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  1. Hey folks! Here is the Gersnet match preview writing schedule for forthcoming games. As always, the match previews will be done by volunteers on a first come, first served basis, so shout out if you fancy writing a preview for a certain match and we'll put your name down for it !! _____________________________________________________________ Completed fixtures Aug 3 - Forfar v Rangers - League Cup Round one - Zappa (done) Aug 10 - Rangers v Brechin - League 1 - Frankie (done) Aug 17 - Stranraer v Rangers - League 1 - 26th of Foot (done) Aug 23 - Airdrieonians v Rangers - League 1 - amms (done) Aug 27 - Rangers v Berwick Rangers - Ramsdens Cup R2 - BrahimHemdani (done) Aug 31 - Rangers v East Fife - League 1 - Zappa (done) Sept 14 - Rangers v Arbroath - League 1 - 26th of foot (done) Sept 17 - Queen of the South v Rangers - Ramsdens Cup QF - stewarty (done) Sept 22 - Forfar Athletic v Rangers - League 1 - andy steel (done) Sept 28 - Rangers v Stenhousemuir - League 1 - Crawford01 (done) Oct 06 - Ayr United v Rangers - League 1 - amms (done) Oct 19 - Brechin City v Rangers - League 1 - Pete (done) Oct 26 - East Fife v Rangers - League 1 - 26th of foot (done) Oct 29 - Stenhousemuir v Rangers - Ramsdens Cup SF - the gunslinger (done) Nov 01 - Rangers v Airdrieonians - Scottish Cup R3 - Zappa (done) Nov 06 - Rangers v Dunfermline - League 1 - Frankie (done) Nov 09 - Rangers v Airdrieonians - League 1 - Juancornetto (done) Nov 25 - Arbroath v Rangers - League 1 - Pete (done) Nov 30 - Falkirk v Rangers - Scottish Cup R4 - Super_Ally (not done) Dec 03 - Rangers v Forfar Athletic - League 1 - amms (done) Dec 07 - Rangers v Ayr United - League 1 - Juancornetto (done) Dec 14 - Stenhousemuir v Rangers (postponed) - League 1 - andy steel (done) Dec 26 - Rangers v Stranraer - League 1 - Nobody (not done) Dec 30 - Dunfermline v Rangers - League 1 - calscot (done) Jan 02 - Airdrieonians v Rangers - League 1 - Pete (done) Jan 05 - Stenhousemuir v Rangers - League 1 - Nobody (done by Pete) Jan 11 - Rangers v East Fife - League 1 - 26th of foot (done) Jan 20 - Forfar Athletic v Rangers - League 1 - ranger_syntax (done) Jan 25 - Rangers v Arbroath - League 1 - Juancornetto (done) Feb 01 - Rangers v Brechin City - League 1 - Zappa (done) Feb 07 - Rangers v Dunfermline - Scottish Cup R5 - ian1964 (done) Feb 15 - Ayr United v Rangers - League 1 - Frankie (done) Feb 22 - Rangers v Stenhousemuir - League 1 - amms (done) Feb 25 - Stranraer v Rangers - League 1 - bluebear54 (done) Mar 01 - East Fife v Rangers - League 1 - Pete (done) Mar 09 - Rangers v Albion Rovers - Scottish Cup QF - Juancornetto (done) Mar 12 - Rangers v Airdrieonians - League 1 - Nobody (done by Andy Steel) Mar 15 - Rangers v Dunfermline - League 1 - 26th of foot (done) Mar 17 - Albion Rovers v Rangers - Scottish Cup QF replay - Juancornetto (done) Mar 23 - Brechin City v Rangers - League 1 - stewarty (done) Mar 29 - Arbroath v Rangers - League 1 - BrahimHemdani (done) Apr 06 - Rangers v Raith Rovers - Ramsdens Cup Final - the gunslinger (done) Apr 12 - Rangers v Dundee United - Scottish Cup SF - Juancornetto (done) _____________________________________________________________ Upcoming fixtures: Apr 15 - Rangers v Forfar Athletic - League 1 - Zappa Apr 19 - Stenhousemuir v Rangers - League 1 - ??? Apr 22 - Rangers v Ayr United - League 1 - pete Apr 26 - Rangers v Stranraer - League 1 - ??? May 03 - Dunfermline v Rangers - League 1 - ???
