Glasgow clubs really are hated by the other Scottish clubs. It’s incredible! What’s more, you have to understand that I was a but unsure about coming over here in the first place. I said to my agent: “You’re kind, but I’m not sure if I want to be dropping down to play in Division 4 in France” and he said “It’s Division 4 in Scotland”. He said: “Seb, please, just go over for a few days, check out the facilities and the stadium, you’ll soon change your mind.” On the first day of my trial I trained with the reserves, and it went well. That night, I went to see the first team play in the League Cup again East Fife. It was a Tuesday night, we won 4-0 and almost 40, 000 fans were there. It was…mad, just mad. I called up my agent and said: “If you can sort it out for me, I really want to stay here!” Everything you do and say is reported on and scrutinised at a club like Rangers. Has the press had an influence on the atmosphere at the club? First of all you need to understand that the press and its reporters here are a million times worse than in France! I’m sure I’ve seen the word “crisis” used to describe our club just about every day of the year, even when we win. Taking this into consideration, I do think that it’s had an influence. I must say, not on me personally. To be very honest, I don’t read the papers, apart from when they discuss politics or cover stories from France. But at the level of the club more generally, they have definitely had an influence. Ten days ago, an old team mate of McCoist’s, John Brown, said to the Sun: “You are a disgrace!” The coach brought us the article and he had an argument with Kenny Miller. After we got beaten by Hearts, apparently Miller had called up a journalist wanting to speak to him to tell him the manager had made some bad decisions, although it turned out that he hadn’t. McCoist got so angry: he threw the paper, he stamped on it, he was shouting and screaming! It’s the first time I’ve ever seen him like that. Blacky brings the Sun in every morning, and we read it. McCoist reads all the papers every morning in his office at Murray Park, which by the way is enormous (laughs). I think that its mainly at the level of the club staff that the papers have an impact. In your eyes, who represents the soul of the club? Jimmy Bell the kitman. He’s been here since 1972, I think. It’s amazing that he was taking care of McCoist and Durrant when they were players, and now its them who are in charge. It’s an amazing story and an amazing history, one which you wouldn’t get at many clubs at all. Jimmy’s got his own room in Ibrox where he displays all the Rangers kits and all the Rangers photos that he’s collected over 40 years. In his office at Murray Park, there’s a room, which we are forbidden from entering (laughs), which has all of his souvenirs, his trophies…it’s his very own museum! When it looked like they might be re-possessing Ibrox, he had to pack up all his stuff because he was scared that it would be taken off him. He is really the soul of the club, its him, its Jimmy. He’s a great guy, even if he’s always sulking. You need to get to know him…I remember when I arrived on trial, I didn’t speak English. “You don’t speak English, ****ing French!?” he said (laughs). But I mean really nasty to me! But nowadays, along with Bilel, he tells us loads of stories, loads of jokes. He’s really a top guy, he’s golden. I’m trying to help our readers understand the complete devotion that Rangers inspires in people. To give us more of an insight, is it true that one of the players has got the logo of the club tattooed on his calf? Yeah its Danny Stoney! He’s a good lad who we’ve loaned out to Stranraer. He’s got a tattoo that’s blue, with red around it, and five golden stars in the middle. It’s amazing, simply amazing. When I was at Lyon, even though I was also a Lyon fan, I would never have got a Lyon tattoo. It would never have crossed my mind! It’s just a different type of relationship to the club here. At Lyon, if I’d have got a club tattoo while I was at the academy I’d have had the piss taken out of me! “Suck up!” they’d have said. Here, it is praised! But by contrast, at Lyon if you change your hairstyle or your clothes, people will talk about it. Here, no one cares! The outfits people wear here, and I’m talking about the players, are just….Take Lee Wallace for example, I’ve never seen him wearing jeans (laughs)! At Lyon, you dress well to be stylish or whatever, but here, not at all.
  9. Never thought I would see the day I posted on a football site on Xmas morning. However, morose at a houseful of snoring teenagers who refuse to get up at 6 am and behave like they did when they were wee, I have done a tribute to Ian Durrant. Merry Christmas everyone, may your mince pie forever be moist. Winter can be the cruelest season. Among footballers, Ian Durrant could certainly testify to that. This most gifted of Scottish players, an attacking midfielder some decades ahead of his time, was cut down in his prime in early winter, October 1988. A 'tackle' from an Aberdeen player (mentioning the name of the individual concerned would only confer a gravitas upon him which he doesn't deserve) saw the usual welcome for grace and skill in Scottish football: physical assault. Both as player and coach Durrant suffered torment on Rangers behalf; there can be few circles of Hell he is unfamiliar with after his more than 30 years at Ibrox. Just as that early winter 26 years ago saw the only real world class talent this country has produced for two generations crippled by the mediocrity which dominates then as now, the long delayed winter of 2014 has seen him unceremoniously dumped from his job as assistant manager to Ally McCoist to a role in charge of the club's under-20's. Winter can be the cruelest season. This demotion might not prove to be a bad thing, if Durrant is minded to accept the role. Always a larrikin, the performances of the first team over the last few years certainly suggest he, along with McCoist and McDowall, wasn't suited to training experienced pros. A big kid himself, he could conceivably be more effective at working with other kids. Even so, this demotion is not a classy way to treat a man who, had things been different, would almost certainly have moved to England and thence on to Europe - he was that good - and who was and is a Rangers fanatic. But if Durrant deserved better from the club, he also deserved better from the fans. No-one can argue that the team he helped create was rubbish, but some of the criticism was ridiculous. Durrant, like McCoist, only ever wanted to do the best by Rangers. Those who posted dark hints about money grabbing, uselessness and standing with arms folded did the man a huge disservice: when Ian Black puts yet another pass straight out of play, what coach on earth can teach him how to pass? A crap player is a crap player. Of course, the solution would be not to pick such dreck, which the management team singularly failed to do, but that wasn't Durrant's decision to make. Even so, a fan base which regularly slates Steven Naismith for betraying the club which 'stood by