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  1. .....players must prove they belong at Ibrox after dismal display in Cup. BARRY believes Ally McCoist's men are now playing for their futures at Rangers in the wake of the shock draw with Albion Rovers. EMBARRASSING. The word has attached itself to Rangers for one reason or another over the last few days and I must admit I don’t like it one little bit. Like when Ally McCoist said it wasn’t embarrassing to draw at home to Albion Rovers in the Cup, some people had a go at him for it and thought the manager’s reaction was an embarrassment in itself. Not me. Then Ian Black asked the fans, ‘What more do you want?’ To tell you the truth, I could see where he was coming from too but there was something about the way he said it that did make you want to cringe. And all this over the space of a few days when the team has just won another title. Maybe people will say it was embarrassing for Rangers to be seen to be celebrating that success too because right now it seems my old club just can’t win, even when they are winning. But you can count me out of that camp right away. Yes, it might only be League One and, I agree, there is a big difference between lifting that championship and beating Celtic to the big one in the top flight. Of course there is. But a title is a title all the same. When Coisty and the players started out this season they had a job to do – to win the league and get the hell out of the division as quickly as possible. Well here they are seven months later, job done. With nearly three months to spare. Yes, I know it hasn’t always been great in terms of the quality of the football that has been played along the way. But that will be forgotten about over time and the record books will show that Rangers chalked up two straight promotions on the journey back up through the divisions. So don’t tell me these guys don’t deserve to celebrate what they’ve done. That’s just mean-spirited and spiteful. But – and yes, there is a but – these players must also realise that some of their displays over the course of the season have left a lot to be desired. And I’m talking here in particular about the performance against Albion at the weekend. Because if any of the boys in the team think that was acceptable then they are at the wrong club. I watched the game and it wasn’t great. Look, there were some mitigating factors. I’ll give them that. For instance, these Albion Rovers kids were having the day of their lives. They went to Ibrox knowing they might never play at a stadium like that again. It was a one off and they gave everything they had for their team and their manager, who went there with a game plan. At times it was five at the back and five across the midfield. But good luck to them. They did what they set out to do. Was it embarrassing for Coisty? Knowing the way he thinks I’m sure that inside he was hurting badly. But he did the right thing by not saying so in public. He was absolutely correct when he said that. Had he done so he would have been showing complete disrespect to his opponents. He certainly doesn’t deserve to be criticised for good manners. I understand Rangers fans expected a lot better. I understand because I am one of them and I did too. But no one will have felt more let down by that performance than the manager. He might not say so outside the dressing room but he knows more than anyone what is required and expected of Rangers. Yes, they should be skelping Albion Rovers by four or five goals. So scraping a 1-1 draw WAS probably embarrassing. But it happened and it’s the manager’s job to deal with it and move on. I have no doubt he’ll have given his players a very different message in the privacy of that dressing room. He’ll have been furious and, from personal experience, I know he won’t have missed his targets behind closed doors. Put it this way, he won’t need a long team talk before the replay. If anyone in that team doesn’t know what is at stake on Monday night then there is something wrong with them. In fact, maybe it’s not just the Albion Rovers boys who might never play at a stadium like Ibrox again because a few of Coisty’s own players will now be playing for their futures. A lot of these guys are on good money and the truth is they have not been giving value back to the club, the manager and the supporters. I am positive Ally will have already made his mind up about some of them. He will know which of them needs to be replaced in the summer. The problem he has right now is that he still doesn’t know if he’ll have enough of a budget to make the changes he’d like to ahead of next season in the Championship. And that uncertainty makes it hard for him to be as honest about these players as he might like to be. You can’t throw a guy under the bus one week then ask him to go out there and play for you again the next. They are all he’s got right now and, at this moment in time, he needs to do whatever he can to bring them with him and get them to up their game. I’m learning myself about how difficult life can be as a manager. Thankfully I won my first game as Blackpool manager on Tuesday but I realise there is a lot of hard work ahead if we are going to turn our own season around. I know how hard I am working on the training field in trying to get my message across and to get the team to play in the manner I want. I changed my game plan completely on Tuesday night and it worked for us but when you send them out across that white line you are a hostage to fortune. You ask players to do a specific job and sometimes it just does not happen. That’s why I have some sympathy for Coisty. We both know the buck always stops with the manager but there comes a time when the players must take their share of responsibility too. When I came back to Rangers after my move to Blackburn I knew there were a lot of fans who didn’t want me back. I knew because they weren’t slow in telling me. So it was down to me to go out there and prove my worth. Every time I pulled on that shirt, I knew my own reputation was going on the line. Maybe it’s about time some of the guys in that dressing room started to see things the same way. If their attitude isn’t right then there is no place for them at Rangers. It’s not too late to save themselves – they could end this season as heroes if they go on to win the Scottish Cup. But to do that they need to give themselves a shake and accept there is more to being a Rangers player than just turning up for training at Murray Park. And I expect to see them prove it emphatically on Monday night. http://www.dailyrecord.co.uk/sport/football/football-news/barry-ferguson-title-win-great-3240280
  2. All Proceeds to Guide Dogs for the Blind ** NEW AUCTION ITEMS ** first up we have a signed season 2013/14 Albion Rovers FC shirt, kindly donated by their first team goalie, Neil Parry: http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=161239716661 ... The Next item, is Arthur Numans Autobiography "Oranje and Blue" which is signed by the man himself!: http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=161239720144 Happy Bidding folks! please Share these items.
