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  1. Mike Ashley has been energised by the battle for Ibrox in a way that he never has by challenge of making Newcastle United competitive. On Saturday afternoon Newcastle United have their eighth crack at winning a Premier League match this season. If they swing and miss, it will be their longest winless run in the Premier League era: worse than the ill-starred 2008/9 relegation season and more desperate than the year that brought Sir Bobby Robson to Tyneside. Throw into the mix an undercooked team light on experience of a relegation battle and there can be little doubt that this is a time for minds to be focused. Even at this early stage survival appears the priority, but that cannot be taken for granted. And where is Mike Ashley? The owner’s scrutiny is not trained on the lame duck manager who is only ever one defeat away from losing further ground with a sceptical support but instead it is in a messy, protracted and potentially long-running takeover of Rangers. The Newcastle owner blew his own cover on Ibrox weeks, months or even a year or so ago. By dodging the share issue and banning a journalist who had speculated on his intentions towards Rangers, he tried the owner’s equivalent of an Ali shuffle – but the knockout punch has not yet been delivered. Rangers is going to be a slow burner for Ashley. Unlike Newcastle – where he found an owner willing to make a quick sale – there are messy and protracted battles to be fought at Ibrox with groups who are not going to relinquish their grip on a potential goldmine anytime soon. The motivation for investing in a fallen club that needs plenty of work is the promise of a potential route into the Champions League. Ashley’s mistakes have made that path impossible for Newcastle for a generation or so, but Rangers’ size and the impoverished standard of the competition give him a chance north of the border. And the Champions League gives him even greater profile than the Premier League in a sportswear market that he fancies a crack at: Europe. There are obstacles to be vaulted, of course: not least rules that state he cannot own majority stakes in clubs in both Scotland and England. But that is a hurdle to be clambered over when the time comes: the important thing is to elbow out the other prospectors sifting through the wreckage at Ibrox. Rangers is time-consuming for Ashley. It has caused him to take his eye off the ball at Newcastle and the consequences of that could yet be catastrophic for a club that appears rudderless, leaderless and entirely without hope at the moment. Ashley gutted Newcastle of people who would answer back to him. Managing director Lee Charnley owes his career to Ashley, and is hardly likely to stand up to him. We all know that Pardew will acquiesce if required. That is the way the owner wanted it – him dipping in and out of Newcastle when it suited him. Ever since Rangers became a serious interest for him, the dynamic has changed. Ashley may be more visible at Newcastle – naming himself as chairman over the course of this year – but he has not been as involved as he was before. A source I spoke to said his greatest hope was that people would run it for him, keeping it ticking along for a while. He simply doesn’t have time for Newcastle anymore. There is a shiny new toy north of the border and the fight for control at Ibrox has energised him much more than the battle to make Newcastle United competitive has. And what is unfolding north of the border is very, very messy indeed. For those still in any doubt, it is worth taking a quick journey through the coverage of Ashley’s actions north of the border. Festering worry about his intentions has given way to outright disgust at the way he has operated in the last couple of months. Just like he has with Tesco and Debenhams, Ashley has struck at a moment of weakness. That is savvy strategy from a sharp businessman, but it doesn’t mean that Rangers fans should be happy about what is happening. Not that many are, despite claims from a couple of Old Firm icons this week that Ashley might be the man to return the club to its perch. The Daily Record’s Michael Gannon wrote a withering editorial two weeks ago challenging that belief: capturing the scorched earth policy of Ashley and his unquestioning acolytes perfectly. Warning that sometimes the devil you know can be worse than the devil you don’t, he wrote: “He is simply out to bag a quick buck at Rangers.” It is a familiar theme when the subject of Ashley and the Ibrox club are brought up: money is the reason he is hanging around. Not necessarily money that will be made directly off the club’s success but more the reflected perks of owning an institution that can reasonably challenge for the Champions League in a couple of seasons with pretty minimal investment. Gannon summed up his latest power play in a couple of damning sentences. “He could have sunk in money at last month’s share issue and it would have gone to the club,” he wrote. “Instead he waited and bought out Hargreave Hale. It strengthened his position and rubbed the board’s face in it after they refused to cave in to strict demands in return for a loan.” It is Ashley to a tee. Stubborn, obstinate and looking entirely after number one. The worry is that Newcastle United’s Premier League status will become collateral in the battle for Newcastle United. http://www.chroniclelive.co.uk/sport/football/football-news/newcastle-united-become-collateral-damage-7943767
  2. Take it with a pinch of salt, keep your fingers crossed or whatever takes your fancy, but there's been rumours in the African press for several days that Bilel Mohsni could be offski to play for Club Africain in Tunisia. See poor translations and article links below. http://fr.starafrica.com/football/mercato-bilel-mohsni-dans-le-viseur-du-club-africain.html http://www.africatopsports.com/2014/10/22/club-africain-bilel-mohsni-recrute-au-mercato-hivernal/ http://www.gnet.tn/revue-de-sport/mercato-club-africain-bilel-mohsni-dans-le-collimateur/id-menu-323.html
  3. Talking to Rangersitis (nice meeting you btw.) on Saturday afternoon we both debated whether it can be stopped via Sandy Easdale's proxy bloc and Ashley's holdings. Few things: 1. Will it be considered a resolution or just a simple loan authorised by the board? 2. Or will Ashley and Easdale bloc this through their voting rights on special resolutions? 3. By blocking the loan if it is seen as a resolution will concert party rights be triggered 4. By calling the EGM it looks to me as though the voting percentages won't matter here and that's why Ashley's calling the EGM in an effort to prevent the vote going through at a typical board meeting Would any of our more informed Gersnetters like to set us right?
