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  1. Seven members of the Green Brigade group of Celtic fans are to stand trial next month charged with singing a pro-IRA song. They are alleged to have behaved in a way that "is likely or would be likely to incite public disorder" by singing the Roll of Honour at Celtic Park. Paul Duke (38), Ross Gallagher (30), Christopher Bateman (29) David Gallacher (23), Sean Cowden (22), Kieran Duffy (19) and Greg Robertson (29) are charged with the offence. Duke and Gallagher, both of East Kilbride, Bateman, of Irvine, Gallacher, of Glasgow, Cowden, of Rutherglen and Duffy, of Coatbridge, are accused of singing the song at the Champions League qualifier match at a Celtic against Elfsborg match on July 31, 2013. Gallagher, Bateman and Robertson, also of Glasgow, are accused of singing the song at a league match against Ross County on August 3 last year. Robertson faces the same allegation along with Gallacher in connection with match against Inverness Caledonian Thistle on August 24 last year. The case against all seven - who plead not guilty - today called for a hearing at Glasgow Sheriff Court. They were ordered to return for trial, which is set to start next month. http://www.eveningtimes.co.uk/news/u/seven-green-brigade-members-face-trial-over-pro-ira-song.1414595076
  2. SUCH would be the frenzied hype surrounding the pairing of Celtic and Rangers in this evening’s League Cup semi-final draw, the fixture would hardly be in need of any sub-plots. But it will have one nonetheless, in the six-foot-four-inch form of Craig Gordon. The goalkeeper is currently revitalising his career in hugely impressive style for Celtic with a series of performances which have earned him a recall to the 
Scotland squad. The irony of the 31-year-old’s rebirth at Celtic, of course, comes in the fact it was conceived at the training base of their fallen Ibrox rivals. Gordon spent much of last season using the training and medical facilities at Murray Park while he sought to finally 
overcome a career-threatening knee injury. The former Hearts and Sunderland ’keeper admits he owes a debt of gratitude to Rangers for his successful rehabilitation and bears no grudges over their 
failure to offer him a playing contract, insisting they were right to strengthen other areas of their squad instead. “I think Rangers’ priorities lay elsewhere and in my view probably quite rightly so,” said 
Gordon. “That was their choice. They went the way they saw fit and personally I think they probably made the right decision. “I was there most of last season working with their physios and doctors and trying to get myself to a level of fitness where I could compete again and go back out and play. Thankfully, towards the end of the season, 
I managed to do that and then it was a case of trying to get myself a job. “The possibility of me joining Rangers was talked about but nothing was ever finalised or 
offered. Would I have signed for them? Who knows? Until it was presented to me, then I don’t know what I would have done. Going to Murray Park came through Jim Stewart who was my goalkeeping coach when I was 15 and signed my first 
contract at Hearts. “Jim worked very hard to get me my first contract and we obviously worked together at Scotland and at Hearts for a long time. We had that friendship and he wanted to try and help me get back to fitness. “There were no guarantees it would even work and that I’d get fit again. We said I’d give it a go and see what happened. Their help was invaluable. Without the Rangers physio Steve 
Walker, I might not be where I am right now. “They did help, undoubtedly, to get me to this point. I’ve 
spoken to the physio a couple of times but not that often and not that recently. Now being at the opposing club, it makes that a little bit more difficult but I’ll be forever grateful for the help he did provide. “I honestly don’t care who we get in the semi-final draw. I just want to try to win the League Cup with Celtic. It really makes no difference to me whatsoever. I understand the potential of an Old Firm match is a great 
talking point for everyone but we’ll see what the draw is and even then the semi-final is still a few months away. “It’s a fixture I’d like to experience at some point in my career and when it comes along, 
great. But until it happens, then it’s hypothetical. “I didn’t go into Murray Park trying to impress Rangers. I was probably quite selfish on my own part and just went in to try to help myself get back fit. Towards the end, I trained with some of the younger goalkeepers and maybe passed on a few tips and spoke to them but I was trying to get myself fit and that was it. “It’s difficult to be in a football club when you can’t train or take part in games. It can be quite a lonely place at times. If I could have got that level of expertise and facilities elsewhere, then I’d probably have stayed away and kept myself to myself until I felt ready to get back in. “I was out the game for two years and then a year at Rangers, the first six months of which was in the gym. Everyone was outside training and working away. There might have been one or two other injured lads but it’s not an easy thing to go through and mentally get 
