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  1. https://twitter.com/jimwhite Jim White ‏@JimWhite 41s42 seconds ago Kenny McDowall has resigned as Rangers caretaker manager, citing personal reasons for stepping down. #Rangers
  2. The Union of Fans is calling on Rangers fans to stage a "mass demonstration" outside Ibrox 45 minutes before kick-off tomorrow night.
  3. http://www.londonstockexchange.com/exchange/news/market-news/market-news-detail/12218558.html
  4. THE emotional pull of the 1971 stadium disaster in which 66 people died means that Rangers must never give up the lease of Ibrox. ”THE disaster will never leave me. Never a day goes by that it doesn’t go through my mind. “I still get letters from guys who have never been back to Ibrox for a game since that day. I have taken some of them around the stadium for them to see what it is like now. “The new stadium is, in fact, a testament to those who died. In the trophy room there is a beautiful picture of the old stadium up on the wall. For me it is one of the most important things in that room and I make a point of showing it to the people who go there. “It’s important, especially for the young fans who have only seen the new stadium, that they know the history of this club, where we came from and why we came from that point.” Those words were spoken by John Greig as he received his Greatest Ranger Ever award on March 1999. The people guising as the guardians of Rangers would do well to read them and let them sink in. And perhaps listen to the words of a man I interviewed on the eve of the 30th anniversary of the Ibrox Disaster. I must have written about hundreds of people in the 20 years I have worked for this newspaper but few of them left the kind of impression a softly-spoken Airdrie man did when he invited me into his home just after Christmas in 2000. Matt Reid was a 49-year-old man but a part of him was forever 19 – the age he was when he survived the disaster but lost his father, one of the 66 people swept to their deaths when the barriers crumpled on Staircase 13. Matt’s description of the horrors of that day remain vivid in the mind of this Glaswegian who was only eight in ’71 but whose own dad was in the crowd that day. He came home. We were among the lucky ones. Matt Reid spent three months in hospital after the crush. It wasn’t only his thigh bone that had broken. His heart was too. He said: “The game was a blank but every other detail is vivid. The final whistle went and we moved straight up the terracing to make our way out. We took a left, walking alongside the back corrugated shuttering, getting 20 or 30 feet, then a surge started and we got carried off our feet. “My father was agitated because people were crushing and he was protective towards me. He was panicking more than me because I’d encountered crushing before at other matches. “When we got to the top of exit 13, people were coming from three different directions to reach it. It was like trying to put a gallon of water into a pint bowl. “The crushing was really bad at the top of the stair but I wasn’t too concerned at that point, certainly not in fear of my life. But when the surging happened again I thought I would be swept down the stairs so I got a grip of a six-foot fence running parallel with the handrail all the way down that stair and I wasn’t for letting go. My father was behind me at that point. “The force of the people coming down behind me was so strong I started to lose my grip. Just at that point I heard metal grinding and crushing just down the stair below where I was. “It was like a wave of people being carried out the way as well as down and that’s when the barriers must have mangled. That’s when my father got swept away. It was as if he had been swept away on a wave of water. “I was still trying to cling on and it must have been horrible for him – the last thing I heard him shout was, ‘Oh Christ, my boy’. After about 10 minutes I finally couldn’t hold on and went down on to the stair, face down and facing the bottom. “Again there were surges and I felt people getting carried over me. I could feel their heels on my back, then when they stopped moving, this guy was standing square on my back. There was nothing the guy could have done but to me he felt about 16 stone. “I was being crushed and that’s when I was sick. The pie and Bovril I’d had during the game came back up. To this day, when I smell Bovril, I’m back there, lying face down on those stairs.” Matt was finally rescued from beneath a pile of bodies and went on to marry the nurse who cared for him in the Southern General Hospital. The one good thing to come out of the Disaster, he told me that day. But for generations of Rangers fans, another good thing came out of that terrible afternoon. Ibrox was rebuilt and in many ways has become a monument to those who fell on January 2, 1971. It’s not only the names of the dead on the wall, it’s not about the statue of Greig – the man, who with Sandy Jardine and the other Rangers players, attended so many funerals in the weeks that followed. No, the spirit of the 66 is seeped into those red bricks. They are a part of that rebuilt stadium. You might not see it but you feel it, particularly every January. Ibrox Stadium is a memorial to these people, as much as it is a stage upon which the hopes and dreams of thousands have been played out over the years. And now the very people who are supposed to be custodians of this club seem to be prepared to hand it over to Mike Ashley. They’ve posted an advance notice with the Register of Scotland, which would mean if they accept another loan from the Sports Direct tycoon and default on the repayment terms, they’d have to sell it to raise the cash to pay him back. Think about that for a moment. The very people entrusted with looking after the best interests of their club have put its ownership of the stadium at risk. The Rangers board which agreed to this set of circumstances have to examine their consciences. Two of them, Derek Llambias and Barry Leach are Ashley’s men of course. As the Newcastle owner drip-fed loan deals to keep the lights on at Ibrox he demanded more and more control. This is a man who refused to pay into the last share issue, then spent £800,000 shortly after buying them from another investor, which meant Rangers didn’t receive a penny of that money. In desperation the club had to go cap in hand to him for more cash and thus he was able to exert even more influence. If Ashley, Llambias and Leach have squared off those tactics in their own minds so be it. But perhaps they should sit down with the relatives of the 66, look into their eyes, and tell them Ibrox may no longer belong to Rangers. If they can do that without blinking then Rangers really are careering into hell on a handcart. http://www.dailyrecord.co.uk/sport/football/football-news/david-mccarthy-66-reasons-rangers-5001307
