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  1. I would just like to see why rangers fans think so highly of Jim McColl. Is it just because of his money?
  2. Article submitted by Scorchio: Blue Pitch Holdings and the Easdales Quite just who the legal beneficiary or beneficiaries plural of the much discussed Blue Pitch Holdings actually is or are is one of the hottest burning questions of the last 16 months since Charles Green, his associates & their financial backers successfully achieved a failed CVA and completed their so-called 'binding agreement' to buy the Club from the clutches of administrators Duff & Phelps. There's been more questions on the minds of Rangers fans since back then in our Club's darkest days than most people care to remember (including ourselves, the fans), but this particular question has been asked so many times that it's absolutely staggering we're still having to ask it. "Who are Blue Pitch Holdings?" has been asked by fans, fan reps, fan groups, influential fans, ex-directors and investors alike, but still there's been no definitive answer.... from anyone. When the question is asked I've regularly seen and heard it met with agreement from fans who would like to know the answer themselves and in many cases feel they have the right to know the answer to who is behind this faceless investor in our Club. Given the fact that Blue Pitch were one of the few initial investors and essentially a key player in the takeover, it's quite hard to argue against the idea that their identity should be revealed. After all, the fans are bigger investors in the Club than any other. As can be expected though, others say that shareholders and investors are completely, rightfully entitled to anonymity and confidentiality because company and market regulations and laws say so. Now, while this is technically correct, it could easily be suggested that if a shareholder wishes to remain anonymous, then perhaps they should remain in the shadows lurking behind their own curtains rather than the curtains in the Rangers boardroom. Perhaps a shareholder, investor, group (or family?) who wants to take such a back seat that they can't even be seen or heard shouldn't lodge a formal EGM Requisition calling for the removal of two board members including the Chairman whilst proposing motions for the appointment of their own men. That's what Blue Pitch Holdings did back in May when they formally staged a boardroom coup to oust Malcolm Murray and Phil Cartmell from Ibrox and replace them with Chris Morgan and James Easdale. Inevitably, it was a coup which was met with resistance and almost a further two months passed by before that particular resistance became futile and the Club finally announced on 9 July 2013 that Malcolm Murray and Phil Cartmell had left the board. Crucially though, there had been a compromise and the director departures ran parallel to Chris Morgan stepping away while only James Easdale was appointed as a non-executive director of the company. It's difficult to say whether or not Blue Pitch were happy with this compromise, but they certainly agreed to it and got James Easdale into the boardroom in place of not one, but two directors they wanted removed. Let's leave the question of why they wanted Murray & Cartmell removed for others to ask and just say that the coup was certainly (and at the very least), a partial success. Since the name Blue Pitch Holdings was first mentioned, one of the interesting facts is that right from the the word go Charles Green started mentioning names in connection with BPH and in doing so he instantly gave off the impression that he wasn't trying to hide anything about this particular investor. If we go back to 14 June 2012 immediately following the CVA failure, Green dropped the name Alessandro Celano when he said the following in an official statement: "In terms of investors in the company, to date our investors include Chris Morgan, a UK-based businessman representing family trusts; Glenmuir, the renowned Scottish clothing company; Ian Hart a Glasgow-based businessman; Alessandro Celano of Blue Pitch Holdings and Zeus Capital" http://www.rangers.co.uk/news/headlines/item/1316-charles-green-statement Following that Green had a lot on his plate with the SFA, SPL, doing interviews, meeting supporters groups and clubs all while ultimately building towards the IPO. Over roughly a 4 month period it would appear as though he wasn't able to keep his story straight about Blue Pitch Holdings which eventually culminated in him releasing another 'Charles Green Statement' on the Rangers website on 20 October 2012 which went as follows: "There has been renewed speculation and media comment recently regarding the current shareholders in The Rangers Football Club. A full list of current shareholders will be published in the share prospectus which will be issued within the next few weeks. A lot of attention has focused on investment funds which have taken a shareholding in the Club to date. For example, I would like to clarify that in the case of Blue Pitch Holdings, the legal beneficiary is Mazen Houssami and not Arif Naqvi of Abraaj Capital. Mr Naqvi is a personal friend of mine and I approached him early on in the process about a shareholding but he has not proceeded on the basis that the investment fell outside the core geography he invests in." http://www.rangers.co.uk/news/headlines/item/2451-charles-green-statement A crucial point to make here is that when it comes to the subject of Blue Pitch Holdings, people's interest in Green consistently (and inconsistently) dropping names like Celano, Naqvi, Houssami or anyone else who isn't actually the legal beneficiary of Blue Pitch Holdings is very limited because all of these names most likely need to be filed under 'Charles Green's version of the truth'. In other words, probably nonsense which resulted from the opening of a mouth and the rumbling of a belly. Rafat Rizvi is another name that's been mentioned and pondered