him' during injury - a spurious argument indeed, given the legally binding contract both sides signed - but which then turns around and berate someone who stood by the club for decades, has got some issues of consistency, to say the very least. Players need to stand by the club, they insist: but what about the other way, club to player? Or even more close to home, fan to player: what about that relationship? It only lasts as long as the times are good, does it? To suggest any player be immune from criticism would be ludicrous, but there's ways of criticising without forever destroying the special bond between fan and hero, especially when that hero was and remains a fan. Well, if the board is dysfunctional and at one remove from the fan base, I suppose it's hardly surprising that the support is dysfunctional and at one remove from club legends. On the whole I suppose this is a small matter, and there are far greater issues for Rangers fans to be thinking about, as the annual family pig out/fall out approaches. But we can't look back on Durranty's time at Ibrox with any great pride now, the way he's been treated. For some fans - not all - cutting one of our own a little slack and tempering criticism with respect was too much to ask, and that's deeply depressing. I hope anyone under say 40, who might not remember the slight, elusive midfielder with the huge mop of curly hair in action, will take to Youtube to see what the fuss was about. As much a reflection then of the national preference for hackers as he is a reflection now to our own failings, Durrant is something of an unlikely Alighieri, experiencing the various circles of Hell available to the Bluenose: McCoist an even more unlikely Virgil. But both have been through an inferno on our behalf, as players and then as staff. The least they deserve is our understanding.
  10. ALLY McCOIST activated his 12-month notice period last week and SCOTT believes that Mike Ashley needs to do the right thing by paying him off now and hiring Billy Davies as his replacement. IT’S been the question on every Rangers supporter’s lips for weeks now. Will Mike Ashley – and his sidekick Derek Llambias - be good or bad for their club? Despite the ‘Union of Fans’ staunch opposition to Ashley’s involvement at Ibrox , ordinary punters can’t decide whether the Newcastle United owner wants a successful Rangers or not. But after the shambolic handling of Ally McCoist’s resignation , this is Ashley’s chance to nail it once and for all. If he’s serious about rebuilding Rangers - on and off the park - and getting them back to Scotland’s top flight and the Champions League, he should prove it. By paying up McCoist what he’s due and appointing Billy Davies as their new gaffer with immediate effect. If he doesn’t and this is allowed to fester into the New Year – all the while McCoist’s team potentially fall further behind Hearts in the Championship – fans will have every right to believe that Ashley has no genuine interest in Rangers’ well-being after all. Whether you think McCoist has played a blinder by calling the board’s bluff, or that his stance is causing more harm then good, is irrelevant. He’s owed cash that his contract entitles him to. People have said he should sacrifice it and walk with nothing, which is ludicrous, or give it to charity. Who’s to say he won’t? Some even think he should put it back into the club. But given the current board’s record in financial management, why would he do that? The money’s certainly safer in McCoist’s hands, that’s for sure. That opinion was backed by a UoF statement last week. He should be allowed to go with his dignity – and legendary status at Ibrox – intact. His pay-off is a drop in the ocean to Ashley, which could quickly be recouped IF his intentions for Rangers are honourable. If they are, he’d do well to get Davies in ASAP. It would certainly get attendance figures – which have fallen like snow off a dyke recently – moving in the right direction again. Former club legends like Terry Butcher and Stuart McCall will also be in the frame when McCoist eventually goes. But, no matter what you might think of him, a firecracker like the Davies is exactly the type Ashley and Rangers need. Speak to any player who has worked under him and chances are they’ll tell you he’s the best coach they’ve ever had. Kris Boyd for one says Davies opened his eyes to a whole new side of the game during four months with him at Nottingham Forest. Davies is the reason Boyd is now coaching kids two nights a week. The Rangers striker talks openly about how his old gaffer would pre-empt situations in games before watching in amazement as they panned out exactly as he’d predicted. Davies is a football obsessive, a 24/7 manager, who is meticulous when it comes to planning and preparation. He doesn’t have an in-built editing suite at home – where he watches re-runs of training sessions – for nothing. Tactically, he’s already proved to be one of the best in British football. His record at Preston North End, Derby County and Forest in the English Championship is nothing short of phenomenal, especially given the resources he had to work with at Deepdale and Pride Park. Davies likes to blend youth with experience. He prides himself on finding bargain buys and ensuring their value increases under his tutelage. The likes of David Nugent is a prime example of that, a guy he plucked from relative obscurity when he was Preston boss who eventually became a £6 million man. For good reason, a malaise has set in at Murray Park. That’s hardly McCoist’s fault after everything that’s gone on at Rangers in the last three years. But when he exits, a clear-out is needed. And Davies will turn the place upside down if Ashley and Llambias allow him to do it properly. Of course, the diminutive Glaswegian has his faults. Davies’ relations with the local press had deteriorated beyond repair in Nottingham towards the end of his time at the City Ground and he had dis-engaged with Forest supporters. On that score, after almost nine months out of the game, you’d like to think Davies will have learnt from it and won’t make the same mistake again. Former Old Firm managers like Walter Smith and Neil Lennon will gladly tell him that when you’re in charge of either Rangers or Celtic, it’s wise to have the media on your side. At Forest, Davies felt certain people at the club were working against him. But that shouldn’t be a problem at Rangers if he’s Ashley’s man. Look at the relationship he has with Alan Pardew at St James’ Park. Like McCoist, Davies has Rangers in his blood. After being reared on the streets of Pollok, he knows what the club means to those supporters. He’s ready and willing to step into McCoist’s shoes when the time comes. Having moved back up to Scotland permanently, Davies has already taken in several Rangers’ matches. He’s even been seen at other Championship games involving the likes of Hearts and Hibs. It looks like that meticulous planning and preparation that he’s become renowned for – has already started. http://www.dailyrecord.co.uk/sport/football/football-news/scott-mcdermott-mike-ashley-can-4847969?