  5. ...in Glasgow bars over fears of violence. PUB giants Wetherspoons will black out the League Cup old firm clash and employ extra security staff in all nine of their Glasgow bars on February 1st in a bid to reduce the risk of match day violence. BRITAIN'S biggest pub chain will black out next month’s Old Firm game over fears of violence. Wetherspoon’s say the League Cup semi-final – live on BBC Scotland two weeks today – will not be shown in their pubs in Glasgow . And despite the blackout, all nine of the bars will have extra security staff on duty when Celtic and Rangers meet for the first time since April 2012. Police are visiting pubs across the country to gather intelligence so they can have officers in the right places if violence breaks out. Senior officers want to know how many pubs are showing the game, what type of customers they attract and if they have ever had trouble before. Wetherspoon’s spokesman Eddie Gershon said yesterday: “Wetherspoon’s will not be showing the match in any of its Glasgow pubs. “The decision was taken about a week back.” “The police have been to the pubs to advise that the game is on and ask what measures the pubs are taking. On the day of the match, door staff will be in place where required.” Wetherspoon’s, who have more than 75 pubs in Scotland, say area managers will decide if their bars outside Glasgow will show the game. Police fear the 1.30pm kick-off time for the February 1 game will give fans time to drink before the match and possibly fuel trouble. They confirmed officers are visiting pubs to interview staff but insisted it was normal practice before a big game. One area police are targeting is Ayrshire, where there are large numbers of pubs used by both Celtic and Rangers fans. Superintendent Neil Kerr of Police Scotland’s Ayrshire Division said: “Officers are visiting licensed premises to establish where the game is being shown. We do this for any high-profile events, including past Old Firm matches.” Pubs have been magnets for violence on previous Old Firm match days. Nine police were attacked and injured at the Rowallan bar in Thornliebank, Glasgow, after Celtic beat Rangers 3-0 in February 2011, and a female officer suffered life-threatening injuries. Convicted drug smuggler John Healy, 56, and son Jason, 24, were among six men charged over the violence but the case was dropped after police evidence was lost. There were 280 arrests after the game as trouble flared across Glasgow. Suspects were taken to stations up to 50 miles away because cells in Glasgow were full. One of the most notorious Old Firm encounters was the “Shame Game” of March 2, 2011. Three Rangers players were sent off in the Scottish Cup replay, 12 yellow cards were shown and Celtic manager Neil Lennon and Rangers assistant boss Ally McCoist squared up to each other at the end. Strathclyde Police detained 187 people throughout the day, including 34 at the game, and 40 more suspects were held for domestic abuse offences. First Minister Alex Salmond held a summit with Rangers and Celtic bosses days later. And in 2012, as a direct result of the Shame Game, MSPs passed the controversial Offensive Behaviour at Football and Threatening Communications (Scotland) Act. Police then dealt with a record 119 domestic violence cases after an Old Firm game in March 2012. Donald MacLeod, chairman of the Glasgow Licensing forum, said most Glasgow bars will show the February 1 game despite the Wetherspoon’s decision. He added: “Pubs are already required to put strict safety measures in place on match days as a condition of their licence. “This includes providing properly trained and badged stewards “The vast majority of fans watching Old Firm games in pubs do so peacefully. Only a small minority cause trouble. Crime in pubs and clubs is down and most incidents take place in the street. “I’d be more concerned about the easy availability of cheap alcohol in off sales before the game, or even the night before.” Craig Houston of Rangers fans’ group Sons of Struth said the Wetherspoon’s move was “strange” and “could backfire”. He added: “Normally, when you get trouble after an Old Firm game, it’s late at night – not when the game is being shown in a pub. If they’re really that worried about customers’ safety they would shut the pubs at night, but I don’t see Wetherspoon’s doing that. “It seems strange they are penalising fans who can’t get a ticket and want to have a pint and enjoy their game. “If Wetherspoon’s don’t want football in their pubs, fans can decide where they go in future for a drink. It could backfire on them.” http://www.dailyrecord.co.uk/news/scottish-news/pub-chain-pull-plug-showing-4998413
  6. Stuart McCall has thrown his support behind the Three Bears, the group owning a near 19 per cent stake in Rangers headed by businessman and Rangers fan Douglas Park. The former Ibrox midfielder has called for Rangers people to be back at the helm of the stricken ship, believing that the departure of legendary figures have left a gaping hole at the heart of the club. “I don’t know any of these gentlemen [the Three Bears], but if you believe what you read, they have Rangers at heart,” said McCall yesterday “I’m not saying that, just because you have Rangers at heart, you are going to be successful and the club is going to make money. But you do know that, whatever they are doing, they are doing it for the right reasons. “They are not in there saying: ‘we can earn this and we can get out’. What you want are people that the club matters to and will do their best for the club, not for themselves as individuals. If it is The Three Bears, if it is Dave King, if it is anyone else, you would rather have people who bother about the club and it’s not just about money-making. “Rangers don’t necessarily need an ex-player as their manager,” he added. “But what they need is someone at the club who doesn’t just have business sense, but is actually doing it for the love of the club – because they’ve got ties to the club.” McCall believes that the departure of three stalwarts who have cut their ties with Rangers – John Greig, Ally McCoist and Walter Smith – sums up the state of the Ibrox club. The Scotland coach was at Ibrox for the abandoned game against Hearts on Friday night in his role as a summariser for BT Sport and watched with anguish afterwards as passions ran high among supporters angered by the board’s conduct. With advanced notices of loan securities against Ibrox and Murray Park having been lodged at the Register of Scotland last week in the name of Mike Ashley’s Sports Direct retail company, fans now fear losing ownership of the club’s stadium. However, it is the emotional heart of the club being ripped out that McCall struggles to accept. Greig, voted Greatest Ever Ranger in 1999, resigned as a director in 2011 in protest at Craig Whyte’s running of the club. Departed manager McCoist, who was put on gardening leave after tendering his resignation, has decided to watch other teams rather than Rangers in recent weeks. Nine-in-a-row manager Smith, meanwhile, confirmed last week he has no intention of ever returning to Ibrox in an official capacity. McCall, who played for Rangers for seven years and had been linked with a return as manager, despairs at the quality of characters who have felt compelled to end their official association with the club. The 50-year-old offered