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  1. Reading twitter and lots of bears are hoping or expecting the filth in the next round. So, what about Gersnetters? Timmy or a home draw to a so called lesser side to the tims? I'd love a spot of 'battle fever' but I'm not sure we'd get lucky and be drawn at home. Other big concern is some of our players being able to handle the atmosphere against them. Thoughts?
  2. Scotland and Watford winger Ikechi Anya admits he cannot get enough of video replays of his goal against Germany. "I have watched that goal a million times - today," the 26-year-old joked, recalling the 2-1 defeat in Dortmund. "Obviously it's a bitter-sweet memory as it would have been nice had we got something out of the game. "But, personally, it validates all the hard work you put in as an apprentice getting up at half five, catching three different buses to get to training." “Five years ago, I was club-less and I never even thought about the international stage” Anya dropped out of the Football League to join Oxford City then Halesowen Town after being released by Wycombe Wanderers as a 19-year-old. A spell at the Glenn Hoddle Academy, which tries to help young players resurrect their careers, was followed by a stint with Northampton Town. But it was his time in Spain with the Sevilla and Celta Vigo B sides that eventually led to him bursting back into English football with Watford two years ago, via Granada. "Five years ago, I was club-less and I never even thought about the international stage," Anya admitted. "When it comes, you want to keep feeling like this and you work twice as hard to try to maintain the level." Indeed, Anya feels he has reached new heights of popularity since that goal - and especially after writing on Twitter that his real-life achievement in Dortmund surpassed his computer game exploits. "I scored past Manuel Neuer. Wow! I can't even do that on Fifa," he had tweeted, earning himself 10,000 new followers on the social media site. Anya revealed: "It gets to the point where you can't even read all the tweets as my iPad is freezing. Personally, it has been kind of crazy." He realises that his goal against Germany has raised his profile within the game as well as among the public, but is concentrating on helping Watford chase promotion to England's top flight rather than think of possible interest from other clubs. "Scoring against the world champions was a big thing for me personally, because a lot of people have put me on their radars now," said Anya. "I don't put limitations on what is going to happen. My main goal is to prove to myself at this level and prove to anyone else who might be interested." Anya stressed Scotland manager Gordon Strachan's role in helping the progress of himself and other squad members. "In my position, we have players who are Premiership quality who aren't playing, so personally he's put a lot of belief into me, which is why I'm very grateful to him," he said. "He's got 100% faith in us all and I think that shows in our performances when we go out there and try to play. "If you look back at how we played in Germany, we could have warranted at least a point there." The Glasgow-born son of a Nigerian scientist and a Romanian economist grew up as a Rangers fan and was especially looking forward to playing at Ibrox in Scotland's next Euro 2016 qualifier. "It's massive," he said. "When we play Georgia on 11 October, the atmosphere is going to be even more than the one in Dortmund, so we are looking forward to it. "It's all well saying we played well, but we have nothing to show for it and now. "This double header against Georgia and Poland, you have to try to get some points on the board because ultimately our goal is to qualify and the only way we are going to do is to win points." http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/0/football/29314365
  3. I`m sure some on here will have an interest in this announcement ... http://www.heraldscotland.com/politics/referendum-news/orange-order-may-stage-pro-union-march-on-eve-of-scottish-referendum.24188536 Orange Order may stage pro-Union march on eve of Scottish referendum Tom Gordon Scottish Political Editor . Sunday 11 May 2014 THE Orange Order is planning a massive parade in support of a No vote days before the independence referendum. The Grand Orange Lodge of Scotland hopes to attract up to 15,000 members to Edinburgh on the Saturday before the historic vote. Although most of those taking part will be from Scotland, the fiercely pro-Union Protestant movement also expects some Orange bands from Northern Ireland "to show support". The pro-Union Better Together group last night distanced itself from the Order, insisting it would "never" be part of its campaign. Robert McLean, executive officer of the Grand Orange Lodge, said the organisation was already in positive talks with City of Edinburgh Council about the September 13 gathering. He said: "It's basically an Orange parade. It's not just a parade for anyone. You would expect the Orange organisations to come out for a No. "We are looking for between 10,000 and 15,000 members in the parade. The majority will be from Scotland but we would expect some of our lodges from Northern Ireland and England to show support." The Grand Orange Lodge of Scotland has its own pro-Union campaign group, British Together. On its website, Grand Master Henry Dunbar says the Orange Order in Scotland is "fervently opposed" to the break-up of the UK. "Ever since the first Orange lodges were constituted in Scotland in 1797, we have been committed to a United Kingdom, headed by a constitutional monarchy. "We are primarily a Christian and charitable fraternal organisation - we rarely step in to the political arena. However, the Union ... is a matter that unites us all. "I remain convinced that with your help, the Grand Orange Lodge of Scotland can help ensure that we remain 'British Together'." After the debacle of the CBI registering and then de-registering as an official campaigner in the referendum, McLean said the Grand Lodge had considered whether it should become a "permitted participant", but decided against this, as it would not spend beyond the £10,000 threshold. "It's an educational programme we are trying to run here," he said. "We feel quite clearly that we are better together. As far as we are concerned, [the Union] is not broken so it does not need fixed. We are quite happy to stay within the UK." Despite the increasingly heated nature of the independence debate, McLean said he did not expect the Edinburgh parade to be a flashpoint for disorder. "We never get a counter protest at an Orange parade. We accept that for this one we could. But I'm sure the police will deal with that." The parade promises to be one of the few large gatherings before voters go to the ballot. In 2012 and 2013, supporters of independence staged marches and rallies in Edinburgh, first in Princes Street Gardens and then on Calton Hill, which attracted thousands. However, plans for a third and final rally this year have been ditched, with organisers urging people to focus on local events instead. Regarding the Orange order parade, a Better Together spokesman said: "This organisation isn't part of our campaign and never will be. The best way for people who believe that we are stronger and better together as part of the UK to get involved is by speaking to undecided voters, not marching in the streets." Yes Scotland said: "We fully respect that others have a different view and support their democratic right to express it in any legitimate and peaceful way they wish."
