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  1. But as if that wasn't enough .."Rangers are a new club" Haggerty dropped this clanger... Happy New Year !!
  2. I am seeing a rumour that Dave King has purchased Artemis shares "Dave King has purchased just under 12 million shares from Artemis. Equates to 14.57% of club."
  3. Guest

    Reds Fan In Peace

    Hi to all Rangers fans and a happy new year! Well. I've woken up today to find that we've signed one of your lads, Lewis McCloud and I think I'm delighted. But I know little about him and so wondered if you could give us a few pointers on what to expect? I understand he plays midfield which is a little strange as that is one area I would say we don't need to strengthen. I'm guessing we've bought him as cover with a view to developing him for the future. But if called upon, is he ready for the Championship in your opinion? I've read that a couple of lower league clubs (namely Shrewsbury Town and Leyton Orient) were in for him but were put off by the asking price (reported here as around £400k). Interested to hear your views on Lewis. Brentford is a progressive club and a good place for up and coming players so it seems a shrewd move by McCloud, the Reds seem to have signed a promising young player for the future and Rangers have a few bob in the bank so hopefully this will prove to be a good move for all concerned. Good luck for the rest of the season!
  4. Thought this worth sharing from FF: "Lifted this from another forum, some things we didn't know about players, training etc!! Training seems like a hoot! http://www.hat-trick.fr/sebastien-fa...st-jimmy-bell/ You’ve been here for two years now. What does “Rangers” mean to you? (After a long time spent thinking) Well it’s easy to say this and a bit of a cliché, but it’s a religion. There’s football here which is one thing, but then there’s Rangers, the fans, and everyone else associated with the club, it’s amazing…even after the club was relegated to Division 4, people kept their jobs at Ibrox or at Murray Park. And they are just so proud to work here, and they so proud to say “I work for Rangers”. When you are a professional player, you tend to move from club to club, it’s part of the job. It’s not easy to really absorb the culture and ethos of a club, apart from those who stay for years and years and really become ingrained in the fabric of the club, like Lee McCulloch. Sometimes, the supporters shout at you or get angry. But you can’t let it get to you, you can only do your talking on the pitch. They’ve had so much good football over the years that I think they sort of have a right to be angered, to be honest. In any case, playing at Ibrox is far from easy. There’s so much pressure. You can be winning 2-0, but if you misplace just one pass you’ll be whistled. I mean I heard a few boos at the Gerland (Lyon stadium), but never like the one’s you get here sometimes! (laughs) Did it take you long to learn what it meant to play for a club like Rangers? What did you expect when you came over? No, I didn’t expect it to be honest. I knew Rangers were a massive club, but I didn’t know how they were perceived by the other Scottish clubs. The Glasgow clubs really are hated by the other Scottish clubs. It’s incredible! What’s more, you have to understand that I was a but unsure about coming over here in the first place. I said to my agent: “You’re kind, but I’m not sure if I want to be dropping down to play in Division 4 in France” and he said “It’s Division 4 in Scotland”. He said: “Seb, please, just go over for a few days, check out the facilities and the stadium, you’ll soon change your mind.” On the first day of my trial I trained with the reserves, and it went well. That night, I went to see the first team play in the League Cup again East Fife. It was a Tuesday night, we won 4-0 and almost 40, 000 fans were there. It was…mad, just mad. I called up my agent and said: “If you can sort it out for me, I really want to stay here!” Everything you do and say is reported on and scrutinised at a club like Rangers. Has the press had an influence on the atmosphere at the club? First of all you need to understand that the press and its reporters here are a million times worse than in France! I’m sure I’ve seen the word “crisis” used to describe our club just about every day of the year, even when we win. Taking this into consideration, I do think that it’s had an influence. I must say, not on me personally. To be very honest, I don’t read the papers, apart from when they discuss politics or cover stories from France. But at the level of the club more generally, they have definitely had an influence. Ten days ago, an old team mate of McCoist’s, John Brown, said to the Sun: “You are a disgrace!” The coach brought us the article and he had an argument with Kenny Miller. After we got beaten by Hearts, apparently Miller had called up a journalist wanting to speak to him to tell him the manager had made some bad decisions, although it turned out that he hadn’t. McCoist got so angry: he threw the paper, he stamped on it, he was shouting and screaming! It’s the first time I’ve ever seen him like that. Blacky brings the Sun in every morning, and we read it. McCoist reads all the papers every morning in his office at Murray Park, which by the way is enormous (laughs). I think that its mainly at the level of the club staff that the papers have an impact. In your eyes, who represents the soul of the club? Jimmy Bell the kitman. He’s been here since 1972, I think. It’s amazing that he was taking care of McCoist and Durrant when they were players, and now its them who are in charge. It’s an amazing story and an amazing history, one which you wouldn’t get at many clubs at all. Jimmy’s got his own room in Ibrox where he displays all the Rangers kits and all the Rangers photos that he’s collected over 40 years. In his office at Murray Park, there’s a room, which we are forbidden from entering (laughs), which has all of his souvenirs, his trophies…it’s his very own museum! When it looked like they might be re-possessing Ibrox, he had to pack up all his stuff because he was scared that it would be taken off him. He is really the soul of the club, its him, its Jimmy. He’s a great guy, even if he’s always sulking. You need to get to know him…I remember when I arrived on trial, I didn’t speak English. “You don’t speak English, ****ing French!?” he said (laughs). But I mean really nasty to me! But nowadays, along with Bilel, he tells us loads of stories, loads of jokes. He’s really a top guy, he’s golden. I’m trying to help our readers understand the complete devotion that Rangers inspires in people. To give us more of an insight, is it true that one of the players has got the logo of the club tattooed on his calf? Yeah its Danny Stoney! He’s a good lad who we’ve loaned out to Stranraer. He’s got a tattoo that’s blue, with red around it, and five golden stars in the middle. It’s amazing, simply amazing. When I was at Lyon, even though I was also a Lyon fan, I would never have got a Lyon tattoo. It would never have crossed my mind! It’s just a different type of relationship to the club here. At Lyon, if I’d have got a club tattoo while I was at the academy I’d have had the piss taken out of me! “Suck up!” they’d have said. Here, it is praised! But by contrast, at Lyon if you change your hairstyle or your clothes, people will talk about it. Here, no one cares! The outfits people wear here, and I’m talking about the players, are just….Take Lee Wallace for example, I’ve never seen him wearing jeans (laughs)! At Lyon, you dress well to be stylish or whatever, but here, not at all.
  5. rbr

    Rangers first

    Great day for the Rangers first schemem , now sitting at over 2170 members , superb , hopefully this is just the start , I know there is an off line campaign starting soon which has been funded by separate donations.