  3. Former Rangers chief executive Charles Green has revealed he may still be at the Ibrox helm had he not 'been driven out of the club'. Green led the consortium which bought the assets of Rangers for £5.5m from administrators Duff & Phelps on June 14, 2012, just two days after they were consigned to liquidation when HMRC rejected the offer of a CVA. The Yorkshireman insisted he was at Rangers for the long haul, claiming he would not consider leaving 'until he had heard the Champions League music over Ibrox again'. But after a turbulent period in charge of the League Two side, he stepped down in April 2013 in the wake of a backlash from supporters over a series of controversial public comments. He returned to the club on August 2 last year on a consultancy basis 'to assist with shareholder relations and advise the company on its capital structure'. However, his second coming lasted just 18 days and he agreed to stand down from the role and sell his shareholding, at the time the largest in the company, to current board member Sandy Easdale. Now, in an exclusive interview with Sky Sports News, he has broken his silence on his departure, and on the terms of his pay-off. "When I joined Rangers, I was the only employee, the only director and the only investor," he said. "I was going to have the same salary as Ally McCoist but Malcolm Murray (former chairman) said that was wrong and halved it. For the work I did at Rangers, I should have had double. "Secondly, I didn't want the severance pay. I would have stayed at Rangers but was driven out of that club. "It's a matter of public record what I took from the club when I left. It is in the accounts. My salary was £360,000 a year, but I didn't take 12 months' notice. "I agreed I would take less money because I didn't want to penalise the club, but I would have happily carried on at Rangers. "The bonus was a bonus which was in my contract, and I was entitled to that." Watch Sky Sports News throughout Friday evening for more from Jim White's exclusive interview with the former Ibrox supremo.
  4. Five people have been arrested in connection with crowd trouble at the Motherwell v Celtic game last week A reported £10,000 of damage was caused to seats in a section housing Celtic fans, a flare was let off in the same area before the game and two green smoke bombs were thrown on to the pitch during the match at Fir Park stadium on Friday. Celtic said they were ''appalled'' by the actions and issued precautionary suspensions to 128 supporters preventing them from attending home and away matches, while 250 season-ticket holders seated in the Green Brigade's corner of Celtic Park are to be moved to other parts of the ground. Police said 18 smoke bombs, three fireworks and one flare were set off. There were also disturbances and vandalism in Motherwell both before and after the game. Officers said five people were arrested in connection with the disorder on Monday and inquiries are continuing. The incident was the latest in a spate of trouble at Scottish football matches. A teenage girl was arrested after a flare was thrown from the Rangers support after their win at Falkirk on November 30, damaging the pitch, and a smoke bomb was thrown from the Motherwell support during their defeat by Albion Rovers on the same day. Last Saturday, 10 people were arrested in connection with football-related disorder before the Falkirk v Raith Rovers match. http://www.eveningtimes.co.uk/news/u/five-arrested-after-celtic-fan-trouble-at-motherwell-match.1386845170
  5. didn't like our kits at first but got the new third kit and reckon it's a cracker. Anyone find the sleeves are a bit tight/short though? PS - Noticed the shirt sizes go up to something like XXXXXL. WTF A large will do me and I need it for length not the beer belly!
  6. Big move for our poster SuperAlly soon as he embarks on a move to Hong Kong. Hope it goes well sir and I'll be popping up to meet you later in the year. HK is fantastic and as good a city as it gets. Its still my fave city to this day. The scale of things will be your first shock. The skyline blows anything else on the planet away. Its a bit hazey and humid come March onwards but still all good. See you later in the year and enjoy the move. EDIT - (Steve) no idea where that came from. Meant to put Chris.
  7. Just in case anyone fancies doing this while raising money for charity! http://www.gersnet.co.uk/index.php/latest-news/225-football-aid-2014-play-at-ibrox
  8. A spokesman said: "The board notes Mr King’s comments with concern as they are potentially de-stabilising and damaging to Rangers Football Club."
  9. Because of my ongoing interest in the future direction of the club I have deliberately avoided immersing myself in the day-to-day "noise level" that is being played out in the media. By doing this I had hoped to serve as a bridge between non-aligned stakeholders and the club, as well as seeking a way forward that could accommodate all interests. I no longer believe that I can achieve this with the board that is presently in place. I consequently wish to update the fans on my current position. Late last year I travelled to Scotland in an attempt to find a way forward that would accommodate all parties and ensure sound corporate governance and sound financial planning for the club. Unfortunately, my efforts were in vain. During this period I made it clear to the board that I am a potential source of funding by way of a new capital injection. My prime condition is that any funds introduced by me would go into the club for the benefit of the team and the dilapidating infrastructure. For the avoidance of doubt, I appreciate that the Rangers board has no obligation to engage with me or to agree with my vision for the future of Rangers. My assessment is that the business is not commercially sustainable in the short term and hence requires a level of soft investment. The board is focusing on right-sizing the business ie. cutting costs to match the income. It is correct that anyclub must, over the long term, operate within its means but in the short term Rangers needs a significant once-off financial boost that cannot be met from the current revenue stream. Without this we will not get back to where we should be. If we cut our costs to suit our present income we will remain a small club and Celtic will shoot through 10 in a row - and beyond - while we slug it out for the minor places. That is not the Rangers that I grew up with and not the Rangers that we should be passing down to our children and grandchildren. Such a soft investment will only come from a fan based group that regard their return as winning trophies in the top flight. I have been such an investor and want to be so again. I would like to lead a fan-based initiative to acquire an influential shareholding in the club. I hope that the board will belatedly recognise the importance ofcommunicating with fans on the true state of the club's finances.Financial transparency should now be a non-negotiable requirement of the fans prior to investing in season tickets. It is an easy deflection for the board to suggest that it has had insufficient time or that it is restricted by AIM regulations. That is simply not true. Legitimate concerns about the club's financial position have been voiced for a long time. It should have been the board's number one priority to provide the comfort that the fans need - if it is able to do so. Craig Whyte employed exactly the same reasons for avoiding disclosure of the true financial state of the club during his ill-fated period of ownership. The board has previously dealt with queries around the club's finances by giving categoric assurances that there was sufficientfunding until the end of the season. We now know that these assurances were untrue and that emergency financing has been put in place on terms that are not commercial and that indicate the desperate financial position that the club is in. This lack of transparency on the present and projected funding position isextremely worrying. The Craig Whyte purchase would never have happened if the true source of "his" funds had been known. Similarly, the fans would not have purchased season tickets at that time if they had known that their funds were going out of the club. The fans