  4. ........the only way to truly hurt the board is to stay away from games. GORDON argues that if fans really want to get rid of the Rangers board then they must cut off all financial support to the club. IT'S TIME for Rangers fans to pee or get off the pot. They either want regime change or they don’t. They either realise the power they wield or they don’t. The red card displays, the eternal and infernal statements, they show willing but ultimately achieve nothing. Sticks and stones and all that. But does anyone really think the occupants of their boardroom give a toss about what anyone says about them? They can’t hear you. They’re too busy counting your money. And all you’re doing is facilitating them. That’s the problem. The power of the Rangers support lies in its size, its strength but most of all in its unity of purpose. If half of you stick and half of you twist though? You’re playing right into their hands. Giving them just enough to keep their tiptoes on the bottom of the pool and their nostrils poking above the surface. That’s what 23,000 season tickets was in the summer. It was a message, it was five figures down – but it wasn’t enough for the fans, and just enough for the board. Same with the walk-ups. The drip-feeders. Around 20,000 for Hearts, another 11,000 for Clyde, 9000 each against Dumbarton and Queen of the South. You’re handing over your cash at the turnstiles and it’s going straight into a black hole. I understand there are plenty who just want to go to the football on a Saturday, who don't care about what goes on behind the scenes. They’re probably the silent majority. But maybe they need to start listening to the loud minority. Nine months ago, before their agm, was the first time they really threatened this lot with what they called ‘disengagement’. I said then that if they truly believed that was the way to go, then they all had to have the stomach for what would effectively be the euthanising of their club. A mercy killing. That the short-term pain would be acute but they’d appreciate what they’d done in the long term. But their disunity, their lack of a core belief, has crippled their true effectiveness. And here they are in the wake of that begging-bowl share issue, back at square one. So what choice do they have? They play Inverness at Ibrox in the League Cup on Tuesday. They don’t have another home league game for more than a fortnight when they play Hibs. For a club who, by their own admission, are living hand to mouth, two empty stadiums through to the end of September with no walk-ups, no hospitality, no catering, no nothing, would be financially catastrophic. But THAT’S the only language they speak. They were described to me the other day as being like wild dogs around a carcass, stripping it to the bone. When do they leave? When there’s nothing left for them. As long as there are morsels of meat to be picked off around the edges, they’ll hang around. A grasper like Imran Ahmad, for example. Only persuaded to take his leave this week by tossing a juicy chunk of what was left in his direction. So if the fans really want to do their club a favour, the place should be a morgue on Tuesday night. Will it hurt? Of course it will. But if you believe there’s a cancer, the only way to get rid of it is to cut it out – and hope. Ever since December and that car crash agm there’s been a suspicion that Rangers would have to go the grave again for a second resurrection. Is there a fear of what follows? Again, of course. But this is where a properly unified support has some control. Because much in the same way as the wild dogs won’t hang around, another pack won’t bother stepping in unless they think there’s another meal ticket to be had. Who’s going to invest in a club with no regular income? Any owner needs approval. He needs customers. So the only way to make anything out of Rangers now is to turn it into the business it SHOULD have become when they went belly up in the first place. Trimmed-down costs, sustainable plan, 40,000 people through the gate every week, build yourselves back up, develop players, sell the odd one for more money, challenge, win, get into the Champions League, get your share of that gigantic European pot… Sound familiar? The antithesis of what happened, when £70m walked in the other direction in just 18 months. Who knows, Dave King may have played the smartest game of all because he knows now he could yet be their only option, and that would have the approval of the rump of the rank and file. And don’t worry, the irony’s not lost – the uproar at the Easdales hanging out with Interpol’s most wanted, yet the open-armed embrace for a guy who’s spent more time dealing with South African courts in recent times than with affairs at Ibrox. But there may yet be plenty more pain before that scenario has a chance. Two weeks ago I said they had two choices. Neither of them attractive. Keep the regime afloat week to week, or not a penny more. Seems to me they only have one left. http://www.dailyrecord.co.uk/sport/football/gordon-waddell-rangers-fans-must-4257414
  5. I know we have a dozen or so players out on loan to other clubs, been a pretty consistent feature of the club during the on going turmoil. Currently, are we recipients of any loan players? Have we been recipients of any loan players in the last two and a bit seasons? I ask, because I don't think we have any loan signings and this must be unique in the Scottish/British game. Why we would we not bring in a few loan signings?
  6. I'm not clear on what is classed as repetition so perhaps we can have 1 topic where we can say what we like (within reason) and let off steam. Also, certain people can just stay away from this thread and then they won't be offended.