  2. .......are ruining the game for everyone. IN the aftermath of the shameful Glasgow Cup Final BARRY FERGUSON asks the hooligans to calm down and think about the damage they are doing to their own clubs and the players on the field. SINCE I started writing this column back in August I have mentioned many, many times how proud I am of the Scottish game. I talk it up all the time down here, even though a lot of the English lads like to write it off as Mickey Mouse. And even though, in my heart of hearts, I know that recently I’ve been fighting a losing battle. All the recent problems have taken a heavy toll on our game and, as a result, it has come through a couple of very difficult seasons. But I have always been confident that over time we’d get it back on track. More than anything I looked forward to the next Old Firm derby. I told myself that as soon as that fixture was back we’d have something to boast about again. Something worth ramming down the throats of all those people down here who are so quick to tell me the Scottish game is dying. Something that will make the whole world sit up and take notice. But you know what? After what went on at Celtic Park on Monday night at the Glasgow Cup Final, I find myself changing my mind. In all honesty, I’m beginning to dread the thought of it. Because if these supporters can’t behave themselves at an Under-17 match then, really, what hope is there? Listen, no one knows more about this rivalry than I do. I was born and bred on it. And, yes, it’s got me into some trouble over the years. I’ve seen fans falling out of the top tier at Celtic Park, referees getting their heads split open by coins thrown from the stands and I’ve even ended up fighting on the streets of Bothwell because I got caught up in the madness of it all and acted like an idiot myself. That was just one of the many mistakes I made and learned from. But I’m serious when I say I believe the current climate is like nothing I’ve ever known in all my time. It’s becoming downright evil – and that’s not a word I use lightly. Maybe the fact that the two sides have been separated by different leagues has made things worse because the game itself can act like a pressure valve. Without it, the tensions and hatred have been simmering away, the resentment building up and up. That’s why I worry about what might happen whenever the first teams next meet. What are we going to end up with? World War III? All live in HD on Sky Sports? There is a real danger here that the one fixture which should make Scottish football feel good about itself could turn into a national embarrassment and I take absolutely no pleasure in saying that. The truth is, Monday was not a one-off as there was similar trouble at last year’s Glasgow Cup Final at Firhill. I just wish these clowns would calm it down a bit and think about the damage they are doing not just to their own clubs but to the young players on the field. I have to say it’s those youngsters I feel most sorry for. As a kid I played in a few of these kind of games at various levels all the way up to the reserves. I remember playing in a Glasgow Cup Final at the age of 17 at Ibrox in front of several thousand fans. I was only about 5ft 2in and weighed around three stone at the time. But what an experience it was. When you’re that age you’re only used to playing in front of crowds of a couple of hundred at the most. So to get thrown into an occasion like that was unbelievable. It was a tester – a chance to show that you were cut out to take the next step. That playing in a big arena with a hostile atmosphere wasn’t going to faze you. An opportunity to lay a marker down to people and to show the boss you are ready for the big team. If any young kid can thrive on the buzz and the atmosphere generated at games like that, he’s got a chance. Yes, it was noisy. Yes, both sets of fans were winding each other up. And at times it got a bit tasty on the pitch because the players got caught up in it and there was some needle. But never was there even a hint of trouble. It was what it was – a kids’ game. It was a watered-down version of the real thing – a stepping stone for boys like myself to learn from and in which to gain experience. And that’s why I feel so sorry for the kids who played on Monday night. In fact, I’d go as far as to say I’m seriously worried for them. I genuinely believe the behaviour of the crackpots in the stands is going to have an adverse effect on the development of these youngsters because if these games are now played behind closed doors, it will take away a huge part of their education as budding Celtic or Rangers players. I feel awful for them because I know exactly how they would have been thinking. At 17, playing a cup final at Parkhead, with 8000 fans in the ground? That’s the biggest night for their young lives. But since coming off that park they must be wondering if anyone was even watching. Hardly a thing has been written about them or the game itself. The journalists should have been writing about Celtic’s up-and-coming right-back or the next Rangers central midfielder. Instead, we’ve had four days solid now of discussion and debate about a shower of halfwits in the stands. And now, because of their behaviour, these kids are going to be deprived of the chance to play in a game like that again. I hope they are proud of themselves. I was at Murray Park a few weeks ago to watch Rangers play Celtic’s Under-20s. A game like that should be bringing in over 10,000 people – but it was watched by mums and dads and a handful of others like myself, there by invitation only. That wasn’t fair on the players who want to showcase their talents to Ally McCoist and Neil Lennon. It wasn’t fair on the parents, who want to see their kids play on the biggest stage. And it wasn’t fair on the hundreds or thousands of decent supporters who would like to take a look at the next generation of players. These idiots are ruining it for everyone. http://www.dailyrecord.co.uk/sport/football/football-news/barry-ferguson-love-scottish-football-3485582
  3. Monday, 28 April 2014 10:30 Past Win Can Help Us Written by Andrew Dickson DAVID BROWNLIE hopes the fact Rangers have so many past winners in their team can help them retain the City of Glasgow Cup against Celtic tonight. The Light Blues will face their biggest rivals for the prestigious old trophy at Parkhead (7pm) as they look to build on four final successes in the last five years. Tickets are still available to season ticket holders only and they can purchase them from the Rangers Ticket Centre up until close of business at 4pm. Defender Brownlie turned out in the most recent final 12 months ago as Gers edged a cracking game 3-2 at Firhill. Played out in a raucous atmosphere in front of 6,500 fans, a Ryan Hardie goal and Junior Ogen’s double won the game for the Murray Park outfit. Both forwards will be involved again this evening along with under-17 skipper Brownlie and a number of other Auchenhowie starlets. There has been nothing between the two teams this season, with each having a 2-1 home win in the Glasgow Cup and also sharing a draw in the league. But where Billy Kirkwood’s team perhaps has an edge is in terms of the fact there are a number in his side who know what it takes to come out on top in the decider. Brownlie said: “In the first game we had a man sent off in the first 10 or 15 minutes when we were 1-0 up and they got a penalty then went on to win 2-1 in the last couple of minutes. “That was a bad one but we had to get on with it but we won the more recent match between us 2-1. “The victory helped us get out of the group stage of the competition plus it gave us a boost as a team ahead of this final. “On the night, it is 11 players against 11 and anything can happen and the fact we’ve got a lot of boys who experienced the final last year in our side can help. “We’ve the likes of Ryan and Junior who scored the goals in the last final plus people such as Michael Mossie and Adam Wilson as well as me. “There are a few in there who know what it takes and what it feels like to play in front of a passionate crowd and to have the composure required to win the game.” Supporters attending tonight's game should note there are car parking facilities in Dalriada St, off Janefield Street, for no charge. Rangers fans should approach Celtic Park from Kinloch Street. http://www.rangers.co.uk/news/academy-news/item/6886-past-win-can-help-us
