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  1. 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?
  2. I thought id share this with you........ Hi Don Earlier this year Robert Marshall interviewed Rangers Legend Sandy Jardine for WATP Magazine. With all of the off-field issues that go on at the club we thought it would be worth sending this out so that everyone has the chance to read the words of a True Ranger and someone who cared deeply about our club. Sadly, Sandy had a relapse of his health issues and passed on the 24th April of this year. He is greatly missed. Sandy in Royal Blue The Sandy Jardine Interview - Part 1 Sandy Jardine is one of the true legends of our proud club’s illustrious 141-year history. He is without doubt Rangers’ best right back in living memory and can be held up as one of the greatest players to have turned out in a blue jersey. Born in Edinburgh with the Christian name of William, not far away from Hearts’ Tynecastle Stadium, I first remember laying eyes on Willie Jardine (as he was then known) when we played Queen’s Park in a Glasgow Cup match at Ibrox. He scored four goals that day, something that as a 12-year-old I would never forget! It’s fair to say I was impressed. I think to put it in context, if I had to pick a greatest ever ‘World XI’ then Sandy would be my first choice, not Cafu, not Lamb, not even the great George Cohen – he was that good. Some people might disagree but I watched him all through his career at full back and I never witnessed him having a bad game. I have been lucky enough to have known Sandy for a few years now and I was delighted when he accepted our invitation to do an interview with WATP Magazine. There is always something special about speaking with one of your heroes, that little thrill separates them from us mere mortals. Sandy is recovering from a life-threatening illness and it was really nice to be able to speak with him. Sandy, first of all how is your health? “I’m coming along fine Robert, I’m looking to be back working full time next year.” I’ve always known you as a bit of a workaholic so how are you coping at home? “It’s been a bit frustrating but I’ve been working away in the garden, taking things day by day and going walks to build my strength up. Thankfully I have been able to get back to a few games now.” How did you feel when the fans were applauding you in the second minute? “It was both humbling and emotional. I’m really grateful for all the messages of support I have had from the fans. They have been excellent.” Let’s start from the beginning, how and when did you join Rangers? “I went straight from schools football to Ibrox in 1965. I used to get on the train at Haymarket in Edinburgh through to Queen Street in Glasgow and jump on the subway over to Copland Road (as Ibrox underground was known back then). I even travelled with some of the greatest legends of that era: John Greig, Jimmy Millar, Ralph Brand, and later on we were joined by the Fife lads – including Billy Mathieson, Colin Stein, Willie Johnston. It was different then.” They would have been real legends to a young lad like yourself, how did you feel travelling with them? “Oh, they were great! They were always giving me advice and always had a good story to tell.” How did it feel going up the marble staircase for the first time? “You always remember your first time going up the marble staircase. It really epitomises everything about our club – class and dignity.” Moving to on-field matters, I remember you scoring four goals against Queen’s Park in a Glasgow Cup tie as a youngster coming through, what do you remember of that? “I was playing centre forward that night, and everything just clicked for me. It seemed that every time I touched the ball it went into the net.” I remember you as ‘Willie Jardine’ then, when did you become known as Sandy? “The players started calling me it around the time I made the first team, obviously because of the colour of my hair. I’m not really sure when it became my name publicly.” You seemed to play a few different positions before you settled down at full back, how did that come about? “Well, I made my debut in February 1967 against Hearts and played at right wing half. We won 5-1 and I kept my place for the rest of the season. When Willie Waddell came, he converted me to a right full back. I felt I was suited to playing there, and was there for most of my career.” Sandy is being humble when he said the position suited him. He was the first overlapping full back I ever witnessed in Scotland and he was outstanding there. He had everything you could want – stamina, speed, superb at a standing tackle, a fantastic reader of the game who brought others into play, and he was fond of popping up with a goal. I’m not exaggerating when I say he was world class. You were well known for your fitness. How influential was Jock Wallace in that? “Big Jock was brilliant for the players. He introduced the notorious Gullane Sands, which set us up for the season. People might joke about it but there were about nine members of that team that played well into their mid-thirties, which was uncommon in those days. We attributed that to his physical conditioning methods. Jock Wallace used to be an Army PT instructor and was quite revolutionary in what he introduced in training. He even brought in a professional sprint coach, which I felt I benefitted greatly from. We always seemed to score goals in the last ten minutes of games when other sides were tiring. We put that down to our superior fitness and that was due to Jock. The players all loved him, he was honest and upfront with you.” You played over 1100 first class games in your career. Which one was your favourite? “I wouldn’t say I had favourite games. I loved playing in every one. As far as importance goes, then obviously the European Cup Winners’ Cup Final victory in Barcelona in ’72 was the pinnacle of my career. Being a member of the only Rangers side to win a European trophy is something special. I played in the 1967 European Cup Winners’ Cup Final defeat to Bayern Munich, and I never really appreciated how big an achievement it was to get that far. It made me appreciate the victory against Moscow Dynamo even more.” Barcelona is one of my finest memories as a Rangers Supporter, what do you remember of the game? “It was a really good performance from the whole team. We were 2-0 up at half time through Steiny and Bud. We came out for the second half and when Bud added a third we had the game completely in control. The Russians, who were a very good team, scored a goal near the end and added a second with about five minutes to go. It must have been the longest five minutes of my career! The only disappointment was not being able to show the fans the trophy on the night.” That was a magnificent achievement, the single greatest triumph in our history – I thought everyone was fantastic on the night, but Dave Smith in my opinion had the best game of his career. Would you pick out anyone for special praise? “Davie had a brilliant game, but the whole team was brilliant. Throughout my career I wouldn’t like to pick out individuals. We won as a team and we lost as a team. We had a great spirit about us.” Although the team was fantastic on the night, I actually thought the best single team performance in the European Cup Winners’ Cup run was the semi-final at Ibrox against Bayern Munich. What are your memories of that game? “Well we were all-square from the first leg in Germany. Over there, we took an absolute battering that night! But we limited them to one goal. They were a great team, and went on to win three European Cups in a row with half the team being West German internationals. We got our equaliser through an own goal, but strangely in the last ten minutes of the game we were chasing the winner as Jock Wallace’s training methods allowed to keep going for the full ninety minutes. The second leg at Ibrox was completely different. We were always confident of beating anyone at home. That night there was 80,000 people crammed in to Ibrox and the atmosphere was amazing – probably the best I’ve ever played in. We started very brightly, and in the second minute I gathered the ball on the right-hand side, got myself forward and managed to hit the ball with my left foot and it sailed over Sepp Maier and into the top left-hand corner. You couldn’t hear yourself think. We added a second through Derek Parlane, who had replaced John Greig after he failed a fitness test. I had never seen any German team lose self-control the way they did that night, they were even arguing on the pitch. We had really gotten to them.” You must have been so proud to have played in that team? “I was and am. It was an amazing time, playing with great players and great people.” From a personal point of view, the 1972 Cup Winners’ Cup campaign defined the Rangers team of that era for me. We took on the national cup winners of France, Italy, Portugal, West Germany and Russia - some of the biggest footballing nations in Europe. We played with a style that was suited to the European arena and Willie Waddell must take great credit for that. Players like Sandy, John Greig, Derek Johnstone, Tommy McLean, Peter McCloy, Colin Jackson, and Alex MacDonald went on to be the mainstay of the team for most of the next decade. We also had the very underrated Willie Mathieson and Alfie Conn, the sublime Dave Smith, and of course Willie Johnston and Colin Stein. Some of these players must be included amongst the greatest ever to wear a Rangers shirt. And we will leave it here for part one. We have covered Sandy’s arrival at Rangers up to Barcelona 1972. In the second part we will concentrate on his domestic successes, on leaving Rangers and all his subsequent work at the club. We will also cover the march to Hampden and his hopes for the future. I’ll reiterate, it was an absolute pleasure to interview Sandy Jardine. He’s the quintessential Rangers man and everything you would expect from someone who has represented our great club both on and off the pitch for so many years. I was impressed with him as a player since I was 12 years old, and today, I impressed with him as a man.