  4. I thought id share this with you........ Hi Don Earlier this year Robert Marshall interviewed Rangers Legend Sandy Jardine for WATP Magazine. With all of the off-field issues that go on at the club we thought it would be worth sending this out so that everyone has the chance to read the words of a True Ranger and someone who cared deeply about our club. Sadly, Sandy had a relapse of his health issues and passed on the 24th April of this year. He is greatly missed. Sandy in Royal Blue The Sandy Jardine Interview - Part 1 Sandy Jardine is one of the true legends of our proud club’s illustrious 141-year history. He is without doubt Rangers’ best right back in living memory and can be held up as one of the greatest players to have turned out in a blue jersey. Born in Edinburgh with the Christian name of William, not far away from Hearts’ Tynecastle Stadium, I first remember laying eyes on Willie Jardine (as he was then known) when we played Queen’s Park in a Glasgow Cup match at Ibrox. He scored four goals that day, something that as a 12-year-old I would never forget! It’s fair to say I was impressed. I think to put it in context, if I had to pick a greatest ever ‘World XI’ then Sandy would be my first choice, not Cafu, not Lamb, not even the great George Cohen – he was that good. Some people might disagree but I watched him all through his career at full back and I never witnessed him having a bad game. I have been lucky enough to have known Sandy for a few years now and I was delighted when he accepted our invitation to do an interview with WATP Magazine. There is always something special about speaking with one of your heroes, that little thrill separates them from us mere mortals. Sandy is recovering from a life-threatening illness and it was really nice to be able to speak with him. Sandy, first of all how is your health? “I’m coming along fine Robert, I’m looking to be back working full time next year.” I’ve always known you as a bit of a workaholic so how are you coping at home? “It’s been a bit frustrating but I’ve been working away in the garden, taking things day by day and going walks to build my strength up. Thankfully I have been able to get back to a few games now.” How did you feel when the fans were applauding you in the second minute? “It was both humbling and emotional. I’m really grateful for all the messages of support I have had from the fans. They have been excellent.” Let’s start from the beginning, how and when did you join Rangers? “I went straight from schools football to Ibrox in 1965. I used to get on the train at Haymarket in Edinburgh through to Queen Street in Glasgow and jump on the subway over to Copland Road (as Ibrox underground was known back then). I even travelled with some of the greatest legends of that era: John Greig, Jimmy Millar, Ralph Brand, and later on we were joined by the Fife lads – including Billy Mathieson, Colin Stein, Willie Johnston. It was different then.” They would have been real legends to a young lad like yourself, how did you feel travelling with them? “Oh, they were great! They were always giving me advice and always had a good story to tell.” How did it feel going up the marble staircase for the first time? “You always remember your first time going up the marble staircase. It really epitomises everything about our club – class and dignity.” Moving to on-field matters, I remember you scoring four goals against Queen’s Park in a Glasgow Cup tie as a youngster coming through, what do you remember of that? “I was playing centre forward that night, and everything just clicked for me. It seemed that every time I touched the ball it went into the net.” I remember you as ‘Willie Jardine’ then, when did you become known as Sandy? “The players started calling me it around the time I made the first team, obviously because of the colour of my hair. I’m not really sure when it became my name publicly.” You seemed to play a few different positions before you settled down at full back, how did that come about? “Well, I made my debut in February 1967 against Hearts and played at right wing half. We won 5-1 and I kept my place for the rest of the season. When Willie Waddell came, he converted me to a right full back. I felt I was suited to playing there, and was there for most of my career.” Sandy is being humble when he said the position suited him. He was the first overlapping full back I ever witnessed in Scotland and he was outstanding there. He had everything you could want – stamina, speed, superb at a standing tackle, a fantastic reader of the game who brought others into play, and he was fond of popping up with a goal. I’m not exaggerating when I say he was world class. You were well known for your fitness. How influential was Jock Wallace in that? “Big Jock was brilliant for the players. He introduced the notorious Gullane Sands, which set us up for the season. People might joke about it but there were about nine members of that team that played well into their mid-thirties, which was uncommon in those days. We attributed that to his physical conditioning methods. Jock Wallace used to be an Army PT instructor and was quite revolutionary in what he introduced in training. He even brought in a professional sprint coach, which I felt I benefitted greatly from. We always seemed to score goals in the last ten minutes of games when other sides were tiring. We put that down to our superior fitness and that was due to Jock. The players all loved him, he was honest and upfront with you.” You played over 1100 first class games in your career. Which one was your favourite? “I wouldn’t say I had favourite games. I loved playing in every one. As far as importance goes, then obviously the European Cup Winners’ Cup Final victory in Barcelona in ’72 was the pinnacle of my career. Being a member of the only Rangers side to win a European trophy is something special. I played in the 1967 European Cup Winners’ Cup Final defeat to Bayern Munich, and I never really appreciated how big an achievement it was to get that far. It made me appreciate the victory against Moscow Dynamo even more.” Barcelona is one of my finest memories as a Rangers Supporter, what do you remember of the game? “It was a really good performance from the whole team. We were 2-0 up at half time through Steiny and Bud. We came out for the second half and when Bud added a third we had the game completely in control. The Russians, who were a very good team, scored a goal near the end and added a second with about five minutes to go. It must have been the longest five minutes of my career! The only disappointment was not being able to show the fans the trophy on the night.” That was a magnificent achievement, the single greatest triumph in our history – I thought everyone was fantastic on the night, but Dave Smith in my opinion had the best game of his career. Would you pick out anyone for special praise? “Davie had a brilliant game, but the whole team was brilliant. Throughout my career I wouldn’t like to pick out individuals. We won as a team and we lost as a team. We had a great spirit about us.” Although the team was fantastic on the night, I actually thought the best single team performance in the European Cup Winners’ Cup run was the semi-final at Ibrox against Bayern Munich. What are your memories of that game? “Well we were all-square from the first leg in Germany. Over there, we took an absolute battering that night! But we limited them to one goal. They were a great team, and went on to win three European Cups in a row with half the team being West German internationals. We got our equaliser through an own goal, but strangely in the last ten minutes of the game we were chasing the winner as Jock Wallace’s training methods allowed to keep going for the full ninety minutes. The second leg at Ibrox was completely different. We were always confident of beating anyone at home. That night there was 80,000 people crammed in to Ibrox and the atmosphere was amazing – probably the best I’ve ever played in. We started very brightly, and in the second minute I gathered the ball on the right-hand side, got myself forward and managed to hit the ball with my left foot and it sailed over Sepp Maier and into the top left-hand corner. You couldn’t hear yourself think. We added a second through Derek Parlane, who had replaced John Greig after he failed a fitness test. I had never seen any German team lose self-control the way they did that night, they were even arguing on the pitch. We had really gotten to them.” You must have been so proud to have played in that team? “I was and am. It was an amazing time, playing with great players and great people.” From a personal point of view, the 1972 Cup Winners’ Cup campaign defined the Rangers team of that era for me. We took on the national cup winners of France, Italy, Portugal, West Germany and Russia - some of the biggest footballing nations in Europe. We played with a style that was suited to the European arena and Willie Waddell must take great credit for that. Players like Sandy, John Greig, Derek Johnstone, Tommy McLean, Peter McCloy, Colin Jackson, and Alex MacDonald went on to be the mainstay of the team for most of the next decade. We also had the very underrated Willie Mathieson and Alfie Conn, the sublime Dave Smith, and of course Willie Johnston and Colin Stein. Some of these players must be included amongst the greatest ever to wear a Rangers shirt. And we will leave it here for part one. We have covered Sandy’s arrival at Rangers up to Barcelona 1972. In the second part we will concentrate on his domestic successes, on leaving Rangers and all his subsequent work at the club. We will also cover the march to Hampden and his hopes for the future. I’ll reiterate, it was an absolute pleasure to interview Sandy Jardine. He’s the quintessential Rangers man and everything you would expect from someone who has represented our great club both on and off the pitch for so many years. I was impressed with him as a player since I was 12 years old, and today, I impressed with him as a man.