  4. ......and says it's not easy playing on 's**** pitches'. FRENCH defender Sebastian Faure last night lashed out at Rangers' critics and accused Ibrox fans of being too harsh on the club. Sebastien Faure last night blasted back at Rangers’ critics and insisted the team’s achievements have been “staggering”. Despite romping to the League One title without suffering a defeat, Ally McCoist’s men have copped stick for their performances. And fans raged at the players when they suffered a shock defeat to Raith Rovers in the Ramsdens Cup Final. But French defender Faure returned fire as he insisted: ? Fans expect Gers to play like Barcelona and Bayern Munich. ? Any other club in Scotland aside from Celtic would have lost three or four games in League One by now. ? Gers have been forced to play on “s*****” pitches. ? It’s impossible to take more than two touches in the lower leagues. Faure, who moved to Ibrox from Lyon in 2012, said: “The fans have seen the club in the top division for 140 years and because our name is Rangers they think we are still a Premier League team. “They expect us to win every game 6-0 and play like Barcelona or Bayern Munich. But that is not possible. “We have to play on some s***** pitches and that is not easy. Put any team from the Premiership, except maybe Celtic, into League One and they'd have lost three or four games by now. “Our opponents want to beat us at all costs. The fans think we should just take one or two touches on the ball but that is not possible. “What we have achieved is staggering. So it’s fair to say the fans are a bit harsh with us. But that is the way they have always been so we are used to it.” Faure, though, relishes running out to a packed Ibrox and can’t wait to take on Celtic in an Old Firm game once Rangers get back to the big time. The 23-year-old said: “At Ibrox you feel you’re playing an English Premier League fixture with the huge crowd. If a top French club fell so far down the league ladder they wouldn’t get so many fans. “I’m looking forward to playing against Celtic. It would p*** me off to leave without playing an Old Firm game. “We hope to meet them in a cup tie next season. It is a game like no other. “For the players who will have helped the club win three promotions it will be a historic achievement. It is a huge adventure to be part of the comeback. It will leave an indelible memory. “The club may have gone down but its aura remains intact.” http://www.dailyrecord.co.uk/sport/football/football-news/rangers-defender-sebastian-faure-hit-3434882
  5. Simonsen - A catalog of errors from him today. Partially at fault for the second goal, gifted the 3rd goal like someone who was match fixing and was extremely lucky on other occasions where he made mistakes coming off his line. Criminal goalkeeping, so I highly doubt if he'll play for Rangers again. Foster - He's a trier, but we have a young French center back who's better at right back than this guy. Peralta would be better at right back than Fozzy too. Jig - Sniffing for a new contract? Hopes to play for us in Europe again? Eh? He's having a laugh. Never a defender in a million years and not good enough to keep playing for Rangers at the age of 36 (he's 36 in a few weeks). Mohsni - Nowhere near good enough and a total clown. Thankfully he only got a two year deal. Smith - Sell Wallace in the summer and keep Stevie Smith as first choice left back until we're back in the top flight and can afford better. Worth having on the team sheet for his free kick taking ability alone. We don't currently need someone of his quality just as a 2nd choice left back. Peralta - The lad's a grafter and actually not that bad a player despite the stick he gets, but a four year deal? Eh? If he has a good World Cup and we get offered money for him we should probably take it. Black - Good enough for next season, but I'd let him see out his contract next season and replace him with better quality for our top flight return. Law - Is it just me or is this guy over-hyped and over-rated? Good enough for next season, but he's going to need to be replaced by a quality playmaker for our return to the Premier League. We need to find a first class central midfield partner for MacLeod and Law isn't the answer. Aird - Another one who comes into the grafter category. He's got pace, but his passing and decision making at times is woeful plus his first touch is often a pass to the opposition. Good enough for next season, but good enough for a Rangers team challenging for a top flight title? I don't think so. Shiels - Way way too inconsistent a player for my liking and too injury prone as well. Odd moments of magic in amongst hundreds of hours of looking like a balloon disguised as a headless chicken. Daly - TAXI !!
  6. I am hearing that both Keevins and Guidi have been rationalised, let go, elbowed, received their jotters, .................... etc from the Mirror Group. More to follow.
  7. Today Dundee United fielded a side with an average age of 23. It's fair to say they will develop and improve. Conversely, our average age was 28. I think the most depressing thing about that is our current squad isn't going to be improving at all. It needs gutted, no long term vision or intelligence has applied. All we can really hope for now is a change of ownership to gut the club from top to bottom. The football is shite, we aren't playing youngsters and the future does not look bright. Also, someone on here suggested that the reason we are not just playing the kids now with nothing to play for was to keep them fit for the cup games. Well we will soon see that this is nonsense. Our average aged squad approaching 30 will saunter on until the end of the season with the club achieving no progression. Dundee United 01 Cierzniak - 30 16 Wilson Booked (Watson - 61' ) - 29 26 Robertson (Gomis - 85' ) - 20 08 Rankin - 30 20 Souttar - 17 05 Gunning Booked - 23 19 Gauld (Dow - 67' ) - 18 06 Paton - 26 21 Ciftci - 22 10 Armstrong Booked - 22 11 Mackay-Steven - 23 Average age: 23 Rangers 1 Simonsen - 35 02 Foster - 28 05 Smith - 28 08 Black Booked - 29 06 McCulloch - 35 03 Mohsni - 26 04 Aird (Clark - 63' ) - 19 07 Peralta Sosa - 25 09 Daly - 31 10 Shiels - 29 11 Law - 26 Average age: 28
  8. The Rangers board and I issued separate public statements following our meeting last month. I made one correction to the RangersÂ’ statement but the Rangers board saw no cause to correct my statement. The board recommitted to issue the business review within the original 120 day deadline and, importantly, committed that the fans will have access to this review prior to advancing funds by way of season ticket renewals. Despite strong reservations from fan groups I asked the fans to give the board time to honour this commitment. Part of my motivation was that any public company board is bound to act in good faith and that breach of such a share price sensitive commitment would be an ethical, moral, and probably criminal breach. I followed up on this commitment with the board after the recent announcement on season ticket renewals. The Chairman has advised me that the board will now only issue the review at the end of the season ticket renewal period and it will consequently not be timeously made available to fans. Disturbingly, the Chairman has advised me that the true intention of the board had always been to delay issuing the review until funds had been largely collected. I apologise to all fans for wasting time by lending credibility to the board’s false representations. I was wrong to give them the benefit of the doubt. At least we now can no longer have any uncertainty about governance at the club. It is common cause that the club is not a going concern without access to the season ticket loan from the fans. It is also common cause that the season ticket money will only provide partial relief in advance of a more permanent recapitalisation. I have hitherto urged restraint in dealing with the board, however due to this extreme act of bad faith I believe that it is vital that fans now withhold season ticket money from this board and similarly refuse to support the club by way of the purchase of replica kit or any other retail product. An announcement will shortly be made providing details of a bank account that season ticket money can be paid into as an interim measure. The specific terms and conditions of this account will be made available to fans, including the basis on which funds will be advanced to the club and the basis on which funds will be returned to fans. As a minimum, the board must provide the club property as security against the season ticket money. I recognise that fans will have anxiety about “betraying” the club and the risk of loss of a cherished seat at Ibrox. However, the time has come when the trade-off is a potential loss of a seat against the loss of the club. That would be the real betrayal. This board has lost its right to be dealt with on a good faith basis. Richard Gough has agreed to join me as a custodian of the bank account that will be established and fan groups can nominate additional members.