  3. Mike Ashley has many business interests (including Sports Direct) and they have made him a very wealthy man. When he bought Newcastle United in June 2007 and said “Newcastle attracted me because everyone in England knows that it has the best fans in football… don’t get me wrong. I did not buy Newcastle to make money. I bought Newcastle because I love football.”….it must have sounded like manna from heaven to the Newcastle support as they may have thought more along the lines of ‘Champions League’ rather than ‘Championship’. http://www.therst.co.uk/coming-soon-ashley-and-the-vanishing-revenue/
  4. Should be a good game tonight. THE Scotland boss arrived in Warsaw on Monday without key defender Grant Hanley and with serious concern over the fitness of little talisman Ikechi Anya. GORDON Strachan last night insisted injury-hit Scotland are not running scared of table-topping Poland in Group D. The national boss jetted into Warsaw yesterday without key defender Grant Hanley and with serious concern over the fitness of little talisman Ikechi Anya. While Hanley has been sent back to Blackburn for treatment Anya travelled with the squad but did not train at the National Stadium as Strachan went through his final preparations ahead of tonight’s showdown. The manager is likely to replace Hanley with Brighton stopper Gordon Greer – who was paired up with Russell Martin here back in March when Scotland notched a 1-0 friendly win. But even though there are no obvious replacements for left winger Anya, Strachan remained in seriously bullish mood yesterday on the back of Saturday’s 1-0 triumph over Georgia. And not even Poland’s shock 2-0 win over world champions Germany has dampened his spirits. He said: “It would be great if Anya makes it but even if he doesn’t we’re not scared of the situation. We have other people who are ready to go. “Hanley took a knock to his knee in the Georgia game and is away home. “Ikechi also had an injury and won’t train. We’ll have a look at him – he has tightness in his calf. “We’d prefer to have both players but we’ll be all right. On Sunday night I didn’t go into any real panic about it.” And so supremely confident is Strachan that he insists Scotland are here not just to take a point from the high-flying Poles but to beat them. He said: “Maybe during the game I might settle for a point but at this moment let’s go for all three.” SCOTLAND'S RECORD V POLAND Poland have entertained Scotland on five occasions before tonight. Here Record Sport gives a rundown of those games. POLAND 1, SCOTLAND 2 (Warsaw, June 1958) Celtic inside right Bobby Collins scored a goal in each half as Scotland won the first meeting between the teams. The game formed part of the visitors’ final preparations for the 1958 World Cup finals in Sweden. POLAND 1, SCOTLAND 1 (Chorzow, May 1965) Collins, now with Don Revie’s great Leeds United team, also played in this World Cup qualifier which was Jock Stein’s first match in charge of the national team. Denis Law earned Scotland a point when he equalised in the 76th minute, but the failure to beat the Poles in the group meant they finished behind Italy and missed out on the finals in England the following summer. POLAND 1, SCOTLAND 0 (Poznan, May 1980) Current manager Gordon Strachan was in the Scotland team that lost narrowly in a friendly during Stein’s second spell in charge. A strikeforce featuring Kenny Dalglish, Joe Jordan and Steve Archibald were over-shadowed by Poland great Zbigniew Boniek, whose shot deflected in off Willie Miller. POLAND 1, SCOTLAND 1 (Bydgoszcz, April 2001) Scott Booth earned Scotland a draw in a friendly which saw Craig Brown hand debuts to seven players – Barry Nicholson, Gavin Rae, Charlie Miller, John O’Neil, Kenny Miller, Andy McLaren and Steven Caldwell. Radoslaw Kaluzny headed the hosts in front, arguably from an offside position, when he beat Neil Sullivan to a free-kick, but Booth’s emphatic penalty gave a makeshift Scotland an unlikely draw. POLAND 0, SCOTLAND 1 (Warsaw, March 2014) The countries were drawn in the same European Championship qualifying group just after arranging a friendly earlier this year. The Scots gave themselves a morale boost ahead of the real thing when Scott Brown fired home a late left-foot strike, although the hosts were missing their injured star striker Robert Lewandowski. http://www.dailyrecord.co.uk/sport/football/football-news/scotland-v-poland-gordon-strachan-4433307 I can see a score draw tonight.
  5. MILLWALL will wear a camouflage kit in their home game against Brentford next month to raise money for injured troops. The Lions have been given permission by the Football League to wear the specially-designed strip, which will benefit an army rehabilitation centre in Surrey. The logo of Headley Court, Leatherhead, is emblazoned on the shirt and £10 from every sale will go to the facility. Millwall hope to raise at least £20,000 for wounded soldiers and have released a YouTube video, featuring manager Ian Holloway, to promote the strip. In the advert, Holloway can be heard reading war poem In Flanders Fields over footage of Lions players and soldiers wearing the kit at Headley Court.
  6. http://www.rangers.co.uk/news/headlines/item/7812-notice-under-section-303-of-the-companies-act-2006
  7. RECORD Sport asks eight key questions about the Sports Direct Tycoon and attempts to discover the reasons behind his bid for power at Rangers. AS the power struggle within the Ibrox boardroom intensifies it would appear “Iron” Mike Ashley is spoiling for a fight. The Sports Direct tycoon last week launched a dramatic bid to remove chief executive Graham Wallace by calling an extraordinary general meeting. If Ashley succeeds in ousting Wallace and director Philip Nash it could deal a knockout blow to Dave King’s hopes of assuming control. King is preparing a £16million rescue plan along with Paul Murray and George Letham – which has the backing of finance expert Nash and the CEO. However, Ashley has increased his shareholding to 8.9 per cent, sparking rumours he’s preparing to sell Newcastle and plough some of the cash into purchasing Rangers. And if he secures enough support to remove Wallace and Nash it would almost certainly kill off any hope of King pumping money into the ailing club. The outcome of the scrap could go a long way to deciding the future of Rangers although it is abundantly clear the supporters would much prefer the South Africa-based businessman to the secretive Ashley. The billionaire Londoner is a loathed figure at Newcastle and has already had several run-ins with the Toon Army. A reluctance for making public statements only serves to increase the sense of mystery surrounding Ashley and his interest in Rangers. A hugely controversial yet influential figure, the Newcastle owner already has the naming rights over Ibrox and is reported to want control of the club crest in exchange for an emergency loan. But just who is Mike Ashley and what are his motives in football? Does he deserve the hatred he gets from some Newcastle fans and should Rangers fear his bid for power? Is he a ruthless tycoon who tramples on tradition and ambition? Or is he a sharp businessman whose challenge to the status quo, and ability to put up his own hard cash rather than borrowed money, should be welcomed? Here Record Sport asks eight key questions and attempts to discover the reasons behind his intervention: Q: Who is the real Ashley? Colleagues describe him as gregarious, enthusiastic, passionate, ruthless. Always ready to challenge the perceived wisdom and act on instinct. Loyal to those who show him loyalty. Socially he’s personable, far from being the introvert people think. Those who have crossed him are less flattering in their assessment. His business practice is to aggressively pursue opponents until he’s won the battle, leaving losers in his wake. Q: Why is he in the football business? Surely it isn’t worth the flak? Initially he claimed to be a Newcastle fan – a colleague says Chelsea and England were his teams – who wanted to “have some fun and win trophies”. But in reality he is a football speculator who has worked out the game is the perfect platform to promote Sports Direct’s global ambitions. There are more than 130 Sports Direct signs around St James’ Park – and they don’t pay for the ads. Sports Direct also made £3.4m by taking over Newcastle’s commercial sportswear business. Q: But no football club owner makes money, do they? With TV cash rolling in, a policy of selling the best players at a huge killing, and tight financial controls, he has made Newcastle one of the most profitable clubs in Europe, making £9m last year. Flush with cash from floating Sports Direct, he bought Newcastle seven years ago for a cheap-looking £133m, and has loaned £129m of his fortune to settle inherited debts and keep the club running after relegation in 2009. Q: Attempts to sell Newcastle have failed and now he is snapping up nine per cent of Rangers. Surely this comes at a price to the club? Renaming St James’ Park the Sports Direct Arena to “showcase” it for future sponsors, and bringing in pay-day lenders Wonga as shirt sponsors, show cash wins over sentiment, tradition or business morals. Ashley has also ordered Newcastle to put survival in the league over cup glory, which the club argue risks relegation. That has infuriated supporters. The Magpies owner made this public through a fans’ forum because he wanted the message out with no PR flannel, typical of his brazen, controversy-courting decisions. “Mike makes decisions from his gut instinct,” says a close business pal. “It