  11. Notices of Complaint: Rangers FC and Michael Ashley Monday, 15 December 2014 The Compliance Officer has issued the following Notices of Complaint: Alleged Party in Breach: Rangers FC Disciplinary Rule(s) allegedly breached: Disciplinary Rule 1: All members shall: (b) be subject to and comply with (i) the Articles (ii) this protocol. (f) behave towards the Scottish FA and other members with the utmost good faith. Disciplinary Rule 19: Except with the prior written consent of the Board: (a) no club or nominee of a club; and (b) no person, whether absolutely or as a trustee, either alone or in conjunction with one or more associates or solely through an associate or associates (even where such person has no formal interest), who: (i) is a member of a club; or (ii) is involved in any capacity whatsoever in the management or administration of a club, or (iii) has any power whatsoever to influence the management or administration or a club, may at the same time either directly or indirectly:- (a) be a member of another club; or (b) be involved in any capacity whatsoever in the management or administration of another club; or © have any power whatsoever to influence the management or administration of another club. Disciplinary Rule 77: A recognised football body, club, official, Team Official, other member of Team Staff, player, match official or other person under the jurisdiction of the Scottish FA shall, at all times, act in the best interests of Association Football. Principal Hearing date: Tuesday, 27th January 2015 Alleged Party in Breach: Michael Ashley Disciplinary Rule(s) allegedly breached: Disciplinary Rule 19: Except with the prior written consent of the Board: (a) no club or nominee of a club; and (b) no person, whether absolutely or as a trustee, either alone or in conjunction with one or more associates or solely through an associate or associates (even where such person has no formal interest), who: (i) is a member of a club; or (ii) is involved in any capacity whatsoever in the management or administration of a club, or (iii) has any power whatsoever to influence the management or administration or a club, may at the same time either directly or indirectly:- (a) be a member of another club; or (b) be involved in any capacity whatsoever in the management or administration of another club; or © have any power whatsoever to influence the management or administration of another club. Disciplinary Rule 77: A recognised football body, club, official, Team Official, other member of Team Staff, player, match official or other person under the jurisdiction of the Scottish FA shall, at all times, act in the best interests of Association Football. Principal Hearing date: Tuesday, 27th January 2015 http://scottishfa.co.uk/scottish_fa_news.cfm?page=2566&newsCategoryID=1&newsID=14110
  12. I never thought he really wanted to sell Newcastle? http://www.telegraph.co.uk/sport/football/teams/rangers/11295462/Mike-Ashley-could-control-Rangers-and-Newcastle-United-within-weeks.html
  13. ...and why dad's cancer battle forced him to quit club. THE Stoke City midfielder is currently out on loan at Crewe and opens up about his departure from Rangers and his dad's battle with cancer for the first time. CHAOS and carnage at work. Tension and trauma at home. All of that, as well as having to make the biggest decision of his life. That was the predicament Jamie Ness found himself in three years ago at Rangers. A talented midfielder who hadn’t reached his 21st birthday. With a dilemma which could affect the rest of his career. In the end, Ness chose security over loyalty. And who could blame him? Rangers fans still haven’t forgiven him for deserting the club in its hour of need in favour of a move to Stoke City. He refused to join Charles Green’s new regime following the club’s administration and subsequent liquidation. Along with the likes of Steven Naismith, Allan McGregor and Steven Whittaker, Ness bailed out – uncertain if Rangers would even have a league to play in. He has kept his counsel since leaving Glasgow. Well aware of the strength of feeling that still exists from supporters towards the Rangers ‘rebels’, Ness has stayed quiet. Until now. For the first time, the Scot has revealed why he felt he HAD to quit Ibrox – and spoken about the abuse suffered by girlfriend Heather as a consequence. What people don’t know is that, aside from the anguish he was suffering at Murray Park, Ness was also dealing with a crisis at home. His father Graeme was diagnosed with cancer at the same time, which turned the youngster’s world upside down. Thankfully his dad has now made a full recovery but Ness admits it was the toughest period of his life so far. In a perfect world, he would have stayed at the club he supported as a boy. But in reality, a move to the English Premier League – and job security – was too much to turn down. In his first major interview since leaving Rangers, Ness told MailSport: “It was a crazy time. No other club will go through what Rangers did at the time. “I couldn’t get my head around it. I still can’t. It was such a massive decision and I was only 20 when Rangers went into administration. “It all happened so quickly and I didn’t really have a chance to think about all the factors. For me, it was just about security. At one point there was talk about Rangers not being allowed into any league, never mind the old Third Division. “And it was a difficult period for my family because my dad had also been diagnosed with cancer. “So everything was a mess. In my mind, the most important thing was to look after my family and give them security. “Transferring my contract over to Rangers was something I couldn’t risk. Who knows what may have happened? “It was too big a gamble not to accept Stoke’s offer. We’ve been very lucky because my dad has been given the all-clear now. “My parents were great, they never pushed me. They were always there if I needed advice. But for my own peace of mind, I needed security. Especially after the injury problems I’d had at Rangers. “A top English club were in for me so it was a huge decision. I’d have loved to stay at Rangers for a long time if the administration hadn’t happened. But that’s football and life. Things change so quickly.” In the aftermath of his defection, Rangers fans reacted with fury. Team-mate Whittaker was in tears at a press conference as he tried to explain exactly why he left for Norwich City, alongside Naismith who was Everton-bound. Ness knew what was coming his way but tried to keep his head down. He treasures his family’s privacy but confessed partner Heather couldn’t escape vile abuse from internet trolls. And despite everything that has happened, the 23-year-old HASN’T ruled out pulling on a light blue shirt again. He said: “Naisy and Whitts got hammered after it. So I was wary of