quite frequently in connection with Blue Pitch due to leaked recordings now in the public domain of a meeting between Brian Stockbridge, Imran Ahmad and Craig Whyte. It was a meeting which took place before the failed CVA and and subsequent newco takeover which appears to suggest that a large sum of cash (circa £5m) from Rizvi and some of his friends was going to be used to help finance Green and co’s takeover. It's entirely possible that Rizvi and his associates were indeed initially the legal beneficiaries of Blue Pitch Holdings and amongst the original takeover backers/investors. Rizvi's reputation and interpol problems would certainly have provided Green with a cracking excuse to tell numerous porkies about who was behind this mysterious investor. It's not as if Green ever needed an excuse to be economical with the truth right enough. Rolling forward to the present time, the facts at our disposal regarding BPH don't point to Rizvi and friends hiding from interpol in London or Singapore, they point in other far more obvious directions closer to home because key events have taken place and certain things have been said which just don't make any sense unless you cast aside those previous names and start joining some of the dots we actually have sight of in the form of facts on the timeline. On 23 April BBC Scotland told us that Charles Green had agreed to sell his shares in the Club to the Easdales and that they already had a 6% shareholding at that point. We were told that they wanted a place on the board and that they might look to take overall control of the club. A little over two weeks later on the 9th May James and Sandy Easdale did an interview in a McGill’s bus where it was reiterated that they already held approximately 6% of the shares in Rangers and that they wished to be involved at board level. The obvious issue (and one which has previously been covered by other commentators) with those public claims via BBC Scotland back in late April and early May that the Easdales already owned approx 6% of Rangers, was that they weren't listed amongst the shareholders with a notifiable interest of 3% or more. Indeed, a leaked email dated 24 May from Stephen Keys of Cenkos Securities which he sent to all of the Rangers Directors lists the Easdales as having 1.1%, not 6% (or even around/about 6%). The same Cenkos email did however list Blue Pitch as having 6.14%. Of course it was no secret that Blue Pitch held 6.14% since it was a notifiable interest and Blue Pitch Holdings was already listed amongst the major shareholders as it had been all along. Incredibly, just 7 days after the Easdales' 9 May McGill’s bus interview it was announced on 16 May that a group of shareholders had sent the Club a requisition for an EGM. As I mentioned earlier in the article, these shareholders were formally staging a boardroom coup to oust Malcolm Murray and Phil Cartmell from Ibrox and replace them with Chris Morgan and perhaps more importantly, James Easdale who was later appointed to the board of directors. The shareholders staging the coup were of course none other than Blue Pitch Holdings. A lot of fans back then (myself included) were astonished by the news and completely bewildered as to why James Easdale was being proposed as a director because there were questions regarding his suitability and how appropriate such an appointment would be, especially given that there was no apparent evidence of the Easdales actually having this large stake in the club which was being claimed. The conclusion which I think most of us came to at the time was that one of the Easdale brothers was getting put forward for a seat on the board as part of the agreement to eventually buy Green's shares. It seemed a fairly logical conclusion to draw at the time, but what if we were wrong? What if the Easdale family were actually at that point the legal beneficiaries of the Blue Pitch shareholding or say around 5% of it taking into account that they already had 1.1% according to the leaked Cenkos email? Would that explain why we had been getting told for several weeks that the Easdale family already owned around 6%? It's a concept which is far from being out of the question or impossible, but there are other possibilities. Chris Morgan, who Blue Pitch proposed as a director alongside James Easdale was originally described by Green as a "UK-based businessman representing family trusts" and while I wouldn't suggest taking Green's words with anything other than a pinch of salt, it must be said that not everything which left his mouth was actually a lie. The leaked Stephen Keys (Cenkos) email actually clarifies which trusts/funds Chris Morgan was representing back in May when it lists Margarita Funds [4%], Norne Anstalt [1.84%] and Putney Holdings [0.7%] as being Morgan's "investor group". We're not exactly clarifying the mud here, but let's just say that it's not beyond the realms of possibility that Chris Morgan was actually representing an Easdale family trust as part of his investor group. It's certainly another possibility worth throwing up if we're working on the basis that the claims of the Easdales already having around 6% back in April/May were true. Looking at it all from a current perspective, if we take into account that James Easdale's brother Sandy has since been appointed to the Club board of directors (as opposed to the PLC board) and that Sandy has supposedly been given the proxy votes of Blue Pitch, Margarita and other shareholders to take him to approx 24% voting rights, it must be said that the Easdale family certainly appear to sit in a position of quite significant strength. Since we were told as far back as late April that the Easdales intended to get themselves into a controlling position, then it shouldn't really come as a surprise and neither should it come as a surprise if it's ever revealed that the Easdales own a larger percentage of our Club, than what's technically listed next to their actual names on the shareholder list.