  7. Chris Graham ‏@ChrisGraham76 17m .@RFC_Union call on Rangers PLC board to remove Sandy Easdale as a club director immediately. #RFC pic.twitter.com/wIlX0SWgVu
  8. What steps might the board and their puppeteer investors take to make sure they come out on top should we go into administration again? With such a diverse shareholding spread are they able to secure admin for themselves like Whyte did?
  9. THE displays of the Rangers team on the park last week were cause for optimism down Ibrox way. Ally McCoist's side netted 12 goals in their two competitive outings and put their shaky early-season form well and truly behind them. The size of the crowds in the home games against both Clyde and Dumbarton, however, were reasons to look towards the future with trepidation. And the attendance at the SPFL Championship fixture with Dumbarton on Saturday afternoon was particularly alarming. For the league meeting with the Sons was perhaps the best chance so far to gauge what the turnout will be like at Rangers home games in the 2014/15 campaign. The Petrofac Training Cup matches with Hibs and then Clyde were always going to attract smaller crowds due to the stature of the competition and the size of the opposition. Much was made of the fact that only 11,190 supporters filed through the turnstiles in the 8-1 victory in the latter game last Monday. It was the lowest Ibrox attendance at a competitive fixture for 29 years. Yet that encounter with part-time opponents from the bottom tier of Scottish football was - despite Gers great Barry Ferguson being in charge of the opposition - expected to draw that sort of response. There were 43,683 in the Championship opener against Hearts a fortnight ago. But there were special circumstances surrounding that fixture. The League One flag was unfurled and the Govan Stand was renamed in honour of Sandy Jardine before kick-off. Plus, the first game against age-old adversaries Hearts after two long seasons of often uninspiring outings against our national game's lesser lights was guaranteed to put a fair few bums on seats. No, the Dumbarton game at the weekend was a far better barometer of what size the attendances - and, in turn, the gate receipts -will be for Rangers in the weeks and months which lie ahead. And the fact that only 31,175 turned up on a perfect afternoon for football must be worrying for both those who follow the fortunes and those who control the purse-strings at the troubled Glasgow institution. It was the lowest turnout at a league game at Ibrox since 24,177 fans watched Rangers defeat Falkirk 4-0 thanks to a Robert Fleck double and goals from Davie Cooper and Terry Butcher on December 13, 1986. A home game against Methil minnows East Fife around this time last year drew 42,870. No company can have nearly a quarter of their customers disappear in the space of 12 months without drastic consequences. Even if all of the 34,000 fans who bought season tickets to see Rangers in League One last season had renewed this summer, the club would still not have had enough money to see them to the end of this term. So for just how long will the Light Blues be able to limp along with just over 20,000 season book holders and fewer than 10,000 turning up and paying at the gate on match days? There are ambitious plans for Rangers to hold another share offering in the very near future and the hope is to raise in the region of £4million of much-needed capital from that. But with shareholder Sandy Easdale and wealthy fan George Letham due to have loans totalling £1.5m repaid, financial experts have predicted that will only sustain the club until the end of the year. The ongoing lack of clarity over Rangers future off the field is overshadowing the fact that on it they appear to be getting their act together after some poor performances. They brushed aside Dumbarton with ease at the weekend thanks to strikes from Lee McCulloch, Darren McGregor and Nicky Clark. An own goal from Chris Turner aided their cause considerably. Bilel Mohsni, who was highly fortunate not to be red carded by referee Brian Colvin for his trip on Scott Agnew, also turned the ball into his net late on to give the sizeable travelling support a reason to cheer. That lapse of judgment by the Tunisian, though, could not wipe the smile from McCoist's face after a highly satisfactory performance by his charges from front to back. He said: "The skipper played in central midfield and chipped in with a goal, Nicky got a good goal and our right-back played well and scored a great goal. "To be scoring goals is always good. But to be scoring goals from different areas is an added bonus for us. "I was annoyed we didn't keep a clean sheet, but I thought the football was of a high standard. We created a lot of chances, scored four good goals, hit the post and had a goal disallowed. "It is consistency that is going to win us the league this year. That is what we have to work hard to get. "There are going to be a lot of difficult games for us in the months ahead and we have to be at our best every week." http://www.eveningtimes.co.uk/rangers/deserted-seats-show-reality-of-angry-rangers-fans-voting-with-their-177533n.25139848
  10. When we went into administration I almost instantly (within the first month) had some major concerns because I quickly came to thinking that I didn't trust the administrators, didn't think they would get us out of it via a CVA and didn't think they seemed to be doing their jobs properly because if they had been, then they would have tried to rescue the company as a going concern. To do that, they would have needed to quickly address the cost base and stop the monthly loss-making, but they just went for a short-term fix/bandage to see out the season instead of properly cutting costs to address the going concern like administrators do in most football club administrations. After the shambles of their bidding process and finally bringing in Green & co (like they seem to have planned well in advance!), when D&P did their first presser with Green a feeling of dread & despair came over me because I could tell immediately that he was a bullshitting patter merchant and didn't trust him right from that point. It was a case of 'who the f**k is this clown?' and a distinct feeling of disappointment. Then we had to endure the failed CVA, being wrongfully stripped of our SPL share and kicked out of our league, left with no league at all for a period and questions hanging over our SFA license as well. When we finally got it sorted out and started the season in the 4th tier there was a sort of positive buzz that I never really understood, because I never felt as if it was right that we should be down there in the 3rd Division. I could obviously understand the positive buzz in the sense that we were still here with our history and titles despite the best efforts of our enemies and those who wanted (and tried) to kill us off, but didn't understand the positivity from numerous other perspectives, like the unprecedented treatment of our Club and the worries from footballing and financial/business perspectives. Not only did many of our fans think that it was just a simple case of 3 seasons of a journey back up through the lower leagues to the top flight, but many actually believed that it was an 'opportunity' to rebuild not only the business, but some kind of fabled & mystical footballing 'philosophy'. There was talk amongst fans of not only winning every single game in the 4th & 3rd tiers, but battering the opposition 8-0, 9-0 or 10-0 every week. I didn't buy into any of that because I thought it was always going to be more difficult than many of our fans