the assessment that few clubs, including Manchester United, could withstand such blows without some very searching question being asked. “John Greig stayed away, which for me is hard to get my head round,” said McCall. “Walter left the board and, again, alarm bells started ringing. If Walter is walking away it must be bad. Obviously the great Sandy Jardine passed away. And now ’Coisty is away. That would be like Bobby Charlton at Man United saying: “You know what? I’ve had enough of the club. Then Sir Alex Ferguson departing because something was going on – and then Ryan Giggs leaving. If that happened at Man United, imagine how everyone would react. “Yes, football is a business now. But is there anybody at Rangers actually doing it for the sake of the club? Or are they just in to make a few quid then disappear into the night?” McCall was speaking at a Scottish Football Association event to publicise the start of the selection process for year four of the regional performance school programme. Since resigning as Motherwell manager late last year the Scotland coach has been linked with the Rangers manager’s post, currently occupied on an interim basis by Kenny McDowall. However, he sounded unconvinced by those in charge at boardroom level at the club, and questioned Ashley’s involvement. “Mr Ashley has got what, eight-and-a-half or nine per cent of the club?” McCall said. “Yet he seems to be the one making all the decisions – appointing a chief exec and a finance director etc. Obviously I’ve got a lot of friends and family who are Rangers supporters – and they can’t understand how this can be the case. The catalyst for everything now is the fact that Ibrox was going to be put up as security against loans. Supporters see other people wanting to offer money and ask why Ashley is the best option.” http://www.scotsman.com/sport/football/spfl-lower-divisions/stuart-mccall-backs-three-bears-rangers-bid-1-3665193
  7. THERE was a rare moment of unity between Rangers fans groups and the Scottish Football Association when the governing body blocked Mike Ashley’s proposals to increase his stake in the club last month. Then, a Union of Fans statement spoke of the SFA having “done the right thing” in observing their rules on dual ownership by refusing to approve the Newcastle United owner’s bid to increase his Rangers stake from around 9 per cent to 29 per cent. Yet, those same supporters are unlikely to be so taken by the SFA obeying their articles of association should Dave King succeed in his mission to oust the current board. King revealed his intentions on Friday night when he requisitioned an extraordinary general meeting (egm). The South Africa-based businessman, Rangers’ largest single shareholder with a 16 per cent stake, is “confident” he can muster the 50 per cent shareholder support he needs to remove chairman David Somers, James Easdale, Derek Llambias and Barry Leach from their directorship. His plan is to replace them with himself, Paul Murray and John Gilligan. And therein lies the rub. At an egm, which the current Rangers board could stall for six weeks, King could expect the support of the 20 per cent stake controlled by the Donald Park, George Letham and George Taylor consortium. In addition, he is believed to have the ear of a couple of the hedge funds with a 10 per cent holding between them, while individual supporters whose share totals add up to a further 10 per cent would back his efforts to put the Ibrox club into the hands of supporters. That is all well and good, and Ashley deserves to be removed because of his callous disregard for the club and its followers in this week’s moves to gain security over Ibrox and Murray Park. The current board maintain this was in return for the £10 million loan Rangers need to see out the season. But it is important to look beyond Ashley’s game-playing and not forget how we arrived at this point. In the independent inquiry chaired by Lord Nimmo Smith under the auspices of the SFA, the old board were criticised for failing to blow the whistle on Craig Whyte as he sent the club on the road to ruin after taking over in May 2011. King was a member of that board. And it cannot be forgotten either that the reason King was in no position to buy the assets once the old Rangers had been condemned to liquidation the following summer, and save it from the clutches of Charles Green, was that the Castlemilk-born businessman was then in the midst of a decade-long legal battle with the South African Revenue Service. He settled last year by pleading guilty to 42 criminal counts of contravening the country’s tax laws, and kept himself out of prison by plea bargaining on almost 300 other charges, which required him to stump up £41m. As far as failing to meet the SFA’s fit and proper person test, King – who lost £20m he invested in the David Murray Rangers era – does so with bells on. Indeed, it is almost as if the ruling has been written to debar individuals with chequered business careers of King’s ilk. Under section (h) of Article 10.2 that sets out the “considerations” that would be made concerning the board “reserving its discretion” as to whether a person is deemed fit and proper to hold a football directorship, it is stated “[if] he has been convicted within the last ten years of (i) an offence liable to imprisonment of two years or over, (ii) corruption or (iii) fraud.” King was liable for a stretch longer than two years had he not plea-bargained. Moreover, he is caught in a double bind over the fit and proper person rules. Because what also counts against those seeking to meet the criteria is having “been a director of a club in membership of any National Association within the five-year period preceding such club having undergone an insolvency event”. King and Paul Murray – who was sacked from the Rangers board immediately after Whyte took over – both fall down on this basis. They simply cannot be granted permission by the SFA to take up directorships in any Rangers board if the governing body stands by their own rules, which were tightened up because they had failed to act over Whyte’s dubious business past. King constantly puts it out through sympathetic media sources that he is confident the SFA professional game board would wave him through as a Rangers director in the event of gaining a controlling interest. That sounds like bluster, which, as well as the baggage, has led to legitimate questioning of King’s credentials to lead Rangers out of the mire. At times, though, it must be said he talks a good game. As he did in his statement on Friday in which he claimed that, as well as putting the club on a sound financial footing, a second “important task” would be “to conduct a forensic audit of the management and commercial contracts undertaken over the last few years to determine whether they are truly arm’s length and whether the affairs of the company have been pursued in accordance with the fiduciary obligations of those entrusted with that responsibility”. King thundered at the end of this declaration of intent that “any malfeasance will be pursued aggressively and transparently”. For the South African tax authorities, that might read like a sick joke. http://www.scotsman.com/sport/football/spfl-lower-divisions/rangers-dave-king-s-move-faces-taxing-questions-1-3664643