the backlash. We could have said anything and still got pelters. “At that time everything was still raw and emotions were running high. “After leaving, I was worried about the impact it might have on me and my family. “Now I realise there will always be people who judge me without actually knowing me. “It’s water off a duck’s back now. I didn’t have a Twitter page so the criticism wasn’t too bad for me. But I felt for Heather because she took a lot of abuse on social media. “That was hard for her because she’d never experienced anything like that before. “We were down in England so we were out of the way. But I knew all sorts of stuff was going on up the road. “Everyone was so emotional around that time. I know the fans absolutely love that club, it’s their life. “When that’s happening to Rangers they’re always going to look for someone to blame and lash out. “But I would never rule out playing for Rangers again. It will be difficult for any of the players who left to go back. However, I wouldn’t rule it out. Right now, I just want to get back playing for Stoke. I want to be a Premier League footballer and showcase my talent in the best league in the world.” Ness is now on loan at Crewe and will return to Stoke in January aiming to impress gaffer Mark Hughes. Since bursting on to the scene at Rangers in 2011 – and scoring a wonder goal against Celtic – he has been plagued by injuries. But having grown up at his boyhood club, he’ll never forget how it felt to fulfil a dream at such a young age. Ness said: “That period when I broke into the Rangers team was just a whirlwind. I was training with the first-team but not getting a sniff. There was talk that I’d be going on loan to Clyde. “Then I made my debut in an Old Firm league game. I remember walking out at Ibrox and the atmosphere was just incredible. “It’s something I will never forget. I grew up as a Rangers fan and I’d been at the club from the age of 14. “I know how much the club means to the people who support Rangers. “That’s why it was amazing to actually play and score in an Old Firm game. “My goal was in the first two minutes against Celtic. And to this day, that’s the best feeling I’ve had, along with my daughter Molly being born. “When I went into the Rangers team, I was fearless. I knew if I did what I was capable of, I’d be good enough to stay in the side. “But I picked up an injury and it derailed me a bit. It knocked my confidence as well. “That’s what it’s about now. Getting back to being the player I know I can be. “It’s all starting to click into place again and I don’t think it’ll be too long before I’m putting in the kind of performances I know I’m capable of. “It has been hard to watch what’s happened to Rangers since I left. You sit down here just hoping that someone will take control and sort things out. “I just hope one day that it all gets sorted out but it’s difficult to see that happening at the moment.” http://www.dailyrecord.co.uk/sport/football/football-news/ex-rangers-star-jamie-ness-opens-4807812
  14. Rangers Supporters @rangersfctrust · 2h2 hours ago The RST has tonight released the following statement:Read: http://tl.gd/n_1sj12bm The RST has tonight released the following statement: The Rangers Supporters Trust is disgusted to learn that a group of Celtic fans daubed offensive, sectarian graffiti, mocking the Ibrox disaster, on the walls of Tynecastle stadium during a recent visit there. We are even more disgusted by the attitude of Celtic Football Club towards this incident, which is to try to distance themselves from the behaviour of their fans rather than taking responsibility for it. We welcome Ann Budge's recent statement and fully support her attempts to highlight the disgraceful behaviour of a sizeable minority of the Celtic support. The group responsible for this are affiliated with The Green Brigade, who have been encouraged and tolerated by Celtic Football Club officials. This despite outward shows of support for the IRA and various offensive banners including one protesting against Remembrance Sunday. In the past few years we have seen riots in Dundee, wide-scale vandalism and disorder at Fir Park and Tynecastle and various acts of public disorder in Glasgow centred around Celtic fans. Throughout all this, Celtic's PR machine, has sought to quell reporting of these incidents and no substantive action has been taken against the perpetrators by the Celtic Chief Executive, Peter Lawwell. Celtic Football Club has a major, ongoing issue with their fans which their constant denial of facts will not solve. Their official fan groups, including the Celtic Trust, seek to legitimise this behaviour by, for instance, campaigning for the right to display public support for terrorism without penalty. We hope that belatedly, with their fans' disgraceful mocking of the Ibrox disaster, Celtic will start to take their hooliganism problem seriously and the SPFL and SFA will do likewise, despite the strong influence wielded by Celtic in their boardrooms
  15. Union Bears As you will know, the group took the very difficult decision back in May not to renew our season tickets due to the selfish, malicious and borderline illegal actions of our club’s current and previous incumbents. This was a decision echoed by nearly 15000 season ticket holders and the crowds at Ibrox so far this season have reflected the feeling of many Rangers supporters. We watched with hope and expectation as Dave King submitted his £16 million offer of funding in exchange for a majority stake in the club. We then watched with resignation but not shock as Mike Ashley and his friends within the Board room blocked this move and instead pushed through Ashley’s £2 million emergency loan secured against Rangers assets and on the premise of complete Board control. Like all other supporters, we wanted a clean break from people like Charles Green and his murky investors, but it is clear this isn't going to happen. It therefore brings us to a crossroads, as a group and as individuals. Mike Ashley has his grip firmly on the throat of our beloved club and nothing and nobody will make him remove it, as has been demonstrated in his time in charge of Newcastle Utd. It has thrown up a pertinent question which must be answered by not only us but every Rangers fan. Do we maintain our boycott for potentially years in the hope that someone saves us? Or do we elect to support the team on the park and explore other ways of enforcing change at Rangers? After much discussion we have elected to follow the latter path. As of 03/01/2015 we will be returning to the stands on a permanent basis. This is not a gesture of support for those now in charge of our club, nor is it an admission of defeat. It is simply a change of tactic. As a passionate group of supporters whose best attributes lie in what we achieve in and around