yourself up for training when it’s only for yourself. “There wasn’t any money to be earned. It was just a question of whether I could get back to doing what I want to do. It feels good to be back at that level with Celtic and when you make a contribution to the team, it feels good. “It’s not just in training but when you go out and play games it gives you a sense of worth among your team-mates and they respect what you do and vice versa. It’s that sense of 
belonging to a team that you don’t get when you’re injured.” Gordon admits to both surprise and delight at the level he has returned to with Celtic, revealing at one point he was forced to contemplate an unlikely move across the Irish Sea. “I didn’t expect this to happen,” he added. “I didn’t even know where I’d fit back into football. I had teams on the phone from the Irish League and other part-time clubs. “I didn’t know how fit I was going to be. I didn’t know what level I’d be in terms of ability. That was something I had to prove to myself. If things hadn’t gone so well, even if I was fit, I might even have had to go part-time somewhere to get back in. “I didn’t have any targets. I just wanted to get fit and back into football and I’ve been fortunate to end up at a great club and my fitness is close to what it was before and I’ve managed to pick up where I left off. It all just 
fell into place that way, it wasn’t by design.” http://www.scotsman.com/sport/football/spfl/craig-gordon-owes-his-resurgence-to-rangers-physio-1-3590830
  3. Apparently voting is now open for your favoured candidate in each section's short leet. I'm not a member myself but I'm sure someone can post the full list here if possible. http://fansboard.rangers.co.uk/
  4. ALLY MCCOIST considers what he interprets as the clamour for Rangers and Celtic to be drawn together in the League Cup later today to be proof of how much the Ibrox club have been missed by Scottish football’s top flight. The Ibrox manager was in impish form yesterday as he pondered the prospect of Rangers meeting with Celtic for the first time in nearly three years. The semi-final draw for the League Cup will be shown live this evening at 5:05pm on BBC 1 Scotland. Although Aberdeen and Dundee United make up the four teams involved, McCoist believes “everybody would look forward to the game” if Rangers and Celtic come out of the hat together. The clubs last met in April 2012, shortly before Rangers were forced to begin a trek back up the leagues after liquidation. McCoist has on several occasions talked of Rangers having to take their medicine. However, there is still clearly a sense of grievance being nursed by the Ibrox club. This was certainly discernible yesterday as McCoist claimed that few people would now argue the Ibrox club’s plight has not been detrimental to the Scottish game. “Gone are the days of this ‘we don’t need Rangers in the top flight’,” he said. “Sadly, because it’s too late, there is now a little bit of common sense being shown. It’s clear we do need Rangers, Hearts and Hibs in the top flight. “Gordon [strachan] is doing a fantastic job for the national team, but in the best interest of Scottish football we need our big clubs in the top flight. With Rangers being in the lower divisions there was clearly going to be no scope for an Old Firm game unless we drew each other in the cup. The majority of people, if we do draw each other, can actively look forward to an Old Firm game and I more than anyone can appreciate that.” “I’ve missed them and I think Scottish football has missed them,” he added. McCoist reckoned that “pig-headedness” would be behind some club officials involved in the events of 2012 refusing to acknowledge the damage caused to the game. During that bitter summer, Scottish Football Association chief executive Stewart Regan envisaged something he described as “Armageddon” for the Scottish game in the event of Rangers being voted out of the top flight. The other 11 then SPL clubs rejected Rangers’ application to rejoin the top tier by a unanimous majority. Later 29 of the 30 SFL clubs accepted Rangers as an associate member of the Scottish Football League but 25 voted for placing the newco club in the bottom tier, as opposed to the First Division. The Ibrox club started their journey back through the divisions with a 2-2 draw at Peterhead in August 2012. There has been no Old Firm clash since Rangers lost 3-0 to Neil Lennon’s Celtic side in April of the same year. The League Cup semi-finals are scheduled for the weekend of 31 January/1 February. “Knowing the pig-headedness of some of the people involved, no they won’t,” answered McCoist, when asked whether he felt some now regret how the the situation was handled. “But let’s be honest, was it for the greater good of Scottish football? Of course it wasn’t. It absolutely wasn’t. But we are where we are and things have happened. There is no use in looking back the way because we can’t change anything.” With his side having again made it into the last four of a national cup competition – they reached the Scottish Cup semi-final last season – McCoist clearly felt justified in adopting a pugnacious bearing. Rangers also currently sit in second place in the Championship and begin their latest Scottish Cup campaign away to Dumbarton in the third round this afternoon. He has, though, emerged from a week when his future was placed in question following the