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  1. KRIS Boyd dropped a bit of bombshell on Sky before Rangers took on Ayr United at Somerset Park on Sunday. Boyd revealed that none of the Rangers stars who took the club on its glorious three-in-a-row run and on into the £20M Klondyke that is the Champions League got anywhere near the £200,000 bonus which was banked by Financial Director Brian Stockbridge for whatever part he thinks he played in Rangers winning the fourth tier league last season. That just about puts the whole thing into perspective and shows why the vast and overwhelming majority of Rangers fans believe the current directors are spivs and want them out of the Blue Room to be replaced by men such as Paul Murray, who has never taken a brass farthing out of Rangers. When Sky’s always excellent Scottish anchor, David Tanner quizzed Boyd about Stockbridge’s bonus bonanza he was presenting the former Ibrox hit man with an open goal. And big Boydie doesn’t miss those. That Boyd revelation is something Rangers supporters might be glad to quiz £300,000-a-year chief executive officer Craig Mather and his £200,000-a-year, plus the same again in a bonus last time out, financial director Brian Stockbridge about. Except that Mather and Stockbridge have refused to give them that chance after getting such a hot time from the couple of hundred supporters they faced a few weeks ago. But that was before the Sons of Struth inspired match days’ demonstrations against the board kicked off and before the accounts were published showing an operating loss of £14.4M. Now Mather and Stockbridge know that that rough ride they got the last time they met the fans would be nothing compared to the hostile reception they would face if they showed their faces in the lion’s den again. Which is why many believe they have refused to repeat the meeting. Instead, on Thursday they are due to meet not a few hundred supporters, but a mere six of them. They will sit down in private conclave with two representatives from each of the three main supporters’ groups, the Association, the Assembly and the Trust. And even that is more than they wanted to do in the first place. For I can reveal that the first request from the Rangers board was that they would meet one representative of each of those three major organisations, at three separate meetings. An offer the three groups saw as an ambush and rightly snubbed. But what about Thursday’s meeting? Will it turn out to be some sort of ambush too? Will the two executive directors, Mather and Stockbridge both be there? Will non executive directors be there too? Will James Easdale be there? Will Sandy Easdale, who is not a plc director, but who sits on the football board only, be there? My advice to the office bearers of the Association, the Assembly and the Trust would be to get cast list sorted out in advance of the meeting and to refuse to go ahead with the meeting if the board deviate from what they agree in advance. It is bad enough that Rangers are in turmoil. Respected financial figures predict the current board will run out of money by this time next year. There is also a Court of Session case, as the current directors’ reluctance to take part in a proper open democratic election is challenged by good men and true. Now Mather refuses to again stand in front of the same few hundred supporters he tried to sweet talk a few weeks ago. While financial director Stockbridge refuses to try to explain away what it was he did to help Rangers win the fourth tier in Scottish football which deserved a £200,000 bonus, which as Kris Boyd has revealed, was a lot more than any of the players who helped Rangers win three-in-a-row SPL titles and take Rangers to the promised land of the Champions League, including a money spinning clash with Manchester United, ever got.
  2. IF THERE is a pyramid of anxieties among Rangers fans in the wake of the publication of the club’s financial position, it will surely be topped by the dread that the new company which arose from the old last year will topple back into the abyss. Such an eventuality has been deemed in some quarters to be unlikely to the point of impossibility, but, since the voices of “reassurance” have come mainly from inside the Ibrox boardroom and other parties with vested interests, the natural retort to the claims would be a sceptical “they would say that, wouldn’t they?”. In the matter of drawing optimism from audited accounts which appear to confirm a level of pillaging that would have shamed the Vikings, the chief executive, Craig Mather, has tended to offer the least convincing case since Richard Nixon told the American people that “there can be no whitewash in the White House”. Mather’s most insistent defence against accusations of financial profligacy on an almost crippling scale has become something of a mantra: “We have money in the bank and we are debt-free.” This would be considerably more impressive if Rangers were debt-free by choice rather than necessity, the result of their recent history of collapse that left creditors of every size owed millions. With no credit line available, the club will be operating on a pay-as-you-go basis, thereby necessitating regular recourse to their “savings”. Since the latest balance sheet includes the great bulk of the season-ticket money for the present campaign, it seems legitimate to infer that withdrawals at the bank continue to exceed deposits. In this regard, the worry lurking one level below the fear of another administration will derive from the realisation that the figures released this week are already out of date. Since the accounts reach only until the end of June and costs have had to be met in the three full months since, it is reasonable to assume that the balance at the bank is appreciably less than the £11 million reported by the auditors. In the circumstances, it was hardly shocking to hear the testimony of a football finance specialist that, without a significant improvement in their revenues, Rangers will run out of money by the middle of next season. But anyone who takes a dispassionate view of the figures will surely concede that Mather and his directorial team are entitled to emphasise that the alarming £14m loss recorded last year was due in no small measure to a substantial number of non-recurring expenses and that the seemingly devastating figures contained in the audit are, in relation to the coming months, at least partly artificial. Mather, by and large, did not make enough of this aspect of the club’s finances and its potential impact on future trading. It is possible, of course, that he did not wish to draw attention to the ludicrous amounts of money paid to executives such as Charles Green (almost £1m) and Brian Stockbridge (more than £400,000) and the astonishing £825,000 salary of the manager, Ally McCoist. McCoist’s earnings could be considered perverse merely in the context of the club’s economic devastation over the past three years, but, from a purely footballing angle, it is an irresponsible reward for someone with no managerial experience operating in the fourth tier of Scottish football. His wages are nearly two-and-a-half times the £350,000 paid