  6. http://www.londonstockexchange.com/exchange/prices-and-markets/stocks/exchange-insight/trade-data.html?fourWayKey=GB00B90T9Z75GBGBXASQ1
  7. ...while fans are queuing up to bail them out. WHY the hell are Rangers selling their best player for just £1million when they have fans who are willing to put £6.5million into the club?. It's an absolutely ridiculous state of affairs. No wonder the Gers fans are going berserk. It's obvious to me this is a reaction by the club to the SFA blocking Mike Ashley from increasing his stake to 29.9 per cent. The club is desperate for money. I said a few weeks ago that it wouldn't surprise me if clubs came in for Macleod and Lee Wallace in the January transfer window. It is well known in the game that Rangers need funds. So clubs will try to get players on the cheap. But Brentford! For £1 million! It is obvious Rangers are in a serious predicament. Because what does selling the midfielder do for their chances of winning promotion back to the top flight? I just don't know why the club aren't accepting people who have put money on the table with open arms. George Letham, Douglas Park and George Taylor have offered to underwrite the share issue to the tune of £6.5 million. They are genuine supporters who care about the Ibrox club and they have provided proof of funds. Anybody who wants to invest in the SPFL Championship club just now has to be a fan given the state they are in. They don't want to make a fast buck. Apparently, the club is ready to open negotiations with the trio over representation on the board. But for me there is no discussion needed. Ashley's attempt to buy control of the Ibrox club has been rebuffed by the SFA. So the club has to get money from somewhere else. Why aren't they accepting this substantial injection of cash straight away. Why are they offloading Macleod? Do they have something to hide? Are there things they don't want these guys to find out about? I personally am not interested in who is in charge Rangers. I just want them to function as a unit with everyone involved working together. I want to see the club run they way it should be run - on and off the park. If this consortium's bid isn't accepted there is a very real danger that more fans won't bother to turn up for the Championship game against Dumbarton on Saturday. Attendances at the matches against Cowdenbeath and Livingston this month were below 20,000. What will they be this weekend after this development? The people who are running Rangers have to understand they need the supporters onside to get out of this mess. If Letham, Park and Taylor came in then I am in no doubt that fans would have more faith in the board and more of them would come back. I know for a fact that young Lewis didn't really want to leave Rangers. Certainly not to Brentford. I am in no doubt that the 20-year-old has been told he has to join the English Championship club to raise money. Yes, it is a higher level than he is currently playing at. But I think he could do far better than the Griffin Park club. The money Rangers will bank from the sale of the Scotland Under-21 internationalist, too, will do them for a month. What do they do after that? They have lost one of their best performers, one of the few individuals they have who has a bit of quality. Do they go back to Mike Ashley and get more loans? Are we the Loan Rangers now? http://www.eveningtimes.co.uk/rangers/rangerscomment/rangers-are-flogging-the-family-silver-while-fans-are-queuing-up-to-193047n.115344368
  8. @Ryanfinnie22: Happy to say I have left Rangers after a year of ups and downs great bunch of boys though will miss them a lot. Time for a new start... ⚽️❤️
  9. He's a COWARD, he doesn't like a 50-50 and tackles from behind. SCOTTISH football journeyman and no stranger to a hard tackle, Chic Charnley has lashed out at Rangers bad boy Ian Black. CHIC CHARNLEY didn’t need to take lessons when it came to being one of Scottish football’s bad boys. He was sent off 17 times in a tempestuous career that began in 1982 and finished in 2003 when he made his final SPL appearance for Partick Thistle 18 days short of his 40th birthday. Rangers midfielder Ian Black has been booked 33 times and sent off twice in his 101 games for Rangers but, according to Charnley, their disciplinary record is about all they have in common. Charnley, right, was as hard as he was skilful but has no time for Black, whom he regards as being deficient in both departments. The 29-year-old was hooked by interim manager Kenny McDowall just 34 minutes into the 4-0 defeat by Hibs at Easter Road after a booking for a scything foul from behind on Scott Allan – a challenge that sums him up so far as Charnley is concerned. He said: “Black is just a coward. His fouls are either from behind or the side or they’re late – you don’t see him going in for many 50-50s. “On the other hand, he always seemed to be complaining about the rough treatment from other players in the lower divisions but if you dish it out then you need to be able to take it. “I know Kenny McDowall well from playing alongside him for St Mirren and I know what he’s like – he wouldn’t have missed Black in the dressing room especially after he kicked the dugout after being taken off. “That sums up Black’s attitude. I’ve never rated him as a player anyway but I particularly dislike the way he struts about the pitch as if he is somebody. “He should never have been at Ibrox in the first place. I know Ally McCoist’s hands have been tied since they went bust but, even now, he isn’t good enough to play for them. “He would never have got near the squad for any of the teams Coisty played in.” Sky pundit Andy Walker was also critical of the foul on Allan, which forced McDowall to sub the player before he was red-carded. Walker said: “That’s not the way to show that you’re brave. It’s typical of Ian Black. The jersey seems too heavy for him. “He can’t be trusted – he can’t keep his composure.” Charnley also believes the former Inverness and Hearts man should have been binned when it was revealed in August, 2013 that he had been caught betting against Rangers in a game he had played in. He said: “How can you do that? His feet shouldn’t have touched the ground when that came out. “Listen, we all used to put a coupon on at the weekend when I played but it wouldn’t have crossed anyone’s mind to bet against your own team. “I know football has changed but if anyone in John Lambie’s team had been caught doing that he’d have had them up against the wall by the throat. “As for my record, I did some daft things and sometimes my reputation preceded me but I was still playing at 40 because I loved the game. “Black’s contract with Rangers is up at the end of this season and if they let him go – and I’m sure they will – I don’t think anyone will want to sign him.” Charnley played for 12 senior clubs in Scotland, England, Ireland and Sweden but never made a secret of being a lifelong Celtic supporter. But he takes no pleasure in the plight of the coaching staff at their rivals. He said: “Ally had to deal with a lot of stuff that no one else ever had to contend with. “Kenny is a good pal of mine and I know he’ll be hurting – my heart goes out to him. “I really feel for Ian Durrant, too. The people running that club have no class and they’ve proved it by the ridiculous way they’ve treated him. “They’ve demoted him to youth team coach in an attempt to force him out. It’s a liberty. “However, once this whole episode is over and done with, I have no doubt that the three of them can manage another club and be successful.” http://www.dailyrecord.co.uk/sport/football/football-news/chic-charnley-slams-rangers-hot-4891416
  10. Rangers Supporters Trust has demanded that the club keep its promise to answer questions about Mike Ashley. By Roddy Forsyth 7:59PM GMT 29 Dec 2014 Comments4 Comments The Rangers Supporters Trust has demanded that the club keep its promise to answer questions about Mike Ashley which shareholders were unable to put to the board at last week’s stormy annual general meeting. David Somers, the Rangers plc chairman, was widely criticised for curtailing the proceedings before questions could be posed about the Newcastle United owner’s dealings with the club, especially in relation to his Sports Direct retail chain. Somers promised that he would respond by email to questions which were not addressed at the AGM. One question follows the Telegraph Sport’s disclosure that when Ashley gave up the naming rights to Ibrox Stadium notoriously acquired for £1 from Charles Green’s Sevco consortium – he got substantial commercial and advertising concessions within the ground. The Rangers board is exploring its options for fresh funding after the rejection by the Scottish Football Association of Ashley’s attempt to increase his shareholding in the club from 8.92% to 29.9%. It is understood that one possibility – again cited by Telegraph Sport – is to maintain cash flow by a series of emergency loans from Ashley, secured on assets. Ashley has already provided £3 million in loans but Rangers need another £8 million to see them through 2015. They have an offer of £6 million from three wealthy supporters, Douglas Park, George Letham and George Taylor, conditional on board representation. However, Ashley could choose to defy the SFA by increasing his stake in the club despite their refusal