  8. ...as they hold advanced talks with club bosses. Jan 12, 2015 07:32 By Keith Jackson RECORD SPORT understands the Lanarkshire-based 
businessman and his allies are on the brink of agreeing a deal in return for two seats on the board. DOUGLAS PARK and his consortium were locked in advanced talks with the Rangers hierarchy last night as they edged closer to winning the battle for control of Ibrox. Record Sport understands the Lanarkshire-based 
businessman and his allies, George Letham and George Taylor, are on the brink of agreeing a deal to plough over £6million of emergency money into the club to spare it from insolvency – in return for two seats on the board. An announcement is expected early this week as the current regime scrambles to secure fresh funding. And last night, with Park and his group on the cusp of forcing their way into a position of power, directors James and Sandy Easdale appeared to pave the way for their imminent arrival by insisting they will be welcomed into the boardroom. In a statement the Easdale family adviser Jack Irvine said: “Sandy and James repeat again that they will willingly work with Douglas Park’s group for the benefit of the club.” Between them, Park, Letham and Taylor already have control of 20 per cent of the troubled Ibrox club’s shares. They are pushing for regime change and plan to invest further in a new share issue but realise the club’s cash flow position is critical and needs to be addressed immediately. In fact, Hong Kong-based banker Taylor believes, in the longer term, Rangers fans should eventually have control over their own club. The Morgan Stanley managing director has now signed up to a life-time membership with 
fan-ownership group Rangers First and said last night: “My hope is that direct fan ownership would become the biggest 
individual owner of the club.” Rangers First director Ricki Neill said: “With our monthly contributors donating amounts from £5 upwards, Rangers First have the income to buy an increasing number of shares every month. “The more members we get to join Rangers First the faster 
we grow and the bigger our 
shareholding becomes. “We also have the Club 1872 membership – which George Taylor has recently joined. “This costs £500 and was designed originally to help us reach our target in as short a period as possible. “George Taylor is one of many true Rangers fans that have joined Club 1872 and we look forward to meeting up with him in the near future.” Phoenix Knight Robert Sarver has also offered Rangers a crisis loan based on the condition that he underwrites a share issue to the tune of £20m and buys control of the club. But, crucially, the American’s plan needs the support of 75 per cent of the club’s current 
shareholders for it to get off the ground and so is viewed as a 
non-starter. This has left Park in the driving seat although the board are refusing to engage in similar talks with like-minded Rangers supporter Dave King, the club’s biggest single shareholder with a 15 per cent stake. As the crisis deepens, the South African-based businessman is expected by many to call for an egm later this week in a bid to 
rout the current board at a 
shareholders’ vote. Newcastle owner Mike Ashley, meanwhile, may yet be prepared to make a rival offer after 
previously handing over £3m to keep the club afloat through November and December. A close source said last night: “The cash situation remains 
critical and because of this a 
decision had been expected over the weekend. “The club is now days away from running out of money completely so there is an urgent necessity to get this funding in place. “However, the talks with the Douglas Park group are at a very advanced stage and it is expected that an announcement will be made soon.” http://www.dailyrecord.co.uk/sport/football/football-news/rangers-boardroom-battle-douglas-park-4962945
  9. masochists I'm switching off everything for 3 days at least
  10. It’s good to see that HMRC’s latest failing - being unable to furnish costs of their continual and apparently relentless pursuit of Rangers over EBT’s - has galvanised the Rangers support into a long overdue unified sense of purpose. After a period of unhelpful adjectives and metaphors, which military men would aptly describe as “blue on blue”, we are at long last reminding ourselves where the real enemies of our club are, and it’s certainly not from within. It is not surprising that HMRC’s latest hypocritical incompetency, and I use that term deliberately in view of the fact we are talking about an investigative government agency who hold both private individuals and companies accountable for failing to keep meticulous financial records, has given rise amongst some of our fans to suggestions of a grandiose conspiracy. I don’t subscribe to such a conspiracy theory, and those who read this blog regularly will know that as far as I’m concerned “Evidence is king”. There appears to be little or no evidence available at this time to suggest any high level conspiracy, instead I will in the course of this article offer you an alternative evidence based theory to explain why HMRC’s pursuit of our club has all the characteristics of a witch hunt. Before dismissing such a conspiracy theory completely however it is worthwhile pointing out that the South African Tax Authorities have recently discovered what has been described as a rogue unit working within their organisation. Furthermore much closer to home, the families of the Hillsborough victims had to suffer considerable ridicule for suggesting that the Police were involved in some kind of conspiratorial cover up over events that tragic day. Several years later the 160 odd altered Police Statements and deliberate, false and malicious briefing of the press by the Police, are now a matter of public record and the subject of an ongoing enquiry. Therefore despite the absence of evidence of conspiracy perhaps the best course available to us is to at least keep an open mind whilst concentrating on the evidence which is available to us. Discounting such a conspiracy theory does not however also discount the ruthless nature of this enquiry, nor the attempts by HMRC to deliberately mislead the Rangers support during the course of it. It would come as no surprise to any of us if, in the near future evidence was uncovered which demonstrates HMRC have acted in both an unscrupulous, unprofessional and unedifying manner throughout the course of this enquiry. After all, it wouldn’t be the first time. http://blogs.telegraph.co.uk/finance/ianmcowie/100014676/2000-tax-dodgers-confess-but-should-hmrc-have-paid-for-stolen-information/ Some will note the particular irony of HMRC paying for stolen evidence, given the fact a considerable amount of evidence in the Rangers Tax Tribunal, ended up in the possession of BBC Scotland journalists and proved to be the catalyst to “The men who sold the jerseys” documentary. However the Redknapp case was not the only