to Alex McLeish by the then owner, David Murray, in 2001. It was only when McLeish won the treble in 2003, at the end of his first full season, that he received an appropriate increase. The present manager’s income becomes absurd when it is set beside the club’s total annual turnover of £19m. To lend that ratio some kind of perspective, Manchester United would have to pay their new manager, David Moyes, almost £16m per annum. United’s recently declared record revenue of £365m means that they require a mere 19 days to match Rangers’ yearly “take”. Despite the hair-raising anomaly, McCoist and Stockbridge have attracted plaudits from some for agreeing, respectively, to take a wage cut and waive directorial bonuses that were already scandalous. It is rather like praising someone for not robbing a bank. King of cool Guardiola can land third crown In his new incarnation as a co-commentator for Sky Sports, Gary Neville frequently gives glimpses of the astuteness and articulacy that made him, as a player, Manchester United’s resident barrack-room lawyer. Rarely stuck for the telling phrase, the former England full-back had a ready riposte to colleague Martin Tyler’s observation on how cool Pep Guardiola appeared as his Bayern Munich strode imperiously around the Etihad Stadium, wiping the floor with the often formidable Manchester City as they went. “I’d be cool too, if I’d been given the jobs he has,” said Neville, an allusion to the suave Spaniard’s present employment and his previous post as manager of Barcelona. With two Champions League triumphs already on his cv from four years with Barca, Guardiola is an understandably short-priced favourite to collect a third with a side that looks much more comprehensively equipped than the one he left in Catalonia. Manchester City’s volatility – capable, in the space of a few weeks, of losing to Cardiff City and Aston Villa, while contemptuously dismissing neighbours United with a 4-1 hammering at Old Trafford that could have been even more emphatic – could make Bayern’s apparently breathtaking form unreliable. But City are clearly the kind of team who require to be stimulated by the occasion to produce their best, and there is little doubt they were taking Wednesday’s collision seriously. But Bayern, virtually unchallengeable all over the field, already hold the European title, and appear capable of matching, or even surpassing, their Franz Beckenbauer-inspired, three-in-a-row predecessors from the mid-1970s. http://www.scotsman.com/news/glenn-gibbons-rangers-financial-position-1-3127365
  3. Richard Wilson SELF-EXPRESSION, whether borne of exuberance or exasperation, was a recurring theme during this latest procession at Ibrox. Protests against the board, gaining momentum through old-fashioned leafleting campaigns as well as the now-inevitable use of the internet, reached a new level on Saturday with the grandest exhibitions of dissent yet being shown in the 18th and 72nd minutes, nods to the club's foundation in 1872. To suggest this is akin to the storming of the Bastille is premature, but more and more Rangers fans, never ones entirely comfortable with demanding necks on the guillotine, are warming to the idea of one way or another forcing out those inhabiting the boardroom. The centrepoint of the demonstration was the corner of the stadium between the Main Stand and the Broomloan Road Stand - and the unfurling of banners which read 'Spivs Out', 'No More Lies', 'Action Not Apathy' and 'Give Us Our Rangers Back' was well orchestrated. What may worry the likes of chief executive Craig Mather, as the temperature builds ahead of next month's AGM, is that these messages were not restricted to that area of the ground. They were raised throughout all four stands at the appointed time, with one or two perhaps a little too close for comfort to the directors' box and the stoic types in the posh seats. It would be disingenuous to suggest the chants of 'Sack The Board' and 'Get Out Of Our Club' emanated from all corners of the arena, but there was enough widespread applause to suggest the views expressed are gaining enough support to be taken seriously. This was not all clenched fists, stern faces and 'Wolfie' Smith politics, though. Passions are running high but they come out in positive ways, too, and the wonderfully chaotic half-time parade in honour of the armed forces was quite something to witness. Around 400 servicemen and women marched into the ground in perfect order behind a massed pipe band. But the minute they set foot on the hallowed turf all semblance of order dissolved. Squaddies were bouncing up and down on the trackside with the spotty adolescents of the Union Bears fans group, RAF pilots were queuing up for photos beside the substitutes as well as Broxi Bear, and there were a couple of Navy men you would swear were trying to get up the tunnel. One fellow who certainly shared the enthusiasm and joy of those soldiers and sailors revelling in their moment in the spotlight was central defender Bilel Mohsni. The 26-year-old French-Tunisian completed this rout with the most spectacular overhead kick in stoppage time and decided to embark upon a one-man lap of honour after the final whistle. Channelling the spirit of the afternoon, he was in no mood to keep his thoughts to himself. Despite being just in the door, he is already talking of the possibility of at least matching Rangers' record league win of 10-0 against Hibernian in December 1898, and more. "It's possible we could score double figures in a game at Ibrox this season," he said. "Stenhousemuir have some good players and try to play football, but they caught us on a great day. "That was the best goal I've ever scored and it was a special day, because my parents, my brother and some friends had travelled over from France. I enjoyed my celebrations. All I want to talk about with regard to the fans, though, is the relationship we have with them. There is a very close bond between every player and the supporters. If we play our best, we could win every game as we have good players in every position. I think we have the team to win every game." Mohsni did not hold back either when criticising last week's award of the SPFL League One manager of the month prize to Stenhousemuir's Martyn Corrigan. "It's just a pity Ally McCoist didn't get it," he said. "How many goals do you want us to score in one game before he gets recognised - 100? I know the Stenhousemuir manager got the award, so this was a good way for the manager to respond to that. People seem to ignore the job that Ally McCoist is doing and he should get more praise." His side did him proud here. Jon Daly scored four goals to complement other efforts of varying quality from Andy Little, Lee Wallace, substitute David Templeton and Mohsni. Ian Black also made an effective return from his suspension for gambling against his own team and will have been happy to emerge from the 90 minutes without any perceptible criticism from the stands. "I lost seven goals to Rangers in the cup when I was with Dunfermline and also lost seven at Parkhead, but I'd never lost eight before," said visiting goalkeeper Chris Smith. "It was, without doubt, my worst ever day."