is hard to argue because he has built up a huge empire.” Q: Has Ashley actually done any good at Newcastle? Most fans will say no, fearing the ambition and excitement have gone. But the £129m loan is interest free. A commercial loan that size would cost millions a year in interest. Just ask Manchester United and the Glazers. He instructed staff to keep the stadium full with well-priced ticket deals. Ashley also told them he hates “overpaid freeloaders” such as agents who demand the going rate of 10-14 per cent of a deal in commission. “Just because that is the way football has always done it, isn’t a reason to keep doing it for Mike,” says one source. “He’ll want it done differently.” Q: But what about the current plight? Why won’t he listen to the fans, check the terrible 2014 results and sack Alan Pardew? Perhaps out of loyalty. Pardew has gone along with all Ashley’s policies, including selling players such as Andy Carroll and Yohan Cabaye, and never taken his boss on in public. There’s a theory that Ashley can’t be bothered with the upheaval of finding another manager. “Patience is the word,” said one source. Q: So does he not care? Ashley has been a regular at games this season, sometimes flying into the city in the business helicopter with what is close to a personalised reg: G-MAOL. This could be support for Pardew, or to check out how poor the team has been, ahead of making a decision on his future. Q: Has he got the fortune to own Newcastle and a big slice of Rangers? Ashley’s stake in Sports Direct, which he founded, is worth £3billion. His holding company MASH has assets of £581m and makes an annual profit of £281m. He has the clout to bail out Rangers immediately but will exact a price for any financial help. Newcastle fans soon found his fortune won’t be used to bankroll a bid for glory. He will stabilise his “asset”, use it to help Sports Direct, and hope it increases in value over time. One source said: “Mike won’t be drinking with fans on the terraces again, and understands many of the reasons why supporters are unhappy at Newcastle, but he is doing it his way.” http://www.dailyrecord.co.uk/sport/football/football-news/rangers-power-struggle-eight-questions-4433421
  8. The old man shuffled in the large leather chair, one of those traditional ones designed to encourage good seating posture rather than slouching, pushing his steel rimmed glasses onto his forehead he took what he hoped would be another sip of inspiration from the lukewarm tea on the table, just for a brief moment he thought about undoing his top shirt button and loosening his tie to provide relief from the late afternoon sun beaming through the office window and which was taking its toll – but that would just not do, “standards, standards, standards” he muttered to himself, the presentation was tomorrow and the speech had to be finished, so reaching for his trusty pencil and notepad he collected his thoughts and began scribbling… “I have been lucky — lucky in those who were around me from the boardroom to the dressing-room. In time of stress, their unstinted support, unbroken devotion to our club and calmness in adversity eased the task of making Rangers FC the premier club in this country. To be a Ranger is to sense the sacred trust of upholding all that such a name means in this shrine of football. They must be true in their conception of what the Ibrox tradition seeks from them. No true Ranger has ever failed in the tradition set him.” Our very success, gained you will agree by skill, will draw more people than ever to see it. And that will benefit many more clubs than Rangers. Let the others come after us. We welcome the chase. It is healthy for us. We will never hide from it. Never fear, inevitably we shall have our years of failure, and when they arrive, we must reveal tolerance and sanity. No matter the days of anxiety that come our way, we shall emerge stronger because of the trials to be overcome. That has been the philosophy of the Rangers since the days of the gallant pioneers.” I have spent my whole life in awe of that speech. The utter selflessness at the heart of it, the appreciation and acknowledgement of the work and dedication of others, the dismissal of the importance of the individual and the emphasis and focus on the dedication of others around him merely serve to underline why this man has left such an indelible stamp on our club. It speaks of a football club with a sense of direction, where the people at the very heart of it share not only a common vision but realise the necessity of working together with shared values to deliver that vision. We have fallen, fallen a long way from that sacred trust, taken there by men with little concept of what the Ibrox tradition seeks from them, men whose importance of self, of ego, was the very antithesis of everything Mr Struth stood for. It has opened a revolving door of charlatans, of profiteers, with no interest in preserving the shrine other than seeking to exploit the faithful who still come to worship. In these days of anxiety, amidst the clamour of boardroom battles, of money men and PR gurus, of percentage shareholdings and damaging headlines, one group, to the exclusion of all others, has sought to uphold that sacred trust and remain true to the concept of the Ibrox tradition. Disengaged and disempowered from the powers and processes which govern our club, and in the face of considerable, or as some hoped, insurmountable adversity, we have strived and endeavoured to keep the flames of that sacred trust burning. We conquered the insurmountable, breaking attendance records along the way, we laid waste to the false accusations of “glory hunters” at the Gayfields and Station Parks of this world. Borough Briggs and Ochilview had to be postponed as the manifestation of “unstinted support” and “unbroken devotion” descended upon them. Who are these people ? Go look in the mirror you will see them there, staring right back at you – we are the people. We are the people and this is our time. It’s time for those who have proven themselves in the face of adversity to no longer be disempowered or disengaged. We are the rightful sentinels of that sacred trust, do we honestly believe that anyone else could protect it better ? If you do then stop reading now. Rangers First, Buy Rangers and Vanguard Bears all offer a means of achieving that goal via their various fan ownership models. The choices we face are simple but critical nonetheless. Who do we trust most to decide the destiny of our football club, to safeguard all that we cherish and value ? To run the club in a way which upholds the traditions spoken of by Mr Struth all those years ago ? Who would ensure that every single decision which is made, is done so solely in the best interests of Rangers ? Or should we continue to fracture as a support, tearing ourselves apart doing the bidding of masters who offer no guarantees, in the hope of some scraps off the table ? Isn’t it about time we either sat at that table ourselves or had a considerable say in who does and the decisions they make concerning our club ? I am under no illusions – it will not be easy. There will be considerable challenges ahead, without doubt considerable adversity as well, but only a fool would bet against a Rangers support united in purpose and vision – it’s probably what those who wish ill will against our club fear most. Our club is once again in need of “gallant pioneers”, men and women who will remain true to the concept the Ibrox tradition seeks from them, and the reward is ensuring that sacred trust is preserved for generations yet to come. “No true Ranger has ever failed in the tradition set him.”
  9. ***Gala Ball Silent Auction*** Not long to go till the Gala ball! who is excited?? We have some fantastic Auction prizes this year on which you can make your bids by filling out the online form here: http://www.legendstrek.co.uk/#!silent-auction/c1lfv Here are the Prizes: • Two tickets for a home game at Ibrox, season 2014/15 in the exclusive players’ lounge donated By RFC. • Red Arrows print ‘The Corkscrew 2005’, signed by the pilots of the Red Arrows donated by Bonnington Services. • Limited edition print ‘Cock a Snook the last Five Nations Champions’, (the last time Scotland won the five nations) signed by Ronnie Browne (Corries) donated by Anne and Jim Brown. • Signed Paul Lawrie Polo Shirt, Glove and Picture worn as he won The Johnny Walker Classic at Gleneagles. • Limited edition print ‘Underdog Rampant Scotland’s Gram Slam 1990’ Signed by Ronnie Browne, donated by Anne and Jim Brown. • 1/2ct G-H Diamond 10k White Gold Pendant SGL certified, donated by Gemporia jewellery channel. • 4 ball voucher for Machrihanish Golf Club, Campbeltown, donated Danny Rooney. • Signed limited edition Ally McCoist print donated By John Brown. • 4 ball voucher for Drumoig Golf Hotel, St Andrews Donated by Danny Rooney. • Signed Rangers jersey season 2014/15 with letter of authenticity, donated by Rangers and two tickets for The Founders Trail, donated by Gordon Bell and Ian McCall. • Signed Celtic jersey season 2014/15 with letter of authenticity donated by Celtic FC. • Signed Rangers ball season 2014/15 with letter of authenticity donated by RFC. • 4 ball voucher for Mar Hall Golf Resort, Bishopton donated by Bill Rennie. • House of Commons Speaker Bercows 10 Year old malt whisky signed by Jimmy Hood MP, donated By Shelly Palette. • 6 hour tattoo session at ‘Save Our Souls’ Hamilton donated by Stephen Scott. • A guided tour of the Gemporia television studios with Ali Defoy Remember, NO woofing, Just Bidding!
