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  1. Rangers Supporters @rangersfctrust · 2h2 hours ago The RST has tonight released the following statement:Read: http://tl.gd/n_1sj12bm The RST has tonight released the following statement: The Rangers Supporters Trust is disgusted to learn that a group of Celtic fans daubed offensive, sectarian graffiti, mocking the Ibrox disaster, on the walls of Tynecastle stadium during a recent visit there. We are even more disgusted by the attitude of Celtic Football Club towards this incident, which is to try to distance themselves from the behaviour of their fans rather than taking responsibility for it. We welcome Ann Budge's recent statement and fully support her attempts to highlight the disgraceful behaviour of a sizeable minority of the Celtic support. The group responsible for this are affiliated with The Green Brigade, who have been encouraged and tolerated by Celtic Football Club officials. This despite outward shows of support for the IRA and various offensive banners including one protesting against Remembrance Sunday. In the past few years we have seen riots in Dundee, wide-scale vandalism and disorder at Fir Park and Tynecastle and various acts of public disorder in Glasgow centred around Celtic fans. Throughout all this, Celtic's PR machine, has sought to quell reporting of these incidents and no substantive action has been taken against the perpetrators by the Celtic Chief Executive, Peter Lawwell. Celtic Football Club has a major, ongoing issue with their fans which their constant denial of facts will not solve. Their official fan groups, including the Celtic Trust, seek to legitimise this behaviour by, for instance, campaigning for the right to display public support for terrorism without penalty. We hope that belatedly, with their fans' disgraceful mocking of the Ibrox disaster, Celtic will start to take their hooliganism problem seriously and the SPFL and SFA will do likewise, despite the strong influence wielded by Celtic in their boardrooms
  2. compo

    Who then?

    Suppose we find one point four million in a drawer at ibrox and wield the axe who should be our next manager and who should be his assistants . and who among the current squad would you like to see go in the January transfer window
  3. Can't afford to sack him and can't afford to keep him. Mcoists performance as manager has dragged us down every bit as much as the boardroom has over the last 3 seasons and if the current vein of form continues then things will come to a head very quickly. Attendances can only plummet from here on in. No doubt the board will have a fantastic new vision for the club at the minute followed by plans for a new share issue, if the fans aren't coming through the turn styles then the board might find this very difficult to achieve. Don't think Ashley could even bale us out either. How can you take a loan that you can't pay back? I can't see any way out other than admin. We're back to where we started when Craig Whyte showed up, only this time the fans aren't buying into it. The McCoist predicament is about to force everyone's hand and the board don't have any answers. That's why they are so silent, they don't know what to do?
  4. Thought this deserved its own thread. Hopefully further proof on the way of fraud committed against Rangers. https://www.justice.gov.uk/courts/court-lists/list-chancery-judges
  5. http://www.gersnet.co.uk/index.php/latest-news/299-an-open-letter-to-ally-mccoist Also available in the print edition of the Scottish Daily Mail (5/12/2014)
  6. Remember Dundee, Motherwell and Kilmarnock, now it was Jamboland ... Hearts Now, let#s see how the Yahoos react Numero Uno Daily Record No wonder Stokes laughs (again) and into her face. They've got the freedom of Celtland these days.