  4. Mathew Lyndsay THE high regard Bill Struth is held in by Rangers fans is not just due to the success he enjoyed in his 34-year spell as manager. Struth is still, with a staggering 73 trophies to his name, the most decorated manager in British football history despite retiring back in 1954. Yet, it is perhaps how the one-time stonemason carved the future of the Ibrox club in the first half of the last century for which he is most revered. A strict disciplinarian, Struth demanded high standards of conduct in those who represented the Glasgow institution both on and off the field of play. The ideals he instilled in those around him helped to ensure Rangers became the most successful club in Scotland and one of the most successful in the world. There could, then, be no better man for the protest group demanding honesty and integrity at boardroom level to be named after. Sons of Struth, or SoS, organised the demonstration during the SPFL League One game against Stenhousemuir at Ibrox at the weekend. A variety of banners were held aloft throughout the packed stadium in the 18th and 72nd minutes - the significance of this being that Rangers was, of course, founded in 1872 - of the match. Chants of "Sack the Board" and "Get out of our Club" - among others more unsavoury - were also belted out as Ally McCoist's team romped to a resounding 8-0 victory. It was a reminder for the directors that, as the publication of annual accounts draws ever nearer and an eagerly-anticipated AGM edges closer, nothing less than complete transparency will do. Who ends up holding power at Rangers when the AGM is finally held, those currently at the helm or the shareholders demanding change, remains uncertain at this juncture. However, with such disharmony clearly existing among such a large number of paying customers it would be foolish business practice, suicidal in fact, to dismiss their concerns when they do. McCoist, whose team remained five points in front of Dunfermline thanks to their biggest win of the 2013/14 campaign, is concentrating fully on football matters. And he is optimistic the growing unrest in the stands will not have any negative impact on his players' performances for however long it continues. He said: "We would ask the fans again to keep on giving the team their continued support. I keep saying, and I make no apology for saying it again, that in the last couple of years the fans have kept the club going. "They have been absolutely fantastic and their support of the team is all we can ask for. "There were issues at the weekend which I am certainly not going to get involved in after the result we had. I think it would be wrong of me to do so. "The team and the players and the fans deserve all the credit for the performance." While the Rangers support remain firmly at loggerheads with those in positions of authority, progress is being made on the park. The victory at the weekend, in which striker Jon Daly netted four goals for the first time, maintained the team's 100% record in the league in some style. McCoist's side has now won all seven of their games in their division this term. They have scored 32 goals and conceded just two goals in the process. The manager is pleased with the progress his new signings have made in a short space of time and with the way the Light Blues fans have taken to them. He said: "I think it is terrific we are now getting players who are striking up bonds with the fans. "Whether it be Bilel Mohsni, Ian Black, Nicky Law, Arnold Peralta or whoever. There is definitely something building which is important for us. "All we can do is prepare the team as professionally as we can and hope they can go and play in the most professional manner they can. That will always be the case as long as we are here." McCoist welcomed Ian Black, who has now completed his ban for gambling offences, back into his team against Martyn Corrigan's side. It proved to be a shrewd call. The central midfielder was one of his side's best performers throughout an admittedly one-sided 90 minutes. Some fans were deeply unhappy with the punishments meted out to the player, who admitted betting against Rangers to win, by the SFA and his club. If he continues to perform in the highly-impressive manner that he did against Stenhousemuir then he will continue to be a leading light for Rangers as the campaign progresses. McCoist agreed: "He has been terrific for us all season and he just picked up where he left off. It was great to see the reaction he got from the crowd. "Our fans are intelligent. They know he has made a mistake and he has been punished and they want to support him now." The same cannot currently be said of the Rangers board. http://www.eveningtimes.co.uk/rangers/the-moment-of-struth-137790n.22281435
  5. Just read this book and i for one am not impressed by leggats cheap effort to put into print the life and times and his impact into scottish football a poultry 238 pages of wasted ink and paper the life and times of mr Struth could fill three times that amount of space i think leggats playing on the fans to make a quick payday .
  6. I admit it, you got to me the other day. When my team reached the giddy heights of the Ramsden Cup semi-finals, I expected the usual doom laden chorus of nay-sayers to come floating out of the crypt, issuing dire warnings. probing the entrails of goats and generally bringing everyone down, lest anyone of a Blue persuasion experience anything akin to happiness. And sure enough, there was Hugh Keevins, sternly informing me that to actually be happy at winning a minor pot would be very, very wrong, and possibly raise the wraiths of Struth and Waddell to bring down the walls of Thebes (or Ibrox). He was easy to ignore. He is, after all, no prophet. A Tit, yes. A Tiresias, less so. You, though, were harder to dismiss. An ever popular figure amongst fans and media, your brash denunciation of the Cup Final being held at Ibrox bit to the core. You mentioned integrity and you balanced it against the mere accumulation of money. You spoke with feeling about how much more it would mean to Raith Rovers to win a pot themselves, rather than merely enrich themselves by a few hundred thousand pounds. A tear was not far away, I confess. And then, as I sat there reflectively stroking a pensive eyebrow, I realised that Rangers had no chance in this fight. For when you, Turnbull Hutton, say something, there is neither man nor beast can stand in your way until thy will be done! Who can forget your tireless efforts to bring about the vote of no confidence in Stewart Regan and Neil Doncaster, first announced by your good self, with the usual gravitas, back in about April of this year? Doubtless the delay in that vote actuaaly happening is merely administrative. Those slow moving apparatchiks at the SPFL will feel your well fed wrath descend upon them shortly, of that I have no doubt! For when Turnbull Hutton speaketh, the earth trembleth!!! I for one have firmly believe that we shall see you at Hampden soon, bringing down the statue of Belial and emerging from the dust like Charlton Heston in a Cecil B DeMille movie...only, you will be the better actor. It is the same with your unquenchable Corinthian spirit. Only a churl amongst us would point out that the man who spent over a year helping to re-arrange the deckchairs on the SPFL steamship Titantic - with the specific aim of bringing more money into division one clubs, of which Raith Rovers just happened to be one - didn't seem to be overflowing with the sporting ethos of the game when he shafted every part time club in the country to gain a few more pounds. It is not for mere mortals such as we to wonder why you have gone from money grabbing backstabber to embodiment of the Olympian Spirit in the space of a few months. I have already slapped down a few coarse, crude types who tried to suggest you were an enormous bag of wind, which the media let open every so often and print the resultant ephemeral, noxious but essentially meaningless gas. Their low minds don't appreciate you the way I do, Lord Turnon of Bullhut. They cannot see how you represent all the aspects of Scottish football in the way I do. They say: he's a bumbling hypocritical oaf, who loves the sound of his own voice but can only just make it out because his head is so far up his own arse. I say: Smite them, when thy has the time. I believe in you, oh Lord Bull! I believe!! Were any sign needed of your great omnipotence, it is the way you gave your people Your Word on the Cup Final location BEFORE THE DRAW WAS MADE!!! Once more, some gutter dwelling people have suggested that the way you anticipated avoiding Rangers in the semi final and getting a fairly easy ride for The Rovers into the final looks like the draw was fixed. If only they could understand that Your Vision is limitless, they would easier come to heel. All kneel before Turnbull Hutton, avatar of morality, principle and integrity!!!