Rangers board’s acceptance of a £2 million emergency loan from Newcastle owner Mike Ashley. The decision led to the departure of one of McCoist’s chief allies in chief executive Graeme Wallace. Ashley’s increased influence led to the arrival of former Newcastle managing director Derek Llambias at Ibrox as a “football consultant”. McCoist said he had spoken to current executive chairman David Somers on Thursday and he had “kept him up to speed” about the changes on the board and the search for a new chief executive. He has not spoken with Ashley. But the manager seemed more vexed by the larger issue of the state of Scottish football. McCoist pointed to the thousands of empty seats at both Ibrox and Parkhead in midweek to illustrate how Rangers’ exile from the top tier has harmed the Scottish game. He proposed the notion that a Rangers v Celtic game would “fill the Maracana”. In contrast to comments made following his side’s victory over St Johnstone on Tuesday, McCoist appeared to will a clash with their rivals in the last four. In midweek he was quoted as saying he would prefer to avoid Celtic in tonight’s draw, comments that were interpreted in some quarters as Rangers running scared of Ronny Deila’s team. The Rangers manager welcomed the opportunity yesterday to clarify what he meant. “I need to explain myself because there have been one or two things written and said,” he said. “I am certainly not running scared or hiding behind the couch. I thought it was common sense what I was trying to say and I stand by that. “As everyone can see from the bookies, Celtic are 4/5 favourites, everybody else is 9/2,” he added. “Because the bookies are very rarely wrong I thought it was common sense that you’d like a shot at one of the teams at 9/2 in terms of enhancing your chances of making the final. There is no ‘I want to avoid Celtic at all costs’. That couldn’t be further from the truth.” Deila observed that Rangers were the weakest team left in the League Cup because they were the only non-top-flight side left in the competition. This comment, too, was given some consideration yesterday by McCoist. “I don’t necessarily agree with that but I can understand his point,” he said. “In normal circumstances he would be right. But in the last few years nothing has been what it seems in Scottish football. “You have three of the five biggest clubs in the country playing in the Championship. I understand Ronny but I don’t necessarily agree with him.” There was a glint in McCoist’s eye as he moved on to deal with John Guidetti’s comments after the Celtic striker scored three times in the 6-0 win over Partick Thistle. The on-loan Manchester City player was portrayed as issuing a brazen warning to Rangers, who he said were “going down” in the event of the teams meeting in the semi-final. McCoist noted his feat of scoring three times against Partick Thistle, who had defender Stuart Brannigan sent off just before half-time. He put Guidetti’s comments down to giddiness. “With the greatest of respect to John, I remember getting excited about my first hat-trick, but that was against 11 men,” smiled McCoist, who scored 28 hat-tricks for Rangers, the first coming in a League Cup final victory over Celtic at Hampden Park in 1984. “He’s entitled to his opinion and that’s the way it is. But maybe, just maybe, he’s got caught up in the excitement of scoring his first hat-trick for Celtic – which, of course, we congratulate him on.” http://www.scotsman.com/sport/football/spfl/ally-mccoist-insists-the-top-flight-miss-rangers-1-3590826
  5. http://www.eveningtelegraph.co.uk/news/local/dundee/rangers-fans-fury-at-ibrox-disaster-tweet-1.653603
  6. Rangers director James Easdale has had his plush home targetted by vandals. The Ibrox shareholder, who sits as a director on the plc board, called in police after discovering graffiti on the wall of the property. It is understood the words "get out" were spray painted on an outside wall of his home in the Esplanade in Greenock this month. The Rangers board have come under increasing pressure in recent days as Newcastle United owner Mike Ashley increases his control over the Ibrox club. Rangers chief executive Graham Wallace and finance director Phillip Nash stepped down within days of each other as Ashley ally Derek Llambias was appointed a consultant at the club. No-one has yet been arrested in connection with the incident and police investigations are ongoing. James Easdale and brother Sandy own a around six per cent of the club's shareholding after buying into the newco in 2012. Sandy Easdale has voting rights over around 25% of the club's shares. The Easdales also own Greenock bus firm McGills as well as other businesses, including Clydebank Taxis. A Police Scotland spokeswoman said: "On October police officers responded to a complaint of vandalism at a property on the Esplanade in Greenock. "Inquiries into the incident are ongoing." http://m.stv.tv/news/west-central/297731-rangers-director-james-easdales-plush-home-targetted-by-vandals/
  7. Some more analysis from Graham McLaren on TRS: http://www.therangersstandard.co.uk/index.php/articles/current-affairs/331-what-now-for-dave-king
  8. Some words on recent events from yours truly via TRS: http://www.therangersstandard.co.uk/index.php/articles/current-affairs/330-the-fog-on-the-clyde