the stadium on a matchday, we feel hamstrung by our absence and therefore the group needs to go back to being present within Ibrox. We have tried to boycott, to fall in line with other fan groups who have done their level best to encourage change within the club. But in reality all that has taken place over these past few months is a strengthening of Mike Ashley, Sandy and James Easdale, David Somers and many others’ positions within Rangers. It’s the sorry truth. We would like to make it clear that we will not be attending the League Cup semi final as a group, and feel it would be wrong to take tickets ahead of fans who have been attending games on a weekly basis. As we won't be attending as a group, it will make it impossible for us to pull off a display. We would therefore ask all Rangers fans to do their bit by making our end as colourful as possible, with flags, banners, streamers and anything else they can. We will however be planning more displays between now and the end of the season, and look forward to bringing some noise and colour back to Ibrox. Although we return to Ibrox on a permanent basis we won’t be doing so as supporters of the regime. Yes our money will be going towards their bonuses and onerous contracts in the short term, but the Union Bears will throw our weight behind another path towards long term change and that is fan ownership, and more specifically Rangers First. Rangers First is a Community Interest Company which was established at the beginning of this year with very simple goals; to gather together the financial clout of the Rangers support, purchase shares in the club and ultimately put it back in the hands of those who matter. Rangers First already owns over 500’000 shares in RIFC (roughly 0.6%) without any real offline publicising. As a group we hope to support them in the ways that we do best as they move forward towards greater awareness and support for fan representation and ownership. Of course we urge all those who stood with us in BF1 over the years to ask themselves the same question we did and decide what the future holds for you with regards to match attendance. But we will not try and influence your decision in any way. It’s an individual’s choice to make. What we do urge every singly Rangers supporter to do is visit http://www.rangersfirst.org, learn about the initiative and sign up. Put the money you used to spend on Rangers merchandise and funding Ashley's empire of zero hour contracts into something worthwhile. The strength of our support should not be measured or remembered by how many of us turn up at Ibrox or elect to stay away in protest, but rather by the lengths we will go to right the wrongs of those before us and stand shoulder to shoulder with one common goal; delivering the Rangers we all deserve. We owe it our children and grandchildren. If you would like to join the group in BF1 for the second half of the season then please send the following details to transfers@unionbears.co.uk or as a message to the Union Bears Facebook page: Full Name: Address: Date Of Birth: Contact Number (Mobile & Landline): Rangers Number: Do you have a season ticket already? (Yes/No): Union Bears
  16. Oh dear!, another humping in Europe:laugh: But the c*nts still get through:swear:
  17. Celtic chief executive Peter Lawwell has accused politicians of using Celtic for their own political agenda over the living wage. At the club's AGM the club announced they are prepared to offer permanent staff £7.85 an hour, but will not implement the living wage to all. However, Lawwell feels Celtic have been unfairly targeted by others. "We've been used," he said. "Our club has been used over this campaign by politicians and by others." He added: "There's more and more evidence there's poverty in society, there is inequality, and we would urge them - the people who've got the power, who've got the opportunity to change it - to change it, and not hitch their wagon to Celtic's wagon for their own political purposes. "We're a football club. We'll do all we can in the community. We do so much, but we can't change government policy. "We have a very satisfied, highly motivated workforce who are content with their lot. Not just my words, but we're the only football club in Scotland that's got Investors in People [accreditation] and [there are] only three in the UK, so we look after our people." Hearts last month became the first club to implement the living wage , but Lawwell insists their decision has had no bearing on Celtic. "Hearts are a different business," he said. "It's a small business in comparison, they won't have as many people. "If that's what they want to do, then good on them and they've done it. But we have to look after ourselves here and do the right thing. "At the moment we're looking at our permanent employees that includes everybody apart from match-day staff, who are primarily second income. "The 180 of them are mainly in retail, which is a very competitive business. Ironically our competitor is Sports Direct, and we're getting the spotlight." Celtic chairman Ian Bankier revealed the move to increase the wage for permanent staff will cost the club £350,000. He said: "We responded to the many people who have made approaches to us since this became a live issue and we understand what they're saying, and we understand the sentiment of what they're saying. "So what we've said today is we will speak to the people that matter in all of this, who are the employees. "We will talk to our permanent workforce, and those who are in that zone of pay policy, and we will seek to get their wages up to £7.85 an hour, which happens to be the rate of the living wage." Celtic also admitted at the AGM that the loss of Rangers from the Scottish Premiership has cost the club around £10m a year. However, responding to the recent comments by Scotland manager Gordon Strachan that the leagues should be manipulated to get their Old Firm rivals in the top flight along with Hibernian and Hearts, Lawwell was adamant there has been no discussion regarding league reconstruction. He said: "I love Gordon dearly, he's a pal, but he's way off the mark there and we would never support that." http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/0/football/30150594