  7. Chris Graham will be on STV Scotland Tonight discussing the retail boycott etc.
  8. UoF Statement on Retail Deal - 75p in every £10 goes to club "Since the release of the accounts for RIFC PLC, the focus has rightly been on the almost immediate requirement for more cash simply to pay bills and also the board’s wish to raise £8m in equity finance despite recently turning down a valid, fully funded offer for £16m. However, having had the accounts analysed by qualified accountants, we feel it is important to bring Rangers fans' attention to the absolutely disgraceful reality of the retail deal which has been entered into with Mike Ashley’s Sports Direct. We have become accustomed to David Somers', Comical Ali style proclamations about our club. He stated recently that Rangers "make quite a lot of money" from the Sports Direct deal but that is not how the accounts read in our analysis. In fact, despite the loyalty of the Rangers fans seeing £7.6m spent on retail in the year covered by the accounts, the club's share of that spending is a paltry £590k. That means that for every £10 spent by Rangers fans on merchandise, the club receives only around 75p. The accounts also reveal that Rangers Retail has an obligation to purchase stock at a higher price than it is able to be sold at. In the second half of the year covered by the accounts it appears that the portion of profit due to the club is an unbelievable £2k. For comparative purposes, the much maligned JJB agreement, our previous retail deal, made the club a minimum of £4.8m a year over the term of the deal, over 8x the amount we are making from Sports Direct. Crucially, it is also not clear whether the club has yet received a penny of the £590k it is due or whether it is still retained within Rangers Retail. Indeed, from inception it would appear that the club has only received £100k in dividends from the venture with Sports Direct. Mr Ashley has loaned money to strengthen his stranglehold over our commercial operations, whilst funds due to the club through Rangers Retail, over which Sports Direct has effective control, are retained. We have always feared that the deal Charles Green did with Sports Direct was dreadful for Rangers. Mr Somers' ridiculous defence of it, on behalf of this discredited and incompetent board, can be added to the list of reasons why he, the Easdale brothers, Norman Crighton and Derek Llambias are rightly distrusted by the vast majority of our fans. In light of the information revealed in the accounts we urge fans to stop buying merchandise from club stores, which are now under Mr Ashley’s full control or being shut down, and Sports Direct. Your loyalty is being abused and the club is not benefiting from the money you are pouring into Mr Ashley's pockets."
  9. The draw for the next round of the Scottish Cup is tomorrow at 2pm, live on Sky Sports News. The 5th round games will be played the weekend after our League Cup SF, so the 7th/8th of February. In alphabetical order the draw will include: Arbroath Celtic Dundee Dundee hivs Falkirk Hibs Partick Thistle QotS Raith Rovers Rangers Spartans St Johnstone plus the replays....... Annan or Brechin Berwick or Albion St Mirren or Inverness CT Stranraer or Dunfermline
  10. Hampden Park will host both Scottish League Cup semi-finals early in 2015, the Scottish Professional Football League has announced. Celtic and Rangers go head-to-head on Sunday 1 February, with kick-off at 13:30 GMT, a match to be shown live on BBC Scotland and the BBC Sport website. Dundee United take on Aberdeen the day before, with kick-off at 15:00 GMT. SPFL chief executive Neil Doncaster said: "We hope supporters of all four clubs enjoy two memorable occasions." Hampden will be hosting its first major football matches following its use as an athletics venue during the Commonwealth Games. Organisers say that about 34,000 tickets for each semi-final will be available at £25 for adults and £10 for under-16s in the North, East and West Stands, while South Stands tickets are priced at £30 and £35. Tickets for wheelchair users are £10-£20 for adults and £5 for juveniles. The final will be played on Sunday 15 March. http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/0/football/30252400