  10. RFC Good to see that some of our "more vocal" fans is helping the Rangers Family along.
  11. I didn’t think it was possible for the Rangers support to be more fractured and lacking consensus than we were in the first half of this year but rather depressingly we’ve managed it. In the maelstrom of a referendum on Scottish Independence the boardroom turmoil that has dominated the forums, social media and old fashioned conversations took a back seat to Loyalism, Unionism and the bogey man topic of Nationalism. Such is the ineptitude of our board, they missed the opportunity to bury some negative news in amongst the fog of the ideological war that raged throughout the month of September but I digress. Being a pro-Independence Rangers supporter these last few months has been a real challenge. I’ve been confronted by many fellow fans on social media and called everything from a “timpathiser”, (whatever that is) to a Nazi and Quisling. One particularly poorly adjusted and misinformed fellow told me I was a “traitor to Rangers Loyalist Unionist roots…” The idea that a Rangers supporter could support Independence just would not compute for many and my follower count on Twitter tumbled dramatically, I won’t lose any sleep over that however I must admit to now facing somewhat of a crossroads. Do I plod on attending matches listening to chants about where people like me can “stick your Independence” and the Loyalist songbook which was given an airing in George Square on Friday night amidst scenes of thuggery and hatred? Do I carry on turning a blind eye to the continual linking of Rangers Football Club to Loyalism and The Orange Order just as I have done for many years? The thought of turning my back on the club I’ve supported since I was five years old and which has provided myself and my (now deceased) Father so many happy memories makes me physically ill. The thought of a future devoid of one of the precious few constants in my life so far is unthinkable and so that is not a road I’m willing to go down just yet. So what are my options? I could become the archetypal armchair fan and refrain from discussing football matters on social media but we are in an age where it’s almost impossible to avoid. I could fool myself into thinking that it’s not so bad and the majority of my fellow fans are reasonable, open minded individuals but I’m not capable of cognitive dissonance on that scale. It seems that the core of our support are labouring under the misconceptions that being a “real” Rangers man means that you must also be many other things. I’ll use this juncture to clarify what I mean by “core of our support”. There are probably thousands of Rangers supporters (I don’t like term “fan”) who are feeling similarly disillusioned at the moment and those are probably a large percentage of the several thousand fans who’ve been missing for the last few home games joined by those who are boycotting, suffering from boardroom related malaise or simply disillusioned with how we are playing. What’s left are a core (match attending group) and of those I’d estimate that 75% fall into the category as described previously in this article. There’s also a large group of fans who, for one reason or another don’t regularly attend matches and again I’d estimate that a large percentage of those are politically and ideologically aligned with their brethren sitting in the stands. I’m conscious that I’m in danger of pigeon holing large swathes of people here and would only offer the fact that this is how I see things in basic terms. I’m sure there are reasonable folks in amongst the core who do not fall into any of my hastily preconceived notions and that I do not think the situation has reached the point of no return just yet and this leads me to the only other option I feel I have left. I’d urge everyone who considers themselves to be a Rangers supporter to distance the club from toxic and divisive affiliations. To seriously consider for a moment that we are in real danger of losing thousands of people like me who feel marginalised by their fellow bears and more importantly that we are in danger of losing the next generation of season ticket holder who have shown throughout the referendum run up and beyond, that they are increasingly well informed and turned off by Northern Irish politics, by far right-wing rhetoric and the kind of vulgar displays of aggression that we’ve seen both online and in the streets of Glasgow from both Unionists and Nationalist factions. Next time you’re attending an Orange parade maybe leave the Rangers merchandise at home, remove the Loyalist symbolism from Rangers flags and banners, try not to marginalise your fellow supporters who don’t care about that kind of stuff really, that’s all. Is that too much to ask? For some, what I’ve asked is probably tantamount to singing rebel songs in a tri-colour but to me it’s just common decency, something that has been eroding away for many years and something that the gallant pioneers probably had in abundance. Try to be a bit more like a Moses McNeil or a Tom Vallance and live the values which built the very thing that we all hold so dear. If we want a positive future for our club we all have to sow the seeds of that starting from now after all, we share much more in common than we do which divides us. I’ll remain a supporter and will try to live by my own code, respecting others right to support the club any way they choose but speaking out against intolerance, negative affiliations and polarizing attitudes. Let’s see if we can build a stronger and more together support from the rubble. The alternative I’m afraid would be a very dark period in Rangers history. It’s only a matter of time before we will be back attempting to compete with Celtic. It may be only a matter of time before we see major boardroom change. Do we really want to be facing these challenges with a support that can’t agree on what colour the sky is? The answer is obvious to me.
  12. I'm not clear on what is classed as repetition so perhaps we can have 1 topic where we can say what we like (within reason) and let off steam. Also, certain people can just stay away from this thread and then they won't be offended.
  13. MIKE ASHLEY is preparing to become the front-runner in an effort to save Rangers from another financial collapse. The Newcastle United owner has made positive moves to sell the St James’ Park club and bring to an end a troubled seven-year reign on Tyneside as he turns his attention to Ibrox. There is already interest in United – even at the asking price of around £230million – and any quick deal would allow Ashley to immediately focus on the Gers. News of the Sports Direct chief’s enthusiasm for stepping up his involvement with Rangers comes on the day fans are expected to hear how successful the board’s latest share issue – aimed at raising £4m – has been. But, whatever happens, it appears Ashley is keen to switch his football and business from Tyneside to Clydeside. Gers fans are now of a mood where any transparent ownership of the club would be welcome, even if there would be reservations over precisely what Ashley has in mind. He has been notoriously reluctant to splash the cash at Newcastle during his time in charge of the Premier League club, although Rangers wouldn’t need anything like the investment in players the English club require to compete against Arsenal, Chelsea and Manchester City. Ashley, of course, already has a stake in the Gers, along with the naming rights for Ibrox. But, until he sells Newcastle, he is pre- vented from increasing that to more than 10 per cent by SFA rules. UEFA regulations also stipulate the same person cannot own two clubs that might meet each other in European competition and, while neither Rangers nor Newcastle are playing in Europe, they could in the future. Now it seems Ashley wants to take charge of the Gers alone with, clearly, one eye on a potential return to the Champions League and the opportunities that would afford. But right now his focus is on selling the Magpies quickly – and the £230m asking price includes repayment of the £129m he is owed in the form of interest-free loans. Ashley paid just £134m to purchase Newcastle from Sir John Hall, above, and Freddie Shepherd in 2007. And, while the club has not officially been put up for sale as the uncertainty could destabilise the business and unsettle the team, there is interest from North America and the Far East in buying a club that posted a post-tax profit of £9.9m for the last financial year. That, however, has not been achieved without incurring the wrath of a lot of people concerned at his lack of investment in the team, a controversial shirt deal with payday loans company Wonga and a series of internal cost-cutting measures. The £40m spent on players this summer was paid for almost entirely by the sale of Yohan Cabaye to Paris Saint-Germain and Mathieu Debuchy to Arsenal. http://www.scottishdailyexpress.co.uk/sport/football/509766/Newcastle-s-Mike-Ashley-set-to-bid-for-Rangers
  14. Mike Ashley is poised to end his seven-year reign at St James' Park as he aims to increase his stake at Rangers. Mike Ashley is willing to listen to offers to sell Newcastle United as he looks to bring an end to a troubled seven-year reign at St James’ Park. Ashley has become involved in the running of Rangers and is interested in taking complete control. However, he has been prevented from increasing his stake to more than 10 per cent by the Scotland Football Association as he already owns Newcastle. Uefa rules stipulate the same person cannot own two clubs that might meet each other in European competitions, and while neither Rangers or Newcastle are playing in Europe, they could in the future. Rangers are standing on the precipice of administration for the second time in three years and Ashley recognises the opportunity it presents. The billionaire, who made his fortune through his Sports Direct retail chain, has already secured naming rights to Ibrox in return for a stake of nine per cent, although he has not yet taken up that option in order to avoid creating any animosity towards him. Should he take control of Rangers and stabilise the business, he knows there is huge potential to grow if, as should be the case, they return to the Scottish Premier League and, eventually, the Champions League. Related Articles That has increased Ashley’s desire to sell Newcastle to a new investor and he could be willing to offload it for around £230 million, which includes repayment of the £129 million he is owed in the form of interest-free loans. Ashley paid just £134 million to buy Newcastle from Sir John Hall and Freddie Shepherd in 2007. Although the club have not been officially put up for sale as the uncertainty could destabilise the business and unsettle the team, Telegraph Sport understands Ashley would like to sell if he can find someone with the financial muscle to take the club forward. Anyone who claims they are interested in negotiating a price will be asked to pay for the use of a box at St James’ Park for 10 years up front to prove they are serious bidders. Ashley has tried to sell up twice before, but was unable to find a buyer willing to match his asking price. He failed to offload it in the face of angry supporter protests in 2008 immediately after former manager Kevin Keegan resigned. He tried again in 2009 at the knockdown price of just £100 million after relegation to the Championship, but