  7. Picked this up from the official website - 'Elsewhere at the club, Greek defender Anestis Argyriou has left Gers after it was mutually agreed to terminate his contract. The full-back played 27 times in total for the Light Blues last season after coming in from AEK Athens but he hasn't featured this term.' I feel a bit sorry for him, but just one of many who were not good enough.
  8. http://www.therangersstandard.co.uk/index.php/articles/current-affairs/282-jim-spence-rangers-jibes I won't post the article as there are a few images used at the link for context... Suffice to say, poor Jum gets nailed by an on-form Chris...
  9. Charlotte Fakeovers ‏@CharlotteFakes 3 Sep Despite the 5 way agreement published earlier, the SPFL are considering transferring the 250k fine from oldco to newco. https://twitter.com/CharlotteFakes
  10. Glen Gibbons: Ally McCoist’s claim to have as formidable a squad of players as any club in the country outside champions Celtic would do nothing to dispel the impression that his tongue these days is quicker than his wits. The words had hardly left the Rangers manager’s lips when his side were beaten 3-1 at home in a closed-doors friendly by Hibernian, who could not reasonably be described as the galacticos of the SPFL’s Premiership. The former striker’s readiness with the impulsive, unconsidered response may be rooted in his history as a media-friendly figure. He has, after all, been what is known these days as the go-to personality for the telling quote for as long as anyone (including himself) can remember. It is possible that McCoist has become so practised in the art of filling space that he cannot break the habit. Even so, he has been steadily compiling what might be called a portfolio of outbursts, some of them grossly ill-advised and even dangerous. McCoist’s errant views began at Dunfermline two years ago when, without having seen the incident, he insisted that Steven Naismith could not be guilty of elbowing Austin McCann because “he’s not that type of lad”. Naismith, of course, was caught on camera and suspended. There followed the infamous “we want to know who these people are” demand in the wake of the review panel who sat to consider Rangers’ rules breaches in the wake of their entering administration. A similar noise was made over the question of Rangers being fined for their indiscretions while Hearts and Dunfermline were not. On both occasions, the SFA revealed that McCoist (and, in the latter case, his chief executive, Craig Mather) already knew the answers. Perhaps most seriously of all, McCoist declared himself “appalled” by the arson attack on the bus depot which housed Rangers’ new luxury coach, clearly implying that it had been carried out by rival football fans. The subsequent police investigation disclosed that the crime was not related to football. If these previous retorts are a measure of his judgment, there is unlikely to be a stampede of punters desperate to plunge on Rangers for the only “major” left to them, the Scottish Cup. http://www.scotsman.com/news/glenn-gibbons-scots-send-in-the-clowns-1-3081141
  11. Reading elsewhere that Jim Spence when talking on radio today about us said "the club that died". Anyone on here hear the cretin say that?
  12. One of my all time favourites, a son of Airdrie. Click the link to see the full interview from May last year. http://www.scotsman.com/sport/football/spfl-lower-divisions/interview-ian-mcmillan-airdrie-director-and-former-rangers-and-airdrie-forward-1-2319440 Interview: Ian McMillan, Airdrie director and former Rangers and Airdrie forward Ian McMillan remains a director of Airdrie United aged 81. Picture: Robert Perry by ALAN PATTULLO Published on the 26 May 2012 00:00 8 comments Email thisPrint this RELUCTANT star reflects on an enduring bond with Airdrie and life as a part-timer at Ibrox The McMillan family is deep into Olympic countdown mode as the days tick down to the Great Britain women hockey side’s first appointment, at the end of July. Ian McMillan, formerly of Airdrie and Rangers, is the grandfather of Laura Bartlett, one of only two Scots in the squad. He clearly believes she should be the focus of any attention, rather than his octogenarian self. This, however, is the Wee Prime Minister’s own question time. For any sports writer, an hour or so in the company of someone renowned for being one of Scottish football’s gentlemen is a dream assignment. In this version of PMQs there is no braying from across the room to have to endure either, only the pleasant hum of background chatter emitted by McMillan’s golfing crowd, who meet at the Airdrie Golf club each week to put to the world to rights. McMillan himself is slightly anxious. He is concerned that he has not got enough to say, and that, at age 81, no-one will want to read about what his views on the game any longer. He fears he is as relevant to present day football as Harold Macmillan is to contemporary politics. His near-namesake’s occupancy of No 10 Downing Street during the late 1950s and early 60s saw McMillan bestowed with his Wee Prime Minister moniker, one still employed by friends to this day. Having listened to him, however, it is not hard to understand why he is still a director at Airdrie United, as well as honorary president. It would be considered gross negligence if his influence had been lost to the game, and to his hometown club in particular, where he has also served as ball boy, esteemed player, youth coach and, for six and-a-half years in the Seventies, as manager. Sandy Clark, whose career started under McMillan at Airdrie, recalls never having heard the manager swear, something almost unheard of in professional football. That’s not to say he was not sworn at. The notorious Airdrie crowd did not even spare their own, although McMillan, whose managerial tenure included a Texaco Cup final appearance against Derby County and a Scottish Cup final defeat to Celtic, never had it as bad as some. “Do you know the old Broomfield?” he asks. “You had to walk from the pavilion right the way up to the dug-out near the stand, and at half-time and full-time you had to walk all the way round, and if you were losing you would get slaughtered – quite rightly, because some of the games we played were not very clever. “As a manager I got more abuse than as a player,” he adds. “One comment I always had a wee smile at was: ‘I think you should stick to playing McMillan!’” That he appeared for Scotland at all is notable enough. McMillan was a part-time player all his days. While this was not so remarkable in his first ten years as an inside forward with Airdrie, it became something to marvel at as he continued to hold his own after a £10,000 move to Rangers. He was the sole part-time player in a side that reached the semi-finals of the European Cup in 1960. “They could have given me the cold shoulder, but they never did,” he says of his team-mates. “They were very welcoming.” He does concede that working as a chartered surveyor from Monday to Friday did tend to compromise his performances on a Saturday. Given that many Rangers fans of a certain vintage rate McMillan as one of the club’s most under-rated players, it’s possible to wonder just how good he could have been had he been able to train with his team-mates each day, rather than with the youths in the evening? “I had to take wee rests occasionally,” he says. “That is what I maintain, if you are fit and able to do 90 minutes, then you can be a better