  11. http://www.dailyrecord.co.uk/sport/football/colin-duncan-fares-not-fair-4697316 "THE widespread condemnation which followed Wigan chairman Dave Whelan’s alleged racist and anti-Semitic outburst last week was understandable. His Alf Garnett-esque comments in the wake of appointing Malky Mackay manager added to the outrage . Mackay is subject to an FA probe, investigating texts and emails of a racist, sexist and homophobic nature. The anti-discriminatory bodies didn’t miss Whelan who could now find himself in the dock alongside his manager. Football Against Racism in Europe were among the many campaign groups who, quite rightly, took the pair to task. Yet where was the outcry from bodies such as FARE when this month Aleksandar Tonev was hit with a seven-game ban by the SFA for racist conduct? The Celtic midfielder was found guilty by an independent tribunal of abusing Aberdeen’s Shay Logan, reportedly calling him a “f*****g black c***.’ What happened to showing racism the red card? There was not so much as a yellow from their executive director Piara Powar who is also on FIFA’s anti-racism task force. Surely if you are the head of an organisation which vows to fight all forms of racism you cannot pick and choose which abhorrent acts to condemn. And while not for one minute playing down the severity of Mackay and Whelan referring to Chinese people as “Chinks” surely, on a sliding scale, calling a fellow professional a “black c***” is far more offensive? When John Terry and Luis Suarez were found guilty of similar racist offences Powar and his colleagues couldn’t have been any more critical. Yet not a word when Tonev was found guilty of “excessive misconduct by the use of offensive, insulting and abusive language of a racist nature”. Regardless of the fact no hard evidence was presented – it was one Aberdeen’s word against Celtic’s – the case against Tonev was proved. Last year former Rangers chief executive Charles Green was fined by the SFA for “offensive and racist comments” in an interview that referred to former Ibrox commercial director Imran Ahmad. Celtic striker Leigh Griffiths also has a racism charge hanging over his head after being caught on camera singing inappropriate songs along with fellow Hibs supporters. Again this seems unworthy of FARE’s intervention. Powar’s name may be familiar to Rangers fans as his organisation was forced to deny claims of a “deliberate and targeted campaign” against the Ibrox club three years ago. Rangers were disciplined, and correctly so, by UEFA after it emerged supporters sang sectarian songs during the home and away Europa League clashes with PSV Eindhoven. On both occasions they were reported on the basis of submissions from FARE, rather than the UEFA match delegate. At the time Powar said: “There are explicit suggestions emanating from Rangers FC of ‘a deliberate and targeted campaign against the club’. “The FARE network is focused only on our core mission of tackling discrimination in football and encouraging social inclusion through the game. We have no axe to grind with any club.” In 1999 Rangers defender Lorenzo Amoruso racially abused Nigerian striker Victor Ipkeba during a European clash with Borussia Dortmund. Again the incident was not included in the UEFA delegate’s report but Powar, then with anti-racism group Kick it Out, demanded it be investigated. Fast forward to 2013 and former Celtic player Paul Elliot had to resign from his positions within the FA and Kick it Out after he branded ex-Charlton defender Richard Rufus a “n****r” in a text conversation. Powar was quick to Elliot’s defence insisting: “I can understand the concern over the use of the n-word, whoever uses it, in whichever context. “However, I cannot accept it is racist to use it between two friends and business colleagues in a private text. “Racism and other forms of discrimination are not simply about words. It may be difficult for some to accept the difference between those words used with discriminatory intent and those that are not.” But when the League Managers Association misguidedly dismissed Mackay’s comments, which were also sent by text and email, as friendly banter Powar’s private text argument suddenly didn’t hold water. He tweeted: “Wow! The LMA defending the indefensible. Why would you put out something so utterly ridiculous? Because you haven’t a clue.” Now this is not about Rangers and Celtic but about what is fair and what isn’t. And when it comes to removing the ugly stain of racism it would seem FARE is not always FAIR"