nobody was willing to take on a club that was losing hundreds of thousands of pounds a month outside of the top flight. However, the previous attempts to sell were made during a global recession and Ashley is aware the economic landscape has improved dramatically, particularly in the United States, where interest in “soccer” has never been higher. It is thought that Ashley will look closely to see if there are potential buyers on the other side of the Atlantic. Newcastle are in excellent financial shape thanks to the prudency of the Ashley regime and posted a post-tax profit of £9.9 million for the last financial year. That has done little to persuade fans he is the right man to lead the club and there have been persistent accusations of a lack of ambition. Although Ashley sanctioned around £40 million worth of player recruitment this summer, that was paid for almost entirely out of the sale of Yohan Cabaye to Paris Saint-Germain and Mathieu Debuchy to Arsenal. Ashley has been unwilling to invest any of his own money since Newcastle returned to the Premier League and has overseen a dramatic overhaul of the books, securing an increase in commercial revenue, which includes a record shirt-sponsorship deal with loans company Wonga. This has been done in conjunction with a series of cost-cutting measures, including player wages, which fell from £64.1 million to £61.7 million in the last financial year. That represents 64 per cent of the club’s turnover, well below the Premier League average of 70 per cent. The business is in good shape to sell. Whether Ashley can finally sever ties with a project that turned sour after just 12 months remains to be seen, but he gains little enjoyment from owning Newcastle other than the free advertising it allows for Sports Direct. Although he attended the club’s last home game, the 3-3 draw with Crystal Palace, his visits to St James’ Park have been increasingly rare since supporters turned against him six years ago. He is not the only one in the firing line. Alan Pardew, the manager, also looks vulnerable after a poll in a local paper showed 85 per cent of fans no longer want him to be in charge and there is a growing risk the ill-feeling will manifest itself in more vocal protests against Southampton this weekend. One group of supporters has even set up a website called ‘Sack Pardew’. Pardew remained in his dugout during the final home game against Cardiff last season as he was booed and jeered every time he stepped into his technical area. http://www.telegraph.co.uk/sport/football/teams/newcastle-united/11088540/Newcastle-United-for-sale-as-Mike-Ashley-eyes-Rangers.html
  15. When we went into administration I almost instantly (within the first month) had some major concerns because I quickly came to thinking that I didn't trust the administrators, didn't think they would get us out of it via a CVA and didn't think they seemed to be doing their jobs properly because if they had been, then they would have tried to rescue the company as a going concern. To do that, they would have needed to quickly address the cost base and stop the monthly loss-making, but they just went for a short-term fix/bandage to see out the season instead of properly cutting costs to address the going concern like administrators do in most football club administrations. After the shambles of their bidding process and finally bringing in Green & co (like they seem to have planned well in advance!), when D&P did their first presser with Green a feeling of dread & despair came over me because I could tell immediately that he was a bullshitting patter merchant and didn't trust him right from that point. It was a case of 'who the f**k is this clown?' and a distinct feeling of disappointment. Then we had to endure the failed CVA, being wrongfully stripped of our SPL share and kicked out of our league, left with no league at all for a period and questions hanging over our SFA license as well. When we finally got it sorted out and started the season in the 4th tier there was a sort of positive buzz that I never really understood, because I never felt as if it was right that we should be down there in the 3rd Division. I could obviously understand the positive buzz in the sense that we were still here with our history and titles despite the best efforts of our enemies and those who wanted (and tried) to kill us off, but didn't understand the positivity from numerous other perspectives, like the unprecedented treatment of our Club and the worries from footballing and financial/business perspectives. Not only did many of our fans think that it was just a simple case of 3 seasons of a journey back up through the lower leagues to the top flight, but many actually believed that it was an 'opportunity' to rebuild not only the business, but some kind of fabled & mystical footballing 'philosophy'. There was talk amongst fans of not only winning every single game in the 4th & 3rd tiers, but battering the opposition 8-0, 9-0 or 10-0 every week. I didn't buy into any of that because I thought it was always going to be more difficult than many of our fans thought it would be. Yes, we would dish out some hammerings along the way, but it was always going to be a battle too, both on and off the park no matter how many SPL-standard players we signed and no matter how many crazy moonbeams Green & co served us up. What we need to do now though, is completely forget about any mythical 'opportunities' or lost chances to create new 'footballing philosophies' and face the stark reality of where we currently are. I'm not saying forgive or forget (far from it!), but we urgently need to get up to speed and deal in the here & now. Depending on how things go off the park this month, we might be heading for another insolvency/administration event, but we don't know for sure either way because nothing is certain on that front, just as nothing is certain on the pitch either. We might drop points or lose a match, but no matter what happens, I think we all know that the 'journey' is getting tougher and tougher and that's something which was always on the cards both on & off the pitch, so it certainly shouldn't come as a surprise. The idea of an easy journey back up over 3 or 4 years while creating golden seeds for the future amidst new philosophies for the Club was a total and utter pipe dream. Even if we had been taken over by good guys instead of chancers and liars like Green & co, we were still realistically facing trouble along the way and potentially a period of 5 years or more before getting properly back on our feet and challenging in the top flight again. We might not be in a good position right now, but essentially, nothing has changed and we're still on the same path albeit a slightly more windy & rocky one than many of our fans seemed to think it would be. Our progress back to where we belong might still be set back even further by current and/or future financial issues, but we don't know for sure yet. What we do know for sure is that the people running the show need to collectively get their acts together, steer the Club in the right direction and ease the worries of the supporters, not through more moonbeams and lies like were served up in the past, but by addressing the immediate future as openly and honestly as they can without damaging the value of their precious shares.
  16. "A turbulent week at Ibrox has put the club's future once again at risk. RANGERS face an instant SPFL disciplinary investigation if they fail to pay their players and coaching staff at the end of the month, it was revealed last night. Former director Imran Ahmad’s court victory on Friday, freezing £620,000 of the club’s dwindling £1.2million cash reserves, leaves the beleaguered Gers board struggling to make payroll. Now, if they default, rules introduced two years ago on the back of Hearts’ problems leave them no wriggle room. The potential punishments only apply to the club defaulting on its football wages, not an administrative salaries they have. However with their staff due their cash in the bank on September 25, the last Thursday of the month, sources believe they could be cutting it neat with a monthly burden of around £700,000 to meet. Regulations E17 and E19, introduced by the old SPL and carried into the new SPFL rulebook, cover any breaches of remuneration to players, coaches and management. Any default will be hit by an instant registration embargo. They will also then be subject to disciplinary procedures, which allow the governing body sanctions ranging from a slap on the wrist to docked points to exclusion from the league. The Ibrox club’s hopes of avoiding that scenario now rest with the success of their forthcoming £4m share offer, although from that figure, they’ll have to deduct a six-figure sum for costs plus £1m to cover the loan given to them by businessman George Letham. Director Sandy Easdale claimed in our sister paper the Daily Record in midweek that he wouldn’t be calling in the £500,000 he had lent. However Mailsport understands Letham, who has already given the club one extension on the terms he agreed, which saw his loan fall due from season ticket money, is adamant he’ll now take what he is due because he would rather have his cash back than be left with the car park his money is secured against. Rangers also no longer have any regular retail income following their decision to outsource that branch of their business to Mike Ashley’s Sports Direct, a move revealed earlier this week when 51 staff from their stores were TUPE’d acros to the the billionaire’s company payroll. It’s believed that although SFA rules prevent the Newcastle United owner extending his shareholding in the club, he could yet bail them out with loan payments to tide them through the coming months. The potential cost of those, both financially and to the club’s powerbase, is still unclear." http://www.dailyrecord.co.uk/sport/football/football-news/revealed-rangers-face-immediate-spfl-4177789? Comment: I realize it may be scaremongering and "the Mailsport understands" sounds almost like "We hope...". It is all so familiar, sadly, this kind of communique
  17. you really cant make the fiasco that were in up. 70 million pissed up a wall in 18 months. Money being shipped out the club at all angles. Inflated salaries on and off the park with gross mismanagement being being the order of the day. We now find ourselves living on the edge of oblivion once again. Our current board are way out of their depth. Backed by shareholders who bought into the charles green revolution, only to find out that in the grand scheme of things that hes taken everyone for a ride. We are being run by a board who are guilty of stupidity, niavety and downright arrogance. These guys get to see the books. They knew about mike ashley and the incredible deals he struck with Green. The ones with no benefit to the club whatsoever. They lie to the the fans promising things that they cant produce when the chips are down but still expect the fans to come through the gates to finance their incompetence. Now we are living on a week to week basis with the club being run by the seat of its pants. There is only one way the club can go from now on and that is down. No amount of share buying from supporters groups or anyone else is going to save the club. it will only prolong the agony. Administration looms again and its not if, its when. and it will be back to the drawing board again.