  5. Mike Ashley has many business interests (including Sports Direct) and they have made him a very wealthy man. When he bought Newcastle United in June 2007 and said “Newcastle attracted me because everyone in England knows that it has the best fans in football… don’t get me wrong. I did not buy Newcastle to make money. I bought Newcastle because I love football.”….it must have sounded like manna from heaven to the Newcastle support as they may have thought more along the lines of ‘Champions League’ rather than ‘Championship’. http://www.therst.co.uk/coming-soon-ashley-and-the-vanishing-revenue/
  6. Former Celtic boss Neil Lennon has been named as the manager of Championship bottom side Bolton Wanderers. Lennon, 43, out of work since leaving Celtic in May after four years in charge, succeeds Dougie Freedman, who left the Trotters earlier this month. Bolton have won only one league game in 11 so far this season. Neil Lennon's managerial career at Celtic The Northern Irishman officially takes over at Bolton on Monday, with his first match in charge being Saturday's trip to Birmingham City. Lennon led Celtic to three league titles and two Scottish Cups and took them to the Champions League last 16. Victory over Barcelona in the group stage of Europe's elite club competition in November 2012 was Lennon's highest-profile achievement at the Glasgow club. Johan Mjallby, Lennon's number two in Glasgow, also joins the Trotters as assistant manager with Garry Parker, another who served at Celtic Park, arriving as first-team coach. Lennon had last month expressed interest in vacant posts at Bolton's Championship rivals Cardiff City and Fulham http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/0/football/29589068
  7. Hamilton Academical extended their lead at the top of the Scottish Premiership with an emphatic win over a lacklustre Aberdeen. A double from Tony Andreu set a roaring Accies on their way as they put Aberdeen to the sword with ease. And a late finish from Mikael Antoine-Curier rounded off a display that proved Alex Neil's outfit are well worth their place at the summit. The win opens up a four-point gap between them and Dundee United. Alex Neil's home side came into the match in buoyant mood, having recorded their first win at Celtic Park for 76 years in their last outing, and they looked up for it from the off, zipping the ball around with pace and confidence as they looked to stamp their authority on proceedings early on. They very nearly found an opening, as Danny Redmond picked up an Antoine-Curier pass to send in a delivery looking for Dougie Imrie but, luckily for Derek McInnes' men, Mark Reynolds was alert and able to get it behind for a corner. With the visitors struggling to find a rhythm, the Lanarkshire club continued to press, looking dangerous with every pursuit. And, they got their reward when Andreu capitalised on slack defending to open the scoring. Following a flowing team move and hesitant Aberdeen defending - with Ash Taylor failing to clear his lines - an Imrie assist gifted Andreu a simple finish. Going behind shocked Aberdeen into action, as they began to stem the flow of attacks and make strides of their own. And, they could have easily levelled terms through Adam Rooney, the ball cannoning down field allowing the striker to get himself clean through, but he scuffed his shot, making it easy for stopper Michael McGovern to mop up. Next up, David Goodwillie had his moment to shine, after Barry Robson set him up in with a pinpoint pass but the impressive McGovern again pulled off a solid save. The tide was turning, however, it still looked like Aberdeen's weak defending could be their undoing every time they were asked questions. They almost found themselves further adrift when Andrew Considine missed a ball through to give Imrie a sight at goal, but his blushes were spared by the quick thinking of Jamie Langfield, who rushed from his line to dispel the danger. Soon after, the New Douglas Park faithful were calling for a spot-kick, after Antoine-Curier juggled the ball just inside the box and claimed for a handball against Robson, only for referee Kevin Clancy to wave away protests. As half-time neared, the trailing 11 had an opportunity to restore parity when Goodwillie managed to make room on the wing and float in for the busy Rooney but he was unable to connect and, in the end, McGovern had enough time to gather. The second half started in the same frenetic fashion of the first, with both teams pushing forward with intent. And, despite Aberdeen seeming to have gained momentum after coming close with a Reynolds header that looped over, their good work was soon undone as they found themselves two down. It was Andreu at it again, rounding off a sweeping charge by slotting in an assured cutback from Redmond. That knocked the wind out of McInnes' players, and they continued to be under the cosh, young midfielder Redmond, linking well with Jesus Garcia-Tena, proving the orchestrator for much of the threat. The Reds needed a spark, and that quickly came when substitute Niall McGinn entered the fray. He was at the heart of a move that almost ended with the deficit being halved, as he headed a cross back across the box begging for a conversion, but the free Rooney could not get the vital touch. Northern Irishman McGinn then came within a whisker of netting himself courtesy of a well-struck set-piece, but he could only watch on as it sailed wide. For all that Aberdeen huffed and puffed, they could not find a way back, and the hosts rounded off a perfect evening when Antoine-Courier connected with Ali Crawford's delivery to calmly slot home, giving them their 10th win in all competitions this campaign and fifth clean sheet on the bounce. Att: 4,093 http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/0/football/29563365
  8. Should be a good game tonight. THE Scotland boss arrived in Warsaw on Monday without key defender Grant Hanley and with serious concern over the fitness of little talisman Ikechi Anya. GORDON Strachan last night insisted injury-hit Scotland are not running scared of table-topping Poland in Group D. The national boss jetted into Warsaw yesterday without key defender Grant Hanley and with serious concern over the fitness of little talisman Ikechi Anya. While Hanley has been sent back to Blackburn for treatment Anya travelled with the squad but did not train at the National Stadium as Strachan went through his final preparations ahead of tonight’s showdown. The manager is likely to replace Hanley with Brighton stopper Gordon Greer – who was paired up with Russell Martin here back in March when Scotland notched a 1-0 friendly win. But even though there are no obvious replacements for left winger Anya, Strachan remained in seriously bullish mood yesterday on the back of Saturday’s 1-0 triumph over Georgia. And not even Poland’s shock 2-0 win over world champions Germany has dampened his spirits. He said: “It would be great if Anya makes it but even if he doesn’t we’re not scared of the situation. We have other people who are ready to go. “Hanley took a knock to his knee in the Georgia game and is away home. “Ikechi also had an injury and won’t train. We’ll have a look at him – he has tightness in his calf. “We’d prefer to have both players but we’ll be all right. On Sunday night I didn’t go into any real panic about it.” And so supremely confident is Strachan that he insists Scotland are here not just to take a point from the high-flying Poles but to beat them. He said: “Maybe during the game I might settle for a point but at this moment let’s go for all three.” SCOTLAND'S RECORD V POLAND Poland have entertained Scotland on five occasions before tonight. Here Record Sport gives a rundown of those games. POLAND 1, SCOTLAND 2 (Warsaw, June 1958) Celtic inside right Bobby Collins scored a goal in each half as Scotland won the first meeting between the teams. The game formed part of the visitors’ final preparations for the 1958 World Cup finals in Sweden. POLAND 1, SCOTLAND 1 (Chorzow, May 1965) Collins, now with Don Revie’s great Leeds United team, also played in this World Cup qualifier which was Jock Stein’s first match in charge of the national team. Denis Law earned Scotland a point when he equalised in the 76th minute, but the failure to beat the Poles in the group meant they finished behind Italy and missed out on the finals in England the following summer. POLAND 1, SCOTLAND 0 (Poznan, May 1980) Current manager Gordon Strachan was in the Scotland team that lost narrowly in a friendly during Stein’s second spell in charge. A strikeforce featuring Kenny Dalglish, Joe Jordan and Steve Archibald were over-shadowed by Poland great Zbigniew Boniek, whose shot deflected in off Willie Miller. POLAND 1, SCOTLAND 1 (Bydgoszcz, April 2001) Scott Booth earned Scotland a draw in a friendly which saw Craig Brown hand debuts to seven players – Barry Nicholson, Gavin Rae, Charlie Miller, John O’Neil, Kenny Miller, Andy McLaren and Steven Caldwell. Radoslaw Kaluzny headed the hosts in front, arguably from an offside position, when he beat Neil Sullivan to a free-kick, but Booth’s emphatic penalty gave a makeshift Scotland an unlikely draw. POLAND 0, SCOTLAND 1 (Warsaw, March 2014) The countries were drawn in the same European Championship qualifying group just after arranging a friendly earlier this year. The Scots gave themselves a morale boost ahead of the real thing when Scott Brown fired home a late left-foot strike, although the hosts were missing their injured star striker Robert Lewandowski. http://www.dailyrecord.co.uk/sport/football/football-news/scotland-v-poland-gordon-strachan-4433307 I can see a score draw tonight.
  9. http://m.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-29527838 Rangers FC are omitted from the survey and calculator because they did not provide data to the BBC. Did we boycott or were just unable to respond?
  10. Not sure if it'll benefit us when we do eventually play under the lights of Ibrox in the CL again. http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/0/football/29562047 One can only hope!