lost their cash and almost lost their club. So now, at this critical time, I remind fellow supporters of the old adage - fool me once shame on you, fool me twice shame on me. The fans have no proper insight into the owners of the club and who represents which shareholders on the board. The board has strenuously resisted any attempt by the fans to find out who key shareholders are. What is known is that the current board members have a very minor stake in the club. Rangers has also developed an extremely un-Rangers like culture of "turning on its own". It is not in Rangers culture to have spin-doctors that feed information to the media in an attempt to damage our own players, management, potential investors, and supporters. Much of what has been fed to the media is clearly untrue or exaggerated. Ultimately, it is in the hands of the existing shareholders (through the board) to decide to issue new shares to investors. There is a clear reluctance to do this at the present time and the reasons for this can only be speculated upon. Undoubtedly, the club requires a significant injection of new equity from existing or new shareholders but this will take some time to put in place. A proper financial evaluation will have to be undertaken and all the necessary AIM requirements etc. complied with. Clearly, by not having acted sooner the board is making it clear that it has decided to rely on the fans' cash once again. The big question is- "What can fans do to protect themselves but still assist the team and management"? Fans must remember that the purchase of a season ticket is essentially an individual loan from the fan to the company until such time as all games are played. No banker would lend money to a company without knowing its true financial position. Unless the board departs from its present stance of opacity the fans will be asked to lend money to the company with no security and with no comfort that the loan advance is not going into a financial black-hole. It must be stressed that the board was happy to give security to Laxey Partners for the recent facility as well as a massive return on this short-term loan. It seems wrong that, if the board gets its way, these new loans will be repaid from interest free and unsecured loans provided by long suffering fans. If the board does not provide disclosure to the fans then it is time to draw a line in the sand. I propose that the fans buy the season tickets only on one of the two following bases; 1. The fans pay the season ticket money into a trust and the funds are released to the club on a "pay-as-they-play" basis. 2. The fans pay the season ticket money into a trust and the funds are released in full to the club but against security of the club property until such time as all games are played. In that way the fans will have some protection from a future event of failure if the board cannot bridge the funding gap that clearly exists. Additionally, the fans should insist on a board appointee prior to renewing their season tickets, to look after their interests. I also suggest that the following questions be put to the board on condition that satisfactory answers must be given prior to fans agreeing to make cash from season ticket sales available to the club. 1. Will the board provide legally binding assurances that the club is a going concern and has sufficient funds and/or facilities in place for the 2014/2015 season. 2. Will the board undertake that none of the proceeds from season ticket sales will be used to settle any financial obligation that arose prior to receipt of the season ticket monies by the club. 3. Will the board confirm that the club assets continue to be unencumbered. 4. Will the board explain its previous statements that the club had sufficient cash resources to last until the end of the season. I previously invested 20 million pounds in the club and lost it all.Like all Rangers fans I continue to loyally support the team and the manager. I am willing to provide funding again but I do not believe that Rangers should be under the control of one owner/benefactor. We have already seen the damage that has been caused at Rangers (and many other clubs) when the club becomes a hostage to thefluctuating whims and wealth of a single owner. I see my role as being the lead investor of a like-minded consortium that will invest in the club, along with the supporters, without the "short-sightidness" of an immediate return on investment. An immediate return on investment will guarantee a non-immediate return of the team to the top flight. The fact that it believes it can proceed as it is doing without financial transparency makes two major statements about the board's thinking. First, they have correctly understood the fierce and unbending loyalty that Rangers fans display towards the club and the team at a time of common difficulty. Secondly, they have seriously misunderstood this loyalty as being something they can take for granted and offer nothing in return. We shouldn't allow that to continue. At this critical juncture, the fans control the funding that the board is relying on. How we proceed will determine our club's future.
  10. I watched a wonderful short film this week, on the effect the reintroduction of wolves has had on Yellowstone National Park in America. Wolves were wiped out in the area 70 years ago but several packs were brought back twenty years ago in the hope they would breed and reestablish them. A highly controversial move, the wolves were closely monitored and the effect they had on Yellowstone was studied during this period. As a large carnivore there was much apprehension about the wolves; would they decimate other species, clear large parts of the park of other mammals, indeed would they endanger man? The actual findings were mind blowing. The wolves mainly hunt deer and prior to the wolves return the deer had enjoyed decades with no natural predator except man. As such, they grazed where they wanted for as long as they wanted, they moved slowly through the landscape and their numbers grew and grew. The reemergence of the wolves changed this. The change wasn’t that large numbers of deer were killed (there aren’t that many wolves and there are tens of thousands of deer) it was that the return of the deer’s natural hunter led to a dramatic change in deer behaviour. Previously the deer grazed where they liked but now they were much more cautious and this was particularly noticeable near rivers. The grazing is good there, but it is open, and the deer were easily hunted. As the deer modified their behaviour and avoided grazing on the lower ground the vegetation changed, grass grew longer, bushes and trees reached maturity instead of being stripped back by hungry deer when small. This led to insects returning which in turn brought birds. The longer grass brought rabbits and the eagles who hunt them. Bears returned to eat the berries that now ripened on the bushes, beavers returned and used the mature trees to make dams. Most astonishingly of all the course of the river changed. Previously it meandered, it flooded regularly and the rain ran off the surrounding land quickly eroding the area. Now the increased vegetation soaked up much of the rainfall and its roots held the soil together. So the river ran deeper and faster, it no longer meanders it flows true. The wolves had indirectly been responsible for changing the course and flow of a river. What must be remembered is that wolves weren’t artificially introduced to the area; rather their absence in the first place was artificial. The ecology of Yellowstone evolved over thousands of years and at the top of the food chain was wolves. This large carnivore was meant to be there, nature had decided that a long time ago, the rest of the park actually depended on it. Its removal caused the damage, not its reintroduction. Every aspect of the park relied on the wolf directly or indirectly. Rangers play Stenhousemuir for the fourth time this season on Saturday. We’ve won our two previous league meetings and our meeting in the cup. Our last match at Ibrox saw us triumph by eight goals, our subsequent meetings have been much closer affairs. This match is being played against the backdrop of continued problems in Scottish football. The removal of Rangers from the