thought it would be. Yes, we would dish out some hammerings along the way, but it was always going to be a battle too, both on and off the park no matter how many SPL-standard players we signed and no matter how many crazy moonbeams Green & co served us up. What we need to do now though, is completely forget about any mythical 'opportunities' or lost chances to create new 'footballing philosophies' and face the stark reality of where we currently are. I'm not saying forgive or forget (far from it!), but we urgently need to get up to speed and deal in the here & now. Depending on how things go off the park this month, we might be heading for another insolvency/administration event, but we don't know for sure either way because nothing is certain on that front, just as nothing is certain on the pitch either. We might drop points or lose a match, but no matter what happens, I think we all know that the 'journey' is getting tougher and tougher and that's something which was always on the cards both on & off the pitch, so it certainly shouldn't come as a surprise. The idea of an easy journey back up over 3 or 4 years while creating golden seeds for the future amidst new philosophies for the Club was a total and utter pipe dream. Even if we had been taken over by good guys instead of chancers and liars like Green & co, we were still realistically facing trouble along the way and potentially a period of 5 years or more before getting properly back on our feet and challenging in the top flight again. We might not be in a good position right now, but essentially, nothing has changed and we're still on the same path albeit a slightly more windy & rocky one than many of our fans seemed to think it would be. Our progress back to where we belong might still be set back even further by current and/or future financial issues, but we don't know for sure yet. What we do know for sure is that the people running the show need to collectively get their acts together, steer the Club in the right direction and ease the worries of the supporters, not through more moonbeams and lies like were served up in the past, but by addressing the immediate future as openly and honestly as they can without damaging the value of their precious shares.
  11. Do you remember when we knew what Celtic players looked like? Do you remember how we would listen in nervously when they played, hoping that they'd falter? The football landscape has changed so much in Glasgow that the city is no longer an Old Firm goldfish bowl. Instead, the two sides function in separate atmospheres. With no Old Firm interaction, each has become a stranger to the other. The current Celtic team could walk past me in the street and I probably wouldn't know who they were. For Celtic fans, due to Rangers being run as a retirement home for elderly footballers, they have no difficulty in recognising Rangers' established guys, but many of our players are unfamiliar faces to them too. There was a time when fans of each side knew the other lot almost as well. They didn't need to learn the enemy team, they just knew it. Not so long ago, a Rangers-supporting friend of mine used to chat fairly regularly to a fellow dog walker. It turned out that he was talking to a leading Celtic player, and yet he had no idea. This surely couldn't have happened in the past. We knew them and they knew us. Now, Celtic's profile has dipped as a consequence of Rangers being in the football wilderness. Ours has dipped too, of course, although Rangers is such a dysfunctional entity that it retains a profile of sorts by providing a daily source of amusement to the nation. Apart from the obsessed element in the Celtic support though, which keeps Rangers under intense scrutiny at all times, there is a realisation within the Celtic fraternity that the game is up for Rangers. The laughter has abated and they even feel a degree of sympathy for us. They are looking at a future now that might not be seriously challenged by Rangers, and as they come to terms with it, there is a grudging realisation that they are poorer for it. Now that the big two has been reduced to the big one, the intensity has disappeared, the temperature has cooled and the colour has faded. Celtic fans are living in a monochrome world where the competition is either walkover material or too good for them. It is a bore. It's not boring being a Rangers fan, though. The football may be rotten but when was clinging to a life raft ever boring? Rangers fans are living out an outrageous soap opera where each twist is more absurd than the last one. This Rangers saga could not have been made up or engineered even by a bitter and hateful enemy. It is a tale of woe beyond imagination and comprehension, and with every day that passes, the realisation dawns that bouncing back is hard to do when the ball is burst. The leading figures at Rangers have become cartoon characters. There is nothing that they do which shocks or surprises. Talk of the stadium being sponsored for the grand total of £1 is eminently believable. This is the calibre of people Rangers FC is run by in the 21st century. Every statement, announcement or comment from the club is greeted with ridicule and dismissed as being symptomatic of a failed and toxic regime. Rangers has ceased to be a credible entity. It is crumbling and falling apart. We are often reminded when we complain about politicians that we get the governments we deserve. If the same can be said of the governance of football clubs, the Rangers support must have been guilty of something dreadful, or maybe we're just not that bright. Either way, Rangers fans have an allegiance to a club that is an asylum for the clueless, the calamitous, the absurd and the avaricious, and it is conspicuously rotten from the front gates of Auchenhowie to the top of the Ibrox Stadium flagpole. I have long believed that Rangers had a sell-by date. I always suspected that it was going to become an unwelcome institution in a changing world. I was concerned too that it would fail under 'private' ownership. The only solution was to become a fan-owned club that embraced a new enlightenment, but our failure in this area has been as embarrassing as it is shameful. As we remind ourselves, almost hourly, what a mess it is at the top of the house, we really have to take account of our own inability to properly attempt some kind of rescue. We may have been turned over, but we have been passive, mostly inactive and even apathetic during this crisis. As per usual, we wait on a saviour, and if there isn't one, we just keep waiting anyway. When the lights go out at Ibrox, or when they become so dim that they can barely be observed, ask yourself - how will Scotland remember Rangers? Fifty years after Rangers' passing, how will our children and grandchildren remember the football club that is so much part of our lives? I suggest that Rangers will be remembered with the same kind of affection that BBC Radio Scotland and Radio Clyde currently have for our club. We will not be fondly remembered or missed. The country will be glad to see the back of Rangers and it will speak of us in a highly derogatory tone when enough time has elapsed to make us a distant memory. Bearing in mind our current predicament - and we are all aware that another collapse could be close - not only would we lose a club that is dear to us, as people, we would be marked down by history for having an association with a club that will almost certainly be remembered as a monument to bigotry. And with this double whammy in mind, what do we do? We wait, and wait, and then wait some more. History won't be kind to us for this either.