to sanction it, a course of action that could lead to the governing body to withdraw Rangers’ license to play football. In the meantime, the RST’s questions include the following: “Can the Board outline the terms of the recently announced new commercial arrangements with Sports Direct? Specifically, can the board confirm if future years’ shirt sponsor revenues will be for the benefit of the club or for the benefit of Sports Direct and does Sports Direct have the right to choose a shirt sponsor after the end of 32 Red three year sponsor period? “It is a widely held view that Mike Ashley tried to undermine the recent share issue by initially offering to underwrite it, then withdrawing this offer, and publicly announcing he would not be taking up his rights, only to then go out in the market the following week and buy further shares in the market for the same price. “This appears to have been a clear strategy to undermine the success of that share issue. On what basis does the Board consider it appropriate to enter into further business relationships with an individual who was clearly attempting to undermine the financial position of the club for his own advantage? “Can the board confirm if it is in discussions with Sports Direct or any other Mike Ashley company to sell a further stake in the Rangers Retail business? If so, what percentage stake is being considered for sale and at what value? “It has been reported that Derek Llambias will earn a salary of £150k as CEO. Will Mr Llambias advise shareholders if he is also entitled to other benefits (housing costs, car allowances, pension) and in particular if he is eligible for any bonus payment? If he is eligible for a bonus then on what basis will this be earned? Has he moved to Glasgow? “Is the Board considering using Murray Park as security for further loans from Mike Ashley, Mash Holdings or Sports Direct affiliated companies? If so, how much is the Board seeking to raise from this asset? “The club appears to have granted considerable additional stadium branding rights to Sports Direct and Mike Ashley companies. Can the board outline exactly how much additional advertising inventory has been given toSports Direct/Mike Ashley and what value or consideration has been received for this? “The club needs major investment. Why did the board not seek to persuade Sandy Easdale to vote his proxy block of 26% to support a new share issue? As Mr Easdale did not support such a new issue, blocking muchneeded fresh investment, is his position on the football board untenable? “Mr Llambias you sat in front of around 200 fans at Ibrox, next to Charles Green, and told us of the benefits and "millions of pounds" the naming rights for Ibrox would bring to Rangers. Did you know at that time that your boss, Mike Ashley, was getting those rights for £1? Why should any Rangers fans trust you when your first interaction with us was to mislead us on behalf of Mr Ashley? “How much did the club receive per £10 spent by fans from retail sales through Rangers Retail in the June 2013-June 2014 financial year? “What has Mike Ashley been given in return for giving up the naming rights that Charles Green handed him for £1? “Can you explain why the board took Mike Ashley’s loans and gave him control of the running of the club despite it clearly being contrary to SFA and UEFA rules and therefore inevitably opening up the club to a charge? “Can the board confirm why, after 40 odd years of service, loyal employees are being cast out the door with the minimum possible redundancy pay and a paltry two weeks’ pay as a 'goodwill' gesture?” http://www.telegraph.co.uk/sport/football/teams/rangers/11316773/Rangers-fans-demand-answers-from-board-over-Mike-Ashleys-involvement-with-club.html
  11. BRENTFORD are ready to spark a January transfer scramble for Rangers star Lewis Macleod. SunSport understands the Championship side are poised to make a £1million move for the Ibrox kid. And that could see a host of English clubs enter the bidding for the Scotland squad member. Macleod has caught the eye of Championship promotion hopefuls Bees. Rangers legend David Weir is No 2 there and is fully aware of the 20-year-old’s potential. But several other English clubs, including Premier League strugglers Burnley, are keen on the midfielder. Blackburn were also set to make a bid before being hit with a transfer ban.
  12. http://www.telegraph.co.uk/sport/football/teams/rangers/11315517/Rangers-are-facing-an-impending-crisis-on-and-off-the-field.html Rangers go into 2015 in a state of crisis greater than anything they have faced since they began their attempt to march through three divisions and regain top-flight status in Scotland. The weekend defeat by Hibernian at Easter Road not only effectively ended their frail hope of challenging Hearts for automatic promotion to the Scottish Premiership, it also confirmed that the Ibrox side are in poor shape for the play-offs. Rangers trail Hearts by 15 points and to put themselves in a position where they could be promoted without having to take anything from their final fixture – against the leaders at Tynecastle – they would have to make up more than a point per game on Robbie Neilson’s players throughout the second half of the season. The evidence of the league meetings with their most likely play-off rivals – Hibs and Queen of the South – is that Rangers would struggle in a play-off sequence against them. They have been beaten home and away by Hibs 7-1 on aggregate and if the games against Queens had been a two-legged tie, the 4-4 score would have seen Rangers lose on away goals. Of course, past results are no guarantee of future performance – a dictum that applies in football as it does to the stock market – but Rangers are in disarray in both arenas. Kenny McDowall, having been told that he will replace Ally McCoist as manager until at least the end of the season, uttered a harsh truth after the 4-0 weekend defeat by Hibs. “At the moment I am just going to have to work with the squad that is there. I can’t just invent players,” he said. Derek Llambias has not yet cut the playing strength in his drive to reduce the £8 million annual deficit at Ibrox but a dozen or so players are out of contract at the end of the season and have no idea whether or not they will be offered continued employment. It can be argued that this should be a motivational tool and that those footballers should be performing as though their careers depended on the outcome – which, in some cases, will be true. Related Articles Rangers' post-McCoist era off to a shocker 27 Dec 2014 Miller laments Rangers' defensive waekness 27 Dec 2014 McCulloch: 'Let’s do this for McCoist' 26 Dec 2014 SFA 1, Mike Ashley 0 24 Dec 2014 However, when Terry Butcher warned Hibs’ below-par players last season that they would have to step up or ship out, the result was the collapse which saw the Easter Road team relegated. There has been no indication that McDowall can add to his strength during the January transfer window and, in any case, the fact that Rangers have the highest player salary bill in Scotland outside Celtic hardly suggests Llambias could make a case to Mike Ashley for greater funding in that department. In any event, Ashley now has troubles of his own at Ibrox. His long-term strategy of making the club dependent on his funding – emergency loans secured on assets – has given him control of a compliant board but the grand plan has run into obstacles. Llambias told the club’s Fans Board that it would be “very difficult” for the directors to regain the trust of the support. Yet at the subsequent annual general meeting David Somers, the Rangers chairman, produced an ill-judged display of bluster that has wholly alienated him from the fans. The outcome was cemented by The Telegraph’s disclosure of an email in which Somers pleaded with an Ashley representative to keep the Newcastle owner’s takeover process on course – in the face of a competing £16 million offer by Dave King – so that he could remain chairman. The AGM also featured the bizarre spectacle of club directors proposing an open share issue of £8 million and then voting against it, a tactic that can only be explained by a mistaken belief that the Scottish Football Association would grant Ashley his request to exert complete control at Ibrox by increasing his shareholding to 29.9 per cent. The SFA’s refusal to do so has generated a challenge to Ashley’s hegemony from the consortium of wealthy Rangers supporters – Douglas Park, George Letham and George Taylor – who have proposed an offer to underwrite the share issue to the tune of £6.5 million. The question for Ashley is whether he maintains his own percentage stake by putting more money into the club – and having to agree to the consortium’s demand for board seats – or find some way of presenting alternative funding which would dispense with the need for the share issue. Either way, the immediate outlook for a dysfunctional club is turbulent. Ashley and Rangers must answer SFA disciplinary charges that he has extended his influence beyond the terms of the written undertaking he gave. And – perhaps most ominously of all – in five weeks Rangers face Celtic in a Scottish League Cup semi-final. That is a prospect which – after Saturday’s collapse – has Ibrox fans fearing the damage that could be inflicted by their greatest adversaries.