  11. "The Rangers Standard has received documentary evidence which appears to prove the links between Charles Green, Imran Ahmad and Rafat Rizvi and reveals the extent to which Rizvi was involved in the purchase of Rangers. The documents show the three men arguing over payments due to be made from the club and detail which shareholders Rizvi introduced. There are also claims from Rizvi that Green and Ahmad are holding shares for him and requesting that these be transferred to another entity." http://www.therangersstandard.co.uk/index.php/articles/current-affairs/329-rizvi-lawyers-ready-to-tuck-into-the-rfc-carcass-all-over-again
  12. A LIFE-LONG Rangers fan today vowed to restore the grave of legendary manager Bill Struth. The boss was at the club's helm for more than 30 years, from 1920. Struth died, aged 83, in 1956, and was buried in a Glasgow cemetery, less than a mile from Ibrox. Today the Evening Times reveals how the grave of the club legend faces ruin and neglect. The final resting place of the most decorated manager in British football history lies crumbling in a forgotten corner of the cemetery. Now, Craig Houston, who instigated the supporters' group Sons of Struth, is spearheading a campaign to restore and maintain the legendary Light Blues manager's headstone. As he stood at Struth's memorial in Craigton, on the South Side of Glasgow, Craig said: "Bill was the most important man in the history of Rangers Football Club. "I have a phenomenal amount of respect for the man and it really saddens me to see his grave fallen into disrepair. "He did so much for Rangers, now we want to give something back and repair his grave." The high regard Struth is held in by Rangers fans is not just because of the success he enjoyed during his 33-year period as manager. With 73 *trophies to his name, Struth is the most decorated manager in British football history, despite retiring back in 1954. But his level of standards are the ones Rangers have prided themselves on throughout their 140 years of history. Since Struth every Rangers manager, from Graeme Souness to Walter Smith, have strived to be at his level. Craig said: "Bill Struth is a legendary figure at Rangers, that's how we arrived at the name The Sons of Struth for our group. "I didn't even know where his grave was, but when I went to see it and realised it had fallen into disrepair, I felt really strongly about it. "I knew something needed to be done." One-time stonemason Struth helped to carve the future of the Ibrox club in the first half of the last century. He was known as a strict disciplinarian, and the high standards Struth demanded helped to ensure Rangers became the most successful league club in Scotland and the world. Craig now wants the ideals Struth instilled in those around him to live on -especially at his grave. He said: "It is a privilege to be given permission from the Struth family to carry out repairs. "I want to make Struth's grave somewhere all Rangers fans can go to visit. "I want them to feel the emotion I did, standing at his grave." To donate to the fund, visit http://www.facebook.com/SonsOfStruth http://www.eveningtimes.co.uk/news/fan-begins-bid-to-restore-grave-of-rangers-legend-184328n.25551395
  13. Just watched this game and Iceland deserved their win
  14. Ashely is already wired into the commercial side of Rangers and has an almost embarrassing list of what some may call 'onerous contracts' and prospective or options for more. Let's go down South to the North of England and see if we can get a handle on his MO regards the commercial revenue at a football club where he has control. In the three years prior to Ashley taking over, have a look at how much of the 'revenue pie' that commercial income contributed to overall Newcastle Utd. turnover. (guide re. revenue tables below) MD: Matchday BR: Broadcasting CR: Commercial %CR/T: % CR of Turnover Figures are Pounds Sterling / Millions Pre Ashely .....................Turnover........MD........BR. ...........CR...............%CR/T 2004/05.............87.1..........35.3......27.9....... ..23.9.........(27%) 2005/06.............85.9..........31.5......26.5....... ..27.9.........(32%) 2006/07.............87.1..........33.6......25.9....... ..27.6.........(32%) Now have a look at some more recent figures with the Ashely/Sports Direct influence. .....................Turnover........MD........BR. ...........CR...............%CR/T 2011/12............93.3...........23.9......55.6....... ..13.8.........(15%) Brief Conclusion The Ashely MO regards football clubs would seem to mean that of the commercial revenue generated, a large percentage (around 50% in the case of NUFC) goes elsewhere, probably Sports Direct. The problem with doing similar (or worse) at Rangers is that the broadcasting revenue is miniscule in comparison and the MO isn't viable. Thoughts ? Link from where I got some of the info....Interesting article from November 2013. 'Newcastle United Financial Accounts – Where Has The Money Gone Under Mike Ashley?' http://www.themag.co.uk/tyne-talk/ggg/
  15. ...the Ibrox throne is big enough for Mike Ashley and Dave King. AS King and Ashley continue to vie for control at Rangers, KEITH insists it may be in both men's interests to discover a common ground that incorporates the interests of the club and its fans. THEIR tanks have rumbled into Edmiston Drive, ready for the climactic Rangers shootout. But before Mike Ashley and Dave King begin blowing each other to bits outside the Big Hoose, perhaps it might make more sense for them to find a better way. Maybe, before the guns start blazing, there is a chance for them to discover common ground. Of course, that would require a bit of common sense and where this club is concerned there is seldom any place for sound logic. But let’s indulge ourselves for a moment in any case and pretend that the two men, who seem so willing to go to war over Rangers, may still be capable of some eleventh-hour reason. Ask yourself this. If you were Ashley why on earth wouldn’t you want King to take control? Those closest to the Sports Direct boss – and even those Newcastle fans who can’t stand the sight of him – all agree that his primary focus is on protecting and expanding his bargain-basement retail business. Which makes perfect sense. Okay, so Slazenger polo shirts and laceless Lonsdale trainers might not be everyone’s giant novelty mug of tea but Ashley’s firm has always been more Buroo-lander than Zoolander. It’s a high street jumble sale and it’s made the man a fortune. This real-life Derek Trotter is a genuine billionaire. Not like the last one who, for all anyone knows – including Glasgow’s finest for that matter – may be currently strolling around some town centre in Panama dressed in Lee Cooper and Le Coq Sportif. He always did have a bulging eye for a bargain. But be that as it may, Ashley deserves to be taken a great deal more seriously. Which is precisely why now might be the ideal time for King to sit him down for a chat, assuming of course that he really is serious about handing over so much of his children’s inheritance. King has not always convinced and not just because of the 41 criminal convictions for stiffing the tax man which have stained his name in South Africa. His PR has been poorly thought out and his strategy over the last 12 months impossible to fathom as he has tip-toed around the edges of this farrago without ever looking prepared to get his feet wet or his hands dirty. But finally he has waded back in, promising an initial £16million bailout and more millions to follow. For that reason alone he deserves to be taken seriously, even by those who continue to doubt him. If Ashley counts himself among those cynics, what would be the harm in asking to see the colour of his money? Because if it really is the case Ashley is interested only in what is best for his own business, there is no reason for this pair to remain hostile over the running of Rangers. Yes, in an ideal world, King may wish to walk into Ibrox on day one and rip up the retail contract Ashley is apparently so determined to protect. This seven-year kit deal, of course, was gifted to him by Charles Green and has been described by those who have seen it as a ludicrously generous and one-sided agreement. Green later wasted a small fortune of Rangers money on legal fees in a failed attempt to have it annulled but the consensus is that this contract is watertight. In other words, Rangers have already sold the jerseys to Ashley and there is nothing King or anyone else can do about it, even if it means the loss of millions of pounds. And this is where logic ought to kick in because if Ashley wants to keep coining it in from shirts and merchandise then surely King’s arrival as a potential saviour stands to make him even richer? King, after all, is perhaps the one man capable not only of uniting a fractured Rangers support but also prepared to throw good money after bad in the reconstruction of a club which continues to hang by the thinnest of threads. If indeed