  12. Regarding Mike Ashley, the question of dual club ownership and the rumoured '10% rule', for anyone interested in reading the exact rules in the current 2014/15 SFA Handbook (Articles of Association/rules & regulations) just have a quick read of Article number 13. titled "Dual interests in clubs" which starts on page 90 of the Handbook PDF document. http://www.scottishfa.co.uk/resources/documents/SFAPublications/ScottishFAPublications2014-15/Handbook%202014-15..pdf
  13. http://www.gersnet.co.uk/index.php/latest-news/272-rangers-being-held-hostage-stockholm-syndrome It’s been a stressful week for those interested in the well-being of Rangers Football Club. Not only does the club admit to the Stock Exchange that if the latest share offer is under-subscribed it will be unable to pay its creditors; we have key board members who represent the interests of the vast bulk of existing shareholders conceding that his and our CEO’s intentions are different, confirming a split at board level. Meanwhile the negative detail of each onerous contract placed upon the club are drip-fed to concerned fans on a week-to-week basis: from retail deals where the money is yet to be released to our struggling accounts to stadium naming rights which appear to be the result of self-interest rather than good value. Never has it been more obvious that our club is being held hostage to the whim of chancers. Yet, bizarrely, almost in a comedic fashion, we have some fans absolving these people of blame. Wikipedia describes Stockholm syndrome, or capture-bonding, as ‘a psychological phenomenon in which hostages express empathy and sympathy and have positive feelings toward their captors, sometimes to the point of defending and identifying with them.’ The syndrome itself is named after the Norrmalmstorg robbery of Kreditbanken in Stockholm, Sweden, in which several bank employees were held hostage in a bank vault from August 23 to 28, 1973, while their captors negotiated with police. During this standoff, the victims became emotionally attached to their captors, rejected assistance from government officials at one point, and even defended their captors after they were freed from their six-day ordeal. Ok, I’ll admit at the outset the analogy is a bit strong but if we examine the last few years – from the excesses of Sir David Murray to the actions of Craig Whyte right through to the present day incumbents, there are examples of the above. These include the eyes-wide-shut worship of Murray onto the lauding of Whyte’s supposed net-worth despite all the evidence to the contrary at the very outset to some fans insisting the ‘current’ board are not to blame for the club’s position now. Indeed, not only do we have bloggers continue to suggest Charles Green remains interested in the well-being of the club but we have various fans eager to hold their own as culpable in Rangers’ problems. Apparently it’s Dave King, the Union of Fans or Sons of Struth’s fault that the club cannot pay its bills. Similarly, possible investors such as Dave King who has proven his good intentions to the tune of £20million previously are mocked and pushed away. Conversely, some supporters are eager to extoll the virtue of Mike Ashley’s ongoing involvement despite many Newcastle fans being desperate to rid their club of him. He’s a billionaire they cry – without acknowledging the reason for his success is the kind of questionable retail and naming deals he strikes with clubs such as ours. Let’s be clear: the future of the football club is again in serious question and the danger should not be under-estimated. There has been a shortfall of at least 12,000 season tickets and it’s this lack of working capital that is directly impacting upon the club’s ability to trade. Thus, those that suggest the fans are to ‘blame’ for the financial problems are at least partly correct but the reasons are worth examining as well as the club’s inability to address this serious problem. Never has it been clearer that our money runs the club year on year – not Sir David Murray’s, not Craig Whyte’s and certainly not the anonymous investors currently in control of it. Therefore, engaging with the support should be a priority for any regime looking to make a success of the club. For all his faults, Murray realised this and while he was by the dominant partner in that relationship, we did have a nominal seat at the table and aside from a few small issues (comparatively speaking anyway!) crowds were always high and only his cowardice led to the Whyte debacle. Yet even in the dark days of that era attendances didn’t drop and after administration we had capacity crowd after capacity crowd. The same can be said after we fell to Division Three – our support did not dissipate and our loyalty should never be questioned. Not by anyone – least of all our own. Unfortunately the last year or so has seen attitudes change: not due to fans becoming lazy or greedy but because of a combination of factors. Firstly it become clear that much of the substantial monies raised in backing the Charles Green ownership were wasted and his associates less than ideal custodians of the club. In the face of this criticism, board changes were made and supposedly extensive reviews into the business carried out but the paucity of these contributions didn’t provide much solace. A poor quality (or at best inconsistent) product on the park wasn’t helping but promised changes highlighted in the review to address this have not been forthcoming. Thus, reluctantly, and by way of protest, many fans chose to withhold their investment and, if we’re brutally honest, that’s understandable. Generally, the last year has seen fans become ever more frustrated with their club and increasingly obvious evidence that the incumbent board – or more accurately the decision-making investment groups – cannot turn things around. Not just in terms of the £30million