  13. BBCBMcLauchlin ‏@BBCBMcLauchlin 1m1 minute ago George Letham, George Taylor and Douglas Park offer Rangers £6.5million alternative to Mike Ashley investment#bbcsportscot
  14. Never thought I would see the day I posted on a football site on Xmas morning. However, morose at a houseful of snoring teenagers who refuse to get up at 6 am and behave like they did when they were wee, I have done a tribute to Ian Durrant. Merry Christmas everyone, may your mince pie forever be moist. Winter can be the cruelest season. Among footballers, Ian Durrant could certainly testify to that. This most gifted of Scottish players, an attacking midfielder some decades ahead of his time, was cut down in his prime in early winter, October 1988. A 'tackle' from an Aberdeen player (mentioning the name of the individual concerned would only confer a gravitas upon him which he doesn't deserve) saw the usual welcome for grace and skill in Scottish football: physical assault. Both as player and coach Durrant suffered torment on Rangers behalf; there can be few circles of Hell he is unfamiliar with after his more than 30 years at Ibrox. Just as that early winter 26 years ago saw the only real world class talent this country has produced for two generations crippled by the mediocrity which dominates then as now, the long delayed winter of 2014 has seen him unceremoniously dumped from his job as assistant manager to Ally McCoist to a role in charge of the club's under-20's. Winter can be the cruelest season. This demotion might not prove to be a bad thing, if Durrant is minded to accept the role. Always a larrikin, the performances of the first team over the last few years certainly suggest he, along with McCoist and McDowall, wasn't suited to training experienced pros. A big kid himself, he could conceivably be more effective at working with other kids. Even so, this demotion is not a classy way to treat a man who, had things been different, would almost certainly have moved to England and thence on to Europe - he was that good - and who was and is a Rangers fanatic. But if Durrant deserved better from the club, he also deserved better from the fans. No-one can argue that the team he helped create was rubbish, but some of the criticism was ridiculous. Durrant, like McCoist, only ever wanted to do the best by Rangers. Those who posted dark hints about money grabbing, uselessness and standing with arms folded did the man a huge disservice: when Ian Black puts yet another pass straight out of play, what coach on earth can teach him how to pass? A crap player is a crap player. Of course, the solution would be not to pick such dreck, which the management team singularly failed to do, but that wasn't Durrant's decision to make. Even so, a fan base which regularly slates Steven Naismith for betraying the club which 'stood by him' during injury - a spurious argument indeed, given the legally binding contract both sides signed - but which then turns around and berate someone who stood by the club for decades, has got some issues of consistency, to say the very least. Players need to stand by the club, they insist: but what about the other way, club to player? Or even more close to home, fan to player: what about that relationship? It only lasts as long as the times are good, does it? To suggest any player be immune from criticism would be ludicrous, but there's ways of criticising without forever destroying the special bond between fan and hero, especially when that hero was and remains a fan. Well, if the board is dysfunctional and at one remove from the fan base, I suppose it's hardly surprising that the support is dysfunctional and at one remove from club legends. On the whole I suppose this is a small matter, and there are far greater issues for Rangers fans to be thinking about, as the annual family pig out/fall out approaches. But we can't look back on Durranty's time at Ibrox with any great pride now, the way he's been treated. For some fans - not all - cutting one of our own a little slack and tempering criticism with respect was too much to ask, and that's deeply depressing. I hope anyone under say 40, who might not remember the slight, elusive midfielder with the huge mop of curly hair in action, will take to Youtube to see what the fuss was about. As much a reflection then of the national preference for hackers as he is a reflection now to our own failings, Durrant is something of an unlikely Alighieri, experiencing the various circles of Hell available to the Bluenose: McCoist an even more unlikely Virgil. But both have been through an inferno on our behalf, as players and then as staff. The least they deserve is our understanding.
  15. http://www.telegraph.co.uk/sport/football/teams/rangers/11312941/Rangers-chairman-David-Somers-could-face-probe-by-Stock-Market-regulators-for-his-role-in-Mike-Ashley-bid.html Rangers chairman David Somers could face probe by Stock Market regulators for his role in Mike Ashley bid David Somers feared a successful rival bid by David King would mean the end of his chairmanship and also ensure the departure of the Easdale brothers Stock Market regulators have been asked to investigate the conduct of Rangers chairman David Somers during the battle for control at Ibrox between Mike Ashley and Dave King. The move follows the Telegraph’s disclosure of an email from Somers to Mike Ashley’s representative, Justin Barnes, over the proposed terms of a Sports Direct contract which the Rangers chairman feared would tip his fellow directors into supporting a takeover bid by King, a former Ibrox director. In the email, Somers expressed his fears that a successful bid by King would mean the end of his chairmanship and would also ensure the departure of Sandy Easdale, the Rangers football board chairman, and his brother, James Easdale, a Rangers plc director. Somers also threatened to vote for a Stock Exchange announcement to the effect that Rangers would terminate the Sports Direct contracts by which the club’s merchandise is sold through Ashley’s retail chain. In response to the Telegraph’s revelations, King told BBC Scotland: "His actions could be considered a breach of the Companies Act. It would seem from the email that Somers didn't like Ashley's initial proposal, yet that was the option the board finally went for. "It also seems that Somers was prepared to threaten to cancel Rangers' retail agreement with Sports Direct to prompt Ashley to provide an alternative that would protect the positions of himself and the Easdales. Ashley owns less than 10 per cent of the shares, but now seems to control the club.” King – who is based in South Africa - assembled a consortium which proposed a £16 million debt and equity takeover deal. This was rejected by the Ibrox board after Ashley refused to meet King during his visit to the UK in October. Somers has stated that, although King claimed that his consortium had eight members, not all of their identities were disclosed to the Rangers directors. Somers has also insisted that, finally, the choice for a board whose club was close to running out of cash was to accept the offer of a loan from either Ashley or Sale Sharks owner Brian Kennedy. In the event, the chairman has said, the vote went in Ashley’s favour because the Newcastle United owner offered better terms. However, the Telegraph understands that the contents of the email between Somers and Barnes has perturbed the Scottish Football Association, which announced on Wednesday that it had rejected Ashley’s proposal to increase his Rangers shareholding to 29.9 per cent, which would give him almost total control of the beleaguered club. The request was made in person by Derek Llambias, Ashley’s lieutenant, who was appointed as Rangers’ chief executive last Friday – days after disciplinary charges were brought by the SFA stating that the billionaire businessman had exceeded the terms of an undertaking limiting his influence at Ibrox. The SFA’s refusal has cast serious doubt over the viability of a share issue due to be launched by Rangers in order to raise £8 million needed to meet the club’s financial needs for the next year. Had the SFA agreed to Ashley’s request, he would have underwritten the equity issue but it is now unclear how it will go ahead, if indeed it does go ahead. There are also questions to be answered about why votes were cast by board members against their own proposal, at Rangers’ annual general meeting on Monday, for an open share issue, rather than one principally confined to existing investors, such as Ashley. Meanwhile, one Rangers shareholder has written to the AiM investigations office, as well as the club’s LSE nominated adviser (NOMAD) and Ian Davidson, the MP whose constituency includes Ibrox, asking them to probe Somers’ conduct. The shareholder wrote: “On Tuesday 23rd December, the Telegraph newspaper online carried a story by journalist Roddy Forsyth, regarding an e-mail sent by the Rangers International Football Club Chairman David Somers to members of the board and surprisingly non-members, including a representative of Sports Direct - Justin Barnes. “The e-mail not only indicated the Chairman’s preference for investment by Mike Ashley of Sports Direct, it actively encouraged this investment, in order, it seems, to secure the Chairman’s position and that of other board members and strangely enough a non-member (one Sandy Easdale), who seems to be party to PLC Board internal communications and - if the e-mail is to be read correctly - acting as a shadow director. “A major concern for shareholders such as myself is, does activity such as this construe a “Concert Party” arrangement between board and non-board members with regards to overall boardroom influence?” The shareholder goes on to ask if Somers’ email is in breach of AiM and corporate governance practice and if it triggered a legal threat from Ashley to the Rangers chairman and/or other directors. The Telegraph understands that other Rangers shareholders are prepared to add their complaints to that already lodged with the financial regulators. All of which compounds the stormy backdrop against which caretaker manager Kenny McDowall – who was ordered by Llambias to take charge of the team after Ally McCoist was placed on gardening leave – must prepare the Rangers players for a tough fixture against Hibernian at Easter Road on Saturday. Rangers have lost twice to Hearts and once to Hibs and Queen of the South, their principal rivals for promotion to the Scottish Premiership. They now trail Hearts by 12 points and currently they look set, at best, for the Scottish Championship play-offs – with 12 Ibrox players out of contract at the end of the season.