  9. I'm not wanting to start an 'Ally bashing' thread as such as right now I don't think there is any point. We could argue all day about decisions, tactics etc. After speaking to/texting all of my mates/family during/after the game yesterday it was clear than NONE of us wanted Ally to remain in charge. And a few of us were complete Ally defenders of late. Some may have been just a knee jerk reaction to the result I'm not sure. Which led me to this, is there anyone that actually wants Ally to stay? And if so why?
  10. KAYAL has taken an astonishing swipe at Scottish football and at Rangers skipper Lee McCulloch after admitting he is set to quit Parkhead. BERAM KAYAL was the life and soul of the title party as Celtic celebrated three in a row at Parkhead on Saturday. The Israeli midfielder’s selfies, podium pogoing and scarf waving looked the picture of jubilation from a player who has taken the club to his heart. Behind the beaming smiles, though, lay the painful truth this was his last hurrah in the Hoops. Deep down Kayal realises the relationship has run its course and he expects to be moved on in summer when his contract enters its final year. His love affair with the Scottish game has turned sour and he can trace his troubles back to the Old Firm game of December 2011. A crunching tackle from Rangers’ Lee McCulloch – who Kayal swears deliberately set out to hurt him – wiped out four months of his career and began the series of injuries that have blighted him since. The 25-year-old’s status at Celtic has diminished from midfield mainstay to fringe player and he has made just four Premiership starts this season, failing to last the 90 minutes in any of them. It is a far cry from the stunning impact Kayal made when he arrived from Maccabi Haifa in 2010 and attracted interest from Manchester United and Liverpool. There was talk of a £7million switch with the player claiming Sir Alex Ferguson and Kenny Dalglish were both keen to sign him. However, injuries and loss of form have dropped him well down the pecking order and as he eyes a fresh start Kayal has put the boot into the frenetic style of the Scottish game. He said: “Initially I liked this league but after all the injuries I now no longer like it. “There is a lack of technique. The football is played at breakneck pace with power and intensity and it doesn’t stop for a minute. But I’m not in love with this league.” Kayal’s contract runs until June 2015 but he reckons Celtic will cash in on him this summer rather than risk losing him for nothing next year. He said: “A friend of mine, Joe Ledley, was on the verge of his contract expiring and was sold to Crystal Palace. “Maybe this will happen to me because football is a business at the end of the day. “If someone comes up with an attractive proposition to Celtic and me then I’ll go. “In my first season at Celtic a lot of teams came to watch me and tried to find out my price tag. “Kenny Dalglish, who was manager of Liverpool, and Sir Alex Ferguson at Manchester United had communications with me. “When a lot of teams were interested Celtic wanted too much money – like £6m or £7m. Now because of my injuries the price is much lower. “But my dream is still alive and well, I am only 26 next month.” Kayal might be on his way out of Scotland but it’s not in his nature to go quietly. The tenacious little midfielder was keen to make sure he had a swipe at Ibrox skipper McCulloch, who he will never forgive for the full-blooded challenge that sidelined him for four months with ankle-ligament damage. He said: “The injury didn’t look that bad but I believe he did it on purpose. That player is not the cleanest in the world. “I have not forgotten that for a moment. I was out for a long time and even when I came back I was not 100 per cent. “He was very rude about it. I suppose it’s part of football but I’m happy that every time I’ve played against him since I have beaten him.” Kayal endured another long spell out after being crocked by Kaka during a Champions League clash this season, although he was more forgiving of the Brazilian. He said: “After a difficult time I came back and was enjoying football like never before and I scored in the Champions League against Ajax. I felt my injury problems were behind me. “Then we played AC Milan and in the first minute Kaka caught me. He said sorry a few minutes later and I told him, ‘You have broken my leg.’ “I actually played on for 30 minutes but I couldn’t change direction. That caused me to miss another three-and-a-half months. “After the game he asked for my forgiveness and we exchanged shirts. He didn’t do it on purpose. “I felt like I should be wearing the Mario Balotelli shirt ‘Why Always Me?’ “Every time I get injured it seems to be another four months out. Touch wood, I am fit again now.” While he is almost resigned to leaving Kayal will miss the buzz of Old Firm matches and the Celtic fans – even if he still struggles to understand them despite living in Glasgow for four years. He added: “For me the league is lacking because Rangers are not there. I miss the derby, the noise of the fans. “I went to see Manchester City v Barcelona and the noise in the stadium was nothing like Celtic Park. Even our Champions League nights are nothing compared to Celtic v Rangers. “People do not understand – it is bigger than any game against Barcelona or AC Milan. “I have a great understanding with the fans but I have been in Scotland four years and sometimes I still don’t understand them.” http://www.dailyrecord.co.uk/sport/football/football-news/celtic-midfielder-beram-kayal-slams-3338953
  11. ALLY McCOIST has launched a staunch defence of Lee McCulloch after Celtic midfielder Beram Kayal accused him of deliberately injuring him in a match more than two years ago. The Israeli has been quoted as saying he believes the current Rangers captain hurt him on purpose during a Glasgow derby at Parkhead in December 2011. Kayal said McCulloch was ‘very rude about it’ and ‘not the cleanest in the world’ as he admitted he expects his time in Scotland to end this summer. He also made the bizarre claim he had beaten the Light Blues skipper every time they have played each other since when in fact they have never been on the same pitch together again. Kayal was injured in the challenge pictured above, which shows McCulloch’s eyes fixed on the ball as he goes into the tackle. McCoist was asked about the comments at his pre-match press conference previewing Sunday’s Ramsdens Cup final with Raith Rovers this morning. And he was adamant McCulloch – inducted into the club’s Hall of Fame at the weekend - simply isn’t that type of player. McCoist said: “I saw the comments very briefly and I saw the headline. Anybody who knows Lee knows he’s not a dirty player at all. “To be honest, I can’t even remember the incident or the tackle. He certainly wouldn’t set out to deliberately injure someone. “It goes without saying I defend my player and skipper against any comments like that because he wouldn’t do that. “With the greatest of respect to Kayal, I think I’d have the Old Firm games down as being quite tame in comparison to some of the previous ones. “I’m not sure he would have enjoyed playing with Bertie Auld and John Greig in some of those matches. “That might be a wee eye-opener for him. I need to defend my player and my player is not a dirty player at all. “In fact, we’re delighted with the skipper and the way he handles himself both on and off the park.” http://www.rangers.co.uk/news/headlines/item/6660-mccoist-i-defend-my-skipper?