investment talked of in their empirical reviews but the kind of credible and transparent leadership required to rebuild trust in the boardroom and entice fans back to Ibrox. With almost 250 staff members and overheads of aging stadiums, training grounds and dilapidated white elephant buildings, is it any wonder a new administration event looms large on the horizon? Consequently, where does that leave us? Well, I’d suggest we have two distinct pathways ahead. One: if as seems likely, the share offer is subscribed enough to defer our problems to another day; we’ll have the fait accompli of 75% share-holding levels for approval of AGM/EGM resolutions related to the sale and/or leaseback of club assets ¬– such as the Auchenhowie training ground which has consistently been ignored by club representatives when talking about such revenue sources. Or, two: investment groups are able by way of this issue to consolidate their holdings enough to enable a sale to other interested parties. Now, I won’t try to predict the outcome but I’m certain both the existing ownership and the likes of Dave King and/or Mike Ashley will have planned for these eventualities over the last year. The events of the last week won’t be a surprise to them. What is easier to predict is that without one of these outcomes an insolvency event is inevitable as things stand. However, misguided suggestions that this may be an agreeable solution make me uneasy. For example, will onerous contracts be removed by this process, would ownership be guaranteed to change after it and what of the club’s league position after the fact? We don’t know so, simply put, no-one should look at administration with anything other than horror. On the other hand, neither should fans be emotionally blackmailed into providing what appears to be an ever-more toxic board and ownership with a mandate to stumble on in charge. The time for making excuses for these people has long gone. There is no defence of Charles Green and, whether he’s still involved now or not, his associates on the ‘current’ board are equally tainted by their deficiencies. With that in mind, what options are available to fans? Not many is the desperate answer. Yes we have worthy share initiatives like Buy Rangers and Rangers First but with further financial uncertainty abound, can we really expect fans to invest in shares after the events of 2012? Even so, we absolutely must consider such projects with an open mind but with the greatest will in the world, they’re arguably not a short term solution. Nevertheless, possibly buyers engaging with these groups going forward would go a long way to cementing the fans’ contribution in a better future. Indeed, it’s only through that kind of undertaking that we may finally achieve the kind of bond between supporters and ownership that has been missing for so long. Unfortunately, such a positive conclusion seems difficult to attain. The coming weeks and months will define the future and it may well be beyond the fans abilities to impact upon this. Nevertheless, neither should we be held to ransom by people who will never understand the love we have for our football club. We have a choice and while I’d never begin to tell my fellow fans what to do, at some point we have to stop identifying with people who don’t share our love for our club. In that sense Stockholm syndrome is not a workable survival strategy – it just prolongs our inability to escape from the status quo and it’s that kind of clarity every fan needs for our battles ahead. Either that or be held prisoner forever.
  14. RANGERS fan George Letham has reluctantly agreed to give the Ibrox board a short extension to repay the £1million loan that was due last week. The wealthy supporter stepped in to lend his boyhood heroes the seven-figure sum earlier this year as chief executive Graham Wallace was forced to seek a quick fix to the Gers' cash crisis. As part of the agreement, Rangers were scheduled to give Letham his money back by the close of business on Friday, but after the Light Blues announced plans to raise around £4m in a share option last week, the prospect of him receiving his money appeared bleak. SportTimes understands Letham held full and frank discussions with Wallace on Saturday and agreed to a short extension to allow the under-fire board more time to come up with the money. With cash reserves running low at Ibrox, a refusal from Letham would have left Wallace and his fellow-directors with a huge financial headache. But after stepping up to the plate to help Rangers in their hour of need in March, the lifelong Light Blue was not prepared to pull the rug from under the board's feet at this time. The full extent of the Gers' financial plight was laid bare in a statement to the Stock Exchange last week when the board admitted that the future of Rangers International Football Club plc would be 'uncertain' if all 19 million of the new shares were not snapped up by existing investors in the coming weeks. Any funds that are raised will be used to pay off Letham's £1m loan and the £500,000 deal that was agreed with Sandy Easdale, both of which were secured against the Albion car park and Edmiston House. The Ibrox board originally clinched a deal with major shareholders Laxey Partners but that move came under huge criticism from supporters after it was revealed the Hedge Fund would collect £150,000 in interest payments for the short-term loan. Rangers had a cash balance of just £4.2m at June 30 this year, but with £2.7m of that unavailable as use for working capital, the board have been forced to issue more shares in a bid to repay Letham and Easdale and provide much-needed money for the coming weeks. With the financial picture once again bleak at Ibrox, boss Ally McCoist was unable to make any last-minute moves to bolster his squad before the transfer window closed last night. The Gers' two most valuable assets, Lee Wallace and Lewis Macleod, remain at the club, but seven players have gone out on loan - Barrie McKay (Raith Rovers), Calum Gallacher (Cowdenbeath), Danny Stoney (Stranraer), Luca Gasparotto (Airdrie), Robbie Crawford (Morton), Tom Walsh (Stenhousemuir) and Craig Halkett (Clyde). http://www.eveningtimes.co.uk/rangers/letham-gives-rangers-extra-time-to-repay-1million-loan-178673n.25212709