  18. According to Liewell at their agm. "Lawwell made his assertion after contextualising the Hoops' earning potential at the club's packed annual general meeting at Celtic Park on Friday. He claimed that the 40,000 season tickets sold for this campaign was only bettered in Britain by Manchester United and Arsenal, then told shareholders that winning the Scottish Premiership title brings in £1.8million while claiming that clubs relegated from the English top flight rake in £65million. At a press conference in the Celtic Park boardroom afterwards he expanded on the theme, claiming that, if the Scottish champions had access to the sort of broadcast monies available to the top clubs in England, Celtic would be peerless. "I believe that," he said. "If you go back 25-30 years and compare us to Manchester United before the media and TV boom, there probably wasn't much in it. "I think our story is unique, it is rich - it is the best. "We have a potential fan-base of Scots/Irish diaspora around the world to support that and we have fantastic, strong fan-base in Scotland. "I don't see any barrier if you compare Celtic to Manchester United or Arsenal, the top clubs down there. "I don't see any barriers if we were getting the same media values as they are getting regularly." Asked about comparisons with Real Madrid and Barcelona, Lawwell replied: "Similarly. The media values in England will outweigh the media values or be similar to the top in Spain or Germany. "Therefore if it is a level playing field with our strong fundamentals. I don't see any reason why we couldn't be." In a more cryptic way, Lawwell suggested that moves were afoot all across Europe for clubs in a similar situation to Celtic - essentially big fish in small ponds - to increase revenue potential, having earlier mentioned regional leagues or supranational leagues. "We are not alone," he said. "Other leagues and nations are suffering the same problems and there needs to be a solution, and I think more than ever UEFA are open to a solution . "There are no concrete plans, but it is getting to become more of a discussion item." Lawwell, who hopes to convince striker John Guidetti to make his loan move from Manchester City permanent, reiterated a previous assertion that the absence of traditional rivals Rangers from the top flight costs the Parkhead club £10million per season. However, he was unimpressed when reminded that former Hoops boss Gordon Strachan, currently the Scotland national team coach, had recently spoken about the need to get Rangers, Hearts and Hibernian - all battling to get out of the Championship - back into the top flight. Strachan said: "People say you can't manipulate it, but I think you have to get them back in." However, Lawwell said: "I love Gordon dearly. He is a pal, but he is way off the mark there. We would never support that. "It is sporting integrity. It is a football competition and above all else you have to apply the rules, and to manipulate those rules would be wrong and there would be clubs who would suffer, as well as clubs who would benefit." There were relatively few nods to Ibrox during the AGM, which lasted just over two hours, but Lawwell was later asked, in his capacity as member of the main board of the Scottish Football Association, whether there was a possible conflict of interest in the shape of Rangers shareholder Mike Ashley, who appears to be increasing his power-base at the Ibrox club while still the owner of Newcastle United. Lawwell said: "I think potentially there is, but I am sure the SFA and the other authorities will scrutinise, analyse and do the right thing.""
  19. NEIL Lennon has revealed how sectarian “chaos and madness” left him exhausted and influenced his decision to quit Celtic. The former Parkhead boss said he was worn down by a *series of high-profile off-field incidents during his 11 years as player and manager at the *Glasgow club. During his time in Scotland, he was attacked by a Hearts fan at a game at Tynecastle and assaulted while out in the West End of Glasgow. Lennon, 43, was also sent bullets in the post and suffered a number of death threats. He stood down in the summer and has taken up a new role as manager of English Championship side Bolton Wanderers. In an interview, he said: “I don’t want to paint a bad picture because it’s fantastic up there from a football point of view. But it does wear you down in the end. “Maybe it was the chaos and the madness catching up with me, but I just felt desperately tired. When I was younger, I was able to have the energy and courage to get through it. “When I was getting bullets through the post and all that, I had good people of intelligence in the background who were looking after me. But in the end I was exhausted emotionally. “It all caught up with me. I needed a change of scenery. Did it change me as a person? Not really, no. “Did it have an effect on me? I think at times it did. Now I’m out of it, do I miss the intensity? Sometimes, yes. We live off that. “But I am loving what I am doing now. I can concentrate on the management and the football rather than the other stuff.” Lennon replaced Tony Mowbray at Parkhead in 2010 and as well as leading the club to three successive Scottish Premiership successes, he has also helped Celtic claim two Scottish Cup wins and masterminded their run to the last 16 of last season’s Champions League. In his new role at Bolton, he has won four of his first six games and admits it’s a “whole new challenge” for him. The former midfielder accepts he was “no angel” at Celtic but insisted he didn’t deserve the vitriol and has told of his anger that people in Scotland refuse to accept the abuse he was getting was sectarian in nature. He said: “At times I didn’t do myself any favours. But did I get a fair crack of the whip? No. “Some of what was said about the difficulties I had was irresponsible. I found it personal. People wouldn’t come out and say my treatment was sectarian. “They said I brought it on myself. They hid behind that *because they didn’t want to admit it. But it was sectarian in the stadiums. “People say, ‘He brings it on himself… he is an aggressive manager’. But so are some other managers. So are some players. I was high-profile, I came for a lot of money as a player. For me, my job was being part of Martin O’Neill’s team and to break the Rangers monopoly. We did that. “Nobody else had to go through situations and circumstances like I have been through. I wouldn’t want anyone else to go through it. You would hope that all the nonsense that *happened to me would serve as a watershed. “The anticipation and the *rivalry in Glasgow will probably never tire. There is part of me that misses it but a bigger part of me that doesn’t.” http://www.scotsman.com/news/scotland/top-stories/neil-lennon-sectarian-abuse-triggered-celtic-exit-1-3611120
  20. A minute's applause will precede Scotland's friendly against England on Tuesday in tribute to the Scotland fan who died following their victory over the Republic of Ireland on Friday. Nathan McSeveney, 20, died when he fell in a Celtic Park stairwell. Scottish Football Association chief executive Stewart Regan said: "We have all been extremely saddened. "It is fitting that Scotland supporters have an opportunity to pay tribute to one of their own at Celtic Park." The tribute was announced after consultation with McSeveney's family, from Cumnock in Ayrshire.