top flight has upset the trophic cascade, the natural order of things evolved over more than 100 years is seriously out of kilter. Celtic have no serious rival as such and they are now meandering, their club is selling its best players, their manager speaks openly about being unsettled and their support, as well as showing apathy towards attending matches now fill their time by promoting songs about Irish murder gangs, making ill-thought-out political statements or indulging in good old fashioned hooliganism. The game’s governing bodies now no longer even hold the pretence of parity. They award cup finals and semi finals to grounds months in advance rather than wait to see who’ll contest them. Their decisions regarding cup matches and Inverness have bordered on the corrupt, the ticket allocation for the League Cup final being only the latest example. The side who finished second in the country last season, Motherwell, still managed to make a loss of nearly £200,000. The prize money they should have received was drastically cut half way through the season you see, no surprise there. This happened despite them cutting their player budget the previous close season. Still the league has no sponsor, in the top flight the champions and the side relegated was decided before a ball was kicked and the standard of play and player continues to drop. Without its largest animal the competition is reduced, the drive is lost and the revenue that follows it dries up. All of these things are interconnected, remove something from the natural order of things and it takes a long time to recover, if it ever does. Stenhousemuir go into this match with a new manager, former Scottish international and feted wunderkind Scott Booth. Although the current Scotland under 17 coach doesn’t take up his post for a few more weeks we can expect his new players to be eager to prove their worth to him. So motivation shouldn’t be an issue for stand-in coach Brown Ferguson’s side. Stenhousemuir are in a bad run of form with no victories this year, only their early season good results afford them the relative safety of sixth place. Rangers go into the match without Moshni who remains suspended. Cribari did well against Ayr and should retain his place although I expect McCulloch to return to the defence and Foster to drop out. Beyond that the side should pick itself, MacLeod should come into contention if fit again but I expect Bell, Law, Wallace, Black, Daly, Faure, Templeton and Aird to start. I don’t expect a repeat of the early season 8-0 but half that wouldn’t raise an eyebrow particularly if we score early. Stenhousemuir have both suffered and benefited from being in the same league as Rangers. Having the largest carnivore in the country close by drastically reduces the likelihood of promotion for every other club in our division, but it does offer them other tangible benefits. Our presence is artificial though, man made and it is upsetting the natural order of things. The trophic cascade refers to interconnectivity, how removing something from the top of the food chain has consequences all the way down that chain, how these changes can’t all be foreseen or managed and it is vital that chain isn’t allowed to be tampered with artificially. Recent meetings aimed at securing a voice for Rangers supporters in our boardroom should be welcomed, not only by all Rangers fans but also by all football fans. Whatever your feelings towards our club, we are all connected and interdependent, it’s in everyone’s interests that we’re back where we belong believe it or not. The only thing that should prevent that happening is our side not being good enough. Financial stability and accountability are vital, not just for our sake but for every club in the country. Nobody should fear the return of the wolf, its return should be welcomed by all.
  11. .....and renew their season tickets. Supporters were alarmed to discover this week that Gers officials were in talks with two investors about a £1.5million loan. They are speaking to the Easdale brothers, James and Sandy, and Laxey Partners, the major shareholders, about the cash injection. The development immediately led to fears that the SPFL League One leaders are in danger of going back into administration. Rangers chief executive Graham Wallace, who is conducting a 120-day restructuring plan, has dismissed that. And McCoist, who attended a board meeting in London on Thursday, has stated he is confident current club hierarchy are on the right track. Fans have threatened to "disengage" with the club in the past by not buying season tickets or official merchandise. But the manager has appealed to them to keep faith in Wallace and his fellow director. McCoist said: "I can understand concerns. Who wouldn't have concerns after what has happened in the last two years? "But at the same time I definitely think that Graham Wallace in particular and the board in general deserve an opportunity to see what they can come up with. "Personally, I feel that I'm building a good relationship with a chief executive who has football experience and I firmly believe will do the best for the club. "I'm in a better place in that respect. There's no doubt about that. The relationship between the chief exec and the manager is the most important at the club. "I feel in a better place with the dialogue I have with Graham. I speak to him a couple of times a day and we meet two or three times a week. "Hopefully in the coming weeks and months a brighter picture will be painted of the long-term future of the club." McCoist added: "There hasn't been a push for season tickets yet, but I think there will be one or two things going on before then that will hopefully point the supporters in the right direction. "For the supporters to buy 70,000 season tickets in the last two years is a staggering statistic. The importance of the season tickets is absolutely vital. "In the coming weeks and months, when we do have the push for season tickets, we will be in a better place to indicate to the fans what the short, medium and long-term future will be." McCoist was told the £1.5m loan is part of an overall business plan at the board meeting and was assured there was no prospect of administration happening. He said: "It's nothing that wasn't planned. It's part of a business plan. The impression that was given to me was that too much has been made of it. It's nothing that wasn't on the agenda. "It was told to me that there certainly won't be administration No.2. That is encouraging because a lot of people are asking the question and I totally understand that." The Rangers Supporters Trust, however, does not share his ease with the current situation. In a statement sent to members last night, the Trust said: "The Rangers Supporters Association, Assembly and Trust have contacted the CEO Graham Wallace to ask for clarification on the proposed loan by directors and/or selected shareholders." Meanwhile, fixtures have been rearranged - Gers v Dunfermline on Saturday, March 15 now at 12.45pm instead of 3pm, live on Sky; Brechin v Gers on Saturday, March 22 now the following day with a 12.45pm start on BT Sport and Gers v Forfar on Tuesday, March 25 at 7.45pm moved back 24 hours to the Wednesday. http://www.eveningtimes.co.uk/rangers/rangers-board-backing-is-just-the-ticket-for-mccoist-153156n.23500951