player. And I think I could have been a better player. I only trained three nights a week as opposed to the others, who trained all week, so I had to rest occasionally in games. That was a fault. “If I had been able to train a bit harder, then looking back I could have been a better player,” he continues. “I could have lasted the game longer, I could have been in the game more often.” He made a conscious decision to remain part-time, and it was the sensible one at the time. He had had two young daughters, Laura and Lesley. The latter is now the mother of Scottish hockey internationalist twins Laura and Kay Bartlett, while the former passed on some of her father’s footballing prowess to Iain, a striker with Livingston. “I was 27 when I moved to Rangers, and I weighed up [whether to go full-time] and it was borderline,” McMillan continues. “If I had been 22 it would a different story. I would have gone full-time then. I had a young family, two wee girls. It was a big decision. I knew that I could get an injury, and be finished. My wife and I sat down and thought: well it is going not too bad the way it is, we will just carry on.” Making things slightly easier was a job switch from one side of West Regent Street in Glasgow to the other. “John Lawrence, who was chairman at Ibrox at the time, asked me to come over and work for him, so I was able to get away for games in Europe,” he says. “Prior to that, it had been difficult.” McMillan was thus free to star in the Ibrox side’s run to the last four of the European Cup, where they came up against Eintracht Frankfurt. “Our trouble was that even when we were abroad we played as if we were playing against Stirling Albion, we just kept going forward,” he recalls. “We were one each against Eintracht Frankfurt at half-time, but you could tell the writing was on the wall. They were a tremendous side. They ran over the top of us in the second-half, beating us 6-1, so the return leg was a bit of a non-event. We were a top side, and they whacked us 6-3 at Ibrox. I was interviewed on television afterwards, and they asked me how I thought Eintracht Frankfurt would do against Real Madrid in the final? Well after that experience, I said, I think they will beat Real Madrid!” Of course, the aristocrats from Madrid defeated the Germans 7-3 at Hampden Park, in one of the best remembered games in football history. McMillan watched on from the stand at Hampden, where he had already made three appearances for Scotland as well as enduring a 7-2 away defeat to England at Wembley. Unusually perhaps, of the six caps he earned with Scotland, five were won out of Airdrie. However, he struggles to make playing for Scotland sound like a happy experience. “We didn’t get good results,” he says. “It was not really as enjoyable as playing with Airdrie, my local club. But Rangers was the best of the lot. Great players, they made it easy for you.” Games against the amateurs of the United States and Denmark were the only ones he won, and McMillan sometimes wondered whether he belonged in such illustrious company as Lawrie Reilly and Gordon Smith. Reilly scored a hat-trick against the States that day at Hampden, in a match described as an “amusing interlude” in Andrew Ward’s Scotland – The Team. Two goals for Scotland within the first ten minutes killed the game as a contest, and the score was 4-0 at half-time. Making a mockery of the self-doubt McMillan says he experienced with Scotland is the late Bob Crampsey’s recollection of the day. Writing in The Scotsman in 1998, the respected football historian noted that “the team that had won 6-0 was never picked again yet I invite you to look in particular at the right wing, Gordon Smith and McMillan, two of the purest footballers this country has produced.” The US, whose centre-half Charlie Colombo wore leather gloves throughout the game, didn’t have a hope, despite an astounding 1-0 victory over England in the 1950 World Cup in Brazil. “They had played England, and beat them, we though oh oh, who do we have here?” remembers McMillan. “We had not a clue about them. Because they had whacked England we thought we need to watch ourselves here. Maybe that was a good thing. If they hadn’t beaten them we might have come out and think it was toffee. If you think that, it can rebound on you.” Still, it’s possible to detect from McMillan that he felt he didn’t belong in a Scotland jersey. “I moved from Airdrie to Rangers, not knowing what was ahead of me, worrying about going from a wee provincial club to a big club. “I maybe had the wrong attitude. You have to be a bit like Jim Baxter was, a wee bit arrogant, a ‘nobody is like yourself’ sort of thing. Instead, McMillan was the complete opposite to Baxter. “I had a slight inferiority complex,” he admits. “It’s not a good thing for a footballer.” McMillan considers Baxter to be the best footballer he played with, but his complaint about his team-mate is a familiar one in that he feels he could have been even better. “I couldn’t believe what I heard he’d been up to on a Friday night when I turned up on the Saturday,” McMillan says. Harold Davis, who played just behind him, is a different story. The Korea war veteran made the best of himself despite horrific wounds sustained in active service with the Black Watch. Recalls McMillan: “At the end of the game you would be in the big bath and you could see the scars on his tummy. You would think: ‘how is he able to full-time football at this level after what he went through?’ That’s the type of man he is. He used to encourage me, if things weren’t going well. “I always maintain that, because he was behind me, I lasted longer at Rangers. Harold won all the balls for me, and I said to him: ‘Harold, I am fine if I get the ball in a bit of space. As soon as you win the ball, I will be looking for it right away’. And that’s how we operated. “Football is all about movement, making space to get away from your opponent. I just needed a second, then I could get the ball under control and use it. That is what I was good at. I could get the ball and take men on and I had good vision, I could pass a decent ball. But I couldn’t header and I couldn’t tackle! I had deficiencies as well as one or two qualities.” His lack of inches meant he relied on his wiles to escape the rough and tumble of the game at the time, and the lightness he displayed on his feet was perhaps partly attributable to the Italian-style football boot both he and Ralph Brand preferred to wear, to the great suspicion of manager Scot Symon. “It didn’t have that bulbous toe which was common at the time,” he says. “You could get the feel of the ball better.” The knocks have, though, caught up with him, leading to a hip replacement 17 years ago which itself now needs replaced. The complaint, he believes, is a consequence of his preference for shielding the ball with what he refers to as his “largish bottom”, and which meant 18 years’ worth of heavy impacts from behind as defenders jostled for the ball. It has curtailed his golf outings, but he will be fit enough to watch from the stands as his granddaughter plays in a second successive Olympic games, this time in a rather more convenient location than Beijing. “I think I have been allocated a ticket,” he smiles, clearly proud that the Olympic ideals he espoused throughout his career – “to my mind there was nothing better, whether you had won or lost, than coming in after a hard game of football” – are still being upheld in a talented family.