  18. Mike Ashley to up his stake in Rangers to 9.9% through the current share issue. Source SSN” Sources close to Mike Ashley say there are no immediate plans to invoke the naming rights at Ibrox stadium #Rangers @charlesp_sky: It's understood Ashley views his interests in Rangers as purely strong commercial ones which he intends to protect
  19. ...........but who should be holding the knife.. Mike Ashley or Dave King?. WITH Rangers back on the brink KEITH says the time has come for the Ibrox board to pick a saviour before it's too late - and it's a straight choice between two men. There may only be enough money in the vault to keep them breathing until the end of next month and that’s with the help of the Elastoplast treatment the current board is attempting to apply in the shape of a £4million share issue. The truth is this business is broken again and if those in charge of it are not running around the Blue Room with their underpants on their heads they should be because the time has come for complete and all-out panic. Even if they can somehow scramble enough spare cash to repay £1.5m worth of emergency loans to George Letham and Sandy Easdale and to cover the next wage bill at the end of this month their gravy train is clattering towards the end of the line. The smart money says they’ll just about avoid the horrors and ignominy of administration by the skin of their teeth until, at some point in October, they press the big red button at an AGM and pass a resolution on the urgent release of even more new shares. At which point the game will change for good. Have YOUR say: 15 key questions on the financial situation at Rangers As things stand this morning, two men are currently jostling for position as this club’s potential saviours. There are others tapping their toes on the sidelines and some of them are making all the right noises but the fact remains the duo at the front and centre of this dance are Mike Ashley and Dave King. One of them plans to make as much money out of the club as he possibly can. The other insists he wants to gift it £30m. You’d think it would be a straightforward choice but then this is Rangers we are dealing with – a club that abandoned good logic and sound reason when it disappeared through Craig Whyte’s looking glass. My information is that both Ashley and King were asked (perhaps even pleaded with) to underwrite the latest begging-bowl approach to the city of London. Both declined but for different reasons. And yet, intriguingly, both remain sitting at the table with a stake in the game at this late stage. Ashley’s motivation is simple. He smells an earner. On the one hand he has to keep Rangers alive – and away from the clutches of administrators – in order to protect a retail contract that was generously handed to him by Charles Green and which has since been described by those who have seen its content as a licence to print money. Green’s generosity with other people’s cash knows no bounds. He was so delighted to take Ashley’s £1m he invited this crafty Cockney to name his terms on a seven-year shirt deal which is worth its weight in gold. To Ashley’s Sports Direct, that is. Even Craig Mather, who subsequently replaced Green in the role of CEO and seemed not to have the first idea of what he was doing there, was bright enough to identify the flaws in this particular arrangement. “It’s the worst, most one-sided commercial contract I’ve ever seen,”was how he described it to Walter Smith’s board. Rangers have tried hard to find a way out of it but Ashley’s lawyers left them no wriggle room. Reluctantly, the current chief executive Graham Wallace has branded it “unbreakable”. No wonder then that Ashley is ready and willing to shore this thing up as, if Rangers were to be tipped back under, the first thing to be ripped up would be this deal which still has five years left to run. The numbers involved, although unclear, will run into millions of pounds a year. Put it this way this revenue stream is so important to Ashley that just last week he saw the value in fuelling up his private helicopter and sending it to Greenock to collect Sandy Easdale from a bus depot and flying him down south for an urgent face-to-face talks. This pair have formed something of an alliance in recent weeks and months and if Ashley is to push for control of Rangers he will do so with Easdale’s full backing. His problem is the SFA jurisdiction which, because of his position at St James’ Park, forbids him from owning more than 10 per cent of a Scottish club. Couple of likely lads that they are, Ashley and Easdale may yet attempt to circumnavigate this in some way but certainly not by doing something as blatant as underwriting this latest share issue. My information is King was also asked to pony up £4m after being approached by the club’s nomad Daniel Stewart. His initial response was to ask if they were being serious as it is King’s belief four million quid will not touch the sides of the problems faced by this basket case of a football club. Those close to King maintain that – despite an extended period of silence from his South African bunker – he remains deadly serious about pumping as much as £30m into Ibrox. In fact they suspect he is now closer than ever to getting his way and obliterating a chunk of his children’s inheritance as the Rangers saga enters this next crucial phase. But, even so, King declined to put his name to the share issue because his requests for information about the true state of the club’s financial health were turned down by Stewart. He was told any such disclosures would be a breach of stock market regulations. King was then stunned to learn that a third party – another who was approached and asked to underwrite the issue – was given full sight of the documents he had asked to see. That third party, by the way, having looked under the hood, ran for the hills with £4m wedged in his pocket. It is now King’s view he was been deliberately blocked by the Rangers board from getting involved although the truth of the matter is the current regime is split down the middle. In fact, CEO Wallace is very much on King’s side. He has clashed personally with Ashley over that ridiculously onerous retail deal and has grave concerns about the diligence in allowing him to carve himself another even bigger portion of the Rangers pie. It’s just a pity for King that Wallace is effectively powerless and at the head of a PLC board which doesn’t have the authority to chose its own underwear never mind decide when the time has come to place pants on heads. King will have to find a way of convincing Big Sandy his is the only way out of this gathering crisis and his money will have to do the talking if he is to win the argument. Easdale is the man who continues to call the shots on the inside as a result of his alliances with Green’s people in Blue Pitch Holdings and Margarita Holdings. And he sees Ashley as some sort of kindred spirit, albeit a far more wealthy and successful one. And while all this infighting is going on auditors from Deloitte are now just weeks away from signing off on the latest accounts which must be completed by no later than the end of this month. With season tickets down and cash running out they will have little choice to confirm in writing what the rest of us already know to be true. Rangers are on a life support machine and life-saving surgery is required. The only question now is a simple one: Who do they want holding the knife? http://www.dailyrecord.co.uk/sport/football/football-news/keith-jackson-rangers-need-life-saving-4142492
  20. The 27-year-old is not expected to be named in Gordon Strachan's latest squad for next month's 2016 Euro qualifier against Germany Wallace last played for Scotland in a friendly against the USA last November However the defender has no regrets over sacrificing his international career to help Rangers climb up the leagues in Scotland Rangers full-back Lee Wallace has admitted he has all but given up hope of playing for Scotland. The 27-year-old defender, who last played for his country in a 0-0 draw with the United States last November, is set to miss the trip to face World Champions Germany in next month's 2016 Euro qualifier when Scotland boss Gordon Strachan names his squad on Monday morning. Conceding he sacrificed his international ambitions to stay with Rangers and help them back up the leagues, Wallace revealed he has also received a phonecall from Strachan explaining his situation. And asked if he expects to feature against the Germans, he admitted: 'Probably not, no. I'm still probably a bit behind. There are guys who have been in it who are way ahead of me at this stage — guys who play their football down south in strong successful sides. 'I'll never hold much hope for it but I'm not going to get too downbeat about it, either, as I'm just going to concentrate on Rangers and always will do. 'When I stayed with Rangers after what happened, I knew that [playing in the lower leagues] would be a stumbling block [for international call-ups] and Craig Levein had said at the time it would be difficult to select someone in the bottom tier of Scottish football. 'I accepted that and understood it at that level. 'I was aware of that and it was a sacrifice I made. Rangers is the one for me and I want to play a part in their history over the next few years.' The emergence of Andrew Robertson at Dundee United led to the young left-back making a £2.5million move to Hull City this summer. And the 20-year-old, who has made an impressive start in the Barclays Premier League, now looks to be Strachan's first pick, with Wallace adding: 'I kind of got the message in some of the last few squads - although the manager did phone me one time to say he wanted to look at other people and they've gone on to bigger and better things, playing their football in one of the best leagues in the world. Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sport/football/article-2733448/Rangers-defender-Lee-Wallace-concedes-chances-playing-Scotland-slim-putting-club-career-first.html#ixzz3BNxU4eqS Follow us: @MailOnline on Twitter | DailyMail on Facebook