  12. There is a major flaw in his thinking here. Apart from the fact that rebuilding that late means it will take seasons to be ready, I mean. In addition, you don't just spend 30 million to replace 30 millions worth - what about all the dud buys, or the foreign player s who don't settle or those who find the R rangers shirt "too heavy"? How many of his buys would actually make it to long term first team challenging for the title quality? Good to see the scouting (lack of) being stressed, though. http://www.scotsman.com/sport/football/spfl-lower-divisions/mccoist-rangers-may-need-30m-to-return-to-top-1-3307214 ALLY McCoist believes Rangers may need to spend as much as £30 million on strengthening their squad if they hope to mount a serious challenge for the Premiership title in two years’ time. Speaking on the second *anniversary of the Ibrox club *entering administration, the manager expressed his hope Rangers are finally emerging from the darkest and most turbulent period in their history. With his team’s projected return to the top flight of Scottish football for the 2015-16 season on schedule as they close in on the League 1 title, McCoist insists significant funding will be required to restore them to pre-administration standards on the pitch. “Whether we are contenders again in two years will depend on a number of things,” said McCoist. “One of them will be investment in the team, along with stability at boardroom level which is vitally important. “If we get that, then I’d be very hopeful we’d be back in the top league and have a better chance of bringing in the quality of player to enable us to compete at the top of that league “It’s difficult to put a figure on how much investment we need. But if you lose in the region of £30m worth of players as we did because of administration – players like Nikica Jelavic, Steven Davis, Allan McGregor, Steven Whittaker and all those boys – then I would think that standard of player needs to get replaced. “I’m not saying £30m is the exact figure, but that’s roughly what we’ve lost. Some will argue it might be more than that, some might say a little bit less. “But my point is that you can’t lose that, not replace it and then expect to compete at the top level.” McCoist’s playing budget will be determined by recently appointed chief executive, Graham Wallace who is half-way through his 120-day *review of Rangers’ business *operations and cost structure. Among McCoist’s priorities is the reinstatement of a scouting network at the club which has been completely dismantled over the past two years. “Graham and I speak a lot and we will be having another meeting today at Ibrox,” added McCoist. “He hasn’t indicated to me where he is with it at the moment, but I don’t have any doubt once he’s done his *review we will sit down and look *longer term, in terms of *players for next season, in terms of budget for next season, in terms of our scouting, in terms of *Murray Park and development of *football. “There is a lot of work to be done and a lot of things to be discussed which I know he’s looking forward to and I certainly am as well. I haven’t mentioned a figure to him yet – you’ve dragged that out of me! But it will have to be mentioned at some point, absolutely. “I’ve been invited to board meetings, which I look forward to, to discuss the first team, the under-20s and the youth system. It will all be brought up, as will the scouting which needs to be addressed immediately. “Scouting is an immediate concern, particularly now as we are heavily into the rebuilding process for the club – short, middle and long-term. If we’ve not got a scouting department, which we don’t have, then that is plainly far from ideal. “It’s absolutely staggering that we don’t have a scouting *department. That’s through no fault of Graham Wallace or *anyone on the current board – but it is our problem which needs addressed.” With short-term funding an obvious concern for Rangers, rumours have persisted regarding the possibility of another insolvency event, but McCoist remains comfortable with the assurances to the contrary he has received from Wallace. “He has categorically told me that will not be the case,” said McCoist. “He told me once and if that changed he would have told me otherwise. He told me that’s not the case and that’s good enough for me and I’d fully expect in the relationship I have with him, if the goalposts had moved in that direction he’d have told me.”
  13. 11 Feb 2014 09:32 PERALTA is part of the Hondurus squad looking forward to the World Cup finals this summer but the South Americans' build-up clashes with the date of this season's cup final. ARNOLD Peralta will face a club v country dilemma if Rangers reach the Scottish Cup Final. Ally McCoist’s men will earn a semi-final on home turf if they see off Albion Rovers in the last eight at Ibrox next month. But if they reach the showpiece at Parkhead on May 17 they will have to plead with Honduras to allow Peralta to join their World Cup build-up later. The Hondurans have just announced they will be preparing for the finals at a month-long training camp in Miami. That starts on May 12 so Peralta would miss the cup final if the Honduran FA aren’t flexible. McCoist will have to hope Peralta’s national boss Luis Fernando Suarez allows the midfielder to delay his departure by a week. Honduras face France, Switzerland and Ecuador in the World Cup and Peralta is a cert for their squad. http://www.dailyrecord.co.uk/sport/football/football-news/rangers-star-arnold-peralta-facing-3133047
  14. It's the Sun so hopefully as untrue as many of their stories, but, it does chime with Keith Jackson's recent statement that we'd have no money in weeks, not months and if you remember the original estimate of "last million by April" and deduct unseen pay offs since that prediction then this is scary enough, despite the source. The emboldening at the end is by me, not the paper, to perhaps give a more hopeful reading experience for you - though again it is a dodgy source. "RANGERS are at the centre of a financial cover-up investigation over claims the club will be broke within two weeks. The stock exchange inquiry was launched after an Ibrox official is alleged to have forecast they would run out of cash by mid-February. New chief executive Graham Wallace has assured fans there is no danger of a second plunge into administration — two years after ex-owner Craig Whyte steered the club to its doom. But in a complaint to the AIM exchange, a disgruntled investor writes: “It’s the worst-kept secret in Scotland that the club is running out of money in the next few weeks, yet the board has made no announcement.” The shareholder says Rangers should have disclosed any projected shortfall under stock market rules. AIM chiefs have vowed to investigate the claims. An Ibrox spokesman said they could not comment on regulatory matters. But a source said last night: “It’s untrue — there are people trying to undermine the board." (By Cameron Hay)
  15. blueflag

    Puma

    Looks like Arsenal are the latest club to ditch nike for Puma.. And here was some of you telling us how crap Puma are. Get over it
  16. At this moment in time its my opinion that Ally isn't a great manager but thats not to say he won't become a great manager. First of all there are circumstances outwith Ally's control that will impact on his abilities to build a team "Scouting" without doubt it is a disgrace that a club the size of Rangers does not have a scouting system, chief scout or any scout for that matter and it is an indictment on this board not Ally that we have been left with this scenario. There will be fans that believe Ally or the backroom team should be out traveling the globe to find the next big talent to pull on that blue shirt and at the same time wave his magic wand and have a Barcelona freeflowing style Rangers team out on the park every week the thing is we are Rangers we have always been Rangers we are not Barcelona and just how is Ally to scout and put together an attractive free flowing football team with the short sited measures that were put in place by this board?. Secondly on Ally's wages when Ally first took on the roll of Rangers assistant coach he had a very lucrative contract with a television company now we all know Ally is a "Bluenose" but do we really believe or expect a club legend or any high profile Rangers supporter to now work for the club for nothing or take a lesser wage for a job that certainly is a lot more time consuming " and without the rewards" than being a television pundit? lets think about this for a minute in Ally's roll as a football pundit he would probably have been in Brazil this summer in a 5 star hotel all expences paid and picking up a huge wage at the end of his 4 weeks in the sun. I wonder what the club has in store for Ally this pre season maybe a trip along the road to saltcoats considering the cost cutting measures being muted i doubt it will be a trip to Brazil all expences paid. I remember the day when an attack on a Rangers legend was an attack on us all it just wasn't an attack from within and the next time a lowlife sticks the boot in to the club try and remember we are the people the cry was no surrender.