  12. http://www.scottishfa.co.uk/scottish_fa_news.cfm?page=2986&newsID=13171&newsCategoryID=1 In response to recent speculation and comments made by Dundee United officials, the Scottish FA is compelled to clarify the club’s ticketing allocation for the forthcoming William Hill Scottish Cup semi-final between Rangers and Dundee United at Ibrox. At the pre-operations meeting held on Tuesday, 11th March, Dundee United were made an initial offering of 11,063 tickets, allocated in the entirety of the Broomloan Road Stand, the Govan West corner and a section of the Govan Stand Front and Rear. The number was offered on the basis of Dundee United’s ticket sales for recent semi-finals. For last year’s semi-final against Celtic at Hampden Park, with a 12.45pm kick-off, Dundee United received an allocation of 10,686 tickets and sold 6783. For the 2010 semi-final against Raith Rovers at Hampden Park, with a 3pm kick-off, Dundee United were allocated 11,806 tickets and sold 9969. The Dundee United official present stated that in order to ensure a maximum attendance, in the first instance the club would not require the additional allocation in the Govan West corner, Front and Rear and, instead, would prefer the Broomloan Road stand, capacity 8012. He was invited to revert to the club for confirmation but declined. Notwithstanding the present allocation of 8012 – as requested by the club – Dundee United retain first option on the Govan West corner, and a section of the Front and Rear, an additional 3051 seats. Should the club a) request that additional allocation and b) sell it, then there remains the opportunity to extend the allocation subject to agreement between the clubs and the relevant police and stewarding advice.
  13. ..........gets Rangers fans all fired up to renew Old Firm rivalries. IT was a terrific quote. Nauseating so far as its sentiment was concerned, but a marvellous sound-bite never the less. It was the one Dave King delivered about some Rangers fans who couldn’t, or wouldn’t, put shoes on their children’s feet because they wanted to use the money to buy their season ticket for Ibrox. This was portrayed as evidence of the extraordinary degree of passion some fans have exhibited for the club. It’s nothing of the kind. Putting football before your family’s needs is not and never will be a badge of honour. Indeed it is a source of everlasting shame and there shouldn’t be the slightest hint of dubiety about that. But Dave wasn’t indulging in some emotional flight of fantasy, dreamed up one night while he was lying on a sun lounger as dusk fell on his exotic garden and swimming pool in Johannesburg and thinking about his place of birth. These people really do exist. I was once abroad in the company of an old friend who had a long and illustrious career with Celtic. We had been covering one of the club’s European ties and having a post-match refreshment before turning in when he was accosted by a fan. One who proudly told him his children hadn’t had a holiday in any of the previous three years so that he could travel the continent to support his team. The supporter had managed to turn denial where his family was concerned into some kind of imagined virtue He may have expected the Hoops hero to offer heartfelt words of praise but it was all the ex-player could do to maintain self-restraint after the interloper had invaded his company to spout his ?nonsense. Here’s the thing, though. ?Rangers’ survival as a viable concern is essential to the future well-being of the game in this country. The written media have done their usual first-class job of turning Celtic’s latest title-winning exercise into more column inches than would have been devoted to the Second Coming. But the reality is we need, heaven help us, the return of the rivalry that brings out those whose distorted sense of family values is an affront to decency. That also means unleashing the younger element upon us as they represent another part of the baggage that comes with re-establishing the Old Firm. Rangers and Celtic will play an Under-20 league match at Murray Park on Tuesday afternoon. That’s because the number of police who would’ve been required to enforce security if the game had been played ?in public view would’ve been financially inadvisable in times of austerity. It would have been interesting for normal folk to monitor and contrast the clubs’ youth development set-ups. Particularly at a time when 17-year-old Liam Henderson is scoring in a match against Partick Thistle that confirmed Celtic as league champions. But the youngsters’ match would have been hijacked, as those in authority well know, by the flare throwers, the singers of questionable songs and the rest of the misfits who would leave a family audience in fear of their safety. The match would’ve become an irrelevance to both sets of fans while they hurled sectarian insults at each other. It was the business of using rivalry as a basis for thuggery that put King’s policeman father off football when Dave was growing up. But one day, and it’s not too far off now, we’re going to have to deal with a first-team Old Firm derby that troubles society at large while helping enhance the product known as the SPFL Premiership. King knew exactly the right button to press when he started his propaganda campaign to win control of Rangers by instilling the fear of Celtic winning Ten in a Row in the minds of his club’s fans. And that’ll prey on their minds longer than Rangers’ captain Lee McCulloch’s talk about next Sunday’s Ramsdens Cup Final being a “massive” game. The match with Raith Rovers is a by-product of a club fallen on hard times. Nothing more and nothing less. Only those who would contemplate denying the weans shoes to buy a season ticket will think otherwise. Now the Ibrox board have countered King by saying that fans will threaten Rangers’ viability as a going concern if they decide to withhold season-ticket money The fans are now trapped between two sides, each trading on their innermost fears. And gullibility. I was speaking to a fan on the radio the other night who told me Celtic qualifying for the Champions League group stages next season would be a greater achievement than winning the European Cup in 1967. It was breathtaking nonsense, and a moment to ponder whether some fans actually understand history. Celtic were the first British, not Scottish, winners of the competition. Idolising Neil Lennon's perfectly all right, but distorting the truth while tarnishing Jock Stein's memory isn't. Neil would surely be the first to agree. No-one's dismissing his achievements. But there must be a sense of perspective.