  3. How many truly World Class players have played for the club? Jim Baxter for one. Any others?
  4. BOARD OF RANGERS FC 1 #SACKTHEBOARD# 0 For those of us in the neutral enclosure, sitting atop a fence rather than allying with any particular faction, the weekend scoreline came as something of a shock result. A very much under strength Rangers Board managed to pull off a shock victory against their bitter rivals - #sacktheboard# The result was made all the more remarkable considering the Rangers board have “Toxic Jack” in the squad, a man whose propensity this season to cite Paul McConville and Andy Muirhead to support his arguments make him firm favourite for the “Own Goal Of The Season” award. But in what to date, has been a very ugly and bruising contest, the Rangers Board emerged as Saturdays victors with lone striker Sandy Easdale netting the winner with the following display of intricate mouthwork : “I have no desire to criticise any individual or group and believe the constant tit for tat that we have seen recently is damaging the club” Hallelujah !!! To borrow a well known beer commercial’s slogan.....”If only all statements were made this way” Many of us in the undecided camp are growing weary of the predictable tactics which make the long ball up the middle look like an intricate maze of passes taken from the drawing board. Unsubstantiated allegations based on little more than rumour and scaremongering – if you have evidence or the truth is it really too much to ask you share it with the rest of the Rangers support so that we can make informed choices ? The citing of bloggers who yesterday you ridiculed as having a lack of credibility but today you are championing because their argument suits yours – only demeans your own credibility The citing of well known anti-Rangers contributors to support your particular argument – need I say more ? Careful where you sow those magical beans Jack. The new forum user whose entire posting history is to provide links to journalists who support his/her argument. But perhaps worst of all is the level of personal vitriol being exchanged between Bears as freely as Barcelona exchange passes. As if it’s not bad enough one bloggers wife being brought into the fray, some even felt the Daily Record publishing a photo of our director’s house was justified. Furthermore it’s difficult to afford people victim status when they themselves are engaging in the type of conduct they are complaining about – in this regard the word “hypocritical” jumps out at me way before “snake oiled salesman” or “Thief”. But seeing as Tom English enlightened us all at the weekend with some parody perhaps it’s fitting we end on that note. Speaking to Easdale post match it was clear he had a point to prove. “I was delighted to get that winner. All week Chuck [Charles Green] has been winding me up, waving his honorary RST membership in front of me and declaring..." “Hey Sandy lad, have you got one of these babies yet?”
  5. ON the advice of police, Brian Stockbridge, the Rangers finance director, has had to improve the security system at his family home following a photograph of the property being published on the front page of a newspaper on Friday. Police went to his home and installed “what can be legitimately called a panic button” according to a person familiar with the story. Stockbridge has come in for heavy criticism over the way he has managed Rangers’ finances and incurred the wrath of the fans when videoing Malcolm Murray when the former chairman was under the influence of alcohol. Much of the flak has been par for the course for an executive in his position, but lately there has been a number of more objectionable threats made online and the publication of a picture of his distinctive home alerted the police to a possible risk to his safety and the safety of his family. On various supporters’ websites there was anger over Stockbridge purchasing the house with the help of a £200,000 bonus awarded to him when Rangers won the Third Division title. The house was purchased a year before, however. Stockbridge has resisted calls to resign, but protests are ongoing. Stockbridge and James Easdale are the only remaining directors on the plc board following the recent departures of Ian Hart, Bryan Smart and Craig Mather. http://www.scotsman.com/sport/football/spfl-lower-divisions/rangers-brian-stockbridge-improves-home-security-1-3148990
  6. We are under investigation from glasgows finest as to armed forces day daily record page seven the police report is now complete amazing the speed of the investigation when you think that the same police are dragging their heels into those who wronged our club .