there is enough cash left in the bank to cover this month’s payday then November’s could be a killer. But only in this omnishambles could a business that is wheezing and gasping for breath continue to keep a £30m life-saving injection so stubbornly at arm’s length. King wants to save them. But he can’t get his money bags across the front step. And, yes, logic dictates that Ashley must see the sheer lunacy in this. Over the past few months around 15,000 Rangers fans have gone missing from Ibrox. The numbers are so large that they have blown a hole in Graham Wallace’s attempts to keep the business afloat. And there is a danger many more thousands will follow if Ashley guns King down in the battle for control, while also boycotting his stores. However, if King was to walk back in, flanked by fellow lifelong supporters such as Paul Murray and George Letham, then it is almost certain business will begin to boom again at the turnstiles and in the club stores which Ashley also now has firmly in his grasp. King plans to plough £8m into the coffers with Murray, Letham and a group of wealthy fans cobbling enough together to match him pound for pound. Straight off the bat, that’s £16m that Ashley doesn’t need to bother looking for down the back of his office sofa. There will be more to come as King intends to invest his whole £30m in returning his club to a fit and competitive state and to restore a stadium which, much like the team, is in a state of decay. This is King’s manifesto and so long as he can convince Ashley he is for real and that the money is there and good to go, then both Rangers and Sports Direct stand to benefit from it hugely. So tell me, what possible logic is there in Ashley blowing this man away? The answer is, there isn’t any. Or at least, none that is obvious from the outside of this wretched mess. Which means there must be something hidden from view, perhaps even something deeply suspicious behind the naked act of aggression earlier this week which saw Ashley set his sights on Wallace and Philip Nash, the men trying to facilitate King and his consortium. What else is there to hide here? Surely nothing that stretches back to when Ashley climbed into bed with Green in the first instance and began this merciless pumping of Ibrox? Come to think of it, who on earth did bring these two together? He already owns the strips and the shops which sell them. He bought the stadium’s naming rights for a quid. And had Wallace not grown a pair last month then he would have owned the club’s badges by now as well. But it’s hard to see the value in any of it if Ashley’s power grab does indeed drive more and more of the customer base away. In fact, it will cost him millions of pounds in emergency loans just to continue to light up an increasingly empty stadium. If he’s not careful he could end up sitting alone in the directors’ box with only his drinking buddies, Sandy and James Easdale for company and if that thought doesn’t terrify him then it should. This club is broken and it needs fixed, not by a bunch of Trotters Independent Traders but by those who genuinely care for it. If Ashley cannot, or will not, see the logic in that then it will indeed be time to clamber back into the tanks. http://www.dailyrecord.co.uk/sport/football/football-news/keith-jackson-another-rangers-war-4411056
  16. Ex- Scotland winger recalls run-ins with Symon, the SFA and World Cup scandal Young Matt Johnston thought he had a head start on his school-mates when the teacher announced the latest class project, learning about the lives of sportsmen. After all, which of them could call on a top footballer for a grandfather who’d scored in European finals and played in World Cups? “So he’s doing his research and he finds out this other stuff about me,” chuckles Grandpa Willie with his smoker’s rasp. “I’m telling him: ‘Matty, you can’t put that in your school book!’ We had to do a fair bit of editing.” The other stuff. Twenty times sent off or was it 22? Virtually run out of Scotland because of his bad-boy rep – of England, too. Pitches up in the North American Soccer League where he drops his shorts to taunt Bruce Rioch after a penalty-shootout winner (fine: $2000) and in another game is ordered off at gunpoint. Then there’s Argentina and the little yellow pills, melting in his hand under the world’s fierce lenses. William McClure Johnston is not in the business of bowdlerising his own mythology; regarding the school project he was simply protecting the innocent. Today in Kirkcaldy, sipping half pints in a beer garden close to the seafront, he will talk about the lot. He will have your correspondent in stitches with his impressions of Rangers’ authoritarian managers Scot Symon and Willie Waddell. These comic interludes are detail-packed – how lights outside the office would flash red for “Wait” and green for “Enter”, how Symon would always brush the fluff from your shoulder and straighten your tie – and they’re so funny that punters who stop to listen will fetch him more half pints. But this is a tale with its sadnesses too. Bud, as he is known to all, has been asked a zillion times about his last game for Scotland – Peru in the 1978 World Cup – and the drugs, although I want to hear about the first of his 22 caps, against Poland in 1965. Scotland travel to Warsaw next week on Euro Championship business; 49 years ago the Poles came to Hampden to play a Scotland team desperate to be at England’s World Cup party. “It was a surprise to be called up because I was 18 and just a laddie,” recalls Johnston. “I was in awe of guys like Alan Gilzean and especially Denis Law and thought I’d just been brought along for the experience but then Big Jock [stein, then in temporary charge of the national side] told me I’d be playing. What a thrill!” Scotland had already drawn in Warsaw and were unbeaten in their group. A fantastic crowd of 107,580 crammed onto the wood and ash slopes, including Johnston’s brothers Alan and Les, and future wife Margaret whom he’d recently met at the dancing. The customary pre-match fag was required to calm the nerves. Our man did well, The Scotsman’s John Rafferty hailing a “speedy” and “exciting” performance on the left wing by the ex-pitboy from Cardenden. But although Scotland led at half-time through Billy McNeill, the game would be lost in the last six minutes. Rafferty reported “angry booing” at the end and extracted this quote from a watching Willie Ross, secretary of state for Scotland: “Thank goodness they can’t blame me for this result.” Now 67, Johnston remembers a despondent dressing room. Scotland needed to beat Italy home and away to qualify and could only manage the first part. “Of all the World Cups to miss!” he says. Watching from home on TV, how did he greet England’s triumph? “Well, I didn’t want them to win it but when they did I thought: ‘Fair enough’. Years later me and Bally [Alan Ball] – a great guy – were at Vancouver Whitecaps together. I’d say to him: ‘But you played all your games at Wembley - if the World Cup had been in Scotland we’d have won it’. He’d disappear for a couple of minutes and come back: ‘Hey Willie, got one of these?’ I tell you, I was sick of the sight of that bloody medal.” If you remember Johnston’s pure dead gallus style, mention of nerves might seem strange. But he has always been a different man away from the pitch: shy, quiet, happiest in Fife. He still lives behind the pub he used to run, the Port Brae, and these days drinks across the road in Brodie’s. Playing 393 games for Rangers and 261 for West Bromwich Albion, of course, he was rarely quiet. Johnston was one of a great Scottish tanner-ba’ troika which ruled the flanks for a decade. Willie Henderson was first to prominence, then came Jimmy Johnstone. Johnston, who scored twice in Rangers’ Cup-Winners’ Cup triumph at the Nou Camp, was the youngest of them and the last of a kind. After that, in common with a few Scottish assembly lines in the 1970s, production was severely disrupted, eventually grinding to a halt. “I didn’t actually want to be a winger,” he says. “I fancied myself as more of an old-fashioned inside-forward but because I was nippy I was put on the wing.” How nippy? What was his PB for the 100-yard dash? “I couldn’t have run 100. What a waste of time. Twenty or maybe 30. At training at Rangers I used to run in my pit boots to give the other guys a chance. Even over jumps I could aye beat them.” He even wore these clompers during the notorious sessions on the sand dunes at Gullane, East Lothian and is the first old Ranger I’ve met who claims to have actually enjoyed them. He laughs at the memory of Jock Wallace, barking orders. “Did you ever see that movie The Hill? Ian Bannen as the sadistic sergeant? That was Jock. “Anyway, out on the wing, not getting the ball, I got bored so I’d chat to the crowd, wind up the opposition fans. I got called everything under the sun but I didn’t care. At a shy I’d throw the ball like this,” he says, standing to demonstrate, “and flick the vickys behind my back.”