  9. Dave King's talks with Sandy Easdale ended without agreement. If this surprises anyone then it shouldn't.
  10. http://www.scotsman.com/what-s-on/tv-radio/dj-suzie-mcguire-tried-to-take-own-life-over-abuse-1-3586627
  11. THE WAR is over. The retailer has won. This morning Graham Wallace will be fired from his position as Rangers chief 
executive and this crisis-ravaged club will belong lock, stock and smoking barrel to Mike Ashley. Quite what Ashley has planned for it is still a matter of conjecture but the ruthless manner in which he went about last week’s power grab certainly suggests he wants it badly and also sees a way to make a killing by rolling his tanks into Glasgow. He now has security over two 
of the club’s major assets, the 
Albion car park and Edmiston House, and when his placemen arrive in the boardroom this week he’ll have grabbed this club firmly 
by the throat. As with everything Rangers, Ashley’s arrival on the scene will be spun in a variety of ways. The dark arts were evidenced 
over the weekend when it was leaked that, without his intervention, this basketcase would have gone bust within 48 hours. There were even muffled whispers from the shadowy sidelines Ashley had in fact ‘saved the club’ but the very notion the Newcastle United chairman had ridden to Rangers rescue in some sort of philanthropic or heroic act is completely absurd. In many ways, what actually went on amid increasingly frantic 
discussions on Thursday and Friday was a throwback to May 2011 when Sir David Murray invited Craig Whyte to trigger this omnishambles and set in action the catastrophic chain of events that has now led to Ashley’s increased involvement. That deal was a great bit of 
business for Whyte and for Lloyds Bank in particular – the £18million they recouped from the sale remains the outstanding trade of the last three and a half chaotic years – but it was a spectacularly awful one for the Ibrox club. Similarly, by taking control of Rangers for the price of a £2m loan, every penny of which will be paid back, Ashley has pulled off a serious coup in more ways than one. This is why he is known as the biggest beast in the jungle but even the Newcastle owner must be laughing up the sleeve of his safari suit at the way in which he managed to pull this one off. It was typically bold and eye poppingly aggressive and it included issuing the remnants of the Rangers board with threats of legal action both collectively and individually, should they turn him down in favour of a £3m loan from Brian Kennedy. Each of these directors was warned of potentially devastating repercussions should Ashley not get his way and as a result Rangers is his now to do with as he wishes. And all for less than the cost of a Sports Direct poly bag. It was an extraordinary stunt and it’s no wonder Sale Sharks owner Kennedy left Glasgow on Saturday still unsure as to how on earth the dysfunctional Rangers board – a collection of directors who have run the business into the ground – could allow it to happen in spite of his impassioned pleas. The farce began with the rejection of Dave King’s £16m bailout offer by the mysterious bloc of shareholders whose 26 per cent voting rights are represented by Sandy Easdale. On Thursday CEO Wallace, who knew his £300,000-a-year neck was now well and truly on the line, reached out to Kennedy and pleaded with him to make a counter offer. Kennedy worked through the night with his legal team to come up with his £3m offer, dependent only on him being allowed to place one man on the current board. He flew to Glasgow at lunchtime on Friday in the hope of getting the deal done. Kennedy was wasting his jet fuel. Not one of these directors was even at Ibrox on the day it was determined Ashley should be handed the keys. The fact all these discussions were held via conference call, underlines how little feel for the club these men have. Wallace headed for a beach in Greece despite being urged by at least two key protagonists to 
postpone his holiday for 24 hours. Finance director Philip Nash went one better by resigning and washing his hands of the entire Ashley v Kennedy showdown. That Nash threw in the towel is an indication he suspected the game was up and that another director, Laxey’s lackey Norman Crighton, had jumped camps at the last minute. Crighton had voiced his concern at Ashley’s move and had even said the Cockney must be stopped ‘at all costs’ but he performed a 180-degree turn at the last minute to leave Kennedy’s proposal in tatters. Chairman David Somers is another who may have cause to be persecuted by his own conscience. At least Nash had the principle to resign from his £1,000-a-day post. While Wallace was clinging on for dear life for his pay-off, Nash wanted no part of it and