  17. http://www.rangers.co.uk/news/headlines/item/6049-playing-crucial-for-kyle KYLE McAUSLAND doesn’t know where he’ll spend the rest of the season yet but admits he needs to be playing games regularly wherever it is. The 21-year-old had a Rangers shirt back on yesterday as he turned out for Gordon Durie’s under-20 side in its 1-0 league win over Ross County at Dumbarton. It was McAusland’s first game for the club since his loan spell at League One rivals Ayr United came to an end at the weekend. There is a possibility the defender could go back out on loan but if he was to do that he’d have to return to Somerset Park for what would be his third time there. FIFA rules dictate a player isn’t allowed to play competitively for any more than two clubs in the one campaign. And because McAusland has turned out for Gers as well as the Honest Men, his only other option is to remain at Ibrox and fight for a place in Ally McCoist’s squad. With Richard Foster and Sebastien Faure both ahead of him in the pecking order for the right-back slot, he knows his chances there might be limited. McAusland is eager to keep playing though and wants to at least become a regular in Durie’s side if he stays with the Light Blues. He said: “It’s my first week back at Rangers this week so I asked to play in the under-20 game to get myself back into the swing of things. “To be honest, I’ve not spoken to the manager here or the manager at Ayr yet about where things sit. “I’ll just keep training and hopefully I’ll speak to everyone either this week or next and we’ll see what happens from there. “If I do end up going back out on loan, it’ll be good to go back to Ayr because they’re doing well and they’re in a play-off place at the moment. “There’s competition for places at Rangers and you’re going to get that at any club, especially here. “It’s going to be hard for me to push the other boys out of the way because they have done well since they came in. “Whatever happens, it’s about getting more experience for me. I need to play games wherever I am, preferably first-team ones. I’m at that age where that’s really important.” Once again demonstrating the utter folly of sending a player out on a half season loan because when he comes back both he and the Club are snookered; as with Gallagher and Mitchell.
  18. ....yet they'll prepare for Forfar match at four star Hotel. KEITH hits out at Rangers' lavish pre-match routine ahead of tonight's League 1 clash with Forfar claiming they are living a champagne lifestyle on an Irn-Bru budget. HERE’S a thing. You know those Rangers players involved in conceptual discussions about theoretical wage cuts last week? And who metaphorically booted the hypothetical idea into touch? Well, here’s today’s reality. Did you know they’re all being bussed to the Four-Star Carnoustie Hotel this morning? Where they’ll enjoy some fine dining for lunch, possibly at the hotel’s own AA Rosette-winning restaurant? Rooms will then be provided in order that they can enjoy an afternoon nap, for those not getting treatments in the spa. All for an away trip to Forfar? To take on Gavin Swankie and Darren Dods? Is it any wonder these players don’t know if they are coming or going? Or that, as he unwraps the chocolate on his fluffy cotton pillow this afternoon, manager Ally McCoist might pause to reflect on where it has all gone wrong. Talk about mixed messages? Talk about champagne lifestyles and Irn-Bru budgets? Talk about hubris, arrogance and over-indulgence? Talk about sledgehammers and walnuts. The constant noise and confusion around Rangers is truly head-melting stuff. No wonder the club’s new chief executive looked slightly ruffled last week when news emerged from Murray Park of his polite suggestion that the first team might consider 15 per cent pay cuts. For a man of his experience Graham Wallace, below right, ought to have known such a proposal would be unlikely to remain within the walls of the dressing room for longer than it takes a player to hit the speed dial button to his agent. It was bound to result in an outbreak of panic among a support that has seen this movie before and which was so badly traumatised by the way it ended. But Wallace can be excused because, not only is he new here but also there must be a million and one different, more pressing thoughts, pinballing around inside his head as he attempts to tackle this latest financial crisis. Commendably, he has promised to deliver a business model that will finally allow Rangers to live within its means. Sustainability, transparency and a bit of common sense would go a long way to sorting out the internal mayhem over which he presides. Today’s unnecessarily lavish road trip, though, is just more proof that, when he agreed to take on this position at the top of a dysfunctional board, he was in fact stepping into life through the looking glass. Wallace in Wonderland. Or not. It’s his job now to make some sense of the numbers, to crunch them down and to crush this club’s recent culture of big bonuses and eye-popping extravagance before what little cash is left in the bank has evaporated completely. There is a rich irony about the fact that, in Philip Nash, he has hired yet another big-earning accountant to assist him in this urgent cost-cutting review. But then this job is so big Wallace might need all the help he can get. And from people in whom he can trust. Wallace’s planning is all that stands now between Rangers and another financial catastrophe. At the present rate of spending, the club’s last reserves will be gone before the end of the campaign. In fact, the prediction of financial director Brian Stockbridge that Rangers will be down to their last million in April now looks hugely optimistic. It is quite incredible this man remains in charge of the books given his standing in the eyes of the fans. It was not long ago he was talking confidently of growing turnover to in excess of £100m. Only then to predict a £7m year-end loss. Which, in fact, turned out to be a £14m black hole. And if, as is being strongly suggested by people on the inside of this basketcase, Stockbridge has got it wrong again then the situation at Ibrox could soon become dire. Perhaps as soon as next month. At a time when every penny counts, thank goodness then that Stockbridge has handed back that £200k bonus he pocketed for watching Rangers win last season’s Third Division title. Right? And has the financial director and the rest of the board actually signed off on the halving of McCoist’s eye-watering £825k annual salary? After talking about it for months, why on earth would it not have been rubber-stamped by now? If all this financial remedial work really has been completed then Wallace should announce it to the Stock Exchange and also reveal the current state of the accounts. It should be done in the name of sustainability and transparency – and in the hope of forcing common sense to prevail. Wallace must be astonished at some of the numbers that have flown across his desk. It is not his fault this club has blown its chance to stockpile cash on its journey up the leagues and there is nothing he can do now to address this grotesque overspend. That ship has sailed. Had Rangers plotted a more sensible course they would be arriving in the top flight in 18 months in a fit and healthy state, with millions squirrelled away. But, in their vulgar rush to cuddle up to McCoist, former chief execs Charles Green and Craig Mather put their own popularity ahead of proper prudence. By doing this, they kept the fans onside and the tills ringing. All Wallace can do now is address the crisis this pair and Stockbridge created. He’s not helped by the fact that, simply by agreeing to join a broken board and glue it back together, he himself is now viewed with varying degrees of suspicion. But, unlike Green and Mather, he must not allow his own popularity to get in the way of protecting the club’s interests. Which is why it was encouraging to see the first steps towards a more austere future being taken last week. But, crucially, if Wallace is serious about grabbing the bull by the horns then he must do so in the boardroom because this is where the biggest excesses have recently been committed. It is hard to think of another club that spends millions less on its players than on the rest of its employees but that’s precisely what the accounts showed to be the case at Rangers last year. No wonder the players refuse to take the first hit when there are other far more bloated and obvious targets at the top of the marble staircase. These players may well feel treated like disposable window dressing when they are supposed to be the very heart of the club. And here’s another thing. They were asked to ponder a 15 per cent cut over a period of 18 months, while also being told the club hopes to sign even more players in the summer. Which means some of them might be volunteering to help finance their own replacements. And you thought lunch at Carnoustie was mad?