  17. STEVEN Hammell will never give up hope of adding to his solitary cap for Scotland – but the veteran Motherwell left-back admits there is now a stand-alone candidate to fill that position in the national team for the foreseeable future. Andrew Robertson is expected to make his third appearance for Scotland in tomorrow’s Euro 2016 qualifier against Georgia at Ibrox, the 20-year-old having enjoyed a meteoric rise to prominence over the past 18 months. Now shining in the English Premier League with Hull City, who paid £2.85 million for him in the summer following his outstanding debut season at Dundee United, Robertson appears poised to establish himself as Gordon Strachan’s first-choice left-back. It has been a problematic role for Scotland in the recent past with Hammell, who earned his only cap so far in a friendly against Sweden in 2004, drafted into Strachan’s squad on three occasions last year as cover. The 32-year-old says he will always remain ready to answer his country’s call but believes Robertson is now very much the man in possession at left-back. “Andy has been excellent,” observed Hammell. “I’ve been really impressed with him. The jump from the Scottish Premiership to the English Premier League is massive but I’ve seen a couple of his games for Hull on TV and he’s coped with it well. “They play a system that suits him down there and he’s handled it all well. Scotland need someone who will cement that position as their own because over the last five or six years there hasn’t been a guaranteed first-choice left-back. “I can see Andy being there for a few years to come. Whenever we played against Dundee United last season, he was really impressive. He’s comfortable defending but he’s a threat going forward as well. “He’s got that thing that all youngsters have where he plays without fear and he seems to really enjoy the games. I just hope he keeps progressing. “I think we’re stronger now in the left-back department compared to when I was called into the squad last summer. As well as Robertson, Steven Whittaker has played there a few times and been excellent, the boy Craig Forsyth at Derby County has played really well and then there’s Lee Wallace at Rangers, so there’s definitely options. “On a personal level you never give up on Scotland. I really enjoyed my time being involved with the squad last season but the start of this season hasn’t gone as I’d have expected with the injury I’ve had and I’m just focusing on getting fit, getting back into the Motherwell team and hopefully getting us up that Premiership table. “When I was called up by Scotland last season, Lee Wallace was injured and Steven Whittaker was suspended. I was in Largs doing my A licence coaching course at the time when Stuart McCall phoned me. I thought it was about something to do with Motherwell, but he asked me if I was okay to join the Scotland squad. It was a bit of a shock but I got a great deal from being part of it.” Hammell’s experience of the Scotland set-up under Strachan allowed him to assess the contributions made by assistant manager Mark McGhee and coach McCall, his former and current managers at Motherwell respectively. “They’re two of the best managers I’ve played with, without doubt,” added Hammell. “They’ve got that excellent balance of hard work while keeping the atmosphere bubbling away. “They’re excellent coaches and leave no stone unturned with regards to the opposition and how they want to play and I think they’re a great benefit to the national manager. “They have a good relationship with the players but at the same time you know there is a line you can’t step over. “They’ve got standards which you need to meet and they have that authority about them and they have that down to a tee. I wouldn’t say you fear them as such but they command respect. “All managers need to be able to do that and I’ve been on the receiving end a couple of times. You could win games and they’re still not happy. That’s the standards they demand as coaches and if you’re not doing what they expect from you then you’ll let them know. “Stuart McCall would probably admit himself that he’s still learning as a manager and will be better for being involved in the international set-up and facing top countries and top coaches in the world. That can only be a help. “I’ve heard some Motherwell fans question him being away with Scotland when it’s not going so well for us but he’s got staff who can stay back and help. He’s going away and working and playing with and against some of the best players in the world and personally I think we can only benefit from that. “I really do believe that this could be Scotland’s time to finally qualify for a major finals again. When I was called up I was just concentrating on working away and doing yourself justice but the lads were really welcoming. “You hear it said a lot of times about national teams but there is a real club atmosphere and that can take you far. Everyone seems to be happy and give their all for the national manager which isn’t always the case.” • Steven Hammell was speaking at the launch of the 2014-15 SPFL Topps Match Attax Collection, which features all Scottish Premiership and Scottish Championship clubs. It is on sale now from all good retail outlets. http://www.scotsman.com/sport/football/spfl/steven-hammell-andrew-robertson-is-scotland-s-best-1-3568598
  18. I WAS pleased Scotland boss Gordon Strachan called two promising youngsters up to his squad for the Euro 2016 qualifiers against Georgia and Poland. Ryan Gauld of Sporting Lisbon and Stevie May of Sheffield Wednesday deserve a chance. But I have to ask why Lewis Macleod of Rangers has not been elevated too? The 20-year-old might not be ready to play for the national side, but there would be advantages in promoting him to the Scotland set-up. Mixing with experienced professionals would make him a better player, show him the level to reach and make him hungry to be involved in future. Lewis is playing for Rangers, not Livingston or Raith Rovers, every week, and is coping with the pressure on his shoulders. I appreciate he is important to Scotland's Under-21 squad. But so were Gauld and May. Why not give Lewis the chance to show what he is capable of too? http://www.eveningtimes.co.uk/rangers/rangerscomment/rangers-kid-macleod-deserves-scotland-chance-183991n.25553730
  19. keith jackson @tedermeatballs · 9s 10 seconds ago OK bed time. Back page will be up soon. Suffice to say a multi million pound bailout offer has been made by a three man consortium. https://twitter.com/tedermeatballs/with_replies
  20. The old man shuffled in the large leather chair, one of those traditional ones designed to encourage good seating posture rather than slouching, pushing his steel rimmed glasses onto his forehead he took what he hoped would be another sip of inspiration from the lukewarm tea on the table, just for a brief moment he thought about undoing his top shirt button and loosening his tie to provide relief from the late afternoon sun beaming through the office window and which was taking its toll – but that would just not do, “standards, standards, standards” he muttered to himself, the presentation was tomorrow and the speech had to be finished, so reaching for his trusty pencil and notepad he collected his thoughts and began scribbling… “I have been lucky — lucky in those who were around me from the boardroom to the dressing-room. In time of stress, their unstinted support, unbroken devotion to our club and calmness in adversity eased the task of making Rangers FC the premier club in this country. To be a Ranger is to sense the sacred trust of upholding all that such a name means in this shrine of football. They must be true in their conception of what the Ibrox tradition seeks from them. No true Ranger has ever failed in the tradition set him.” Our very success, gained you will agree by skill, will draw more people than ever to see it. And that will benefit many more clubs than Rangers. Let the others come after us. We welcome the chase. It is healthy for us. We will never hide from it. Never fear, inevitably we shall have our years of failure, and when they arrive, we must reveal tolerance and sanity. No matter the days of anxiety that come our way, we shall emerge stronger because of the trials to be overcome. That has been the philosophy of the Rangers since the days of the gallant pioneers.” I have spent my whole life in awe of that speech. The utter selflessness at the heart of it, the appreciation and acknowledgement of the work and dedication of others, the dismissal of the importance of the individual and the emphasis and focus on the dedication of others around him merely serve to underline why this man has left such an indelible stamp on our club. It speaks of a football club with a sense of direction, where the people at the very heart of it share not only a common vision but realise the necessity of working together with shared values to deliver that vision. We have fallen, fallen a long way from that sacred trust, taken there by men with little concept of what the Ibrox tradition seeks from them, men whose importance of self, of ego, was the very antithesis of everything Mr Struth stood for. It has opened a revolving door of charlatans, of profiteers, with no interest in preserving the shrine other than seeking to exploit the faithful who still come to worship. In these days of anxiety, amidst the clamour of boardroom battles, of money men and PR gurus, of percentage shareholdings and damaging headlines, one group, to the exclusion of all others, has sought to uphold that sacred trust and remain true to the concept of the Ibrox tradition. Disengaged and disempowered from the powers and processes which govern our club, and in the face of considerable, or as some hoped, insurmountable adversity, we have strived and endeavoured to keep the flames of that sacred trust burning. We conquered the insurmountable, breaking attendance records along the way, we laid