this included telling Ashley’s people he was unwilling to work for their man in the event he was successful. Having previously called for the removal of Nash and Walllace, Ashley had a change of heart. It’s understood he wanted Nash on board after crediting him with making £5m worth of cuts since February. One of those cuts was to a contract worth in excess of £100,000-a-year to Ashley’s own PR firm Keith Bishop Associates. This agreement was done as part of the £1 stadium naming rights deal Ashley agreed with Charles Green and which was signed off by Imran Ahmad – who then sued Rangers for £300,000 in bonuses for all of his good work. Deals like these are precisely why Rangers should brace itself for the full impact of Ashley’s arrival. He already pockets 49 per cent of all income from merchandise sales but may think this arrangement can be tweaked and improved in his favour. With two of his men on the board, a compliant chairman and confirmed allies in James Easdale and Crighton, he can do pretty much as he pleases. The only comfort in any of this for the Rangers supporters is to be found in the depth of Ashley’s pockets. He will not allow this club to go under, that much is certain. But from here on in Rangers will be run his way and for his benefit. http://www.dailyrecord.co.uk/opinion/sport/keith-jackson-mike-ashleys-rangers-4515761
  12. Rumours from media on Twitter: Andy Devlin ‏@AndyDev28 51s51 seconds ago BREAKING: Sandy Easdale due at Ibrox shortly for crunch talks with Ally McCoist. The Rangers boss could be hours from the sack.
  13. By Chris McLaughlin & Richard Wilson BBC Scotland Rangers were 48 hours from going into administration until a £2m loan was agreed with Mike Ashley, according to one senior Ibrox source. Prospective administrators had been contacted by the Ibrox club. Newcastle owner Ashley put forward a financial package, which includes the option of a new share issue, on Friday and it was agreed on Saturday morning. And, as part of the agreement, chief executive Graham Wallace will follow director Philip Nash in stepping down. The arrangement could be finalised early next week. English businessman Ashley, who owns 8.29% of the Glasgow club's shares, had called for the removal of Nash and Wallace as part of his offer. Under Scottish FA agreement Ashley is not allowed boardroom influence or a shareholding of more than 10%. But his possible underwriting of a share issue could take his stake above that threshold if there is not enough buy-in from other investors. An alternative option could be further loans. The SFA plan to write Rangers next week seeking clarification on the loan agreement with Ashley. Rangers need a financial injection to cover wages beyond November and Sale Sharks owner Brian Kennedy became a surprise latecomer in the battle for control with a funding package offer of his own. In response to the news that Ashley's offer had been accepted by the board, Kennedy said he was "disappointed for Rangers" but would not be commenting further. Former director Dave King had also offered fresh funding to Rangers but could not agree a deal following talks with key shareholder Sandy Easdale and the board. Before returning to his South African business base on Thursday, King issued a statement saying that his group's offer remained on the table and that he was hopeful it would be accepted. Ashley, who already has control of Rangers' shirt sales and retail division and owns the naming rights for Ibrox Stadium, refused to back King's proposal. Sandy Easdale, who controls a 26% block of shares, also declined to agree to King's proposals. While Ashley is demanding two representatives on the board, King also wanted to choose its chairman. Nash, the former Arsenal and Liverpool executive, had been employed as a financial consultant by Rangers before joining the board in July. Wallace, currently on a family holiday in Greece, and Nash had been supportive of the bid by King's group, which includes fellow Scottish businessmen George Letham and Paul Murray. http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/0/football/29761396
  14. Wednesday, 22 October 2014 16:15 Games Moved For TV Written by Andrew Dickson TWO Championship games Rangers are scheduled to play in December have been selected for live television coverage. The trip to play Queen of the South has been moved forward a day to Friday, December 12 for transmission on BT Sport, with kick-off at 7.45pm. A fixture with Hibernian in Edinburgh on Saturday, December 27 remains on that date but will now start at 12.15pm rather than the original 3pm kick-off time. That match will be broadcast by Sky Sports as the Light Blues round off 2014 with a journey along the M8 to the capital. http://www.rangers.co.uk/news/headlines/item/7897-games-moved-for-tv