  7. Folks, What are your favourite memories of Dutch Rangers players of the past, both Advocaat era and non-Advocaat era? Favourite Dutch player (or players), combinations of players in the team, favourite games? Just basically looking for fond memories, anecdotes, memories of a favourite game (or games) and any specific stuff you care to mention! A quick recap of some of the Dutch players: Dick Advocaat era: Ronald de Boer, Michael Mols, Giovanni van Bronckhorst, Artur Numan, Bert Konterman, Fernando Ricksen. Outwith the Advocaat era: Frank de Boer, Theo Snelders, Ronald Waterreus, Pieter Huistra, Peter van Vossen. (If I've missed any players please chime in!)
  8. An magnificent example of how the sport should be played......if that sport is running around, chasing after where the football used to be 5 seconds before you got there for 90 minutes and then kicking people when they're lying on the ground. Even more magnificently, they managed to restrict Barcelona to a mere 82% of the possession - a huge improvement on the 88% Barcelona had last year. I'm looking forward to wee neil explaining how, despite being made to look like a shower of talentless tits for an hour and a half, Celtic were actually the better side, how Brown didn't deserve to be sent off for kicking Neymar in the back and how they can still qualify for the knockout stages.
  9. This will be the final Founders Trail and Ibrox Stadium Tour of 2013. Join us on a journey of discovery back to 1872 when The Rangers were just the dream of a group of young kids who gathered on Fleshers Haugh. They had no ball, no football kit and used a bush on the Green as a changing room. Their Club, which they nurtured, was to become the world's most successful and it all happened on the streets of Glasgow. Our journey takes us to the area of Fleshers Haugh where The Rangers played their first ever match, we also visit Glassford Street, Union Street, Berkeley Street, Burnbank, Kinning Park, Craigton Cemetery and many other places of interest before finishing off our day with a tour of our magnificent Ibrox Stadium. During our journey we have a 30 minute break at the West of Scotland Cricket Ground in Partick which was the scene of the Rangers first ever Scottish Cup Final in 1877. It gives everyone a chance to unwind, grab a beer or soft drink and a bite to eat at a beautiful and historical setting. Adults : £19 Children (under 16) and Senior Citizens £14. Group discounts are available upon request. To reserve your seat just send an email to : thegallantpioneers@googlemail.com For further information phone : 0790 2855536 An insight into our research is here our website. http://www.thegallantpioneers.co.uk/index.html
  10. http://www.rangers.co.uk/news/headlines/item/5288-chief-executive-steps-down CRAIG MATHER has today left his position as Chief Executive of Rangers International Football Club Plc by mutual consent. Mr Mather has agreed to stand down in an attempt to help calm speculation over the governance and executive management of Rangers. Mr Mather said: “The interests of the Club are of paramount importance and I believe these are best served by me leaving the Club. “Despite recent events and speculation, the facts of the matter are that the Club is financially secure and in a far better place than it was a year ago. “Unlike most football clubs Rangers has money in the bank, no borrowings and this season we have assembled a squad which is capable of progressing through the leagues. “I have enjoyed a very constructive relationship with Ally McCoist and wish him and the team every success. “My short tenure as chief executive has been beset by incessant attempts to destabilise the operations of the Club, all done supposedly in the interests of Rangers. “I had real faith in the rebuilding of Rangers and invested significantly in the Club. Sadly, those who have been most active in upsetting the very good progress we have been making were not willing to do the same. “I leave with my head held high and will remain as a shareholder and a supporter of Ally and his team. “I would also like to pay tribute to the outstanding commitment and loyalty of Rangers supporters. “No individual is more important than Rangers and my departure will hopefully alleviate some of the pressure surrounding the Club and herald an end to the current hysteria, which I believe most fans desperately want to see. “I have always tried to do my best for the Club and the fans and I will continue my support of what is a fantastic Club. “There are a great many good and thoroughly decent people working with Rangers and I am proud to say that I was able to stand alongside them for a time. “It is often forgotten that I put in £1m of my own money but I can assure everyone that it was never about the money for me. “I consider it to have been my privilege and I am certain that once the Board is settled Rangers will be restored to the top of Scottish football. “I wish Rangers and the fans every success in the weeks, months and years ahead. I will continue to follow the Club’s fortunes and support the team which is playing an exciting style of football. In fact, I hope to return to Ibrox and take in as many matches as my time will allow.”