waste to the false accusations of “glory hunters” at the Gayfields and Station Parks of this world. Borough Briggs and Ochilview had to be postponed as the manifestation of “unstinted support” and “unbroken devotion” descended upon them. Who are these people ? Go look in the mirror you will see them there, staring right back at you – we are the people. We are the people and this is our time. It’s time for those who have proven themselves in the face of adversity to no longer be disempowered or disengaged. We are the rightful sentinels of that sacred trust, do we honestly believe that anyone else could protect it better ? If you do then stop reading now. Rangers First, Buy Rangers and Vanguard Bears all offer a means of achieving that goal via their various fan ownership models. The choices we face are simple but critical nonetheless. Who do we trust most to decide the destiny of our football club, to safeguard all that we cherish and value ? To run the club in a way which upholds the traditions spoken of by Mr Struth all those years ago ? Who would ensure that every single decision which is made, is done so solely in the best interests of Rangers ? Or should we continue to fracture as a support, tearing ourselves apart doing the bidding of masters who offer no guarantees, in the hope of some scraps off the table ? Isn’t it about time we either sat at that table ourselves or had a considerable say in who does and the decisions they make concerning our club ? I am under no illusions – it will not be easy. There will be considerable challenges ahead, without doubt considerable adversity as well, but only a fool would bet against a Rangers support united in purpose and vision – it’s probably what those who wish ill will against our club fear most. Our club is once again in need of “gallant pioneers”, men and women who will remain true to the concept the Ibrox tradition seeks from them, and the reward is ensuring that sacred trust is preserved for generations yet to come. “No true Ranger has ever failed in the tradition set him.”
  21. Article submitted to Gersnet by Dan Teelsey http://www.gersnet.co.uk/index.php/latest-news/282-the-world-turn-d-upside-down The World Turn’d Upside Down written by Dan Teelsey Listen to me and you shall hear, news hath not been this thousand year: Since Herod, Caesar, and many more, you never heard the like before. Holy-dayes are despis'd, new fashions are devis'd. Old Christmas is kicked out of Town Yet let's be content, and the times lament, you see the world turn'd upside down. What’s known as the English Civil War produced, like all wars, many odd and unexpected results. Wars are often the mothers of strange children: we hardly associate Hitler and his motley collection of unimaginative halfwits with Neil Armstrong and ‘one small step for man’, but without the V2 technology, which went to the States with Nazi scientist Werner Von Braun, it would certainly have taken the USA longer to get to the moon. Few would link the Falklands War to Scottish independence, but without that conflict Mrs Thatcher may not have gained her second victory, and the excesses of monetarist economics which pushed so many to vote ‘Yes’ could have been avoided. One aspect of the English Civil War – which was fought in all corners of the soon-to-be-Union, but let that pass – which seems a little quaint today is the struggle over whether Christmas should be celebrated in a sombre, ‘respectful’ fashion, as was suggested by Parliament, or in the traditional, carousing, festive spirit familiar for centuries. Parliament’s position was mocked in a folk ballad of the times, ‘The World Turn’d Upside Down’, which noted that what was good enough for the Magi – ‘The wise men did rejoyce to see our Saviour’ – ought to be good enough for the people of England, and that if celebrating wars – ‘Kill a thousand men, or a Town regain, we will give thanks and praise’ – was acceptable, so to was celebrating Christ. The song’s mix of sardonic satire and brilliant title have seen it remembered, even if the rationale behind it is increasingly lost in the mists of time. In Scotland, the echoes have been heard until recently, with workers right up until the 1950’s working on Christmas morning – here the day was not that far removed from Parliament’s idea. Only recently has Christmas taken a place alongside Hogmanay, the traditional Bacchanalia of the North, although since nowadays so many people are slaughtered on a regular basis the one-off appeal of a blow out at Ne’er Day is somewhat diminished. Diminished, too, is another icon of that Presbyterian settlement which obtained over Scotland for so long. The Rangers are a pale shadow of what they once were, on the pitch, in the boardroom and in the stands. Replace the word ‘Christmas’ in that quote above with ‘Rangers’ and you get the picture: the convulsions which have racked the club since they entered into dispute with HMRC are reaching ridiculous proportions. Many organisations come into conflict with HMRC over one thing or another, but surely few can have reacted to it with quite such incompetence and drawn out sickness. Maybe it’s the shock at being kicked in the balls by bodies which, perhaps, Rangers fondly imagined were on the same side as them; maybe it’s surprise at finding themselves quite so isolated when the chips were down; maybe it’s merely impotence as the entrepreneur culture which so many lauded comes home to roost with a vengeance. Whatever the reason, there are people in West Africa who have shaken off Ebola quicker than Rangers have gotten over their fever: their world turn’d upside down, right enough. Some, it is true, are taking the fight to the club, with what they would doubtless be horrified to read as an enthusiasm comparable to the activism of the ‘Yes’ campaign in Scotland’s recent referendum. When online fans who are also shareholders email board members to innocently enquire about standard procedures, the replies (or lack thereof) have revealed quite a lot about those wearing the blazers. Only this week, internet poster ‘Govan Derriere’ revealed that, after several weeks of trying, he had finally obtained a response as to when the AGM would be held this year. Hardly the most explosive of questions, you might feel. Before 31st December, in line with the law, came the terse response from Mr David Somers, apparently Chairman of Rangers. One wonders if he treats shareholders in his other companies with quite such disdain and one concludes that, no, he probably doesn’t but considers football fans so much dirt on his shoes. An odd attitude for a Chairman of a football club, you might think. However that may be, ‘Govan Derriere’s’ questioning landed quite a few blows on Mr Somers’ credibility, a rare case of a fan hitting the shit. What strange days these are, indeed. As a lapsed Rangers fan with more to worry about than a football club falling to bits I should really be getting on with other things, but the fascinating freak show which unfolds almost daily on Edmiston Drive is hideously addictive. Adding yet another group to the notoriously splintered Rangers fan base – that of pissed off former attendee who can’t quite seem to shake off the habit of 30 years and who keeps returning to pick over the bones – is probably not helpful, but then again I can’t see how it can makes things any worse. I suppose Rangers fans can only hope that their club will still be around in 300 years, and that someone will have come up with songs which reflect this period, to be sung in the stands of Ibrox. Maybe this civil war will result in unforeseen results, one of which at present would be the sight of a healthy Rangers. The titles and the music are unlikely to be very uplifting, though. Perhaps they could nick this old one off Jim Morrison: it seems very apt. Strange days have found us / Strange days have tracked us down / They're going to destroy Our casual joys / We shall go on playing / Or find a new town [video=youtube;-NSz-9qqgKE] https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-NSz-9qqgKE
  22. ***Gala Ball Silent Auction*** Not long to go till the Gala ball! who is excited?? We have some fantastic Auction prizes this year on which you can make your bids by filling out the online form here: http://www.legendstrek.co.uk/#!silent-auction/c1lfv Here are the Prizes: • Two tickets for a home game at Ibrox, season 2014/15 in the exclusive players’ lounge donated By RFC. • Red Arrows print ‘The Corkscrew 2005’, signed by the pilots of the Red Arrows donated by Bonnington Services. • Limited edition print ‘Cock a Snook the last Five Nations Champions’, (the last time Scotland won the five nations) signed by Ronnie Browne (Corries) donated by Anne and Jim Brown. • Signed Paul Lawrie Polo Shirt, Glove and Picture worn as he won The Johnny Walker Classic at Gleneagles. • Limited edition print ‘Underdog Rampant Scotland’s Gram Slam 1990’ Signed by Ronnie Browne, donated by Anne and Jim Brown. • 1/2ct G-H Diamond 10k White Gold Pendant SGL certified, donated by Gemporia jewellery channel. • 4 ball voucher for Machrihanish Golf Club, Campbeltown, donated Danny Rooney. • Signed limited edition Ally McCoist print donated By John Brown. • 4 ball voucher for Drumoig Golf Hotel, St Andrews Donated by Danny Rooney. • Signed Rangers jersey season 2014/15 with letter of authenticity, donated by Rangers and two tickets for The Founders Trail, donated by Gordon Bell and Ian McCall. • Signed Celtic jersey season 2014/15 with letter of authenticity donated by Celtic FC. • Signed Rangers ball season 2014/15 with letter of authenticity donated by RFC. • 4 ball voucher for Mar Hall Golf Resort, Bishopton donated by Bill Rennie. • House of Commons Speaker Bercows 10 Year old malt whisky signed by Jimmy Hood MP, donated By Shelly Palette. • 6 hour tattoo session at ‘Save Our Souls’ Hamilton donated by Stephen Scott. • A guided tour of the Gemporia television studios with Ali Defoy Remember, NO woofing, Just Bidding!