one which had brought the professionalism and competency of HMRC under a very public spotlight, leaving it’s investigators with red faces and questions being asked. https://www.accountancylive.com/cassidy-hmrc-should-eat-humble-pie-over-montpelier-case I doubt there is a Rangers fan out there who doesn’t feel a sense of the tunnel vision Mr Cassidy alludes to during the Montpelier case. It appears history may well be repeating itself as HMRC continue to pursue Rangers despite a number of failed appeals chaired by some of the most qualified tax experts in the country. These spectacular high profile failings and questions of competency, integrity and professionalism served to bring HMRC very much under an intense spotlight, most notably by the public accounts committee. http://www.theguardian.com/politics/2013/oct/28/hmrc-chiefs-mps-lost-tax http://economia.icaew.com/news/november-2014/pac-slams-hmrcs-anti-tax-avoidance-strategy So we have a government investigative agency, with a spectacular series of high profile failures, even despite indulging in some fairly unscrupulous means of obtaining evidence which in itself calls into question the very integrity of the organisation itself, under considerable pressure to re-dress their very public humiliation in a series of failed prosecutions. It certainly puts into some kind of perspective the relentless and ruthless nature of HMRC’s pursuit of Rangers. Quite simply after so many failings they simply had to get a result. But if HMRC were in a bit of a hole prior to and during the investigation, rather than stop digging as the age old saying goes, they appear to have taken the equivalent of a JCB to the situation. Apologies for the following paragraph in advance, as it deals mainly in conjecture rather than facts, but it is worth mentioning all the same. Despite HMRC’s claim to be unable to furnish the cost of the Rangers Tax Case, rumours abound of figures at or around the £10 million mark. Furthermore it is common knowledge that Sir David Murray attempted to settle with HMRC over EBT’s offering anything between 10-12 million pounds. Even taking the lower settlement figure HMRC are now looking not only at £10 million lost revenue, but also perhaps £10 million costs for pursuing a case against a company from whom they will be unable to recoup anything even if they were to eventually be successful in a forthcoming appeal. One wonders what the Public Accounts Committee will make of all this. Moving on from public accounts to public accountability and the HMRC JCB appears to have been working in overdrive to dig a bigger hole for themselves. http://www.dailyrecord.co.uk/sport/football/football-news/ex-rangers-owner-craig-whyte-being-3992415 Perhaps HMRC would care to explain to Rangers shareholders, and any other interested parties for that matter, why they allowed Craig Whyte, who they were already pursuing for a sum of £3.7 million and whom they had threatened with bankruptcy as a result of failed tax returns, to take control of an organisation and run it into the ground by failing to make PAYE payments for nearly 9 months. If you cannot hear the alarm bells by now, then you either are deaf or have your fingers, quite firmly, in your ears. HMRC’s JCB next wrong turn was in the form of a generic reply via correspondence. As thousands of Rangers supporters and shareholders wrote to complain about confidential tax documents and other paperwork appearing in the public domain, HMRC responded by asserting it did not comment or respond to speculation about alleged breaches of confidentiality. “Speculation”? “Alleged”? The subject of those complaints were The Rangers Tax Case Blog and the BBC Documentary “The men who sold the jerseys” both of which went onto win national awards, with the latter being broadcast on national television. Journalist Tom English described the Rangers Tax Case Blog as follows: “If you wanted to know the latest news on their tax travails, rangerstaxcase was a place you went because, unlike newspapers or radio stations, rangerstaxcase was connected to the heart of the FTT and everybody knew it. It had documents and detail that were beyond dispute. When illustrating one point it was making it would summon up information that could only have come from somebody within, or very close to, the tribunal” (The Scotsman 25.11.2012) Why have HMRC deliberately prevaricated and failed to respond to this clear breach of confidential information. How can they justify describing a national television broadcast and an award winning blog, whose plaudits and awards are based around the revealing of confidential information, as mere “speculation”? As others outside the Rangers community have since commented both these outlets of confidential information presented it such a way as to infer the guilt of Rangers FC. Was the same unscrupulous culture within HMRC which saw them buy stolen property in the Redknapp case alive and kicking also in the Rangers Tax Case – a kind of win at all costs mentality? Whilst the source and nature of those confidential leaks has been subject to many theories and discussions, confirmation about one of the sources was provided courtesy of Lord Nimmo Smith, in his SPL Independent Commission Report. "Meanwhile, BBC Scotland came, by unknown means, into possession of what they described as “dozens of secret emails, letters and documents”, which we understand were the productions before the Tax Tribunal. These formed the basis of a programme entitled “Rangers – The Men Who Sold the Jerseys”, which was broadcast on 23 May 2012. BBC Scotland also published copious material on its website. The published material included a table containing the names of Rangers players, coaches and staff who were beneficiaries of the MGMRT, and how much they received through that trust.” (Section 98) Perhaps not so much a case of “Who sold the jerseys” but more of a case of Who sold the evidence? That is of course the evidence, or as Lord Nimmo Smith terms “productions”, which was seized by HMRC during the course of their investigation into Rangers and which was presented before the Tax Tribunal. The question is why the removal of this evidence and its subsequent use in the BBC Scotland documentary aforementioned, was not the subject of a Police enquiry until after the verdict of the tax tribunal, when complaints by both Sir David Murray and myself saw the launching of a criminal enquiry. It raises serious questions about the safe handling and storing of productions, as well as duties and responsibilities of investigative agencies with regard to the loss or theft of productions. In particular it raises questions about how and why Lord Nimmo Smith was able to arrive at such a conclusions with regard to the source of the material which BBC Scotland subsequently came into possession of. http://www.v3.co.uk/v3-uk/news/1996757/cameron-promises-transparent-government It’s time for you to deliver Mr Cameron and the Rangers support will not rest until you do. We want a full government enquiry into this whole process and we will not rest until we get it. We will play to win – and win at all costs.