  13. I have one spare ticket for Airdrie on Friday night, don't have the details here in my office but I'll post later when I get home. I think it's £17 or £18. Anyone interested please PM me; first come first served. Could meet in town any day this week or on Friday at the ground.
  14. @PeterAdamSmith: STV News understands Sandy Easdale bought 1.2million shares in Rangers today and Imran Ahmad is the seller. More on STV News at 6 next.
  15. I love God's own county, Lanarkshire. Born'n'bred, it's home but it has a flaw. The deepest, darkest county does not have a decent curry house. This necessitates an occasional 40 mile round trip to the west end of Glasgow. Attending University thirty-five plus years past, introduced me to the culinary triumph that is Gibson Street. A thoroughfare that was the perfect sub-continent sandwich. The oldest puryeyor of curry in the country, the Shish Mahal at the top end, the then best, the Koh-i-Noor at the bottom. Neither are still located in Gibson Street, the Shish resides in Park Road and the Koh-i' fell into the River Kelvin a couple of decades ago and moved to Charing Cross. At seven bells last evening, we alighted from the Park Road establisment, entered our vehicle and heard BBC Radio Scoland tell us the good news. Atletico were one up at ra Stade de Gadd. It was half time and the match analysis could wait as Rangers financial results could be discussed. BBC Scotland's Financial Correspondent, Douglas Fraser was brought on to provide a sypnopsis. Then, Richard Gordon turned to Chic Young, yep that Chic Young to interpret the results. I felt a reflux of my bangan pakora as Chico insisted Rangers supporters were anxiously confiding in him and demanding he act as our conduit. Fearlessly, Chico wanted answers(on our behalf) on the date of the club AGM, "it's always at this time of year". Here's me thinking it's usually early Autumn. Anyways, Chico was now unstopable, "I want answers(remember, on our behalf) from Craig Whyte". Such insight from Chico's location ie trackside at the Brendanbowl. Seamlessly, Chico moves on to more comfortable ground, "Celtic don't deserve to be behind". BBC Radio Scotland's other two employees at the ground take their cue, Murdo McLeod tells the listenership, "before the goal, I saw US controlling the game". Wullie McStay chips in with, "WE were providing a high platform". It all concluded with Richard Gordon summarising the half time positions in the group, "OUR group looks like, eh sorry, of course I mean Celtic's group". There you go, in the space of a couple of minutes it was "US", "WE", and "OUR". How far do I need to travel from God's own county to receive accurate and objective broadcasting?
  16. Gerspride Conference 2011 Saturday 12th November 2011, Ibrox Suite, Ibrox Stadium The Rangers Supporters Trust is delighted to announce our GersPride Conference will be held within the Ibrox Suite at Ibrox Stadium on Saturday 12th November 2011 starting at noon The Conference is open to all members of the Rangers Family and provides a much-needed space for fans to debate and explore all the issues around Rangers; about being a football supporter in the 21st Century, and tackling such thorny issues as the media and fans representation and ownership. SPEAKERS CONFIRMED:- Fraser MacDonald, Dundee FC Supporters Trust - What Administration Means For Fans and a Football Club Doctor Stuart Waiton, Take A Liberty Scotland - The campaign against the Offensive Behaviour at Football and Threatening Communications (Scotland) Bill Professor Graham Walker, Queens University, Belfast - Writing About Rangers Interest in this event is likely to be extremely high so please book now. Tickets are priced at £5 each. Payment link for Gerspride tickets - http://tinyurl.com/Gerspride2011
  17. Nikica Jelavic has handed Rangers a substantial boost by declaring himself happy and content to remain in Glasgow. The Croatian international striker was the subject of a £6.5million bid from Leicester City, followed by an £8m offer from an unnamed club, in the final hours of the transfer window. Despite the financial clouds cast by the clubâ??s exit from Europe and Wednesdayâ??s League Cup defeat to Falkirk, however, the £3.4m signing insists that he is happy with life at Ibrox. A scorer in last weekendâ??s Old Firm triumph over Celtic, Jelavic said: â??I know what was written about in the media, but no one said anything to me. â??Of course, itâ??s nice that there are clubs who may be interested in me. But I maintain again, I am happy to be playing at Rangers and winning trophies with them and I have won some cups already. â??If a club appeared and offered something that suited Rangers, and they were happy with the offer, then I would talk to them, of course. â??But I repeat, I am happy here and donâ??t want to leave Glasgow.â?? Jelavic was a second-half substitute at Falkirk after a pre-match fitness doubt and scored the equaliser before the Bairns went on to secure a famous 3-2 victory. Preferring to focus on last weekendâ??s 4-2 Old Firm victory, however, which stretched Rangersâ?? SPL lead to four points ahead of Saturday's lunchtime clash at Dunfermline, Jelavic was equally quick to credit the contribution of fellow scorer and strike partner Kyle Lafferty. He said: â??Celtic was a big result for us. We played really well, particularly in the second half when we ran all over the top of them. â??We could have scored more than four goals and we wasted a couple of excellent opportunities. â??It makes a big difference when you win the first of the Old Firm matches in the league. â??I am always fascinated by the atmosphere at Ibrox for these games and this was no different. â??I would also give special praise to Kyle Lafferty. I really enjoy playing up front with him. â??Heâ??s an excellent player and he creates so much space for me with the amount of running he does. â??Last season, we hardly got to play together because of injuries, but I have played beside him a lot this season and it has been great. â??Itâ??s a good partnership between us.â?? Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sport/football/article-2041239/Nikica-Jelavic-pledges-loyalty-Rangers.html#ixzz1Yr25YDMU
  18. rbr

    Every Season

    All I want and have wanted ever since Advocatt left was for a team capable of controlling the ball , capable of passing the ball and capable of moving into space to recieve the ball . Now in the hurly burly world of the back water that is Scottish football that isn't required , here all we care about is passion , drive , desire , attitude, get in to them , but in Europe we are continually humilliated , for that is what happened tonight , especially the last 10 minutes . I really hope Ally McCoist survives this , I really hope Rangers survive ( I know its a stupid statement but you get my jist) ,unfortunately we have players who suit us in Scotland but are cack in Europe , there is no creative spark nor anyone capable of a killer pass or run , bar Jelavic, the clocks ticking Mr Whyte ,,,,,,,,tick tock tick tock