  11. I believe we have been royally shafted again. Mather walking off with a pay off for resigning? Are you fucking kidding me? He's done the off so why are we paying him for it! If he does this and gets paid handsomely for it then will it be the same for the Easdales, Stockbridge and smart? Can we assume that Rangers have been used for the last couple of years to be nothing other than absolutely raped? Ahmad has pumped us, green has, Fuck the only one who hasn't seems to be Malcolm Murray (or did he recieve a payment) Rangers football club has been savaged for 2 years. Is whyte even away? Are ticketus still in about it? Mind ticketus have links to whyte. I said on rangers chat earlier, I don't think anyone of these manky robbing bastards will be near the AGM and these actions just prove that to me. Get these bastards hunted bears (btw Stockbridge that's not a threat ya shitebag) but it may be best you lot don't attend games from now on as I don't think you will be Rangers fans favourites. Give us our club back. I'm fucking raging tbh
  12. Whilst I am very happy with the statements released tonight I do however have one major concern. That is the return of a certain Martin Edward Bain. This man in my opinion has done some serious damage to our great club, a lot of which has been hidden by the media and not discussed. This includes negotiating with Strathclyde's finest "not" to charge a certain manager of another club for racial and sectarian abuse. Allowing most media outlets to have a free for all against our club and its supporters without defending them once in a court of law. Vastly increasing his salary when our club had to downsize and reduce debt. Forcing the sale of certain players and lying to them personally about it. (Pedro Mendes being just one example). If Dave King returns there is a strong chance that this chancer will be making an appearance as well. Whilst Craig Mather may have put the nail in one coffin we must always be very aware of another return of the living dead. Please don't let this idiot ever get his feet under the table again.
  13. Dunfermline Athletic are once again standing on the brink of liquidation after former owner Gavin Masterton yesterday lodged an interim interdict at the High Court in Edinburgh in a dispute over the club’s training ground. With administrators BDO set to release the majority shareholding to Pars United, a late hitch developed concerning ownership of Pitreavie, which the fans’ group do not wish to be included in the terms for the sale of the club. Pars United want the long-term lease, assigned by Fife Council to the club in 2006, to be cancelled rather than be included in the majority shareholding. However, former Bank of Scotland managing director Masterton lodged an interim interdict as joint administrator Bryan Jackson prepared to renounce the lease, which was the last remaining obstacle in the fans’ bid to take ownership of the club. Security for the lease of Pitreavie from Fife Council is held by a pension fund, the trustees for which were Masteron and former chairman John Yorkston. Masterton claims the lease is worth £500,000 and has stepped in at the 11th hour to block the sale of the club to Pars United, who view the training ground as a liability. This comes after Masterton revealed a plan earlier this year to place the lease for Pitreavie in the hands of the Pars Trust, a forerunner of Pars United. The case will now be heard at the Court of Session in Edinburgh on Monday. It is understood that Pars United are still considering whether to accept the lease of Pitreavie as part of the ownership deal with BDO, which would leave them responsible for the training-ground upkeep. The prospective new owners of the club have recently revealed that Dunfermline already require a £150,000 cash investment to survive this season. The East End Park outfit entered administration earlier this year. A bid by Pars United for a Company Voluntary Arrangement was accepted in July after creditors agreed to take zero pence in the pound. Jackson conceded at the time that there were still hurdles ahead that had to be negotiated. “There is still a lot of work to be done but the decision is clearly an important step toward the ultimate goal of the club coming out of administration,” he said. However, this aim has now come unstuck and the club’s future has been placed back in peril. In a statement issued last night Pars United admitted they were “deeply disappointed” by the turn of events. “The offer submitted by Pars United to BDO in July to buy DAFC was subject to a number of conditions,” said the statement. “One of these related to the lease at Pitreavie, which we requested be terminated so Pars United was not taking on this responsibility in future for the ongoing maintenance. We have been consistent in terms of our stance on this matter for many months. “BDO are currently trying to resolve this matter so we are in a position to imminently purchase the club. We are deeply disappointed with the developments today, but have to rely on BDO and the other connected parties to resolve this issue by the end of the week. “Pars United are unfortunately not in a position to say any more on this matter at this time as it is in the hands of the administrator and the court. Please can we ask all fans to remain patient until further clarity can be provided.” Dunfermline entered administration in March over an unpaid £134,000 tax bill. Seven senior players were made redundant and the club were docked 15 points. Dunfermline were eventually relegated to the third tier of Scottish football. They currently sit in second place in League One but were beaten 4-0 by Forfar Athletic on Saturday. Manager Jim Jefferies last night admitted that this latest setback was the “last thing” his young side needed. “My players have come through a lot recently and the last thing they need is for this to drag on,” he said. “It is the first time they have all been involved in this. And maybe this is what it takes to get a club out of administration. There is always something that crops us. “It’s annoying,” he added. “We have come through a lot playing wise. That side of it has been going fairly well considering the trauma. We don’t really need this again to cause any disruption. It takes a lot to get players in the right frame of mind. I am just hoping it can be sorted. “We have to rely on BDO and Pars United getting it resolved.” http://www.scotsman.com/sport/football/latest/dunfermline-s-darkest-hour-as-liquidation-looms-1-3134056
  14. http://www.eveningtimes.co.uk/rangers/rangerscomment/peralta-needs-quiet-word-in-ear-139014n.22389257 I seem to remember him going down easily however that's a completely different issue from diving altogether. Maybe I'm wrong did he dive? Even if he did I'm pretty sure I never seen a column about Sutton, Petrov, Moravcik, Stokes on 'that' penalty that the greek tranny missed ........... the list is endless. Who needs enemies.