  12. http://www.thescottishsun.co.uk/scotsol/homepage/sport/spl/rangers/6131444/Gers-in-shock-bid-for-Wotte.html?CMP=spklr-116673156-Editorial-TWITTER-scotsunsport-20141128-News
  13. RIFC plc accounts to June 30 released. AGM December 22 at Ibrox http://www.rangers.co.uk/images/staticcontent/documents/164581RangersAnnualReport.pdf
  14. Newcastle and Rangers will not be able to play in Europe together next season because Uefa have confirmed Newcastle United and Rangers will not be allowed to play in Europe together, even if they qualify for different competitions, because of Mike Ashley’s involvement in the running of both clubs. Ashley’s seizure of power at Ibrox means Newcastle may never play in Europe again while he remains the club’s owner, a depressing prospect for supporters who believe the team should be challenging for European qualification every year. Although Ashley responded to a story by Telegraph Sport back in September, that revealed he wanted to take control of Rangers, with a statement denying he intended to sell Newcastle, the billionaire has got himself into a tricky situation by expanding his football interests north of the border. Ashley insisted he will not sell Newcastle for “any price” until the end of next season, which is also, unless they win the Scottish Cup this season, the earliest Rangers can qualify for Europe again. Given Ashley has repeatedly failed to find a buyer for Newcastle, though, it is far from certain he will be able to sever ties at St James’ Park. It is understood Ashley misjudged Uefa’s strict rules ensuring the integrity of their competitions. Although he only holds around nine per cent of Rangers shares, he has appointed his own people, including former Newcastle managing director Derek Llambias, to the Rangers board in return for financial assistance. Uefa have told Telegraph Sport that means Ashley has enough power in the Rangers boardroom to ensure they cannot be allowed to play in Europe at the same time as Newcastle. Should one team qualify for the Champions League, the other would be prevented from playing in the Europa League as they could meet in the knockout phase of the competition. If both teams qualify for the same competition, the one with the higher Uefa co-efficient ranking would be allowed to enter at the expense of the other. As things stand, Newcastle are ranked 65 and Rangers are down at 101. In the short term, it is Rangers who will suffer as they have the lower ranking. In the long term, Rangers have a far greater chance of playing in the Champions League than Newcastle, which would mean the Magpies would not be allowed to compete in the Europa League, even if they won a domestic cup competition or finished fifth or sixth in the Premier League. Newcastle are currently fifth in the Premier League following six successive victories by Alan Pardew’s side and a top-six finish would secure them a place in the Europa League for next season. It could be the last time they play in Europe until Ashley finds a buyer. Given Ashley’s interest in Rangers was largely sparked by the possibility he could, with a relatively small investment, gain access to the Champions League and increase the European exposure for his Sports Direct Retail chain, it means Newcastle face an uncertain future. The billionaire has already been widely accused of paralysing Newcastle with his lack of ambition. Most supporters believe he is only interested in keeping the club in the Premier League in order to access the television money it brings, rather than challenge for silverware. The idea that Newcastle will also be denied access to European competitions once Rangers have regained their former status in Scotland will incense many on Tyneside. Both Rangers and Newcastle responded with a “no comment” when asked by Telegraph Sport for a reaction to Uefa’s stance. http://www.telegraph.co.uk/sport/foo...ke-Ashley.html