  16. "Rangers chairman David Somers pleaded for Mike Ashley takeover to succeed, emails reveal" http://www.telegraph.co.uk/sport/football/teams/rangers/11311642/Rangers-chairman-David-Somers-pleaded-for-Mike-Ashley-takeover-to-succeed-emails-reveal.html Fot full Roddy Forsyth article, click link above -------------------------------------------------- This isn't just about Somers though, it goes deeper.
  17. ...if they want to get their club back Former Rangers chairman Malcolm Murray has told supporters to make some "noise" if they want to get their club back. The former pension fund manager was speaking after Monday's stormy Ibrox AGM. The 90-minute meeting saw PLC chairman David Somers, chief executive Derek Llambias, director James Easdale and his brother Sandy - chairman of the club's football board - face a barrage of abuse from shareholders. Chants of "out, out, out", "sack the board" and "scumbags" were hurled at the directors as they made their way out onto a flimsy tent erected on the Ibrox pitch. There was little detail given to the irate fans on how the board plan to bridge the £8.3million funding gap which currently separates the Glasgow giants from safety, other than to say a fresh share issue was to be expected, while Somers was the focus of much of the ire after comments which sparked even more anger. Despite the flak, the chairman, Llambias and James Easdale were all re-elected to the PLC board with the help of Mike Ashley and other institutional investors. But Murray claims the fans must act if they want to force real change. Speaking outside the AGM, Murray - who was the club's first chairman after it was reformed following its 2012 liquidation crisis, only to quit a year later after falling out with Charles Green - said: "That was the most arrogant display I have ever seen in third of a century of attending AGMs. "There was complete disregard for shareholders and fans. They say they will operate without fans. We actually ended up knowing less than when we started, which takes a bit of doing. "What can the fans and shareholders do? They have to make more noise. I am not saying they should boycott but they have to make a lot more noise. I think eventually the board will get worried that that the fans are not turning up and not buying kit. The mood in there, well, I have never known anything like it. "Will fans turn their backs on the club? In the short term, yes. But my message to the fans is to stick with it. We will be here a lot longer than them." http://www.eveningtimes.co.uk/rangers/u/murray-rangers-fans-need-to-make-some-noise-if-they-want-to-get-their-club-back.1419322367
  18. ...from SFA panel that includes.. Celtic boss Peter Lawwell. Dec 22, 2014 22:30 By Gary Ralston THE Ibrox club's new chief executive will have to set out the blueprint for the future of the club for an SFA group that will include his opposite number at Parkhead. DEREK LLAMBIAS will seek approval for Mike Ashley’s vision for the future of Rangers today from an SFA group that includes Peter Lawwell. The Celtic chief executive is a member of the SFA board that will meet with the new Rangers frontman at Hampden for talks on the way forward for the cash-strapped club. Rangers have been asked to detail the business plan and strategy behind any future investment from the Newcastle United owner. Llambias, who denied he’s on Ashley’s payroll at a stormy Rangers agm yesterday, declined to offer clarity on the Sports Direct tycoon’s involvement at Ibrox. He said: “I’m seeing the SFA and a clearer picture should emerge then.” The SFA board, which also includes chief executive Stewart Regan, president Campbell Ogilvie, Hibs chairman Rod Petrie and SPFL chairman Ralph Topping, have the power to veto any plans. They will be keen to hear if Ashley has ambitions to increase his shareholding or if he or any of his representatives plan to take up positions on the Ibrox board. There has been disquiet among fans about the involvement of Ashley under “dual interest” rules, which frown upon individuals holding key positions at two or more clubs. Strictly speaking, however, Article 13 of the SFA does not forbid Ashley having a sizeable stake in Rangers and Newcastle United, but he would require “prior written consent of the board” to increase his influence at Ibrox. The SFA board will hear Llambias’ blueprint and may ask for further details before giving their judgment on Ashley in the new year. The meeting today has been described as informal, but Llambias will be expected to shed light on a range of issues. He is likely to be asked, for example, why the Rangers board felt they had no option but to accept Ashley’s recent £2million loan when Brian Kennedy and Dave King had also come to the table with investment proposals. Lawwell’s involvement is an intriguing sideshow and, as talks progress, he may decide he is conflicted and step away from discussions. He recently admitted the absence of Rangers from the top flight of the Scottish game was costing his club £10million a year. However, an under-strength and under-funded Rangers effectively gives Celtic a free run at the Champions League each season and the riches it can provide. The talks with the SFA board are separate from the notice of complaint recently issued to Ashley and Rangers by an SFA judicial panel. Ashley and Rangers are accused of breaching an agreement he would not take control of the club and compliance officer Tony McGlennan acted after Ashley’s recent loans, totalling £3million, led to accusations he had been handed the keys to the door. Meanwhile, Rangers fans have urged Ashley to turn to Dave King or other wealthy Bluenose backers after supporters vetoed plans to open the club to £8million of fresh investment from non-shareholders. Only 45 per cent of shareholders backed a resolution aimed at inviting new investors into the club and it’s believed Ashley and the Easdale block voted against the proposals. Chris Graham of the Union of Fans said: “It’s disingenuous for the top table at the agm to recommend the resolution, only to apparently vote against it. “They clearly don’t want others to buy in without them having first interest. Legally, Dave King could still underwrite a new share offer and other backers, such as George Taylor in Hong Kong, have invested heavily recently. “I only hope Derek Llambias acknowledges the scale of the disconnect between club and fans displayed at the agm. He can have Ibrox half full for the foreseeable future or turn it round the other way. “Mike Ashley will still make money if outside investors come into the club.” Sandy Easdale refused to rule out involvement in future from the likes of King and Brian Kennedy. He told shareholders: “I’ve never dismissed any of these guys, they may yet be part of the future of this club.” Llambias, who stepped down as Newcastle managing director in June 2013, told shareholders he was committed to returning the club to the top of the Scottish game. Llambias added: “Not everything I do will be popular but everything I do will be in the club’s long-term interests. “We need financial stability off the pitch and great football on the pitch. We want to get Rangers back into the top flight and the Champions League. “That is our aim and hopefully next year I will give a much better speech.” http://www.dailyrecord.co.uk/sport/football/football-news/rangers-chief-derek-llambias-must-4859995?