  15. LIKE so many Rangers supporters of his generation, Lewis Macleod grew up idolising both Kris Boyd and Kenny Miller. So to find himself in the same side as the strike duo at Ibrox this season has been nothing short of a surreal experience for the youngster. "I watched Kris and Kenny when I was a boy so to be playing alongside them now is pretty weird," he said. "But it is brilliant as well. I am loving every minute of it." It has been obvious from his performances so far this term that Macleod has relished taking to the field alongside the two high-profile acquisitions. It was anticipated that the 20-year-old midfielder would take some time to rediscover his best form this season. He was, after all, sidelined for the second half of the last campaign with a debilitating virus that at one stage started to affect the muscles around his heart. Even Ally McCoist, a huge admirer of the skilful playmaker, felt he would have to be eased gently back into competitive action after he got the all-clear from medical staff to resume training. Yet Macleod has picked up where he left off last year and has been arguably the most consistent and effective Rangers player in their first seven competitive outings. He's also netted four goals in all competitions - a brace against Clyde and one apiece against Hibs and Falkirk. It was no surprise when he was linked with a move to English Championship club Wigan earlier this week. The speed with which the Scotland Under-21 internationalist has adapted to the demands of first-team football has surprised even him. However, he feels that the new arrivals to the Glasgow club have helped him to settle back into the side effortlessly. McCoist added five players to his squad before the transfer window shut on Monday night: Boyd, Miller, Darren McGregor, Marius Zaliukas and keeper Lee Robinson. The veteran strikers plus central defenders McGregor and Zaliukas slotted straight into the side and, after a shaky start, are performing well. "The new boys have fitted in perfectly," said Macleod. "In the first few games Boydy didn't really get going. But he is certainly off the mark now. "He got a hat-trick against Clyde and two against Queen's Park. He is also playing well for the team and is creating chances for others. "Kenny was injured for a few games but came back last Saturday and scored against Queen of the South at Ibrox." THE Ibrox starlet admitted: "It is strange to be playing with Boydy and Kenny and Lee McCulloch, too, as I grew up watching them. "I just put that to the back of my mind and concentrate on doing as well as I can. "It is fantastic to be alongside them in the Rangers starting XI as they are great players and can hopefully help us push on to more success. "It has been enjoyable to play with them. Hopefully they can keep doing as well as they've been doing so far and we can enjoy a good season." Winning the SPFL Championship and completing "The Journey" from the bottom tier back to the top flight is the first priority for Macleod and his Rangers team-mates in the months ahead. Their next task in that league quest will be a tricky trip to Kirkcaldy to face Raith Rovers a week on Friday. But with so many experienced players in the squad at Ibrox, their other objective will be to do well in the cup competitions - Petrofac Training Cup, League Cup and Scottish Cup. Macleod's call-up to the national Under-21s squad was a contributing factor in the postponement of the Petrofac Training Cup quarter-final tie against East Fife that was originally scheduled for Bayview this Saturday. Last week he helped the Gers beat Queen's Park to book a tantalising League Cup second round match against Premiership leaders Inverness Caledonian Thistle. It will be fascinating to see how the League One champs fare against their undefeated top-flight opponents at Ibrox on Tuesday, September 16. Macleod is confident his side can overcome the Highlanders, who beat them 3-0 at Ibrox in the same tournament two seasons ago. He feels that would show this Rangers side is capable of holding its own in the Premiership. "Inverness are an in-form side," he said, "but we are all looking forward to the match. "Hopefully we can beat Raith in our next league game and continue our good run of form into that cup tie. "We obviously want to beat Inverness. It would be brilliant and would prove a point. We did not play well the last time we met Inverness. It was even in the first half but they got the better of us after the break and won the game. "We will be looking for a different scoreline on September 16. The young boys who played that night, myself included, are more experienced now. "We all have over two seasons of senior football under our belts. "Plus, we've brought in some new players who have added a lot of quality. "A lot of things have changed here since we played Inverness the last time around. I hope we can see the difference when we play again." http://www.eveningtimes.co.uk/rangers/rangers-star-lewis-its-fan-tastic-to-play-with-my-heroes-178818n.25218452
  16. Yet another Sinky got wrong Just got a move to Norwich City that could net Falkirk £1 million. I watched him play in the same youth team as Darren Ramsay and Charlie Telfer for a couple of years, where as he may not have been the standout he wouldn't have been a candidate for release in my opinion. Gary Oliver who recently scored for Hearts, Lewis Spence and Lewis Martin who are now regulars at Dunfermline also played in the same team on occasions although they are a year younger.