  23. RANGERS today demanded an apology from Livingston over "outrageous and unacceptable" content in their match programme at the weekend. And the Ibrox club will also report their SPFL Championship rivals to the governing body over the "erroneous material". Gers supporters were incensed at two articles which appeared in the programme at the Energy Assets Arena. One story referred to "the club then known as Rangers" playing a game against Hibernian three years ago. It went on to state that "a brand new club" had been established after the old parent company was liquidated back in 2012. Another story in the Livingston programme mentioned the West Lothian club's record against the "now-defunct outfit" and "the newly-formed Rangers". However, High Court judge Lord Nimmo Smith ruled that Rangers was a "recognisable entity which continued in existence notwithstanding the change in ownership" two years ago. Livingston officials are believed to be horrified by the comments that appeared in the official publication which is edited by supporter Andy Crawford. However, Rangers still want their rivals, who they defeated 1-0 at the weekend, to apologise over the offence caused to the 54-times Scottish champions. A club statement read: "The content written about the football club and our players was outrageous and entirely unacceptable. "We will be raising the issue with the SPFL and seeking an apology from Livingston FC, who had a duty to prevent such erroneous material from appearing in their programme." Meanwhile, Rangers are set to escape any sanction from the SPFL over the crowd trouble that flared in the stands and outside the stadium in Livingston on Saturday. However, the League One champions are set to issue anyone who is convicted following the unrest at the weekend with banning orders from their matches. There were violent scuffles between Gers fans and police and stewards in one section of the stands during the first half of the second-tier game. Livingston safety officer Alan Scott confirmed: "There were five people arrested. The stewards and police assisted each other in dealing with the matter and no police or stewards were injured." And after the match mounted police reportedly had to break up an altercation between Rangers and Livingston supporters in the car park of nearby supermarket Lidl. The incidents are set to be mentioned in the official report to the SPFL by match delegate Alan Dick that should arrive at the Hampden offices of the governing body tomorrow. However, Rangers are confident their preparations for the match were professional and in accordance with strict guidelines laid down by the SPFL. They should, therefore, escape any official censure. After the match, Rangers manager Ally McCoist commented: "I did see it and it looked pretty unsavoury, but until I get a report on it I would be loath to comment other than to say we can do without incidents like that." http://www.eveningtimes.co.uk/rangers/rangers-demand-apology-over-livi-programme-article-183240n.25506990
  24. Wee Eck trying to keep his new recruits, maybe? ... http://www.express.co.uk/news/uk/518145/Salmond-slammed-for-tax-dodger-s-charter Salmond slammed for ‘tax dodger’s charter’ over chasing votes ALEX Salmond was last night on a collision course with cash-strapped councils over plans to ban them from chasing poll tax cheats. By: Paul Gilbride Published: Fri, October 3, 2014 New laws will stop officials using the voting records of millions of Scots from the independence referendum to recover debts. His announcement comes after councils began combing through the recently updated electoral roll looking for people in arrears. Opposition MSPs branded the First Minister’s proposals “a tax dodger’s charter” as it was revealed a staggering £425million is still owed. And local government body Cosla said the plans were “one of the oddest decisions ever” to come from the Scottish Government and hit out at the lack of consultation. The controversial Community Charge was introduced north of the Border by Margaret Thatcher in 1989 – a year before England. It was scrapped and replaced by the council tax in 1993 following a mass civil disobedience campaign. Mr Salmond yesterday told MSPs it was misguided for town halls to use current records to chase debts from decades ago. He said: “After 25 years it is about time that the poll tax was finally dead and buried.” Last month’s vote on Scotland’s future saw voter registrations soar to more than 4.2 million. Council chiefs believe some were returning to the electoral roll for the first time in a quarter of a century after dropping off to avoid paying poll tax. Although councils cannot pursue debts that are more than 20 years old, the period is extended by a further two decades if efforts have been made to chase up the payments. Mr Salmond said the total collected in 2013 from poll tax debt in Scotland was £396,000. He added: “It is, of course, within the law for councils to use current information to assess council tax liability and, given the council tax reduction scheme protects 500,000 of our poorest citizens, the tax is being applied in a proper and fair way. "However, the relevance of information from the current electoral register to the position of debts from 25 years ago is difficult to fathom, except through some misguided political intention. “It is the Government’s intention to bring forward legislation to ensure that councils can take forward no further action to recover ancient poll tax debts.” This is a move geared towards winning a few extra votes, and is nothing but a tax dodger’s charter Tory welfare reform spokesman Alex Johnstone Aberdeenshire Council, which covers Mr Salmond’s constituency, is among the authorities which is using the records to go after outstanding tax. Tory welfare reform spokesman Alex Johnstone said many Scots paid the tax in good faith, subsidising those who could afford to pay but chose not to. He said: “Are those hard-working people going to be reimbursed too under this initiative? If this is the Scottish Government’s approach on tax collection, why should anyone bother paying any tax at all? This is a move geared towards winning a few extra votes, and is nothing but a tax dodger’s charter.” Over the four years of the tax’s existence, councils billed Scots households for £3.678billion and it was previously estimated £325million was still to be collected. Cosla president David O’Neill said the arrears now stood at £425million. He said authorities had been under “a very strict obligation to collect every penny of outstanding debt owed”. “Indeed, we’ve been told in the past that until we did this, we should not be asking for any additional money from government. “It seems very odd that now we have an improved tool at our disposal in the form of an expanded electoral register that may help us maximise collection rates, it is the self-same Government that tells us they are going to legislate immediately to prevent us from using it.”
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