  19. LAST summer, when Ally McCoist’s request for nine new players was granted by his then chief executive, Craig Mather, who was at fault? This was a club that had financial problems, that didn’t have the luxury of adding players to an already gob-smacking wage bill and yet added them anyway. Who was to blame? It wasn’t McCoist. Managers everywhere will push their luck from now until kingdom come. It’s part of their gig. They go to their boss with a sob story and a cap in hand and hope for the best. Sometimes they get a result and sometimes they don’t. And McCoist got a result. You cannot blame the Rangers manager for recruiting but you can most certainly blame Mather and his financial director, Brian Stockbridge, for allowing him to recruit. McCoist looks after matters on the field, the others were supposedly monitoring things off the field. They flunked it. They looked at the state of the finances and either mis-read them or ignored them and added to a wage bill that was drastically in need of a cut. This, of course, has been the way of things at Rangers for far too long. Mistake follows mistake. Irresponsibility follows irresponsibility follows irresponsibility. The names change but the hubristic decision-making remains the same. Mather and Stockbridge are guilty in this instance, but only one of them remains. Quite how Stockbridge is still in his position is a wonder to behold. That’s not to absolve McCoist, whose public comments over the past would indicate that he hasn’t fully grasped the situation he is in at Ibrox. Or maybe he has and is railing against it, like a man raging against the dying of the light. A week ago, McCoist said this about the Rangers way of doing things: “It makes sense to me that we continue to have a higher wage bill than the opposition that we’re playing against.” Higher, yes. But how many times higher? Ten times? One hundred times? A thousand times? It brings us back to the old question: why spend money that you don’t need to spend? That’s a question that too many at Ibrox – Graham Wallace, the chief executive, excluded – continue to struggle with. McCoist, pictured left, continued: “I didn’t give the contracts out and it would be unfair of me to comment on previous people within the club who made those decisions. I would certainly not be critical of them.” Wouldn’t be critical of them? Well, he should be. He should be very critical of them. McCoist was given permission to bring in players on wages that Rangers could not afford by executives who should have known better, executives whose decisions have landed Rangers in another desperate mess. He’s almost duty-bound to criticise them. Mather was a disastrous chief executive for Rangers but his was just another ill-advised appointment in a long series of ill-advised appointments. The Rangers manager said on Friday that he now understands the “severity of the situation”. That’s progress at least. The first step towards fixing a problem is to accept that you have a problem in the first place. Mather never could. Others, too, some of whom are still at Ibrox. McCoist was right in supporting his players over the pay-cut proposal but only in so far as that the cuts should have been made higher up the tree first. The executives should have taken a pay cut and should have announced it publicly. That would have been good leadership, but good leadership is not something this Rangers board – or many that went before it – would recognise. The bottom line is that costs must be cut – and players and suits alike need to take their share of the pain. McCoist has too many players offering too little and being paid too much. He needs to accept that. It seems he’s still struggling with the concept at the moment. And he’s not alone at Ibrox. Wallace has much work to do. In many ways he is fighting against the mindset of the club’s past in an effort to secure its future.