  15. Mike Ashley moves into pole position to take control at Ibrox as Dave King bid fails http://www.dailyrecord.co.uk/sport/football/football-news/rangers-power-battle-mike-ashley-4499365
  16. I have been asked to make a personal comment on the rumour that the Rangers board is considering a loan from Mr Ashley. I don't see the offer of a short term loan by Mr Ashley affecting me in any way. Our offer is for a long term permanent solution that can take the club forward and unite the fans and the board for the first time in many years. The board is in the final stages of reviewing our offer and I expect a definitive answer early next week. Frankly, it doesn't seem possible that the board can do anything other than recommend it to shareholders given the dire financial circumstances and the fact that no other long term solution is on offer. Mr Ashley's involvement (and recently announced continued commitment) with Newcastle precludes him from making a similar offer of long term permanent equity. What Mr Ashley can do is attempt to increase his vice-like grip on the Rangers brand by improving his retail position as a condition for supplying short term debt to tide the club over until our permanent funding is in place. But I know that there are other investors also willing to provide bridging finance. The board will therefore not have to accept punitive terms even if Ashley attempts to oppose them. We must remember that the board is ethically and legally bound to act in the best interest of the company and all shareholders. Ashley can not expect preferential treatment and will not get it. I am confident that Graham Wallace and Philip Nash have enough integrity and commercial experience to do the right thing. http://www.twitlonger.com/show/n_1sdec2h
  17. As predicted by yours truly, Mike Ashley has moved into pole position in the race to wear the crown at Ibrox. With Dave King out of the running, despite protestations to the contrary from King himself, it looks like Rangers’ future is in the hands of the sporting goods magnate. If we are being really honest, there are no other viable options available at present. As I predicted, King took advantage of the timing factor to be first to the table in offering a package but in doing so he fell into Ashley’s carefully laid trap. In a financial gun fight between the two, King lacks the firepower and. although a wily operator, is arguably seriously deficient to Ashley when it comes to strategy and street smarts. It is believed that Ashley’s proposal entails a loan which allows him to have Rangers by the short and curlies without straying into increasing his shareholding and thus having to overcome SFA objections to this. Ashley will, it is believed, demand the removal of Philip Nash and CEO Graham Wallace, whose alignment with Dave King now looks to be an ill-thought-out manoeuvre on their part. Dave King’s ongoing involvement in the Rangers saga should now be consigned to history as it has produced nothing but unrest and uncertainty, especially among more anxious members of the support. With Sandy Easdale holding a 26% voting block of shares and purportedly a backer of Ashley over King, it looks like the Londoner’s bid for power will prevail. It is vital that Rangers fans unite behind the club now and support the team in its drive for promotion. The quicker Rangers are back competing in the top tier. the better for the whole of Scottish football, as well as Rangers in particular. It may be too much to expect Dave King and his colleagues to urge fans to back the Ashley regime at Ibtox; however, it is certainly reasonable of loyal fans to expect that King and his cronies will cease and desist from attempting to disrupt the club with pointless boycotts and petty sniping. Mike Ashley has the resources to back Rangers and make them a big club like before, even bigger. That is why it is no surprise to see the Rangers-hating press in Scotland oppose his further involvement. He also has plenty of time to become a “Rangers man” and take the club to heart. That might be more likely if those with a “**** Complex” can overcome their fears of people of high net worth and let the guy get on with building Rangers up. The inevitability of the big man in the fight overcoming the wee guy is now the scenario at Ibrox. King has made his play, sincere or not and has no other viable card to play it would appear. Ashley’s tanks are parked on Ibrox lawns and it looks like he wants to make Ibrox his base. Far better for Rangers and really bad news for the club’s enemies if the guns are pointing outward. http://billmcmurdo.wordpress.com/2014/10/24/enter-the-big-guns/