  17. ..........but we want the 'right kind' of partner on board. THE need for a sponsor has never been greater, with clubs missing out on Celtic's Champions League cash bonus, but Iain Blair says that the powers that be won't be rushed into making a decision. Iain Blair of the SPFL SCOTLAND’S top clubs may have waved goodbye to a cash bonanza because of Celtic’s exit from the Champions League but SPFL chief Iain Blair says the season isn’t a write-off. Every Scottish Premiership club would have picked up £100,000 from UEFA had Celtic not crashed out to Maribor on Tuesday night. And with finances stretched, Blair admitted there was still no sign of a sponsor for our domestic league or the League Cup. He said: “We’re talking to people who are interested in the title and the cup sponsorship. Will it be this season? I can’t say. “We’d like there to be and we’re working towards that but I can’t say there will definitely be a sponsor this year. “People tend to have longer-term plans for their budgeted spend for sponsorship. “We only got to grips with it this time last year and although people think that’s a long time, with this kind of expenditure companies plan significantly in advance.” The news will not please club chairmen, especially with Blair insisting sponsorship had to be “the right kind”. So what type would the SPFL reject? He said: “We want someone who shares our values and ambitions. “It’s not simply a case of looking for someone who wants to publicise something, we want someone to partner us. “We need someone we’re comfortable working with. The guys are working on it as we speak and I’m confident we’ll get there.” Blair refused to adopt a pessimistic view after Celtic’s Euro flop, even though club bean counters will be putting away their calculators. He said: “Celtic can still progress in the Europa League and that could even help our co-efficient. So let’s not write the season off completely.” http://www.dailyrecord.co.uk/sport/football/football-news/spfl-chief-still-no-sign-4122017
  18. http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/0/football/22037966 Hopefully this will herald a bigger sportlight on the shady goings on in the east of the city by CFC, GCC et all...
  19. THE Ibrox side face Inverness in round two and have been told the winner will go straight into the hat for round three as one of the eight seeded sides. THE SPFL are braced for a backlash after it emerged Rangers could end up being seeded after today’s League Cup last 16 draw – despite the club being ranked 23rd. The Ibrox side face Inverness Caledonian Thistle in round two and have been told the winner will go straight into the hat for round three of the competition as one of the eight seeded sides. Aug 27, 2014 10:08 By Gavin Berry, Michael Gannon 3 Comments THE Ibrox side face Inverness in round two and have been told the winner will go straight into the hat for round three as one of the eight seeded sides. 19 Shares Share Tweet +1 Email SNS Group Rangers will be seeded if they beat ICT THE SPFL are braced for a backlash after it emerged Rangers could end up being seeded after today’s League Cup last 16 draw – despite the club being ranked 23rd. The Ibrox side face Inverness Caledonian Thistle in round two and have been told the winner will go straight into the hat for round three of the competition as one of the eight seeded sides. Do Rangers deserve to be seeded in the Third Round of the League Cup? YES NO The SPFL say they had to make the move as Gers are a round behind other clubs due to Ibrox being out of use during the Commonwealth Games. If they see off Caley, Rangers would avoid the big guns while the eighth-ranked side would get a tougher tie. But the SPFL insist their hands are tied ahead of today’s draw. Operations chief Anton Fagan said: “This was done to ensure the smooth running of the tournament.” http://www.dailyrecord.co.uk/sport/football/football-news/spfl-risk-fan-backlash-rangers-4114100
  20. ET Says a few truths in there and a bit more dignity from some quarters is very much missing. Maybe we should one day also consider him for a scouting role in Scotland, as he does the reasonable thing and scans the Junior football folk.
  21. RANGERS have moved to re-sign keeper Lee Robinson – five years after he quit the club. Manager Ally McCoist is in talks to land the 28-year-old, who is a free agent after leaving Raith Rovers at the end of last season. Robinson, who has also had spells at Kilmarnock, Queen of the South and Swedish outfit FK Ostersunds since departing Ibrox in 2009, is mulling over a one-year contract offer to provide cover for first-choice keeper Cammy Bell. Bell will be out for two weeks after fears that he had dislocated his shoulder and needed surgery were allayed. Veteran Steve Simonsen has been deputising but McCoist believes Robinson can eventually push Bell for the No 1 spot. McCoist’s hopes of doing further business this month could hinge on fringe players Sebastien Faure and Arnold Peralta being moved on. http://www.express.co.uk/sport/football/501685/EXCLUSIVE-Lee-Robinson-offered-Rangers-return
  22. Sunday, 24 August 2014 19:00 Lee Hopes For Minimal Changes Written by Andrew Dickson LEE WALLACE hopes Ally McCoist doesn’t rotate his team too much when he selects a side to face Queen’s Park on Tuesday night in the League Cup. With Rangers in the midst of a busy spell just now, the manager could be tempted to shuffle his pool for the meeting with the Spiders in Airdrie. Although Gers have scored 12 times in their last two outings against Clyde and Dumbarton, he’ll be keen to give some of his fringe squad members vital game time. Wallace appreciates it’s very possible McCoist will see the forthcoming fixture as the type in which to make temporary changes. But he’s hoping to retain his place as the Light Blues chase a place in the second round against SPFL Premiership leaders Inverness Caledonian Thistle, who beat Celtic yesterday. Scotland full-back Wallace, excellent in the 4-1 success against the Sons, said: “Again, the manager will make his mind up over the next couple of days regarding what team he puts out. “We were in training again today doing a recovery session and all we are focused on is Queen’s Park. “It’s an important game for us because we want to do well in the League Cup and everyone will want to be involved. “That’s the way it works at this club and especially off the back of two good results where everyone has come away feeling confident. “We feel good about ourselves. It’s the manager’s call and everyone needs to be professional about it if he decides to rotate a little bit. “We’ve a lot of quality players who maybe haven’t been playing and can certainly step in and do a good job. “Whatever happens, we’re looking forward to the match and we’ll just need to wait and see what the manager chooses to do.” http://www.rangers.co.uk/news/headlines/item/7519-lee-hopes-for-minimal-changes
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