  15. CELTIC shareholders are demanding the club’s board lodge a formal complaint with UEFA over Rangers’ readmittance to the Scottish Football League following its financial collapse. A resolution set to be tabled at the club’s AGM on November 15 calls upon the board to demand a probe into how “an unqualified new club” formed after the Ibrox side’s liquidation was allowed entry into the league by the SFA. They claim Scotland’s footballing bosses contravened the UEFA code of conduct by granting a licence and put other clubs vying to enter the league at a disadvantage. The Celtic board has urged that the motion is rejected, saying that requesting a UEFA investigation would be “unnecessary”. But shareholders have promised a “fiery debate” over the resolution, which states sections of the Hoops’ shareholders have “no confidence in the SFA’s governance”. Rangers entered administration in February last year. Charles Green’s Sevco bought the club’s assets last June as it faced liquidation and later changed the name to The Rangers Football Club Plc. The Ibrox club was removed from the SPL but its membership of the SFA was transferred to the new owners, allowing it to start last season in Division Three. Celtic shareholders have raised questions about the SFA’s decision, claiming it displayed “a disregard for the rules and spirit of fair play” and “contradicted FIFA, UEFA and SFA mission statements”. The resolution also claims the SFA was involved in “secret cross governance agreements” to get Rangers back in the league, allowed the club to compete “without proper registration compliance” and that the SFA failed to initiate an “inquiry on improper player registration”. It is also stated “our concern is directed at the governance of the game in Scotland, the SFA, and its apparent disregard for the licensing designed to protect against such commercial impropriety and ensure sporting integrity”. http://www.express.co.uk/sport/football/436527/Celtic-shareholders-want-UEFA-to-probe-SFA-over-Rangers-punishment?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+daily-express-scotland+%28Daily+Express+%3A%3A+Scotland+Feed%29
  16. Scotland Under-19s secured their place in the UEFA European Championship elite round following a 1-1 draw with Germany in Belarus this afternoon. Scotland: Kelly, Souttar, Hendrie, McKenna, Sinnamon, O'Hara (Lindsay 53), Henderson, Walsh, Johnstone, Oliver, Nicholson, Petrie (Cpt.) (Nicholson 46), Lindsay, Telfer (Oliver 53). Well done to the four young Rangers players.
  17. Georgia 2-1 Scotland. Wonderful 20yd volley by sub Macleod. Game on out of nowhere. 81 mins. A wee bit of good news.
  18. Toyed with the idea of writing a 'match' preview for this but we'll just go for the thread instead. Case opened at 10am but has been adjourned until 11 so lawyers for Rangers can read over a late submission from the Requisitioner who seek to have an open vote at the AGM on current and nominated board members.