  15. Sad to see this fine old chap has died always polite and a gentleman . R I P A rthur
  16. Only too true, sadly enough: Express IMHO, overall Miller's done okay thus far.
  17. Is this our reply when anybody asks us why we sing 'The Billy Boys' at the cup tie in January against them? http://www.irishtimes.com/sport/soccer/international/solicitors-were-instructed-to-deny-video-showed-john-delaney-1.2014408 The video won't post with the article, so here is the utube link ... John Delaney ‘sorry’ if republican song caused offence FAI chief says singing recorded ‘in sly way’ and he does not ‘believe every lyric’ Video A video showing FAI chief executive John Delaney singing 'Joe McDonnell' by The Wolfe Tones. Football Association of Ireland chief executive John Delaney (right) has said he is sorry if his rendition of the republican ballad Joe McDonnell offended anybody and that he does not support violence or believe in every lyric in the song. Steven Carroll Tue, Nov 25, 2014, 11:00 First published: Tue, Nov 25, 2014, 10:46 65 Football Association of Ireland chief executive John Delaney has said he is sorry if his rendition of the republican ballad Joe McDonnell offended anybody and that he does not support violence or believe every lyric in the song. Mr Delaney, filmed singing the song in a Dublin pub after Ireland beat the USA 4-1 last Tuesday, said the clip had been recorded in “a sly way” and that his performance was not for the public as he was not “on X-Factor or out in the Aviva”. Speaking on RTÉ’s Tubridy programme, Mr Delaney said he was from a nationalist background and that is grandfather had fought in the Civil War and War of Independence. “Joe McDonnell is a song that has been sang in my presence and I have chipped in and sang on a number of occasions in the past,” Mr Delaney said. “I’m not somebody who supports violence at all, in fact over a large number of years I have been working very closely on cross-border initiatives in football to break down barriers.” He said that “when you sing a song like that you don’t believe in every word”. “I sing a large number of songs, maybe five or six different ones, and it is normally done in a private way when there’s a singsong… Many of us have a nationalist background but are anti-violence. We also sing songs we don’t believe in every lyric on…there are many songs we all sing that we don’t believe in every lyric on. I don’t believe in many lyrics that are in that song.” Joe McDonnell is a song written from the perspective of an IRA member convicted of firearms offences in 1977 following a bomb attack on a furniture shop the previous year. McDonnell died on hunger strike in July 1981. Mr Delaney said that when you sang in a group you expected it to be kept in the group but that “unfortunately on occasions people use camera phones in a sly way and they try and tape it” and “then they try to make it something bigger than it is”. “What I will say is if the song offended anybody, of course I am sorry. That’s not in my nature to want to offend people but it was something I have sang or have sung in my presence in private in the past.” Tubridy asked Mr Delaney if he would like to hear a clip of himself singing the song, but he replied that it would be best if he asked him about the matter instead. “I think we’ll save the Irish public that,” he said. Tubridy said “the last thing he wanted to do” was “embarrass” Mr Delaney after he had agreed to come on air. The incident occurred in The Bath pub on the same night that the England football manager Roy Hodgson apologised “if anyone was offended” by the singing of anti-IRA songs by England fans at Celtic Park. Both England and Scotland are due to play against Ireland in Dublin next June.