  11. Radio Scotland - McLaughlin. Also conjecture that Ashlay will sell to ParkCo.
  12. ...ahead of return to Ibrox for Fernando Ricksen testimonial. MARCO Negri's time at Rangers was plagued with mystery and controversy. The Italian striker opens up on what will be an emotional return to Glasgow later this month as he gets set to play in Fernando Ricksen's testimonial match. MARCO NEGRI was an enigma. An international man of mystery who came to these shores burning as brightly as a Roman candle before fizzling out just as quickly. It was 1997 and Negri was the £3.5million worth of Italian striking talent bought by Walter Smith to fire Rangers to the Holy Grail of 10 in a row. For five months the long-haired Negri scored goals as if they were going out of fashion. Five against Dundee United, four against Dunfermline, three against Kilmarnock – 30 goals plundered before ’97 turned to ’98. Then, in the blink of an eye, it was over. A game of squash with team-mate Sergio Porrini ended in horrific injury and everything changed. Negri suffered a detached retina after being smacked in the eye with the squash ball and when he came back he wasn’t the same player. He scored only three more goals for Rangers and when Smith left, to be replaced by Dick Advocaat, Negri played just three games in two seasons until he was loaned and finally sold back to Italy. In all that time he hardly uttered a word in public. He made Howard Hughes look like Harry Redknapp. So when Negri picks up his phone in Bologna and speaks with enthusiasm and exuberance, in perfect English, about his time in Glasgow the listener is a little taken aback. Now 44, he hasn’t returned to Glasgow since leaving in November 2001 but that will change when Negri pulls on a Rangers jersey again in the testimonial match that has been arranged for the benefit of Motor Neuron Disease victim Fernando Ricksen at Ibrox on Sunday, January 25. The fact he was willing to drop everything and come to the aid of his stricken former team-mate is an indication there was far more to Negri than the public perception. But he believes the reputation he got for being mean and moody stemmed from the day that earmarked him as something special – a 5-1 demolition of Dundee United a month after joining Rangers. He said: “People saying I was unhappy came from what I call my perfect game – the day I scored five goals against Dundee United. “But before that game there was an incident with a member of the Rangers staff that I was very unhappy about. I can’t say any more than that but I was not happy going out on to the pitch. “If you look at the goals I scored against Kilmarnock or Celtic or anybody else you will see me laughing and smiling. “But everyone just looks at the Dundee United match and they think I should be over the moon because I scored five goals – but I was upset before that game.” He doesn’t say any more because he is keeping the juicy stuff for a book he has coming out in Scotland in April about his controversial life and times. But he does admit he is excited at the prospect of returning to Ibrox, although he wishes the circumstances were happier. He added: “I have to be honest and say there are many emotions. Of course it will be wonderful to play in front of the Rangers fans again. It’s a long time since I’ve played and I don’t want to let myself down. “But on the other side is the reason for the match – we are doing something for a team-mate who has a terrible illness and is putting up such a brave fight. “Fernando is struggling and we will do what we can to help. I am bringing my 10-year-old-son Christian to Glasgow for the first time and it will be a chance for him to watch me playing with the blue jersey. “I am already a little under pressure because he is telling me I have to score a goal! “A lot of feelings I have will be unlocked when I come to Glasgow. We are coming over for a few days and I want to show my son the city and the stadium. “We will act as tourists and of course there is the game and I am doing a question and answer session for Fernando’s charity.” Ask if he regrets the manner in which his Rangers career ended and his answer is instant. “Of course,” he said. “I have regrets that my story with Rangers is not complete. “I know my time there was seen by others as being mysterious and controversial. I am bringing out a book in April and those issues will be dealt with at that time but there were injuries and many misunderstandings. And of course there was a squash ball...” The physical pain may have long gone but 17 years on the emotional scars remain. He said: “For me, my career ended the day I was hit in the eye with that squash ball on the fifth of January. “I tried to come back. Rangers were struggling a little bit as they tried to win 10 in a row and the pressure was huge for everyone. I had to rest for two months because the pressure on my eye was very high. I couldn’t train properly, I couldn’t do anything. “I was a striker, a penalty box player, and my game was all about sharpness. “That’s why I played squash – it helped my footwork and movement. “But although I got playing again it wasn’t the same. The eye wasn’t right but I wanted to play my part. “Absolutely, I regret it. It started so well. I was winning the race for the European Golden Boot and waiting for a call-up to the Italy squad ahead of the World Cup in France. “I was on top of the world and then something terrible happened. “As a player you can expect to injure your knee or your ankle or something. But believe me, I did not expect to go to a squash court with Sergio Porrini on my day off and come back without a retina in my eye. “It was terrible luck and although I am relaxed about speaking about it now, at the time it was so hard to live with.” Negri is happy now, though. And after the Ricksen match he is looking forward to representing Rangers in Australia at a summer coaching school. He said: “I’ve been doing soccer camps with a big society in Milan with players like Fabio Cannavaro, Massimo Ambrosini and Alessandro Costacurta. “Last season I did it in Portland in the USA and the year before in Seattle. “This June I am going to Darwin in Australia with Rangers to become involved in some soccer schools being run by the club. That will help me give something back to the club. “I was contacted by Andrew Power, a Rangers fan, who runs the biggest soccer school in Australia. He saw what I had done for the Milan Society in the USA and Italy and asked if I’d be interested. I said yes immediately.” Doesn’t sound much like Moody Marco, does he? Maybe in reality he never was. http://www.dailyrecord.co.uk/sport/football/rangers-legend-marco-negri-opens-4952619?