  21. THE TV station where Graeme Souness operates as football’s No 1 pundit is more of a small town than anything else. Studios and offices sit like apartment blocks on a grid of roads and pavements and at some corners trees flourish. On the streets of Skytown, you don’t want for anything, not a courtesy bus nor an over-elaborate high-five. “They’re putting in swimming pools just now,” says the skinny-trousered lad taking me to meet the Scotland legend as construction crews dig. “Look,” he adds, as we pass an on-site shop, “you can even get your hair and beauty here.” Maybe Souness popped into the salon today because on Sky Sports the night before last he was modelling a beard and now he is clean-shaven. The beard was much-discussed. It was, as they say, “trending”. And amid the cyber-chatter a text was pinged to his mobile at the very moment he was opining on Real Madrid’s revival of the gallactico concept – “Get rid of it.” “The wife didn’t like it,” laughs Souness. “I grew it on holiday and came back to work straight off the plane. Her message was: ‘Don’t come home with that’.” It made him look kingly, I suggest. “No,” he insists, “it made me look too bloody old.” There is a generation of Scots who used to have a little bit of a man-crush on Graeme Souness and I’m one of them. In the 1970s and early 1980s no other footballer played like him or looked like him – no Scot at any rate. Next to the standard-issue carrot-tops and comb-over guys, the peely wallys and the wee bauchles, Souness resembled nothing so much as a Greek god. Sounessyus carried a book of his philosophies with a secret compartment for a dagger. He was the playmaker with the haymaker, the smiling assassin who behind the fearsome moustache probably wasn’t smiling at all. Of course we winced when the confrontations got even fiercer to compensate for the player getting slower, but everything considered, we were glad he was on our side. How he was a bad tackler and, in his mind, a bad husband and father It is admiration laced with trepidation which prevents me from suggesting that with his attire today – the skinny-trousered look in zazzy electric blue, co-ordinated trainers – he’s trying to look too bloody young. No need for any timidity, however, for he will talk about anything. How he was a bad tackler and, in his mind, a bad husband and father. What the great football city of Liverpool thinks of him these days. Why there’s nothing new in the game. He will even go all way back to Argentina 1978 for those of us still obsessed by that World Cup. First though he wants to tell me more about his holiday. “The reason Karen [the second Mrs Souness] wasn’t there was it was a dad-and-lad vacation. Just me and my son James, eight days in Montana, an unbelievable trip. The first two days on horseback to get there, then floating down a river trying to catch trout. This was the Bob Marshall Wilderness. He sounds like he might have been Scottish, doesn’t he? [Roots in Bavaria, actually]. In his life Bob campaigned for the area to be protected as the great outdoors but this only happened after he died. No drilling or fracking can happen there, not even farming. There was no hot water, hence the wilderness beard. But James and I had a fantastic time, camping out among the bears and wolves.” Fracking is only a modish technical term for what used to happen to the earth below football pitches when our man – of Middlesbrough, Liverpool, Sampdoria, Rangers and on 54 occasions Scotland – stomped across them, showing who was boss. James is 15, which was his old man’s age when he left home in Edinburgh to begin asserting himself at Tottenham. Another chuckle. “Tottenham had Alan Mullery, England captain. They had Martin Peters, World Cup-winner, ten years ahead of his time. They had Steve Perryman. And there was this little squirt from Carrickvale Secondary knocking on Bill Nic’s [Nicolson’s] door demanding to know why he wasn’t getting a game.” Our chat is happening amid sofa-heavy informality where earwiggers might be surprised to hear Souness,
ostensibly on promotional duty for the new English Premier League season, detail his peak-years grooming regime. Earwigging the adjacent sofas we can hear jokes about Liverpool being workshopped for the Soccer AM show. Souness, of course, was an Anfield icon, lifting three European Cups. But all that changed when he sold the story of his triple heart bypass to the Sun, a paper which enraged Merseyside with its claims of Liverpool fans pickpocketing the dead in the Hillsborough disaster. The Reds’ charge to the title, faltering at the last, was one of last season’s great stories, but when the cameras panned to Kenny Dalglish and Alan Hansen in the posh seats the third member of the holy Scotia trinity was absent. Also remembering his fall-outs while an unsuccessful Liverpool manager, I ask how he would describe relations with the city and the club now and he says: “Permanently damaged. I think I’ll remain unpopular there and that’s the price I’ll have to pay. I made an error of judgment but I can only apologise so many times. I’m just going to have to live with that.” There are a few Souness images in the fitba’ tapestry, one being Liverpool’s tartan triumvirate threatening to run off with the 1978 European Cup. Scripted? “Totally spontaneous. Although after that, every trophy the club won, we had to repeat it. The photographers would go: ‘Give us the Jock picture.” Another unforgettable image is Souness on a sweltering Malaga night of ultimate heartache explaining our third World Cup exit on goal difference in succession and he’s bare-chested. “Scary,” he says, but only if you don’t know that as a lad he won a Tarzan-o-like contest at Butlin’s in Ayr. “I don’t remember taking off my shirt but it sounds likely, doesn’t it?” At this point I mildly offend him by asking how his Italian adventure of a few years later shaped his personal style. No no, he was always fairly “continental” as far as his Scotland team-mates were concerned. “I used cologne – unheard of among the guys. I used conditioner in my hair – unheard of. I used a hairdryer – unheard of.” It’s written in legend that room-mate Dalglish, possibly glimpsing his first-ever barnet-blaster, was too nervous to be left alone with Souness, thinking he might be gay. “Absolutely true. I think that was 1974 when I just got into the squad for a friendly in West Germany before the World Cup. Poor Kenny. “Among the rest of the lads I was regarded – quite correctly, incidentally – as cocky, vain, arrogant and the rest. Archie Gemmill called me the Chocolate Soldier because I’d most likely eat myself and he was dead right. But one of these things was essential for professional sport. You need to be a little bit arrogant. You certainly needed it the way football was played in my era.” Strains of Don’t Cry for Me Argentina Maybe the most famous image, though, is from the ’78 World Cup when the cameras panning along the team changed too late to the strains of Don’t Cry for Me Argentina, pausing at Souness for the line: “The answer was there all the time.” “Well,” he says, “I became a manager myself later so I understood why Ally [MacLeod] played the guys who’d got us to Argentina, [bruce] Rioch and [Don] Masson.” Even though they’d come off the back of poor seasons for their clubs? He doesn’t take the bait. “Ally had to show them loyalty. But maybe I should have played in the second game [against Iran] because that was one we had to win.” Sounessyus came down from the mountain or rather the prefabs in Edinburgh’s Saughton Mains, “Maybe where we lived wasn’t the most salubrious but I had everything a boy needed.” Dad James, a glazier, took on a second job and mum Elizabeth worked, too, but Souness is really talking about love. “My father doted on me, never once raised his hand.” His mother was firmer, reminding him he wasn’t yet the great player he reckoned himself to be. Now he is laughing at the memory of a photo of Tynecastle Boys Club Under-10s, him with a face like thunder because as captain he wasn’t sat in the middle of the front row clutching the newest trophy. “But as a young footballer I had a tremendous slice of luck having two older brothers who I was
always trying to beat but who also looked out for me.”
  22. .......following another drinking binge. THE football legend – who is in the process of being evicted after complaints about noise – was found slumped outside his flat clutching a bottle of vodka. FORMER Rangers star Paul Gascoigne was being treated in hospital last night as he faces being made homeless following another drinking binge. Paramedics and cops were called after the football legend, 47, was seen slumped outside his flat clutching a bottle of vodka. He was in the process of being evicted after complaints about noise. As he was taken away from his £3million rented penthouse in the exclusive Sandbanks area of Poole, Dorset, Gazza phoned a friend to say: “I am in trouble. Please can you come and help me.” He looked pale, unsteady and confused as he was helped along by a police officer, who carried Gazza’s Tesco bag. His white hair slicked back, he wore blue slippers and a T-shirt rucked up around the belt of his shorts. Gazza was being treated at Poole Hospital last night. A friend said: “It is very sad. But the reality is Paul has been drinking for the past few weeks and once that happens, things will only end one way. “Things came to a head. He has had a lot on his plate as he is in the process of trying to find somewhere to live. “His landlord had given him 10 days to get out of the flat and it was weighing on his mind. “Obviously things became too much for him in the past couple of days and he has turned back to the bottle.” The retired midfielder has been locked in a life-and-death struggle with booze for years. His latest of at least seven rehab stints was in January when he checked into a £6000-a-month clinic in Southampton. Gazza has been frank about his addiction in the past. He has said: “I didn’t ask to be an alcoholic. It’s just like asking someone why he’s a diabetic. I wish I wasn’t but I am. “If I’m having a good day, I make the most of it because I don’t know what tomorrow brings, or the next five minutes.” http://www.dailyrecord.co.uk/news/scottish-news/former-rangers-star-paul-gascoigne-4087623