  18. Scottish FA chief executive Stewart Regan has expressed concern over Rangers' financial position, saying it is "concerning for the Scottish game". The Ibrox club have admitted they may not have enough cash to meet costs between now and the end of the year, having taken £3m in secured loans from Mike Ashley for short-term working capital. "Well obviously it is concerning for the Scottish game," Regan told STV. "We would all like to see Rangers improve their financial position in order to bring money to the game of football in Scotland. "Rangers have got a strong economic impact, not just for Glasgow but for Scotland generally. "In that regard I know the fans are desperate to see success again. They are desperate for stability. "They've had a number of years of ups and downs now and I think they are hopeful they will get some certainty and stability in the future." In a statement to the Stock Exchange earlier this month, Rangers made clear their dire financial situation. "During the autumn, the club has suffered from lower than expected match attendance which has exacerbated the financial condition of the business. "The directors have begun a cost cutting exercise, but further working capital in addition to the facility will be needed before the end of the year." http://sport.stv.tv/football/clubs/rangers/301050-regan-rangers-financial-position-is-concerning-for-scottish-game/
  19. STEVEN NAISMITH reckons Rangers fans have been treated 'appallingly' as they have been put through the wringer in recent years. The Light Blue legions have had to contend with a mixture of emotions as their club has fallen from grace, but they have backed Ally McCoist's side in huge numbers throughout their recovery from financial meltdown. Naismith joined the likes of Steven Whittaker, Allan McGregor and Kyle Lafferty in quitting Ibrox two years ago. He has never been forgiven by many supporters for his controversial Ibrox departure. But the Scotland star still has sympathy with the plight of his former club as they look to complete the last stage of their journey back to Scotland's top tier this term. Naismith said: "Looking back, I would definitely have done some things differently. None of us wanted to leave that way. It wasn't nice at all. We did all we could. "It wasn't deferred wages (we had). It was wage cuts, in the hope that we came out of administration and could move on. It didn't happen. "It got to the point where there was not much else the players could do. "People would have liked us to have stayed and transferred over, but it wasn't just as easy as doing that. "In years to come people will understand it a bit more and understand it from the players' point of view a bit more. "The fans always have their opinion and they are right to because they pay good money to come and watch. They are the backbone, especially of a club like Rangers. "Over the last two or three years they have been treated appallingly. "For everyone's sake, hopefully it gets better and they can get back in the division they deserve to be in challenging for trophies." It is almost three years since financial problems hit home at Ibrox during Craig Whyte's disastrous reign, but Rangers remain in the money mire. Cash problems continue to hold the club back and 10 members of staff were last week made redundant as huge losses look to be stemmed once again. Fans are still furious at the state the Light Blues are in and have launched a series of attacks against the under-fire board as attendances have plummeted this term. And Naismith is upset at the devastating series of events at his boyhood heroes. He said: "It is disappointing and sad because it is the club I grew up supporting. I had some of my best memories in football there, but a situation arose that was out of everybody's hands. "I think the fans and the good people at the club are still suffering. I hope they will come out of this situation they are in soon. "It was a horrible decision for everyone involved to make. The biggest thing for us, as players, was that no-one was made redundant and we did that part of it. Over time, I am sure the truth will come out." http://www.eveningtimes.co.uk/rangers/naismith-rangers-fans-have-been-treated-appallingly-189852n.25960234
  20. Whilst woes are patiently queuing to take their turn to overwhelm our club, I thought I would provide my fellow Gersnetters with an observational distraction. BBC Scotland has spent the last year expressing faux concern for the stability of Bears. Often, the usual suspects' conclusion to the latest disaster to befall Rangers is to exclaim, "whatever must the Rangers supporters be thinking"? The perturbed and distressed then proceed to tell us what we are thinking. I am sure there will be a psychological term for such behaviour, 'false empathy syndrome' maybe ; I prefer to think they are ripping the piss. On Saturday evening, after shooting ourselves in both feet and head at Tynecastle, highlighting our ill discipline was not enough. Cosgrove and Cowan were hosting the phone-in and three, four Bears availed themselves of the given opportunity and told the listenership 'what' they were thinking.. One Bear took the conspiracy theory bait, the referee, Craig Thomson is a well known Hearts supporter and everybody knew Rangers would suffer both a red card and a penalty. Cosgrove guffawed and hit back with the ref' over compensating, "he should have red carded three Rangers players". I continued to drive home and was lost in thought about the game, three thirty-something players lost the plot, the bizarre team selection, and irrational substitutions was what I was thinking. Interrupting my chain of thought was Cosgrove announcing the next caller, Gordon the Jambo from Glasgow. Possessing a rather gruff, exaggerated Edinburgh accent, Gordon from Glasgow told of attending the game and already returned was currently watching Queen of the South/Falkirk on BBC Alba. Gordon was anxious to confirm, "the agricultural nature of the team from Ibrox", and, "the brutality on display". The stench of upcoming triumphalism was overpowering. Cosgrove agreed it had been a week of agricultural football and asked Gordon the Jambo for his opinion on the worst example? Gordon hesitated, but offered, "the sight of Eckersley being stretchered round the track was a black mark in Sevco's book". Obviously, Hearts were not Gordon's strong suit, I am positive it was McHattie being carted. Warming to the theme and reading from the same script, big Stu' prompted, "any good chants today, you know wind-ups"? Gordon obliged by singing, "you let your club die, Glasgow Rangers you let your club die". Jum, Big Stu', Tom, Rheinhart, ..... et al can no longer directly crank the snigger-meter, but evoking the medium of proxy tells us what they are continually thinking. As if we didn't know. One question, what was the name of the BBC Scotland Producer that played the part of Gordon the Jambo?