  19. RNS Number : 4108A Rangers Int. Football Club PLC 22 December 2014  Rangers International Football Club plc ("Rangers" or the "Company")
 
AGM Statement As previously announced, the Company's Annual General Meeting will be held at 10:30am today, Monday 22 December 2014, at Ibrox Stadium, 150 Edmiston Drive, Glasgow G51 2XD. Access will be through Exit 30 of the Broomloan Stand which is adjacent to turnstile 64. Shareholders will have access to the Albion car park with access to the Stadium footprint for disabled Blue Badge holders to park near the entrance. Shareholders are asked to arrive in good time from 9am in order to clear the registration process. Shareholders should bring the attendance card which was included with the Notice of AGM, posted to registered addresses on 28 November 2014. In the event that the attendance card is lost, Shareholders should bring some other form of ID (a credit/debit card will suffice). Shareholders whose shares are held in a nominee account with their stockbroker will need a Corporate Representative's letter (issued by the custodian of their shares) in order to be admitted. Non-shareholders including guests of shareholders, will not be admitted. The meeting will consider the 9 Resolutions set out in the Notice of AGM, each of which will be subject to a vote by Poll, which will be verified by Capita Registrars Limited. The result of these Resolutions will be released to the London Stock Exchange by no later than 7am on Tuesday 23 December 2014. At the AGM the Chairman, David Somers, will make the following statement: "Welcome Ladies and Gentlemen to this Annual General Meeting of Rangers International Football Club plc. It feels like years since I last stood in front of you and it is amazing that it is only just over 12 months. 12 months ago, as I had just joined the Rangers Board, I was given the impression that the Club had enough money to see it through the first few months to the season ticket window. Sadly, I quickly discovered that this was not the case. The Board then began metaphorically to take up all of the carpets; after which we were left with a very long list of legacy issues that needed to be sorted out, often as our finances would allow. So in the first few months, we reviewed all of the contracts, the finances and the legal issues, ending up with a long list of legacy issues that would need to be dealt with over time. Since then we have spent many months focusing on these legacy issues dealing with them one by one. To be honest, it is frustrating dealing with legacy issues, because you are effectively looking backwards during this time and dealing with issues you didn't create yourself. I know that most fans will not really be interested in such efforts, because it is not about football, but these legacy issues and contracts have had to be dealt with so that we can begin to move forward. I was always taught to be cautious, so I hesitate to say that we have dealt with all of these legacy issues, as whenever I think that, another legacy issue quietly appears, but we do seem to have addressed many or most of them. One of our biggest remaining legacy issues is the weak state of the Rangers finances. In the financial area, we have been fortunate that a number of people have supported us with loans during the last 12 months, namely Sandy Easdale, George Letham and Mash Holdings. I sincerely thank them for their support, which in some cases, has included their loans being interest free. In the early days, while developing our list of legacy issues to be addressed, Graham Wallace wrote a review, which became known as the 120 day review. In this he indicated a desire to spend £20-30 millions in reaching the top levels of Scottish and European football. After visits to various City institutions the Board believed that such a level of expenditure would be supported by the City institutions, and the then monthly rate of loss, would also be supported by the shareholders. In the event, this was discovered not to be the case, because when we came to raise funds through a share issue, we soon found that there was a lack of appetite from shareholders to invest significant extra funds just to pay wages and utility bills. Accordingly, we have moved to cut costs significantly. Like any household, Rangers can ultimately only spend what it earns and, as has been reported in the media, we have moved quickly to bring our costs down and much more in line with our income. Rangers Football Club has been living beyond its means for many years and much of the cost cutting and efficiency improvements should have been addressed years ago by previous boards when we were in the lower divisions. But they weren't, so we are doing it. A material part of our costs relate to player costs, however, and these can only be addressed over a long period of time because of the length of the contracts. These contracts are often measured in years, not months. In these past 12 months, I have been surprised at a number of things. Firstly, the highly negative aspect of most of the media reporting regarding Rangers. Secondly, because it is clear to me that a stronger Rangers is good for Scottish football, I have been very disappointed to realise that outside of Ibrox, there sadly still exists a great deal of anti- Rangers feeling, perhaps (although I hope not) even in the football establishment. Rangers return to the top flight of our game, I am sure you will agree, will be more easily achieved if everyone who cares about the Club works together for the betterment of Rangers. This turbulent year has seen people calling for a season ticket boycott, seen the disruptive creation of a season ticket trust for a while and other negative ideas. Such negativity is expensive for Rangers as it reduces season ticket and overall ticket sales, increasing the likelihood that I will have to borrow money to cover the shortfalls created. Our path to restoring Rangers to where we all want the Club to be, can only be achieved with the continued support of all supporters, shareholders and business partners. 2013/14 saw Rangers Football Club complete the second stage of our rise back to the top of Scottish football and the year also brought another vital component for a new Rangers to emerge for the future - a structured and measured approach to rebuilding the football club. An unbeaten SPFL League One campaign was an excellent return for Alistair, his staff and the players and they deserve our congratulations. While we were all ultimately disappointed to have been defeated in both the Ramsdens Cup Final and the William Hill Scottish Cup semi final, our fundamental objective of achieving promotion was comfortably achieved with a points total into three figures. I was delighted that the Board was able to further support the Manager in providing funds for the recruitment of nine players in 2013/14 and also in the period immediately after the end of the financial year when we brought Kenny Miller, Kris Boyd, Steve Simonsen and Lee Robinson back to the Club, together with the signings of Marius Zaliukas and Darren McGregor. While the success of any major football club will always be benchmarked by its first team, a strong Youth Academy is also an informative barometer of long-term health and well being. It is very pleasing to see the quality and quantity of young talent being nurtured at Murray Park. Last season our Under20s won the SFA Youth Cup and narrowly lost out in the title race in the final week of the campaign. 