  21. ...as he reveals his part in Brian Kennedy's failed 11th hour Ibrox bid. THE former Ibrox boss vented his anger at chief executive Charles Green in a scathing attack on the Rangers boardroom chaos. GRAEME SOUNESS last night revealed he was part of Brian Kennedy’s failed 11th hour bid to stop Mike Ashley seizing control of Rangers. And the former Light Blues manager branded former chief executive Charles Green a “pr**k” during a scathing assessment of the never-ending boardroom chaos at Ibrox. Souness has told for the first time how he teamed up with old pal Kennedy last month when the Sales Shark owner launched a £3million rescue package after being approached by former chief executive Graham Wallace – only for the rest of the current regime to rubber-stamp take a £2m funding deal from Ashley instead. That setback came two-and-a-half years after Souness and Kennedy’s Blue Knights thought they had managed to get through the Ibrox front-door, only for disgraced Yorkshireman Green to grab control. Souness is angry about what has happened at his former club and concerned over Rangers’ future. But he reckons that would not have been the case had he and Kennedy got their way. When asked if he was also involved in the latest move, Souness said: “Yes. I had a week with Brian in Majorca three weeks ago. But if it’s not to be it’s not to be. ”It never got beyond a bid. And they never wanted Brian’s money this time either. “When we met a couple of weeks ago, we never went into detail because, the last time, we believed we had it. Brian believed he had it only to be let down and deeply disappointed. We even came up to watch a Rangers and Celtic game because we believed we had it. “I think this time around he was always thinking the worst. “Given the structure the way it is now I would think that’s it finished now. ”I’m angry about it and saddened by it in equal amounts because a lot has been allowed to happen. “I don’t want to get into being involved in a libel case. “All I would say is that if we had got it the people there would have had the club for the right reasons.” Souness believes the club has missed out by turning Kennedy down and added: “They certainly did the first time around. “It would have the right people running it for the right reasons. “That would have been Walter [smith] and I and the right person as the owner. All of us there for the right reasons. ”I don’t know how Brian feels right now but I think his attitude to it has changed now the other folk are involved.” Souness launched a scathing attack on Green as he revealed the Yorkshireman’s attempts to get him on board days before he completed his £5.5m buyout of the club’s assets back in the summer of 2012. He explained: “What is it? Two years since that prick had it? “The guy who knocked on my door one night asking me if I would get involved in it, with him. Charles Green. “Late one night about 11 o’clock, my answer was no. “I got a phonecall about an hour before that saying he was coming to see me. I had been asked to see him and I had refused. “I got a call an hour before to say he was on his way to see me. We went for a cup of tea at a hotel around the corner. “You’ve got me angry now… “Who knows what would have happened if we had got in? But I’ll tell you, the stadium would still be full.” Souness has no idea what the future holds now for Rangers under Ashley but said he had done a tremendous job with Newcastle. He said: “I don’t want to end up in court. “I wouldn’t be critical of Mike Ashley. He is a fantastic businessman who saw an opportunity at Newcastle and it’s very hard to be critical, having worked there myself. “I think he has done the right thing there. “What I worked there the largest shareholder was under enormous pressure to make changes too quickly. “He lived in the city. Mike Ashley doesn’t live in the city and has not listened to any fans forums or phone-ins. “He has stuck with his manager and it looks like he is getting the rewards of that. “That’s what it needed. It needs a strong owner and that’s what he is. Someone who has been supremely successful in anything he has touched. “I think in terms of Newcastle supporters they should be counting their blessings rather than being critical.” Souness also aimed a blast at those who celebrated Rangers’ demise when he said: “ All I would say is that all the people who enjoyed their demise, if they had their time again, would they have voted the same way? “Celtic getting gates of less than 20,000? I think it has damaged football, hopefully not beyond repair. “Football goes in cycles. Over a 10-year period, they say if you lose a support, it’s very hard to get that back. “I don’t know if it will get back. “Rangers will get back to the SPL, the Old Firm games will be enormous affairs again and the passion will remain the same. “But will it ever get back to where it was six or seven years ago? I very much doubt it.” Meanwhile, Rangers fans have written to stock market bosses urging them to investigate Ashley’s Ibrox power grab. The Rangers Supporters Trust has also raised a number of concerns about the current board’s handling of the League One champions, accusing them of a operating with a “reckless and irresponsible attitude to going concern status”. Newcastle United owner Ashley holds just under nine per cent of the cash-strapped Glasgow giants but has been effectively pulling the strings since the club was forced to accept his offer of a £2million loan. The terms of that crisis credit line allows the Sports Direct billionaire to name two directors to the Ibrox board. Former Magpies managing director Derek Llambias was Ashley’s first pick with the second yet to be revealed. Ashley also runs Rangers’ retail division – a deal which hands him 49 per cent of the club’s shirt sale profits – and owns the naming rights to the stadium following an agreement he struck with former chief executive Charles Green for just £1. Hampden bosses have already written to both Rangers and Ashley seeking “clarification” on the 50-year-old Londoner’s involvement. http://www.dailyrecord.co.uk/sport/football/football-news/graeme-souness-vents-anger-gers-4611416