  19. STEWART Regan is confident the Scottish Football Association's new disciplinary system, which takes effect today, can play a significant role in stemming the flow of negative headlines which blighted the game last season. Speaking at Hampden as he unveiled the Judicial Panel Protocol rule book which will form the basis of what Regan believes will be a "speedy, robust and transparent" replacement for the previous disciplinary procedures which were scrapped as part of the radical changes approved at the SFA's historic annual general meeting last month. SFA chief executive Regan is determined to see Scottish football portrayed in a more positive light in the campaign which kicks off today and has made his feelings clear to leading managers and players. To that end, it emerged yesterday that Regan effectively gatecrashed the Scottish Premier League's annual pre-season gathering of club managers and captains on Thursday to both explain the workings of the Judicial Panel and underline what is expected of those on the pitch and in the technical areas. "The managers and captains were told we are starting a new era," said Regan. "There is a clear message going out and they were reminded of their responsibilities. We want to make sure we are talking about the game of football this season. All of our club officials were also fully briefed on the new disciplinary set-up and they were both supportive and appreciative of the work done in such a short space of time to put it together. "I'm sure there may be teething problems as it's a brand new system. It won't be plain sailing but we will learn as we go along." A total of 205 disciplinary rules now come under the powers of the Judicial Panel, replacing the Disciplinary and General Purposes Committees which were subjected to so much criticism for both the expediency and effectiveness of their work. The SFA are currently recruiting a full-time Compliance Officer to lead the Panel. In the meantime, the role will be filled by a solicitor seconded from the SFA's lawyers. Any offences missed by a referee during a match will be referred to the Compliance Officer who will decide if there is a case to answer. If so, three members of the Judicial Panel will be called upon to sit on a tribunal for each case. Hearings will generally be held every Thursday, allowing the SFA to adjudicate on reported offences within a week, as opposed to several weeks or even months under the previous system. The Judicial Panel, which will ultimately have up to 100 members to call upon, will include club representatives, SFA council members, lawyers, private sector company executives and representatives from other sports. The three members for each tribunal will be picked on a 'cab rank' system, working through the list, to ensure no-one with conflicting interests can sit on any case. It was possible before for someone from a club in a certain division or league to sit in judgment on a case involving another player or club from that same division or league," explained Regan. "That isn't helpful and we have removed that possibility. "We are really pleased with the quality of individual we have for the Judicial Panel so far. Putting this system together, we have drawn on best practice from the disciplinary processes of Scottish Rugby, the Heineken Cup and both the FA and Premier League in England." Other notable changes include the end of the disciplinary totting-up procedure which saw players earn suspensions for accumulating points for bookings and dismissals up to an 18-point threshold. The new system will instead see players earn an automatic one-match ban after collecting six bookings in a season. Any appeals considered frivolous or merely intended to delay a suspension will see a further ban added. Among new rules introduced is one to deal with the increasingly prevalent issue of social networking sites used by managers and players. Any criticism of match officials through such a medium will be subject to a minimum three-match or maximum 20-match suspension. Further protection to referees is provided by a new rule making it an offence for any player or club official to comment about a match official in advance of a fixture. http://sport.scotsman.com/sport/Stew...-to.6806199.jp
  20. .... so we may as well start celebrating now :cheers: -- Explain to me how Rangers are going to square their oncoming tax bill and I'll wager you could teach us how to nail jelly to a tree. Frankly I still don't quite comprehend how the Ibrox club's takeover has built a jigsaw puzzle picture of a sunny future. But then why listen to me? I never thought Craig the Whyte knight would get his hands on the club in the first place. So off we jolly well go into another season which has already fired up more questions than answers, with its embarrassing hiccupping start as the Old Firm take their sabbatical before the term has learned to walk. Of course I understand the desire - requirement, maybe - for the big clubs to go big buck hunting, but I still find it humiliating for the SPL that the big kick-off is followed by a couple of weeks of damp squibs as Celtic then Rangers throw the other clubs a deaf one. It's like getting married then bodyswerving your own reception. Rangers fans can't be full of the joys of life. All window shopping in the transfer market, but no real spirit of the shop to drop. Sure, they've been linked with more big names than Piers Morgan�but headlines don't mean signings. Ally McCoist once compared taking the baton from Walter Smith to accepting the microphone from Sinatra and of course he was right. But it strikes me that Nelson Riddle has just taken the orchestra off the stage too. He took the job because ultimately he had no option. But privately he must reflect that somewhere down the line there might have been a better time. Like Neil Lennon timed his run, for example. After the Tony Mowbray shambles, the only way was up. No fence sitting from your old reporter. I'll be stunned if Celtic aren't champions by the time autumn and winter have blown their last and dear spring is in the air once again. Rangers were champions last year because they deserved to be, not because of Celtic's spectacular trip at Inverness as they toddled to the finishing line. A title race is a distance event and it is never won or lost on any given Saturday afternoon or Wednesday night. But this time at Parkhead, I suspect the lesson will have been learned. Mind you, to be fair there hasn't been a run on the ink at Lennoxtown. Signings there too have been a collector's item. But the difference is the depth of squad already on the employment register. Atlantic deep: Rangers meanwhile