  14. .....for the Premiership title in 2015-16 Ally McCoist last night declared that anything less than Rangers challenging for the Premiership title in season 2015-16 will be unacceptable. The Ibrox club will compete in the Championship next season having won back-to-back titles and are hot favourites to pave their way back to the big time with a third successive crown. However, the source of the club’s long-term financing remains shrouded in uncertainty, with would-be investor Dave King so far being kept at arms’ length by the board. King’s willingness to underwrite the £50million he believes is needed to compete with Celtic has chimed with a fan base who are behind his plan to only release season-ticket money to the board if certain conditions are met. McCoist yesterday expressed his hope that dialogue could yet see all parties arrive at a satisfactory solution. But, come what may, the Rangers manager refutes the notion that the aim of a first season back in the top flight could be consolidation. ‘No, it’s not an option,’ he stated. ‘We know it goes with the territory here, you are expected to win the vast majority of games and you’re expected to get promoted and get back in the top league as quickly as possible. ‘So far, these boxes are getting ticked although there have been one or two hiccups along the way, which we always said there would be.’ Asked if he intended building a team capable of challenging at the first time of asking, McCoist continued: ‘Yes, it’s important. We’ve never made up the numbers at all. No matter what league we’ve played in or where we’ve played, we’ve always believed we’ve had a chance of winning the competition and I don’t see any reason why that should change. ‘In fact, it shouldn’t change and it can’t change.' On Thursday, Rangers chairman David Somers issued a stern warning that the proposed season ticket stand-off could cause untold damage to the club. Speaking after the publication of the interim financial results, Somers said the withholding of money could risk the club’s ability to ‘continue as a going concern.’ McCoist has repeatedly taken a neutral stance in the ongoing spat between the board, King and the fans, but yesterday he admitted to having serious concerns about what Somers had said. ‘Of course that would worry me, as a supporter and as a manager,’ he added. ‘That would be a concern for everybody who has anything to do with the club. If the chairman feels that has to be said, it is probably an unpleasant reminder to everybody involved at the club that we have a long, long way to go.’ Notwithstanding the possible return of King to Ibrox, McCoist believes he and the board are on the same page as far as a shared vision for the future of the club is concerned. ‘I’ve said all along that we need investment to get back, there’s no doubt about that,’ he continued. ‘Graham (Wallace, the chief executive) and the board have said that, too, so it’s good that everybody feels like that and shares that opinion. ‘Where the investment comes from we will have to wait and see. ‘In the meantime, it’s good everybody agrees investment is needed. ‘For us to get back to where we want to eventually be, we will need investment. ‘We lost millions when we lost all those players. To get back to the standard of where we were, investment is needed.’ http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sport/football/article-2591972/McCoist-sights-set-challenging-Celtic-Premiership-title-2015-16.html
  15. Thursday 27th March at 12:38 During the course of last night’s match it became apparent that a number of away fans had obtained tickets in sections designated for home support. We would like to apologise to all Thistle fans and, in particular, to any that felt intimidated or uneasy as the match progressed. Unfortunately, due to the exceptional circumstances of Celtic being able to win the league, interest in the game was higher than usual. We would like to emphasise that every possible effort was made by the club to ensure that any tickets sold for areas of the stadium designated for home support were not knowingly sold to away supporters and, anybody requesting Celtic tickets, were turned away. Obviously last night was not the type of atmosphere we expect or encourage at Firhill. We will be closely reviewing our match day operations and sales procedures to help ensure that a similar situation never happens again. As part of the review process we will be liaising with supporters' groups to gather feedback, as we continue to try and improve the match day experience. http://ptfc.co.uk/news/2013-2014/march_2014/partick_thistle_vs_celtic_-_a_club_statement
  16. A top Tayside police officer has said plans are already being prepared to prevent any violence at Dundee United’s Scottish Cup semi-final clash with Rangers next month. Bad blood between the two clubs has grown over the years, partly due to United’s stance on Rangers playing in the bottom tier after the Ibrox side went into liquidation. And after venue and ticket arguments over the upcoming match, Arab Trust chairman Steven Hughes has admitted some fans are “nervous from a safety perspective” about travelling through for the game on April 12. Chief Superintendent Eddie Smith, the commander for Tayside Division, said his staff were in contact with colleagues in the west to make plans to prevent any violence. He said “We are already in dialogue with the Greater Glasgow Division and we will assist them in any way we can. Our primary role is to get everyone in safely and then get them home to their families safely. “If we have achieved that, then we’ve achieved our primary goal, which is keeping people safe. “We always prepare for the potential of violence and we’ll use our intelligence nearer the time to get a picture as to how exactly we structure the plan. “There’s a good quote from the Hillsborough Inquiry that says ‘complacency is the enemy of safety’ and that’s a mantra I will always adhere to, no matter how big or small the event is.” Tangerines’ chairman Stephen Thompson has also caused controversy by going to war with the Scottish Football Association after trying to get the game switched to Celtic Park. Another fallout followed when the SFA claimed United declined their original seating allocation for the Ibrox game and asked for less seats. Mr Thompson initially rejected the claim, although he soon backed down from his statement. However, Mr Smith, who was the match commander at the last Old Firm game in 2012, said their early planning had nothing to do with comments from the United chairman. He said: “This is just a normal response. “That’s how we plan for high profile football matches. “We will be performing our usual duties, which are working with the football clubs to make sure the venue is secure and we have tried and tested plans to make sure buses are stopped and searched for alcohol.” http://www.eveningtelegraph.co.uk/news/local/police-in-talks-to-keep-dundee-united-fans-safe-at-ibrox-1.288176?