  20. I once met John Wark and nearly burst into tears. I was 38. Anonymous Ipswich fan. The news that greeted us on Saturday morning, that the body of the wee boy missing in Edinburgh has been found, is another sad reminder that childhood is fleeting, precious, and not always golden. At least for those of us on Gersnet, the vast majority of whom are (well) past childhood, our own youth has come and gone without such horror being visited upon us. We, the lucky ones, get to carry our memories into middle and older age, like everyone some good and some bad, though hopefully precious few as awful as what has happened to poor Mikael. He whose life has been one uninterrupted series of happy events is rare indeed, but I'd guess that at least we share in common memories of a time in our lives when our beloved football team losing made us cry, when the stadium loomed up above us like a colossus, and when the thought of actually meeting one of the Titans who wore a Blue Shirt would have reduced us to jelly. These childhood affections many of us, to judge by the amount of time we waste on online forums, carry with us well into maturity. And elsewhere, too. I still regale strangers with the time our present manager touched my shoulder and said 'excuse me, mate' in a Blockbuster sometime in the 90's; I also once, when he did some shopping in the store I was managing at the time, went before him crying 'make way! make way!' (I kid you not), quite brutally hustling innocent shoppers out the road lest they impede his Majestic progress. At least he had the decency to be embarrassed at my behaviour, which only stopped short of bestrewing his path with rose petals because we had sold out of roses by that point. On both these occasions I was well past childhood, but the football remained a link between me and mini-me, between the rather disappointing man I turned out to be and the child who dreamt of playing for The Rangers, and maybe one day coming into the presence of my heroes. I wonder how many kids still have that dream? Maybe loads do. They'd have to be very unworldly, though, as another week of internal combustion to make James Watt green with envy puffs its way to an end, without even a Saturday game to 'take the taste away', as my Mum used to say when giving me a sweet treat after some ghastly medicine. Who is developing a romatic attachment to a club which seems be determined to set a record for employing the most amount of executives for the least amount of return in sporting history? Just as Monty Python once sent out two teams of philosophers, Greeks v Germans, we're well on the way to being able to fill the bench with accountants...a shame none of them appear worth taking a chance on, even for the last two minutes. It's just not the same. Being able to hide inside the mind of 10 year old me at the football has been a lovely pleasure these last 30 years, but I might as well face up to the fact that that pleasure has gone now. It's not as if I could only handle success - growing up in the 80's I despaired of ever seeing us beat Dundee, let alone celtc or the dominant Aberdeen or Dundee Utd of the time. What a shock it was to me when Ally McCoist got selected for Scotland squads from about 1985 on - such a thing didn't happen in my youth. No, it's not that I can only support Rangers with childish fervour if we are winning: it's just that the thing I fell in love with aged about 8 or 9 doesn't seem to be there any more. Probably this is more due to a long overdue opening of my own eyes rather than anything else: Rangers under David Murray was hardly an shining example of philanthropic goodness along the lines of Dickens' Mr Brownlow. But now, with the club run and owned by Mr Downlows, it just seems...soiled, somehow, and all the more painfully because it's killing off the last little bit of my childhood I could hold on to. Obviously I only speak for myself, but this, to me, will be the legacy of people like David Murray, Craig Whyte, Charles Green Jack Irvine or the Easdale brothers. You may imagine how I view such people. In the grand scheme of things, forcing a delusional 40 something to open his eyes is not such a big deal to anyone other than the person himself, I suppose: certainly, compared to other things which could have happened, it is of no importance at all. But it feels like it is, to me. And that's why it hurts so much. For what it's worth, we play Forfar on Monday night, and will no doubt turn in another performance of depressing mediocrity. My 12 year old rarely lasts more than 10 minutes watching us on TV and I can't say as I blame him. Sheer habit will drive me to sit in front of the telly come half seven Monday night, but I can't seem to be able to tap into the decades long, childlike joy that the Blue Shirt used to give me. Perhaps, on this weekend when one childhood has been so cruelly cut short, that is appropriate enough.
  21. Rangers: Manager Ally McCoist instructed to cut wage bill By Alasdair Lamont Senior football reporter, BBC Scotland Rangers manager Ally McCoist has been told he will have to make cuts to his playing budget. McCoist has been in discussions with Graham Wallace recently as the chief executive undertakes a comprehensive review of the Ibrox finances. Wallace told shareholders at the annual general meeting in December savings would need to be made. And the players' wage bill at the League One side currently stands between £6m and £7m per annum. A spokesman for the Rangers board told BBC Scotland: "The CEO Graham Wallace outlined his strategy at the AGM and nothing is going to deflect him from getting Rangers back on an even keel. "Graham and Ally are reviewing the football budget, as part of the overall business review and it would be inappropriate at this time to discuss any figures." The news comes on the day that three million shares worth around £750,000 were traded in Rangers International Football Club plc. The share price dropped as low as 24p early in the day before rallying slightly to close at 28.5p. That is a fall from the 90p price at the launch of the share issue just over a year ago. Earlier this week, McCoist signed off on a pay cut of around 50%, which he agreed to in October. And consultant Philip Nash has been brought to Ibrox to help oversee the financial overhaul.
  22. http://www.dailyrecord.co.uk/sport/football/football-news/rangers-bring-new-financial-guru-3009812 FORMER Liverpool and Arsenal financial chief Philip Nash is recruited as a consultant to help streamline the club’s massive outgoings and slash budget. RANGERS have stepped up plans to wipe millions from their budget – by employing a new financial guru to help oversee cuts. Record Sport can reveal former Liverpool and Arsenal financial chief Philip Nash has been recruited by the Ibrox board in a “consultancy” role to help oversee streamlining of the club’s enormous spending. Yesterday the club’s share price fell to 27p and Nash joins chief executive Graham Wallace along with financial director Brian Stockbridge to become the THIRD highly-paid chartered accountant at the top end of the regime. Two further money men, Andrew Dickson and Ken Olverman, are also employed by the club which now needs Nash’s expertise to help turn around losses of an estimated £1m per month. Nash was headhunted by Liverpool in 2008 after helping Arsenal finance their multi-million move from Highbury to the Emirates Stadium. He survived a regime change at Anfield and was credited with helping the club tie up £20m shirt sponsorship with Standard Chartered Bank before standing down in December 2012 citing family reasons. Rangers’ financial position has deteriorated alarmingly in the past 12 months and Stockbridge has admitted they may be down to their last million in little more than two months. As another high earner arrives, Ally McCoist is readying himself for cuts. But he insists Wallace accepts that dramatically slashing the playing budget will undermine progress through the divisions. But the manager admits he does not know the extent to which he will be forced to cut – even after a lengthy meeting with Wallace on Tuesday. McCoist said: “Graham hasn’t told me I need to sell players or get rid of them. “It was just an overall view of the football side and we will meet again next week. “He hasn’t made it known to me where those cuts are going to take place and in what shape or form. “It would make sense to Graham that just cutting and selling is not the right way to go about it in terms of the progression of the club, the team and the squad. “If you need to take one step back to take two or three forward again, that will be Graham’s decision.” McCoist hopes he does not have to lose players during the transfer window. He said: “I would be thrilled to bits if there were no bids.”
  23. A FATHER and son have been banned from attending Rangers matches at UK football grounds. William and Billy Buchan were handed a two-year football banning order after being found guilty of singing offensive songs on a train journey between Glasgow and Aberdeen on February 18, last year. William, 42, and Billy, 21, whose address was given in court as 46 Kincorth place, Aberdeen, were convicted at Aberdeen Sheriff Court last month. Sheriff Graham Buchanan ordered William to carry out 200 hours of unpaid work and Billy 175 hours. http://www.eveningexpress.co.uk/news/local/aberdeen-father-and-son-banned-from-rangers-matches-in-uk-1.162765
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