have to set sail in a puddle. What we need them both to do is progress in Europe in their respective competitions, to ensure a little midweek action in the Champions and Europa Leagues. That would put a little light in our lives. And talking of a little brightness, why do I have a good feeling about St Mirren? It's a worry. This time last year I was insistent that they would be relegated and if not quite gloriously wrong then I looked like being spot-on for a fair few months. Scotland coach Craig Levein faces crucial Euro 2012 qualifiers But the signings of Gary Teale, Nigel Hasselbaink and Stevie Thompson and a general something in the air over Paisley - and maybe the strong drink - has me think better days are coming. And here's a thing as I juggle my feel good factors: Scotland - I think we might make it to Poland and Ukraine although hopefully not Donetsk, quite the dreariest place I have ever been. There, even the birds cough. Certainly the play-offs of the European Championship qualifying group beckon at least, where Lithuania's turning over by Liechtenstein opened the door for Scotland and a straight two-way fight with the Czechs for second prize to World Champions Spain. So let SPL battle commence, earlier than ever but still too late. We should have been back three weeks ago thereby allowing our European representatives some run-up to their ties and freeing up some time for the inevitable winter back-log of postponed games. And maybe even a January shutdown� Hey, but I'm not one to spoil a bright new dawn with a bit of mumping. But watch this space. �SPL champions: Celtic �Second: Rangers �Third: Hearts �Relegated: Kilmarnock �Scottish Cup winners: Hearts �League Cup winners: Dundee United
  21. Quite possibly the craziest statement any Scottish club has ever made. Mad Vlad's taken it to a new level here.
  22. ALI RUSSELL took the fast track to success under F1 boss Bernie Ecclestone at QPR. Now Russell wants to put the REAL Rangers in pole position for global expansion. New Gers owner Craig Whyte has made the ex-Hearts whizzkid his Chief Operating Officer at Ibrox. He'll chase off-field success while Ally McCoist goes for glory on the park. Russell, 39, says the lessons learned under billionaire Bernie will be crucial in moving the SPL champions into top gear. The man who will replace outgoing chief executive Martin Bain said: "I very much learned the Formula 1 model on football, working with people like Bernie Ecclestone, Flavio Briatore and the Mittals. "That's been very useful for me to see a parallel commercial environment being used in football and I think they had a huge amount of success in those sort of areas. "I've had a fair degree of involvement with football. "I've been part of two new management teams that have come into football and been very, very successful. "This is a fantastic club and it has got a fantastic fan base. "What we want to do is to take this club forward and today is the start of that. I'm looking forward to helping develop the brand of this club, not just in Scotland but internationally. "I think we've got some huge opportunities. "The club has been under some challenging financial circumstances over the last couple of years. I think, moving forward, we've got to challenge ourselves. "How do we generate more interest in Scottish football? "How do we become central to that? "It's very early days but we're looking at how we move Rangers forward considerably and I'm thrilled to be part of this new management team." Russell has a wide-ranging remit in the new regime. He plans to take Gers to every corner of the globe on a massive marketing drive. Celtic have already targeted the Asian and American markets and Russell sees no reason why Gers can't do the same. For too long, he argues, Rangers have been a selling club. Now he hopes to sell Rangers to the world. Russell stressed: "It's about looking at all avenues. "It's about looking at the real estate here. "How do we maximise that? Is it just a football ground used for football or does it have more uses? "Obviously, football is the core focus, but can we use the rooms on non-match days more effectively? "What do we do to grow the brand, where do we play as a football team? "How do we integrate international players so that we're building the brand? "Where do we go with our own broadcast rights? "There are numerous areas we are looking to investigate. "What are the core markets that we're going to be focusing on - and really focus and be strategic about that, so that we reinforce it every time we do a tour? "So we don't just go where the biggest cheque is - we look at growing a fan base in different areas of the world which strategically fit back very well into the club itself." Russell knows Rangers and Scottish football must rebuild its image after the shame of last season. He said: "There's a sense that Scottish football's reputation bottomed out last season. "I think if you look at the Championship, that hit rock bottom some time ago. "I think the league reconstruction that they had there had a lot of innovation at the time. "There's a huge amount of interest in that play-off game at the end of the season. "We've met with Neil Doncaster and I think the SPL are looking at a lot of innovative aspects to move Scottish football forward and we want to be part of that." Russell will now look to maximise income at every opportunity. He's determined to prove the Champions League gravy train is not the only one Rangers can hop aboard and he's hinted at a cross-border cup competition which Manchester United, Arsenal, Chelsea and Liverpool are thought to be keen on. Russell revealed: "There's been a lot of talk about cross-border cup competitions. "Also the Old Firm game is a fantastic game. It's about making it the biggest rivalry in world football. "How do we ensure that without some of the negativity that maybe came to the surface last season? "Looking at a cross-border cup I think the League Cup over the last couple of years is one that's had some issues in terms of teams like Arsenal and Manchester United playing their first teams in the early stages of that competition. "A cross-border aspect to that tournament would most certainly generate a lot more interest. "It's not something that's necessarily been discussed at this point in time but should we be involved in those sort of discussions? Absolutely." Read more: http://www.thescottishsun.co.uk/scotsol/homepage/sport/spl/3653319/The-Ali-shuffle.html#ixzz1Q40HqBds
  23. Lifted from FF I understand that Keith Jackson has been banned from Ibrox. The Daily Record has been asked to publish a full apology for the 'Coisty Cash Crisis' story which appeared today. The new regime is sending out a message that untrue stories about the club will no longer be tolerated. Watch this space.
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