  13. ...to the Light at the End of the Tunnel. 08 January 2015 By Alex Mooney At some point in the near future a fledgling genius will be tasked with writing the definitive story of Rangers since Craig Whyte bought the club for a pound. It will be an act of folly. No one even remotely sane would dream of trying to separate fact from the fiction. That brilliant brain will eventually flounder and fry in the process. The problems are many. For a start, a trillion words have already been written on the subject. And that's just from thousands of Celtic fans who took crash courses and became lawyers, forensic accountants, tax experts (specialising in EBTs and Sporting Integrity), and insolvency practitioners. Meticulously sifting through that vast body of 'research' alone will be a Herculean effort. If this sorry tale has taught us anything it is that the obsessed only believe what they want to believe. Objectivity is non-existent in the Old Firm battleground where agendas, conspiracy theories and paranoia rule. There is only one truth for fanatics - theirs. Any book that attempts a dispassionate account would have to substantially include the shameful witch-hunt against Rangers which I wrote about on this site two years ago. Also of interest would be the Rangers Tax Case blog that acted as a hanging judge in the EBT tribunal then vanished into the night like a skulking dog when the taxman lost. Yet, astonishingly, it won an Orwell award. Panel members who thought a blog consisting of anonymous posters peddling bile, character assassination and using Stalinist censorship was worthy of a prize should be ashamed. The great man of letters who railed against totalitarianism so brilliantly can never have been so insulted and demeaned. What a travesty in his name. Of course, the bampots are still out there on the net toiling away 24/7 in pursuit of their obsession - killing Rangers. Isn't that odd, given they insist their great rival is already dead? Even some of the more prominent Scottish indy blogs are foolishly getting in on the act. In the run-up to the referendum their mantra was inclusion - we're all in it together and together as one the new Scotland will thrive. Apart from Rangers, it now seems, and the 'corrupt' SFA and mainstream media who are in cahoots in a masterplan to covertly run the country. This is unhinged nonsense and a pitiful attempt to suck people in to a divisive and vengeful agenda that has nothing to do with integrity. Or fair play. Or the state of Scottish football. It is simply a vindictive campaign against one club. Bigots masquerading as defenders of justice fool only themselves. It is also cowardly. The Ibrox club is on its knees and struggling for life after being pick-pocketed by a bunch of chancers and incompetents. It needs the support of everyone in Scottish football - especially Celtic fans whose team have been badly affected by Rangers' absence in the top flight. Yet the keyboard warriors are not only kicking a man when he's down, they are revelling in it. The handful of mainstream journalists who egg the obsessed on - and make a shilling from it - should take a serious look at what they are condoning. This poisonous agenda has no place in our lives and they have a professional responsibility not to feed it. So good luck to any aspiring authors out there - your book on Rangers will be howled down by the haters who, I fear, will bore us to death for many long years to come. What is important now is looking ahead and charting a path out of the shambles at Ibrox rather than endlessly analysing the past three years - history, and the courts, will take care of the charlatans who bled the club dry. The only consolation for fleeced fans is knowing that the snake-oil salesmen will go to their graves, their characters forever stained. The last AGM, conducted from a gazebo on a bitterly cold December day in Govan, was utter pantomime as the bumbling board members entered stage left to boos and vicious name-calling. Dignity was conspicuous by its absence as the grey clouds gathered ominously over that theatre of screams. Onlookers around the football world must have been shocked by what they witnessed as this once mighty institution washed its dirty linen in public. How many times has it been said the club had reached its lowest ebb - only for new depths to be plumbed? Surely that grim day was as bad as it can get? With Dave King and the Three Bears entering the fray, with others perhaps, I will take the risk of this coming back to haunt me and say the club really has bottomed out - and can now find a realistic way back to the top. Mike Ashley's involvement is puzzling. Did he ever have a genuine strategy for the club apart from selling the merchandise for a quick buck? The billionaire recluse could easily have bankrolled a recovery with loose change from his back pocket but chose not to. So why get involved at all? Perhaps he doesn't know either. Maybe all that money has gone to this head and made him a stranger to himself. What he must also do now is make himself a stranger to the club. Rangers returning to rude health is conditional, of course, on the new investors and board members being up to the task unlike their inept predecessors. But that shouldn't be a problem if they follow basic business rules. A plan to revive a football club isn't that difficult to understand - you reduce expenditure and increase income. That's it. It's called, dare I say it, Doing a Fergus. There can't be a Gers fan anywhere in the world who wouldn't welcome such a character coming into their club right now with a five-year plan. All it needs is an honest broker. The first step on the long and winding road is getting the fans onside - all of them. Without their backing there is no future. The only way that can happen is for the new regime to be open and honest. Supporters know there are massive problems and tough times before things get better. They can take that. What they cannot bear is being kept out of the loop. Trying to fool them with clever soundbites won't work. There has to be truth. Even if it's bad news, fans will respect the board for that - and back them. But you can't just ask for trust - it has to be earned by not treating them as outsiders. They are all part of the Rangers family so must be viewed as such. The fans also have a massive role to play among themselves. Once an honest regime is in place it will be time to heal the splits and unite. Common cause has to be found to get the club back to where it should be. Filling the stadium and buying season tickets has to be a priority. A solid future for the club takes precedence over personality clashes and point scoring. Trying to say with any certainty when this saga will end is fraught with difficulty but pressure is building on the board. They are running out of time and money. And even the dumbest of them must realise there is no club without the fans - who have lost all patience with those whose tenure can only be regarded as a complete failure. They must step aside soon. Once that happens the real rebuilding will begin and everyone in Scottish football can get back to some sort of normality. Bring it on. http://www.therangersstandard.co.uk/index.php/articles/current-affairs/334-telling-the-rangers-story-from-whyte-to-the-light-at-the-end-of-the-tunnel