57 players from our Under 14 to Under 21 age groups were called into international squads and three more Murray Park Academy graduates made their first team debuts. The ladies and girls teams have come a long way in a short space of time, enjoying significant success. In season 2013, the Ladies reached the semi final of the Scottish Cup, The Under 17s team secured the league, Scottish Cup and League Cup treble, the U15s and U13s finished second in the leagues and a new U11s team has been introduced. Internationally, the Rangers ladies teams have contributed 22 players to the Scotland teams across all age groups. We are charting our future strategy in the five key areas of: • Developing Football Performance • Focus on Player Asset Management and Youth Development • Re-connecting effectively to our Local and Global Fan Base • Developing Best in Class Commercial and Operational Capability • Strengthening Commitment to our Communities The year also saw Rangers make the first, important steps towards building an effective programme of engagement with our fan base. Fans were contacted via email, SMS, online and at matchdays to assist in our Ready To Listen Initiative, showing we are serious about improving communications and dialogue with all supporters. Subsequent focus groups took place in Ibrox with feedback generated helping to shape the direction of the Club's fan engagement strategy. I think that we would all agree that we still have work to do in this area and one in which we must increase our endeavours. Although we have experienced difficult trading conditions, there have been a number of important and positive, developments in our fiscal position during the financial year. A 32% increase in total revenue from £19.1m to £25.2m was recorded in the year ending 30 June 2014, with the majority of the uplift due to the first full year of our retail venture with our long term partner Sports Direct. Reduced revenues from gate receipts and hospitality are down from £13.2m to £12.4m and were a direct result of the lower matchday attendances from both season ticket holders and walk-ins. This shortfall was offset by increased revenue from sponsorship and advertising up from £0.8m to £1.5m illustrating the improvements in the Rangers brand perception. Proceeds from ticket sales were also adversely impacted by the decision not to increase prices of either season or matchday tickets from the previous season. Season ticket sales were sadly down from 38,228 in 2012/13 to 36,039 in the 2013/14 financial year, resulting in a fall in revenue from £8.1m to £7.7m in financial years 2012/13 and 2013/14 respectively. Our average home league attendance also fell from 45,111 in the 2012/13 season to 41,444 in 2013/14. Other Operating Income rose from £1.7m to £2.1m, a 22% increase, mainly as a result of hosting both Scottish Cup Semi Finals and an increased associated uplift in matchday catering revenues. At this AGM, we are requesting permission from shareholders to enable us to issue shares to improve the long term financial stability of the Club. We were not able to last year and I sincerely hope, for the good of the financial stability and future of the Club, that it will be forthcoming this year. We are now increasingly looking forward. An immediate priority is to re-build the Board with suitably experienced people and this is already well underway. We also need to look at the football side for a number of reasons. Firstly, there has for some time existed a chasm between the talented young players being developed at Murray Park and our first team. We need to focus on ways of developing our own young players for the first team rather than continually buying-in players. Secondly, as you all know Ally has decided to resign and has given us the required 12 months notice of his intention to leave the Club, as of yesterday Ally is on gardening leave. Sadly, this year, one of our greatest ever supporters will not be with us on the rest of our long journey. In April we lost Sandy Jardine - a truly inspirational man and Ranger. I had the privilege of meeting him a number of times before he left us and I found him to be one of football's true gentlemen. Sandy will be forever revered and the re-naming of the Govan Stand in his memory is a fitting tribute to a truly wonderful person who cared so passionately about his Club. My personal goals remain what they were 12 months ago. Namely to ensure that the events of Rangers' recent past can never happen again; to cleanse the Club of these events, and also to ensure that Rangers gets back to the top in football. I now recognise that we will not get much support outside of Ibrox for this; we have to do it ourselves. And we will. Last year I said that I was proud to be Chairman of Rangers. I will repeat that again today, because I genuinely believe it is a privilege to be in this position." http://www.londonstockexchange.com/exchange/news/market-news/market-news-detail/12192436.html
  20. From Mail online. Ally McCoist may have managed Rangers for the final time as Mike Ashley prepares to move to replace him Rangers set to prepare moves aimed at dispensing with Ally McCoist Club to make an announcement after Monday's annual general meeting McCoist steered his side to a 2-0 victory over Livingston on Saturday Rangers are set to make moves aimed at dispensing with Ally McCoist as manager after Monday’s annual general meeting at Ibrox. An announcement is expected to be made of Mike Ashley’s intent to underwrite the new £8million share issue, approval for which must be granted by shareholders in order to keep the club operating beyond the end of next month. With that availability of fresh funding and newly-appointed chief executive Derek Llambias at the controls, Ashley and his lieutenant can begin to impress their stamp on Rangers. VIDEO Scroll down to see Ally McCoist in a tough Rangers press conference Ally McCoist could have manager Rangers for the final time against Livingston on Saturday +2 Ally McCoist could have manager Rangers for the final time against Livingston on Saturday It’s understood the Ibrox board could be prepared to stave off the wave of unrest at the potentially stormy meeting with a solid declaration of Ashley’s commitment and financial way forward. And the Newcastle United owner could be painted as the stricken club’s saviour if loans of up to £3m already handed to Rangers by him were to be written off. All of which could mean yesterday’s 2-0 victory over Livingston becoming one of McCoist’s last, if not his final game, in charge of Rangers. Following a midweek meeting with football board chairman Sandy Easdale and Llambias, McCoist remained as manager for the Championship game at Ibrox. But, if bolstered by a guarantee of cash, Rangers can tackle negotiations over the terms of McCoist’s notice period within the next fortnight in a bid to reach a settlement. Attention would then turn to his backroom staff, including assistant manager Kenny McDowall, first-team coach Ian Durrant and goalkeeping coach Jim Stewart, as work begins on establishing a new football structure. That would be preferable to the new men in charge than prolonging the agony of McCoist remaining in control of the squad until as long as next December. Billy Davies remains a prominent contender to replace McCoist in the hotseat. Ally McCoist gives a status update in tough Rangers press... Mike Ashley is keen to impress his stamp upon Rangers as soon as possible +2 Mike Ashley is keen to impress his stamp upon Rangers as soon as possible Those manoeuvres will raise the stakes in Rangers’ imminent disciplinary clash with the SFA. Last Monday, the governing body issued Ashley and the club notices of complaint for allegedly breaching rules related to his increasing influence in Rangers’ day-to-day running. Ashley steered clear three months ago when then chief executive Graham Wallace went to the market and raised an emergency £3million. Instead, the Newcastle supremo struck a deal with Hargreave Hale for their investment in order to strengthen his shareholding to 8.92 per cent. However, he will ensure his shareholding is no more than 29.9 per cent following any flotation, otherwise he would be legally-bound to make a bid to buy the entire company. Meanwhile, it has emerged Mark Hateley was advised by formerteam-mates to be careful about courting a relationship with the Easdale brothers, Sandy and James — he sat beside them at the recent games at Alloa and Palmerston — months before this week’s revelation of his fall-out with McCoist. Hateley had phoned Nacho Novo and tried to speak to one current player in a bid to extract information about McCoist’s coaching methods. The Rangers manager blanked attempts by Hateley in midweek to mend the broken relationship, furious that his old team-mate appears to have joined the boardroom camp of those who are opponents of the McCoist tenure.
  21. http://www.dailyrecord.co.uk/sport/football/football-news/ally-mccoist-rangers-board-must-4847930 If you were in any doubt that McCoist isnt deluded then his latest outburst should set you straight. This is from a man who with a 20 million pound wage bill and a remit to take us up through the leagues wilst building a team to compete at the top level of scottish football. I have to ask a couple of questions here : Why are there 12 players out of contract in the first place? and which ones would you actually keep ally?
  22. http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sport/football/article-2881390/Ally-McCoist-people-remember-means-s-important-thing.html?ITO=1490&ns_mchannel=rss&ns_campaign=1490 ALLY'S delusions... "The standards did drop for the first time last Friday night. There is absolutely no excuse for the level of performance we put in last Friday. ." The first time! So playing Alloa three times recently and not winning once was not standards slipping. Losing to all the diddy teams he has in his reign.... And he calls last Friday "the first time". And he thinks he can manage elsewhere in the future. And, as I said last week, he genuinely thinks he had done a good job.