  17. By Richard Wilson BBC Scotland There are still challenges to overcome, not least the continuing lack of a title sponsor for the Scottish Professional Football League, but individual clubs can still thrive. The level of debt being carried by top-flight teams is falling, and that presents an opportunity. Dundee United and Kilmarnock recently secured debt-reduction deals with Lloyds Bank. Two clubs whose financial priority had to be servicing seven-figure debts can now maximise the worth of their incomes. Celtic's interim results for the financial year to 31 December showed a surplus in the bank, while Motherwell, St Mirren, St Johnstone and Inverness Caledonian Thistle are all free of long-term debt. Hearts are due to emerge from administration with the Foundation of Hearts having taken over a debt-free club that will eventually be turned over to full supporter ownership when the purchase price is paid back through fan subscriptions. Ross County's rise up the leagues has been enabled by the largesse of Roy MacGregor. Hibernian and Aberdeen are still carrying debt, around £5m and around £9m respectively, but there is an appetite within Lloyds Bank to seek an outcome that protects the community aspect of football clubs, as seen in the deals struck with Dundee United and Kilmarnock. The effect is to present Scottish football with a chance to redraw its priorities and establish a time of financial stability. "Banks are taking more of a pragmatic view, which says that what we really want is out of this situation, so we will do a deal, if that makes sense, and if the club can sustain itself," says Charles Barnett, the professional sports group partner at BDO, whose annual review of football finances will be published at the beginning of next season. "There's been one or two clubs recently, like Motherwell, who since they got out of their [financial] troubles have regularly reported a break-even type model. That doesn't mean breaking even every year, but over a period of time, so a small profit one year and a small loss the next. John Souttar (left) and Ryan Gauld are two of Dundee United's brightest talents. John Souttar (left) and Ryan Gauld are two of Dundee United's brightest talents. "We have less sponsorship income in general around the country, TV revenues aren't going anywhere at the moment and attendances at some clubs are doing well and falling away a bit at others. It's an incredibly challenging environment. But this is an opportunity." The removal of debt burdens allows clubs to focus on reinvesting in sporting performance. Dundee United offer a prime example, since the club's youth development programme has delivered a regular supply of promising young talent into the first-team squad. Transfer fees were inevitably required for the likes of David Goodwillie - £2m to Blackburn Rovers - and Johnny Russell - £750,000 to Derby County - since United had debt payments to service. The Tannadice club can drive a harder bargain now that a group of fan investors have contributed to the wiping of £4m in debt . Clubs will covet the likes of Stuart Armstrong, Ryan Gauld, John Souttar and Andrew Robertson, but United are under no pressure to sell. This allows Scottish clubs more leeway in attempting to keep young talent in the country for longer before the financial pull of the English game eventually draws them south. Aberdeen are among those who have suffered from losing players before they establish themselves in the first team, with Jack Grimmer leaving for Fulham when he was 17 and Ryan Fraser leaving for Bournemouth at 18. Hibernian and Hearts have established a strong reputation for developing young talent, and Scottish clubs can exploit the worth of that reputation. English teams will always be able to offer higher wages, but many young Scots, like Goodwillie and Grimmer, have travelled south and seen their careers stall. To keep young talent in the country for longer, and to the benefit of Scottish football, players need to be certain that their game will develop further through regular first-team experience. That will enable them to become better and so still attract a future transfer, but clubs needs to be financially stable enough to make decisions based on sporting rather than income merits. "The stronger the club's financial position, the stronger they can be in the transfer market," says Ross Wilson, formerly head of football development at Falkirk and now head of football operations at Huddersfield Town. Continue reading the main story “I'm struggling to think of a club that has made significant investment in its youth academy and not managed to produce players” Ross Wilson Falkirk's former head of football development "But also, the stronger the club's brand becomes in terms of being regularly capable of producing young players, so they can eventually leave at a premium. "For example, Crewe Alexandria are a League One club, but when they sell players it's at a premium compared to clubs around them, because historically they have a reputation for being a strong developer and seller of players. "That could be replicated in Scotland, with clubs consistently producing players for the first team." Most clubs will have no option but to live within their means, so the ideal is to improve those circumstances. The benefactor model has been undermined following the financial collapses of Hearts, Rangers and Motherwell, while supporters are less inclined to welcome investment for the purpose of making a return because sporting performance needs to be the priority. There is also little wealth to be made in the Scottish game when external revenue streams are so modest. "No bank is prepared to lend new money into the sector in Scotland," says Barnett. "Therefore clubs have to learn to live within their means. And what's the purpose of a football club? "In my view, the objective should be to operate a balanced budget over a period of time, not making big or regular small profits." Youth development, smart player trading, all from a stable financial basis, offers Scottish football clubs an opportunity to build a sense of optimism. Supporters also tend to bond with home-grown talent, while the national team will benefit from a growing emphasis not only on academy graduates, but finding a way to keep them in Scottish football for longer so that if they eventually leave for England, they are better able to thrive at a higher level. "I'm struggling to think of a club that has made significant investment in its youth academy and not managed to produce players," says Wilson. "If you're making proper investment in it, in terms of the structure and the people you bring in, then it reaps the rewards of players being produced and being sold."
  18. http://www.dailyrecord.co.uk/news/politics/scottish-labour-pledge-scrap-snps-3262872 Not a surprise...
  19. Rangers U20 team v Inverness Caley Thistle: Gallacher; Hegarty, Perry, Gasparotto, Sinnamon; Roberts, Dykes, Telfer, Gibson; Halkett, Stoney
  20. Yep Ally, full pre-season this year, good winning momentum at the moment, settled team by the looks of it. Now just 'go for it' in this game. There would be nothing worse going out of this tie at a wimper. If we give all and play fast attacking football but go out I would accept it as it gives a measure as to where we are but going out in poor fashion just turns attention onto Ally's ability to put a good team out again.