  14. A Spain based motor tycoon who wants to buy Rangers is building a £5 million mansion close to Glasgow, The Sunday Post can reveal. Businessman Douglas Park, 64, has submitted plans to erect an eight-bedroom villa near Strathaven, 20 miles from Ibrox. Work is under way on the father-of-three’s new home, which will boast a spiral staircase, home office, gym and steam room as well as a gargantuan master bedroom, according to plans lodged with South Lanarkshire Council. Since separating from wife Isobel in 1999, the tycoon has spent most of his time in Spain. But sources say the car giant plans to move back to the UK – and to help seize control of Ibrox. Alongside George Taylor and George Letham, Park is a member of the so-called Three Bears, who announced on Hogmanay they had bought up 19% of the club. They are in pole position to take control of the side after a £36m bid package by American Robert Sarver was rejected. Last night a source said: “Things are going very well for Dougie. He’s Rangers daft and has flown all over Europe to follow the team. He is close to several Ibrox legends. It’s the same with his three sons. His business is thriving and has his sons help run it so he doesn’t need to be around as much. “He owns a house near the one he is building but it is far smaller and he’s rarely there. “Building this is different. It’s a sign he’s going to spend more time in Scotland – and that will hopefully involve playing a major role at Ibrox. They need him in the boardroom.” The Three Bears are reportedly in cahoots with former director Dave King, 59, who owns 15% of the club. Last night, Craig Houston, of Rangers supporters’ group Sons of Struth, said: “After the turbulent last few years we’d love to see Dougie Park in charge.” Park has built up his thriving business from humble beginnings. He is now recognised to be one of Scotland’s shrewdest businessmen with an estimated personal wealth of £78 million. He started in 1971 with a fleet of three buses, ferrying football fans all over Scotland. That led to contracts providing team coaches for Celtic and other clubs, including Rangers. As the empire grew, he diversified and now owns a large number of car dealerships, including the exclusive rights to sell McLaren and Maserati sports cars in Scotland. Mr Park was unavailable for comment last night. http://www.sundaypost.com/news-views...-park-1.781167
  15. "Former Bayern Munich boss holds talks with consortium looking to gain control at Ibrox as he impresses with his blueprint for future of the club Felix Magath has joined forces with the Three Bears in a bid to force a regime change at Rangers. Record Sport revealed yesterday how the former Bayern Munich boss had bought one per cent stake in the cash crippled club. Magath held discussions with one of the key players in the Three Bears consortium after flying into Scotland last week." http://www.dailyrecord.co.uk/sport/football/felix-magath-joins-up-three-4950904 Is it just just coincidence that Nerlinger, who has been so heavily linked with us recently is fairly close to Magath (I believe)? Nerlinger also scored against Magath's Stuttgart side when we beat them at Ibrox in 2003.
  16. BBC's 'The One Show' apologises after 400 viewers complain about Rita Ora's cleavage. Read more at http://www.nme.com/news/rita-ora/82087?#z8uoHhQUWBxgArwP.99
  17. GERMAN football legend Felix Magath has bought one per cent of Rangers and outlined his vision for the footballing future of the cash-strapped club. Record Sport can reveal the former Bayern Munich boss has emerged as a major and serious player following talks over the last week with influential figures around Ibrox. Magath has spoken with one of the groups battling for control of the club - not American Robert Sarver - and, if all goes well, could become Technical Director at Murray Park by the summer. German sources last night confirmed Magath’s involvement but, amazingly, he did not let on about his shares purchase before sitting down for discussions with the Rangers group. Magath, most recently in charge at Fulham , has been watching the Rangers story unfold with some dismay over the last three years and decided to take a personal stake in the club towards the end of last year - city sources suggest it was around one per cent. He has long admired Rangers and believes they are a massive club who are ready to come good again, with the right guidance from the boardroom the training ground. He invested a chunk of his own wealth backing his belief that the only way for the club is up - and now he may be handed a chance to influence its future. It’s believed Magath impressed in talks as he outlined a vision that will completely restructure the club’s playing department from top to bottom. The 61-year-old has no desire to become first-team coach, but is ready to demand autonomy in putting in a structure from youth level upwards that will give the club the best chance of returning to the top, with a strong focus on developing talent. It will be based on the German model, with a focus on work ethic, technique and technical ability, underpinned by a proper European and worldwide scouting system. Magath believes he is the man to oversee it all, and reckons Murray Park is an ideal environment in which to develop younger, talented players after spending part of his pre-season training camp at the facility with Fulham last summer. Magath’s spell at Fulham may not have ended successfully but he has many admirers, not least in Germany where his way of guiding clubs was always successful, so long as coaches and his board went with his way of thinking From Hamburg to Nürnberg, to Bremen to Frankfurt he has won a reputation for stabilising and building successful structures and at Stuttgart he developed players such as Kevin Kuranyi, Philipp Lahm, Mario Gomez and Alex Hleb. He left Stuttgart for Bayern Munich and won the double twice in a row, but arguably his greatest achievement came seven years ago at Wolfsburg. They avoided relegation on the last day of the season in 2007, but the following year he took them to fifth and in 2009 won the title, earning the club a fortune in the process with the development of players such as Edin Dzeko, Zvjezdan Misimovic and Brazilian striker Grafite. He left the club the following season for Schalke 04 and his restructuring paid off immediately when they came second after finishing ninth the season before. He led them to the German cup final and the quarter-final of the Champions League but was still fired by the board in 2011 after a dispute over his methods. One German source said: “Felix does not care about names – he focuses only on performance and attitude, whether it is a star, an established player or a youngster. This is why he brought out so many young or unknown players.” Now he could be ready to weave his magic again as the Godfather of Govan in what would be one of the boldest and most audacious appointments in the history of the Scottish game. http://www.dailyrecord.co.uk/sport/football/football-news/ex-bayern-munich-boss-felix-magath-4945747
  18. All the links now seem to be coming transparent.
  19. rbr

    Rangers first

    Great day for the Rangers first schemem , now sitting at over 2170 members , superb , hopefully this is just the start , I know there is an off line campaign starting soon which has been funded by separate donations.
  20. Just heard that one of them has loaned the club 500,000 pounds to keep things ticking over. Anyone else heard this
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