  23. "The intention will be to settle the absolute minimum with creditors before they can cash their chips and make money off the ground, most supporters thus feel the club may as well go bust so that at least a phoenix team may be able to take the stadium. But the incumbents have a history of doing this at other clubs and are well connected. The club has had 4 chairmen in 6 months as they pass it around dodging winding up orders and pesky owners and directors tests, I'm sure they'll come through this somehow still in possession of whats left of the club. A friend of mine is a Darlo fan, watching his team cease to exist was pretty tough but in the end he was relieved when their farcical former incarnation came to an end. I don't think it's an easy task to come back but enough teams have to show it can be done." For fans of a certain age, Ronnie Radford's 'rocket' speaks of an entirely different world of football. Mud bath pitches, genuine cup shocks, a pitch invasion not immediately followed by FA investigations and/or police reprisal, even the flared trousers of the kids take the viewer back to an era when daytime TV was more Open University than Loose Women, Mash and Fray Bentos was an aspirational dinner, and football was a stable certainty, with even the most badly run club more or less safe from extinction if they had any fans at all. Sadly for Hereford, the times have seriously changed. Banned from any and all football activity by the FA owing to failure to complete paperwork - rather than the various questionable practices by various questionable owners, the usual 'Al Capone' approach to oversight taken by enfeebled football authorities - the present era of free ownership by speculators rather than fans has led to an on field decline and a boycott by the vast majority of supporters, dismayed at the hollow shell their beloved club has become - this sounds familiar to the Rangers fan. It's come to the point where the FA ban is hailed as good news, at least to this Guardian commenter: "This news has been welcomed by myself and 90% of my fellow Hereford United fans. The club's demise this season has been heart-breaking and the response from the authorities has been either non-existent or completely toothless until now. It's good to see that the FA have finally acted but it's taken far too long." Late Friday has brought the news that, owing to the owner being stuck in traffic with a guarantee of funding, the club has in fact been wound up. It's the sort of farce that Bears are all too familiar with, and sends out the message that, should your owner be incompetent enough, extinction is all too possible. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-hereford-worcester-30542821 Why football authorities are so slow to protect their game is mystifying. Hereford might not be up there, financially, with Chelsea or Man City, but in football the whole is very much the sum of the parts, a lesson forgotten too easily by too many. Trying to sell a top league with no substrata will not be so easy as it might sound: if we have no Hereford, before long we have no Chelsea, at least not as we know it, for we lose the FA Cup, the League Cup, eventually losing entirely the interaction between 'giant' and 'killer'. If you have a lack of clubs who can aspire to the Premiership, the Premiership ceases to be aspirational. For some, replacement with an UltraEuroSuperLeague sounds very appealing, but shrinking the game to a super elite is no basis for a sustainable future. Lose the Body of the Kirk & you must reinvent yourself: and re-invention comes with no guarantee of success, as the Church of Scotland could attest. And just as important as a coherent national structure is a coherent model of ownership. Like much of Britain since the 70's, football has seen a decline in any form of social responsibility and a lurch into unfettered capitalism. Allowing teams to be owned by anyone who happens by with a chequebook - or whatever they have now - then belatedly issuing punishments which further damage the club rather than the dodgy owner is not common sense or natural law but it's symptomatic of Britain nowadays. You can see this kind of withdrawal from the social sphere all over the UK. The choking of funding to local government has seen the loss of effective town planning, resulting in ugly, empty and unattractive urban centres people would flee if only they could. In 2014 Britain, absolutely nothing is sacred, nothing is off the table, and mere football clubs going to the wall not just possible but starkly likely. "The club is still in the hands of conmen with another date at the High Court coming up on Monday (the 7th time...or is it the 8th...or 9th) that the club has been back there. Winding-up orders have been staved off due to the mysterious shifting around of funds by even more mysterious 'investors' and the involvement of shell companies." Iffy owners and bizarre financials have become part and parcel of the game, from Premiership to Pontins League, if that still exists. A big name is no guarantee of safety: in Scotland, Rangers currently tick most of the nightmare boxes Hereford were opening, like some nightmarish advent calendar, while the Scottish FA veer between anger, contempt and hamfisted appeasement in their attitude to the various owners who take the stage, but never actually achieve anything that might either kill or cure the Ibrox side: they, too, have adopted the light touch which in actuality is the expression of their powerlessness, so desperate are they for the financial benefit the club brings to overlook financial lunacy. This is not mere arrogance: the League Cup in Scotland, without a real sponsor for several seasons, suddenly gets one at this year's semi-final stage, with a much needed six figure sum going into the game. I'm sure the fact that one semi-final features Rangers playing Celtic is complete coincidence. Aping the attitude of Hereford's owners, Rangers treat their paying customer with total contempt. Last week, Rangers board member Mr Sandy Easdale took the opportunity to berate fans for not celebrating hard enough that naming rights to Ibrox Stadium, originally 'sold' to Mike Ashley of Newcastle Utd fame for the princely sum of £1, had been reclaimed. That this secret and stupid deal was rescinded only after a fan outcry apparently bypasses Mr Easdale; they should celebrate that the club was dragged into acting in the best interests of itself. His words: "We've gotten these (rights) back and the fans haven’t celebrated enough on this topic." The expression 'beyond parody' comes to mind. On the pitch the team is terrible. At least when Hereford's 'owner' Andy Lonsdale did the dirty on Feltham FC, by dumping rubbish on their pitch, he wasn't paying the rubbish £10,000 a week. [http://www.getwestlondon.co.uk/sport/football/football-news/bedfont--feltham-president-plays-7296079] There is an alternative to this ongoing horror story, though. It's nihilistic, dangerous and offers no guarantee of success, but at least it - unlike the present conditions - does have a potentially positive outcome. "Follow my team AFC Wimbledon and start again. You won't regret it and you won't feel like your being shafted each week by a rich owner with no understanding of a clubs place in the community." I find it astonishing that, as a Rangers man of 30 years and more, I can contemplate the death of my club, on the basis that the present incarnation is so hateful that either a rebirth, or nothing, would be preferable. It's certainly a scorched earth policy, but there have to be limits: currently Ibrox stadium is fast approaching decrepitude, a state of affairs completely unacceptable at a club where 66 people died in the 1971 disaster. Money comes in and disappears. Chairmen come and go, directors likewise. Majority shareholders emerge, only to retreat to offshore shadows. There seems no future. At a recent fan board meeting, one representative delivered an excoriating warning to the club that their attitude and provision toward disabled fans will see them barred from competing in UEFA competitions unless a serious amount of money is invested, now. Setting aside the grim mirth that the idea of the present Rangers team competing in Europe occasions - frankly, Hereford would probably put up a better showing - what UEFA decrees now, domestic bodies follow sooner or later, and Rangers will not be 'Ready', mocking the club's increasingly ironic motto. Rangers are so far from any kind of stability it's not true, and it's sad to see a club so far away from an even keel still spout the same rubbish about business reviews, plans going forward, all in it together, Champions League: the bullshit merchants of Glasgow are no more believable than their Wyvern equivalents in Hereford, just less honest. Coming back from the position Hereford and Rangers find themselves in is not easy, nor is it guaranteed, so I expect many if not all Rangers fans will consider a course of voluntary self-destruction, with only at best a 50-50 chance of a rebirth afterwards, insanity. Well, I'm certain I don't want to see the current mess go on any longer, and I'm selfish enough to believe that if it's not good enough for me, it shouldn't be good enough for anyone else. But I don't know that I've ever been entirely sane on the subject of my team: it was always about love, not reason. At present I am in the cowardly position of having little feeling for what is currently calling itself Rangers, but not having the guts to call for a completely new start, irrespective of history or heritage. "We're all hoping the end might, finally, be in sight." Whether the end turns out to be a new beginning, though, that's another question.
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