  23. As many of you will already know, Frankie published an obituary this morning following the extremely sad news of the recent passing of Gordon Young who was a regular contributor to the site and very well known to Gersnet forum members as Bluebear54. Tragically, Gordon finally lost a year long battle with cancer on Thursday night, but he goes with our love and best wishes as a knowledgeable, passionate and witty Bear who we will all remember very fondly indeed. Back in October 2013 I asked Gordon to write the article for our very first regular Gersnet magazine column, which at that time was for Seventy2 magazine. They were running a Dutch themed special and published below is the full 2500 word article Gordon submitted as an initial draft before he cut it down to the final 1400 word piece for the magazine submission and before the news of Ricksen's illness broke causing some slight changes to the wording. Gordon knew that his full article draft would be published at some point because we discussed what a shame it was that he had to cut it almost in half to meet the word count requirements for the column and that once a period of time had lapsed where it would no longer affect magazine sales, we could put the whole article out on Gersnet. So in remembrance of Bluebear54, here is his article 'A Glimpse of Glamour': A Glimpse of Glamour Written by Gordon Young (Bluebear54) The Early Years Although born and raised on the East Coast of Scotland, a maternal grandfather and a father, both passionate Rangers supporters, ensured that I was destined to follow follow in their footsteps when pursuing my lifelong passionate affair with football - an affair which has been split into three distinct phases due to the dice that life has spit out at me. The Rangers teams of that first phase of my love affair were epitomised by hardy, athletic, spirited Scottish players, such as Caldow, Shearer, Greig, MacDonald and Jardine. That’s not to say there wasn’t any skill around. Those guys had enough to go along with their other skills, but the Rangers of that era were also blessed with superbly gifted players such as Baxter, Wilson, Henderson and Johnson. Not mentioning any further names is a severe disservice to many great Rangers players of those generations. But they were Scottish, and the style was undeniably Scottish. We didn’t expect any fancy possession football, we hadn’t heard of the beautiful game, and “totally mental” was more often on our lips than “total football.” We preferred tanner ba’ wingers belting it down the wings, bruisers of centre forwards giving it more elbow than they took, and defenders who didn’t ever take prisoners. On the terraces, like some latter-day Colosseum crowd, we bayed for blood and actively encouraged our heroes to bury or waste opponents. It was expected, it was part of the game and it made for an entertaining spectacle. In 1972, not long after Rangers had finally won – at their third attempt - the European Cup Winners’ Cup in 1972, I ventured out again into the world, this time not to return to Scotland until well over a score of countries had worn out my shoes and nigh on thirty years had etched their lines on my face. In my travels, I have found that there are not many better things to bring two different nationalities together than a pint and a talk about football. I thus unknowingly set out on what in retrospect was further education in the art of football. It was clear that most fans I spoke to had scant regard for Scottish football and saw it as kick and rush and a tad barbaric. Fine I thought, youse lot are a bunch of pansies. In those days, most I spoke to were drooling about the Dutch style. And to be honest, from going to games with other fans, I started to see their point. I really did. It took its time, I didn’t initially find it entertaining, but I eventually saw another beauty and another excitement in the game. Now, when I look back through an old man’s eyes, Rangers were to eventually produce a true glimpse of the beautiful game and that glimpse would be Dutch inspired. In the course of their 141 year history, Rangers are reckoned to have provided a footballing home for more than 50 nationalities of footballers. With a total of 11 players having played first team football for the Gers, Holland tops that table. And their inspiration topped the table in how we played. The Early Birds The first ever first team appearance at Rangers by a Dutch player first team was Peter Huistra in 1990. He was a speedy winger, not far removed from the Henderson/Johnson mould and, as such, he became a firm favourite of the fans. Signed by Souness, he didn’t score barrowloads, but he certainly scored some vital goals for the Club, and won in all five League medals, two League Cup medals and a Scottish Cup medal, including a Treble in 1992-93. Despite a lack of goals, he was superb at making openings, and in my mind he’s still up there with the best we’ve ever had at taking corners. Shortly after the departure of Huistra for Japan in 1995, two Dutch players arrived almost simultaneously at Ibrox from quite different destinations. In 1996, Theo Snelders arrived at Queen Street from Aberdeen, and Peter Van Vossen arrived at Glasgow Airport from Turkey. It always says something to me about Rangers that Snelders is held in such high regard by Aberdeen fans, yet many Rangers fans have extremely vague memories of him. Of course, he was a back up to our very own special legend – the Flying Pig – and also Antti Niemi, so he certainly had a job on his hands. Despite this, or probably more to do with injuries to the other two, Theo Snelders managed to make a fair few first team appearances for Rangers between 1996 and 1999 without ever setting the heather on fire. So, while one of those arrivals in ’96 was destined to be fairly anonymous, the other was destined for almost total notoriety and guaranteed an indelible place in Scottish football folklore. Yes folks! Roll up! I give you the man who taught us all how “to do the Van Vossen.” Don’t get me wrong now, Peter came to Rangers with a great track record. Ex-Ajax, ex- European Cup winner, a fair number of international caps. It all looked good. And we were also getting shot of Salenko, whom many fans thought was yet one more momentous waste of money. Which in fact, he was. Couldn’t be better, so Van Vossen was part of the master plan to punt Oleg Salenko to Istanbulspor. Sneaky. Looking back, I can imagine simultaneous moments at either end of Europe when Walter Smith was sitting down in Glasgow with a whisky and Cem Uzan was sitting down in Istanbul with his coffee, both of them laughing like hyenas and thinking “Yes, I got rid of him.” That moment Albertz unselfishly laid off a pass opening up an empty goal for Van Vossen lives with everyone who witnessed the match. It was the striker’s Old Firm debut, he skied it from all of 7 yards, and his only saving grace was that we were winning 1-0. Peter didn’t last too long needless to say, and after 22 appearances he was on his travels again. In time, in 1998, like some kind of expectant grandfather, I returned to Scotland, having been kept up to date on a Rangers-rich diet of SKY television, and fully anticipating a bright new future for Rangers where Dick Advocaat had bulldozed in and begun what has been referred to as the Dutch revolution. And if the truth be known, coinciding with my return, those two seasons of 1998-99 and 1999-00 (and also partly 2000-01) showed a real glimpse of glamour. Here we finally had a Rangers team who were not being routinely dismissed by the European hoi polloi. This was a Rangers team who would win a treble followed by a double and who would go on to demolish a top class PSV Eindhoven side and other noteworthy continental sides such as Parma, Monaco and the best that Germany could offer. Not so much in a Scottish style, but in an entertaining continental style. I could have been forgiven for thinking I had arrived in Heaven. The Orange Invasion – A Glimpse of Glamour Advocaat’s first Dutch signings were Arthur Numan and Giovanni van Bronckhorst followed later by Michael Mols, and they were a class apart indeed. Of all the Dutch players to have played for Rangers, Gio van Bronckhorst is arguably the one that fans have been most fortunate to have seen grace Ibrox’s turf. He was a true thoroughbred, and it didn’t take such a long time for fans to realise that he was maybe a wee bit too good for us to hope to hold on to. Gio ended up being sold to Arsenal in 2001 for close on £9m after winning a treble and a double for Rangers. Gio went on to score went on to score 22 goals for us, 13 in the league, 3in the Scottish Cup, 1 in the League Cup, 3 in the Champions League and 2 in the UEFA Cup. However, these statistics still belie the fact that this player was an essential cog in the machine that Advocaat was assembling, and he very much made that Rangers team tick with his guile, finesse and vision. As confirmation of van Bronckhorst’s quality, he went on to become a Barcelona stalwart while also playing well over 100 internationals for Holland and becoming the Dutch international captain. In much the same way as van Bronckhorst, Arthur Numan oozed class in the left back position, and after initial problems with injuries, he settled down to become a key part of both Advocaat’s and latterly McLeish’s teams. Signed from PSV Eindhoven, Numan had a respectable international career and became a very welcome sight for fans whenever his name appeared on the team sheet. As with almost any Rangers player, a cracker of a goal against Celtic, especially when it either wins a game or saves one, ensures legendary status, and Numan’s 25 yard stunner at Ibrox to earn a 1-1 draw was no different in cementing his name into Ibrox folklore. Of Advocaat’s first batch of signings, Michael Mols probably promised least and I must admit to not being aware of him before he signed for Rangers, but superb goalmouth turning skills and goals against FC Haka, Hearts and then a memorable four against Motherwell followed by two against Aberdeen soon ensured that – like most fans – I wanted to see his name in the starting eleven every week. Another two goals in the 4-1 roasting that Rangers gave a top class PSV side seemed to promise a Rangers career to remember. Unfortunately, in a Champions League match which Bayern were fortunate to win, he suffered a horrific injury in a collision with Oliver Khan. The injury was to keep him out for a season and a half, and unfortunately for both Mols and Rangers, common opinion has it that he was never quite the same player again. Tragic.
  24. Chelsea website. £77 for the new away shirt with Drogba at the back. My word. Would buy on sports direct but we have history
  25. I said this elsewhere about entire teams being brought back to defend corner kicks: I can see the time coming when the football authorities will feel inclined to amend the laws of the game regarding every player back at a corner kick. This tactic is designed to clog up the area, limit runs, deny space and minimise goalscoring opportunities, and the outcome is often a series of fouls which may or may not be punished. Officials usually favour the defending team and too often a promising moment in the game fizzles out when a free-kick is awarded. It'll take an extensive trial and error period before the cure is found, but if the football authorities want to make the game better, they really need to guard against coaches and managers who are too often negative and safety-first. The general well-being of the sport comes first and eleven players in the box defending corner kicks is not something that should be tolerated indefinitely. In addition, now that we have a fourth official, I see no reason why the game should be stopped to make substitutions. Players on winning teams who are about to be hooked are often told to go to the either side of the pitch before their number is called, and then they make the long, slow walk to the dugout. Let the fourth official take care of this and let the game flow. Managers know that this is an effective time wasting tactic. That's why they do it. On the same subject, let's draw the line at the 75th or 80th minute regarding substitutions. After this point, no matter what happens, no more substitutions should be allowed. If a player has to go off injured, so be it. We really need to end this business of time-wasting substitutions being made deep into injury time purely to upset the game's rhythm and waste more time.
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