  22. ...after bust-up with Rangers boss. GORDON claimed he wasn’t offered a contract by Gers in the summer – only for McCoist to insist he was given the option of signing. CELTIC keeper Craig Gordon has told Ally McCoist there will be no clear-the-air talks after his bust-up with the Rangers boss. Gordon claimed he wasn’t offered a contract by Gers in the summer – only for McCoist to insist he was given the option of signing. He also claimed Gordon hadn’t bothered calling him back but the Hoops No.1 said: “There’s plenty of things that could come out but won’t. “If he wants to say anything more it’s up to him. But I’m done with it.” Spending two years on the sidelines fearing for his career has given Gordon a great sense of perspective. So it’s not too surprising that a spat with McCoist has left the Celtic keeper unruffled. The 31-year-old spent a long time in the wilderness following his release by Sunderland in 2012, fighting for fitness as a knee injury continued to plague him. Celtic eventually handed Gordon a route back into the game this summer and he has rediscovered the kind of form that made him Scotland’s undisputed No.1. But he trained with Old Firm rivals Rangers before pitching up at Parkhead, although Gordon claims he wasn’t offered a contract by the Ibrox club. That was disputed last week by Gers gaffer McCoist. The fact Celtic then landed Rangers in the draw for the League Cup semi-final added even more spice to the row. But Gordon has already drawn a line under the matter and won’t give McCoist a call to clear the air before that cup clash early next year. He said: “I don’t want to get into a war of words. It’s his prerogative to say what he wants. “Those things should have stayed between us. If he wants to make those make comments that’s entirely up to him. “I know exactly what happened and I’m comfortable with everything that has gone on. “It’s up to him, it makes no difference to me. “I haven’t spoken to him. I don’t know if he wants a phone call or not but now we’ve been paired together in the League Cup, it’s probably unlikely. If he wants to say anything more, it’s up to him. “But it won’t be coming from me. I’m done with it.” Gordon has more important things to worry about and hopes his injury problems are now over after becoming a Hoops regular. http://www.dailyrecord.co.uk/sport/football/football-news/celtic-keeper-craig-gordon-says-4596752?
  23. ...but that doesn't mean we're ready to win the Premiership title. THE Light Blues boss has already led his team to wins over St Johnstone and Inverness this season but says further investment is needed if they are to compete in the top flight. IT'S been the great pub debate of the last couple of years. Just where are Rangers in the grand scheme of Scottish football? They play in the Championship of course but voices have been raised in boozers all across the country about just where Gers actually are when you rip up the divisions. Folk will point to the £6million annual budget. Is the second most expensive squad the second best in the land? They will point to internationals and players who have cut it at the top level for several seasons. But it’s been a kiddy-on debate for the pub – until now. Rangers have already beaten St Johnstone and Inverness this season – two of last term’s star turns. Now they have Kilmarnock coming up in the Scottish Cup. Oh, there’s also a quiet wee matter of the League Cup semi-final against Celtic in the pipeline. Soon it might become clearer just where Gers are in the unnatural pecking order. Ally McCoist doesn’t see it that way though. The boss reckons his side could beat Killie and Celtic and it still wouldn’t mean they are ready to mount a title tilt next season. They have to get there first and McCoist is wary of thinking even an Old Firm win will suggest his troops are ready for a bigger battle. The Ibrox gaffer has enough on his plate in the short term and insisted beating their old foes doesn’t mean his club won’t need to strengthen further. He said: “No matter if we beat Kilmarnock and Celtic there’s no way we are ready to win the top flight. “Do we need new players? Absolutely. To compete right at the top. The boys we have brought in are free transfers. “Look at the lads who left us, we paid £2.5m for Naismith, £2.5m for Whittaker, we paid millions for Davis and we brought in free transfers. So it’s not rocket science to work it out. “We have a long way to go before we are anywhere near competing for the top-flight title.” Even if they get the better of the champions? McCoist said: “I understand that thinking. But Inverness beat Celtic this season and how many people now think they’ll win the league? “Same with Hamilton. They’re going great but I don’t think they will win the league. In a one-off game a lot of teams are capable of giving Celtic a game and occasionally beating them. “But over a Grand National course I don’t think there’s any that would give them a run for their money.” Whether McCoist will get the new signings he needs is still not clear. The new Mike Ashley regime is plotting in the background but the Gers boss has yet to learn whether he will have money to spend in January or next summer. He said: “I don’t know, I’ll have to wait and see. That’s not been spoken about. I’m the same as every other manager – we’d all love to strengthen our squads. “I’ve been in dialogue with the chairman but football matters like that haven’t been discussed yet. “That’s not yet happened with the new regime. But it hadn’t yet happened to any real degree with Graham Wallace or Philip Nash either. I’ve been dealing with the chairman for the last couple of weeks. He’s been up on a far more regular basis and is actively pursuing a new chief executive.” McCoist hasn’t notice too much change since Ashley’s power play at the end of last month. At least the situation at Ibrox hasn’t got worse, no mean feat these last few years, but he has continued to keep his head down and focus on matters on the pitch. McCoist said: “I don’t know if it’s more stable. It’s certainly not less stabilised. It is what it is and it’s fine. It’s business as usual for the playing and coaching staff, as it has been all season. We’re concentrating on trying to get results.” That includes today’s visit of Falkirk where Rangers are looking to make it eight wins on the spin. The Light Blues are motoring after a stalling start and determined to keep the pressure on leaders Hearts. Gers have not been used to playing catch-up after strolling to the League One and Two titles but striker Jon Daly vows they’re relishing the chase. He said: “We have turned the corner. We have been playing some good stuff lately and the results have come. “We need to keep winning and putting pressure on Hearts. Hopefully they will start dropping points and we can close the gap. “Last season we won the league comfortably so this is the first time I have been in a campaign where we have been chasing the title. “It’s a good pressure to be under. It’s a challenge I am enjoying. It keeps you on the edge and on your toes.” http://www.dailyrecord.co.uk/sport/football/football-news/ally-mccoist-rangers-could-beat-4590163
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