  18. Hopefully the article provides some light relief from the circus enveloping the club Rangers’ fans from Northern Ireland have been travelling across to Scotland for their Rangers fix since 1870s and 1880′ through Ulster Protestant immigrants to Glasgow’s shipbuilding industry according to The Official Biography of Rangers Football Club. This appeared to lead into commercial trips with ferry companies of the time and later organised trips via supporters clubs after both world wars http://www.therst.co.uk/ulster-bears-a-tower-of-strength/
  19. Dave King Statement re Rangers FC It is appropriate that I give feedback to the Rangers fans before departing for South Africa. Over the last few weeks Paul Murray, George Letham and myself have constructively engaged the Rangers board and (at the request of the board) Sandy Easdale regarding our proposal to invest 16 million into the club as soon as is practically possible. When investing in any public company there are numerous regulatory and compliance requirements that have to be dealt with. There are also SFA compliance issues that arise when investing in a football club in Scotland. An obvious further complication in Rangers case is the seeming lack of authority of the Rangers board to make decisions without reference to key shareholders who appear to be “the power behind the throne”. Prior to commencing the implementation issues referred to above it is necessary to reach an in-principle agreement with the board that can then be put to shareholders. In this regard it is important to recogniser hat the so-called Easdale Block represents more than 25% of the shares in issue and could therefore block the implementation of our proposal even if recommended by the board. Likewise, a combination of other shareholders could veto our proposal. I attempted to meet with Mr Ashley on my visit but neither he, nor his colleague, Mr Bishop, acknowledged my request for a meeting. This is their right but is unfortunate given the present concerns from supporters that Mr Ashley is using his shareholder status to put pressure on the board to alienate the rights and trade mark of the club in favour of his personal interest. I will make a separate announcement and appeal to fans on this topic at the appropriate time. Our initial proposal to the board was to invest the full 16m by way of equity at 20p per share. The board requested that we consider a debt/equity mix that would reduce dilution for existing shareholders and allow the debt component to be advanced prior to the extended time frame required for the approval of additional equity. We are amenable to this and to working with the board on the mechanics necessary to ensure that this is achieved provided that the full investment is recognised by way of board representation. We wish to appoint an equal number of members to the board and have the key say regarding the appointment of the Chairperson. We will not invest funds and let the existing board determine how these funds are spent. That has not worked well in the past. In any transaction of this nature there are a number of interests to be consulted and considered. The board has apparently engaged constructively on our proposal while advancing its own points as to what it believes is in the best interest of the club and its shareholders. Sandy Easdale has similarly apparently engaged constructively including highlighting some concerns. I have today responded to these concerns in writing. He will now consult with his co-shareholders and hopefully revert soonest so that we can proceed to agreement and the earliest possible implementation thereof. Unfortunately, I have to again deal with a point that I have covered previously. Despite our agreement with the board on confidentiality (that we have strictly complied with) we were faced with the inevitable combination of truth, half-truth and fallacies peddled by Mr Irvine on behalf of his employers. He states in particular that he is voicing Sandy Easdale’s directly communicated thoughts. Sandy has assured me that this is not the case regarding his recent nonsensical utterings. On that point, I have recently had the amusement of reviewing over 100 email communications between MrIrvine and Craig Whyte during the period that Mr Irvine was attempting to advance Mr Whyte’s business interests. My review of these emails indicates to me that he carefully identifies journalists that he believes lack journalistic integrity and ability and can therefore be fed by him for the benefit of whoever pays him. I urge fans to continue to ignore the nonsense that comes from these sources. We have a lot of work to do over the next few months to regain the club. I would not be here without the support of the fans and neither would my co-investors. We are going to need to draw on your support again over the coming months.