  19. IT IS hard to escape the irony. Three years ago Nacho Novo brought out an autobiography, the title of which riffed on the episode where he was pursued by both sides of the Old Firm when a player with Dundee. I Said ‘No Thanks’ was the unusual title, one that seemed to delight in the choice of Rangers over Celtic that he eventually made. It was a slightly more humble figure who presented himself at Hampden yesterday to help make the draw for the third round of the William Hill Scottish Cup. Novo, 34, is now cast in a football wilderness and desperate to avoid being forced into retirement. He has already agreed to be the star attraction at half-term holiday Ibrox stadium tours next week, when he will discuss the part he played in great matches for Rangers. This won’t completely satisfy someone who says he finds it hard to watch games at the moment without wanting to “run down on to the pitch and score a goal”. However, it provides him with an opportunity to run into Ally McCoist, someone he says he has had trouble contacting since his return to Scotland earlier this year. One by one yesterday, Novo picked out the names of clubs, even handing Rangers a home a draw against Airdrieonians. If only it was so easy to pick up a club in his professional car-eer. Even Rangers have said “no thanks”. Or at least that is what he assumes they have said, since he has not heard from McCoist since playing in a Legends match against Manchester United at Ibrox in May. “You know McCoist,” Novo lamented. “It is a nightmare to get him to answer phone calls.” So he has had to accept that his dream of a return to Rangers is over. Novo stressed that he was still in good shape. He certainly looks no different to the Nacho Novo who scored regularly for Rangers, and before that for Raith Rovers and Dundee. Since leaving Ibrox he has played in Poland and also for Huesca and Sporting Gijon in his homeland – indeed, he was playing at the Bernabeu in a league win for Gijon over then manager Jose Mourinho’s side as recently as 2011. From playing in front of 95,000 people to now training alone. “I am starting to get bored, to be honest with you,” he said. “I can definitely do a job for someone.” A trial period at Kilmarnock earlier this season did not result in a contract offer. He has no complaint with manager Allan Johnston, who explained to him that what he really needed was a right-sided midfielder rather than a forward. “He has been brilliant and the thing I like best about Allan is he is an honest person,” said Novo yesterday. “He is a good manager. I know it is not the best situation at Kilmarnock just now, but having been there, his training and everything is fantastic.” However, there is definitely some dismay at the silence from McCoist. He would, of course, argue that he is under no obligation to re-sign Novo just because he is such a fans’ favourite. Indeed, it is possible to wonder whether Novo did himself more harm than good during that Legends game, when he missed several one-on-one chances and then was upstaged by McCoist, who came on and scored twice at the age of 50. “Don’t call us, we’ll call you”, seemed to be the gist of what McCoist said to Novo after that, and the Spaniard is still waiting. “It’s a long story,” he admitted. “I always thought I would come back to Rangers and lots of things came out in the papers that McCoist wanted to speak with me but it has never happened. You have to take that as obviously they don’t want you, so that’s football. “You don’t always get what you want and you just need to walk away and work hard.” The rejection, he added, has “made me stronger”, and now he “wants even more now to get back on to the park and give everything for a team who wants me. “He [McCoist] never said anything to me at all, so when that happens, you have to think about other options. “At the Legends game he told me he might be able to bring me back here. He said he’d have a chat with me but he never spoke to me.” So Novo remains for hire, and he was quick to assure those in attendance yesterday that he was still as fit as he always has been, while he claims to have lost none of his pace. There was heavy poignancy attached to Novo’s appearance at Hampden Park yesterday. Requested by photographers to wander out onto the pitch, his mind could not help but flash back to 2009, when he scored the winning goal for Rangers over Falkirk in the Scottish Cup final. It wasn’t so long ago that he was a contributor to a Rangers side expected to win major honours. Now both Novo and his former club are experiencing more trying days, although he still believes his old side have a chance to win the Scottish Cup this season, after being knocked out in emphatic style by Dundee United at the fourth-round stage last season. “They have a bigger squad – probably the biggest after Celtic,” he said. “They’ve done very well so fark, so you never know. In the Scottish Cup there can always be a surprise because the teams are changing. There’s always a team who come into it and do well. “I remember last year I watched Rangers against Motherwell [in the League Cup] and it was probably the best game Rangers had. “I think the boys will really get up for it if they drew a Prem-iership club. They would want to show how big a squad they have and prove themselves.” Novo is hopeful to be fixed up with a club by the time the next round is played, at the start of next month – perhaps he might even be participating in one of the ties. Among the stand-out matches are Alloa Athletic hosting Highland League club Inverurie Loco Works while Raith Rovers travel to Ochilview to take on in-form League Two leaders East Stirlingshire. There are two all Championship clashes – Queen of the South v Hamilton Accies and Dumbarton v Cowdenbeath. Lowland League side Preston Athletic will face League One side Ayr United should they win their replay with Queen’s Park, after last weekend’s impressive 2-2 draw at Hampden Park. http://www.scotsman.com/sport/football/latest/nacho-novo-still-waiting-for-a-call-from-rangers-1-3130066