  21. According to Liewell at their agm. "Lawwell made his assertion after contextualising the Hoops' earning potential at the club's packed annual general meeting at Celtic Park on Friday. He claimed that the 40,000 season tickets sold for this campaign was only bettered in Britain by Manchester United and Arsenal, then told shareholders that winning the Scottish Premiership title brings in £1.8million while claiming that clubs relegated from the English top flight rake in £65million. At a press conference in the Celtic Park boardroom afterwards he expanded on the theme, claiming that, if the Scottish champions had access to the sort of broadcast monies available to the top clubs in England, Celtic would be peerless. "I believe that," he said. "If you go back 25-30 years and compare us to Manchester United before the media and TV boom, there probably wasn't much in it. "I think our story is unique, it is rich - it is the best. "We have a potential fan-base of Scots/Irish diaspora around the world to support that and we have fantastic, strong fan-base in Scotland. "I don't see any barrier if you compare Celtic to Manchester United or Arsenal, the top clubs down there. "I don't see any barriers if we were getting the same media values as they are getting regularly." Asked about comparisons with Real Madrid and Barcelona, Lawwell replied: "Similarly. The media values in England will outweigh the media values or be similar to the top in Spain or Germany. "Therefore if it is a level playing field with our strong fundamentals. I don't see any reason why we couldn't be." In a more cryptic way, Lawwell suggested that moves were afoot all across Europe for clubs in a similar situation to Celtic - essentially big fish in small ponds - to increase revenue potential, having earlier mentioned regional leagues or supranational leagues. "We are not alone," he said. "Other leagues and nations are suffering the same problems and there needs to be a solution, and I think more than ever UEFA are open to a solution . "There are no concrete plans, but it is getting to become more of a discussion item." Lawwell, who hopes to convince striker John Guidetti to make his loan move from Manchester City permanent, reiterated a previous assertion that the absence of traditional rivals Rangers from the top flight costs the Parkhead club £10million per season. However, he was unimpressed when reminded that former Hoops boss Gordon Strachan, currently the Scotland national team coach, had recently spoken about the need to get Rangers, Hearts and Hibernian - all battling to get out of the Championship - back into the top flight. Strachan said: "People say you can't manipulate it, but I think you have to get them back in." However, Lawwell said: "I love Gordon dearly. He is a pal, but he is way off the mark there. We would never support that. "It is sporting integrity. It is a football competition and above all else you have to apply the rules, and to manipulate those rules would be wrong and there would be clubs who would suffer, as well as clubs who would benefit." There were relatively few nods to Ibrox during the AGM, which lasted just over two hours, but Lawwell was later asked, in his capacity as member of the main board of the Scottish Football Association, whether there was a possible conflict of interest in the shape of Rangers shareholder Mike Ashley, who appears to be increasing his power-base at the Ibrox club while still the owner of Newcastle United. Lawwell said: "I think potentially there is, but I am sure the SFA and the other authorities will scrutinise, analyse and do the right thing.""
  22. Celtic chief executive Peter Lawwell has accused politicians of using Celtic for their own political agenda over the living wage. At the club's AGM the club announced they are prepared to offer permanent staff £7.85 an hour, but will not implement the living wage to all. However, Lawwell feels Celtic have been unfairly targeted by others. "We've been used," he said. "Our club has been used over this campaign by politicians and by others." He added: "There's more and more evidence there's poverty in society, there is inequality, and we would urge them - the people who've got the power, who've got the opportunity to change it - to change it, and not hitch their wagon to Celtic's wagon for their own political purposes. "We're a football club. We'll do all we can in the community. We do so much, but we can't change government policy. "We have a very satisfied, highly motivated workforce who are content with their lot. Not just my words, but we're the only football club in Scotland that's got Investors in People [accreditation] and [there are] only three in the UK, so we look after our people." Hearts last month became the first club to implement the living wage , but Lawwell insists their decision has had no bearing on Celtic. "Hearts are a different business," he said. "It's a small business in comparison, they won't have as many people. "If that's what they want to do, then good on them and they've done it. But we have to look after ourselves here and do the right thing. "At the moment we're looking at our permanent employees that includes everybody apart from match-day staff, who are primarily second income. "The 180 of them are mainly in retail, which is a very competitive business. Ironically our competitor is Sports Direct, and we're getting the spotlight." Celtic chairman Ian Bankier revealed the move to increase the wage for permanent staff will cost the club £350,000. He said: "We responded to the many people who have made approaches to us since this became a live issue and we understand what they're saying, and we understand the sentiment of what they're saying. "So what we've said today is we will speak to the people that matter in all of this, who are the employees. "We will talk to our permanent workforce, and those who are in that zone of pay policy, and we will seek to get their wages up to £7.85 an hour, which happens to be the rate of the living wage." Celtic also admitted at the AGM that the loss of Rangers from the Scottish Premiership has cost the club around £10m a year. However, responding to the recent comments by Scotland manager Gordon Strachan that the leagues should be manipulated to get their Old Firm rivals in the top flight along with Hibernian and Hearts, Lawwell was adamant there has been no discussion regarding league reconstruction. He said: "I love Gordon dearly, he's a pal, but he's way off the mark there and we would never support that." http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/0/football/30150594
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