  20. Mike Ashley has been energised by the battle for Ibrox in a way that he never has by challenge of making Newcastle United competitive. On Saturday afternoon Newcastle United have their eighth crack at winning a Premier League match this season. If they swing and miss, it will be their longest winless run in the Premier League era: worse than the ill-starred 2008/9 relegation season and more desperate than the year that brought Sir Bobby Robson to Tyneside. Throw into the mix an undercooked team light on experience of a relegation battle and there can be little doubt that this is a time for minds to be focused. Even at this early stage survival appears the priority, but that cannot be taken for granted. And where is Mike Ashley? The owner’s scrutiny is not trained on the lame duck manager who is only ever one defeat away from losing further ground with a sceptical support but instead it is in a messy, protracted and potentially long-running takeover of Rangers. The Newcastle owner blew his own cover on Ibrox weeks, months or even a year or so ago. By dodging the share issue and banning a journalist who had speculated on his intentions towards Rangers, he tried the owner’s equivalent of an Ali shuffle – but the knockout punch has not yet been delivered. Rangers is going to be a slow burner for Ashley. Unlike Newcastle – where he found an owner willing to make a quick sale – there are messy and protracted battles to be fought at Ibrox with groups who are not going to relinquish their grip on a potential goldmine anytime soon. The motivation for investing in a fallen club that needs plenty of work is the promise of a potential route into the Champions League. Ashley’s mistakes have made that path impossible for Newcastle for a generation or so, but Rangers’ size and the impoverished standard of the competition give him a chance north of the border. And the Champions League gives him even greater profile than the Premier League in a sportswear market that he fancies a crack at: Europe. There are obstacles to be vaulted, of course: not least rules that state he cannot own majority stakes in clubs in both Scotland and England. But that is a hurdle to be clambered over when the time comes: the important thing is to elbow out the other prospectors sifting through the wreckage at Ibrox. Rangers is time-consuming for Ashley. It has caused him to take his eye off the ball at Newcastle and the consequences of that could yet be catastrophic for a club that appears rudderless, leaderless and entirely without hope at the moment. Ashley gutted Newcastle of people who would answer back to him. Managing director Lee Charnley owes his career to Ashley, and is hardly likely to stand up to him. We all know that Pardew will acquiesce if required. That is the way the owner wanted it – him dipping in and out of Newcastle when it suited him. Ever since Rangers became a serious interest for him, the dynamic has changed. Ashley may be more visible at Newcastle – naming himself as chairman over the course of this year – but he has not been as involved as he was before. A source I spoke to said his greatest hope was that people would run it for him, keeping it ticking along for a while. He simply doesn’t have time for Newcastle anymore. There is a shiny new toy north of the border and the fight for control at Ibrox has energised him much more than the battle to make Newcastle United competitive has. And what is unfolding north of the border is very, very messy indeed. For those still in any doubt, it is worth taking a quick journey through the coverage of Ashley’s actions north of the border. Festering worry about his intentions has given way to outright disgust at the way he has operated in the last couple of months. Just like he has with Tesco and Debenhams, Ashley has struck at a moment of weakness. That is savvy strategy from a sharp businessman, but it doesn’t mean that Rangers fans should be happy about what is happening. Not that many are, despite claims from a couple of Old Firm icons this week that Ashley might be the man to return the club to its perch. The Daily Record’s Michael Gannon wrote a withering editorial two weeks ago challenging that belief: capturing the scorched earth policy of Ashley and his unquestioning acolytes perfectly. Warning that sometimes the devil you know can be worse than the devil you don’t, he wrote: “He is simply out to bag a quick buck at Rangers.” It is a familiar theme when the subject of Ashley and the Ibrox club are brought up: money is the reason he is hanging around. Not necessarily money that will be made directly off the club’s success but more the reflected perks of owning an institution that can reasonably challenge for the Champions League in a couple of seasons with pretty minimal investment. Gannon summed up his latest power play in a couple of damning sentences. “He could have sunk in money at last month’s share issue and it would have gone to the club,” he wrote. “Instead he waited and bought out Hargreave Hale. It strengthened his position and rubbed the board’s face in it after they refused to cave in to strict demands in return for a loan.” It is Ashley to a tee. Stubborn, obstinate and looking entirely after number one. The worry is that Newcastle United’s Premier League status will become collateral in the battle for Newcastle United. http://www.chroniclelive.co.uk/sport/football/football-news/newcastle-united-become-collateral-damage-7943767
  21. Take it with a pinch of salt, keep your fingers crossed or whatever takes your fancy, but there's been rumours in the African press for several days that Bilel Mohsni could be offski to play for Club Africain in Tunisia. See poor translations and article links below. http://fr.starafrica.com/football/mercato-bilel-mohsni-dans-le-viseur-du-club-africain.html http://www.africatopsports.com/2014/10/22/club-africain-bilel-mohsni-recrute-au-mercato-hivernal/ http://www.gnet.tn/revue-de-sport/mercato-club-africain-bilel-mohsni-dans-le-collimateur/id-menu-323.html
  22. Talking to Rangersitis (nice meeting you btw.) on Saturday afternoon we both debated whether it can be stopped via Sandy Easdale's proxy bloc and Ashley's holdings. Few things: 1. Will it be considered a resolution or just a simple loan authorised by the board? 2. Or will Ashley and Easdale bloc this through their voting rights on special resolutions? 3. By blocking the loan if it is seen as a resolution will concert party rights be triggered 4. By calling the EGM it looks to me as though the voting percentages won't matter here and that's why Ashley's calling the EGM in an effort to prevent the vote going through at a typical board meeting Would any of our more informed Gersnetters like to set us right?
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