  20. DAVE KING made the following statement tonight: "I confirm that I held talks with Rangers Chief Executive Craig Mather and Finance Director Brian Stockbridge in South Africa. I wished the discussions to remain confidential until something definite was agreed- one way or another. I have maintained that confidentiality. However, given my awareness of incorrect inferences being drawn in the media I would like to make a limited statement at this time. "The discussions were, to my mind, very positive and it was agreed that subject to the normal regulatory approval I would put my name forward to join the Board and to serve as Chairman. "Such an appointment is of course subject to the approval of the existing Board members and ultimately the shareholders of the company. There are also mandatory regulatory requirements that must be complied with and take time. I have already submitted all the necessary documentation. "News of the meeting has found its way into the public domain and this has unsurprisingly resulted in speculation as to the nature and the outcome of the meeting. In reaction to this speculation and to give some clarity to the club's fans I would like to address a couple of points at this time. "First, my willingness to become part of the future of the football club is based simply on my love for the club and my desire to support the club with a combination of my business expertise and my willingness to make a further investment. "In particular I see a present need to utilise the time we have over the next few seasons to be prepared, both financially and on the pitch, to compete with our Glasgow neighbours when we get back to the top League. "My involvement is not linked in any way to any other individual, albeit I have my private thoughts as to certain individuals that might add value to the club going forward. Ultimately it is for the shareholders to make such decisions. The recent settlement of my litigation in South Africa removes any impediment to my appointment to the board. "I want to make it clear that I agreed to join the Board only after intensive and detailed discussions with the existing executives and because I believe I can help them by playing a significant role in driving Rangers forward and finally putting the past behind us. "It is sad that every month of the continued disunity between the fans and other stakeholders is eroding our ability to be ready for the step up to the premier league. We do not have time to waste. "It was also made clear by Mr Mather and Mr Stockbridge that Rangers are not in need of an immediate financial injection but we agreed that now is the time to commence a new round of funding to ensure that it is available in an orderly and cost effective manner when required. I wish to lead that fund raising exercise and being on the Board will greatly assist me in that regard. "I believe that the timing is right for me to take this step and I look forward to the opportunity to work with the current directors albeit I would have preferred to have my appointment confirmed prior to communicating my further thoughts. Unfortunately the rumour mill necessitated this short statement. If matters proceed as I hope over the next few days then I will be present at the AGM." http://t.co/LgzX419pNl
  21. Lee Wallace has withdrawn as expected from the Scotland squad for the final World Cup qualifier against Croatia at Hampden Park on Tuesday night, the Scottish Football Association has confirmed. The Rangers left-back has left the Scots' camp after failing to overcome a knee injury. Manager Gordon Strachan pre-empted Wallace's departure on Saturday by calling in Stevie Hammell of Motherwell. Meanwhile, Robert Snodgrass, who scored the winner when Scotland beat Croatia 1-0 in June, has rejoined the squad. He was given leave by Strachan, to attend the birth of his daughter, Leonie. His partner, Denise, gave birth late last week and Snodgrass is determined to deliver more good news. "I'm absolutely buzzing after the birth of our baby," he told the Scottish FA's official website. "I managed to train at the club last week but I think the adrenaline of fatherhood alone will get me through it. "I'm looking forward to training tomorrow and I would like to thank the manager for being so understanding." Snodgrass immediately set his sights on helping Scotland repeat their Zagreb heroics. With the Tartan Army still waiting for their first home win of the campaign, the Norwich City player is looking for a rousing farewell to continue the momentum into preparations for the Euro 2016 qualifiers next year. "It is important we finish as high up the table as we can and really give the crowd at Hampden something to cheer," he said. "We don't want to finish the group without a home win and after the momentum we have built up it would be great to finish the campaign with another positive result that we can take into the preparations for the European Championship qualification campaign." Snodgrass believes Scotland will be afforded greater respect by Croatia, who will have to qualify through the play-offs after losing to Belgium on Friday, following the game in Zagreb. "It will be a different type of game to the one in June," he said. "We went there with nobody giving us a chance of winning, while Croatia still had hopes of topping the group. "We worked hard in training for the week before, carried that effort and determination into the game and fortunately I managed to score the winning goal. "I think now we have proved we are a tougher proposition, and on top of the Croatia result, we showed a resilience to win in Macedonia (in the last game) after they equalised." http://www.sportinglife.com/football/news/article/165/8971511/-
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