  21. ......Rovers have got more class. HUGH says Albion Rovers' display helps put Ibrox title win in perspective and says Old Firm fans should be asking why their teams are not in today's League Cup Final. THEY tell me Ian Black drives to and from Murray Park in a bright red Bentley. It should go with his bright red face because the painter and decorator turned midfield huffer and puffer has managed to alienate himself from the Ibrox support in the same week that Rangers won a title. That takes a bit of doing. The process of alienation, that is, not the title success. When squad members are earning enough to drive Bentleys while playing against part-time teams it’s hard to see this championship as a triumph to be discussed in the same breath as others Ally McCoist has been associated with. But disaffected season-ticket holders? That’s another matter altogether. Former Ibrox director Dave King hasn’t moved a rebellious muscle yet and he’s beginning to look like a shoo-in to win the battle for hearts and minds in the debate over where Rangers go from here at board-room level. And if his trump card is the backing of the fans then a Bentley driver asking the support what more they want after successfully “earning” a replay against Albion Rovers is a perfect start in the propaganda stakes. That and Rangers director Sandy Easdale talking about taking fans to the Court of Session for abusing him. There’s commercial suicide and then there’s commercial cynicism, of course. Celtic have lulled their fans to sleep on the back of a season prematurely ended by a championship won with the same unbalanced ease with which Rangers have dismissed their so-called challengers. The Hoops have beaten what is put in front of them and done exactly what they should’ve done in the Premiership. No more, no less. Just like Rangers. But Celtic can always keep their support on side by ticking the begorrah box. The latest edition of the club’s magazine, published last Wednesday, has Neil Lennon super-imposed on the flag of the Republic of Ireland. Above this image is a message wishing everyone a happy St Patrick’s Day from the champions. St Patrick’s Day doesn’t actually take place until tomorrow but who’s counting? And before those who are always waiting to be scandalised reach for the laptop to send the abusive email, my grandparents were from Ballymote in County Sligo and I’m as proud of my family roots as the next member of the Irish diaspora. But no matter where you’re from I’m sure a lot of Celtic supporters would rather their club magazine was talking about this weekend’s League Cup Final instead of camouflaging the fact they won’t be there. The reason why neither Celtic nor Rangers will be there this afternoon is that the former couldn’t get past the mighty Morton at home with the additional benefit of extra time. And even a team with a Bentley driver in it couldn’t find a way past part-time Forfar Athletic – after Rangers also got an extra half hour at Station Park to see if they could find the right gear. So good luck to Aberdeen and Inverness for having made it to the final and selling almost 50,000 tickets to remind us that there’s still life outside the Bentleys and the begorrahs. And well done to Albion Rovers for earning a replay against Rangers and a host of admirers at the same time for deciding to share their financial windfall from that match with the less fortunate. The idea of the Coatbridge club giving away £10,000 to Radio Clyde’s Cash For Kids charity appeal would once have been thought preposterous. But when they came into a few bob by dint of their own efforts on the park the Rovers asked “What do you need ?” instead of “What more do you want?” like a member of the other team annoyed by people having the audacity to criticise their performances. I got a text from someone anxious to point out that Rangers drew with Albion at Ibrox in 1935 when Bill Struth was the manager. My reply to that is, it was an embarrassment then and it’s an embarrassment now, begging Albion Rovers pardon. So sue me for having an opinion.
  22. Salivating Stu' was in giddy triumphalistic mood yesterday. Just when you thought his domination of BBC Radio Scotland airwaves was complete, he announces that Off the Ball is now scheduled for an hour on a Saturday evening, after the action. If you manage to avoid Stu's double dint on a Saturday, there's the two hour Sunday supplement, the current affairs commentary on a Thursday, the, 'my life in five books', alternatively the, 'my life in five tracks', ................ etc. Stu' loves utilising his considerable broadcast time to discuss his trials with psoriasis, appropriate really since he is all over Beeb Scotland like a rash. Channel Four's Director for Diversity was in full flow in last evening's first après-action Off the Ball. He was fully supportive of biggest, bestest mate, Jum Spence's latest whine on behalf of his beloved Dundee United. Stu' is unequivocal, Ibrox is not neutral and the Arabs deserve a 50% allocation of the tickets. I suspect today's Sunday supplement will be used to reinforce these points. Oh, and Stu' was most determined to emphasise Stephen Thompson's point that this was not an exercise in sinking the boot into Rangers. Stu' did not comment on Jum's assertion that Thompson's refusal to sit in the Ibrox Directors' Box is because he feels threatened by certain Rangers Directors. Clearly, both Stephen and Jum have lost their discipline, again. As the show chuntered to conclusion, a wildly excited Stu' bellowed in climax, "over forty thousand Aberdeen fans in Glasgow tomorrow for the League Cup final, arrrrrmahhhgeddonnnnnnn, bring it on". Of course, the Aberdeen revival is Stu's comfort blanket, ignoring the League Cup like the Premiership continues without a sponsor. The real irony is in the delicious detail, Stu' in his state of heightened tumescence was forgetting his own club, St Johnstone were at half time in their match against Ross County, playing in front of a McDairmid Park attendance of 2,200. Aye, that Armageddon has a tendency to bite you on the arse. We know Stu' to be a principled man, don't we? Thus, he will be demanding that his own club are awarded 25,500 Ibrox tickets for their semi-final against Aberdeen. Further, surely on the same principle he has demanded ICT receive 30,000 tickets for today's cup final? Principles are inconvenient, awkward, and unbalancing whence sinking the boot into Rangers.
  23. http://metro.co.uk/2014/03/13/should-rangers-get-the-plaudits-for-the-their-league-one-title-win-4558956/ Thoughts?
  24. Thanks for. Coming, Mr Hubbard. Perhaps you inspired the young guys. For the 90% + of fans who never had the privilege of seeing him play he was more than just a precision penalty taker. Wing play for him was a geometry. He ran lines and angles at speed to get past opponents with ease and without the demented flea tricks of the likes of celtic's Johnstone. Scored plenty from open play. Rarely scythed down by fullbacks because they generally couldn't get near him. Rangers have been fortunate with wingers - Waddell, Scott, Henderson, Wilson, Johnston. Old Mother was as good as any of them
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